Monday, August 12, 2013

Colorado pictures

The Whompton adults headed to Colorado this summer.  Krystal had a conference, Eric's friend Ben lives there, Krystal's friend Joanne lives there, Eric's cousins live there ..... We had lots of motivation to trek out to Boulder.  We went out on our wedding anniversary, met up with Ben and Meredith, loaded up the truck, and immediately headed out to Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was gorgeous.  Everywhere we turned had an even more amazing vista.  Ben is setting up one of the tents in the below picture.  Don't look at the people -- look at our breathtaking view!

After setting up camp, we went hiking.  We found a mini-waterfall, multiple babbling streams, wonderfully fresh smelling trees, and geologic beauty.  That night showcased the entire Milky Way -- that alone was worth the flight out to Colorado.  The next day we puttered around the campsite area, explored with the sunrise, and then drove through the rest of the park, across the Continental Divide, and ended up on the west side.  Wow.  Colorado is stunning.  Our pictures cannot capture the full scope and majesty of the landscape, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Girls and Grandparents

While Eric and Krystal enjoyed vacation time in New York City, Raina and Lola enjoyed vacation time with Mama Jo and Papa Bill in Nashville.  We received daily reports of their activities from Mama Jo, which was a delightful surprise, and here they are in their entirety.

A Week with the Grandparents 2013

Sunday's report:

We are glad you have arrived and are enjoying your visit there. We have had a good day.  The girls and I hung loose a while while Bill went to work out. The girls asked for a snack, which developed into serving them some spaghetti and a meatball each. When Bill got home, we headed over to the Opryland Hotel and walked around there for a little while looking at the plants and the waterway and the crazy promotional stuff. There were some dressed up characters and one tried to get Lola to be friends. She would have nothing to do with him but Raina allowed us to take a picture of her with him.

Then we went to the mall and looked around some there. We have not been to Opry Mills much since the flood in 2010 wiped the mall out. There are now a bunch of new stores plus lots of the ones that were there before.  We had lunch at the food court and the girls seemed to enjoy that. You can about imagine the kind of stuff we had.

Next stop was at home for quiet time; they watched an Aladdin movie and then it was off to the Abbottsford pool. We thought the water was a little chilly, but the girls seemed to enjoy their time there. We brought them back to the house and put them in the jacuzzi for a bubble bath. They seemed to like that too. After they played there awhile and then washed up, they got out and got dressed. Bill cooked burgers on the grill and I steamed some corn on the cob.

Then it was time to wind down and go to bed. I think they were pretty tired after our busy day; they did not fight bedtime. Tomorrow we will make an attempt to wear them out again. 

Both Raina and Lola have been most cooperative and seemed to enjoy the activities that we did. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Monday's Report: 
We had another full day today. We went to the Green Hills Library this morning. Bill wanted to see the Civil War Display they have there and the girls chose some books to bring home. Raina is pretty much finished with one them already. After lunch we went out to Radnor Lake and walked around the whole lake. Bill's GPS says it was three miles. We did not carry any children at any time, but we did stop at most of the benches along the way to rest and take pictures. We saw turtles, an owl, some tiny frogs, a dragonfly or so, a blue heron, a snail, and some worms. The girls seemed to enjoy the outing and were ready for some downtown when we came home. After watching "Return of Jafar", Bill took them to the "Y" to go swimming while I cooked dinner. We had cashew chicken with rice and broccoli and we also had fresh strawberries. I appreciate that the girls do not complain about what we put before them. They have eaten well and have said they like the food we have fixed for them. They met the next door neighbors' dogs this evening and enjoyed petting them. Anna, the bigger of the two dogs kept jumping on Raina and licking her face but Raina said she liked it. 

