Thursday, June 26, 2008

No birds were harmed in the making of this post

When my family went to Washington DC, my younger siblings tried to catch the pigeons. And were successful. (Yeah, they drew a crowd of onlookers and everything.) That's why it was no surprise when these two fellows set out to catch some seagulls.

(I mean seriously, look at them. Could they be looking for anything but trouble?)

But anyway, I love the following set:

I especially love how the birds have completely disappeared from the frame in the last shot. Needless to say, no birds have been caught yet. But we still have a few days left...
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Splashing fun on the Jersey Shore

Well my friends, if you keep coming back to the blog this week, it can only be for one reason -- more beach pictures.  If you're all done with looking at more (and yet, even more!) pictures of us playing in the water, then go away and don't come back until next week.  There's nothing more to see here!  =)

Last night my dad made fantastic spicy Lobster FraDiablo and we had Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle Bob over for dinner (they live about an hour from here).  We had a lovely visit with them, as usual, and my dad and I made Tiramisu for dessert, which was a sweet finish to it all.

Tonight for dinner Hannah took me out for my birthday (I know, a tad late, but that's how we roll 'round these parts), and we had a rollicking good time as only two pregnant girls can.

Oh, and for anyone who wanted to know, Hannah's due on July 12th.

So, for the latest and greatest of our vacation pictures:

(The first picture of all of us together in quite a while, I think.  Andrew's head is hiding behind Lavella.)

I love it when water droplets are perfectly frozen in a picture.

Rescuing Lavella from the waves.

I love their shared anticipation of the waves; both of their little bodies are tensed for the next one rushing in.

Little sand monster.

Greg asked for pictures of me from this vacation, so I had Joy take some today.  Please excuse the plethora of Faith And Lavella pictures -- this is partiularly for Greg's benefit.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Beach Bellies

These are my favorite beach shots so far from the past two days.

Lavella kept running into the waves and laughing, so Andrew was rescuing her.  After this picture he said "Mommy, can you please put her over there?", pointing up the beach away from the water.

Everyone knows that when you're dead, you have to stick your tongue out.

Thank you VJ for the bathing suit!

Hannah's due in three weeks, and this is her very first "belly shot".

Bumping bellies.

There are plenty more pictures in the Beach 2008 set on Flickr, and I'll be adding more all week.  I'll post the best ones here on the blog, of course, but go there if you want.  =)
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Monday, June 23, 2008

Jersey Shore

Thank you to everyone for the congratulations!  Answers to some questions from the comments:

Joycee -- I'm nauseous and tired, but since I've been back at my mom's, I've actually been able to eat again (haven't been doing much of that for the last 2 months or so.)

Sarcy -- We plan to be in the States until early September...sadly, I don't think that we'll be able to see you.  But if anything changes I'll let you know!

Beka -- Yes, the boys are very excited.  It's cool that they're old enough now to understand, so we can anticipate each new development together.  We talk about the baby a lot, and they can't wait until they can feel it kick.  (I've been able to for several weeks now!)


Last week we were at a friends house (VJ) who had a sandbox, and my boys loved it.  It kept them occupied and happy for so long, and I decided that we needed to get one for my parent's house too.  When I got home, my mom told me that a neighbor had called and offered their Mr. Turtle sandbox and swingset/slide!  A few days later, my dad loaded up Andrew and Elijah in his truck and they drove down to pick them up.

There have been many happy hours spent in the backyard since in the past week.

Rachel and Joel especially have been incredibly helpful with the children since I got here.  I took this picture after Rachel had just hiked up the hill in the backyard with Elijah on her back.  I'm not sure that I could have done that!

Yesterday we packed everybody up and took a roadtrip down to the Jersey shore.  We're going to spend a week here; a friend is lending us their gorgeous beach house.

The trip was (sadly) less than relaxing, since Elijah was in rare form and terrorized everyone for almost every minute of the drive.  (We've been having some behavioral troubles since Greg left.)  Here are two shots of some happier moments, watching videos on my iPod and laptop:

I sincerely hope that our trip back will be more peaceful. 

Last night we went to this inexpensive seafood place where you can eat out on the dock -- delicious, noisy, and perfect for our huge crew.  Today we plan to spend some time on the beach.  More pictures to follow!
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Friday, June 20, 2008

A very little (tiny) announcement

Meet Thumbkin.

Thumbin is due to arrive at Christmas.

This ultrasound was taken in Germany when he/she was 10 weeks along.  We'll be rounding the corner of week 14 in a few days.
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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Home again

Two weeks ago, I spent hours cleaning and organizing my house, packing all of our things, and then packing the car. On Wednesday morning we went to the Air Force terminal near our house to try to catch a flight back to the States. Friday morning, we finally managed to get seats, and after a re-fueling stop in Canada, arrived at long last in Delaware.

Jillian was traveling with us, which was a huge help, and her brother kindly agreed to pick us up from the base. Unfortunately, some recent terrorist threats have made it so that a civilian cannot be verbally signed in (previously, a civilian could have the guards at the front gate call the terminal inside, and have the passenger they were there to pick up "OK" the visitor's pass.) Anyway, this meant that one of us had to walk to the front gate to sign him in. I felt like I could use a bit of fresh air, and Jillian wanted to sit with the children.

I got to the visitor's center at the gate to find that her brother was nowhere around. I asked inside the center, and they claimed that they had not seen any 7-foot-tall guy at any time that day. On top of that, they did not have any phone where I could make long-distance calls (including no pay phones). I stood in the entrance way, not sure what to do with myself, when a lady walked in. I asked her if she knew about any nearby pay phones, and she graciously handed me her cell phone.

As it turned out, Jillian's brother Ryan had been to the visitor's center, and they informed him that there was no flight coming in from Germany any time that day. They suggested that one might be coming in the next day, so he went and got a hotel room for the night.

Of course Ryan immediately drove to the front gate, and when we walked into the building, they didn't say anything. I'm not sure why they were being such idiots, but they sped us through sign in very quickly and sent us on our way. Still makes me mad, so I'm not going to think about it anymore.

We ended up getting to my parents' house by around 11pm that night, and it was wonderful, as always, to finally be home.

For the first few days, the children woke at 5:30 as though on a timer. I was hungry anyway the first day, but after that it grew quickly old. My siblings started helping me by taking shifts in the mornings, and letting me sleep in a little or else take a nap later on after giving them breakfast.

Now they've started sleeping in a tiny bit longer (the good late time of 6:30 or similar), so it's getting a little better. Part of the trouble is that my parents don't have any shades at all, and in Germany we have blackout shades, so they're not used to waking up with the sun. It's kind of frustrating, but it's just the way it is for now, I guess. Better than being alone in Germany, by any means.

We've already done a lot of stuff since arriving here -- the pictures say it all, so here's a series of collages from some of our adventures.

We spent the day at a petting farm and vegetable stand:

Got ice cream at our favorite spot:

Made granola:

Elijah turned three (I made the world's ugliest coffee cake, but it was also very good tasting and was entirely gone by the end of the day):

And we spent some time at Poppy and Nana's:

JIll got some great pictures of Lavella:

That's all for now, kids. I'll post back soon with more!
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