Monday, January 4, 2016

Moving to

I can't seem to get blogger to work with pictures anymore, so I migrated this site over to: - come join me there!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Quote of the Day

We were on the couch together and Molly turned to me and said, “Mom, how do you hear God?” We discussed this for awhile and then our discussion turned to when we feel close to God. Molly turned to me and said, “I feel close to God when I’m snuggled on the couch next to you, Mommy.”

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Emily is 9 Months


Emily is 9 months old already. On the one hand it seems like she’s been a part of our lives forever, and yet how can she already be so big?

I took this shot of her this morning, trying to make it look like a studio picture… she happily cooperated for a little while, until she decided she really ought to be eating my camera, or the bear near her, or crawling off the bed.

She was 20 lbs 0 oz at the doctor yesterday, which is right at the 75th percentile. She’s about that in height, too.

She has happily been crawling for several weeks, though is still building up her stamina to actually go into new rooms to find people and ask to be picked up.

She is pulling up to her knees to try to find more interesting things to play with. She was very happy to discover the pot of cacti in the sunroom (see below). She is equally interested in the coffee table and seems hopelessly devoted to the cause of bumping her head on it.

She says “Mama” when she sees me.

She loves, loves, loves cheese.

IMG_8929She cries when the big kids exit the car at school in the morning. She also cries whenever we put her in her car seat (sorry little girl for all your car time…).

People stop me in stores to admire her hair-in-the-light-socket look, and I can’t believe I have a child that still has blue eyes at 9 months.

She is beautiful, fun, interested, happy and more. On the rare morning when she wakes up after I do, I lay in bed waiting to hear her. It is such a delight to go in and get her out of her crib, and her sheer joy in being alive and together again. She always makes sure to arch back and see if Daddy is still in bed, and if she has both of us there to admire her.

What an amazing gift it is to have Emily in our lives!

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Quote of the Day

“Daddy, what is that musket you have?” –Molly, as Austin was leaving to go hunt.

Sunday, November 1, 2015



I only got this one picture of Tucker—Cal Ripken was not very interested in taking pictures! 

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Molly is 5

IMG_8633Molly turned 5 a week ago, and thoroughly enjoyed her much-anticipated birthday.  She has been living, breathing all things birthday for a long time.  The month-long wait between Tucker’s birthday and hers was excruciating this year.  But the big day finally came, and I was surprised that it met her expectations and that all the huge build up didn’t result in any tears.  She was enraptured by her pink princess cake I made, and of course, all the presents.  She has a different present-opening style than Tucker—she takes her time and squeals and enjoys each thing in its turn. 

Molly has acted like a 5 year-old for quite some time.  She fits right into her kindergarten class, and her teacher says that even though she is the youngest, her work is among the most advanced.  We did have to adjust her bedtime when she started school as she was just too tired at night to hold it together—but she behaves exemplary at school.

Molly loves all things princess, ballerina, fairy and pink.  She loves to dress-up and wore a blonde wig to church school on Wednesday night, complete with pink lip gloss smeared in a big oval around her lips, Elsa dress, and high-ish heels.  She loves to dance and if you watch her ballet class you’ll see she’s one of the few in the class who moves with a sense of grace.  She loves crafts and is very detailed; she will spend hours coloring postcards made for adults to color.  She loves to write notes to everyone that usually say a variation of “Molly [heart] Mommy.”

Molly has a huge imagination and you can find her lost in her own world, in a pink cape, talking quietly to herself while she arranges things on the top of the slide, or in the sandbox, or on the craft table.  She and Tucker play well together; they make forts and play baseball with their stuffed animals and do crafts.  She has a natural desire and ability to organize things.  She is still little enough that she loves to be swept into our arms for  big hugs and frequently requests 20 kisses when we tuck her into bed—and always one extra kiss “to grow on.”  She tells Austin that she likes driving home with him when it’s dark outside because he’s so big and strong.  When we pray with her at night, she will thank God for a huge list of things, which is touching.

Molly’s favorites:

IMG_8645Color – pink

Friend – Luke

Food – fried plantains

Book – Princess, fairy, ballerina books

Show – Princess shows

What does she want to do when she grows up – Be a mommy

What is her favorite part of school – Getting to do math homework when she gets home (seriously, she loves this – makes her feel 10 feet tall!)


