Friday, December 31, 2010

More Christmas Pics

Happy New Year!

I can't believe it's 2011 already. well, my watch still says 31 DEC but the ball dropped, the whistleblowers blew, the fireworks sparkled here several hours ago so it must be 2011. It's been a great year and we ended with a wonderful day. We started off the morning with a Manna Multisports Family Run. KG and T ran their first races- 1/4 mile each while K & C did their first races- 1/2 mile. C thought it was so much fun that he did the mile with James and finished it 10:20!! he turns five in 2 weeks and that's faster than some of my old soldiers ran. Then James watched all our kids plus a friend (definite good husband points) so I could run the 5K by myself. Five families from our Tuesday morning run group were there plus another 3 from Manna Multisports- nice end to the year.

We had planned a quiet evening at home until a good friend turned our evening more fun by inviting 25 people over to our house for a New Years' Eve party. Between the two events, we were happy to have Pops Leon & Grandma work hard with us in the garage repairing the hole I put in the ceiling. And Uncle B to hang out with the kids.

The New Year's Eve party was a great success. I offered to provide meat and drinks but realized we didn't have any and called everyone coming asking them to bring those too. Great to have friends who are close enough to plan a party at our house and then I can ask them to bring everything for it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


We've been blessed with a terrific year: James home except some short TDYs, all well except some colds and stitches, near family for lots of visits, blessed with lots of good friends, the good news of James' promotion and our move this spring, ...

we went to Boone, NC for my cousin's wedding and had a new twist of Boone Christmases from the past. Then we spent a couple days with James' family and back home for a quietish Christmas at home. here's some pics from our recent trips-

T making his house in our gingerbread village
K's house
C reading to great-grandma
visiting Great-Grandma
Uncle B and the kids sporting new clothes
T sledding- we had a great sledding spot. many hills ranging from bunny slopes to black diamond!
Uncle Steven helping C with cool new magnet building toys
Kids showing their new Christmas PJs
James showing his sledding skills
the kids ready for some snow!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Decorations

We got home tonight from our church's Christmas Eve service (& from a week away with family and friends- more on that later.) It was awesome to come home to beautiful flowers & a kitchen stocked with food for the weekend- what a great friend. I'm looking forward to some time over the next few days to upload pics from our trip but here are a few of our decorations this year. I'm pretty excited about our Advent Calendar and about these stockings that my friend made.

the flowers from the friend- aren't they gorgeous?

Merry Christmas!

Advent calendar

Saturday, November 27, 2010

His Eyes

You've got to watch this video. My friend sent it to me- definitely changes how you look at people.

Veteran's Day Trip

We were so blessed by our wonderful trip up to Baltimore, MD & Williamsburg, VA. We had been trying to find a good time to go neighborhood hunting in Baltimore before moving next spring. We were able to use our timeshare in Williamsburg VA- a few hours drive from Baltimore but we thought we could at least spend a long weekend. Then we found out that James had to go TDY near Williamsburg that week so we stayed the whole week. We had a wonderful trip. We didn't take any pics from our 2 days in Baltimore but it was very good to just to drive around and see different areas. It was so pretty with the leaves changing colors. North of Baltimore was really pretty but super hilly- definitely would make bike riding and running harder. Thursday night we went to Bass Pro shop- the kids all loved the Christmas wonderland- they made an ornament and got to see Santa. One of James' good friends from high school invited us over for lunch Friday. The boys were so excited to meet their first Baltimore friends- 2 sweet little girls about T & KG's ages. After lunch we drove through a few more neighborhoods and then headed to Williamsburg. We learned a good lesson about checking the GPS directions before following them as we took the slow way straight through DC traffic.
We were very happy to find out that Colonial Williamsburg was thanking the military Veteran's Day weekend by giving free 2 day passes. We'd planned to just walk around and see the sights from outside but it was so much for fun to go inside. We started out the day with a neat movie about early Williamsburg and then headed out on the children's walk- K & C really liked it. T & KG liked riding in the stroller. Then we used the kid's passport to go see lots of the tradesmen- blacksmith, furniture maker, brick maker, tailor, hatmaker, ... The kids got stamps on their passports and we all enjoyed seeing how things were done back in that time. We had lunch at one of the taverns and stayed at Williamsburg until about 5. KG & T's nap let us stay to see the afternoon reenactment. We went back the next morning and got some great pics of the beautiful fall. We did the maze behind the governor's house and saw some more.

the kids had a great time Monday morning in the kid's barn- they were the only ones there and got to play all the games.

