Saturday, October 3, 2015

Mom's Birthday - Sept 1

The family celebrated Mom's birthday at a Mexican restaurant in Sherman this year.  It was great to see everyone, those that could make it. Candice snagged this pic for us while we were chatting, so glad she did, again...I did way too much talking and not enough picture taking, and have very little evidence of the event.  Candice thinks we should hire a photographer for things like this, I really think she is on to something :->

L > R - Reg, Mom, Me and Cindy - Stephen and Kaelen are behind Reg at another table in this pic.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Our Anniversary Trip to the Biltmore 2015

Realizing that our resort, Apple Mountain in Northern Georgia is only 1.5 hours away from the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC we decided to incorporate a visit while celebrating our anniversary in the area this year.  We flew into Atlanta Friday evening, picked up our rental, plugged in Kenny G as our background music, then made the trip out to the resort for a nice quiet weekend before our trip to Asheville on Monday.

After a couple of days of jelling at the resort, we decided a little PT was in order, so we drove the 11 miles to Tallulah Falls just inside the Chattahoochee National Forest and hiked the north rim of the gorge a couple of times, before heading out to beautiful Asheville, NC

The view of  Sky Valley just off Hwy 64 en route to Asheville - this is a common site when driving the route we took

The twisting and turning drive through the blue ridge mountains was beautiful and thrilling, we stopped in the quaint little alpine village of Cashier for lunch at a cute little outdoor restaurant.  When we arrived at our hotel we were given our Biltmore passes, so we unloaded, mapped our route and drove over to the estate for our first glimpse of the property before the managers reception back at the hotel.

I have uploaded some of my pics to this post, but in all honesty, we weren't allowed to take pictures inside the estate, and I was too busy ooohing and aaahing over the property to actually take any really good shots, the link above is their web site, the Photo tab provides the best pics of the estate.                                                               

Chad outside relaxing on the Loggia

Looking at one side of the house from the garden area

Stopping at the bottom of the stairs from the house, that lead to the gardens under the pergola for a quick selfie - our selfies rarely turn out well  8-{

One section of the garden - these are divided into quadrants on a few levels on both sides of a pergola that connects the top of the gardens to the side of the estate - it was a nice little walk that August day, but the temp was still more pleasant than the triple digit Texas heat.

View from one of the many framed walls under a pergola leading to the green house - these wall both sides of the pergola with similar views all the way down to the greenhouses

Stopping for a pic on our way back up to the Stables restaurant for lunch which is on the other side of the estate - after lunch we took  the servants tour to see what their world was like - equally cool!
The Biltmore is amazing, the grounds, the history, and the experience was incredible, we had such a great time, but our journey continues to Bryson City, NC and the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad adventure where we hopped on a vintage train for the scenic route to Nantahala OC on board the Carolina Shine

A selfie in the car before our trip
Being served 8 different flavors of 100 proof moonshine, the best was the apple pie (only 70 proof) was almost worth burning my throat for.

This is really funny, not sure how I missed the part about how we would be served Moonshine on this trip - but what a fun thing to get to experience, at least once 8-]

Chad listening to a yarn from a moonshiner while riding the rails and enjoying the scenery
Once we got to the Nantahala Outdoor Center, we deboarded the train for a nice stretch, and to watch some kayakers practicing for the Olympics

Chad watching an Olympic hopeful practicing in the frigid water of the Nantahala River (52 degrees year round)

We ended our trip, just as we began - at Apple Mountain Resort,  before heading out to Atlanta and the flight back home - what a great trip, Chad gave me a gold star, for my itinerary - I agree!. He also said as we were leaving the Biltmore property, "when we come back the next time, we should definitely stay at the Biltmore House Inn on the property" - we should do this for Christmas some time.
Stopping for a snack in Clayton, GA for some lovely fried green tomatoes, the chef plated these beautifully - worthy of a pic and a spot on my blog 8-}

Friday, September 4, 2015

Note to self - mobility jams up my blogging

Now that I have a mobile device, I rarely use my lap top anymore, posting to my blog on the tablet is cumbersome, so I don't.  But, wow a lot of life has come and gone and looking at it now, I have been MIA when it comes to posting about events in my world that are very important to me.  In an effort to catch up, I am posting a few pics that I was able to capture in bullet point form, just to get up to speed.

Leo started playing soccer this spring, he really enjoys it!
PawPaw making Abbie (15 months) laugh while we wait for our lunch in Shreveport

Candice and me on Mothers Day

Celebrating Candice's Birthday Party at McAlisters - that cheese cake was yummy!

Chad and Jack on Fathers Day

Jack and Candice at our churches Freedom Festival - Independence Day celebration

Emmett napping in PawPaws arms after church, just like this pic - no special occasion

Sure hope this is just a phase I am going through, and that I will pick up the blogging habit again, really wanted this is to be my electronic journal for my personal use - dog gone it, if my tablet just wasn't so cool and efficient, this would be a non issue - oy vey!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Baby Emmett

The newest member of our family - Emmett Savage Charlson born April 13, 2015

Big brothers; Leo and Jack are so proud!

The Matt Charlson Family

Monday, March 9, 2015

Is it spring yet???

This weekend Chad and I spent the weekend at the ranch, I wanted to see Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden in Gladewater while the flowers were in bloom, but the snow, sleet and ice last week was pretty hard on them, they were still lovely, but not as prolific as usual, many of them still had their little heads down as if they
were bracing for the cold.  I really like this place, its just acre after acre of yellow daffodils - such a peaceful drive through..

We did a little antiquing in Gladewater - was so glad to find 3 white ironstone cup and sauces of Innerpace to go with my collection, Chad found a Stock Market Bull all at St Clair, they usually have the winners - guess the trip was a hit. I left a little cabinet behind that I know now, I should have purchased - oh well, guess I'll have to go back.  That afternoon we headed over to Shreveport to have supper with Casey and his family.  Abbie sat across the table from me this time, she was so sweet in her little lacey pink dress and white maryjanes, clutching her baby doll.
Looks like her Dad!
She is still not too sure about me - whats that Casey been telling her ;->

Almost a smile - the straw in her mouth is keeping her happy at the moment.

It was so nice to see them - they look good and seem very happy - really makes the trip to the ranch even more fun now!!

Jacks 2nd Birthday - January 11

This year Jacks birthday party theme was baseball - and so much fun, Candice and Matt were in the middle of preparing to move into their new house, but that didnt curb the fun - they still came up with a great party for baby Jackers!  I think we all got him some kind of construction oriented gift - he really enjoyed that!
Blowing out the candle with his mommy!
Preparing for his career in construction
I can fix that for you!

One day he will trade in his bouncing pony for a real ride, but he's good for now.

He was so cute, Matt said the next morning when he got up for church, Jack was already up and in his little construction costume, helmet and goggles, ready for church!  So precious!  Happy Birthday Jack - we love you and praise God for giving you to us!!

Leo and Jacks new swing

This year we decided to give the boys a back yard swing set for Christmas so Chad; the engineering elf pulled out his old drafting machine - i.e. his laptop, and began his clever design - he planned and plotted, calculated and crafted and finally came up with a winning design any 4 or 2 year old would be proud to swing on.

...he measured...

...and drilled...

...and finally created a perfectly lovely swing set for two happy little boys.