Monday, June 30, 2008

Great Weekend

The kids are quietly watching PBS while I check email and get us ready to head out to a friend's house for the morning. I just wanted to recap our busy weekend. We attended a community band concert in Broadway on Friday night and it was fun to listen to some of my bandmates play. We got up on Saturday and rode our bikes to the local bakery for breakfast. Liam was a bit upset because we didn't eat before we left the house, but once we got to the bakery, he was really excited and dug into his coffee cake. We checked out the farmer's market too and bought some lentil pilaf and some delicious fresh blueberries. Still not a lot of variety yet in terms of the veggies we like. I'm waiting for some local corn on the cob...YUMMMMMMMMM! We rode back home, uphill this time, which left us really hot and sweaty so we got out the baby pool and water table and ended up having a big family water fight. I consider myself to be fairly in shape, but I tell you, the hills in Harrisonburg are killer! I had to get off my bike and walk it at one point.

Sunday we attended a concert at JMU. A National Guard band came to town and played a free concert in the JMU sculpture garden and we enjoyed a picnic with the kids prior to the concert. The kids mostly ran around and played on the handicap ramp of Duke Hall, but I got to enjoy the music. They were really good and I enjoyed the selections they played. I can't believe it will be July tomorrow. I feel like the summer is flying by and I need it to slow down a little. We've got tea with Granna this week, VBS in 2 weeks, Peyton's 4th birthday party soon, our beach trip at the end of the month...YIKES! It's going to be a hectic month for sure.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Not quite ready to bloom

We bought this lily in honor of our kiddos Easter 2007 and planted it in our yard after it bloomed. It has grown a second shoot and has about 6 blooms on it. I cannot wait to see it bloom. I'm hoping it is getting enough sun in order to thrive. We had a bunch of daylilies and another big lily at our old house, but don't really have a good spot to plant them here. I miss that burst of color in the early summer. Hopefully this one will explode soon!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I really am not crazy about summer. I don't like extreme heat and I don't like gnats flying around my head while I'm hanging out in the yard. BUT, I do love drinking iced tea, running around in my sandals, seeing our flowers bloom, and especially watching the kids enjoy outdoor play. They LOVE to do anything with water and we've already pulled the water table and baby pool out twice this summer. I cannot wait for Liam to see the beach for the first time. I hope he's fearless and loves the water. Peyton hasn't been to the beach in three years and I'm looking forward to seeing how she likes it as an almost 4 year old big girl.

The kids are at preschool today and I had coffee with a girlfriend this morning and ran a few errands and then I've been working on editing some photos and printing some for a small album I'm working on, an album of the kids just for me! The wind is really blowing right now, which may signal a change in our weather. I wouldn't mind some more rain this week.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sweet berries

I LOVE this picture. It just screams summer to me. Liam has discovered that he loves grapes and blueberries, although to him they are "gapes" and "boobeddies." However you say it, they are so good for you and I'm glad he's finally branching out and enjoying more fruits and veggies.

Mama, Mommy, Momeeeeee

I never thought I would get sick of hearing my "name" being called, but when a certain 2 year old boy latches on to you and follows you all over the house calling "Mama, Mommy, Momeeeee" it starts to get old. Liam has been really clingy lately and I'm not sure if it's teething or that he's just needing some extra attention, but it's getting to me a little. I took the kids to the park today and we had a blast. They both climbed and slid on the slide, sat on every rock they saw, collected daisies, and just wore themselves out. We came home to a late lunch and now Liam is fast asleep and Peyton is entertaining herself quietly in her room. I'm hoping to get them outside after rest time to maybe do some painting or chalk drawing.

