Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall Festival at Hartland Farm and Orchard

We had some friends visit this weekend, and we decided to head out towards Shenandoah for a fall festival at a farm.  It turns out I've had my eye on this place, since it is right off the interstate not far from Shenandoah - beautiful rolling hills with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the near distance.

The farm had a nice corn maze, which we wandered about.  Catherine managed to get her hands on a map, so I got to put my rusty map skills to the test.

There was an apple cannon (yup - we definitely fired it) where we got to shoot at some 55 gallon drums and a beater truck.  After that we wandered over to this bouncy thing, where the kids thought they were having a good time until I got on there.  That's when the real fun began!

After that we enjoyed some caramel apples and a pig race, and then drove up the road a bit to pick a bunch of apples.

It was a warm, sunny day - great way to send off summer and bring in fall.  Have a great day!


Monday, September 5, 2016

Last day of summer

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Today was the last day of summer for the kids.  We went to the local community garden to volunteer a bit of time, came home and played some pickle ball, then relaxed the rest of the day.  Not a bad way to send summer packing.

It has been a crazy summer - Leah's surgery, Ian's broken arm, visits to see family, family coming to visit, camps, and campouts - all in all, I'd say we had a blessed summer.  Here's hoping yours was blessed, too.

Tomorrow starts a new school year for the kids.  Leah is excited to ride her bike to school and see her friends, Ian is nervous about starting middle school - but both are ready for a great year.



Saturday, September 3, 2016

Summer fun

I feel like I've been slacking on the blog, lately.  As some of you may know, I've been busy with grad school, but as of August 13th, I graduated with my MHA and MBA degrees from Baylor University.  It feels great to not have home work or a giant graduate management portfolio hanging over my head!

So while I have an excuse for limited postings these past couple of years, we'll see how things improve in the future.  For now, let's bring us all up to speed.

I broke out the big lights outside with the window prop for Leah's photo.  I had Ian to help hold a diffuser up to keep the dappled/direct sunlight off of Leah.  I think it turned out fairly well.  Leah is recovering very well from her surgery.  Her spleen is functioning normally, so she won't need antibiotic therapy until she is 18 years old - yay!!!  Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers - she is our walking answered prayers.

Same day, different lighting set up.  Leah held the diffuser for this one, but I did away with the window (Ian is too tall and made framing the shot difficult (I wish I knew more words that began with "diff-" to pack into my sentences...).  Ian had his cast removed a week or so ago - he is quite thrilled about that.  He continues to work on his Scouting stuff, he should make his Star rank sometime this month.

In very delayed news, Dad and Pam came for a visit and we got to play tour guide.  Fortunately, we only charge ice cream for our services.  The kids chose the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in downtown DC - I think we all had a ball!  The photo below is them standing in front of some video footage of our sun.

We made a trip to see Annapolis to check out the boats (whoa - loads of money there!) and walk around the downtown area.  While we were there we checked out the State Capitol building, and we ate at a great little restaurant that Catherine found.

In between a big tour of all of the Monuments and Memorials (Korean War, Lincoln, Vietnam, WWII, Washington, Jefferson) we also got to walk around old town in Alexandria.  We found a bunch of great restaurants that I think Catherine and I will try to hit for some date nights (I hope).

I hope everyone is well.  Cheers,