Friday, November 28, 2014

This is what 13 looks like...

I love this face and because of that I have a hard time picking my favorite.  So that being said-here are several of my favorite:

This is what 13 looks like.  Jacob Aaron Harmon born at 10:21 pm on Tuesday, August 28, 2001...Wow...13 years have flown by!  We of course take pictures on his birthday but August is too hot to get out and have a photo shoot so we always wait until the fall.  This picture is definitely one of my favorites.

This boy still loves his Lego's and I don't think that will ever stop.  He LOVED the Lego Movie that came out at the beginning of this year.  He loves Lego Ninjago and I do too.  We still sit down on the floor in his room and play with Lego's.  Jake also loves the movie "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (he loved 1 also of course!).  He is thrilled that the 3 Hobbit movie is coming out next month-but even more so that the next Star Wars comes out next year!

Some of his is favorite music to listen to on his Kindle Fire is the Hobbit soundtrack and the Ninjago songs.  How cool is that?  He doesn't like to sing along to songs on the radio in the car as much as he used but sometimes I make him do it and it is always fun.  He told me not too long ago that he sometimes listens to songs and doesn't think they sound right, then he realizes what's missing and it is me singing along.  I asked him if that bugged him that I am always singing along and he said I didn't and that he liked it when I did.  He sure knows how to make him mom feel good!  Have I mentioned how much I love this young man and how proud of him I am?

Jake's favorite books are the three books in the Eragon series.  He is a big reader and will definitely read past his bedtime!  He is becoming a great writer too and that is pretty awesome for a math and science guy.  He wants to be an air and space Engineer when he grows up.  He would like to go to the University of SC and be a Gamecock after he serves a two year mission for our church.

Children LOVE Jake!  There are little boys at church that love to wave to Jake when he is passing the sacrament and they really look up to him.  I think they like him because he talks to them as he would anyone else and he shows interest in what they want to tell him all about.  He also makes them laugh.  He is a great buddy to his little cousin Jaxson and I am sure he will be to Parker and Owen as they get bigger (and Braeden when he is back in the country!).  Jake was laying on the floor at Nana and Papa's today and Jaxson came over to him and flopped down on him and said "I like you" and then gave Jake a big hug and kiss.  Jake and Jaxson spent most of the day playing with cars in the dirt while Jake made roads.
Jake is going to be a great dad some day because he makes everyone feel important and he loves to use his imagination.

Jake's favorite colors are black and green.  His favorite ice cream (from the grocery store) is Breyer's Cookie Dough.  He loves very chocolatey chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

His favorite restaurant Taco Dog (it is here in Spartanburg and Jake says they have the best cheese dip.  They sell taco's and hot dogs there) and his favorite meal at home is Creamy Crockpot Chicken.  He is really becoming a great cook and although he isn't a fan he is a great table clearer and dishwasher.

Jake loves to wear the same clothes as long as possible and is going through a very stinky feet phase.  (I have to keep it real because no one is perfect!)  He almost got grounded once because his room was so stinky (even after he thoroughly cleaned it) that I told him if he didn't locate the stink he would have no screen time for 2 weeks (I thought for sure there was a cup he drank milk out of or old food hidden somewhere!)!  When we finally realized it was his shoes he was off the hook and his shoes immediately got Febrezed and put on the back porch!  Hahahaha!  In twenty years we will be so glad I posted this!

Jake is pretty darn patient for the most part but being stubborn at times comes natural (from both sides of the family!).  He is kind of a negotiator-always asking for one second or one minute.  He gets that from me.  I have no idea where he gets it! 

He recently had his first cavity filled and faced his fear of needles rather than opting for the laughing gas, which is pretty brave.  He has since finished off a bottle of Crest Pro Clinical (or something like that-it strengthens, rebuilds, etc.) mouthwash to prevent a spot the dentist said could turn into another cavity. 

Jake likes to ride his bike, is saving for 1/2 a Wii U (Aaron is saving for the other part), loves Puff Corn, loves to jump on his trampoline and play in the leaves with Sadie, is starting to like sleeping in (YESSSS!) and is almost as tall as me.  He is soooo close but I will not concede until it is obvious because I am not ready for him to be that tall.  His voice cracked for the first time this week and he is actually starting to get blonde peach fuzz on his upper lip. 

He is amazing and even though I tell him that I don't always thank him for it.  I also expect too much from him sometimes because even though he is really smart and pretty mature, he is still a kid that doesn't know everything yet.  But I am going to keep expecting a lot because he can do anything!

Jake is getting braver when he tries new things-like ice skating and roller skating.  He has only done then both combined a few times and was very nervous to let go of the wall.  This week he went ice skating for the first time since last winter and he held on to the wall for a little bit and then just let go and did great!  He is believing in himself more and that is amazing to see. 

Jake can really make us laugh (dancing to a hidden camera-Daddy's phone-while playing "Just Dance" on the Wii) and always makes us smile.  When he is excited about something it is all he can talk about and it is enough to drive a person crazy at times!  But it is also hard not to love his enthusiasm.  He loves to swim, chew gum, talk to anyone who will listen, and wave to random people which always puts a smile on their face. 

He has a great smile but sometimes while taking pictures he clenches his teeth in a cheesy grin that makes me laugh.  I tried to filter through those shots but this one is on the verge of a clench. :)

Jake is a conservative through and through.  He has no problem letting people know where he stands and doesn't give in to peer pressure.  I have seen him turn a situation that was bordering on bullying into a situation where the older boy could do nothing but watch Jake walk away confidently, completely unfazed.  But make not mistake he is a softy and very sensitive.  He will make an amazing husband some day because he listens when I say I like things and remembers.

I love this face!  I love my baby!  I love the amazing son (to us and Heavenly Father), grandson, cousin, nephew, friend, leader, and young man that Jake is growing into.  He has his flaws-we all do.  That is what we are here for-to work on those flaws and showing Heavenly Father we are willing to work through them to return to Him.  Jake knows who he is and his light shines for everyone to see. 

We are blessed to have Jake in our family and wish we had about 3 or 4 more just like him! :)

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...)