Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birthday Celebration!

We celebrated Drew's birthday a little early tonight! His birthday is on Wednesday, the 29th, 
and he sure wishes he was turning 29 :). Avi and Sally Sharp were very excited about 
their Dad's birthday party! They spent the night with Nana last night, and they helped her 
make his cake and prepare for the celebration. 

 The girls and their Daddy

 They love each other so much. Avi fell after dinner, and Sally Sharp just kept hugging on her to make sure she was okay. It was very sweet!

 Sally Sharp was very excited to say the blessing :), ha!

 We love some Grandaddy! He was a trooper and politely put on his happy birthday hat when the girls ordered him to do so!

 The girls helped Drew blow out his candles, and then of course Drew AND Avi enjoyed TWO pieces of chocolate cake. I guess you can afford to eat 2 pieces of chocolate cake when you run 24 miles on Saturday (and I guess he can run like he is 29).

 Sally Sharp loves her Nana. Thank you so much for dinner, cake, and for taking the girls last night and today Nana! When we got to Nana's house this afternoon, she told us Drew's birthday present was that she had bathed the girls and gotten them clean for school tomorrow. I must admit, that was probably more of a gift for me...but I certainly appreciate it! Thank you!

This is how I found Sally Sharp after I got Avi in the bed tonight. She insisted I keep her light on so she could "read" books when I left her room after putting her to bed. I went back in to turn the light off, and she had one book in a death grip in her hand, another one open and she was completely knocked out. The girl was TIRED! Bless her.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

North Georgia Weekend

 H9 Marathon and Blood Mountain Double Crossing

My wonderful wife allowed me to escape this weekend to the mountains of north Georgia.  I made a last minute decision to run in a small trail marathon out of Vogel State Park.  After seeing how nice the park was, I wish that the Kelli and the girls would have joined me on the trip.  The weather ended up being perfect and the girls would have loved all the activities at the park.  However,  the weekend started off fairly rough with a long 7 hour drive only to set up my tent and have a torrential rainstorm chase me back into the truck.  After a fitful night of barely any sleep, I got up and ready to run the H9 marathon with roughly 7,000 vertical feet of climbing over the 26 miles.  Most of the race was on the Duncan Ridge Trail and made 2 trips up and over Coosa Bald at 4,280 feet of elevation.  The race was fairly small but several really fast guys showed up.  I ended up finishing in 4 hours and 37 minutes and had a great time.  After the race, lunch and a bit of relaxation,  I went over to Neel's gap and climbed up and over Blood Mountain.  Blood Mountain is the highest point on the Appalachain Trail in Georgia at 4,458 feet.  I did another 10 miles on the trail up and over and back for another 3,500 vertical feet for the day.  After a long day, I enjoyed the low 50 degree weather back at the park that evening.

Stone shelter atop Blood Mountain

 Sign atop Blood Mountain Shelter

 There are several great rocky ledges and perches on top.

 View looking down on the shelter from atop the rocks.

 I met Shawn and Cecil on top of Blood Mountain.  They took a casual approach to the day.  Shawn was wearing a pair of loafers, corduroy slacks and a dress shirt.  Cecil was sporting a nice top hat and comfy sandals which I am sure were quite comfortable for the rocky and steep climb.  They did mention to me that they were not really prepared for what they just did (really?), but looked no worse for the wear.

 Down the south side trail off Blood Mountain,  I crossed paths with this 13 year old from Atlanta.  He was quite proud of his 50 pound backpack.
 If you have never been to Mountain Crossing outfitters at Neel's gap, what a wonderful place to visit.

 The Appalachain Trail runs right through the building, the only building it runs through on the entire journey from Georgia to Maine.

 Sign on the side of the building.

 My tent site drying out after the drenching on Friday night.

No glamorous meal here, but it did the job.  Once again, I would like to really thank Kelli for letting me have the weekend.  She is really excited about camping out with me on the next trip!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

First Day of PreK!

Avi Grace (she has assured me several times she wants to be called Avi Grace by her friends and teachers, but Drew and I are going to have a difficult time with this since we call her Avi all the time) had her first day at PreK at Starkville Academy today! She loved wearing her jumper...when she realized it had pockets last night, in her words, she said, "I LOVE this outfit!"

 Drew was able to stick around this morning to see Avi before she went to school.

 And, little sister was excited Avi was starting her new school. She got to help me drop her off, see her new classroom, and meet her teacher. Sally Sharp loves big sister and copies everything she does!

And, this is Avi's new teacher, Ms. Kathy. She seemed to have a great first morning at school (only a half day today)! Looking forward to a fun, exciting school year!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cousin Fun!

At the beginning of August the girls and I went to Memphis to spend a couple of days with Drew's sister, Susan, and her boys. We had so much fun playing with them! The afternoon we got there, we went to the Memphis Children's Museum. The kids loved it, and we went late enough in the day that it wasn't very crowded.

Sally Sharp thought the big cash register was pretty cool.

Clay likes to climb!

And, the school bus was a big hit for all the kids!

Sally Sharp and John David enjoyed the tire swing :)

We were able to walk to eat lunch and dinner...that was so much fun!

Avi played "I'm in control" and pushed everyone in the swings and filled the swimming pool with water, ha!

Avi and the twins (Clay, left, and Will, right) played well together and really had fun spending extended time together.

What, I AM big enough to go to school!

On the way home from Memphis, we stopped by to see Nana at her school in West Point. Sally Sharp was a ham while we were there! She loved seeing Nana's school.