Saturday, January 31, 2009

Nap Time

That's our Bucky on the right and our neighbors horse Rosie to the left. They are divided by fencing but still like to hang out with each other. I wish Bucky would let me sneak up on him like this so I can sit with him but he always gets up when he sees me coming his way.

Friday, January 30, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

This was the sky this morning on my way back home after dropping Braden and Dalton off at school. The clouds have been replaced with a mostly blue sky now but there is a brisk wind blowing making it cold! For skywatch photos from all over the world, visit SKYLEY

Happy Skywatching :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Icy Morning

Yesterday school was delayed 2 hours because of icy conditions. While I didn't have ice at my house, just 10 minutes down the road at Braden and Dalton's school, the trees were covered in ice. This was taken at 10:00 a.m. and they still hadn't thawed out. The day warmed up but it still looked grey and misty all day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Old Shoes

A couple months ago we toured the Botetourt Historical Museum. I can spend hours in these museums, studying every piece. These old shoes are circa 1700's. If I remember correctly, every piece in the museum was donated by families of early settlers. You can take a virtual tour of the museum HERE

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Geese

I've really gotten attached to my little geese friends. They are so graceful when they float around the pond and they look so cute strutting around the pasture. If they get too close to Bucky, he'll chase them, but really they have been co-existing nicely. The dogs have even gotten used to them.

Yesterday I saw them wandering around the pasture so I grabbed a loaf of bread (we used to feed the ducks/geese at a pond when I was small with bread and they'd become your best friend!) hoping they'd come a little closer to me. Well as I was tossing torn bread towards them, silly Bucky kept taking it all. I'd through a piece and he'd run after it and eat it. I finally had to give up because I didn't want Bucky getting sick and plus there was no way to get the bread past him. What a funny horse.

Today is a snow day, no school for the kids. There's not any snow on the ground, nor is is snowing right now but it's supposed to ice this morning and then snow after 9:00 a.m. but no accumulation was in the forecast. The kids are sound asleep and they will be so happy when they wake up on their own and realize there's no school! All except Ashlyn that is. I woke her up ealier to tell her to turn her alarm off that there was no school, she was actually upset, she loves school. She's a freshman this year and is so happy at her new school.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharp Top Mountain

In 1943, 5 Army men were killed when they crashed their B25 into Sharp Top Mountain. This view of the mountain is taken from Elk Run Trail at Peaks of Otter

You can read more about the crash

And you can read more about Peaks of Otter HERE

I know, I'm back running photos of Peaks of Otter, but we haven't been anywhere else since, it's cold!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mr. Bluebirds on my Shoulder

Well it's a Bluejay in a bush actually. The other day Braden noticed Mr. Bluejay outside our window and commented on all the "decorations" on his back,lol...we get alot of Bluejays visiting in addition to the Cardinals. Makes the yard colorful :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Uninvited

Well it happened. One day this week, totally uninvited and unannounced, Mr. and Mrs. Canadian Goose showed up at the pond. Now a couple months ago, the ducks moved into the pond and have stayed. They've behaved and we've been enjoying their company. The thing about the geese is that they can be mean and messy. I like seeing them out there but if they start acting up, I'm going to have to give them their eviction notice :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

The other night I was leaving Dollar General and I was thinking the Shoney's sign was looking pretty cool against the changing sky. For more skywatch photos from all over the world, visit

Return to Fall

Because our weather has been so dang cold, I wanted a photo that warms me up. I had to look back through my saved photos and found this. This was taken the day we hiked the Appalachian Trail and this was on the way back to the car. It was a perfectly warm day! Although actually, today is supposed to be up in the mid 50's! Finally some warmer weather :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Isn't It Ironic...

Dontcha think?
Three Lil Pigs BBQ situated right next door to Curves for Women...

Ash and I started back up at Curves this month and I can't pull into my parking space without lol'ing when I look at those 3 little smiling pig faces!

Sorry for the poor quality but the sun was glaring and I had to take it from my vehicle as we were pulling up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!

