Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear Biltmore House (Part 1)

 We love you so old friend!  We are so glad we had a pass to visit you this past year, but we are wondering why we didn't come more often.  I guess we let life get in the way and we regret it!  We had big plans to come here on Spring days and do school on your grounds.  We were going to bring Sadie and take her on a walk on one of your many trails.  Jake even swears we said we were going to rent Segway's ($60 a person per hour...I don't think so) and go on some trails but that sure didn't happen.  The point it we are going to miss you-we do already.  So maybe, just maybe we will get passes again some day.  Until then I wanted you to see some of the things we saw while we visited you.  To see you through my eyes...So here goes....And I take lots of pictures so we may just want to call this Part 1.  Your trees with berries on them are so pretty.  The leaves are gone but that pop of red is gorgeous!

I love this design and it is everywhere.  I LOVE, Love, love it!

Here are my guys headed over to check out the view...
 ...or to look straight down...They literally walked up and both immediately looked down.  Do you get that a lot?.  Probably mostly from men.
 I wish I had thought to come all 4 seasons and take the very same picture from the very same spot.  What was I thinking?...Or I guess I should say why wasn't I thinking!
 I bet you look great in the snow.  We will definitely have to come back and see some time.

This is as good as it gets for a picture of my guys in this spot.  The sun was shining on you on November 8th (the day before our passes expired).  Just a week before you got snowed on and we didn't get to visit you because Jake stayed up all night long at a Halloween lock in...Okay that is a whole other story...Back to you.

Seriously?  I kind of ADORE your statues.  I have a zillion pictures of them.  
 Even your cracks and crevasses (that is how spell check says to spell it but I am on the fence with whether I believe it or not...I it pretty late though so it could just be that my brain is tired..) are lovely!

 Aaron the PTPP didn't want to take a picture of the three of us around your lion this year and I bug him to take a lot of pictures so I let it go this time.  I pick my battles (next time Aaron).  I wonder how many thousands of pictures people have taken with your lions...
 (I am sure your lion's get this a lot...sorry)

Forgive him for the nose picking.  He really is a nice kid.  See?  This is Jake is humoring me by letting me take a picture of him when he doesn't want me to. Aaron could learn a lesson or two from him in this department! ;)

I wonder how many people have sat in this very chair and seen this view...
 I wonder how many of your guests have enjoyed the rooftop tour.  We were going to do that but we didn't...

For all we said we were going to do but didn't, we have just as many fond memories of what we did.  So I guess there is no use dwelling on what could have been.  We soaked up so much history as we walked though your halls.  We imagined Christmas feasts around your enormous tables, and wondered what books were in your library that we couldn't see from behind the ropes that held us back.  We imagined other peoples memories of you while making our own.  We are pretty lucky to know you!  My eye lids are finally getting heavy so I will close for now dear friends.  Soon I will show you some of our last trip memories  on your beautiful grounds and I am sure you will not be disappointed.  We weren't.  Good bye for now old friend!

The Moose Cafe

 Whenever we head up "our mountain" we like to swing by our favorite restaurant that serves up Southern home cooking at it's finest.

(See our mountain coming up in the distance? That is what Jake always called it when we were heading home from visiting family who lived down the mountain.  We had such a long pretty leaf season this year...This picture is what is still holding on...These were taken on Nov 8th)
 (This is our old exit.  We lived in Fletcher.  See- it even says right on the exit that is was our Mtn Home.)
 (Jake thought this was a cloud maker.  This time when we passed it he told us some smart kid reason why it does actually help create clouds and I know he was right because he told me all about it when he read it about it in his science book...but I can't remember what he said now...but it was pretty smart. :)  )

The Moose Cafe.  Where the biscuits are as big as your head!  Not literally but it is fun to say and they are pretty darn big...and yummy.

I don't care who your are THAT is a big biscuit.  I am sure very similar pictures are in other years of my blog but it is a little bit of heaven for your taste buds and several memories have been made here so I don't care!  Jake (age 5 or 6) said, "If we were rich we would eat here all the time!" 
 I am still not sure why it is called Moose Cafe since there are no Moose in NC but that is okay when the food is this good (and they use local food they get from the Farmers Market they are right next too!)
I get meatloaf every time because it is amazing.  And you have too love the South-where chilli and mac & cheese are on the list of vegetables!  The chilli was awesome too.
 Aaron took a picture to send to Jeremy to make him wish he was there.  I think I will call it a jealousy picture.  It seems to fit.

