Saturday, May 28, 2011

Virginia Creeper Trail -or- 17 Miles of Family Bliss

Scott's 7th time
Emma, Ben and Josh's 4th (remember?)
Lori and Lydia's 2nd (remember?)
Afton's 1st

Afton had her doubts for the first few miles ("I want get out!"), but once she made peace with the fact she was going to stay in the trailer for awhile she warmed up to it and had a good time, even laughing by the end. Frequent breaks to get out and play on the playground and climb on the rocks helped. Lydia wanted to try out the tag-a-long this time, so she and Josh took turns between that and sharing the trailer with Afton. Josh is quite decided that he will be practiced enough to ride his own bike next time (he did not enjoy taking a turn in the trailer).

Here's a recap:

Monday, May 23, 2011

I almost forgot to show you... of my favorite Mother's Day gifts.

Thanks, Ben.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Old stuff

Scott downloaded the photos/videos from his iphone for the first time ever last week. Ever! He's had that thing for at least two years. It was fun to go through them and remember the good times. Here, remember them with us:

Starting with the most recent: business trip to NYC.

Helping with tornado cleanup in Chatanooga.

Answering a knock at his office door at church.

Ice skating on Christmas Eve.

Lucky Emma gets invited to Dollywood.


Scout field trip to Appalachian Museum.

Treasure hunting in Arkansas.

Lydia dressing up.


Josh went through a major push-up phase:

Remember when I talked about how fast Scott is?

And finally, Lydia at two-and-a-half years old.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

After and Before and After

A couple of Saturdays ago we cleaned out the garage. For real. It's never been so clean. Of course, I didn't think to take a before shot, only the after. But if you've been over to our house in the past few years, you are no doubt familiar with the normal mountain of shoes you have to risk twisting an ankle to cross over before coming inside through the garage. We don't keep any of our shoes in closets inside (because we just never wear them inside). We had an old bookcase that was supposed to help keep the shoes organized and tidy, but it never worked like it should. Too many shoes. This big garage clean-up included the purchase of some sweet baskets that now hang on one wall. Each person in the family has their own basket for keeping all of their shoes, plus one extra for everyone's work shoes (so they're easy to find when we're working on the fort). We are currently two full weeks into our new system and so far every shoe has been put away where it belongs every time. Amazing.

Top: Lori, Scott, shelf for the shoes I don't want smashed, misc
Middle: Emma, Work shoes, sports stuff, sports stuff
Bottom: Afton, Lydia, Josh, Ben

Then I was feeling all organizey and decided my sewing nook had been neglected just about long enough. The bonus room has two dormers, I claimed one of them long ago in the name of sewing. One day I plan to move this operation out of the cramped space and take over a whole third of the bonus room, but that will have to wait until all members of this family are trustworthy around scissors and needles and fabric and paint.
I did think to take befores this time. From this angle it doesn't look so bad...

...but check out the floor:

I cleaned up and painted the former shoe-wrangling book case from the garage and put it to work keeping all my sewing and crafty gear in order.

Why yes, yes there is a carpet in here.
Thanks for noticing.

Monday, May 16, 2011

...of blossoms of blue

When I was growing up, every single Mother's Day we delivered breakfast in bed to my mom. We kids and our dad would shuffle into her room early before church carrying a tray laden with toast or eggs and juice or milk, and handmade cards, and usually the comics section of the newspaper. And as we made our way to her side of the bed, we would sing I Often Go Walking. Brad called me the week before Mother's Day this year with an idea. He wanted to give Mom a pillow with some lyrics from that song to Mom and wondered if I'd be willing to make one to be from both of us. No problem. We talked through all the lines, looking for something just right and settled on "Gather Armfuls". I added a few blossoms of blue to make it complete. Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strawberry picking

We had some super-fine weather for picking strawberries a couple of Saturdays ago. This was the first year we've gone as a family--there always seemed to be one thing or the other crowding our schedules in years past. The kids thought it was way cool, we ended up with two overflowing flats. We spent the afternoon snacking and snacking on our sweet bounty. Then that night Scott and I made pints and pints of freezer jam.

For some reason Afton was sure she needed a shovel.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Remember this

Isn't it about time for another?
Isn't Mother's Day a good excuse?
Thanks, guys, for making me Mom.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter (photographic harassment edition)

You would think I would have come up with at least one good shot of the kids when they were standing on the porch in their Easter-Sunday-finery--out of the several I took, just one image would show everyone looking at the camera with their eyes opened and their hands down. But no, these are the best ones I got:

Good thing we can always fall back on jumping and hugging shots.