Friday, October 29, 2010

A Great {grandparents} Playdate

Grandmama & Grandaddy Hunter and Aunt Shirley came to play with Benson for the for the afternoon and he just ate up all the attention! 

Thanks, for making the trip to see us, guys!  It was great spending time with you!!  


Peter Rabbit with Grandmama Hunner

reading with gmama

I love this sweet hug.

gdaddy hunter

Benson is so blessed to have the opportunity to know and love his great grandparents! 
And I'm so blessed to be able to witness the love they share. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Lake Hoorah

In early September, we took a spin on the ole pontoon for our last summer lake hoorah. 

benson and nana

We took the grand dogs. 

lash and pais

We also attempted to let Benson ride the tube for the first time...
but there were some issues that were quite deflating....
har de har har :)


Then, before they could even get going, the line broke.  
But Benson had quite the positive attitude. 

we got it

Back in the boat, B dazzled us with his back-flippin skillz. 


"I have the coolest daddy in the world."

smiley benson

Of course, Papa let Benson be captain for a while, which he, as always, thoroughly enjoyed.  

benson and papa

Paisley ruled the open sea.


And Benson enjoyed teasing Nana by ONLY giving sugar to Lash.  
Which Lash also loved. 
(note Benson cutting his eyes as he kisses her-- 
he was looking at Nana's reaction- what a little stinker!) 

lash sugar

Until warmer weather, Lake Murray!  :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


This post is from Benson's first trip to Clemson this season.

It also was the first Clemson game this season.

He hasn't missed a home game since.

Yes, my three old son has perfect attendance at Clemson this year.

Wonder if we'll be able to say that same thing about his class attendance in 15 years when he's a freshman???   

Gotta start 'em young! 

Here he is in front of Memorial Stadium saying "ThhhhEEEE"
as in:
"ThhEE- L-E-M-ETH-Ooooo-N!"

memorial stadium

The most exciting 25 seconds in all of college football:
(and the two cutest boys in all of college football stadiums!)

running down the hill

This is the girl who sat behind us.  Benson and her became good friends.  



loves clemson

Benson loves Clemson.  He really does.  
But during the first two quarters, he asks aBOUT 25 times, 
"Is it half time yet?!" 
He REALLY LOVES Halftime. 

loves daddy

And here's why:
He always gets a treat to eat during the third quarter.  And he isn't dumb.  He knows that the third quarter comes after half time and that means some sort of sugary confection.  And that's worth waiting for.  But also worth asking about.  Every two minutes. 

third quarter treat

We LOVE Clemson!!!  Betcha couldn't tell! :) 

fam pic

Much more orange to come...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


at the door
Ready for the first day of Co-Op!

One of the biggest blessings we've had in moving to Hartsville, is joining the HHE  Co-Op (hartsville home educators cooperative)  It meets every Monday from 8-12 at a local church facility.  Benson goes to a lttle pre-k class where the schedule is roughly:  playtime, Bible time, playtime, snack time, letter time, playtime, song time, playtime.  It could not be more suited for my little ants-in-his-pants three year old.

I had never heard of the idea of a Co-Op before, but it's pretty neat how they do it.  There's about 55 families who get together and there are four class periods.  There are classes from nursery, to pre-k, all the way up to the high school Latin and Chemistry.  Each mom volunteers to teach a class in which she may have special training or interest.  It's a great program!  Benson has loved it-- he absolutely adores his teacher, "Mrs. Shannon" and I've thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time getting to know the other moms.  It's been SUCH a blessing!! 

Here's a list of Co-Op's around SC- check to see if there's one in your area! 

the backpack

Ready to go!

ready to go

One foot out on the door. 

one foot on the door

Playground Playtime!!!


Snack time!!


He wakes up aBOUT five times each Sunday night asking if it's time for Co-Op yet?!
We love Co-Op!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh Snappy Day Fall Photo

fall pic

Kell's hosting a contest at where you enter your favorite fall picture.  
 I've got more from this photoshoot that I'll share at a later time, but for now, it's true... 
Fall is more FUN with FRIENDS!! 
(Figured I might could sway the contest judge with a pic of her own child :)  )

yay for Oh Snappy Day! 
Don't you LOVE the button ??? :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Kell and Lael in the Ville

Even though, in real time, Lael now looks like a teenager in comparison with these pics taken two months ago (imagine shameful head bow)  I just had to share the adorableness we experienced when Kell and Lael came to visit us in the ville.

It is seriously the sweetest thing ever to see the love these two cuties have for each other.   It's always so much fun when we can all get together.  :)

And  what did we do?
The normal.  The very wonderful normal. 

