Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Straight From The Heart:)

The boys are going to summer camp for two weeks. When John picked them up today, the camp director told him how impressed she was with the card Alexander made for me - Yes Me!!! His Mommy:) He was not prompted to create a card for me, it just came straight from the heart. He is a little reluctant that I am sharing it on the blog, but my heart is filled with so much JOY that he would make this for me. It's a pop up card...

It says inside: You are the best. Never leve (leave) me or my life will be very, very, very sad.

Side Note: Alexander glanced the post and quickly corrected me that the card had three (3) very (s) and not just two (2) as originally posted, so I had to edit to include and extra "very". :):):) Gotta love it!!!!!!!!!!!

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!!!!

What a special day for us as we celebrated with our newest little US Citizen:) We were all excited yesterday morning when we woke up because we had planned a trip to the beautiful, historic town of Southport. Southport has a huge Fourth of July festival each year with a parade, arts and crafts, FOOD, display of US Army 82nd Airborne, and various bands playing on the waterfront. Of course the grand finale was the spectacular fireworks!! Southport holds a special place in our heart because it is where John and I were married:) Yesterday was almost as hot as it was on July 31st nine years ago:)

We could not decide if it was best to get there early, see the parade and leave early afternoon, OR arrive mid-afternoon and stay for the fireworks. We knew our energy would not last all day;) So, we opted to have Zech make us a pancake breakfast...

...take the 1:00 ferry and try to stay for the fireworks and hear the band play on the waterfront. I think we made a good decision.

We all had a great day!! The boys were all excited about the ferry ride and bombarded us with questions as we waited for the ferry to arrive. We missed the 1:00 and had to wait 45 minutes. Surprised? So, we answered questions for 45 minutes and tried to contain our excitement. They asked some good questions. Alexander asked, "if we drive onto the boat and line up behind each other are we going to have to back off the boat when we get there?" "Zech wanted to know how the boat keeps from sinking with all of the cars on it." Here are some shots of "the wait" for the ferry to arrive. Allot of excitement caged up in our van:)

And the excitement on the ferry continues:) We didn't miss a single spot.... we went upstairs, to the bathroom, views from the south, north, east and west:) We checked out the lounge, the vending machines, well, you get the picture;) Whew! And we're not even in Southport yet...

Once we finally arrived, we immediately walked to the Provision Company, a great little dive that we were so excited about eating at yesterday, and it was CLOSED:( We were disappointed, but we walked to the vendors set up and decided on corn dogs and fries for the boys. As you can see, they were not disappointed at all:

We stopped along the way to take a picture in front of Lois Jane's Riverview Inn, where we had our reception. The boys were not interested in standing still long enough for a memorable photo, so this is it - oh well, Papa was cooperative:)

The US Army 82nd Airborne display was definitely one of the highlights of the day for the boys. It gave me shivers to see them holding these weapons, but they loved it, as you can see in the pictures.

Alexander had been begging for cotton candy from the moment he spotted someone with some. The rest of us wanted ice cream and John had seen a homemade ice cream stand earlier so we went to check it out, Yummy! Josiah and Papa had chocolate, Zech had vanilla, and I had the pineapple. Alexander decided he would get ice cream too and decided on chocolate also. Here is Josiah enjoying every single bite!

We met many dogs yesterday:) Of course the boys asked everyone they met with dogs if they could pet their dog so we met MANY!! Pearl was so cute and really wanted to try some of Alexander's ice cream. Josiah didn't care to pet Pearl, but he started "petting" the tattooed dragon on Pearl's Dad's arm, saying "Lookit Mama";)

From soldiers to tigers. We headed to the arts and crafts setup to find the face painting and WOW were there some elaborate face paintings. I just knew Alexander would go for the snake, but by the time it was our turn, he changed his mind to the tiger. Josiah had decided on Spiderman, but then he changed his mind to a tiger just like his big brother:) Zech exclaimed that (and this is a direct quote), "I don't want any part of my body painted!". So, he didn't:) I tried to get him to have his hair painted, but he would have no part of it. Actually, I'm quite proud that he didn't give in to the peer pressure and I pray that he'll take the same stand against alcohol, drugs, etc.... and NOT give in to peer pressure!! I just didn't want him to be disappointed later that he didn't get his face painted because they were shutting down at 5:00.

