Friday, August 28, 2009

Flashback Friday

So, we're going to take you back in time, but only about a month or so. When we picked Riley up from camp in Maine last July we stopped in Ogunquit, ME, on the way home. It's a cute little seaside town with a nice walkway along the sea called Marginal Way.
As usual, the kids were less than thrilled with their parents' plans, but along the way they enjoyed climbing on the rocks and collecting rocks.

We stopped for lunch and then went to get some ice cream. The story gets a little interesting at this point because we realized the shop only took cash. Ted didn't have much cash, and although earlier that day I assured him I had plenty of cash, I left my purse in the van for our walk, so at the shop I had no cash at all. Oops. So, Ted starts digging through his Costanza-ish wallet looking for money hidden in different places. What he found was a few $2 bills that my dad likes to give the kids. We asked how much the ice cream was, and figured we had enough to get each kid one cone--but that was it. Of course, it was on this day that I actually wanted ice cream, too (I usually don't get any), but now couldn't get any. Riley ended up picking some candy thing that cost as much as the ice cream. It looks like they enjoyed it.

We also found a geocache on the walk--which was hard to do with all the other "muggles," as random passers-by are called, walking along the path. Unfortunately, we were once again unprepared--we didn't have a pen to sign the log. So I guess the moral of this story is that I shouldn't leave my purse behind.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Construction Projects

While we were in Ohio, Ted stayed home and built a desk for the girls. He used some modular storage pieces to be the legs of the desk and a piece of precut lumber for the top. After assembling the modular pieces and putting a few coats of polyurethane on the top piece, it was ready to be put together. Just in time for school to start next week! Disregard the crazy alignment of pictures--those are going to have to be rearranged--that's my job.

While Ted was building a desk, I had my own construction project. My girlfriend and I each made an American Girl doll dress "closet" using a wooden crate/box from Michael's and a simple dowel. All we had to do was drill a hole in each side
and then secure the dowel through the holes.
Voila! The girls are going to decoupage the box with cutout pictures of various dolls--it will be a great project for them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Road Trip Chapter 6: Friendship

A very wise Winnie the Pooh said, “You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” And so we went to our friends.

a picnic lunch with all our friends
Cory and Mason playing Mario Kart
Riley and Lauren roasting marshmallows (sadly, a blurry picture)

Riley, Lydia and Mary icing ice cream cone cupcakes together. Mary and Lydia made the ice cream cone cupcakes during a sleepover.

Mary and Callie thrilled that they got soaked in the fountains after I had encouraged them to stay as dry as possible. They were screaming, "We win! You lose!" and laughing uncontrollably.

This trip to Ohio was all about reconnecting with some dear friends--ones we knew for only a year before we had to move, but really bonded with. The kids (and I) savored the few days we had to be with them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Road Trip Chapter 5: Going Gaga for Ga-Ga

Ga-Ga is dodge ball with a twist. According to Wikipedia it originated in Israel and can be loosely translated to mean "hit." Riley has told us about this game--she learned it in Sunday School where they play it. While visiting our friends in Ohio they decided to build a Ga-Ga pit (they had played it at the Ohio Sate Fair), and since we knew what Ga-Ga was, we were happy to help. Ga-Ga is played in an octagonal "pit" where a player hits the ball with his palm or fist. If you're hit with the ball from the knee or below you are out. If you hit the ball twice in a row without the ball hitting something else (either an opponent or the sides of the pit) you are out. The last player standing wins. We've had a lot of fun playing it this week, and I'm debating whether or not we should make one ourselves as one of our first homeschool projects. I think the kids in the Circle would have a lot of fun playing the game together, and I know building it would provide multiple learning opportunities for us as well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Road Trip Chapter 4: Gotta Have It

Cold Stone is a perfect place to be in the summer. If you don't have one in your area, I'm so sorry. We were lucky enough to be Ice Cream Makers one day during a tour of a local Cold Stone.Cory and Lucy were the lucky recipients of some ice cream made by a sweet friend. I tried their new Country Time Lemonade Sorbet. Wow, it was good.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Road Trip Chapter 3

This is one of the reasons that I let the kids talk me into an 800 mile road trip...

Thanks to my friend Susan who knows how to make me smile--she brought me a pulled pork sandwich, coleslaw and cuke salad and this large sweet tea. Mmmmm...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Challenge Ministry - KAYAK

I've started a new group at the church. It's called the Challenge Ministry and it's a group of guys who gather once a month or so and do MAN stuff. It's no 'craft and chat' and it's definitely not your standard pancake breakfast. Today was the second meeting of the group. Our first event, back in June, was Geocaching. I introduced them to the hobby with a nice easy hike in the woods, then challenged them with a difficult one that was in the middle of a swamp.