The pest control guys came this morning to spray for ants and told me they had been at our house before. Apparently previous owners had ant issues...fantastic! I hate when we're eating dinner and there's an ant crawling across the table. It totally grosses me out. Hopefully this will work and we won't have any more ants this summer. He told me not to mop around the baseboards or I'll mop up the chemical he sprayed. HURRAY!!! Any excuse not to mop is a good one.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More camping pictures

Just a few more pics from our trip. We did brave the lake that was located just a few miles away from our campsite. It was a sunny day and the water wasn't too cold, but the adults didn't get very wet. Liam and Peyton had no fear and splashed and played in the water. Peyton waded out to her chest and loved it, even though she got cold. The barn picture was taken on the second day of our trip from a wooden bridge. I wish that I had taken my good camera, but it would have been a pain to carry that and my hip pack the whole trip.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fantastic Camping Trip

We arrived home yesterday evening after 4 nights of tent sleeping and camping in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, not far from Abingdon, VA. We had a really great time and the kiddos really rose to the occasion. There was very little napping and a lot of going going going! We slept in tents, cooked on Coleman Stoves and over a campfire, rode a 34 mile bike trail, waded in a lake, and explored Damascus and Abingdon. The bike trip was broken down into two 17 mile trips, on Tuesday and Thursday. Our Tuesday trip was mostly downhill and was really a piece of cake. The Thursday trip required a little more muscle to bike uphill, but it was so scenic and gorgeous. We crossed a bunch of wooden bridges and saw terrific foliage and the kids, especially Liam, loved throwing rocks into the water that ran along the trail. I ended up trailering the kids for 10 miles of the Thursday trip. I enjoyed pulling them and hope to do it in the future.

We had great weather, sunny and not really hot during the day, cool at night. I had forgotten just how cold it can be in the mountains and was so glad we packed fleece jammies for the kids. The coldest night was in the 40's and it was COLD! We had rain on the first evening, but the rest of the week was practically made-to-order. Peyton and Liam really enjoyed spending the week with their Granna and Grandad. They seemed to like everything we did and when I asked Peyton what her favorite part was she couldn't give just one thing. She liked the showers at the campground, the bike trip, making s'mores, the lake, etc. As usual I took tons of pictures, but I'll limit my posting of them to just a few. I'll post a few more in my next posting.

Mark and I hadn't camped in 3 years and we're already thinking about going again this summer or early fall. We' just purchased a new water storage cooler and griddle for the Coleman stove today! I never imagined that I would enjoy camping so much, and I don't think I would like backpack camping, but I really enjoy the type of camping we did this week.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Mark! Our children are blessed to have a dad who is so active in their lives and who loves them so much!

We celebrated Father's Day twice this weekend. I made Mark a big breakfast on Saturday morning and we opened gifts with the kids. Today we went to the Joshua Wilton House for brunch after church. The weather was gorgeous so we ate on the patio in the garden. We ate entirely too much food and it was all so delicious. It was fun to take the kids somewhere new. My mom is in town visiting and she, my in-laws, and my family are coming to my concert tonight at JMU. It should be fun for the kids to run around in the sculpture garden while we play.

Father's Day is a little bittersweet for me. I miss my dad all the time, but I really miss him today. I hope I showed him over the years that I loved him and that he was a great dad to me. I always felt sad hearing people complain about their dads because mine was pretty great. He was a very hands-on dad and I always knew he loved and cared about me, even though I didn't always appreciate his rules at the time (I know now why he was so protective)! Our pastor talked today about dads and a "pop" quiz he sent to friends and people in the congregation. The responses he read were really interesting and powerful. It made me appreciate all the things my dad did for me, especially in modeling a relationship with Jesus. He showed me what a real relationship was, not religion, but a relationship. Not to say he was perfect, he questioned things that happened in our lives and was angry with God, but he came back and showed me that it was okay to doubt and to be upset, but that I had to have faith and trust in God. I hope one day to "be there" in Heaven with my dad and to thank him for all he did for me.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I am so ready for our garden-grown tomatoes, but instead I had to settle for ones from the grocery store. The basil is homegrown, however, and the whole concoction is one of my favorite things of summer. I LOVE a caprese (tomato-mozzarella) salad. This is one of the first ways I started to eat tomatoes, back when I was expecting Peyton. I love biting into a ripe tomato covered with the good mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, basil, and a little olive oil. YUM! Hopefully our 7 tomato plants will give us a good yield this summer and we won't have to buy any from the store of farmer's market. We do have some little tiny baby tomatoes, but nothing ripe yet.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Court Days Festival

