Saturday, October 31, 2009

"Football Bonding"

It's football season, and as much as I like to dress-up as a big-time Alabama fan, the truth is I don't know much about it. We always deck out in our team colors and go to all the fun tail-gaiting parties, but it is just for the fun. The most I can tell you about the team is the name of their coach. Honestly, I don't even remember who won the big rival game last year between Alabama and Auburn.

I wonder what this is going to mean for Archer since he just has me to teach him about football and stuff. I guess I will leave the sports education to his Uncle Mikey. Last Saturday when they were suppose to be watching a big football game, this is what me and Tiffany found:

I guess they just got tuckered out. I know Mikey already has 3 boys of his own, but I think he can make a little more room for Archer too.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Homecoming Parade"

After their trip to the Pumpkin Patch, the kids were still in store for some fun. That afternoon was our local Homecoming Parade for the highschool. They got to see all the floats, fire trucks, bands, cheerleaders, and football players.

I was back from jury duty by then, so I got to meet up with them for the parade. They had fun trying to get the candy the people were throwing them from the floats. The parade made a big loop, so not only did we get to watch it once, but twice! Ava always remembers where we've watched the parade in the past, and when we drive by that spot she will remind me, "Thats where we watched that parade." We are already looking forward to the Christmas parade this year!
Sam and Mikey

Tiff and Charlie


Ava and Huett


"Pumpkin Patch"

This is the time of the year when everyone is posting about their trips to their local pumpkin patch. Their posts include beautifully orchestrated portraits of children picking out their favorite pumpkins, jumping in fallen leaves, eating a big bowl of chili, sipping on hot chocolate, and visiting the petting zoo! Let me just start by saying my post will not include those pictures this year.

I was serving on jury duty the week of the preschool trip to the pumpkin patch, so I wasn't able to go. My mom graciously volunteered to take Ava and Archer for me so that they didn't have to miss out.

I've only heard a few comments about how the trip went,
but they went something like this:
"It was crazy"
"It was raining cats and dogs when we got to the patch"
"We were outnumbered by children 4 and under"

My brother-in-law Mikey was the only one taking the pictures that day, I know you can't tell by the pictures, but my sister has a Nikon that photographs beautifully. Mikey didn't give the thing time to focus...Tiffany has promised to give him a little remedial education.

Sam, Huett, and Ava


Ava picking out her pumpkin.


My Mom, Archer, and Sam

The Hill Brothers
Sam, Charlie, and Huett

The pictures will not win any awards, but they say a million words! The kids were just having way too much fun to stop and pause for a picture or two!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Chris Young, Unplugged"

I'm about to be 30 in December, and I'm kinda bummed about that. I can't put my finger on what actually bothers me about it the most, but I just know I don't like it. My dad always reminds me that its better than the alternative, and I have to agree with him .

Saying all of that, I want to show you how much fun an "almost 30" year old someone can have!

Chris Young is an up and coming Country Music singer who just had his first #1 hit with "Gettin' You Home". Back in 2006, he won Nashville Star. His recent success has been slow coming, but with his new album he is opening up for artists like Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw.

My brother-in-law Mikey, who just happens to be one of Chris Young's biggests fans, heard he was coming to Birmingham to do an unplugged show at a local bar to benefit the St. Jude's Foundation. Not only that, but the tickets were only $10! His new song that just went to #1 is called, "Gettin' You Home", but the chorus talks about when your black dress hits the floor. So, this upclose and personal showing turned into a Little Black Dress Party.

Back to Mikey, to help you understand his devotion to Chris Young, you would have to know that he has been to numerous shows, is a card carrying member of his fan club, and still has the episodes of Nashville Star from back in 2006 saved on his DVR! I know, he has almost crossed the line!

Mikey told us the car was leaving at 4 o'clock. You know we had to leave in plenty of time to make sure we didn't get held up in traffic, and we had to get a good place in front of the stage. Tiff, Mikey, Me, Bob, Chad, and Nick rode together in the Durango.

