Monday, August 31, 2009

Today I am 40 Weeks Pregnant

I wasn't able to say that last time I got pregnant. Charlotte came 5 days early. But not Babin. She seems very happy to hang out in my uterus a little while longer. So far, there are no signs of labor. And I am okay with that.

I understand how much easier it is to take care of her while she is inside of me. There are no diapers, midnight feedings, or swaddling blankets to untangle right now. But soon all of that will change. It is hard, if not impossible, for me to imagine what life will be like with 2 children. I just can't get my brain around it right now.

I promise that there will be a blog post just as soon as I either go into labor, or have the baby. I'm not sure how the timing will all work out yet since Bruce is working and my mom is going to be 2 hours away most likely when I finally need to call my midwife.

But, I'll be asking for your prayers when it comes time for labor... I am planning a water birth to ease the pain and will be again using some hypnotherapy to control the pain. And I will also be meditating on John 16.21.
A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. John 16.21

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Giving Myself a Break

I am usually a high-energy, let's do lots of stuff every day kind of mom. I dance in the living room to made-up songs. I take Charlotte to the museum 1-2 times a week. We do fun art projects on a regular basis.

Or maybe I should say, I used to be like that. Until about a week ago when I just hit a brick wall. For some reason, I just keep forgetting that I am almost ready to deliver a new baby into the world. Why is that so hard for me to remember? Why do I have to hit 2 pm and then feel like I am crashing into a wall?

It has really been wearing on me that Charlotte has watched so much television in the last week. I feel bad. I always thought I'd be the mom who wouldn't let her toddler watch any (except for Signing Time), and then I became the mom who said okay, but no more than 2 hours a day. Then yesterday, Charlotte watched at least 6 hours of tv. Granted, she was not sitting in front of it like a zombie, but running around and dancing to the kids songs, but still... what happened to me?!

Oh wait, I remember. I am 39 weeks pregnant. So you know what? I am going to cut myself some slack for the next few weeks. If we only do one interesting thing a day and I never take a picture of it or blog about it then that will have to be good enough. And if the most interesting thing we do is share a cup of cheesecake Jell-O on the couch (because we should be working on 'J' for Alphabet School), then so be it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mommy Necklaces Giveaways

I ordered a "Mommy Necklace" a while back in anticipation of Babin's arrival. I've already worn it a few times and got a compliment each time. Now, I want more. Fortunately, I found out today that there are a few websites giving away a necklace of my choice, so of course I am entering. And writing this blog post to get extra entries. i hope you won't mind indulging me... heck, you may want to enter for yourself or a friend too!

The next two on my wish list are Sea Sand and Silver Ice. I already have a Rainstorm and Snazzy.

Here are two blogs where you can enter to win your own necklace:
This Mom Can Shop - ends Sept. 15
Paisley and Pretties - ends Sept. 3

Good luck! (Oh, and if you don't need one of these necklaces, you could always enter and then give it to me.) :)

My Mom's Scrapbook - Part 8

So now we get to relive my Sweet 16 party. We always had good parties at my house during my middle and high school years. And my Sweet 16 was no exception. There were at least 50 people there and I am not particularly embarrassed by my clothes or my hair. What a nice surprise for me!

Our family friend, Sherry Moriarty, made the cake, as she had done for my previous birthdays. My mom asked everyone to sign the paper on the front door with birthday wishes, but I don't have it anymore.



Our back patio was home to countless ping-pong games over the years. And at night, with the screens, it was a cool place to hang out.

I don't remember many of the gifts I received that year, but there is one that sticks out especially in my mind. Bruce had been invited to my party but couldn't make it due to work. But, he did give me a gift at school. It was a silver necklace. I never knew someday that we would be married, but I still have that necklace, almost 16 years later.

Half my life ago he knew he wanted to be with me... I praise God that He changed Bruce's heart towards Him so that we could be together (though when I was 16, I never thought I'd be saying that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Comparing My 2 Pregnancies

I did try to dig out whatever photos I could find of me during my 2 pregnancies, just because I thought it would be fun to compare. But before I show them to you, just remember, we are only comparing the size of my belly... nothing else. I already know it is all bigger! :)

It really struck me as sad the limited number of pictures of myself I have to show you. I guess that is what happens when I am always the one behind the camera. So, here are two sets to compare.


