The Murphree Family

The Murphree Family

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas and warmest wishes for 2015!

 
 




Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013












Saturday, November 2, 2013

Summer Fun, First Day of School {STILL getting caught up)

This summer we were busy, but we took advantage of any chance we could spend a day on the water. We met Justin's brother's family at Smith Lake one weekend. Such a beautiful lake! Justin still skis like he did back in 1998 when we first started dating.
 
 Eason and Justin jumping from the cliff..
Back at Bay Springs Lake--We spent as much time here as possible, camping twice with our neighbors.
 
Love how her pigtails look like she is flying!

Eason and Hayes love to play baseball on the sandbar.

A little DIY 4th of July shirt with ribbon and ric rac for Kate Ross

We camped  for the 4th of July holiday and then again in August at Piney Grove Campground on Bay Springs Lake. View from our campsite...
 
Watching the sunset from the pier

Back at the campsite...LOTS of fun was had by all!!

Kate Ross and Amy playing with their barbies

Who needs Destin when you can spend it at the campground beach? ;)


Kate Ross and Sweet Amy

The kids favorite part was riding their bikes around the campsite. We got them all bike lights and glow sticks, then they were set for some night riding.

Roasting marshmellows


Eating smores

Taking a boat ride

Eason wake boarding
 
Just swimming



Yeah, we aren't hardcore campers...the kids watched a movie before bed each night to wind down while the grow-ups visited by the campfire. Eason wasn't much into whatever Kate Ross picked out (she tends to be the win most of the movie battles), so he played a game on his ipod. 


All snuggled in and ready for some sleep.
This older pop-up was generously given to us by Justin's uncle several years ago when he upgraded. I think we all decided that we love some camping....well except for the bugs and critters (my problems), but we hope to buy a bigger camper with a bathroom before long. Seeing the fox on my way back from the bathhouse about 1am just sealed the deal for me--we NEED a camper with a potty!! :)


The week before school started we were free with no plans (first week all summer!), so the children set up a lemonade stand in the driveway. We all had fun with this. Justin built the stand the night before and I made the banner out of some scrap fabric leftover from making a dress for Kate Ross. Our circle just doesn't get a ton of traffic, but they did make some sells and had fun.



School started in early August for Eason and Hayes. They had a fun summer, but I didn't hear much complaining about going back to school. I think they were ready to get back into a routine and see their friends. I am so thankful that these boys WANT to go to school every single day. Well, I mean they have no option, but even if they are sick, they are so disappointed that they can't go. The fact that they enjoy school makes me so happy and thankful. :)

Kate Ross started preschool after Labor Day and she is going 3 mornings a week.


No worries, we found her shoes before leaving. ;)

Kate Ross also started gymnastics.

I got to play dress up one afternoon! Let's face it, I'm hardly model material, and I only stand about 5'2 (that's stretching it).  However, I thought it was so sweet of The Snooty Owl, the cutest little boutique and shop, to ask me to model for them. This ad was in September edition of The Invitation, a magazine for this area. They are located on Main Street in Tupelo and have the neatest things and sweetest owners, so if you are in the area, stop by and check them out! You'll won't be disappointed!

Whew! Fall post coming up next--finally! :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Washington DC Trip {Getting Caught Up}

Justin had to go to a class in Washington DC in July for work. We were all SO excited that it was during the summer, and we were going to be able to go with him!! Eason had been wanting to go to DC for a long time! We decided to drive since the cost of plane tickets x 4 would be more than we wanted to pay. I was VERY nervous about this. On more than one occasion prior to the trip I declared that the kids and I would not go since going to Tupelo and back with all 3 often resulted in bickering, crying, and hollering. How on Earth could we all be in the vehicle together for 14+ hours and still remain sane?!?

Well, Justin convinced me that it would be fine. So, I stocked up on lots and lots of activities and searched Pinterest for ideas to keep them busy.

Justin came in from work on Friday and went to sleep while I took the kids out for supper, and we ended up pulling out of here close to midnight. We Justin drove all.night.long. while the kids slept (off an on), and I kept him company..more or less. I just couldn't sleep for fear that he would fall asleep.

 

We stopped in the morning to change out of PJ's and eat at Cracker Barrel, then kept right on driving until we stopped at a hotel later in the afternoon in Harrisonburg, Va, just a mere 90 miles from our hotel in Arlington, Virginia! The kids slept over half the trip and when they were not sleeping, they were so tired that they were almost dazed. They watched a couple of movies and TV series that were new to them (Little Rascals, The Cosby Show's Greatest Shows and Family Matters = Big hits!!) They were so good that I never really broke out my bag of tricks. 

We saw the most beautiful scenery along the interstate....the prettiest land, the neatest farms and old farm houses.


The next morning we woke up refreshed and ready for our easy-peasy 1.5 hour drive to The Embassy Suites in Arlington.

Day One
Justin didn't have to be in class until 1pm, so he was able to ride the metro with us and help me get it all figured out (well..sorta) before leaving us. Here we are waiting to get on our first train.


Once we got off the train in DC, we had to go our separate ways. Justin had to find the Federal Building, so we said our good-byes, and I stood there on the Washington DC city streets (never been there in my life) with a map, 3 kids and not a clue where to go or what to do. Seriously. After standing on the sidewalk for 10 minutes trying to decide how to hold the map...I'm not even gonna lie, my 10 year old reads a map better than I do...we struck out for the aquarium. The kids were all hungry for lunch so we went into the Ronald Reagan Building and ate at the food court and enjoyed a little air conditioning. I felt like I'd accomplished something already....I found a place to feed my babies and cool off. Now, onto some entertainment....We then found the the aquarium. Looking at the fish...