The new adventure today was Kayaking. I had never been kayaking so I new I was highly qualified to lead a group of men on a water adventure. We chose the Concord River. Nice and flat. I found a nice 4-5 hour round trip that went through some protected wildlife area. I rented yaks from the base.

The theme of today's event was men are the leaders of the family. The Kayak was the object lesson that you are the pilot of the boat. It goes where you lead it. You have to work to keep it in line, and if you want something new you have to work...otherwise the current will just take you along for a ride.

We stopped at the Old North Bridge in Concord for a rest and a snack (one of the guys made fun of my "goldfish" snack - if he had 4 little ones around the house he would have goldfish too). We discussed the men-leader-kayak thing, and also talked about the sacrifices some have to make as that leader (back to the Bridge reference and the 19 Apr 1775 when a few made a supreme sacrifice for liberty). By design the first half of the trip was upstream so the second half would be more relaxing. Our rental kayaks were not the best and my shoulders were done after 4 hours of paddling.
I was in a 2 man kayak - here's my shipmate.

Here's a few shots of the boys on the water.

The weather was awesome.

Still in early stages of planning - but late SEP we may load up some firearms and find a place to shoot.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Road Trip Chapter 2

"Kids, back in the ol' days we didn't have these fancy movie players and what nots. We entertained ourselves by looking at the window. And we liked it."

I think part of the reason my kids look forward to a road trip is for the movies. We only use the built in DVD player for long trips, so they were eager to start the vegging. Lucky for them, Grandma brought several new DVD's for the kids, and they wasted no time watching them.
Lest my kids completely rot their brains during a road trip, we do have movie time outs, during which they like to play a few car games like road trip bingo that we print out at home and enjoy the surprises we pack in their car tins purchased especially for our big trips. I usually fill the tins with a few small things they can do, but the kids are most thrilled with the gum and candy they find in there.
We made it to Beavercreek! Yea!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rite of Summer III: Road Trip Chapter 1

The kids and I headed out this morning for our summer road trip to Ohio. We took this trip last summer and had a lot of fun. So as summer approached this year, the kids assumed we'd be doing it again. Here we are ready to push off this morning...can you see the Mickey D's sweet tea next to my seat? An iceless tea purchased the night before meant we could leave without an initial pit stop!

You know it's a road trip when you have to stop for gas. We had to make just one stop today--for lunch and gas. Gas prices this year are sure a lot better than last summer's trip.

We arrived in Buffalo and checked into our hotel--with a swimming pool, of course! Before long the kids were doing some synchronized jumping. Hopefully it was enough playtime to be ready for bed tonight.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Locks of Love: Mary Beth's Edition

Mary Beth has been eager for her hair to be long enough to donate to Locks of Love. She has never been fond of having her hair long--in the past she always asks me to cut more off than I would have thought to. And although I'm not fond of brushing her long hair, I think she was extra cute when we braided her hair in two long braids (like she had it for Ted's promotion ceremony).
She's been asking me lately if we it was long enough to cut, and I kept saying that I didn't want to cut it before Ted's big shin-dig--that way it wouldn't matter so much if we messed it up. So Saturday morning (the day after his ceremony) the first thing she asked me was when we would cut her hair. How about right now?

Her hair was super kinky from having been braided the day before
She's as cute as ever, but her plans to be Pippi Longstocking for Halloween have been thwarted!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


15 short years ago we looked at someone wearing the silver oak leaf and thought, "wow, they're really important." Now Ted has his own silver leaves--making him important now, too. He would humbly say he's not that important, but we all know better.

Unfortunately, all of our pictures from the promotion ceremony are blurry--somehow my camera focus settings had been switched to manual focus--argh! Peggy or Liz, where were you when I needed you? Ted promises me that we will soon have pictures from the official photographer, so hopefully we can post more from the ceremony in the future, but above is us at home immediately afterwards--before the kids dashed off to change into play clothes.

No pictures, though, will be able to demonstrate the singing and commotion that Lucy made throughout the event--she was a hoot. Luckily it was our ceremony, so we weren't bothered, and she's 2, so she is allowed to act a little goofy. I just figured that the sweet, singing noises were much better than the loud, miserable wails that we could have been hearing from a little girl who was awake during her normal nap time. Eventually, though, the lack of a nap caught up with her, and this is how I found her around 5:30
while everyone else was helping themselves to yummies
and eating
Brisket, potato salad (thanks Stacey), cole slaw, watermelon, rice krispie treats (thanks Heather), cookies, brownies (again, thanks Stacey), and Ted's homemade ice cream--YUM!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

God Sightings

This week my kids are at VBS and have been asked to keep their eyes open for "God Sightings." I couldn't help but be just a tad reflective on this concept as we biked to VBS in the morning and I watched my own God Sightings pedalling ahead of me. In fact, it's kind of hard to miss Him if you just stop and look around...