Thursday, October 30, 2014


Go ahead and give me a high five for that creative blog post title.  In my defense, the images you are about to see are so random that no word exists to link them.

Fall is incredibly beautiful in this part of the country.  I love that the leaves change colors, fall from the trees, and decorate the ground.  Many people in our neighborhood pay for lawn care, and this is an image (taken through the window from inside our house) of the across-the-street neighbors having their yard mowed and leaves blown.  Look closely, and you will count FIVE leaf blowers in action, and two extra workers pulling some sort of tarp looking thing (I have no idea what those two are actually doing, but I wanted to mention them so that you would know that SEVEN men were simultaneously tacking this one yard).  Believe me when I tell you that seven men can mow the front and back yard, and blow and bag leaves in fifteen minutes flat.  It's like yard ballet.

Here is the scooter brigade.  These kids love to scooter to school, and they're all quite good.  Lorelei is riding her brand new birthday scooter; Syd is borrowing the neighbor's scooter, but will be getting her own for Christmas.

(Sydney appears freakishly tall in this picture.  She is the exact same age as the girl to her right and the boy in the red jacket.)

Lorelei doesn't go to school on Wednesdays, so we scooted/wagoned (not a word) to school Wednesday afternoon to pick up Syd.  Coming home was "fun," in that Lorelei was too tired to scoot home, but didn't want to let Sydney borrow her scooter, which meant that I had to carry Ford in one arm and pull the wagon with the other (with two heavy girls and a scooter inside).

Ford is well now (he was sick the last two days Papa John was here), but Papa John and I went out and about one morning while the girls were in school.  Tell me this isn't the sweetest thing you've ever seen:

Happy early Halloween!  (I can't wait for it to be over!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Today Lorelei started her first organized activity: gymnastics!  I think she has great balance (although she seems to constantly trip and fall, hmm...) and is built like a gymnast -- at least more so than Sydney ;-)  (In case you read this some day and feel offended, Syd, you are built like a beautiful ballerina, and Lorelei is not.  Does that make you feel better?)

Back in May when Sydney completed her gymnastics session, I said that she would not do gymnastics again, unless perhaps she begged me once she was older. we are, and both girls are signed up.  This is because the class is for 3-4 year olds, and this is the only session where they both qualify age-wise.  Instead of only enrolling Lorelei and creating a situation where I had to entertain a complaining Sydney ("I want to do gymnastics too!"), I enrolled them both.  Bubby and I both appreciate the peace, and I am already mentally preparing myself and storing up patience for when the new year rolls around and Lorelei is the only gymnast (since Syd has dance all to herself, she's just going to have to learn to deal).

Anyway, Lorelei did great, and here are some pictures (we cannot watch, so I have no action shots):

Eating sandwiches before class while staring longingly at the adjoining playground.

Saying, "Gymnastics!" and clapping. The gym is behind them.

And Bubby, for good measure.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Fall Festival Fun

Our church organized a fall festival ("extravaganza" might be a better word) yesterday, so we all headed over there just after 4 p.m. and closed the place down at 6 p.m.

I'm blogging from my phone, so I won't (can't) get too wordy, but the pictures pretty much tell the story anyway. 

Lorelei wore the Longhorn cheerleader uniform that Syd wore last year (although her official Halloween costume this year is Tinkerbell). Obviously, this girl is not a bandwagon fan; it takes a true fan to be seen in burnt orange what with the season UT is having (sorry, Mama!).

Sydney wore the princess cape that Grammy recently gave her (she was the only granddaughter tall enough to wear it, ha!). Syd's official Halloween costume is a witch.

Who doesn't love a bouncy house with a slide?

Syd LOVES getting her face painted. Lorelei does not, and therefore opted out in favor of playing games.

Lorelei was so adamant about riding the zebra on this tiny carousel that she let several children in front of her in line so that she could have first dibs the next time around.
(Look how smug she looks.)

There was also a fire truck.

And a train.

And more bouncy things.

It was a great evening.

