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Friday, July 24, 2009

About two weeks ago, we were asked by some friends if we'd like to chaperone their 16-year-old son and friend(s) at the beach. Apart from the fact that we were asked separately and needed to consult on it, this was an obvious no-brainer! Paul, having been involved with the youth group on a weekly basis, had no reservations about the teenager in question (I didn't know him from Adam, I'm afraid!), and we were both able to clear our schedules for the week. As you might expect, we had a great trip!

The day we arrived, we beat our host(s) to the house, and made it out to the beach before they arrived. Daniel's comment on the beach was: "Baff!" To him, it was the world's biggest bathtub. Of course, he was inordinately delighted, and, as it turns out (thankfully!), deathly afraid of the giant bathtub, though he did become more comfortable with the concept as the week wore on. His older brothers also held the sea in an appropriate awe, and were not tempted to brave the waves on their own. In fact, they were more than happy to sit way up on the beach, playing in the sand. (No, as a matter of fact, we don't have a sandbox!)

We went to the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores, which was only a couple of miles from the beach house. The most memorable part of that trip was the stingray pool, where you could dangle your fingers and pet a friendly ray. They felt pretty much like what you'd expect- smooth and slippery! John and Isaac also got to touch a spider crab, and Jay touched a horseshoe crab as well. Jay told me at one point that he loved certain fish "almost as much as I love you, Mama." Thanks, boy. ;)

We all went out to dinner one night in Morehead City at Floyd's 1921 Restaurant, where the staff was very tolerant of our vacation-stimulated children, going so far as to bring us two large boxes of crayons to avoid a scuffle between the big guys. It was serendipitous that the restaurant is located at N 4th Street.

The following day (the last full day of our vacation), I steeled my resolve and took Jay and Isaac to visit Beaufort, which I had wanted to do all along. Paul wasn't interested, and kept Daniel at the house/beach. I would rather have had him along, but I had seen plainly enough on the map that all we had to do was return to Morehead City and stay on US 70 for a few more miles. It was that easy!

Beaufort is an old city which has placed a high importance on its history. The exploits of Blackbeard are an oft-cited example of the stories linked to this beautiful town. There are preservation awards given to the historic residences which uphold certain historic-preservation standards, and many, many houses bear the plaques with the house's history in two brief statistics: the year it was built and the name of it's original occupants. I could spend days with my camera here. Maybe weeks...

I was thinking of taking the boys to the Maritime Museum, which would have been fun, I'm sure, but before we located it, we came across a horse named Tsali pulling a carriage, and I decided to splurge on a tour for the three of us (Isaac was free!) Apart from Jay periodically announcing that we had just passed a small cabbage white butterfly, for instance, in a voice loud enough to match our tour guide's, the boys did beautifully on the tour. An older boy, maybe 8 or 9, loudly complained about the tour, announcing to the assembled company that "This was a huge mistake". Hopefully, this is not what we have to look forward to, but I wouldn't be too surprised if at least one of our three feels the need to be too cool for school at some point. I'm trying to remember to enjoy the age of demonstrable sweetness while it lasts!

More photos here

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
My M-i-L sent a link to this fascinating video on YouTube about a mega-dairy farm. Two of the most recent comments were:

Humans are not meant to drink COW'S milk. We are meant to drink´╗┐ HUMAN milk when we are babies and then stop as we become adults like other mammals do. Common sense will tell you that. This is a money making business, so naturally the business is going to make it seem as if drinking milk is good.

That is one of the stupidest things I have ever read in a Youtube´╗┐ comment, and that's saying something.

Pithy, eh?

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Monday, July 13, 2009
The House My Grandpa built

From my Mom:

I watched Grandma and Grandpa build this house when I was in first grade. I grew up in this house and left to get married from here. Unfortunately, after these pictures were posted, there was a fire in the living room. The windows are boarded up now. It was bittersweet to take the tour.

Grandpa dug the basement by hand with a shovel. Grandma mixed the concrete, and carried the 40 lb blocks for grandpa to set into place for the basement foundation. My bedroom was next to the kitchen.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009
Fun Saturday Doings
And some Friday photos, too.

Tonight, we're feasting on blackberry cobbler, thanks to the thicket in our backyard and my Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (Chapel Hill) cookbook! Yum!!

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Sunday, July 05, 2009
At Least They Behaved When it Mattered
The boys have had a rough re-entry period. I'm not sure the fireworks last night were the best plan, since they resulted in a very tired Isaac today, but apparently he was good as gold in Sunday school...

The wedding was fabulous. Well-planned, meaningful, and just all-around beautiful. The little attendants did a great job- both flower girls, and my boys. Isaac missed recessing with the wedding party since he fell asleep about 10 minutes into the ceremony, and my brother and sister-in-law wisely decided to let him sleep! Jay was a little thrown off by this, but eventually accepted that he would have to walk out alone. They were both loud and busy during the rehearsal, and I was very concerned that they would be disruptive, but even Jay (who was awake the whole time) was exceptionally quiet and still under my sister-in-law's watchful eyes.

I do not have photos of the boys (or much of anything), since I was in the wedding party and had handed off my camera in the hopes that my brother or SOMEONE would snap some photos. No such luck. I'll have to track them down from someone else. Paul was occupied as well, and was not able to hear or see much of anything, since Daniel is at the age of perpetual motion. My cousin, who was also in the wedding party, was also missing her husband, as he had jobs to do too. Hopefully we can get copies of the video from my older brother so Paul and Aaron can experience the lovely ceremony too!

KYP's custom-made necklaces were a hit with the bridal party, but also various attendees- Uncle Todd himself admired the little yellow butterfly-shaped crystals. My sister had GORGEOUS flowers- yellow roses and blue hydrangeas. Just lovely. I can not say enough good things about the whole event. It was just wonderful, which it would have been in any case, since my sister has truly found her Prince Charming. We couldn't be happier for them!!

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