Saturday, June 26, 2010

Spring Sprang But Summer's Funner

It's officially summer! And apparently we're in for a doozy of a summer this year. I guess Alabama broke us in nice and easy last year and is going to make up for it with a vengeance this year. But so far we still prefer the lower (less than 100 deg) temperature with higher humidity over the skin boiling sun Las Cruces has.

As most of you probably know, we're on pins and needles around here as we wait for news on the status of my job. I do know my position has been eliminated but my bosses (NASA and contractor) are trying hard to get me transferred to another branch so I don't get laid off. I won't even be working for them but they're trying to help nonetheless. We'll know if they're successful by Tuesday. I can't tell you how much I've appreciated all the help people have given me over the last couple of weeks.

Back in happier and less stressful times, we were having fun and keeping busy. Jacobs had an employee appreciation day at a state park in early June.

We liked the view and fog driving up the mountain.

After our free breakfast, we toured the grounds. They have a lot of old buildings and demonstrations of how things were done in the late 1800's. Here, the boys just finished helping churn a bucket of ice cream and are enjoying the fruits, er, milk and ice of their labor.

The museum had a lot of interesting things to see and read about. These two clocks are over 350 years old. That's not a typo. 350. And they still work. To be fair, they were upgraded somewhere along the line to display minutes since they originally only told time in 15 minute intervals (at least that's what I remember). Neat stuff!

We took a walk down a walking trail and had to take a break because the boys were getting hot. Good opportunity to take a picture.

They also had a lot of old farm equipment. Here's an old John Deere something-or-other.

I never realized how big the blooms are on magnolia trees.

After we got home, Kevin and Cade went with me to a car show in downtown Athens. They had about 150 cars that ranged from rat rods to $100k+ cars.

Kevin and Cade posing in front of a car that's just like Pa's! Mostly.

This Viper was one of their favorites.

They were terrified when they realized they were standing next to a Decepticon! (Bad guys from the Transformers movie. This guy had several Decepticon logos on his car and embroidered into the headrests.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend & School's Out!

I hope everyone had a happy Memorial Day weekend and celebrated this wonderful country of ours and the veterans who made it happen.

So the kids are out of school for the summer. They were supposed to go Monday and Tuesday last week but the schools encouraged the kids not to come to school those two days. So Kevin and Cameron stayed home and started their vacation two days early. Kevin is now officially "7th grade material" and Cameron is moving on to the 4th grade. 7th grade and 4th grade! Where has the time gone?

Our Sunday school class kicked things off with a "School's Out" party. We had a nice time visiting with our friends and the kids had a blast playing on the inflatable slide. Does Cameron look like a happy kid or what?

Of course, it wouldn't be summer without some trips to the swimming pool. We don't have access to the neighborhood pool because we're not members (but can be for a mere $3k) but we have friends who are. Muahahahaha! Take that, you evil HOA! These are our friends the Williams. They're the Alabama version of us. Mike and Nora. Same age as Dana and me. 3 kids. Same ages as our boys. Really nice and wonderful people who are adored and loved by all. See? Just like us.

We celebrated Memorial Day weekend by renting a "cabin" at The Ridge where we like to go riding. I use the term cabin loosely because it's really just a single room with beds and a TV with no cable or antenna or VCR or anything to actually watch. The bathroom and showers are across the road. But it was cheap and nice enough and we got to hang out as a family and enjoy the time together. And we had plenty of time together because it rained. A lot. The tracks were closed all weekend so the riding was very limited too. But, it was good enough to get Cade out and get him actually riding the PW! Yep, he's officially a little dirt bike rider now and proud of it.

From Friday evening when we arrived through most of Saturday, this is pretty much what it looked like. See those rivers forming by the Titan? We didn't even bother unloading the bikes until Sunday. But the best part of the rain was listening to it on the tin roof of our cabin. Ahhhhh! I love that. With all the rain, the firewood was soaked so no campfires for us. We improvised and made Smores over a charcoal fire.

Here he goes! I used the training wheels for about 10 minutes (at Cade's request). It was just enough time to let him figure out the throttle and to decide that the bike is very hard to ride with them on. So training wheels are off and throttle is limited. That makes boy #3 that the PW has now taught to ride.

Cute picture.

Sitting on top of the tabletop on the pee wee track.

Riding wears a kid out! Look at his sweaty, spiky hair!

I love this shot.

Cameron getting ready to take off.

Finally! I now have 3 riding buddies!

The rest of us got to ride for about an hour on Sunday. It wasn't long but Kevin, Cameron and I rode the trails and had a good time. Then it rained again. Did I ever mention that it rains a lot in Alabama?

Boy#1 and me.

On the way home, we detoured down a side road to see this covered bridge. Unfortunately, it's in pretty bad shape. We'd never seen one in person before.

Cool bridge.

Looking down the creek. I'll never get tired of scenery like this.