Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

MERRY CHRISTmas 2010!!!

our 2010 photo card

time for stockings, the kids got stuff from all over the world, that Santa guy sure does travel alot!

shortly after we finished opening gifts, it started to snow. Guess who was the 1st out to play? ;)

Time to warm up with some of Rob's home brew. Like the glasses he got from mom and dad for Christmas? ;) Now, "I'll have a beer" takes on a whole new meaning...

The kids finally got on their extended deep sea diving gear and ventured outside. I took a picture of the snowman they built with Grammy but it didn't come out very well...

...see what I mean? white on white. reminds me of a Carvel cake mom ordered once. :)

Haley decided this snow stuff looked kind of neat... could see the yummy birds really well! Just kidding. I took this picture because Grandma Lou always loved Cardinals.
It was a fantastic day with our family. We were able to have a white Christmas, first in Atlanta since the 1800's. We all ate, and ate, and ate. We also got to warm up with my new Keurig machine. Made making hot cocoa by the gallon very easy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Total Eclipse of the...moon :)

I love that song, Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler....Ryan loves the movie Eclipse (she's on team Edward ;)) and Jared loves lunar eclipses. I got an email from my dad that there would be an eclipse that night. Not that big a deal they happen quite often, just not always in the northern hemisphere. What was cool was that it was happening on the winter solstice. Not long after I got a call from Rob that the Tellus museum in Cartersville (about 25 minutes from here) was having an all night-"Night at the Museum" kind of thing in honor of the event. Rick happened to be in town so I asked him if he wanted to go on a field trip to see the eclipse. He was game, Jared was stoked and I was picked to be the driver. We headed out around 1am to partly cloudy skies. When we got there the clouds were thickening and by the time we got our tickets the moon was gone. No worries, they had live feed from Florida so we still got to see it, kind of. We had fun walking around the museum past hours, sitting in the theatre for the Q & A session and going out to check the skies in the big observatory on the campus. Hey we even made the 11-Alive news...well a glimpse of the back of Rick and Jared's head made the news. :) We tried to do a goober in the back ground shot but they must have edited us out. The guy in the black shirt was where we were standing. Guess they didn't appreciate our 4 am humor. ;)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mid December Recap

After an awesome time for Thanksgiving, the kids went back to school for three more weeks. In that time we hit Bethlehem, Nancy's concert at Mt. Bethel, The Bartow's Christmas party, driving around looking at lights, Christmas concerts & plays and various sports.

Here's a shot of Ryan helping me get the gingerbread men ready after swim practice one night. My thinking was to take the kids to Bethlehem and then come home to hot cocoa and gingermen. Best laid plans. Mt.View changed what nights Bethlehem was open so we just came home to some sweet treats. We ended up going the next weekend.

This is supposed to be a video of Kevin playing the blocks during his Christmas concert (click here to go to the HomerHouse YouTube site where I uploaded it). I guess the video is too large. :(He was super excited to be the understudy and was tickled pink that the original person couldn't attend, making him the block player for his class' song. He even made the credits. :)

This is supposed to be a video of Ryan's class play (YoutTube). This girl worked so hard at her lines. She knew hers as well as everyone elses. The best part was that Rob was supposed to be out of town but his trip got cut short due to weather. We surprised Ryan with his attendance and she was over the moon. I think we have an actor in the family. ;)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jingle Bells and Grizzly bears

This weekend is one of my favorites every year. The Jingle Bell swim meet up in Dalton Georgia. It was Jared's first meet and is super fun. Not only do the coaches and attendees wear Christmas hats, but the kids get candy canes for best times. It is also broken down by age group so it's an easier meet. For Pinkie swimming against 11 year olds most of the time, this was a welcomed relief. This girl did awesome. I was so happy for her that she won each of her events. I have never seen a Homer name at the top of the list so I took a picture with my phone. Cheesy, I know.

And from the Chattahoochee Gold Newsletter--
The event winners were: Pinkie Homer (50 free, 50
back, 50 fly, 50 breast, 100 IM)---awesome

While Pinkie and I were in Dalton; Rob, Gran and Kevin were wrestling at the Grizzly meet in town. Kevin got pinned in 11 seconds the first round and again in about 45 seconds the second round. He ended up with the bronze but is still waiting for that win!

