Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Blake's 6th Birthday Party

Blake really lucked out this year. He ended up having 3 separate birthday parties. One at school, one in Mississippi and then the one here. It was nothing but Transformers too! I feel like we have a Transformer toy store in our toy room. And it is the darnedest thing, I can't transform those things for the life of me. Instruction booklet or not, it just doesn't happen for me. Now Ryan, he gets a hold of them and can just about transform them with his eyes closed. Must be a guy thing. Anyway enjoy some pictures!

This is only like his 3rd birthday cake!

Some of the party participants.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Last Few Days Update

Well I did so well the first 8 days. The last few I guess I just kind of gave up. We are home now, but I will give you an update on the last few days of vacation. On Thursday we drove to Corinth, Mississippi to see some of Ryan's family. Corinth is a very historical town. Some very important parts of the Civil War took place there. They have plaques everywhere. It really was fascinating. Friday night we celebrated Blake's birthday with the relatives we hardly ever see. I think we all had a good time except Blake. The restaurant was a Mexican place that likes to celebrate birthdays with huge a sombrero and cake in your face. Well Blake didn't go for that. The waiter went to put the cake in Blake's face but he pushed it away. Well good ole' Mom picked it up and smashed it in his face anyway!! I loved it!! Blake crawled under the table and claimed he was "NEVER COMING OUT"! That changed when he heard there were presents and a Transformer cake he could eat and not wear. We headed for home Saturday afternoon. First Tara and her boyfriend, Michael, took us to tour his old Firehouse in Corinth. Blake loved it. He even got to slide down the firepole. Our last stop of the trip was Lambert's Cafe in Sikeston, Missouri. If you have never heard of it check out the website www.throwedrolls.com The are the home of the throwed rolls. Yes, they actually throw your dinner rolls at you! It was a blast! And the food...Oh my goodness! I have never seen that much food in a long time. They just keep bringing it to you. If you are ever down in Missouri, you have to go. Well enjoy the last of the vacation pictures. Until next time~

My little Confederate solider boy.

Blake's reaction when they started singing.

Ava and Blake sitting on one of the firetrucks at the Corinth Firehouse.

Ava's attempt at catching her roll.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day Eight- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Another day come and gone and I am really starting to run out of things to say. Eight days of blogging is hard! Anyway we were in Nashville all day. Went to the Opry Mills Mall and toured the Opryland Hotel. WOW!! What a hotel. I felt like we were back at Disneyworld instead of in Nashville, TN in a hotel. They even have a boat ride inside the hotel. The kids were dying to do it. It was actually fun. Nothing exciting but very informational. Not a lot of pictures tonight, we really didn't take that many. Plus the camera is acting up. I think it "ate" to much sand at the beach. Until tomorrow~

Can you believe this is in a hotel?

Yup this too!

What a bunch of goof-balls.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day Seven- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

We finally made it out of North Carolina. Don't get me wrong it is a very nice state, but we have been in it since Thursday. We are slowly making our way home and drove through the Appalachian/Great Smoky Mountains. They are beautiful! Another one of those moments when you can really see how awesome of a God we serve! We are here in Nashville, Tennessee now until Thrusday. I will keep you posted. Until tomorrow~

What a view! Not quite to the top, but pretty close.

Here we are at the top. There was a rest area here. Thank goodness for "real" bathrooms.

Ava and I standing in a Mountain Stream. That water is COLD!!! It felt really nice though. I wish we would have had a picnic lunch today, there were so many great spots we could have stopped at.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day Six- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day Six, already!?!?! Seriously why must all good things come to an end. Anyway not much to report today. We had to leave the beach today. I soooo didn't want to go. I think I could just live there, but I really do hate that sand gets EVERYWHERE. And I can still taste salt from all the water that I "drank". We had a slight tragedy today, but all is well. To sum it up for the sake of the readers, Blake and I almost drowned in the ocean and I lost my glasses. Yes, the glasses that I so desperately need to see any sort of distance are floating in the Atlantic Ocean. If that is the worst thing that happens on this trip, I will be perfectly fine with it. Here are some more pictures for you to enjoy. Until tomorrow~

Seriously, the first thing I saw this morning when I woke up. It was amazing. We fell asleep to God's natural sound machine, the ocean.

Okay, so not the most amazing picture, but I like it. I am laying on the blanket on the beach and this is what I saw when I looked up. Thanks for letting us borrow the umbrella Mom, it came in handy.

We stopped to tour the USS North Carolina. This battleship was used during WWII. It was huge! Blake and Ava loved that it was a big maze.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Day Five- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

BEACH DAY!!!! We have been waiting for this day for a long time. I am just so sad that it has come and gone already. The rain had us a little worried, but it really wasn't a big deal, just a few drops here and there. I had such a great time with the kids! Ava and I went in the ocean first. I have never heard her giggle so much. It was so sweet. Then the water got in her mouth and that was the end of that for Ava. But she dug and dug and dug in the sand! The rest of us were out in the ocean and there she sat digging. She LOVES finding shells. We have 2 buckets full right now and hopefully can go out again tomorrow morning for some more. Blake loved the water too despite the "horrible taste". Him and I went way out and floated for a while. It was just awesome. With your back turned toward the "beach" all you see is nothing but water. It really makes you stop and appreciate things a whole lot more and realize what an awesome God He really is! After supper we hit the beach again. Ava digging for more shells and Ryan and Blake looking for Lord only knows what in the ocean late at night. Well the Lord gave them 5 crabs and a little fish. Ryan only got bitten twice. I can't believe that I am actually sitting on the balcony of our room typing this out and listening to the ocean. I never want this moment to end. Until tomorrow~

Ava and one of her prized possessions, a shell.

