Monday, August 23, 2010

the weekend

This last weekend was a mini vacation for me.  I really didn't cook until Sunday when the kids came back home (and it was frozen food). 

So, what to do? Go ape, of course!  Mark picked the activity, and though I was a tad leery at first (I admit it... a little nervous), we had a good time.  I actually had a great time!  It was hot (and humid... August in NoVA), but the breeze in the trees was good.  Climbing and zip lining were very good.  The Tarzan swing... scary but very, very good (I wasn't expecting the bungee style drop, I was expecting to just swing out).

yes, we are, like, 30 feet up

the man... no big deal for him


Also, here are a few pictures of Danielle, the dancer.  Her friend's mom was practicing on Danielle so she would be ready for her daughter when it was her daughter's turn to dance.  I'm so glad she did!  She (the photographer) is very gifted! 

"the power"

"puttin' on the Ritz"

Friday, August 20, 2010


The youngest and the Dad are having some chill time.  This picture was taken yesterday (afternoon)!  Katie still likes to nap in the afternoon... I guess we all do (like to nap in the afternoon)!

I plan to nap some this weekend.  I have a mini vacation planned!  I'm not going anywhere exciting, or doing anything exciting.  I just plan on resting.  And. no. cooking.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

it's time...

I'm just checking in, because I can.  The lack of schedule reared it's ugly head here last week, so I have instituted a s-l-o-w start back to school.  We are rolling out of bed by 8:30 (a very good intention) and getting our clothes on right away (yes, clothes, yes, you have to wear your shirt).  We are eating breakfast as soon as we get out of bed (not at lunch-time) and into our clothes.  We are walking (or attempting to walk) around the block before we start school (an idea borrowed from my friend across the street... I'm hoping it will help with focus).  We are totally doing a little work (remember how to multiply? fractions? what sound does "a" make?) prior to lounging, prior to any sort of television or movies, or wii games... The temptation to be lazy (such a mean word,really...but the truth sometimes hurts) is really, really big... but this lack of routine is making me crazy and affecting behaviors in the young ones (2pm... really? pajamas? you haven't brushed your teeth,yet?) and forming undesirable habits...

So. That is my story this week, and I'm sticking to it.  Want to hear another story?

Well, let me tell you:  If you find yourself travelling 95 South in the summer through the Greater Washington DC/ Baltimore Metropolitan area; traffic is normal.  Resist the urge to scatter illegally through the HOV lanes.  Ignore the GPS that is telling you to re-route to Route 1 South. Route 1 is worse.  Plan an extra 3 hours for travel time through this area...yes, I'm serious.  Even if it is a normal Monday afternoon, expect a three hour southbound delay.  It doesn't matter which southbound road you are feebly attempting to drive on... it will still be a three hour delay.  Yes, I really am serious.  If you choose to travel south after 3 pm, add another 2 hours!

(Can you guess where I was stuck yesterday afternoon?) On to better topics-

I have been struck by the sermons at church the last few Sunday evenings.  Our church pastors are teaching the Keys-to-the-Kingdom series.  The messages of forgiveness, of doing, of praying have really resonated with me!  I am totally feeling like these messages are so timely and so helpful!  My sense of purpose as a human being on this Earth is being renewed; which is good, since not all things (not even a lot of things) seem to be going my way (or the way I think they should go). Shocking, but true!  Seriously, though, last week's message was about being a follower of Christ and about being a doer for Christ; to not just say words, but to do actions, too.  This week's message was about letting God be God, and realize that we are not.  We are not God.  God is with us, indeed, He carries us at times.  We may not even see Him or feel Him, but He is with us.  And His purpose is for good, not evil.  As hard as I may be struggling with circumstances beyond MY control, there is purpose and meaning in everything that happens. To me.

Even though I may be down...

This lifts me up...

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Turning 7 means she has her first pair of dangling ear-rings!  Walking into the library today she announced that she felt like a movie star.  How funny!  These kids crack me up!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Be the claw....

Need I say more? 

