Monday, September 25, 2006

Kate the Great!!!!!!

Katherine became "Kate the Great" tonight as she practiced her multiplication problems on the computer. She uses the Math Magician Games found at

Katherine discovered the program last year when she was learning her addition & subtraction facts, and hasn't given it much of a rest since! It's a great program if you don't mind a bit of pressure - you must solve 20 random problems in one minute.

Her goal is to master all facts of 1-10 by the time her Daddy gets home from North Carolina on Wednesday evening. Shh. It's a surprise!

Lost and Found

In the Spring of 2004, David went to Atlanta on a week-long business trip. When checking out of his hotel David left behind a really cute picture of his children. Upon arriving home he called the hotel to have them send it to us. No luck. No one had found the picture. We gave up hoping that we'd ever see it again. Really, it was no big deal. After all we could get another copy of the same print, and the frame wasn't that special. Still, he was pretty bummed about it.

Long story short, we got a call late last week (over 2 years later) from the Hilton's lost-and-found manager. They had found the picture and would put it in the mail to us. It came today. Wasn't that a happy ending?!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

G is for Gaines

My boy loves to sing. He sings all day long. He sings everything from his ABCs to Deep and Wide. From songs about spiders climbing water spouts to songs about small men climbing trees. He sings the blessing every night at dinner, carefully enunciating each syllable, and often starting over when he messes up. Sometimes he even sings the blessing before going to bed.

While he may come by his love of song and love of music honestly through his genes, I can't help but think that he loves to sing because of a man he calls "Gaines."

On Sunday mornings when Will doesn't really want to wake up, all we have to do is tell him he's going to sing with Mr. Gaines and he's up and ready to go. We can't ride the elevator down to the preschool suite without Will noting the "G" on the panel (for "ground") is for Gaines.

Ray Gaines has been teaching our pee wee choir (officially "cherub choir") for more years than I can count. He takes the 3s through Pre-K for 45 minutes every Sunday morning. Ray has had as many as 8 little boys on a Sunday morning...all by himself! Now that's amazing! He plays his guitar and sings while the boys sit (mostly) quietly and sing with him. They know the songs and now have favorites.
We're thankful for Ray's dedication to all the children, and especially for the gift he's given Will.

G is for Gaines, for which we are grateful.

A Little Hoo

Today we went to the women's soccer game against Duke. In addition to being kids' day at the game it was also a free game for girl scouts in uniform. The scouts performed the flag ceremony prior to the start of the game. Afterwards the players were supposed to provide a soccer clinic for all the kids...

It was a fine day
for the orange and the blue.
A very fine day
to be a Wahoo.

The UVA women
were ready in white.
They played against Duke.
Oh, what a sight!

It was a close game.
No score at the half.
The girls watched the action
and then started to laugh.

Will clapped with the crowd
and ate his popcorn.
Then he wore Emily's wig
and a Wahoo was born!

How did the game end? *
We don't really know.
For it started to rain
and we just had to go.

No use getting wet
when you can't kick the ball.
So we headed on out
and we went to the mall!
*UVA won

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Warning to David: DO NOT read beyond this point. This post is guaranteed to cause considerable mental trauma, second only to discussions relating to your daughters' future weddings!

From the first belly rumblings and early kicks we know how wonderful it is to be able to have a child. We are never prepared, though, for the reality of what an awesome gift that child really is.

We sometimes feel worn down by the humongous burden it is to raise God's children. Instead we should remember that we have the support of the Almighty, with whom we can do all things...even raise good & decent children in a world that doesn't make it very easy.

So we must be the nurturer, the teacher, the advocate, and much more. Everything we do should be designed to ready our children for the life they will someday lead on their own. We must give them the tools to make wise choices and solid decisions. We are home base and eventually, the springboard.

As I was rereading the post on Morgan's birthday the other day it struck me that in 10 years, when Will is 13, he will be the only child living at home. Morgan will be out of college, Caroline entering her 3rd year, and Katherine entering her first. Major panic set in. There's so little time left before they start leaving the nest. There's so much to do!

