Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mac is 4!

As he happily tells everyone he has seen since his birthday, Mac is now 4! He said yesterday that "I smell like a 4 year old." He is such a boy, such a sweetie. He has wanted a "Rocket Party" since we went to the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center this summer. And he was counting on his Aunt Kelli sending him a rocket, which she did! Here he is with his Rocket Cake.

Pinata time!

Of course little brother had to get in on the action. He loves beating things (furniture, people) with bats and sticks, so this was by far his favorite birthday activity.

Mac's buddies! They made the party so much fun!
I took Mac for a four year check-up this week and he checked out fine. I've had concerns about his weight and appetite, but he is still fine on the chart, and growing on track over the years. He was so good for the Doctor too, which tells me how grown up he is. He used to completely throw a fit and scream, but this time he chatted with the Doctor, and laughed and was just the perfect patient. He proudly showed off the warts on his fingers and his rockin' arm muscles.
We love our Mackiedoo so much! He is really a bundle of energy and fun- loves to read and jump and play ball and run races and be chased and tickled. He loves grapes and hugs and snuggling and his sleeping buddy, Dino. One of my favorite things he does lately: he'll come and say to me, "Come here Mommy, I have to show you something AMAZING!" Then he'll show me a new jump he has devised or a dead bug in a corner, and I am AMAZED, and I love it!


Here are our trick-or-treaters, the Pilgrim girl and the Commando (with upside-down rank insignia..thanks China.) This was our first year to celebrate Halloween due to Jay's change of heart. This happened a few days before Halloween, hence the fact that the kids look a little disheveled and ill-fitting- maybe next year we'll be cute and creative.

Raking time! (I am having some camera issues- I am frustrated in the quality of my latest pictures. Stay tuned for something fresher...clearer, etc...)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fall in DC

Here we are at the FDR memorial with his dog, Fala. We went to DC to try to go up in the Washington Monument but it was sold out. But there's always more to see and do. The FDR memorial is really beautiful with multiple waterfalls and beautiful granite. Mac had just checked out "Clifford Goes to Washington" from the library and Clifford stops here to say hi to Fala, just like we did.

This is the path around the Tidal Basin, which in the spring is packed with people looking at the cherry blossoms. I found them to be just as beautiful in the fall, with the colored leaves dipping down into the water.

Since it was starting to drizzle we went into the Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit I had read about. It is a coral reef made by knitters/crocheters from all around the country. It was really amazing and unique, I thought. Above is the main part, and then some close ups....

What a work of art! Sort of kitschy but definitely worth seeing. And to think, some of these ladies were the same ones that make those Kleenex box covers and toilet roll covers that I adore! If only I knew how to knit...

Mountain Trip/October

In October we took our annual family trip to North Carolina. My parents and my bro and his family met us down there. It ends up being about halfway between us. We hiked and played and went to an Arts and Crafts Festival and just enjoyed the fresh mountain air and each other's company. Here we are on top of Water Rock Knob.

At a Blue Ridge Parkway info center.

Here are all the McAlarney progeny. My brother and his wife have children all within a year of our children which is so fun for getting together. It also made it so sad to move far away from them. From L to R: Ruthie (5), Annabelle (5), Alan Jr or Alee (3), Mac (3), Victoria (2), Harry (1).

Harry doing some bouldering on top of the Devil's Courthouse.

Waterbottle row.

Belle and Ruthie, sweet cousins. I have a picture of them in this very spot from last year, but unfortunately I couldn't access it to post here for a comparison.

The photo of the whole group is in my brother's possession and so I blame him that it is not posted here.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Boy Joy!

Here he is! Baby boy, Hodges #4. Isn't he precious! He weighs 20 oz and is just right for 20 weeks gestation. We are excited! Ruthie shed some tears- she so wanted a baby sister, but she is glad for a baby of any variety to join our family. Mac said, with his little smile, "I'm glad it's a boy, Mommy." Harris is glad too, he just doesn't know it yet!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Friday Night Lights

(Sorry we're a bit glowy.)

We live a street away from Mt.Vernon High School. It gives me a neighborly feel to hear the band practicing, or the crack of the bat during baseball practice. I like seeing students walking slowly home in the afternoon, and I like how the sky is lit up when there is a home game on Thursday or Friday nights-not to mention hearing the booming voice of the announcer and the cheers from the crowd. The kids especially have wanted to go to a game, so a couple of Fridays ago we bundled up and walked over. It was really fun, especially since we inadvertently picked the night admission was free! We stayed for halftime to hear the band and walked home for bedtime. Go Mt. Vernon Majors! Woop Woop!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


In case you have been waking up in the night, wondering about Jay's status in the Coast Guard, here is an update. Jay was in the Reserves while we lived in Mobile, and then he took an Active Duty Contract up here in Alexandria. It was the sort of contract that if Jay came up for promotion while under contract he could integrate in and be Active Duty (rather than a Reservist on Active Duty orders.) In August Jay was promoted to Lieutenant, and he integrated into Active Duty. Let the 20 year adventure begin! We are so excited because this is really what Jay desired for years, and when he missed the age cutoff for OCS and became a Reserve Officer instead, we kept praying and he kept looking for ways to integrate. We think this is where God would have us as a family and we wonder where we'll end up over the years. Would you dear friends come visit us in Alaska? (Notice I did not say Hawaii. That is not the true test of friendship. "Sigh...You're moving to Hawaii? We'll TRY to come see you. Man. Tropical paradise and all.)