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Preview: The Sturgill Road

The Sturgill Road

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. 1 John 4:7

Updated: 2018-03-07T10:16:59.565-05:00


Pirate's Cove


Well, our local pools are no longer like bath water. There has been no humidity lately and overnight temperatures have been in the 60s. I really like hot and humid weather in the summer because it makes pool time so much better. JoAnn and I had planned on going to Pirate's Cove on Monday. It was not very warm, but we went anyway. JoAnn joked, "If we don't stay until 5:00, that will be even better." We stayed until 5:30. We were there for over four hours.

 I was last there two years ago and since then they took out the diving boards and that section of the pool and added two water slide.
The kids enjoyed playing in the pool and going down the water slides.  Josiah couldn't do the big slides because you have to be 42 inches for them.  The kids really loved playing in the sand.  Here is a picture of Ethan and Lydia.
Ethan dug a huge hole for himself.  That is Nathan and Amelia, his brother and sister.
The kids also enjoyed the smaller slide section of the pool.
I think they had the most fun piling on top of each other and trying to squish the person on the bottom.
It was another fun day at a water park but I liked the weather better the day we went to Volcano Island.

Firetruck Visit


Today, the local fire department visited our neighborhood. They have a new chief who wants them to visit every neighborhood and pass out safety information. When they knocked on our door, our kids asked, "Where is your firetruck?" They said it was around the corner and asked the kids if they wanted to see it. They opened up the doors and let the kids sit in it. The kids were rather happy about this. This is the pumper truck. Later, the equipment truck stopped by. Wesley was very interested in all the tools.Lydia had her blood pressure checked in the ambulance.  She didn't want the electrodes put on so the boy beside her was checked.  She told me later, "If they see a flat line when they check your heart, that means you are not doing very well."  That is an understatement for sure.Josiah tried on a headset.Lydia tried on a hat. Wesley asked what is the heaviest  tool.  It's the 16 pound sledge hammer.   I am always impressed by how nice the fireman are and how they genuinely enjoy showing the kids (and the adults) the firetrucks and ambulance. [...]

Hiking in a Storm


Last weekend, we went to Blacksburg for a quick visit. On Saturday, we ate dinner at Macados with David and Amanda and their girls.  It was a "kids eat free" night.  After dinner, all the kids and dads went swimming in the hotel pool.  The water was too cold for me.  Our local pools are like bath water now. On Sunday morning, we ate breakfast at Gillie's (delicious) and then walked around campus. Chris and I met while working at the library at Virginia Tech.  Here we are back where we started.Lydia loves posing for pictures.We went hiking at Cascade FallsIt was beautiful, especially when the sun was shining.A group shot.I hiked this trail as a child and a college student and now a mom. A little water fall. Josiah started out walking with me and then with Chris.  I think he figured out it was more fun to walk with an older cousin than his parents and he was very happy to walk with Claire. In front of Cascade Falls. Just our immediate family. David and family.Once we started walking away from the falls, we could hear thunder in the distance.  I asked Amanda, who was a girl scout leader, "What do we do on a hike in a storm?"  She answered, "We keep going until we get to a cave we can wait in."  Once it started raining, she kept telling Lydia and Lucy, "Hurry up. Don't run."  We reached the cave after getting moderately wet. We waited about 30 minutes for the storm to pass. It would have been nice to look at the radar on our phones, but we didn't have service.When I asked Lydia her favorite part of the weekend, she said, "Hiking with Lucy."  The cousins all had fun being together. We met Chris' aunt and uncle for lunch at Boudreux.  I forgot take a picture of Mike and Ieda.  It was so nice to see them.  Lunch was delicious.  The kids loved it also. [...]

