The Thomas Family Blog

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

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Boys in the Band Ordered Boat Drinks

So Granddaddy finally did it. We never thought it would actually happen! Not that I blame him. A boat is a huge purchase and it's not something you get to use every day... unless you're a professional angler... or a tour guide... or live at the beach... we are working on those. Anyway, after years of searching (on boat lots and in his own soul), he decided to take the plunge and go all out. He ended up with a SeaFox saltwater fishing boat. It came home on the anniversary of the Titanic sinking (bad omen?), but in the months since it's been in the family, it has been a lot of fun and seen a lot of salt. Of course, we don't get to go out as often as we would like, but when we have it's been like a dream come true. There's just nothing like a sunset cruise around the marshes. Travis and Granddaddy prefer the fishing aspect, and I understand, but I'm more of a dolphin spotting, drink-in-hand, taking-in-the-scenery girl myself. It's been awesome. Seeing the world from the perspective of the ocean is a magical thing! We christened the boat the Miss EmiLee Grace for all three girl grandchildren (don't worry - Chandler was made Captain with a very special hat). Can't wait for many years of memories and watching the kids grow up around the water.
Maiden voyage - Jackson Lake

Breakin' her in

Grandmama and Granddaddy

Just pulled up for the first time
"Boats/Vessels of freedom/Harbors of healing/Boats." ~ Kenny Chesney

We're on Tybee Time

We love to spend Spring Break on Tybee Island - it's close, we stay for free courtesy of the lovely Stanford/Richardson family and, after all, Savannah and Tybee are two of our most favorite places in the world! It's the perfect time to go to the beach because the weather is warm, but not searing, the water is chilly (but not frosty or steamy), the skies are blue and clear, the beaches aren't crowded, and everything is in it's newly bloomed springtime finery. We spent our days hanging out at the beach watching the girls play and went into Savannah to explore in the evenings. We ate gelato, played in the fountains in Ellis Square, took long walks around old familiar streets, and had a good time. We left over six years ago, but it still feels like home.

Spotting dolphins

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  
And when you've got it, you want - 
oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, 
but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" 
~ Mark Twain

Here Comes the Bride...

On our way to Disney World, we had to take a little detour to Statesboro to attend a very special event - our cousin Susan's wedding! Caroline was especially excited because she had been asked to serve as an attendant. Her job was to hand out programs before the ceremony - that's pretty heady stuff for a five-year-old! We had to find the "perfect" dress for the occasion and, thanks to Grandmama, we found it. Caroline may have been more excited about being a member of the wedding party than she was about the fact that we were leaving directly from the church to go to Disney World. It was good to see family members we don't see often and the bride was beautiful. Caroline did a fabulous job! Best wishes to the newlyweds!
Caroline and the beautiful bride, our cousin Susan

Doing her wedding duty

"Who, being loved, is poor?" ~ Oscar Wilde

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

Easter 2012 was a candy-filled, sugar-laden, egg-hunting free-for-all as it usually is. We began the day waking up to see what the Easter Bunny had delivered that morning. The girls were excited to see their baskets overflowing with treats of all kinds. In the afternoon, we went to Grandmama and Granddaddy's for an egg hunt and dinner. It was a good time! Of course, the most important thing to remember on this day is the gift of love and salvation we received from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on this day thousands of years ago. I know that for me, sometimes my logical side gets the better of me and I start to doubt the events surrounding Christmas and Easter. It confuses me when my brain tries to work out the complexities of something I am not really supposed to understand, but humbly accept and enjoy without reservation. I guess my own human-ness prevents me from understanding the sacrifices made by the Son of God in human form. Jesus was, after all, a human being - walking among us, living with us, working alongside us... yet different and with a purpose greater than any of us could have fathomed - even now. It's wonderfully comforting to know that my earthly life is not all there is and that my Heavenly Father has provided me with love and family and hope that I have everything I will ever need buried deep inside of me. As for me, I will praise Him for the brain he put inside my head and for the fact that it works hard to sort out His great mysteries. But I will praise and thank Him with my heart.

Checking out the loot

A bunny chick


Open dis fo me???

Cute Easter bunnies

And she's off!