And here are some highlights from Molly’s ballet class this fall:





Monday, October 12, 2015


Molly and Tucker are both playing soccer this fall.  Molly is very into ballet—a phase she does not seem to be growing out of yet—and while I’m a fan of my kids only having one activity each week, I don’t want Molly to reach age 9 and decide she doesn’t like ballet and yet never tried any other sports.  So I’m signing her up for sports and ballet now (if she’s interested) when the sports are only 1x/week.  So far she has been lukewarm about soccer.  She liked spray painting her shinguards pink.  She likes running up and down the field in games.  I’m not so sure she touched the ball in any of the games, though.

Today both kids spent a good couple hours after lunch with their soccer balls.  Tucker was chipping his ball over the rebounder, trying to see how much air he could get.  Molly named her ball “Bally” and held a birthday party for it.  I thought it was a good illustration of their different approaches to soccer.

Friday, October 2, 2015

September Photos



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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Quote of the Day

Austin: Daddies can do whatever they want—they can go to bed when they want, they can eat what they want to.

Molly: You can’t do whatever you want if it doesn’t serve God.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Tucker


Tucker turned 8 on Friday.  He is at an age where he is so big in some ways but still little in others.

His feet are almost as big as mine… but he still adores his loveys.

IMG_1399I find the newspaper pulled to his spot to look up sport scores… but he still tears up when a harsh word goes his way.

He is ready to give away his brio train track, and big trucks to his 1 year-old cousin… but will spend hours racing matchbox cars to determine the fastest ones.

He would rather watch a sporting event than almost any TV show… but engages in elaborate make-believe games with Molly.

He will sit for hours reading books… but has the same chapped lips from when he was 4.

Tucker is a wonderful big brother.  Emily adores watching him.  Now that he’s 8, he doesn’t need to be in a booster and the 3 kids can fit in the middle row all together now.  He gladly squishes into the middle seat of the middle row (Molly’s booster is too big to buckle in that middle seat) so that he can be next to Emily.

He has big gaps in his toothy grin, and towers over his peers (he’s in the 97th percentile in height).  People mistake him for a 4th grader. He is usually a rule-follower, but also a budding lawyer in his desire to investigate all the nuances of whatever we tell him.

He loves the Redskins, Orioles, and all UVa sports, and likes the Nationals as well.  His favorite book is anything by Matt Christopher.  His favorite desserts are layer cake and soda.  His favorite ice cream flavor is salted caramel.  His favorite foods are Subway subs, pizza, fried plantains, mangoes and persimmons, though he will enthusiastically eat most anything.  His favorite color is green.  His best friend is David Shonka.  His favorite sport to play is baseball, followed by golf and track (tied), then soccer. 

For his birthday, in lieu of a party, we took him and two friends to watch UVa play William and Mary yesterday.  It was a hit, and UVa managed not to choke away the game in the last seconds.  Amazing!


Quote of the Day

As I was putting Molly to bed.

Molly: I’m scared.

Me: Well, here’s a picture of Jesus that can lay beside you.

Molly: I don’t need that, Mommy!  Jesus is in my heart.  He is with me always.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Day of School


Tucker and Molly started at Regents, a classical Christian school on Tuesday.  Molly is loving every minute of it.  Her favorite part yesterday was apparently doing a math worksheet.  I guess she just felt so grown up.  Or maybe she liked doing something that she was good at.  I told her I can pick her up at lunch on certain days (it’s a half day program with a fine arts extended-day option that she’s doing)—but she said no.  She is vehemently opposed to missing any second of it.

Tucker’s first day put him in total shock, but yesterday was much better.  The fact that they only learned rules and didn’t get to play at gym almost crushed his sweet spirit on Tuesday.  And the kids at Regents love to play gaga ball at recess, which Tucker doesn’t know.  But on day two he was in the top 5 during one round of gaga ball and he beat a classmate in a running race, so all was right with the world again.  His biggest complaint going to school today was wearing a uniform, which sounds pretty good if that was his worst complaint today.


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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Emily is 6 Months


Emily is 6 months old!  At the doctor today she was in the 75th percentile for weight (15 lbs 6 oz) and 90th for height – 27 inches.  She is about the weight Tucker was at 4 months. 

At six months Emily gets up on her hands and knees and rocks but doesn’t crawl yet.  She can push herself backward and make her way across a room, as well as rolling every which way.  Not sure she gets to where she wants that way, but she sure loves to move.

