The continuation of our savoring summer proceeded over the weekend:
We went SWIMMING
We CAMPED OUT - complete with a tent, a campfire, s'mores, lanterns, sleeping under the stars, temperatures in the 60's, sleeping in a sleeping bag on the ground, going to sleep to the sounds of crickets and frogs, waking to a rooster crowing (30 minutes before sunrise) and birds chirping, pink sunrise clouds, and cobblestone clouds.
We also were able to attend 2 phenominal presentations in our church by Hank Hough and his black labridor retriever, Bandera, of Kingdom Dog Ministries. "Using dogs as a visual illustration, Kingdom Dog Ministries blends humor with simple and timeless biblical truths to show the power of obedience in the life of the believer." ~ from www.kingdomdog.org
We celebrated Joshua's 3rd birthday with a Mr. Potato Head Party (like we had for his brother a couple of years ago). He had a fun time sharing his special day with his family and friends.
We began the party with the kids creating their own Mr. or Mrs. Potato Head. Awards were then presented for Most Handsome, Most Beautiful, Most Unique, Most Athletic, Most Clever, etc.
Next, we had a Potato Taste Test. We began by scoring the non-sweet potatoes and then the sweets. Ruby Cresent Fingerlings, Russian Banana Fingerlings, Russets, Gold, and Red Potatoes were tasted first; then we tried Mississippi Sweet, Covington Sweet, Garnet Sweet, Jewel Sweet, Japanese Sweet, and Boniato Sweet Potatoes. Stay tuned to find out which potato won--it was a surprizing win to each of us present.
After Michael prayed a blessing over Joshua and our lunch we made our own spuds with many various toppings.
If the highlight of the party wasn't the taste testing, then it was definately the Potato Sack Race. We had several races across our front lawn with a couple of winners. :)
After hopping back inside, we sang "Happy Birthday" to Joshua and enjoyed cake and ice cream.
The Potato Peel Contest was next, seeing who could peel a potato with the longest peel. It was a close call, but Ms. Jennifer beat Mr. Jake by one inch.
We are so thankful for our Joshua and for our family and friends coming to celebrate his birthday with us.
For more pictures from the party, see Joshua's 3rd Birthday in the right hand column under photo albums.
Saturday was my dear friend's birthday. After we spent the day on the river together, we came back to our house for dinner and a surprise birthday party.
The party deserves a little background explanation. :)
A week and a half prior to her birthday, Jennifer gave me the idea and theme for her birthday party without even realizing it. While popping popcorn for our kids, she shared with me she has wanted a vintage popcorn popper like she had growing up and has not been able to find one. Well, she happened to be talking to a lover of all things vintage and a huge etsy fan. :) I immediately began hunting on my iPhone so I could be sure I understood the exact one she desired. She wanted a circa 1980's Presto Poplite-with the orange/yellow piece on top that the popcorn shot out from the side and the butter could be melted on top while the popcorn is popping.
When I arrived home I logged on to etsy and began searching for the highly-desired 1980's Presto Poplite vintage / retro popcorn popper for Jennifer's birthday gift. Then I started thinking ... we were going to be spending the entire day with Jennifer on the river on her birthday so I would plan a birthday party. And now I had my theme - POPCORN!
I texted her husband to make sure he didn't order a popcorn popper, too, and I set to work planning a birthday party! :)
Now that the background story has been explained...
Jennifer had shared with me before that her favorite dinner was salad, steak, a baked potato, and grilled asparagus. So along with her husband's help we got her birthday dinner together and had it ready within an hour of arriving home from the lake. Pretty impressive, huh? :)
After dinner was the surprise Popcorn Party. I had decorated my dining room with a banner, popcorn garlands (made with Olivia and Hanna's help), a zinnia arrangement made by Olivia, and the "new" vintage popcorn popper.
After hearing Jennifer's loud scream of excitement when she had spotted her popcorn popper, I knew she was digging the theme and it was PARTY TIME!
