Saturday, March 31, 2007

Project 365: March 31

This sign sums up our day. We went non-stop from dawn to dusk, and beyond. Everyone is in bed sawing logs, except me (but I'm heading that way very soon) and David, who being a good friend headed into town to watch/listen to a friend's band. I'm thinking it's going to be mighty hard to get him out of bed tomorrow morning. It was a good day. Good night!

Project 365: March 30

It was late...,
dinner was over...,
friends were gone...,
big sister in bed...,
little brother heading that way...,
just needing a little bit of sugar...
so Katherine, Caroline & I hit the freezer and snagged ice cream sandwiches before heading to bed!

Sometimes sugar in the form of ice cream & wafers is a necessary prerequisite for hitting the pillow. We needed our energy, after all, so we could make it through the next day.

More to follow...

Project 365: March 29

All three girls have lacrosse practice on Thursday afternoons. For some unknown reason Morgan couldn't find her mouthguard Thursday morning (even though it was in plain sight in the back of the van in the carton of water bottles!). Thinking K's was hers, she left home happy.

K, on the other hand, was not so happy when she put Morgan's in her mouth, thinking it was hers. It was too big and very uncomfortable. Everyone knows playing lacrosse is about being comfortable so we dished out $5 to the coach for another properly sized mouthguard! Everyone happy? Good!

Happy, that is until about halfway through the final scrimmage. With the game stopped K came out saying she'd lost her mouthguard. How does one lose a mouthguard in the middle of a scrimmage? We quickly searched the field and dished out another $5 to the coach for yet another perfectly sized mouthguard, and the game went on.

Afterwards, K came to the blanket to get her Gatorade and found - you guessed it - her mouthguard. It had been lounging on the blanket since the first water break. Turns out she never had it in for the scrimmage. She's lucky she didn't get the ball!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Day at the Park

When I wrote earlier about our day at the park I didn't have the pictures from our outing. I have them now!

First, here's our group, just starting out. They are a large and lively bunch, full of energy and imagination. Little did we know what we'd gotten ourselves into...oh, and that's the other Gracie - the one who listens.

The little boys had to stay away from the water. Why? - because they might fall in and then we'd have to go in after them. Ick! So instead of playing at the edge of the river these guys collected rocks & sticks, filled their pockets with rocks, and threw them down over the side of the hill, sometimes narrowly missing their siblings & friends!

Here's the bunch at the water's edge. You'd think these kids never got to leave the confines of their homes, that they never got to breathe outside air, that they never got to get dirty and touch things living in the water. They were all so excited about this field trip and none of them were ready to leave when the time came.

None but the little guys. Will's comment as we were walking the mile back to the park sums it up, "My legs and feet and arms want to fall off my body." So we danced and walked and finally made it back to our van (and snacks) without too much fussing. He did get to pee outside, and being a boy, that made everything all better!


What on earth is this?

Hint #1: There are four of them.

Hint #2: They are a creative way to hide a certain type of clutter.

Hint#3: The colors have nothing to do with the purpose.

Hint #4: I have at least 6 more...all just waiting for me to have the time to peek inside.

That's all. What do you think?

Project 365: March 28

Night and Day.

One desperately clinging to winter and all that is familiar, and the other looking ahead to what's coming next and the freshness spring brings.

With temperatures in the high 80s we're starting to dig out our shorts and t-shirts and pack away our sweaters and turtlenecks. It won't be long before our morning dash won't include "Take a sweater!"

Already we've had the "When will the pool be open?" question. The summer swim party schedule has been posted. Swim team suits are in and ready for purchase. Summer sports and camps are beginning to send information.

We are so ready for summer, yet we still have 2 1/2 months of school, including SOLs, to get through. In the end though, the days will pass, the tests will come and go, and summer will come. We'll be so ready!

Project 365: March 27

These Benders represent the only horse and cat we'll ever own. For various reasons we're stuck being a dog family...though sometimes I wonder if what we have is really a dog.

Despite the fact that my carpet is now very much the very latest in polka dot fashion, and that we have to wear several inch thick pads when we retrieve Gracie from the line, there are times...still few and far between...that I catch myself actually liking the poor creature. In fact, last night when I tried to quietly let her lick a pudding spoon, the room went quiet, because "Oh look! Mommy's being nice to Gracie!"

I mean, really, is it her fault that she's wired that way? Can she help being manic? Does she know any better? Maybe her parents fed her too much sugar, or didn't love her enough, or just didn't teach her to be still. Maybe she's going through a phase. Oh, I do hope so!

