Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year!

Well hello there. I hope things have been well with you since we last posted (more than a year ago). Our year was busy as we worked on the house (landscaping was Rob's focus), worked (A and R), went to school (C1, C2, C3), participated in sports (Football for the boy, cheerleading for the girls), and whatnot. Here's some photo evidence that we did exist in 2013! We got a LOT of snow! Caleb helped shovel before taking a break. Two little Valentine's Day girls! Chloe learns to read. Amanda gets lasik. Amanda gets new (blonder and sometimes straighter hair) Matching Easter dresses. Someone needs a lesson on how to play a proper April Fool's Day trick. Our house gets a fence. Caleb gets a mowhawk and begins his obsession with sneakers. Then we send him away to scout camp. Camille makes a dress (earning herself sewing lessons from Grandma on her next visit). We tour the Hill-Stead Museum, beginning a summer of educating the kids on local historic sites nearby. Camille builds a fairy house. We visit Gillette Castle. We go to Gettysburg with the Boy Scouts (best family trip ever). Chloe is a first grader! Camille starts fourth grade (with an overloaded, but extremely shiny, bag). Caleb starts sixth grade! Amanda's hair goes back to brown (though it's not always this straight). Caleb's first injury of the season - a dislocated finger. (After he sprains his back, we decide not to play next year.) Chloe enjoyed being the base in her stunting group in cheerleading. (That's her on the right.) Pictures of Camille have mysteriously disappeared and will need to be located. Cowgirl Chloe For Halloween, we have a yellow guy, a cowgirl, and a fortune teller. And Joe Dirt. Also, the Little Mermaid. Amanda went to a librarian conference and scored these free books. And these. She made this afghan. Took the girls to see the Nutcracker. Made Camille's birthday dreams come true by giving her personalized stationary (with her first, middle, and last names!) And took the kids to see Santa! Phew! It was a busy year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Football Frenzy

Back during the summer Caleb became interested in football. He played football with his neighborhood friends (or Dad, when he was home, or Mom as a last resort) whenever he could. He read everything he could find about football, memorizing statistics and facts. He seemed to be, for a while, a walking football encyclopedia. So how could I tell my kid he couldn't play football this fall because I didn't want to be so busy. Football here is a huge deal, and our team of tenth graders had practice two hours a day, three days a week. Sometimes there was an additional fourth practice. Then there were the games, for which we had to get there two hours early to practice. Busy, busy, busy. But Caleb loved it. And got pretty good for only a couple of months of instruction. His coaches have been impressed with his determination. More than once, they've stuck him on the line opposite the other team's biggest player. And if my kid doesn't hold him! They've laughed seeing my little Caleb (who always seemed big until we started him in football...I don't know if they breed them big here or if there's something in the water but the kids here are HUGE!) hold the big kids everyone else is scared of. More than once they've told the other kids on the team that if they all played as hard as Caleb, they'd win every game. This Saturday is the playoff game. If they win this, they play in the championship. If not, the season is over. How bad a mom does it make me to hope my kid plays his best but that they still don't win so the season doesn't last one more long, cold, dark week. This week they had a two hour practice in less than 40 degree weather. Brr! Fortunately, despite the snow, it may prove to be a sunny, fairly warm (for November) weekend. So here he is: Waiting for the action to start
Getting into position
Walking off the field with Dad after getting hurt on the field. The worst moment of the season: when everyone gets up after the tackle, but my kid is still on the ground. He was fine, thank goodness, but it doesn't mean I'm any less nervous about letting him play tackle football.
Sitting on the sidelines watching the last few minutes of the game.
And from earlier in the game, here's Caleb in hot pursuit of the guy with the ball.
He took this other guy down.

Back to School

All of the kids got to go to school this year. Chloe is in morning kindergarten, Camille is in third grade, and Caleb is in fifth grade. I took their pictures, just like always, and you can see someone met me with resistance. So far, though, they are all enjoying school (as much as a fifth grader can enjoy school, you know). They all love their teachers and have made some fun friends. The kindergarten girl
The third grader
The fifth grader
The three kids who ride the bus together
These two enjoyed hamming it up for the camera

Monday, August 6, 2012

Take a hike!

So this summer has gone by much faster than expected. My critters spent a total of 3 1/2 weeks in Vermont with Nana and Papa and I have been working during a five week summer school session. I was originally supposed to work just three days a week, but I've been involved with a giant project at work and my hours have ranged from 29 to 40+ hours. So much for part time. It seems like just yesterday that we were getting out of school for the summer and now it's August already. I was lamenting the fact that summer is almost over and I've yet to do anything really fun with the kids (Rob has been home with them while I've been working so they've been to the pool and the park and whatnot), so I decided today that we were going to have an adventure. So we went here:
It's a castle that was built on top of a mountain nearby. A friend of mine from work said he hiked it the other day and it was a nice hike. I forgot to ask how difficult a hike it was and if it would be conducive to hiking with three children under the age of ten. We started out enthusiastically, even for those who would not have chosen to go on said hike. The trail was pretty steep and rocky, but everyone walked the entire way. We saw some wildlife. Caleb somehow managed not only to spot, but then to catch a frog! He was so excited!
I wish I had taken a picture of how steep the climb was (I was too busy making sure everyone made it to worry about taking a picture), but it was impressive that we all made it to the top without incident. Chloe took a little spill right at the top, but she was just fine. The view was amazing!
Getting down, however, was a completely different story. The mountain was so steep, I didn't know how we would all get back down. So when I saw there was a road you can drive up to the castle (amazing what you discover after you get there), I figured it'd be best for little legs to walk down the road instead of down the mountain. If only I had realized how long the road really was, I would have changed my plan. It turned out to be four miles-ish. At least a mile up the steep, steep hill, and then another four back down. At least it was all downhill. I ended up carrying Chloe on my back for a good portion of it, but the big two made it every step by themselves. I was very impressed. They weren't happy about it all, but they made it and I'm sure they will sleep very well tonight. Caleb made another friend on the way down the mountain:
I honestly don't know how he spots these things. It was a difficult hike for everyone, but I think in a few days (weeks, or years) we will all look back and laugh at the time Mom made everyone hike up to the castle. Enjoy these (totally unedited, straight off my phone) pictures of my happy hikers.