Friday, October 31, 2008

Beautiful Fall

Fall has finally officially arrived here. The weather has been great for almost 2 months, and just a few nights ago, we had our first freeze. The colors on the trees are so beautiful and vibrant. I love it! Yesterday I couldn't resist taking a few pictures of just some trees near our apartment. I'd like to get a little better shot from up high. It really is amazing!

What would it be like?

Every little boy has pictures like this hidden up somewhere. :) A couple of days ago I found Jarem trying on Jesikah's church shoes. They are so pretty--he just wondered what it would look like to wear them. He was a little embarrassed when I took the picture because he knows they are for girls. I had to get a picture though, it was too cute to resist. Then yesterday, I got him some new frog pajamas, and he asked me to take a picture, so I figured I'd add it to the Jarem post. With him being the only one at home now, we spend a lot of time together. It's fun!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Visiting the Pumpkin Patch

We had another beautiful fall day on Saturday(yesterday), so we decided to go and visit the pumpkin patch. It was a lot of fun. In addition to the pumpkin stuff, they had a regular farm with animals and exhibits where you could practice milking a cow or learn about corn. They had a cool corn exhibit with a "corn pit", I guess you would call it like a ball pit where the kids get in and play in the corn. The corn mazes were fun as well.
Our day at Honeysuckle Hill Farm

The kids on the porch swing--we didn't realize someone actually lived there. Oops! It was in middle of the public farm area. Oh least we came back with a good picture. :)

Our sweet little Tessa

Alex and Eric by the corn pit. There just weren't any kids Alex's age jumping in there. Poor Alex!
Tessa and Jarem in the "corn pit". Jarem especially loved it. Tessa tried to make corn angels and Jarem just played. Jesikah tried it out as well.

This is Jesikah in the corn maze. She was the one who wanted to do the corn mazes most of all without the map.
Tessa, Jarem, and Jesikah peeking out the window of the little cabin. This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. They had kid-sized furniture and all.

Jarem was having a hard time keeping his pants up all day, and we could not resist taking a picture of this cute pose next to the kid-sized cabin. It was not staged! :)

The horses were a big hit! Everyone had fun petting them, especially Tessa

The girls picture posed and taken by Eric.

The big slide was also a big hit. Even Eric had fun going down, and the kids each had a few turns.

The view from the top of the slide into the slide. Jesikah and Jarem headed down.

Alex is resting on the fence with a "can we get this overwith" look.

Jarem had fun milking the cow. Both he and Tessa spent a long time doing that. They probably had to refill the tank when we were done!

Jarem too tired to walk anymore. Alex willingly offers to give him a ride.

On the tractor trailer leading to the pumpkin patch.
Before leaving, we get one final picture.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You know you're in Tennessee when...

You know you're in Tennessee when people drive around town with a dead deer attached to the back of their car. :) I was driving around town and happened to have my camera, so I snapped a picture of this car in front to us. This is Tennessee! ;)

Dunbar Cave State Park

To end the kids week of Fall break, Friday, we decided to enjoy nature a little and check out the state park here in Clarksville: Dunbar Cave State Park. There is a cave where they have tours, but you have to have advance reservations, so we decided to check out the nature trails. It was a beautiful day and we had a good time. The kids by the mouth of the cave.
Alex climbing the forbidden cliffs.

Here is Alex, ducking back under the "No Climbing" sign after I coaxed him down. (like I said, forbidden cliffs). For those of you who know Alex, it is not all that unusual. :) He insists that he didn't see the sign...

I have to give Alex credit though. Jesikah was struggling with the bag of water bottles, and the next time I looked up, Alex was carrying them without a word. I was proud of him. He didn't say a word about it the whole hike.

Tessa and Jarem enjoying the trail. They collected leaves, acorns, and stopped to look at stick bugs while Alex and Jesikah hurried ahead.

Can you see the stick bug that Tessa and Jarem found?

Tessa and Jarem enjoying the huge fallen log until the park ranger told us it was covered with poison ivy. That gave us a little scare, but they didn't end up with any.