31 weeks with Charlotte and 31 weeks with Babin




37 weeks with Charlotte (in red top) 39 weeks with Babin (in floral top)


I think I am about the same belly-wise for both pregnancies. What do you think?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

39 Weeks Pregnant

I'm happy to report that my tricks for reducing leg cramps and my restless legs symptoms are working. The extra milk and iron make big difference. I just don't take them at the same time since calcium affects the iron absorbtion. Thanks for all the concerned comments and emails.

We are now in the home stretch of this pregnancy and I wake up each morning wondering if this is the day we will get to introduce the world to Babin. It is an exciting time, but as a friend reminded me this morning... it is a lot easier to care for a baby in the womb than outside of the womb!

Like my old friend Stephanie, I've been wondering how I compare in this pregnancy to my first one. But, it seems I have not take enough pregnancy pictures this time around to do that sort of comparison justice.

Here is a picture of my belly as of tonight. If this time around is anything like last time and Babin comes 5 days early, then we should have her in our arms by Thursday or Friday afternoon! But if she isn't ready, that is okay. I am prepared to wait as long as she wants.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How Fast Can Charlotte Run in a Circle?

If you've ever wondered the answer to that question, well, today is your day. Besides her obsession with all things "choo-choo," she loves to run. I don't usually mind it and figure it helps her get in enough exercise.

The other day she just went crazy though combining her love of choo-choos and running. Take a look:

video

Saturday, August 15, 2009

38 Weeks Pregnant

I really should post a picture, but my computer is in the shop being repaired...

I just wanted to let you all know that I am not crazy. I know. You don't believe me. Only crazy people would tell the world on a blog that they aren't crazy. But let me explain.

I have been horribly fatigued for the last couple of weeks and while, Bruce has been kind enough to let me sleep until 9 am several mornings, I just can't get make it through most days without an extra cat nap.

When I got pregnant, I expected to wake up to go to the bathroom and I knew there would be leg cramps. What I never counted on this time was getting pregnancy-induced restless leg syndrome. I would lay in bed everynight thinking I was nuts because I needed to move my legs. It seemed nuts to me and no matter how active I tried to be, to wear my legs out, they still wanted to move when I hit the sack.

So now, I am going to increase my folate and iron and see if that offers any relief. Let's pray it does because Bruce starts a new job on Tuesday and I'll have to get up with Charlotte (currently at 6:30 am!).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alphabet School - "I"

True to my word, we have continued exploring the world around us via a trip through the alphabet. Just a reminder, the letter isn't so important for teaching Charlotte her alphabet or how to read, but is most important in guiding me to select new activites for her to particiapte in.

We started our I week by making an igloo with cut up construction paper. For Charlotte, the best part was being allowed to use the glue stick for a long time. She loves "coloring" with it, but hasn't 100% figured out that it is meant for sticking the "ice blocks" to the blue igloo. Charlotte also liked sitting in her new school desk. It is an old-fashioned piece I picked up at a recent consignment sale. There is even an opening under the seat to store things... I am thinking of adding her coloring books and crayons there so she can access them on her own, thereby learning to entertain herself more often.
Then, coincidentally, the book at our favorite children's museum storytime was Incredible ME!. This was perfect for us this week. Charlotte has a strong preference for markers and it is easier to let her use them at the museum where there are some older kids who can influence her appropriate use of them (i.e. not drawing on herself). This was a fun book to read and I would like to get a copy of it for our permanent home collection. I had planned to make a life-size drawing of her this week, but we ran out of time.