We ate at the shining star in Hartsville's crown: The Midnight Rooster.  I could live here.  

the rooster

We let the kids play in the tub.
Lael was as adorable as ever...

laely in the tubby

And Benson REALLY didn't want to get out. Ever. 

benson crying in the tub

Benson's papa came to visit, and I thought he looked cute with two :)

papa with two

And I love that Lael was signing "i love you" in this pic.  She's so beyond her years.
(Benson just figured out how to make that hand shape like, last week.  No joke.)  

i love you sign

Can you feel the love??

happy benson with lael

Looking forward to next time!!  :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I realize that, in these pictures, Benson is wearing summer clothes and he's got beads of sweat rolling down his face.  There's a good reason.  They were taken in August, and in case yall forgot, it's hot in August.  But so I WON'T forget this little moment,  I'm blogging about it in October.  It's my blog and I can blog when I want to.  :)  Yall don't mind, do ya?! 

Jiminy Cricket!  I found a Grasshopper.  I shall call him Jumpy. 
And he shall be mine.  And he shall be my Jumpy. 

peekaboo grasshopper

Come on, Jumpy come on, little Jumpy.
alright now

Jumpin' Jahoesaphat! My little Jumpy can move!

got him

I GOT him! 


I love my little jumpy. 

crawling around

And I love my little bug-lovin' boy! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Face Plant { Not for the squeemish }

tubing closeup

When we've gone to the mountains in the past, we've gone rafting.  But, since the kids came into the picture, that always means a couple of people have to stay back and babysit while the others go rafting.

SOooo... this year, we went tubing.
Now THERE's an activity all ages can enjoy.
Floating down the nice cool river, at a leisurely pace.... it's relaxing, non-anxiety inducing and SAFE... who wouldn't love it?!

So we went on Friday.  The first day everybody was there.

And it was a HIT!

We all had a blast.

And we had talked about going rafting on Tuesday (the last day) but I put together a campaign to do a repeat of the tubing adventure because it was ├╝ber fun, everybody could do it, and let's face it, tubing is a whole lot safer and less stressful than rafting.

I mean, people end up in the ER after rafting, but tubing is ssoooooo safe.  Let's do that.

So we did.

And we pull up to the tubing spot and get out of the car and Benson asks if he can go spit his gum in the river. 

Sounds good to me!

So what do I do?

I carry my 34 pound three year old, who is perfectly capable of walking on his own, on my hip, down to the river.

In my rainbow flip flops.

Stepping, on dry land, from large river rock to large river rock.

Why, you ask, was I stepping rock to rock on dry land?

That is the million dollar question to which I have absolutely no response except, I don't know.  It was dumb. Really dumb.

Because large river rocks are covered in fine river sand, which doesn't make for a very sturdy walking path.
And a 34 pound lump of three year old on the ole hip doesn't make for great balance.

So I stepped with my left foot onto a rock, it slipped off and I went immediately down, and since my arms were preoccupied with said 34 pound LUMP, I didn't brace myself at all from the other large river rock that was placed at just the right distance away from the slippery rock, in order for me to drill it, full force with my face.

So Benson and I took a spill of epic proportion.

I tried twisting to my right to somewhat soften the blow Benson took, but he still walloped his noggin on another large rock.

I've never really experienced anything like that.

Maybe that's what it's like to be in a wreck.

It all just happened so fast!

I face planted into the rock and immediately stood up, sure that i had left my entire face on the ground.

The first thing I said was "I broke my cheek."

Benjamin came running up to us and I told him to go check on Benson.  He was sitting there in Christa's lap crying, with a bumped head, but appeared to be fine.

But there was all this blood that was covering my face and it was hard to tell where it was coming from, so I was convinced that, along with my face, I had left my teeth on the ground.

So I went down in to the (sterile, I'm sure) river water and rinsed and rinsed until all three of my nurse sister in laws could see the wound.  It was above my lip, under my nose, but my teeth were still in the right place.

My whole face was numb.

Susie did a little proddin' and pokin' and said she thought it needed stitches because it looked deep.

We made the collective decision that it was probably not the best idea to go a podunk mountain ER to get my face stitched.  No offense to podunk mountain ER doctors, but it's my face we're talking about. So we hopped in the car and drove two and a half hours to Spartanburg Regional.

the injury

It wasn't until he put the needle with the numbing medicine into the wound and started pressing the syringe and the medicine started pouring out in my mouth, that we confirmed that my teeth had indeed gone all the way through my lip.  Nice.

