Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're going on a nature walk...

One beautiful day in November, we drove over to Saluda Shoals park where we enjoyed a picnic lunch, playground and collecting leaves.

Avery playing on the playground...

I gave each of the kids a plastic bag to place their leaf findings in as we walked along.

Although we were a little behind the actual color blooming of leaves and many were already brown, we did find a few pretty colors and the kids had fun just looking.

Ryan coming down the path...

Eden enjoyed the action from her stroller - it's time to start walking baby!

Not the best shot, but then few are very good when more than one child is involved! The kids and I in front of the Saluda River.

Avery's 4th birthday

November 7th was Avery's 4th birthday. We generally let the kids choose where they want to go eat for their birthday and a family activity of the their choice. We don't hold big group birthday parties each year, instead we reserve those for "big" number birthdays like turning "1", "5", "10", and so on.

Avery decided she wanted to go eat at Schlotzsky's Deli (a girl after my own heart!) and then go over to Monkey Joes to play for the afternoon.

Eden had a blast at Monkey Joes playing in the toddler area. She loved the bouncy things!

The kids enjoyed ice cream before we headed on home to eat more ice cream!

I attempt to make many of our kids birthday cakes, especially for family birthdays. Obviously it is a lot cheaper and I like the fact that I can buy real toys for the cakes not the cheap stuff they put on bakery cakes. Anyway, my lovely (can you detect a bit of sarcasm there?) Strawberry Shortcake cake...

The birthday girl and her cake...

About to blow out the candles...make a wish!

After opening gifts, Avery was ready to try out her new pink scooter! Avery is already well aware that next year will be a "big number" birthday and she will get to have a party. She has already determined where that party will be held and is informing anyone that will listen that she will be soon turning "5"!

Halloween 2010

I know I am crazy behind on this blog but I am making it my goal today to attempt to catch up a little bit. I have still been taking lots of photos but in my effort to get everything done for the holidays as quickly as possible, I have been neglecting my blog.

So here goes...Let me take you back several months to October - right around Halloween.

Avery's preschool had their annual Halloween parade that Eden and I attended.

Avery decided this year that she wanted to dress up like Cinderella. I thought it was so cute that she and her friend Caden walked hand-in-hand during the parade.

Avery's preschool class lined up to watch the other kids parade through the halls.

After the parade, all of the children did a quick clothing change and got ready for their Halloween party. These are a couple of Avery's good friends...Pressley and Ella Kate.

It is now tradition in our family to have an early dinner in the formal dining room before we head out for trick-or-treating.

I try to plan out fun Halloween meals that the kids will enjoy but will also provide a little bit of decent nourishment before eating lots of sugar. They dined on mummy pita pizzas...

...caramel apples (they ended up peeling the caramel off of the apples!)...

...string cheese witch's fingers...

...and carrot and black olive eye balls.

Of course then it was time to change into costumes and do a quick photo shoot before I let them go. Ryan was a ninja zombie this year.

Emma was a black cat...

Eden was pumpkin...
And of course, Avery as Cinderella...

And the group shot before they went on their candy rampage!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wingards Hallopalooza

On Saturday, October 30th we went to Wingard's Nursery for their "Hallopalooza." As I had mentioned in an earlier post, Emma's Girl Scout troop made one of the scarecrows for their contest.
Emma posing with her troop's scarecrow...

They also had apple bobbing which each of the kids attempted.

And a train ride...

The train traveled around the nursery grounds and you know how much kids love train rides, so this was a big hit.

All of these activities were free and to top it off, get this...they even provided free lunch! Hot dogs, chips, soda and candy - maybe not the healthiest of meals but did I mention free?

Unfortunately, Emma's troop scarecrow did not win this year but there was some really good entries.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sky Top and Hendersonville

Earlier in October, we made our annual pilgrimage to Sky Top Apple Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. Sky Top sits atop beautiful Mt. McAlpine and the views are gorgeous.

They always have a multitude of pumpkins lazying around the front of the store which makes for great picture taking!

Eden wasn't cooperating very well with me. She was more interested in crawling from one pumpkin to another so actually getting a photo with her looking towards the camera was a triumph.

Emma decked out with her puppy purse and Hello Kitty necklace...


And Avery...

We went ahead and purchased our tickets for the hayride and let the kids play on the playground while we waiting for the ride to begin.

The hayride takes you around their apple orchards and by some of their farm animals. It is a really pretty ride just looking out over the mountains.

The hay bale spider...

Eden and I at the end of the ride.

They have about every variety of apples you can possibly ask for and of course you can either purchase prepackaged or pick your own.

Michael and Eden in the apple orchard.

Every year, Ryan attempts to climb a tree to get an apple and it seems every year he has a mishap with a tree. Usually the tree wins. At least this year he didn't land face down under a tree!

I don't know what is up with the hood. The girl has her own sense of fashion!

Ryan insisted that they all stand by the Sky Top sign together and have their picture taken!

Besides apple cider slushies and apple cider pumpkin sippies, we all enjoyed a hot apple donut before we left - yum!

After we left Flat Rock, we took the short jaunt over to Hendersonville to visit their downtown area once again.

I love the vibe of this area! There are people relaxing outside at local eateries, walking their dogs and that evening we got to see a parade of men dressed in high heels to raise money for "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" - a group that raises money to fight domestic violence. How cool is that? I told Michael that I could see myself retiring someplace like this someday.
The kids joined the parade to donate a dollar for the cause and got a balloon in return!

We browsed a few stores and then found an outside table at Mike's on Main Street which is an old soda shop that serves sandwiches and such. I enjoyed a grilled pimento cheese sandwich with a vanilla coke!

A great fall day trip with the family!