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Mom & Dad Surprise 50th Birthday and 30th Wedding Anniversary Bash- Part 2 of 2

November 20, 2012
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…When everyone finished eating Matt played the video that he put together for Mom and Dad.

I had helped him by going through their photo albums and digging up old pictures. I scanned them, emailed them, and left the rest to Matt. I love what he did with it! Unfortunately, I do not have access to the final edited and revised version of the video at this time. Fortunately, I DO have one of the ALMOST final versions of the video that I can share with you now. Matt just made a few more tweaks to this version (You might not even notice them when I show you the final one):

Hi! I’m a LINK! CLICK here ON ME to watch the VIDEO!

URL of video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/m0fzb5moievy3ge/Anniversery.m4v.mp4

While watching the video:
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Song at the end of the video: Johnny Cash ‘In My Life’ LYRICS:

There are places I’ll remember
All my life
Though some have changed
Some forever
Not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life
I’ve loved them all
But if all these friends and lovers
There is no one
Compares with you
And these memories
Lose their meaning
When I think of love
As something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life
I love you more
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life
I love you more
In my life
I love you more

Before I move on to the group photos I’d like to mention how proud I am of my parents.

Both of them.

Their life together has not been easy. I could write 10 novels on the hardships they’ve endured as a couple and as individuals. They’ve worked HARD. All on their own. I absolutely could not be more thankful for the PERFECT childhood and growing up experience they provided for me and my brothers. As a mother of only one young boy, I cannot wrap my mind around the work, time, energy, commitment and sacrifices my parents made to raise three children the way they did– My dad used up his hard earned vacation time from work to work even HARDER taking his kids to camp out at music festivals. He used his evenings creating stage sets and scripts so that the church children could put on plays for the congregation. He carved pumpkins through cramping hands, sawed down Christmas trees in the dead of winter, coached soccer on his weekends, and so much more. He was our spiritual leader; our go-to guy when we had questions. He challenged us to open our minds and think critically. (And boy, we do! All three of us willful Sanders kids, haha!) My mother made her career her children. She visited our classrooms, made meals for teachers, took us to every school, home school, and extra-curricular activity, and nursed us when we were sick. She was our encourager, nurturer, and defender. (She was MamaBear. We knew who had our backs. We still do.) My parents raised three kids who are best friends for life, and that just an extremely precious and rare gift. I am eternally grateful for them, their teamwork in raising their family, and their marriage.

Now for group pictures!

Before toooo many people left Mom requested we all gather for one big happy photo.

A few of the ones I liked:

(To not-so-tech-savvy people: You can click on the photos to go to my photobucket account where you can view them BIGGER.)
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And a few more fun photos from the end of the night:

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Adry had SO much fun running around and playing with all of the children that were there, and he cried and cried when they all went home and he was the last little boy left. (He is far more fearless and social than I am. I don’t know where he came from!)

Anyway, I’m glad my brothers and I had the chance to celebrate my parents that night. They are awesome. Happy 30th Anniversary to them, December 31st! 🙂

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Mom & Dad Surprise 50th Birthday and 30th Wedding Anniversary Bash- Part 1 of 2

November 10, 2012
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Several years ago Matt, J, and I had the idea to throw a surprise bash to celebrate our parents. We decided to do a combo over-the-hill and 30th anniversary party because we figured that’d be a big year for both of them. We chose a date right in between their 50th birthdays.

My dad-in-law was able to reserve the basement of his church for us, and Matt and I invited everyone we thought had loved and cared for my parents over the years and watched them  grow from dating teenagers to grandparents. I ordered food and cake and collected a bunch of decorations, and Matt put together music and video for the occasion. On the day of we got to the church to set the place up. After most of our work was done Rebecca drove J back home to mom and dad to “bum a ride” to what my parents thought was Keith’s birthday party… J was in charge of making sure Mom and Dad didn’t get there too late or too early, and kept us informed on their whereabouts.  (The three of us make a great team, I must say. High Fives to my awesome brothers.)

