Saying goodbye....

Mawmaw is headed back to Qatar. She just left a little while ago, and is on her way to the Atlanta Airport.

Please keep us in your prayers.


Gulf Shores: Day 3 (Tuesday)

Okay, so Tuesday was not nearly as exciting (for Gracie) as it was for the rest of us. We woke up that morning and went back to the beach, but Gracie was not having the sand/salt water that morning. So she and I went back across the street to the pool at the condo complex. and had some fun before we went back to the condo for some ice cream.

I had told my mom Tuesday morning that I really wanted to try one of the seafood restaurants in the area, and all the free magazines we had picked up had very high reviews and recommendations about De Soto's Seafood Kitchen, which was actually located right behind Souvenir City - we could have walked to it in five minutes from the condo.
While the wait seemed a little long, we were glad to finally get inside and out of the hot sun. Our waitress was kind enough to bring some sweet tea to our table, and my mom decided to try the sweet potato fries and stuffed mushrooms. I will say the stuffed mushrooms were okay, as I'm not a big fan of mushrooms unless they are in spaghetti. The sweet potato fries, on the other hand, were absolutely terrible - to me.
When our meal finally came, I was pretty satisfied with everything. I had green beans, fried shrimp, and french fries. The shrimp was awesome although I'm not picky when it comes to shrimp! The fries could have been a little hotter, but what I paid for our lunches was reasonable. I doubt that I would visit De Soto's a second time, but it was not the worst restaurant I've ever been to!

After lunch, we decided to hit the Tanger Outlet Malls in Foley. Mom had found a little free tourist magazine that offered a coupon for a free booklet of coupons from the Outlet Mall (sidenote - they didn't have coupons for ANY of the stores I shopped at!). However, when we were on our way to one of the stores the girls wanted to check out, an employee passed us and told us that Children's Place had a sale on tops for $1.99 and bottoms for $2.99. Everything else in the store was 30-50% off. Needless to say, with Gracie's preschool days getting closer I decided to stock up on new clothes for school. I spent $40.00 on several tops (and also went back Wednesday for more, and to get some cute shirts for Jackson!).

When we left the outlet mall, we went back to the condo and I cooked spaghetti for dinner. I wanted to go swimming but was outnumbered by the "no" votes, and just refused to go alone. So around 11:00 that evening, we called it a night and decided to go swimming Wednesday morning before we packed up to leave.
Some pictures of Gracie on some of the rides at Tanger Outlet Mall:


Gulf Shores:Day 2 (Monday)

So Monday morning we got up and had a breakfast of pancakes and sausage before we all got dressed in our swimwear to head off to the beach. I slathered Gracie up with sunblock (SPF 50) and her cute little yellow hat, and we were off!

Gracie tries out the water again.

Gracie decides she doesn't like the water. Too cold!

Jessica (holding Gracie) talks her into getting in - for a little while.

Gracie trying to build a sand castle.

Gracie had more fun sitting at the water's edge with Mawmaw.

After maybe an hour and a half, Gracie and I headed back to the condo for a bath and lunch of hotdogs and chips. Once everybody else had come back from the beach, and we were all showered, fed, and dressed, we headed off to The Track to play for a little while. Gracie really enjoyed the go-carts and the kiddie land area, as obvious in some of the pictures below!

Gracie and Me out on the race track for the first time.

Jess and Tina are lined up and ready to go!

Jessica Watson.

Kayla (and someone behind her...but I'm half blind and can't see who it is this morning!)

Gracie in the Fred Flinstone car at Kiddie Land.

So after The Track came Lambert's Cafe and I just can't say enough good things about this place. If you ever visit Gulf Shores and have not been here, you are missing out. Plan ahead - the wait is usually an hour long, but they do have a gift shop to peruse. Be warned, though - Lambert's only accepts cash or check. They don't take plastic. However, if you forget, they have an ATM inside the front entrance. Lambert's is an old-fashioned style restaurant, with things like fried pork chops (which were awesome!), black-eyed peas, and fried okra on the menu. They even had frog legs, but I wasn't willing to give those a try!
The best thing about Lambert's (besides the food) is the wonderful service. They have what they call pass-arounds, which is where some of the workers walk around with big pots or bowls of food and offer some to your table. We had fried okra with our drinks while we waited for our food. And the rolls! I was told before we ever got to Gulf Shores that Lambert's is famous for throwed rolls, and boy are they! The guys who were throwing the rolls were kind enough to lean over the table (twice) to throw Gracie a roll, to which she exclaimed proudly, "Mama, I caught one! I caught one!"
Here is a photo of the massive roll she caught (it's almost like three in one):

After dinner it was almost nine o'clock, so we called it a night and headed back to the condo to play cards, hang out, and watch some TV before heading off to bed. Gracie, suprisingly, went down without a problem. It must've been all the time in the sun and the fun she had for dinner!
I will try to post about our adventures on Tuesday later this afternoon.


