Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where we've been: part 2

The second and last of the catch-up posts. After this, it'll be back to writing about our day to day life as it is happening, the way this blog usually is.

For those just here for the pictures: all of the pics in this post, as well as plenty more, can be found in the Flickr set here.

On September 11th, Pete picked us up from my parents' house and brought us to his house to stay for a week. The next day, we attended the wedding of Greg's cousin Tim and our new cousin-in-law, Abbie.

With all of our time abroad, we've had to miss many weddings of friends and family, so it was great that the dates lined up so well for us to be able to be at this one.

On Sunday, we went to a Classic Car Drive-in/Show in Pete and Jill's town.

And spent time at Grandma and Grandpa D's.

On Monday, we celebrated Andrew's birthday yet again, this time with little cupcakes, cream puffs, and cannoli from Wegmans.

Greg set up our new cell phone plans, and got us both these cute little LG enV3's. I'm rather besotted with mine.

See? Like a tiny little computer! OK, we're going to pretend that I wasn't just gushing about my adorable, fab little phone. (There I go again...)

Andrew and Elijah are playing on a soccer team this year, so Pete, Keith and Greg spent some time teaching the boys a little bit about the game.

Greg took Andrew and Elijah on a camping trip out in the woods, which involved learning to build a campfire, and some target practice with some cans (in one of the pictures below, you can see Andrew showing me the hole he shot through the can).

Everyone had a lot of fun outside, all week.

Keith showed us his handcrafted sawmill that he's been working on this past year.

One night, Greg took me on a campfire date. It was a lot of fun, although I got a little nervous about being out in the dark, in the middle of the woods, at night. I know, I'm a total wuss. And don't worry, Greg told me that too.

But it was a beautiful night.

Overall, we had a great visit with both my family and Greg's, and we look forward to the next time we can fly home. The children are already asking where everyone is, and why they can't see all of the extended family right now.

We love and miss you all!!

For more pictures, and all of the individual shots that I've got grouped together in this post, click through to the Flickr set by clicking here: PA visit Sept. 09

To come in future posts: beginning our new life in Texas!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Where we've been: part 1

The past three weeks have gone by so quickly; much has happened, and I have so much to say that it's hard to think of what I should even write. There are too many pictures to share, too many things to say. Instead, I'm going to give you the highlights. First: our visit with my parents. (If you're here for the pictures, they're all in Flickr in this set: Visit to NY Sept. '09)

On September 4th, we flew from Germany to the Baltimore International Airport, and my dad picked us up. We then spent the next week with my family. Unfortunately Greg and all four of our children came down with the flue on the 1st day, so they all spent a lot of the time sleeping, and I spent most of the time holding a sick Jonah. Fun times. At least I didn't get sick myself.

We may have passed it on to a few of my siblings as well...

My cousin, Becky, her husband Daniel and their baby Moriah also visited at my parent's house during a few of the days we were there, and we had a lovely time together.

(This is most of the family, plus Uncle Henry, my Grandma Claire and Grandpa Mark, and Becky with husband and baby, although my dad happened to be at one of his college classes when we took this, and of course Jonathan is in Germany.)

At some point, while everyone was feeling just a little better, Andrew opened some gifts for his birthday (which had been on Sept. 3rd):

Andrew says "Thank you, everyone!", especially to Aunt Terry & Great-Grandma Annette, and Aunt Mary Ann & Uncle Bob, who couldn't be there for this visit, but sent him gifts anyway. We love you and miss you very much!!

Isaiah also opened a very belated gift from us for his 1st birthday (in July!)

These are wooden ABC blocks, painted with non-toxic paints. You can find them here: A-B-C Alphabet Blocks.

I made Andrew cinnamon cupcakes with green cream cheese frosting at his request as his birthday "cake".

I followed the recipe found here, although I omitted the orange zest, and creamed the butter and sugar together instead of melting the butter with milk. I added the milk in cold when I was adding the eggs.

For the frosting, I just did my usual: equal parts of softened unsalted butter and cream cheese with just enough confectioner's sugar to make it mildly sweet but still tangy.

To get that perfect Shrek shade of green, Andrew and I added an entire florescent green bottle of food coloring, as well as 1-1/2 squeeze bottles of classic green. He was very pleased to have his favorite color on his cupcakes.

Everyone seemed to love them, and a quadruple recipe had vanished without a trace within a few hours of making them.

I call that a success.

During the week there was also some pumpkin carving:

And I recorded duets with both Caleb and Joy, just for fun.

We got to watch a logger truck stack up my parent's wood pile for winter.

And just because they're cute, here's some pics I stole off of Becky's Facebook page:

(Thanks Becky!)

Remember, for more pictures (or bigger ones, in the case of all of the mosaics in this post), click through to the Flickr set to see them all!

Next post: a week at Greg's parents' house.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Oasis of calm

Because plain socks, knit 2-at-a-time, are a beautiful thing.
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