090727 - Baby Shower

A sign L made for for baby niece Lena's baby shower.

090727 + Out of the house!

090727 - Up at the desk all day, first time since July 9! Trying to get everything in line, behind EVERYWHERE. Took a bike ride to the gas station w/ D&J for lunch. Finished up the day and DJG&I got kicked out of the house so L could host Nicole's baby shower. We headed out to run errands and hopefully find something fun too. Then met with the Bible Bangers and got caught up with Jeff on the real estate biz. Home and pulling a late night catch up session...
090726 - Up got bfast for J&G while L&D went to church, D had to acolyte. Everyone home and outside enjoying the day, I trimmed the thorn bush and then completely cleaned out the cabinets in the shop and ran electric to the back porch. GmaB over for a dinner on backporch and helping L get ready for the baby shower. I was up late, watched 'Man who would be king' while doing some Disney research.
090725 + Up trying to get going, went through mail and PC, getting things inline. Dylan had a B-day party to go to so LJG&I stopped by one of the rentals and then out to eat. Home and watched 'Manchurian candidate' w/ L. She can stay up late with the medicine she is on for her poison ivy.
090724 - L and the boys met me at the airport, inside. I nearly missed them as they were waiting at the wrong gate for me to arrive... But I had to get cash for the cab I thought I was going to have to take and saw them looking for me and sneaked up behind them. Home exhausted, to a good nights sleep

090722 - Waterballons & Stuff

090722 - Up and met with Paul; we had a call and some stuff to do for N. After that Paul & I met up with Cindy & Lee and headed to the company outing for the day. We had a good lunch, rode the bumper boats, talked to other work folks and Lee & I participated in the waterballon toss, we (I) lost. Back to the hotel b4 dinner and managed another N problem. Dinner with Lee & Cindy, back to the room for hundreds of emails...  Called L, they had a rainy busy day in OH.  

090721 - Up and over to the main office for all day meeting.  I had to present our product to the management team, it went well.  Met Cindy and Lee for dinner.  To the room called L, she had a BUSY day.  I stayed up trying to get phone and calendars in sync.

090720 - Up and worked at the desk all morning getting $ in order. Everything updated, all should be good for the next week as I head for Boston. L helped me pack and I had some time to play kickball with the boys before I fly. Got to Boston and the hotel and settled in.

090719 - We loaded up and headed home in the morning. Got home for lunch. We unpacked the car, L got groceries and cooked us a nice picnic dinner. DJ&I then went to see Harry Potter, not so great, J even feel asleep... Home for one nights sleep in my own bed...

090718 - Lilly!!!

090718 - About 9:30 we landed in Newcomerstown! Our Lilly was SO HAPPY to see us! Lilly was good for Gma&paW and they loved having her. The boys rolled around on the floor and loved her and she licked them right back! All boys exhaust and to bed. I am going to grab a salty snack and hit the rack. One leg left on the vacation trail...

090718 - Occupied

090718 - On the road for HOURS! The boys did really good and watched the movies of the shows we went to see and loved them again. L had all sorts of stuff planned to keep them busy. We stopped every couple feet for bathroom breaks... Dinner in Virgina and back on the road.

090718 - Picnic

090718 - We braved the Gatlinburg traffic one last time
to get to the picnic area in the Smokey Mnt park. L had packed us a nice lunch and the boys played on rocks and climbed and jumped and explored. We ate and explored some more then on the road for the long haul...

090718 - Walkin back

090718 - The boys headed back, helping eachother and being best of friends. Got back to the room and L had the car all loaded up! We got changed and checked out.

090718 - Last Swim

090718 - Up and all got bfast down, then the three amigos and I headed out for our last swim. Jack was swimming the whole length of the pool, Grant jumped in by himself and Dylan diving for missles. I got to throw them each a couple times and they loved it.

090717 - Comedy Barn

090717 - The boys rested on the trip home and when we got back we quickly got changed and headed to the pool.  We had a FANTASTIC time at the pool.  After a couple hrs in the pool we headed back to the room through the rain for a bit of rest.  We played and Grant jumped on out backs and made us all laugh.
All loaded up again for a final night on the town.  We went to the Comedy Barn show and the boys again LOVED it!  It was a great family variety show and we laughed and laughed.  Back to the room and Jack and I took a walk and sat by the stream.  He told me how he was part bat, because he can see in the dark and part fish, because he can swim so well and part monkey, because he can climb trees so good.  The little fella was tired so we didn't get to stay by the babeling as brook as long as I would have liked, but I was just happy to have him to myself for the time I did.  Back to the room where D was playing with this fuzzy worm like thing they got at the show.  Jack joined him and the boys put on a show for L&I while we started packing up...