Volcano Island


Today a good friend and I took our kids to Volcano Island. This was my family's second visit there.  We went with the same friends to Water Mine last summer. I had a great time on these water slides today. The sign said "you must be 48 inches tall" but one of the lifeguards told me that it just depends who is working at the top.  Lydia and Amelia aren't 48 inches tall but they both swim on the swim team.  The first guard didn't question them and just let them go down (maybe because I was with them).  Lydia said the second guard asked them how well they could swim.  I had to convince a third guard to let them go down (I just happened to be with them that time).  The guards probably aren't that strict because the water at the bottom isn't that deep and there is a guard right there in the water. Wesley and Nathan had a great time trying to dunk each other.  They did the water slides a few times. Lydia and Amelia tried it also. Josiah spent a lot of time going down this little slide.  The water at the top was very cold, but the pool was warm.  It was very hot today; I think the heat index was over 100. There he goes. He got to practice his swimming every time he went down.  Kids can't do this slide with a life jacket on so I took it off and let him swim.   It was just a short distance that he had to swim. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />It was fun for me the first fifty times he did it.  I went down the slide a few times just to cool off.  I had to drag him away from the slide. allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />He got so tired that he started sucking his fingers while he waited for his turn. There must have been water on my lens. [...]

Learning to Swim


Josiah recently started swimming with his face in the water with his backpack on so I decided to let him practice without his backpack. Now, he will often beg me, "Let me swim to the wall without my backpack."
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He keeps getting better and better at swimming but most of the time, I keep his backpack on him to keep him safe.
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Baseball Game


On Friday, Chris was given two tickets to the Nationals game. I think it has been several years since Chris last went to a game and it was Wesley's first game. He doesn't play baseball so he had a lot of questions about the game. Of all the food choices, he wanted pizza.

Here is the view from their seats. Wesley is already asking to go back.
Since Lydia didn't get to go to the game, Chris took her out to lunch on Saturday.

Fireworks Party


Last night we continued our annual Fourth of July tradition. This was our fifth year celebrating with wonderful friends. While the adults enjoyed delicious food and drinks, the kids ran around inside and outside of Michele's house.  We had to make our kids sit down and eat dinner.  There were 19 kids there last night (one was missing from the photo shoot). Michele once again bribed the kids with bomb pops. Barry had plenty of sparklers and other fireworks. Mike was busy lighting all the sparklers. Josiah got in on the action this year. You can see one of the bigger fireworks behind Lydia and Wesley.  I love this picture. This is another favorite of mine. Here is a picture of Chris and me as we waited for the Falls Church City fireworks. The city had a thirty minute firework display.  During this time, the boys (and some of the girls) were having light-up light saber battles as the fireworks went off in the background.  It was pretty cool to watch. Near the end of the fireworks, Wesley went inside and came back with a slice of pie - twice!  He had a plate but no fork -either time. After the fireworks, we went back inside and had a wonderful dessert that one of the neighbors brought over.  It was an Australian Pavlova with fresh berries. Our kids went to bed at 10:30 last night.  It was such a fun party. [...]

Forth of July Bike Parade


Today, our neighborhood had its first every Forth of July parade and party.
Families came with decorated bikes, scooters, wagons, and strollers.
Josiah has moved up to riding his own (blue) balance bike.  Lydia is still riding a hand-me-down bike from Wesley.
There were crafts, cookies, muffins, and cupcakes.
The kids also had popsicles.
It was a fun party and hopefully the start of a new neighborhood tradition.

Lollipop Race


Tonight, Josiah swam in his first swim meet. He swam in the lollipop race. Here he is waiting to go.
There he goes with his backpack.  Each lollipop swimmer has a big kid swim with them.
Josiah sometimes swims laps with his backpack with the eight and under swimmers.
After the lollipop race, he got a Twizzler instead of a lollipop.
Here is Lydia getting ready to swim backstroke.  I think she got second.  She swam in freestyle and backstroke.
Wesley only swam freestyle. He got first place in backstroke on Saturday so he couldn't swim that stroke in a B meet tonight.  His coach said said he could try breast stroke or butter fly but that he would be disqualified for not being able to do the stroke correctly. So, we were able to leave the tri-meet a little earlier.

I am loving the swim team experience.  I don't think Chris likes it half as much as I do.  Thankfully, the kids like it.  But, maybe not as much as I do.

Biking at Burke Lake


On Monday, I took the kids to Burke Lake. This was Lydia's first time riding her bike around the lake. Wesley has been biking around the lake for a while now.  Lydia did great (except for that time she was looking at some boaters and hit a tree). The kids insisted on stopping and talking with this very nice fisherman.  He was very patient with all their questions. Wesley and Lydia had to stop a few times and wait on me.I bribed Josiah to ride in the stroller by promising him a train ride. We also rode the carousel.The kids loved the carousel, of course.After this, they played on the playground. That afternoon, the kids had swim team practice.  I was so tired at dinner, but the kids still had plenty of energy.Here is an unrelated item: I left my workout equipment out one day and Wesley made a workout man with it. [...]