Mark played Simon, a grave-robbing medical student
They did the reenactment inside the Circuit Court Building located on Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg
We rode in the horse drawn wagon pulled by Sonny and Cher!

The Court Days Festival is a celebration of the Valley during the 1850's. There were women cooking over an open fire, children playing with period toys, a medicine show, artisans making furniture and a blacksmith. It was probably more interesting for the adults, but I think Peyton and Liam had fun too. It would have been more fun if they both hadn't been feeling sick!

Poor Liam has sores inside his mouth too. I'm sure it hurts to eat, but he's still drinking a lot, so I'm not worried that he'll get dehydrated. I hope he's on the end of the virus and that he'll start feeling better. He slept for 3 hours this afternoon and woke up in a slightly more happy mood. He was definitely ready for bed tonight and maybe the Ibuprofen will enable him to sleep all night without waking us.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Well, it's going around, the hand, foot, and mouth disease. We had it confirmed today that Liam has this virus and is contagious until the end of the week. He has a few blister-like sores on his hands and feet and tongue and they don't itch or seem to bother him, but he is the crankiest I have seen him in quite a while. Right now he is in his crib screaming at the top of his lungs and has been doing this for about 15 minutes. I can't get him to tell me what he wants, he just screams, so he's in a mom-imposed time out. It's either that or I'm afraid my eardrums are going to explode from the shrieking! I had to call a bunch of parents from church yesterday and give them a heads-up. I felt bad because we were "those parents" that dragged their sick kids to church!

Mark took part in an 1850's court case reenactment this weekend and we attended the Court Days Festival. I'll post pictures later. It was SO BLAZIN' hot this weekend, but the kids and Granna braved the heat well. Mid to upper 90's the rest of the week. I hope it cools down in time for our outdoor concert Sunday and for our upcoming camping trip. When it's already 80 degrees by 8am, you know it's going to be a scorcher! Hot days make for a cranky mama too!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever

We had a tremendously busy weekend. Nonna came up on Thursday for Peyton's end of the session program at school. I got really emotional when the 4 year olds came out in their caps and gowns for graduation. It is a hard thing for me to watch the transitions. I love that my kids are growing up and learning new things, but going from one class to the next at school makes me so sad. I'm amazed that so much time has passed already and that they're growing up so fast!

We went to Milky Way Farm on Friday morning to berry pick and then went to the park in Grottoes for a picnic. The kids weren't very interested in the picking, but they LOVED the park. They played hard and were reluctant to leave. Friday evening mom and I took Peyton to see "The Wind in the Willows," part of the JMU summer children's theatre program. She had a great time and is already talking about wanting to see the next show. We went to peek at the classrooms in theatre II where Mark and I spent a lot of time during college. It was a cool trip down memory lane for me.

Mark and Peyton and I went to Miss Laura's wedding on Saturday morning. She was a beloved teacher to both my kids and our babysitter. It was a very sweet day and they are so in love. It was cool for us to attend a wedding on our 11th anniversary date, to watch a young couple just starting out. I always enjoy hearing what the minister has to say about marriage. I can't believe it's been 11 years! Again, the time is flying past. I hope we have years ahead of us to continue to grow and love each other. I am so blessed in God's choice of Mark for me. I can't say that it was my choice because I really believe that God meant us for each other. This is important to keep in mind during the day to day things that sometimes bog me down. I am so glad we have each other and am glad we continue to learn new things about each other. 11 years haven't even scratched the surface yet!