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As you may or may not be aware, we’ve had some rather unusual weather this winter. Several times this year we’ve had in excess of a foot of snow fall, which hasn’t happened in southwestern Virginia in over a decade. Personally, I think terms like “snowpocalypse” and “snowmageddon” are overstating the issue a little. Maybe “snow-inconvenience” would be more appropriate. I have had to shovel all twenty feet of sidewalk in front of our house several times this year, where as most years I only have to once (or not at all if I can wait until my neighbor gets to it first).  I guess the local weather wants to take advantage of every opportunity they get to use their spinning “X-treme Weather!!” logo though, I don’t blame them. Nothing says “reliable scientific prediction” like huge chrome letters rendered in three dimensions flying around the TV screen while a guitar wails in the background.

But when the meteorological oracles divined that we would have yet another bout with “X-treme winter conditions!!” we decided to hit the road and go visit some family in Ohio. Not exactly snow bird territory, but at least they know how to handle a few inches of snow. Their entire infrastructure doesn’t grind to a halt as soon as some fool starts flailing on front of a multicolored weather map. It did snow, but the roads and sidewalks were cleared and it was pretty much business as usual. Here are some pictures of me, my father-in-law, and the boys.

Sammy astride a modified tractor/sled

Jim trying to load us all on the sled

Jim realizing that we (one of us in particular) were way too heavy

Our tribute to the Lands End catalog

So it snowed almost two feet in Roanoke this weekend. Here are a sampling of photos, for the whole set go here.



Sammy and Eli were actually the inspiration for our recent tattoos. For months they’ve been having us draw batman and thomas the tank engine on their arms and legs, then running around the house screaming “Tattoos!” at each other. Tonight was our most serious tattoo session yet.

Daddy did most of the tattooing.

But Eli did a little work on himself as well.

I think Sammy has a very bright future as a tough guy, but I’ll probably advise against the nipple circles next time.

You want to see the rest of the pictures here.

On Charlie’s day off last week, we decided to enjoy the fall weather by going on a little hike and having a picnic afterwards. After making cookies and packing lots of food, we were ready for our adventure! The hike went well (Sammy’s first time to walk that far) and was filled with lots of, “woah! rocks!” or, “oh, trees!”. It was fun to see Sammy soaking up the sights and sounds of the outdoors. We didn’t take any pictures on the hike but will hopefully have a video up sometime (if Charlie has time). The picnic was a hit with both boys, and we took TONS of pictures of that! We put up a gallery here, but there were too many favorites for me to put them all in one post. So check back tomorrow for part two of the pics, or you can look at the gallery if the suspense is too much for you.

Both boys really got into the turtles swimming around. There were some cute baby ones, too.
Posing by a bear.
Eli loved playing in the mist, but Sammy certainly did not!
Nice and cool from our romp in the mist.
“I love you, cow.”
Come here, little goat.”
What a cute little boy.
Speaking of cute…DSC06858_2.jpg
I love ’em.

So sleepy…

While Sammy was sick we had a hard time finding fun things for him to do that didn’t get him too wound up. We spent a lot of time coloring!
He’s also very animated for the camera.
Sammy the photographer

So Eli and I have been playing this new game where he’s a telephone and I use him to call Grandma

But today he got violent in the middle of a call

I tried to soothe him

But he was inconsolable

At that point I tried to get Sammy in on the action

But he wasn’t interested

Then it started to get ugly

They teamed up on me

But I turned them against each other

In the end, they were no match for my raw power and animal instincts

In all of the pictures that Gretchen posted yesterday I want to draw your attention to this one in particular:


Zoomed in:

Sammy and Eli have been getting pretty big while we neglected blogging, so I picked out a few pictures for you. It’s hard to believe Eli is five months old already! He’s so close to sitting on his own, babbles a lot, spends more time playing on his own, rolls over and loves watching his big brother. Sammy also loves his brother, and really likes to say “hi” to him. It’s hilarious. Sammy talks nonstop all day, loves dogs, books, trains, airplanes, cars, sticks, and the park. In case you can’t tell, he’s all boy!

Ride ’em, Cowboy!

This Jumperoo is so much more fun now that it’s Eli’s toy!

Look at me!

I don’t always have this worried look on my face…just a lot of the time.

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