Friday, June 27, 2014

Random and Not So Quick (7 QT's)

There really is no keeping up to date with this here bloggy blog because I plan and then the wee one doesn't nap and the big one comes home early from work, and let's be honest, I'd rather hang with the big one and the wee one instead of hang with the blog.  That's just how I roll.  So these pictures are from earlier this month.  (And let's remember that the artsy, fine-tuned pictures are from The Hubs on the "real" camera, and the slightly-out-of-focus-wonky pics are mine, 'kay?)  


If you are part of the 10 or so subscribers to my blog (i.e. my family or those of you on the e-mail list that can't figure out how to get yourselves off the e-mail list, muwahhahahaha), then you know that I've been trying my hand at gardening.  And you know how that's been going.  I've learned a lot.  I've killed many a plant.  But, I've learned a lot.  Mostly about myself.  

Somewhere in my genetic blueprint/temperament/personality/fibers of my being, is the innate hatred of long term projects.  Hated them in school.  They cause me great angst until said project is over.  I truly believed that completing my master's thesis was going to be the death of me.  You know what gardening is????  DO YOU???  A long term project with NO. END.  

Now, here you may laugh at my naivety.  I honestly (if not somewhat subconsciously) believed that once I weeded an area, it was then weeded until next year.  I mean, I had accepted that there would be some weeding to do every year, but I thought once an area had been stripped of these plants that I no longer desire to be there would cease to be there until next year.  I'll sit here why you have a "that's precious" and "bless her heart" moment.  

I told you about our squash plants that have been growing beautifully (because I did not plant them), and I had started to look up squash recipes.  Well... our squash plants...after some research...are ornamental gourds...i.e. inedible.  Sigh.  They came from some I bought in the fall as table decorations and then tossed into my compost pile when they ceased to be decorative.  And our pepper plants are doing...absolutely nothing.  And something ate my basil plant.  And my flower beds are covered in weeds, negating all previous work.

But Little Man likes to help me water the vegetable garden.  So... here's to long term projects.

~ 2 ~

Since the last "quick take" was little longer than quick.  Here's a picture...

~ 3 ~

... and a video.

~ 4 ~

There were several people in my life that I did not realize were actually not related to me until I was older.  I grew up with several "aunts and uncles".  I'm sure Matthan will be no less confused.  "Aunt" Chelsea came to visit and barely made it into the house before Matthan commandeered her for some "Go Dog.  Go."

We also got to hang out with Aunt Chelsea at Ikea (along with two other moms and their less-than-one-year olds).  I've been decluttering and moving towards the dark side a more minimalist lifestyle, however Ikea challenges my want of fewer things.  As well as my wanting-to-buy-my-child-all-the-awesome-things side.  So, I let Matthan play in the tunnel, instead of buying it.

But then caved and bought him cookware and utensils (real, but child sized.  Isn't that awesome?)

No worries, Puppy was the sous chef, not the menu

And settled on a wanted bud vase for our family altar, and a mail organizer (to help with the decluttering of course).

~ 5 ~

Matthan learned that the "music car" has ice-cream.  I sent a this pic in a text to The Hubs saying that the music car came by, and his response was,

"I'm going to pretend it was Matthan running out the door for the ice-cream and not you."


~ 6 ~

A picture of contentedness.  Daddy snuggles, books, and cereal.  What more could a kid need?

A giant box with drums in it to play with Daddy, of course.

~ 7 ~

We went to Hurricane Shoals Park.  We did not plan well.  We went at a bad time.  We didn't have lunch with us.  We walked around for about 25 minutes in the blazing heat.  And went home.

We will plan better next time.

And because this wasn't long enough, you get a bonus video!

Now head on over to Conversion Diary to see Jen and others with 7 Quick Takes posts that are actually quick.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Hiking With Teens at Tallulah Gorge

What would you do with a Friday if you could secure a babysitter?  Go hiking with a bunch of teenagers, of course!  Well... maybe not with teenagers.

View from up above before descent down the stairs

I heard that our youth minister was planning on taking a bunch of teens and adult leaders to Tallulah Gorge to hike the gorge floor trail, and I felt that it was my duty, being one of our youth group's adult leaders, to lend my assistance as a chaperone.  Some gracious and awesome friends of ours agreed to take Matthan for the day (free of charge, God bless you, you know who you are) at the last minute and I secured a spot for the day trip.  And because I was not going to take the weight of our camera, you'll have to settle for iPhone pictures.

