Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Apple Pie Making Season

Ben showing Maura how the apple corer, peeler works.

Maura studying every step.

Maura doing it by herself (with dad's help).

Max finishing the pie off with the crumb topping.

Family Photos

We had a mini-session of photos taken this fall. The photos of all five of us didn't turn out too well but we ended up with a collage of our family that I just love.

Georgia Mountains Part 4: Highlands and Dry Falls

Drive through the mountains in an area that connects GA, SC, and NC- beautiful views and waterfalls

Crimshaws- the smallest post office in the US

Highlands, NC

Lunch at Pescados

Dry Falls

More of our drive through the mountains

Mica found behind Morris property

Morris' land in Satolah, GA. It has been in his family for generations and is beautiful. It backs up to the state park reserves.

The trip wouldn't have been complete without a lesson in shooting.

I actually made a bullseye!

Morris giving us a real lesson.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Georgia Mountains Part 3: Burrell Ford

We went to Burrell Ford for a hike along the Chattooga River. It is a gorgeous trail with amazing spots to camp along the river. Hopefully when we get back to GA with the kids this will be one of our main spots for a camping trip. The air was very cool and we definitely needed gloves and hats. By the end were warmed up and the sun felt great.

Shannon and I on one of the bridges made by the Reserves. The states parks are kept in beautiful condition.

This spot along the river has a sandy beach. Just beyond this point is a camping spot. Shannon, Morris, and the kids have camped there on a few occasions. They said the key is to get there on a Thursday so you can claim the prime spot.

Georgia Mountains Part 2: Horse Farm

Morris takes care of land and horses on much of the properties around his own. Many of these properties once belonged to his family but have since been sold. Across the road from his home is this farm which once belonged to his grandparents. It now belongs to a family who owns an advertising school. They come to Georgia for weekend retreats and also bring students for week-long seminars. The majority of the time the house is empty and Morris (and sometimes Shannon) care for the horses and the land.

Brenden can actually drive this "Dragon" all on his own. He took me on a tour of the property. We got a little lost and had a little trouble turning it around on the path but finally managed to make it back to the farm. His spatial skills are incredible for six years old!

This is the art studio on the property. She does pottery, pencil drawings, and water color. Look at all that natural light! I like to imagine my inner artist would come to life if I had a studio like this :)

The owner is a woodworker and makes every piece of furniture for the home. He also has a studio.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Georgia Mountains Part 1: Shannon and Kids

I love that Warwoman is the name of the road Shannon lives on.

Drive up through the mountains to Shannon's place.

View of Shannon's house from the road.

View from Shannon's deck off of the living room and bedroom.

Mama kitty with her babies.

I brought magic noodles for the boys and they made some awesome creations. Nolan's creation evolved into different creatures.

Brenden's creation was a factory that became more and more complex.

The boys spend hours (really, hours) out back climbing the hill, digging in dirt, creating forts, and exploring. They are SO happy outside. The come in filthy, happy, and ready for a bath and bed. Brenden even gets the bath going for he and Nolan.
Brenden and Nolan's John Deers tractors.

ATL Part 2: Seth

I picked Seth up for lunch on Thursday before heading to the mountains. We went to a Mexican place that had a great seafood lunch burrito and great guacamole. We spent a couple of hours catching up. He is doing great and really enjoying his weekends with Brenden and Nolan. They bike almost every weekend and get together with ATL friends. Hopefully on our next visit we will get to meet Indra. He is spending Thanksgiving in Venezuela meeting her family. He is a little anxious about the trip but once they get to know him I'm sure they will be so happy to have him as part of their family.

ATL Part 1: Jenny

Frankie + Rudy = Love

I have never seen a child love an animal more than Frankie loves Rudy. She spends the majority of her time making sure he is let outside or back in, getting treats, or following her around. If he isn't following her around she tracks him down and brings him to where she is playing. It is the sweetest thing. Frankie is destined to have some profession dealing with animals.

The Georgia backyard. Unfortunately, it was raining so I didn't get a real tour of the Better Homes and Gardens yard. But even from the porch I could tell it is an overwhelming piece of work in every season. But it is gorgeous especially the tall pines that sway in the wind.

Jenny and I had a great visit. It was nice not having my own kids so I was able to truly spend time and visit with hers. We had lunch when I got there. In true Jenny fashion she had an awesome 7 layer dip to go with our soup. The kids came home from school and it was homework and downtime. Grace uses this really cool reading program to help with fluency. Teachers or parents have to subscribe and pay to use the program but I may mention it to PTO because it looked like a very motivating way to get kids to practice reading. In the evening we went to a school meeting for a trip Alicia is taking with 5th grade. They are going to an island for three days to do team building and explore the island. When we were in 5th grade I think we went to the History Museum. After the meeting Jenny and I grabbed dinner at a bar and grill. They had great chicken wing sandwiches and wraps. We went back to the house and hung out with Jeff for awhile then went to bed. I was so wiped out from getting up so early to catch the earlier flight. In the morning we hung out had breakfast and I left for lunch with Seth. I was so glad to finally see Jenny's new life in ATL. Ok, not so new, she's been there 3 years. I tried to get her to be in a picture with me but she refused. I'm getting that picture at Thanksgiving!