Ahhhh... This poor little space has been neglected and partly because my poor camera had lost it's get up and go. Also, life has been going at the speed of light where priorities have yet again shifted and found a new balance. Seems like the only constant is change eh?
So without further a do... May I present to you new pictures from my birthday present. If I had a camera to take a picture of my new beauty I would take it and post it here but I think pics of my kids and life will just have to fill it instead. My most fabulous neighbor is also a photographer so low and behold, what did she have back tucked away in a closet somewhere? You guessed it, a pretty little Canon EOS Rebel that she had outgrown and was kind enough to think of me. So I took my sweet new friend out for a jaunt yesterday to try it out.
Exhibit A: Luke
You must have a silly picture right?
Exhibit B: Kylie
Yes, a silly picture for this sassy girl... or probably more like "Mooooooom."
It was a grey overcast day but the temps called for upper 70's. What?? Springtime temps like that called for a mandatory day outside so after a quick workout at the gym, we headed off for Pilot Mountain.
I love going to the same place during different times of the year. Hiking at Pilot Mountain was much different than the summer time when the trees are lush. The kids love looking for signs of spring and we weren't disappointed.
We headed up to the summit to eat our picnic lunch. Jake's new face when he sees the camera is this crazy scrunched up face. He doesn't even say cheese but just squints. Guess it is a right of passage for every kid right?
People often give me grief for being so spontaneous and yes, some days I long for adult conversation and fun playdates for our kids. But on weeks that have been hectic, full of sibling squabbles and responsibility, I am ready to just get away and reconnect with the people I hold dear. And then I see her face light up...
And really laugh...
And imagination takes flight...
And I sit back and just take it in. I love when we are not hurried and I can allow them to just explore and play out in nature. We had no timeframes, nowhere to be so we enjoyed, and explored. I learned that Jake is a pretty good rock climber even when sister really wants to protect him.
And older sisters watch out for crazy little brothers even when little brothers are just fine ...
Who knows who Luke is attempting to be flying off this rock. I love it when he just becomes silly.
Oh no! He is falling off the rock wall!
Now both of them are in peril!
Thankfully all kids survived the rock face and have lived to tell the tale. I think Jake really wants to take up rock climbing though as he was seriously scoping getting under this fence and scaling the wall. Needless to say, he wasn't far away from my quick grasp! That is a long way down!
Even though it was grey and cloudy, it was a beautiful view. We met some climbers that were going to play around on some cliffs nearby so the kids got to see their gear and ask a few questions. Yep, I can leave that climbing thing to them... Not on my bucket list!
What is on my bucket list is to learn how to use my new camera. It has a great zoom lens on it which allows me to get close up to objects. And lookie here, there are spring time buds! Now that we have seasons here in NC my kids love taking nature walks while looking for signs of the seasons. They would have fun spotting things for me to take a picture of and I can't tell you how fueled I was by their excitement.
This was the walkway up to the top of the overlook of Pilot Mountain. I have always thought it was really cool to walk up and can't imagine doing all of the work to get the rocks just so.
Of course Jake out hiked the other two kids. He marched right up that hill no problem.
Luke became really excited about the birds that were flying right around us.
And this is Jake doing his Bee imitation... Buzzz buzzz buzzz... It is much cuter in person.
Maybe soon we will hit this trail that goes to the top of the mountain. It looked like a lot of fun but I want Jon to share in the joy of this as well!
Take a picture of those Mom!
Did I say my boy was fearless? If this was a video you would hear him grunting his way up this rock. He had a blast!
Did someone say weathered wood?? I thought so...
Since we have studied about rocks and minerals this year, the kids had a great time digging in the ground looking for quartz. Now we have bags of rocks rattling around in the back of the van, and in the house, and in their rooms, and on the floor... You get the picture.
Oh, did someone mention Spring??
When we were at the top of the overlook, we met a sweet family and children who were touring around Surry County. They go to a year round school in NC and were traveling on their time off. They mentioned going to Horne Creek Farm which was only a few miles away. I asked what the fee was and they said it was free. After our time at Pilot Mountain it was a unanimous cry for yes! Let's go! So we did.
Can I tell you that country roads make me literally giddy? And this one was no exception. Seemed like on every corner I wanted to jump out of the car and take pictures! Ohmy, look at that cherry tree full of blooms! Look at those horses! Barn! Old building with faded metal signs! (I really want to go back there by the way!) but my kids were getting to the point of "seriously mom, can we just get there already?" Gosh I love them... But I did take a picture of this sweet building.
We thought we took a few wrong turns as the Garmin was a bit off - wow, that never happens! Sheesh... But we finally arrived and ya know, we were the only people there visiting the farm!
Right when we pulled up, we heard thunder... Yes, my kids grew up in Florida where we had thunderstorms every day but now? They are terrified. Thus the reason for Luke's face in this pic. Luke hightaled it back to the van where I was but I calmly told him to go back to the building. He listed off his reasons for why that was a bad idea yada yada yada but yes, I pulled the mom card and told him to obey. What is a family trip when you have an easy peasy memory. Almost getting zapped at a Living History Farm? Well, that is what childhood memories are made of.
Dark clouds approaching.
Inside the visitors center is a nice little display of the period items that would have been in an early 1900 farm. These were just regular citizens of the area, not famous people at all. I loved all of the quilts displayed.
Child + wall = mandatory photo op. My kids now know the drill.
And a weathered fence? Heaven.
And have you forgotten? It is spring time!
Of course, being in NC, you must have a tobacco farm. This is the house where they dried the tobacco.
Note Jake was nowhere near Kylie and Luke. He found a dirtpile to the right. I knew there was a reason why I dressed him in a red shirt!
Him catching up to us from said dirtpile excursion.
Gosh this kid is too cute to be upset at long.
Especially when these too goofballs get together. Here is Kylie being goofy to a.) make Jake laugh and b.) keep him going. Remember we were on a time crunch. There was a storm approaching!
The homestead. This family had 12 kids! 11 boys and ONE girl! Wowzers... Kylie said she would not want to be her. The kids also learned that the children on the farm only had to go to school 4 months out of the year during the winter when there was a lull in farm chores. Yep, my kids thought that was pretty cool.
The corncrib and ack, I forget the two story building.
Ahhh. These sheep make me happy.
And so does this little baby lamb Velvet. Her mom didn't take to her so she has to be bottle fed and loves people! Kylie and Jake enjoyed spending time with Velvet. Luke was still rather concerned about the storm so he oversaw the whole operation.
They hit it off no problem.
Kylie was even able to feed sweet Velvet!
This donkey was so funny. I never really imagined farm animals to have spunk and personality but this guy would follow Luke all over.
The wind started blowing and we all knew what that meant. It was fixing to rain and we had to run back to the van. Wish we could have looked around more but it will save something for next time.
It was a beautiful piece of property which we will definitely come again. They have events throughout the year that are either free or very reasonably priced. They have been hit hard by budget cuts so I would feel good about spending my money there to keep it afloat.
The rain came just as we got into the van. On our way out we saw these flowers and was reminded again how the rain provides nourishment and refreshment to all of the new growth out there. Did I tell you it was spring? ;) While I feel that we kind of skipped over winter, I will take God's cue to nourish our souls, our relationships and our families by spending time and getting to know them. To start anew, fresh and pure just like Spring.