Fall Beach Trip

Each October, for several years now, we meet up with our friends at the beach for an extended weekend.  This has come to be something we really look forward to and count on each year.  It is a refreshing time that we just get to stop our real lives here and enter a dreamworld of sorts.

This year we had 15 of us, 3 families; 6 adults and 9 kids.  We cooked and ate together with our friends, never going out, except for groceries of course.  We played and played again.  We talked, laughed, and played games.  We enjoyed the ocean, sand and sun.  The weather was gorgeous!

Here are several of my favorite photos from our trip.


boysAlder, Kalen, Brayden and Heath


eatingEveryone cleaned up for dinner time.  Lesley and Jason had prepared all the fixings for burritos.

DSC01466Kalen, Brayden, Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen

DSC01457Daniel, Katie and Jen


DSC01548Madelyn, Arianna, Julian and Ellen



DSC01491Me and Katie playing in the sand.


DSC01561Me and Scott

DSC01594Brayden and Heath

DSC01523Scott was kicking around the soccer ball with the kids.


DSC01498Katie and Julian


DSC01486Katie and Daniel

DSC01533Kids playing dollar ball with Scott.  He throws it super high and whoever catches it gets a dollar.  After awhile it became more like chocolate chip ball.

group shotAll of us.

DSC01658The girls;  Arianna, Madelyn and Ellen.

IMG_6978Anna, Scott, Jason, Lesley, Daniel and Jen

IMG_7017All the kids

DSC01669Scott and I just before leaving our little dream weekend.



The Zoo

DSC01376The boys and I are on our 3 week break, with one week remaining.  This week we decided to meet up with my mom and Annette at the NC Zoo.  We had a blast. Here are some pictures and videos from our day.


We were able to feed a giraffe named Turbo.  I must say that I have never fed a giraffe before.  It was very exciting.  I am not one to attract giraffes though.  I had to have an extra branch hover over us just so the big guy would eat my leaf.  Oh, and I learned giraffes have big tongues!  Here is a clip:





This picture above depicts one of my favorite moments that day.  It was just before 10am and the zebras were chasing the ostriches.  These birds are oddly fast creatures.  Here is a video of these animals just before that still shot.  The ostriches crack me up.  Have a laugh:









The baboons were quite the active bunch while we were visiting their habitat. We saw many little mini shows.  I caught one on video.






Our family headed out yesterday for a family fun day at Raleigh’s annual BugFest.  We spent hours walking downtown, eating at Remedy Diner, and checking out the many exhibits.  There were many chances to read up on different species.  Our favorite part is always the opportunity to see live bugs and maybe even hold them.  Here are a few snapshots from our buggy day of fun.  DSC01221










Kalen at the Gallery


This is Kalen at the gallery this week.  The fourth graders at Central Park were able to work alongside a local artist named Micah Mullen and produce beautiful pieces of artwork.  Each unique landscape painting reflected what Mullen had been teaching them, of course, with the help of our amazing school art teacher, Lucia.

Kalen and his fellow students were encouraged to pick a piece of landscape/natural area at Hanging Rock State Park when they took a field trip there recently, then they would paint it.  Mullen worked with them to make their background first, then add the larger focal points.

I love that this project took time and the process was truly the most beautiful part.  The kids were so proud to display their work at the gallery that was set up for them at our school.  At the tables, the kids had notebooks in front of their work for folks to come by and comment on their work.  Cash, one of Kalen’s friends, is pictured here commenting in Kalen’s book.DSC01194

Out and About

Our family has been on the go much more lately.  Between school, field trips, soccer, substituting, visiting with friends, church and such, we have stayed quite busy.  The good kind of busy that is.  Up above, Julian and Brayden are at the Eno River.  Julian and I went there with Brady’s Kindergarten class.

Brayden with one of his classmates, Liam.

 Up above our family is pictured at the NC Natural Science Museum in Raleigh.  Our little foster boy there has  a rocket in front of his face that he made.  He was so proud.  Here he is shooting it off outside of the museum with Scott.

Our pool is open and we have already been taking advantage of it.  Six kids at the pool is easier this go around because our little two are not as fearful and they are a year older.  Of course, our big four are practically fish when it comes to enjoying the water.  🙂

Scott coached Madelyn’s soccer team again this spring and here is a cute picture taken after the last game.  Madelyn is on the bottom far left.

Here’s our Brady with a throw in during his last game.

Here’s Madelyn helping out with the dishes.  I am trying to get more help these days from my kids around the house.  It sure does help when we are all so busy and life is so full.

Cute Jasper

Madelyn’s Coastal Adventure

Madelyn and her class took off for the coast last week.  She was able to be away for two days without the rest of us.  She and her class camped and explored Pea Island, Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Jockey’s Ridge, some Wright Brothers historic sights, Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station and Frisco Beach.  Not a bad field trip for fourth graders.  🙂

We are so thankful she is back safe and has had this wonderful experience.  She had an amazing time and took a few photos along the way.  I will share a few glimpses into her getaway.