Todd's birthday was a couple of Sundays ago... then, father's day was a week ago. We got to celebrate him twice this month. Back-to-back weekends.
For his birthday, we made a hearty breakfast and opened some presents. And - although it was HIS day, he chose to do kid-stuff!! He said he wanted to go to White Water park... for real?!? The kids, of course, were happy!
Mercer has been wanting to check out this place for about a year now. He liked it and definitely wanted to do the big rides. Isabella was perfectly content in the kid area and was so excited at times that it was hard to tell if she was laughing or crying while jumping up and down. (she was laughing, thankfully)
It was hard to take pictures because there is a lot of water around, however, in one area that Isabella went (over and over again), there was an opportunity to snap some as she became more independent on the slide.
it was so gracious for him to share his day like this with the kiddos!!
We snuck in a quick trip to the lake with "Uncle Orie" last week to celebrate the summer solstice.
After grilling out, Mercer kayaked for the first time....and he went in a single person kayak to boot! Orie just thew him into it and he did it!
Isabella got to go in a canoe for the first time. It was a little unnerving to have a 3 year old in the vessel with us - especially when she would lean over the edge to look at the water! Happily, none of us ended up in the water.
Later, we went out on the pontoon boat.
BTW - what is up with all of the crazy-face photos?
Isabella got to drive the boat with Mrs. Jeannie.
Todd and I took in the sunset & relaxed a little while the kids were (sort of) contained!
It was a nice end to the week and a great way to start a weekend!!!
That Sunday, we went on a family hike to a state park we had never been to: Fort Mountain. It's in north Georgia and - since the temps were about 10 degrees cooler than the previous Sunday, Todd agreed that this would be a good place to spend father's day. We went on a hike to the top of the mountain to go see a restored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) fire tower.
After our hike up, we were treated to an explanation of a few things from the ranger on duty (including a heliograph and how triangulation of the fire map worked) then we climbed higher up the stairs to take in the vistas from the top of the tower. (Mercer wanted a picture of him dancing on the stairs on the way back down. Here it is~)
There is a cool article on the renovation of the tower at this link:
Here's also a picture of the heart-shaped stone written about in the above article. (sweet story!)
Mercer did something really nice the night before we went on our family hike... HE packed the bag -- getting the snacks, a first aid kit, hats, compass and water ready. It was in his cub-scout book how to prepare for a hike and he took it so seriously! He put everything in an individual zippie bag + tore the labels off the water bottles / wrote everyone's name on them. It was sort of cute. (and - why he loves this hat??!! it IS hike-worthy~)
Fort Mountain is mainly known for its mysterious stone wall, so we hiked back down the mountain following it. We picnicked, went fishing, went to the beach on the lake then ended our day with a paddleboat ride.
Isabella fished a little, but mostly played with worms (and was sad when we put them onto the hook). Promise, this is a pile of worms in her hand!!
Mercer also picked up his 2nd Junior Ranger badge (the 1st is shown in his crazy hat photo above)... we'll have to sew on the 2nd to this backpack). It took him a bit longer to earn the 2nd one as the activities are a little more in-depth and there are more things for him to do. But - things like Junior Rangers + Cub Scouts seem to motivate him and are a great excuse for us to get outdoors and try new things!
We packed in as much as we could during that exhausting, but fun and memorable day trip to the mountains! We are lucky to have such a good dad in our little family unit to celebrate.
Isabella asked a day or two ago if it was still daddy's birthday and if we were still supposed to be nice to him? Well.... there's no birthday (or father's day) but we should still be nice! wink~