Monday, December 10, 2012

Gulf Shores Christmas

Gulf Shores has had quite a few family friendly Christmas activities so far this month.  We have had fun learning the ways of a Gulf-shorian in December.  As you can see below, I had a hard time narrowing down the number of pictures to include.
Boat Parade down the Canal
Large boats, small boats, pirate boats, shrimping boats...all types of boats covered with lights!  Some had Santa, Rudolf, Angels, Christmas trees. Some shot off cannons, had people yelling "Merry Christmas", or blared music. All were beautiful. 
While we sat on the bank of the canal eating our picnic dinner of PB & J's, we marveled at the sights and sounds. 

 Angel Christmas Breakfast at Gulf Shores United Methodist
The church associated with Amelie's preschool held an Angel Christmas breakfast.  Angels served tiny angel pancakes covered with powdered sugar and candy, little sausage links, and canned fruit (very health conscious). We sang some Christmas carols and listened to an angel story.  As you can see from Amelie's sugar crazed look, she had a blast! After the program, she (and her friend Claire seen in the white dress) ran laps around the fellowship hall.
Picture with the angels.
 Gulf Shores Christmas Parade
Amelie jumped up and down waving at everyone float that passed by once she realized there was candy involved.
Before and after the parade there were other activities set up for us to do.  Amelie's favorite was the Jump House and Slide.  We also decorated cookies, had a picture with Santa, saw stable animals including a 2000 lb camel, and more.
Liam had a great view (and vantage point over dad)!  The parade was at the same time as the UGA vs AL SEC Championship game.  Bobby was wearing his GEORGIA t-shirt and received lots of comments throughout the evening.  There was a tent set up for us to be able to watch the game.  Other than being totally out numbered, this reminded me of one of our experiences watching the GA/FL game outside the stadium in 2002. It was a test of our character to be around so many AL fans after the tough game. ;)
Santa came in on the fire truck seen in the background.  The other characters came up and Amelie just ran close to get a good look.  Santa held out his arms and Amelie jumped into them!  Fun picture!  Later she was able to sit on Santa's lap.  She loved the experience of being near Santa, Liam on the other hand did not.
Gulf Shores City Open House (City Hall, Museum, Library, etc)
The City of Gulf Shores has an open house in which you can walk around town enjoying Christmas treats and doing fun activities like writing letters to Santa and making ornaments.  Liam does not like characters in costumes! Santa came on a blaring fire truck which was the high light of the evening.
Fun in the Sun at the DECEMBER!!!!
The weather for the last weekish has been in the 70s and sunny!  We have reverted back to spending our mornings, afternoons to sunset at the beach.  We are trying to soak in as many rays as possible!
Love the sunsets!
Liam is walking (and running) so good in the sand.  We have had more beach added so there have been bulldozers around.  He loves finding tire tracks and walking in them. I love this shirt too! 
Favorite things: building mounds to stomp in and digging holes to climb in and out of.
It's been so warm that we put on bathing suits and played in the water.  Liam follows after his big sister, running in and out of the ocean unafraid of the waves.
This is SO much fun!

Bobby made a contraption to slurp up ghost shrimp.  Ghost shrimp are the perfect bait because all fish love them AND it's free!

Sunset on the pier.

Bobby has caught a lot of really good fish recently.  Pictured here are his first red fish.
 Can you tell that we are loving beach life?  However, we are counting down the days until we head back to Georgia to visit family and friends.  Amelie has started talking about not wanting to leave Gulf Shores.  We are trying to encourage her that more adventure and fun things await us in the next city, but we understand that the unknown can be daunting.  We also know that these past few months have been our own little paradise.  Gulf Shores has definitely grown on us...or maybe it is more about the beach and less about the city....either way we are determined not to be away from the beach for too long!
We are learning that we can make fun family memories and traditions that will just look a little different from city to city.  What fun things have you been doing this month?  Any traditions that you would like to share?  We'd love to hear!! ;)


