Monday, August 13, 2012

Is it over?

Can it be? We can hardly believe it to be true. Really, we are in a state of disbelief. Austin Kieff surely is. We haven’t even finished posting about our vacation. This period of time we could hardly fathom a few short months ago has flown by. With only one week left, we are in bit of a quandary. What do we do? How do we end Austin Kieff's first summer vacation? Well, we are still working on that one. But, this past week was definitely a good start!

On Wednesday we left for Tuscaloosa, but more on this trip later. Thursday afternoon we left Tuscaloosa for Cullman. Specifically, we were on our way to Grandmother and Granddaddy's house where we would of course make a trip (or several trips) to the Lake. Not to be confused with just any ole' lake...the Lake is Granddaddy's Lake. He shares it with lots of other people, but it is his. At least that is what Caroline thinks. She asked several times, "what are these people doing on Granddaddy's Lake." I guess we go to Papa's it must be Granddaddy's Lake...

The kids were super excited for several reasons. First, we were arriving in the daytime! While this may not seem like much to our friends and family, arriving in the daytime is a really big deal for our kids. We usually leave Jack, Alabama after work on a Friday evening somewhere around 6:30 or 7:00. We stop for supper (by stop I mean, order to go and let the kids go to the restroom). Sometimes we stop in Alabaster to pick up a few things we need from Wal-Mart because I forgot them. This turns into our arriving somewhere around 11:00…sometimes later depending on traffic.

How exciting it was to arrive at Grandmother and Granddaddy’s and not have to go straight to bed!! Second, not only were Grandmother and Granddaddy awake and not ready for bed when we arrived, but Uncle Tickle Monster was there, too!! And, to top it all off, Hunter was there! My kiddos were in a state of pure bliss. Neither was too keen on going to dinner (or eating dinner for that matter), they were ready to play! Austin Kieff was also ready to fish. And of course, fish he did…Thursday night, Friday night and Saturday evening!! There were even several fishing attempts during the day!

While the boys went fishing Thursday night, Caroline, the proud new owner of a wardrobe fit for a princess, was only too happy to model for the camera (see previous post here). Grandmother, an excellent seamstress, has made Caroline some of the most beautiful clothes since she was born. Most recently, Grandmother made a dress with matching slip that can be worn as a sundress in yellow and blue, an adorable black/red/white sundress that Caroline LOVES, and a short set from one of my favorite patterns. I know I am biased, but Caroline is beautiful in all of them!!

The best part of waking up…is Folgers in your cup…NOT…it’s breakfast and Grandmother’s biscuits! Every morning, (did I type every morning? Yes, EVERY morning) Grandmother bakes fresh homemade buttermilk biscuits. She could stop there…my crew would be happy (well all of us but David!). But, does she just stop there? NO. SHE. DOES. NOT. Grandmother, sometimes with Granddaddy’s help (not mine again because I let the sausage burn…hey, David’s our meat cooker, ha!), scrambles eggs, fries bacon and sausage. She slices fresh fruit (peaches, cantaloupe, canary melon [more on this discovery later]) and cooks grits for Caroline…sometimes gravy. And everyone sits around the dining room table to eat. The kids take turn saying grace. Austin Kieff, a little nervous about praying out loud generally sticks to his tried and true “God is Great…” when we are there. Caroline sings her sweet blessing from school.

After breakfast on Friday, we began packing our necessities for a trip to the Lake. I am not sure who was more excited Austin Kieff, Caroline, or…David! We were barely unloaded when the question of swim or ride the “tube” was posed. Oh, the life…for the toughest question of the day to be, “do I swim or do I ride the tube”…I almost forgot for the boys, fishing was a third option! I love summer time!

Caroline elected to swim while the guys changed into swimsuits and did a few other things.  This momma, after almost eleven years is still a little leery of the lake water and was all to happy to sit on the steps and watch.  I will, on rare occasion as I believe my sweet husband captured this past weekend, join in the water fun...for a quick swim or ride, but prefer to be on dry land, the dock or in the boat!

I can only describe the expressions on the kids and adults faces as sheer joy when the boat first gets going. Of course there are always the impatient, “is it my turn yet” from Austin Kieff and Caroline’s “it’s my turn now. Isn’t it my turn now?” (only to determine 5 seconds after takeoff that it is decidedly not her turn). Austin Kieff, still rather timid in his Dad’s and Uncle’s opinion, smart and cautious in my opinion, likes to go fast on smooth water and slow it down and wait for the water to calm a bit once things get a little rough. This weekend he did hang on through some areas I wish he had just let go. I was so worried he was going to jerk his shoulders out of socket from hanging on for dear life! There was no way he was letting go, no matter how high he bounced. Towards the end of the weekend, he did let go a few times…finally gaining some approval from his Dad and Uncle Chris. Let me reiterate, I am perfectly okay with him NEVER riding the way his cousin, Dad or Uncle like to ride. Did I mention that he did not get hurt, and was not the least bit sore the mornings after? This cannot be said for any of the other three!

Dinner at the Lake is always a feast. Mr. Charles and Granddaddy usually grill. This trip it was chicken on Friday and ham steak on Saturday. Grandmother, Mrs. Brenda and Great Grandmother always make sure there are plenty of yummy accompaniments to the main course. This trip there were fresh green beans, grilled potatoes with peppers and onions, salad, Mississippi Mud, Corner-less Chocolate Fudge Cake, chocolate éclair, baked beans, potato salad, cantaloupe and I am sure something else I have forgotten! Needless to say I was very thankful to get in a couple of good run/walks in over the weekend. I am afraid they were more of a necessity than anything!

The return home from the Lake on Friday and Saturday night (despite the delicious food we enjoyed) was followed by ice cream. David and Austin Kieff enjoyed chocolate shakes from Whitlock’s General Store while Caroline requested a strawberry shake. I had a cup of soft serve vanilla that was delicious!!

Did I mention, every morning begins with Grandmother’s breakfast? Saturday morning, after breakfast (and by breakfast I mean: homemade biscuits, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, grits…just want to make sure we emphasize how much our family loves Grandmother’s breakfast) we took Austin Kieff to get a haircut. My schedule has not permitted me to take him for several months. We had planned to take care of it while on vacation, but the place we had used in Pensacola twice before did not have any availability when we wanted to go. So, needless to say he was a little overdue on Saturday morning. The wife of one of David’s friends has a hair salon next to her house. As Caroline says, “the beauty shop girl” cut Austin Kieff’s hair, one of the best cuts he has had, and let her pet the kitty cat. The “kitty cat” was a mounted bobcat the “beauty shop girl” killed last year. David enjoyed catching up with his friend Jon afterwards and Austin Kieff drooled over an outside toy watched their son ride his motorbike.

After the haircut and a trip to the farmer’s market for a couple of canary melons, blueberries for Caroline and a jar of honey for me, it was time to head to the Lake. David was itching to ski a little and boy did he! Austin Kieff and Caroline had so much fun watching their Daddy ski. Austin Kieff begs David to ski almost every time we go, so the little guy was super excited to watch his Dad. David even showed off a little on the slalom course and received some applause and thumbs up from several onlookers. I am fairly certain his arms and legs felt the course much more than he admits!!

All in all I think everyone had a fun time catching up and just spending a little time together. Sunday morning, after breakfast, of course, we endured the long (thankfully only a little over 3 ½ hours) drive home so that I could get to a meeting and Monday came way too early! With both of us back to work and the kids back to their routines after several days off, we were not the happiest of campers this morning! I think we are all looking forward to our last weekend of summer!

Here are a few pictures from our stay:    

No comments: