Monday, July 17, 2017

Cousin Fun, Louisiana Style

Summers have always been fun, but with little ones around, the fun times are multiplied for sure. Jana and Silas came to Louisiana  recently and were able to stay for two weeks!!! I got so spoiled having them around--the house is sure quiet now.
I know you won't believe it, but Jana and I had absolutely NO big projects planned for this trip! It's probably the first time ever, but don't worry, we managed to fill our days with all sorts of mini adventures. I rarely pulled out my "big girl camera" for these adventures, but I almost always had my phone with me, so I snapped away.  And video'ed as well.
As you can imagine, having a two 2-year-olds and a 1-year-old around keeps life pretty busy. There were lots of trains and cars and toddling and books going on around here.
In the mornings, Jana was able to work from our house while I helped entertain Silas. We walked to the library for story time a couple of days. While he loved going, he became quite shy and chose to stay in the stroller during the activities.
We also made another trip out to the Sunflower Field for a few pictures. It was hot and Silas wasn't a huge fan, but we found the best field ever, with a maze cut through the tall stems. 
I went back to check on the nest we'd found a couple weeks before. Because the nest is rather deep within the stems, I just held my phone out and took a "blind" picture. Imagine my surprise to find two tiny baby birds fresh out of their shells!! 
No wonder their mama was squawking at me from a nearby plant.Don't worry, mama bird, I won't bother them anymore!
In the afternoons, when Callie's boys were home from school, we did things together.  We went out to visit Mimi one afternoon. She is now 92 years old and while she cannot hear a thing, she definitely enjoyed watching the boys play. 
Our visit to POP, the children's museum within our science museum, was lots of fun. Each of the boys found their favorite things to explore.
Water . . .
Emergency Professions . . .
And Culinary Arts.
One of my favorite activities was visiting the grounds of Norton Art Gallery. It really is such a beautiful place and we had a fun picnic before looking for the chickens that are sometimes free to roam the grounds.
We took lots of walks and one day even took cookies to the neighborhood firefighters.
We took a trip down to Alexandria to visit Uncle Dan and take him to lunch. Everyone was pretty cranky on that trip, so you wouldn't believe how many tries it took to get this shot.  (We later learned that 2/3 boys was sick, so there is that)
On Saturday, we headed out to the Gators and Friends Zoo.  It was so much fun to see the boys with the animals. They were so excited and ran from fence to fence.
Some were brave enough to feed the animals
. . . while Silas was brave enough to ride a pony!
All of them loved watching the alligators being fed!
Michael and Adellelyn came in with their parents for the Fourth of July, so the crazy got even crazier. But, the kids had a blast! 
One night, we set up blankets and pillows in the living room and let the little ones take longer afternoon naps than usual, in anticipation of our "cousin movie night".  
 Armed with popcorn and hands to hold for the "scary parts", they watched (sort of) a movie while the adults played board games.
On July 4th, we headed to the Firecracker 5K for our annual tradition. Ron and I met at this race 5 years ago, so we loved having most of our families together for it this year.
This year, the kids participated in the 1/2 Mile Fun Run for the first time. It was fun to watch and cheer them on!!
As you can tell from this video, Silas was not really sure what all the hype was about (yep, those other runners are finishing the race as he begins it).
After that snippet, this is how he ran rest of the race! A half mile is a really long way when your legs are so short!!
After that, we all did the 5K--the guys ran it and the rest of us strolled it!
That evening, once all the little ones were in bed, Chad led the bigger kids in some fireworks in the street.  
There was a lot of this . . . 
 Which usually turned into something more like this . . .
 Sweet, older cousins helped younger cousins.
 . . . and PaPaw became the favorite toy of them all!

 There was yummy food
 . . . and a whole lot of bouncing.
We even had some picking and grinning!

It was a wild and crazy two weeks, and I ended up with enough germs to put me under for a while, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. The house is so much quieter now, but I will the pictures and the memories for a lifetime!


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