Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Date Knight

Our local Chick-Fil-A restaurants had a special evening yesterday. They had "mommy-son date knight." They decorated all the restaurants with a medieval theme, took reservations, and had table service. They had crafts and cupcakes to decorate. Noah said it was the "best date ever." That's saying something for him.

Meanwhile, I took Lily out to eat some fried shrimp. We split a large meal and it was still way too much food. I'm pretty sure that I could have easily fed Noah with it too. We finished with yogurt at Sweet Frog, which is always a hit. I tried to talk her into pie at the restaurant, but she was set on yogurt. That's my girl!

Amanda and Noah even got back later than we did. That's how much fun they had at the restaurant. I heartily endorse any promotion that they have. I plan to take Lily the next time they have a daddy-daughter date night.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Amanda let Noah choose what he wanted his pumpkin to look like this year. He chose Mario (of course). Although Amanda had a rough day today with gloomy weather, catching up on laundry, and coming down from vacation, she carved out this pumpkin for Noah. You can see the results and the template from which she started below.

Do you see the resemblance?

Amanda is hardly Ms Crafts, but she did this and she did a fine job. The only negative from all this is that she sets the bar pretty high for herself. I'm not sure that Noah really appreciates this as much as he should, but someday he will. I'm pretty confident his future wife may not appreciate this ("my mom used to carve Mario out of a pumpkin").

Lily has already said that she wants something much simpler. Amanda is very glad to hear that! Lily seems more interested in harvesting the seeds to toast. She went through all the goo and pulled out all the seeds. That should be fun.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Savannah Travelog

Amanda had wanted to visit Savannah, but it didn't seem like a good idea to go on our actual anniversary. We thought the weather would be nicer in October and we were right. It was beautiful when we arrived on Friday. Once we got checked-in we took a walk to do some shopping and get a sense of what the town was like. We stumbled upon a great tea room where Amanda found a new favorite tea. After that we went to Tybee Island for the sunset. We finished the day at a local pub where Amanda had a lamb burger and I had bison. It was a splendid time all around.

We started our day on Saturday with a kayak trip near Wilmington Island. It was some work paddling against the tide, but we were up to the challenge. Sadly, it was not particularly scenic, but it was nice to get out on a beautiful morning.

We came home, ate a very quick lunch, and then hustled back downtown to do a walking tour related to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. It was more narration than walking. The narration was fascinating and the guide seemed to truly enjoy the subject. It seems that he is reading the transcripts of the four trials just to get more information. Conveniently enough, the tour ended by Mercer House where "the incident" occurred and which was a block from where we were staying. Amanda rested while I went to get more tea. After I got back I met a locksmith from AAA who extricated the keys from our car (oops on me!). We got cleaned up and then headed out for dinner.

Based on the reviews, I really wanted to eat at the Olde Pink House (incidentally, it was a Jim Williams restoration project), but we would have had to eat at 5:00 or at 9:00. Instead, we ate at Vic's on the River. We had a wonderful meal and got our server to take our photo. She suggested we go out on the balcony. I suppose we could have taken more time to frame up the shot, but this still came out pretty good. You will note that I got some sun whilst kayaking and walking. Silly me for not thinking of a hat as each year my forehead seems to grow.

On the Balcony at Vic's

Sunday we took a walk around Forsyth Park and then drove out to Bonaventure Cemetery. We are not big into cemeteries, but this is indeed a really nice spot. Finally, we went to City Market to do some last-minute gift shopping and to get some lunch. We had an uneventful drive home and were happily reunited with the children and Oreo.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Our Writer

Lily got a writing assignment back with a 4. To the uninitiated, that is the highest grade one can get. She got 3s for using great words and for using conjunctions, but otherwise she got all 4s. Here is a transcript of the story. I transcribed it as closely as I could so you can see how she really writes.

Oreo My Puppy

When I got home from school I was a little excited because I could be getting a dog. I really wanted a dog and my parents said they would get me one as an early birthday gift. My dad's mom and stepdad died and my dad's mom left my dad with alot of money, so they decided to pretend it was a last gift from them. We might get a dog named Toot I couldn't wait to see if we got him!

When I finished everything I had to do (homework) my mom wanted to show me something. It was a puppy! As soon as I saw him I said, "yes! yes! yes! yes! yes! YES!" But then my mom said someone else was coming before us. I started to feel really worried then my mom said, "There is still a chance." I looked at the time. "Mom! It's five fifty." "Hurry then." said my mom then I went to ballet class.

When my ballet class was done, my family picked me up. we got Zaxby's for dinner and went to the house. The people met us outside. When they opened the door, the puppy slipped on the floor, greeting the people. The people talked with my parents about the puppy's belongings, and then the puppy came to me first with my brother and parents. He chose me! Then my parents said yes, they would get the puppy. when we were in the car ride to the house we came up with the name Oreo because his face looks like one.

On the ride home I talked to Oreo. I kept looking at him because he looked so cute in his crate. We (my family) brought a towel in case Oreo was carsick he was. At first he was doing fine, but then I noticed he threw up. then, I noticed he threw up again. This time it was white. I asked my parents why it was different. The replied, "he had an empty stomach so he just spit." 

I thought it was the best day ever. I realized I was super worried in the beginning but, in the end everything came out alright. But my puppy chews everything! EVERYTHING! I love him though he's so cute. Oreo was the best birthday gift ever.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

First of the Season

We are experiencing the harsh contrasts that can come with autumn weather here. Yesterday was a gorgeous day, but today has been rainy, gray, and in the 50s. We were supposed to have a church picnic today, but it has been postponed. It was a good day to hang out in the house.

Amanda rightly thought that today would be a good one for a fire. We are continuing to burn our neighbor's (now somewhat punky) wood. Fall is here, at least for now.

I wouldn't be surprised if we are sweating while trick-or-treating though. Raleigh is like that. In Ohio, you plan a costume to potentially fit over a full-body snow suit. In Raleigh, you avoid heavy fabrics.

Noah's Day

Noah had a very good day yesterday. We went to soccer in the morning and he did very well. He seems to do the dribbling drills about 50% faster than the other kids. At the end of practice I asked his coaches at what age they start working on headers and they told me that it depends, but that Noah was definitely ready. They then described him as being "very athletic." I told them that I envision him being a midfielder who gets things set up for the offense and they agreed. They said that he has a good sense of space. I think he gets that from me. My problem is that I can't make my body put the ball (soccer, football, basketball) where it needs to go. Noah doesn't seem to have that affliction.

After soccer we picked up Brenna, who spent the night. We came home and visited with some friends from our old church and then went for a hike at Umstead Park. Noah really enjoyed himself and even decided that he wanted his picture taken on this tree. I think that this came out pretty good, though I'm no expert.

He requested that we take his picture

Finally, at the end of the day he got to play some electronics. This is pretty much an ideal day for Noah. Perhaps the only improvement would have been if we went to a sporting event of some kind or went bowling.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Lily was playing with her friend Katie yesterday and they decided to have a competition where they would each sketch Oreo. This is what Lily produced.

Oreo, if you can't tell

You never would have thought it a few years ago, but Lily seems to have some talent for drawing. I don't think she is going to be in the National Gallery anytime soon, but she is doing well with this. What's even better is that she really enjoys it. Can't ask for more than that!