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So Matt and I gathered the crowd to one side of the basement and when Mom and Dad walked inside (with a birthday present for Keith in tow lol) everyone yelled ‘SURPRISE!’ of course. And they were. Totally surprised. (Or at least they acted like it.)

Matt and I presented Mom with a lovely over-the-hill boa and Dad with an inflatable walking cane, and then everyone dug in to the hundreds of pounds worth of city BBQ Matt and I bought (which we pretty much ran out of by the end of the night. It was yummy) as well as the delicious salad Mom-in-law made.

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<3

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Being silly

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Mom and her kids

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The fam

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Mother wanted this group hug photo. This is for you, Mom!

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T. Matt’s mustache

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Jamie got cut off here but she was pulling me away from Keith all SHE’S MINE!

My next (and last) birthday/anniversary bash post will be the video Matt made for Mom and Dad (which I absolutely love. It was perfect) and the group photos!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Marrying Keith 4- family photos

October 6, 2012
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Keith and Uncle Phil

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Love that smile

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Keith and his “brother of another color and a different mother”, Xavier

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They man-love each other

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Keith’s bandmate Ryan (videographer and husband of photographer) on the left

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Keith with Ryan and his son

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Little Bro J <3 Photobucket

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Childhood Family Friends (Or as we call ourselves, “The Kids”): Tay, Hutch, Ash, Me, Adry, Ryan, Jamie, Jessie, Mer, Tori

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Supporting Mothers: Les, Sandie, Me, Mom, Pammy, Ginny

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Ash and I

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Next Post: Blue Ginger and Fire Party!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

New Year’s Eve 2011

January 4, 2012
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Buca di Beppo

The Pope Table

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Attempting to get a picture with Keith…
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Take One

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Take Two

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Take Three

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Aaaaand Take Four! Look how cute he is! I love that smile.

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Matt, Alexz, Ash, and Duke

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Tay and J

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Mom and Dad, the anniversary couple! Celebrating 29 years.

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Boys like to ruin photos with funny faces.

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Keithy is trying to mimic some face that I make at him.

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Mom and The Pope

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J and Becca

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Tony and Pammy

Back at the house

dessert, drinks, and watching the ball drop

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Ash and I and Duke being a photo creeper

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Aaw. The Ladies.

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Keithy doesn’t like this picture, but I do!

That night Mom and Dad gave me my birthday present early. A new Tiffen 50mm camera lens!
I’ve just been able to steal a few minutes to play around with what it can do and haven’t taken any serious or decent pics with it yet… but I did want to show off my handsome boys.

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(I was messing around with how close I could get and focusing on different parts of his face… But I’d love this picture if the composition was different. I love him.)

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Handsome boy dos. I love him, too!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas Misc

December 11, 2011
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Tree Hunt


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Our tree farm was closed this year. We spent the evening searching the city for another, but we were unsuccessful and had to settle on a precut nursery. We still had a lot of family fun all squished in my dad’s truck singing Christmas songs while driving around under a beautiful sunset.
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Sittin’ with Santa

Mom and I took Adry to Friendship Village for Breakfast with Santa. At first Adry said that he couldn’t sit with Santa because he was sick and proceeded to dramatically fake gag-cough. But we told him that if he talked to Santa for a few minutes he’d get a candy cane, and he said he suddenly felt much better.
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And he actually really got a kick out of talking to Santa and told  him that he wanted a green truck, a green batman shirt, and a green keyboard. But then Santa asked him for a second time in the conversation if Adry had been a good boy this year and Adry dropped his smile, looked up at him all really!? and said, “Uh, you already asked me that.” I was… so proud… in that moment.

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Santa is reading the Reindeer Food instructions to Adry.

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Pammy had an Ornament Party today, which was really nice and we all had a good time. We had to wear these lovely headbands for one of the games.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Sunday Lunch at The Sanders’… halloween edition

November 1, 2011
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Well… I got my festiveness and coordination from my mother, if not the art of hospitality and cooking.

