Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Grinch day 6-10

Still doing our thing with Grinchy...I didn't get pictures of him on day # 6...he found his way into our cake stand and got trapped. 

Day #7 he redecorated our tree...with Emma's underclothes.  And to top it off the cat got blamed.

Emma didn't fall for it...she knew her kitty was way too nice to pull a stunt like that.
Day #8 he incorporated some help from some of Emma's vegetables in watching over her.

Day #9 Grinchy was in action trying to lasso idea what he planned to do if he caught her.  Unicorn even got to see some fun this time. 

And today (#10) he tried his hand at zip lining.  This was actually pretty good.  I would put him up at the top and he would slide right down.  He even came with an encouraging note today.

My plans tomorrow are going to require me to do some hot glue work tonight.  Can't wait to see how it turns out    :-)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Grinch day 4 and 5

I won't lie...Day 4 of Grinchy's visit was so far the hardest...of ANY that I have done. 

The concept was simple enough....I wanted The Grinch to take some animals out for a walk.  I had pipe cleaners to use for the "leashes" and thought I would just put them around the ponies' (yes ponies) necks and then in his hand.  Either the ponies wouldn't stay up right or Grinchy was falling over.  I'm pretty sure I cussed twenty times before I finally said ..... well it's not important what I said but it ended up with me just leaving it alone and walking away in a huff.
Day 5 was a lot more fun and a LOT easier. 

The army men stormed the house, took The Grinch Hostage and now he is asking for help.  Seems the army men were not happy with his pranking. 
We'll have to see if he gets free in time for day 6.  Hope you guys have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Grinch-Day 2 and 3

It didn't take long for Grinchy to to start with his naughty behavior this year.  On day #2 Grinchy was already offering us "Free Reindeer Poop".....I kept my distance but Emma investigated and discovered it was really just breakfast cereal.  He is such a trickster!

And on day #3 he decided to get up early and pump some iron...well actually more like pump some fluff. 

Emma ended up eating all the reindeer poop and hunting down the rest of the marshmallows.  She is all about the junk food lately! 

I have to make a trip to Michaels tonight to pick up supplies for the Grinch.  Can't wait to show you what else he has planned!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Elf....I mean Grinch on a Shelf

I know a lot of people do the Elf on a Shelf thing...but that just wasn't....US.  While driving to work last year (thoughts always come to me when I can't write them down) it occurred to me we needed a Grinch instead of an Elf.  He just seemed like he could get away with more naughty behavior.  And naughty behavior IS US.  I finally found the right size on Amazon and within a few days I had Grinchy, that's what I call him, in hand and was planning out all the fun and mischievous things he would do.  Pinterest was by far the most helpful.  A few things just came to me as I was driving haha. 

I didn't post the day by day happenings of Grinchy last year since time was scarce. Not even sure I'll be able to get to them this year.  But even if I can do a few at a time it's better than nothing.

And our Grinch works just like The Elf on the Shelf...he shows up at the beginning of December and reports back to Santa on the kid's behavior.  You can't touch him because that will break the magic. 

This year Grinchy floated in on some balloons and left Emma a note telling her he was back to play and that he hoped she would behave.  I'm pretty sure she rolled her eyes at the behaving part but she does love getting up to see what he did over night. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like.....Thanksgiving!

I hear a lot of people complain that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are all rolled into one big holiday. retail it certainly seems true.  A local radio station used to play Christmas music starting the day after Thanksgiving, but this year you can already hear it being played!  I personally can't start NOW with Christmas.  I need to savor each holiday as it comes and enjoy each for what it is.  So as for me and MY house...we are enjoying Thanksgiving now and saving Christmas for later! 

The Seasonal Tree
I even managed a craft night with my sister to work on a craft specific to Thanksgiving! 
Pinterest is amazing!  You can make your own Thom the Turkey...instructions here. 
Along with the Thanksgiving decorations I have also been checking off things from our Fall 2014 list...things like visit Carter Mountain and try a new winery.
Carter Mountain Orchard
The Blueridge Mountains of Virginia off in a distance

The vineyards of Carter Mountain

Carter Mountain Orchard, in Charlottesville, is a favorite for families during autumn months.  We visited last year and wanted to revisit but I knew better than to try going before Halloween.  It's just too packed with people to enjoy it.  We visited the third weekend in November and it was perfect.  No big crowds, no long lines, no Tonya screaming for people to MOVE!   Ha ha!  We scarfed down a dozen apple cider donuts and hot apple cider before going.  I also bought some fresh apples to take home for a couple recipes I want to try. 
After our quick visit at Carter Mountain we visited a couple local wineries, Blenheim and First Colony.  Trump Winery is also close but it was so busy that parking was hard to we skipped that one and figured we could visit there on a later day. 
Blenheim Winery-owned by Dave Matthews