Jesikah posing for a picture above the caves.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Opry Mills Mall Fun

Since the kids have the week off, we decided to head down to Nashville for some fun. I had been to the Opry Mills Mall once before with the girls, but we only saw a small part, so the kids voted to go to there. When we got there, it was lunchtime. We found a cool restaurant called the Aquarium(many of you have probably heard of it, but we'd never been to one), so we ate there first. The really neat thing about this restaurant is that it is built around a huge aquarium and everything in the place including the coral-like walls looks like you are in the ocean. Every seat has a great view of the aquarium and there are smaller aquariums in there as well. Anyway, the food was a little expensive, but well worth it for the enjoyment the kids had in watching all the fish.
Afterwards, across from the aquarium was a little area where the kids could pet and feed sting rays in an open tank.
The kids really enjoyed that--even Alex(who doesn't like animals) enjoyed petting the sting rays. There were also several other animals they could look at in cages like lizards, frogs, fish, and tarantulas. They really liked it.
Included in the admission, they got unlimited rides on the sea animals carousel. I'm afraid the technicians might have been wishing the kids didn't enjoy the carousel so much, but let's just say, we certainly got our money's worth. :)
Alex and Jarem on the horse with a mermaid-tail (is there a proper name for that?).
Tessa on her favorite--the dolphin! They all had to try out several before they knew what their favorite was!

I left my camera at home thinking we'd just be shopping and stuff. You can imagine my disappointment when we ended up at these fun places where I wanted to take pictures. Alas, I remembered that there was still hope, I had my cell phone. So I took all these pictures with my cell phone, hence the lower quality. :)

Anyway, it turned out to be a fun day, and after all our adventures, we only shopped in one store--Barnes and Noble. We'll have to save the rest for another trip.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Columbus Day Adventures

Eric and Alex thought this (above) was what they'd like to do on Columbus Day. Eric had the day off, and the kids have a week-long Fall Break vacation from school. Alex wanted to play video games, and Eric wanted to rest,(in his defense, he has been sick) but I had another idea. It was a beautiful Fall day, why not go somewhere.
Jesikah has been begging to "do my hair" for awhile now (I'm not sure what she's trying to say) :). But, when I woke up yesterday, as soon as I came downstairs, she said today was the day, and she took me immediately into the bathroom to fix me up. While fixing, she made me promise to wear it all day. This is the hair-do she gave me--pig-tails. It made me feel like a kid again, but I thought she did a good job. She's definitely our girly-girl. She took this picture of her outcome and asked me to post it on the blog, so here it is.
So, once I got the crew out of the house, we decided to explore some parts of Tennessee. We headed to Land Between the Lakes State Park. It is between Lake Barkley and Ken Lake--about 45 min to 1 hour from here. This picture was taken at the visitor's center next to the elk they had on display.
Tessa found some fall leaves.
The kids and Eric collecting acorns.

Jarem: "I found an acorn!" He was running down the sidewalk to show me.
Herd of elk that we saw in the elk and bison drive-thru prairie. It was fun, we were right by them in our car.
Elk bull that we saw--he had HUGE antlers!
Fall decorations that we found at Ken Lake
More festive decorations at Ken Lake.
The kids having fun by the water. The water was pretty warm
Eric showing Tessa and Jarem how to skip rocks. A cute daddy moment!

The kids and Eric finding good flat rocks to skip.
Alex showing his perfected skills in skipping rocks!
Jesikah took to collecting little shells, and these are some she found.
Alex took this picture of Eric and I "under the moon". :)
On our way back to the car, Jarem wanted a ride on my shoulders. He kept telling me I needed to go "speed". It's hard carrying 30 extra pounds up a steep hill, but I tried. :)

We had a very fun afternoon enjoying the beauty of nature and the perfect weather, despite the original protests, everyone was happy in the end. We stopped at the Lake Barkley Lodge for a dinner buffet before heading home. It was about an hour drive home, so by the time the we got home, the kids were tired. For one of the first times since we've been in the apartment(4 in a bedroom) they got in bed and went right to sleep. Eric and I were truly amazed and commented on how silent it was! Silence--what a perfect ending to a fun day!