Monday, June 17, 2013


My sister came to visit last week with her sweet little baby Elijah.  All the cousins were together.

It was a busy visit, split into several segments, with various configurations of us either at our house or at my parents' house.  We fit a lot into the days we had with them.  One day we did the aquarium.  Ella loves petting the sting rays.  She even bought a stuffed one from the gift shop with her birthday money.  She named it Stingy.  Imaginative girl.  Oh, and that crown?  Her hairband for the day.

She tried to entice butterflies to land on her fingers, using a technique {she explained to me very seriously} that she had seen Mary Poppins use to get a bird to land on her finger.

Jack became an arctic explorer, discovering new territories, with help from his side kick, Mr. Penguin.

We were almost eaten by a shark, but I was the only one who recognized the danger.

My beautiful sister and her adorable baby, whom I miss deeply and wish lived closer.

After the aquarium, we met up with my parents for a delightful dinner at Tony's, a fabulous Italian restaurant in the art district of Chattanooga.  If you haven't been to the art district, it is a must-see next time you're in Chattanooga.  As for Tony's, even Nate seemed interested in the menu. 
My parents were in their element with all of their grandchildren around!

Elijah is pure cuteness.  We call him the bi-polar baby because he has no emotion that falls in the realm of calm.  He's either totally excited or totally upset.  Thankfully he's usually totally excited.

This is the only picture I got during the entire visit with his mouth closed.

A few days later, we ventured out to the Knoxville Zoo.  Jack and Ella got to ride on a camel!  Now, if you know my daughter, this will not surprise you at all.  In fact, you would likely expect to see her in front leading him and inviting him to come and live at our house.  Jack, on the other hand, well, he's a bit timid.  He doesn't like to try new things and is terrified of all animals he sees in person, so when he happily climbed aboard the camel, I stood there with my mouth open for the entire ride. 

He sat there proudly in front, enjoying every minute.

You cannot know how shocking this is unless you have witnessed his reaction to the smallest of dogs and cats.  He runs in terror, screaming like a little girl.

There is hope for my little man yet!  He's growing up so fast!
He even started driving.

When we took a break for lunch, I snapped some pics of Elijah.  The only time you can get good pictures of that child is when he's strapped in.  When he's free he is always on the move.

Like I said, mouth always open.  But what a cute mouth it is.

Such a doll baby.

He is a lot like Ella was at this age.  Jack and Nate are so easy going that they rarely get excited like this.  It was so fun!

It's official.  Neither Ella nor Jack has a wingspan quite as wide as a condor.

The zoo has a petting zoo attached.  Ella and Jack got little brushes and were told how to brush the animals.  I fully expected a meltdown or screaming fit from Jack.

Instead, he did this.  Very calmly, he talked to the goats.

Then he showed me what he would look like if he hatched from an egg.  He said, "I'm pretending to crack!"
 Ella apparently thought that she would hatch like this.
It was so much fun spending time with my sister and her little guy!  And because I know you want to see it again,

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