Monday, November 9, 2009

Logan's Birthday Party

Our nephew, Logan turned 8 this year on October 5th but his party was a little later in the month so it was a spooky Halloween theme! Mandie and Jason did a great job turning their house into a Haunted Mansion and the kids loved the outdoor movie theater they set up in the backyard!! We hadn't had a chance to put together Julian's Frankenstein costume yet so he went as a pirate instead.

Breast Cancer Walk

Every year since Julian was born, we have joined Dianne's company, JSA Healthcare for the Susan G. Komen's Breast Cancer Walk. This year it was held on October 18th and we were up bright and early to meet the other walkers at 8:00 AM in downtown St. Pete. Dianne's parking pass for the nearby garage made finding a space super easy which was nice since in previous years we have had to walk for blocks and blocks to get to the starting line!

We also got to see what might be the world's smallest puppy! Check out the pink ribbon emblem on his collar. What a cutie!!

NCS Homecoming Week

October 19-23rd was Homecoming Week at Northside Christian and the Elementary students got to join the fun by participating in the various themed dress up days throughout the week. The themes were things like Funny Hat/Funny Sock Day, Mismatch Day, Western Day, and Red, White, and Blue (school colors) Day. I got pictures of some of them but missed a couple in our never-ending rush to get out the door and get to school on time!!

Class Field Trip

On October 14th, Julian went on his first class field trip. Their destination was the Pinellas County Science Center and it was a first time visit for both of us. They attended two short classes, one about life science and biology and the other about earth science and the concept of gravity and inertia! Julian has always been very interested in both types of science so he had a really good time. Don't let the picture below fool you...

His most favorite part by far was getting to play the gyroscopes and watching them spin around on the floor!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Visit to North Carolina

"In my mind, I'm going to Carolina. Can't you just feel the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine..." - James Taylor

We went to Canton, North Carolina the second week of October to visit Mike's grandmother at her "River Camp". It is an absolutely GORGEOUS location right on the river where she has a travel trailer and "campsite" set up. I say campsite with a little laugh because although it isn't huge it is definitely "camping" I could get on board with. The travel trailer has two slide outs which make it amazingly spacious and has a deck next to that doubles the size. The whole thing is covered by a roof so even when it is a bit dreary, you can enjoy the cool fresh air!! We flew into Greenville, SC by way of the St. Pete/Clearwater airport which is a less than 90 minute flight! Once we landed, we headed up to her place but stopped at a few places along the way.

Our first stop was at Bald Rock in South Carolina where we added our initials to the rock to commemorate our visit.

Second stop on the tour was Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest. It was an absolutely beautiful day and it was so nice to get a break from the hot and humid Florida weather!!

Once we made it to the campground, Nana gave us the grand tour and we decided to relax and get unpacked. Afterwards, we helped her put together a new fire pit which turned out just like she wanted!

We were blessed with great weather on the second day as well so Mike and Julian went outside while Nana and I made breakfast. In the short time while the eggs were cooking, Mike showed Julian how to make rope from a tree branch (see video below) and they built some wooden boats!

Of course, after breakfast they decided to put their vessels to the test and send them down the river. One of them tipped over and went under immediately but the second one did pretty well. It is a little hard to see on the videos but you'll get the idea!!

After the boat regatta, we headed out to a local apple orchard where they had a store filled with every type of apple goodie imaginable including at least 15 varieties of apples themselves. If you every happen across a "Honey Crisp" apple, be sure to pick some up! You will not regret it, I promise! They are by far our new favorite!
On the way back to camp, we stopped for a late lunch at the "Jukebox Junction" which was a diner style restaurant filled with movie and music memorabilia from the 50's and 60's. They even have Elvis' favorite sandwich on the menu...Grilled peanut butter and banana with mayonnaise. Not something I wanted to try but apparently "The King" loved it!

For the rest of the afternoon, Julian gathered up rocks and threw them into the river. It was activity that I think could have kept him busy the entire time we were there since we practically had to drag him away!

The other neat thing about the campground were the 3 resident goats. There was a large section on the side of the mountain that was fenced off and occupied by "Butters", "Lucy" and "Nanny". Julian was a little intimidated at first but was quickly feeding them all sorts of goodies. The main thing we learned was the goats DO NOT eat anything. They can actually be quite picky!! At least ones that are hand fed by humans and have learned they can be picky!

I thought it was so funny how they chose to stand on the fence itself rather than on the ground so they could stick their heads through the fence just a tiny bit farther!

Just before dinnertime, we went to a corn maze which was really fun. There were actually two mazes and we were very grateful at several points that they gave us a map!!

We woke up Saturday to clouds and a bit of drizzle but that didn't slow us down!! We met Grandma and Grandpa Barton for lunch in Waynesville, NC at Bogart's which was super yummy! Afterwards, we headed over to a craft fair where Julian got an "Electric Hat" from the balloon artist!

After the craft fair, they followed us back to the campsite where we took another trip down to the goats with some leftovers and ate the pot roast dinner Nana started before we left earlier in the day!

We had to leave on Sunday but not until later in the afternoon so we started out with one last trip by the goats to feed them our leftover french toast breakfast. Once again, the goats disproved the famous theory by refusing to eat the brown bread and only wanting the white bread!!

We made the drive to Greenville in just under 2 hours and with just enough time to tour the Greenville Zoo which was a wonderful little zoo with lots of great animals!

These chickens had super funny puffs of feathers on their heads but were rather camera shy so they were really hard to photograph!!

Overall, it was a wonderful vacation and provided a much needed break for all of us!! Thanks to Nana for being such a gracious hostess and taking such great care of us!! We love you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More Soccer Pics

Technically, the last soccer game of the season is this coming Saturday but we will be in North Carolina so we will have to miss it! Julian had fun playing with the other kids from his school and is looking forward to the football season that starts in mid-January!

Mike's dad came out to watch the game! Check out the three generations of Clark guys. Think they look anythink alike?? Ha Ha!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Julian's 1st Film

Julian has been very into photography lately and recently discovered that our camera also has video capabilities so he documented a tour of our house. Most of the lights were off at the time so it is rather dark but you'll get the idea. It helps you not be able to see how messy everything is! Quite the little director he is....