Saturday, July 20, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
For those who know me, know that I absolutely love to watch survival shows. My favorites include "Man, Woman, Wild," "Dual Survivor," and "Survivorman."
I watched most of the "Survivorman" episodes with the boys and all three of us felt that were ready if a survival situation were to occur. So, when Caleb saw a coconut at the grocery store, he got excited that we had a chance to practice our skills and be prepared in case we are in a survival situation on a tropical island.
Well... I can tell you we are not ready.
First of all, they are very difficult to open. After internet research, we figured out that a corkscrew was the best way to create a hole to drain the water. It actually works quite well.
As Gray said, "That is yucky water."
So, we strained it and were all excited to taste this delicious tropical liquid that we have been dreaming of. Let me tell you, it is absolutely DISGUSTING!!! The most foul liquid that I have ever put in my mouth and the taste does not go away. It was so gross, that all of us (except Caleb) spit it out immediately. Caleb reported that he liked the liquid?! True Spartan to the core. The kid has the highest tolerance for pain and self sacrifice that I have ever seen.
We were very concerned about the taste of the liquid that we immediately began thinking that the coconut had to be bad and full of mold. So, we opened it. The best way to open it (per internet) is to throw it on the ground and it will break open into several pieces.
We were very happy to see that it was not moldy. However, only Lee was willing to taste it and he said it was gross.
After more internet research, we found many reports of coconuts tasting like "soap." It apparently happens when the coconuts are not fresh. So, if we are ever stranded on a tropical island, I am pretty sure I will not be a "survivor." Especially since I am never eating a coconut again and I have a fear of fish.
Monday, July 8, 2013
My precious little babies are back home! I am so happy to have their sweet chatter back in the house. To celebrate we had an old fashioned summer BBQ complete with ribs and homemade banana pudding.
The boys seemed very unimpressed with our "deluxe" pool. It may have something to do with spending a few weeks at the beach!
Thursday, July 4, 2013
We had lots of outdoor activities planned for today, but it turned out to be just too rainy. I must have been missing our boys a lot because we decided to take Geoffrey and Baby Ghost on a shopping trip to buy them each a new outfit. I guess I figured that if we can't hang out with our boys, Geoffrey and Baby Ghost are the next best thing.
In case you are wondering why Geoffrey and Baby Ghost are not in Florida with the boys, they usually leave them at home during any trip. They are too scared that something catastrophic may happen on a trip, such as them falling out of the car at a gas station or being eaten by a grandparent's dog or being abused by a certain uncle, that they leave them at home and bring sub-par replacements that would not be missed if lost. Dinosaur Charlie and Buzz Lightyear were the honored stuffed animals that made the trip with the boys.
Geoffrey and Baby Ghost on the way to Build-A-Bear at Haywood Mall
Stylin' in their new outfits. We also found a tent for them!
The tent was a perfect find because we just happened to have our tent set up in their playroom as a surprise for when they get home. We are going to let them "camp" one night. Now, Baby Ghost and Geoffrey can camp right next to the boys!
I can't wait for our boys to come home and find their friends ready for a fun night of camping. Only two more days and they will be home!
Wednesday was "Upstate Culture Day." We spent the day in Greenville enjoying some special places. The first was a visit to Bob Jones University's Museum & Gallery. They have a prolific collection of religious art from the 14th - 18th centuries, including old masters like Botticelli and Rubens. Our favorite thing about the museum was how the art was displayed in rooms furnished with decorative arts from the same period. It was a beautiful setting and amazing that this collection is in Greenville.
After the gallery we headed to downtown Greenville. We stopped into Dark Corner Distillery for a moonshine tasting. It is an adorable little distillery and we felt that moonshine definitely fit into "Upstate Culture Day." They had lots of interesting flavors like Apple-achian Shine, Hot Mama (cinnamon and chipolte pepper flavors), and The Green Villain (Absinthe). My favorite was Apple-achian Shine which tasted just like apple pie.
We ate dinner at The Lazy Goat, a Mediterranean inspired tapas restaurant. The food was wonderful and it was a unique experience having a lazy tapas meal instead of the traditional three course dinner.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
The theme for Tuesday was "Resort Day." The focus was on spending the day in a relaxing environment and eating food that would be typically found at a beach resort.
We tried our best to make our house feel like a tropical resort. Our inspiration was the resort we stayed at last year in Jamaica.
This is a picture of the grotto at the resort in Jamaica...
