Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The Seaman pirates on a treasure hunt at Cape San Blas!

Flying the stunt kite

a little sunscreen goes a long way!

Rebecca and Sara

Rebecca and Hannah

We had a great time on our trip to Florida. We stayed at a beach house on Cape San Blas that Terry's parents had rented for all of us. It was a beautiful place. While Terry's extended family was all at Cape San Blas, my extended family had gathered at St. Andrews State Park near Panama City, about an hour and a half away. We spent one day with them.

Our trip mainly consisted of long walks on the beach (at least an hour every day), reading, scrapbooking (me), talking, eating, learning to fly Terry's new stunt kite and watching NCAA basketball. The kids spent time on the beach (including the cold water) but also tried to max out on playing on the computer and watching videos. We are now returning to reality, and it is harsh!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You're Not Gonna Believe This!

The kids and I are running around screaming our heads off! We just got a phone call telling us that we have been chosen as a Panasonic HD Family. I entered this contest in January by writing an essay and telling how we would do the assigned scavenger hunt if we had the HD products (this was another part of the contest).

We won over $15,000 of HD equipment plus a crew of folks to set everything up for us at our house and teach us how to use it! We won a large plasma TV, a laptop, a home theater system, an HD video camera, two cameras, a printer, a Wii and games, blueray videos, etc. plus a year's worth of subscription to HDTV from our local cable company. I understand that ten families from across the US were chosen in this round. As a result of winning, we have to participate in "challenges" where we make videos, etc of our family that are put on the web.

Here's part of the original news story about the contest:

The “Bring Back Family Time” advertising campaign is part of Panasonic’s integrated Living In High Definition program. The program also includes a nationwide multi-truck tour that is bringing consumers a hands-on experience with Panasonic’s suite of High Definition products, and an experiential program, in association with researchers from the Center for Urban Research and Policy at Columbia University, that will explore and document how High Definition technologies can enrich the American lifestyle. As part of the program, as many as 30 families will be awarded a $20,000 suite of High Definition products including Plasma HDTVs, Blu-ray Players, HD Camcorders, Digital Still Cameras and other products and services.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


For the fourth year in a row, we are operating our home as a B&B for folks attending the NASCAR race in Bristol. This weekend is the "Spring Race" - which is not as big of a deal as the race in August, but we are still running full. This weekend we'll have an interesting mix of folks - a recently-deployed serviceman from Maryland and his 6yo son, a retired couple from Florida, a father and two sons from California and a few others from somewhere I can't remember. We will be sleeping in our camper in the backyard.
I've always thought it would be fun to own and operate a B&B. This lets me do it just two weekends a year. We will make $1700 this weekend. Sure, I have to do lots of house-cleaning, but I need to clean up the house twice a year anyway, right?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Haven't Done This in a While

Though it seems weird to now after several days of spring-like weather, we actually went snow-skiing last Thursday. It is hard to believe that there is this much snow only an hour's drive from our home. We had about 1/2" back home (enough to close county schools), but there were about six new inches at Beech Mountain, North Carolina. They were also taking advantage of the cold temperatures to make snow. This snow-making is very noisy and makes me appreciate the quietness of snow-skiing in Colorado.
Nathan and Rebecca were unable to come because they had play practice to attend, but Noah and Caleb both learned quickly - completely bypassing the bunny slope. In fact, after just one trip down, Caleb got back on the lift and went up himself.
We could have made lots more pictures, but it turns out my camera does not operate well at 18 degrees.