Another glue stick and coloring activity this week was these construction paper ice cream cones. She was especially pleased with the cones that had 2 scoops. Because then again, 2 is her favorite number. We tried colored pencils for the first time with this project and they didn't go over so well, so we switched to crayons. And for those of you wondering, those are blueberry and strawberry flavored scoops. Charlotte insisted on it. Something that older kids could do with these is to actually glue on paper sprinkles to make this 3-dimensional.
I brought out our insects again and Charlotte played on of her favorite new pretend games - train! She likes to pretend all sorts of things are in a train and lines them all up. This is our insect train and that is all she really wanted to do with the insects. I thought about letting her make tiny insect prints by dipping them into paint, but just didn't have the energy this week to clean up the mess. We'll break out the paints next week.
We did do one messy project - make ice cream! I found a small, manual ice cream maker at the thrift store months ago for just $2 and have been waiting for this week to try it out. It had a simple recipe on the side of the box and we just had to stir the ingredients together before adding them to the frozen, half-pint sized bowl. Charlotte enjoyed stirring the most... she always does. I can't even stir eggs without her running into the kitchen yelling, "stir, me stir!" This activity was a lot of fun and we did it twice.
The recipe that came with the ice cream maker was super sweet though, so Charlotte only ate a little bit of it. I think next time we will reduce the sugar content and add some fruit. Oh, and if you try this at home, make sure you use egg substitute! My recipe called for raw eggs, but I didn't think it was a good idea for anyone in our house to eat raw eggs. And this small "ice cream maker" is very versatile... expect to see it again next week when we study the letter J.
And our final alphabet school project for the week was to play with Charlotte's initials. She has had fun all week moving them around and rearranging their order. It was all I could do to get her to sit still for 10 seconds so I could take this picture of her. Charlotte has been like that a lot lately... never sitting still more a minute or two, always bouncing and spinning and jumping all over the house. The girl is wearing me out!




Thanks to Mozi Esme for all the great ideas this week!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Naptime in the "Big Girl Bed"

When Bruce went to wake Charlotte up from her nap today, he couldn't resist taking this picture of our little girl learning how to grow up. Settling in for naptime was easier than our first bedtime, but it still isn't easy.

I discovered that I am fairly patient with Charlotte, until I lose my patience. Then, well, it isn't pretty. I have to work on that.

Charlotte's 2nd Birthday Pictures

I won't bore you with a lot of stories... we just had a quiet family afternoon with some present opening and dinner. For posterity's sake, here are the photos with some brief explanations.

Charlotte received a new chair from her G-ma and Grumpy. It rocks and has a great stain-hiding pattern on the fabric. Good thinking G-ma.

Next was a gift from her Grandpa, something I know we will all enjoy, and something Charlotte recognized immediately. She eagerly said, for the first time, "Signing Time with Alex and Leah." Usually she leaves Alex off, but today she got the whole line from the song. We still love signing and she knows about 200 signs by now.

A gift from Bruce and I - a choo-choo train alphabet puzzle. There are a lot of pieces to this one, but I know we can work on this one for a long time. She likes puzzles, trains, and is starting to learn how the alphabet works. Because she has been so blessed with new toys recently, Bruce and I kept the gifts from us to a minimum. I bought her the pink dress she is wearing and this puzzle at a recent consignment sale, as well as a Sesame Street doctor kit that we gave her earlier in the week.

Her Aunt and Uncle gave her a cute hoodie outfit which she immediately wanted to put on. Then, she ran to the door and declared, "outside, outside." She looked so disappointed when we said no, but we still had more gifts to open!
Her grandpa on Bruce's side also gave her a bag of Mega Blocks. I am excited about this one because it gives us so many opportunities. This was one of the gifts that she had to play with this afternoon! Here she is offering a piece to her Grumpy.
Another big hit was her new baby doll. She spent a lot of time rocking her in the new chair and asking Aunt Michelle to put the doll's hat back on.

But, I think her favorite gift of all was her kitchen play set. We don't have enough room in our home for a full-size kitchen, but when my mom found this Fisher-Price box at Target, we knew it was the perfect compromise.
The kitchen set above all fits inside the red box, with the lid functioning as the stove top. For some unknown reason, Charlotte decided every dish she made, even the invisible ones we couldn't see, needed to be sprayed with ketchup. I don't know where she got the idea to spray her food with ketchup (she's never even had it!), but it was cute to watch her pump her little finger up and down on top of the bottle.

And finally, we ended the gift opening with our family dinner. I didn't make a cake this year because Charlotte really isn't into them. She would much rather eat a sugar cookie and have fruit, so that is what I served. Even then, with a plate of fruit in front of her, we had to remind her she even had a cookie. This birthday girl loves her grapes and strawberries!
Happy birthday to my Charlotte Moon!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Charlotte

My dear Charlotte,

I put you to bed a few hours ago, and sure did give me a fight tonight. After all the festivities of the day, you were so excited to finally be sleeping in your new big girl bed, that you couldn't settle down to sleep. It took your Daddy and I more than an hour and a half to help you wind down and actually lay down to sleep in your new bed. I know it was a big change tonight, but you are getting older and need to set a good example for your baby sister.

