Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Tree

We drove out to the "country" (Germantown, MD) on Saturday to cut down our tree. The boys loved the saw. Will and Peter wanted to cut down all the trees.
Hannah took this one...
We have never gotten our tree this early.
Hope it makes it to the 25th!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving at The Lake

the lake cottagefun with our cousin, Christopher playing in the woods...
Will's first hike up to Indian Lookout with Uncle Mark and Dad
the New York City skyline in the distance
Sadly, I only really grabbed the camera when I was headed outside with the kids. So there are no photos of our fun family celebration... of Nana, Papa, Karen, Carl, our new cousin Timothy, Amy, Michael, Cristin, Marie, Kathy... just this goofy, look-we-match photo of me and my brother-in-law, Mark. Next time. : )

Monday, November 24, 2008

Three Turkeys

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving crafts. These were to be cards for my parents, but they missed the mail today. Happy Thanksgiving, Mom and Dad!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Everyone Loves a Parade

This morning we enthusiastically made our way to the Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade. About an hour into the parade, the fun was frozen solid. The kids were doubting our judgement about the whole thing...

Not quite Macy's. : )

We all decided on a 30 degree requirement for parades to come.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We are thankful this week...

... for soccer trophies. ... for the music we can create in our imaginations.
... for being able to do lessons wrapped in a blanket.
... for visits to the country, where we can swing...
... and climb surrounded by Virgina beauty.
... for best friends. :) ... for hot chocolate when we come inside.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Anticipating Advent

I'm always rethinking how we do Christmas. I stuggle with it, and yet it seems each year looks very much the same. We spend more than we should. Our relatives load up my kids with gifts. There is such stress in shopping to give something/anything to so many people. Money, so poorly spent. The sheer number of toy catalogs I have already received leaves me feeling so unsettled. How do I teach my children to be truly thankful?... to see how rich they are?... and desire to live simply, with an open hand? Knowing that all we have has been graciously given to us.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Field Trip Friday : Air and Space Museum

My husband took the kids to the National Air and Space Museum/Udvar-Hazy Center while I went to the gym, grocery shopped, and cleaned the house all by myself. To many, it may seem that I got the short end of the stick here. Ah, but those last three words... I needed those three words today. : )

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.

this place is pretty amazing... everything is so big.

the Space Shuttle Enterprise

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Swing

The Swing
by Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

For her poetry memorization this week, Hannah created a watercolor visual to hold when she presents her poem (to Dad). She worked on this painting all week and is so pleased with it! Here she is practicing... irritated at my camera. : )

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dinner Club

We hosted our Dinner Club last night. Six couples, who have been friends for several years, get together at one of our homes every other month for dinner and fabulous conversation. We live all around the Beltway, and before we started Dinner Club, we let our busy lives keep us from seeing these close friends regularly. I love that I know I will get to see this group at least every other month. The hosts provide the main course and drinks, and the rest is divided up for the others. A conversation topic is determined ahead of time and emailed out to the group. It is always a very fun evening!

Last night's conversation topic:
If you could easily change careers, what would you do? What draws you to that career? And if you could change major/degree in undergrad/grad school, to what would you change it?

Me? I would love to get my master's degree in Museum Science and work for the Smithsonian. Or be a wedding photographer. Or an architect (which was my sure and certain plan when I was 12). Of course, I don't want to really change careers. : )

What would you do? Fun to think about...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Field Trip Friday : Smithsonian National Zoo

The Air and Space Museum really won our Tuesday Election, but when it's 72 degrees and sunny in November, you go with the second place outdoor destination - The Zoo. Democracy at its finest.
Lions and Tigers and Pandas...
We always finish our Zoo trips with a picnic lunch and playtime on the big pizza. This is the biggest hit... so random.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Treasures From Outside

My children are always bringing me treasures from outside - bird feathers, weeds, flowers, leaves. A few years ago, Hannah brought me an armful of perfect fall leaves, so we came up with some ways to display her collection. This has now grown into a fall tradition. Hannah has been asking all week to make "the leaf garland."

As they bring the leaves to me, I stick them in a phone book (or some other newsprint catalog) for about 3 days so they dry out and keep from curling. Then we tie them to a piece of ribbon and thumb-tack it to the doorways.

These photos are not great, but...

Another thing... I bought a few of those .99 cent grapevine wreaths at AC Moore, pulled some ribbon through it, thumb-tacked it to the top of the door, and filled it with leaves and other outdoor treasures.

We all get to enjoy the leaves,
even after the rake is put away for the winter.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

We are holding our own family election today. Only we are voting on what to have for breakfast tomorrow and where to go on our Friday Field Trip. Tonight Hannah and I will tally the votes. What's nice about our election... we'll be happy, whatever the outcome.

I'm off to (really) vote...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Baked Oatmeal

In my continual effort to get a handle on feeding my family three times a day, I have discovered a super-easy, yummy, hot breakfast recipe. My husband is out on Monday mornings. This is our Monday breakfast because it's in the oven for about 30 minutes... giving me enough time to run upstairs, shower, dress, then run back down and serve my kids a hot breakfast. If my Monday morning starts well, I feel like I have a handle on my week. : )

Baked Oatmeal

3 1/2 C oatmeal
1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 C oil
1/4 C agave nectar
1/4 C maple syrup

2 eggs
1 1/8 C milk

cinnamon and/or chocolate chips**

Grease 8x11 pan. Combine dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into pan. Top with cinnamon/chocolate chips**. Bake at 375, 25-30 minutes.

** Will and Peter like it with chocolate chips, Hannah with cinnamon. So I sprinkle a few chocolate chips on half and top the other half with cinnamon.

We certainly don't finish this in one day. It's enough for almost two breakfasts at our house. This really sticks with you until lunch - oil and eggs will do that!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


My little girl turned seven today!
Opening her gifts first thing this morning.
Ten friends arrived at 10:30 for the party. Hannah picked a horse theme, but wanted no real horses involved... whew!
Watching the horse races (stick horses) with William Tell Overture playing in the background.
We were blessed with a beautiful and warm day!
Pizza, cake, and lots of silliness.
After the party, we hurried to her soccer game where she got lots of Birthday Girl attention. We finished off the evening by meeting up with our good friends (our in-town "family") at Clyde's for dinner. Hannah was well-celebrated.
Seven already. If I could only stop her from getting any older...


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