Saturday, September 28, 2013

Crown Bearer

On Friday I took Finn and Sam to Gran's house to play for a few minutes while I ran a few errands.  Both boys were very excited to go play at Gran's house - Sandy was excited too!  As we were walking in Sandy (in her excitement to see Finn) bumped into him.  Finn fell off the top step and landed on his back in the landscaping.  Other than a slight scratch on his cheek he came out of the bushed unscathed.  He cried for a minute or two - but recovered quickly.

After picking the boys up we went home and packed for the weekend.  Grandad picked us up at noon to take us back to his house.  Finn was the crown bearer at the Tullahoma High School homecoming.

We played at Grandad's house for a couple of hours before getting ready for the game.  Finn was a little uncooperative - but we did manage to get him all "tuxed" up.  To finish the look we put a little makeup on his scratch.

When we got to field we put on Finn's jacket and corsage.  Then we took his picture in front on his name.

Right before putting Finn in the car we noticed that he had grease all over his hands - it was everywhere - on his sleeves and under his fingenails.  We were just glad that he didn't touch Daisy's dress.

 Finn and Daisy

 With the Homecoming Queen. 

 Finn with grease on his hands.

Grandad borrowed a convertible from Eddie and Elaine to drive Finn and Daisy.  Finn sat calmly next to Daisy and waved all the way around the track.

Next it was time to walk out on the field.  Finn walked holding Daisy's crown. As Finn was walking through the swords they announced his name, his family, his school and the fact that he loved dinosaurs and play-doh.

When they arrived at the end Daisy was crowned and Finn was given a football signed by the team.  He was so proud of that football.

Next it was to take pictures with the homecoming court. They were already at center field.  Daisy and Finn were all the say back up at the track.  We instructed them to back up and stand with the other members of the court.  They took us seriously.  They walked backwards all the way to midfield.  We couldn't get them to turn around and walk for love or money.  At one point (still walking backwards) Daisy got ahead of Finn - upon noticing this she stopped, let him catch up and the two proceeded to walk backwards.  It was so cute.

I was so proud of Finn - he did a great job. He listened, followed all the cues and didn't roar at Daisy one time.

Once the game started Finn and Michael went to get a snack.  He selected an enormous pixie stick - which he didn't like.  Then they went over to a quiet part of the track to throw the football.

We stayed until halftime.  The court was introduced at halftime again.  Finn wasn't too excited to do this again - but still managed to get in  a good wave to the crowd. This time they didn't go onto the field.  Instead, they stood at the bottom of the bleachers.

Before leaving the game Finn ate an entire hamburger and some cotton candy.

As we were leaving the field Finn spotted the Chik-fil-A cow and wanted to say high.  He followed the cow for a good while before he finally turned around to talk to Finn.

After leaving the game we went to pick up Sam at Gene and Minnie's house.  We knew that he wouldn't handle the game very well so we dropped him off before hand.  He seemed very happy when we picked up him.  He was so excited to see us though.

When we got back to Dad's we put Sam to bed.  We let Finn stay up and eat some pizza before bed.

School picture day

Last Monday was school picture day at HCA.  Finn wore his new shirt from Aunt Em.  He also carried his new backpack for the first time.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Soaked to the Bone - Le Conte 2013

On Friday after taking Finn to school I came home and started getting ready for our big trip to Le Conte.  I already knew that it was going to rain so I packed rain gear, extra dry clothes and lots of zip lock bags full of dry socks and under, wear - just in case a change was in order at the top.   After Michael got home we put the boys in the car and dropped them off at Dad's house.  Then we picked up Em and Zac and headed to Laura and Johnny's house to spend the night.  We got to their house about 9:00 p.m.  We sat around and ate chips and cheese dips and chatted until bedtime.  I'm not sure about Laura and Johnny, but I had a great time.

My alarm went off at 3:00 the next morning.  By 3:45 I was drinking coffee and talking to Uncle Johnny about the forecast - it was grim prediction.  At 4:00 Dema (spelling?) and was quickly sent back to Mark's to get his boots. Mom and Greg came a little after 4:00.  It was already raining, but not too much.  We stopped in Harriman to eat breakfast - the rain was still coming down.

We arrived at Sugarlands a little before 8:00 a.m.  The sky was dark, but the rain had stopped - or so we thought - we later learned that had just gotten in front of it and it was coming up behind us.

When we got to Alum Cave parking lot we put our rain gear on and readied ourselves for the group photo.

Then we ran over to see Bruce.  Kara, Nathan and Bruce met us there.  They were going to hike the flat part of the trail with us.

Despite the sprinkles that started the moment our feet hit the trail - we decided to head for the top.  Zac, Em, Me, Michael and Dema made a mad dash up the mountain.  Within minutes we didn't anyone behind us.  We made it Arch Rock (the only dry area the entire day) pretty quickly.  We decided to stop there and check the status of our hiking party.

