Friday, October 31, 2008

Trunk or treat!

On Thursday morning, Big Man awoke with a smile, dressed  in his furry alligator suit, and then  headed off to school for his class's "Fall Festival" celebration.  All morning long the kiddos decorated cookies and drank orange kool-aid and sang pumpkin-y songs as they celebrated all things autumn.  Then, at the close of their day, they headed out to the parking lot where parents were waiting to hand out goodies to their little ones.  Bub and Noh-man dressed up themselves-- Bub as Michael Phelps and Noh-man as a medieval knight.  They had a grand time handing out treats to the preschoolers as they paraded past our van.  I think they even managed to sneak a goody or two for themselves!  Naturally, Big Man walked away with a sack full of candy (I think it's half gone already!) and a big toothy smile on his little alligator face... he had fun! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Worlds Colliding

You know what I just love about childhood?
The innocence.
The imagination.
The sense of adventure.
And superhero role play...

On any given day, my boys might come bounding down the stairs-- rifles in hand, canteens strapped to their chests... fully prepared to defend their homeland against invaders.  They must secure the frontier, Davy Crockett style, before utter chaos and rebellion set in.

On other days, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, or the Flash might appear, ready to use superhuman strength, along with a whole host of other-wordly powers, to save a city in distress.

And then, every once in a while, my littlest guy might have trouble deciding.  On those days, he just chooses to do his own thing~

Gotta love that little (Big) man!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Good news

Good news, good news, good news!
Guess who just got a promotion??
No, not Hubby.  
This precious little guy--
Yep, that's right. This morning at puppy obedience class, Mosby was promoted from the beginner class to the basic class.  How 'bout them apples?!  We're all so very proud...!  In reality, though, I'm not so sure this new found "obedience" will translate in to any new and improved behavior here at home (though I really do have very little to grumble about), but that's ok.  He certainly is one keeper-of-a-pup, basic class or not.  And hey, who knows how far he'll go?  Perhaps he has his eyes focused on the top prize-- doggy valedictorian (is there even such a thing?).  Time will tell.  For now, we'll content ourselves with basic, but don't be surprised if our little gray ghost continues to climb the educational ranks, one level at a time, until he reaches the very top :o)

Oh, and while Mosby's the topic of the hour-- here's something really funny (at least to me it is).  Check out the sign in the photo below:
For 11 months we've lived in this house, and before a few days ago, I never once realized there was a Mosby Street only 3 blocks from our home.  How crazy is that?  Evidently I live in la-la land, or at least spend way too much time there...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upside down, again

Once again, my world has flipped upside down.  My babe is crawling.  Not scootching, not rolling, not inching across the floor, bit by tiny bit.  No, she's crawling, and life will never be the same again!  

Oh, I remember when Bub was this age-- I was so desperate for him to reach every new milestone; it was so exciting!  But I've learned with each successive child... the stationary stage is very wonderful! You plop your little one down on a play mat in the middle of the room with oodles of toys and then walk away for a moment to change the laundry or feed the dog, and lo and behold, when you re-enter the room, your wee babe is right where you left her.  But no, not anymore... because now that Lolli is moving, she'll never enjoy confinement again.

So this weekend I have a project-- baby proof my home for the fourth time.  Little hands are on the move and they take no prisoners.  My large peace lily is already shredded on one side where her little paws have stripped it clean.  The remote control has survived her slobbery mouth thus far, but who knows how much longer it will endure such torture.  My lamp cords are way too accessible and my computer cords are way too tempting... no need for broken fixtures and certainly no need for trauma to my wee one.

So off we go on a new adventure.  Lolli is mobile and loving every second of it (the dogs, however, are not quite so sure)...

Oh, and for the record: she's not launching forth "selfishly"...  in exchange for mobility, she has generously relinquished her hold on my night time hours.  Yes, after 8 and a half months, Lolli is finally sleeping through the night.  Hallelujah!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Old Mine Ranch

This morning we took a trip to Old Mine Ranch, a hands-on family ranch located in Dumfries, Virginia.  Gramoggie went with us (we're so glad you came, Mog!) and we all had a wonderful time, playing for hours in the beautiful sunshine.  The kiddos got to do all sorts of neat things-- they took a hay ride and they fed the animals, they bounced in the moon bounce and they slid down the slides (over and over and over again!), they painted pumpkins and they climbed on the tractors; they ate a yummy lunch, thanks to their generous aunt, and they collected peacock feathers as souvenirs; they even played a bit of soccer before we crawled back in to the van--exhausted-- for our drive home. 

