Friday, April 6, 2007

Here we are!

Well here we are again. You probley thought that we had dropped off the face of the earth, but we are still alive and kicking. We have been around, but very busy. As I write this, I am sitting at Julie's grandmother’s breakfast table looking out over the water of the Gulf of Mexico. We are in Clearwater Beach, Florida visiting for a few days. We left Saturday after Conner’s soccer game and headed down to the Orlando area with her cousin Ann and her two daughters and niece to visit her Uncle Winston and Aunt Fran. It was a wonderful visit. Uncle Winston saddled up his horses. The kids and Julie rode for a few hours; I dare not ride for fear of my back hurting more than it does, but was jealous not being able to. Aunt Fran spoiled the kids with tons of Easter candy and treats and a fun Easter egg hunt. The kids had plenty of swimming time in the pool, and Uncle Winston took Julie, Isabelle and I to the Orlando Magic (NBA) game Sunday night. It was awesome for a sports nut like me; his Magic season tickets are center court 2nd row from the floor. There is nothing like being close up to Kevin Garnett (Timber wolves) and Grant Hill (Magic). What a blast! Poor Uncle Winston the Magic lost by 1 point in overtime. (GO JAZZ!!!!).

(Uncle Winston and Aunt Fran with the kids)

(Sarah, Gracie, Winston and Mojo Uncle Winston's horse)

(Uncle Winston and little Winston riding)

Uncle Winston and Aunt Fran also treated us to a day at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday. It was so much fun! We took a bus tour to see the space program sights and seen a lot of American history. On our way to the space center we saw many animals and birds (Alligators, Manatee, Armadillo, Turtle, Dolphins, Cranes, and Pelicans). We went into the original control room for the Apollo missions; we went into a mock-up of the space shuttle and watched lots of short movies. Yes of course we even bought space ice cream!

(Steve, Julie, Lincoln, Winston, Conner and Isabelle at Kennedy Space Center, Florida)

(Kennedy Space Center, Florida)

(Megan, Ann, Julie, Conner, Sarah, Gracie, Winston, Isabelle and Lincoln next to Apollo space craft)

(Space shuttle mock-up at Kennedy Space Center, Florida)

(The original mission control center for the Apollo missions)

We have enjoyed the great weather here in Florida, we took the kids to the beach yesterday and collected lots of sea shells. The water is warm and refreshing to swim in. Conner and Lincoln tried boogie boarding; they got wet and were thrilled to just be in the warm water. Winston dug to China with his shovel and bucket and Isabelle found the only starfish of the day. Grandmom Wellborn has been spoiling us rotten! We eat out everyday and have enjoyed lots of fresh seafood and Keylime pie! It is so nice to visit with her and to see the Cagni’s. Isabelle is having a sleepover with Heather tonight and the boys are looking forward to having a “playdate” as Lincoln called it with Garrett tomorrow.

(Isabelle and starfish at Clearwater Beach, Florida)

(Lincoln at Clearwater Beach, Florida)

(Conner at Clearwater Beach, Florida)

(Winston at Clearwater Beach, Florida)

Things in North Carolina are going well, our family is growing. We have 2 beautiful 18 week old Choc. Labs (brothers) that keep us quit busy. We bought 6 little baby chicks last week. We need to build them a chicken coop soon, but for now they live in a box with their heat lamp over them. We had a local farmer till our 30'x100' area in the back yard for our garden with his tractor and then he disk it. Now we can till it with a tiller and get on our way with Spring beds and planting. I have pruned most of the apple trees in the backyard, but have not finished since the day I tried chopping my arm off up in the tree with the chain saw (7 stitches).

I went back to work for the “MAN”. I am working for a structural engineer company in down town Asheville, which consist of my boss the owner and a part time engineer and I am the whole drafting department. The boss brings his dog into work every day and on Fridays I’ll bring in our two dogs. I can work my 40-45 hours before Friday at noon and leave half day on Fridays, so the boss is pretty cool and laid back. I am very excited to put in the garden and be able to produce fresh veggies for the family. I have pruned most of the apple trees and now I am using all the cut branches to create a natural fence around the garden. I also have lots of painting to do on the house, inside and out. I just finished bee keepers school and past the state exam. So now we are planning next spring to have a few bee hives in the backyard. Besides all of that excitement I am the 11 year old Boy Scout leader at church and Julie and I teach the 10 & 11 year olds at church.

Julie is quiet busy with the kids and everything they are doing. She just finished teaching a class for a homeschool co-op. She takes the kids to a lot of homeschool field trips. She is working out as much as she can and is looking great. She has acquired a large weaving loom from a friend and is excited about making things with it. I think she is enjoying our new home, but I still find her looking out at our travel trailer in the front yard and I know she’s missing being out on the endless road to adventure.

Isabelle is now 10, but thinks that she is much older. She has joined a new homeschool Girl Scout troop and has signed up for a week at horse camp this summer, she wishes that it was today! She was so excited to ride horses at Uncle Winston’s house. She has joined the 4-H club and does many exciting activities with the club. She has talked us into buying chickens and raising them. She is great at helping with the animals around the house; she says she wants to be a vet or animal rescue worker when she grows up. Isabelle is also playing soccer and loves it. She also enjoys Activity Days at church.

(Isabelle at Uncle Winston's house)

Conner is now 8 and was baptized. He has joined the 4-H club also and loves all the activities and field trips. He just raced his awesome pinewood derby car last Friday for scouts. He loves being old enough to be in Cub Scouts, he has earned his Bobcat and is working on his Wolf badge now. Conner is playing soccer again and has a wonderful coach (his dad). He scored 5 goals last Saturday and was very proud! In his spare time he is found just laying around playing gameboy.

(Conner and Lincoln at the 2007 Pinewood derby)

Lincoln is now 5 and just told us he has his first loose tooth. My my how fast they grow up, seems like yesterday he had just grown in his baby teeth! He reminds us daily that he is a big kid now, and shouldn’t be in the same category as Winston. He has joined the 4-H club with Isabelle and Conner and loves going on field trips and working on projects. He is enjoying just being a kid. He is trying hard to figure out how he can make everything in the world taste like candy. I’ve never seen someone want so much sugar in their body (must be why he is so sweet)!

(Lincoln homeschool co-op projects)

Then there is little Winston, he will be three on the 15th of April. He tells everyone that he will be three, it’s pretty cute. Everywhere we go everyone wants to squeeze him and his red hair! They all want to know if he is ours because neither of us have red hair. We give credit where its do, we tell them it was the mail man (j/k) we tell them that both grandmas gave it to him. He enjoys chasing the puppies around the house and making messes to drive Julie crazy. He loves his cars, trucks, plains and trains. He has begun repeating his numbers from one to twenty and his alphabet. For all of those that knew him before we moved from Utah, he never talked…..well now he wont stop! He’s also working on potty training.

(Winston at with Uncle Winston's hat)

All in all the kids are enjoying soccer, 4-H club, and the local homeschool groups. They have done lots of fun trips and activities with the homeschool groups: they have been to Volvo’s North America big machine head quarters in Asheville, went to an alpaca farm, a dairy farm, rode horses and created paintings that are on display in an art gallery in

The trees are blooming in North Carolina. Every color of the rainbow. It’s wonderful to smell them in the air as well. We are so excited for Spring now that it is here; we are looking forward to everyone visiting us and our new home this year. The invitation is there for all of you. We hope all is well with all our family and friends. We will try to stay up to date with what we are doing. Love Steve and family.

(Conner, Lincoln and Winston at Sunset on Clearwater Beach, Florida)

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