Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weekend Fun

One of the first places I've wanted to go since moving here is REI (Recreational Equipment Inc)- a store that has been one of my favorites since I was a child. My dad was one of the early co-op members, back when we lived on Whidbey Island, WA, near Seattle, in the late 70s. There are REIs all over the place now, but the nearest ones when we lived in Mobile were Houston or Atlanta. We took the kids to the one in Falls Church and they loved it! What kid wouldn't when there are colorful bikes and backpacks, shoes and tents, kayaks and carabiners to be investigated. I bought some fruit leathers (a yummy hiking snack with good potassium to ward off cramps) and a book with some hikes in this area so we can get ready to hit some trails. I scoped out some great Merrells and Tevas and Keens too.

On Sunday we had a picnic down by the Potomac River. There is a great 18 mile paved trail for biking, walking, running etc. that runs from Mt. Vernon to DC. We live basically around the corner from Mt. Vernon, so we can easily access this great trail. We ate dinner and then strapped the kids into the strollers and walked for a while. We saw people of all ages, including some way too serious bikers that could really kill a man- they come around those curves so fast. Ruthie and Mac loved it, and we saw some wildlife- a heron out in the water, a groundhog munching on the grassy shore, and several birds and squirrels. Jay and I are so excited to be so close to this wonderful trail and the parks to which it connects. I also keep thinking how beautiful it is going to be in the fall. They have fall here.

(see the little man popping out of Jay's head? Must be his conscience. I know you can't tell, but this picnic table was on the side of a hill and it was slanted- we called it our lopsided picnic. This gave me an idea for a children's book...)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Harris, sweet 3 month old

Our first new park

This is one of our closest parks. It is called Grist Mill Park because it is located near the site of George Washington's Grist Mill (and near his Mt. Vernon estate). It is a fun park, and the very first time we went we met a wonderful mom and her two children who have become our friends. ( I hope to get a picture of them soon.) The other day we went and I met moms from China, Brazil, and Germany. This community is definitely made up of a lot of internationals. I love meeting all these women, and I hope I can really make some good friendships. Good friendships means knowing each other. And I hope knowing me means getting to know Jesus. I met a lady at church the other day who said she heard a preacher say that military families are really missionaries, constantly being "sent out." It is definitely true.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moving Day

Here is our moving crew- Leonard, Darnell, and Kelvin.

The moving truck- driven by Leroy (not pictured). He was from the Poconos and has been a trucker for 30 years! After he loaded our stuff he was headed to Tampa and then up to deliver our stuff in Virginia.

We took a slight detour on our trip to visit Jay's Dad and his wife Averil. Their apartment complex in Hunsville has a guest apartment that we got to use, and they brought us Dreamland BBQ for dinner! It was a short visit, but it was good.

This picture is ridiculous but it makes me laugh. My mom rode with me and the kids in the van and she tried to take various pictures while we were going 70 mph. Didn't work. This one is in Virginia- we spotted a flower known as crown vetch, that we remembered from when we lived up here. It covers whole medians. The guard rail came out nicely I think.
Ruthie on the port-o-potty. I got this great idea from my sis-in-law, Cheryl. She carries a little potty with her all the time. Ours came in handy on our trip. Ruth thought it was super fun.

We found Mater! Mac was so excited.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Things I really like about our new neighborhood:

-Wide streets

-Lots of trees, including our backyard

-Sidewalks-great for walking and running

-Mailboxes are by the front door- I've always wanted to have a walking postman to wave to and check my mail in a little box by my door. It also makes the neighborhood look less cluttery with a zillion different mailboxes.

-Big hills!-good for running, walking, getting in shape. And sledding, should the opportunity arise.

-Close to everything-shopping, restaurants, parks, historic sites, and a metro stop

-Friendly- we have met so many neighbors already. There are tons of dog-walkers out in the evenings and they stop to chat. (They also pick up their dog's poo in little baggies. Two thumbs up from me!)

-Lightning bugs- I know they are not exclusive to our neighborhood, but they make me so happy. They remind me of my childhood days living up here....One time in particular I recall when I was living in Maryland, we lived on top of a hill. This night I looked out over the hills and farmland and it was twinkling with thousands of lightning bugs, like a fairy land.

-Curbside recycling- comes with our garbage service.

Bedtime Emergencies

Who? Ruthie

What? falling out of her bed

Injury involved? busting her chin and cracking one of her rear molars

Where? antique bed, pretty high off the ground, hardwood floors below

When? 3 a.m. two Saturday nights ago

Treatment? 5 stitches

Who else? Mac

What? string from blanket tightly wrapped around index finger, cutting into finger

Injury Involved? loss of circulation to end of finger, possible loss of finger if no intervention (not sure about this but it sounds logical to me)

Where? big boy bed

When? Wednesday night

Treatment? hugs and kisses, scissors to cut string

Mac's wins the Most Bizarre Bedtime Emergency Award. I discovered his finger because I went in to check on him when I was going to bed and I noticed he was sweaty so I tried to pull his cozy car blanket off of him. It kept lifting up his arm, and I couldn't get it off of him- then I saw what had happened. I tried to unwind it gently without waking him, but it was so tight that I had to really work at it and call Jay for scissors. Mac woke up and started screaming and wrestling around, but we managed to get it off and calm him down. Craziness.

Ruthie was very brave at the ER, she only screamed and cried out for mommy when they were giving her the shot to numb the area. Poor baby.

Conversation between a 4 year old and a 2 year old

Ruthie: Don't bite me Mac, I'm going to bite myself. (happily)
Mac: Me too! (in his cute little high pitched voice)
Ruthie: OW!
Mac: OW! (in his cute little high pitched voice)

(Overheard in the back of our sweet minivan. What the?)

So much to say

Every time I sit down to blog my mind goes into jukebox mode and all I can think of are song titles that are cheesily appropriate to what I'm going to write about. Today's is obviously Dave Matthew's Band, but I was also considering Pearl Jam's "I'm still alive." Although now that I think about it I'm not sure if that is the actual name of the song. It's not. (thanks Google- the song is officially entitled "Alive.")

So we just got internet flowing today and I am crazily bouncing around cyberspace trying to catch up on everything. It is amazing how many times during the day I think of something that I need or want to look up on the internet, especially now that I'm in a new town. So these last two weeks I would think of something and then think "I'll go look it up," and then "doh, no internet." Or something I wanted to blog about...."doh! (this sounds like dough when you say it) gotta wait. I hope I'll be able to catch up.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

PCS=Military Lingo for Permanent Change of Station

So far moving is hell. It is so out of control and crazy. I can say like that comfortingly angst-filled bard of pop culture Alanis Morrissete, "I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed/I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby." I think that hell could be a for sale sign in your yard and a moving van in your driveway and lots of boxes. In really hot conditions, ummm, like south Alabama in a heat wave. But, unlike hell, I see hope (like a soap on a rope) and I see God. We are currently in Huntsville, AL, waiting to feed bambino Harris so we can get a good start. Having a 2 month old really adds some time on to this whole process, but on the other hand we can relax more...stop to feed him while the other kids play in the van or walk around a rest stop. Jay got a GPS for his birthday/Fathers Day/4th of July/Secretaries Day and it is super handy for finding Chic-Fil-As where they have relatively non-germy play places. So give us a wink and a prayer as we blow by your Corvette in our sweet MINIVAN and see you in VA, baby!