Friday, July 18, 2014

Home grown

My raised bed has done surprisingly well. I've picked zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onions, a green pepper, one hot pepper and one cucumber so far. My 2 pet chickens also decided that it was time to lay eggs. We were all excited to find eggs and Olivia wanted me to cook her one right away. The blackberries are abundant and the kids love to ride the four-wheeler down the driveway and pick blackberries. When we go picking I'm prepared with my socks tucked in my pants, long sleeves, pants and lots of OFF. I have no desire to get bit by those chigger bugs.  I love that we live far enough in the woods to experience nature but it's only a short drive to town!

Making zucchini bread

Blackberry pickin'

Fried squash

Happy 4th

This year we celebrated Independence Day by having a pool party at my mom's house and then grilling out at my sister, Audra's house and shooting fireworks. Between the 3 families we shot off close to 200 breaks. The kids weren't very impressed. Olivia hid her head under a blanket and Eli just wanted to play the ipad. Isaac enjoyed fireworks this year because the guys had him enlisted helping set them off! Thankfully no one got injured.

Papa and Olivia

Eli and Carter

Playing with pop-it's at Audra's

Olivia cheesing

Papa holding Camden and Olivia. They were all about Papa today.

Camping from Hell

We decided to take a family camping trip up to Carolina Hemlocks. It's a beautiful campground right on the South Toe river....nice camping spots and an area to tube down the river. We were prepared and went up early on Wednesday to find a camp spot and put up our tents (we knew the campground would be full if we waited until Friday). When we got there Friday evening we started dinner... steaks, fried potatoes and onions, roasted corn on the cob.. it was delicious. As we were finishing dinner it started to rain ,so we rapidly started putting stuff in containers and in the car so it wouldn't get wet. Everyone went to their tents to keep dry. Well it continued to rain except it got harder until it was like a torrential flood. Four to FIVE inches of rain pelted down, not without thunder and lightening. I kept praying we wouldn't get struck by a bolt of lightening in our tent with metal poles. The rain didn't let up until around 5am. There wasn't a dry spot anywhere. All the tents flooded and leaked and we were laying in pools of water. The rush of the river was so loud and so high it was above some of the trees and vegetation around.

We cooked breakfast and hung around until around 2:00 when it started to rain again and we called our camping trip- DONE! Isaac and Gabe of course wanted to stay but everyone else was ready to get out of there. We made it home and I've never been so thankful for my warm bed and dry house.

Usually I am all about camping. I like roughing it and don't mind the dirt, bugs, etc. However, camping in the rain is not fun. I would never survive on that show Naked and Afraid on TV.  Everything had to be washed when I got home so I spent the next several days washing blankets and drying out camping gear.

Our campsite

Josh and Olivia snuggled the next morning

Our niece, Allie

Paw-paw.. Josh's dad.  Josh's mom and dad spontaneously decided to join us and I'm sure they were wishing they stayed home. 

Gabe hanging out by the fire

After I washed all these I dried them on my balcony (the other side is full too) so I wouldn't burn up my dryer.

Ocean Isle 2014

My mom, my sister and her two boys (Carter and Camden), Olivia, Eli and I took a spur of the moment beach trip this summer. Isaac had church camp (he said he would much rather go to camp than the beach) and Josh had to work so it was just us and the little kids. Josh ended up being able to stay until Tuesday and then came home to a mini-vacation an empty house.

Eli and Olivia loved the beach and both wanted to stay out all day. Olivia didn't even mind missing her nap and was perfectly content to play in the sand and water all day. Eli's favorite thing was jumping the waves in the ocean. We caught minnows in our buckets, built sand castles, played in the ocean and the pool and turned brown. Both kids tan easily and no one got burnt so that was nice! Well... let me re-phrase that.. the kids didn't get burnt but Josh did. I ran out of sunscreen as I was applying and left him with some nice body art. He hasn't let me live that one down.

The beach is my happy place!

Eli and Olivia playing in the sand

We had perfect weather except for one storm our first day.

Olivia and I checking out the boats while waiting for dinner.

Camden, Carter and Audra

Eli and Daddy

Olivia Jane - my little beach bum. 

Evening fun on the beach. Sunset is one of my most favorite times to go out on the beach. Tidal pools, sunsets, and sandy babies... life is good!

Josh's arm... aka my body art ;)

Olivia couldn't wear her hearing aids on the beach because of getting water and sand in them. She was okay with that and we always put them back in as soon as we got to the room. 

My mom, me and my sister with the kids after dinner in Calabash.

Eli writing his name in the sand. 

I of course wrote Olivia!

Holding hands. LOVE!

Nana and Olivia having so much fun.

Carter and Eli- We had to have a little ipad time

The 4 Musketeeers

My pretty girl

Beach babies

I took Olivia out to play and take pictures in her new bathing suit. Of course she wasn't very cooperative but I caught a few good shots on my iphone.

Weekly happenings in May

Eli and I played during naptime

My roses are so vibrantly pink! There's no filter on that folks!

Eli made me lots of wooden sandwiches.. 

I took pictures of Olivia sleeping because she looks so dern cute.
She's such a good napper.. 3 hours every day.

Josh and I had a DATE! We went to the new Brazilian Steak house in Asheville. It was delicious. They keep bringing you meat as long as you have your card on 'green'. The roasted pineapple was amazing as well. 

I worked on laundry. I don't know how we accumulate so much dirty laundry so fast. 

This tree fell and I'm so thankful it fell towards the woods and not the other direction (Olivia's room).
I've been wanting it cut down for a while now because it blocks the left side view of our house coming up the hill. 

Full view now since tree is gone. 

The wild mountain laurel is blooming!

I took a picture of Eli sleeping and realized it looked so similar to his newborn picture.. so I had to contrast the images. Look at those little lips. 

We've frequently visited Jack Frost - homemade ice cream which is about all our town has to offer. 

Can you spot Sampson? He's become an indoor dog lately. 

Olivia and I after church. I love my girl!

Family hike with Josh's brother's family to South Mountain. We did a 3 mile hike and backpacked Olivia. Eli made it with minimal complaining. 

Watching Daddy leave for work.  

We go, go, go a lot! Here is an outing to Chuckie Cheese. Those are my feet above holding down the petals for Eli on one ride and Olivia on the other. 

The kid's passports arrived... we are cruising in August!

Swimming at Nana's pool with cousins. Carter and Eli are both doing great this year learning how to swim. 

I babysat my sister's baby goat for the weekend. Yes, that's me giving it a bottle THREE times a day. 

Josh and I drove down to Atlanta and met my Uncle for an off Broadway performance of Evita at the Fox Theater. It was great to see Uncle Richard but made me miss my Auntie. She took my sister and I to plays all the time. 

I suckered down and tried one of those IT WORKS wrap thingies. I couldn't tell a difference. 

We found Olivia an Anna dress and this is her pitching a fit because she wanted the cape on. Can we say drama at TWO!

Peaches and her cape
Isaac- he doesn't like me to take is pictures but I did manage to snap this one as he was playing XBox.