Church Camp


Last week Chris took Wesley to church camp for the second year in a row. Wesley quickly found a crayfish.  The kid is obsessed with animals.Here is a picture of Lake Chilly Water and the slide the boys did. That's Wesley and Jacob walking.Wesley and Jacob in the water.Wesley found a little turtle outside their cabin. He also found a little lizard that he carried around for two hours until Chris convinced him to let the little guy go. They did different activities this year than what they did last year.  Here Wesley is getting suited up for the big swing. Ready to go at the top. Here is the video of the slide.  I think I might have chickened out like some of the other boys did. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"> They have to bring over the stairs to get the boys down. The boys also did cool craft projects.  Wesley painted a ring catcher. They hiked to The Little Water Fall. The first time Chris went to Camp McCall, he was seven years old.  He slipped on the rocks and busted his chin and had to get stitches.  Thankfully, everyone was safe on this trip. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"> Despite the cold, look how happy Wesley is.  When I look at all the photos from Camp McCall, what strikes me is that Wesley looks so incredibly happy in all of them. Wesley made a ping pong ball catapult.The boys did canoe sinking. We don't have any pictures or videos of the canoe sinking because Chris and Stephen took the opportunity to do The Drainpipe.  The camp doesn't allow the little kids to do it because the pipe shoots you out at 30 mph. Here is a video of Stephen going down the Drainpipe. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="" width="640"> Chris and Wesley went canoeing. Chris and Wesley before chapel one night. Wesley with one of the counselors for their cabin. The group from the church Chris grew up in.  Stephen took this picture. I think Lydia was more than a little jealous when she saw all the fun activities on the camp video. [...]

Camping with Cicadas


On Saturday, Chris and Wesley went camping with Wesley's cub scout pack.  The boys in his den tried to "mine" this dirt with sticks. I am sure Wesley really enjoyed this.  He got extremely dirty. Wesley, his  leader, and three of the other four boys in his den. One thing that totally makes me laugh is the fact that the pack had dinner catered by Famous Dave's BBQ.  I keep teasing Chris that this would only happen in Northern Virginia.  The dens did cook their own breakfasts on Sunday morning. The highlight of the camp out for Wesley was the cicadas.  We aren't supposed to see this brood of cicadas near our house.  We last saw a large brood of cicadas in 2004 inside the beltway. They are rather cool looking. Wesley spent a lot of time collecting cicadas. The other boys were also interested in them. Wesley took two cicadas to school with him today.  Thankfully, the teachers and kids enjoyed seeing them. [...]

A Cold Camping Trip


This weekend we went to Cunningham Falls State Park for our annual camping trip there. We have been camping there every year since 2008.  After we set up our tent, we hiked up to the water fall. This was Lydia's chosen hiking gear - a jump rope tied around her like a safety patrol sash and a pink sequin purse tied to that.  We were already hiking before I realized she had the purse with her. After the hike, we walked down to the lake.  There were five or six kids playing in the water.  All of the adults with them had on jackets.  It was about 58 degrees. The kids played on the playground and Josiah practiced his climbing skills. We had delicious chicken fajita's for dinner.  While Chris grilled the chicken, I sauteed the peppers and onions on the camp stove and did jumping jacks in between stirring the veggies.  It was cold and windy while we were eating. We huddled around the camp fire and roasted marshmallows  The kids love roasting (and eating) marshmallows. I woke up very cold during the middle of night, but I got warmer when I put the sleeping bag over my head. When Wesley woke up complaining of being cold, I told him to put the sleeping bag over his head (and said a quick prayer that he wouldn't suffocate himself).  Josiah stayed warm in his sleeping bag with a down comforter on top and Lydia had a quilt on top of her sleeping bag.Once we were all up and out of the tent, Josiah cuddled in the down blanket by the camp fire.  We ate breakfast (bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches) around the camp fire. We decided to try a longer hike in the nearby national park.  I knew we needed some bribes to entice Lydia.  She did a lot of complaining on the 1.5 mile hike the day before.  I bought two lollipops for each kiddo.  The kids did great and Wesley and Lydia didn't complain at all.  Josiah complained very little.Here is a family picture of us at Wolf Rock.Under the rock on the left in the above picture was a snake.  I am proud of myself for knowing it was a rattle snake even before we saw and heard it's rattler. A few years ago, during another camping trip, we saw two copperheads while hiking. A beautiful view at the Thurmont Vista.After hiking over three miles, Josiah needed a ride and then quickly fell asleep.  We were only about 1/3 of a mile from the van when he fell asleep.So, how did we get the kids to hike 3 1/2 miles and then sit quietly in the sun for a few minutes. Ice Cream!  We told them they could get ice cream if they hiked and didn't complain. We hiked very slowly, at a two year old's pace, but we enjoyed being out in the beautiful woods together as a family.  It felt like a major victory/accomplishment/turning point to me.  Mainly because it gave me hope that there will be more family hikes in the future.We wimped out on the camping though.  Rather than face another dinner in the cold and wind and another cold night in the tent, we packed up and headed home at 4:00. The kids were all begging to stay another night. [...]

