Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Day at the beach

We're enjoying our vacation in Panama City Beach, Florida. Much of the time, the weather has been overcast, but warm - in the 60's and 70's. But, a couple of days have been sunny. One morning, we spent some time at the beach. Even though the water was very cold, Miranda still ventured out into the gulf. Enjoy the pictures!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Drive to Panama City Beach, FL

This morning, we drove from Alexander City, AL to Panama City Beach, FL. Here are some pictures from our drive and from our room where we're staying:

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Family Pictures

Last November, our friend Melissa (from tesorophotography) took pictures of our family. We think the pictures turned out great! Thank you, Melissa! If you are in the Raleigh area, you should definitely get Melissa to do your family photos!

Here are some of the pictures:

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dinner with Friends - 12/19/2008

On our trip from Youngsville, NC to Alexander City, AL (about a 12-hour trip including stops), we stopped in Braselton, GA to have dinner with some good friends: Lew and Kati, and Brandon and Heather and their girls.

We've known Lew and Kati for a few years. I (Alan) worked with Lew until they moved to Georgia about 9 months ago. I met Brandon and Heather through blogging. We met them in person for the first time last April.

It was good to spend some time (but not enough time) with these friends. Here are some pictures:

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wake Forest Christmas Parade

Last Saturday, we were in the Wake Forest, NC Christmas Parade on the Franklin County Humane Society float. Jeremy wore a dog costume and did a great job waving to the crowd. The kids really loved him. Jeremy, Margaret, and I rode in the back of the truck that pulled the float. Miranda rode on the float with some other people and several real dogs. Here are some pictures:

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Also, I wore a very interesting Christmas hat. I had alot of fun with it. For some reason, Margaret, Jeremy, and Miranda all wanted me to upload this video:

Caroling with the Disseaus

Tonight we went Christmas caroling with the Disseaus around their neighborhood. Here are some pictures:

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caroling with Friends

Since last Summer, our family and some friends have been spending time getting to know the residents who live in a government assisted housing development in our area. Earlier tonight, we went Christmas caroling in that neighborhood. Besides being too warm (almost 70!) to carol, we had a great time. I think the neighbors enjoyed the singing too! Here are some pictures:

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Youngsville Christmas Parade 2008

This morning, our family rode in the Youngsville Christmas Parade. We rode in the float for the Franklin County Humane Society. The other family that rode with us was the family that fostered Lucy before we adopted her. It was nice to meet them again. Miranda dressed as a cat, and did a good job waving and acting like a cat! Here are some pictures of the parade from the vantage point of our float:

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Miranda made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving

This afternoon, we started preparing Thanksgiving dinner for tomorrow. Well, actually, Margaret and Miranda started most of the preparing, although I did have to do some auxiliary activities like getting the mixer out of the pantry and washing the turkey.

Miranda wanted to help Margaret. So, Margaret asked her to make the pumpkin pie. Miranda mixed the crust using fresh ground wheat. She also rolled the crust and shaped it in the pan. Then she mixed and added the pumpkin filling.

We think Miranda's pumpkin pie looks delicious, and we can't wait to try it tomorrow! Here are a few pictures:

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snow in North Carolina in November

We woke up Friday morning (Nov 21) to snow on the ground. Apparently it has only snowed in this area of the state during November three times over the last thirty years. And, we had snow twice this WEEK! But, there was no accumulation the first time. Unfortunately, they didn't cancel classes or close the office for either snow!

Here are some pics of the snow:

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finding a home for Toby

We've had Toby, our second foster puppy, for almost two weeks. He is very popular! We've had almost twenty applications for him. We started taking him on home visits last night, and hope to take him to meet another family on Saturday. Here are a few new pictures of Toby:

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Raking Leaves With Friends For Friends

Today, after our weekly church meeting, we went to a local government assisted housing project with some friends to rake leaves for the neighbors who live there. Many of the residents are elderly, have health problems, or are single moms. So, we decided to help them by raking their leaves. Here are some pictures of the work and fun! (Unfortunately, our camera battery died while we were raking leaves at the first two housing units and before all of our friends arrived. We actually raked leaves at six housing units.)