Sunday of that weekend took us up to Gainsville to swim. Kevin stayed with Grammy and Pop Pop while Gran, Jared and Mom went to the pool early. Rob and Pinkie came a bit later. Jared swam well, he even made a qualifying swim for the 100 breast!
We figured Ryan wouldn't do anything of interest since she had been posting best times for the last three meets. At one point she was told she was on the free relay team & she was super excited. After her 25 Free (posting a 17.14-SUPER fast for a 7 year old and a personal best) she was told she wouldn't be on the relay. To say she was devastated is an understatement. She was ANGRY. She wouldn't talk to Rob, myself, her coaches or Gran. In her mind her best wasn't good enough. I was a bit upset because she still had the 100 free to go. When she got on the blocks she wouldn't look in the stands. No cutesy little I love you's, dances on the blocks or way to gos. Nope, she was all business. When that horn went she was off like a shot. In lane 4 she led the pack through the first 25. By the 2nd people were starting to look at her swim, by the 3rd lap they were looking to see "who was that kid" and by the 4th we were all in awe. That little monkey took 14 seconds off a best time 100 Free. I don't know where that button is for turbo charge but we need to find it! :) She ened up getting a ribbon in all 5 events that day.
After that monumental swim Rob and Ryan left the pool to drive mom back to the lake while I stayed with Jared for his first finals. IT's a LONG day when you have prelims and finals with little sis swimming in between. I think we were there for 13 hours?? Jared placed 12th in the 100 breast, super cool since he was seeded 16th. Way to go Jared! He wants to make a finals first heat so he can hear his name called on the blocks. That's an awesome goal. :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

The new rule for Cobb county schools is to have the entire week off for Thanksgiving. We hate it when we go back to school so early from summer break, but by the time winter starts rolling in, we're ready for a breather. The Homerhouse decided to relocate to the lake for the week. Rob was working from home and I took the week off to be with the family. Jared had a big project due so he was working on reading the book for that. Mom had given him a book about the Dam break in Toccoa Ga when we were at the lake this summer. He needed something to read for a Social Studies project and it fit the bill. :) During the week we decided on a field trip to Toccoa Falls to see what he had been reading about. As we piled into the car Mom made a comment, "I wonder if there are any Geocaches there?" When we went to Sky Valley in Spring I downloaded a geocache app to my phone, sure enough on the trip to Toccoa mom and I played on our phones and found some Geocaches.
Now for those of you unfamiliar to Geocaching, it is like a GPS scavenger hunt. You look up the area you are going to be in (national parks are a goldmine for Geocaching). Add the coordinates into a GPS and find your way to the treasure. In the early days a tupperware type box was placed in a hidden location. A note pad was also in the box. When you found the box you took the stamp from the cache and placed a mark in your personal journal. Then you as a hunter would have a personal stamp that you would place in the caches log book. Then you re-hide the cache and go on to the next one. Initial names for geocaching inclue letter boxing, puzzle hunting and questing. We stick with Geocaching. Now days there are still log books but instead of stamps there are trinkets or coins. Take something, leave something. Most of the time it's junk but sometimes you can get lucky and find a traceable coin....but that's a whole nother blog post. :)

Here's Jared at the site of the memorial for those who died in the Dam break. By the way he got a 98 on the project. :)

The rotten monkey urchins at the falls.

So we put the coordinates into our smartphones and realized we had to drive to our first Geocache. WE.WERE.HOOKED. It was so much fun trying to figure out where to go. Rob was driving, Rick was co piloting and the rest of us were dreaming about what might be in the Geocache.

After some hunting, reading the clue on the phone and some light digging through leaves we (a-hem, I) found our first cache. Not quite sure what we were expecting to find but this was it. A log only (no trinkets) cache but it was our first.

The H2K GeoKrew. Daddy was missing because he was on his way back into town for the holiday. No worries, he'll get a chance to go hunting!

After driving in circles for EVER we decided that we had to learn how to use the apps to find the caches. It was tricky figuring out the technique. We found our second location but we were very limited on time due to weather and daylight.

Our first trip was on Tuesday, caches found-1. We hit a few more on Wednesday on our way to shop til you drop. We found a geo-coin but I won't go into detail on that story. Thursday was Thanksgiving and we went by boat to about 5 different islands. I can't wait for summer! Friday saw Rob heading out of town while the rest of us took the ENTIRE day to Geocache. I think we made 17 stops?? Crazy I know, but it is SO much fun. It's a great family activity that we can all do together. Plus it's great exercise. I think we found a new hobby!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blog a thon final installment

So Jared made Honor Roll for his first term in Middle School. Ryan made the wall of fame before Thanksgiving (that is the fastest that any Homer child has made it up on the wall). Kevin got straight A's on his first report card of the term, another HomerHouse first. I can honestly say they are doing fantastic in school all around. So awesome guys!

