Monday, October 3, 2016

Fastest Summer Ever: 4th of July, VBS, GARP, and more!

I have to say that 2016 must go down in history as the fastest summer EVER!! Since its now already OCTOBER, I guess its time for the summer recap!

Sailor June celebrating Independence Day in style!
4th of July fireworks in the marina parking lot!

On long hot summer days, the boys take advantage of my "no more electronics" rule, and build themselves a little movie theatre out of a cardboard box. They are watching Toy Story 3 here.
We hosted David for 10 days as a part of our church's German/Russian/American Partnership that we participate in every summer. David is from Germany and stayed with us for 10 days! He was such a fun guest, and a treasured new friend. Also, an amazing cultural experience for our family.

We had a fun summer picnic as part of GARP. We had a blast hanging out with our friends. Here's Miriam and Anna Grace - sweet sisters!
Summertime hayride!
The kiddos with our pastor, Don, and two more of our German friends, Stefan and Ida
Some more of our sweet Crossroads church family!

Here's Mark resting for a snack during our church's outreach VBS (also a part of GARP week)

Mark and Dominic at VBS
Mark with his VBS class
Caught him sharing his water with Sister!
Dinner at the DiBella's new house. Sailor loves Alexander!
Summertime = plenty of Lego creations. Keaton was particularly proud of this base setup, so I wanted to document.
Doughnuts when our A/C went out!


Monkey see, monkey do
Snoopy snow cones on a hot day!
And I randomly met Bob Dole at the National Mall! What a nice man!
Scott has Popcicle Thursdays at work in the summer. I received a funny selfie like this every other week.
The boys had a blast at the Boy Scout "Rain Gutter Regatta!"
And a couple of somewhat successful fishing outings!
Whew! what a summer!

Friday, August 19, 2016


At the beginning of July, our family took a short weekend trip to Charlottesville, VA. My cousin Dustin and his wife graciously offered up their house for us to stay while they are in Colorado for the summer. I've wanted to make this trip ever since we moved to VA and it's only a short 90 minute drive from us. Our first stop was James Madison's home, Montpelier. We only had about an hour here, so we didn't pay to tour the home. But, we had a great time walking the beautiful mansion grounds and free museum.

Reading with James and Dolly
On Friday night, we headed downtown for dinner. We ate pizza and got some yummy gelato at Splendora's upon recommendation from my cousin Sarah! They had this really cool chalkboard wall. If you look closely in the right bottom corner, Keaton wrote part of a verse... :-)
On Saturday morning, we headed to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. It was a beautiful day!
They had tons of 18th century period activities for the kids to try out. The boys loved writing their names with quill and ink.

And playing tic tac toe

TJ's grave. After seeing his home and land, I definitely left with much respect for the man!
overlooking the plantation
"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have past at home in the bosom of my family." - Thomas Jefferson
"These are wise words. Enterprising men quote 'em. Don't act surprised, you guys, cause I wrote 'em."

We were able to spend our final evening hanging out with my other cousin Sarah (Dustin's sister, I know, confusing) and her husband Scott, who is finishing his PhD in History at UVA. We went to Blue Mountatin Brewery in Afton. It was amazing!
Such a getaway!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Early Summer in Oklahoma

After the reunion, Scott had to fly home, because he had to go back to his JOB for some reason (selfish, I know). But, the kids and I were able to spend another 2 and a half weeks in Oklahoma. We always have such a fun time at my parents house. Even though they are not in the country anymore, their new house is still full of fun stuff for the kids to do, and PLENTY of room to explore.
My parents are down to only one very spoiled "Jay Dog." He eats people food, goes in and out of the house as he pleases (something I NEVER thought I would see a dog do at my parents house!), and knows just who to make friends with to get a good snack a couple of times a day. Sailor is always happy to share!
Sailor and my friend Lisa Lord - soon to be Lisa White in September!
We only made one trip to Kiddie Park this year. Sailor was not as excited about the rides as she was last year! "Mommy, get me outta here!"
She was a little bit calmer with her buddy, Halle there for support.
Mia and Keaton are too big for most of the rides now (sniff, sniff), but they are good sports and tag along to help out with the littles.
Back on the carriages with Brother
Serious girl on the Carousel
End of the night train ride, complete with cotton candy of course!
It rained for a good bit of our first week there, so my mom took the kids to Hobby Lobby to pick out a puzzle and some other activities.
It took forever, but we finally finished this one, with lots of help!
 Mia is straddling that beautiful line between youth and adolescent. I love that she still plays so well with the boys, but I know this time is limited. I can't believe she is already 12!
Early morning snuggles on the back porch with my girl.
In my parents new pool, they have about a 5x5 section that is only 1ft deep. This is perfect for Sailor!
Never a shortage of sweets at Brumbra's house.
My handsome little man enjoying the pool
The "frenemies" sharing another ice cream bar
Papa joined us in the pool a few times, and even went down the slide (video upon request!)
Strolling with Brumbra after church
Sailor loves her Jay Dog
Alexis and Christian
They can still be sweet sometimes...
Posing with Aunt Alexis
Hitchin a ride with Bubba on the tricycle!
Hanging out in the "Secret Garden"
Lots of trips with Brumbra on the gator!
Sailor loved the fountains!
Playing in the sprinkler!
It's raining!!

We had a great few weeks, but we did finally have to drive home. We stopped in Indiana for the night at my Uncle Ben and Aunt Brenda's house. Always fun to catch up with my cousins and their kids! 

Laura and I are one year apart and have always been close!
Uncle Ben has the coolest toys!
Laura's twins Savannah and Tyler are 3 already! We tried to get a cousins pic. This was the best one - ha!!
Again, Uncle Ben has cool toys!
We made it home just in time for Father's Day! Boy, were these kiddos happy to see their Daddy!