Tuesday's Report:
Early this morning the girls did some paint with water and some sticker pictures. We packed a lunch (peanut butter and jam sandwiches, carrot and celery sticks, yogurt, apple slices, cheese and crackers, and Girl Scout cookies) and went out to Percy Priest Lake in search of a picnic table. After some fumbling around we found a nice table right by the lake and had our lunch. We saw a pair of ducks, and a blue heron and also some minnows. Unfortunately, we also saw some trash that previous picnickers had left. We came back home and the girls watched a movie while Bill and I did some things around the work on dinner, etc. After the movie we walked up to the Abbottsford pool and the girls enjoyed frolicking in and around the pool. Then it was time to come back to the house, put the girls into a quick bubble bath in the jacuzzi and then get ready for dinner. Aunt Ginny arrived and we got into Skyping with Stephanie. The neighbors' grandson (age 11) came over for about 20 minutes and it got a little loud, but Bill took on the referee duties and saved the house from destruction. I think when you called was probably about the most zoo-like time of the afternoon, but we all survived just fine. 
Thursday's Report:
 These days are just flying by with so much to do.

We started the day with paint with water, some building with blocks, some Guess Who and then a movie...The Lion King. Lola was a bit dismayed at the sad part near the end but I do think she enjoyed it.  After lunch we drove out to the Brentwood Library (its near Ben Purser's house) and saw a show for kids. It was billed as The Balloon Kid, a magic and comedy show.  There was a horde of kids there and the young man in charge was pretty good with the kids. He knew how to rev them up and he knew how to quiet them down. He made some really silly jokes and involved some kids from the audience. He made stuff with balloons and told more silly jokes. It lasted about 30 minutes and both the girls said they liked it. Then we went over to the playground and hung around there until it began to dribble on us. We were planning to take the girls to the pool but  Patrick, the grandson of the next door neighbor, saw us drive up and wanted to play with the girls. It ended up that Patrick and Raina made lego projects and Bill took Lola to the pool at the Y. Everyone seemed happy with the arrangement. Patrick and Raina played and built lego things very well together and I understand Lola had a great time at the pool.  Then we had dinner...tacos and pinto beans with chocolate pudding for dessert. After I cleaned up the kitchen we all took a stroll around Abbottsford "lake". Then the girls got ready for bed and I think they were probably asleep before their heads hit the pillow. I am practically comatose myself.

Raina has read all of her library books and has been raiding the bookcases here for more. She says she is finding books she wants to read. Lola enjoys being read to and also looks at books by herself. They are sweet girls and it has been fun having extended time with them. 

Friday's Report:
Today started early. We rode the city bus downtown and went to a puppet show at the downtown library at 9:30. There were two puppeteers who used several different kinds of puppets to tell Aesop's Fables. It really was cute and I know the girls enjoyed the show. Then we walked down to lower Broadway where the CMA Fest (Fan Fair with a new name) was going on. There were crowds and crowds and it was fun to people watch. I wish I had a dollar for every young chick I saw with shorts and boots on. My prediction is that a lot of them are nursing big-time blisters tonight.

 Everyone was hungry when we got back to the house so we had a quick lunch and then settled in to watch The Wizard of Oz. Later Bill took the girls to the "Y" for swimming while I fixed dinner. Then we read books and put some Lego kits back together again. The girls were ready to turn in so we tucked them in and said good-night.

 The girls really liked your post-cards; what a good idea!

 Tomorrow we will be collecting up stuff and trying to get ready for the trek on Sunday. 
Saturday's Report:
Has the week gone by already? It seems like it was just yesterday that the girls were getting settled here. We had a fairly quiet day. We started off by going to Dragon Park where the girls climbed on the serpent and swung in the swings, and had a wild ride on the seesaw. We had left over tacos for lunch and then then watched " Snow White". We made our final visit to the pool at "The Y" and then had dinner at home. Rosemary came over and enjoyed seeing the girls. Raina has been helping to pack up the Legos by putting the individual kits together. She is really good at it too. We have been gathering up stuff and trying to get their belongings together so that it will all get into the car tomorrow morning. We are using your check list and hope to remember everything.