Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Celebrating Christmas

We are enjoying the holiday season, but we're also taking it relaxed and slow. We decorated a gingerbread house with the kids during one of their snow days. Peyton had two days off of school due to snow. I can't remember the last time we had snow in December, but both kids were thrilled. They got out their new snow saucers and did some sledding in our back yard. Mama tried once and hit the fence....and that was the end of her sledding adventures! We have been hiding our elf, Lincoln, each day and the kids enjoy searching for him each morning.

We have finally decided on which church to attend and have been looking forward to becoming more settled there and getting to know people. It's been nice to be able to hear more than one sermon in a series. We visited so many churches that there was no consistency. It's good to be able to think about starting Sunday school and getting the kids into a better routine. Today is Mark's last day of work until the new year. He has been feeling nasty and went to see the doctor yesterday. No definitive diagnosis, but hopefully antibiotics will help and he'll feel better by Christmas.

Only 3 more sleeps.....

Friday, December 10, 2010

That is not my house!

The new header is not my house, but a house near Peyton's bus stop. There are 3 pretty awesome houses in our neighborhood that we can see from the second floor of our house! We are working on our lights, but we lost our extension cords (or maybe we just didn't have many). I'm going to grab some today so we can light up our own house tonight!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Goodbye October....

We are so excited to have Randy back with us!

Buzz Lightyear and Barbie Cowgirl

I love my family!

The kids designed and carved their own pumpkins

Hello November. I am crazy excited about November. The weather is cooler and the leaves are so pretty. I have pulled out the sweaters and the long pants and have been bundling up under the covers at night. The bus stop has been freezing in the morning and we've been wearing our hats and heavy coats. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving, to drinking hot chocolate, to the possibility of snow this winter, and to the holidays with our family. We love fall!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 2010

Peyton playing with Mark's old teeny tiny legos

Liam in his preschool class
Liam sporting Mark's sunglasses

Things have been hectic, to put it lightly. Adjusting to the new schedule has been tough. I think we are all getting there, but slowly. I am thrilled that fall is here. We went pumpkin picking this past weekend and were planning to take the hayride to get our pumpkins, but there were so many people there we decided to get already picked pumpkins. The kids didn't care at all. They enjoyed eating a picnic and choosing their pumpkins. We are going to a fall festival this weekend and are hoping to check out our local farmer's market.

It is raining today and chilly so it finally feels like fall. It has been pretty hot for October and I'm ready for cooler weather!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Celebrating Liam and Peyton

He looks like such a little boy now, not a baby. He frequently reminds me that he is a big boy.

Peyton had her hair bobbed before school started. She looks so grown up to me.

I have been sorely neglecting this space lately. We have recently moved from our home of 17 years back to where I grew up and it's been crazy! I wanted to post a few pictures of Liam's 4 year old birthday celebration and of Peyton's first day of school.

We took the kids to Baltimore for their birthdays so we just did simple cakes at home on the actual birth date. Liam chose a gingerbread man shaped cake and then he and Peyton did all the decorations (after I iced it). They loved decorating their cakes this year.

Peyton's first day of 1st grade went well. She was so nervous, but when we picked her up she said, "I had a great day!" Things have been going well for her. She likes her teacher and has been making friends. I'm just concerned that she's going to be bored. The vocabulary and spelling words that are coming home are so easy. She is reading on a 2nd grade level and the words are more like kindergarten words. We keep thinking these first few weeks will be review and then they'll move on to harder things. If not, Mark and I are going to talk to her teacher about sending home harder words and more challenging things to read. She balks at doing her homework because she says it is boring. They have a spelling/ vocab test this week and a math readiness quiz. Hopefully that will help her teacher to challenge her.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Peyton watching the dolphins
Awesome Jellyfish

Calypso, the sea turtle, has a missing flipper
Mixing up a brew at Port Discover, Baltimore Children's Museum
Peyton inside a giant bubble

We celebrated Peyton's 6th and Liam's 4th birthdays with a trip to Baltimore. It was Liam's first time staying in a hotel and both kids thought it was cool. Mark and I slept on a horribly uncomfortable sofa bed so that our kids could sleep in the queen bed. The hotel was about two blocks from the inner harbor so we were able to go back and forth fairly quickly. We spent a day at the National Aquarium and then visited Port Discovery on our last day in the city. The aquarium was nice, but the children's museum was the best part of the trip, at least for me. The aquarium was crowded and pricey for what was there. The one in VA Beach is probably a better deal, but it was fun to get out of our town and spend time with our kids in a different place. I think if we get back to Baltimore in the future, we'll plan a trip to the science museum. So many people have told us how awesome it is, so maybe when the children are a bit older.

