Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sweet Home Alabama!

Week 4: This has been a week full of fun and friends and best of all HOME. We spent the whole week in Birmingham, and what a fun week it was spending time with friends and family. After a weekend full of celebrating Maggie's 1st birthday we headed up to Birmingham to get ready for baby Caroline. Mary Virginia was in art camp up at our church - they made all sorts of art and it all had to do with sweets and candy! She was in heaven as you can imagine! The biggest news of the week was sweet Caroline! We have had so much fun getting to know that sweet baby girl! I guess since we try to have a new experience each week now that we are living in Baton Rouge, our experience for the week was holding a brand new baby girl! The kids have loved getting to meet Caroline and hold her (and no, neither of them want a baby sister of their own). We were able to spend lots of time with our friends, which meant so much to Mary Virginia and John Bay. They miss everyone so much. We played at the park with the Verners - even though the playground was extremely wet, it didn't stop these kids! The smiles when MV and JB saw Gage and Lanier pull up were priceless. They played so hard that we were all exhausted once we got home!

(not the greatest pictures, but I couldn't get them to sit still long enough to get a good shot!)

Lunch dates: As you might have read in the previous blog...on Tuesday, we took Ella out for a little lunch date and big sister celebration. I admire those out there that have three kids. It was all I could do to keep up with MV, JB, and Ella! Thank goodness we met my parents for lunch and then all of the Bagbys showed up too! It was so nice to spend time with dear friends!

We were able to sit down with "Ms. Jeannie" for a quick bite of lunch. She was so sweet to bring the kids a surprise! The love their sunglasses and can't wait to wear them on the 4th! She is now Mary Virginia's new best friend...MV couldn't stop talking and telling her all kids of stories! It is so fun for me to see my kids spending time with Jeannie, she was a part of so many of my childhood memories!

Our lunch on Friday was probably the wildest of the week! We me the old neighbors for lunch...where else, but Chick-fil-a. MV and JB were so happy to see the Huntons and Stoffregens - they had been talking about it all week and have not stopped since! The kids were so happy to be together again and it was just as wild and crazy as always!

I was also able to spend some quality time with Allison and Caroline in the hospital. We were able to catch up, Craig got to spend some time with Ella, and Elaine got a well deserved break! (Thank you mom and dad for keeping the kids so that I could stay with Allison.) It has also been fun playing in "Youngblood Park". I am grateful that Craig and Allison have felt like having visitors since they have been home, especially adding two more kids to the mix - we have had lots of energy to burn in the backyard!

Sunday, we were able to go back to church and see all of our friend there! You really don't realize how lucky you are until things are gone! I have missed our Sunday school class, our friends, and Dr. Furr...really the whole church! It was so nice to be able to go back, even if it was just for a visit. The fun didn't stop at church, we also had another birthday to celebrate! Happy Birthday, John Robin! We loved seeing batman and playing at the pool to help celebrate!

As you can tell, JB wasn't too sure about batman!

MV on the slide at the pool! She was not scared at all!

We are heading back to Cajun Country, Bandit is getting ready to make his Louisiana debut and mom and dad are coming with us for a visit. I can't wait to fill you in on our adventures next week - and to introduce mom and dad to all that Baton Rouge has to offer! Just a hint...we are thinking that we are going to pay Mike the Tiger a visit - of course, we will be decked out in our Auburn gear!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Baby Caroline!

We were so excited today to welcome baby Caroline into our lives today! She is a beautiful baby girl with a great set of lungs! Ella is such a proud big sister! She loves her so much and was so excited to get to see Caroline! I am so glad that I was able to be there!

She was born at 8:24 a.m.
7 lbs. 10 oz.
21 inches
(and dark brown/black hair!)

We took Ella for a yummy lunch to celebrate!

And then it was off to Yogurt Lab for a Big Sister Celebration!

I took Mary Virginia and John Bay back up to the hospital to see Caroline! They were so excited that they were able to hold her! John Bay wanted to hold her again and again!

We have already had such an exciting week! Welcome baby Caroline! We love you!

(sorry for the rough pictures, I only had my cell phone at the hospital)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

On the Road Again!

Week 3: A week of road trips has come and gone! We started off the week exploring Baton Rouge. We met the Skippers and some of their friends at a new splash pad and park in Baton Rouge. There is an amazing park system here! Baton Rouge has neighborhood parks all around the city with areas like dog parks, tennis courts, fishing ponds, walking trails, playgrounds, and even splash pads! Mary Virginia had a blast playing in the splash pad while John Bay spent his day running around the playground and playing on the spider web. They loved it so much on Monday that we are going back as soon as we get back in town! It is a great place to go to play all morning and then have a picnic lunch! We are so lucky to have found a treasure like this park, less than 15 minutes from our house!

Forest Park Playground & Splash Pad

The road trips began with a quick trip to Pensacola!

John Bay only made it 5 minutes into the trip...

Ed had a couple of meetings to help wrap up some of his last job, we went along for the ride. When we got to the hotel, the kids were amazed. MV looked at me and said "hotels are awesome, can we stay here forever." I guess the idea of having two televisions in one room, a pool downstairs, and anything you could imagine to pick from for breakfast was just too much! After a night of swimming at the hotel, the kids wanted to see some of their favorite places...I bet you can guess where we ended up...that's right, the airplane museum and the splash pad! Of course, I forgot that Wednesdays are the day that the Blue Angels practice, so we were able to see the practice session while driving to the museum. Once we got on post and could park, we watched them do lots of tricks in the air. John Bay LOVED it! We toured the museum along with the hundreds of other tourists and played on the playground!