Bob, Nick, and Me

Tiffany(my little sister)
Chad (my little brother)

When we arrived at Cafe Firenze, you could feel the excitement in the air! The ladies had shown up in full force in their little black dresses and their black heels. I would just like to say that I spiced it up a bit by wearing a printed black dress with tights, and cute wedges! Maybe I wanted Chris to notice me from the stage, but I would never put that in my post!

Nichole, Tiffany, and Me
waiting with ticket in hand!

Bradley and Tara
Mikey and Tiffany
See that rambunctious crowd behind us? Once Chris Young hit the stage, the girls were coming out of nowhere trying to reach the front of the stage. Remember, we had been there since around 5:30...he didn't play until 7:30. Well, I don't know what it was about the atmosphere, but our little group of girls got really territorial about our spot in front of the stage. You would have thought we were trying to reach a pot of gold! I blocked people, looked them right in the eye, and said "You aren't coming through here!" I don't know what got into me. This timid, mom of 2 was ready to kick some ass and take some names! The funny thing is, the other groups of girls probably had to line up babysitters just like we did! You would have thought the guys with us would have stood up for us, but they were whining for the OTHER girls trying to just let them through! We weren't having that!

Katy and Me
Me, Nick, and Katy

This guy is the morning host
of our local radio station, "Dollar Bill".
I thought we wouldn't find anyone as excited as Mikey,
but I was WRONG!
The man himself, Chris Young.
Look at this motley crew!
We all survived the concert, and we had a BLAST!

On the way to the car,
Chad and Mikey decided to get their
crowd surfing fix out by jumping into the hedges!

Enough said...

We left the bar around 11:30, and I was ready to just get home and go to bed! But you know, theres always that one person who wants to keep the night going! Well it was Katy, and it didn't take her much convincing to get everyone to jump on board. So, everyone was telling me I was such a party-pooper, and that I needed to suck it up, so I did. We went to a bar called, "The Black Market" for late night food. Can I just say that the cuisine was delicious! We aren't talking about burgers and fries, we had Pork Quesadillas, Egg Rolls, and Chicken Salad with Pita chips. I think the next picture speaks for itself!

If there are more fun times in my future like I had that night, then I guess maybe turning 30 won't be so bad after all!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

crisp breeze, yard sales, vegetable soup...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"It's Not All About the Roller Coasters"

Let me just start off by saying, "I Love Six Flags!" As a kid, I can't even guess how many times we ventured to Six Flags with family, friends, or on church trips. Its close enough to go in one day, but it still feels like you've gone on a trip. When we were kids, I remember my dad's rule about Six get to pick 5 rides to skip out on...everything else you RIDE! This may not seem like such a big deal now, but then it was torture. Six Flags is known for their numerous intense, dare-devil rides. I would load the roller coasters with my dad by my side, and I would be in full blown tears. I'm not really sure if this disciplining tactic had any long-term ramifications, but now I still love Six Flags and I love to ride it all. Maybe my dad knew what he was doing after all.

I have been gearing up for a trip to Six Flags this Fall all year. I am the planner in the family, so I've been trying to throw this onto our social calendar all summer...if you've been following my blog, then you know we have had a busy year! I had finally just put my foot down and said, "Even if no one else goes, then I will just take Ava by myself." My dad was working that Sunday, so my mom decided she would go with us and we would take Archer too. I was getting excited! I told Tiffany about our plans, and she talked about it with Mikey. They decided Mikey would stay home and take care of Charlie and Tiffany would accompany us to Six Flags with Huett and Sam. My trip was really coming together!

We finally got on the road about 9 o'clock (I know, kind of a late start). We took Tiffany's car, and we all fit comfortably. We stopped on the way to buy some child harnesses and these nice neck pillows that the kids thought were funnier as hats.
Our youngest adventurer, Archer...all of 6 months old!
This picture wasn't taken the day of our trip, but I wanted to use it as an example of our method of transportation for the children. We also had an umbrella stroller with us. So, if we had a need for it, all the kids could ride. Let me just tell you, it is no small feat pushing this stroller with a load of 100 pounds around, but a mommy's gotta do what a mommy's gotta do!
We arrived at Six Flags around 12 o'clock. You would think after paying $15 to park, we would practically be on the curb beside the gate, but that wasn't the case...we had to make a little trek to get there, and we couldn't ride the trolly because we had the above mentioned stroller! We already bought our tickets online, so there was no waiting at the gate once we got there. The kids were so excited because they could see 2 or 3 of the roller coasters on the way in.