So, the dog's enough.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Project 365: March 26

Will's latest Mr. Potato Head creation has a problem. He is wearing ladies shoes and they are on backwards! He does have a cool pocket though for carrying his extra arm!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Working at the Car Wash

After Saturday's race and the monstrous brunch that followed, David took Morgan on a tour of the 10-miler course and the rest of us headed home to shower & rest? Nope, wash the van! What fun!

Caroline unrolled the hose, Katherine found the bucket & soap & Will picked out three colorful sponges, while I dug out the beach chairs. I figured the least I could do to sit outside and enjoy the paper while they washed my van!

The girls did a good job of soaping and rinsing the van, but got a bit sidetracked when David & Morgan came home. After all now there was another vehicle in need of a wash! It was at this point that Will took up the hose! He did pretty well to stick with rinsing the van, until he spotted Caroline and realized how easily he could get a reaction from her!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Project 365: March 25

The middle school lacrosse season has officially begun! That's our girl in the blue - as one woman said - "the little one!"

She may be small but she sure can hang in there with the rest of the players and isn't afraid to get in anyone's face either! She's also finding out that being small has its advantages on the field.

We went from this game straight to the other team's practice. In just a few weeks we'll be have games on both Saturdays and Sundays! Exciting news for the orange team - they get to play next Saturday at half-time for the UVA v. Duke women's game! Too fun!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

ZTA Run for Life 5K

We ran for Lesley. We ran for Sandi. We ran for Anne. We ran for Mary Jo. We ran for Jackie.

We ran for all of the women we know who have, or have had breast cancer. We ran for those who survived, we ran for those who didn't, and we ran for hope.

It was a good day for a race. Morgan screamed out of the start and finished in great time. (She's heading for the 10-miler next weekend!) Caroline walked most of the race with our friends Valorie & Cassandra, and then ran up the hill to the finish. Katherine rocked! She charmed the volunteers and spectators alike -all of whom cheered for her (check out their faces in the pic!)as she ran by wearing a huge grin! Will & David were there cheering us all on - on the course and at the finish!

Project 365: March 24

This is the girl who doesn't like bagels....

So what is it that she is eating? A cinnamon bagel from Panera - yum! Make that a well-deserved cinnamon bagel from Panera!

This girl ran the ZTA Run for Life 5K this morning. We were going to walk the course, but Morgan wanted someone to run with her, so we started out (for all of an 1/8 mile) running right behind Morgan.

Then we settled into our own pace and our own little routine. We'd run and then K would say, "Let's walk". So we'd walk, for 3 steps, and she'd start running again.

I'd say, "K, what happened to walking?!" Her response cracked me up, because it's the same thing that I feel when I run..."I want to walk, but my body is telling me to run!"

So we ran....for bagels!

When I'm Four

Will has decided that he's going to play "cross" this summer when he turns 4. He says he'll play on the boys team and it will be the blue team. He's already breaking in his "cross" shoes - had to wear them to the girls' practice this day, and had a blast running after and scooping up balls.

We have to be careful to give him the softer practice ball because when he swings that stick around he can do some real damage to any unwary soul nearby! Perhaps they should consider requiring lacrosse fans to wear protective gear!

Project 365: March 23

No school on Friday. Three (can you say "crazy") moms met at the park for a picnic lunch and hike on the trail with eleven kids and (only) one dog. This picture doesn't do the adventure justice. I took this one at the beginning of our 2-mile hike, before any real fun was even imagined! My camera battery died (*!) after this shot so this is what you get! I took loads of better ones with my friend's camera but don't have them yet.

I hope I can get the other pics because the kids had such a blast on the hike...words won't adequately describe the fun they had! They discovered nature - "allergy" in the stream and dead fish & clams (?) in the river! They skipped rocks, climbed trees, begged to swing into the river on a rope swing, dodged wet dogs, and avoided rocks being thrown by younger brothers....lots of fun!

* - my batteries generally don't last more than 6 weeks - David says it's because I take so many pictures. Oh well.

Project 365: March 22

Some of my children (not naming names here) won't even order their own meals or drinks when we eat out. The last one, who must have some heightened sense of survival, has no problem making his wishes known. He doesn't need his mama to order for him. No way!

He and his friend Carter stood in line at the turtle place on this day, dollars in hand, and ordered their own cookies. They picked out, paid for and thanked the "ady" for their cookies!

She thought they were so cute. We know they are!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Honors Chorus

Molly and Caroline both sang today. In addition to the whole T-family and the whole W-family, Grandmama and Granddaddy also came for the concert! We were one person away from filling an entire row in the auditorium. That's a lot of kids!!

That's Caroline in the purple circle just to the right of the director!

It was a busy day. The students left school midday for rehearsal all afternoon, the they gave the concert, then we went to Morgan's game, and grabbed a quick bite at the local bagel place. We hurried home to face incredible amounts of homework. Starina has just fallen into the bed, leaving a note for the tooth fairy. It seems that in all the excitement of the day, she lost her tooth - twice.

