Friday, August 7, 2009

We Interupt This Programming...

To give you this special report. Luis and Kelli came for a visit a few weeks ago and it made our day!
I used to live with all these girls plus one missing sister, aka, Andrea, but here are Rachel and Leanna along with thier big sis, Kelli, and her smashing man, Luis. Can I say that? Smashing... Hmmm.
Anywhoodle, they could only stay about an hour, but it was fun to catch up a bit, and I hope we can visit longer next time. Hint! Hint!
I love all of you so much and I appreciate all the love you've shown to me and and my kiddos over the years.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tuesday Trifles

Here's Hair Bear all geared up for the hour plus drive to Beckley, WVa. where we visited a coal mine. The kids got rather silly in the car, but we survived and made it to the town-like museum centered around a real mine. It was once active, but of course, is now closed as mining isn't what it once was. We all learned so much and found the facts they gave us very intriguing. The mine had to be widened for tours of course, but the average heigth was only 18 inches. Can you imagine? The men's hard hats would scrape the roof of the cave as they got on their backs on the car like rails they rode to their mining spot. Boys would start as young as eight years old. I can't imagine sending Lexie into a situation like that, but life was so different and the norm was obviously altered. Before all the fancy mining equipment came along, the men would carry a canary bird in a cage with them into the mines and listen to their singing. When and if the bird would stop singing, that was their signal to get out fast as the oxygen levels were too low for survival. The birds apparently saved many lives over the years.

An old timey outhouse

Our railway car into the mines

This man had the strongest southern accent I can imagine. He was such a good tour guide, and was a miner himself in the good ol' days.

Sweet sisters hugging while we enjoyed our picnic lunch at a park.

We had an all around "town tour" and here the kids sat in a real schoolhouse according to their grade. They met a 97 year old teacher from those days and boy was he strict to this day!

He even put Maddie in the corner as a Dunce! Of all my children, Maddie! At least she thought it was funny!

Checking out the gift shop at the New River Gorge site.
People visit here from all over the world to raft the daring rapids. I had a friend from high school actually pass away on these dangerous rapids.

Breathtaking! The Lord's handiwork never ceases to amaze us.

Hiking down to an overlook... There were lots of stairs!

The train bridge - it's still in use!

Harrison took a breather with Nanny from this hike.

Notice Jared's trying to hide while showing Sophie.

After dinner at IHop, we then headed off to an outdoor play after dark called "Suessical." It was a funny musical spoof on the movie, "Horton Hears a Who." Keilah was a bit nervous at the beginning, but everyone including Sophie loved it! She just clapped and hollered after all the scences along with everyone else.We were wiped after popcorn and drinks, but made the dark ride home in the mountains just fine.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wildflowers Galore

It was so interesting to us while on our trip, that their ditches and medians are filled with beautiful wildflowers - not dandilions. Amazing huh? Lexie and I especially enjoyed taking pics of the different species we found, some of which one must intentionally plant in our area.

I want these lovely ladies for my flowerbeds next year. Apparently, they are technically a weed, so the nurseries here don't sell them.

The West Virginia State Flower -

Wild berries

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Monday Madness

Monday turned out to be busy as well, starting with a quick bite to eat at Burger King before swimming. The kids were a little hiped up to swim if you can't tell. My Uncle Doug's partner at his his firm opened up her beautiful outdoor pool area to us that day to enjoy. And enjoy we did! It was a great day to be outdoors, and in such a secluded mountain setting. I wish I could have somehow captured that on camera. We swam and played for a few hours until the little people tuckered out.

Jared's famous cannonball trick with the kids. It works best with Austin. He has no fear and is still light enough to whip around!

Keilah Grace, on the other hand is working on getting braver with just her noodle.

Daddy's girls

Our shark, Brady

Sophie had no fears when it came to the pool.

A smiles for the camera now!

After a rest time, we set out for a picnic supper at a park I used to go to in high school. Of course, this time I was at the playground with my kids. It was a really neat park with a castle theme, and after the kids exhausted their options for play here, we ate and headed up to East River Mountain for a hike. We saw all sorts of pretty flowers which I'll post later and even picked up a couple of huge boulders for our yard/landscaping. Apparently, it's a common practice among the locals - kinda like seashells I suppose. Anyway, we are thrilled to have cool rocks for our yard that were free and come with fun family memories!