Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Drew's Hiking Trip: Sierra High Route

Drew enjoyed a fabulous 7 days of hiking on the Sierra High Route in Southern California starting at the Southern end of the Sierra Mountains in September. He joined a group of 2 guides, Andrew Skurka and Brian Robinson, and 5 other guys for this hiking trip (the others were from California and Colorado). They hiked about 90 miles in 7 days through some incredibly beautiful terrain, all above 10,000 feet. They spent each night under the stars and cooked their own food. Thankfully one of the guys was a great fisherman, and he caught fish for them to eat several nights. Drew took a lot of pictures and even came home with several videos on his camera. Enjoy a sampling of the pictures (I'll spare you the videos, ha!).

First view of the high Sierra at 11,000 feet

Alpine Lake

Andrew Skurka (guide) enjoying the view

Marion Lake...an incredibly blue lake

Drew near Marion Lake

Drew about to climb down toward Marion Lake

Looking down from a high mountain pass at 12,000 feet

If you look in the distance, you can see part of the group walking down the snow field where Drew just came through.

Crossing the John Muir trail

Sunset at camp site at 12,000 feet, way above tree line

Magnificent sunset lighting Palisade Mountain 

One of many beautiful alpine lakes

Snow storm on the mountain where the group just hiked

Group walking through another snow field

Snow Tongue Pass...an incredibly steep and dangerous decent that the group hiked

Is it REALLY the end of December?

Seriously? How can it be? I truly have no idea how we got to December this year. It has been a total whirlwind of a fall semester at our house. I am sad I haven't posted anything on my blog since September. I will catch up over the next several weeks! Stay tuned for the first post about Drew's hiking trip. In the meantime, I will leave you with a recent pic of my girls.

Avi and Sally Sharp at the Chapel of Memories on MSU's campus.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

When Daddy's Away, The Girls Will Play!

Drew was away on a week-long hiking trip last week on the Sierra High Route in the Sierra Mountains (beautiful pictures to come). He had a great time, and we are glad he enjoyed himself and made it home safely! As for the girls he left behind...we had a fun playdate to the children's museum in Tuscaloosa! We went with our friends Karyn and Diwas Brown (Karyn's husband was also out of town that weekend). Avi and Diwas had a blast playing with all of the fun exhibits!

They had a blast playing in the ball room (when you flipped the switch, air blew the balls in the air...it was a hit!). They had fun taking turns driving the truck and putting gas in the truck (there was an old gas tank just to the right of the truck that you could actually put the hose into the truck like you were pumping gas).

But, by far, the hit of the day was playing doctor at the "DCH Hospital." They took turns doctoring on each other and then doctoring on both Karyn and myself! I think they could've stayed in there all day if we had let them. I explained to Avi that DCH was where her daddy had trained to be a doctor...I don't think she was very impressed :).

What do you think? Do we have the makings of two future doctors on our hands? OR maybe professional tea drinkers?! Diwas was so sweet and poured some tea for them to drink.

Diwas also shined Avi's sandals, and Avi took orders at the old fashioned ice cream parlor! We spent a good 2 to 2 and a half hours at the museum and then headed across the street for Mellow Mushroom pizza for lunch. I should also mention that Sally Sharp was with us on the trip. She was a little under the weather, so she didn't feel much like playing at the museum. She pretty much stayed in the stroller most of the day, but she was a trooper and slept well in the car, thankfully, and at lunch for that matter! We had a great time!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday Avi!

We celebrated Avi's 4th birthday yesterday as a family. I picked the girls up at the end of the day and took them to campus to let Avi play with her sidewalk chalk while we were waiting for Drew to meet us. We had a fun time writing and drawing, and I even got her to cooperate for a picture under the words happy birthday.

Soon enough, Drew met us, and he had Avi's birthday present from us with him. When Drew arrived, she ran to meet him, and she showed him all of our beautiful sidewalk chalk artwork!

Drew decided it would be great to give Avi her bicycle helmet first and tell her that was her gift from us. As you can tell, she was anticipating the gift Daddy was hiding behind his back.

She loved her helmet and immediately asked Drew to go home and get her tricycle to ride!

I mean, doesn't she look so big in that helmet?

So, while Daddy "went home to get her tricycle," we passed the time with our sidewalk chalk (wearing her new helmet of course!).

And then she spotted Drew coming toward us with her new bike! She was very excited! I don't think she was expecting it. She had been asking for a bike for at least 4 or 5 months now, and we kept telling her she might get one for her birthday. Lately, though, she had been coming up with all sorts of other items she wanted for her birthday, namely a guitar and a violin??! Who knows! But, thankfully she was happy with the bike.

It is a Hello Kitty bicycle. It was the cutest one I could find. The disney princess one was a bit over the top for my taste, so we went with this one.

The bike is maybe a tiny bit big for her still, but we knew she would be too big for the one smaller than this one. She can ride it, but it may take her a little while to get used to it.

I must admit she looks pretty cute trying! Happy 4th Birthday, Avi! We love you very much!

And I had to add this picture of Sally Sharp. I mean, she's ready to go out on the town! She has her headband on and everything! On this particular night, she was in Avi's room by herself, and we peeked around the door to find her with about 3 headbands on her head! I wasn't quick enough to get my camera out for a picture of that (she laughed out loud when she saw us!). But, she did keep one of the headbands on, and I think she looks adorable. She already wants to be just like her sister!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fun 4th Birthday Party!

Avi had such a fun 4th birthday party at Starkville Gymnastics! I think everyone enjoyed themselves! The kids had the entire gym to run around in, and the cake and ice cream was also pretty delicious!

Who is that girl with the long hair?? Avi got Rapunzel hair for her birthday, and she loves it. It is so hilarious to see her with it on, but she really had fun with it!

I couldn't believe it, but Avi actually gave me some smiles for the camera at the party!

We went with minimal decorations, but I think it ended up pretty cute (that's a braid made out of yellow yarn in the center...anyone need a Rapunzel braid?!).

Sweet Petra and her awesome smile! She loved jumping into the foam pit (all the kids did), but it took her a few minutes to get warmed up!

This is the shirt Avi wore to the birthday party.

And, she loved jumping in the foam pit as well!

I think we have another gymnast in our future! Sally Sharp had a blast playing with all of the gymnastics equipment. She's taking her first walk on the low beam in this pic.

And, this is the second outfit she changed into--her leotard and her tutu! She decided she wanted to change into it about 30 minutes into the party, and she came running out in it! It was adorable on her, and she loved wearing it the rest of the party. Thanks Blankenships for the fabulous tutu! It was perfect for the party! Ms. Austin is Avi's gymnastics teacher, and she also worked our birthday party! We were so thankful she was able to be there!

Cheetos anyone?

Smiley Diwas had a BLAST! He was non-stop and absolutely made sure to try everything!

And, Weston had fun in the foam pit as well!

Avi showed off her skills doing a back walkover with the help of the mat.

And, she also had Ms. Austin help her hold herself up on the bar!

Another smile...can you believe it?

Singing Happy Birthday!

Sweet Logan in the background (orange shirt) really played hard! He was great at everything, and I told his parents he needed to be taking gymnastics he was so good!

Sally Sharp got to spend some time with Ms. Kerry (her former afternoon assistant at daycare and our babysitter). Kerry has moved to Hattiesburg, but she was in town for the weekend and came to Avi's party. Thanks, Ms. Kerry for coming to visit us! We miss you!

And, there was even fun for adults! I found Drew jumping on the trampoline several times. He got some air, I must admit!