Monday, December 29, 2008


Thanks to all who keep up with our family through this blog.

I've moved it over to

Please check out and bookmark the new site.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Little Time For Us...

For the last couple of months I (Fred) have been trying to plan an overnight getaway for Jen so that we could spend some time together without kids. My first two attempts were foiled for different reasons. Persistence paid off and yesterday we headed to Asheville for the candlelight tour of the Biltmore decorated for Christmas. Pics aren't permitted inside and when we finally finished our tour it was dark and foggy. But we took a few shots anyway.

We're heading back today to see it in the daylight. Sure I'll have more to say later.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Do You Ebay?

I have an "on again- off again" relationship with ebay.

Every six months or so I remember that it exists and start looking for things that I'm in the market for. I usually pick up a couple of items and then tire of checking my list of stuff I'm watching and dealing with last second bidders driving prices up.

Right now I'm in one of my active ebay phases.

How about you? Do you ebay?

As a buyer? Seller? Both?

What do you tend to bid on? Do you really save money?

What's the best deal you've ever gotten?

Any tips or learnings you'd be willing to share with the rest of us?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What's Your Favorite....

...Christmas cd?

I've been thinking of getting some new holiday music.

What do you have playing to get you in the spirit of the season?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Christmasy

Today we went to the mall and Addy, Colston (& Jen) got to see Santa.  Yes- the REAL one. Addy asked for an Eve (from Disney's Wall-E) and interpreted Colston's request for a "goof" a.k.a. a stuffed Goofy.

Tonight the girls in the family strung popcorn to put on the tree. 

Here's the final result.  

I give it a day before Colston starts using the tree as a snack source.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Heart Mondays

I'm learning to look forward to Mondays. Really.

That wasn't always the case. I used groan like a lot of other folks when the calendar landed on Monday. I mentioned my appreciation for this often dreaded day of the week on Facebook and within seconds I got the response- "What's your secret?"

Good question. Had to think about that for a couple of minutes.

My response? I'm seeing Monday a bit differently.

Instead of thinking of this day as the beginning of a week of work- I'm thinking of this day as the beginning of my week of work.


Like you, I've got a ton of stuff to get done this week. Some I really want to do. Some I need to do. Some I have to do. All of it needs to be done by Sunday (in my case).

I've finally realized that I'll never have any more time this week to get stuff done than I do today (Monday).

Today I'm at the beginning of the runway. The speed only increases and the distance shrinks from here on out. Monday ought to be my least stressful day of the week.

I'm also choosing to see Monday as my best opportunity to pray over, prioritize and order my week. No new info there- just trying to practice it.

So, happy Monday.

Breathe deeply.

Stretch a bit.

Thank God for today.

Nudge the throttle forward gently.

Enjoy your week.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Advent Devotionals

Looking for a way to stay focused on God in the middle of a busy holiday season?

Check out Following The Star. This online guide provides daily devotions (w/scriptures, music, reflections, & prayers) for each day between now and Christmas. This 10 minute experience could provide a lot of grounding in the next few weeks. Make sure you check out the “On your first visit” and “About the experience” sections the first time around.

Looking for something even simpler? Stop by the Waiting, Day by Day Advent Calendar. Click on the current day of the month and you’ll find a short poem, prayer or thought about our wait for Jesus’ arrival.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Santa Comes To Apple

Monday, December 1, 2008

Cane's Game- Great Seats, Disappointing Score

Last week a generous friend gave me 4 tickets to a Carolina Hurricane's game. (Complete with parking pass, I might add.) He had won them at a golf tournament and mentioned that he thought they would be pretty good seats.


We 7 rows off of the ice with a great view of the crease on one end.

It was pretty amazing to see the speed and size differentials of the players up close.

I've been to four NHL games since I've been in Raleigh and each time I'm stunned by the energy the crowd generates when the team is playing well.

The end result didn't favor our guys, but we had a great time anyway.

Here are a couple of shots. Sorry for the foggy pics. Guess all that lint in my pocket has found it's way onto my phone's camera lens.

Shawn, Elisa & Jen

Some action at our end

Friday, November 28, 2008

Skipping Black Friday

So for the first time in nearly a decade I (Fred) found myself asleep at 5am on the day after Thanksgiving.

You see, I've been out at that ungodly hour every Black Friday for nearly a decade. But not today.

Why have I been such a long-running, willing participant in the unbridled consumerism? Mostly because I've enjoyed the spectacle of it all. You never know what you'll see on Black Friday- but chances are you'll see something good. Of course, grabbing a great deal never hurt either.

So why did I skip today? To make a statement about all of the commercialism? No- although I agree things are out of control. Because of fears about where the economy is headed? Maybe a little.

Mostly I didn't go out today because we don't need anything. And at the moment I'm on a "Don't buy anything you don't need" kick.

And we're going to have a lower key Christmas this year.

And I figured I could use the sleep. Which felt great by the way.

So how about you. Did you shop today?

If so, did you see any interesting? Get any great deals?

If not, why not?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Vacation Update 5- Meeting the Mouse

Sorry it has taken me so long to post this. We spent the last week of vacation with my folks and I didn't have access to wifi. In addition to enjoying my family's company, one of the highlights of our time in Kissimmee was spending a day at Disney.

Originally, we were going to wait until the kids were both a bit older to take them for the first time. But we caved- figuring that Addy was old enough (4 years, 4 mos) to enjoy it and that Colston would at least get in free at his age (19 mos). As it turned out, we all got in free- thanks to a generous family member of a family member. And both kids had a great time. Colston was a bit grumpy due to a truncated nap, but I've seen him worse for the wear after spending a day at home.

Having grown up in Kissimmee and Orlando, I've been to Disney more times that I can remember. I thought that going with my kids would be a bit more memorable. I was wrong. It was magical.

Not only was it incredible to watch Addy light up as she saw the park, rode the rides and met the characters- but as a parent I really appreciated the effort Disney has put in to make it a great experience for families. Every cast member we encountered was polite, and many made an extra effort to help us have a great experience. There were plenty of healthy food choices for kids- and the meals were reasonably priced. For example, an individual kid's pizza with milk, grapes and applesauce was under $5. We pay more for less around town.

As you'd expect, Disney keeps the place looking immaculate. But they've also updated things as well. From the fingerprint scanners that link you to your ticket at the front turnstiles, to the Johnny Depp additions to Pirates of the Caribbean ride, to the changes to Tomorrowland that drug it out of the 70's- Disney looked and felt fresh to me.

I think we picked a fairly good time to go. The longest line we waited in all day was about 10 mins long. In all we fit in 13 rides/attractions, saw 2 parades and watched the fireworks. And we took our time. I'm not sure we'd have had nearly as pleasurable an experience if we had to endure significant heat or crowds. But the day was nearly perfect for us.

Here are some pics. I've uploaded more on Facebook, so take a peek there too.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vacation Update 4

Today we undertook one of the most trying activities for an extended family- the family portrait.

6 adults and 4 kids (ages 4 mos, 19 mos, 2 yrs 9 mos & 4 yrs 4 mos) got dressed up, waited an extra 20 minutes for our appointment and somehow got everyone still enough at the same time to take a few good shots. All in all the whole ordeal lasted an hour and a half.

Whew- that's over. At least for another year.

Here are a few of the results:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vacation Update 3

Yesterday we hooked up with our family from TN and hit the zoo.

It was hot (85 and humid) but most of the animals were still pretty active.  

The highlights included feeding a huge giraffe by hand, touching sting rays and seeing penguins and manatees.

Today we're taking it easy and hanging around the house.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vacation Update 2

Spent some time at a great park yesterday. Took advantage of the wind to fly a kite. Hit the playground, had a picnic lunch and did some general frolicking.

Last night we got to have dinner with Matt, Charee & our nieces Sullivan & Isley.

Today we bumped around the zoo.

Pics of that maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Vacation Update 1

Jen, Addy, Judy & Colston spent some time working with play dough last night.

There's nothing like new, unsoiled play dough right out of the container is there?  Yeah, we go all out on vacations in the Turner household.

Here are a few of Addy's creations:

Just in case you aren't used to this level of artistic interpretation- that's a parrot just above.

More updates to come.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Sorry to take so long, but here are a few pics from all hallows eve. This was Colston's first ever go at Trick or Treating. He marched right up to our neighbor's doors and helped himself when they held the bowl to his level and invited him to take some. A week later I don't think he's eaten any of the candy, but he carried it around in his pumpkin for days afterwards. Good times.

We're starting a family vacation tomorrow, so I'm not sure how much I'll be posting.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fun With...

Wikki Stix.

Friday, October 31, 2008

October Recap

Early in the month we took the kids to a pumpkin patch where we picked cotton and corn, fed goats, went on a hayride and got pumpkins.

In the middle of the month we celebrated Jen's 32nd birthday.

Last Sunday we put the kids in their costumes and took them to a huge festival at a big local church. Addy hit the bounce house and the giant slide while Colston got his first ever taste of cotton candy. Both kids rode ponies.

This week we carved our pumpkins. The kid's handled the gutting while Jen and Judy got all artistic.

And tonight we trick or treated. Pics to follow.