July 12, 2010

The Rest of Our Tennessee Vacation

Back on the road after a week and a half with family in Tennessee. I have to say despite the heat (it went up to 99 while we were there) and the humidity (which we are no longer used to) it was a delightful time. We just made sure we stayed indoors in the AC when it was miserable outside, except for the hottest day when the AC (to all our horror) quite working. That's the day Mom and I hit the stores. Well we certainly weren't going to "chill" at home!

My sister took this picture of the girls and I love it! She is such a talented photographer! She is a teacher by trade but an aspiring photographer and has done some amazing work with her friends and their kids. Check out her blog sometime when you get a chance. I love reading about her adventures in the Nashville area.

On two different days, my aunt came over and we had a blast playing Scrabble, Boggle, laughing, and eating yummy stuff Mom created in her kitchen, including the chocolate covered peanut butter rice krispy treats we were enjoying in this picture. I love playing games, but usually don't have anyone to play with, as you generally need more then two people. We did quite a bit of this the first few days we were there, since Meagan was there too. I'm not into sitting by the pool when alone, but my sister is a water bug, so when she was there, we planted ourselves in the lounge chairs, and others tended to migrate our way. I got to meet my new niece, Kensley Alane. She is 6 weeks old now. Another of Meagan's photos, shortly after Kensley was born. Meagan said she was actually fussing, but doesn't it make a great smiley picture? I love her name. She is named after my brother, Kenneth Allan, and I thought this was a very creative and beautiful way to name a child after the father. Speaking of my brother, we of course ate many many meals at my Dad's BBQ place, where my brother is also nearly always hard at work. On this particular night in the middle of dinner, I suddenly realized that here we were...my parents and three siblings, alone at dinner with out our significant others or children present. Of course we missed the extras presence, but how often does this happen? NEVER! So we had to get a picture. Lucky me, it happened to be "bbq night" which meant Dad and Ken had been cooking all day since 6:00 that morning. They cook the meat the same way its been done since 1946, in a brick pit over hickory wood, turning and basting the meat every hour. By the end of dinner it was time to take the meat off the fire and put it in the cooler. So we "helped" but mostly got in the way while we watched and cracked jokes, and absorbed the delicious aromas.

Also got to spend some quality time with some of Malcolm's family. We went to his aunt and uncle's house and both their kids and their families were able to come as well. We haven't gotten together as an entire group since before we moved I believe! And I hadn't met Tiffany's two newest girls. We had a delightful time catching up, laughing, visiting, playing. Such precious people and a gift to our life! Tiffany and Jennifer both have blogs, filled with humorous stories about their families, the adventurous lives they live, and Godly inspirations.
This visit was especially special because Michael Paul and Jennifer, along with their precious girl Keziah are about to embark on a new adventure, moving to Ashville, NC. Tiffany and her family already love near Atlanta, and so with everyone so spread out, we knew it might be all the harder to make this gathering happen in the future. A family portrait was in order. Back over to my family...on the very hot day with no AC, when Mom and I went running around, I found several wonderful things, and made too many purchases. Now my upper bunk in the truck, the one I generally sleep on, is full of a box and two bags of stuff. SO inconvenient for sleeping. I hope we get back to MT soon so I can at least drop them off at the house on a drive by. After all that shopping, Mom and I felt that a reward for our hard work was in order. She'd been wanting to see what this place was all about.......and I never turn down something sweet! I was floored! The place was a feast for the eyes, if not the tummy!I had one of these. I'll recommend that you just feast your eyes and not your tummy on this flavor. I re-learned a valuable lesson. Beauty doesn't always mean the best. They didn't have a lot of flavor. Thankfully, Mom shared some of her Italian Cream cupcake (you can see them peaking around the right edge of the below photo) and those were delicious!The idea was to stay about 4 days and then hit the road, but we ended up putting the truck in the shop and staying longer. Then there weren't any good loads, so the trip got extended again.
As mentioned, Meagan had come down from Murfreesboro for the July4th weekend, but had left her man and his daughter, Lily, at home. Lily broke her arm several weeks ago, and they had already had one traumatic pool party where Lily's heart was broken b/c she couldn't participate. So Chris and Lily has missed out on the fun, and I had missed out on seeing them. SO...Mom and I did a little impromptu road trip to Murfreesboro to see Lily and Chris.

We had a mostly all girly day. Meagan and Lily took us to lunch at this place, whose name escapes me, but it was yummy!
Lily and I met last 4th of July and fell instantly in love with each other! But we haven't seen each other since then, just been exchanging postcards and pictures through the mail! It just never seems to fall into place for her to be with her Dad when I'm in town. So we were both thrilled to have this time to catch up with each other.We did a little shopping, hitting one of my new favorite stores...Charming Charlies! Billings, MT has GOT to get one of these!!! But the main event of the day was pottery painting...something Meagan does frequently, but I had yet to try. I've been wanting to go to the one in Billings, but just hadn't managed to make it happen. This was SO MUCH FUN! Except everyone finished before me and I'm sorry you girls had to wait on me. Its just so hard to decide what your going to do on your pottery piece!

Lots of fun, and I loved how my piece turned out. Sadly I don't' get to see it for a long time. It had to be fired and glazed, so Meagan has to pick it up for me and mail it to me later. Sigh...

After all that work, a little "hold me over" snack was in order. So the four of us found a bench and enjoyed a cookie from the American Cookie Company. Lily is a choco-holic. She fits right into our little group!
She has also been taking pointers from Meagan in photography apparently. This is a pretty darn good picture coming from a 6 year old!

The whole day was marvelous, falling right into the pattern for the whole vacation.

Leaving is bitter sweet. I was starting to feel anxious about needing to get back to work, but its also sad to leave because we enjoy spending time with all these precious people and it doesn't seem to happen nearly enough. But the road...and our checking account...were calling to us to get back to work. And now we're loading in Mississippi heading to Texas. And now that you are all caught up on what I've been up to for the past several days, I've got to get busy catching up on all your blogs. I took a peak earlier...and I've got a lot of reading to do. I better go get busy!


Rising Rainbow said...

When the AC's not working, that's really the pits. I'd have hit the stores too and I hate to shop. LOL

Looks like you had a great trip but the sight of those cupcakes makes my tummy hurt. Too much sugar for this old broad. LOL

small farm girl said...

Wow! What a wonderful time you had! It has to be nice to catch up with all of your family. Your going to have to post a picture of your pottery when you get it.
Be safe.

Meagan said...

I had so, so, so much fun while you were in town!!!! I miss you already, but I am glad you are back safely working! I love you so much!

Sharon Tachenko said...

It was SO much fun seeing you guys and sharing time together while you were here! You guys are treasures and love these serendipitous drop ins - better yet, when they get extended for WHATEVER reason!

. . . but, back on the road again! Be safe and THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL FAMILY PICTURES YOU CAPTURED! Treasures all!

Love you guys!

Sharon Tachenko said...

It was SO much fun seeing you guys and sharing time together while you were here! You guys are treasures and love these serendipitous drop ins - better yet, when they get extended for WHATEVER reason!

. . . but, back on the road again! Be safe and THANK YOU FOR THE WONDERFUL FAMILY PICTURES YOU CAPTURED! Treasures all!

Love you guys!