Thursday, July 28, 2011

Family Fun

After months of being the one left behind on all the fun trips, we finally made plans to go somewhere together! My Tommy planned the day (as usual, since he is way more fun than I am) and was so considerate to plan something NOT involving a bathing suit. :) We took a drive to the Shenandoah area, or Mount Jackson, more specificly.

We first made a trip on the Covered bridge. It smelled so wonderful! Cedar, I think.

I had never driven on anything like that before.

Next stop was the Route 11 potato chip factory. We hoped to watch them cook, but they weren't that day.

Here is William holding his "tail." I never thought I would put any of my kids on a leash, but we don't have a double stroller right now. William was really cute with the monkey on his back, and though he was strong and sometimes pulled me, it was good for the sightseeing we did that day.

All set to go in the Shenandoah Caverns! It's the only caverns that had an elevator to get down the 60 feet to the caverns.

It was 52 degrees down there! Thankfully, Tommy remembered a blanket for the baby.

We had a little bacon while we were down there...

And eggs!

Here is Patrick's castle. It's so amazing to see what God has done. Our guide said that it takes 125 years to make an inch of the stalagtites and mites. So beautiful!

Mommy and her cuties!

Daddy too. On a side note, I want to say that my kids were really good in the caverns. We had a groupl that was super rude and just kept talking and talking while he was trying to lead us. It was a funny tour, because he had to turn the lights on and off for us, as we traveled in each room, so we had to wait and stop, and wait. But, really, we were on a tour and the adults were just too chatty. I was really proud of my kids and how well they listened.

Rainbow lake.

This looks like something here in DC. Not sure what the kids are doing, but can you guess what this is?

There was also an area with the old-fashioned store window displays.

The great part of this trip was that the three main things we did were all in one area! There is a huge place with American Parade items - inaugural parades, mardi gras, rose parades...the place was filled and everything was HUGE. You see that stuff on TV but never realize how enormous it all is, and that some of it moves!

This is the Lone Star float, used in the inaugural parade for George W. Bush.

This train was over 100 feet (I think) and was the largest piece there.

I just want you to see the size of the building. This is only half! Look how little Tommy looks!

Then there was a place to let the kids just have fun. A big yellow barn with all kinds of neat things to see and play in. There was a beehive IN the wall, where you could see everything, a rabbit to pet, scavenger hunt and a train ride in the parking lot. The kids were thoroughly exhausted after this place, and it was a perfect stopping place.

After dinner, Tommy took the scenic Skyline Drive home for the sunset. We caught almost all of it. We would stop at the overlooks, and Emma would say something along the lines of "the sun isn't moving." "Where's the sun again?" It was funny. I am so happy we had such a great family day!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Scout Camping

Our Patrick is a bear scout now, and is really enjoying the activities with the scouts. He did 2 camping trips this summer, and even though he doesn't say much about it, I know he had a blast.

He did tell me his favorite thing to do was the sling shot. Notice the cape? The theme was superheroes!

Green arrow Reynolds.

Here are some of his pack at the campgrounds. He and Tommy came home hoarse from their weekend, and I love that I keep hearing the little things he learned while at camp. "And-a ONE, and-a TWO, and-a you-know-what-to-do!" They did some songs too, and he's been singing "there are no bananas in the sky (in the sky)" and teaching his siblings.

Click for the full effect. I had no idea he could make faces like that!

Tommy and Patrick are both involved in the pack, and it's so neat to have so many friends from school there with him. I am really impressed with our pack leader. He is great with all the boys, and (this is what really got me) arranged meals for us after James was born. They came at perfect intervals, and were all delicious. We never had anyone coordinate meals after a baby was born, and he didn't even ask, just did. He would tell us when dinner was coming and we would enjoy it. It's a small thing, but made a big impact on me. We are so blessed to have such great friends and community.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Little Joys

First and foremost, my brother-in-law who helped fix our A/C so we only had to spend one night in discomfort. He is the best!
These always make me "glad."

William wore these to a doctor's appointment this week. He walked very.slowly so he wouldn't fall.

"You've got a friend in me."

Always one of my favorites! Sleeping babies are pure joys. (And the sweet smiles that he is giving me now!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Boy, that Murphy really knows how to keep it coming. Our A/C decided to go out this weekend. Naturally. In hot and humid July.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

So, what do you think happens during the week that your wonderful, hard-working husband goes back to work after being superdad for almost 3 weeks? Why, anyone who knows Murphy and his law will tell you that everything seems to fall apart. And yes, I will tell you all about it!

Thankfully, because of the holiday, it was a short week. I had a doctor's appointment to have the stent removed (YAY!!!) on Tuesday. I dropped my big kids off at my sisters and took the baby with me, thinking it would be nice and short. I was a bit late for my appointment, but did not get leave that office until 2 hours AFTER my scheduled appointment time. I saw that there was a tractor trailer fire on the main highway, and I thought I could just avoid that road and there would be no problems. Boy, was I ever wrong. I did not get to my destination until almost 3 hours later! I was stuck in traffic in the same city for that length of time. Everyone was trying to get around the mess. Tommy, my Knight in shining armour, came and met me for dinner after picking up the kids. He beat me home, because he was on the train, and drove back to help me. What a sweet man.

I thought I would make dinner that night, and prove to myself that I can do this "mother of 4 alone" thing, but that didn't happen. So I decided to make it the next day. No biggie. I put the roast in the oven, and after 20 minutes I was very aware that there was no smell of dinner cooking. The oven, which was on, was cold. Broken oven. Great. Stove top works, but you can't do a roast in 30 minutes on the stove (or at least, I have no idea how). There also were some eggs boiling on the stove which I forgot about, and I ruined my pot because there was no water in it for so long. Drat. I was going to make zucchini bread, but that isn't going to happen any time soon. I was hoping it would be fixed on Friday, since Tommy scheduled a man to come out and fix it, but he never got here. We never got a call or anything, and nobody else could help us. Time to get my cookbooks out for some easy cooking. "Hello, Tony's?"

Oh, and I decided to run errands. With the 4 kids. I know. I'm crazy. (On the plus side, it was Target and there is no place better for some retail therapy!!) There is a light on in the van. Mind you, we JUST had the darn thing in the shop but now the ABS light is on. Kind of important, so it's time to take that in again. And, naturally, the light is nothing, but there is something else to fix.

And I am dealing with this on not much sleep, because we have a newborn in the house. And he likes to be held. A lot. I am writing this post in a rare hands-free moment, and I am on edge, waiting for him to start crying.

But, on the positive side, I feel so good! I feel like a new person. I am stent and stone free (says the doctor) and am almost feeling like myself again. It's so nice to have energy to do things around the house and just FEEL better. I know I look better, because people keep telling me I look like a new woman, but I have to admit I feel it too. Granted, I need a haircut and to lose some more baby weight, but I know I am doing better. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Anyone else want to say it?

Now's the time. Really, go ahead. It seems to be the theme these days.

I looked bad. It's okay. You can tell me now that I've had the baby. I looked as sick and as bad as I felt. I knew everyone was lying to me. "Oh, you look so good." Baloney. I just had 2 people tell me that I look so much better now that I have had James. "I saw you that one time and you really, well, I was really worried about you." Which, on one hand is good. Means they were praying for me. But now they say I look much better. Hmm. Back-handed, but good. I am happy to hear that I look so much better. I guess. It's hard to know how to take that. But, I do know that I feel better. So, thanks.

I think.