Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Day of School!

The new school year started this week!  My kids were up and ready at the crack of dawn, although the tree shade makes this 7AM photo shoot look more like 7PM.
I didn't see the little face in the background until after I took the shot.  What a stinker.
Fourth grade!
Second grade!
Silly grade.

I am looking forward to the new year and all the challenges.  God bless all our students and teachers.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

House update

After a very long time of hoping and waiting, we have backed out of the house we were trying to buy.  The short-sale-that-was-not is done.  We decided it was time to walk away.  It was a very emotional decision, as is the whole process, but it is time to move on.  The bank, the investor, the title company, everybody but our wonderful realtor (and good friend) was just so frustrating.  We kept hearing "almost there, last step, immediate approval" all to no avail.  We finally decided to let the house go.  We are glad that we are done with that process, and will have new curse word/phrase to add to the list now.  So, time to find a new house.

The problem?  There isn't much in the way of choices in houses right now.  We are kind of stuck with what is out there, in our price point, etc, etc.  It's hard to start this process all over again but we have been praying and asking everyone to keep praying.  It's part of our night prayers with the kids, and I was starting to feel like the kids weren't getting it.  I was getting a little frustrated and feeling like I wasn't getting the point across.  Until the other night. 

Emma says, "I want to say a special prayer that we find the right house for our family.  And even if it's an ugly house, we will be happy with it."


Thank you, Lord, for the sweetness of my children, their resilience and trust.  We know you will take care of us, even more than you take care of the birds of the air.   

14 months

Guess who's busier now?  No door handle is safe!

Friday, August 24, 2012

William-isms #238

  •  (Pointing to the box that holds some popular toys in the house and is labeled.) "Mommy, you need to put an "S" on that word to make it "Legos.""
  • I put him to bed for the second time in one night, and tell him he shouldn't be out of bed unless he is dead, dying or bleeding. "I'm a little bit dying."
  • "Emma, will you always be older than me?"  "Yes.  But I won't always be bigger than you." 
    "I will be smarter than you!"
  • "That girl over there has brown skin, but her feet are white."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Patrick is 9!

It's hard to believe that 9 years ago, I became a Mom.  My best Patrick has grown up so much.  We are so proud of all he has accomplished in school and the scouts, and his knowledge of legos and Mario is still unsurpassed in this house.

I love my family!  Wherever we are, so long as we are all together, everything will be fine.  God has blessed us so much, and I am so grateful. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Williamsburg Fun!

After our trip to the beach, we started our drive to Williamsburg for our last trip before school starts.  There was plenty of traffic on the road, so my amazing husband-who-can-look-at-a-map-and-in-one-second-can-have-that-in-his-head drove us to a free car ferry.  The Scotland-Jamestown (or visa-versa) ferry goes on the water right next to Jamestown!  We visited there on our last trip, so I loved seeing the town from the perspective of the first people that landed there.
It was such a neat ride.

William got into the role of shipmate.

There's Jamestown!  The statue of John Smith and the church, and the excavation sites.

We were afraid the pirates would come and plunder our ship.  All we had was sand to offer them.  We saved a bit for James' next meal.

We met the Iveys for a trip to Busch Gardens.  It was so much fun to watch Lauren and William, who are the same age, play with eachother. 

Emma had a blast with Caroline and Lauren as her buddies.  Mr. Mike and Miss Susan are always so generous and fun. 
I loved that the kids all wanted to meet the characters.  Look at Lauren and Emma's poses!  So cute!

Patrick bugged me about riding this ride (one of the 4 he rode that day).

This video is the bumper car ride, just for the kids.  Notice how Patrick does his best to not hit anyone, and the adults are hollering directions to the kids.

Please fasten your seatbelt.  Our cute pilot for the day is sweet Caroline, who will be taking us on a tour of the roller coasters in the Germany area.  She is an experienced little lady, and has logged about 10 minutes of flight time in her previous visits.
This was the closest Patrick got to any rollercoasters.  He wanted a souvenir from the big one, but wouldn't ride it.

It was a beautiful day until the skies opened up.  I am regretting that I told Tommy to leave the ponchos at home.  I stuck to my guns and only bought 2 at the ridiculous park prices.  Emma tried to get one, especially to cover her new stuffed animal, but I managed to get it away from her, and we used the other one to almost cover up my James.  Every time I would move it to get his toes covered, it would catch the wheels.  It rained a lot that day, but James slept through it all.

This video shows how sweet my Emma was with Caroline, and how funny the 2 four-year-olds were together. 

Sweet Nicholas was an absolute angel all day, and William just wanted to shower him with sweetness.  He even shared his new toy with him.  Nic is such a good baby!

We usually stay at a Homewood Suites because they give us the government rate, but we couldn't get it this time.  Our next choice was a perfect option.  The Embassy Suites totally rocked for our two nights there.  They have a happy hour with appetizers, and a balloon guy for the kids one night, free breakfast in the morning (and what a breakfast!) and ANOTHER happy hour for the family with a Wii, balloon guy and movie for the kids.  It was so nice to hang out with our friends, so we weren't all stuck in the room.  The kids slept well!  

We hoped our trip would let us have one more day with the Iveys, but we had to head home to be with Tommy's dad, who had to spend a few days in the hospital.  (He's doing really well, and will be coming home soon.) 

Monday, August 13, 2012


 It went so quickly!  From one tooth to two teeth gone! 
The first one dangled there for a long time, with her screaming every time we tried to get near her.  The babysitter paid her a dollar to let her pull it!  Yes, we are not above bribing in this house.  The second one was a bit easier, because she was more excited about losing it. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Our Beach Trip

Virginia beach, here we come!  This is the first beach trip for the younger two kids, but the first trip that the big kids will remember.  They were SO excited!

William loved the sand.  He literally sat down immediately and began digging and building as soon as we stepped onto the beach.  We tried to tell him that he had to wait until we got closer to the water.  He was hilarious.  We had to pry the shovel out of his hands  to get him in the water, and then we couldn't get him out. 
Daddy (the one in red) took the kids in the water to ride the waves.  I think Patrick was happier a little closer in, but he really enjoyed riding the surf.  He got really brave and I was so proud of him. 
James ate about 3 meals that day on the beach.  They all consisted of sand, with a side of salt water, and a bit more sand, sand (sand sand sand sand sandity sanddd!!! Monty Python) and just a little more sand. 

It was very crowded the first day we were there, as you can see.  We only stayed one night, and it seemed to be just perfect.
William, as you can guess, had absolutely no fear.  He would see Daddy way out in the water, and just start to walk out toward him.  The waves would smack him down, and he would just keep on going.  Scared me, as I am sitting on the towel holding James, and watching Patrick move to the left out of my line of vision, Daddy going too far that he can't hear me, and James trying to crawl away.  Emma was off making new friends and sand castles. 

Mommy realized that she is not so good at the sunscreen application department.  There is a very unusual white pattern that appears on my nose, shoulders, and back.  No, I promise those white spots are not a rash, but just the area that I thought I sprayed. 
I love this photo of William.  So happy and in his own world, full of sand and fun.
I thought it was the coolest thing ever that the Naval fighter pilot jets would fly over all day long.  And it's that really cool sound, that, by the time you hear it and look up, the jet is long gone.  God bless our military!!!  I still get goosebumps just thinking about that sound.

It was so hard to get a good video with all the people at the beach.  But I loved watching Emma's terrified look and William's look of thrill.

A little ice cream and a live street performer was a great way to end the day.  Those are whips.  On fire.