Mark is the master at the claw machine and never backs down from a challenge.  We went to Fuddruckers for Katie's birthday (how did she turn 7... wasn't she 2, like, yesterday?)...

The reward was a Harley loving squirrel-type-creature for Tom-Tom. 

Katie has had a birthday celebration every day this week, and the diva in her has arrived (and been taken down a notch or two- we must end the craziness).  We are all over-dosing on sugar, too.  Birthday cake and/or ice-cream has been indulged in every day this week!

Did I mention we should end the craziness? 

Danielle had music-art-drama camp at our church this week.  Tonight was the camp open house.  It is so awesome to see the hand of GOD at work!  Honestly, I got tears when they sang... "Whom shall I send?  Here am I, Lord..."

Praise God!

Carolina on my mind.

a little love!

Tommy loves animals... all animals... and all animals love Tommy.  It's a gift!

Tommy and Griffen bonding


from our Greensboro visit:
The children's museum

Danielle looks like Juliette, and that is my nephew in the background rocking the bongos for her...

Monday, August 9, 2010

first week of August 2010


It's been a traveling sort of week.  We (the kids and I) traveled to beautiful Greensboro, NC to visit my brother and his family.  The cousins love each other and are always so excited to see each other!  They stay up (too) late and get up (too) early; but they have a great time.  I love to catch up with my bro and his wife, too.  Really, truly, they are an amazing family.  Greensboro is a really cool town, with a great vibe to it.  I can see the young and fabulous working downtown; and there are great schools and museums, neat parks, fun shops and a cool mall.  My sister-in-law is a Montessori teacher at this awesome Greensboro Montessori School (which her kids also attend), and my brother works in the city government, and refs lacrosse (so cool!).  Their house is really sweet in a fantastic neighborhood.  I really enjoy visiting! I wish I got to do it more often!

I haven't been able to do many more updates on my house, even though I have these great ideas... It was the tax free weekend here in Virginia, and I (probably) went a little overboard... the lure, though, of tax free clothes, groceries, and school supplies totally tempted my spending gene.  It's like Christmas time - I struggle with the need for things, and the awesome "bargain"; but, really, it will be hot here until Halloween...  We don't need boots, coats, scarves, etc.  But, they are on sale! And tax free!! And we are always running out of glue sticks, and tape, and markers.  The battle rages on and on. -- I'm reading Financial Peace University right now, and it is scary to realize that it is so easy to fall into the spending mentality.  It's time to tighten up again!  I hope the kid's feet don't grow until after Christmas (honestly... Danielle wears a ladies size 9- she is only 9), good shoes are expensive.  You can't find those at the thrift store (I've tried!)

I think we'll probably start school, here in the next few weeks.  I just need to get organized.  Take a deep breath in... breathe out... it is so hard to stay organized!  I (don't really) need all those pottery-barn style baskets and shelves....

from the loved Pottery Barn catalog

School will be good, though.  It's always nice for a fresh start. I think even the kids are getting slightly excited.  I may be slightly delusional about that -  but they were excited about picking out their binders and notebooks this last weekend!

Books: totally loved The Mortal Instruments series... really, very cool story line.  Danielle is reading all about Paris.  She thinks Paris is the coolest.  Katie is reading all Fancy Nancy.  We all love Fancy Nancy (well, we girls do, anyway).  Tommy is reading his fact books; mythology, swords and weapons, kung-fu, Bruce Lee, sword, groundhogs, Harley-Davidsons, Sonic, and Batman comics.  Batman is the man right now!

The Power of a Praying Wife

 Also:  The Power of the Praying Wife, Stormie Omartian... very good, timely wisdom for any and all marriages, those doing well, and those doing not so well.  I wish I read this before I got married!  I really love the faith and the words of wisdom from the Bible.

random... the new turtle habitat!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Pajama day, and socks because my feet are so cold (all the time! What is that?!).  This was my Sunday!  I contemplated clothes, but I just couldn't get up the courage to face my closet until it was time for church at 6. 

We had great company staying with us this weekend, and they remained in their pajamas, too, until they left for their home around 5.

It was great.