Yesterday morning as I was sitting here playing on the computer, I turned to look out the window and it was SNOWING! Like crazy! The kids were home from school for Martin Luther King Jr day and so we ran outside to have a look. The boys grabbed their snowboards and took off in search of the perfect hill to ride. Unfortunately this was all we got but it was more than last time!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I love the shape of this bridge. Our frigid temps have warmed up a bit. Sunday morning when I woke up and went outside it was 32 and actually felt warm! Imagine 32 as warm but then when you've been in the single digits, it does feel like a heatwave!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Doe, A Deer, A Female Deer

Bambi sighting. After our little tromp through Elk Run Trail, looking for a place to picnic, we saw this cutie. We were driving by when Christian says "There's a deer" and Nick and I didn't even notice her. He had to back up, and I was still blind. Look how patiently she is posing :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lunch Time

Back to Peaks Of Otter. After our hike, we went up the road a bit to have lunch. There was a nice area with picnic tables and the river ran through it. We had the whole place to ourselves! We brought along the grill and made hamburgers which really hit the spot when we were so cold and hungry :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Today I had to go into Roanoke and get new tires put on my little mini van. I love this old Dr. Pepper sign and the Firestone store was right across the street. The weather was so cold that I just wimped out and snapped the photo from inside the lobby while waiting for my tires to be put on. The numbers 10, 2 and 4 on the sign supposedly respresent the time of day that your body needs that extra little boost of energy and of course they think Dr. Pepper would be the perfect choice!

So now, back to the cold. The US is having a total cold snap and here's our forecast for today and tomorrow:
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 7. Wind chill values as low as -3. Northwest wind around 11 mph.

Friday: Sunny, with a high near 17. Wind chill values as low as -9. West wind between 10 and 13 mph.

Friday Night: Clear, with a low around -1. Calm wind.

Schools here in Botetourt County have been delayed for 2 hours in the morning due to the cold! Wow, never had that happen before :)

Also, on Friday is Lee-Jackson Day . A state holiday here in Virginia. I never knew about this holiday till I noticed a sign on the library that they will be closed in observance!

For skywatching all over the world, visit

Happy SkyWatching :)

Peaks Of Otter-Elk Run Trail continued

You can see from this trail marker that this was once the old pioneer cemetery. You can see that rocks were stacked and there is a rectangular shape of land cleared out and somewhat bordered by these stacked rocks, which have fallen over time. I couldn't see any headstones but then I didn't wander over the rock wall since it is so covered in leaves, I didn't want to disrupt anything. I could have probably spent a little more time right there because I have a fascination with old cemeteries but the rest of my family doesn't and were leaving me behind.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peaks Of Otter-Elk Run Trail

Look at all those fallen leaves. Now if it was fall, I'd be terrified to step on a snake hiking all around through those but I didn't bat an eye wandering around on a winter day! This little creek meanders all around and there were little foot bridges built for us to cross without getting our feet wet.

So sad about the elk. Another marker mentioned all the wildlife we could find while hiking, black bear (luckily hibernating I think) white tail deer (which we saw one and I do have a picture of that for later) and lots of other little things I can't remember.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Peaks Of Otter

On Sunday, we jumped on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed for
Peaks of Otter.
It was a brisk, partly sunny day, and we found a hiking trail and took a little hike. This photo, is of the General Store, which was at the beginning of our hike, and closed for the winter. I liked the way the roof is all mossy. For the rest of the week, I'll show you some pictures from our hike :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Walk Home

Walking home after checking the mail. Our mailbox is down the other end of this little gravel road. There are only 2 houses that sit on this road, ours and my neighbor, which you can see her driveway to her house from this view. My house is just a bit past hers.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Red Bird

In the mornings, our yard is full of these pretty little Cardinals. But everytime I grab my camera, they've moved on to someplace else. I focus in, then they are gone again. I snapped this photo from inside my dining room. It's the closest I can get to them!

Looking for something good to read? A while back, my neighbor Country Dew over at Blue Country Magic recommended A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg. I checked out the audio book, read by the author and loved it. I enjoy listening to audio books while I do my chores around the house. Even though it is a "Christmas" story, you really could read this book any time of the year.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Light Dusting

This is what it looked like after our big snow on Thursday,lol (see SkyWatch Friday photo)

Friday, January 9, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Yesterday morning when I took Braden and Dalton to school it started snowing! And it was actually sticking! This is taken from the drop off lane at their school from the comfort of my vehicle. Looks like big soap flakes! All the excitement over the snow was short lived though and it melted within the next hour or two.
For more skywatch photos from all over the world, visit SKYLEY
~Happy Skywatching!~

Thursday, January 8, 2009

STOP When Red Lights Flash

Yesterday morning, I drove to the end of our road so Christian could catch his school bus. We waited in our vehicle till the bus pulled up, it stopped and he got in. No sooner did I turn around to head home, I noticed a car wedged under the bus. I'm not even sure how that happened. This is 2 lanes of traffic, that both travel the same direction. The bus was still stopped. The red vehicle some how got rear ended, by possibly that car that is under the bus? And the back of that car was also smooshed. I got on the bus to make sure everyone was ok and everyone was. The bus driver had to wait for the police to get there. I talked with Christian for a minute, he was fine. All the kids seemed fine, just excited over all the commotion. I had to go back to the house to get Ashlyn so I could take her to school but we couldn't get out of our drive onto the main road with the bus and emergency vehicles blocking the way. They finally got the bus moved and let us out onto the road. Traffic was backed up going both directions for at least a mile from what I could see. On the way to Ashlyn's school, the other lane was completely stopped (I have to pull out onto the main road then make a u-turn to go back the other direction for her school) and a nice man from Blue Collar Joes was handing out donuts to the people stuck in traffic.