As I decorated for your party today by hanging various pieces of art you've completed over the past year, and photos of you from the last two years, I couldn't help but marvel at how much you have grown. Your hair is so long now! And a year ago, you were barely speaking, now you can say almost 200 different words, and most of the time people around us can figure out what you are saying.

When we read books together, you are starting to finish the sentences on each page. You love to sing "Rock-a-bye-baby" with me, even if you insist on calling it "Rock-a-baby-tree-top" each night. Now, you are starting to sing to your dolls too. We've rediscovered your glo-worm and now he must accompany you to bed each night.

Your favorite TV show is currently Super-Why on PBS kids. You try to sing the alphabet song with Super Pig and fly around the living room shouting, "Super Why!" It is so much fun to see you add a new letter to the alphabet song every few days as you try to figure out what all those letters mean.

For some reason, you continue to be fascinated with the number 2. This is especially good because now you are 2 years old. You like to have 2 of everything, especially if it is something you get to hold. Knowing this makes it easy to please you.

We still get compliments all the time on how smart you are and how well behaved you are. I'd like to think it is because you have super-duper perfect parents, but you don't, so I'll thank God for how He has uniquely made you. Each day with you is a blessing for your Dad and I.

I said it last year and am afraid I can't say it any better, so I'll just quote myself,
Sweet Charlotte, you are only on loan to me from God, for however long he sees fit to let me have you. While I selfishly pray it is for a very, very long time, I also promise to always support you in following the unique path God has created just for you, wherever it leads.

You see, as much as I love you and as much as your daddy loves you... it is nothing compared to how much God loves you. He has a plan for your life that, while unknown to us now, will undoubtedly lead to indescribable adventures and certain challenges. But don't worry, he will give you all the resources you need to face them with courage and grace.

For your first second birthday Charlotte, it is my prayer that God will give you a mother worthy of such a special little girl. I pray that he will continue to grow me into a proper example for you of how a Godly woman thinks about the world, treats other people, worships, and brings glory to God.
 I love you Charlotte Moon and am looking forward to the adventure that you being 2 brings!

Love, Mommy

Peek A Boo - Looks Who's 2

Peek-a-boo! Look who's 2!
Today is Charlotte's birthday... 

 
Wearing her traditional Romanian dress, from our friend Miha.
  
And never sitting still for a second during the photo session, wearing her traditional Nicaraguan dress.
  
Praying that we will let her play with the toy piano very soon, wearing a Chinese qi pao also from Miha.
  
Saying thank you for all of the lovely birthday wishes.
 
Showing off her momma's 8-month pregnant belly.

Friday, August 07, 2009

100 Things

I found this list of 100 things parents should try to do with their children before they reach kindergarten age. I thought it would be fun to see how far we had come in the first two years of Charlotte's life. To keep things simple this year (since I still have 3 left), I'm just hyperlinking to the things I've blogged about...she has done some of the other things, but I don't have "proof."

