Blizzard on Red Oak

Posted by: Joe on: January 23, 2016

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To Monterey for Anna’s 40th

Posted by: Joe on: December 29, 2015

Our first time across the Golden Gate Bridge and Anna was excited to be the one driving!

Our first time across the Golden Gate Bridge and Anna was excited to be the one driving!

This image gives a good indication of all the beautiful colors we saw while in Monterey.

This image gives a good indication of all the beautiful colors we saw while in Monterey.

These beautiful hills are part of a land grant to a private family from the Mexican government in the early 1800s.

These beautiful hills are part of a land grant to a private family from the Mexican government in the early 1800s.

We spent much of our time just appreciating GOD's beauty.

We spent much of our time just appreciating GOD’s beauty.

Compared to their much larger ancestors in Muir Woods, these tress are youngsters.

Compared to their much larger ancestors in Muir Woods, these tress are youngsters.

The 200 year old oaks that we get excited about in TN are saplings compared to these giants.

The 200 year old oaks that we get excited about in TN are saplings compared to these giants.

We spent most of our day driving along the beautiful coastal highway 1.

We spent most of our day driving along the beautiful coastal highway 1.

The beautiful Old Monterey Inn was built in the 20s but the Mayor of Monterey, CA Carmel Martin.

The beautiful Old Monterey Inn was built in the 20s by the Mayor of Monterey, CA Carmel Martin.

We're excited. Time together away from the normal concerns of life will put a smile on any face!

We’re excited. Time together away from the normal concerns of life will put a smile on any face!

And THIS is our not-too-shaby ride for the week.

And THIS is our not-too-shaby ride for the week.

Breakfast at this B&B was delicious!

Breakfast at this B&B was delicious!

Welcome!

Welcome!

The window from our room opened into a peaceful garden. It was right out of a story book.

The window from our room opened into a peaceful garden. It was right out of a story book.

Muir Woods' Gentle Giant

Muir Woods’ Gentle Giant

Casanova was a wonderful, romantic restaurant in Carmel-by-the-sea which is just south of Monterey.

Casanova was a wonderful, romantic restaurant in Carmel-by-the-sea which is just south of Monterey.

Casanova was unique in that it offered a covered area that felt like we were dining outside.

Casanova was unique in that it offered a covered area that felt like we were dining outside.

The beautifully arranged dining room table at Old Monterey Inn.

The beautifully arranged dining room table at Old Monterey Inn.

The Lone Cypress was actually not alone at all as the area was full of these unique and ancient looking trees.

The Lone Cypress was actually not alone at all as the area was full of these unique and ancient looking trees.

The Monterey Bay is a beautiful area and the harbor is full of splendid boats just waiting to sail.

The Monterey Bay is a beautiful area and the harbor is full of splendid boats just waiting to sail.

The Old Monterey Inn was on our short list of destinations for our honeymoon in October 1998 when we ultimately decided to visit Camden, ME.

The Old Monterey Inn was on our short list of destinations for our honeymoon in October 1998 when we ultimately decided to visit Camden, ME.

Happy 40th Birthday to my beautiful bride! Thanks for sharing your life with me.

Happy 40th Birthday to my beautiful bride! Thanks for sharing your life with me.

This was my delicious meal at Chart House in Monterey, CA.

This was my delicious meal at Chart House in Monterey, CA.

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Entrance to Muir Woods National Monument

Entrance to Muir Woods National Monument

The Tall Trees of Muir Woods

The Tall Trees of Muir Woods

Clark IS Grant!

Posted by: Joe on: May 25, 2015

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This Grant project entitled Faces of History was for Classical Conversations. When I completed the writing, I presented it to the whole Essentials writing class. I presented my project on the 150th anniversary of the day that Grant and Lee settled all terms of surrender for Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. I chose Grant for this project because I like the fact that Lincoln said about Grant, “I can’t spare him…he fights!” I also learned that when Grant was a boy some said of his work ethic that he would do the work of a grown man.

The laughter at the end was due to the fact that Mrs. Barham always gives the parents the best candy first and then the kids get the cheap hard candy that is left over.

Happy Memorial Day!

