Thursday, February 13, 2014

Feb. 2014

Time to post. It's been since November!? It's a snow day outside..so possibly a perfect time to catch up. Cole turned 11 the beginning of December. We can't believe how close he is to being a teenager...and how much he acts like he already IS one! He still plays soccer and has the energy of an active two year old (seriously! He does NOT slow down!), which has helped him in his new sport of basketball. I'm surprised at how much I've enjoyed watching all three of my kids play basketball. I wasn't too excited about signing them up, only because I've never had any interest in the sport, but it's a fast-paced game and it keeps my kids moving constantly. It's been awesome. And all three are doing great! Cole is quick and there's not many that can keep up with him..he's working on shooting and dribbling, but gets better every practice. Dayne is still figuring out the game, but when she's on, she on! She's fast like Cole, and is very good about staying on the teammate she's assigned to cover. Junie loves dribbling (with both hands!) and although she hasn't learned how to run and dribble (but who has at six?), she's mastering the skill and gets extremely excited at making a basket. Mostly, she runs alongside the more experienced (boys) on her team and shouts out, "pass! pass to me!" in a high, cheerleader-y voice. ;)

We spent another Christmas in Richmond with just family..it was nice. We did the usual Byrd Theatre showing of "It's a Wonderful Life". June continues to tell us, "I do NOT want to go to that black and white movie ever again on Christmas". Sorry, June..it's a tradition. We love it. They have christmas carols accompanied by the "Mighty Wurlitzer" and then a showing of the movie, both of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I'm sure June will come to appreciate it eventually.

Two weeks after Christmas, Le Anne flies in to watch the kids, and I fly out to Romania! Thea was finished with her 8.5 months of work/study abroad, and Steve and Amy needed someone to pick her up. Lucky me!! It was wonderful. The first few days were only challenging because I like to be social and the nuns were quiet and although most of them spoke "enough" English, they weren't as comfortable speaking it. However, by the end of my trip, we had warmed up to each other (it helps to push yourself on people). I was able to help around the monastery and the nuns were so sweet and kind. Very pure hearts. Adriana and her daughter Diana (Adriana is not a nun, but a doctor, and stays at the monastery most weekends with her daughter Diana) were awesome hostesses (we stayed at their apartment a few nights--when I arrived and when we were leaving) and spoke English so well..it was nice to have someone to communicate with so freely. Adriana and nun Antonia took me and Thea on a two day road trip to some salt mines, a beautiful city called Sighisoara, and my favorite, Transylvania. We went to Bran castle and stayed in a beautiful quaint bed and breakfast there. I wanted to bring my family back!

Thea and I fly back and got home Jan 17, and Friday night. On Sat morning we woke up and drove to Florida to go to Universal Studios/Harry Potter World. It was a cold week in Florida, but we enjoyed it. Mostly though, I was anxious to get back to my renovated kitchen...which I love!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A little more summer, please?

Here we are almost to November (Happy Halloween, everyone!) and I'm just now remembering to post some pics from summer. Geof and I stole a weekend away and camped at False Cape State Park in August (I think it was early August, if I can remember). It was wonderful. Our dear friends, Arla and Ned Halpin, offered to take our kids so we could get away. On Friday night we went to Kings Dominion (per my request), and then took off Saturday morning towards Va Beach, False Cape being just south of it. Apparently, campers can only hike, bike, or canoe in and we opted to bike in. Fun. Harder than we thought because we got stuck in a HUGE rain/thunderstorm turned to hailstorm, but the following day turned into a beautiful one full of sunshine. Just wish it had lasted longer.






A short time later, I was crazy enough to think a road trip alone, with my kids was a good idea. We did Amish country, some pretty camping near Seneca Lake, NY, and then up to Palmyra. I might have already posted pics from my phone from this trip...

It was extremely fun/hard, but looking back has always been easier for me than the present. In retrospect, it was a wonderful trip full of lovely times and happy kids..and a happy mom. Kind of. Fun story: we were almost to the tippy top of our walk into Watkin's Glen (this was where we camped in NY near Seneca Lake), which is two miles each way, when a woman stopped us and told poor, lazy, June that she was almost there and that there'd be ice cream at the top! I tried to stop the woman from offering further detail on said ice cream, explaining that I didn't have a cent on me. She immediately unzipped her back pack and pulled $20 out and handed it to June, telling her to "hurry up and get up the steps" so we could enjoy our treat! She managed to race up the last 100 steps (there's 832 steps in all!) and made it to the top with little to no exertion. And while eating her cone, she lost her first tooth!!

                                               *pics are not in order














 Pics I just found from our drive. The knife had just been purchased at an Amish store.




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First day of school year 2013-2014



Cole's a fifth grader, June's repeating kindergarten, and wouldn't you know it, Cole got Junie's Kindergarten teacher from last year! She switched all the way up to 5th grade. I think she'll be great with all the rowdy boys in her class. They both were less than excited about school starting (as opposed to Dayne who's been planning it for a month), but fortunately, both woke up happy and stayed happy throughout the whole day! I think it just feels good to have the structure. Dayne is home with me this year. She had wanted to home school last year, but I told her to give me a year with all three kids in school, just so I could figure things out. Not that I really figured anything out...

So here we are. I was anxious all last week knowing Dayne was so excited about school and "ready", while I was anything but! All I could think about was a few days of doing absolutely nothing. Just a good book and a comfy couch, that's all. But I'm often reminded that my kids are only young and sweet and tender only once, and my years for laying (or lying?) around reading books will be here before I know it, and I'll wish I'd spent more time with the little treasures (as sweet sister Mindi would say) I have. 

School with Dayne turned out great. She loves to learn and is easy in that way. The thing I'd say she most needs to work on (and I could improve on myself) is more quality, less quantity. She can write pages and pages or color a whole coloring book, but the spelling is mostly wrong (even though she knows it!) and it's carelessly done. However, I think it's probably common with what's asked of kids in public school and they can also get away with it more. With JUST mom, we can focus on writing TWO SENTENCES completely perfect, rather than two pages of mediocre quality. Dayne's also very concerned about a "schedule". I told her that as long as our work is done well, it doesn't matter if we get to every subject. Reading, writing, math, and piano are our four everydays. History, science, art..those can be covered on field trips, in the evenings, etc. 

And I'm so excited for our field trips!! So many things to do in VA. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Crosbys leave and some other random pics

I can't forget to post about our dear friends, The Crosbys, and their move back to the other side of the country. I don't know if my heart has every hurt so bad, as to see Heidi leave. My lack of vocabulary and eloquence will excuse me from knowing how to express how much this woman has helped me in my life. She will continue to do incredible things in the life of many, many others. I just know it. Her testimony, her kindness, her realness, incredibly genuine..in my eyes, pretty close to perfect! 
Love you, sweet Heidi.


 Yep, I've lost it. Completely bawling like a baby.

 Sweet Dayne..




 Geof. and the "Duke" at a wax museum close to where we were camping at Natural Bridge