Saturday, November 21, 2015

Cross Country season

Emma, Ben and Josh all ran cross country this fall. And they were all awesome.

Emma skipped her freshman year of cc as she acclimated to high school. She got to know some cc girls when she ran distance on the track team last spring though, and was excited to join in as a sophomore. It was a really great experience for her. There is a good group of kids on the team and they made a lot of fun memories together. Emma showed marked improvement, getting PR after PR after PR for much of the year. And she looked good doing it. See?

Ben and Josh both ran on the middle school team. It was really impressive to see Ben take somewhat of a leadership role on the team as an 8th grader and one of the fastest runners this year. He did a good job of encouraging the younger kids and being inclusive. We were surprised Josh wanted to run this year since he didn't seem to really love it in elementary school (and the middle school races are twice as long!). But the surprise was quite pleasant, he was really impressive with stick-to-it-tiveness and steady improvement as well.

I'm glad our kids run. Going to their races was one of my favorite things. Bonus: We were treated to a lot of beautiful scenery.
Lydia and Afton had fun at them too.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The last post with really old pictures -OR- Family photos

I think after this we'll be mostly caught up, at least to things that have happened in the last couple of months instead of sharing a family photo shoot from way back in May (like I'm getting ready to do right now). But I just this minute realized I'd never blogged these pictures, and I really love them. Our good friend Brianna agreed to book us for a session just before she officially retired from the portrait business. We were extra, EXTRA lucky because she was willing to meet us at Cades Cove. The longer I live here the more I love the Smoky Mountains. I want to go there all the time. Hiking is my favorite. Playing in the streams is my favorite. Just driving around is my favorite. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is my favorite. Thanks Bri!

There are a lot. Hold on to your hats.

This is my favorite. It's hanging on the wall now.

It gets funnier the farther down the line you go. 


Afton again.

Random photos, trying to catch up here

There is nothing particularly special about this collection, nothing that even binds them together. I just want them here for posterity, but lack the motivation to do a full witty write up for each one. So here you have it, odds and ends from the summer and fall with nowhere else to go.

Right after school got out for the summer, Scott, Emma, Ben and I ran a 10k together. The Expo 10,000, billed as the oldest race in Knoxville, is one that I remember Joel running when he was a young teen. It was a lot of fun, and I was so proud of those kids! I ran a good time for me, but everyone in this crew beat me! I'm okay with that.

Then right after that Josh went on the 5th grade safety patrol trip to Washington D.C. He had a great time with some of his very best buds, I'm really glad he was able to go!

Emma has been very into all things outdoorsy lately. It was great timing for her 4th year of Girls Camp, where they get to go on a 10 mile backpacking overnighter. She loved every single thing about it. 

Loved it so much in fact, that Scott took her backpacking again the very next weekend with a friend and her dad. She would do it every weekend if she could I think.

Always the reader. This is how Josh spent a lot of his time when it wasn't his turn for swim practice.

Asleep at Grandma's house.

In 2013 I gave Scott scuba diving lessons for his birthday. We took the intro class, then it got cold, then we got busy with life and put it right on the back burner. Time passed and a year and a half later we finally finished our certification! This is us holding hands 30 feet down. I don't think I'll ever feel tempted to go any deeper, it scares me just a bit.

One day in August I checked Lydia and Afton out of school early to go check out this bluff with the sisters and Allie. We may or may not have done a little bit of trespassing to get here.

Scott's dad was released after serving 9 years as the Stake President in the Knoxville Cumberland Stake, and we drove on over to their stake conference to share in the event. Josh became the happiest boy alive, being right in the middle of a grandmother sandwich.