Saturday, July 31, 2010

And then there were 2 helpers!!

Aiden and I have been baking together for a while and I have loved having a little helper in the kitchen. Now Max has gotten interested in helping us in the kitchen so we happily let him help us make a cake the other night. He was very patient (surprisingly) and was a big help! Now we need to get little Max his helper apron like Aiden :)

My cakes are going to be much yummier now that I have two helpers instead of one!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Adorable Kiddos!

Ever since Hannah and Aiden were born, Melissa and I have joked about them being girlfriend and boyfriend...and I must say they are such a cute couple. Lately they have been saying they are actual girlfriend and boyfriend which we think is hilarious and we make sure to keep each other informed of the funny stories they tell us. Last week they 'almost got married' at daycare, but they didn't have time because Aiden was picked up early. Can you believe they weren't even going to invite us to the wedding!? They have given me the 'go ahead' to the make the wedding cake...but I need a little more warning next time! Anyways...last night they sat in the grass for some pictures and I think they turned out awesome. I'll keep these for their REAL wedding in the future....we can wish can't we?

Stay tuned...we're all going to the beach in a few weeks...maybe they will have a ceremony there and actually invite us!

So precious!! I didn't even ask Hannah to close her eyes. They are too cute for words.

Speaking of cute!!! Mr. Max was willing to pose for pictures which can be a chore! I think they are keepers too! Next time we'll wrestle Nathan (Hannah's brother) into some pictures :)


Aiden started his 2nd year in t-ball at the YMCA this year and boy has he improved! Last year was hit and miss, but this year he's fielding balls, hitting great and throwing like a champ. He LOVES playing first base so he can catch and throw the ball each play...if the other kids remember to throw it to him. What a difference a year makes :)

You can't forget little Max! He's been braving the heat with us too! If we're not careful he tries to join them on the field. He's only made it out there 2 or 3 times so far. I guess he's averaging a little less than once a game :) No harm no foul right?? He's just trying to take the place of the players that left the game early...our team has several :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fleming Update

So...I'm definitely not the worlds quickest or most consistent blogger, but I do enjoy it when I get the time :) I think its time I take a brake from Europe and update everyone on what's been going on since the trip. Life has been hectic but fun this summer!! It's hard to believe August is right around the corner. Fall won't be too far off, but we're going to soak up the rest of summer while we can!!

Since I've been back, we've been quite busy. We've been camping, had family to visit us and also took at trip back to West Virginia for Pap's 92nd birthday. We hope you enjoy the pics!

My sleeping boys waking up in their tents. They loved camping and we're planning another trip for September. They can't wait!

I love this picture! Max looks so sweet looking up at dad. Such a great Pap Pap!

Here we are at Kids day in Morgantown, WV. Our niece, Annika, enjoying a sucker...sugar high here we come!!

My sissy and me....I think I look half asleep in this pic...but I like it anyway :)

Meeting my brother's girlfriend, Adrian. We loved her. Max and Aiden were a little shy at first...maybe they had a crush...but they soon came around and showed their personalities :)

Another great picture. They sure so love their Uncle Don!

So far Aiden and Max get along great. I know there will come a time they will pester and annoy each other like all young siblings do...but I'll treasure these moments while they last :)

Onto the birthday party! For Pap's 92nd birtday I made him white almond sour cream cake with black rasperry of his favorite flavors. Topped with strawberries and blackberries made a great summer cake! And the fruit was sooo good from the NC farmers market :)

Happy Birthday Pap!!

The kids couldn't wait to finish dinner at the party and jump back into the pool. I think they stayed out there until they were shriveled up prunes!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Eiffel Tower!!

We saw it from afar all day and we were so excited to finally go see the Eifell Tower up close. Here we are on the bus tour listening to our French music and our tour guide tell us about the sites of Paris....getting closer!

As a 'thank you' they named a street after President Wilson for helping with something. For the life of me, I can't remember what he helped with!! That's terrible...I'll have to do some research. But at least I got a picture for when I do get the information :) I'm halfway there aren't I??

As we were walking around the tower and Champ-de-Mars (gardens stretching from teh Eiffel Tower to the Ecole Militaire) we saw some more bachelors and bachelorettes on their parties like we saw in Cologne, Germany. Since Cologne, we found out that this bachelor party is common in big cities and they are a way for the bride/groom to raise money for the wedding/reception/honeymoon, etc. This groom-to-be was being sent on a scavenger hunt and we were the lucky girls he had to ask to try and find a condom...however with his accent it sounded like "cone-dome". He was certainly out of luck, but he was nice enough to pose for a picture...and offer us some toilet paper. Such a nice guy!

Finally...we're here!!! The magnificent Eiffel Tower!

