Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dukes are visiting!

 Friday night our good friends the Dukes arrived from Texas.  They are going to be here for a couple of weeks.  David is working here and Kriste came with the boys to do some home school history stuff.  We are very excited to have them here.  It's been a couple years since we've seen each other but it feels like a month has passed.  The kids are having a wonderful time together.
 Saturday we went to St Mary's City.  It is beautiful and fun there.  They were having a war reenactment and lots of activities for the kids.  My favorite part was a wonderful choir that sang in the old church.  It was lovely.
Today we made pancakes, went to church, had a linger longer after and the dads took the kids to the park. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Col. (ret) Thomas L Thacker

Last night our beloved grandfather passed away. He was 94 years old.  I met him when he was already 80.  He was a charming, sweet man who immediately welcomed me and my little family of daughters into his family.  He was warm and caring and concerned and the girls got to grow up with the extreme privilege of having a great grand father in their lives.

R was very close to his grandfather.  He grew up living not too far from him and he was a part of his daily life and a huge influence on him.  His wisdom and character played an important role in R's life and his opinion and example have always been important to him.  This is a sad time for us, particularly for R.  Even though we know he is now with his sweet wife and enjoying a happy reunion we will miss him a lot.

In the years I have know him he has been active and engaged in living life. He was a volunteer at the Air Force Museum, as well as still active in business, his family, gardening, and other pursuits.  Grandpa was a wonderful writer.  I have enjoyed his many stories and am grateful that he took the time to write them down so his posterity could know him and about his life.  He took an active interest in the lives of his grandchildren, and great grandchildren and enjoyed the company of his cat, his children and many friends. 

Of course before I ever met him he had lived a full lifetime where he honorably served our country, spent many many years volunteering with the Boy Scouts, had a second career in real estate and perhaps most importantly was a loving husband and father.  His life was exemplary and selfless.  I love him and will miss him and look forward to the day when we are reunited on the other side of the veil and can enjoy the eternal bonds of family.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sotterly Plantation

 Grace and I went on a field trip today.  We had a lot of fun.  We went to Sotterly for their Family Christmas Celebration a couple of years ago but I had never really seen the grounds.  It was really pretty.
 Lu only has 5 other girls in her class so our whole group was the girl group.  There are 14 boys.  Quite a difference.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fall by Grace age 7

today's agenda

school for the kids
work for R
subbing for me
put gas in the car (I am on Empty)
drive the STEM car pool
piano lessons for Lucy
soccer practice for the boy
a walk for the dogs
laundry (as always)
make a new fall soup recipe
work on talk for stake training
season premier of NCIS!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

worlds worst camera

 My camera is so annoying, and I misplaced R's good one.  So smudgy memories is all we get.  Anyway.  Today was Chelsea and Joseph's birthdays and we got invited to a birthday BBQ/bonfire/fun fest at the beach.  It was a super beautiful night and we had so much fun!
 Colleen and Laura made a delicious dinner and we visited and ate.  The kids mostly ran around and ate a little.  We built a fire.  The kids rolled down the hill, played hide-n-seek-tag, played on the playground, made smores, sang, jumped, scampered, skipped, cart-wheeled and otherwise frolicked.
 Eventually the sun set and it got dark and cold and late (for a school night) so we reluctantly packed up and came home.
 There is nothing better than a break in the routine,  Monday night, outdoor outing with good friends.

girl stuff

 What have the girls been up to lately?  Well, Lucy spent a lot of time this weekend with friends.  She went to the fair with friends, invited Maggie over to play, watched her brother play soccer with Summer, who was watching her brother, and Maggie, then went to a BBQ and jumped on the trampoline with lots and lots of friends!!
 Jenna and Clayton ran in some kind of muddy race with their friends.  It looks like fun?  Well, they are smiling so it must be :)
 Hannah went to N Carolina with Alyssa for Alyssa's aunts engagement party.  They drove a lot, went go cart racing, went to the BBQ and then drove a long way home. 
 Sierra and Papa went to the temple.  (side note: Papa and Grandma left on their mission today!)
Dani had probably the least amount of fun.  She went to the hospital and delivered a kidney stone.  She said it was as painful as her Penny delivery, but not nearly as rewarding :(  Poor Dan

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall is here

I love fall.  It's one of my three favorite seasons!  The weather is cooling and I see some leaves beginning to turn.  Yesterday we had soccer and Ethan's team won.  He played keeper the second half and did an excellent job. 
This morning I made pumpkin cookies, my favorite recipe.  I only make it in the fall and it's such a treat.