Big Truck Days


On Friday, I took Josiah to Big Truck Days out in Herndon. This was his second year going to see the trucks. I took Wesley and Lydia when they were younger.

Josiah wanted the door shut on this tractor.
We went right after his gymnastics class which is why is wearing workout pants.
He insisted on climbing up and down by himself.
He enjoyed playing in the bobcat.
Look at that concentration.
He very patiently waited in every line for his turn.
He looked so small in the big trucks.
I think he had a blast and I hope to take him again next year.

Last Day on Maui


I was a little unsure what to do on our last day. We had a 10:30 PM flight to Phoenix so we had lots of time. We decided to go to the Five Palms restaurant at the Mana Kai resort in Kihei. The drive there was beautiful because the road just follows the coast. We were talking about how pretty the water is and Wesley said, "It may look good but it doesn't taste good!" That made all the adults laugh.  He must have swallowed some water while playing in the ocean. This was the gorgeous view from our table at brunch. One of my friends says she thinks this is the most beautiful beach in the world.  The pictures don't do it justice.  It is very pretty the way it curves around and has palm trees down close to the beach.Dianna and WayneChris and me.  With a view to the north.  I love this picture!  Josiah says that is his big smile. After we dropped Chris' parents off at the airport, we went to the Maui Ocean Center.  It is a really nice aquarium.  I saw one of these spotted eels while snorkeling in front of our resort.  I don't know the picture is vertical instead of horizontal like it is on my computer. I love the look of wonder on Josiah's face. He looks so small in this picture.The kids (and adults) enjoyed the aquarium. Like everywhere else in Maui, there was a great view. This is looking over toward Kihei where we had brunch. At the aquarium, the kids, especially Wesley, started requesting seafood for dinner.  We drove back to Kihei and ate at Coconut's Fish Cafe.  It is very popular and I was grateful we got there right before the dinner rush.  It is like the seafood version of Five Guys.    It was delicious. [...]



On Wednesday night, we went to the Old Lahaina Luau. This was the luau my guidebooks recommended.   It is expensive, $99 for adults and $69 for kids.  Josiah was free since he is only two and he sat in a high chair at the end of our table.  The price does include open bar. We were greeted with leis and drinks when we first entered.  It is a beautiful location right by the ocean.They had activities for the children.    Our kids loved this. The band.Guess what is in there. Tasty pigs.   It is a Hawaiian underground oven, an imu. Wesley wanted to buy a wooden sea turtle.  He really loves animals and I thought it was a nice souvenir especially since he saw a turtle while snorkeling. I think Wayne and Dianna enjoyed the evening.   Once the sun started to go down, it was time to eat.  It was a pretty good buffet.As soon as we were done eating, Josiah put his head down on the table and said he wanted to go to bed.  He didn't fall asleep though and he was only somewhat interested in the show.  Lydia seemed to really like watching the dancers.It was a fun night and I would recommend it. [...]

