Monday, 20 February 2017

She Seems so Light

 So this very cute small baby showed up here at our house. Well, I mean she actually came the conventional way - my daughter had a daughter and they live with us.
 Although Avaline is small in size, she's caused a large shift in life around here...there's lots more pink in this predominately boy house. 

My daughter has college classes, so Avaline hangs out with us during the day. Being only a few months old, I don't have to chase her around much. Couple of bottles, a burp and she's good to go.

I decided this morning to take her on my usual 3 mile walk with friends. Why did I think that was a good idea? We have this "wrap the baby up and wear her" thing, so I thought that might be a good way to go. The wrap was about 18 feet long and I was lost after the watching around 5 seconds of the how- to video. 
 That was when I decided to just carry her in my arms. I know that you've already figured out from reading this, what took me about a mile into our walk to understand. That was a STUPID idea.  My friend Nancy had to push me from behind just to get up the hills.

 One us us really enjoyed the walk. One of us feels like death. 

Sunday, 19 February 2017

They Didn't Rest in Peace

  We have an apple orchard in our back- yard and about four years ago, we had an enormous harvest. The kids spent a week peeling and chopping apples. I made apple butter, apple sauce, apple crisp, etc. until I was so sick of apples that I threw all the rest in bags and tossed them into the bottom of our largest freezer. When you land in the bottom of the big freezer you have crossed into no man's land. You could literally live out your entire frozen apple life and die and no one would be the wiser. And I was good with that.
  Fast forward to last week. I'm looking for something deep in the freezer and I stumble across 10 bags of something. Could it be? The apples. I'm annoyed already and I haven't laid eyes on them in three years. Seriously. And worse, they didn't look dead yet. 
 So today, on this glorious almost summer day in February, while everyone was out in their shorts and weird white legs...I was canning apple sauce. And after sitting all that time, virtually ignored, they only got sweeter. Come by and try some - it's so good.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Every Boy(and their mom) Needs Some Culture

Our homeschool group has decided this year to take advantage of the amazingly convenient place we live and go to Washington D.C. once a month. The trips have been perfect. We take the train from the Brunswick, Maryland station to Union Station smack downtown D.C. and then we get walking. and walking. and walking. My fitbit has been smoking!

Yesterday our first stop was the National Gallery of Art. The boys have been studying the Renaissance artists, so we had a list of "must sees" that we wrote down.

We hit the Raphaels, Titians, and most exciting of all, the one da Vinci painting on display in all of the Americas.."Genevra de Benci".

After lunch we visited the Modern and Contemporary Art building. The boys were not as impressed, but had a great time choosing their favorite in each gallery. Why does everyone say, "I could paint that" when they see modern art?

Our last stop of the day was the Botanic Gardens. After a long day and even longer walk, there is nothing as relaxing as strolling (or mostly sitting) in the gardens. And how did so many of us not know that chocolate grows on trees.

Can't wait for next month's trip!

Monday, 25 July 2016

When My Mom says Float, We Float

That's my mom on the far left.

My mom, who turned 93 in February has been asking me to go on a river float with her for a few years.  I had some reservations, but she told me last week it was something she wanted to do before she died. How can you deny someone an adventure on their bucket list?
Since the Shenandoah River is right across the street, we decided that today would be the day.
With the help of neighbors and two of my boys, we took a float. 

                    It was peaceful and lovely and perfect.  
                          My mom is more than amazing!

Friday, 20 May 2016

School's Out!

  After 35 weeks of slogging through history and learning to write effective essays, and tackling the ever elusive lowest common denominator, we are officially done school for the year! 
  To celebrate, the boys voted that we spend the day at the mall and then head to Golden Coral for lunch. We made a quick stop at Walmart and I cut the boys loose while I picked up some groceries   It was fairly easy to track where they were in the store even though I couldn't see them.  I simply listened for the overhead announcement for "security sweep in area G".  That translates to - "large group of teen boys seen in the electronics isle".
  We'll be doing some math review for the summer, but mostly I'm dreaming of sleeping in, swimming and not teaching a single thing.


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

She's Driving!

After a fairly long, but successful trip to the D.M.V we have another new driver! 
Emma is about the 15th person I have taught to drive.
James decided many kids ago that he was not going to participate in driving instruction.  He obviously has a stronger sense of self preservation than I do.

It really is the absolute scariest part of parenthood. Harder than labor, tougher than the terrible twos and the closest I have ever come to looking death in the face.
Some of the kids have been harder to teach than others. I will mention no names but they know who they are and why I have grey hair.
Three more left to learn and then I'm done. I might actually survive this.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Good Things Come in Twos

   Today is a birthday for two of our kids. Both Emma and Samuel were born on April 5th.. 6 years apart.
   Emma is embarking on that much anticipated and overrated journey into adulthood. Happy 18th Emma - enjoy the freedom and endure the responsibilities.
   Samuel is the youngest of the heap of children and still not a teenager, turning 12 this year. Happy birthday Sam, can you stay this age forever?

   Lots of cake and presents and another year goes by.