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Pushups - Again

After starting the hundred push ups program - and making it about half way through it - I started having eye problems that zapped my strength. Then, I cut my hand and needed a couple of stitches. Well, I'm finally healed, so our family is starting the program again.

Last night, we all did our first exhaustion test. For this test, we had to do as many push ups as we could do without stopping. Here are our results: Jeremy did 35, I did 15, Margaret and Miranda did 10. So, tonight we start the first day of training. We'll keep everyone updated on our progress.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Friends and Family on Saturdays

On Saturday mornings, our family and some friends have been spending time in a government assisted housing development. Cathy, a friend of ours, lives in that neighborhood, and she began to introduce us to some of her neighbors. Back in the summer, we would stop by a local produce stand and pick up some vegetables and fruit for the neighbors. But, now that the produce stand is closed, we simple spend time with the people in the neighborhood. Here are some pictures from this morning.

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Rastafarian and an 80's Homecoming Queen

Earlier this evening, Jeremy and Miranda went to a friend's house for a costume party. Jeremy dressed as a Rastafarian, and Miranda dressed as an 80's Homecoming Queen. Jeremy was chosen as having the best costume. Here are some of the pictures:

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miranda's Red Belt Testing - Board Breaks

This week, Miranda has been testing for her red belt in Tae Kwon Do. Board breaking is part of that testing. Here is a video of Miranda breaking boards with three different techniques:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Pics of Toby

A few days ago Miranda and I visited Toby - our soon to be foster puppy. We took a few more pictures of him. You can get a better idea of his size from these photos:

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We have a new foster puppy?

We will have a new foster puppy in a couple of weeks! A family was evicted, and left the puppy behind. Their 80 year old neighbor found him, but she couldn't take care of him by herself. So, in a couple of weeks, after being quarantined, we'll have a new foster puppy! Right now, he's a cute little fur ball. Apparently, he looks alot like his mother, and she was only about 25 lbs.

But, we had a problem. We couldn't decide what to call him. Jeremy and Miranda suggested Mick, Toby, Max, and Joey. We had to pick a name to put on the Humane Society web site. Miranda and I didn't think he was energetic enough to be a Joey, so we picked Toby.

Here are a couple of pictures of Toby:

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Macey has been adopted

Macey, our first foster puppy with the Franklin County Humane Society, was adopted this afternoon. A family adopted Macey and her sister Cassie. We think they are going to enjoy their new family together, but we already miss her! Here are some pictures of Macey (on the right) and Cassie (on the left) with their new family, and a video of Macey.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Appalachian Trail Hiking/Camping Pictures

Jeremy and I went on a hiking/camping trip from Thursday, October 9, until Saturday, October 11, on part of the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania with our friends Jim and Jason. Here are some of the pictures from our trip. I'll try to post more about the trip later.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Week with Macy (the foster puppy)

Macy, our new foster puppy, arrived last Saturday. She is a miniature greyhound mix. She's cute, lovable, and playful. Our dogs (Lucy and Aggie) have done very well with her, for the most part. Sometimes they get a little jealous. Macy is going to make someone a very good pet. Believe it or not, she sleeps all night, and she's only had a few accidents in the house. If you're interested in adopting her, please let us know or fill out an adoption application at Franklin County Humane Society's website.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We're getting a new (foster) puppy!

Our family decided to become foster parents for the Franklin County Humane Society. A lady from FCHS came to our house last week to interview us to see if we would be a good foster family and to check out our fence. We passed inspection and someone called on Friday to tell us they have a puppy for us. She has to be quarantined for 2 weeks before coming to stay with us. Lucy and Miranda are very excited but Aggie is not so sure why we need another puppy at her house. Here are some photos of our first foster puppy.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Beach trip with the church

Sunday, August 24, we went to Wrightsville Beach, NC with the church. We spent all day soaking up the sun, playing volleyball, playing in the ocean, building sand castles, boogie boarding, skim boarding, burying our friends in the sand, and hanging out under the pier. Here are a few things we learned:

1) 6 hours is too long to stay at the beach... until next time. :)
2) We are too old for volleyball... unless someone challenges us again.
3) Sand makes a nice condiment for chicken salad.
4) Six people can quickly go through 20 bottles of water and 24 sodas at the beach.
5) Skim boards look like fun... but hurt.
6) Three applications of SPF 30 sunscreen vs. the sun... the sun wins every time.
7) People gather around when a group of people on the beach play volleyball or start singing.