Beach Time


On Wednesday, we rented snorkel gear from our resort and walked down to Black Rock. The kids loved playing in the water and sand. Wesley got a closeup view of a sea turtle. The view facing away from the ocean. Josiah swam with his backpack. Here is a picture of Chris and Lydia snorkeling together. We snorkeled two days right in front of our resort.  The reef starts just a few feet from the edge of the water and it is a great place to snorkel.  I saw a spotted eel!Josiah and Lydia loved the slide at our resort, but it was too slow for Wesley.The first three of the four days that we spent out on the beach, Josiah napped in the afternoons.  Chris sometimes napped also. Wesley and Lydia played games or watched movies on their tablets during nap time. After nap time, we headed out to one of the pools.  One day, Josiah got a free ride on a float the kids found at the pool. Wesley and Josiah had fun playing together in the pools.All the kids had fun playing with Grandpa in the pool.We started every morning with Wesley and Lydia doing their homework.  They missed five days of school. He really liked our resort and we had a great view.  Our room overlooked the kiddie pirate ship pool.  We played thereone afternoon.  We also had a great view of the ocean.  One afternoon, Chris and the kids saw whales. On Friday, we wore Josiah out. We spent three hours on the beach and then two more hours at the pool. When we got back to our villa, he laid down across my legs and immediately started snoring. He even slept through me getting up. We felt so bad for him that we didn't make him take a shower before going to dinner.When we left for dinner Friday, the sun was starting to go down.While we waiting for a table for dinner, this nice man gave the kids angel fish that he made.  We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise for dinner.Earlier in the week, we went to dinner at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co.  I got one lobster claw out of Wesley's steam pot; he ate the rest.  Three times when we went out eat, Wesley ordered one of the most of expensive items on the menu and he ate almost all of it. We went to Bubba Gump's on Sunday night after snorkeling and swimming.  Lydia was very tired.I think my favorite dinner was at Kimo's.  I loved the food and we had a great table right by the water. After dinner, we went to Ulalena which was an awesome show.  One of my friends had recommended Kimo's and Ulalena.  She gave me great advice for the show, "Get the cheapest tickets.  There are no bad seats."  She was right. [...]

Road to Hana


After spending Monday on the catamaran and at the beach, we thought it would be a good idea not to spend all day Tuesday in the sun. We drove the road to Hana. Our first stop was at Hookipa Beach to watch the surfers.We bought lunch from a food truck to eat a little later on the Road to Hana.This was the view from our picnic table. We took a little hike after lunch. The kids really enjoyed the hike.We saw this pretty view at a rest stop along the road. Another nice view along the road. He saw several waterfalls.  We just pulled off at a wide spot in the road to see most of them. At another rest stop, there was a waterfall across the street. Dianna and WayneChris did all the driving.  The road was very curvy and narrow and went to one lane around numerous blind curves. Right before we got to Hana, we stopped at the Lava Tubes.  The kids loved getting their own flashlights for the self-guided tour.  Lydia pretended it was a microphone before we entered the cave. This picture was taken from right inside the lava tube, looking at the entrance.     The kids really liked walking around the cave. We also walked through the red ti botanical maze.  Each kid took a turn leading us through parts of the maze. After driving through the little town of Hana, you have to go back the way you came.  It was nice to see the pretty views again but we didn't stop any where.  We had a delicious tex-mex dinner at Milagros in Paia before heading back to hotel. [...]