This morning I went to Stake Council.  I have been to many, many years worth of youth council meetings and ward council meetings but this was very different.  I walked in and it felt a little like walking in on the Jedi council, the whole high council was there and in their suits and looking quite official.  I felt pretty intimidated actually.  Anyway I have to say I felt the spirit so strongly and felt so edified and instructed.  It was a powerful meeting.  I have been struggling with my new calling and feeling like I don't know what to do, how to help, feeling inadequate for the job and unsure and too much a slacker; not that I don't want to do it, or don't like it.  This meeting was a good boost.  A good reminder to fearlessly do what I am asked to do because I am not alone and the Lord qualifies those he calls and makes up the difference.  So he has a big difference to make up in my case He is up to the job. Mosiah 23: 27-28. I wish everyone could sit and get good, weighty, instruction at the feet of these good brethern.

I listened to April's conference on the way up and back.  I will be listening to the talks over the next few weeks getting ready for the next conference.  Love it!

Now I'm looking forward to the rest of our Sabbath.  Some good meetings, a yummy dinner and a family film festival tonight. 

Friday, September 21, 2012

st Mary's County Fair

 Today was our fourth annual trip to the fair with the Martines'.  It was a lot of fun.  The day was nice, a little hot in the afternoon but mostly nice.  We got there around 10 and the crowds were pretty light.  The kids rode lots of rides and we ate some fair food.  The most fun thing is that we see so many friends and neighbors there.  This year Ethan and Eric got to walk around the rides area by themselves for awhile and ride things they wanted to.  They loved that.  We stayed until around 4.  Lots of fair fun!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

head trauma

 This is the last game that Ethan played, the one that ended with a 13-1 loss, and a trip to the ER...
where we found out that he had a concussion and couldn't play for the next two weeks.

Which means my Tuesday/Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons have been pleasantly free.

We'll be back to it next week.  This week I have a terrible cold, as does E.  H just got over it.  That makes this a good week to be "soccer free".

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

our week, so far.

spring break 1993
Monday I subbed 2nd grade.  It went well.  Cute little monsters :)
Monday night for FHE we took the dogs to the vet.  The kids enjoyed it.  Not the dogs.  After we went to Brusters.
Tuesday I did a cleaning blitz and in the evening Lu had Brownies. 
Today Malia and I went VT together for the first time.  We have 3 sisters to visit and got two of them today.  Then I got visit taught. I am pretty excited because lately I've been a really bad visiting teacher.  Shameful.

Tonight is Mutual and scouts. 
Tomorrow I am subbing and the kids are going to the dentist. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

first furbaby

 When I got home Z was very excited to see me, she had grown in the week I was gone.  Uncle Brian had found a box of old photos and went through and sorted and labeled them for us.  I was looking through them last night and found some pictures from when we first got Millie, 9 years ago.  She was a really cute discount puppy.  She had ringworm on her head so we got her for $150 with papers.  An amazing deal, unless you count the thousands we spent on a fence for her and E (which they both learned to climb over within one week of installation) or the $1000 we spent at "man's best friend" learning how to be good owners, or the cost of a bed, coach, baseboard and multiple pairs of shoes, barbies and boxes of crayons, but I digress.

Sierra and Jenna had the job of sleeping by her crate and taking her out during puppy potty training.  This time with Z it's my job?  how did that happen??
 The girls spent a lot of time out in the yard with her and playing with her.  She loved to swim right from the beginning and was such a cute little water dog.
Here she is with cute Hannah, who was 4, Ethan the chemo baby (I don't know what happened with that hair cut) and me chillin on the back porch.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

practice shopping

 One afternoon Jenna, Dani, Tatum, Penny and I had some important practice shopping to do.  When Dani got engaged I didn't get to wedding dress shop with her, I have always been sad about that so even though Jen is not engaged it seems like things are heading that direction and so we decided to take some dresses out for a test drive!
 Jenna looked beautiful in everything she tried one.  The shop was very nice and Dani and Penny got to sit and nurse while J modeled dresses for us and Tate helped her :) 
Fun fun fun!!