At Carlton Farms in Cartersville (our favorite corn maze)

Ok, I loved this shot too, I couldn't decide :)

Ryan was asked to come read to her preschool during conference week. She was so honored and practiced for weeks. She picked Skeleton Hiccups and The Little old Lady who Wasn't Afraid of Anything. It was so cute to watch. Kevin was a big helper holding the book and helping with sound effects. :)

We decided to have a sleepover for 9 kids the weekend of Halloween. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking but we had such a super fantastic time. We went to the Haunted House in the neighborhood to benefit St. Judes, ate cookies, played video games and just had a great time.

This is one of those pictures that makes me pee my pants. Look carefully at Jared. I love how they think I'll never know what they are doing. We always have ways of finding out, sometimes it just takes a photo edit to see it!

Ryan is in mourning, Kevin is super serious and who knows what face Jared is making under that mask!

Jelly Bean the pumpkin with Kevins #66 pumpkin

My AU with Jared's Oblivion pumpkin

Kevin's actual birthday party. Think the kids were sick of cameras?

I L.O.V.E the expression on Kev's face when he got his iTouch. Thanks to Rob's Delta points we were able to get him his wish list gift-he was totally surprised! Look at Jackson-these boys crack me up! :) We had a great time at Dave & Busters and even had a mystery guest show up at Zaxby's for dinner and games...Uncle Ricky was in town!

Blog a thon part III-almost done ;)

So continuing on with our whirlwind tour of the HomerHouse Fall review. Jared started Confirmation classes this year. Hard to believe he is already that age. The program changed this year so it will now take 3 years to complete the course. We are in for a 7 year confirmation commitment. Here's the scary thing---Jared will have to come home from college to see Ryan be confirmed. AHHH! Crazy how fast the time is going here. Jared's first overnight camping trip to Luther Ridge was in October. He had a BLAST! I think 50 something kids went to NC for the weekend. I know Kevin is excited for his turn to go with Jared for an overnight.

A first in the HomerHouse, Jared decided that he wanted to do a Triathlon with Anthony. How can you argue with that? They already train for it, we might as well sign up. The other two kids want to do it in the Spring, so we may become a one sport family. I doubt we can give up year round swimming or football but ya never know!

Jared at the finish line. The first rain we had in over 2 months and it POURED down. I was so nervous for Mr. Careful Careful to do the bike portion but he did fantastic!

Not only did we go to Kevin's games, we went to the big kid Kell games as well. This was a shot from Jr. Longhorn night where they call all the young players out on to the field. Ansley gets all Ryan's clothes and is my girlfriend Trisha's daughter. She's two years younger but almost as tall as Ryan so I think they may have to start sharing clothes. They other cutie pie is Gabby, Ryan's girlfriend down the street. We had a blast and the Kell big boys are STILL undefeated and they are in the third round of the state playoffs. We are totally going if they make it to the finals!

Jared picked up an instrument this year. My violin. Rick gave it to me for my 10th Christmas gift. I love it but never learned how to play. Jared seems to be a natural and this is a shot from his first concert. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least! When the 7th graders came out it was amazing to see how they will improve in a year.

We decided to head to Stone Mountain for the Pumpkin festival. I took a quick shot of the Homer Kids, Mary and the boys before the 4D movie started. We look like a Hershey's commercial! :)

Pinkie on the blocks. We started our swim season in October and the kids did GREAT at their first meet. The Gold invite was a great season opener and they both did really well. Not two weeks later were they on the blocks again for the Carrollton invite. Pinkie for a second meet in a row beat all of her times but one. That is fantastic.

Jared was close on Ryan's heels with personal bests. He didn't break all of them each meet but he did break at least half which is still fantastic. Looking forward to the Jingle Bell meet in December, it's always a favorite and holds a special place in my heart.

This picture should get it's own post. Notice anything different about Kevin's looks? He got glasses at the end of October, what a change. I'm shocked that he was the first but he does really well with them. I think Jared may need to go with Ryan for her 1 year check up in December. Who knows, we may have all three in glasses soon. I hope not but we'll see. haha get it?

Blog a thon part II

So continuing on with the blog a thon.... We went to the beach in July, then came home to school, lake weekends, football and more football. I will try to keep these in chronological order but I am not making any promises. Each occasion was awesome and worthy of blogging!