Volleyball Match 3

I picked Morgan up from practice to take her to the concert, knowing that we might not make it back in time for her to be able to play. She didn't want to miss her sister's concert, so as soon as the chorus finished the last song David rushed Morgan back to the middle school for her match. Arriving just as the teams were warming up, Morgan jumped right in. Not having the benefit of missing the traffic jam by leaving the concert early we didn't get to the middle school until the girls were starting their second game!

They had to play 3 games, but they won the match!

Next week, we have 3 nights of volleyball and then the season's over. This is good thing - lacrosse has already begun and the lacrosse practices and volleyball games are scheduled for the same times!

Project 365: March 21

This is a picture of the standing ovation following the County Elementary School Honors Chorus concert this evening.

Students from each of the 16 elementary schools were selected by their music teachers and have spent the past 6 weeks rehearsing. Our students have rehearsed three mornings each week since being selected.

Today the entire group of 170+ gathered together for the first time. They rehearsed together all afternoon and gave a concert this evening. It was amazing how it all came together so nicely and how fresh the students appeared, especially after singing the same songs all afternoon!

Project 365: March 20

Project 365: March 19

Cute pets, huh?! Too bad they're not ours.
You'd think with as many pictures as I take on any given day, that I'd find enough to fill this frame. You might think that I could fill this one and the 4 others like it. But no.
I'm growing increasingly afraid that my children will grow up and leave for college without ever realizing that the cute couple with the pretty blonde child in the frame at the top of the stairs are not related to us.
It's pretty sad. I'm working on it. In the meantime, these pets are kind of cute. Just wish there was another one in the fourth space!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Project 365: March 18

Will work for food.
Can't just give the boy a cheesestick - nooooo!
Have to make him count them all 3 times, and from the right direction. Geez, the poor kid might do better with a cardboard sign at a busy intersection!
It's okay really. He doesn't mind counting. He especially doesn't mind counting cheesesticks when he knows he'll be able to eat the one of his choice!
He picked number 12.

Project 365: March 17

Tap! Tap! Tap! Let me in!

This little leprechaun came knocking at our door, wanting to come in, out of the cold. Brr. It was awfully cold on Saturday!

We did let her in, but only after taking her picture! And laughing at her for a brief moment...!

You can't see her socks, but they are also a very bright green. She wanted, and searched all over without success for, green tights and green nail polish. Alas, she had to go without. She did manage to snag a pair of green shamrock-shaped eyeglasses - can you see them?!

While this one tried to wear everything green, the littlest girl wore only enough to avoid being pinched! The boy announced that he was wearing green underpants* - TMI, according to Caroline, who, predictably, also wore green from head to toe!!

Dinner was corned beef & cabbage, carrots, green beans, and, for those who eat nothing new & different, boxed (ick!) macaroni 'n cheese!

* like father, like son! Another TMI! from Caroline.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Project 365: March 16

Caroline went with the entire 5th grade to Richmond today. She was up and out the door before the sun was even thinking about getting up! Her clothes were cute & functional, given the forecast of rain, rain & more rain for the entire day in the entire region. The students did not veer from their sunny day schedule despite the rain, rain & more rain that came down all day.

Caroline took one pair of shoes for walking around outside, and another pair, as well as a change of socks, for when they would be inside.
Good call since they did walk through Maymont and did get their feet soaked!

The end result may have been damp pants, shoes and socks, but not damp moods. By all accounts, they had a great time.

Here's the after picture! A bit bedraggled, but still smiling!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Project 365: March 15

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Project 365: March 14

These came yesterday from my mother. She recently returned from a stay in Amelia Island, Florida and returned by way of Emerald Isle, NC, which brought her close to New Bern, NC.

These treasures come all the way from New Bern.

The kids all collect different souvenirs. Morgan collects key chains, Caroline thimbles, Katherine magnets, and Will, though he doesn't even know it, lapel pins.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


When I was growing up my Dad changed his facial appearance so often that it got to the point where we just didn't notice when he shaved off his mustache or beard. One time, when I was a teenager, we went for three days - that's 3 dinners with 5 of us sitting around a small round table, each within easy poking distance of each other. No one noticed for 3 days.
So this morning when I got an email from my husband saying that maybe he should have shaved his head and maybe then someone would notice, I gathered that he had shaved his beard this morning and was bummed because no one noticed.
Nevermind that we were running late - as usual.
Nevermind that Will didn't want to get up - as usual.
Nevermind that I was busy making lunches - as usual.
Nevermind that I was reminding the girls to brush their hair, eat their breakfast, & pack their bags - as usual.
Nevermind that he was dealing with the dog - as usual.
Nevermind that the world was spinning out of control - as usual - and we just couldn't notice the missing hairs.
Nevermind that there's a long history of not noticing little things like hairs missing from faces.
So, maybe he should have shaved his head....