Egg bandit

Caroline and Madison

 "Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
 Who taught the ocean you can only come this far? 
And who showed the moon where to hide til evening? 
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?"
~ My Redeemer, Nicole C. Mullen

The Most Magical Place on Earth

I have never thought of myself as one of those "Disney Fanatics." Actually, I always kind of sniffed haughtily at their exuberance over something as false and trivial as a ridiculously overblown theme park. Yes, I was more evolved than they... possessing the innate capability to appreciate such obscure earthly pleasures as my dear old windswept, unpeopled beaches draped with Spanish Moss, laden with driftwood, and lacking in anything material or unnatural. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I do love Jekyll Island and the even more deserted Cumberland, Sapelo, and Ossabaw, but I have finally contracted the Disney bug and I shamelessly daydream about the next time that we will be able to go. I never thought I would say (type?) those words, but they are true and I am a self-professed Disney convert. Would I trade my Jekyll trips for Disney trips? No way. Jekyll is still my destination of choice year-in, year-out, season-in, season-out, but every several years or so, we are going to have to take a trip to Mickey's. Our trip this past February was one of the most fun, fancy-free, and, yes, magical, times we have ever spent as a family. The trip was a gift from Grandmama and Granddaddy. Grandmama has wanted to take the grandchildren to Disney World for some time. She wanted to make sure that Madison got to go before she was too old to enjoy the magic of the first trip and that Emily would be old enough to really understand all that was going on. Bingo! It was the perfect time.
We stayed at the Port Orleans French Quarter inside the Disney resort, so we had great access to transportation and all of the parks. Our stay was for three full days and so we decided to do two whirlwind days at Magic Kingdom and then take a full day to enjoy Animal Kingdom. We had dinner reservations each night at some really cute places. Travis and I had taken Caroline to Disney World when she was two, but we had  been on the serious shoestring budget and didn't do dinners out, so that was a treat. It was a good way to see parts of the entire resort that you might not get to see otherwise. My favorite restaurant was the Rain Forest Cafe inside Animal Kingdom - which is actually a chain and not owned or operated by the Walt Disney Company - but it was really unique and interesting.
Our days inside the parks were absolutely jampacked with activities! I was the designated tour builder and itinerary warden. I spent several days creating schedules for us so that we would get to see and do everything we possibly could. I will tell you that going into any Disney Park without an agenda is not smart! There are so many things to do and it can be overwhelming. One must do her homework! Our schedules were very helpful and, yes, they do tend to squelch spontaneity, but when you have spent the insane amounts of money you have, spontaneity can take a backseat to making sure you get the most bang for your buck. AND WE DID! WOOHOO! It was so much fun!!!!! We conquered it all, baby!
I have a ton more pictures, but I will share these. So many memories! So much fun! Can't wait to go back in 29 more months. Yes, I am already counting down!
Meeting Mickey and Minnie

Daisy and the girls on Main Street, USA

Goofy and the Gang at Camp Minnie-Mickey

Come along with me on a Magic Carpet Ride! Watch out for the spitting camel!

She finally got her Minnie!

We had to search high and low for a "Lady," but we found her!

"When you wish upon a star/Makes no difference who you are/
Anything your heart desires will come to you/
If your heart is in your dream/No request is too extreme/
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do/
Fate is kind/She brings to those who love/
The sweet fulfillment of their secret longing/
Like a bolt out of the blue/Fate steps in and sees you through/
When you wish upon a star/Your dreams come true."
 ~Ned Washington, When You Wish Upon a Star, Pinocchio, 1940

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Will You Be My Valentine?

Caroline and Coan have been friends ever since they were nine months and twelve months old, respectively. That's when Caroline began going to Mrs. Kayce's every day while Trav and I worked. We didn't know it at the time, but finding Mrs. Kayce would end up being one of the greatest blessings our family would ever receive. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for her love and care! Most people have to compromise their children's happiness or welfare for the sake of their jobs (I mean, you can't work without some kind of childcare) and options are limited. We were just lucky to have found her and been able to hang on to her as long as we have. I digress. Caroline and Coan's friendship has always been strangely odd and uniquely close. Almost from the very beginning, they have been magnetically attracted to each other. They couldn't be any more different, but they have so much fun together and they seem to understand and APPRECIATE each other more than any two children I have ever seen. Now that they are almost seven and don't get to see each other on a daily basis for going on two years, their affection for each other have not seemed to dim at all. They began calling each other "boyfriend" and girlfriend" years ago and they still do. Caroline may have a crush on a little boy in her class from time to time and when she tells me about it, I have to ask her each time, "What about Coan?," to which she always swiftly replies, "No, mom, I only LIKE _________ (insert random boy from class's name), Coan is my BOYFRIEND." And she says it with conviction. Like I should just know that. They are adorable. I wonder when this will wear off. Who knows? He may be the great love of her life :) For Valentine's Day this year, Coan presented Caroline with roses. She was so proud of them (and he was proud to present them!).

