Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Last Saturday we were hit with an unexpected snow storm. What was supposed to be a couple inches of "wintry mix" turned into half a foot of heavy, wet snow. The poor trees were still full of leaves, and the weight of the heavy snow caused branches to bend, and then snap clean off - taking down power lines with them. Just before 2pm our lights flickered a few times, then went out completely. Little did we know that it would be over 72 hours later when the power would come back.

While this experience was definitely tough - and one that I hope not to repeat again - it made me extremely thankful for many things that I take for granted on a daily basis.

*Electricity - Do you realize how many times a day you turn on a light switch?! It's pretty depressing to walk into a dark house, knowing that it will stay dark all night. I had to complete all my "household tasks" during daylight hours, because I knew that as soon as the sun went down it would be nearly impossible to get things done. Laundry? No. Dishwasher? No. We really got back-to-basics with candles and firelight!

*Water - Luckily, we didn't lose water as a result of the storm. That would have really been bad; like, check into a hotel bad. We didn't have hot water though (water heater runs on electricity), and a cold shower just isn't as tempting as a warm one.

*Heat - It was cold. It was painful getting dressed in the morning. I wore my robe around the house to stay warm. Our gas fireplace was our saving grace - we had it on all day, and it really did put out quite a bit of heat. We all hung out in the living room huddled around the fire for 3 days.

*Internet/tv/entertainment - The kids were pretty much un-fazed by the experience, except in that they kept asking "Can we watch a show?" - to which I would reply "We still don't have power, so that means we can't turn on the tv, remember?!" We were able to charge up the laptops, phones, and iPod to provide some screen-entertainment. I kept wanting to watch the news about the storm, or look up things online...only to remember I couldn't.

*Refridgeration - It is so nice to be able to open your fridge and pour a nice COLD glass of orange juice in the morning. (or have some ice cream in the evening) I ended up throwing most everything away, since I'm pretty sure it was not so good after 3 days. Nice chance to deep clean my fridge and freezer!

*Friends - Some dear friends had us over for dinner and device-charging one night, and we commiserated with our other friends who also were out of power. It made the days go by a little faster!

Jiffy Pop by the fire

What we wore around the house to keep warm

Lincoln LOVES the snow

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Washington DC

Last weekend we took a quick trip down to Washington DC. We had never been since we've lived on the East Coast, and Ryan's sister Kimber was in town for a conference - so we figured it was the perfect time to go. We tried to hit all the highlights: Air and Space museum, Natural History museum, various monuments/memorials, yummy food, and LOTS of walking. (My favorite was the cooked-to-order breakfast at the hotel - YUM!!!) It was raining the first day, which added an extra level of difficulty to trekking around the Capitol:
Can you just see the excitement in this boy's face?!
So many {stuffed} animals to see at the Natural History museum:
Ellie was really interested in this little Neanderthal boy:
An extra surprise was a reading fair in the Mall with tons of tents and giveaways. There was a PBSkids tent with several characters from the kids' favorite shows:
Also, the Magic School Bus was there! Lincoln LOVES the Magic School Bus - I believe we've checked out every single book from the local library.
Ms. Frizzle in person
Of course, we HAD to see the Lincoln Memorial. It was probably funny to hear us yelling "Lincoln! Lincoln!" around the memorial as {our} Lincoln was running and jumping off things.

Friday, September 9, 2011

First Day of School

This is the last year before we REALLY start school...for the rest of our lives! Ahhhhhhh!!! We had such a great experience with our Mother Goose Time group last year, that we're doing it again - just with some different friends and more kids. There are 6 kids, including Lincoln, and all of them will be starting Kindergarten next year. Here's the big boy:
Ellie had to get in on the experience too - backpack and all:
I didn't think that Ellie would care too much about Lincoln being in school, but she often asks "Ellie school too?" and as soon as Linc is out of the car she asks "Where'd Lincoln go?" about 50 times until we pick him up again.
Do you think the kids have changed much since last year?!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ellie Don't Come In

While we were visiting my family in Kansas City this summer, Lincoln decided that he had enough of his pesky little sister and commissioned his Nana to write a sign for him. Then he drew the pictures - so Ellie would be able to understand what it said, naturally. The pictures are a number 4 (meaning you have to be 4 years-old), Ellie's face Xed out, and a railroad crossing sign (he was playing with train tracks).

He posted it up and then showed Ellie the sign - pointing to the words and "reading": "Ellie don't come in". Then Ellie would say "Come in!" very happily - to which Lincoln would say, "No! Ellie don't come in" and she would repeat again "Come in!" It basically continued like that for a while! Too hard to keep from laughing at these kids!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ellie Turns TWO!

Two years goes VERY quickly!! Looking back, I can't believe how {somewhat crazy} it was to have a baby in England - retelling her birth story each year is quite entertaining! We always say our best souvenir from living overseas is Miss Elizabeth Rose.

Here's what a 2 year-old does for their BDay:
Fun at Jump on In

Presents (She didn't let Linc get away with opening all the presents this year)

So excited to have PRINCESSES!

Dressed like a princess and eating raisins -what could be better?!

LOVE this one...Linc had to assist with the candle-blowing

Yep, 3 cupcakes - it's her Birthday!!

Ellie is so cheeky and spunky and keeps us all on our toes! She loves to play with (and taunt) her brother and wants to be just like him. She will do/repeat anything he says - even if it makes no sense! (Lincoln hurts his head, then Ellie says her head hurts) She talks up a storm - she is a girl who knows what she wants, and knows how to get it. She runs, she climbs, she swings - she gives me a heart attack at the park! She can count to 10. She knows all her shapes and most colors. She tells jokes and teases. She sings at the top of her lungs. We LOVE this two-year-old!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lincoln's Creations

Lincoln loves to build. He has always had a knack for making intricate train track designs, utilizing EVERY track piece we have. His favorite is the all-straight track as seen here:

He also branched out with his PBK building set - reminds me of a parking garage in England at a mall we frequented.

{I would like to say I helped him with the building, but I was taking a nap on the playroom floor} :)

Ryan and Linc made a shed for his tanks out of Play-Doh. Very patriotic, right?!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lucky Layover

On their way to Europe, my parents and youngest sister had an extended layover in Newark. So the kids and I met up with them and we passed the time at the nearby IKEA - food, shopping, entertainment for the kids, and ice cream - what could be better?!

Taking in a show:

The international travelers:

Playing with Nana:

Ellie tries out all the toys:

In Ellie's words: "ICE CREAM!!!!!"

We had such a great time with Nana, Pop, and Auntie Kelly - why don't you fly in every afternoon, and we do this every day?? :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Great Swamp

In May, the preschool lessons were about "Meet me at the Pond", so we took one last field trip to The Great Swamp. Apparently, it's a huge swamp (hence the name!), and it's only about 10 minutes away. There are nice boardwalk trails {ie: easy for strollers} and a cute nature center. We were able to see lots of wildlife - birds, fish, chipmunks, a frog, and PLENTY of bugs.

Looking for fish and water striders:

Can you spot the frog?

Lincoln + Raquel (the other kids were sick and/or had moved away)
{I think Linc has a little crush on Raquel -he always says she's cute} :)

Ellie was very interested in this turtle!