090717 - Put put

090717 - After the zoo we headed back to base and happened upon a lovely little Chinese restaurant which everyone was thrilled to go to; but they survived. We also stopped at another put put course. It was pretty hot and we were on the all morning so a pretty quick and stressful game.

090717 - Pony Rides

090717 - The last station was the pony ride and J&G saddled up and took their rides. They had a really good time on the ponies: Jack rode Rusty who is close to 30 and been giving rides since 92 and desperately needed the farrier to pay him a visit. Grant rode Patches and loved it. Patches was well behaved until Grant got off and jumped around a bit. Grant was tickled and even got a shirt that said I took a pony ride... Great time for all until G went to pet the cat and it scratched him.
Only thing I didn't like a out the stop was Dylan NOT taking a pony ride. He thinks he's too big. He's growing up too fast...

090717 - Just not smart enough...

090717 - Up and out, first stop a deer and exotic animal petting zoo. We thought it would be really fun, but when the boys read the sign they realized they couldn't go play with the goats...
We did have good time and saw all sorts of creatures. The boys think they now have an idea for GpaW...

090716 - Back to base

090716 - After the show we stopped at a couple shopping joints and battled the traffic. We got home and then more swimming! After the swimfest we had a snack and played with our new toys. Got the boys to bed and trying to plan the last full day.
Ugh I hate saying that! I don't want this end. They are growing too fast and are so cool to just spend day after day with. I want them to stay little and think I'm cool and like taking walks and swimming and thinking throwing rocks in the creek with me is the best thing ever and hearing them say 15,000 times 'Daddy look at this!', 'Daddy watch me! (SPLASH!)'. This week, once a year, are the best days and... Well, I can't express it without falling apart...

090716 - Black Bear Jamboree

090716 - We got to the Jamboree and they served us dinner and then what a show! Our boys LOVE shows! I mean they watch every minute in a complete trance. I even had to buy the DVD of the live show we just saw so they could watch it on the way home...

090716 - The Fam

090716 - After a good swim and a light lunch L got all us boys dressed up and we headed out for dinner and a show. What a good looking family if I may say so myself!

090716 - Golfing

090716 - After bfast we hit the Davy Crockett mini-golf course. We had a great game and saw lots of cool stuff. Then more Swimming!

090716 + Pancakes

090716 + Everyone up and out to the the place the locals go for bfast. We had mounds of food and it was GOOD. The fam headed out to ride the dinosaur as I paid the bill.

090715 - Jumper

090714 - Second 2 headed calf!

090715 - Believe It or Not! My boys are the luckiest in the world, you can see it in their faces! Our last stop on today's outing was at Ripley's Believe It or Not! Here the boys were amazed and stunned at the things they saw. How many boys get a great vacation with two, count them TWO, TWO HEADED CALVES ON THE SAME TRIP! How lucky are they!?!?!
After 6 hours of walking and seeing the sights of Gatlinburg we had 3 VERY tired and GRUMPY boys.  So I did what any good dad would do; bought each boy a pistol and set them loose on eachother!  Got them back to the room and we all chilled put for a couple hours. Then we went to the pool with the waterfall for a couple hours. We had dinner and then just played and hung out watching the rain.  Then Grant went at little crazy, see the video above...

090715 - Gatlinburg

090715 - After the aquarium, we walked around downtown Gatlinburg, grabbed a quick bite and then toured another 30,000 do-dad and toy shops...

090715 - Fishy

090715 - All up and out. First stop, Ripley's Aquarium! We walked around and under sharks, stingrays, pirahnas, and more fish than we ever knew existed. We tried to pet the stingrays but mommy was the only one to reach in and touch their wings. They swam really fast and also shared a tank with some sharks so we had to move our fingers out of the water really fast when the sharks came near us!

090714 - Day @ Pool

090714 - So today we started off at a presentation. WHAT WAS I THINKING? It was one of those where they give you free tickets to 'blah blah' if you listen to their blah blah sales pitch... Will someone PLEASE remind me NOT to do that again! What a wasted morning!
Anyway, we got back on track quickly and hit the pool. We found a pool onsite that had a little waterfall and we played there for hours. Back to the room so G could take a nap and L took D&J to the playground. We then headed out looking for another local place to eat, and got LOST. I'm talking single lane, one way mountian roads, log cabin, cars in the yard... But we ended up at a very nice steakhouse where evreyone enjoyed Grant's LOUDNESS and Jack's love of pickles. We fed the ducks in the stream out front of the resturant before heading back.
More swimming!!! G is jumped in by himself a couple times and J is swimming all over the place. D is doing great and even helps the others. We got kicked out of the hottub so we headed back to the room. L went off to do laundry and I finished up showers and got snacks for the herd. All boys to bed and out fast.