Tuesday we went to Jamestown Settlement. K was so excited that it was about his middle name. We knew it was supposed to be child friendly but didn't expect it to be as nice as it was. We were also blessed with good weather- predictions were for rain but we had a beautiful day. The only bummer was that we forgot our camera. All of us loved the Powhatan Indian village- great reenactors, lots of stuff to touch- every different kind of animal skin, pinecone fire starters, turtle shell bowls. You could even lie down on their beds. They also had lots to do. We scraped bear hides with oyster shells, grinded corn, watched Powhatan cooking, and played an Indian game. Then we went to the ships- replicas of the 3 ships that sailed from England in 1606. We learned the beginning of phrase- go potty- chamber pots. We have one here (we don't use in the same way now:) but never thought of that. The next section was showing how the colonists and Indians used the rivers- their tools for fishing, boating, farming, ... They got to scrape out part of a burntout canoe and climb in another.
Then the James Fort was really neat. K &C went with James to learn about muskets while KG & T looked around. KG was fascinated by the chickens walking around and T went to a 30 minute baking class with a group of 4th graders. The teachers were amazed by the little guy's concentration. He even got to help make corn rolls. The kids all dressed up in colonial armor and looked at the different buildings. Really neat that they're building the settlement just like the original one. We rushed through the building bc kids were all getting tired but it was really neat. We'll definitely go back sometime.
Wednesday James went to work and I took the kids to Norfolk to meet Erin. We went to Nauticus museum. We saw a cool movie- Living Seas- learned about 500 pound clams, jellyfish that don't sting, and a place in Canada where high tide & low tide change by up to 4o feet each day. The kids loved using the sub arms & the stingray tank. then we went to the U.S.S.Wisconsin- a retired battleship that was in WW II, Korea, and Desert Storm. The men working on the boat all served on the ship when it was active. Really neat- even if it was pretty hard getting up & down the stair/ ladders with T & KG. We met Erin at a park & then enjoyed a yummy dinner together at Applebee's. Brownie bites rock!! It was great to hang out again with a good friend- get to see her & hang out with her sweet baby girl.

We were also blessed with a wonderful park really close to our timeshare. We'd been there 4 years before when K was almost 2 and C a baby. We had picnic lunches there almost every day. We also spent lots of time in the pool- K & C are getting better at swimming. We played lots of games too- Jr. Monopoly and Racko were two of our favorites. It was so nice to get away and to have no internet interfering! unplugging is so good.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


We went on our first family camping trip last weekend. Pilot Mountain State Park was absolutely beautiful. We had such a good weekend- perfect weather, yummy peanut butter S'Mores & chilli & cornbread (my smart husband suggested that for the first night- made them at home & just heated there. I made a big pot & put some in the freezer for a day like today!) We did have a rough night sleeping the first night- well T, KG, and I did. The next morning we had blueberry pancakes and then headed up the mountain. Hiking was great- the boys did really well hiking. even little T hiked all the way up the mountain. At the top we had a picnic lunch- yummy quesadillas & trail mix. Then we headed back down & drove to the river for fishing. That night we made pigs in a blanket over the fire and camping donuts. Another night for campfire songs and we added stories on a log- the boys each took turns telling stories. After all the excitement (and we pumped up the air mattress), we all slept well. We ended our trip with "junk food cereal" and more donuts and headed home. We got to see Grandma on the way home to tell some of our camping fun. I'm excited to go on lots more camping trips!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More pics

kids at the Denzel carousel in MS
out on a walk, little brother got tired so big brother went to help. priceless moment.
T got in a little trouble at the history festival
baby girl is sure she's not a baby anymore- who needs a stroller?
Faithful Feet at Rock N Roll Half Marathon in VA Beach!

Good weekend

We had a super weekend. firsts time for lots of things- K & C's first overnight trip with Daddy- they went to Camp Rockfish for Dads, Lads, & Gals weekend. They had a blast building boats, doing archery, going on a night hike & hay ride, ... James took a few pics but mostly was busy hanging out with the two big boys.

C giving K a congrats hug when K got a prize for the boat race.

More firsts- T got to be "the biggest brother" for the first time. He was so excited. He was a super helper & doing a great job all the time. Every once in a while he would act 3 and I would ask if forgot that he was the biggest boy- he'd go right back to acting super. He even got a playdate with a good friend of the boys. KG enjoyed having everything a little calmer & quieter for a little bit too.

Our first Heritage Festival at Cape Fear Botanical Garden- the boys did lots of chores (made butter, dug up vegetables, took corn kernels off the cob, ....) and played games like marbles, hopscotch, checkers. KG even joined in on the egg race. If I can figure out how to get pics off my phone I'll post some :)

And our first family race. Stop Child Trafficking Now 5K. I ran by myself and James pushed the running stroller with KG & T while K & C rode their bikes. KG thought it was a great time for a nap. We were all very happy with our race. And a great cause too. It was wonderful to see so many people (and lots of friends) joining together in prayer and running to save children.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Soccer, Wildlife Expo

we're really enjoying this fall- we've enjoyed visits from family to watch the boys play soccer. Here's the Yellow Dragons getting ready for a game.

I had a couple assistants for my bench coach job.

last weekend we had a great time at the John Pechmann Fishing Center Wildlife Expo & the Fayetteville international Festival.

K was so excited to catch his first fish- he did it all by himself. James was helping one of the other boys and looked over to see K pulling the fish in. K learned some fishing tips from the magazines he got at the fish hatchery in Georgia- he said he learned to "play the fish." James did help put the catfish back in the pond for next time!
C shooting his first BB gun- they even brought their targets home.
K & C did the casting contest. K got one in the farthest ring by himself- one more and he would have won. We did win a fishing pole in the drawing- C was soooo excited- wish I had a video of his running all the way to the stage screaming!
T had a good time too- here he's wearing 2 pencils- like Pops Leon.
K & C also got to do some archery. It was pretty tough but they enjoyed it.

Papa helping T catching his first fish- C's a little excited for his brother!

KG hung in as long as she could in the stroller but was super happy to have some shade & Nana's lap for a nap.

After the wildlife expo, we headed over to the International Festival. we watched the Native American dancing for a long time.
C & T and I did some round dancing- made Nana remember when I was 3 and was picked by the Chief to lead the dance at a festival in Mississippi when we were visiting Grandmollie.
After watching the dancing, we headed to find some yummy food. The boys were real excited to try food from so many different countries. The only disappointment of the day was missing the Panamanian dancers. but at least we got a picture!

We went home super tired but had a great day.