Monday, July 18, 2011


We are back home after a great trip to the mountains of NC. The weather could have been better, but we managed. It was raining when we arrived in the area, so we decided that it made more sense to see some waterfalls than to set up our camp. The good news is that it was a very light drizzle or mist rather than a driving rain. We got a little wet, but we enjoyed the views of Hooker Falls and Triple Falls. The rain let up and we set up camp. We enjoyed a nice dinner made on the campfire and waited for the arrival of the rest of our party.

As you may recall, Noah is very tight with two other little boys from preschool. One of them is named Scott and his family joined us at the adjacent campsite. They arrived pretty late on Friday and we helped them get set up. Everyone got to bed around 10:30 or so, which of course was pretty late. It rained all night Friday, but we managed to stay dry in Tentasaurus. Fortunately, the McClouds brought a 10' canopy that we all huddled under for breakfast. We took them to see the same waterfalls in the light rain and even hiked a bit further to High Falls. It was great that Lily and Scott's older brother Grant got along so well because it kept her distracted from complaining about the length of the hike. Noah and Scott got carried quite a bit because the trail was pretty steep.

We were supposed to go tubing, but it didn't seem like a very good idea in 68 degrees and drizzle. We tried really hard to find one more waterfall, but couldn't find the trail. We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch and then eventually headed back to camp. The weather was very nice in the afternoon and evening, so we enjoyed that. Our inflatable kayak got a lot of use as well since we were right on the lake. The highlight was that we could take the kayak all the way to Hooker Falls. It was pretty neat to see the falls from the river. We joked with Lily that we were going to go over it.

We thought about tubing on Sunday, but the morning was not a good one for it. We decided to go to Chimney Rock instead. Lily was disappointed by the flow over Hickory Nut Falls, but did enjoy hanging out at the bottom. We convinced Lily to make the climb up to the spot with the flag (roughly 472 steps) with the promise of buying her ice cream if she didn't complain. She got an ice cream sandwich made from two chocolate chip cookies for her effort.

After several hours at the park it was time to head home. We didn't get in until almost 9:00. Everyone was told not to get up until 8:00 this morning. We will see how that goes.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Busy Days

Has it really been a week since my last post? I find it ironic that after finishing seminary I actually blog less, but that is because with my newfound freedom I find myself enjoying more time with the family. I assure you that if there was actual news I would post it.

We have had a couple of notable things going on. Lily and Noah have their last day of VBS today. They're going to the same church where they attended preschool, which is good. They were a little reluctant on Monday, but yesterday afternoon they regaled me with the dances that they've learned. Noah's interpretation is quite something.

We had an extremely busy Sunday. We left the house around 9:00 to go to Colonial Baptist Church to hear D.A. Carson speak. Then we went to a little church in Cary called Piney Plains for me to preach. I did my first ever sermon in front of people who were not seminary students and professors. I preached on Philippians 3:1-11 and Amanda loosely titled it, "The Rock or the Cow Patty." It was well-received and I look forward to my next sermon on July 31.

After that we headed down to Crowder Park in Apex/Holly Springs for a core group meeting for our church plant. I spoke on discipleship and after the discussion we realized that we need to slow some things down a bit. It's hard when two people have been casting vision for a year or so and then try to impart this vision to some people in a few weeks. Amanda helped with the kids, which was OK except that we have been experiencing some incredible heat. To give you an idea, when I went running at 6:00 AM today it was already 78 degrees and the relative humidity is 82%.

The good news is that we're going camping this weekend near Brevard. We have reservations to go tubing on Saturday and we plan to take in Brevard and some of the waterfalls. We also plan on going to the Last of the Mohicans waterfall at Chimney Rock. It should be pretty quiet at the top because according to the website the elevator is being repaired.

As you can see, busy times behind and ahead. The good news is that there isn't a lot of idleness which leads to a lot of squabbling here.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Yesterday was a day with lots of movies. Amanda took the kids to the cheap theater to see "Marmaduke." Obviously this was not great cinema, but everyone enjoyed it. Amanda even found some things to laugh at, which is good for a kids' movie. Apparently there is a scene near the end where Marmaduke passes gas in the bed. Noah thought that was hilarious. I suspect that potty humor is just around the corner.

After dinner I took the kids out for some errands while Amanda went to another movie with her sisters. This one was a bit more sophisticated. Amanda had read the book and said that the movie was pretty good. Ironically, we did not do any fireworks on the 4th because we wanted to avoid crowds, but Amanda got caught in traffic near the fairgrounds while there was a fireworks show.

The kids and I went to Staples to retrieve my bound thesis. I'm happy to have it bound in book form, even if it was not done exactly how I had hoped. Then we went to Sam's to get some essentials and stopped at Neomonde for pita on the way back from Sam's. We had some excitement coming out of Staples as we got caught in a brief downpour. Unfortunately, these storms came out of the east and brought in some smoke from the eastern NC wildfires. We'll get to enjoy that today.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Complete Game

We went to last night's Durham Bulls game as a family. This was how we were going to take in fireworks this year as they had a show after the game that lasted maybe 10 minutes. It certainly beat trying to get out of Regency in Cary. Noah still does not like fireworks very well though. Amanda gave him earplugs, but he still cried weakly through the show. Perhaps one factor was that the show started at around 9:45, which is about 2 hours later than he is usually in bed.

The highlight of the evening for me is that Lily and I kept score. she seemed really interested this time, so we did it together. I kept one scoresheet and she kept the other. We just used the scorecard in the programs, but that was enough to get started. I filled in the names, but Lily filled in everything else.

She started to run out of gas around the 8th inning, but she plugged away at it. As you can see (you will have to download it), not much happened offensively after the first couple of innings. This was a good first try for her. We'll work on being more specific on outs later (i.e. 3/g instead of just 3 to indicate a grounder that the first baseman fielded unassisted) and by the time she's a teenager we will be ready to track pitch counts. But this is a great start for her.

When I put her to bed she asked if she would be able to remember how to keep score after she's married. She will if I have anything to say about it. Of course, Noah's days are coming too, but it will take a few years. For right now, this is a daddy-daughter dream come true for me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Social Day

Amanda and the kids had a big day yesterday. They met Scott, his brother Grant, and a female friend of Grant's at Jordan Lake. They had a great morning there and enjoyed a picnic lunch. Then they came home and went to Noah's friend Reid's birthday party. The theme was firefighters and the highlight was a tour of the local fire station. Everyone liked that, including Lily.

I'm going to try to make a habit of including some photos of the kids on the weekends, particularly when I don't have much to write. Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Tuckered Out

As I predicted yesterday, the day got to Lily and Noah. They got back from the pool around 1:30 and everyone was very tired. Amanda laid down for a little nap. Lily went to her room to lie down. Noah insisted on playing a few minutes of Super Smash Brothers Brawl and was very unhappy when I told him it was time to stop. Lily angrily came out of her room and said, "I just fell asleep." It took Noah a while to settle down, but eventually he did take a little nap.

Lily definitely woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but we got out of the house for a few minutes. I had to get the emissions checked on the van, so we did that and checked out the used book store there. Lily didn't like the children's section because she felt like the books were not organized by age very well. Nevertheless, she pulled it together. She doesn't nap very often, so it was hard for her.

She loved the fact that we ate corn on the cob with our meal though. Pretty much any day involving corn on the cob is a good day in Lily's book.