Unfortunately, Bubby is running a fever, which is why he is not pictured (other than strapped to me in the fire truck picture). But here he is afterward, the third child to wear this beloved Longhorn candy corn Halloween shirt (he is also not a bandwagon fan).

Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Rest of the Pictures from Casey's Visit

I said I would post them, so here they are: more pictures from our fun weekend when Casey and Levi came to visit (a huge thanks to Casey for texting them to me so that I could share!).

We were able to walk around a little before our Washington Monument tour, so we walked by the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial:

That wall is always such a breathtaking and heartbreaking sight; it's hard for me to wrap my head around the incredible sacrifice that it represents.  There were a couple of different groups of people there that day who were obviously looking for and mourning over a specific name (or names).

The kids loved looking out the monument windows:

View from the Washington Monument:

(Another) View from the Washington Monument:

The extremely kind tour guide went into great detail explaining this model of the cross section of the monument to the kids:

It was around lunch time when the tour was over and we were waiting for the elevator to take us back down.  The kids were starving (they downed approximately 4 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches once we got back to our stroller), and Lorelei had a hard time putting her hunger aside in order to smile for the camera (good job Sydney and Levi!):

We treated them to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle popsicles afterward:

Their mouths were stained bluish purple for a couple of days:

Four kids and four carseats in the back of the van (Bubby not pictured):
(I'm not sure why Sydney looks like she's about to jump out of her car seat; surely we had either just arrived at our destination or hadn't backed out of the driveway yet.)

Playing at the fountain near the library is always a big hit:

In the elevator at Harris Teeter:

Casey's view (of the Pentagon) from the airplane headed back to TX:

Finally Back

15 days is long enough without blogging -- I'm ready to start posting regularly again (have I ever actually posted regularly, or is my blog comprised of spurts?), and the time to start is now!  Also, I really want to do the daily thankful posts this November, so I need to get back in the habit.

Because I don't like deleting anything that I actually take the time to write, here's a post I started four days ago:

It's already been 11 days since my last post?!  11 DAYS?!  I'm going to go out on a limb and blame Chet for my spotty blogging -- he takes his professional engineer (PE) exam this Friday, and his books and binders are often spread out on the desk, making it difficult for me to...reach the wireless keyboard?  Who am I kidding.  It's none of Chet's fault and all of mine that there haven't been any blog posts.  But by saying that, I was able to covertly update you on his upcoming test.  He actually flies to Miami tomorrow (he is getting certified in the state of FL, so he has to physically take the test in FL), the test is Friday, and he flies home Saturday.  My dad is headed into town today to help me tame the crazy while Chet is gone.  Say a prayer for Chet if you get a minute -- he is ready to have the test behind him!

Ok, back to real time.  Chet's test IS behind him!  He took the test yesterday (8 hours of testing), and flew back home this morning.  More specifically, his plane landed in D.C. before 9 a.m. today, so I'll let you go ahead and do the math and guess what time he had to wake up in order to get to the airport on time.

Chet is currently singing a made-up tune about how inconvenient it is for me to be blogging right now (Ford fussing, Lorelei rearranging the house, Sydney running the streets, and dinner preparations in full swing), but I'm afraid if I don't blog now I'll never blog again (not really).

Anyway, there is a huge weight lifted from our household right now.  Preparing for that test was no joke, and even though he won't have the results for a couple of months, it is SO NICE to have it done.    I feel so burden-less that I don't even know what to do with myself.

Papa John is still in town (I'm SO glad he was here while Chet was gone), which means that we are eating delicious dinners and not having to wash a single dish.  Whenever he leaves I always end up staring at my first full sink of dirty dishes as if I've completely forgotten how to deal with them.

Okay, I really can't concentrate.  Lorelei has stuffed herself and all of her toys into Chet's empty suitcase, and the smell of dinner is making my stomach growl (country ribs, corn on the cob, spinach salad, and garlic bread).

Here are a couple of pictures to tide you over:
Lorelei on the scooter she got for her birthday.

Papa John and Bubby.

Syd at dance this past Friday.