November 28, 2011

Christmas Cards

We love Christmas cards! Each year we probably get 50 cards and display them in our card holder. I love this picture of Braden from 2 years ago checking out the assortment. This year we are ordering our cards from Tiny Prints. It was so hard to narrow it down, but we finally decided on one. Check your mailboxes soon!

November 15, 2011

California Day 8&9

Our last day in California we just hung out by the pool. It was nice to have one more day of relaxation before traveling back to the real world.


Grandmama and Kate hanging out on the stairs

Two kids can fit in the float!

Our last night we got to play one more game of Catan.

When it gets ugly, I just turn up the bottle! ;)

Alas, the time came for us to fly back. We were sad to leave and sad to face 5 more hours of flying with the kids! Fortunately the way home went much more smoothly than the way there. Kate contained to a carseat helped tremendously!

The boys! Braden couldn't be bothered to look at the camera. He was too busy scoping out the flight attendants so they could get him some root beer!

Success! Kate slept...only 20 or so minutes, but she did sleep! Notice how close the seat in front was. The lady reclined all the way and Kate kept kicking her seat. I felt bad, but the seat beside her was empty so she could have moved or not reclined.

In Dalls waiting on our final flight. I took Kate to the bathroom to change her diaper between flights and the girl on the other changing table asked if we were flying to Hawaii. I felt like a loser when I said "No, just Knoxville." ha ha! But I really was happy to be going home. I was just jealous of all the people near our gate about to go to Hawaii.

This is from my phone, so excuse the poor quality. This is our "last flight...woohoo!" face.

What a wonderful trip! I really was so thankful that we got to take such an amazing trip. We saw lots of great things and got to spend lots of time with Granddaddy and Grandmama and check out where they are living. Carl and Carol, thank you so much for flying us out there and letting us take over your place for over a week. We had such a great time! I was sad looking through these pictures again to blog because I hate that it's over. But as much fun as it is to visit new places, we can't wait to have you back in Tennessee! Love you both!

November 12, 2011

Day 7 - Sequoia National Park

On Monday morning, we left Yosemite and drove a couple of hours to Sequoia National Park. Just so you know, no picture can accurately show how huge these trees are! I was so excited to get to see them in person.


I took this picture because my Grandmother's brother's (my great uncle) name was John Muir. I'm pretty sure it's not the same one, though! ;)

Another picnic lunch!

Poor Kate, always confined to the stroller!



The sign is neat because it explains this fallen tree and how early settlers used this tree for settlers and when they designated this area Grant Grove in 1890, they used it as camp for employees. That made it more fun that we got to go in.

Standing in the Fallen Monarch

You can walk all the way through it.

From inside looking out.

This was the only tree that you could walk this close to. Braden is demonstrating just how big this tree is. Notice the burn marks on the bottom.

See, I was there too!

I couldn't get the sign and the tree all in one picture. Nor could I get the whole tree in the picture. It is the 2nd largest Giant Sequoia in the world.

There she is! See, it doesn't fit, but you get the idea.



Believe it or not, these are baby Sequoia trees and in a few thousand years, they too will be as big as the others. Isn't that crazy!



Don't make me get back in my carseat!



So...there was road construction leaving the park. If you time it just right there can be up to an hour wait. Well, we timed it just right! We were the 2nd car in line waiting our turn to go. So we had a 45 minute break. We had been in the car so much already I wasn't sure how the kids would do. The adults could get out of the car, but about one foot out of my door was a huuuuuge drop off. I was not letting those kids out of their carseats! Ben and Granddaddy were brave and got snacks and beverages out of the back for us. Thankfully, Grandmam packed some of my wine! And the kids didn't seem to mind the wait at all.

And even thought it was close to 100 degrees in Bakersfield and pretty warm in the parks, in the distance we did see snow. It's hard to see, but there in that distant mountain range you can see it. Never seen snow in August before!

California Day 6 - Yosemite

On Sunday (August 21 -wow, I'm behind!) we left Bakersfield, CA and headed for Yosemite National Park. It was so beautiful! We had a picnic lunch and then drove arond the park to see the sights. It made we want to go camping...and I am not a camper! However, I can see us camping there for a week and riding bikes and canoeing and seeing something new every day! I would love to go back for longer, but we sure enjoyed our one day there!

My cutie pie on our long trip to Yosemite.

Three hour car rides make us grumpy! :)

There were tons of these pretty blue birds (not their technical name ha ha) where we picniced.

"Come on Mom, enough pictures already!"

Braden and Grandmama walking down to the water.


Favorite picture of Kate to date! Squish!

The water was still freezing (the snow had barely melted and it was August!)

Grandaddy and Kate

Kate and Grandmama

I forget the name but this the spot where all tourists stop to take pictures. You can see Half Dome in the background.

Obligatory family photo in front of pretty scenery

Bridalvale Falls

This may be inappropriate...but "when nature calls..."


Hi!

Half Dome

Isn't this field so pretty? I want to camp right in the middle.

Yosemite Falls



My boys checking out the falls. All the falls were very small this time of year because there was no snow melting. Earlier in the summer we would have gotten soaked if we stood there.


Enjoying the view....or happy to be out of the car!

Cheeeeeese!

Now that is a big rock!

View leaving the park

Another gorgeous view!

After we left the park we checked into our hotel and had some Mexican for dinner. Then everyone else went to the pool while I tried to get Kate to sleep.