Monday, May 27, 2013

Lovable Layla Turns 9!!!

Happy birthday, Layla!!! I can't believe that you are 9 years old!!! You will always be a beacon of light to PopPop and me. We have watched you grow and blossom and since you live near by, we have been able to tuck you under our wing and hold you tight. We love that we can come to your house every other week, very early in the morning, and wake you up, hold you, kiss you, and send you off to school. You are so precious to us. How am I going to choose from 9 years worth of pictures?

"I love a good book!"

Ring Around The Rosie

                "I have my PopPop wrapped around my finger!"

"PopPop loves to show me his river."

"I got to go to school with PopPop and write on his chalkboard."

"PopPop let me eat lunch with him at his school."

                         "I love sleepovers at PopPop and JoJo's."

                        "Did I tell you that I love my PopPop???"

                            "JoJo knows that I love Clifford."

                "I get to do lots of crafty things when I visit JoJo."

"I think I'll feed my baby."
"PopPop and I need a break from raking!"
"JoJo and I attended 'Grandma and Me' Camp. It was so much fun!"

"Did I tell you I love my PopPop??? I think I did."
"I have done cheerleading for football games and basketball games. It is so much fun!"

                    "JoJo got me this vest knowing that I would look cute."

                         "JoJo loves to take my picture. I don't mind."
"PopPop  loves to take us outside and play in the snow."
"I am soooo happy! I asked JoJo to give me piano lessons even though I didn't have a piano. Today I  turned 9 years old and guess what PopPop and JoJo  got me for my birthday???
A keyboard!!! "
Happy birthday to our Layla.
We love you more than chocolate!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Celebration on Corey Lake

With Kendra, Jason, Nicholas, Blake and Alexis in town to celebrate Layla's birthday (May 27) and Marley's birthday (May 22), we headed to the Snell cottage on Corey Lake. It is only 1/2 hour away. Brent, Jen, Layla and Marley were already there. We were greeted by the birthday girls.

Marley is 6 and Layla turns 9 tomorrow.
Alexis could hardly contain her excitement when she saw the big sandbox!

"You all go ahead and swim! I'm happy right here!"

Layla and Nicholas checked out the dock.
Hey Nicholas! Can you see me now???
 Layla thinks it's time for a little swim.

Layla loves the huge float pad!
Tom, Jim Snell and Jim's friend Don, discuss baseball.

 Marley runs to join Layla.
"This is soooo much fun!"

"Come on Daddy! Let's go check out the boat!"

"Oh, I do love to drive a nice boat!"

"Hey Lexi! Do you want to come into the water?"
 "Swim??? No thanks! Jen has Legos here at the cottage!
We're fine, thanks!"
"And look what I found outside! A turtle!
Mom....can I keep him??????"

Meanwhile...after a wonderful cookout, it was time to celebrate!

Layla wanted an ice cream cake and Marley (who loves the Amelia Bedelia books about the maid who takes all things literally) wanted a sponge cake. Can you guess what happened? Jen decided to make a "sponge cake" for Marley.

To get the candle to go into the sponge, Brent has to make holes.

Layla is in on the surprise.

 "Why is it so hard to cut?"
 "It sounds like you are sawing."
"No thank you! That looks very strange!"
"That was sooooo silly!"

It really IS a sponge!

Time to open presents!!!

 Marley opened her gifts from us and Layla got a new beginning piano book. While she was watching Marley open several things, Tom placed a present behind her which she walked by several times. She never noticed. After the third time, we said something. I'm sure she thought that the piano book was "it".
 I'm sure that Layla was thinking that all she got was one book.
"Turn around Layla!!!"
Layla was thrilled!!! She had been begging me to give her lessons but she could only play when she was at my house. Nicholas was liking it too.

 "This is soooo great!"

"Daddy! Can you play me a song?"

It was now time for a boat ride for those people that wanted to go.
Barb drove the pontoon and Jen drove her speedboat since Jason was going to be on the water board.
 Jason was probably born in a bathtub. He LOVES the water!!!
"I'll just sit here with PopPop and relax," says Lexi.

 The day was winding down. Marley, Blake and Nicky watched a few minutes of TV.

Marley and Brent listen to Layla read her new book.

Just when we thought the day was about over there were a couple of more interesting things that happened:

The Snells have Purple Martin bird houses which are wonderful to listen to and to watch. I learned a lot about them and watched Barb and her friend, Carolyn, lower the houses, clean out the nests, check the eggs, and raise the houses back up to see the birds return. It was amazing!!!! I've never seen anything like it!

Before, we headed home, Jen walked me over to see the neighbors "garage" (the smaller one). It was so not what I had ever seen before. I had Jen go get Jason to come and see this amazing sight! She said that this was nothing compared to the other "garage" but it was amazing. I think that Jason thought he had died and gone to heaven. The construction of the lifts and the beams of the building were amazing! The boats were a bonus!  You know that old line about how pictures don't do it's true!

There is an incredible story about this famous boat, Baby Bootlegger and Jason knew the story. Little did he know that he would be standing beside it! Thanks to Willie Mittler for being so kind and patient as he showed us this wonderful sight!

                                       It was a wonderful day!