Blake totally loving the water.

Ryan and Blake's newest friend. And no, he is not coming home with us.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day Four- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Okay, I apologize now, but this is going to be short. I have been outside in North Carolina hot weather since 2:00pm. My family is all in the pool, while I do this, so it is going to be short sweet and to the point. The best news of all.... HE DID IT!!!! Praise God!! Blake did so well! He smiled for pictures, he walked down the aisle (with no frog, that is a story in itself) and had a great time at the reception. He even caught the garter. I promise to post more pictures later, because the wedding was just gorgeous. For now this will have to do. Until tomorrow~

Kolt and Blake.

The happy ringbearer himself, Mister Blake.

And Miss Ava, being well, Miss Ava

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day Three- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day three and all is still well. We slept in and took it easy this morning/afternoon. We ate lunch at a mall in the food court and then walked around. Well Blake came upon this huge trampoline thing and just had to do it. Thanks to Nana and Papa he had some of his own money and paid for it himself. See below picture. We had the rehearsal dinner tonight. The place is beautiful! I will try to have pictures tomorrow. Kolt and Stephanie (the groom and bride) bought Blake the coolest shirt ever! I just had to take pictures of the front and back to show you. Until tomorrow~

Blake and the best $7.00 he ever spent.

The front lapel of Blake's shirt.

The back of the shirt. Seriously one of the coolest shirts ever!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day Two- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Day Two went again surprisingly well. We are now in Apex, North Carolina. The rest of the family is either on their way as we speak or are here at a different hotel. Let me just say the Appalachian Mountains are beautiful! We had so much fun driving through them. We were such tourist with our faces pressed against the windows. We made it into Cary, North Carolina about 5:30pm to get Blake to try on his tux. He looked so cute! I am still just keeping my fingers crossed that he goes through with the whole "Ring Bearer" thing. We grilled out at my Uncle's house in Raleigh and it was so great. I really enjoyed seeing everyone. Even managed to squeeze in a few rounds of Rock Band (sorry Angie, I thought of you though!). Until tomorrow~

This was at a rest stop right inside the Virginia state line. It was so pretty there.

This is a view from the driver's side window. No I wasn't driving and taking the picture, just reaching my arms and camera in front of Ryan while he drove!

Ava wanted a picture of her and her 2 blankies, so here you go.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day One- Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour

Well it has officially began... The Cochran 2009 Southeast Tour. 11 states, 11 days, over 2500 miles, and over 40 hours of total driving. Today was day numero uno and so far so go! We surprised Blake with an early birthday gift. A gameboy (thanks Teri and CJ). We gave it to him around the Peoria area and didn't hear a peep out of him until we stopped for lunch outside of Indianapolis. Another friend (thanks Angie) gave us some games to borrow for the trip. I tell you Blake is going to be no problem at all on this trip. He is so into the whole electronic scene, as long as the batteries don't die, we will be fine. Ava did pretty well too. Thanks to a vehicle with TV's and a DVD player, she is pretty good to go too! Our first destination was Georgetown, Kentucky. I must say I really didn't think to hear the "southern" draw yet, but the waitress at supper tonight had it bad! Speaking of supper, it is really the only picture we took so far. I will try to do better for the rest of the trip. Until tomorrow~

The infamous "Big Boy". Blake picked the place and said "Yeah it's good, let's go again" Ryan and I say, "Maybe not"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What a Storm!

WOW! For those who read this living in this area that was one storm last night. I know it was a little more intense here in Knoxville than Galesburg, but still WOW! We just made it in the house from grocery shopping when it got really dark and then the rains came. It was more like buckets and then the hail. It was so cool to see it bouncing in the front yard. Once the rain stopped the kids and I went outside to collect some of the hail to show Ryan. Here's what we all found...

Blake's newest friend! I am actually the one who found him and then went running and screaming back up to the house. I can't stand frogs. They just gross me out. We had to wait for Ryan to get home to take the picture. There was no way I was getting that close for a picture.

The kids each took out a cup to fill with the hail. It is hard to tell by the picture, but it was pretty good size.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Home Sweet Home?!?!

We had a great time this past weekend. We were able to go to Madison! It was so nice to go back. We did the Race for the Cure up there. I always wanted to when we moved up there, but it just never worked. The weather was perfect, the walk was beautiful, and the kids, well they were kids. It made us want to move back soooo badly. We even found a house on the walk that was right on the Lake. It was a 4 bedroom, a slight fixer upper, and available for the low low cost of $350,000! ha ha Now I remember why we left, the cost of living is so crazy! Here are some pictures of our trip.

We had to stop during the race for this great picture of down town Madison. We just love the Capitol!

My Boys! We just finished Farmer's Market around the capitol and started on our way down State St.

Some of us just can't handle all the excitement!

On our walk we came across this cute little place. I at first thought what a great "book shop" then started thinking how great all "my" books would look in there. Come to find out it WAS a book shop. I just fell in love with it and had to take a picture.