1. Go to the zoo

2. Visit a farm

3. Go on a hike

4. Play with kittens or puppies

5. Catch a frog

6. Make a gigantic mess

7. Help clean up a gigantic mess

8. Master the monkey-bars

9. Swing high up into the sky all by themselves

10. Try ice-skating

11. Go sledding

12. Make a snow-man

13. Blow bubbles

14. Plant seeds and watch them grow

15. Have a pillow fight

16. Jump on a big bed

17. Jump on a trampoline or in a bounce house

18. Hang out in a tent

19. Spend days at the beach

20. Build sandcastles

21. Go fishing

22. Go out on a boat

23. Play with blocks and puzzles

24. Read the classic picture books

25. Read a classic chapter book

26. Check out library books with their own library card

27. Get a passport

28. Carve a pumpkin

29. Hold a newborn baby (to see how much they've grown)

30. Love a special doll or stuffed animal

31. Bake cookies and cakes

32. Help plan their own birthday party

33. Go to the circus

34. Go to a museum on a quiet weekday

35. Play hide-and-seek

36. Play a board game

37. Do nothing whatsoever all day

38. Try a sport

39. Watch a sporting event

40. Learn to swim

41. Be tickled in hysterics

42. Paint and draw as much as desired

43. Have the use of scissors and glue

44. Display artworks and other creations around the house

45. Learn to use a camera (and keep an album of the results!)
46. Play with clay

47. Pick flowers

48. Climb a tree

49. Gaze at the moon and stars

50. Toast marshmallows

51. Learn to eat an ice-cream cone

52. Watch a sunset

53. Learn to write their own names

54. Learn their addresses and telephone numbers

55. Learn their parents' full names

56. Set the table

57. Clear the table

58. Help wash the dishes

59. Learn to say their pleases and thank yous and excuse mes

60. Watch fireworks

61. Go to the ballet or theater or a puppet show

62. Put on a ballet or play or puppet show at home

63. Face paint

64. Dress up in costumes at will

65. Learn rhymes and poems and songs by heart

66. Have a dance party

67. Enjoy friends at preschool and at the park

68. Invite friends over to play

69. Get to know grandparents

70. Play with cousins

71. Become attached to a wonderful preschool teacher and/or babysitter

72. Learn the name of our president

73. Know the name of their town, state and country

74. Be familiar with a map of the world

75. Listen to music from many different ages and genres

76. Hear and learn words from a different language

77. Learn the difference between trash and recycling

78. Grow their own vegetables

79. Learn to ride a bike (or try!)

80. Take a road trip

81. Draw a self-portrait

82. Slurp alphabet soup

83. Learn to twirl spaghetti on a fork

84. Pick apples

85. Star in a home movie

86. Learn a magic trick

87. Try different hair-dos

88. Practice writing letters

89. Practice counting to 100

90. Make up stories

91. Send a letter

92. Receive a letter

93. Ride on a merry-go-round

94. Give away toys and books to less fortunate children

95. Learn the value of coins and bills

96. Keep a piggy bank

97. Try a musical instrument

98. Have a heartfelt wish granted

99. Have a heartfelt wish denied

100. Receive a million (make that a billion) heartfelt kisses and hugs from their parents!

Clearly, we have a lot more to accomplish in the next 3 years! And not to worry, you'll be able to come along for the ride by hanging out here at Family Musings.

HT: Tonggu Momma

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

How Weaning Happened

I've put off writing this post for a long time and finally, now that Charlotte is almost 2, I feel an urgency to get it written before I forget the details.

Our weaning from breastfeeding was mostly Charlotte led, but with a strong dose of encouragement from Momma. I was, and still am, comfortable with the idea of tandem nursing, but didn't feel like it would be a mark of motherhood excellence if I did tandem nurse. Or that it would be a mark of shame if I didn't.

My pregnancy probably played the biggest role in Charlotte's weaning. As I progressed, the milk began to change and it was more work for her to get it. Apart from that though, when I saw signs she was frustrated, I decided to encourage her in a direction that didn't involve nursing at all.

The other thing that helped was Charlotte began sleeping through the night right around 18 months old. And since most of her nursing was overnight, I got off easy for those few feedings.

Once I reached the decision to wean her, I started to limit the length of nursing sessions. I told Charlotte after she had nursed for a bit that she had 10 seconds left before we would be all done. Then, I would very slowly count down from 10 before announcing more snuggle time and then bed time.

After a couple weeks of doing that every night, I limited her to just one side, telling her she had drank all the milk in the other side the last time we nursed. From there, I began counting a little faster... and soon she would pull off before I was even halfway done.

When we got near the end, I decided to just tell her one night that all the milk was gone. I completely expected her to get fussy about it and whine, knowing I'd give in and let her try one more time. Instead though, she just sat up and started jumping on the bed in a playful way. So, I let her play for a few minutes, and we finished our bedtime routine. Charlotte was 21-months old at this time.

I came down stairs and was just amazed that maybe we were done. Even though I had been preparing Charlotte for this next stage, it shocked me how readily she accepted it. Since then, she has asked for milk a handful of times, but never pushed it when I told her there was no more.

Now, with a new baby coming, if she mentions my milk, I tell her that it is for the new baby. It will be interesting to see how she reacts to another little girl getting her momma's milk.