Gulf Shores:Day 1 (Sunday)

So we packed up Saturday night to head off to our vacation in Gulf Shores. My aunt Martha and uncle Ricky have a condo right on the beach, and were kind enough to let us borrow it for our vacation. Having never stayed in a condo, it is absolutely awesome. Kind of like an apartment only somewhat nicer, alot pricier, but in an awesome location (on the beachfront).

So after we packed up Saturday night/Sunday morning, Gracie and I headed off to church (it was my last Sunday to teach second grade children's church). I had a fun time in children's church, my boat craft was a huge success (we were learning about Jesus calming the storm). Which was a funny topic with my second graders, because it had stormed all weekend!

Anyway, we left around naptime and stopped by Wendy's for lunch. I think we got to Gulf Shores sometime around three that afternoon, and trust me - it rained on us the entire. way. there. It even started thundering when we finally hit the Foley/Gulf Shores area, and was still cloudy when we got the van unpacked before making a quick run across the street so Gracie could have her first ever beach experience.

Gracie (with Mawmaw) makes her way across the street to the beach.

"Favorite Aunt" Tina helps Gracie take off her shoes so she can feel the cool sand between her toes.

Posing for a beach and sand shot.

Enjoying the feel of the sand between her toes!

Her first ever "testing out the water" experience with Kayla (left) and Tina (right).

Okay so after the quick jet to the beach, Mom and I headed off to Wal-mart to buy groceries for the next few days and then it was back to the condo for bed! While we were gone, Tina and Kayla took Gracie to the pool (another perk of being at the condo!) and she had a blast. We had dinner that night at the condo and then drifted off to dream land!
I'll post about Monday's events sometime tomorrow!


Hello from the beach front!

We are having so much fun here in Gulf Shores, I am almost saddened by the fact that tomorrow, we'll be packing up to head home! Gracie has had an absolute blast, not just at the beach but on this vacation in general. We definitely needed this break...although I'm not sure I needed this much time in the sun!! I am out on the balcony now, enjoying the cool night air. And the fireworks somebody keeps blowing off!

I will post lots of pictures and fun stories tomorrow night or sometime Thursday.


Beach Bound and Diaper Free!

Okay so for those of you who might be interested, you will be excited to know that the only time Gracie's little bottom has been graced by a diaper is right before I tucked her into bed the past few nights. I kind of panic a little when we go out in just "big girl panties", but she seems to be okay. Last night she spent about an hour and a half (closer to two hours) in Goody's with me and my mom during that horrendous rain storm.
When I got home, I figured if Mom had to go then Gracie might. And it worked!
So just as a precaution when we head for Gulf Shores tomorrow, I am packing four pull ups and four diapers (diapers are for bedtime only). I don't really think it's necessary to take the potty chair, I think we'll just help her with the big one instead.

We will be back Wednesday from Gulf Shores, and I'll be on vacation until next Monday so I'll definitely be posting some pictures! Take care and love y'all!



So I came home for lunch to some exciting news......WE HAVE USED THE POTTY TODAY!!!

My mom said she had just taken Gracie's diaper off, put her panties on, when it was announced that someone had to potty. She even got an M&M!!!

I'm almost more excited about this news than our trip to the beach.



Just checkin' in!

Hey folks, just checking in to let all our friends know we're still here! Mawmaw has been home since Thursday and there has been alot of whining and crying (not me, honest!) for some reason unknown to me. Also, potty training has started. Let me just tell you that while God blessed me with a mostly well-mannered child in every other area, potty-training is where He decided to throw in some humor.
Gracie will sit on the potty.
And sit.
And sit.
And sit.
Nothing happens.
"I'm done!" she declares.

Ten minutes later, she has wet her panties. Praise God for training pants because I'd have come unglued by now!!!

Anyway, today we have decided not to sit in front of the TV (as we've done the last few days) and actually go SHOPPING (we've done that once already!) mainly because I need a bathing suit for our mini-vacation to Gulf Shores this weekend.

Take care and I'll try to take some pictures today to post later this week!


Mawmaw's coming!! Mawmaw's coming!!

So I forgot to post about Kayla and Jessica's birthday on July 1st, but that's not important (just kidding, girls!) because Mawmaw is coming!!!

My mom's plane lands in Atlanta, GA at 3:05 (2:05 our time) and we have dinner planned, and a cheescake, and belated birthday presents. Dinner is going to be ham, mainly because my mom can't have it in Qatar because it is against their religious practices and they won't even allow pork to enter the country. I can't imagine!

So fair warning - I don't know how often I will update this month, but hopefully I will be able to get lots of pictures! Have a safe and happy 4th of July everyone!