Young Love

"Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, 
thou art every day my Valentine!"
  ~Thomas Hood

Emmy Kate is TWO!

Still getting used to this whole "catch up with the entries" mode I am in. Some would say just skip all that and start with the present moment... but there are just so many sweet memories in there that I can't just ignore them for the sake of keeping up! So, here we are, almost October, and I am just now getting to posting a recap of Emily's second birthday party which took place, shamefully, last January. Hmmm... so really, here in a month or two, I will be planning her third. Oh well, what counts is that it is getting done now - even if I'm running near on a year late. Story of our lives right now, it seems!
We held her little party here at home and planned a lot of her favorite activities with her favorite people. She had a blast. We painted with our feet, decorated cupcakes, and ate cake. So, yeah, Emily was pretty much happy and content! Near the end of her party, she got a knock on the door and it was a gift all the way from California. That might have been her favorite part of the entire day! Bean Bean likes to send us Edible Arrangements (and we like receiving them, too) and Emily got right down to business. It was a good day for everyone!
Checking out the booty

Singing Happy Birthday

Grandmama helping Em ice cupcakes

Hanging out with Grandma

Ticklish piggies

Mit Bet-thee and Mit Taythee

All the way from California!

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
~George Gordon Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage

Saturday, September 1, 2012


It's weird to write this post now because it is based on Emmy's favorite words from eight months ago and her vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds since then, but, dang, it sure is cute to go back and read what I had jotted down then! She's such a little stinker! Here are some of her favorite things to say (back when she was just turning two!)

mah-dom = more gummies... Emily's favorite snack at the time was those nasty little packets of fruit gummies. She could eat several bags at once and we had to ration her. I always tried to buy the all-natural, vitamin-enriched, real fruit juice ones, but, come on - something that comes out with the texture and shape of a fruit gummy makes me think it could survive in a landfill for hundreds of years.

banny = bananas... On a much healthier note, she also loved (and still loves) bananas. That particular word just has too many repetitive syllables and so our resourceful and uber-efficient daughter just shortened it to banny. We still call them bannies even though Em now prefers the elongated banana.

nasee = nasty... As in, "dat nasee." Oh, the long list of things that were "nasee" to Em. Everything from her loud and raunchy poots to certain foods to Cody's breath. She was never at a loss for "nasee" things.

mah-tees = more cheese... Another of Em's favorite snacks is string cheese. I don't mind this one at all because she eats the skim milk version and they are packed with good protein and calcium. Of course, after the first three or so I try to slow her down. Then she just gets mad and says, yep, you guessed it, "mah-tees."

ideahm = i want to come... This one is usually souped up with a serious feel-sorry-for-me whiny lilt. It kind of goes up in tone and then comes back down all in one phrase. There's a kind of expectant note to it that makes you feel like if you say no, you can't come this time, you will be inflicting one of life's more cruel disappointments.

da-down = get down... Em has never been one to sit back and watch life unfold. She does not like to be constrained and she stays busy all the time. When she is done with her highchair (or you, for that matter) she lets you know with a resounding and very demanding da-down. It usually only takes one or two repetitions.

baby its cold outside... This was Em's favorite Christmas tune. She LOVED it and continued to sing it for quite some time after the season ended. Of course, the only line she knew was that one and she would just sing it over and over and over and over and over... cute, but after the first hundred or so times, you would pay her to sing pretty much anything else.

sissy hit memmy = Caroline just hit me, please punish her now... Emily learned quickly that this one would get at least a little attention (I mean, hey, you do kind of have to find out the details before brushing it off). What we soon learned was that if anyone was hitting, it was Emily. Caroline has never been a fighter. She's verbal (hello, Mommy) and will try to talk her way out of anything before it comes to blows.

toady = Cody... Simple enough. Poor Cody. It's usually accompanied by a "bad boy" or "no no" or other scolding.

betsthee = Becky... Miss Becky will forever be known as Mit Betsthee. Darn missing bottom teeth.

2012 - Let's Do This

I started this post way back in December of last year. So, yeah, I have gotten more than a little behind in my posting. To say that a lot has happened between then and now would be quite an understatement, so I am going to pace myself with the end goal being to get completely caught up with 2012 before 2013 starts! How indicative of my life in general! I wrote way back in 2010 when I began blogging that I was going to approach it with patience and no expectations and it has been a very organic operation with a life of its own since then. I am going to have to rely on my spotty memory for a lot of this, but than goodness for pictures because they really help me fill in the gaps!

Don't hold me to it, but there is more to come!