As a surprise, Lee tried to recreate that grotto at our house!
I have to say, it may not have turned out quite as beautiful, but it had a charm of its own. When Lee does anything, he does it 100%. He spent a significant amount of his own money buying the largest inflatable pool on the market, faux fish, and even bought a bucket heater from a farm supply company that is designed to heat a bucket of water to 110°F in 20 minutes. (He knew there was no chance of me getting in the water if it was cold.)
The pool was completely engineered out, including cost calculations for power and water, test run with modifications while I was in Florida, and a safety analysis with safety procedures to prevent electrocution or short circuits. He even tried draining our entire hot water heater into the pool during the test run, at which time he decided he needed to invest in an actual water heater for the pool. The entire "grotto" project is just crazy, but turned out to be insanely fun! The boys will be thrilled to find the pool when they come home.
For lunch we ate at "The Beach Grill." Lee made the most amazing fries! He found a procedure on the internet to recreate McDonald's fries. It takes two days to complete the procedure (fry-freeze-fry) and they turned out delicious!
For dinner, we picked up three pounds of snow crab legs from the local fish market and Lee made grilled red pepper bruschetta.
It was a wonderful relaxing day, and with enough imagination, felt like a day in Jamaica!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Yesterday I decided to "Seize the Daytona," as The City of Daytona's advertising slogan encourages all to do. I decide to leave for Florida two days early due to the severe weather predicted for the Carolinas today. I figured I could spend Thursday afternoon in the basement sheltered from severe storms, or I could spend it at the beach in sunny weather. I chose the beach.
We are having a great time. My parents are spoiling us and we are enjoying all of our favorite activities.
We leave for Jacksonville on Saturday where we will board the Fascination for a five day cruise to the Bahamas. Since I do not have access at my parents' condo or on the cruise boat, I doubt that I will be able to blog very much over the next week. However, I will post lots of pics when we return!
Relaxing oceanfront dinner at North Turn Restaurant.
Mommy and Baby
Beautiful Daytona Morning
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
(My first picture with Chizzle - August 5, 2009)
I was supposed to spend last night hanging out with one of my favorite buds, Chizzle, at the Gastonia Grizzlie game. Instead, we spent the afternoon huddled in the basement with sweet neighbor friends while tornado sirens were sounding and a cell of rotation went directly over Roebuck. Nothing ended up touching down, so we are safe and sound, but there were 13 very scary minutes from 2:05 - 2:18 PM.
Thankfully we have two very nice days ahead of us and should finally be able to enjoy some time outside. Although, storms are predicted to return on Thursday.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
Every night I kiss the boys goodnight before I go to bed. I find Caleb in his bed only about half of the time. The rest of the nights I find him in some random location. Sometimes under the bed, sometimes in a fort, or sometimes in the middle of the floor. Gray is always cozy in his bed.
Friday, June 7, 2013
Today was another rainy day, so we moved our activities indoors. We went bowling with a sweet friend from church. The boys had a BLAST and think that Bryce is the coolest!
Here are a few pictures from the afternoon:
Caleb won the first game and I was able to comeback from a loss and win the second game. Although... The boys said they were all on one team and I was on my own team. So, if you add all of their scores together, as they insist must be done, I lost the second game as well.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Today turned out to be very rainy, so our plans for a nice picnic in the park were cancelled. I had to "punt," as Lee would say. I ended up using the morning to do some much needed shopping and then took the boys out for a special lunch at Taco Bell. They were SO excited and sang, "I love tacos" most of the morning. We hadn't been to Taco Bell in years and the boys thought it was the neatest place!
Hopefully the weather will be nicer tomorrow so we can continue with our planned outdoor activities.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
For today's adventure, we were off to the Greenville Zoo. The main purpose of the trip was to see the new baby giraffe, Kiko. Caleb absolutely loves giraffes and was so excited to see the zoo's new addition. Kiko will only be at the zoo through the fall at which time he will be sent to a zoo in the northeast. He will be one year old at that time. (Yes, we were not very fast at getting to the zoo to see the new baby, but late is better than never and summer is so much nicer than cold winter!)
Mommy (Autumn), Daddy (Walter), and baby.
Caleb was quite the photographer. He took lots of pictures so he could show Lee when he gets home.
Lunch Time! We always enjoy bringing a picnic lunch to eat in the play area across from the giraffes.
More playtime at the big park playground.
Graysen (always the creative problem solver) figured out he could go much higher and faster if he was on his belly.