Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mountain Trip Part 4 (final)

The last part of our trip was spent with family. We spent the night at my parents' house and enjoyed dinner at Pizza Inn. Then my kids had their very first taste of homemade ice cream...peach! YUM!

Then we enjoyed spending time with my grandparents. We had sour cream pound cake and then enjoyed their flowers out back. I have the BEST grandparents in the world!

Granny Margaret

Papa Johnny

Well, that about wraps it up! Now to scrapbook some of these babies!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mountain Trip Part 3

After saying good-bye to Grace and her awesome family, we set out for Cherokee, NC. Despite the potential for car sickness and all the ear-popping, I absolutely love driving in the mountains. You never know what you're going to see. Below are some highlights from this excursion.
Ed wanted to stay here....but with such a tight vacation budget, I didn't think it a good plan. So we stayed at the good ole Holiday Inn...and got a free breakfast. No--not a continental breakfast. I'm talking eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and gravy, grits, almost anything you could want on the breakfast buffet. So if you plan to go to Cherokee, I highly recommend the Holiday Inn...good rates, clean rooms and good free food!
When we first got there, Matthew was ALL about the Indians....wanting to see them and asking questions about them. It got embarrassing after a while (because he doesn't have a quiet voice). So we took him to meet some and dress like them!
Because we got there so late, we didn't get to do much the first day, so we got up the next morning and toured the Cherokee Indian Village. I thought the boys would be bored, but they were truly interested and seemed to like it. Below is a collage of the highlights. (Click on collage to see larger image.)
After lunch, we went to Santa Land. Not exactly Cherokee themed, but the kids liked it. Then we just souvenir shopped and drove around to see the sites. Nice mini-trip!
Loved getting a July "Santa photo" with Matthew. He loved seeing the Macaws. The red one is named Skittles. The blue one is named Paco. Beautiful birds that talked. So sweet.
The fish in the photo were chasing our peddle boat. So funny...they chased everyone's boat, begging to be fed!
Then of course I got photos of the bears, real and painted ones. Ya know how Aiken, SC has painted horse sculptures throughout town? Cherokee has some amazing bear sculptures, and I didn't get to photograph near as many as I wanted. Maybe next time! Santa land also had real bears (which I kind of felt sorry for, as they were in a chain-link cage). Ed and the boys rode the Ferris wheel and carousel, while we waited on the Rudi-Coaster to be repaired. Never happened! All in all, we had fun though, and I enjoyed using my camera throughout the trip. Check out this "artsy" shot!
Final leg of the excursion in tomorrow's post.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mountain Trip Part 2

While in the mountains with Grace's family, we went hiking both days. The first day, we hiked to the Cascade Falls. Beautiful place...pretty easy hike for someone in good shape. Here's another collage I did with these pictures. Gorgeous, huh?
On the second day there, we hiked to the Boulders at Hebron. WOW! What a hike! It was beautiful, but kind of hard. I have to say though, I was proud of myself for making it as far as I did. On the way back, Jonathan and Grace fell, and I was scared that Jonathan had broken another bone. He definitely brought "souvenirs" home...on his legs, arms, and side. Below are some photos I managed to get there. The pictures really don't do the beauty justice!
After leaving the Boone area, we traveled to Cherokee, NC and then to my parents house. More photos tomorrow!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mountain Trip

Hi Everyone. Just got back from a mini-vacation on Friday, but I'm just now getting around to uploading the photos. (Saturday was spent doing tons of laundry and grocery shopping.) Last week, we traveled to the mountains near Boone, NC to spend some time with Jonathan's half-sister, Grace. I had tons of photos I wanted to share, so I played around with the collage function of Google's Picasa.

This is 11 year old Grace. She is cute as a button and as athletic as she is cute. This is her on a swing her dad made that hangs from a tree in their front yard. She swings so high she can grab the leaves on the tree! Truly, no fear! This next shot is just a special effect you can do with the Picasa program. You can superimpose one image over the top of another. The photo underneath is one I took of the mountain view, seen from her front porch. The image on top is of Grace on her swing. Love this!

Loved spending time with these folks. They are nice, Christian people and were super hospitable. The collage above is of their house (for sale by the way) and yard. Matthew loved picking wild flowers for me with Grace's mom. They even did "an experiment" with Queen Anne's Lace and food coloring. He loved it! The photo of the rocker is just because Ed and I love it so! It was hand made by an Amish man. I have to say...I truly enjoyed this mountain experience! Tomorrow I'll share more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Feathers, Fireworks, and Fun in the Pool

Yes, I know. I'm being rather lazy this summer. But IS summer! I don't have much news to report really. We did get our new pool liner put in and got to swim in it for the first time on the 4th of July. I have fireworks and pool pictures to share, but first....I just have to show you this beauty that showed up in our backyard today.
They love the sunflowers growing behind the pool. Their color is so much like the flowers, they are nearly completely camouflaged unless they're moving. Pretty, huh?
Okay, so my fireworks shots aren't the best, but I liked them. It was my first time using my "good" camera (and tripod) to photograph them. I had a blast!! LOL!
Now here are some photos of our fun in the pool. Check out the new blue liner! Man is it blue!
Those 5 kids in the second pool photo are my 2 boys and my nieces and nephew. I'll post more shots of them tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm Still Here!

We are still alive! I know...I've been a terrible blogger lately. Since the tornado in April, it has been all about fixing up the yard and house (and baseball...that's another story.) Here is a photo of our house with the new paint colors and fewer trees. I took this shot right after getting a photo of a gorgeous double rainbow. It was the first one I had ever seen.

The tornado had dumped a lot of stuff in the pool, and upon inspection, we discovered several holes in the liner. The folks should finish installing the new liner today, so in the mean's how we've cooled off.

I also had to show you the photo of this little guy. His moma built a nest in a box on a top shelf in our garage. Well, when they all left the nest, this little one got left behind. He could fly...just not well. He was so exhausted from trying to get out of the garage. After he got out, I'm not sure what happened to him, but hopefully he survived.

Hopefully now that my computer area and scrapbook room are de-cluttered, I will be better about blogging. My sister-in-law and her kids are coming Sunday afternoon to stay for several days. Soon I should be able to post more summer pictures. Have a great Fourth of July everyone!