Friday, July 18, 2014


I got to cash in on my birthday gift from Andrew and go ZIPLINING for the first time. Woo hoo! The Kersey Valley zipline is only about a 15 minute drive away from us. So lucky! Since my gift came with TWO passes to zipline, I decided to take Brandon with me. What a fun way to spend a morning!

Suiting up

Ready to go

On our first platform

Here we go!

We had SUCH  great time. I'm not afraid of heights, but I thought I might get butterflies before we took off. Neither B or I did, though. We just had fun. We did ten lines. Some were faster than others. We had fun guides who made us feel really safe.

We give it the thumbs up and would totally do it again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cousin Swap

So, Caroline got to spend four days with her cousins, while we got to have Avery with us for that time. Everyone was happy!

Caroline's highlights were swimming at the pool and going to the Biltmore (lucky!) . She told us she even floated on her back for five whole seconds by herself.
Caroline and Brittain get along so well.
Destinee said they would stay up LATE every night talking and laughing.
Cousins are the best!
She loved playing with Mason, too.
These pics are from Sunday after church when they went on a walk
and found wild blackberries to pick. Yum!

Some of the fun we had with Avery:


Frozen yogurt

Science center

Even though these two only get to see each other a few times a year,
they are really close.
I love seeing their friendship grow.

We met up in Hickory to swap the kids back.
The kids voted to play at our favorite little park.
It was hot and CROWDED,
but we still had fun.

Already looking forward to our next get-together!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Fourth of July

We made kind of last-minute plans to head to Mt. Airy for their Fourth of July parade. Lucky for us, Ryan and Destinee were  up for some spontaneous plans and agreed to meet us. The weather was GORGEOUS and we had a terrific day.

 Waiting for the parade to start

Waving to Betsy Ross 

Whit was excited to get some candy 

Cool pink firetruck 

It seemed kind of cruel to parade the cow in front of Leon's Burger Express.

It was a cute, short parade.
Exactly what I was expecting.
Although, I do wish there had been a marching band.

When it was done, I wanted to watch the pie eating contest....
but so did everyone else in Mt. Airy. There was standing room
only and I didn't figure the kids would be up for it.
So, we just walked around the cute little downtown.
 We missed B-train, who was still at scout camp.

After lunch, we drove over to Hanging Rock.
It's only 30 miles away, but they are winding roads
and I swear it took at least an hour to get there.

We took a perfect little hike to two waterfalls:
Hidden Falls and Window Falls.

Avery found a salamander that the girls loved playing with. 

The "Window" in "Window Falls" 

Andrew's fear-of-kids-falling-from-high-places-gene was in full effect.
He finally had to just walk away from the falls
so he could relax. 

Behind the waterfall! 

When we were done hiking, we sent Caroline home with her cousins,
and took Avery home with us. I'm so happy to have these fun relatives close by!
We lit a few fireworks before bed.

Such a fun-filled holiday.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer camps, part 1

Safety Town Care Bear got to go to Safety Town! Now all three of my kids are graduates. We have no more excuses for their risky behaviors. :)

Caroline and M signed up to be in the same session. They were SO excited to have some quality time together...except Safety Town was kind of lame this year. They wouldn't let us request groups, so the girls ended up in two different groups and didn't get to see each other at all during camp. Boo. At least they had fun carpooling together.

Because of all the snow days this winter and make-up days at the end of the year, they had to do a one-week session instead of a two-week session. We knew that when we signed up. But we were also told that it would be 3 hours/day instead of 2. Then when we showed up, we found out that was incorrect. It was a big old mess, very disorganized an inefficient. If this was my first experience with Safety Town, I would not be going back.

With my complaining aside, Caroline had a good time. She liked her counselors. When I would ask her what she learned at the end of each day she would tell me, "Nothing. I already knew everything." :)

One day, the shaved ice truck was waiting outside at pickup time.

At graduation 

With her group and counselors 

Safety girl!

Tumbling, karate, rock-climbing camp B chose a fun camp that included a little bit of everything. He really liked the rock climbing part. It was a five day camp and most of the campers were young. But there was one guy close to B's age and they hung out the first three days, but then he didn't show up the last two. Bummer.

B's all the way in the back.

Ready to climb. 

He zoomed up to the top in less than a minute.
He's thinking about taking rock climbing classes in the fall.
(Not sure if Drew's on board with that...)

The girls had fun trying out the climbing walls, too.

The parents didn't to see many of the tumbling moves that 
B's age group practiced. But he quickly got on the tramp and 
showed me THIS new move:
 Double flip. Wow!

Scout camp B does not love scouting. But he does like camping. He had never been to a week-long-sleepover scout camp, but I talked him into trying it this year. He had a GREAT time. He worked on archery, got to swim in the lake a lot, had fun hanging out with his friends. The two down sides: he thought it was too long. He thinks four days would be perfect, not seven. AND he was there on his birthday, which was kinda lame.

All packed up for a week of camping!

Troop 100--all five scouts.

One of the Camp Cherokee traditions is that if you spend your
birthday at camp, you get to kiss the moose.
 B puckered up.

Cheezy B with C in the dining hall.

They have family night one of the nights,
so we got to have dinner with the scouts.

Birthday donut

 Me and my TEENAGER!

Drew and Charlie
Drew took a day off work to spend B's birthday with him up at camp. 

Our troop, getting ready for the "campfire"
(Which doesn't actually involve a fire.) 

Care Bear dancing with some of the leaders before it started.

Scouting is so interesting. It is a culture unto itself.
And it's a pretty cheezy culture.
We made it almost all the way through the campfire.
But it was getting late.
And Andrew's back was starting to bug him.
And we'd had about all the cheeziness that we could handle. 

So we said a quick goodbye and made our way home,
with a mesmerizing firefly display on the drive.
So pretty.