Friday, June 30, 2006

First trip to Kanpai

I wanted to take Drew and Mikayla to Kanpai of Tokyo for lunch after our movie yesterday, but I didn't get reservations in time. They had never been before, and I thought they would love to see the chefs cook our food right at our table. Since we weren't able to get a reservation for lunch, Craig called and got us dinner reservations there!

Drew and Miki were so excited about going there. We had already told them about the chef cooking at our table so they would be prepared for that.

They couldn't wait to get in and see it for themselves. I'm not sure what the face is that Drew is making. For some reason, he has started making funny faces when I'm taking pictures of him.

Once seated we could watch chefs at the other tables cooking. I took this opportunity to get a picture of Craig, Mikayla, and Drew.

Mikayla was not sure about this at first; she is always very cautious in new situations. They both liked the taste of the soup and salad (Mikayla more so than Drew). Then when our chef got there they both got a little nervous. He assured them that he wouldn't do a big "fire" and I think this made Drew feel more at ease. He also made this Mickey Mouse head out of our rice, and they both liked that.

The more they watched, the better they liked it. We all enjoyed the food! They shared a child's shrimp (our server let them since they are 4 and 2), Craig had fillet, and I had fillet and shrimp.

Drew's favorite part was when our chef bounced an egg all around on the spatula, even bouncing it in his face. For some reason, blogger is not letting me upload that picture. I may try again later to upload it

Our family had a wonderful time at Kanpai, and we can't wait to go back!

Movies (again!)

Enjoying popcorn while they wait for the movie to start!

Since I had to take Drew and Mikayla to day care at the beginning of this week, we went to the movies yesterday instead of our usual Tuesday. There were many more people enjoying the movie yesterday. In fact, we saw two other teachers from our district and their kids there!

The movie yesterday was Hoodwinked. I had never seen this movie, but from the pictures could tell that it would be a variation of Little Red Riding Hood. It was an animated version of the story with a "twist". Drew sat on his "booster" as usual and I was surprised that Mikayla even sat on hers for awhile during this movie; I think all the music in the movie helped her feel more comfortable!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mikayla rides Nana Gale's Bus

I had to go to school Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week for a class so Drew and Mikayla got to go play with their friends at day care. I was worried about how they would take having to go, but they both did fine! Monday morning, Mikayla kept saying "I can't like school" and Drew seemed excited about going it (he has missed his friends). When we got to day care though, Mikayla went straight to Miss Paulette, and Drew hid behind me. They both did have a good time, and never cried not wanting to stay.

Since Miss Heather, Mikayla's teacher, knew that Mikayla would only be there three days she wanted to take the three's on a field trip one of those days so that Mikayla could go. (Mikayla will not be three until the end of August, but they moved her into the three year old class at day care in March because she does so well. She is very mature for her age, and she has a large vocabulary. She can spell her name, tell you her birthday, her phone number, and name several letters and numbers. Just looking at her or listening to her talk, many people mistake her for being almost four or older.) Miss Heather said they have been on at least one field trip a week all summer, but since I keep Drew and Mikayla with me during the summer they don't get to participate. She decided to take her class to MacDonalds for lunch on Wednesday. So yesterday, for the first time ever, Mikayla got to ride on Nana Gale's "mini" school bus. Drew was so excited about this and he had to tell Mikayla all about it.

When I picked Mikayla up all I heard about was the school bus with seat belts! She got to ride beside Conner, and she buckled the seat belt by herself. It is so funny when she tells stories because of the expressions. That's one of the things I love about children at the toddler stage. She also let me know that she did not go on the "baby" slide, only the big slide. When I asked if she ate all of her nuggets or if she saved some for me she replied "I saved you some". So I asked where they were, she replied "In my mouth, in my belly".

I wish I had some pictures of their trip, but I know she had fun!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Drew and Mikayla wait for the fireworks to begin.

