Friday, July 23, 2010

Busch Gardens trip #2

We're becoming pro's at this Busch Gardens thing!

At the entrance the girls all grab their own map and negotiate which things they want to go to and what order we should do the rides in.

We even knew to bring swim stuff for the splash parks.
So this time the wet hair in pictures is actually from water not sweat!

Cute Alice dancing with the Sesame Street gang in the background.

And of course, more fun rides and good memories!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Fourth of July

Our great friends and neighbors have 3 boys. On the fourth of July we all came outside to pop those little thing-ys that you throw on the ground. So much fun! Both families happened to have our 3 kids matching and, it's no perfect smiling picture but it's not often we get all 6 busy bodies in one picture frame--and they've never been coordinated before!!!

A family that we go to church with has a house that backs up to a golf course. About 200 yards away is a big firework launch. So every year hundreds of us walk through their back yard onto the golf course, Set up our chairs and wait for it to get dark. It's the perfect length and we're home 5 minutes later! Fun times

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Day Well Spent

At the end of the day I look about,

and all the things I didn't complete are there for all to see.

While what I did do goes unnoticed, even by myself.

The meals consumed, The clothes in the closets,

The listening ear, The bumps kissed, The hugs,

The baby smiles on a swing.

At the end of the day I am tired and discouraged;

The mending still sits, This room is too cluttered,

The sheets unchanged, The dust undisturbed.

Dear Lord, please help me remember I am only one person with a big job.

Help me to see what I did do as clearly as I now see what I didn’t do

so that I may rest through the night in peace

after a well-spent day.

(I can't find a author name for this....
but it's on my fridge this week and reminds me that I do get a lot done each day regardless of what I see at night!!!)

Friday, July 16, 2010


So I guess this is from May, but I missed it....we spent memorial day weekend painting some rooms that we have procrastinated for almost 6 years.

Stairwells are just intimidating to deal with. We had this lovely paisley boarder and chair rail with more wall paper below (I forgot to snap a before pic). It was just really ugly and out-dated. The walls were a beige but it has always looked way to pink-ish to me.

So....some tricky manovering on a tall ladder & demolition of the chair rail finally produced a neutral stairwell that I love. Now to figure out how to fill the large walls with some sort of art...

Our teeny-tiny kids bathroom was bright/dark blue with more wall paper boarders (the previous owners loved wall paper boarders). I've always wanted to re-do it but the thought of having to paint 100 coats of primer to cover up the color was overwhelming. In the end it wasn't too bad and I'm so happy it is neutral although Maya is disgusted with my "boring" color choice and refused to use it for a couple of weeks.

We also framed the bathroom mirror in the master bath using molding--super easy and cheap upgrade! More uses for molding coming up as I finish them...


Now onto actual June events...

Our playgroup arranged a tour of our county landfill. I've seriously wanted to do this for so long! Truth be told, it was kind of boring for the kids but it was good motivation for me to do better with recycling. And who knew they could make trash from the last 30 year look so scenic?!?!

During the last week of school Hayley was in the school's multi-cultural fashion show. Last year she wore my British school uniform. This year she showed of an outfit from Ryan's uncle's family who live in China.

School finished late here in VA. Hayley had an awesome 1st grade year.
But we were happy to see June 18th finally roll around and summer begin!


Ryan's sister, Rhonda, her husband Greg, and their two darling girls Ruby and Cora came to visit. It was so fun to meet Cora and let the cousins reconnect.

Ruby and Alice are the same age. They were a cute little pair.
One hot night they had to wait for Hayley and Maya's to have their swim lessons.
They found the little foot shower on the side and ended up stripping down and having a blast!

No family can visit in the summer time without a trip to our favorite ice-cream stand: JoJo's

We ended the week of their visit with a big BBQ and water balloon launchers at G'mas house

That's one way to pop them?!?!

Sweet little baby Cora!


Busch Gardens Amusement Park

There's a super-fun, clean, family friendly amusement park about 2 hours from us.

We never thought that an amusement park would be fun with little kids but this place is our 2010 family vacation....over and over again.
We got season tickets (same price as 1-day!) and we've been going on day trips there every couple of weeks.

There are so many kiddie rides, splash parks to cool us down and amazingly fun shows to watch. My personal favorite is the Irish Dancing show.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


An awesome family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge!
We love this place...and it's been way to long since we've been.
Good memories!

We were lucky enough to have Grandma (Ryan's mom) come along for the fun...
it sure is easy when you have a 1:1 ratio of kids and adults!

Our sweet Maya has been completely tongue tied since she was born.
Unfortunately we listened to the doctors when she was a baby and did nothing...
so this was her lucky month to have to undergo surgery.

She was terrified but managed through and all went well.
Now she loves to show off her ability to lick ice cream cones
(it made me so sad to hear her say that and realize that she never had been able to really lick!)

Lucky me! Happy birthday and mother's day landed on the same day.
Ryan made sure he spoiled me doubly and Alice was kind enough to help open the presents!

For our 10th anniversary I made the yummy carrot cake recipe that had been in our wedding cake (it's crazy good--I think I almost ate the whole thing myself!)
Here it is:

Carrot Cake Bars

2 c sugar

3 eggs


1 ½ c oil

2 tsp vanilla


2 ¼ c flour

2 tsp soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt


2 c grated carrots (fine)

1 c crushed pineapple (with some juice)

2 c coconut

1 c chopped nuts

Bake as a sheet cake at 350° for 35-40 minutes

(or bake it in whatever shape you want and figure out your own baking instructions!)

We managed to squeeze in a quick camping trip to our favorite campsite before the humidity and heat hit. I just love camping on mowed lawn and having bathrooms that smell like strawberries (as Maya pointed out!)

We are getting some great creative use out of our trampoline.
This particular day the girls conducted fairy flight school--complete with wings.

As it has heated up we've figured out how to combine sprinklers and bouncing!
So much fun!!!