Thursday, November 29, 2012


Thanksgiving this year was much more low key and relaxed than in years past.  Instead of us making the rounds of eating delicious food at different family member's houses, we had our family come to us. My parents and Katie came Sunday to Wednesday followed by Nancy arriving late Thursday evening to Tuesday.  We loved having family around and enjoying Gulf Shores together.  Bobby did cook a 20 pound turkey for just the 4 of us.  Go big or go home is his motto! We will be eating turkey for the remainder of our time in Gulf Shores, but I have already told him we are not moving with the turkey.  When we moved to Gulf Shores, we brought with us salmon that he had purchased on sale.  We had so much stuff that the salmon was strapped to the roof of the car!  Ha! Good memories!
In other news, we have officially purchased our tickets for Europe!  We have been talking (and dreaming) a lot about where we will visit and what adventures we will have.  Thanksgiving is a time to slow down and reflect on the good things in life.  I often have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming and that my life is actually reality.  We are so fortunate to be able to work online which allows us SO much freedom and flexibility.  We are both able to spend lots of quality time with our children, playing and taking care of their daily needs.  It's a luxury, I know, having both of us around all of the time! Living on the ocean has been way above any expectations that I had prior to moving here.  I can't adequately express the daily merriment that we have because of our location. Tonight as I was putting Liam to bed, I was reflecting on how much joy Amelie and Liam bring to my life.  I am beyond thankful for these two precious gifts.  I was reminded that God delights in me just like, well more which is hardly imaginable, I delight in my children.  I am humbled by the immense love that He has for me.  Everyday, I wake up thankful that I don't have to rush to get ready for work, thankful that I don't have to hurry my children out the door to daycare, thankful that Bobby and I get to spend time fishing or playing at the park, thankful that we take turns making our daily meals, thankful that I have two healthy kids that keep me laughing, and the list goes on.  Truly, I am thankful.
(PS. I am supposed to sign my name and I keep forgetting. :) )

Thursday, November 1, 2012


 Ahoy, Matey!  Avast ye booty the Walker crew has pillaged this Halloween. 
Festivities started with "Boo at the Zoo." Our local zoo had fun games set up to play, animals walking around to pet, and a costume contest to take part in.  The entire family had a lot of fun!  Pictures speak a thousand words, so I will let the pictures do the talking.
Joined by another Lassie and Skully.
Blimey! What is trying to hornswaggle our booty?
Shiver-me-timbers, it is not easy playing golf with a patch over one eye!
Aaarrrrggghhhh, you scallywag, dead men tell no tales!  I will win this contest!
Heave Ho, batten down the hatches!
This old salt knows how to ring 'em.
Thar she blows! 

HaHaHa, I laugh in the face of danger.  Now let me out!!!

Let me have a piece of 'em!

What a crew! (Did I mention that it was mostly just children dressed up?)
Liam decided not to blow the man down for being an Alabama fan, the ferret was just too cute.
 Trick-or-treating turned out to be a super fun experience for us, like one you've seen in the movies.  A specific neighborhood in Gulf Shores was recommended to us to go trick-or-treating in.  As we neared the location, we were surprised by the high volume of cars parking outside of the neighborhood.  Immediately we knew this was going to be fun!  The neighborhood was blocked off to cars so it was nice not having to worry about walking around in the dark.  There were so many people trick-or-treating that the entire street was filled with people.  Most of the homes decorated to the nines.  If the house was too scary, we just walked by quickly.  Amelie went up to each person and said, "Aaarrrrggggghhhh, trick or treat!"  This turned out to be one of our favorite parts about the city of Gulf Shores.

All types and ages of people were out to trick-or-treat.
Liam road in his bike for most of the time, but when he was out he was not going to be left behind!  He's looking at the house as screams are coming from the windows.
Bobby and Amelie walking up to the first house.
Amelie is responsible for our costume choice this year.  She wanted to be a pirate princess (which I think she pulled off beautifully) so we all decided to be pirates.
Bobby and I enjoy dressing up with the kids, if you couldn't tell already.  We were contemplating how long can we do a family theme of costumes until Liam or Amelie won't want to participate or have differing ideas.  There is, of course, no way to know; but we will try to milk it for as long as we are able! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Top 10 From the Last Month

We have had a busy month and a half since our last post.  To catch you up here are our top 10 (or so) in chronological order:
1.     Sept 11: Blue Angels Practice on the Naval Base in Pensacola.  Bobby and I didn’t know what to expect, but we both couldn’t stop smiling.  It was AMAZING!  The pilots performed so many cool tricks and maneuvers.  At the beginning of the show they made a ribbon in the air out for remembrance of 9/11. Amelie and Liam were also entertained with the nearness of the planes and the loudness of the engines. In speaking with some of the locals afterwards, we were surprised by some very critical reviews.  Since we were novices, we didn’t know all of the technical distances the planes had to be or their exact routine. I guess you could say that we were easily amused.  However, others were disappointed by the lack of discipline of the pilots in performing an accurate routine.  I couldn’t help but make an analogy out of this. Thinking this served as just another reminder that perspective in life is important…both for focusing on what is important in life and for making sure you are focusing on the right things. It is easy to become so pin holed in your focus that you miss the greater picture and the awe of all that is surrounding you. 

