Friday, January 13, 2012

Butterfly Palace

Once again, Branson provided us another great, fun family day. I really do love that we are able to do some really neat things as a family while we live in the Branson area. Today we visited the Butterfly Palace, an interesting science center dedicated to exotic rainforest butterflies, and they have some exhibits with frogs, lizards, skinks, etc. thrown in. Mac and I would have been just fine seeing the butterflies and totally avoiding the poison dart frogs and GIANT rainforest roaches! haha I took lots of good pictures, so I will just let the pics do the talking now :)

We were able to see the "White Flight" exhibit just before it changes to something new.
Very pretty black and white butterflies

Well, not real sure about things at first, but he quickly warmed up to the idea.

Safari Sam and Drew heading out on a hunt

Mac got to ride a cute bumble bee scooter. This thing was a hit! And it kept him involved and interested so we could take our time and enjoy the butterflies. Very smart idea of the Palace.

Our family picture on the neat bench. (Mac and Drew started the day in matching outfits, but as it always happens, Drew had a little accident and had to be changed into his not cute "diaper bag clothes." Oh well...)

Seriously, Drew was enamored by all of the butterflies flying around everywhere. They would fly right up to you and definitely speed right past your face!

An angel statue...which was actually a live person!!!

Mac was unsure about the whole moving statue, but he couldn't take his eyes off of her. He rode backward on the scooter until he could no longer see her :)

Sam trying to be a statue.
Not really, he was trying to be really still so a butterfly would land on him. Naturally, one landed on my camera while I was holding it, but obviously I could not get a picture of it :(

In the frog, lizard, roach, etc. exhibit...Mac never quite warmed up to this room. The smile is only because Sam was making him laugh.

They had a fun mirror maze, and Mac loved it.

We walked feeling our way around so we wouldn't crash into a mirror. Once or twice Mac broke free from us and received a gentle reminder on his head that he best walk with his arms in front of him :)

It actually was a bit challenging. Can you see that there are 3 Mac's and Sam's in this pic??

You know you are in Branson when the exhibit includes a tribute to Elvis!

A bungee maze. Mac started out terrified, mostly due to the very loud bullfrog noises playing in the background.

By the time he reached the "magic pond," he was a fan.

Now bravely leading the way out to come tell me "I not scared, Mommy!"

I took Drew in too so we could all experience the adventure :)
We also watched a "Butterfly Moomie" on Monarchs which was actually interesting...I learned something new! We had a great day, and given the local discount ticket, you definitely cannot find a better way to spend your Friday the 13th :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

It's Snow Time!

Forsyth saw its second snow of the winter today. Now, though folks around here would say its not much, since it's sticking to the ground, I say its lots! :) When we woke up this morning, it was actually coming down pretty good and looked so pretty. Along with the snow came a VERY blustery wind...I mean blustery! The boys and I snuggled down and stayed inside, only opening the door for an occasional look at the powdery white stuff. This afternoon I decided to suit up with Mac and take him out to actually experience the snow. He thinks its so great. However, due to the chilling wind, I didn't last long out there. He wanted to stay out, but as mom's sometimes have to do, I had to make a good decision for us both and come inside ;) Now, just to make sure you know I'm not a wimp, at the time we went out, it was 21 degrees with a wind chill of 8!!! I'm certain Missouri folks would agree with this Mississippi girl that that is downright cold!

Ready for the snow, complete with "Thomas" boots

Having a taste

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yum, Yum!

A week ago we started Drew on baby food. His pediatrician in Springfield likes to wait until six months, and since I'm not a huge fan of the messy baby food stage, I happily obliged. Since the first few weeks are supposedly a time for just trying out new foods and texture, I bought a few jars of food thinking it would last us a while. Remember, they say that a baby typically eats a teaspoon or so the first few days of trying. Well, not this baby! Baby Drew loves him some baby food. He's eating entire jars at a time pretty much since the first try. If you try to quit before he's ready, he squeals until you return with the food :) This boy will quickly be ready for table food!
Not real sure about the squash on the first bite

Decided he liked it...

And trying to lick off every little bit :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Family Resemblance?

The other day Mac was being silly, as usual, and was putting his toy doggy's bowl on his and Drew's heads. I snapped a few pics and then was immediately reminded of a very similar picture I have of Sam...

