Friday, August 29

Me & the Girls (less Allison): Day 1

Allison started leading a Fellowship girls cell group again. This time, she's staring with 7th grade Springdale girls. The fun part is, our niece, Grace, is in that group. What a neat relationship that could become! I love the fact that we are close to my sister and her family!

This evening, Allison left for Fall Retreat at Camp War Eagle. She'll be gone until Sunday afternoon. That gives me about 2 full days of Father-Daughter time, which I'm excited about, and a little scared about. So, what do I do with them for 2 whole days???

Tonight after dinner, we did "Movie & Tent Night". It really doesn't need much more explanation...we built a big flippin' tent, and watch the Little Mermaid 3. I also bathed Belle just before Allison left, because she's shedding about 4 handfuls of fur per day and smelled terrible. So while me and the girls laid under the tent and watched the movie, Belle laid at the front window, drying and growling at walkers.

First night down...1 1/2 days remaining...

Wednesday, August 27

Adventures with Emma: Mud Creek

Last Saturday night, after it rained so hard during the day, we took the girls to the low water bridge in Johnson to see the bridge under water. Emma and I walked out across the bridge to experience it. We had a blast, though in retrospect, it was pretty dangerous.

Tonight at dinner, Emma wanted to try out her new rain gear: a kitty cat raincoat, boots, and umbrella...all pink, of course. We thought it was going to rain, so I asked her if she wanted to go to that creek and wade around in it with her rain gear on. She changed faster than I've ever seen her change before! So, we headed off to the creek. Sadly, it didn't rain. We followed a path along the far side of the creek and wound up underneath a railroad bridge going over the creek. Someone had made a big tree swing that swung out over the edge of the water (shallow water). We played there for a bit, then just waded downstream for a while. Emma's boots kept filling up with water, so we stopped (a lot) to let her dump the water out. She carried her umbrella the entire time (opened, of course...just in case it rained). After we got back to the main bridge, we were going to wade out to a rope swing someone put up, but the water had risen almost 2-2 1/2 feet since we got there! Apparently, it was raining somewhere upstream! As we stood on the bridge, we watched the water rise until is overflowed the bridge. It's crazy how fast it rose! We loaded up and came home. On the way home, Emma said "Daddy, I'm putting polka dots on your ceiling!". I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw her jabbing my ceiling with her umbrella. I now have mud spots (aka polka dots) all over my Jeep's ceiling. Lovely.

It was awesome to hang out with just Emma and do "adventure" stuff! I may have two girls, but that doesn't mean they don't love adventures! Boys just don't stop to pick flowers as much as Emma does!

Saturday, August 16

A Fantastic Saturday Morning

We discovered the Mud Creek Trail the other night and loved it. (see previous post) Last night we decided we would get up in the morning and go back out there. We parked and Emma rode her bike and John and I strolled Brooklyn down to Panera for breakfast. We ate a yummy breakfast/brunch and then rode some more. John wanted to take some pictures down in the creek, so we all hiked down in there and played around for a bit. I'm sure John will post some of his pictures later. These are just a few I took with the little camera.

I love "walking towns", like Seaside, but also the big "walking cities" like Chicago and NYC too. Today, felt like we lived in a small walking town. I loved parking a bike and stroller at the door of Panera and eating breakfast. It was quaint. I loved being with my family, outside. I loved that it was only 78 degrees with a breeze in the middle of August. I loved hearing the sounds of nature when Emma was quiet enough to let us listen. :) It was a great family morning.

After we left the creek, we headed back for the car. This one butterfly landed on Emma's shoe and stayed there for a bit. Then he flew to her bike helmet. Then he flew to John's back. The butterfly stayed on either John or Emma for about 10 minutes back to our car. We were going to bring him home, but sadly he flew off when we got in the car. All 4 of us were amazed by him and the fact that he just wanted to hang out with us.

Jesus, thank you for a great "family morning". It was perfect. We needed that today.

Thursday, August 14

Mud Creek Trail Bike Riding

After dinner last night, we decided to take Emma to the Mud Creek Trail in Fayetteville to practice riding her bike. The whole family went, including Belle. Lord knows that dog loves a good walk! Last time we tried taking bikes to a trail, Brooklyn ditched hers after about 15 feet and walked the rest of the time. This time, we put her in the stroller, which she pleasantly enjoyed. Emma rode her bike like a champ, with only one little fall after doing figure 8's. I took my camera and caught the highs and lows. Pictures at the end.

The Mud Creek Trail is a really fantastic trail! It's 2.1 miles long, and winds around between Paradise Valley Golf Course and the Target store in Fayetteville. Also, the actual creek is pretty cool. It's now on my places to visit with my camera (I'm getting a pretty long list!). Anyway, if you're looking for a nice place to stroll, jog, ride bikes, or explore a cool creek, give Mud Creek Trail a won't regret it!

Monday, August 4

Kid Pics

Allison and I watched Bret & Jayme Walker's kids (Molly & Morgan) tonight. It was their 7 year anniversary. Molly and Emma are good friends, and play really well together. Brooklyn just wants to do whatever they're doing (typical "little sister" syndrome). Thankfully, with 3 enthusiastic girls around and playing dress up, it provided me with some good photo opportunities. And a chance to practice my post-processing skills. Here are some of the pictures from the evening...the girls were toast at the end of the night! And a Happy Anniversary to the Walker's!