Friday, June 14, 2013

Vacation Part One: Nashville

A few weeks ago we picked up Hayden from her last day of school and hit the road for our vacation.  Kerry had been planning and saving up for a while for this trip.  We had tons of fun, and we visited several new places we've never been.  I was so not ready to come home.  We went to four different cities so I'm breaking up the trip into four different blog entries.

A few days before our trip I bought these containers at the Dollar Tree.  One for Hayden and one for Deacon.  Inside I put things specifically for each of them that I knew they would like (stickers, coloring/activity books, maps, markers, crayons, movies, games, ipods, etc)  These came in so handy.  They had something to do at all times.  They handled the two really long driving days so well.  We also had lots of snacks packed.

Our first stop on the road trip was Nashville, Tennessee. We got there around bedtime for the kids so we just checked into the hotel and went to sleep.  The next day we crammed in as much as we could.  First stop was the Ryman Auditorium.

The kids having a jam session on stage

The Ryman had several display cases with clothing, instruments, and other memorabila from different country music legends. Hayden was super excited to see a couple of Dolly Parton's dresses.  I was thrilled to see one of Johnny Cash's suits and some of Patsy Cline's dresses.
The original home of the Grand Ole Opry

By the end of our tour at the Ryman, Deacon was over it.  
After the Ryman we walked around downtown for a little while exploring Music City and then had some lunch.  One thing we noticed while having lunch and people watching, tourists in Nashville stand out because they think they are dressing as the Nashvillians do.  Most tourist females we saw were wearing short-shorts with cowgirl boots and cowgirl hats.  Not once did I actually see someone from Nashville wearing that.

After lunch we headed over to Opry Mills Mall.  Huge mall, tons of stores.  We did not allot near enough time for shopping there.  I think Hayden and I made it only half-way through.

We left the mall and went back to the hotel so the kids could get in a quick swim and then clean up for dinner and the Grand Ole Opry.

This picture came out really dark, but here are the kids standing outside the Grand Ole Opry

Hayden and I waiting for the show to start
We bought our tickets for the Grand Ole Opry months ago.  We were there on a Saturday night so we were just sure we'd get someone awesome...we did not.  

Don't get me wrong, it was still awesome just to be there, but we were a little bummed that Little Big Town, Charlie Daniels Band, Carrie Underwood, The Oak Ridge Boys, Vince Gil, and Leann Rimes were all there during the weeks leading up to and after the night we were there.  I was googling most of the names on the program our night.

However, I still loved it and can't wait to go back some day.  Also, on a side note: I know I just made fun of the tourists attire, but I was really wishing I had some cowgirls boots to wear to the Opry.  It just felt wrong wearing sandals.
Barbara Mandrell happened to be backstage visiting.  She came out for a quick "hello."

Me and Deacon

After a day of touring, shopping, and swimming they kids couldn't make it til the end of the show.  Both passed out.

After the Grand Ole Opry.  Deacon wasn't too thrilled about the photo, he was ready for bed.

You can barely see her, but Hayden is on the left.
We only spent one full day in Nashville, it was definitely not long enough.  There were a ton of other things we wanted to do.  We will be back, Music City!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Deacon's 4th Birthday Party

Deacon is currently obsessed with Jake and The Neverland Pirates.  So naturally he wanted to have a Jake-themed birthday party.  Luckily, for me there are tons and tons of pirate birthday supplies out there.  There are also plenty of pirate party ideas on my idea-go-to-place, Pinterest. My children would not have the cool birthday parties they've had without my Pinterest obsession. 

So technically all the time I spend on Pinterest is benefiting my family, and not simply an addiction I have.

It is such a tiny detail, but the dynamite candles on his tower of cupcakes were my favorite thing.  

Originally I had just one game planned for the party.  However, on the invites we sent out my hubby told everyone we would have a treasure hunt.  Then our friend let us know a few days before the party that his boys were really excited about the treasure hunt.  So, I had to come up with a treasure hunting game, but it actually turned out really well, and the kids loved it.  

Since Kerry was the one to make up the invitations with the whole treasure hunt promise he agreed to lead the little adventure.  We gave each kid a treasure map, and Kerry lead the way.

Walking the Plank

This picture reminds me of the scene in the Peter Pan cartoon where the lost boys are marching along and singing "Following The Leader."

As the kids got to the "Haunted Forest" they were instructed not to wake the "sleeping ghost." My father-in-law gladly played the part of the sleeping ghost.  He loves a good scare.

They were not very quiet, so the sleeping ghost did in fact wake up...and scare them.

I wish you could hear the squeals, screams, and then giggles in this picture.  The ghost did a wonderful job of scaring them.

Almost to the end of the treasure hunt

Buried treasure

Our last game of the day was a cannon ball fight.

This is where I praise my awesome husband.  He spent the entire morning filling up water balloons.  I never imagined it would take so long, but it was a very long and strenuous task.  He is such a good husband and dad!

The kids loved it.  We put boys against girls, per their request.  They were all soaked once it was said and done.

Deacon had a great day. Later on that evening he even came to me without being prompted and said "thank-you for my party mama, I had a good time."