Our Annual Tree Trip

Yesterday we made our annual tree trip to the Merry Christmas Tree Farm in Central, SC. It’s about an hour from here toward Clemson, SC. There is no direct route to this place, but it is worth the trip. We have been about four times now. They have thousands of trees in all different directions.

You walk up to the shed, pick out a saw, get some hot chocolate and decide which direction you want to walk. Yesterday we put Haydn in charge of selecting the tree this year. He ran about 1/4 mile between the rows of trees and picked out one that was nearly 10 feet high. 

I had to explain to him that it would not fit in their room. (This year we’re putting the tree upstairs in their room so you can see it from the road/cul-de-sac.) Haydn picked out a beautiful tree, but it was huge. Besides being too high it was too big. It was amazingly huge. If they don’t sell this one this year I’m not sure what they’ll do with it. Maybe the Biltmore House in Ashville will want it.

I gave him another turn at selecting and somewhat steered him in the right direction. He got in the vicinity of more “doable” trees. We decided on a nice symetrical 7-footer. I tried to coax them into cutting it down. They gave it a shot, but the back-and-forth action was way too much for them.

Once it was cut down we began the dragging process. Joy!! Lucia and I managed to get it back to the shaking and netting machines. They shook it, tied it and then placed in on top of the van for us and secured it for the long journey home.

We then went off for a Charlie Brown tree. Haydn was particularly excited about this, though he didn’t know what a CBT was. When we arrived to the free CBT the children just didn’t get it. It was like, “Dad, what are we supposed to do with that?” It was funny.

We did find a four footer, which was 10 bucks to put in our Master bedroom. It’s quite romantic. The kids partially cut it and carried it the whole way back to the machines. I was impressed by their stamina to carry that tree. They helped the men put it on the shaking machine and got to turn the machine on and help shake it. They also helped pull it through the netting machine and we all loaded it on the van, once the kids toted it to the van.

We arrived home in an hour and begin the messy process of decorating!

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Happy T’Day at the In-Laws

The kids are stoked! Tomorrow we get to go over to the in-laws for eating, eating and more eating. It’s always a good day…and a dangerous one. We tend to eat too much. But it will be fun.

Lucia’s sister, niece and nephew will be there. The weather will be in the low sixties. 

I’ll just finish up my Thursday AM Boot Camp.

Fun, fun!

Boot Camp: Week Two

Just walked in the door from my Tuesday morning rendezvous with my new 15 crazy friends. We gathered in the parking lot of a local school to run, do push-up, crunches and more.

You can read my previous post titled Some Days You Feel Like A Counselee for a quick summary of my new, temporary (praise God) hobby.

This morning I cheated several times. I couldn’t do all the push-ups and squats and star clusters. I would say that I “felt like a woman” but the 13 women in the class didn’t seem to have a problem doing it. Actually I was the only one who was super-really struggling.

At 4:30 this morning in South Carolina it was 38 degrees and I was taking clothes off.

As I was leaving at 6:15 a lady walked up to my van  and tapped on the window. I let it down and she said, “I just want to tell you that you are kicking %$#. And your color looks a lot better today.” 

I’ll take that as encouragement. That is not how we do it in counseling, but after an hour of rolling around in the wet dirt and grass and asphalt, I’ll take whatever encouragement I can get.

I’m trying real hard not to quit this six-week suicide course. But it’s really challenging my tired, habituated and old body. I think it is affecting me as much mentally as physically.

For all my friends I get to serve through counseling, a big shout-out for you! Don’t give up.

Thanks for persevering!

Veggie Tales and Chick-fil-A

Last night we went to the Chick-fil-A on Haywood Road to watch a Veggie Tales movie and have family dinner. There were quite a few kids in there and it was surprisingly quiet comparatively speaking. The kids were focused on the video.

Larry and Bob were there in their air-circulating costumes. It was pretty cool. The kids had a blast. It was a fun evening.

We Went to Church Last Night

I took the family with friends to Pumpkintown last night. Actually it was Oolonoy, SC to an old church building that had been gutted and set-up for Every Friday Night Bluegrass. If you have an instrument you just show up, get in the circle and pick with the boys.

You can find all the pics here: Oolenoy Friday Night

It begins when you get there. They have appropriate smoke breaks. And folks head out when they want to. They also take requests. Some of the boys picked in a circle in one room, while another group stood around and picked in another room and some young, around 10 year old or so boys and girls, were in another room.