Baby Drew

Mac's turn

And now to Sam posing in his Moroccan hat as we toured the world last year at Epcot :)

While I'm sure Moroccans look quite attractive in this little bowl hat, the Taylor boys will not be adopting it as an everyday wardrobe accessory! haha

Monday, January 9, 2012

A Legacy of Love

Back over the Thanksgiving holiday, we were able to get together with my mom's family (minus the majority of the Martino Clan since they were in Dubai), and Uncle Chuck captured some great shots of our crew. I am so grateful that my grandparents were there and continue to be an incredible example to all of us in love, faithfulness, dedication and loyalty. I love you, Momo and Papa!

My grandparents, Momo and Papa
Our crew, including Eldon of the Martino group and Uncle Chuck behind the lens :)
The Singleton Branch

With all of those kiddos, there's no telling who we were laughing at!

My sisters and forever best friends!

To Grandmothers' House(s) We Go!

We spent the week after Christmas visiting family in Mississippi, and our first stop was in Magee with Sam's family. The boys had a great time with Mim and Pop.

We were so very excited that Olivia and Mark were able to spend some time with us too. Mac loves playing with Aunt Olivia. In this pic Olivia is lovingly singing all of Mac's favorite Christmas songs with him...only problem is, she can't remember the words! haha

Opening some more fun gifts
Big boy Drew hanging out. Here's a good spot for me to mention that on Wednesday we met our "Monticello Families" for lunch and then headed up to Jackson to see my family (oh, and we snuck in a little wedding dress shopping for Lia in Brookhaven :))

CeCe and PePaw with their sweet brood of little youngins
I probably don't have to tell you, but it is a wild, crazy, great time when these cousins get together. They truly love each other so much. Man, do I ever miss those Hill kiddos!
(from L to R is Parker, Drew, Ramsey, Mac, and Ellie)

We continued the long-standing Christmas tradition of wearing Christmas pjs. We took a whole group picture, but, sadly, they were on Jessica's camera and I didn't get a copy before we left. I will be adding it to the blog whenever I get it :)

The Taylor Crew
My grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins also made a trip up to Jackson for us to celebrate Christmas together. And we even got a group picture of all of us, but like the above problem, those are on Aunt Cheryl's camera. So, it'll follow later as well. I was just so grateful that everyone in our families was willing to work around our schedule and trip into town. Christmas just isn't Christmas without family! The week flew by much, much too quickly, and we reluctantly departed back for Missouri. The real fun began when we returned and I had to find a place in our already way too crowded trailer for all of our new stuff! And, yes, we are anxiously awaiting the answered prayer of a sold house in MS so we can transition to a house with a little more space!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Catch Up

Well, somehow another year has quickly passed us by, and 2012 has now arrived. With a new year comes a new blog book :) Therefore, I must quickly put in some Christmas posts so I can send in for our book.

This year marked a new experience for me and Sam...we celebrated "Christmas" with just our little family in Missouri. And although I would always prefer to be surrounded by lots of family, it was kinda nice to spend some good quality time with just Sam and the boys all day.

We actually celebrated Christmas at our house a day early, on the 24th, and Santa was so kind and made a special trip to our house on Christmas Eve Eve :) This worked great for us because right after the morning worship service on Sunday morning, we headed out in our loaded-down Camry for Mississippi. So, the 25th was mostly spent in the car seeing only the occasional traveler at only a few open gas stations.

Christmas this year was loads of fun as Mac was old enough to really get into all of the festivities. And he was so excited that Santa was coming and bringing presents!

Santa did come...sweet, jolly Old Man even comes to a very small 4.5ft tree :)

Mac is very much in a train phase right now and LOVED this train. We had a very hard time getting him to want to open up his other presents. He just wanted to stay sitting right there watching the train go around the track. Santa sure could've realized that Mac really just needed that one present this year ;)

Getting into the other gifts. The expression on his face is him saying, "Ohhh my goodness!" That's what he said over and over, "What is it? Ohhh my goodness!" Precious!

Baby Drew loved his toys from Santa also. He is enjoying anything that lights up and makes noise these days.

He liked all of his toys, but nothing made him as happy as just being held by his mommy. My boy loves his mommy :)
Our family at the Christmas Eve service
We had a great day...opening gifts, eating a late breakfast, playing with toys all day and then to church. It was so nice to be able to end our fun day with a service to worship Christ and keep our minds and hearts on the reason we celebrate this holiday.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Toes, Anyone??

I just love it when babies discover their feet, and Drew found his about a month ago. However, he is just perfecting getting those little chunky toes into his mouth :) I wasn't real sure if his chubby little tummy and legs would allow him to get his feet all the way up to his mouth, but it is no problem at all for this lil fellow! I just love it!!!