Tonight was our cities annual Red, White, and Boom festival! We've never been, but I really wanted to take Drew and Mikayla this year. So, after church, we went to Walmart to pick up a few things, then headed downtown. We didn't really want to get in all the crowds at the festival (especially with it being so late), so we parked on the side of the road with many other onlookers and waited for the fireworks to begin. They were scheduled to begin at 9:30, and we were a little early, so I tried to think of games to play with Drew and Mikayla while we waited. The one they enjoyed the most was looking for different color cars as they drove by.

Once the fireworks began, Drew didn't take his eyes off of them. He was so afraid they were going to end that he kept asking "is that it?" Mikayla (who has never liked the loud noise) went to watch from our van with Craig. After it was over, she kept saying "I like fireworks; they are pretty!" They both seemed to really enjoy the fireworks show. Drew was so worn out that he fell asleep on the way home. He didn't get a nap today at daycare. Mikayla was asleep not long after we were home.

I was able to get a few pictures of the fireworks with my new camera. It has a setting for fireworks, but you are supposed to put the camera on a flat, level, surface, or a tripod. I was holding it in my hand, aiming it toward the sky, so they probably could have been better! But I like them!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Missy prissy

Mikayla loves pocketbooks! Grandma Nell got this pocketbook for Mikayla and immediately she begin digging through it. I asked her if she was looking for money.

Learning to Tie Shoes

Drew has been practicing to tie his shoes for awhile now. Today, when we got home he sat in the floor with one of Mikayla's shoes and started practicing again! He is almost able to completely tie his shoes on his own now. I have to help him with pulling th loop through, but that's the only part. He is so proud of himself when he gets it!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cook Out with Friends!

Tonight, we had our friends Rick and Angie, and their daughter Morgan over for a cook out. They had us over for a cook out at their house last time, so it was our turn to have them over at our house. Craig was especially excited since he would get to cook on his new grill, yet again! He grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs, while I made chili, baked beans, and potato salad. We also had chips and two different kinds of pies (store-bought of course) for desert.

We all have such a good time when our families get together! Angie and I talk non-stop. In fact, I overcooked the baked beans tonight while we were outside talking (imagine that). Rick and Craig talk and watch a little T.V. Morgan, Drew, and Mikayla have so much fun playing together. They played on the swing set, in the moon walk, and rode Drew's jeep and bicycle. When it got too dark outside to play, we came in to talk/play more. The kids even watched part of the movie Madagascar. I am upset that I didn't take my new camera outside to get some pictures of them playing, but I did get some pictures inside. It was after 10 when they left and Drew and Mikayla didn't want them to leave! We reminded them that we would see Rick, Angie, and Morgan in the morning at church.

Drew and Mikayla sit with Angie and Morgan.

The girls sit in the chair as Drew moves on to watch T.V. from the floor.

Craig and Rick continue to talk even as they are getting ready to leave. Angie and I would never do that (Ha!).

Early Birthday Present!

Craig surprised me this morning by telling me that we were going to look at digital cameras. I had told him that I would like to have a new digital camera for my birthday. I had also told him that I would like to have it in time for Drew's birthday party. My digital camera still works, but it is technologically outdated since we got it when digital cameras were first introduced. I have a hard time taking pictures of good quality because it doesn't have an image stabilizer, and the pictures are blurry whenever the subject of the photo is moving (ie baseball game, dance recital). To take quality photos of these events I was still having to use my film camera. This camera had 2.0 mps and only a 2x digital zoom.

My new camera has a 12x optical zoom, plus a digital zoom if needed. It has 5.0 mps, an image stabilizer, and many photo modes to choose from including sports mode to use when the subject is moving. It also has the ability to record video. I have been so excited reading about all of the neat features! It is just what we needed since our kids are becoming involved in sports activities. Craig has always called me "photo queen" because I always have a camera in my hand. I feel like a "photo queen" when I am taking pictures with this camera!

Happy "early" birthday to me! Thank you Craig, Drew, and Mikayla for my wonderful birthday present!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Last Pictures from Our Trip to the Beach!

I tried to add these four pictures to my blog under their "titled" post, but for whatever reason blogger would not upload them (even after it said "your photos have been uploaded"). So before I deleted them from my card tonight, I thought I would try to upload them one more time. And VOILA, it worked. So I promise these will be the last photos from this particular beach trip!

