Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Southport Ferry

Last Monday the kids and I took the ferry from Southport to Wilmington so we could visit the NC aquarium.
Nate and Emma were a little nervous to get out of the car, but soon enough, they were loving it. It was a quick 35 min ride to Fort Fisher in Wilmington. We saw lots of cool animals such as this albino alligator. I kid you not, it really is an albino alligator. They have to keep it in the shade so its skin doesn't burn...no joke.

Emma was brave enough to "tickle" some rays and horseshoe crabs.

My favorite part (which we couldn't get good pictures of) was when 2 divers entered the shark tank and gave a little program. One of the divers had a microphone in his mask so we could hear what he was saying. He taught us all about the sea life here in the Atlantic and gave us tips for not becoming shark bait. The kids got to give the other diver a "high five" through the 8 in thick glass while he was wiping the windows. It was great.
For anyone who comes to visit, we will FOR SURE have to take you for a ferry ride to the aquarium.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Moving Up?

Alright, so Julie and I moved to Raleigh about a year and a half ago. Of course when we first arrived I was not a huge fan. I don't think it had anything to do with the area, ok a little bit, but we were all alone again. We have moved ten times in ten years. I actually think this is move 11 for us. With each place that we have lived, we have left as better people with an understanding of why we were supposed to live at that particular place. The people that we have met along the way have become lifelong friends. People including off the top of my head, the Moores, the Nolls, the Lovelands, the Cannons, the Gockes (their real name is too hard to spell), the Nugents, the Harris's (plug for the parents), the Hills, the Willis's, the Heatons, the Llewelyns, the Trueloves, the Wilsons, the Andersons, the Holts, the Jones's, the Darts, the Woolfs, the Edmunds.........etc. Now I am sure that someone has been left off and I don't want to hear about it. Y'all know who you are. (Threw a little southern in there for the Raleigh folks).

As I have eluded above, Julie and I have moved again. We are now living on Oak Island in North Carolina.

View Larger Map

This place is cool and Julie and the kids feel like they are on vacation full time. We are about 2 blocks from the beach and about no blocks from the pool in the complex. They are having a blast and even with all the sunblock the kids and Julie are all tanned up.

So the reason for the move is that we have been blessed again with another promotion. I am the Financial Manager/Controller for one of our nuclear plants.

Alright, I am hoping all the Homer and other radiation jokes are out now. This is a great opportunity for us. I am with the same company just in a different role. I am busy learning the nuclear industry and loving it. I am sure I was meant to be an engineer. Don't worry though, not going down another career tangent.

Well, I am sure nobody, except the Raleighites, know where we are so I am giving you a high level tour. Oak Island is a small island off the Southern coast of NC. The island is 14 miles long and has one main bridge that connects us to the main land.

As you can see from the map, it is a south facing beach. It is a little weird because the sun doesn't rise off the ocean here. The beach is nice for smaller children because the waves are rather small being a south facing beach.

The town we hope to end up in is Southport. It is also on the map to the right and is off the Cape Fear River that leads to Wilmington. Southport wanted to be the port city for NC but Wilmington won for some reason. I guess those mariners like working their way up the river for an extra 20 minutes.

Anyways, both places are unique with lots of fun things to do. Several of the communities we are looking at have their own launch ramps. This will require Andrew to buy a boat. You can't live in a place like this without a boat. Anyways, I am tired of writing so hopefully I have left you with a nugget about our little place and you will have the desire to read more and then come and visit us. The Raleigh people have no excuse.

We hope everyone is doing well and we can't wait to see you again.

Note from the pictures that you can tell the Edmunds care about us. They have already come to visit. Got Harris?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Emma and the Mouse

As the kids and I were backing up to leave the church parking lot today Andrew came running over and asked us to wait a few minutes. Apparently his car was starting, but not idling, so every time he'd move the key back to the "on" position, the car would die. Frustrating...and definitely NOT something that can easily be fixed in a moment's time in the church parking lot. We parked near him as he tried several more times to get it going without success. We decided we'd all drive around for a bit, give the car time to settle down, and try again. Again, no success. So as we all drove home, there was tension in the air. Just frustration at having a car unexpectedly fail and knowing that with all we've got going on right now, buying a new car, or even fixing the one we've got, is NOT what we want to be focused on. We were all quiet, allowing time to ease the stress. Out of nowhere Emma pipes up from the backseat, "Hey Dad! I know why your car won't work. There's a mouse in your trunk." (imagine this in Emma's sweet toddler voice.) I was DYING trying SO HARD NOT to laugh because I wasn't sure how Andrew would react. But it was the most innocent, hilarious comment. She wasn't trying to be funny. She was really trying to fix the problem. It was great. And like a great dad, Andrew smiled, and continued the conversation with Emma about how the mouse got in his trunk. The whole rest of the ride home featured all 4 of us concocting different scenarios involving various animals getting into Andrew's car, laughing the whole way. Ah, memories.

As a side note, after lunch and naps, we drove back to the church and the car started right up. Guess that mouse got away!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why the Title??

As some of you may already know, our family of 4 will only last until December. At that point we will be 5. Hence, the name. Not too original, I know. But its hard coming up with a good blog name. We're open to any suggestions.
So I'm 13 weeks pregnant and feeling great. We're all excited for this new addition...especially the kids. Emma keeps asking to kiss the baby in my tummy. (although I'm not really showing yet) And Nate keeps suggesting names. It usually goes something like this: "Hey mom, I have a great idea. If the baby is a boy, we could name it 3PO. And if its a girl, R2D2." (He's REALLY into Star Wars right now. And who knew R2 was a girl?) Gotta love it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street Live?

Last Saturday Andrew happened upon 4 free tickets to "Sesame Street Live: When Elmo Grows Up." Honestly, he did not want to go. He always has a million and one things on his "to do" list, and would feel more productive getting some crossed off instead of enduring a 2 hour 'puppet show.' Who can blame him...tying up his last job, beginning a new one, selling a house, finding a new house, etc.

After strong arming him to go, he quickly changed his tune as soon as Big Bird and Elmo came on stage and Emma's face lit up and the squealing began. She was in heaven. (Plus, I think he has a childhood crush on Prairie Dawn.)Every time one of the characters would go backstage Emma would quickly ask, "Where did Oscar go? Where did Telly go?" She was the happiest when they were all onstage. It was adorable.

Even Nate, although he tried to act too cool, was enjoying the show. All in all we had a great time and the tickets were worth every penny...especially since they were free. But seriously, the next time one of these shows comes to town, we will definitely consider going.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Legos and Star Wars

Last Friday Andrew had to work in Southport, so I was looking for things to do with the kids. My good friend Cherre told me about a new Lego store Grand opening and we invited ourselves to tag along. To celebrate the grand opening, they had a "Lego Master Builder" come and help the kids build an 8 foot tall Yoda. Each person got to build up to 3 large bricks. Here's Nate and Emma constructing their bricks.

This is a small replica of the Yoda that would be completed. As you can see below, the 8 ft tall Yoda is underway, but only about 2 ft tall while we were there.

Nate loved the whole experience and got a free Lego Star Wars poster that we will hang in his new bedroom once we move. Thanks Cherre for letting us tag along.