Fall 2014

Fall 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Farm Fun

The girls love heading north to their Granddaddy's farm - so much for them to experience!  Summertime is great fun because we can be outdoors all day.  We had a great weekend trip to the farm a couple of weeks ago - I'll let the photos do most of the talking.  You can see pure joy on the girls faces - what fun!

Caroline loves all the farm animals - especially the kittens!   

 David and CE going for a "chasing daylight" ride

 Redneck bathin'

 The Pounder - a swimming hole where many generations of Bates' have swam

The girls on the falls 

 It's COLD - about 68-70 degrees and in the shade

 So pretty

 The creek feeding the Pounder

 Hay field that has recently been cut

 Shelling peas with Aunt B on the front porch- brings back sweet childhood memories!

 Sunsets in the boondocks are the best

Digging for potatoes with Granddaddy

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Running with the Goats - 5K - Elkmont, Alabama

A couple of months ago Southern Living did a great article about Elkmont, Alabama and how small town cute it is.  I couldn't believe my eyes - Elkmont is a small town where my family roots run deep.  My father is from Elkmont and my beloved Memaw and Papaw lived in the same home my Papaw grew up in.  I have such wonderful memories of growing up and spending many fabulous days and nights in Elkmont.  But, I must admit, I was a bit surprised to find Elkmont was "up and coming."
Two wee, silly goats

One of the big reasons Elkmont is "growing" is because of a goat creamery by the name of Belle Chevre (fabulous goat cheese by the way) and a woman who has a vision of Elkmont being near and dear to many. It's a charming two-lane, tiny town - no red lights, no police, a small post office, a river and many, many miles of farm land.  

Getting ready to run the Belle Chevre Running with the Goats 5K

Belle Chevre hosted their inaugural 5K - Running with the Goats - and I decided I needed to experience the "new" Elkmont.  So we signed up and run with the goats we did.  What a run!  It was almost 100 degrees that fine morning and HUMID.  We didn't start the race until 9:15 - which is HOT in the summer.  We ran the first two miles on a trail that used to be the railroad and the last mile was on the road up and down several hills.  David joined me as did the girls - boy did we have a journey:)

Race selfie

I run at 5:30 a.m. so the girls are never with me and needless to say the bigger they get the harder it is for me to push them and myself.  Catherine Ellis usually runs, but it was hot and she wasn't feeling it - so in addition to the 18lb stroller and 36lb Caroline - I had the 40 plus lb Cat along for the ride.  I'm not a numbers whiz - but that's close to 100 lbs of goodness to push down the road.  And there's enough of me to push without all that:)  But, push I did and we survived.  David helped me on the last mile as the uphill and downhill was a bit of a challenge.  Honestly, I've never been more happy to see a finish line.  I ran as fast as my legs would take me just to be done. It sure helped that Aunt B and her friend Cynthia were there cheering us on!

CE and David warming up

But we had a great time, learned a few things about mid-July 5K's that start mid-morning and got to experience goats and good times!  We look forward to doing it again next year!  Yay for Team Cain!

At the finish line - we made it!

 When we finished we peeked inside the creamery - such a neat little place - we look forward to experiencing it the next time we're in town.

And last but certainly not least, we finally got to pet the goats and met sweet Valentine - isn't she a cutie?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fourth of July Fun

We celebrated the fourth of July all week long - it's David's favorite holiday (Halloween is a very close second) and what's not to love about grilling out, fireworks, red, white and blue and time with family and friends?!  We love an excuse to party!

We started our festivities off with some sweet friends at the I Love America Party in Vestavia.  So much fun! We swam our little hearts out and had a blast playing in a "new" (to us) pool.  Our parting treat was getting to tour and play in the ambulance.  Wyatt's Daddy is a firefighter, so we had the "private" tour complete with measuring our heart rates, having our blood pressure taken, etc.  The girls LOVED it!

 Are these not the most adorable kiddos?!?
All little fishies!

Happy Fourth of July from the Cain ladies!

We spent the fourth with the Cains and had a blast spending time with sweet cousin Carrigon.  She and Caroline are six months apart and the big buddies.  They swam, swam, swam and then enjoyed "drying off" n the warm sun.  We had a cold front move through and the weather was delightful!  Perfect for an "airbath."

 Caroline and Carrigon

We ate great food and simply enjoyed a lazy day together in the sunshine. The girls are finally old enough this year to stay up late for some firework action and boy did they LOVE that!  We had pop rockets, sparklers and good old fashioned fireworks.  Jamie and David put on a roaring good show with some great fireworks. It was perfect!

 We needed jackets the weather was so cool!

 Tailgating with the little ladies

Sparklers and Jackets in July!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ears that Hear

As many of you know, I was born with a 10% hearing loss that has, of course, gotten worse as I've aged, but I get by with a little help from my friends - and lip reading does wonders for me!  However, it's not something I wished to pass on to my children.  Both girls failed their newborn hearing screenings in the hospital and had to follow-up with audiologists at Children's.  Catherine Ellis was released at six months and hasn't looked back.  Sweet Caroline, not so lucky!