Awful quality, but one of the boys took this and it is just proof that I was there! :)
Next stop---The Smithsonian Institution—the world's largest museum and research complex—includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park--just in case you were like me and at one time thought the Smithsonian was one place. We had 3 hours or so before meeting up with Justin, so we went into the National Museum of American History. I can't believe that I don't have any pictures from there, but with 150,000 square feet of public space, it was easy to become disoriented and lost in this massive building. I guess I was just mainly trying not to lose my 3 since they tend to go in 3 separate directions at times, and it was slap full of tourists. There's no possible way you can really see everything in this museum in one visit, let alone 3 hours. We saw several really cool exhibits at The Museum of History, but one of the most memorable was the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem. Photography was forbidden, so I found the photo of it online.

 
The almost 200-year old, 30-by 34-foot flag is displayed in a special environmentally-controlled chamber. The room is dark and The Star-Spangled Banner quietly plays in the background. Many were seated along the wall on benches just taking it all in.

The museum was closing and we were waiting outside the for Justin to meet us and Kate Ross wanted to get her feet wet.




Day 2
We toured the Bureau of  Engraving and Printing where we learned all about the process of making money. We actually were able to observe the production of the new $100 bills. No photography was allowed so I didn't dare take any pictures. Great tour!

Next, we went to The National Air and Space Museum. Again, this place is massive and it was packed!!! I did get a few pictures though.










Day 3
We went to The Smithsonian's National Zoo. The previous mornings, the children and I would walk about 2 blocks from our hotel to the metro station in Arlington and ride into DC and get off a stop close to where we were going that day...or at least this was our plan. However, the zoo is not in downtown DC which required us to change trains to get to our destination. Justin was gone each morning way before we woke up but he made sure to leave me very specific directions for me to follow--to and from the zoo, back to the hotel because sometimes getting back can be tricky...or at least for me. ;) Such a great guy!
 
These big boys are ready for our big day at the zoo! They were so helpful to me all week.
 
 
 
Awful quality, but sister's sense of smell is very keen. She thought the metro was extra stinky on this particular day.
 

Kate Ross checking out the cutest gorilla at the zoo. I have other pictures of animals, but you've seen one picture of an elephant/giraffe, you've seen them all.

The zoo was great but would have been better had it not been over 100 degrees outside. Seriously. Washington, as well as most of the eastern part of the country, was in the midst of a heat wave. It was stifling.

Day 4
There was still so much left to see, but since was our last day there I knew that we must find our way to the White House.

At the metro station ready to start our adventure.
 

Along the walk there we passed The Smithsonian Castle.


The journey to the White House was not easy. We were walking the complete opposite direction at one point, everyone was tired, HOT, and at one point Kate Ross had to potty and could not wait and did I mention hot? ;) We ran into Macy's and let her use the bathroom and while we were there I asked a sale's clerk where the White House was...just to make sure we were on the right track. I was a more than a little down-hearted when he said that he didn't know where it was and had to ask a fellow employee. How can you work this close and not know...or were we even close at all?!? The next employee simply told me that it was not advised that people be walking in this heat and suggested that I find a metro bus to ride there. We'd come too far to turn back and I just knew it had to be getting close. I felt a little like Chevy Chase trying to find Wally World. We made it back out to the street and started walking again when I realized that I'd left our backpack with my wallet and everything hanging on the hook in the bathroom! I prayed the whole way there looking like a crazy women as I ran through the store pushing a stroller with 2 boys running along with me. Thankfully, it was still there! All of that to say, when I started seeing more and more tourists walking in the direction we were going, I felt SO relieved that it appeared we were heading in the right direction. 

Here we are taking a break to hydrate in the shade, but we are all so happy because we know that we are close to our destination. 
 
And we made it to 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue!

I felt such a crazy sense of accomplishment for finally making it here. In a odd way, it felt a bit like the way I felt after delivering each of these babies....that "I DID IT!" feeling. Strange, I know.



Political views aside, I was quite in awe as I starred into the home of our future and past presidents.


Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building near The White House

Next, we walked near The Washington Monument. It's sill under construction due to damage that occurred during an earthquake in 2011.
Eason

Hayes

Next, we found The National WWII Memorial.


Not sure if this is legal or not, but they are throwing coins into The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, which totally reminds me of the movie Forest Gump.
Our view walking up to The Lincoln Memorial



Justin met us here, and this is our only family picture of the entire trip. We were a HOT MESS. Literally. I think I heard the news say that the temp was close to a record breaking 110 degrees.


Justin walking along The Veteran's Memorial

Day 5
This was Justin's last day of class and they got out around lunch so we checked out and got ready to head back home. I just couldn't leave without stopping by Arlington National Cemetery. I am so glad that we did because I really think The Tomb of the Unknown Solider made an impression on Eason and Hayes, and I know it did on me. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located at the Arlington National Cemetery, has been guarded 24 hours a day almost since the first unknown solider was buried there in 1921. Soldiers who guard the tomb, called the Sentinels of the Tomb, must meet strict requirements in order to earn the opportunity to perform the duties of guarding the tomb.
Not a great picture, but we were able to watch the changing of the guard ceremony. These guards are amazing to do what they do. Not only do they have to be able to withstand extreme weather conditions (on this day it was in the 3 digit temps), but they are also have many more requirements that I have read about.
Visiting the graves of soldiers who lost their lives and all the ugave me a new appreciation for their sacrifice.  Such heros.
 
Random sweet picture from the trip.


Whew! What a grand experience! I am so glad I didn't let the drive keep me from going. The ride home was even more quiet since we drove all.night.long. We left Arlington around lunch and rolled into our driveway as the sun was coming up the next morning. All I have to say about that is...it was CRAZY but we did it!!!!!!!!!!