Visitors willing to brave the chilly temps

The view from the deck at Blenheim

First Colony Winery

Our baby girl making friends with the winery cat

At Blenheim we bought a bottle of the Painted White.  At First Colony we bought a couple bottles of their 2013 Rose and a bottle of  2013 Zephyr. 
Both had ideal spots for picnicking and relaxing.  But if you are looking for a place with a view I would suggest Blenheim. 
I still have a few "Autumn" things to check off our list...I mean it's not fall unless you can say you hiked in the woods with all the fallen leaves...right?  This weekend we will celebrate Thanksgiving with a dinner at Mark's grandmothers.  Then next week we will celebrate again with dinner at my sister's.  I look forward to the time with our family and to time giving thanks for the many blessings in our lives. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Shot Tower State Park

Way back in August after biking along the trails of the New River State Park, our bunch, made a small detour to visit Shot Tower State Park, in Foster Falls.  You can either drive in through the main entrance or come up from the bike trails of the New River State Park.  If you drive in and park there is a parking fee, biking in is free. 

According to the official state website the tower was built over 200 years ago to make ammunition for early settlers.  Today it's on the National Register of Historic Places.  On this particular hot day in August it was a nice place to slow down and catch our breath. 
There are tours offered select weekends in the summer but this particular day no tours were going on.  There were placards with information about the tower to read and you could peek inside the tower through a door at the base of it.  This park marked out 21st Virginia State Park to visit.  Since our visit here we actually visited one more so that leave 15 in Virginia to go!

The view from the Shot Tower of the New River

Stairs leading from the New River Trail to the Shot Tower
Trestle crossing on the New River Trails right before the Shot Tower

The park does not have camping or overnight facilities.  It is strictly a dawn to dusk park.  There were picnic tables and bathrooms available for use to visitors.  But if you want to camp near by I might suggest here.  Happy exploring :-) 

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Back-To-School Seasonal Tree

Here at our house it's that time of year again...the air is starting to chill just ever so slightly, the leaves have a started to yellow and bus engines are cranking for the first time since summer...BACK to SCHOOL.  I am a self proclaimed dork....I admit it.  I love this time of year!  I love the start of school.  New pencils.  New pens.  New notebooks.  New free time because kids are into their activities.  And a newly decorated seasonal tree to celebrate.

Every kid in my neighborhood probably thinks I have lost my mind!  But we like to have a little fun with the back to school theme.

Mini lunch boxes from Michael's, Crayon ornaments, school bus ornaments, #1 teacher ornaments, flash cards with a hook through them and glass balls in the primary colors make up the decorations on the tree.  The flags I ordered off of Amazon a couple years back.  The pencil vase I made using a tin can and pack of pencils. 

Tuesday the kids officially start back.  This will be an exciting year since I will have a Sophomore and SENIOR! 

This Labor Day weekend we have a few plans in the works.  Hope you have a safe and happy holiday folks. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Biking at New River State Park

I told you last week about our camping experience at New River Trail State Park.  If you missed it you can read about it here.  But since the park is so vast I thought our biking experience should have it's own post.  Foster Falls is almost right in the middle of the 57 mile long park.  So we actually took a couple days to spread out the biking.  We in no way covered all of the park, in fact not even close.  So I can only show you a few miles of what the park offers.

Our first day we headed North to Lone Ash.  Along the way we saw a deserted house, caves, a cemetery, cabins and plenty of scenic river front.


In Lone Ash there is a vault bathroom and picnic area.

After day one we turned around and headed back to camp.  It wasn't until day two we realized by back break was rubbing which resulted in the baby feeling like a lead weight the entire trip!  Day two was MUCH smoother!

Day two we went North...and interesting fact: The New River is one of the very few rivers that runs North, not South.  This time we went as far North as Ivanhoe.  We again passed bathrooms and picnic areas. 

Heading over the New River at Ivanhoe

While out on this trip we passed through one of the old train tunnels on the trail.  While in there it started raining buckets!  But we figured we lucked out since we were dry inside the tunnel.  The ride back was a messy one! 

Going North on the trail from Foster Falls you pass behind Shot Tower State Park.  You can dismount and check out the park and it's gorgeous views.

See what I mean about messy!

View from Shot Tower State Park

It was a great experience and I would go back in a heartbeat. I know that there is so much more of the park to see and explore.