So the moral of this story is, you see a school bus, proceed with caution. Stop when its red lights are flashing, and slow down and be careful while driving near the bus. Children's lives are at stake when ignoramuses get impatient and can't wait the minute or two it takes for the children to load or unload the school bus. Now, not only was the impatient person late, possibly injured, I don't know, but this moron also made everyone heading from both directions late to their destinations as well.

I have no tolerance for people who drive erratically around a school bus. When we lived in Missouri, a 9 year old neighbor boy was hit and killed by an impatient driver while he was crossing the road in front of his own house to board his school bus. The person flew past the flashing lights and stop arm and didn't even slow down when she hit this child.

For more on the story, you can read it HERE

Reading one of the stories tells that the driver of the red truck was following the vehicle in front of him too closely....hmmm ya think? You know I've mentioned before what terrible tailgaters alot of Virginia drivers seem to be. I really wish the police officers would start cracking down on these dangerous drivers and issuing citations.
Also small discrepancy in the stories. This did not happen in front of Botetourt Commons. The bus was not stopped at a light. The bus was right before Botetourt Commons at our bus stop, stopped picking up a bus rider, my son.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Pond

The pond has taken on a whole different look in the winter than it did in the summer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Picked up dinner at
Sonic Drive-In and I always order the same, a number 1 with a cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper, yum, with fries, not tots :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Polar Bear Plunge

Last New Years Nick was in Charleston, SC. He had overheard a group of people talking about doing the Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day and he thought "what the heck". Nicks like that. It turned out to be a very significant life lesson for him. He realized after dunking his body in the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean, that he can overcome any obstacle 2008 throws at him. He wanted to teach this lesson to the kids and walked them down to the creek on New Years Day. He told them that they can face any hurdle because they know they are strong. The boys were all excited about this new adventure. The girls (Ashlyn and myself) a little less so. I opted to be the photographer and since our camera is not waterproof, that meant I had to miss out on the the Polar Bear Plunge fun and stand on the river bank. Ashlyn became the official towel holder.

To give you an idea of how cold the water was, the temperature outside was a balmy 33 degrees. I don't know the exact temp of Tinker Creek, but Bucky's water trough had a nice 2 inch sheet of ice over the top. I did dip my hand in the creek, barely, because it was so cold!

Nick went in all the way, totally underneath. Christian ran in past his waste (twice, he's a maniac!) and Braden and Dalton went about thigh level. (we didn't want to shock their little systems!).

What will and determination those guys have!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


In all this time, I've never formally introduced you to Flower. Everyone, this is Flower, and Flower, this is everyone. Isn't she the cutest? Flower is Ashlyn's little Guinea Pig and she is the sweetest little thing!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Clock Strikes 12

On New Years Eve, we all stayed up to watch the ball drop in New York. At midnight, we had a toast (the kids with the "kid wine" which is just sparkling grape juice) and then they ran outside to make alot of noise. Braden had his mini drum set set up on the front porch and Christian had his electric guitar plugged in and ready to go. Here they are jammin on the new year!

Friday, January 2, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

Taken from my back porch. For skywatch photos from all over the world, visit

Happy SkyWatching and Happy 2009!!

Movie Recommendation: I know this has been out for a while but our Pastor just did a sermon on perseverance last Sunday and showed a clip from the movie Facing The Giants . The kids and I had seen this back when it came out but after watching the moving clip he showed, we went out and bought it so we could watch the whole thing again. It's such a great film, with an awesome message whether you are struggling with your faith or your faith is stronger than ever. You have to see this movie!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Theme Day-Best Photo 2008

Another month and another year over, means Theme Day for CDP participants! This months theme is "Best Photo of the Year-2008"

This is one of my favorite photos. This was taken not long after moving into our new home and I think it captures the spirit of little boys, or at least mine, out discovering their new surroundings! I can just smell the sweet scents of summer!

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

~*Happy New Year*~