Monday, September 14, 2015

End of Summer... our last hoo-rahs

We tried to pack in A LOT this long Labor Day weekend. 

We started off by going to another of our pool's night-time band parties.  It is such a different experience when it's dark and the lights in the pool come on.  AND - it is, honestly, a lot livelier when the music is playing even if the singing is off-key.  :)  Too bad Isabella is not able to stay awake late at events like this as we were one of the first families to leave.  (but good that she's got somewhat of a regular clock ticking inside!)

Mercer is into his 2nd week of fall baseball.  Todd took the kids to lunch afterwards while I've been sneaking toys and baby gear OUT of the house!  No matter what it is -- even if it's something that is broken and the kids haven't played with for months -- they get so emotional / dramatic about getting rid of something.  It's nice to pass along some of Mercer's baby toys... 7 years old... to other families with babies.  It's official, though. We are leaving the baby stage in this house... never to turn back!  (I jokingly asked Todd... we are done, right?)  YES - we're getting too old and we're exhausted, honestly, to even think about another!  A decade ago, we USED to talk about having a big family, however..... :)

Mercer got to choose what fun we were to have after baseball.  He earned a "Mercer Fun Day" by having 4 good weeks at school (where he earns high marks for behavior).  

Mercer chose to go to Monkey Joes -- an indoor bounce house place.  Isabella was able to reap the reward as well on this one~    What a great place to burn off a ton of energy!  He asked to go to Sweet Tomatoes for salad (and soft serve ice cream) afterwards. 

His "fun day" actually fell on the anniversary of his adoption day!  His fun continued as Todd and I presented him with an adoption day gift.  There was a special note on the door and a cool big-wheel sort of toy on the front porch.  Isabella actually jumped on it first, but Mercer took it for a spin later that evening (and again the next evening and the next...)

The thing that's cool about this modern "big-wheel" is that it has a spark bar, so when you lay down the handle, it drags a spark bar across the ground & lighting up!  Pretty awesome.  There's another thing that's cool about this scooter big-wheel:  we were buying it from a woman off of Craig's List.  When thanking her for meeting us on Saturday / Mercer's adoption day... she was touched.  She GAVE it to us.  She said that she feels that "adoption is the closest thing that we have when the Lord adopts us into the body of Christ" and that she's always had a special place in her heart for adoption.  WOW.  how special is that? 

I told her that we would definitely pay it forward.  (Like the nice Schwinn toddler bicycle that a total stranger gave Mercer and me at the post office one day.... this I recently gave to a woman whose family was in need.)  And - when Mercer won the big bike at his church summer camp... we paid it forward by giving a gift card to the church so that they could buy a bike for a needy kid or give to a needy family they work with.)  We've been pretty fortunate with the GIFT OF WHEELS for Mercer!!! 

We went on a bike ride on the Beltine the Sunday of Labor Day weekend to check out a particular portion of the trail ...  this is something that I've been wanting to do for several months.  I've blogged about the Beltline before & included a map of the planned route along abandoned railways encircling the city.  (Eventually it will create an entire loop around Atlanta).

We started at a nice playground with splash park, enjoyed a picnic, and then went on a bike ride for some ice cream that was about a 1 1/2 mile away in this trendy building called Krog Street Market.  Mercer really liked the cool artwork that was along the way.  He wasn't, however, that into riding his bike, so we walked a lot of the trail.  (On a positive note, this gave he and I more of an opportunity to check out the artwork up close. wink~)


On Labor Day, we went to the festival on the square.  The lady that runs Keep Marietta Beautiful ran the image above (with Mercer as a toddler in the "city") on her advertisement for the event (representing Parks & Rec department for the city).  She wanted to recreate the same photo this year with Isabella, but Isabella wasn't as cooperative as Mercer was!

A week has passed... and I did not post the above.  So - I'll add LOTS of photos and a quick blurb about something we did this weekend:

We went BACK to the Beltline this weekend on the same part of the trail.  We went to check out their annual lantern parade -- a really unique art exhibit of sorts.  We recreated much of the previous week's events:  playground, picnic, but when it started to get dark... we walked up to the Beltline and staked out a spot along the edge of the trail.

There were so many cool things about this -- the marching bands that were in the parade all had lights on their instruments.  There were really beautiful pieces -- including some giant angelic (?or ghostly?) "lanterns" that were operated by people on the inside.  

And - in general - it was just a very cool vibe.  We had a great time being a part of it.  (Anyone with anything that glowed -- even on the side -- was a part of it.  We made some simple lantern clusters out of some paper lanterns that we had left over from a party).  IF we decide to go back... and... enter into the parade, we would totally have to step up our game!!  :)  

I actually really liked the glow hats that people made.  Maybe fashion one of those instead??

Overall, this was such a unique experience that the kids will (hopefully) remember the sounds and the lights fondly!!