And the traditional photo with the Moose.

Why do you ask were we headed up our mountain?  To go one last time to the Biltmore Estates before out passes expired. Bittersweet....

I didn't even take a nap today...

...and I still can't I might as well blog since I am pitiful at it lately.  For some reason every time I say I am going to do better at something I just do worse at it!  So from here on out I am not going to keep up with documenting all the important little moments that make up our life!  (Now we wait and see if it works....)

In the mean time, here are a few things I should have posted about a while ago.

Halloween candy means wrappers every where and I am not liking it.  I could have taken about 50 more pictures but I think you get the point with just these two.

I mentioned that I hate it when people put their empty wrappers back in the candy they just laid it beside the bowl...I think I need to be more specific.

Or instead of putting it in the trash can you could just throw it down on the dinning room table while you (I am assuming here but I am most likely correct) are walking into the kitchen to wash down the peanut butter cup with some milk...from the fridge...which is right next to the TRASH CAN.

This may be one of the reasons I am not the biggest Halloween fan...

 Wow...and here ladies and gentlemen is why you are supposed to keep up with your blog.  We went some where...can't remember where and on the way back decided we were starving (and it was way past lunch time) and we decided Cracker Barrel was calling our name...Where the heck did we go?...This is going to drive me crazy!  I will ask Jake tomorrow and do a little update.  For now enjoy all these random pictures I took in honor of the fact that we hardly ever go to Cracker Barrel (except on long road trips....which this was not...)

And yes Jake looks way to old to be my child in these pictures.  This is the face of 13... {tear}...(and no he did not really only have one of those pegs left...we both got "we are ignora-moose")

I will be making myself a sign for my kitchen that will say this on it.  

This is his I kicked your butt face.  Yep he is a little crazy.

Jake came home from YM's (Young Mens-Wednesday night youth group) and had this catalog for USC Upstate and I flipped through...

...and decided I want to major in History when I go back to college...some day (?)...I figured out a minor but I already forgot what it was....See I really need to blog in a more timely fashion before I forget all these important goals I am setting for myself.

Here are a couple of random school pictures....
 ...for good measure.  That is one smart kid working on his Physical Science.
And this my friends is what your dining room table will look like if you decide to reorganize the kitchen, pantry, and linen closet...? More on that later.

I am working my way through pictures trying to catch up.  I literally haven't even posted half the pictures from our VT/NH trip yet...that was in July.  I have 37 days to put this whole year to bed.  I WILL do it by December 31st!...WAIT!!!  I mean:  I won't do it by then if ever! (Reverse psychology on myself...will it work?  This is my last hope...)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Seeing Red...and that's a good thing!

On Tuesday, I voted.  I hope you did too.  I love my camera (which is my phone.  But in order of importance-camera comes first.)!  The sweet little old lady but my "I Voted" sticker on me (before I voted...I felt like a fraud-but only for a minute) and I pulled it off to get a picture (because that is what I do) and you can see the fuzz it pulled off my shirt!  You used to have a fancy expensive camera to capture the fuzz.  Now you just need a Samsung S5 smartphone.  It also reminded me that I need to clean my steering wheel.  I shouldn't have said that.  You may not have noticed how dirty it was if I hadn't pointed it out.  I didn't know how dirty it was until I got excited at the fuzz on my sticker!

But any way-back to the point...if there is one.  I noticed something that I couldn't help but capture on...what used to be film but is the cloud?  Microchip?  I don't know just on my phone.  There really isn't a fancy or romantic sounding way to say it anymore is there?
But any way-I looked down and saw this beautiful RED leaf.

And it made me look up and see tons of RED leaves on the trees in the parking lot of the school we vote at.  I had to pick one and take a picture of it.  It is so RED and sooooo pretty....I haven't painted my fingernails for a long time...but that is another subject....See how my brain works?  It really is exhausting listening to it all day.

