Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Sunday, August 23, 2015

quick stop in Durham

After our time in the NC mountains, we headed east to Durham.  Our stay in Durham was quite short, but we enjoyed staying with an old friend outside of town.  Staying at 'Mr. Andrew's' was great fun for the kids, who enjoyed swimming several times.

the kids on the castle side of Mr. Andrew's house

we also were able to visit Kevin and his family outside of Chapel Hill

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hawkins Family Reunion

After our second night in GSMNP, it was time to head to Dillsboro, NC, where we were going to meet up with Katie’s family.  We all stayed in Hannah’s parents spacious home, which is just outside of town.  It was great to be together, and the time passed very quickly.  There were 12 adults and 12 kids, but it seemed that the children had us outnumbered.  For the most part, the cousins played well together and had a great time.  

The weather was warm and humid, but the evenings and mornings were very pleasant.  We were able to do a lot outdoors, with excursions to the river among the highlights.

Kyle took a lot of pictures; we’ve uploaded a sampling of them here.

Jack and Phillip at bat

Timo and Jim

cousins posing w/ a bull elk in the background

Dad/Grandpa and Hannah model the custom made t-shirts

Wes and Daniel picked up where they left off at Christmas

nail polish session on the front steps

staged or real?

the Woody's (Hannah's parents) house at dusk

Mattias was unsure about the kiss from Adella

action shot

Jim in the midst of his daily evening serenade (or playing charades -- I can't remember)

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Summer Travels, Leg 1: Nashville and GSMNP

Our summer trip began with an early morning and a long day, but we made it to Nashville in time for dinner with our friends, the Packers.  (Kyle and the Wrangler were roommates at TU).   In spite of less than ideal weather, we had a good visit with the Wrangler and Amy and their young sons, Everett and Holden, who is a very content young man.  (He was in a good mood the whole time we were there.)  As you can see, the Packers' tree fort was a big hit w/ our kids.

On the Packer's recommendation, we stopped at Burgess Falls State Park.  After passing a smaller waterfall, we made it to the larger falls, which were very impressive and had a lot of water from recent rains.  It was a very pleasant hike along the river, and we were glad we stopped.  
The Wrangler, despite what you may have heard from unreliable sources, is quite good w/ children.

After stopping in Knoxville for groceries and a picnic lunch, we made it to Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  We camped at the Elkmont campground, which was rustic (i.e., no showers or electric outlets in most of the bathrooms) but great.  We had a beautiful site bordering the creek that runs through the campground.  We braved the cold water a bit of wading, and the kids loved throwing rocks in the creek and building dams too.  The weather was perfect; it was nice and cool at night.

On Tuesday we meandered through the park, with our only notable stop at Clingman's Dome (the highest point in the park).  That evening we camped on the NC side of the park, and the Maryland Hawkins family drove up from Sylva to picnic with us.  That night, the weather was even cooler than the previous night--it was in the low 50s and there was a thick fog when we awoke.  The highlight of the morning was on our drive down the mountain, when a black bear jumped out in front of us and ran into the bushes on the other side of the road.  (We were in the middle of a wildlife spotting competition.)

Wes finally reaches the top of Clingman's Dome

Jack helping Wes w/ a stubborn zipper

this family of turkeys was spotted a few minutes after the bear sighting

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Today was suppose to be our annual parish picnic in the park, but we were forced to have the service and 'picnic' at church because of rain.  (We've gotten a lot of rain this spring.)

Rather than wait in the long line for food, we took some pictures in and around the church.  Here are some of them and a few from after lunch too.

Here are a few of Jack's sketches:

1. Penguin
2.  Lego block
3.  unknown