Jenni, Rich, Trey and Auntie Nancy came up to lake Hartwell. How cute is Trey?!? I wanted to eat him up all weekend. This child is so sweet and wicked smart. We all had so much fun together but I think my kids really enjoyed being the big kids and helping out their little buddy. He loved making the trucks honk, doesn't everyone?! :)

Ryan teaching Trey how to jump off the dock

Mom and Nan with a concoction ;)

Rob on the yamaha, great weather and very few boats

Jared chillin

This year for Labor Day we had company come in to town. We were very blessed to have my folks, my dad's sister Sandie, her hubby Milt, Dad's sister Karen and her hubby Gary come stay with us for the weekend. The gang was all together for Dad's oldest sister, Mary & Ralph's, 50th wedding anniversary. We had such a fantastic time. The last time we were all together at the HomerHouse was for Gramps' 90th birthday in November 2003.

Are you ready for football?? This year Rob decided he was going to help coach. That worked great for me since I had the swimmers at the pool. Practice time carpooling went very smoothly this year. :) Rob was in charge of special teams, Ryan was water girl, Jared sometimes was ball boy and I was the team videographer. Kevin got to start as center and played some defense as well. The team went 6-2 and tied for a playoff but lost in the tie breaker. Kev was ok with that, the boys were tired and he had wrestling to look forward to!

Kevin and his best friend Jackson. I can't wait to see these two young ones grow up together!

Kevin as center-go Kev!! He only had about 4 bad snaps all season, pretty good record. There is a special relationship between a center and his QB ;)

Getting ready to go to the first game of the season

Kev and Coach-Dad :)

One last weekend at the lake. Mary, Anthony and Andrew joined us for a few days when the kids had a break in September. It almost makes going back so early worth it. I think we saw three boats in four days. The kids had a fantastic time and want to adopt Gran and Grandfather. I'm sure we will have another lake visit at some point. :)

Blog a thon 2010

I have absolutely no idea how I got so far behind on my blog. Life gets in the way of living. I know that part of it is that I got new computer software for my camera. I have no clue how to use it and I haven't had the time to figure it out yet. We got home from the beach in July and the kids went right back to school a week and a half later. That meant I went back to work and the blog got pushed aside. That makes my heart hurt. I haven't even had time to read other peoples blogs. There is so much stuff that I missed in the past couple months. I will have to do better in the future! I was planning on going through and posting all the pics in real time but that would take forever since I am so backed up. My new plan is to post pictures, raw and unedited so that I can at least get them out here. Here it goes!

Our first stop this year was to visit Rob's Grammy. We went over to Rob's Aunt Barbara & Uncle Paul's for the day. We had such a wonderful time catching up with everyone. The kids had a blast swimming in the pool while the adults had a play date. We stayed for pizza and left with full bellies and full hearts. I am sure that Grammy will out live us all, she shows us what living in your 90's is all about! Ask her about Bingo or cards, she's one of the best players I know. :)

Swimming at Great Aunt Barbara's house

Annual 4th of July photo on the couch.

This picture cracks me up. Remember the shot of us in the mountains? We have a goober in the background making faces. This shot is scarily similar, just closer up. :) I took this photo to prove we do use sunscreen. People think we don't but we are sure to slip, slap slop every day. :)

The boys of Beach Club I 2010. Someday this will be in the elevator or in a collage :)

Some of my favorite people on the planet at my most favorite place on earth!

This picture is from Daddy's camera. Mom, Dad, Rick and I escaped down to the Keys for a day. Rick and I went diving while mom and dad snorkeled. It was a great day, with awesome weather. We finished our field trip off with a scrumptious meal ocean side, the food in the Keys is delicious!

Another Grandfather shot. He kidnapped the kids one morning and walked down to the DQ...for breakfast. Who says you can't have ice cream at 9 am??? That's what grandparents are for right? :)

We had boat issues this year. It was bad and it cost Rick bunches of money. It was sad to not be able to get out on the water but when we did we made the most of each day. We caught and ate quite a few shark. The kids love bringing in the black tips. Taste like chicken! I was out on the last day when we brought in HUGE fish. I think they were mackerel. haha yes, holy mackerel, they were ginormous! We were able to trade them for smoked mackerel at the smoked fish place down the street. I'm not sure how Rick cleaned them (I was cleaning the boat) but mental note for next year. I think it worked out to be a great trade.

Pinkie girl.

Those eyes kill me!

hehe I love this shot of Jared and I. Yes, I do take pictures of myself sometimes. :)

Family photo after an AWESOME vacation. This year was the perfect storm of vacation so to speak. Rob was there the entire time. Rick left a couple days but came right back and Daddy was there for most of it. Mom and I were there with the kiddos as usual, but I L.O.V.E.D having all my people around me. One of the best vacations ever!!