Catamaran to Lanai


On Monday last week, we did a day sail to the island of Lanai. The boat left from Lahaina. Here is a look back at Maui from the boat. Wesley and Lydia loved the boat ride.  I think they felt really comfortable after being on Random Wind the past two summers in St. Maarten. We saw a lot of whales which was very exciting.  Unfortunately, we didn't have a dSLR with us to capture the amazing animals. We all enjoyed the pineapple juice. And the cinnamon rolls.  And the fresh fruit.  Right before we got to Lanai, they served yummy wraps.  No going hungry on Trilogy. Here is a picture of the catamaran. We walked to Hulopoe Beach but you could also take a shuttle van.  The hotel in the picture is The Four Season, one of two hotels on the island. I snorkeled with Wesley and we saw lots of beautiful fish.  When he went back out with Chris, he used a prescription mask.  All of Trilogy's equipment was excellent. Josiah wanted to try the snorkel mask - on the beach!  Trilogy says their youngest snorkeler was 18 months.  I think Josiah could do it with his backpack float.  Maybe we can practice in the pool this summer. Lydia snorkeled for the first time. We tried so hard to get her to do it last year, but she kept saying, "I can't breath through my nose" and she wouldn't try it.  (Trilogy made everyone wear the snorkel vest.)I was so happy she did it. She was even more thrilled than I was. Wayne and Dianna enjoyed their van tour of the island after they spent some time on the beach.  A little after 3:00, the crew prepared a delicious meal.  Wesley and Lydia (and later more kids) enjoyed watching the stir fry. We were served salad, chicken, peas, and stir fry noodles and veggies.  Yum!One of the crew entertained us with tricks. We saw more whales on the way back to Maui (but again no photos of them). Dessert was served on the boat, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.  Lydia came over and asked us, "Can I have some ice cream."  I commented to Chris, "Of course, Wesley didn't ask us and I'm sure he is having seconds."  Later one of the passengers laughingly told me, "Wesley's had three ice creams."  After indulging in ice cream, Wesley hung out with the captain. The trip was supposed to be eight and a half hours, thankfully it was only eight hours and fifteen minutes.  Josiah lost it at the eight hour mark.  We thought he would nap on the way back from Lanai, but he fought off the nap and later started melting down.  He really lost it in the car on the way back to our hotel before finally falling asleep on the short ride.The Banyan trees in Lahaina were really amazing. We had such a fun day.  As the guide books for Maui say, "Trilogy is the most expensive, but it's worth it."  Everything was so well organized. [...]



We got back yesterday from Maui.  It was a wonderful trip and we loved where we stayed.  (I tried to move Josiah out of the shadow for a better picture but he was done cooperating for pictures.)The resort was beautiful. Here is a view of the beach.We had a 7 AM flight on Friday morning so we got up really early.  Our flight was delayed for numerous reasons, one thing after another, and we thought the hour and a half delay would make us miss our connection in Phoenix.  We were supposed to land in one terminal and leave from another one, but when we pulled into the gate the captain announced, "Maui passengers, your plane is at the gate beside of us."  They held our next flight for the five of us and at least two other people and our luggage.  I admit that I shed a few tears of relief when we got on the flight to Maui.  It was two long flights, but the kids did great.  Hawaii is six hours behind east cost time (the islands don't observe daylight saving time).  Lydia was up at 3 AM asking for food. Chris and I slept on and off until 5 and then just got up with her and Josiah got up at 6.  The time change didn't affect Wesley going or coming home.  Every morning but the first morning, we had breakfast in our villa.  The first morning, we walked down the path beside the beach to Duke's and had a wonderful breakfast.  Here is a picture of Chris' mom and dad.Since Lydia got up so early, she quickly fell asleep in the van. We drove up to Haleakala National park on Saturday.  Haleakala means "house of the sun".  Some people say it last erupted in 1790 based on maps and others say 1490 based on scientific readings, but geologists claim it could erupt again. It is beautiful up there.  We drove up the mountain when it was almost clear and we climbed above the few clouds. Near the summit.It was really neat to see the cloud rolling in below us.  It looked like we were flying. Another panoramic.A view of the parking lot at the upper visitor's center and the area below the mountain. It was a fun day.  Before bed, the kids got to swim in the pool briefly for the second night in a row. [...]

Easter Sunday


On Easter Sunday, the kids and I made Empty Tombs for breakfast.  We used this recipe. I liked reading the Bible verses that went with the recipe.  I was surprised the kids didn't love eating the tombs but they really enjoyed making them.
We were able to get a few photos of the kids before church.
Wesley took this picture of Chris and me.
Sunday night, the kids dyed eggs.
 Only Wesley wanted to eat the eggs.  He loves boiled eggs.
 My dad helped the kids with the eggs.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter.

Neighborhood Egg Hunt


On Saturday morning, we had our first neighborhood egg hunt. We had beautiful, even warm, weather.  One of my neighbors, Christina, organized the entire party and she did a great job. We "hid" the eggs on the playground and the grass right before the party.  Christina's husband kept watch until we were ready to start the egg hunt.  We waited until 30 minutes after the party started to give everyone time to arrive.  We also let the kids four and under get a head start on the older kids. The kids did crafts (tissue paper butterflies and bunny ear hand bands) and decorated cookies. We had an excellent turn out, especially considering that several families were traveling for spring break. We had a continental breakfast- doughnuts, pastries, muffins, fruit, and juice.  Chris said Christina's best idea was to bring coffee.  The coffee did seem to be a big hit with adults.Wesley helped Josiah find Easter eggs. After the egg hunt, the kids played on the playground.  They also went back inside the clubhouse for more goodies.  I think Josiah may have eaten eight or ten doughnut holes over the two hours he was there. He also had a cookie or two. He loved one of our neighbor's motorcycles. I think the kids and parents really enjoyed the egg hunt. I hope we can do it again next year. [...]

