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Parker turns 9!

We just pulled off the easiest birthday party ever.  It involved Parker’s latest obsession…

First, we invited two good buddies from school.

Then we went to the store and bought cupcakes (take that, Pinterest).

And then we set up our computers for the boys to do a multi-player game.  They LOVED it.

MacGyver really, really wanted to participate.

“Hey, if you scoot over a little, I can move the mouse with my wet nose.”

“They wouldn’t let me in the game.”

“This party is so lame.”

our summer scrapbook, part 1

Dave’s parents visited for a few days, and we enjoyed an evening of mini-golf near our house.  I have two things to say about the following photos.  First of all, FORE!  And second, I’m glad the kids aren’t old enough for the go-carts.  They scare me.

Last week, the kids went to Pine Cove Base Camp.  Let me tell you, this was my FAVORITE camp ever.  It was held at a local church, and all of the camp counselors were college kids with code names like Shakin’ Bacon (Torin’s counselor) and Vader (Parker’s counselor).  They played on huge inflatables, water slides, and trampolines, and did things like sword fighting (with pool noodles), archery, and bungee jumping.  Plus, they had worship time and studied all about David.  LOVED IT.  My only complaint was that this camp didn’t last all summer long.  It was that good.

The Summer Kickoff

A short two hour drive to Chattanooga, and then lots of swimming, eating, walking, more eating, Lookout Mountain, a swinging bridge, Fat Man Squeeze, gazing out over seven states, Ruby Falls, more walking, and tons of iPhone pictures… not a bad start to the summer.

Birthdays, black belts, and basketball

Birthdays:  Torin had one.  A double digit one.  We celebrated by renting a video game party truck that parked in front of our house for two hours.  Fun stuff!

Black belts: Parker earned one.  It was technically a junior black belt.  But still.  We’re pretty proud of the hard work that he’s done over the past two years.

Basketball:  I went to one with my dad.  We went to the Vanderbilt/UT game, and I loved it, despite our horrible seats.  I much prefer basketball over football (and I know that makes me a strange duck, especially living in the south where football dominates the world).

Night at the Aquarium

This past weekend, Torin and I went camping overnight at the aquarium in Chattanooga.  It was a special event that our Girl Scout leader had been planing for over a year.  I’m not normally the camping type, but I figured since it was in a climate controlled building and I would be sleeping on carpet, I could surely survive.  We arrived at the aquarium in the evening after it had closed.

We were the only people inside, and the doors were locked behind us.  Just so you know, the aquarium can be a tad bit creepy in the dark.  We were warned many, many, many times to STICK TOGETHER.  I don’t know what would’ve happened if one of us had wandered off, but I certainly didn’t want to find out.

Our aquarium guide fed us dinner, and then we enjoyed a little after-hours party with the stingrays.

This next part is kind of a blur.  After the stingrays, we gathered in the auditorium for our scheduled “critter encounter,” which sounded innocent enough.  The next thing I know, one of the other moms frantically whispered in my ear, “the snake is CRAWLING UP TORIN’S ARM!!!”  Then I heard Torin giggle and say “it’s licking me!”  Then I blacked out.  (Ok, not really, but I know I was shaking as I took this picture.)

We toured three different buildings, saw all of the behind-the-scenes stuff, and watched an IMAX movie.  At midnight, we (finally) gathered under the shark tank to lay out our sleeping bags.

We were awakened at 6 a.m. the next morning so we could get a quick breakfast and tour yet another part of the aquarium before they kicked us out at 8:30.  While most of the girls looked cute and perky, many of the moms (especially me) looked like they’d been run over by a truck.

Final image… the alligator showed us his butt right before we left.  This is hilarious when you’re 10 (and have been awake for the past 26 hours).