Monday, August 16, 2010

North Bend State Park, West Virginia

It's a little tight for both kids in the pull trailer. We think we'll try a tag-a-long soon!

The first trail we did had 3 tunnels on it. We rode through them yelling and hearing the echoes.

Eating s'mores cooked over a charcoal grill

This tunnel had several openings for people who needed to a safe place to get off the tracks if a train was coming.

We saw hundreds of these butterflies on the bike trail

Mark's parents invited us to come spend a few days with them in West Virginia. North Bend State Park is gorgeous. There are loads of trees, a huge lake, hiking trails, and a rails to trails bike trail. We did two bike rides, had a picnic, fished from a canoe on the lake (Peyton and Liam did this), and spend some quality time with family. It was such a peaceful trip and we loved staying in a cabin versus tent camping, especially because it rained quite a bit!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Celebrating Peyton - 6 years old!

Peyton turned 6 this week. It is hard to believe she has been here 6 years! I am constantly amazed at her, how sweet and considerate she is and how much she is learning. We celebrated her birthday with a trip to the Route 11 chip factory. We ate chips and had a picnic with some sweet friends from church. Peyton chose her cake design from a book that we have at home. We made the cake from scratch together and then decorated it with lots of frosting and sprinkles. We are going to celebrate both children's birthdays with a special outing, but we did have a few gifts for her, a new nightgown and a custom made dress (thanks, April!) She didn't want to wear it to church today because the lady who made it was going to be out of town.

Happy birthday Peyton!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sandbridge, VA

Seeing the ocean for the first time this year

Peyton demonstrating the back stroke. She does much better on her back.

We went to Sandbridge last week and had a wonderful time at the beach. It was blazing hot each day and there were a few incredible storms, but for the most part, the weather was perfect for sitting on the beach and by the pool. Liam was swimming without floaties by the end of the week and was so proud! Peyton's swimming improved too. Spending several hours in the pool each day helped a lot. Peyton wasn't scared of the ocean and went out with Mark, but Liam stayed on the shore. He was content to stay out of the waves. It was so nice to be away from home, but great to be back. Only 4 weeks until school starts, yikes! I feel like the summer has gone way too fast.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rain day Fun

Peyton and Liam were so excited to play in the rain this week. After about 2 weeks of dry weather, we had two days of rain. They ran outside and played in it for about 15 minutes. I stayed dry in the garage with my camera! Our brown grass has greened back up a bit and our garden seems to be doing fine. We have only picked one large tomato and about 6 grape tomatoes so far, but we are hoping for a big crop of tomatoes!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's July!

All dressed up in our Egyptian garbPeyton really got into the eye makeup
And so did Liam (he has to be just like his sister)
Riven Rock Park

Completely wiped out after a long day of playing in the stream and hiking around the park

We have been so busy this past month. Our church just finished vacation Bible school and we had a great, but very tiring time. We did an ancient Egyptian theme and the children studied the life of Joseph. The volunteers and children got dressed in costume each night and I think that was part of what made it so much fun. Mark was Joseph each night and the kids would yell hello at him every time they saw him, in or out of costume.

We stayed in town during the holiday weekend. We spent Saturday downtown enjoying our town's local July 4th festivities. We watched a down home parade and ate cotton candy and bounced on inflatables at our church. We did not stay up for fireworks because we had so many late nights during VBS. We heard later that the town fireworks were only 10 minutes. I'm so glad we didn't keep the kids up late.

Mark had Monday off so we drove to Riven Rock Park, about 15 miles outside of town. We ate a picnic under the shade of the trees and then we let the kids play in the stream. They had a blast. By the time we left they were completely soggy and wet. Peyton went home in Mark's t-shirt and Liam went home with no clothes on! Mark tried to put a pair of his boxers on Liam, but he complained that they were too big, so we threw a towel on his carseat and drove home. He kept saying he wasn't tired in the car, but about 5 miles from home he crashed. We carried him in and put him on the couch and he slept for about an hour.

We have had such an incredible heat wave these past few days. We were spoiled last week with high temperatures in the high 70's/ low 80's and now it's 100 today. We went out this morning to run a few errands and then we came home. I am so grateful for a nice cool house and the ability to get out of the heat. Our grass is dead and our veggies are suffering from lack of water. We're hoping for some nice rain soon.