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NOVEMBER 2006
(Hold your mouse over a picture for its caption.)


November 2, 2006

One of the neighborhood gopher tortoises gave us a visit and teased the daylights out of Grendel all day.  We offered him some apple and kept Grendel inside until he went on his way again.

Last year in school, Patrick was very proud of the journal he kept in class, and always talked about how he made the class laugh with the stories he wrote in it.  He's been saying he wants to put his book in my computer, so today I set him up with the laptop and his old journal and he got started typing in what he had written.  

The boys and I went to skate night tonight.  The boys are getting pretty good on their skates, and we only needed ice once.  LOL

My little author Guess he wasn't in the mood for fruit.  LOL


November 4, 2006

Mark and Alex had a jam-packed day!  This morning was the skills assessment for the next football season.  There was a scheduling snafu and they ended up waiting for a couple of hours before it was time for Alex's age group.  They were home for about an hour before they went with Justin and his dad to a UCF football game which took them well into the evening.  It was a long day, but full of football so I didn't hear any complaints!


November 5, 2006

Mom's church had their All Saints service this morning, so the boys and I joined her and lit candles for Grandpa and Papa.  It was a bit long for the kids, but they were good despite being bored and wiggly.  

Alex has been dying to go to another Yu-Gi-Oh! tournament, and there is finally one in town.  This tournament was much more appropriate for the kids, since it was more an opportunity to duel rather than cut-throat competition.  They got bunches of new cards just for entering and had a wonderful time dueling and trading with new people.

Patrick took a break from his duel to check out Alex's trade


November 8, 2006

Alex found the perfect desk.

Daddy's other job.


November 9, 2006

Mark brought some coconuts home from Naples last week.  They had to try many different methods, but the boys finally got the husks off and drained the milk out to drink.  Mark cut the tops off so we can make cups out of the shells.

How about if we bounce it off the sidewalk Maybe a hammer

Add a little brute strength Woohoo - he conquered the husk!

Hammering some holes for the milk Success!

Patrick and Justin found teamwork worked best Of course, no Finster task is complete without a hammer!

Woohoo!


November 10, 2006

Patrick had his last soccer game of the season tonight.  While he played great, the team wasn't all that successful.  After the game we drove over to the River for the weekend with Nana.  We got in late and said a quick hello before bed.


November 11, 2006

I had a bit of a rough night last night.  This is my first trip to the River since Joe died, and I really miss him.  We've had a fun day in the kayak, the hot tub and of course, tossing the football.

Mark and his mom heading out Patrick showing his best side.  :-)

Mark and his minime lost in their books Alex stayed up lating watching football


November 14, 2006

Maddie and Caroline are growing up so fast!  What cuties!

Go Irish!


November 16, 2006

I had the funniest conversation with Patrick today.  I made him some hot chocolate and commented how nice it will be to have hot chocolate on our camping trip next week.  He looked very confused, and finally asked if we were taking the camper.  I said yes, and he said, "But it doesn't have a microwave in it."  I said it has a stove.  And he said, "But you can't make hot chocolate without a microwave."  


November 22, 2006

It's been a pretty rough year, and I haven't been looking forward to the holidays without our dads.  So we decided to skip Thanksgiving this year and head up to Stone Mountain, Georgia to go camping.  We've gotten pretty excited about the trip, despite the fact that it's supposed to get into the 30s at night while we're there.  Our pop-up has a heater in it, and we're loaded down with blankets so we should be okay.  We stayed at a hotel tonight, which is a good thing since we got a late start and didn't get to Stone Mountain until 11:30.  Good thing we're on vacation time and don't have to wake up to an alarm.  :-)

Patrick cracked us up on the way up here.  Mark and I were listening to some classic rock CDs we have.  Patrick said, "I thought you said this one had words."  Mark said, "Yes, he's about to sing."  When he did start singing, Patrick said, rather obnoxiously, "You call that singing?"  I felt like I was a teenager in the car with my parents again!


November 23, 2006

This campground is beautiful!  Just the right mix of amenities and wilderness for us.  While Mark and I were setting up the camper, the boys went down to the water to check out some ducks.  Alex brought the camera and took some nice shots.  After lunch, we headed into Stone Mountain Park.  Not many attractions were open, since it is Thanksgiving day, but we enjoyed some demonstrations in the shops.  The guys particularly liked the blacksmith demonstration.  The blacksmith had forged some puzzles - you know, the kind where there are two pieces of metal looped together and you have to figure out how to separate them.  We stayed there for probably 45 minutes while Mark and the kids tried to work them out.

Stone Mountain has a Confederate carving on one side, and they show a laser show over the carving in the evenings.  We finished dinner early and got to the lawn for the laser show about an hour early.  We hung out and shivered while the boys had races rolling down the hill.  They had a blast!  Stone Mountain is having their Christmas Spectacular right now, so the laser show was set to Christmas music.  I gotta say, it didn't compare to the show Mark and I saw 10 years ago.  We'll have to come back sometime when it's not the holiday season and see the regular show.

The view from our campsite One of Alex's duck shots

Daddy's stumped Like father, like son

Now how did he do that again? The confederate carving on the side of the mountain


November 24, 2006

It got pretty darned cold last night - into the 30s - but we were cozy in our camper.  Getting up was another matter!  Brrrrrrr!  Mark cooked us an awesome camp breakfast of sausage and eggs and Alex made friends with our neighbors who were playing football.  We made hotdogs over the fire for lunch, and then headed back out to the park.  The Treehouse Challenge is a huge kids play area with interactive stations where you earn points for your gender - boys versus girls.  The kids went berzerk there for a little while, then we climbed to the top of the mountain!  There's a walking trail up to the top which isn't all that bad, although Patch and I stopped to rest quite a few times.  Alex hooked up with the same neighbors he met this morning and went on ahead with them and a walkie talkie.  He then coached us up through the last few hundred feet of the climb.  The view from the top is beautiful and the fall colors are everywhere.  Once we made it to the top of the mountain, we'd earned our bragging rights, and saw no need to make the trek back down, so we took the tram down the mountain and headed back to camp to relax.

Camping with hotdogs - Patch is in heaven! If I pull on this, something should happen, right?

Climbing the net Boys being boys

Gorgeous view from the mountain top We made it!


November 25, 2006

Have I mentioned lately how beautiful it is up here?  The weather has been just perfect.  We spent a leisurely morning around the campground.  The boys played football while Mark and I relaxed.  We started talking about the trip home tomorrow and how we need to get moving pretty early.  Mark suggested we pack up today and leave after dark and stop halfway home for the night.  We'd still get a full day of vacation but won't have to rush to leave in the morning.  I wasn't thrilled about it and was feeling like we were cutting our vacation short.  But Mark got the kids on board and what was I to do.  LOL  We went back to the park one more time and bought the kids some souvenirs and hit the road.  I must admit, it was nice to pack up slowly and really clean the camper as we went.  When we stopped for dinner, Mark and I were both feeling good so we decided to drive straight home - and made it at 2:00 a.m.

I think I've mentioned that I got a new laptop a few months ago.  I LOVE it!  I just did this update in the car on the way home!  :-)

Good clean fun - no electronics! Pretty scenery at the campground


November 26, 2006

Grendel's favorite hidey hole is in our closet.  Can you see where?

I spy a wet black nose! Patrick found the perfect pillow.