Friday, July 31, 2009

The garden

One of the delights of our summer has been our little garden in the raised beds Chris built during the Great Unemployment. This has been my most successful attempt ever at growing things, and Josh and I examine the beds almost daily for new vegetables. Today was our biggest daily haul so far: one squash, one cherry tomato and one cucumber.

It's certainly not enough to supply us with vegetables for the summer, but the kids have been more willing to try things like tomatoes, pesto (made from basil in the garden) and okra because we grew them ourselves, and now they have a better understanding of where some of their food comes from. We have ambitious plans to plow up a corner of the yard this fall or next spring to make room for more vegetables.

Josh is pointing to a very small okra in the middle of the picture

Monday, July 27, 2009

Marching toward 40

We celebrated Chris' 37th birthday at our weekly Sunday "family dinner," and he showed his age when Josh beat him to the draw on blowing out the candles (which don't signify he is 361 years old, but that he's 36 plus 1. You have to work with the candles on hand sometimes).

The kids loved the cake, and in almost every picture (some are really blurry, unfortunately) the adults are smiling at the camera and the kids are looking at their piece of cake.

Molly and Auntie Steph

Vivy, and her wonderful long hair. Emily has kindly re-described Molly's haircut as "mod" rather than "mullet"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Breaking news

Josh and Molly are spending the week in Chicago, and Grandpa emailed this picture over today of Josh's big catch, a large-mouth bass that was more than a foot long. Apparently Josh hooked the fish himself but had some help from Grandpa reeling it in.

You may remember me writing about Josh's great disappointment over not catching a fish on the beach fishing trip in June. I'm sure this more than makes up for that, although lake (and airline) rules would not allow Josh to bring the fish back to Charlotte like he wanted. Chris said the stern look in the picture was due to Josh not being so sure about Grandpa handling his fish.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mullet Madness

Maybe it's a function of living in the South, as once again a local hairstylist has given Molly a mullet, despite me specifically saying, "DON'T GIVE HER A MULLET." I took both kids to a new hair cuttery today in hopes of finding an anti-mullet stylist, but once again Molly left with a haircut about 50 years too old for her. I should have run after the style buzzed Josh's hair and said, "Hmm, I didn't realize it would be that short."

At least Molly's getting material to guilt-trip us with later in life.

The kids spent the little free time we had today on their latest artistic passion: water color painting.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Back to camp

Josh finished his first week at YMCA day camp on Friday, and Molly and I attended the family picnic on Friday. "Cole Slaw," the camp director, told me she couldn't believe how much Josh had changed since last year. I couldn't believe that Josh actually stood up in front of the group on cue and told every one about the necklace he had been awarded for doing well in sports. He seems to particularly like archery, and he keeps asking me if we can shoot things in our backyard with arrows.

Later that day, we encountered a rare moment when a long period of quiet actually was good. We found the kids reading and sharing books on the couch. Too bad this doesn't happen more often.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The great adventure

Josh and I took our first mother/son trip (not counting the 11-hour drive home from Florida last weekend) to DC for the 4th of July this weekend. We made our first stop at Corinne's parents' house just south of Richmond, where we spent the night and where her dad gave Josh this pair of binoculars. Josh loves them, and he wore them around his neck for most of the trip.

We then traveled to northern Virginia and spent two days with our friend Thao and her kids, who live in Paris and are here for their summer vacation. The picture above is from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum near Dulles Airport. The binoculars came in handy there at the observation deck where you could watch planes land at Dulles.

We saw the Enola Gay, the Concord and the space shuttle Enterprise at the museum

Josh and Gaspar outside the museum

We spent the morning of the 4th at Great Fall Park in Virginia, and then made the epic journey to the Capitol via car and Metro.

Josh is pictured here with Corinne, a.k.a. the most important person in Washington, DC. When Corinne's dad asked Josh who the important person was who lived in DC (correct answer: Barack Obama), Josh excitedly yelled, "Corinne!"

Corinne was kind enough to arrive at the Capitol early and save a spot near the free pre-fireworks concert. We saw Aretha Franklin and Barry Manilow, but the kids were more impressed by the live appearances from Big Bird and Elmo, who performed with the symphony orchestra.

The kids loved the fireworks, and Josh even pulled out some of his "ABC" dance moves for the more lively patriotic songs. He was pleasantly surprised that the fireworks were not as "scary" as he anticipated.

We didn't get back to Thao's sister's house until midnight and it took us nine hours to drive home today, but it was a trip well worth it. I think all future 4th of July celebrations will pale in comparison to celebrating on the lawn of the Capitol building!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Friends from Iowa and second blog anniversary

We enjoying our third annual visit from Shelley, Maggie, Alex and Sara from Iowa, which also commemorates the second anniversary of my blog. Josh has enjoyed playing with the kids, and while we miss Molly, who's at my parents' house, we've had plenty of activity without her!

We've stayed busy, today going to a local garden and yesterday having a huge water balloon fight in the backyard.
Possibly tired of having their picture taken.