The Thomas Family Blog

"And wherever we are, Home is there, too."
~ Jack Johnson

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gonna need to take out an insurance policy on these!

Ooooooohhhhhhh.... it's another sleeping Caroline shot! This time she has buried her head and body under the pillows and those sweet little leggies are just delectable. I know that the day is coming very soon when I will have to stop pinching, squeezing, and kissing all over her, but, for now, I will enjoy the fact that she still thinks it's fun and not creepy that Mommy likes to snuggle all the time with her. It won't be like this for long!

"So, fall asleep love, loved by me... For I know love, I am loved by thee."

~ Robert Browning

Saturday, October 22, 2011

She definitely won't drown, that's for sure...

Crazy, funny, silly Em... the girl has a will of solid IRON and when she gets something inside her head, you absolutely can't convince her of anything else (hmmmmm... I'm thinking I know someone else like this, but I just can't recall who it is...) She loves this ladybug swim vest and, lately, has enjoyed putting it on while she plays. I have no idea why, but she is just really into it right now. So one night recently, we were all outside playing, and she brought it to me to help her put it on (like she does quite frequently). She then proceeded to go get Caroline's scooter and attempt, repeatedly, to ride it down the steepest part of our driveway. My heart leaped up into my throat several times as I envisioned her careening straight into the concrete and down the hill dislodging the remaining teeth she still has in her mouth. The pictures you see here are of her dragging the scooter back up to the top of the hill before attempting her Evel-Kenievel-like maneuvers. Someone needs to teach her the proper safety equipment for this trick is a helmet and kneepads. Girl is crazy.

"Road sense is the offspring of courtesy and the parent of safety." 
~ Australian Traffic Rule

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

An Evening at East Lake

One of the true blessings we enjoy is being part of the East Lake "family" - I've worked at East Lake as the Media Specialist for going on four years and now Caroline is a student there, as well. It's the best school and we are so lucky to have such an excellent place to work and learn. We've made so many good friends and it's reassuring to know that your child is in a "good place." I have so many friends who struggle with their child's schools, or wonder if they should choose private school or even home school them. It's wonderful to have complete confidence in your child's school and teachers. And the kids... you will just never find a better group of children anywhere. They are so much fun to teach! Our PTO put on an "Evening at East Lake" event two weeks ago and we had a great time. Everyone brought a picnic dinner and we all ate and relaxed and enjoyed each other's company without the stress of "work." There was a DJ there for those who wanted to dance (um, that did not include me), our Book Fair was open for business, and there was free ice cream for all. As Caroline's co-Room Mom, Trav and I set up a tent and decorated it for all of the families in her class. We had a great turnout and it was so nice to see everyone. The kids, of course, had a fabulous time, too!
"It is a happy talent to know how to play." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is the last one, I promise!!

I can't help it - these shots of Caroline and Madison are just too cute not to be included here. Every time I look at them, I can't help but smile at how beautiful they are! These were taken on a morning when we all drove down to the southernmost point on Jekyll Island to watch the fishermen and see if we could spot some dolphins. It was really kind of chilly, so we didn't stay for a long time, but we did get to explore and see a part of Jekyll that we'd never seen. Emily stepped on a washed up pufferfish and it hurt - she still points to her foot and tries to say "fish bite." And Trav stepped on some sandspurs as he chased Caroline, Madison, and I into the woods beyond the beach. We just couldn't resist some gratuitous snooping. Caroline and Madison found this poor, deceased crab and just had to take advantage of the photo op.

"One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding; 
how little one can get along with, not how much."
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Georgia Wild Shrimp Festival

I'm still trying to get to the rest of our fall trip to Jekyll. We made so many fun memories and I want to remember everything. We were lucky to have the Georgia Wild Shrimp Festival coincide with our trip for the second year in a row. There was tons of vendors - folk art, jewelry, this and that - and, of course, lots of good shrimp and grits. We all went Friday night to check out the music, food, and booths and Grandmama, Caroline, Madison, and I went back Saturday morning to re-visit some vendors that we didn't have enough daylight to really enjoy. I bought a beautiful original necklace out of some hand-hammered charms and an antique skeleton key and Caroline and Madison had some very artistic face (well, Caroline had to have her arm done and in a sea turtle of course) painting done. Add to all of this the idyllic setting that surrounded us and we were pretty happy girls!
My foray into jewelry making

UGA Archaeo-Bus

Getting ready for her close-up

Baby Sea Turtle Body Art

Crazy little ones

"Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it." 
~ Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue in the film Forrest Gump

Monday, October 10, 2011

Caroline's first long bike ride!

