Thursday, February 26, 2009


Peter's nickname around here is Pooh, for as the bear says, it's always "time for something sweet." He has several sweet teeth (is that how I'd say that), and is keeping his eye out for any chance of candy. While we were at the Natural History Museum, he spotted some children with these huge rocky-looking sticks around the crystal area. It was rock candy. He begged and begged, and begged some more as we walked out and saw all of the ice cream vendors. So I told him that we could make rock candy at home. For the next several days he scoured our bookshelves for the rock candy recipe, giving me some stall time. Finally, we had to look it up on the computer. It was VERY easy but required that we wait 7 days for the crystals to form. Ours look nothing like those huge rocks at the museum, but we had plenty of candy form on the bottom of the glass. Peter was so excited to make and enjoy his own candy. Now each day he comes home and enjoys some of his creation. Ben made some using Peter's leftover syrup, but he added vanilla to his. They both turned out delicious.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What a Weekend

We have never lived closer than about 3 hours to any of our family, and that does make some things more difficult. But God has always put people in our lives to serve as a surrogate family to us. We have dear friends who value time alone as much as we do, and this weekend was our weekend together. Donna and Bryan had our kids overnight on Friday and all day Saturday so that Chris and I could spend some time together. We went to the Maymont Flower and Garden Show in Richmond. I wish I could have posted pictures, but I went without my camera, so you have to settle for a Windows pic. The flower displays were beautiful, and I've been inspired again to try my hand at gardening. I have learned a lot about flowers and soil, but I'm just afraid to put anything into the ground. I guess that reflects my personality--if you can't do it right, then don't do it. I love flowers and veggies, so this year I'm going to give it a try again. I'll keep you posted.
Chris and I had a great time together. We didn't have to break up any arguments or find any lost items for 24 hours. We ate good food, had good conversations, and reconnected some before the busy spring season begins. I'm so thankful for Donna and Bryan!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day

We went out for Valentine's Day once or twice and decided that we didn't need to sit with hundreds of people we didn't know waiting for that lone table to open up. So we decided a long time ago that we would celebrate at home. For years we celebrated with our friends Liz and Joe. She is a master chef with great ideas, and we would usually whip up things that we didn't normally eat. We would dress up and woo our husbands. It was great fun. We followed them when they moved for one or two years, but then had to give up the tradition. This year we celebrated with an amazing gluten-free feast. I made gf buns that actually turned out along with regular wheat buns for our bacon cheeseburgers. We had crashed potatoes from the Pioneer Woman's web site (at Linda's recommendation). Chris and I made this most amazing flourless chocolate cake from I mean it is to die for chocolate cake. I wish I could have eaten the entire things. I don't have words for how good it was. If you are in need of a fabulous cake, this is the thing for you (and Mom, it'd be great for your birthday!). We capped off the evening with the movie Underdog. Not very romantic, but a. the people I love love it, and b. Chris and I get all next Friday and Saturday alone together.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Peter and Sam both received awards this week at school. Sam got the academic achievement award and the A/B honor roll award. Peter got the outstanding bobcat award. It's fun to go and see them receive awards at the school. Note the shorts on both of my children. They are pushing spring a bit. Anytime the temperature is above 60, it's shorts weather for them.
Fred finished basketball season with a bang. His last two games, possibly ever, were the best he has played. He went right into baseball conditioning the next day. It will be so helpful when he drives.
It's been another busy week here. My back had issues on the day of the awards. I had two meetings that day, and I guess my back didn't like that. The next day was spent resting and sitting instead of grocery shopping. God wanted me to spend some down time working on Good Friday Services, I think. My Bible study had a brunch on Friday, and my back was better so I got to go. I love those women. We are starting the book of John. I need some Jesus right now! Then I helped with Sam's last Valentine's Day party (Yeah!). Since when does sending Valentine's include oodles of candy from everyone in the class. The daughter of a DENTIST in Peter's class brought everyone a bag of candy and a heart with 4 pieces of chocolate! I thought Valentine's Day was for celebrating with the ones you love. Can you feel my "Too much candy" rant? Thankfully we only have 2 more Valentine's Days in elementary school. Maybe then I can start getting things for my children for Valentine's Day. Our best Valentine's Day was the 2 years ago when we were snowed in for the week and there was no school. We all had a fantastic time and I could splurge on treats for them since they hadn't already been sugared up from school. Have a great Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Beautiful Days

Peter finally wanted a hair cut today. We didn't pressure him (well, Ben did), but he finally realized how much he was missing by having his hair in his eyes all of the time.
It's absolutely gorgeous for February 8th. I knew it was going to be warm, so I planned a trip up to D.C. to do some sight-seeing yesterday. My plans all but fell through as other people's plans emerged. We live 50 miles from one of the most beautiful cities around, and we rarely spend time there anymore. Fred had work to do, Ben was on a hike with a friend, Peter and Sam were both at friend's houses. Saturday looked like another wash. Chris had to go to work in Alexandria for an hour, so he told me to go with him. We picked Peter up on the way and headed north. I was poised to take beautiful pictures to post, but my little camera had run out of batteries! I hadn't really used it, but apparently the battery wears out without it being in use. Drat. We hung out in Alexandria, going through revolving doors and exploring the invention museum while we waited for Chris to finish. Then we had a scrumptious lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and took the metro downtown. We went into the National Archives, which I had never, after 20 years here, been in. Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln were there. Imagine our surprise--and me without my camera. But Peter got to talk with them. Then we went to what I thought was the National Gallery of Art. Peter is studying Greece, so we thought we would check out the Greek art and architecture. I went too far to the right, though, and we ended up in the Natural History Museum. We headed for the Greek exhibits, and all but one were under maintenance. We saw amazing gems that only God could design, and we saw the Hope Diamond. None of us were too impressed, but the people shoving into us seemed to be. Then we metroed back to the car and home. It was a fun day, and what a difference having just one child makes! The sunshine and warm weather are beckoning again today. Bring on spring!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More snow

The face of a boy who just found out that school is only delayed 2 hours and not closed!
It was a different kind of week last week. Amid finals and mid-terms and early outs and no school days, we had a snow storm. The boys were home more than they were at school last week, and that meant a different kind of week for me including no free time! We have more snow today, but there is only a two hour delay this morning. It was so nice to go back to bed and sleep until 7:30! Although somewhat disappointed that it's not cancelled completely, the boys are ready to catch the bus. After our snow last week, it all froze. Above is a picture of the front ice rink before school. The sun finally returned and melted some of the ice, but we have had ice until yesterday. Then we got another little snow last night. It is February afterall. But oh those 60 degree days were so wonderful! Sunday and Monday were both warm. I walked through downtown Fredericksburg while waiting for Sam to finish guitar lessons. It was beautiful. I'm very thankful for Virginia weather!