These three are from our trip to Ripley's Aquarium:

This is a sawfish! When Drew saw it laying above our heads, he said "mom, get a picture".

This green sea turtle is eating in the above picture, and below he is swimming over our heads. This is my favorite animal in the whole aquarium!

This picture should have been with the other pictures from Putt-Putt:

Drew is this close to the whole after only one hit! This was one of the four wholes he got close to a hole-in-one on!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer Fun!

With today being the first day of summer, I wanted to post more of what we have been doing this summer. Everyone asks me all the time "so what do you do all summer since you don't have to work?" I spend all my time with my two little ones and I enjoy every minute - okay, so not every minute, but pretty close! We play outside, go on "field trips", READ, write, play with playdough, paint, play with baby dolls and power rangers, watch tv, etc. We also spend a lot of time in Mimi and Poppi's pool (right now we are waiting on the liner to be replaced - sometime this week).

Even though temperatures have been in the 90's this week, we have still managed to have fun (even spending some time outside)! We spent Monday morning outside because there was a nice breeze that kept us from getting too hot. Drew and Mikayla have finally figured out how to ride the "plane" on their swingset by themselves. We have had the swingset for 3 years - it was a gift from mommy and daddy for Drew's second birthday. After playing outside we came in, had lunch, and rested awhile before playing more in the afternoon.

They had to show daddy how they could fly their "plane" when he got home from work!

Look at those funny faces- they are my silly monkeys!

Yesterday, we spent the morning playing, and then Drew and Mikayla went to stay with Mimi while mommy went for a check-up at the dentist. When I picked them up, I found them playing Connect Four with Mimi in her living room floor! Boy, those Grandma's sure know how to have a good time with their grandchildren. Then before we came home, we went and visited awhile with Grandma (Drew and Mikayla's great-grandma), who lives across the street from Mimi and Poppi. While there, Drew and Mikayla gave Red two bones (they both had to give her one), got into Grandma's candy dish way more than they needed to, and rolled a ball in her living room. I'm telling ya, those Grandma's sure love to spoil their grandkids. Drew and Mikayla got a double-dose of this yesterday!

Today, we got up and got ready to go to the movies. I took Drew and Mikayla to the movies by myself last week to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (see earlier post), but today Aunt Jennie, Daniel, and Danae were going to meet us there. We went to see Polar Express . Drew and Mikayla have the movie and this was the third time they have seen it in the theatre (this was the first movie we took them to see at the theatres), but you would have thought it was their first. Mikayla was still surprised by some things, and Drew never took his eyes off the screen. We had a great time, I just wish I had taken my camera to get pictures of Drew and Mikayla with Danae and Daniel! Then we went and met daddy for lunch at Fatz! When we got home, we rested for awhile and then continued to play inside until daddy got home. When daddy came home, we all went outside for family time. Daddy cooked on the grill, while Drew, Mikayla, and I played in the yard. In fact, Craig has cooked on his grill every night this week. I'm loving this, because I'm not tied up in the kitchen! After dinner, Poppi came over to bring Drew and Mikayla chocolate milkshakes, and play for awhile. When he was leaving, Drew and Mikayla tried to get him to stay to catch ligtning bugs with them. He was tired and was going home to get ready for bed. I guess he felt bad once he got home because he sent Aunt Jennie and Josh over to catch lightning bugs.

Even though they couldn't find any lightning bugs, Drew and Mikayla still had fun with Jennie and Josh. They didn't want them to leave even though it was almost 11:00.

Late bedtime means they will sleep late in the morning - not so good for Craig who has to get up early for work!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cookin' Out!

Tonight we had a cook-out and invited several family members and friends to join us. (This will probably become a Saturday night tradition for our family since Craig has a new grill [see post below.]) Craig grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, while I made the chili, baked beans, and slaw. We also had home-made pimento cheese (thanks to Craig), and chips of all kinds. What a meal!

