This American Life

I am very excited that beginning this week “This American Life” is offering podcasts of their shows each week for free.  They had been available only for purchase previously.  Now, each Monday you can download and listen to them only for that one week.  This is great news as the program is broadcast here on Friday nights at 7:00 and I never get to catch it anymore.  If you are not familiar with “This American Life”, you need to be.

Each week’s show centers on a theme which is covered in several acts.  It is a documentary style show which can range from hysterical to thought-provoking to tragic.  Monday’s drive to work just got better!


Halloween Party

We went to a party last night at Michael’s brother’s house.  Graham had so much fun seeing his cousins.Cousins

He stayed awake for just  a few minutes once we got in the car and then fell asleep holding onto his pumpkn treat bag that his Aunt Sandra gave him.Sleepy Halloween Head

Boo in the Zoo


Graham has been such a hoot this Halloween so far.  He is simultaneously apprehensive and fascinated with all things Halloween.  We have bought him a couple of scary pop-up Halloween books and he asks us to read them over and over and over again.  He knows all the names of the Halloween cast of characters- Frankenstein, Dracula, ghouls, goblins, witches, and mummies.  He is obsessed. 

This Halloween Graham is a purple dragon.  I bought his costume last Halloween, and after Michael brought it down from the attic, he was terrified of it and didn’t want to touch it.  He was very uncomfortable with the idea of putting his head inside a bright purple mouth, even if the teeth were made of soft felt.  Michael had the best idea to start him wearing it early, encouraging him to growl and scare us in it, which worked after he discovered he could use it to frighten adults.  Now he’s quite comfortable being a dragon.

Tonight we went to Boo in the Zoo at the Greenville Zoo.  Graham had a blast.  This is his first Halloween that he is super excited about.  He loved getting all that candy and saying trick or treat and usually remembered to say, “Thank you!”  He is the best boy a mommy could hope for and I love every second of reliving all of the childhood wonder.


Group at LEAF 2006 

This past weekend, we packed up the car with most of the contents of our home and headed out to the fall LEAF festival.  This festival takes place in Black Mountain, NC which is just about a half hour east of Asheville.  As we made our way into the mountains, the fall colors on the leaves were truly breathtaking and immediately lifted away any stress.

We arrived 0n Friday and boy, was it cold!  The temperature wasn’t too low, but it was a blustery day.  Chris, Tammy, Ben, and Noah met up with us and we found the most private spot to camp bordering a creek.  Our site was high on the hill and the leaves enveloped us. 

Friday night’s musical highlight was  the Skatalites which we watched until Graham was too tired to watch anymore.  It was a super frigid night and I was proud of Graham for curling up in his dinosaur sleeping bag and not waking up all night to complain about the cold.

Saturday the weather comfortably stayed right in the 60’s.  After a yummy french toast breakfast, we caught the ukulele driven female led Mad Tea Party first which was lots of fun.  That day we did lots of wandering around the festival grounds taking in all of the sights and sounds.  There is no better people watching!

One of my favorite things to do is to check out the kid’s market.  Children 5-12 can sell handcrafted items in this little market area and they sell them for no more than 5 bucks.  I love it and adore watching the kids try to push their wares.  Michael let Graham pick out a few items for my birthday which was a great idea. 

We also spent some time watching people dance in the dance hall.  Many people come to LEAF solely for the Cajun, contra, and salsa dancing opportunities and they are fantastic to watch for a while.  Michael and I twirled Graham around on the dance floor for a while to Cajun music until he got to heavy to hold which happens fairly quickly these days.


On Sunday, we were able to catch Mamadou Diabate, a West African band.  The lead musician plays the kora which is a 21 stringed instrument that makes a uniquely peaceful sound.  After that, we packed up, got some lunch, and hit the road.  I was sad to go and wish we had more time.  We vowed to come back in the spring a day earlier so we could fully enjoy the place.  Regardless, I’m so happy to have discovered the magic of LEAF once again. On the Bridge

Ice Cream

I love ice cream.  It is one of my favorite pleasures and I have to say I rarely feel guilty about it.  I grew up eating lots of ice cream.  We were an ice cream loving family.  I remember my dad many times actually eating ice cream straight out of the carton laying on our kitchen counter watching tv.  Our family would have ice cream almost every night.  My mom and dad were the kind of people that somehow never seemed to gain weight.  If I ate ice cream every night now, I would be as big as the cows they gather that luscious milk from!  Never the less, I still love ice cream now and then.  And Graham seems to have developed a similar love of ice cream.  He rarely gets it, but the other night at Barley’s we let him have a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  Boy, did he enjoy himself. He was so excited and quickly cleaned that bowl.  I love that ice cream face!Ice Cream Face

Mountain House

We made the journey up the mountain this weekend to stay with our friend Bill at his cabin near Brevard.  Bill’s brother’s family joined us as well as our friend Brad.  We had hoped to have time for a little hike, but got a late start.  So, we ended up stopping at Caeser’s Head for a quick walk around the peak.  It is an amazing view from there and such a treasure to have so close to home.   We hiked a little bit and Graham had fun trying to climb up rocks. Mountain Family

   The mountain house was as tranquil as ever.  The guys sat around playing guitar and Graham joined in.  Graham has a little green guitar that he got for his birthday and he really likes to pluck as those strings.  He’s actually improving I think.  Michael brought up a pumpkin and carving tools and he and Graham carved a pumpkin.  Graham tried to feed the pumpkin garlic bread during dinner.  Graham feeding the jack-o-lantern

Brad and I then took on Michael and Jay for a game of overland bocce.  Michael was able to pull off a victory once again!  After an enormous spagetthi dinner, we had to retire to the living room and the fireplace.  Spaghetti Face

It was freezing outside!  The thermometer actually read 25 degrees at one point.  We stayed fairly warm under lots of blankets, but it was tough getting out of bed in the morning.  All in all, it was another glorious mountain adventure!

Brad and Graham at Dinner

July Stork Has Landed

A batch of new referrals just came out for babies in China.  The process had really been stagnant for a while, so it was a relief to see things were moving again.  They’ve placed babies with families whose dossiers were registered during July 23 through August 9, 2005.  So, China only has 3 months to go through before they get to us in November.  Here are some blogs that have their referral pictures.  I love looking at these pictures and imagining what our baby will look like.  It  seems so surreal at times.