We went in the gate and took a right to the restrooms, changed the kids into their cooler outfits, and harnessed them up. Like I mentioned before, I've had my aversion to the leashing of the children, but we were out-numbered! Yes, I did look like I was walking a pack of dogs when I had all 3 of them, but it was essential to our trip. I didn't want to be searching Six Flags for a lost kid!

Our first ride of the day was the train.

We loaded the stroller on the back of the train so we all got to ride together!

Aren't we just having the best time ever!

Tiffany and the boys

Sam didn't like the LOUD toot of the train,
Huett waved at everyone we passed, non-stop!

Archer didn't like the LOUD tooting either.

Look at the pout...
Getting some lovin' from Archer, he got a lot of that through out the day.

See the peek of a woman in the right side of this picture?
That is my mom, also known as, Gran Gran.
This is the only picture we got of her, and it isn't much...
Archer being attacked again for some sugar!

Look at those sweet, brown-eyed babes.

Ava, Me, and Archer

After we road the train round-trip, we walked on. The next stop for us was the "Mine Cars". Ava wanted to ride and I remember loving this ride as a kid, so we waited in line. Ava was never nervous or frightened. She is so brave and ready to try anything. I guess she wouldn't have minded the "everything but 5" rule. It got a little rough toward the end, and she bumped her head some on the "mine car". She told me she liked it, but she didn't want to ride it again. We headed over to Bugs Bunny World. There were several rides just for kids in this area.

Ava had to ride the flying boats by herself, but she still enjoyed it,
eventhough you can't tell by her face.

Sam and Huett getting buckled in.

Sam waiting to ride the Ferris Wheel.
Huett waiting his turn.
And, taking a needed break.

Can we get one of these cages at home?
I think that would make a great place for "time outs"!

Waiting to ride the Convoy Grande.

I fed Archer while we were in Bugs Bunny World,
and this is what he did the rest of our time there.

We decided to get some lunch next. Everyone needed a break, and we were all getting hungry. Tiff bought this refillable, 48oz, plastic drink jug that we refilled probably 10 times during the day. We had chicken fingers and fries for lunch, but they weren't very good. We let the kids run around the eating area a little off their leashes! Once we got moving again, they got their second wind and we were back in business. They all usually still take a nap after lunch, but not this day!
The next stop was the ride formally known as "Monster Plantation", but the name was changed when they revamped it this season. Now it is called "Monster House". All the same characters, just cleaned up a bit. The end was a little dark and scary, but Ava and Archer weren't scared.

Here we are on our way out of the Monster House.

I had to put Archer down in the seat so he could ride along,
but once we got inside I picked him up and held him.

My favorite ride of the day was the "Log Jamboree", we just call it the log ride. Me and Ava rode together, and it was just so much fun...its always been one of my favorites! Thank goodness, we didn't get too wet, just splashed a little.
The last section of the park we went to with kid rides was the Carousel. I know you probably think, "Oh how sweet, the carousel...children smiling, families laughing, babies giggling, and so on. But would you ever think maybe a little porn? Check out the artwork on the outside of this carousel seat...I posed beside it trying not to draw anymore attention to this soft porn love scene!

Ava on her choice of horse.

Huett waving yet again.

"Sam the Ham-Bone Hill" hamming it up for the camera as usual.

Archer doing a little more napping.

Thats it! Our trip in a nutshell. Some people would think we were the ones who were nuts taking 3 preschoolers and a mere babe to Six Flags, but we had a lot of fun and made some memories too. The kids slept on the way home. Ava was asleep before we even got out of the parking lot, and the boys weren't too far behind. I might have even gotten a little sleep in on the way home.
So, to conclude. No we did not ride any roller coasters or thrill rides, but it didn't matter. We laughed, played, and enjoyed each others company all day long!