Stairs.  Lots and lots of stairs.  531 to be exact.

As you may recall, I've been to Tallulah Gorge before.  So I knew what I was in for.  Unfortunately, not everyone knew.  In case you are wondering if hiking the gorge floor trail is for you, let me just say that "hiking" is a euphemism for bouldering, which is what you actually do on the gorge floor trail.  A full body workout my friends.  And that's without the painful climb back up the hill after sliding down Sliding Rock (creative name, no?).

Suspended bridge

Then after you've completed your "hike", past the beautiful scenery that includes a few waterfalls, you have to choose to turn around and get back out the way that you came, or ascend the shorter, yet steeper incline of Sliding Rock Trail.  So basically, you pick your poison.  We chose the latter.

First waterfall at the bottom of the stairs.

The teens did awesome.  The adults struggled a little.  The scenery was beautiful.  The weather was awesome.  The gorge floor is approximately 1,000 feet down and you hike with the sides of the gorge climbing steeply up on either side of you.  Like this picture? 

I took the opportunity to stage this picture, however, it is actually that steep, but I was only four feet off the ground with no intention to go any higher.  

More waterfalls

Pausing for a break

I'm very thankful that we had no major injuries although several minor ones.  I came out with several bruises (not to mention I could barely move the next day from being so sore), and I did cut my hand open sliding down Sliding Rock.  

See the hiking trail?  No?  Exactly.  Just rocks.

We spent the afternoon eating lunch by Sliding Rock while watching others take the slippery plunge into the cold water below and then we jumped in ourselves.  We dragged ourselves back up the hill as many times as we could muster (I capped off at three slides down).  

At the top of Sliding Rock.  Soaked, sore, tired, and really happy to be there.

The videos below (they're the same*) are of me sliding down into the water.  The first time I went down I didn't realize how fast it went, so in the video, I'm going down the slower side.

Pretty flower.

We chose to hike out the very steep Sliding Rock trail because it's supposedly shorter.  Now having done both exit routes, I'm honestly not sure which one I'd pick next time.  I tried to capture just how steep it was in the pictures below.  I'd say maybe, maybe, Sliding Rock Trail is better because if you hike out the way you go in, you then have to climb the 531 stairs to get back out.  Maybe.

My loving husband let me lick my wounds the day after, but the day after that we went hiking as a family (another post to come).... because I'm a glutton for punishment?  Who knows.  

*The video on my phone is really clear, but for some reason gets fuzzy when I try to upload it.  So, I was trying to see which way produced a clearer video.  I haven't had a problem with other videos.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Playing In The Rain

Little Man wakes up most mornings asking for cereal and "outside".  I was messing with something in the garage, about to take Matthan outside, when I heard a funny noise outside the garage door.  I opened up the garage door to see yet another summertime deluge.   I brought Matthan into the garage so that he could watch the rain, but he had other plans.

According to my son, when life gives you rain... you play in it of course.

Soaked and happy

Matthan LOVES when I react dramatically to something he does.  The more dramatic, the better.  I got a bucket out to fill it with rain water so that I could use it on my weeds garden, but Matthan decided it was for him.

Matthan dumped the water near me.  I squealed loudly and dramatically.  Commence Matthan giggles.  (I do what I can.)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

My Daddy

My Daddy is a special guy who has been taking care of me since I was born...

My Daddy is someone I can really look up to

My Daddy has taught me a love for being outdoors

My Daddy has a killer sense of style

Not to mention, My Daddy can grow a pretty stellar beard

My Daddy feeds me yummy food

And helps me brush my teeth

My Daddy can fix just about anything

From broken bikes to broken hearts

My Daddy works really hard for us and is a great provider

But My Daddy also makes time to play with me and take me for bike rides

My Daddy is really good at snuggling and sometimes shares his bed

My Daddy is a tough guy but he's always a soft place to land

My Daddy squeezes into small spaces and helps me learn the drums

My Daddy reads me lots of stories, sings with me, and prays with me

My Daddy takes me to church and is a great example of God's love

My Daddy is my buddy and he loves me so much!

My Daddy is the best daddy because he's My Daddy.  I know I've got big shoes to fill.

I love you Daddy!  Happy Father's Day!