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It’s the details that make the difference. Tay once said, “I like lunches at Teresa’s. It’s not just good food- it feels more special.” It’s because she thinks of all the little things like bat cloth napkins. I’m not even kidding. Haha.

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appetizer: homemade pita bread and dips…

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The perfect fall meal: roast, carrots, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy, warm rolls, coconut pie, and pumpkin pie. I wanted Mom to get a candid picture of all of us enjoying each other, but she made us get all posey which always turns out awkward. But hey, it’s a memory!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Girls at The Morgan House

January 15, 2011
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I spend the afternoon at The Morgan House in Dublin with my mom and some of the ladies. I thought it was one of the cutest restaurant/gift shops I have ever experienced. Les set up the luncheon and when we got to our table she had put a little B&BW lotion and friendship cards at each place settings. Cute cute.

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Les and Mer

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Mom and I

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Ruthie, Irene, Pammy

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They put edible flowers in your fruit! Yes, I totally ate my flower.

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Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Bringin’ in the New Year. 2011/26

January 4, 2011
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First, in defense of my camera, I must admit that some of these (a lot of these) aren’t the greatest of photos. BUT that’s because I don’t use automatic mode- I use all of the creative modes- because I am trying to LEARN. And I am still finding the right balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the right depth of field for the amount of movement going on in whatever lighting there is. It’s a delicate balance and I am a beginner and I’ve never taken a photography class (which basically means I just learned what that stuff even means). So! I am at fault for whatever flaws there may be in these photos. Not my camera.

Anyway!
New Year’s Eve Pictures!

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Me messing around…

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Mom and Dad made a really fancy meal for NYE. Asparagus soup, dinner rolls, salad, filet mignon, bakes potatoes, mixed vegetables, and wine. Mom of course made sure the table looked all pretty.

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Jacob is something special.

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The boys played together all night. Adry adores Jameson and follows him around like a worshipping puppy.

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Nick and I

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Nick and I… after I made J try to get a “better” one of us.

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This is how the cool kids bring in the new year. CANDY LAND.

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Tony

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Pammy

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Ruthie

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Nick is attempting to teach my brothers how to play Euchre.

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Les

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Dad playing harmonica

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Whatever Jameson does… that’s exactly what Adry wants to do. I think he watched him play phone games for like an hour.

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This was my parents’ 28th Year Anniversary and I failed to get a pic of them together.

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Chip and Mer

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Chip and Mer candid after pose-for-the-picture time.

Then a few days later I turned 26 years old!

And I went to Jessie and Jamie’s apartment to eat Pei Wei Pad Thai and watch a cute movie with some girls. Jamie surprised me with Coke, a theater gift certificate, and a Reese DQ ice cream cake with ‘2’ and ‘6’ candles on it. Totally sweet of her. It put me in a sugar coma and I promised myself to not eat sugar again until I turned 27. I almost successfully forgot to take my cake home but Jessie made sure I remembered. That Jessie– always lookin’ out.

OMG it is 2011.

OMG I am 26 years old.

OMG I would have been married for SIX years.

I’m not going to lie. The last few weeks of December/ the first week of January have been really incredibly hard. Emotionally draining. I’m glad it’s all over. Sort of. The fact that it’s over also means… it’s over. And that’s still hard to swallow.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Hocking Hills Camping Trip (Part 2 of 3)

July 20, 2010
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Old Man’s Cave

Now, of the dozens of times my dad took my brothers and I hiking at Old Man’s Cave, I never fully appreciated it like I did this time as a twenty-something mother of an exploring toddler.

We hiked it in drizzling rain, which was actually perfect and beautiful.  I wouldn’t have survived the hike on an 85* sunny day. And the mist in the trees, the sprinkles hitting the water to make it look like it was sparkling, the contrast of the huge bright yellow butterflies fluttering about the damp rock: it all made for a breathtakingly majestic experience.
I wish my camera could have captured a fraction of the beauty.  But alas, I post these pictures to jog my memory of the real thing:

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Ben and Adry are all packed up and ready for a day of hiking. (I MISS HIS HAIR!  Ugh!  After this camping trip I requested that Ben give Adry a buzz cut, and I will NEVER do that again!)