I hope you enjoy these pictures.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pushups Update - after 2 weeks

So, Jeremy and I (Alan) have continued the 100 pushups program for the last two weeks. I told you about starting the program in the post "100 pushups". So, how are we doing with pushups?

Well, the program is not causing Jeremy any problems yet. He can easily do 30-40 consecutive pushups even after the workout program. But, these next two weeks will be more difficult for him.

And me? Well, when we started, we had to do as many consecutive pushups as we could do. I could do 6. I know, right!?!? Anyway, that's why I wanted to do this program. I needed the exercise. After two weeks, I did another consecutive pushup test today. And, for this test, I did 22 pushups!!! No, not as many as Jeremy - and probably not a many as most people can do - but sooooo much better for me. This next two weeks is going to kill me - literally. But, I'm excited to see how much I improve after two more weeks.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lord's Supper and Mrs. Jenny's Cross

Today, we ate the Lord's Supper together. It may sound strange to some people, but we actually eat an entire meal as the Lord's Supper. I mean, it is called a "supper", right? Anyway, here are some pictures from our meal.

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Also, Mrs. Jenny gave us a painting of a cross last week. Here is a picture of the painting. Mrs. Jenny is a resident of a local nursing home that has adopted our family. If you want to know more about Mrs. Jenny, I (Alan) wrote about her on my blog a couple of times: see "I think we've been adopted" and "She said, 'I'm very close'" on my blog.

Monday, August 11, 2008

100 pushups

Tonight, Jeremy, Miranda, and I (Alan) started an exercise routine called 100 pushups. Supposedly, if we follow this program, we will each be able to do 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks. Of course, Jeremy started out way ahead of Miranda and me. Miranda is doing pushups from her knees because we don't want to strain her ankle. Margaret wanted to do this with us, but her arm has been bothering her, and we don't want to strain it either. She may try it in a few weeks. I'll keep you posted as to how we're doing. Anyone else want to try this workout program?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Jeremy awarded 1st degree black belt

Last Thursday - after over four years of instruction and after a week of very intensive testing - Jeremy and his friends Zach and Lacee were awarded the 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I'll post more pictures and videos later, but this is a video of Jeremy being presented his new belt and certificate.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More TKD 1st degree black belt testing - sparring

Here is another video from 1st degree black belt testing in Tae Kwon Do from last Thursday, July 31, 2008. There are two parts to this video. The first parts show Jeremy's friend Zach sparring. Then, Jeremy spars. Each of them spars one, two, then three opponents at a time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Jeremy's TKD 1st degree black belt testing - bokken

Last Thursday, Jeremy began testing for his 1st degree black belt. There are several parts to the testing, and it is very intense. He will finish his testing next Tuesday. Here is a video of one part of the testing. In this part of the testing, Jeremy is sparring one and two opponents with a bokken (sword). Jeremy is the one in the red and black uniform.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our friends Geth and Katie

A couple of days ago, when I was downloading pictures from Miranda's camera, I found some pictures of our dinner with our friends Geth and Katie. We've gotten to know Geth and Katie over the last few months. We knew them before they got married, and spent some time with them. Unfortunately, we were out of town and missed their wedding. But, after they returned from their honeymoon, they invited us to their house for dinner - even though we missed the wedding. We had a great time with them, and look forward to getting to know them even more!

(By the way, this is the third post in three days on this blog! Wooot!)

