Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Fun!

Imagine waking up to this in the morning... The best mountain cabin? Nope, my backyard. What a wonderful sight to behold when you are in a quiet home, nice and cozy warm with a hot cup of coffee in your hand. This Christmas was magical!

I could go on and on about all of the great presents that were given, the time spent around our fire, or the hours and hours of opening toy boxes that probably gave us a few grey hairs. But that all took a backseat to...

... long days out in our backyard. I am so thankful that we spent a few bucks and bought some sleds and saucers. We are so fortunate to have our own little hill out back and friends to share it with! Every day I would ask the kids "what was your favorite part of the day?" And from both I would hear a loud and clear SNOW!!!

After the second day, the hill was nice and fast... We would start off at the top and then,

LOOKOUT!!! Head first into the bamboo...

Yes, I got in on the action as well.

Merry Christmas! Must head on back out before it melts.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

So we were at our nextdoor neighbors house celebrating their sweet girl's 4th birthday when all of a sudden, a hoopin' and a hollering comes from the kids. It is snowing! It is snowing! We all rush to the windows and sure enough...

So at the fastest possible moment for the party festivities to conclude, all the kids were begging to go outside to play. We even had to beg them back inside off the patio at one point! They were all in their socks with no jackets! At last, the kids donned their jackets and boots and headed outside.

Our house backs up to a natural area and the kids love to go out back and explore in the bushes and tree area. Thankfully we could see the boys' heads out there! Don't know if I have mentioned this, but I love our neighbors! They have the same crazy adventurous spirit as we do (I think we were the only families outside in the snow!!! *gasp*!) and so Gabe and Luke had a blast out in the "wilderness."

And yes, I did zip up his jacket from the first picture...

For the first year we actually decorated our house for the holidays. In Florida, we never quite could get that holiday feeling but here? No problem. I think the chilly temps have really helped us out in that department.

Kylie being oh so nice by not throwing that at me!

And for some fun snow pictures. Yes, I am not used to this still and get a bit giddy when anything exciting happens!

Looking up into the sky!

And finally, Jake had to get out in the snow too. Poor guy looks like the little brother in A Christmas Story. It was all good until he wanted to crawl and then it all went downhill fast. Guess Jake isn't all that fond of cold fingers.

The rest of the day included a lot of hot chocolate, a cozy fire and friends in our home. The snow melted off the next day but we sure enjoyed it while it lasted!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Getting Out and About

If you just sit on the sidelines and watch life go by, you will miss so much! Having just recently moved from Florida, this girl has been waiting for fall to roll around for awhile. Counting the days when the first red or orange hue hits the top of the leaves, knowing that in a few more weeks a raging fire of brilliant color will light up the horizon. In Florida, we would study about fall and the colors that cover the trees but rarely would we get to live it, to smell the forest, to roll in the crisp leaves but not this year! Road trip baby - off to the Blue Ridge Parkway we went.

Just a short jaunt to the mountains and we weren't disappointed. On our way we were able to enjoy the beauty.

A slight detour led us to this Alpaca farm which we were able to tour their store and learn about how they took Alpaca hair and turned it into such soft things such as gloves, linings for slippers, coats and gloves. The owners were very kind to explain it all to the kids and they had a great time.

Back on the Blue Ridge Parkway! We were able to learn about the beginnings of the parkway and it's history. I love the way they have little stations along the parkway to stop and investigate.

We were able to stop at at a point and learn about the music of the region. Real life musicians were there to show how people used songs to tell stories and pass the time with their families.

And because it was such a cultural affair, this man from "the desert" as Luke called him, posed with Kylie. What I didn't show was his wife who was veiled and was walking steps behind him. Actually, come to find out he was in costume as was his wife. Totally fooled us!

Being a cheeser!

Just having fun before our scavenger hunt.

They had a wonderful scavenger hunt along a mile long trail. It was great because it kept the kids occupied throughout our hike and they were able to learn a lot about the flora and fauna of the area. Jake enjoyed it too!

Pausing to check out the view.

Some kind man offered to take our picture. Jake had a full day and was sound asleep!

So thankful we packed it up and headed to the mountains. It was a great fall fix for us but we are ecstatic that it doesn't have to be it for us. The crisp cool air is just the beginning to a season of warmth and homeyness. We will be looking forward to fires, hot chocolate, cozy comfort foods and tons of baked goodies!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Old Salem

Where has the time gone? In looking through pictures of New York, I was reminded that I haven't posted the Old Salem pics!

What a great day we had. Perfect weather, perfect friends and a lot of great activities. I will let most of the pictures speak for themselves.


Couldn't resist taking a picture of sweet Sam. Love his eyebrows!


Learning about the apothecary.


Painting with watercolors.


Making a seed packet.


Making paper.


Waiting to peel it off.


The finished wet product. Notice the lavender that was in the paper? It smelled heavenly!


I love that we can incorporate learning with fun activities. We had such a wonderful time with friends who also share our passion in learning!