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Crazy roots around a big rock

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Several More Pictures Below the Cut!  Butterflies and Caterpillars, Too!

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Do you see Sphinx Head in the rock formation to the right?

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Adry LOVED the hikes. He refused to be held – he wanted to do all the steps and climbs himself. A couple of days ago he wanted to play at Castle Park by himself. I tried not to get choked up; his growing independence is bittersweet.

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Awesome spider web! Obviously 400X more awesome in person.

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Devil’s Bathtub

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My dad is showing this huge dead bug off to a few fellow hiking kids.

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Ben found an enormous caterpillar.

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A terrible, horrible, no good, very bad picture of the enormous butterflies fluttering about the falls. Oh. My. Gosh. They were gorgeous, and they’d fly SO close to us. I felt like I was in a fairy tale land, like if I would just stretch out my arms and start singing they would land on my arms.

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Part Three: Cedar Falls, Coming Soon!

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Hocking Hills Camping Trip Part 1 of 3

July 15, 2010
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Day One: Sunday

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Grandma and Adry check out the shelter house.

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Tay plays with Adry by the car while others set up their sites.  (Tay had been working hard to set up his site and help with my tent as well!)

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Adry loved this little nook in Pam and Tony’s tent.

VIDEO: Adry chases Tony’s niece.
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Mom by the Fire

That night, after setting things up, Adry and I were absolutely exhausted. As soon as I crawled into the tent to lie beside him on our mattress he put his arm around me. I love being his mommy.
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Day Two: Monday

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Eating a Peanut Butter Sandwich for Lunch

VIDEO: Just a little looksie into the random life of Adry Padry. He is off in his own little world eating his PB samich. He must have a song in his head because he claps his hands and tries to headbang but almost loses his balance. Then he decides hitting the top of his head is a good idea.  And OH, WHAT’S THIS IN MY MOUTH? He takes his chewed bite out of his mouth to examine it- OH YEAH, IT’S JUST THIS SAME SAMICH I’VE BEEN EATING! and he pops it right back in to continue chewing.  Also, please take note that he offers his drink up to the sky god before taking a swig, and then before asking for more graham crackers (even though there is still some on his plate) he breaks out in a merry toddler tune. All within 1 minute 30 seconds.
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He is saying PEEEEEEEEAASE

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Chillin

SEE MORE PICTURES AND VIDEO UNDER THE CUT!  Prepare for Taylor’s DARING FEAT and see if he makes it back alive!

 

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We found a fallen tree back in the woods and Adry loved it.

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Adry is playing with the hidden treasure Grandma found in the woods: a squishy rubbery bean-filled shark.

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Tony is walking back to the creek.

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Taylor Performs a daring feat: crossing a thin tree to the other side of the bank… FIVE HUNDRED (minus the hundred) FEET IN THE AIR!

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Phew. He’s lucky he made it out alive.

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Adry has claimed Tay as one of his favorite friends. I told Tay he should feel lucky – not everyone gets to hear a toddler call after them and beg for attention all hours of the day.

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I spotted this bug (obviously he was nature’s selection for dinner that day. He is clearly supposed to be hanging out on tree bark, but like a genius he made his way to the bright green tent. I saved his life. You’re welcome, bug.)

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I know I am biased, but I think this fella is adorable.

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Dad is using the bug book to try and identify our barky buggy friend.

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Tony got out his sport chair.

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Mmmm. The ladies prepared DELICIOUS melt-in-your-mouth hamburgers and corn on the cob for dinner that night.

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Here I am back in the tent for the night. I gradually look more unkept as the days go on.

Day Three: Tuesday

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The Food Woman made eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes for breakfast.

VIDEO: Adry listens to Grandpa play harmonica.
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Stay tuned for Hocking Hills Camping pictures Parts 2 and 3, coming soon! You will get to see the rest of Day Three and our hikes to Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal