Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall is in the air....

It's a cliche, but I'm going to say it... fall is in the air! Our mornings are in the 40's and we wear jackets and long sleeves. Our afternoons are close to 80 and we shed the layers, pull on shorts and play outside. The windows are open and the smell of the neighbor's fire wafts through the house. The acorns attack the roof 24/7. They are large acorns and when they hit the metal roof it sounds like we're in the middle of some war. It's dangerous to stand in the yard for too long.

The kids have grown since school started.
Bennett has adapted to a new style teacher and seems to be ok with his half-hearted efforts to get just "ok" grades. He joined the school chorus, which is HUGE! He never wants to do anything in front of people and barely can manage singing at church... but he wanted to for some reason and we encouraged him to run with it. He practices once a week and will have a couple performances and trips during the year. I'll be sure to post those stories as they occur!

Maggie has found that 3rd grade truly is difficult. Her teacher expects her to follow directions and sometimes that seems to be an issue. She'll figure it out... I just hope it's sooner than later. We are encouraging her to communicate with her teacher and appeal certain scoring choices... maybe it will come in handy once she gets to high school. Maybe.

Ruth is enjoying 1st grade. She's an excellent student and has lots of friends in her class. She loves her teacher and her teacher loves her. She has informed her grandmother that she's the smartest one in the class... "except one boy is one inch smarter than me". That's Grayson. He's pretty smart. :)

Lydia had a very difficult first 8 weeks. She didn't want to sit and learn, listen, or obey. She didn't want to perform and recite and tell anyone what she knows. She only wanted to play. She would have been perfect for a half day class... had there been one. Nope... she was all in. She cried and fussed when I left her in the mornings. It was a very difficult 8 weeks for all of us. And then something happened. She's happy in the mornings. She has sweet friends. She drew a picture of 'Lydia and Jacob' and was pleased to explain it to everyone. She answers the teachers' questions. She recognizes her letters and some sight words. She does most of her homework without complaint (at least too much). She turned around and is doing the right thing. Her teacher is proud of her progress already... as we are.

We have done a few fun things in this fall season. We opted (read Curtis) to skip fall soccer this year as we skipped spring soccer. Half the kids were happy and the other half were disappointed. I was sad. I miss being on the fields as the air gets that chill. I miss taking actions shots trying to get that perfect picture. I miss cheering the kids on and learning new names. I miss it. But it's not about me.

We were able to take a quick trip to Chattanooga just before our aquarium membership expired. We like Chattanooga. I remember when one of them (Lydia maybe?) called it Chagganooga. They say it right now. That's a little sad. (side track - they all still say aminal at times!) We met up with our vacationing buddies, the Himstedt family, and saw all the aminals at the aquarium. We have some great pictures too. One of my favorite memories was being able to feed the stingrays. Since we went on a Monday morning during the school year (teacher work day) it was basically empty. The lady liked our little people and she even let them try feeding them too. It was really cool. I love those little Himstedt boys and Avery always makes me smile when he laughs. He laughed when the stingray sucked the shrimp off his fingers. We got to see a couple of replicas of the Pinta and Santa Maria and the Chattanooga Choo Choo. The 8 kids had a footrace alongside the train. Quite amusing... those eldest girls are pretty speedy and the older brother wasn't going to be beat, even if it meant wiping out on the concrete at the finish line! Even little Elizabeth trotted along... "I running" she exclaims with delight!

Ok, flight of ideas...
Curtis and Bennett got to go to a NASCAR race in Atlanta for his birthday gift. They moved the Atlanta race from October (his birthday) back into September, but we made sure he understood it was his gift. :) Uncle "no name" older brother hooked him up with some sweet deals in the pits. Grandpa Nelson got to go too. Fun times for little boys!

We also happened upon a Georgia Tech friend who has football season tickets and couldn't use some... so, out of the goodness of our hearts, we used them! Everybody got to go to at least one game (except Lydia) and made good memories and pictures. The only thing is... either Tech has changed a lot in the last 20 years, or my memory is really bad. I know they updated the stadium... but still... Granted, I was only there for one football season, and was only there for practice and games... yeah, that's it. I remember marching down the hill before games. Now they play on the steps... must be new steps!

This year the kids got to carve their own pumpkins, thanks to our friend Lenee. She came up to play one day and we ended up doing pumpkins after school instead of homework. Sometimes you just gotta do those fun things! It was hard for me... but the final pumpkins were quite cute all on our steps. And the kids loved doing that... except Lydia, who wasn't too fond of the scooping... or designing... or cutting... or... well, she liked eating the boiled peanuts!

Pictures to chronicle the events... it'll look better in the book, but now I'm just posting them.

Birthday celebrations... ours and friends.

Curtis and Maggie start a running tradition!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Dixie Run by Bennett

Daddy and I went to the Dixie run in Oct. for my birthday with Mr.Knott, Trevor, and Tanner. We had a lot of fun looking at the jeeps and buggies and riding in Daddy's jeep. When we got there we didn't know where to set the tent up. We rode up and down the bumpy roads until we found a good spot to set up the tent. Once we had put everything in the tent daddy drove the jeep off of the trailer. After a little while we all got into the jeep and explored the camp a little.

We looked at the side of the mountain and saw a bunch of lights from all the people already jeepin on the trails. When we got back to the tent we laid down and heard all the engines of people's jeeps on the trails and the trail right at the bottom of the hill right under us. (pretty much).The next morning we all woke up and walked to the pavilion where they were serving breakfast.
We signed up for a trail ride then after that we went back to the tent and got ready for a trail ride. We rode a little bit then got out to watch the other jeeps and help
winch people out and did that a few times until it was time for lunch. We went back to camp and ate and then rode bikes for a while after fixing loose bike parts. We then went back to jeepin and rode to a place called bounty hill. Bounty hill is a big hill with lot of boulders. At the top there is a big rock pretty much straight up. It had about a 60 degree angle and is very hard to get up.

The first buggy to go up broke a power steering line to his rear steer. He drove back down the hill to get it fixed. Next a power wagon drove up the hill. He got up to the top of the hill and flipped a switch that stretched the frame of the truck. He started to try to get up but soon flipped over.

Trevor and I were playing in a water hole and trying to knock a sheet of moss off of a dirt ledge while waiting for more Jeeps.

A few more came and made it up the hill and eventually the guy who broke his steering line came back and successfully made it up this this time. A wrangler came and kept bouncing up and down and eventually broke something. After that a little Toyota pickup came and backed up the hill at the bottom of Bounty hill (which even big buggies were having trouble getting up)and then hammered the throttle he made it up a little ways then started spinning his tires. He backed back down the hill and started over he did that a few times then made it up farther than he had before. He kept going and eventually after a while he made it to the bottom of the rock and he couldn't get up the rock. He had to be winched up the rock. After that it was a traffic jam trying to get out. But we made it. We went back to the tent and then went to dinner. We got shirts and played on the playground and rode bikes. They had a band playing and they had a raffle to win Jeep parts and stuff.

After all that we went back to the tent to try to go to sleep. But there were a whole bunch of loud engines. So we all loaded into the jeep in search of the noise. We found the noise at the dirt track. There were people zooming around the track. The Toyota was there, the buggy, some razors, a white Cherokee, and some others. We watched them go around the track a while and then did a little more night exploring.

After that we went back to the tent and got some rest. The next day we loaded everything up and left. on our way home we stopped at a cave place and they had a big box full of tunnels.

We had a lot of fun in it. After that we ate lunch and went back home. We had a lot of fun at the Dixie run. :)

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