Friday, November 24, 2017

Chef and the Farmer

After celebrating Thanksgiving at the beach, our family stopped in downtown Kinston, NC and visited the Chef and the Farmer restaurant on our way home. I am a huge fan of the PBS show "A Chef's Life." It features people, places, and foods from Eastern NC and follows the restaurant's chef, Vivian Howard, who uses fresh, seasonal ingredients from local farmers. I loved seeing where some of the show is filmed!

Savannah's First Chapter Book

Tal and I are so proud of Savannah! Today she finished her first chapter book! Savannah, who is in 3rd grade, reads 20 minutes every day. In the past, she has always read short books or a couple chapters in a book before she moved onto another book. However, over the last couple weeks, Tal and I have been challenging Savannah to read an entire chapter book to help build her stamina in preparation for her end-of-grade reading test in June. It took Savannah about two weeks to read all 159 pages in her Geronimo Stilton book...but she reached her goal! Savannah has picked out another chapter book to read from start to finish. Tal and I hope that she develops a love for reading and a desire to read more than 20 minutes each day!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours! The four of us were blessed to spend the holiday with Tal's family in Salter Path, where we reconnected with our loved ones and shared some delicious food together. 

Yesterday, our family arrived in Salter Path just in time for dinner. In keeping with tradition, we ate oysters and crab legs for dinner the night before Thanksgiving: 

We steamed the oysters and crab legs outside in the yard that Gran, Grandaddy, and Grandma Barbara share:

Cousins Savannah, Harper, and Hadley swung in the dark on Grandma Barbara's porch while the food was cooking:

Harper (4) loves hugging Hadley (3):

On Thanksgiving morning, we played and relaxed at Grandma Barbara's house:

 Savannah and Hadley

Tal and Uncle Keith (who traveled from FL for Thanksgiving) dropped the turkey in the oil:

While the turkey was cooking, everyone talked and played outside, including these cute cousins who swung on the swing at Grandma Barbara's house: 

 Hadley and Tal 

Hadley, Grandma Barbara, and Savannah

Cousin Joe (who traveled from Charleston, SC), Uncle Kenny, and Uncle Keith:

Uncle Kenny and his daughter Brandi

Grandma Barbara played with Hadley's hair...

...and gave her kisses:

The cousins took turns pushing each other in the swing on Grandma's porch:

Savannah read a Geronimo Stilton book on Grandma's swing:

Happy Hadley

Tal (with Uncle Kenny and Benny in the background) 

The deep fried turkey is done!

We ate our Thanksgiving feast at Gran's house, and Savannah, Hadley, and Harper ate at the kids' table:


Harper and EJ

Harper is a budding photographer, who loves taking pictures. She took this picture of me and EJ:

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Everyday Moments

These random iPhone photos are dark, blurry, and untouched,
but they capture everyday moments from the last couple weeks.

Every month or so, Hadley and I take my car through the car wash while Savannah is at gymnastics. This week Hadley helped me vacuum the crumbs on the floor:

Then, she helped me wipe down the interior:

Savannah made a ballerina in art class:

I discovered that Target has a line of Hadley furniture:

This week I simplified my life by unsubscribing from blogs and businesses that I don't want to receive emails from anymore:

Our school Book Fair surpassed our goal and sold $20,334 in books and merchandise over the last 2.5 weeks. With our $4,000 profit, I bought 200 new library books (pictured below). We also used $770 to give away 88 books from the Book Fair to needy students at our school:

On Friday night, Grandma Barbara and cousin Harper ate dinner with us at Waffle House:

After the Christmas Parade on Saturday, Grandma Barbara and Savannah went shopping at Hobby Lobby, while I took Hadley and Harper to play at McDonald's for an hour. Harper used my phone to take this picture of Hadley:

For our meals this week, I cooked pizza goulash, sloppy joes, and potato soup:

Pizza goulash is one of our family's favorite meals:

Today our family put up our Christmas trees and decorated our house for Christmas:

The Christmas lights look beautiful at night: 

Every 4-6 weeks (or more often if needed), I have a spa hour at home. I color my hair, whiten my teeth, paint my toenails, do a face mask, etc. This afternoon Hadley asked me to paint her nails and toenails while I painted mine:

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Raleigh Christmas Parade

This morning our family went to the Raleigh Christmas Parade with Grandma Barbara and cousin Harper. Although Tal and I have lived in Raleigh around 20 years, this was our first time attending the parade. The weather was sunny and beautiful with temps near 60 degrees. All of us had a great time seeing the marching bands, floats, balloons, animals, classic cars, and dancers. The parade was 1.4 miles long and lasted from 9:40 A.M. until noon. It was crowded with around 60,000 people, but we had a clear, unobstructed view of the parade next to the NC State Capitol. Going to the parade was a fun way to kick off the holiday season with our family!

Before the Parade

Cousins Savannah (8), Harper (4), and Hadley (3)

Hadley and Grandma Barbara

Cousinly Love


Harper and Hadley loved hugging one another:

More Cousinly Love

Hadley and Tal

Raleigh Trolley