Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Room for more?

Time to place your bets, friends. Can we fit another cutie in the backseat? Sometime around June 15, 2011 our faithful Saabi will put to the test in just how many little people it can hold. The best thing about going home for Thanksgiving this year was sharing the good news of another baby on the way! Now, will it fit? Some of us think it's just not going to work. As much as we've loved this car over the past years, it just seems too small for 3 little people. Others of us are convinced it will work, but we may need smaller car seats. Still others envy the grand vistas the larger vehicles offer from the backseat; the rest of us just don't care -- as long as there's a snack sometime in the near future. I won't say who's in what camp, but we know how toddlers (and mamas-to-be) love their snacks!

So, choose a side and leave your comment for us to ponder.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Go Daddy!

On Monday we were able to join Daddy at work for his promotion ceremony. We were thankful he wasn't deployed for this one, so we could celebrate with him! I failed to pass our camera off to someone for the formal time, but the department office manager got a few. I have yet to receive those from her, so before something else exciting happens around here, and I forget to post this, here's a family photo we got afterwards. Better than nothing, right?

The whole thing was mercifully brief, which was a great thing for Joshua, who either was really mad that Daddy couldn't hold him at the time, or he just wanted to run around the room. So, above his fitful yelling, Daddy was lauded, pinned, oathed, and made a few short (he sensed our urgency) comments himself. Once happy in Daddy's arms, Joshua grinned as everyone passed to offer their handshakes and congrats. Anna was polite through her shy smiles.

We are very proud of Daddy for all he has accomplished in these 9 Army years. God has brought us through and taught us so much. We are so thankful for this time here now at West Point. We celebrated with dinner that evening at a new Thai place that opened here in our little town. Joshua wasn't much into that, either. I'm pretty sure all he had for dinner was Goldfish and milk. Oh, well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ya Gotta Love the Fall

Finally..the promised photos.

The iconic pumpkin patch photos.

We've had some visitors (We LOVE visitors!):

The Cooks.

The Carlsons

My family (that's my lovely grandmother)

Joshua loves sunglasses. Unfortunately, we only have girly ones.

On rainy days we build a fort. All kinds of things end up in here: books, puzzles, dolls, tea sets, lunch.

On sunny Saturdays and random days when Daddy has no classes, we tour!

Last Mon. in Central Park

On Saturday we explored Cold Spring, a little town on the other side of the river. It was fun to see things "from the other side." We did a little shopping, finding some great bargains for next summer, and had lunch at a restaurant right by the railroad tracks so we could wave at Amtrak passengers as we ate.
Cargo trains use the tracks on the other side

That sums up our fall pretty good, so far. Oh, and yes, we do still have the skunk. AND, John and his friends have seen some other large animal sauntering around back there. John thinks it's a raccoon. Yes, we love visitors, but we prefer the human kind.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So much for that

I had the camera out. Hooked up. It was ready to give up all the photos that have been hanging out on there for...hmm...weeks now. I clicked on the "New Post" button. Image uploads will be disabled for two hours due to maintenance at 5:00PM PDT Wednesday, Oct. 20th. That was the message that greeted me.

I guess I'm off the hook...for now. Sorry. At least I tried. There's no good excuse for neglecting a blog for over a month now -- no good excuse at all.

I'll try again tomorrow.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

We have a skunk...maybe 10,000

Some people get snakes in their backyard, some have moose giving birth, we get a skunk. I had seen it a couple of times after dark walking up our driveway going towards the backyard. I even had a near miss with it, when I thought I was locked out of the house and John and kids were on the way home. Thankfully (and oops), I had left one door open. Later, I was bringing out the recycling to the street when I saw it sneak around to the back. If I had had to stay outside waiting for them to arrive.....yikes! I left the recycling on the porch and stayed inside!

Anna has her own Pepe Le Pew sighting story. On Monday evening John and I were sitting on the deck, finishing dinner and chatting with one of John's fellow instructors who lives around the corner from us. Anna had been tooling around the backyard and she came over and told me that she had seen the skunk. I sort of dismissed it, as it hadn't gotten dark yet, and these guys are nocturnal.

A couple of nights later she was narrating her story again to me as she got ready for bed. This time I asked more questions. She explained to me what it looked like, stripes, tail and all. She told me there was a hole it went into behind our neighbor's detached garage where she often goes to hide, explore, or dig. I guess she's not the only one digging. She told me the hole was "like when you dig a hole at the beach, on the shore, so the water goes in and makes a pool." Finally, I asked her if she looked in the hole. "mm hmm." And I asked her how many skunks were in there. "Well, I saw the one go in the hole. So there was one....but maybe 10,000 in the hole?" Whoa! The story was pretty believable until that last estimation.