While 10 years will pass by in the blink of an eye, we will have each of those 3,600+ days to do the best we can to show our children how much they are loved. After that we'll hope that we have enabled them to continue making the right choices. Regardless, we'll be here for them.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Two things:

First, there's nothing worse than a sick child. It's not that they're ill-behaved, but that they don't feel well enough to be ill-behaved. Will has had a temperature of 102+ for 2 days now. He's pitiful, and oh so sweet. He'll ask to do something and I'll tell him he's too sick to do it. His response, "Ok, Mommy". Call me crazy, but I want him well enough to fuss about things.

Second, when the girls were younger I used to laugh about my technicolor laundry piles. I had pink loads and purple loads, but never any red loads. Now I have red loads and lime green loads. It's kind of sick to have enough clothes of these colors to make up separate loads. I suppose there will come a day when I have the normal light & dark loads. Boring.

That's all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Running for Bacon

There are many reasons to run: health, weight control, muscle tone, fun, and bacon.*

Last week, Katherine & Caroline joined the mile club at their school. After determining the number of miles they'll need to run each week to meet their goal by the end of May, they went to work. Caroline has logged 7 miles so far, and Katherine 4.

Morgan, determined to prove to her father that she can run the Charlottesville 10-
miler, has outrun everyone, logging 4 miles yesterday alone. You should see her out there running around the track like there's nothing to it. Watching her work out brings back vague memories of my own early running many years ago!

Anyway, back to bacon.

Traditionally, after every race there's a selection of good fruit, bananas**, bagels, sports drinks & water - all for the taking. What you will hardly ever find, though, is real food. Real food means IHop for pancakes, french toast, omelets, coffee and...bacon.

The Exception: David's been training for the inaugural OBX marathon to be held in November. I'm thinking we'll have to pass on the bacon and head for seafood.

*My friend Cat & her friends coined the slogan "I run for bacon" several years ago when we were all training for the Charlottesville Women's 4-miler.

**not to be confused with good fruit.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Will and Gabe are friends. They were both in the womb when their now 8-year-old sisters were in preschool together. Now these guys are in in preschool together. They look pretty sweet, and for the most part, they are. They have even gotten pretty good at sharing the green bike with each other.

The hugs were were the tackles! Every hug (and there were many) was followed by a tackle to the ground.

I'm still not giving up my nature vs. nurture stance, but I will say that none of our girls ever intentionally brought someone to the ground while doling out hugs!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Consider the wheat her canvas. The peanut butter applied ever so deliberately. The honey drizzled so carefully. Making peanut butter & honey sandwiches ought to be considered an art.

I wonder if today's diners even considered the effort that went into the making of their lunches.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Event Staff

The girls and I were up early this morning and, armed with insulated cups of hot chocolate, we left the boys sleeping and headed out. It was cool and still wet from Ernesto's rain, but we were ready. Katherine especially. We had all worn our raincoats but Katherine was bright enough (or awake enough) to wear her rainboots! That was smart!

So why were we up so early when on any given school day the only thing that gets any of us out of the house at all is the threat of being late?!

Late last week we signed up to volunteer at the Charlottesville Women's 4-miler. We ran it last year but waited too long to sign up for this year's race. Our assignment was to hand out water at one of the water stops - we were at the 2.2 mile point. Since this is an out-and-back course we got to see the runners at 2.2 and 3.8 miles. The girls and I, and about 12 other volunteers of all ages, filled and handed out many cups of water. Later, we picked up all the cups that the runners had thrown down.

Benefits of volunteering at races include being around the excitement of the race without having the pain of the run, being able to cheer on your friends and neighbors, getting a cool shirt, and getting to share the post-race donuts!

We had a blast volunteering and hope to be able to help out at some more races this year. Today's quote from Morgan: "I was on staff. Doesn't that rock?!"