090713 + Up & Over

090713 + Rained like crazy all night... Everyone up in the am and had bfast and wandering around the room wondering what we would do today. So since it was a bit overcast and not real warm we didn't want to go swimming... we got everyone loaded up in the car and head to the national park. We stopped by the park visitor office to get some directions. The ranger said we may want to wait a day as it was overcast and we might not be able to see anything... Then I asked him what we really needed to see? He was impressed and said 'man you didn't do any research before coming here did you'. I calmly and quickly replied 'Why no. I thought it was part of the O'bama stimulus plan: if I did all the research myself, then what would you be doing?'. He gave me a look, nearly fell over laughing, and gave me the best park tips anyone has gotten in the last 3 years ;-P
we headed into the park and made first stop at a picnic area right next to a creek that was unbelievable! The boys went nuts, climbing Nd digging and throwing and laughing! Headed back up the mountain with a couple of bear watch stops. One stop at the very top where we stood in both TN & NC at the same tame! Then down the NC side where we went into Cherokee NC. INDIANS!!!
So not having a clue what to do here I stopped at a motel where there was unsuspecting clerk waiting for me. I spent a good 15 minutes with her, and then I had a plan! We headed into the reservation looking for the recommended lunch spot, but it was closed Monday's! Argh! But we found a buffet where the boys and I pigged out am L was MORTIFIED! After lunch we saw BEARS!!! How frigging cool is that!?!? Then we spent HOURS SHOPPING. Each person had to find something 'special' (oh how painful!). G got a cowboy outfit complete with hat and guns; the Indians around town really appreciated this little white kid screaming when they want him to get his picture taken with them and then draw his guns and blast them... J seems to be into quantity and got jewelry and beaded emblems and a wooden snake... D for the love of the Lord couldn't find a thing in the tourist stores, so we found him a place off the main drag, a place that has things made one the local reservation. He found a real bow and arrow and was SO happy! L got a very ornate leather belt and one of those 'As Seen On TV' wonder purses. Me, I got a cane sword! The coolest thing of the day!
Back in the car and heading back to the resort. We started up the mountains and then right there, a HUGE ELK, standing right there just eating watching the cars go by... Amazing! Good very scenic trip all the back while gifts and rest were enjoyed. Had a fast dinner and to a different pool. Of course we had a blast and poor Jacky was freezing. Back to the room for Cheetos, ice cream and beef jerky! Relaxing by the fire preparing for tomorrow.

090713 - Running Water, AWESOME!

090712 - Now that is a 'Winger Boy'!

090712 - WE MADE IT!!!!

090712 - Not long after the Rubic's Cube we hit the tourist traffic at Pigeon Forge... But we turned off the TV and forced the boys to look at all the sites. They saw LOADS of things they wanted to do and buy :-( Then we stopped at a dinosaur musuem. Pushing on we found our resort. We got unpacked as fast as possible and then hit our new favorite hang out for the next 6 days, THE POOL!!!!
We all swam until we had to get our rasin pruned bodies out to go find some food. Down into Gatlinburg and way too many people! We found a place to park ($$$) and then I hit the parking attendant up for a good local place to eat. We had to walk a couple blocks and back in an alley, but we found it, the Best Italian. We had a spectacular meal. Jack choked on a cheese stick which I pulled from his mouth, along with the 6 inches he had already swallowed... Yuk, but it gave us a good laugh after he said 'that was all the way in my belly!' Grant enjoyed pilin up the minced garlic on top of his rolls, he'll smell good tomorrow... and Dylan ate so much chees stick and rolls he couldn't eat his dinner... Back through the crowd, a couple 'Gift Shops' (Dylan's favorite) and to the car to get to the grocery. We got our groceries and then back to the room. L got a snack for G while DJ&I took a walk around the resort checking out the pools, listening to the creek and looking for bears! Back and all boys to bed, no complaints from them... L&I up looking at all the phamplets trying to plan a fun week.

090712 - World's largest Rubic's Cube

090712 -Sunsphere

090712 - About an hour down the road we spotted our next stop, the Sunsphere in downtown Knoxville. We parked the car and strolled to through World's Fair Park, stopping off at a playground for the all important 'energy burn' purtions of the trip... Then to the huge fountian and temptation of running through it... Then over to the Sunsphere where we went up and checked out the city from the observation deck. The last time I was here was at the World's Fair, 1984 I think, with Gma&paW & my cousin Mark. I rember seeing bricks from the Great Wall of China.
For the last thing I wanted to see on this stop we had to do a bit of searching, but we found it! Check out the next photo!