Like before, she continues to love solid food and jumping.  (She even went on a nursing strike last week and only wanted to eat real food.)  When she does nurse, she is so distractible, and continually crunches up so she can sit up and look around.  She loves to be outside on a blanket, and she loves books and read-aloud time.  She tries to plank when we put her in her car seat, and she would rather be on her tummy than sitting up. 

She doesn’t eat at night but she is not as deep a sleeper as the older kids were.  She is often up in the middle of the night, just because.

She continues to have blue eyes… the doctor guessed today that they may turn out hazel or green rather than brown like her big brother and sister.

She also continues to prefer Austin and I… and make life kinda miserable for anyone else who watches her.

Most of all, she’s so much fun.  She really is.  She’s delighted to lunge at the food on our plates, delighted to try to eat a spatula, delighted to see us, delighted to see the sights at the grocery store, delighted to roll on her back underneath the sky, delighted to find a good carpet to move backward on,  delighted to put her toes in her mouth, delighted to try to catch the cup at communion, delighted to sing along with the songs at church… just delighted.  (Which of course, is delightful.)  We love you, Emily, and are having so much fun being with you!

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Quote of the Day

“Maybe she is crying for joy!” Molly said as we looked at Emily screaming on the baby monitor.  (She had woken herself up early with a dirty diaper and was so miserable up that I put her back down, which made her equally upset.)

Monday, August 17, 2015

Shark’s Teeth and a Family Picture


We made it through vacation without one picture of all five of us so we had the waitress at breakfast take one. 

And here are the fossils we found!

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Westmoreland State Park 2015


Virginia state parks are the best.  Once again, we have had a fabulous time at our week-long cabin stay.  I was thinking this trip that state park cabins are a true gem, but they would be a big disappointment if you’re looking for a luxurious retreat with the amenities of home and more.  State park cabins are for the people who would almost be willing to camp… and are thus delighted with a rustic cabin’s infrastructure.

We did a lot this trip: the pool, the beach, hunting for fossilized shark’s teeth, enjoying great breakfasts out, lots of biking, some (relatively short) hiking, lots of ranger programs, lots of campfires, fishing, boating, visiting George Washington’s Birth Place, two family movie nights, and lots of time to play and just be together.  I even finished two fun novels, and managed not to neglect anyone too badly while I was engrossed.IMG_8442IMG_8323IMG_8499IMG_8520


One of the highlights for me was finding 11 fossil sharks teeth and 3 ray teeth (the pictures are of my favorite minions looking for the teeth with a sieve, aka a colander)… I’ll add pictures of the actual shark’s teeth later.


Another big highlight was eating out four times all week… at the same place each time.  The Art of Coffee in Montross makes a mean breakfast.  We all loved it, but the person who liked the breakfast best there might possibly have been Emily.  She is an eating machine and pulled Austin’s plate of food onto his lap in her excitement to partake one morning.  Egg, hash browns, biscuit, bacon… not bad fare for a five month-old.  Here are all the kids waiting for food….


Another food highlight for the kids were salt water taffy in the camp store, local root beer and gingerale, as well as marshmallows over the campfire almost every night…


…except for the night that some coals fell out of the grill on the way to the fire pit and managed to burn both big kids.  That night we abandoned the campfire in favor of our second family movie night (Swiss Family Robinson, and An American Tale).IMG_8482

We did some boating and fishing…

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And lots of biking.  This was maybe Tucker’s favorite thing about the trip.  He got a taste of freedom because we let him bike to most of our destinations around the park.  Because I have a bum foot that is taking forever to heal, I drove from our cabin to the beach, the trail heads etc… and Tucker would just bike on his own.  What a taste of glory for a seven year-old.  Molly has had no interest in biking at home, ever.  But she caught the biking bug too and really pedaled for the first time ever.  She did three bike rides of a mile each, which is a lot considering she had never even pedaled before.


We took day trips to Belle Isle State Park (our destination for next summer) and to George Washington’s Birth Place.  Belle Isle was a neat surprise, and Emily was an amazingly flexible little girl who didn’t take a single nap in her crib that day without complaint.  She was actually amazing the whole trip and napped in the stroller, the front pack, and the car seat when necessary.  


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We also enjoyed some fun ranger programs, including seining for fish, making ice cream by hand, making shark’s tooth necklaces, making survival necklaces, and going on a night hike.


We had lots of beach time and pool time, of course:


And took short hikes everywhere around the park…


And enjoyed bumming around the cabin…


The kids even got some practice in photography and took some good pictures too:



Thank you, Westmoreland!