Many of you know she's had chronic ear infections all of her life.  Tubes and having her adenoids removed made a huge difference in her life, but her ear infections continue and her hearing hasn't improved over time. Caroline has seen the audiologist every 3-6  months since birth.  She loves Ms. Erin, our fabulous audiologist, so very much.  It's like going home every time we visit - she's very comfortable and at ease when she sees her "hearing" friends.

About six months ago they told us that they thought it was probably time for hearing aids, but they wanted to wait until she was three, because cognitively she could understand and do so much more (they test hearing by putting her in a sound proof booth and asking her to play games with toys based on the sounds she hears).  She loves it!
Working hard in the testing booth

Caroline has a damaged nerve just like me - we even have the same curve in our hearing loss.  Sorry sweet girl!  So two months ago she had molds made and we picked out hearing aids. She picked pink of course - and we waited patiently while they were being made.

 What her hearing aids look like - except the mold in her ear is clear

Getting fitted for her molds

July 1st was the big day and off we went (with no nap, mind you!) to receive our pink hearing aids and receive training.  She did just fine!  Didn't miss a beat!  And so far, two weeks in, we're good. She doesn't put up a fight to wear them - I guess because she can hear the sounds so much better than she could before - and her little friends haven't paid them a bit of attention.

She has a bear that has hearing aids, so we took him and a book about an elephant who wears hearing aids to share with our friends at school and that was that.  No big deal to these three-year-olds.  

You can barely see them with her wild hair!

Picking out big girl stickers!

We head back in a few weeks to have her hearing tested again to see if the hearing aids are doing their jobs. These little suckers are expensive and of course insurance doesn't cover them "because hearing is not medically required to engage in normal living."  So, I'm interested to find out if they help as much as we hope they do!  She's so ready to get her prize for wearing them every day!  We are so proud of this sweet, spunky girl!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Kindergarten here we come!

These two pictures have been a long time in the making!  We started planning to sell our house three and a half years ago.  We knew we needed to move for a great school system for Catherine Ellis and right about that time the housing market tanked....and stayed bottomed out for a long, long time.

However, we did sell our house three years later and began looking full time for a new house - a year later - we still had no home.  But, as is typical with God's timing, he saved the best for last and while we had a house we loved, next door to friends we adore, we needed it to fall through in order to find an empty lot in Homewood so we could build our very own home!  Who would have ever thought?! We won't be in the house until the end of the year, but the school system allowed Catherine Ellis to start in August with the rest of her classmates.  

So this little blue form you're seeing below has been quite the battle, but at last -just a mere seven weeks before school starts, Catherine Ellis is registered for kindergarten!

We toured the school a couple of weeks ago and loved the principal and the school.  Catherine Ellis is showing us more and more everyday that she's ready for kindergarten.  While she's been in "school" all of her life, it's still a big transition for this mama and our family.  She wanted to stay at school the day we toured and there weren't even kids there to entice her!  In three weeks we meet our sweet classmates and the teacher!  School starts August 12th so we are truly soaking up the last of summer!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Bowling & Baseball

Summer time has been such fun this summer - the girls are old enough to stay out a little later and are physically able to do some new things - like bowling!  It's been a lot of fun experiencing the freedom that comes with a five-year-old and three-year-old.

A few weeks ago I took the girls to a Barons Game and boy did we have fun!  They made signs (excuse our Roll Tide!) and were pumped about cheering on our minor league team.  We went with some dear friends to UAB night (employees and families attended for free) and had a great time.  Catherine Ellis ended up staying at the game with her best friend from school and didn't get home until 9:45 p.m.!  She is still talking about what fun she had that night!

 Ready for the game!

 Little sister is too!

 Climbing the jungle gym at Railroad Park

 Little mama swinging high

 Family selfie at the game!

 Catherine Ellis and her bestie, Clarke

 All the lovely ladies

Our next fun adventure was bowling.  I was lucky enough to have a morning to take Catherine Ellis bowling with her class.  It was our first time bowling together and we loved it!  Our team had the best time.  Very competitive and the only team that played two rounds.  Imagine that!

 We used the ramp a few times - but didn't love it

 Waiting on her ball to come up

 Trying out a new roll

 Or maybe throwing the ball will work better

 Catherine Ellis and Clarke

 Clarke pitching his bowling ball

 Sweet friends 

 Loved my morning with this big girl!

The lean green bowling team - Catherine Ellis, Ethan and Clarke

Since we were "skipping school" for bowling we decided to meet some sweet friends for Mexican before heading back to school and work - yay for summer field trips and lunches with friends!

Watson, Catherine Ellis and Hayes