Overall, I am incredibly pleased with the gentle weaning we were able to experience. And now, I am looking forward to starting over again with a new baby.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Alphabet School - "H"

Um, yeah. Alphabet School. I took my daughter there for several weeks, and well, lfe got busy and we stopped going. But, since then, we have done several "H" themed activities and I finally have enough that I think I can make a passable attempt at sharing them with you. Some of these go back 3 months...

Heart Faces

Paint Horse anyone?

 
Wanna hang out with me?
 

Hiking in Highlands Hammock

Stopping to smell the hyacinths

Riding her bounce and spin horse

I hope we get back on track this week and I can bring you a post sponsored by the letter "I."

My Mom's Scrapbook - Part 7

High school was fun, right? Well, parts of it were at least. And Reflections was one of the parts I liked, mostly. It's like any other time you try to get a bunch of girls together... there is bound to be some drama!

In 8th grade, I knew I had to follow in my Aunt Kim's footsteps and join the color guard. It was fascinating to see all those girls twirling, spinning, and throwing flags and rifles in the air with such precision and grace. So, I audtioned, in the world's most awful blue leotard and silver leggings (thanks Mom!). Fortunately, the sponsor and captains looked past my abysmal attire and saw some talent, so they let me in! Thanks Mrs. McKinney!

The picture at the bottom is from my Junior year, when I had the privilege to be captain. That was the toughest year for me. We had an awful Winter Guard routine with even more awful costumes (imagine dressing up like the plant from Little Shop of Horrors!).


The cool thing about that year though, is that every member of the team auditioned for and received an invitation to perform at the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day. If anyone reading this remembers me from those years, I sure hope you will email me any photos you have of those years.

How many of you have pictures of your goofy self at your Sweet 16 party??? I do! And I'll show them to you next week, embarassing bangs and all!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Flash Frozen Friendship

A long time ago, my friend Heather wrote about freezing all of her friendships at the height of their perfection.  It resonated with me, but not because I wanted to freeze all my friendships, but because I had some ghosts of friendships past that wouldn't leave me alone. I knew early on that not all friendships were meant to last forever.

I have lots of friends that have been temporary... I just wished they realized it! One girl, whom I was friends with in 6th or 7th grade, decided to spread rumors about me when we got to the 8th grade. From that point on, we hardly ever spoke to each other. Then, fast forward to the college years and she starts visiting my parents house while I am out of town. She tries to meet up with me again several years later when I was in town working, but things just never click for us. I was over the rumor-spreading, but we still had nothing in common. Despite this, she kept calling me for years. I usually just didn't answer the phone but sometimes would answer before realizing who it was. When we moved to Frostproof I thought I had lost her, but she still found me. It wasn't until we changed our cell phone numbers that I finally stopped hearing from her.

Now, since my blog isn't private, I know she can find me if she googles me, but I guess she got the message after I didn't return her phone calls for 3-4 years.

Maybe, some might argue, and I did with myself too, that I should have reached out to her in Christian love and tried to build a bridge... But, I didn't know how to do that at the time.

Then, there was a time in my life where I felt like a stalker. After I got married, one of my best friends just dropped off the face of the earth. She wouldn't return my phone calls. She always had plans when I wanted to get together. I think it was at least a year before I gave up the effort. For her I guess, she didn't need my friendship any more.

It is hard to know when a friendship has passed us by. Often, one person knows it before the other. But I guess in the end, that is how it has to be. Friendships rarely end by mutual decision.

Sometimes though, we can reconnect with an old friend after more than a decade and the relationship feels just like an old glove.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Short Visit to North Carolina

A week before our trip to Nicaragua, Charlotte and I accompanied some friends on a road trip to North Carolina. Since this blog functions as my scrapbook of Charlotte's life, I figured it was better late than never to post some photos and stories from that week.

The trip to Franklin, NC is about 10 hours, which is Charlotte's longest car ride to date. About half-way through, she was still smiling.

One of the days, we drove up to Highlands, NC. The weather was absolutely beautiful and even though it was mid-June, a light jacket or sweater wouldn't have felt out of place.
 
Stephanie and Charlotte had fun the whole week. Charlotte adores her and calls her Nee-Nee.
  
We also had a chance to go gem mining.  The water made this a fun treat except Charlotte liked to see what happened when she dropped the rocks into the water run... it was hard to keep up with her.

Thanks Angela and Stephanie for inviting us to join you on your last trip to Franklin!