Posted by: Joe on: May 25, 2015

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I took this picture during Memorial Day weekend in 2011. We were visiting the Chattanooga National Cemetery as part of our Civil War study. Andrew’s Raiders are buried here.

As Clark and Cole were playing out in this field I asked them both to turn and look at the flag. Clark saw the flag flying low in remembrance and immediately struck this pose without prompting.

Today, we remember.

The Music Man!

Posted by: Joe on: May 24, 2015

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This past April, I had another exciting experience at the Center for the Arts, in the ensemble of The Music Man. I was thrilled to be with a few of the cast members of Pinnochio & Beauty and the Beast, Jr. After many hours of rehearsal and late nights, we performed 11 shows including two matinees added as a result of the strong demand for tickets.

I have included a video below of the finale at our last performance in which we danced to our audition track, Uptown Funk. It was a great way to end a great show!

I have also included a picture of me and my good friend, Catalina, who I met during Pinnochio.

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I hope I get to work with this wonderful cast and crew in the future. It was a tremendous experience and I learned much.

– Chloe

 

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Words To Live By

Posted by: Joe on: May 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Chloe!

Posted by: Joe on: May 19, 2015

Chloe’s 13th Birthday

Posted by: Joe on: May 18, 2015

We recently celebrated Chloe’s 13th birthday and had a wonderful time at Parthenon Grille. I’m sure Chloe will remember this special evening for the rest of her life. The boys have both begun planning their 13th birthday event.

 

During the first week of May we visited the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL to see the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the funeral procession just as it proceeded through Springfield and past Lincoln’s home in the center of town.

 

 

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Perfect North

Posted by: Joe on: March 5, 2015

As I write this post, I am watching one of the very rare “heavy” snows that we get in Middle Tennessee. And heavy snow means something slightly different to the folks north of TN. The WISH Team recently enjoyed a first-time experience in the snow.

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As part of our celebration of Christmas each year, we give the kids the gift of an experience. For Christmas 2014, we gave the kids a day of skiing and earlier this week they redeemed that gift.

I didn’t think too much about learning to ski until our instructor began to show us how to lock into our skis. As soon as I stood up in the boots which were now locked into the skis, I realized how awkward it was to move around on skis.

Thankfully, we had a very patient instructor and it wasn’t long before we were beginning to move on the skis in a way that somewhat resembled what I would refer to as skiing.

Clark was almost immediately comfortable with the whole process and even received some complements from the instructor. Of course, he used that as an opportunity to challenge his Dad. He’s only 10 years old, but someone has already taught him how to goad his competition. On this day, he saw me as his competition and before we had even made our first run down the tiny trainer hill, he was challenging me to a race. I didn’t want him to know it but I was thinking, “Race? I can hardly move!” Thankfully, we were soon able to move (a little) thanks to experienced instructors.

Chloe, Anna and Cole were eager to really get moving and decided to head over to the tubing lanes and see what all the fuss was about. Clark and I decided to take a step up and try out the IMG_1697Broadway which was the next step up from the little trainer hill that had already bruised my tail.

The reaction from Chloe and Cole at the tubing lanes was fast and furious. Wow! We don’t see Anna’s reaction in this picture but I can attest from the texts she sent me while Clark and I were skiing that she too would rate it a Wow!

Cole was especially excited with tubing as he had not had much fun on the skis. The snow tubing lanes are long, steep and fast and Anna, Chloe and Cole enjoyed quite a few runs before Clark and I joined them.

While the other three were getting their slide on, Clark and I were becoming expert skiers. At least as long as “expert” means we maintained our balance as we experienced a controlled fall down a long slick hill. I was impressed with how closely Clark listened and learned during the instruction period. He made good corrections based on what he was told and improved quickly both in confidence and demonstrated ability.

It took me a little longer to process the instruction from my head to my feet but I too eventually began to understand the types of corrections and slight foot movements that were necessary to remain upright, stop and turn to the left and right. The turning became very important as we made our way down our first real hill because another lane of more experienced skiers crossed our beginner hill and it was important to avoid those faster skiers if they crossed as we were zooming down.

Here are a few more pics from our day:

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