Friday, November 21, 2008

Emerald Isle in November

William and I along with two teenage girls from the Reformed Baptist Church went to see our friend Doni who recently moved to Emerald Isle. It was a fun couple of days. William loved watching the ocean. He was fascinated by the sound and site of the waves.

William is not yet a year but he really gets around. Russ and I were talking about it the other day and these are all the things he will have done before he turns one; fly on a plane 5 times, visit the beach 3 times, visit Williamsburg 2 times, see the mountains of Virginia and of course see St. Louis.

Doni took him out to feed the birds one morning. He wanted to keep all the bread for himself.

Breaking News!!!

It snowed today in Red Oak, North Carolina. Big, fluffy, white flakes of snow fell for almost an hour and covered the ground.

In other news William went to the doctor today and he weighed in at 14.9 pounds with a length of 26 and 3/4 inches. Grow baby grow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BJ's little brother

A new dog showed up on our door step about 3 weeks ago. He really is the sweetest pup. We call him Patches. As you can see he's mostly lab. Problem is we already have two dogs and we can't keep him. He is about 8 months old and we are desperatley trying to find him a home. Any takers?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reformation Day

This year we began a Reformation Day tradition. I'm sure we'll exapand the day as William gets older but for now our Reformation Day tradition is having pumpkin stew for dinner, so called because you bake and serve the stew in a pumpkin, and apple fritters for dessert. I imagine when William gets old enough to feed himself we will not only have a pumpkin tureen but little pumpkin bowls as well. Unfortunatley I didn't get many pictures.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The State Fair

One of our annual traditions is to go to the NC State Fair. Russ loves the fair and has gone every year for a long time. Last year we went, but I still had morning sickness and it was not nearly as fun as this year. We got there at about 9:00 in the morning and the wind was pretty strong with a cold bite to it. As soon as you enter the fair grounds your nostrils are inundated with wonderful smells of roasted corn, French fries, funnels cakes and the list goes on. The best remedy for a cold wind is some ham biscuits and coffee. Russ knows all the best booths for food so off we went. Unfortunately William can’t appreciate ham biscuits yet so after we had those we found a place for him to enjoy some milk. After that it was time for a hamburger from the famous Charcoal Hearth. They make the best and we go there every year. After the hamburgers you have to have Al’s fries. They are homemade and really amazingly good. In case you haven’t caught on by now, a big part of the fair is the food. But that’s not the only part.

There are lots and lots of exhibits. We saw all kinds of garden vegetables, huge pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes…Then there are the animals, bulls, calves, goats, pigs…There is the village of yesteryear. The craft exhibits are amazing, quilts, needle work, cake decorating…There are beautiful flowers and outside garden plots. We could have spent two days there but we left at about 6:00 p.m., our little fellow did quite well as you can see but we didn’t want to push it.

But wait I forgot to mention the NC State ice cream, roasted corn, fried vegetables, cinnabun, sausage sandwich and cotton candy. William had to content himself with a blue blanket.

Tobacco Farming

Another attraction at the State Fair is the Tobacco curing exhibit. Russ loves the smell of “curin tubacu”. My husband’s family history is a fascinating one and I wish I could capture it all before it fades into shadows with the older generation but I’m afraid I’ve come on the scene a bit to late to record all I wish I could. To hear Russ talk about growing up is in some ways to be transported into another world. He is only 7 years older than I am but you wouldn’t think that when we talk about our family history. But really I digress. Russ can never remember a time when he did not work in the tobacco fields. Back then tobacco was still grown by small independent farmers with maybe a few tens of acres. When he was very young he worked in the barn picking up tobacco leaves. The summer he turned 8 was the first time he was paid. He drove the tractor. The men would pick the leaves and put them in a trailer hooked behind the tractor. These trailers are often called "slides" since at one time they were simply wooden boxes that slid along on skids pulled by a mule. The boys who drove the tractors would drive forward a little ways, wait for the leaves to be put into the trailers, and then drive forward a little more. Russ remembers his cousin Thomas behind the wheel of a tractor playing with his toy soldiers while he waited for the trailer to be loaded. When Russ was older he worked in the fields picking the leaves. He still talks about the tobacco gum that he would have to peel off his hands. When the leaves came to the barn they would have to be tied in bundles and hung up to be cured. The curing process was done in a barn with oil burners to create the heat that was needed. Russ loved working in the fields. He says he liked making money and feeling like he could contribute to the family. He saved the money he made and bought his first car with it.

The stick Russ is holding is used to hang tobacco as it is curing. When Russ was a young boy he and his friends would play “horsey” with those sticks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Discovering God's Creation

I love this picture of William because it seems to capture so much. This is exaclty what he wants to do every day all the time. He notices everything and wants to touch and examine all he can. It's a wonderful exciting privilege to be able to show him the Lord's vast, beautiful creation. I hope he never loses his curiosity and that he will learn more and more with each passing day. I pray Russ and I will be faithful, to our Lord and to William as we raise our little one to joy in the God of our salvation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Our Mountian Holdiay

The 3rd week of October we packed up the car and headed for the beautiful mountains of NC and VA. We traveled to Boone, NC on Friday afternoon and then on Saturday we traveled the Blueridge Parkway. The trees were beautiful and it was so relaxing to amble along the roadway going 40 miles an hour, stopping at lots of scenic overlooks, having good conversation with Russ and listening to our little boy happily babble in the back seat. We had lots of good food and snacks that I'd made and despite my husband's initial dismay at the amount of "stuff" that needed to be packed into our car, including the large cooler, I know he was glad we had it.

We got to Verona, VA about 6:30 Saturday evening and after getting William a bath and seeing him off to dreamland we ate Chili's take out and settled in for a relaxing evening, me reading a book and Russ working on his classwork.

Sunday we visited a pastor that I had when I was 6 and 7 years old. He pastored at Bethel Presbyterian church for a few years. He made quite an impression on me and I've always wanted to see him agian. He now pastors a really small church in Verona and it was wonderful to see him and his wife along with his grown children and their families. I didn't get any pictures and I'm sorry for that.

Sunday evening we went to Lloyd Sprinkle's of Sprinkle Publications church. It was good talking with him and his wife Jackie. Russ has known them for lots of years.

Monday we left to come home stopping at the Natural Bridge and our land in VA.
We are almost ready to leave and I thought it would take us 30 minutes to load up...We were finally ready to pull out an hour and a half later.

The Parkway

William hanging out after a hard day of traveling

The Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge is a landmark in VA. Thomas Jefferson purchased it from, I think the king of England. I didn't get to read up on it but there are only a very few natural bridges in the world. It was wonderful seeing God's great handiwork!

Virginia Land

We own 60 acres of timber land in Virginia that Russ purchased about 5 years ago. When he purchased it the land was full of hardwoods that he had harvested and then he planted pines. We've not been up there since before we were married and its amazing how much the pines have grown. They have more than doubled in size. They will be ready to be cut again in about 20 years.