Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Panhandle

We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year at the Marriott hotel in Panama City Beach, where one of our cousins hosts Thanksgiving lunch.

The kids got a bit restless after we ate, so we let them watch a DVD on the floor and then headed out to the patio and pier outside the hotel.

She's in the DVD-watching zone; no time to smile

It's not hard to guess what happens next

Thankfully I had the forethought to anticipate such an event as one of my kids falling into the pond, and I had a clean clothes and shoes in my bag. Molly quickly got over her trauma, although we provided plenty of entertainment for the diners at the Marriott.

Before we left for the beach, we took a family picture with my grandmother at her farm. Granny turned 91 this month!

Friday, November 20, 2009


We just got back from a very quick trip to Nantahala, N.C., to visit Shelley and her family, who were spending a week with Shelley's extended family in the mountains. They graciously allowed us to cram into the cabin with them and add to the chaos.

We took the kids on a hike yesterday in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest. Josh walked Zoe, the Cullums' lab, and amazingly there was no complaining this time. I'm afraid we're going to have to get our own dog soon!

Molly, Josh and Alex before the hike

Josh, who loves to be in charge, became sort of a nature guide on our hike, stopping to loudly point out things like "green leaves" and a "big rock." Maggie was very tolerant of his continuous stream of pointing out the obvious, only occasionally turning around to roll her eyes.

We had a picnic after our hike, and then our outing abruptly ended when Josh walked over to the creek to throw some rocks and fell in. The next thing I knew, he was walking around in his underwear and shirt. We quickly loaded the cars up and left!

We had a major first at the cabin when Josh and Molly decided they wanted to sleep on the same pull-out couch. It was cute when they fell asleep curled up together, but unfortunately that happened hours after we turned out the lights and it meant they were right there to wake each other up at 6:15 the next morning.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Unfortunately our camera could only be in one place at a time this weekend, so we don't have all of the excitement captured on film. Chris took the camera on the camping trip with his and Josh's Y-Guides (the YMCA version of Cub Scouts) tribe in South Carolina. They spent Saturday horseback riding, shooting bb guns, practicing archery and making arts and crafts, among other things.

Chris called early Sunday morning and said they were getting ready to leave, even though the camp was open for a few more hours. Apparently the dad who received the campwide "Snoring Bear" award was in their cabin, and neither of them got any sleep. Josh took a nap on Sunday afternoon for the first time in more than a year.

Meanwhile, back in Charlotte, I hosted a huge yardsale at our house to raise money for some friends who are adopting two children from Ghana. I wish I had photographic evidence of the huge amount of stuff on my front lawn and driveway. People from our church dropped off truckloads of donations, and we had people shopping until 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Molly seemed intimidated by all of the stuff and people in our yard, so she parked in front of the TV for about six hours. A friend and I switched off checking on her and replenishing her cookie supply. I figured I'm allowed one morning of bad parenting every once in awhile!

The good news is we raised about $1,200 for our friends and Goodwill got a huge donation of unsold stuff when it was all over.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Field Trip Fun

I was persuaded to chaperon the kindergarten field trip to a local farm for the second year in a row, so I spent the morning herding kids, mostly Josh. The kids went on a hayride, learned where milk comes from, ran through a straw maze and a pumpkin patch and learned how to make cornmeal. And if that wasn't enough, we ended the trip with a big picnic. I was in charge of four kids, and three of them were very agreeable and followed me around. Guess which one didn't.

My charges

Josh and his teacher, Mrs. Myers

Josh did a great job standing in the barn while the farmer talked about a skinny cow that didn't have much milk this year, so the kids could only look at the cow rather than try to milk it. Fun fact that we learned: Cows have no upper teeth.