2.     Sept 14 – 19: Nanny Visit. It was a treat for everyone in the family to have Nanny around. She spoiled Amelie and Liam with lots of attention. She also spoiled us by treating us to a couple of eating out experiences.  We had a take out shrimp feast on the porch one night and Bahama Bob’s another night.  We were able to explore Fairhope, which is a coastal city about 30 minutes from us.  It was nice to have family around to be able to show off our day to day.

3.     Sept 23 – 26: Aunt Sarah Visit.  A huge highlight from Sarah’s visit was that she and Amelie had a lemur experience at our zoo.  They sat in a cage with around 5 lemurs who were playing and jumping around and on them for around 30 minutes. The zookeepers allowed Liam to be apart of the fun for a couple of minutes near the end.  Both kids enjoyed being able to touch and let the lemurs climb all around them.  Another highlight of Sarah’s visit was meeting up with some of her friends who now live in Gulf Shores. It was fun hanging out with another family in the area and learning the ins and outs of the area.

4.     Sept 27-29: Daddy-daughter adventure to St. George’s.  Bobby’s brother, Daniel rented a house on St. George’s island and invited us to come.  Bobby was looking forward to having some quality time with his brothers (Daniel and Stephen), Sarah, his dad, and Karen. However, on the way to St. George’s island our cars transmission decided to go out.  Amelie was a great sport and Bobby was able to push through and not let irritating car problems dampen the entire trip.  Amelie enjoyed the required frequent breaks to let the transmission cool down. She ate lots of icecream (chick-fil-a and dairy queen), shopped at Bass Pro Shop and got a Mickey Mouse fishing pole, and other fun eating out stops. She also had her first experience with bubble gum (it was a positive one).  While Bobby and Amelie were away, Liam and I enjoyed a lot of quiet. We spent time on the beach and on long walks.  We were very happy when they arrived home safely!  

5.     Fishing:  Amelie is quite the fisherwoman (she must learn her skills from her dad!).  She catches a lot of pinfish off the peir in the lagoon.  We now have a fishing pole for Bobby, Amelie, and myself.  Bobby’s new official hobby is fishing.  Like all hobbies, Bobby is learning everything he can about fishing in the Gulf.  His research and quest for knowledge has paid off as he recently caught 38 Whiting.  We are enjoying his hard work with delicious meals of fish tacos. 

6.     Crabs:  Bobby has worked at mastering the art of crabbing as well.  He caught so many crabs and was excited about his first crab dinner.  However, it took a little longer to prepare the meal that he ended up polishing off the crabs on his own.  

7.     Park:  There is a really nice, shaded wooden park near us.  Liam teeters around the park while Amelie likes to pretend to be a princess in the castle towers.  With the beautiful weather, we have spent many hours enjoying the park.  

8.     Trash: This is silly, but taking the trash down to the dumpster is always fun. Both kids get on their bikes as we dispose of our trash. We usually make a couple trips down each day as dirty diapers are better kept out of the house. We stop and look at the peir…birds, water, etc. I wonder how we will take the trash out in Paris…

9.     Zoo time:  Like I mentioned before, the weather has been great!  We will often stop by for an hour or so to watch the animals. We have a season pass so it’s an easy thing to do.  We love the tigers.  There are 3 cages of tigers and they are beautiful. You can stand 5 feet away from them with just a chain-linked fence keeping you apart.  We push Liam on his bike which sounds like the wagons that the zookeepers bring the food on.  One day Amelie, Liam, and I were standing watching one of the tigers pace back and forth in front of us when all of a sudden it stood up on it’s back legs and roared at us! Scared me to death, so we kept walking.  Liam now likes to roar.  We also like the 1000 lb alligator, Chucky.  We like to make sure he is in his cage as he escaped in one of the hurricanes years ago.  We feed the animals zoo treats as well.  They have baby tigers to interact with for extra money so we enjoy watching other people play with the baby tigers. Overall, each visit is fun.

10. Bikes: We recently have acquired 2 bikes for Bobby and I to ride and we have a trailer for the kiddos.  We have enjoyed our rides!  Again, this is perfect weather and the roads are flat so it’s pretty enjoyable.  It gets difficult only when there is a strong head wind!

11. Shrimp Festival: The Shrimp Festival was a fun experience of live music, lots of fried food, interesting art, and good people watching.  There was also a great kids area with free popcorn and slushies and art projects.  We had fun going a couple days in a row.
      Amelie wanted me to mention that her favorite things have been the following:  going to her new school, attending story time at the library, painting (shells, pictures, etc), jumping in the jump house at Octoberfest, building sandcastles in the beach, digging big holes in the sand to play in, playing play dough, and making sticker pictures.  She is so grown up!
Fortunately, Amelie did not turn THIS hose on anyone!  She has had up-close interactions with firemen at the library during story time and at her school after they learned about community service personnel.