Then it was on to the splash pad! We always love a good splash pad! After an hour of playing and a huge scoop of ice cream, we packed up and headed back to Baton Rouge! It was a quick trip, but we loved visiting our "Florida House"! We hope to make another trip over in July!

Our week ended with a road trip to home sweet home! We made it to Alabama on Friday afternoon....just in time to grab a quick dinner at Niffer's with Gigi and Jaja! (One of our favorite places to eat!) It was a quick trip to the lake, but we were able to celebrate cousin Maggie's 1st birthday!
Door decoration!

We spent Saturday morning playing in the water and having lunch with family and friends! Then it was time for cake and ice cream! Of course, that was MV and JB's favorite part of the meal!

Maggie had a little help blowing out her candles!
And lots of help celebrating and eating cake!

It was a wonderful weekend. We had so much fun visiting with family and celebrating with Maggie. It was a day full of cake, ice cream, sun, swimming, and most of all tubing! We owe Barney and Wade BIG time for pulling Mary Virginia around on the tube all day! She tubed all over the lake and with anyone that would ride with her!

We have made our way to Birmingham and we are ready for a week of fun and excitement! We can't wait for Baby Caroline! (Look for an extra post this week as we welcome Caroline into the world - we can't wait to meet her!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Jambalaya Capital of the World

Week 2: This has been a wonderful week in the Whatley house! There were smiling faces everywhere! We are learning the area and having fun along the way! Mary Virginia has been in VBS this week at Walker Baptist Church and she loved it. They had a blast on their "Big Apple Adventure". She "took a cab around New York City to explore and learn to step out in faith." She made quick friends with the kids in her group and she has looked forward to getting up and going everyday this week - she especially loved singing the "big kid bible school songs"! I will be perfectly honest and tell you that it was not the VBS we were used to at Vestavia Baptist, but we are seeing new things and trying new places! On Friday night, the kids performed all of their songs from VBS for the whole church, she was amazing!

MV was trying on her statue of liberty gear!

John Bay and I have been on an adventure of our own this week. So far, we have found 3 great playgrounds, a water park, the library, the antique district, and lots of horses and cows! Everything we found is within a 10 - 15 minute drive from our house, so we are very excited! We even took picnic lunches to the playground a couple of days.

Picnics in the Park

Our Weekend Adventure: This weekend we wanted to try the rodeo, but who knew that they didn't start until after bedtime! Instead of the rodeo, we explored Gonzales, LA - The Jambalaya Capital of the World. When we got to the Expo Center for the rodeo (we did get to see a few girls on horses), we found that they were having an Arts & Crafts Fair. I was in heaven and everyone else was along for the ride! We made it through the first row of booths when what did MV find...smores, her favorite! We found lots of fun crafts and had a yummy snack! Ed found a new favorite....Reese cup smores, YUM! We tried out a new seafood restaurant (Don's), which is now a favorite, explored Cabella's, and we even found the perfect splash pad at Jambalaya Park! Of course, as soon as we started to play on the splash pad, one of Louisiana's sporadic afternoon thunder and lightning storms hit and we were forced to head home for the afternoon! We will definitely be making a trip back to Gonzales! Overall, we had a weekend full of fun: a day trip to Gonzales, dinner with the Harpoles (Ed's assistant project manager), and a Sunday at Bass Pro Shop for MV and Ed!

Lunch at Don's

Jambalaya Park

Next on the list is to explore the parks of Baton Rouge! The kids and I are heading out on Monday for a day at the park with the Skippers! We are also taking the Whatley's on the road...look out Pensacola, we're coming back! And best of all...less than one week and we are in Sweet Home Alabama!

Monday, June 6, 2011

here we geaux again...

The Whatleys are off on another adventure, this time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana! Watch out Lousiana.....the Whatleys are here! We decided to start a blog to keep track of our adventure and to let our friends and family know what we are up to! Enjoy!

Week 1: This was a slow week in the Whatley house. We are trying to unpack and to get adjusted to the new
house, a new neighborhood, a new city, and some crazy weather! I am thankful for the abundance of kids in our neighborhood! MV and JB have really been missing Birmingham and their friends, so when the girls from the down the street came over to play, the smiles on their faces were priceless! MV also has a new friend next door, Mason, and they have quickly become the best of friends (even if she calls him Hunter)! I am so happy that she has found a good friend! They spent all day Sunday playing in the sprinkler and pool in the hot Louisiana sun!

On Sunday, our neighbors invited us to visit their church, Walker Baptist Church. We were welcomed right away and they made us feel at home. MV and JB ran right into Children’s Church and joined in the fun! MV was invited to come to VBS this week and she is loving it! (Of course, it is not Vestavia Baptist, but what is?)

In talking with the kids this weekend, we decided that we were going to try to do something new each week/weekend that we might not have done if we were in Birmingham. This week we took the kids to Bass Pro Shop. Now, I know we could do that in Birmingham, but each store is a little different and has it's own experiences. This store is amazing, the theme is water fowl! The kids loved looking at the fish tanks and ponds most of all.

Now, for our new experience…we met a man in the store that had what we thought was his dog with him. As the kids were petting it and loving on it, we found out that it was a gray wolf pup (only 6 months old). He had rescued it from a shelter and was keeping it as a pet – right down to a pink collar and leash! Now, you know that is something you might not have seen before.

MV chose the next item on the list…she saw a sign for a “Bull Rodeo”. It looks like the Whatleys will be spending Saturday morning at the rodeo!

That's all for this week...tune in next week to find out about our latest adventure!