Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Apple Picking

This year we made what will hopefully become an annual trek to Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock for apple picking. Patrick had grading to do, so Merrill joined us for the trip. Great fun!

We got our baskets (which apparently held half a bushel and a peck, respectively) and off we went!

Eli enjoyed sitting in the tree, but Sam cried.

Here's Sam next to a tree that looked like it was having some difficulty, but still was putting out apples like a trooper.

Here we are in line to get some hot apple doughnuts. You can see how crazy it was--kids running around everywhere! We had a great time and are looking forward to our trip next year.

Halloween in Black Mountain

Well, here it is, once again--Halloween in Black Mountain. Last year the boys made their WNC debute as Dr. Suess' Thing 1 and Thing 2, and this year we have continued with the twin theme and the boys were Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum from Alice in Wonderland. I'm just about tapped out for twin costume ideas now (after only two years!) so if anyone has ideas for next year, I'm all ears.

We met up with our friends the Joneses (Tinkerbell and Fireman) and had a great time. Sweet Eli kept wondering where the Halloween party was, and why we weren't going into the houses...We finally convinced him that the party was on the street, and then he really got into it.

Patrick couldn't resist taking a picture of this hotdog. Pretty hilarious. This costume was such a hit that it also made it into the Black Mountain newspaper... :)

We continued the Halloween tradition from last year and followed up our trick-or-treating with a visit to our friends Mark and Merrill's house, or, as Sam likes to call them, Guess and Metty.

And once again we concluded our Halloween with a visit to our next door neighbors' house, Ms. Paula and Mr. Alex. Unlike last year, the boys discovered that there was actually candy in their pumpkins and indulged in some lollipops. I'm guessing that by next year I won't get away with eating all their chocolate.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Things Run Afowl...

An event that has been highly anticipated in our household has finally arrived with the morning mail. Eleven frantically peeping, day-old ducklings came in one small cardboard box. The next two days were a little chaotic until my neighbor came and took six of them off my hands for her home flock, and now things have settled down a little bit.

They pretty much just eat, sleep, poop and 'try' to preen themselves, with hilarious results, and make a gigantic mess for such tiny little creatures. But they are already growing so fast in the few days that they have been here (which they should, for as much food as they put away). They boys and I have been enjoying watching their antics, whereas Patrick and Annie are still reserving judgement. Once the duck egg omelets arrive though, I'm sure they will both come around. In just a few, um, months.

Here are our five little girls (one is under the pile). Aren't they cute?

And here are boys wishing our five little ducks good night. We'll see how this little foray into self-sustainability goes over the next few weeks...

State Fair and Purdy Invasion

One of the weekends when Sam was sick, Eli and I joined our friends Mark and Merrill and we all went to the WNC State Fair. We had a fantastic time (despite soaring temperatures) seeing all the fair sights, all the livestock in the agricultural section, petting random animals in the petting zoo (I saw a wombat!) and eating old-fashioned churned ice cream. One of the highlights was the armored vehicle that you could climb inside. Eli almost burst with excitement at the sight of all those switches (but really I think that Mark was even more into it than Eli was...).

Last week we had some friends from Atlanta come and stay for a few days. The boys had a fabulous time following around the older kids, but especially hanging out with 2 1/2 year old Shae. I think that they are both in love.

Look at that those curls...who wouldn't be, right?

Fall in the Mountains

After a crazy summer (and I know that I still have to post beach week pictures) we are finally settling in to the fall routine. Despite the usual upper respiratory infections, we have been having a wonderful time.

Here are the boys in their first fall wear, complements of Grandmama. Eli was pretty unhappy about the transition to long pants, but now that it is getting down to the 30s at night, he has thankfully come around. (I told Sam to put his hands in his lap; he's such a good boy.)

The first weekend in September, we journeyed to Nashville for cousin Charlotte's second birthday party. Charlotte loves buses, so Aunt Heather and Uncle Paul got her one! We all went on a bus ride and had a wonderful time.

Here are Eli and Grandmama enjoying a tour around Nashville on the birthday bus.

