Friday, June 29, 2012

Sunset Adventure!

We went out to see a sunset on the beach while we were on the gulf coast and what we found when we got there was an awesome adventure.

Not only did we see a beautiful sunset but we found a ton of wild life.  

Pelicans with birds on their heads:
Jumping dophins:

Big Kids:
Oh!  And we got to see the sun go down and make pretty colors!

What a great adventure on the beach!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Every Day is a Swimming Day

Once we arrived at Grandma's house the bathing suits went on and the kids stayed left until we left.

Twice we had to check them for growth of fins and gills.

To get them away from the pool for a while we took them to the beach.  It was an easy trip because they didn't have to change clothes to go.

We promised them they could have ice cream for lunch at Dairy Queen.  You would think that ice cream lunch would excite any kid to the beach.  Not my 13 year old.  He wanted some real food. . . and ice cream.
 When we got back from the beach can you guess what the kids did?  Hint:  They still didn't have to change clothes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Gainesville History Lesson

Once we crossed the state line into Florida we saw people really excited to be there.  At the visitor center people gathered around the sign.  They weren't even to the beach yet!
Things have changed since we lived in Florida.  Apparently, the state now closes at 5pm.
One of our first destinations in Florida was to give our kids a history lesson in Gainesville. It was, "Here's where mom worked" and,  "Here's where we had lunch" kind of things.
Then we found the spot along the road where I proposed and we decided to recreate the moment for the kids.  

 After all that exciting history you can imagine how glad they were to get back into the car. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

Whew.  After another day of driving it's a good thing to be home again.  We had a great vacation touring Florida.  That means you can expect several blogs on the topic over the next few weeks.

Time for a break now.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Next Step

Have you ever seen someone walk past a piece of paper on the floor and not pick it up?  Have you ever seen someone put a piece of trash next to the garbage can but not in it?

Have you ever seen this?

Oh!  We're sooooooooooooooo  close to getting it right.  I mean, the roll is right there.  You just have to take the next step and transfer the little bar into the tube.  Chances are the trash can is right below or beside the holder so you can basically drop the empty roll without any added effort.

I'll tell you, I see this sometimes in my house and I'm not sure I understand why it happens.  The way I see it is whoever put the roll on top of the empty one was already sitting down.  Right?  What's so hard about taking the next step?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Failed Explorer

Last year, my work had me driving past a historical marker a few times each week.  The sign marked the Long Cane Massacre and is north of McCormick, South Carolina. 

I wasn't sure what happened there, but I thought I would drive down the road and find out.  I headed down a road with a few houses on it and it soon turned to a single lane dirt road.  I continued.  I was now in the middle of nowhere and the excitement of exploration kept me going.  

I then came to this old bridge.  There were signs that warned of a weight limit.  

I stopped my car and thought about it.  How heavy is my car?  How much farther would the historical site be?  What happens if the bridge doesn't hold?

I thought that my car was under the weight limit, probably MUCH under the limit but I wasn't sure.  I decided to turn around. Falling into an old creek with no way to get rescued was not on my agenda that day.  It's usually not on my agenda ANY day.

I felt like a failed explorer.  I gave up too easy.  I headed home and looked up the place on Google - like a normal person would do.

Here's what happened at Cane Creek Massacre:

Three miles west is the site of an attack by Cherokee Indians upon settlers of Long Canes in the Cherokee War of 1759-1761. There on February 1, 1760, about 150 settlers, refugeeing to Augusta, were overtaken by 100 Cherokee warriors. Twenty-three victims left on the scene of action are there buried in one grave.

The Long Cane settlement was a border between the settlers and the Cherokee and was a dangerous place to live.  The leader of Long Cane was Patrick Calhoun, father of John C Calhoun (congressman, senator, and vice president of the US).

This LINK has more information including the names of people that lived in the Long Cane settlement as well as those that died in the massacre. 

Although I initially felt like a failed explorer when it came to crossing the old bridge, I continued the exploration at home and still came away learning a piece of South Carolina history. I wouldn't consider that a failure. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It Loves Me

During our walk a lightning bug made the mistake of letting the youngest girl get a hold of it.
She showed me her new pet and told me, "It loves me."
Then it flew away.  I think it still loves her.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Win a Trip?

