You would think, since I grew up in Woodstock and now live like 45 minutes from where I grew up in a little town called Powder Springs that I would know all the good places to go. . . but you'd be wrong. My parents had a pretty messed up relationship growing up, dad was really controlling and mom never had access to money, so we didn't go many places. And now, I'm rather anti-social with 4 kiddos, one of whom can't be in the sun for extended periods of time even with sunscreen, so we don't get out much. Fortunately, my sister is rather social so she is helping me with my anti-social tendencies. But I'm still a homebody for the most part.
I guess I'm a creature of habit. On a typical week, we go to the grocery store once or twice, church Wednesday and Sunday, and visit the ILs Sunday afternoon between morning and evening services. Anything else is atypical for us.
My typical day starts when the kids wake up (usually 8:30ish, but was 7:30 this morning. Sigh.). I make breakfast, usually for my nieces as well as my kiddos since my sister stays up late sewing most nights and my kids usually wake up first (and half the time wake up hers). Then I entertain them until lunch, make lunch and put my 4 down for a nap. Then entertain them until dinner, bath and bedtime routines, read my Bible for a while and enjoy the quiet, pray for them to sleep later tomorrow than they did today, rinse and repeat.
I still attend the same church I've gone to for like 15 years and I see my parents (or at least my mom) there most of the times I go. Its one of the largest churches in the area. When I was a teenager, we used to call it the mall of Jesus because its was mall sized then and had an entrance that looked like a mall entrance. Its grown since then. And now it has escalators, too, so its even more mall-like than it was. Wednesdays, I attend a Parenting By The Book Bible class while the kids go to their classes and Sundays I attend the Single Mom's Sunday school class and the sermon if I make it there in time. There are 3 services in the morning, at 8:00, 9:30 and 11:00 and my class is at 11:00. I rarely make it there in time for the sermon, but they record them so I watch them during the week whenever I have time. I usually make it back in time for the evening service after visiting my ILs. I really love going to church, reading my Bible and learning more about God. I look forward to reading my Bible during the day and I look forward to Sundays and Wednesdays. They refresh me.
That having been said, I know we are supposed to be introducing our homes to each other and talking about the places we'd like to show off to each other if we ever had the opportunity. I'll talk about 4 today.
The first place I'd show off is my church. I know not everyone believes in God, but they have a huge play ground there called Kidstock Park that I think everyone would appreciate. They have different areas for different age groups and one entrance/exit so the kids are safely contained. Plus, the ground is covered with recycled rubber from sneakers. I don't know why that's so cool to me, but it is. My kids love the park and are constantly asking to play there. Unfortunately, Izzy is super sensitive to the sun and burns even with sunscreen on and its super hot and humid here, so we don't go as often as they would like.
The second place I'd show off is my house. My sister's house. Our house. Specifically our playroom. My sister and BIL converted their 2 car garage into a play room in 1 garage and a sewing room in the other. Its fantastic. Especially when its clean. Which isn't often with 7 kids. Here are a few pictures of it clean, though:
See what I mean? Awesome, right?
The third place I'd show you guys is Berry Patch Farms. In fact, I was actually excited about having the blog this week because blueberries are in season. You see, I am a foodie. And blueberries are my favorite. And Berry Patch Farms is my favorite place to get them. Berry Patch Farms is a pick your own farm. They do not ever spray pesticides on their blueberries, so its perfectly safe to pick blueberries off the trees and eat them as you go. They encourage you to when you get there. They provide the buckets, bags and berries and they mark the trees that have poison ivy on them so that you don't get unwittingly exposed to that ick. You pick the berries and pay $2 a pound for the ones that manage to stay in the bucket long enough to be weighed. The girls and I spent an hour there last week while we were house sitting. We went at 7:30 at night so Izzy wouldn't have any issues with the sun and we had a blast. The girls stayed with me, Addy served as the foghorn to let us know if we came within 10 feet of a pink ribbon (poison ivy indicator), we ate about 3 lbs of blueberries in the process and took home 1 lb, which means our outing cost $2, 5-10 minutes for the trip there, another 5-10 for the trip back and was the perfect outing to help the kids fall into exhausted sleep as soon as we got home. Which was bliss for me :)
The last place I'd take y'all to visit (providing money was no issue) is the Georgia Aquarium. Its fantastic -- the perfect indoor, air-conditioned summer outing for children who burn easily. Izzy hasn't been there yet, but we went there with my ILs when Evie was 1, Izzy was in the belly and Addy was 4 -- about 3 years ago. You get to go in the pool with stingrays, pet some of the animals, and look at the coolest fish (and other under water animals) ever. I could have stayed there forever, minus the cost lol. Its a bit pricey and the food costs about as much as the ticket to get in there, but its a fantastic place to go as an adult and an even better place to take the kids and make great memories. In fact, if I can save up $150 before next summer, I may just get a season pass and be there once a week or more. . . Seriously, if you are ever in the area, you should go there.
And now that Rory is awake again, I'm off to bed.