the rest of the trip

Dani,Sierra, Me and Jenna and Val's
 My week in Utah went super too fast!  We were busy the whole time, even if it was only with holding little Penny and admiring her cuteness.  Friday night we had a BBQ at Val's.  Michael and JaNee, Mom & Dad, the girls and Clayton and Greg and the grandbabes were all there.
Tate making welcome home cupcakes
 The day Penny and Dani came home from the hospital Tatum and I made white cupcakes with purple frosting and sprinkles to welcome them home.  Note to self: a three year old and a bottle of sprinkles....not a good idea.
the little missionaries
 Mom and Dad are officially missionaries again.  They have two weeks in the MTC.  We got to see them a few times still and Dad drove me to the airport this morning.  I am so proud of them, they are going to be awesome!!
first bath
 Sierra made time to come see us several times.  It was a lot of fun.  I also got to see both the girls apartments and meet Sierra's roommates.
Mimi and Penny

Penny and Sierra

lunch at Zupas
 Andrea and Yoho and cute Reg are moving to Phoenix AZ.  Yo got a new job.  I am excited for them.  I enjoyed seeing Em and Tal and Jakob.  We met for lunch and it was delicious and fun to see the girls.
dinner at Tacanos
 I really enjoyed getting to know Clayton.  He is a lot of fun.  We went to dinner together one night and it was so pretty out with the lights and the fountains. 
lunch at Awful Waffle
Jenna and Emma both work at the Awful Waffle.  I have to say the food is pretty darn good. 

The only damper on the week is I wish the little kids and R could have come with me and the news was awful this week with the embassy attacks and riots.  I rarely (never) report about world events but I will just say it's a scary place out there.  My strategy is to try to be obedient, to have faith, and to do the best job I can in my own sphere of influence.  I sure hope someone wiser than me is doing something about the global mess we are in.

Friday, September 14, 2012

first photo shoot

 Dani and Penny are both doing so well.  I am really happy that I can be here to help and play.  Yesterday I took Tate to preschool.  She has the cutest teacher and has a lot of fun.  It was "A is for alligator" day and when we drove up there was a big blue tarp on the lawn with plastic alligator heads on it.  It was a very exciting introduction to the day for Miss T.
 After preschool we went to the hospital to get Penny's billirubin checked.  Sierra also came with us.  Dani bravely had to hold little miss Penny Jane while the 3 of us looked on.  She got a huge prick and didn't enjoy her test at all.  Fortunately her results were fine so she's good to go.
 We met Andrea, Yoho, Em and her little cuties at Zupas for lunch and then took Sierra back to her car and went to Penny's photo shoot.  It took a long time but it went so well.  Dani got a disk with 79 awesome shots on it.  These are just a few of my favorites.  It was a lot of fun, sweet little baby!
 My last engagement of the evening was to meet CJ (Clayton and Jenna) for dinner.  We had a good time eating, talking, laughing.  I like Clayton and I like them together.  They are silly and a fun loving couple that I think make a nice match.  He is very considerate of her and sweet and she thinks he is handsome and wonderful.  It will be fun to see how things go :)
I can not believe I only have one more day here.  It has really gone by so quickly.  I miss R and the kids at home and will be glad to see them again.  However it's been wonderful being here and seeing my sisters and parents and the girls and grandgirls.  I wish MD and UT bordered each other!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Point

 Besides holding cutie pie Penny girl, and trying to help out with some chores I have been able to spend some time with big girl Tate.  Monday we went to the movies to see Brave.  Sierra also came with us and we had a fun time eating popcorn and watching the "scary movie".  After we went to Zupas! Yumm.
 Today we went to Thanksgiving point.  It was a ton of fun.  We walked through the beautiful garden and spent a lot of time on the farm.  Tatum rode Chief and loved it soooo much she had to have two more rides.  She sang loudly "I am a real cowgirl" while riding and wanted to BIG horse after the first time around.  They have lots of cute animals there. We saw Llama llama red pajamas, and the three little pigs (although there were actually 6 of them.  We had a hay ride and petted many cute animals.

At the end of the day we stopped for ice cream cones.  Little Tate is a perfect companion for a lovely fall day.