We had a fun time gathered round the vintage Presto Poplite popping popcorn watching it fill up and spill out over the side. We also huddled in front of the stove making different flavors of popcorn - White Chocolate Popcorn, Chocolate Popcorn, Caramel Popcorn, Maple Bacon Popcorn, and S'mores Popcorn.
Our favorite? S'mores Popcorn. And Maple Bacon Popcorn came in second.
After taste testing all the different types of popcorn, I presented Jennifer with a red velvet popcorn birthday cake.
We sang "Happy Birthday," she made a wish, and blew out her candle.
What a truly GRAND day we had celebrating a very special friend!
Happy Birthday Jennifer! I am so thankful and grateful God brought us both from Georgia to Mississippi and that we are sharing life together at this time. You are a huge answer to prayer and such a blessing in my life! I love you! ~Ashley
Several weeks ago we had a fun and memorable day on the river with our friends. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't so cooperative and we promised each other a redo pontoon Day on the River. Last Saturday was our "Take Two."
This time my facebook status read:
Take Two - Day on the River Sunscreen - check Life jackets - check Food and water for the day - check Fishing poles - check
Boat rental for the day - check Ready for fun with friends on the river all day - CHECK!!! :) Taking our chances and not taking ponchos! :)
Take Two proved to be a glorious day. Temperatures in the mid-80's, sunshine, and blue skies.
Our Captains Jake and Michael
Junior Captain Jude driving
After riding upstream awhile, we found a cove to swim in and all took a dip.
Picturesque side view of our swimming cove
After our swim, Olivia and Hanna got to intertube creating fun childhood memories.
For lunch we dined on delicious Snake Sandwiches Michael made for us.
While eating we made our way to Goat Island. Why is it named Goat Island? Are there really goats on the island? Can you see the goats? Are the goats dangerous? were some of the questions asked as we approached shore.
[I am very intrigued in knowing the history of Goat Island, so if someone would like to share with me, I would be much obliged. :) ]
A bottle/shoe tree welcomed us ashore
After arriving on Goat Island, a portion of us began a search party for "The Goats of Goat Island." When 20 minutes had passed and no goats were spotted, our party began to grow restless and questioned if goats really do live on the island. We decided to split up. Finally, someone claimed they had spotted the goats! We all gathered together to approach "The Goats" as a group and slowly walked up a hill. And sure enough, goats we saw! And I have pictures to prove it! :)
Goat Island proved to be a great place to dock for awhile. Not only for the sighting and novelty of seeing goats on a small island, but also for collecting shells (that I plan to use for a special project in the future)...
and a GREAT place for fishing!
Michael and Jake fishing with the kids
Olivia and Hanna enjoyed exploring the shoreline
A beautiful Sun Fish (Orangespotted?)
Unhooking our 9th and final fish
I even found a heart shaped rock for the love we found on Goat Island! :)
Before taking back off we enjoyed ice cold watermelon.
Jennifer, who was celebrating her birthday on the river, soaking up the sun
After leaving the island, cliff jumping was next on Michael's agenda for the day. Jake found the perfect spot for he and Michael to jump off cliffs until we had to head back to the marina.
Isaac and Jude after a game of throwing around driftwood
Jennifer and I
On our 45 minute trip back to the marina we enjoyed the quiet and beautiful views.
Jude sacked out.
Out of 5 children, Olivia was the only one not to fall asleep.
Back at the marina - What a wonderful and perfect Day on the River!
Next, we went home, cleaned up, and got ready for a party! Stay tuned...
Happy Sister's Day to my sister who I eagerly helped welcome to the world, who I cherished helping mother as a youngster, who I adored having stand by my side as my maid of honor, who I have seen a great portion of the US beside, who I enjoy sharing recipes with and work alongside with in the kitchen, who I now look up to, and most of all who I love having fun with and just being downright silly with at times. I love you Sis!