Dale Hollow

We spent the last 2 weeks camping at our home-away-from-home, Willow Grove at Dale Hollow Lake. Literally my favorite place in the world (I think…haven’t been everywhere yet!) It was a fabulous, relaxing, refreshing vacation. Every year the kids get older, the easier and more relaxing boating and camping gets. We kayaked, ate lots of ice-cream, did LOTS of swimming, spent lots of time at the boat dock, rode bikes, took lots of boat rides, ate yummy food, hung out with family and friends, read books, and watched Lord of the Rings together (Jake decided it was time for the kiddos to watch it…and they LOVED it! We broke it up over several nights.) Here are some (okay, a lot) of pictures of our adventures: 

Before anybody else got there, we took our annual kayak trip to Goat Island….

And both of the kiddos kneeboarder this year! Jack really loved it, and did it a BUNCH throughout the week. Josie did great, but she only did it once more. 

There was lots of ice cream at the dock….

And lots of swimming at Coon Island….

Nana’s sister, Bobby, and her granddaughter came for the first week. It was great getting to hang out with them! Josie and Jack had fun with Delaney. 🙂

Pretty sunsets….

Matching hats were bought….

One day we at lunch at Sunset. We rode in Grammy and Pappy’s new boat with them. 

There was couple of cooler, rainy days where we just hung out at the campground, and of course visited the dock for ice cream….

And lots of swimming days…

Kinley REALLY liked Shshr’s headphones.

This girl LOVES her Daddy. 

Jack was wiggling his front top tooth mightly during our trip, so I had to take a “before” picture….because once those front teeth are gone, they never look the same! 

One day we all went to East Port to eat….but they were out of food! So we ended up eating at Sulfur Creek instead- what an adventure! 

Alec turned 16! 

And Katie Ann caught a fish with her HANDS! 

Shshr wanted a picture with all 7 of her great nieces and nephews….this is NOT an easy feat, but we got a couple of good ones! 

The last few days of our trip, our sweet friends got to join us-they even got their own camper! We were happy to have them join us for their inaugural trip. 🙂

It was a great trip. We are so blessed to get to take such an awesome vacation every year. What wonderful, wonderful memories we are making! 

Summer Stuff

Just some stuff we’ve been up to here lately…..

Dentist appointments for the kiddos…cavity free!

4-wheeling with Pappy and exploring some woods….

Visiting Mr. Josh at one of his construction sites and getting to “help”

Dinner night at our house with some of our sweet church friends….

LOTS of garden picking….

Summertime grocery shopping….

Extras

I’m a bit behind on blogging, but I didn’t want to forget this! 

Last week, from Wednesday- Saturday, we had 3 extra kiddos in our house so that their parents could go on a special trip. We were honored and happy to have them, and our kiddos were THRILLED- seriously the highlight of their summer! The oldest girl is a year older than Jo, the middle girl is a year older than Jack, and the youngest is three. 🙂 It rocked our world a little to have a toddler in the house, but she was hilarious, and we all survived! 

I kept our mornings busy, for my sanity, and to wear the toddler out so she would nap well. 🙂 

Thursday morning I loaded up all 5 kids, the oldest four’s bikes, and a jogging stroller for the littlest, all in the van (I borrowed their van for the week so I could transport everybody!) It was a bit of a puzzle, but where there’s a will, there’s a way! 🙂 We headed to the Springfield Greenway. We parked at the duck pond, and rode (well, the kids rode- I jogged) 2 miles to the other park, played for awhile, and rode back 2 miles- so 4 miles all together! The kids felt very accomplished to ride that far, and they did great- no complaints at all, even though it was HOT. 

They did so well, we all got a slushy on the way home. 🙂 

Wore this little girl out! 

All the bigs rested in the afternoon, too. They devoured our Calvin and Hobbes collection. 

This little girl loved “helping” me in the garden. 🙂

Friday morning we headed to the splash pad in White House, and then got lunch out at Wendy’s. It was a fun time, and a good way to spend the morning outside, because it stormed in the afternoon. 

Saturday morning everybody slept later (I think we were all worn out), and then I fixed a big pancake breakfast. Jake had some errands to run, so I took the kids over to park in Ridgetop. We had it all to ourselves, and they played forever and had a blast. I jogged a little bit, and then just sat on a bench and read my book while they played make believe. 🙂 Simple fun is the best. 

Saturday night our friends got back in town, and the girls were so happy to see their parents, but I think everyone was a little sad the fun week was over! 🙂 

Great memories. 🙂 This is what summers are for! 

Happy 4th, y’all!

We had a great Fourth of July around here. 

This morning the kids and braved the heat (and it was hot, y’all- heat index of 101!) to watch the parade. This is a tradition that the kiddos love, even though it is not that exciting. 🙂

After we got home and finally cooled off, Josie and I made our traditional red, white, and blue strawberries to take to the fish fry tonight. 

This evening we headed to the Johnson’s for our fish fry. This year we invited our sweet friends to come, too! It was a great time as usual. The kids had a blast swimming and sliding down the slip-and-slide, and we all enjoyed some delicious food.  I love getting to see all the people I don’t get to see very often, and just hanging out. One of my favorite traditions. 🙂

Josie was SUPER proud of her outfit that she picked out. 🙂 (even though she ended up wearing her bathing suit for most of the night….)

She wanted me to do “star” hair. 

Happy Birthday, Shshr!