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Showing posts from 2013

Nine Year Old Noah!

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I'm so very very behind on updating and I figured the best way to remedy that situation is to dedicate one blog post per family member.  Sure, it'll be a long grueling process but, hey... you're worth it ;)  Let's start with the eldest cherub, shall we?



Noah turned 9 back in mid-August and we had a wonderful time with our good friends and neighbors.  Josh and I had a bit of a revelation when we asked ourselves a simple question.  Why are we saying "no"?  Noah would ask us constantly if he could bake cookies and we always replied "no" and then... wait... why?  I can't tell you how many times we told our kids "no you can't" about something they were perfectly capable of doing, which probably felt a little disheartening for the wee poppets.  So we said yes and we've been holding onto that line of logic for all three of them since then.  It's been amazing.  Gone are the days of "no you can't"... now if we have a …

Back to Skewl

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Remember when we used to spell cool like "kewl" because it was unquestionably kewler?  No?  Before your time?  Then you would be very comfortable at college because you're the right age for it.  All you "old folks" like me would be branded as NONTRAD's (non traditional students) and you may even have a professor who is younger than you.  I am not old, but when it comes to college I'm a bit more seasoned than the average attendee.  Lemme paint a picture of my arrival to college life.

My first day of math class went like this.  I arrived early and talked to Bob, the shepherd of the hallway.  He was literally leading students to their classrooms with a long stick.  He was a former professor and retired from Air Force after 33 years of service to which he quipped "I damn near made a career of it" HA! good one, Bob.  Time passed and Bob got a little busy with his flock so I was back to my own devices again.  Standing there all old and moldy, surro…

Improvements Complete

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After refinancing the house, we decided to use the mortgage payment we saved on some much anticipated changes to help make our house a home.  We painted... well, I painted the boy's rooms while Josh was out working and I did a damn fine job :)  Noah helped a lot with his room.  He did all the taping and most of the brush work around the trim.  They all picked out their own colors.





We painted the whole entire basement and the main hallway and the bathroom as well.  Everything looks fresh and new and inviting.  It has a nice lived-in feel to it now :)




We also finally replaced some light fixtures we've never been fond of (like the chandelier in the dining room).  I have a few more framed photos and wall art to hang in the basement, but other than that I think we're done.  Everything feels amazing.

Improvements

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We've been busy busy bees lately.  While we do tend to have a lot of visitors we decided that the 2% of our total time they spend with us was not worth having a beautiful, large, empty room in the basement.  So... we rearranged.  Noah has taken residence in his very own room with a queen size bed in what used to be the office.  The office is now where the guest room used to be.  Everything in the basement has been rearranged and feels much more inviting.  I didn't take a completely finished picture, apparently, but you get the idea.  The walls shall be painted soon!



The office is in a cold place where it belongs (and near where the kids usually are which helps me out).  It's inviting and inspiring.  Josh and I do our painting and crafting in this room now.


Noah has his own space where he can escape the unrequited love of his minions.  We still have some painting and decorating to do, but he's already in love with his door (it shuts out brothers) and his new desk.


Bren…

BEACHES (not the Bette Midler "cry your face off" kind)

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This is the first time in my life that I've lived so close to the beach!  We live a short trip down the highway to the Chesapeake Bay and I've found plenty of stops along the way to enjoy.  The more public beaches like Calvert Cliffs and Flag Ponds are always great, but sometimes can get a bit crowded for this introvert's taste.


 Flag Ponds Nature Park is by far the best beach experience near us.  The beach area is so huge it never really feels crowded.  The walk to the beach from the parking lot is short.  The facilities are well-maintained and conveniently located.  There is a little pond that's jellyfish free that the kids can still play in (little boys who enjoy mud and dirt especially love it).  We bring all our company out to this beach when they come to visit.  In June we've already brought my brother and his family and our friend Rudy, not to mention the few trips we've taken with the neighbors there as well... it's a fabulous place to go.


The 1.8 …

Calvert Marine Museum & Solomon's Island

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I had looked at the Calvert Marine Museum online lots of times and finally on Saturday we had an opportunity to go!  It was just as awesome as I thought it would be, but better.  I had no idea this area was as rich in prehistoric fossils as it is!!  I just thought they had a plethora of colonial artifacts.  Nope!

Back when the world was all one giant continent (Pangea) our present day Calvert Cliffs were touching Africa, right where modern day Morocco is.  Thanks to this and the constant changing of the water level the cliffs are packed with fossily goodness.  They have recovered everything from a huge prehistoric baleen whale skull to a prehistoric camel.  RIGHT HERE!!!  AHHHH!!!! Josh and I were so fascinated by all this.  We could have spent 3 hours in the fossil section of the museum alone.


The museum also has other exhibits, mostly dealing with the Bay... maritime history.  It all really focused on the local area, which made it that much more interesting to us.  I learned that up…

God Is In the Rain

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Right around dinner time it started to pour down rain at my house.  We watched it while we ate and decided splashing in a few puddles would be the best dessert ever!  So, out we went.  Just as I was grabbing my camera the sun came out, but it was still raining.  Rainbow?!?!?!?!!  YES!!



Josh called on his way home from work and said "go up the driveway, I can see a double rainbow right over our neighborhood".  And here I was excited enough about the tiny bit I caught from the house.



Josh pulled onto our street so we turned to head back to the house and just then the sky opened up and rain poured onto my kids as they were running down the driveway in the setting sun.  It was so beautiful.  I have never been so sure that God is in the rain :)  I was also reminded of a Bob Marley quote "some people feel the rain, others just get wet".  We definitely felt the rain today!



Apparently I was supposed to see all this because everything had to be timed in just the right way…

More Cicadas & More Parks

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I love this time of year!  The dragonflies, cicadas & butterflies are all out in full force.  The weather is still pretty bearable and the parks aren't packed with summer crowds yet.  We've been spending most of our time outside exploring.  I've got yet another new park in Southern Maryland that is officially on my top five favorites list now: Flag Ponds Nature Park.  The beach here is amazing!!  That's not all, though.  There are the woods packed with gigantic old sweetgum, oak, pine, and maple trees that you can tell have been alive for centuries.  The trails wound their way through ponds and swamps as we crept closer towards the Chesapeake Bay.  To me, it resembled scenes from Lord of the Rings.


We arrived with the intent of hiking and flying our kites, and we did that indeed.  We had such an amazing adventure!  We found a cactus that Tristan and Brennan tried to pick up and bring home, which resulted in a lot of pain and tears.  We saw some skinks (it's a t…

The Magical Magicicada Brood II

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Some women may look at the cicada which resembles a bug-eyed steroid-enhanced ginormous housefly and shiver, maybe even squeal.  Like a girl.  I don't.  A lot of that has to do with the numerous entomology lessons I received from my cousin Sandy when I was a kid.  She turned the creepy-crawly bug into a fascinating adventure into the art of adaptation.  Insects are amazing.  This particular 17 year Magicicada (yeah, that's their Latin name because scientists know they're magical) emergence is one of the greatest examples of the awesomeness of the insect world.  Allow me to share with you my insights and maybe if you see one of these little guys hanging around your house you'll be able to view them with the same awe and respect that I do.


For those that aren't aware, this particular brood has been underground for seventeen years.  That's a helluva long time to just be hanging out underground, waiting for an internal clock to go off and tell you it's time to …