I've waited for a while for the day when we load up our car for the long trek down to Jekyll and we actually pack a third bike and not just two bikes and the bike trailer! We decided that this trip would be a good time to try out Caroline's independent riding skills (with training wheels and a helmet, of course!) and just see how things go. So... Madison, Caroline, and I set off for a nice, leisurely bike ride around the beautiful island and TWO AND A HALF HOURS later we were still going strong! It was soooooooo much fun! She was such a little trooper. I am sure that having cousin Madison along was good motivation - Madison is a champ bike rider. We went everywhere! Along the marsh and river side, through the Historic District, along the paths that cut through the middle of the island... everywhere. We had so much fun. The girls were so cute in their helmets and with their little legs pumping along. We stopped to take some pictures with the "oldest tree on Jekyll Island." Here are some of the goofy, silly shots we got.

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride." ~ John F. Kennedy

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jekyll in the Fall :)

Aaaahhhhh... just remembering it as I type makes me feel relaxed. We got back from our fall trip to Jekyll recently and had another wonderful time. I never, ever tire of being there and letting the entire place just wash over me. It was fantastic and beautiful and I wish we were still there! We had beautiful weather the entire trip (except for Sunday morning when Trav and I ran a cross country 5k in some very chilly and drizzly weather!) and took every advantage of being outside doing the things we love to do while we are there. We spent a lot of time on the beach, riding our bikes, visiting the JI Club for snacks, sunsets, sightseeing, and shopping, and just plain old relaxing. We had great, home cooked meals every night and saw plenty of our little buddies - the deer, raccoon, and seagull! We went to the Sea Turtle Center and Caroline had the opportunity to watch the vets work on a huge 185 pound female Loggerhead named Squall. It was really neat! We've seen them working on turtles before, but never one this big. The GSTC is such a great place and they do amazing work there. Caroline and I went on a horse drawn carriage tour of the Historic District - this was a first for us - we usually just walk and do our own thing, but she really wanted to ride in the carriage and so I thought it would be a good experience for just the two of us. We had a great time and Caroline took some pictures - several of which turned out very well! She's such a sport. One of the highlights of my week was during one of my morning jogs. I ran down Old Plantation Rd to the Historic District and ran along the river. I had to stop and take a few (okay, a lot of) moments to enjoy the most amazing view... the weather was beautiful, sun dappling through the trees, sparkling on the water, breeze ruffling through the moss... it was absolutely beautiful. I don't know how long I sat on that bench and watched the world, but it was just gorgeous. One of those moments when you really feel like you understand what God intended when he created the world... Here are some pictures of our week.
The view from our carriage :)

Very artistic, don't you think? She has an eye.

Caroline loves palms.

More palms.

Rockefeller's Indian Mound Cottage - this is Caroline's favorite in the Millionaire's Village.

Sunlight through the moss...

Where's the Red Bug?

Sweet Em


Caroline gazing into her future.

She is so just like her mama.

"A vacation spot out of season always has a very special magic."  ~ Max Von Sydow

Sugar for my sugar...

Emily loves to eat. All types of foods. She would eat constantly - and I mean literally around the clock with a few sleep breaks here and there - if we would allow her to. While she does not really discriminate, she does seem to lean toward the sweet... and the girl can take down a cupcake. She can polish off the big, bakery type in mere minutes. Here's an adorable picture of her with a Strawberry cupcake from Bliss, a local bakery here in McDonough. Just love watching her enjoy herself!!!

"When you look at a cupcake, you've got to smile." ~ Ann Byrn

Grandma visits East Lake...

One of Caroline's absolute favorite people in the world is my Mom, or Grandma, as she is otherwise known. My Mom taught elementary school for many years before taking an early retirement - teaching is just not what it used to be and she decided that the exhaustion, frustration, and toll on her health were no longer worth the long hours and low pay. I can't say that I blame her - she was an excellent teacher and it's very sad to think of the many children who have and will miss out on the benefits of being under her tutelage because of a broken and completely misguided system... there I go again - digression. Back to the main idea, here. Anyway, Mom now works at the University of Georgia. She supervises educators who evaluate and score the writing assessments of students from all over the state. So, she is still applying her knowledge of teaching and learning, but she is no longer working in the classroom. Her schedule is pretty tight, but every now and then she will have a day off. One of those days came around a few weeks ago and she decided to come to East Lake to surprise Caroline with a visit to her classroom and lunch. It was adorable to see Caroline's face light up when she realized her Grandma was really there! Mom slipped right back into that teacher role and was completely comfortable with the kiddos. They were rapt and listened while she read them a story. They had great fun! Such a good memory for everyone.

"Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting 
to see just you all day and now the day was complete."  
~Marcy DeMaree