So, while A and J were still waiting in line to have Gracie the clown paint their faces, Zech and I went to find yet another portapotty:) On the way, we saw JoJo pulling a carriage and we decided that should be our next stop as soon as A and J had turned into tigers:) We went back to find Papa, A and J and this is who we found...

We headed off to find JoJo for a relaxing ride. Here is the picture I took while Zech and I were walking...
...but JoJo was nowhere to be found:( Good thing we got a picture or the rest of the gang would have thought we were lying:) We walked and walked, in desperate need of a relaxing ride, but we couldn't find JoJo. We did however meet Wally, the cutest little Dashund who LOVED to give kisses. He knocked both A and Z off their feet (notice that Josiah wanted no part of it), and was licking their faces all over. I was laughing so hard I had to ask John to take pictures. He got a few, but it did not quite capture the moment. Zech's dimples do tell quite the story however:) And, when Alexander got up, we discover half of his tiger face was missing:) He was so excited about the dog kisses, he wasn't upset at all about losing half his tiger face. When we walked away he said, "I think that dog will definitely know me the next time he sees me. I think he really liked me". John replied, "Yep, in some countries you'd be considered married to him after that:)" Alexander replied, "Huh?" "Never mind", we said:)

Since we could not find JoJo to take us for a ride, we decided to head back to the car, drive around in the AC, grab some water and a snack and see if we could find a closer parking space to the waterfront and unload our chairs and blankie for the fireworks (although the jury was still out as to whether or not we were staying). After all, we still had a couple of hours to go:) And we were all getting quite tired!

We asked the boys if they could remember where we had parked the van and about the time I had asked the question, we discovered a box with FREE maps of Southport. Zech LOVES a map, and sure enough, the map saved the day and Zech was able to direct us back to the van;)

See, I told you how to find the van!

And Josiah mimics his big brother:)

We rode around in the AC for awhile trying to decide if we could brave a few more hours and see the fireworks. The boys were being really good, but we were all so tired. We found a parking spot close to the waterfront and their was a park. So we let the boys play in the park for awhile and we rested in the cool shade. They had a blast!

We unpacked our chairs, snacks and blankie and headed to find a spot to WAIT on the fireworks. We still had a couple of hours:( Wish we had a quarter for each time we were asked, "how much longer before the fireworks?" It was really nice. There was lots of room for the boys to run and play. There were lots of children playing chase, chasing bubbles, playing ball, and Alexander learned to play botchie ball (sp?) They had a great time, and we were able to sit in our beach chairs, relax (except for the multiple trips to the portapotties), and enjoy the wonderful cool breeze blowing. I came really close to wrapping up in the blankie a couple of times, but I might have fallen asleep;)

While the boys were playing, I snuck away to get the promised cotton candy which poor Alexander had been wanting all day. The line was unbelievable as the cotton candy stand was the same as the ever popular funnel cakes. Boy do I love my boys!!!! Although we knew the cotton candy would kick them into an even higher gear than they were in, we did promise, AND it was a special day:) Pure sugar injected into their blood stream at 8:00 at night. Whew!

FINALLY, it was time for the fireworks and after about the first 10 that went up, Zech announced that he was ready to go home! We were able to hold him off until just before the grand finale, and we decided we would head out early to try and miss the crowd. Good thing we did, as it took us an hour and a half to get home. We had to drive back because the ferry stops running at 9:00. The boys were very concerned about how we were going to get across the water since we couldn't take the ferry and made us promise to wake them up when we crossed the Cape Fear bridge. Yeah right!

Zech was so tired and asked me to sit in back with him so I did. He announced to me as we cuddled together that he was going to marry me one day. What a perfect ending to a great day!! He did say that I could stay married to Papa:) He then announced that he might marry two girls. Zech and Josiah were asleep within minutes of getting into the van, but Alexander still had a sugar high from the cotton candy, so it took him longer.

Zech enjoying his cotton candy!
The crazed cotton candy man!!

Some tired boys, but they kept going, and going, and going....
A sure sign of a good day... Chocolate stains, ice cream stains, puppy dog smells, ketchup stains, DIRT, lemonade stain, cotton candy stains, DIRT, paint stains, candy stains, Coke stains, did I mention DIRT???

I can't believe we put the boys to bed as dirty as they were, BUT we were NOT going to wake them up:) They slept so well, just not long enough:)

Happy Fourth!!!

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