A Visit from Grandma and Grandpa

Well, just when I thought I was on top of blogging, computer issues threw a wrench in my workflow for a bit, but I'm back in business (with an upgraded laptop to boot!) just in time for the New Year. Back in the saddle again! Several posts full of family fun are in order, but first up is a visit from Afton's Grandma and Grandpa Miller back in November. Afton got some fun gifts and plenty of snuggles while they were here.

toddler girl opening gifts from grandparents

And of course, she showed them how much she loves to swing. :)

toddler girl with dad and grandpa on swings at park (Fort Bayou, Ocean Springs)

Grandma and Grandpa even tagged along for a morning birthday party at the Little Children's Park. What fun to celebrate our friend Beau Ryan!

little boy's second birthday party at Ocean Springs Little Children's Park

Alex had told us that we were going on an adventure after the party but insisted on keeping his plans under wraps, so we were all surprised when we arrived at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune. None of us had been there before and were not expecting to be greeted by this bovine face. ;) 

bull at Crosby Arboretum

The pleasant surprises kept coming. There was an impressive bluegrass band playing at the (also quite impressive) Pinecote Pavilion. 

Pinecote Pavilion Crosby Arboretum (with bluegrass band)

The sound of bluegrass, the feeling of fresh air, the sight of autumn leaves... what could be better?!

autumn leaves at Crosby Arboretum (nature photography by Uninvented Colors)

We enjoyed the trail that meandered by the water.

Crosby Arboretum nature (water, turtle, leaves)

Afton had fun hanging out with her grandparents...

toddler girl in stroller on nature trail with grandparents

...and I enjoyed getting to take pictures freely. ;)

fall leaves and trees at Crosby Arboretum, Picayune, Mississippi

There was a festival going on, so there were some people selling their wares, like these funky handmade dolls...

handmade folk dolls at heritage festival in Picayune, Mississippi

...but nature really stole the show.

macro nature photography by Uninvented Colors (fall leaves in Mississippi)

I am so glad to know about this gem now (thanks, Alex!) and will definitely be going back. On to the next part of our super secret adventure: The Infinity Science Center. Alex and I had visited this museum (part of NASA's Stennis Space Center) a few years back with some friends, but it was new for Afton and Grandma and Grandpa! 

Stennis Space Center entrance and monument

While Daddy and Grandpa tried out the flight simulator...

flight simulator at Stennis Space Center

...Afton played with Legos for the first time ever! 

little girl playing with Legos at Stennis Space Center

Then we all explored the fun museum exhibits. You think we might have a future astronaut on our hands?

inside Stennis Space Center museum with astronaut and space shuttle exhibits

We even got to see a real rocket!

family photo with rocket at Stennis Space Center Mississippi

Perhaps the most fun part, though, was playing with these giant foam building blocks. 

little girl playing with giant foam pieces at Infinity Science Center

We took the scenic route home and stopped at AJAX, which has become one of our favorite restaurants in this neck of the woods. It was yummy as usual! 

AJAX restaurant Gulfport at night

Thanks for coming to visit, Grandma and Grandpa! We hope to see you again soon! :)

family photos with grandparents before church