Friday, September 30, 2011

Lake Barkley II

This trip was no different than any other in that if there was beautiful scenery we took 79 pictures of it and afterward, the camera didn't capture the little nuances that made each shot special. I wasn't able to post the other 78 of this same perspective, so hopefully I chose the best one.

One night, the house's owner and caretaker took us out on the boat, showing us the animals and features of the lake that make it unique. Another day we took the boat out on our own and did a little swimming.

Each of the kids got their turn to drive the boat with Mr.Rogers, the owner. They took their job very seriously!

I chose the wrong shot of the four kids together, but am not going to change it out. Sorry that they're not looking this way!

My favorite story of what happened on the boat happened to Uncle Nate (sitting in the foreground on the right, in the red hat). We had heard that Lake Barkley has tremendous fishing, often hosting some big fishing tournaments. We soon learned why when Nate was sitting at the front end of the boat--a gigantic fish practically was begging to enter our boat when it leaped out of the water and smack Nate square in the head. You'll have to trust me, it was hysterical.

Lake Barkley

As is tradition, we get a kids meal before leaving so that the youngins are entertained while we drive. Fortunately, this trip was only going to take five hours.

We went with Kev's family to Lake Barkley, Kentucky, further west in the state than I thought was possible. We stayed in a quaint house with quite a history!

The house sat on the lake and we took the boat out a couple of times.

The original owner made his money in pantyhose (yes, pantyhose) and traveled the South selling them. He wanted this house to be modeled after the Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, North Carolina.

The house was great in that there were plenty of spaces for all of us to go and do our own thing, but there were places for the entire family to gather as well.

Lake Barkley III

It was such a relaxing week. We played games, swam, went fishing, read, anything that sounded good to us, we did.

We celebrated all the July and August birthdays--there's quite a few!

A lot of fishing occurred that week. They went down to the dock in the morning and in the evening. From what I heard, the morning trip proved more successful. I couldn't tell you firsthand because I was still in bed.

And thanks to the ones who made it happen--Grandma and Grandpa! We had a great time.

Hocking Hills Part 1

It's been a long time since my family and another we grew up with all got together--parents, kids and, now, grandkids. We met up at Hocking Hills with two neighboring cabins. The first day we went up early to hike Conkle's Hallow with Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Joanie and Uncle Josh.

Hocking Hills is in Bobcat territory and here's to hoping that we've got a lil' bobcat on her way to Harvard-on-the-Hocking!

The kids love hiking and exploring and the trails here are perfect for our adventurers. We could have spent all day in the woods, but we had more friends and family to meet at the cabins!

More Redleg Fun

Kevin's all-out effort did not bring the Reds out on top of this...Titanic struggle. They ended up losing to the Padres, 7-3. We were wishing that Harang could have pitched that game, but he wasn't slated to go that whole series. However, the Reds recognized Aaron and his wife for all the work they did in the community while he was a member of the Reds organization. We miss him, but how awesome is it that he's had an incredible season in San Diego?!

We headed down to GABP the day after our Lake Barkley trip, trying to soak up as much baseball as possible before the school year started and the Reds' season ended.

It was a nice day, although we did get sprinkled on, and even though our beloved team had a disappointing season one good thing came out of it: Meredith can sit through a game!

I was a little worried when all three of the boys could watch a game with little difficulty since they were born, and more often than not we were leaving the girl-child with a sitter so we could enjoy the game. No more! Meredith is die-hard fan now and she proves it with her awesome rendition of "Take Me out to the Ball Game" that has "Redlegs" substituted for "Home Team."

Thatta girl!

Hocking Hills Part 2

The second day we went to Old Man's Cave and these trails were a lot more crowded with visitors than the day before, but with good reason. It's a gorgeous area, difficult to believe it's in Ohio!

Joe and Erin were smart in bringing carriers for the girls. We ended up carrying Mere for a lot of the hike. There was some dangerous terrain for wee ones.

After hiking we went to get ice cream cones at a local general store before heading back to the cabin for a big party...

Hocking Hills Part 3

Uncle Joe turned 30 the week after Hocking Hills so we threw him a bit of a surprise party while we were there, party hats and all!

With Lexi as the leader, the kids had a blast running around the cabin and out on the deck. It's neat to see them all get along, as well as we did when we were growing up!

We had decorations and pictures of Joe, and Erin brought three different types of Bon Bonerie cakes. Yum.

The family portrait :)

We left on Sunday, a weekend gone by too quickly, and it was also Grandpa's birthday. What a great weekend!

Schoolin' Time (2011-12 Edition)

The summers go by too quickly. We love our late nights, slow-to-wake-up mornings, picnics and trips, baseball and swimming...these are some of our favorite things. Now we're going to get back into a routine, mandatory showers, homework, early mornings, set times for meals, practices and all the other things the school year brings. It's not that I don't love to see how my kids grow and change with all that they learn and experience, but I do cherish those days between June and August.

Indoor Rainy Days

The boys' school has struggled with their roof. It was supposed to be repaired over the summer and it didn't happen and, with the absurd amount of fall rain we've had, it started to leak. This was a good thing for the boys (and, I confess, for mom too as I wasn't ready to let go of the summer) in that they got two days off of school. We took advantage of that and the fact that Uncle Paul was visiting from Cleveland to go down to Union Terminal.

We don't get down there as often as we used to, but they still enjoy it. It's neat to see them like different aspects of the museum, especially now that they're learning to read! They really like the exhibits they thought were "too boring" before, and they play the games on the computers scattered through all three areas of the museum center.

Summer Fun Coming to an End

This is one of the last things we did from our "Summer List."

Soccer Shots

Lou, pumping the fist after a goal.

Benny in goal, Lou at halfback

Not sure what's going on here; they're too quick for my camera.

It seems like all the pictures I take at soccer games look the same, so these may be the only ones you see from this season.

This year started out rough. From practices it was easy to tell this team was young--mainly first graders, and the first time on a big field (read: lots of running). The first game was a disaster, as they all looked shell-shocked and not one goal was scored by the good guys, while the other team had quite a few balls make it into the net.

The second game and those thereafter have been much better. The boys are working together and although their passing game could use some work, it's been neat--and exciting--to watch. They haven't won every game, but they've played competitively and they are having so much fun. It's hilarious to see a goal score and the boys do chest bumps and pump their fists in the air. They deserve it. That's a lot of running around for only one goal!

A Fun Fall Weekend

The pictures are a little out of order (we went to the game on Sunday), but I didn't have the patience to rework the post. My apologies.

We have a collection of photos like this and I love them.

Our seats were in the bleachers, but this worked out just fine.

Once again this fall we went to Lake Lorelei and it was such a nice weekend for hanging out by the water. Too cool to sit outside the first night, we made up for it on Saturday by fishing, boating, and having a bonfire. Lou and Ben had a soccer game so Kevin and I left with them, but rushed back to get as much out of the lake as possible.

On Sunday was the boys first PSR class, so we had to leave right after breakfast. And later that day we went to Fan Appreciation Day down at the ballpark. After the game we celebrated Katie and Matt's engagement with dinner at my parents. An absolutely great (but busy) weekend!

We must have been having a great time at the lake--this is the only picture there that I took!