Volleyball Match 2

She looks a bit waif-like and barely reaches the bottom of the net. One might find himself mistakenly thinking she can be overlooked. But watch out!

This little lass isn't afraid of the ball. She took in on the chin, and then some, for the team! She not afraid to get right in there to try to get it over the net. What she might lack in talent, she more than makes up for in spirit.

Her fan club includes her little brother, who having had a long day playing and cheering on UVA, had to rest a bit at the volleyball game! He did lift this head up once in a while to cheer on his biggest sister.

Though the girls were not as successful in this match as they were in their first, they played a good game and get better every time we see them!

Project 365: March 13

The 7th ranked UVA women's lacrosse team absolutely creamed the 3rd ranked Maryland team last night! It was fabulous! We joined many young fans, including the coach and several girls from Caroline & Katherine's team, on the hill to watch the game.

We watched until almost the end of the game when we had to quickly motor to catch Morgan's volleyball match against Jouett. Thankfully the volleyball games were running late so we made it to the gym just as Morgan's match was starting.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Project 365: March 12

He was, as usual, a moving target.

Nice haircut, huh!? He's got a little tuft that sticks up in back. Seeing that hair, and taking into account certain behaviors, makes me consider rethinking the name...maybe we should have called him Dennis.

Constant motion, constant chatter, constant questions...if I'd known how much energy it takes to have a boy this late in life, I'd have had him first...before I used up all my energy on silly things like school and work!

As it stands, I had him last, after the school, the work, and the girls. We're both bone tired at the end of the day but it is a really good tired.

Project 365: March 11

She's got a secret!

Don't you just love that dimple. It's been there from the git go!

Can't you just hear it now?

Giggle, giggle, giggle!


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Finally Delivered!

There are 35 lap quilts in this picture alone. Today, the girls and I delivered 6 bags full of lap quilts to a local nursing home. These quilts were made by UBC church members as a part of OIAM last spring. Somehow they were misplaced at church and never delivered to the nursing home, until today.

There were all kinds of lap quilts donated. Some were crocheted, some knitted. Some were made of soft flannel, and some were quilted and made with "handles" so they wouldn't slip off the wheelchairs. Some were tied fleece quilts made by our K-5 children's missions class.

The lap quilts, made of fabrics that are bright and cheery, were made with the hope that the men and women who received them would be comforted not only by the warmth the blankets would bring, but by the knowledge that with the blankets come our prayers.

Project 365: March 10

That was one delicious doughnut!

A Good Day For A Run

David and Morgan ran the MJ8K this morning. They were up and out early...leaving me to gather the rest of the brood and get to the course before they crossed the finish line! We did manage to get out of the house, get the van parked, and walk to the 2-mile mark long before the first runner got there. We even stopped for a dozen Spudnuts and a giant coffee on the way! So far so good.

It was early. It was cold. The boy was not a happy camper! Even after a doughnut he was crying. Poor guy. He was so UNhappy that spectators passing by openly wondered if he had been abandoned on the street corner. Good mom! The girls and I were right there, not 5 feet away from his screaming madness. We just weren't letting his hysterics distract us from looking for our runners. It was about this time that I recalled last year's 10-miler. Every time David ran by us Will would begin crying anew because he couldn't understand why his Daddy kept going. Next race, someone please remind me to get a sitter!

So anyway, David & Morgan passed the 2-mile mark in record time - just over 10 minutes a mile! Once they passed, we packed up our provisions and I scooped up the wailing heap and we headed off to the next stop. Aww, all the boy needed was to be carried three blocks and given another doughnut, and he was fine! Until he noticed that his hands were sticky. You know, after being a mother this long, you'd think I'd remember that little ones do not like to have sticky, dirty fingers, even if it means they've been eating the best doughnuts in town...with no limits. Geez. Thank goodness for gloves and Strawberry Kiwi!

Okay, we settled in at the wall just after the 4 1/2 mile point.This was great because the finish line was just a round the corner. We could cheer them on and then walk over to congratulate them at the finish. Too perfect! We waited and watched the same runners pass by by again, and then David & Morgan came along. Oh, they looked great. Morgan looked like she could run another 5, no problem. They ended up finishing in just over 50 minutes (10:05 minute miles!). What a great race!

At the finish they were also met by Grandmama and Granddaddy, who had cheered from several points along the course,
and Valorie, who had walked the 4K. After sticking around for the awards and the grab bag prizes, we headed off to IHop. Yum! Nothing like real breakfast after running (or watching) a road race!