They took good care of us and had me all stitched up, with my very first stitches, in no time.


For the next couple of days, I pretty much didn't leave my house, because I looked like a really messed up version of Angelina Jolie (well, the really big lips part, at least- not the tatoos or pretty much anything else.)

I'm all healed up now, but I can still really see it in pictures.  Oh well.  It could have been much worse!

Here's a pic of us before we left for Benjamin's ten year reunion, three weeks after the crash.
There's a little funky dip to my smile, not like it normally does, but that's gotten better with time too. 


And here's another, just cause I have it :)

jess and B

Praise the Lord, for his protection!  
It really could have been much worse!! (this is what I keep telling myself :)  )  

Have you thanked the Lord for your smile today?!

Here's a lovely little piece of trivia for ya...
How much does it cost to get four stitches in your lip from Spartanburg regional?

Take a guess in the comments section.  I'll reply with a comment in a couple of days. 
Winner gets a gold star. :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The REAL Thomas the Train

The first day we were in the mountains, we drove an hour north of Maggie Valley, to Bryson City, NC to go tubing.  I haven't blogged about that yet, because the only picture I have from tubing is going to be used in describing what happened to my face-  which I still fully intend on doing, but since it happened at the end of our trip, we haven't gotten to that yet.

I do realize it's October and I'm blogging events from August, but I don't want these pictures to disappear into hard drive oblivion, so I'm just going through them (even though I'm wearing white shorts in these pictures that I'm blogging today, but would never actually WEAR white shorts seeing how it's after labor day.  These things are important, you know. )

Back to Bryson City.

We went tubing.  But this post isn't about tubing.

On the way home, we had to stop because there was a train crossing the road.  We sat there, in total excitement, watching a TRAIN with all the kids, when, lo and behold, when it finished pulling into the station, it was THOMAS THE TRAIN!!!

We were flippin' out.

Thomas comes to the Bryson City Great Smoky Mountians Railroad   once a year and we just so happened to happen upon the weekend when he was there, and just so happened to be coming through town when he was crossing the street.

I love how the Lord orchestrates stuff like that, just "happening!" :)

We called and got details and decided to go back Sunday afternoon so the kids could ride on Thomas.

It was an experience.

He really is pretty cool looking...

thomas and conductor

I shall entitle this picture:


We drove up to the station in attempts of making the 10:45 train, but as we arrived, it was pulling away from the station, and Benson, not understanding that Thomas takes a new group of kids up the mountain every 45 minutes, thought he had missed his singular opportunity in life to have the chance to ride the real Thomas.  Hence: Devastation.


When Thomas did appear back at the station, there was exuberance, elation, excitement that we got actually board the REAL THOMAS THE TRAIN.

Yall, this is a big deal, in case you can't tell.

grandmama with the kids

And Benson had his own agenda and he was not interested in smiling for the camera....

all aboard

And when I say, "not interested"  I mean it in the most extreme sense of the word.

And I give you:


In which Benson is refusing to even look at the camera and I am threatening his life that if he doesn't "pull it together" I'm going to take him to the caboose and wear his little caboose out!

This is the fun part about having a three year old with a mind of his own...

devastation 2

Once we approached the end of our ride (it just goes up the mountains and then reverses to the station) we stopped on a tall bridge, and I let him spit look over the edge of the train and all was well with the world again...

spitting over the edge


(This moment also ended in reprimanding (and by reprimanding, I mean a trip to the caboose) due to the fact that he was running along the tracks (real tracks) laughing at me telling him to stop, with no regard to the fact these real tracks crossed over real streets with real cars.  It's a wonder I didn't have a heart attack.)

on the tracks

After our visit to the caboose, the other cousins joined us for a caboose pic.

cousins on the train

And then we went the length of the train, from caboose to engine in order to get a picture with Thomas.

And I give you:


I honestly don't know what the actual cause to this particular devastation was... we parents aren't always privy to this information.  But I will tell you that I thought it was pretty hilarious that, during this photo opt,  a random man from the crowd, whom we had never met, and was rather large and sweaty and um, unkempt, approaches grandmama and the grandkids and starts trying to talk them into smiling.
Strange people's assumption at being able to handle a situation better than the parents never ceases to amaze me.

devastation 3

We did end up getting this one with Benson and Thomas.

Maybe he just didn't want to share the stage.

Who knows.

benson and thomas

It really was, contrary to the varying times of devastation, fun to get to see the real Thomas the Train.

I will say, that we all went home and took a good long NAP!