A bit later we see two wet people heading our direction - Mom and Greg.  We lost Kara, Nathan and Bruce (which was to be expected as Arch Rock really ushers in the climbing part of the trail) - but we had also lost Laura, Johnny and Megan (we was also to be expected as pancakes with Bruce was a no brainer).

Since it was raining we didn't stop for snacks at my favorite part - Heaths Bald - which was informed is know called "Inspiration Pointe."  We powered on up to Alum Cave to get some shield from the rain.

After a quick break we hit the trail hard for Le Conte lodge.  It started to rain hard after leaving Alum Cave.  Em asked me if I wanted to set the pace - I accepted and never looked back.  The warmth of the lodge was calling my name.  By the time I turned the last corner on to flat land I was drenched.  My shoes had water pouring out of them.  We were literally walking in ankle deep puddles for the last quarter of a mile.

When we made it to the top I went directly to the bathroom - stripped down and rung the water out of my clothes.  I wore my running pants which turned out to be good decision.  Then we went to lodge for lunch.  There were at least 12 other people all sitting around the stove trying to warm up.  I grabbed a rocking chair, took my shoes and socks off and enjoyed my lunch.  Mom and Greg came a few minutes later.  The first question mom asked was "does anybody have a comb?"  I would've given my whole baggie of Kashi for a comb at that moment.  Before leaving the top we bought t-shirts and took a quick group picture.

Then it was time to head down.  The temperature must have have fallen while we were eating lunch because it was really cold on the way down.  I never warmed up.  My hands and fingers were numb the entire time - which made holding on to the cable really difficult.  You may ask, why did we need cables . . .

 . . . because that is what the trail looked like.  There were several place where the water cascaded over the trail and right off the mountain.  If I were ever nervous of falling off the side (which I never am) this would have been the time. 

In addition to waterfalls - we had water running down the mountain.  This caused some slips.  I hid the ground pretty hard on one occasion and Greg fell too - luckily his pants caught him or it could have been pretty bad. 

Made it from the lodge to Alum Cave in 40 minutes - even with having to watch every step we took. Our next stop was at Heath's Bald where Zac said he was "inspired" to make it to the parking lot so we kept truckin'.  During the last mile of the hike we got a welcomed surprise.  I looked up to see Johnny, Laura and Megan hiking our direction.  It was so exciting to see them.  They had been to the Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg with Kara, Nathan and Bruce.  Megan took a picture so for us. Then they continued up the mountain to find Mom and Greg.  We headed on to the car.

We made it to the parking lot around 3:00.  We changed out of our wet clothes in Laura's car.  At 3:45 we pulled out of the parking lot.

If I am being totally honest, the rain was awful.  But, even with the rain - the trip was great fun.  I will always remember the time we hiked to Le Conte in the rain.  I am glad that we decided to ignore our better judgment and power through.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Four Years Old Today

Today Finn is four years old.  As he was coming down the stairs I said, "Happy Birthday Finn!"  He responds, "Happy Birthday Mom."  He told me Happy Birthday because my birthday was coming soon.

As a special treat Michael took Finn to school today.  First they stopped at the donut place to get a "birthday donut."  He also got donuts for his class.  When I asked Finn if he wanted to bring cupcakes for his birthday he said "YES!"  Then he said that he would rather bring "birthday donuts."  So he and Michael picked out chocolate and vanilla sprinkled donuts and glazed donuts (plain donuts).

Midday I got a notice on Facebook from Finn's teacher.  She posts pictures throughout the day and posted the following pictures.

Happy Birthday Finn!

Finn told that he ate a plain donut because he gave all the sprinkle donuts to his friends (Finn passed out all of the donuts).  He then said, "that was very kind of me, wasn't it?

After school Finn asked me if he could watch Godzilla.  I turned it on and we watched until Daddy and Sam got home.  When Sam walked in he started yelling "zooki."  He was so excited that Godzilla was on - he seems to love it as much as Finn does. 

For his birthday supper we had hotdogs, Cheetos, cake and ice cream.  Finn was very polite all throughout dinner.  While serving the cake and ice cream Finn asked us to sing "Happy Birthday" to him.  We did.  Sam also sang to Finn - but he sang "Happy Day to you."

Then it was time to open the rest of his presents from us.  He got a hero sword, a Captain America shield, a Ninja Turtle Leonardo sword and chap stick.  Finn loves Chap Stick.  After opening his presents Finn thanked us profusely and tried out all of his weapons.

Finn's love of weapons has worn off on Sam.  Sam will pretend any item in a sword.  He also asks for "weapons" on a daily basis.

Before bed the boys watched an episode of Godzilla. Happy Birthday Finn.  We love you!

Putting up the Christmas Tree with Buck Denver

On November 12th we started the process of putting up the Christmas tree.  It is now December 4th and I have still not completed the pr...