It seemed to me that all those RED leaves could only be a sign of things to come.  And I was not to be disappointed.  Thank you American's for not letting me down!  I am so proud to live in a State that there was no doubt would be red.  South Carolina is a conservative state with conservative values.  That is one of the beauties of living here.  I am proud that my 2nd home state (NC) and Jake's birth state woke up and went RED again.  And my birth state (NH) even got a couple of RED stripes in it which is way more than I expected would happen!

And it only seemed right to FINALLY watch "America Imagine The World Without Her" (and a lot of FOX News) on election day.  I loved it (but it does make you see red a little when he is laying out the accusations against America and the way we have let-since we didn't stop it-history be rewritten)!  I loved that it corrects so many misconceptions about our History that is being taught in schools today.  I love that it brings to light when, where, and who is at fault for the lies being spread (and taught in our school systems) that we need to apologize about what we have and who we are.  It is amazing that a single individual could further an incorrect and deceptive ideology (liberalism) so quickly and that so many people would fall for it and think the idea of America should be crushed....I cried a little when Bono (an Irishmen) stood up for and spoke out about what he called "the idea of America".  Why are so many Americans apologizing for our greatness?  What big dummies!  I am so glad that the votes on Tuesday reminded some of those Liberals that we aren't going down with out a fight.  I am so glad that I have the right-no duty-to vote in this free nation. 

Halloween...and the rest of the week!

We celebrated Halloween the Wednesday before at our church trunk-or-treat.  Primary (the organization for children 18 months to 11) was in charge of a "carnival style" game of making Halloween Stew (you take a straw and suck up cut out Halloween shapes and run over to a cauldron and drop it in) and it decorating our station.  Aunt Sheila came along for the festivities and got roped into helping set up-which she didn't mind at all!

This is pretty much it for the pictures I took that evening because it got dark so early!   Recognize the costume?  It is Link from the video game Legends of Zelda Hyrule Warriors...but you probably remember it from his Renaissance costume. :)

Jake managed to rack up a lot of candy and of course couldn't wait to see what he got!

Sadie was also very interested in seeing what he got!

The week before we had gotten "Booed!" (someone leaves treats on your doorstep and you are supposed to turn around and "boo" two others) and because of Aaron having a really long week of work (he had to finish 4 houses last week to close and he did it!) we never got to pass it on (even though I had it already-we just wanted to do it as a family but we ran out of time!)!  So finally on October 30th we did it!

Even though it was daylight, and Nee already knew we were there, we had her close the door so Jake could still do the ding-dong-ditch part of "booing" because that is what makes it so fun!

We tried to do it to Aunt Sheila but she didn't hear the doorbell!  Luckily the gentleman she hired to paint her house heard us other wise we may have been there for a while!  Hahahaha!

My favorite part of this time of year is the colors...These were some leaves on Aunt Sheila's steps up to the parking lot.  It is like a rainbow on leaves!  I love it!

We decided to drive down a different road than usual to see a few more leaves before they are gone...

Jake cooked dinner for us that night.  He is a pro at making egg holes.

You know you are a spoiled Southern homeschooler when you do school in your PJ's, in your parents bed...Oh yeah-the Southern part-it was 62 degrees in our house which Jake said, "is freezing!" and had to put on his Winter coat...

That is not that cold.
 And last but not least: On Halloween night Jake got invited to a lock-in at friends (just 12 kids) of ours from our homeschool co-op.  We don't do sleepovers but we decided a lock-in (is that a Southern thing?  I don't know.  They stay up all night playing games) would be okay since it was supervised 100% of the time.  There was fun games to play all night long (they had a bonfire, a hay ride, hide and seek in the dark, etc) and the best part:  It snowed!  We didn't have any accumulation but it snowed!  This is a picture of Jake on the way home eating Chick-Fil-a on the way home.  We were supposed to be going to the Biltmore Estates (since our pass runs out on the 8th) but decided, since it snowed (and accumulated) in the mountains and was supposed to rain all day up there (and the fact that Jake had been up all night), to wait until this Saturday.  Aaron and Jake went to the $2 theater and saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles while I went I up to Monroe with Mom to go to a funeral of a friend of ours.

And now as I am typing this I am realizing this week is almost over...I will never catch up...