My mom and dad, my sister Jennie and her boyfriend Josh, my brother Jonathan and his girlfriend Jessica, my Aunt Laura, Uncle Ted, and my cousin Lauren all joined us for supper! We enjoyed the great food and the wonderful company!

Drew, Mikayla, and Lauren all played so well together! Lauren is a great help with them!

Lauren and Mikayla play in the moon walk tent that Drew and Mikayla received as a birthday present last year from Mimi and Poppi!

Drew takes a break from swinging like a monkey.

Craig working hard over the grill. He loves his Father's Day present! Uncle Ted and my daddy (Poppi) relax on the deck after supper!
Drew and Mikayla look at a bunny rabbit through our fence. This bunny has been hopping all around our house for the past two days. Yesterday, it would hop in our fence and Drew would chase it until it hopped out of the fence Then it would come back in the fence for more. I guess it enjoyed playing chase with Drew!

Jonathan, Jessica, Jennie, and Josh pose for a picture on our top deck.

Aunt Laura and Mimi look on as Poppi tries to figure out Drew's toy.

Everyone started leaving as it got close to 11. Lauren put Mikayla's pajamas on before she left, and Josh read Drew and Mikayla a bedtime story before he and Jennie left. I think this is such a sweet picture!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Father's Day!

Drew, Mikayla, and I got up early this morning and got ready to go shopping. We had yet to get Craig or my daddy anything for Father's Day and I was determined to finish our shopping today! I had in mind what we were going to give, a grill for Craig and a golf bag for daddy, we just had to pick them out. Craig is getting a grill for Father's Day since Drew broke the glass out of Craig's other grill two weeks ago. We were having a cook-out with Mimi, Poppi, Jennie, Josh, Jonathan, and Jessica. Craig was letting the grill heat up to put the meat on while Drew and Mikayla played in their kiddie pool. Craig had left the hose pipe on so that water would continue to fill the pool up. Drew thought it would be fun to spray the grill. When the cold water hit the hot glass, it shattered. Luckily Drew was not hurt, but both Craig and Drew were upset by this. I thought it would be good for Drew to replace what he had broken (even if it is mommy who spends the money).

I started out at Big Lots. I knew that they carry grills and I am all for Big Lots prices!! I knew that Craig wanted a grill with the side burner and I wanted it to be stainless steel so that it wouldn't rust! Big Lots had two with the side burner, but neither of them were stainless. So, we were off to Walmart (Craig had seen one there that he liked), but not before Drew and Mikayla took a turn on the "quarter horse".
Once we got to Walmart, we went straight to the grills where I saw the one Craig had had his eyes on and another one that I really liked! I got one of the associates to come over and explain the grills to me so that I could really understand the differences between them. The only difference I could see, besides the fact that the one I liked better was $130 more, was that it was all stainless and the other one was mostly stainless with the exception of the sides. After he explained both grills to me I had a decision to make. The more expensive grill was bigger (both the grilling area and the burner), it gets a little bit hotter, it is fully stainless, it came with a rotisserie, and something about the grilling surface was different but I don't remember his exact words. I told the man that I had more shopping to do, but that I would be back. He told me to come back when I was ready and they would load the one I choose into our van.

From there we walked over to sporting goods. I couldn't decide which grill because I really liked the bigger one, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to spend that much more money for a fully stainless grill. So, I called Craig. Drew got mad at me because "it was supposed to be a surprise". I have never been that good with surprises anyway. Craig said get the cheaper one, it would serve the purpose.

After talking with him, I found a great golf bag for daddy. For the price this bag has a lot of bells and whistles!! It has 13 different compartments for his different clubs and a separate compartment for his putter/wedge. It has 2 garment pockets, a phone/glasses pocket, an umbrella holder, tee holders, a rain hood, and many other things that I can't remember without it right in front of me! I sure hope daddy likes it!

