Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

We just finalized an amazing Christmas!   We used our combined super powers and convinced everyone to gather at our house for the holidays -- AND IT WORKED.  They all came, and we all survived, and they all went home, and I cried.

Sunday Tom arrived.
Monday Hank, Tammy and boys drove in.
Tuesday Karen chugged into the train station.
Wednesday Trish flew in with Santa.
Thursday Jenn Jr, Coby, and Matt stopped in.  Two eventually left, but one stayed behind.
Friday - two house guests left (Trish and Jenn Jr) and the final (most anticipated) arrival pulled in our drive around 2.  Bringing GIRLS,  Lots of cute, blue-eyed squishy girls!
Our house at this point has 14 people sleeping, sitting, and sometimes sleeping while sitting.
Sunday the Georgia Carters depart for home, followed by Karen leaving that night.
Monday was the disappointing end to our escapades for the holidays with Pete and Laura returning to Kentucky and Tom flying home to Arkansas.
We are exhausted.  My floors are clean again, but I'd trade it for a second to have everyone back.

The boys here before candlelight service
Christmas morning
Hot tub!
All of the Tom Carter grandchildren together for the first time *(upon Caroline's arrival)
Hide the Fireplace picture
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Sunday, November 3, 2013


This was a year of firsts. 1) no contest 2)Ben designed his own costume 3) recycled costume 4) trick-or-treating via cart

I must first defend #4.  (I know there were a few groans when that was read.)  We are NOT lazy...most of the time. Our neighborhood is spread out.  The driveways are long.  Many of the neighbors take both parents out with kids and leave the lights out.     I asked my parents to bring up their carts and Pete found us a fantastic little trailer.  We took a total of 7 kids with us and stayed out for 2 hours (equivalent to 2 mommy drinks and full candy baskets) 

1) There were no contest around here that we could find.  It wouldn't have mattered if there was one.  We didn't complete Ben's costume until he was putting it on at 6:30 on the 31st.  

2)  Ben had decided MONTHS ago he was going to be R2D2.  I tried my hardest to convince him to be C3P0 and let Cloudy be R2.  I stink at convincing.  But I think he did a fanstastic job designing and helping assemble.  

3) Cloudy wanted to be a Ninja Turtle or a Batman, he was very undecisive.  October 1st came around and the boys helped me unload boxes of Halloween decorations.  In those boxes was a leftover Bowser.  At that moment he was set!  He tried it on almost every day after that.  I had a few repairs, and felt like maybe it was cheating a bit, but I still believe it's a pretty groovy costume.  Way better than a ninja or a batman.  

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Catching up

I figured it was time for another random entry by Jenni - to entertain thy readers/email subscribers/family.

Not exactly sure how the masked SuperCloud came about, I just know I walked out to watch the boys ride bikes and ran back for a camera, because this is just too much.

For those of you who have heard the story/fair warning and skip this section.
A few weeks ago Cloudy had a friend down to swim.  The kid became angry because I might've intentionally nudged him while he was filling up his water gun and he fell in the pool (with a life jacket on and without a drop of water touching his hair).  Pete took him home and the kid told Cloudy "Next time I come over I'm going to bring a real gun and kill you all".    Classy right?  So I thought this picture was appropriate -- Cloudy riding with a TOY cap gun on each hip.  

Luke and all his glory.  The pooch loves playing fetch, when he's in the mood.   I never post pictures of Tally and most of you probably forget we have a 2nd pooch.  She turns 16 this coming Halloween and really wants nothing to do with any of us.  But she is still here and still very much loved (and loved on when she lets us).

This is how Benjamin looks when he sneaks his 3DS in bed and plays till 2AM.  He didn't realize the DS has an activity log.  And trust me, when Pete saw the DS laying next to Ben in the morning, the first thing he did was check.  Oh boy was that trouble.  

Last weekend Aunt Maybee visited and we took her to the lake on Saturday.  The lake day was off to a great start.  Everyone was stoked that she finally figured out the wakeboard.
Then Cloudy rode on the kneeboard and showed off his mad skills.  

Next up....  Peter.... Trying out his new bindings.  He hasn't wakeboarded in a long time.  We have so many toys, that his wakeboard is usually the first to be left home.  Except last trip, he took it and had so much fun upon returning home he had a new pair of bindings ordered before the boat was dry.
He rode a few trips, had some decent jumps and one ugly fall.  One face plant to the water followed by one trip to the ER with the results of a concussion and orders to stay inactive for awhile.  They weren't ordered as fast as the bindings, but water helmets have been ordered.  AND - Pete is doing GREAT!  
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Lake Day


Lake 09142013, a set on Flickr.

Had another amazing day at the lake yesterday. Photos to prove it.

Pete and I even went out on the wakeboards and pulled off some jumps. Ben tried the wakeskate for the first time and did awesome. While Cloudy is trying to pull off 180s on the kneeboard.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Cloudy turns 4 and a list of firsts


Last week was our first week of school... and wouldn't you know the Sunday before a group of boys decide to start playing together for the first time all summer.  
We can thank Cloudy for the group.  He had asked Jarred over to play, and Jarred is a bicycle maniac.  That day Cloudy decided it was time to ride.  Pete put the pedals back on his bike (we were using it as a balance bike) and away Cloudy rode.
As my kids were riding in our extra long drive, one kid shows up, then another, and before you know it 7 kids are riding in my drive.  And every day since!

It's sad that they found each other 2 days before school started, but I'm excited both the boys have found other kids on our street to play with finally!

Tuesday morning showed up with the FIRST day of 3rd Grade! 

Thursday comes around and Cloudy's first day of Pre-K!  Can you believe it!  He's the youngest kid in his class but his teacher has no problem with it at all.  He's doing excellent. 

Almost a week later Samuel Phillip turns 4! 
The alligator cake: 
He received his first pair of Chacos, a groovy lizard watch, and some binoculars that he basically sleeps with.  There were other toys.  But he's a boy that just started riding a bike -- he doesn't need much to entertain him anymore.   

 "C" is for Cloudy (his words his apple) 

Cloudy decided this summer was the summer of firsts.  He started waterskiing in July, Kneeboarding in August and Bike riding a week before his birthday.  He does amazing on the water! 
I should also mention Ben has mastered a surface 360 on the kneeboard and is attempting big jumps.  He is also doing really well on the wakeboard, but finding it a little harder to carve through the water. 

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ben's 8th year - photo review

Monday, August 19, 2013


Part of our road excursion last week included a trip to Kentucky to see Eleanor and her parents.
I think Ellie enjoyed hanging out with Benjamin.  While Benjamin enjoyed playing pinball for the first time.   Thanks  Crawfords for letting us crash your place and the awesome beer, cheese, and beer cheese.
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