Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Carolina Hemlock

A beautiful day to go on our first tubing trip of the season. We went down to the South Toe River and tubed at the Carolina Hemlock campground. I went here several times as a kid, and was so glad to re-explore the land and share it with the youngins.

Taking a watermelon break with a friend:
Reed tries to catch minnows:
A good swimming hole was found:

And then back to do a little more tubing before heading home:
Always plenty of fun happening in these parts - come out for a visit!
Much love, Julie & the boys ~~~

Weekend Shenanigans

I love where we live so much! The parks have swimming holes and forests, the downtown is beyond hip, good friends are found everywhere ... does it get much better?

On Friday, the kids and I went to Montreat Park in Black Mountain. Plenty of spots right next to the playground to make dams and take a dip in cold mountain water.
At night we went downtown to go the the monthly "Downtown After 5". I actually didn't get any photos from the music, but on the way back to the car, there were tons of street performers out, and I snapped a picture :) These are some pretty cool hillbilly musicians. In case you haven't seen these guys rockin on the streets of Asheville, the fella on the left is indeed playing a saw.
Even though I love our town dearly, it is nice to escape to the big city every once in a while. With cities being so close to us, it's not that hard. On Saturday afternoon we went to Carowinds in Charlotte. They have a great discount if you arrive after 4pm. The park stayed open until 10pm, so the kids had plenty of play time.
The kids did the water park side for a couple hours - wave pools, big slides, lazy rivers... the works! The we went over to the amusement park side, and the boys did their first roller coasters. I can't figure out how to take a decent photo at night, but here's my attempt at getting a shot of Clay's first coaster - called "The Hurler" haha!
It was a big one, and I was not up for joining the kids on it, but they had a blast!

Friday, July 16, 2010

New Toy

Thanks to our friends for giving the boys scrap wood... completely kid-made new toy:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Gratitude for Rain

Getting the children outside to play is no task at all when it's warm and raining ... all. day.

A little more water can't hurt at this point, right? And to think just this morning I bought balloons so we could have a rainy day party, and they ended up being used as gigantic water balloons... oy!
We haven't had rain in a bit too long for this neck of the woods, and the plants sure opened right up to it

Except of course for the shy cosmos who duck their heads down to avoid their fragile pedals falling off
Rain to also help loosen up the ground so we could dig up some carrots for today's meals. These were grown in soil that was not worked further down than about 4". You can see they grew around rocks and tough bits of clay down there... my favorite are the two lovers on the right, separate, but completely intertwined
Reed and his buddy did get some out-of-the-house time at their first day of Kung Fu camp ... nice stance boys!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Summer is official now that the kids have had a lemonade stand! It was their idea, Clay helped make the lemonade and pour it. Reed painted the sign and added ice to the cups. Their friend delivered the drinks to car windows and took the money. I think they made about $12, not bad considering the lemonade was only 25 cents a cup... and I'm thankful to all our great neighbors who came by and bought a drink, and gave the boys generous tips :)

Am super excited to go to my old friend's wedding this weekend, meet his wife and their new baby!!
Much to my children's dismay, i made eggplant gallette for dinner, from the recipe here. I am *loving* that Smitten Kitchen blog, though don't have nearly that much desire to be in my kitchen, the recipe are so freakin good! The kids actually ended up liking it, but don't be fooled, they put up a good fight to try to get out of eating (fresh from the garden) eggplant for dinner :)

It's sliced eggplant and minced garlic spread on a ricotta-based cheesy filling, all wrapped around with the most delicious buttery pastry crust ... mmm...
Have a happy weekend everyone!! Love, Julie

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To the Lake

We took a nice, refreshing trip to Lake Powhattan today. It was much enjoyed as the temperatures climbed higher and higher! Reed was determined to play his new Pokemon Heart Gold DS game he got from Grandma & Uncle David yesterday (thank you!). He did finally give in, and take a break in the lake (with his clothes on :)
Clay and his best buddy:
I thought he was too old to roll in dirt - apparently not:
If you've never been to Lake Powhattan and live in Asheville, check it out! Great for cooling off, and at only $5/carload, it's very affordable (or you can hike in for free through Bent Creek forest's "hardtimes" trail).

Stay cool!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Party Time!

Reed's party was great - only a minor amount of stressing from me, which was resolved by my letting go of a few projects I wanted to have done for the party. Reed likes having his parties at home - he requested a small amount of friends, pizza and water balloons (this kid's easy!)

We got a $2 pinata from a thrift store and filled it with fun stuff from the Dollar Tree. Here the kids are sharing their finds to make sure everyone got what they wanted:
Happy boy!

It was B's birthday as well, he got a mocha stout chocolate cake with chocolate ganache icing. The recipe is here. The cake is freakin delicious!!
A blurry photo, but it's the spread - Reed wanted Little ceasars pizz. Also had fresh veggies, crackers, figs, lychee berries, strawberries, blueberries, keylime pie, and the 2 cakes.
Mama Shonna coming to pick up leah and definitely enjoying some stout cake:
Kids looking their birthday best:

Monday, July 5, 2010

A new trip around the Sun for Reed!!

Happy Birthday to my Reed-a-roo! This guy turns 7 today and couldn't be happier about it :) He's glad to be home after a few days of travelling, and just in time for fire works and birthday celebration. I've enjoyed all the time I've had to watch him grow and be part of each other's lives, can't wait to see what the next year brings for this guy (he's hoping to finally get those front teeth in)!!

Newborn Sandwich:

Mischievous on the loft ladder in Colorado:

Ice Cream stop on Chicago roadtrip (2005)
Grove Park Inn:

Buncombe County Fair (2007-ish)
Music On The Mountaintop Festival - 2009
On Reed's 7th Birthday - showing off his Lego collection:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Day

Another beautiful day of Summer!
Kids playing catch:
Finished new gardens. Borders from colorful cinderblock pieces from a rubble pile. Center of bigger garden is the rhubarb which will eventually spread. For now the extra space is filled by flowers and herbs from the local discount store. The back, smaller plot has hostas and other shade-lovers. It leads up to the girls' hide-out beneath the privet branches...
Eggplant waiting to be picked:
A little friend examining the carrots ready to be pulled, but won't be for a little while longer as I have a bunch in the kitchen and these are good to stay in the ground until i need them:
Cooling off (redneck style):
A mass of children run to get some late afternoon treats of peanut butter & cocoa swirl cookies ~~
My kids are off to a *very* long sleep-over while B and I go to Phish in Raleigh and Charlotte. Then I'm taking the kids to a third show in Atlanta, and to visit some friends that just moved down there! So excited to see those friends, see my phish friends, and boogie down to my favorite tunes!!
~~ Have a great weekend everyone ~~

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