Monday, June 28, 2010

Awesome Week Outdoors!

What a week!  WOW!  Connor is now 45 weeks old (or 10 months and 3 weeks!)  He is such a joy - seriously wish we could keep him at this age forever...well, actually, my back is hurting a lot lately, maybe he can continue to grow and learn to tote himself around!  Anyway - we had an AMAZING week!  Good times with great friends!  Connor and I went to the park on Wednesday, 6/23, and on Thursday, 6/24, we headed up to Roan Mountain with our friend Christy and her family!  Then on Friday, 6/25, we went to the pool in Erwin with my good friend, Wendy, and her kids!  Friday night, Jason and I took Connor to the YMCA/Bristol pool, too.  It keeps on gettin' better...on Saturday, 6/26, we helped our good friends Mike and Sarah in the morning and then headed back to the Bristol pool...and on Sunday we went on an AMAZING hike in the Roan Highland Balds with our dear friends, the Swearingens.  Seriously...are you kidding me with all this fun and outdoor time?!  Ok - on to the pictures!!!

This is at the park on 6/23!

You will rarely see Connor without one of his blocks in hand now-a-days!

Connor found a stick!

Trying to decide what wildlife he will fend off with his new stick!

Maybe he'll go fishing instead...

Upon further examination...

He's decided that he'll eat it!

Onto the swings!  He now has 8 teeth!  Working on 2 more!

Making noises like Grandma showed him how to do on a Skype call!

The view along the road on our way up to Roan Mountain on Thursday!

We tried to catch the rhodos in full bloom, but missed it by about a week :(  Here is the only rhodos we saw in the gardens on Roan Mountain :)

Connor and I in the Rhododendrone Gardens!

Connor and his buddy, Abigail (Christy's neice)

He even drank out of his sippy cup while we were there - for those of you who know Connor, you know this is HUGE!  (Oh and he hasn't done it since that time!!!)

On the swings at Roan Mountain!

This is Connor, sharing his necklace with Christy's Maw!  He LOVED her!

For those of you who have heard me talk about Connor's Miss Nancy...this is her in the nursery, at church, with Connor and Lucy, who was born 1 month before Connor - this is Laura and Richard's baby.  Connor was crying because he's going through some attachment issues with me and he had just realized I'd come to pick him up from the nursery and had (therefore) left him earlier :)

After church, we hit the trails with the Swearingens!  We started at Carver Gap (at Roan Mountain) and hike 5 miles across 3 balds, from Round Bald to Jane Bald to Grassy Ridge.  SHEW what a hike!  It was amazing!  I had never hiked a bald before - fantastic views! 

This is Richard and Jason with Lucy and Connor!

Mac and Sarah Kate on the trail!

The Swearingens at Carver's Gap!

And the Ratliffs at Carver's Gap!

Mac, leading us on our hike!

Richard, showing me where we were headed to on Jane Bald...

"Faster, Daddy, Faster!!"

On top of the first bald, Round Bald!  Might look like an easy hike, folks, but do NOT be fooled - this hike was straight up at some points - WOW!

The view along the way...

Happier than a pig in mud!  I can honestly say that there is NOTHING I would rather be doing than hiking with my family in the mountains!

On our way to Jane Bald!

Our picnic lunch at Jane Bald!  Here is Lucy, Connor, and Sarah Kate!

Lovin' them some peaches!

Connor, dancing on the top of Jane Bald...making his momma proud!

Lucy was also dancin' with Laura!

The Ratliffs at Jane Bald!

The Swears at Jane Bald!

Our Group!

Jason and I are convinced this is part of the Darma Initiative (sorry another LOST reference)...anyway, in an attempt to maintain Jane Bald, as the trees are beginning to reappear over recent years, folks (The Darma Initiative?!) have brought sheep to Jane Bald to maintain it :)  Strange?!

Stranger yet...right past the sheep is a random mailbox?!  WHAT?!  How much more "Darma Initiative" could this be?  Ok - sorry - no more LOST references :)  DORKS - I know!

Ok - one more dorky reference...this was on the way to Grassy Ridge...looking back at the Swearingens, I could not help but think of Rohan in The Lord of the Rings...or The Sound of Music!!

The Swears at the summit of Grassy Ridge!

The Ratliffs at the summit!  You really can't tell but we climbed VERY high!  The 360 degree views up here were some of the best I've ever experienced in this range!  AMAZING!  And what an accomplishment!

We hope you've all enjoyed!  We're already planning more hikes with the Swearingens!  Onward and Upward!

I'm, honestly, okay with doing nothing but hiking the rest of the summer!