Sunday, May 3, 2015

Happy 13th Birthday, AJ!

Today we enter the realm of parenting a teenager.

The cake has the logo of AJ's favorite professional soccer team - Chelsea F.C.

Cool Kentucky gear from Aunt Buffy

AJ's favorite player - Didier Drogba

AJ's headphones broke last week, so the girls picked out these for his birthday gift from them.

AJ has been wanting a speaker for his iPod so he can jam his tunes in his room.  His favorite lately is Johnny Cash.  Hilarious to hear him singing, "And the tears that I cried for that woman/Are gonna flood you, Big River..."

Chelsea t-shirt with matching shorts and soccer socks from Mom and Dad

Essie loves the blue cake.

And the requisite "awwwww" picture from AJ's first ever birthday party, four years ago.  (Chloe couldn't resist "helping" show how it's done.)

AJ's First 5k

On Saturday, AJ ran in the Derby Day Stakes 5k at Coldstream Park in Lexington, his first 5k.  The race was benefitting the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission, an organization that runs an orphanage where one of AJ's fellow adoptee buddies is from.

Ready to run (and firmly in the "too cool to smile" phase)

And they're off!

AJ finished with a time of 22:18, good enough for 7th overall and 1st in his age group.  (Another runner informed me that he would've finished faster and higher in the results, but he took a brief detour onto the 10k trail.)

Congratulated by Dad after the race

AJ and the other placers in his age group

It was a big week for AJ, as his middle school soccer team had three games.  He scored one goal in a 2-0 win on Monday, then scored both his team's goals - including a golden goal with 20 seconds to go in sudden death extra time - to win 2-1 on Thursday.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Girl Power

Sometimes, you just have to teach your girls how to use power tools.

Chloe using the power sander

Essie's turn

And other times, a more primitive tool gets the job done.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Introducing: Opal

Back in the beginning of February, we had to put our beloved Springer Spaniel Caesar to sleep.  He was over 12 years old and age had caught up with him.  He came to us as a fat little puppy only a few months old but time had caught up with him and his body was giving out.  Last week, a friend who knew we had lost Caesar tagged me in a post of Facebook about a bulldog that was found running the streets of Alabama. The dog was rescued by a good Samaritan who got her hooked up with Dames for Danes, an organization that rescues Great Danes, but also advocates for other dogs.  Dames is located in Tennessee and since we were driving home from North Carolina, through Tennessee, I of course thought it was a sign from the Heavens that this was to be our next dog.  Matt took a little more convincing but he knew I have always wanted a bulldog.  We worked out the details and met up with one of Dames' volunteers who brought her to Knoxville.  

Our first meeting

We are not sure of Opal's story, but the Vet believes she is 3 years old and has definitely had a few litters of puppies.  We're guessing she was used as a breeder dog. She is generally in good health though (a rarity among bulldogs) and has a super sweet temperament.

She quickly made herself at home with the kids

Opal loves to ride in the car and watch traffic.

She was worn out after such a big day!

A bulldog's temperament is much different than a Springer's-that's for sure!
This is what Opal does a lot...sleep.

She also snores like a trucker, which is usually endearing but had made television viewing a lot more difficult.

She also tends to get her way.  The bulldog is definitely a correctly named breed but she's so cute that it's hard to deny her what she wants. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Spring Break Trip Day Three: Clingman's Dome

After spending Tuesday night in Cherokee, North Carolina, we headed into the Great Smoky Mountains on our way back home to Kentucky.


Stopping along the drive for beautiful scenery and a quick family picture

Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Smokies - 6,643 feet.

It was still pretty chilly up on the mountain, as seen in the leftover snow piles.  April 1st is the first day the road to Clingman's Dome is open.

View along the way up to the top

Lookout tower at the top of Clingman's Dome

Family photo from the lookout tower

One last pile of rocks to climb before heading home!