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Miranda's 11th Birthday

Today is Miranda's 11th birthday! She had a spend the night birthday party last night with three friends. Here are some pictures from her party. By the way, the awesome cookie cake was baked by our friend Laura at Creatively Designed Cakes! Thank you Laura!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quiet Summer?

So, it has been a very quiet summer on this blog. But, it hasn't been a quiet family for our family. Here are a few highlights.

Jeremy is preparing to test for his 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Apparently, most of the preparations included getting beat up, bruised, scratched, scarred, and clawed. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

Miranda hurt her ankle at the beginning of summer. She doesn't know how she did it, but she was swimming, TKD'ing, and playing alot. Anyway, she cracked a bone in her ankle and had to wear a boot for 3 weeks. She's now in a lace-up brace and doing physical therapy.

Jeremy and I (Alan) went to an all day concert called Projekt Revolution. It was alot of fun.

Miranda is celebrating her 11th birthday tomorrow. Her party is tonight.

At the beginning of the summer, Margaret and I (Alan) started walking in the mornings for exercise. So far, we're doing pretty good - walking longer distances and for a longer time. We've also been eating better - less processed foods and sugars, more fruits and vegetables and water. Tonight (birthday party) doesn't count.

I'll try to update more often in the days to come... and I'll try to post some pics soon.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Meet in the Street 2008 - Part 5

Here is the final video from last Saturday's Meet in the Street. The students do not actually do Tae Kwon Do. Instead, they act out a skit based on the song Everything from Lifehouse. If you search for Lifehouse and Everything at YouTube you'll find the original skit. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Meet in the Street 2008 - Part 4

This is the fourth video from Meet in the Street in downtown Wake Forest last Saturday. This presentation is based on Star Wars with Jedi vs. Sith. Somehow, Jeremy and Miranda both ended up on the "good" side - the Jedi. I hope you enjoy this video.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Meet in the Street 2008 - Part 3

This is the third video from Meet in the Street 2008 in Wake Forest. I've edited together all of the board breaking parts of the presentation into one video.

There are some really awesome board breaks in this section, including Jeremy breaking two different boards at one time. At about the 1 minute mark on the video, Jeremy begins setting up the boards. He jumps up and breaks one board in front of him with a punch, and another board behind him with a kick.

Also, around the 4:15 mark, a large group of students begin setting up to break boards. Miranda is the fifth person to break her board. She does a great job!

I hope you enjoy this video.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Meet in the Street 2008 - Part 2

Here is the second part of the video from Meet in the Street 2008. In this video, Miranda and three of her friends are performing their blue belt form.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Meet in the Street 2008 - Part 1

Jeremy and Miranda's Tae Kwon Do class - Christian Martial Arts - performed a 30 minute presentation at Meet in the Street in downtown Wake Forest, NC. I videoed the entire performance, but the video is too big to upload. I've divided it into five parts, although everything is not included in those five parts.

Here is part one. It includes all of the students as well as their teacher, Cheryl. I hope you enjoy!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I can still take him...

Last Saturday, Jeremy and Miranda's Tae Kwon Do class took part in Meet in the Street in downtown Wake Forest. They did a 30 minute long presentation which included martial arts forms and weapons, self-defense demonstrations, board breaks, and some dramatic presentations. I'll post more photos and videos later.

In case you can't tell, in the photo above (taken by our friend Cindy), Jeremy is jumping up in the air and breaking two boards at the same time - one with a punch in front of him and one with a kick behind him. Yes, those are real pine boards, and no, they were not pre-broken.

And, yes, he looks really tough, but I can still take him.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Exploring Waterfalls

We just returned from a family vacation to the mountains of western North Carolina. In the area where we stayed, there were several waterfalls. One day, we visited some of the waterfalls and recorded videos of our adventures. I hope you enjoy the video and some of the fun that we had on our vacation.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Relay for Life

During our lifetime, several family members and friends have been diagnosed with cancer. Alan's grandfather and Margaret's grandmother died from cancer. The son of our good friends was recently diagnosed and treated for cancer. Last year, Margaret's father was diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer. Cancer has greatly affected our life.