Yesterday we were out in the backyard after lunch. She asked if I wanted to see the hole. So we went over. Sure enough! There's a hole (like the kind you dig at the beach), and other signs around the hole that would lead one to believe it is inhabited. Yes, I even Googled "skunk scat". Gross, I know, but I had to gather my evidence. We concluded that, indeed, there is a skunk, and Anna probably did see one that evening. Problem is, this hole is technically on our neighbor's property, so we are at their mercy to do something about it. John talked to the man last night. We hope they find a solution soon! No one around here wants to get skunked! It's our newest phobia. I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile, if you're bored, Google, "how to get rid of a skunk." There are some pretty funny suggestions. And, I guess I'm not as confident in Anna's counting progress as I had been. If there are 10,000 skunks in there, we have big problems!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Happy Feet

Anna had her first-ever dance class today. We signed her up for a general beginners' dance class on-post with CYS. After shopping for the appropriate attire and prancing around the house in it all last week, today was finally the day! The cool morning skies threatened rain, so we prepared for it well.

I couldn't get a photo of those cute feet in her adorable ballet slippers, as she was quick to change out of her puddle-splashers as soon as we arrived at class. I was so proud and so thankful for how she just went right into the class and followed along. Joshua and I could watch from a window, but he made it known that this is what he would have rather been doing...pickin' up stuff outside!

The class was a great success and we look forward to the next 9 Tuesday mornings. Her only critique was expressed to Daddy this evening: "We didn't really dance because we didn't even twirl!" In time, tiny dancer.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Friday, August 06, 2010

Exploring New Territory

Here are photos from the last few weeks learning about our new surroundings. I thought we had plenty to do in DC, but the options are equally abundant here, too, and more geared to the out-of-doors, which is just fine by me!

Joshua examines the old-fashioned mail slot in our front door.

On a hike. Views looking down at the Hudson River/ West Point and Anna eating trail-fresh berries.

We took a short 4-day vacation last weekend to Newport, RI. Beautiful!

Monday, July 12, 2010

At Home in the Empire State

We made it! It's all gone rather quickly. We came Thursday, stuff came Friday, Grammie on Sunday and Daddy started work today! With internet installed this evening I thought I'd let you all know we are here and doing well. First things first, you know.

Our house is great and we're so thankful it has worked out since we rented it sight-unseen! The neighborhood is friendly and there are fun things within walking distance. We're getting used to that natural feeling with no central A/C (it's an old, but charming, house.)

Grammie is here for a few days to help and we all love that. The little ones eat up the Grammietainment while Daddy and I work to unpack all our stuff.....and boy do we have stuff. I hadn't realized all that had accumulated over the past 9 years, and with this 6th move, it's been a good time to do a major sifting.

I have some photos I've taken of the young Childri getting used to their new surroundings and I'll post those when I locate the camera. In the meantime, we are enjoying the yard and all there is to explore.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lots of Lasts

We had our last church playgroup meeting today. Anna ate the last pickle for breakfast today (yes, breakfast). I'm planning to use up the flour in the cupboard to make pizza dough. We hosted our last small group meeting here Tue. evening. We've scheduled dinners with friends for "one last get-together." Nanny and Papa came up on Mon. for "one more trip" to Alexandria. This coming Sunday will be our last one at our dear church. Went to the library to return some books for the last time yesterday. The kind lady asked Anna if she was in the summer reading program. I had to respond, "Well, we're moving in about a week, so we'll check it out at our new library." The lady wanted to know where that would be. Anna said, "New York!"

We're all excited about our move to New York! A week from today this computer will be nestled in a box on a truck or a warehouse or wherever your stuff goes when they pack it up. Our cloud is moving again (see Numbers 9) and this time will settle over a small town near West Point. We weren't cool enough to get on-post housing, but we're thankful for what the Lord provided instead. A yard...finally...a yard! Think of the possibilities! Maybe Joshua will actually decide walking IS more fun than just climbing steps ALL day long.

Daddy is finishing his last days on Capitol Hill and is ready for the new job he will start in August teaching cadets everything he knows about American politics.

We've loved living here and all that we've been able to do and experience. A new home, a new town, a new community also brings excitement and curiosity for what the Lord will bring in a(nother) new place. Thankfully, the library is walkable from our new house, so a summer reading program will be a great way to get started!

Here are some recent photos celebrating some "lasts" with friends.

At a birthday party across the street.