From there, we went back to the grills and I pondered some more over which grill to get. Finally, I settled on the cheaper one after another call to Craig. Once the Walmart guys had it loaded, I asked Drew how we would keep this surprise a secret sense it was filling up the back half of our van. He told me "you can put it in daddy's building". I told him I wouldn't be able to lift it by myself, so we came up with another plan. We were going to go get lunch and then go to daddy's work. I sent Drew and Mikayla in to his office (I was standing right outside) and they were going to tell him to come look at his surprise. They couldn't tell him what it was, he had to come out and see it! After my phone calls Craig already knew what it was, but he went along with our plan so that Drew and Mikayla could "surprise" him! When he saw it he wanted to leave work right then to come home and put it together. I told him when he got home we would go back to Walmart without unloading the grill to see if he liked the other better.

Guess what - he did. Like the other one better, I mean. After we payed the difference in the two grills, some different guys unloaded the one that the guys had just loaded this morning and loaded the bigger one (with a little more of a struggle) in our van to come home.

Craig spent all evening putting this grill together. He keeps calling it a monster - all I know is he better not ever need a new grill.


The Movies

One of the movie theatres here in town have what's called Summer Movie Madness. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for the entire summer (starting in June, and ending in July) they play "old" movies suitable for children, a different movie each week. For example, the movie they showed this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and next week they will show The Polar Express. They charge $1 admission for children and parents/adults get in free. They also have "kiddie" popcorn and drinks available for $1 each. Many daycares take advantage of this offer as part of there summer programs for the children. My sister and I found out about this program last year. We started taking Drew and Mikayla along with the three children from our church that she baby-sits Danae, Marissa, and Daniel. We didn't take the kids every week last year, but we had so much fun the weeks we did go. I knew I wanted to take advantage of this program again this year. So, yesterday we got up and got ready to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was the first time that I have been brave enough to take Drew and Mikayla to the movies by myself, but I figured this year they are both independent enough to walk by themselves carrying their popcorn and drink. This left me able to carry my popcorn and drink and their two "booster seats". The cinema that offers this has stadium-style seating and offers "boosters" for the kids. While we were waiting in line to buy tickets, Mikayla starts hollering "I gotta go potty". I had planned to take she and Drew once we got inside because since she has been completely potty-trained (since the end of March) we try to go to the bathroom before we begin anything. The very nice lady standing in front of us offered to buy our tickets so that we wouldn't have to go to the end of the line. I was very grateful for her offer, and she even came into the restroom to find and give us our tickets. I couldn't thank her enough for that act of kindness! By the time we got our popcorn and drinks, got their "boosters" and made our way into the theatre the opening credits were running. Of course Drew likes to sit up near the top so we made our way in the darkness. Once we were seated (Drew on his "booster" and Mikayla in my lap because of the loud noise), we were ready for the movie to begin. Drew and Mikayla were very well behaved during our trip, and I can't wait to take them back next week!


The last two times we have gone to the beach, Nana has taken Drew and Mikayla (mommy and daddy too) to ride rides. Since she is a resident of Myrtle Beach, she gets unlimited ride bracelets at The Magic Kingdom for 10 dollars each so she likes to get one for Drew and Mikayla while they are there. Last year when we went, Drew and Mikayla had a ball. We ended up staying there for five hours. This year, the weather did not cooperate and we were not able to stay as long. After eating with Uncle Ovid at Crabby Mike's on Thursday night, we went back to the campground to get Nana. When we got there, we found out that Nanny had decided to go as well. Since Rob and Claudia Grace wanted to go, Aunt Susan and Uncle Kent had decided they would come as well, but they had to get some supper first.

Once Craig, Drew, Mikayla, and I arrived and helped Nana get Nanny out of the car, we went in to get Drew and Mikayla bracelets. A nice man who was leaving as we were coming in had given us the tickets that his family had left over. That was wonderful because it gave us tickets for one of the adults to use if we needed to ride with Drew or Mikayla. Drew spotted the Tilt-a-Whirl on our way to the ticket booth to get their bracelets and I promised him that we would ride that ride first. The tilt-a-whirl was the first "big" ride I rode as a child and it was one of my favorites! I was delighted to be the one to take Drew on this ride for the first time. When Mikayla was asked if she wanted to ride with us, she responded with an anticipated "no!" After Drew got over his initial uneasiness, we laughed all through the rest of the ride. The next ride Drew and Mikayla rode together. They chose a red fire truck from one of the kiddie cars that go round and round.