This fall I have enrolled the boys in a Mother's Morning Out program. So for four hours once a week, I actually have some uninterrupted time to clean the house. I was worried that the boys would have a hard time being left, but Eli was all, "Don't leave!! Don't leave!! Don't...hey, is that playdoh?" So everything turned out just fine, and now we all love Wednesday mornings.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Salt 'n' Peppa

As I was coming home from the grocery store the other day, I saw something sad-looking slink across our driveway. I got out and realized that it was a very tiny kitten. I nabbed it before it got under our back steps, which wasn't that hard because it was in pretty bad shape. She looked so rough that I thought she may have been hit by a car. But after a trip to the vet and a bath, and food and warmth and sleep, she is looking much better. She is still pretty skinny and has an upper respiratory infection, but she is getting better and has settled in nicely (...as you can see. I don't think that Annie is that thrilled, though.) Unfortunately, she can't stay because Patrick is allergic (he's the one who has dubbed her Pepper). So if you know anyone who wants a five-week-old kitten, let me know...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Finally Phalenopsis

I am so excited to finally post a picture of my blooming orchid. It only took three and a half years to get it to bloom a second time.

Ring Around the Rosies

Caught the boys doing something spontaneous, but Eli still takes a little time out to ham it up for the camera... :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

It's Been a Little While...

Well, now that I've finally gotten a battery recharger for our camera, I don't have any more excuses--so I have to blog! A lot has been going on recently, so I will just have to catch everyone up...

The most recent major event was the boys' third birthday. It was very exciting--we had a party and everyone came: our friend Jesse, who also was celebrating his third birthday, and his sister Emily and parents and grandparents, Miss McIntosh, Mark and Merrill, Miss Carol, and Grandmama, Aunt Heather, Uncle Paul and Cousin Charlotte came all the way from Nashville! Here are the boys with their cousin Charlotte and friend Jesse snacking away at the cookout. It was tons of fun!

Here I am trying to show the boys how to blow out their candles. Jesse had no problem, but Sam and Eli preferred a method that had more spitting than blowing.

The boys got a lot of fabulous presents: an art easel, sports equipment, puzzles, trucks, 'hug-a-planets', and a ton of great books. Here Grandmama is reading a wonderful book called "A Birthday Cake is No Ordinary Cake" to the whole gang. (If Jesse looks like he is possessively clutching his guitar, it's because it was his birthday present and Sam spent most of the party trying to get it away from him.)

After our big day we all had a bath to get clean together. We had a really wonderful time and can't wait to visit again with our Nashville family!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


It would be much remiss of me to neglect to mention the landmark occasion which ocurred on an otherwise normal afternoon on December 4. Eli stood up in the middle of the room and took his first unassisted steps! A mere three days later Sam did likewise. I would like to say that things were off and running from there, but it has hardly been the case. Eli decided that was all the excitement he needed and pretty much didn't do much more walking until about four months later. Sam did continue walking, and progressed in typical safe and staid Sam-fashion. Eli finally started walking in earnest a couple of weeks ago, and has almost accomplished what Sam took four months to do. So my little turtle and little hare are about to cross the finish line, and just in time for their second birthday. Yea!

Christmas Loot

So we were having a wild time in south Florida last time I blogged, and the boys raked in the Christmas presents...

Sam: Hey Eli, check it out--I got a soccer ball!

Eli: That's nothing, look what I got--a cement truck!

Sam: Oh yeah? Well I got this pink thing.

Eli: Hold the phone! What is this? Sliding pocket doors? AWESOME! (Hours of endless entertainment ensue.)

The boys did get a whole bunch of great gifts, some of which (like their Spiderman hideaway) they didn't even open until they got home, so it was like Christmas all over again. (The pocket doors had to stay behind in Florida).

After the Christmas present chaos we got to go to Butterfly World with the cousins, where Caleb used his mad butterfly charming skills. (The boys were all, what are we supposed to be looking at?)

We had a really wonderful time hanging out with all the relatives, but we had to leave and come home, where we languished in a post-vacation funk. (Maybe 'stupor' would be a better word for the parents...Sam and Eli: Man, this place is so BOOORING. Patrick and Julia: zzzzzzzzz...).