Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A couple of days in Talladega

Since Mark has the time to travel, we decided to spontaneously go to Alabama for Spring Break. We waited until after the Open House the elementary school was hosting, in which hundreds (thousands?) of students and parents and siblings mill around a space intended for much fewer numbers, to ooh and ahh over the work done up to that point in the academic school year.

But it's good to be invited into the school at all, and to see my children proud of what they have accomplished. Besides, it was raining and there was a cool rainbow we went out to see from the schoolyard. Max has been talking about it ever since.

But then we set off on our trip, which is about a 700 mile journey, so leaving at 7 pm put us crossing the Mississippi close to 1 am, which is when we decided to cash in on some Marriott points and crash in a motel. We made it to our destination the next day, which was a condo out in the sticks, the closest town being Talladega, where famous race cars speed around a track that we didn't see. We were too busy chilling at the condo, where Mark's mother and sister's family joined us too. It was fun to go somewhere else besides the family house and the weather was cooperative enough that the kids went out and dug in the sand or threw rocks in the lake, with Mark or Kelley supervising.

We took turns cooking, and the condo was a great deal. Although I was rather exhausted from all the travel and moving stuff in and out... plus being in a growth stage of pregnancy, it was good to get together with the other part of the Morris family,. Mark did a great job of entertaining kids, and Nana got a little break from the crazy teaching schedule she does week in and week out. And Kelley and Rewa from their usual busy lives enforcing and defending the law in Atlanta.

We found a church to go to on Sunday, which ward was extremely excited about our attending... they were very small, and we looked to be a bigger family, since we had our 4 kids plus nephew. Hey, that's big for 'Bama. That afteroon, after Rewa finished making dinner, we ran outside to get some pictures together.

Matthew was trying really hard to fall in. The water was disgusting enough under the docks that I told him I would not go in after him.
View from the balcony it was too chilly to use.
We stayed the last night with Aunt Rita, who recently turned 50, so we celebrated by having a late-night fried chicken meal and banana pudding. Actually, Felicity requested Nana's specialty meal, but it counts, right?
Mark and Nana went to do some legal stuff and we went to the park in Hueytown for the kids to get out some wiggles before resuming the trek home.

It was a long drive home, but thanks to books on CD from the library, we made it in one piece! (A little forlorn at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows though- Felicity asked, "Why do you have to get such sad books???") We love books on CD. The only unappreciative one is Max, who gets sick of his carseat regardless of entertainment.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Feed the Quack Quacks, tuppence a bag

The weather was warmer today, so we headed out to feed some ducks at a nearby pond. Every time we drive past, Max points out the water and quacks at the ducks. He really loves ducks, but refuses to call them by their proper name. (This boy could fill a book on language development.) Maxwell loves animals like many other toddlers, but has a soft spot for the ducks. It seems strange to me, too.

The delight on Max's face is apparent. He tried to put his hand in the birds' mouths. Matthew enjoyed controlling the food source.

We suddenly became very popular as they clued into our treasure (stale rolls)....

Matthew told me later that he fed the Mama Duck most of the food. I asked how he knew which was the mother and he explained that because there was a giant curl on the top of her head. Of course. Just like how you spot any mom! (Obviously it's a bad hair time for me.)