His Best Socks


Wesley and Lydia spent last week with their grandparents. Grandma and Lydia made a stuffed bear that Grandma modeled off of Wesley's much beloved brown bear.
While Grandma was concentrating on sewing the bear and Lydia was watching intently,
Wesley made his own snowman.  He used the pillow stuffing in the pair of socks he had been wearing.  He folded the tops down and colored them with markers.  This one is a lot more colorful than the one I made with him a couple of months ago.  He is more crafty than I thought.
Here is a picture of the kids table on Sunday.  A couple of hours later, we were headed home.

A Cold Hike


 A couple of weeks ago, Wesley's wolf den went on a nature hike and picked up trash at Huntley Meadows.  I don't think the den leader expected it to be so cold when he planned the hike.  It was 45 degrees. Chris took all three kids on the hike. He said he spent most of his time worrying that the kids, especially Josiah, would fall in the water. Thankfully, no one fell in. This sweet girl is always posing for the camera. There were signs of a lot of beaver activity.  What was I doing while Chris was out hiking with the kids?  I was at a charity fashion show with a few friends, drinking wine, and shopping.  I think it was my first charity event, other than our school's silent auction.  I was a little nervous about it, but I had a great time! I really wish I had a picture of Erica but I do have one of Susan. [...]

Great Wolf Lodge


On Saturday, we went to Great Wolf Lodge. This was the first time Wesley and Lydia tried MagiQuest. They loved it.After they did two quests a piece, we headed to one of our favorite places, Pierce's BBQ.  After lunch, we went to the water park for four hours.  Everyone was exhausted after that, so we just had pizza in our room. After dinner, Wesley and Lydia did more quests with Chris. The next morning, we got an early start at the water park.  I think these stairs really wore Josiah out.  He climbed up them so many times.  Just like last year, he loved the water slides.  And that is why I love Great Wolf Lodge, all three of our children have loved these water slides and benefited from there not being a height requirement.  Lydia rode the tube slides before she turned two, as did Wesley and Josiah.   Wesley and Lydia really liked playing in the lazy river and we had trouble getting them out of there.  The love all the slides but I think their favorite thing is the the lazy river. Wesley wore his new prescription goggles most of the time. Josiah cried and fussed when we tried to make him do the lazy river.  He really just wanted to do the water slides or play in the pool.  I think he knew floating around on a float would make him fall asleep.Wesley is now tall enough for the Howlin' Tornado.  Last year, he just missed it because they measure in bare feet.  This is the best picture I could get of it since it is outside the building.  It's the yellow and orange cone. Josiah looked so little in this four person tube. He was only six months old when he rode it the first time.Flashback to 2011.Doesn't Lydia look so happy?As I was taking pictures on Sunday morning and waiting for my family to come down the slides, I noticed how happy everyone looked at the end of the slides.  This was especially noticeable on the tube slides.  All the families just seemed to be having the best time. This was Josiah's first year, to try out the body slides, the ones where you go down without a tube.  I think he liked them. Lydia was so proud of herself for crossing the lilypads.   Josiah waited very patiently for Chris and Wesley to exit the Howlin' Tornado. At one point, Josiah started shivering and one of the lifeguards suggested I put him in the kids hot tub.  He loved that. After about three hours on Sunday, he started asking to leave because he was so tired.  We all ate lunch at the water park first and all the kids ate really well.  Josiah took a two hour nap in the room while I read a magazine.  By the time, we got back to the water park, the bigger kids were ready to leave but we convinced Wesley to stay another hour with us. We ate dinner, at one of Wesley's favorite restaurants, Captain George's.  He loves the crab legs!  He only ate crab legs, corn on the cob, and dessert but I think he got his money's worth! After dinner, Wesley and Lydia did more MagiQuest. Lydia's poses and facial expressions crack me up. It was another fun trip and I bet the kids are already looking forward to going again next year. [...]