20090712 - 1st KFC

090712 - Up, breakfast and on the road by 9am. First stop? When you are driving past Corbin TN where else would you go except the VERY FIRST KFC EVER?!?! We toured the Sanders Cafe where it all started. And of course I forced everyone to have a piece of chicken while there :-P Back on the road!

090711 - Peace

090711 - After the cookies we got the boys in bed. Silence... Small emergency, lost the iPhone... Found it! Now updating the blog. Stay tuned, more adventures to come!!!

090711 - Cookies after swim

090711 - After dinner we rushed to the pool! Grant is a fish! We swam until everyone was shivering. Back to the room, dried off then the boys and I hit the lobby for a plate full of cookies!

090711 - Fava's

090711 - After things settled down in the room we got the name of a local place to grab dinner. We found Fava's and had dinner with the locals: Jack had fried pickles and I had something called 'Kentucky Brown', which is I think ham turkey and bacon on toast covered with cheese gravy... Mmmmmm!

090711 - Energy burn!

090711 - Made it to Georgetown KY! This is an awesome little town with huge fabulous old Southern houses. We got checked in at the hotel and the boys tested out the beds.

090711 - 2 headed calf!

090711 - After the grocery we took a couple scarry wrong turns but made it to our next destination, a museum in Covington Ky. The coolest thing there was the 2 headed calf, or maybe it was the real Amazon shrunken head! Back to the road...

090711 - Jungle Jim's Grocery

090711 - From the crab we headed to the grocery, I know, BORING! NOT on my trip! This is Jungle Jim's Grocery! This place was so cool the boys didn't mind shopping; they had this cool swinging and singing soup can, sharks hanging from the ceiling, boats in the fish department and a ginormous ear of sweet corn and his pal the singing stick of butter, with a pond surrounded by exotic animals as you exit! How cool!

090711 - World's Largest Horseshoe Crab!

090711 - Up and on the road by 10! An hour to our first stop, in Blanchester OH, we actually had to drive through Cuba to get there... Why Blanchester? Who else has the world's largest horseshoe crab? This thing was WAY bigger than the world's largest killer bee, 65 feet long! Oh the things we're gonna see and do on this trip!

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090710 - Lilly is on vacation too with Gma&paB. L&G = Get Jack, Drop off Lilly, D&I to bank, car wash, shipped laptop, got movies and hit meijers for vacation supplies. Home played the radio loud and danced while packing. Up late finalizing things, getting rental finances in order and workin on iPhone. We are ready to go!

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Waiting for jack at wendys to trade jack for lily

090705 - Finish up

090705 - LJG&I headed out in the am and picked up a bunch of supplies to finish some things up around the house. We got the trim done around the french doors and the garage cleaned out. J&G 'helped', Jim & Doc stopped over to see the mess. Once we got everything put away we rode our bikes to creekside for a picnic by the creek. Home, put the tent away, got the boys clnd up and to bed, l painted the garage door till midnight and I did work till 2... Going to be a busy week heading up to vacation.

090704 + Knee high?

090704 + Up from the camping expedition and everyone ready for a road trip. We went to Gma&paB's for a cookout. There were many hours of badminton... We had LOADS of food and I stuffed myself into a comma for a couple hours. Steve took us out into the country where I forced the continuance of the tradition Grandma Mary Winger started many decades ago where we all had to go down to the corn field and get our pictures taken on the 4th of July to see if the corn was knee high yet. Looks like this is a goodyear! Lilly only ran away once & we left Howdy there for a couple days. So it was a good fun trip. Home and hung out with J&G, all the neighbors over to our front yard to watch the Gahanna fireworks. After that we got to bed at a decent HR.

090703 - Camping

090703 - Up and got a couple things done while L took the boys out this am. Then for some reason we decided to spend the night outside... What was I thinking?? Here Grant gets his first taste of the fireworks for the upcoming days... The camp out was successful, This was Jack's first outside campout (Granny slept in his bed inside), and the boys wanted to go to bed about 12:30.

090701 - Famous

090701 - Up late again last night... still not caught up. got up and the fam went to the big new bounce around place in town with some friends and then had lunch at Creekside. I sat behind the keyboard all day emergin for dinner. After dinner I went to go through the local paper and there he was, right on the front page in his blue muscle shirt... JACK! He made the front page! Grant and I are heading out to run some errands.

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Kingdom of bounce