Here are a few snapshots of our day:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Two boys.
Sixteen races.
Sixteen amazing results.

Seconds: dropped.
Records: shattered.
Personal goals: achieved.

Two boys-- fighters to the very end-- gave everything they had and walked away victorious.
I could not be more proud!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The big swim

For weeks now Bub and Noh-man have been preparing diligently for their first big competition of the year... the Fall Festival Swim Meet. Between Saturday and Sunday they'll each swim in 8 individual events, ranging from the 25m butterfly to the 200m freestyle.  Both boys are very well prepared and both are sitting on pins and needles in anticipation-- they love to compete in the pool (and anywhere else, truth be told)!  Of course we'll all be there, cheering them on, hoping for new "personal bests."  With each race, we're careful to remind the boys that their placement in each event is not what matters; in swimming, they're always racing against themselves, against the clock, against their previous best time, and their goal every time they get in the water is to swim faster than the time before.

It's funny-- Hubby and I (and Grandmom and Pops, too) are just as excited as Bub and Noh-man... we all love watching them swim!  And even more than that, we love seeing the look of satisfaction cross their faces when they finish a race and know they've given it their all...

So... in anticipation of the big event, the other kids decided they wanted in on the action and willingly (ha!) posed for a few pics. Here they are:

the candy girl

the big man, swim cap and all

the young whipper-snapper

and the matriarch-- 
what an agreeable bunch!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Melt my heart

My evening in a nutshell: for 20 minutes this afternnon I sat in line at the pharmacy window but was forced to drive away before ever reaching the window (aargh!), otherwise Noh-man would be late for swim practice.  After dropping him off I ran a quick errand with the other 3 kiddos and then delivered Bub at soccer practice.  Big Man, Lolli and I watched for the first 20 minutes and then left to return to the pool for Noh-man.  At that point, we were supposed to head home, but Hubby called and, due to a meeting-run-late, he would not get home in time to pick up Bub.  So... guess who had to return to the fields?  Now, did that "silly" soccer coach (and you know that's not the word I'd like to use) have supper waiting for him at home??  Evidently not, because he absolutely refused to end practice, even though the sun had completely set and I could barely see my own hand in front of my face.  Meanwhile, Lolli-- starving-- was crying in the back seat, my crockpot meal was burning, and my bladder was screaming for relief.  

By the time we finally pulled up the driveway, it was 7:30 and Hubby was doing everything within his power to get dinner on the table. Still, I found it necessary to dash around the kitchen like a woman possessed when, all of a sudden, out of the clear blue, my precioius 4-year old piped up... 

"Mom, do you know how much I love you?"

I stopped what I was doing and looked over at my smiling babe. "No, Big Man, I don't.  How much do you love me?"

"As far as Africa..." and then a big, big hug~ I do not deserve this precious boy.  Oh, how he makes my heart melt...
Thank you, heavenly Father, for your many blessings~ You are so good!

My budding poets

A few weeks ago, as I was reading through my friend's blog, Sixty toes, I stumbled across a terrific autobiographical poem in one of her posts.  Written by her 9-year old son, Charlotte-- naturally-- loved it and wanted to share it with her readers. Evidently Andrew had written the poem in school, and while I wasn't sure how much guidance he and his class mates received, I loved the idea and thought the basic framework would be easy enough to adapt.  So that's what I did.  I then passed along the assignment to my oldest two, and after a bit of thoughtful reflection, they both created fun, insightful poems.  Here are their finished products~

Curious, athletic, thoughtful, and talented
Brother of [Bub], [Big Man], and [Lollipop]
Lover of family, Jesus, good books, and swimming
Who feels energetic, special, and hungry
Who needs a new soccer ball, more tools, and a professional pair of binoculars for bird watching
Who gives gifts, friendship, and love
Who fears tornadoes, fires, and bears
Who would like to swim in the Olympics, play the piano, and go back to Disney World
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia


Funny, charming, athletic, and helpful
Brother of Lollipop, Big Man, and Toothless Joe
Lover of swimming, Jesus, and family
Who feels mighty and tired and blessed
Who needs more XBox games, a motorized scooter, and more brothers
Who gives joy, laughter, and friendship
Who fears the End Times, sharks, and spiders
Who would like to win Olympic gold medals, travel the world, and drive across the USA in a Ford GT
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia