Vernon Volumes

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Bike ride with the family in the neighborhood



On Saturday we got the bikes out and took a little ride around the neighborhood. Connor had been outgrowing his Redline bike that he got for Christmas in 2014 (http://www.vernonvolumes.com/2014/12/early-christmas-celebration-at-home.html), so we got him a new one last week. Connor's new bike has full size 26" wheels, but it's kind of neat since the seat can be low enough that he can use it now and grow in to it. Paige received his hand-me-down Orange Redline bike, and wasn't too thrilled about it. She was wanting to a brand spanking new one like Bubba, but she has had a good attitude about it. After our bike ride, we took her to the bike store and let her pick out a cup holder and basket for it to make it special. We also needed to get the brakes adjusted, so it was a good opportunity to give it a mini-makeover. No pics of it yet, but did take pics of both kids on their bikes during the ride.



Paige wanted to type a little too on the blog since she's sitting in my lap and helping me. From Paige: Hello my name is Paige  I love dogs my favorite is schnoodle thats my doggie breed :)



On the ride, everyone got to pick a place to go in the neighborhood. Paige's choice was to stop at her friend "Branchy" which is on a lot for sale in the North Island. Branchy is looking pretty good lately and getting tall. I'm dreading the day someone buys the lot and bulldozes poor Branchy. Paige will be heartbroken. Maybe some day we'll buy the lot and we'll build the house around Branchy.


We also stopped at our "Reflecting Place" which is just inside the gate of the North Island. We threw some bread for the fish and reflected on our 2018 year so far.


Our last stop was the park and Daddy turned in to a scary Lava Zombie and chased the kids around. They couldn't get off the equipment because of the lava everywhere, but the scary Lava Zombie was able to attack from anywhere.




10-26-2018 Paige pumpkin project presentation Narwhal


On Friday, Paige presented her Narwhal Pumpkin Project at school. A few of the parents showed up for the presentation including Andrea and myself. I'm so thankful I can work from home and have the opportunity to participate in these things with the kids. Paige did a nice job presenting, although she was a bit quiet and it's a little hard to hear in the video. The kids all asked lots of questions after each presentation and Paige did well answering and giving her opinion on the book.





Sunday, October 21, 2018

Paige's Pumpkin Project - Narwhal!


Paige had a school assignment this month, and we got it done this past weekend. She was required to transform a pumpkin in to a character from a book of her choosing. We went shopping for a pumpkin of the right size, then we got all our materials together and did our magic.


We setup a box in the back yard and Paige blasted the pumpkin with some grey spraypaint/primer. It was hard for her to push down on the spraypaint button, but she powered through it and did most of the painting herself.



Once we got the pumpkin painted, we used a rolled up paper as the Narwhal horn, then Paige colored in the character's face.


Finally, the hardest part. We tried a few ways to make the fins, but finally settled on gluing some picture hanger steel wire inside of cardboard, painting it, then sticking the wire in to the pumpkin. 

We did it, success! Paige was very happy with her pumpkin, and we had fun putting it all together.

Connor's Middle school yard sign


This past week was the last week of the quarter for Connor. He has been doing so well in middle school and we hope that he continues to excel and enjoy it. The other day we were talking about everyone's schools growing up and we asked him which his favorite school was and he said it was his middle school. We were worried about him leaving the little kids to be in middle school and we're so glad that it's been a positive experience for him so far. We made a donation to the school and we got a nice yard sign, and decided we had to get a pic of Connor with it this morning.

Paige's field trip to the Zoo


On Friday, Paige went with her 3rd grade class to the Jacksonville Zoo for a field trip. She was very excited that her chaperone for the day was her friend Maddie's mother. They had fun learning about animals and petting them too!



After the field trip, Paige wrote a report about it and she read it to me before bedtime.

Our Kid of Character - PAIGE!


On October 10th, Paige came home with a "Kid of Character" award, in the category of "Fairness". Paige has really been enjoying her school year so far and we're so proud of her and happy that she's such an awesome student. Great work Paigie May Marie Magoo!

Grandma Genie in Florida with the kids


Grandma Genie came down last week and weekend to visit with us and to take care of the kids while Andrea and I went to Asheville. It was a busy week for Genie to be in town since the kids had their regular schedule of events like tennis, gymastics, and tumbling, but it was also the end of the first quarter and there were tests and projects to finish. In the mornings we went over the kids routines and how to fix their hair and get them ready for school, and it was fun for Grandma to see the kids in their school routines.

Grandma Genie is getting better and better finding her way around the area and she had to do a bit of driving to go to the bakery, the beach club, and the kids' school as well. On Wednesday, October 11th, she went to Paige's school to watch her run in the Turtle Trot fund raiser. The rest of the week was busy with studying and activities, but once the weekend rolled around they were able to relax and goof off together. Grandma Genie was cute about taking the kids to all the places they love to eat, shopping with them at Target for some special goodies, and baking her famous goodies with the kids. Paige and Grandma Genie did a lot of puzzles and games together.
















Thanks for everything Grandma Genie, we love you!


Thursday, October 18, 2018

Asheville NC Visit


On October 10th, Andrea and I went to Asheville for an adult trip while Grandma Genie stayed with Connor and Paige. We drove the 6 1/2 hour route up in to the mountains and could feel our ears pop as we got to over 2000 feet of elevation. We'd been hoping that we would see the Fall colors, however we were probably a week or two early this season and everything was mostly still green. On the way in town we stopped at the summer camp area where the kids will likely go to camp next summer and took a tour and then we drove the rest of the way to the Grove Park Inn resort. The Inn was over a hundred years old and was built in to the hills with an amazing view.

We spoke to the Concierge desk and they recommended we see the Biltmore Estate and we got tickets for the next day. On Thursday, we visited the Estate and ate lunch at the restaurant prior to our entry time. We decided to pay for the audio tour devices and we're definitely glad we did. Each room would have a different code # and after punching it in to the handheld phone device it'd give you the history of the room and would point out details that may have gone overlooked otherwise.













On Friday, we took an electric bike tour with the "Flying Bike" company. We were a little apprehensive about how fun it could possibly be since the area was so incredibly hilly. With the electric bikes it was no problem though. There was a pedal assist mode that you could dial up or down to determine how much assistance the motor would provide, and you also had a twist throttle that would allow you to rev up the motor and get the bike going without any work at all. The throttle was especially handy to get you going from a full stop or when you were trying to get going uphill. The bike tour took us through downtown, then down some nature paths and eventually took us to our hotel. Our guide did a great job of talking to everyone, keeping us together, and pointing out interesting landmarks and explaining the history of the area. It was very enjoyable and the weather couldn't have been nicer for the day.




After our bike tour we stopped at Sunshine Sammie's for some ice cream sandwhiches, which were made from scratch with local ingredients. We loved them so much we came back on the weekend.



For two mornings of our stay, the tennis club at the resort offered an advanced group clinic. It was rainy and cold, so we used the indoor courts, which was something we'd never done before. The pro did a good job of involving everyone and had some fun games. There were quite a few guests and quite a few locals that showed up, so it was a pretty large group at times. We hung in there and played pretty well, although it was tricky to see the ball sometimes with the lighting.



One of our goals for the trip was to do a lot of hiking in the mountains. The Grove Park Inn offered a trail, which was not very long, but had a couple different loops. We did each loop a few times and enjoyed the trail.



On Sunday, we drove out of Asheville to find a more interesting trail and went to the Catawba Falls trail. It was barely over a mile to the waterfall, but it felt like quite a bit since the trail went up and down a lot and was quite muddy and difficult at times. The Catawba Falls trail had a great payoff though with a spectacular waterfall at the end. There was a path up the mountain near the waterfall and we were tempted to try it, but it was so muddy and slippery out we decided to be safe and went back to the car instead.




We drove back to Asheville and spent the rest of the day at the North Carolina Arboretum where we hiked for a few hours up and down a bunch of interconnected trails. It was quite the hike and we definitely felt like we got to hike our butts off. Overall we had an awesome time in NC and we're glad we had the opportunity to visit. It was neat to have some different weather, see a new town, experience the fun activities in the area, eat at some new restaurants, and most importantly to spend some time together.