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Congratulations are in order…

Guess who won all three rounds and took home 1st place in the martial arts grappling tournament this morning?  Parker did, that’s who!  To say that we were shocked would be an understatement.  He is not normally very aggressive during class.  However, during the tournament, Parker’s alter ego (who is apparently a master in Brazilian jiu jitsu) showed up big time.  :)  It was certainly entertaining to see this new side of him!

Torin’s letter from Mrs. Obama.

Think back… like, way, way waaaaaay back.  All the way back to October 9, 2010, when Torin wrote a letter to Mrs. Obama suggesting that she redecorate the White House to include a Pink Room or a Glitter Room.  Well, Torin finally got a response!  I cannot tell you how exciting it was for her to receive a large envelope from The White House.  She got several nice pictures, a cute little fact sheet about Bo (her favorite part), some activity sheets, and a nice letter  (she loved the official seal).  There was no mention of the Pink Room or Glitter Room in the letter, which we took as a good sign.  At least Mrs. Obama didn’t shoot down the idea completely.  Torin decided that the White House decorators must still be thinking about it.

Diana O'Dell - September 19, 2011 - 7:48 pm

Wow!! How neat, Torin!! Congratulations!!

Meme - September 20, 2011 - 5:52 am

What a wonderful response from Mrs. Obama. I still remember the one I received years ago from Jacqueline Kennedy.

Laura - September 20, 2011 - 8:22 am

This is so cute!! You did a wonderful job (as usual) capturing the moment….



Spiderman spins his web.

And Spiderman’s sister is a little freaked out.

Mammoth Cave.

Here are a few highlights from our trip to Mammoth Cave this morning!

What struck me most about Mammoth Cave was its sheer size (hence the name: the “mammoth” cave).  We did the Historic Tour, which covered only about two miles, but there are actually over 365 miles of passageways, and geologists think there could be 600 miles of yet undiscovered passageways.  That’s a lot of space for a lot of bats!

We did a whole lot of hiking on our tour – and by hiking, I mean walking hunched over like we had permanent back damage (especially during the “Tall Man’s Misery” passageway).  Only the kids were able to stand in the full upright position, and they thoroughly enjoyed giggling at the rest of us.

We also went through a passageway called “Fat Man’s Misery.”  I didn’t take any pictures of the actual passageway because it was really dark (plus I was too busy trying to breathe and remain calm), but I am pleased to report that I only had to turn partially sideways for this.  Everyone in our group made it through Fat Man’s Misery, but there were certainly people who polished the rocks more than others.  :)

The cave was also an excellent place to practice our shadow puppets.

It was so nice and cool when we were 300 feet below the ground.  Coming up out of the cave to 100 degree temperatures was quite a shock to my system, but it was good to see daylight again!

Check this out… my favorite part.  Due to some weird fungal disease affecting bats in Kentucky, all visitors are required to walk across a bio-security mat as soon as they come out of the cave.  It’s basically a mat covered in Lysol foam.  I am thinking about adopting this idea for my house.  Nothing says “Welcome to Our Home” like a Lysol mat at the front door, right?  Especially during strep throat season?  I love the idea.

We made it!  I am so glad we took this little day trip.  It was an educational experience for all of us, and hopefully  Torin & Parker will remember it for a long time.

Summer’s swan song.

We wanted to squeeze every ounce of fun out of this summer before it came to a close, so the grand finale for the boys was a weekend in Chicago!  I dropped Dave and Parker off at the airport on Friday afternoon.  They met up with Uncle Dave when they got to the Windy City.

Narrated by Parker:  “The first day we went to a museum.  I saw a T. Rex, and elephant, and a whale.  Also, I saw some space stuff and a u-boat.”

“The dinosaur’s name was Sue.”

“Then we ate pizza.  Then we went to the top of Willis Tower.  I stood on the glass floor and danced and stomped but it did not break.”

“We went to Wrigley Field and saw a baseball game.  And we went to the Lego Store, but we did NOT go to American Girl.”

“We also went to Soldier Field.  There weren’t any soldiers there.  The sun was in my eyes in this picture.  I had a good time with Daddy and Uncle Dave.  The end.”

[One more thing: Don't feel too sorry for us girls.  Torin and I certainly didn't sit around all weekend and twiddle our thumbs.  However, we made a pact that our exact whereabouts shall forever remain a secret.  So if you happened to see us last weekend, mum's the word.  Thanks.]

How we spent our summer vacation.

Last week we grabbed the grandparents and drove down to our favorite condo at Blue Mountain Beach.

We did lots of swimming and practiced our cannonballs.

We completely wore out the boardwalk with our wrinkly feet.

We played with our shell friends.

We almost lost Parker in the ocean (more than once).

We overindulged.  But it was worth it.

And I almost cried when it was time to come home.