Our family is taking part in the Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society. When we signed up to take part in the Relay for Life in our area (North Raleigh/Wake Forest Relay on May 16-17), we were each given a "Participation Page" which allows people to donate online. If you would like to help us raise money to help fight cancer, please click one of the pages below and look for the "Donate" button.

Jeremy's Relay for Life Page
Miranda's Relay for Life Page
Margaret's Relay for Life Page
Alan's Relay for Life Page
Thank you for helping us raise money for the American Cancer Society!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Jeremy's Bo Staff Form at Tae Kwon Do tournament

Last Saturday, at the Tae Kwon Do tournament in Wake Forest, Jeremy and Miranda both performed in forms and sparring. They both won second place in each category. Jeremy also performed in weapons with his bo staff. He did an excellent job on his form (and NO he did not hit himself in the head). He won third place, but we thought he was much better than that. Of course, we might be prejudiced. Here is a video of him performing his bo staff form during the tournament.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jeremy at Tae Kwon Do Tournament

Here is a video of Jeremy performing his black belt form for the Tae Kwon Do tournament yesterday (Saturday) morning. He also won second place like Miranda. In sparring, Jeremy won second place. He also performed in weapons with his bo staff, but I'll post that video later. We're very proud of Jeremy because he worked very hard to fine tune this form.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Miranda at Tae Kwon Do tournament

Jeremy and Miranda and their Tae Kwon Do school participated in a tournament this morning. All of the students did very well. Miranda won second place in forms for her age and rank category. "Forms" means performing a set of Tae Kwon Do moves - kicks, punches, blocks, stances, etc. Miranda also won second place in sparring. The video below shows Miranda performing her blue belt form during the tournament. We're very, very proud of her!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Miranda's Tae Kwon Do Blue Belt Form

Miranda is also preparing for a Tae Kwon Do tournament. In this video, she is performing her blue belt form for her second stripe test. She passed her test with flying colors! We're very proud of her because she has improved alot in the last few weeks. Unfortunately, we did not get a video of the entire form. We hope you enjoy this video too.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Jeremy's Bo Staff Form

I know that we haven't posted here lately, but I think watching this video will be worth the wait!

Jeremy and Miranda are both practicing their Tae Kwon Do forms and sparring to prepare for an upcoming tournament. Jeremy will also be competing in weapons with his bo staff. At one point while practicing his bo staff form, Jeremy hits himself in the head! He has never done this before, and we were very excited to catch the historic moment on video. I hope you enjoy this video clip.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


So, it started snowing here about an hour ago. We were supposed to get snow a few days ago, but nothing materialized. Anyway, today we are definitely going to get snow - since it is already snowing. It is supposed to snow all night and into the early morning hours. Also, the temperature is supposed to drop into the 20's. They are saying that the snow should stick around until at least Monday.

We talked to Margaret's parents earlier this morning. It was snowing in Alabama then. According to the new reports, this was their first snow since 1993 - that's fourteen years ago! We remember that snow vividly. It snowed on December 22, 1993 - the day that Jeremy was born. We were in the hospital watching it snow out the window. I think it also snowed the spring before, but I don't remember the exact date. Snow is rare in Alabama.

If we have any accumulation, I'll put some pictures on here. Also, I hope to post some pictures from our travels to Alabama and Georgia over Christmas and New Years.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chick-Fil-A Bowl

On New Year's Eve, our family, along with my (Alan's) parents and Margaret's parents, attended the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. We were happy that Auburn defeated Clemson in overtime. The game was very exciting!

Before the game, we all went to the Varsity for dinner. I (Alan) attended Ga Tech, so it was fun to return to the Varsity. Their menu has expanded, but I (Alan) still had their chili dogs and onion rings. Everyone else had hamburgers or chicken fingers, but its just not a trip to the Varsity without chili dogs and onion rings.

We were actually walking around the Georgia Dome to get to our exit at midnight. So, we "rang in" the New Year with several thousand Auburn fans. Here are a few pictures from before the game.

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