This was the last ride of the night because as soon as they got off, it started to rain. This was the only storm we saw the whole week we were at the beach, but it sure upset Drew and Mikayla to have to leave the rides!

Crabby Mike's

Last Thursday, on our last full day of vacation, we went to eat at Crabby Mike's with Uncle Ovid. I had to get my fill of crablegs while we were at the beach, and this was in fact the second time we had eaten at a seafood restaurant with a crablegs on the buffet during our trip. When we got there, they told us it would be a 45 minute wait for a table. When it turned out to be only a 20 minute wait, we were pleasantly surprised! I didn't get any pictures of Drew or Mikayla eating (they even had a few crablegs too!), but I did get some pictures of them after the meal! These activities are meant to help pass the time as families wait on a table. Our family took advantage of them after our meal!

Drew gets a Batman tattoo on his arm.

Mikayla gets a tattoo of two dolphins on her leg, but not without mommy holding her of course!

While Mikayla was getting her tattoo, Drew took advantage of the hula-hoops!


Drew and Mikayla on the golf cart get ready to go play BINGO!Mikayla sits on Nanny's lap and waits for BINGO to start. Craig, Mikayla, Drew, Uncle Ovid, and Nanny wait for BINGO to start. Rob, Claudia Grace, and Nana would be joining us soon!

Craig's mom kept the kids for us on Monday night while at the beach so that Craig and I could go play BINGO at the campground recreation center. We had such a good time, and seeing that there were kids in there we thought we would give Drew and Mikayla a chance to play (for the first time) by going back on Wednesday night. Ocean Lakes offers BINGO every Monday and Wednesday night year-round, and the great part is that it is free. At first, Drew would get upset every time another person hollered BINGO and won because he wanted to win. We had told him about me winning on Monday night, but we tried to prepare him for the fact that we might not win again on this night! Somewhere around the ninth game (they play 20 games each night) I got BINGO on my card. Since I was holding both mine and Drew's card I let him yell it out. He won a free game of putt-putt at the campground putt-putt course. After he won, Drew was ready to go. Mikayla, of course, was just then ready to play so that she might could win. Up until this point, she had not been real interested in the game. Drew was the only person in our group to win on this night, but we all had a lot of fun!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Ripley's Aquarium

Drew and Mikayla trying to pet the stingray. They both were able to pet several of these magnificent creatures. Drew was even able to pet a small shark (approx. 3 feet long) that swam up occasionally.
This is one of my favorite pictures. Drew and Mikayla are sitting on the ledge of the jellyfish tank. That's the closest I hope they ever get to these beautiful jellies.
Mikayla and Drew were enthralled by the sea life in this tank. We are not sure who the little guy is standing beside Drew, but judging by his hair he could almost be another one of ours!

Daddy helps Mikayla pose in this astronaut suit! It was on display in the Mars exhibit. Mars - The Search for Life was the new exhibit in the ever-changing exhibit room at Ripley's.
Drew takes a turn to have his picture made in the astronaut suit. In fact, we had to pull him away from this. In this exhibit he also got to drive a remote controlled Mars Rover, and Mikayla got to touch a huge meteorite!

On Tuesday night, we took Drew and Mikayla to Ripley's Aquarium. This was the third or fourth time Drew had been to the aquarium and Mikayla's second trip. The last time our family had been to the aquarium was when Mikayla was only 9 months old so we were due another trip. We have always had a ball there, but this time was really special because both Drew and Mikayla were old enough to really participate in the fun on their own. Sure Craig and I were still with them every moment, but we were able to stand back more and watch them take it all in.

From touching (Drew even tried to hold) the horse-shoe crabs, to viewing the sharks and other marine life, to petting the stingray, Drew and Mikayla were excited about it all!

Celebrity Collage by MyHeritage