Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Military Day at the Zoo

Anytime there is a military appreciation day we try to make arrangements to attend. Last week, our local zoo offered a military day. The day came with free admission, train ride, museum admission, lunch and a few goodies from local businesses. 

The birds are one of our favorite parts of the zoo. As you can see in the picture, you provide the food and they will love you. Ella had an arm full at one point.

The alligator exhibit is new to the zoo. As we were glancing through the glass window, one of the alligators came to the glass and stared. 

Laney had a couple of her friends join us. 

It was very hot and humid that day so the train ride offered a nice breeze to cool us down. Since I had class at 1:00, we didn't get to stay as long as I would have liked. I am sure the heat would not have kept us there much longer anyways!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Fun

I know it's a dull title but right now that's all my brain can produce. I am half way done with school for the summer and looking forward to the end! Although I am in class 4 days a week, we are still having a little summer fun.

Our Annual Inner City Reading Camp

National Doughnut Day

Blueberry/Blackberry Picking

Biscuits Game

Friday, June 19, 2015

Biker Chic with Few Skills

My hubby has a motorcycle and loves everything about the ride. I enjoy riding (on the back) as long as the temperature is right and we don't ride to far. Once I hit the point of my butt going numb and it starts to feel like needles stabbing me, I am usually done at that point. I always thought I was well equipped with padding in that area but apparently it's not enough! 

Carmel is a trained instructor to teach a motorcycle skills course. The base is requiring anyone who rides a motorcycle on base to have this training. Now…..I don't ride a bike on base nor am I able to maneuver one at all. Since this training is free for dependents as well, Carmel signed Griffin and me up to take the course. He felt it would be great for us to have these skills and be more alert of cyclist while driving. Side note: I personally think it was for me to catch the riders high and want a bike of my own. It's the you get the hand me down and I get a shiny new ride tactic.

The class started indoors with going over the instruction manual. This book covered everything from the parts of a motorcycle to dodging debris in the road. It was very fast paced since many of the students were riders already. We had to pass a written test before we could ever hop on a motorcycle. I have to admit I was a little nervous. I also forgot to mention I was the only female in this class. I was already at a disadvantage by having very little knowledge about the ins and outs of vehicles in general. Since I am in graduate school right now,  the last thing I wanted to do was cram and take a test. Thankfully, I passed and was not embarrassed by being sent home.

Being outside and on the motorcycle was definitely the best part of the class. We were given a motorcycle with a number. This bike was considered ours for the next 2 days. In the beginning, I figured I was given the hard to handle one until I realized it was my lack of balance, wrong shoes, lack of knowledge and being a visually hands-on type of learner. I was usually the last one to grasp the skill. Yes…..I also jerked many times and had to crank it back up. By the end of the first day, I was much better with balance. My feet finally left the ground and found the pegs. Day 2 brought several challenging skills. There were two skills I found extremely hard. The first one was doing a figure eight inside a small area. This skill is one needed for turning around in a parking lot. It's not life threatening but good to know. The other skill is the reason I am NO WHERE NEAR READY to ride on the main road or any road (outside the safety cones) for that matter. We had to ride, pick up speed, change gears, slow down, turn our head, turn on the blinker, change lanes and come to an immediate stop while changing back to first gear and turning off the blinker. We did this to avoid slamming into the invisible 18 wheeler in front of us! Way to much to remember but so important in order not to loose your life. I never ran into the back of the invisible truck but I did keep forgetting to change the gear back down to first and turn my blinker off. 

After we practiced all the skills, it was time for the skills test. Thankfully, the skill I had the most trouble with was not on the test. The figure eight skill was on there and the only one I did horrible on. I guess it was not enough to fail me because I ended up passing the skills test. Yay!!!!! Griffin also passed. Unlike me….he thinks he is ready for the road. He was already wanting to check out the bikes for sale on base. This momma disagrees! Although he learned a lot, I noticed a few missed steps along the way. 

I did enjoy taking the class. The 90 degree heat on a black tarp with jeans, long sleeve shirt, gloves and a helmet was probably my least favorite part of the whole experience. There was not an inch on me that was not soaked in sweat. I know many of you probably think I am crazy but I would still prefer heat over freezing temps. I wish I had more pictures on my phone I could show you than the 3 above but they didn't cover the selfie skill in the manual.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Frozen Disney On Ice

I happen to be thumbing through Facebook one day and noticed that Frozen on Ice would be in Birmingham the same weekend we would be there. I am not sure if you have a Frozen fanatic in your house but my niece is quite the fan. This past Christmas she asked for anything Frozen. Well….all except for one of her gifts was Frozen themed.  I knew when I saw the ad for Frozen Disney on Ice she would love to go.  Her mom decided to make it a surprise for her birthday. 

My other sister ordered the tickets. I was expecting to sit somewhere in the nose bleed section (aka cheap seats). When we arrived, we were led to the seats on the front row (the section right above the floor seats). They were definitely great seats!!

As soon as we sat down, Emma wanted anything Frozen. She ended up with a light up spinner thingy, an Olaf hat and a bag of cotton candy.

When the show started, the first characters to make their debut were Mickey and Minnie. 

All the princesses were the next to arrive.

Then the main show began.

As usual Disney did a great job! The show was wonderful!! 
All the kids enjoyed it including this little Olaf!

Once we returned to my sister's house, we celebrated my niece's birthday with the rest of the family.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Memorial Day Weekend

We made our annual trip to Birmingham over Memorial Day for the guys to go to the SEC baseball tournament and the girls were busy hiking, swimming, shopping, watching movies, eating, celebrating a birthday and attending a special event (I will tell you about that tomorrow.) 

On Saturday morning, we went hiking at a nearby place that my sister recently found. 

There were a few bodies of water along the way. In one were several tadpoles. Since there were 2 teachers on this hike, we had to stop for a mini-lesson.

After the hike, we needed to cool off so we went to the Y for a swim. But first, we had to pick up this little cutie and take him with us!

Tomorrow,  I will share the special event mentioned earlier.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pump It Up

This mom's summer break is officially over. The past 3 weeks sure did pass by quickly but it was nice having the time off. My classes started back up this week and let's just say by the looks of all three syllabus'…..I …am…going…to…stay…busy. I may have to take another break from blogging. 

Before I dive in to my school work, I wanted to share a few of the things that have been happening around here. We had our end of the year party at Pump It Up. 

Ella finished up ball.

Instead of a trophy, they gave all the players a t-shirt. I love this idea! 

The girls have had several sleepovers so far this summer. One day we walked to the park and took a few pictures. Let me correct myself…….I was nominated as the picture taker and movie maker. Not once did they ask to take my picture. I was hoping to sit down on the bench and watch them play like any good mother would do. I will also only give you a snippet of the pictures. Your welcome!

We also made our annual trip to Birmingham for Memorial weekend but I will save that for tomorrow.