Thursday, December 24, 2015

Milestone Anniversary

Our 25th anniversary was actually back in March, but one thing I wanted to do to commemorate it was to do a family photo shoot.  We waited for the fall when the leaves were pretty and took photos one evening near sunset.  I love the way they turned out!

That last one is symbolic, I think.  We're in the fall of our lives but still looking ahead and still together!

Photo credits to Rebecca of Thousand Word Photography.

Milestone Birthdays

We had two milestone birthdays this year.  Noah turned 16 on September 21st and Caleb turned 18 on October 30th.

We had just returned from England one day before Noah's party, so I'm glad he did most of the planning himself.  He had a party with four close friends who also have birthdays in September. There were lots of goofing off along with  balloons, a pinata, and a cookie cake.  It was also "Pirate Day," so the entire party made a trip to Krispy Kreme, where you got a donut for talking like a pirate and a dozen donuts for dressing up as a pirate.

Caleb's party photos are going to seem lame in comparison (he was tired of photos because he had just been out for a senior photo shoot - a convenient excuse to get him out of the house), but he did have a fun party.  It was actually a surprise party and about 10-12 kids from church came here for chili and hanging out.  For his cake, we did a disc golf theme:

Lastly, Terry and I celebrated birthday this fall, but they weren't exactly milestones.  This was just ordinary getting older.  But Rebecca got me a very special gift!  She self-published a Passover Haggadah for us.  She knew this was something I had always wanted.  I can't wait to use it next time we celebrate Passover.

Fall Hiking

Sadly, we didn't get much of a chance to hike together this fall.  Noah and Caleb are both working at Best Buy and had a hard time getting off.  Nathan and Rebecca joined Terry and I for a brief camping trip to Cove Lake State Park (about 45 min. from home).

We took a hike to a place called "Devil's Racetrack,"  I did some research and found out that there was a trend in the last 200 years or so to name weird geological formations for the devil.  I've personally been to Devil's Den (many times), Devil's Icebox, Devil's Backbone, Devil's Tower and now Devil's Racetrack (and probably some more I can't think of right now).  Here's what the locals had to say about the name:

"No one seems really sure about the source of the Devil's Racetrack name, except that it would be a hell of a place to race."

My only complaint about the hike is that it is awfully close to I-75.  You could hear 18-wheelers for most of the hike.  We even hiked under a few billboards.  


This is absolutely one of my favorite activities!  As many of you know, I like to fly and even got my pilot's license in high school.  While some people are scared of heights, I actually enjoy being up high.  Parasailing feels like being a bird.  It is strangely quiet up there.  And it's beautiful to look down on the calm lake.

I first tried parasailing as a newlywed.  Terry had a buddy who owned a parasail, and he set it up to give us rides on Boone Lake.  I wanted to buy our own parasail back then, but Terry wasn't that interested.  Now that we've moved to Knoxville, we have become three-part owners in a parasail from Craigslist.  It is a beautiful one - so colorful!  Somehow, we never get around to parasailing in the summer.  We always go in the fall when the water provides a shockingly cold ending to the ride.

This fall, we had friends visiting from Georgia, and they all went up for a ride - even my friend who is scared of heights had a blast!

We hit a snag (literally) at the end of the day when the parachute got a tiny hole.  We tried to figure out how it happened and actually found the nail on the dock that was the culprit:

notice the red fabric on the nail

So we are grounded until next year when we can get it fixed.  It's too cold to parasail now anyway.

Caleb is a Senior

It's hard to believe I have another senior this year - two in a row!  Caleb has had "senioritis" since the day he started high school.

Rebecca took Caleb for a senior photo shoot at World's Fair Park in Knoxville.  She got some really good pictures (they're on her website here)!

But some of my favorites are the silly shots that show his goofy personality:

Caleb has been awarded a scholarship to UT, but he plans to turn it down and finish his associate's degree at Pellissippi State (he has just one year left because of all of his dual enrollment).  Then he will finish up at UT - majoring in business.  That's the current plan, at least.  Caleb has been known to kick around all sorts of plans - right now he is even considering the Marines!