We're going to miss these brothers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Girl and Her Purse

Anna owns a Liz Claiborne "real" purse that was handed down to her by a sweet lady at our church. It has become a favorite possession and it goes out the door every time she does. The purse even made it to the tot lot the other day. As we were leaving and I was loading them onto the Joovy I said, "Got your purse?" "Yep, ready for anything!" was the reply. I just laughed out loud.

The purse is a mystery to her little friends at church, the closest of whom are little boys. One in particular is always asking her what she's got in that purse of hers. She'll reliably say, "Just everything I need."

And what does she "need"? Well, a Hello Kitty wallet with some old coupons in it, about 3 pairs of sunglasses, a phone, some keys, a few extra Joshua toys (because she's a good sister like that), and various flotsam. I pray that purse never gets left anywhere. Heaven forbid we be left unprepared for anything without everything we need!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thanks, Aunt Mary!

So even if you have a nice camera, that doesn't mean you automatically have a file full of awesome photos , ready for the impulsive blog-posting on a hot afternoon. No, you actually have to remember to bring your camera along on trips, take it out of its bag, turn it on, look for cute subjects, and of course, take the darn pictures! We know this in our heads, but have yet to practice it. Aunt Mary knows this. She is a true artist with a camera. She feels sorry for us and loves our children. We love Aunt Mary.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

While stuck in traffic

For some reason the already copious traffic here seems to multiply by about 5 as the days get warmer. This morning we were late to our church moms group and came upon the cleaning up of what looked like had been a minor accident. Anna is learning car names. She's good at identifying just about any Toyota (she likes that curly T), "snagger" wagons, Mini Coopers, Smart cars. Wishing I could enjoy being stuck in traffic as much as she does, instead of internally whining about how it was such a waste of my life, I suddenly heard her say, "Mama, I'm not gonna be 4 forever, but you can still love me forever." Sweet girl. Next time we get to sit in traffic I think I'll just enjoy the opportunity to look back and see their darling faces smiling back at me...and try not to cause more traffic incidents.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Does Anna need a green card?

We had a treat lunch at McD's today in honor of the last day of Community Bible Study. We had the pleasure of sitting near the giant wall-mounted TV that had CNN doing their best to cover all the current happenings of the world. Thanks CNN, for your efforts, but I'd rather not spend this fun lunch with my little people explaining what an oil spill is, the immigration reform debate, why a man wanted to bomb NYC, and why it's unlawful for a man in TN to take advantage of the flooding by water skiing down a street. While the rest of the patrons were engaged in their burgers and news, I tried to redirect most of the questions, but this ironic exchange gave me a chuckle.

Anna: Mama, what's an immigrant?
Me: (Quietly, mindful of the fact that we were the only 3 blondies in the franchise) It's someone who comes to live in America, but who wasn't born here.
Anna: I'm an immigrant.
Me: No, you are an American. You were born here.
Anna: No, I was born in Georgia.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Some new photos

Realizing we've deprived the world of all the cuteness around here for long enough (we get a lot of requests from family, at least), we finally got a new camera. Hooray! The cool thing is it also has HD video-producing capabilities in one handy piece of technology, so hopefully we'll have more of that on here too.

Here's the boy. 13 months now! Fun, adorable, has a twinkle in his eye he gets from Papa, and has his own creative way of getting around. I'll have to get that on video.

Some photos from a day trip down to Mary Washington on Sunday. I was feeling nostalgic; John's always up for going, so we went! What a strange feeling to see my little girl pedaling her little pink bike down Campus Walk a mere 9 years after my time there.

Friday, April 16, 2010

We were wondering...

Do ducks have teeth? And do you think you could feed them hot dogs?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

"I'm a tool!"

The other day before nap time Anna and I were reading a child's condensed version of The Sermon on the Mount from the Jesus Storybook Bible ("The Singer"). Which is a wonderful version for anyone, I'd say. We read about how God cares for the birds and flowers, and they do not worry about where their provisions will come from:

Anna: I feed the birds!
Me: Yes, we feed the birds too. God uses us sometimes to take care of the birds.
Anna (gazing out the window at our empty bird-feeder): I'm a tool!

I was so thrilled that she got this concept! So we had a little conversation about how God can use us as His tools in this world to do His work for His glory. I am thankful for that sweet moment with her, and our daily prayer is that she will always be willing to be His tool in this world.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

O N E...big birthday party

Joshua celebrated his birthday 4 days after Anna, on March 18th. 2 birthdays in one week -- a whole new meaning to March Madness.

Family came for the weekend and some other special guests came for the party on Saturday.

He had just snatched a bite from Sister's cupcake


Anna did this same thing on her 1st birthday!

We love these little folk!