Thursday, October 30, 2014

Parent's Day Out

Andrew gets Columbus Day off for work. But the kids have school. That leaves us with a fun day to ourselves! (But we have to be home by 2:45 when the girls get off the bus.)

We wanted to play tennis, but it was really rainy the weekend before, so the courts were soggy and that didn't sound fun. Instead, we went out for a yummy breakfast. I got pumpkin pancakes that were scrumptious. Then we drove up to Lake Brandt to do some hiking and geocaching.

The leaves have started changing and I had this vision of gorgeous fall foliage pictures. Instead we got this:

Creepy, foggy day

But the temperature felt awesome and we had fun hiking. I think I'm the only one in my family that likes geocaching. We found three caches. The area around Lake Brandt is gorgeous and has fun walking trails, but the caches were off the beaten path. And Andrew kept getting spider webs in his face. And once we walked into barbed wire. I just saw it as part of the adventure. I think Andrew would have preferred to just take a leisurely walk on the well-marked paths.
But look at the cool caches that we found:

SO worth it.

And look at Andrew's cool blue eyes
Siberian husky.

And here is my attempt at a nature photo shoot
on a foggy, overcast day.

 One of several giant spiders we saw,
apparently trying to catch Andrew in his web.

 Look at that giant root structure!

 Little peek of fall up there

Just picture a beautiful blue sky in place of that hazy gray.

Love random days off and time to spend with my favorite guy.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Skate Night

So the girls' school does different fundraising nights throughout the year, usually at fast food places. When it's McDonalds night, it's kinda nice to see friends there, but conversations are limited and time is short. Skate night on the other hand is so fun! You actually get to hang out with your friends doing something long as you don't get hurt.

We had our first skate night last month and the girls had a blast.
I told the PTA that I'd be in charge of taking pics.
Which left Caroline to skate by herself...
which was tricky.
Luckily, Michael was there to help her out. 
So kind!

The class with the highest attendance won slurpees.
Yay for Whitney and her friends in Mrs. H's class.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Camera roll dump

The pictures just keep piling up! And life is busy, busy. So, here's a dump of a bunch of pictures from my phone that capture little moments in this happy life of ours.

Caroline and Emily match!

Tennis date nights have been FUN lately! 
Andrew still wins every time, 
but he has to work a lot harder.

Whit and L making homemade toothpaste, 
inspired by a book they were reading at school:  
Toothpaste Millionaire.
They tried vanilla flavored
and PICKLE JUICE flavored.
(They were both gross!)

Went geocaching for a family home evening activity one night. 
The caches were hard! 
B had to climb this tree for one...
And we had to climb down under this tunnel for the other.

C is becoming quite the Lego artist. Look at her oil lamp!

We collected smashed pennies on the road trip.

C's cheetah outfit

Remembering 9/11 at the elementary school.

C and two of her buddies.

How can she sleep like that?

Whit had a good visit with Dr. Buckley in Sept. Her vision is good and stable. She does not have binocular vision, which means her eyes don't work together the same way ours do. She can't see 3D movies and can't be a commercial airline pilot, but other than that has learned to adjust without it.

We go back to Duke in two years and when we checked out, we were told that Dr. B will no longer be seeing patients for routine eye exams. What?! We didn't even get to say goodbye. :(

We'll miss him and are so grateful 
for the amazing work he did with W's vision!

B and C found chocolate frogs at the store and were so excited to try them!

Date night! A dear friend from church watched the kids overnight for us. Andrew and I went to Chapel Hill to watch Dorrance Dance Blues Project. It was an AMAZING tap show! First we ate dinner at the dumpling food truck pictured above. They were yummy, but overpriced.

Then we enjoyed the show.
It was live music and tap dancing. So awesome.
I wish I could have filmed it.
Here are some excerpts I found on youtube:
Imagine an hour of that.
Hugely entertaining and memorable.

We stayed the night in Durham at Hotel Indigo..
my favorite. (Although the years have not been kind.
It's looking a little run down.)

Spent the next morning at the temple.

Whit and I loved the General Women's Meeting.
Happy to spend this special evening with her.

B got new glasses!
Top: Before (notice the duct tape)
Bottom: After. Looking good!

Fall is here!
Just barely.

We were driving home from a fun dinner out and there
was a GORGEOUS sunset. I kept trying to find a good
place to pull over and get a picture. Too many trees!
By the time I found this spot, the peak of the beauty had passed.
Still nice, though.

What happens when I leave my phone on
the counter while I cook dinner. :)

Tiffany and I went to Gridiron Girls.
It was kinda lame this year.
WAY too much talking.
Not enough playing.

C got the Dolphin Award at school for Responsibility.
They had a special breakfast for all the responsible kids.
Which then made them late for class. :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Family Portraits

While we were in Utah having our reunion with Andrew's side of the family, we had family portraits done. We used the same photographer, Dani, who worked her magic with us two years ago at Bear Lake. She did it again! I love her pictures! She shared 250 pics, but I'll narrow it down to a few of my favorites for the blog.

The whole crew

All the grandkids with grandma and grandpa

Drew with his parents and siblings

With the in-laws added in

The girl cousins

The boys

Caroline Rose

Whitney Amelia

Brandon Trey

The 8th graders

The first graders

A few of our little family

Me and my hottie

Our not-so-little-anymore kids

The teens and tweens

Giving the teenage-sassy look
(or at least trying)

All the cousins

Silly faces!

Love capturing our family at this moment in time. This was the last cousin picture before Ethan went off to college and became an actual young adult! Weird.