Are promotions like this really selling any more crackers?  I bought them --- ok, truth time... I don't buy anything... Cari bought them.... but the point is, she didn't buy them because she thought she would win a trip to Hawaii.  In fact, she probably didn't even look at the back of the box.

So my first problem with the promotion is that it is unnecessary and only noticed by men and children. Both of which are too lazy to complete the necessary parts to enter the contest.  Women will only look at the back of the box or enter the contest if one of the above mentioned groups pesters them to look at it.

My second issue with this "contest" is who wins?  Have you ever met the winner of one of these contests? Me either.  How many boxes of Wheat Thins will sell during the contest period?  What are the odds of winning?  There's more people buying Wheat Thins in Los Angeles than in the entire county I live in.  So, with all that cracker money, Nabisco is going to only hand out ONE trip?  Right, I know they are offering "+1,000s of other prizes" - but there is nothing worth winning if you aren't being flown to Hawaii.

This also reminded me of when I was living in Florida and a national promotion would offer the winner a trip to Disney World.  Really? That wasn't even half a days drive away.   I wonder if the boxes of Wheat Thins that get shipped to Hawaii have a different contest.  "Win a trip to Boston", it might read.  Could you imagine a Hawaiian thinking, "I can't wait to get out of here and go to Boston."  ?

Anyway the crackers have since been eaten and the box recycled.  I didn't bother to enter their contest.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Amazing 16!

Sixteen years ago I married my best friend.
She makes every day better.
She's amazing.
After sixteen years she's still my BFF.
She always will be.  Forever.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Some Weekends are Rough

Some weekends can be so rough.  The only thing you can do is struggle through it. Part of the past weekend that was so rough on me was going to the baseball game in downtown Greenville.  Thanks to some friends from church, we were invited to sit in the suites up top.  Cari and I sat with most of the other adults outside while the kids stayed in the room and went crazy every time some food came in.

That scenario gave me an idea.  I texted my daughter with my order.  A few minutes later out came a plate, direct to my chair.  That's the best use I've found for texting so far!
It was a lot of fun being at the game.  We don't watch much baseball but I know that some people fill out these sheets to keep stats during the game.  I decided to try my hand at it to keep me occupied during the game.  Did you realize these sheets of boxes don't come with instructions?  I made up my own system that entertained me just fine!

A few other rough things that I went through this past weekend - listed in random order -

took a nap
read a book
went downtown for a free concert
went to church
watched the movie: Facing the Giants (good movie by Sherwood Pictures)
Oh yeah.  Did I mention we made french fries?  Mmmmm  french fries.

I think I'll need more weekends like the last one.  It's okay, I'll struggle through it.

Monday, June 04, 2012

The Weekend

I had such a hard weekend I'm going to have to give you more updates on the next post.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Mt Pisgah!

Last weekend we loaded up the car and took the kids hiking.  Amazingly there was very little complaining on this morning.

We drove up to the Blue Ridge Pkwy and headed over to Mt Pisgah.  Our goal - the top!  I had hiked this one time before with my good friend Chip and I didn't remember this being very tough.  I was betting that I could get my family, including the 4 year old to hike to the top and back.

In the parking lot I pointed out the mountain we would scale.  There were a few doubters in my family but no complaining.  We hit the trail.

There were quite a few people on the trail that day and several with dogs.  My kids stopped and met every dog on the trail.

At the top we took a break and had a snack before heading back down.  There was a little complaining at the top because I was taking too long to look around and take pictures.  The kids wanted to keep moving.  
We started back down and the youngest declared a race and said she would win.  She wasn't running down, but she was moving at a good speed.  Anytime someone in our family tried to walk ahead of her she would speed up and loudly declare that she was going to win the race.  Still no complaining.
In the photo above you can see Cold Mountain (the center peak).  Cold Mountain is in the North end of the Shining Rock Wilderness.
Yesterday I reminded the family how much fun we all had climbing Mount Pisgah last weekend.  "There wasn't even any complaining!", I pointed out.  Then I suggested we do that again this weekend and was immediately shut down.