Don't let the clear blue skies fool you. It was FREEZING while we were at the tower. It would cloud up and rain then the skies would be clear the next minute...but the cold wind never left. Here we are ICE COLD while waiting in line to go to the top of the tower. We had to laugh at how cold it must be at the very top...but of course we weren't turning back now! We thawed out later...

Here we are riding the lift to the second level which is 376 feet high. The line we were in went to the lift and not the stairs...kind of sad we didn't walk it, but my legs were not. The lift has glass walls and I was lucky enough to be pushed all the way against the wall on the ride up. I am not afraid of heights...but I must admit it was kind of scary going up that high and not having anything but a piece of glass holding me in...and I could see the ground below getting further and further away. Mental note to myself to ride in the middle of the lift on our way to the top level!!!

Here we are on the second level looking up at the top! The second level felt much higher than I thought it would. To be honest, after the ride to the second level we second guessed ourselves going to the top. But of course we had to go!!

Our view of the Champ-de-Mars and the Ecole Militair (royal military academy at the end of the gardens) from the second level. Unfortunately, this is the last picture I was able to take. After a whole day of pictures and turning my camera on and off...the battery died. However, my camera lasting from 9 a.m - 7 ish with contant pictures was pretty good! Luckily, Leslie is smart enough to have extra batteries for her camera so we were still in good shape!!

And one final picture of the day. We attempted to do a jumping shot before this one...and I practically fell on my face. I guess forgot I actually had to land the jump too! Leslie just got done saying...that no one was watching, but when I almost fell, some American tourists completely busted out laughing. Of course, I'm used to making a fool of this wasn't unusual :) The girl (who we think was on her honeymoon) took this picture for us. We were laughing so hard afterward and me making a fool of myself that we almost peed our pants. I said ALMOST!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Paris Bus Tour and Arc de Triomphe

There are so many pictures to share, I tend to get a little overwhelmed but here are some of the big monuments/locations we visited. It is fun to go back through the pictures and remember the trip. It was only a few weeks ago, but I can't wait to go back with Justin some day. I loved Paris!!

Here's the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel - located opposite the Louvre was built in 1806 - 1808 to celebrate Napolean's victories in 1805. Topped with soldiers of the Grande Armee.

You can't forget random pictures along the bus tour to get a flair for Paris. The bridges, water, street vendors, cafes...all lend to the feel of Paris...not just the famous points of interest.

Here are a few pictures of Place de la Concorde - one of Europe's most historic squares. Starting our as Place Louis XV, for displaying a statue of the king - later to become Place de la Revolution, the statue was replaced by the guillotine. The death toll in 2 1/2 years was over 1,000 including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Renamed Concorde in spirit of reconciliation and was enhanced in teh 19th century by the 3,200 year old Luxor obelisk, two fountains and eight statues personifying French cities. The famous Champs Elysees is connected to this square. Leslie and I toured the square and then continued up Champs Elysees for some lunch and see the shops.

Here's a wide shot of Place de la Concorde

While in Place de la Concorde we couldn't believe how people drove. There aren't any marks on the road, so to us it looked like chaos on the street. I'm glad we had a bus to drive us around town.

The famous Luxor obelisk in the middle of Place de la Concorde.

Enjoying lunch and resting our feet on Champs-Elysees.

Of course I have to get french onion soup while in France! It was so will never be the same in the US. Leslie's cream of vegetable soup wasn't quite as good, but at least she had the club sandwich to fill her up. The warm soup was so good to warm us up on such a cold day in Paris!

Stores on Champs-Elysees. We were about to go in when we noticed the long line from across the street. So we decided there were too many sites to see in Paris to take time out to look at bags we couldn't afford. Onward we go!

Arc de Triomphe - After Napoleon's victory, the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, he promised his men, "You shall go home beneath triumphal arches." The first stone of the famous arc was laid the following year however disruptions to the architects plans and demise of Napoleonic power delayed the completion until 1836. Standing 164 feet tall - is now the starting point for celebrations and parades.

The arc doesn't look so huge from across the street, but once you go under the street to walk up to it, you feel like a little ant next to it. If you read my earlier will remember, this is where I lost my bracelet...and later found pieces of it among all this sand and tiny pebbles. May not seem big to you, but it made my day to find pieces of my bracelet with Aiden and Max's name.

More pics of the arc up close. It's grander than I imagined from pictures I had seen.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - an unknown French soldier from World War I is buried here.

Getting a picture in front of the arc...luckily the motorcycle guy didn't hit me. That might have ruined my day...but maybe not. If I'm going to be hit by a motorcycle...I would rather it be in Paris!

Next stop....Eiffel Tower!