Monday, July 8, 2013

Double Digits

Reed has officially left behind the years of single-digit living.  He celebrated his 10th birthday in style over the holiday weekend.  On his actual birthday, he and a friend went swimming in the neighborhood pool.
Blossom liked swimming for a while, and then preferred to enjoy the view from the shade.

We then went out for hamburgers - these guys were pretty fun to take out to dinner!

The following day was the birthday party.  For games, we drew a giant (human-sized) board game with sidewalk on the back patio.  They had a big painted die and everything (though in hindsight, I would have made 2 dice for getting through the game quicker!).  Each square they landed on had a task (ie - act like a monkey, shake your bootie, give someone a hug, or go crazy!).

Even ZB wanted to participate!
The older kids helped spray-paint a lawn Twister game.

Reed was inspired by a Mardi Gras party he went to earlier in the year, and wanted a King Cake (minus the plastic baby).  It was fairly easy to make and Reed loved it!
I am so glad to have gotten to know Reed this last decade.  He's had some ups and downs and they've all turned out to make him a great kid - thoughtful, respectful, kind, artistic, friendly and easy-going.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Drenched at the Swimming Hole

Notice the title was not "IN" the swimming hole, just "AT" the swimming hole.  I left Bobby with his newly dumped pile of free mulch (thanks Buncombe County!)... seriously, it's like an early birthday present for the man!

We drove a half hour out of Asheville to just outside Hot Springs, NC to do a fun swimming hole hike.  The river did seem awfully high, but we kept meeting hikers that would pass our little group saying, "It will be fine.  The river gets wide and shallow further up."

So we kept hiking.  About a mile in, we start to feel rain.  Then a group of hikers come the other direction saying that the hole was way too deep and current too strong - not safe to swim today!  As our group stood on the trail and talked about what to do, the rain became harder.  It was obvious after only a couple minutes that we needed to start heading back!

Then it really came down!  Not in a miserable way.  Once you're good and soaked with rain, and it's not too cold or anything, there's not much you can do but keep hiking and chatting and occasionally ducking under a thick leaf cover for some temporary respite.  When we emerged into the parking area, I couldn't think of anything else to do beside start singing, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone... I can see all obstacles in my way!  Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind, It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshiny day!"

Because seriously, when you looked all around, there *were* nothing but blue skies!  Rain storms are crazy here.  After a good dry-off, we had the brilliant idea that hey - we are already soaking, but kinda chilly... and we're right near Hot Springs... hmmm... may as well be warm and soaking, right?

So, we found a swimming hole after all.  Restorative, mineral-filled waters welcomed us, and we'll have to try that hike another (drier) day.

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