{ Memorial Day at Callaway Gardens }

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For Memorial Day we headed up to one of our favorite spots that’s not too far away from our house-Callaway Gardens. It seemed like forever since we had been there, and we were excited to explore some of the parts that our little kids hadn’t been to yet. While Aaron, Brianna, Austin, and Brooke headed off to get checked in for the treetop adventure rope course, I took the four youngest to the Butterfly Garden Center. Erika had studied butterflies in her class at school this year, and Scott and I read our caterpillar book many days at naptime story time. They were pretty excited to try to get to actually touch a real butterfly.

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After wandering around trying to “catch” a butterfly, the kids were getting a little frustrated, and a little bored. Luckily, as we were approaching one of the doors we saw this little butterfly on the ground. I think he must have had a wing that was slightly injured because he wasn’t too quick to fly away from all of our eager little hands. Ryan tried to coax him onto his finger, but was a little unsure about actually picking it up himself.

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Abby became our butterfly handler, and loving cared for her new little friend and passed him off from person to person to hold.

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Scott was really having a hard time waiting for his turn to hold the butterfly, but when it was finally on his finger he wasn’t so sure about how it was tickling him as it walked around, and he graciously ended his turn early so Ryan could hold it.

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After our walk through the butterfly center we drove over to find Aaron, Brianna, Austin, and Brooke at the treetop adventure rope course. The had just built this course in the last couple of years, and we had yet to try it out. The over 54 inches rule limited who of our group could go on it, with Brooke barely making the cut off with her shoes on. She was pretty excited to get to be with the “big kids”.

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After a quick picnic lunch, we headed by the Discovery center and found a ton of turtles hanging out by the bridge. The kids were happy to find out that the turtles would eat whatever little bits of food they could find to throw to them. The turtles would fight off the fish to get even the smallest little morsel of turtle food, or crumb, or leaf, or other random thing the kids threw in. It was pretty crazy to see that many turtles in one place.

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A swim at Robin’s beach ended out the day. After all of our activities the water felt really good. It was the first time we have been able to come with no stroller. It was really nice not to lug a big jogging stroller through the sand. The offset of not having a baby to play with at the beach, is then you have a toddler to deal with at the beach. A toddler with NO fear. Ryan loves to be in the water, and pretty much spent the whole day trying to swim to the “playground” he saw across the way. There was no convincing him that he couldn’t go play on it, or that some water was too deep for him. Lucky for us, the kids love to take him out swimming, so when Aaron or I would get tired of trying to chase him down they would take turns playing with him in the water.

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And no trip is ever really complete without our traditional body burying of whoever is game(Brooke seems to be the lucky recipient this time), and building a sand castle with our expert castle building skills. Abby also thought it clever it build her own little “pool” on the beach edge (the beginnings of can be seen in the picture above). She would sit in her own little person sized hole to cool off, and it soon became the envy of all the kids and they set out to each build their own person spas overlooking the lake. The little boys were happy to just pool jump from hole to hole, until the angry cries from the girls were a bit too much. Luckily, we had a surprise ice cream trip to Bruster’s waiting for us at home, so we easily lured away our beach weary kids, and treated them to ice cream for FHE that night.

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