Monday, July 24, 2017

Youth Worship Team

Olivia has been practicing with the youth worship team at church and they did their first service last month. They were fantastic! :)
While she's been learning piano for years and flute for a few months, this is the first time she's ever done singing.

They'll be doing it on a monthly basis, so we're looking forward to seeing her talents grow!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Blueberry Picking 2017

Blueberries are in season and we were in desperate need of replenishing our stock! We loaded everyone up and headed out to Watts Farm, grabbed 4 1-gallon buckets and some cups and got to work.

 Unfortunately, it was blazing hot and the kids wilted rather quickly. Of course, the littles faded first. They did more eating than picking, which is normal. Gabe was the next to fall out. Ezra powered on for a good while, picking and staying in good spirits. Olivia managed to pick most of a bucket on her own. Altogether we picked about 25lbs of berries. That should last us until next year! :)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sewing Camp

Olivia did a sewing camp through the Greensboro 4-H last week. She spent 5 full days learning how to pick fabrics and sew by hand and machine. The made these little quilts called "fidget quilts." They have various items sewn on them that can be touched and manipulated. Generally this kind of quilt is for babies to play with, but they sometimes use them with Alzheimer's patients because the activity can be calming and stimulate brain activity.
She had a lot of fun and is now begging to go to the fabric store so she can start on a new project at home. :)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Splash Park - July 2017

WHat do we do when the summer gets hot? Go to a splash park! There are a couple in Greensboro, but we like the Keeley Park one in particular. During the week, it's usually not too crowded and the kids always find someone to play with. 

Friday, July 7, 2017


One thing Olivia has is hair in abundance! It's incredibly thick and, when taken care of, can be absolutely stunning. But it's also difficult to brush and is like a thermal blanket, so she asked if she could get a haircut and donate the hair to Locks of Love.
She looks amazing! And all that hair will make quite a wig for someone special. :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4th

This year, we wanted to see some big, professional fireworks, but still wanted to go to our friends' farm in Pleasant Garden like we've done for the past couple of years. So we compromised and went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game on July 3rd so we could teach the kids about baseball and get to see the fireworks after the game.
 They had a lot of fun cheering for the Hoppers, who beat the Asheville Tourists pretty handily, 12-4. There were some tense moments early when the Tourists hit 3-straight home runs, but the Hoppers had a 9-run 6th inning to put the Tourists away for good.
 We were sitting in the second row along the first base line, which happened to be where the pitchers for the Tourists sat along the wall. This allowed Emma and Irene to get up close and see the players.
 Emma spotted the little knob-thing on top of their hats and kept reaching over to poke it on a player's head until the usher came down to send them back to their seats. The Tourist player never even looked up at who was poking him. :)
 One convenience of sitting in the section we did was that we were close to the playground for when the kids got a little bored with the game. 
 At the end of the evening, it started to rain, and while it was heavy enough that I didn't want to pull the camera out, it wasn't heavy enough for them to stop the fireworks. It was a big, non-stop display that was practically right over our heads. The kids all loved it!
They've asked if we can make the baseball game a family tradition from now on. We'll have to see... :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Camping with Nana and Pop-pop

Nana and Pop-pop came through town for a couple of weeks on their way north from Florida as they went on their yearly Summer Tour and we thought it would be fun to stay a few days with them at the Oak Hollow Campground in High Point where they parked their RV. It was also about 20 yards from the edge of Oak Hollow Lake, which made for pretty views.
 The sites we got was pretty, flat and right across from N&P's RV, so we could just walk over whenever we wanted to hang out. We ate together, played games, and just sat and talked. I wish Ihad pulled the camera out for the games of Sorry that were played! :/

 Despite my kids' love of technology, this was actually a rare sight that week. It just happened to be a good shot of all of them together...
 The sunrise on the lake was gorgeous!
 Mealtimes were always fun.
 We had some visitors who kept hanging around looking for anything the kids were dropping. I couldn't believe it when this little girl waddled right under the table as they were eating! Of course, I told the kids to not give anything to the ducks because it's not good for them.
 The campsite had a nearby playground that kept the kids busy in the middle of the day.
 It also had a pool that was helpful on one of the blazing hot days we spent there. It actually turned out to be the hottest and sunniest day, with the others being kinda cloudy.

I'm sure you've noticed that, except for the pool, Olivia's not here... She and Rebecca left after the first night to go on a retreat for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah students from our community to have those special Mother/Daughter conversations. I'll have to have those same conversations with Gabe and Ezra in the coming years... hoo boy.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Turtle Rescue

We heard about a sea turtle hospital during the Turtle Talk at Holden Beach and found out that give tours, so we decided to detour on our way home up to Surf City and check it out. They are a facility that rehabilitates sick and injured sea turtles from up and down the east coast. A large number are turtles that didn't make it out to warmer waters before the winter hit in New England and have to be shipped down here to recover from nearly freezing to death. 

They're kept in these huge pools and are fed, brushed (though some don't like that much) and examined daily by trained medical staff in the hopes that they will eventually be released back in to the ocean.
They range in size from 200+ lbs down to 10 lbs.
They do have one permanent resident because the turtle is blind and wouldn't be able to survive in the wild. 
This one had had a major wound on its shell, probably from a boat propeller, so they had to put medicine and lotions on it every few hours.
He was not happy about the process and was constantly slapping his flippers on the table trying to get away.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Turtle Nest walk

One evening at the Holden Beach Town Hall, they had a session of "Turtle Talk" where the local volunteers explained about the sea turtles that nest on the beaches at this time of year and what they to do protect both the turtles and the nests. One big thing they do is they mark where each nest is with caution tape, a sign and a length of plastic webbing that prevents animals from digging up the eggs. Holden Beach gets about 175 nests each year on it's 7-mile length (which is small compared to places like Topsail that gets in the tens of thousands) and these folks try to find and mark every single one. So far this year, they had marked about a dozen.
The next evening, we took a walk on the beach to see if we could find any of the nests that had been marked so far.
There was a pretty cool sandbar that the waves would wash over and make a sort of river that ran along between it and the main beach.

There were tons of shells along the beach.
The kids found some super thick clam shells
and some broken whelk shells.
Along our mile-plus walk, we found 3 nests.

We also found a turtle! :)
Irene wanted to stop every 5 feet to dig through the sand for shells.
The littles had a lot of fun running in the sand, though they weren't quite as cheerful on the walk back...

On the way back, we finally got to see a little sun in the form of a gorgeous sunset.