Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Permanent Address

We have moved again, but now we are here to stay. We moved into our new home at the end of July, but due to the Verizon strike we just got the internet today, and not with Verizon!

I am completely in love with this house and this neighborhood. Our house backs up to a forrest, which backs up to a beautiful lake. So far we have seen in our backyard: deer, lots of birds including cardinals, an Azure and Monarch butterflies, salamanders, toads, a groundhog, black squirrels, chipmunks, and at the lake we have seen turtles and cranes. The neighbors are amazing, and bring food when they come to introduce themselves. And, unlike our last house, our new house is not in the flight path!

The study, still a work in progress. I got the chairs from a Borders going out of business sale, and upholstered them with my Mom's help. The second chair is almost finished, I will post before/after pictures later.

I have lots of projects, but this is one of my favorites! I built a locker shelf a few months ago, which fit perfectly in the mud room, except that it blocks the door of the closet. So I cut a hole in the wall and created this laundry station. I still need to label the baskets with names, and paint the wood.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A year Post residency...and other ramblings

July 1st came and went this year, and nothing really happened. During residency it was the day we looked forward to, it was the one time each year we got a babysitter and went "over the mountain" to the Old Farms Hotel and had some very mediocre salmon, and felt a little closer to the end of residency. This year it only marked the end of our first year in Virginia. Before we left Connecticut I meant to write about my favorite things in Connecticut, but I didn't so here goes. The things I love and miss the most about Connecticut, in no particular order (except number 1):

1. My Friends
2. New England in the Fall
3. Munson's Chocolates creme brulee chocolate
4. East West Grill's Massaman Curry
5. The Hartford Capital Building
6. Pick your own Blueberries
7. Boston and David's Sister Vicki
8. The Elbow Room
9. New York
10. The Riverboat Ferry
11. Old Wethersfield (and the opportunity to say George Washington did ... there)
12. Really good Gyro's
13. People who say sawntameter
14. Being a Yankee
15. Saying "Nutmegger"

After a year, we are starting to feel like Virginians. And I even feel a little pride in being a Virginian, like living here automatically puts me in a special club with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, James Madison, and the ever important Robert E. Lee. As a Virginian, I offer the following lists of things I love about Virginia.

1. The seasons! For the first time in my life they actually make sense. March 21st feels like spring, there are tulips and lettuce and happiness. June 21st feels like the beginning of Summer. And Fall really holds on until December.
2. The monuments
3. The Smithsonian! I love that we can go to the more obscure galleries, and museums without feeling like you have to see everything all at one time.
4. The National Mall
5. Tyson's Corner mall, it took me some time to get my bearings in this massive mall, but I have got it down now.
6. The lakes and rivers
7. Lots of fireflies
8. Mount Vernon, Arlington, and all the other historic sites
9. Amazing restaurants, and tons of them!
10. Old town Alexandria
11. Cherry Blossoms
12. Really great schools

My camera cable has been lost for awhile so here are some of the gems I found when I finally downloaded.

Kate turned 1! She is such a sweet, and funny baby! Her nicknames include, but are not limited to; Kate-Bo-Bate, Bo-bate, Kateapillar, Screamapillar, "hey you baby," Miss Kate, and the tried and failed Cup-Kate. Her hobbies and intrests include, but are not limited to: Hanging from bars, foraging for food (with a ridiculous ability to find acorns in the wild, yes I know they are poisonous to humans), eating crayons (only the non-toxic variety), biting, snuggling, being held, pretending to hand things to people them wildly shaking her head no as she pulls the object back away.

She is completely adorable, and we love, love, love her!

Even when she is a screamapillar!

Now what would have been several other separate blog posts.

End of year teacher gifts. I made the lamp shade with yard sticks.

Camping trip.
:I love the way Peter sticks his tongue out when he is really focused.

And our spontaneous rock climbing adventure. We went to Great Falls Park and on our way back from our hike we saw a guy from Church. He asked us if we wanted to go rock climbing. Abby turned out to be ridiculously good at it, even in bare feet. We had a hard time convincing her to come back down. She got to where the rope was tied off, but wouldn't stop. She wanted to stand on top of the rock above the tie-off. Eventually we got her to come back down, she is a natural. Seeing the way she climbed up and rappelled down reminded me of being completely fearless as a child. I was so proud!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can we build it?

Because we are renters home improvement projects have been out of the question for me. Thanks to the inspiration from some of my super handy friends and Ana White, I have been able to fill that home improvement void with furniture building. David and I built this bed, in the Amish tradition (with at least one intentional blemish, because only God makes perfect things). Then I built this bookshelf for Peter. I am so happy to have a new hobby.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marshmallow Meringue

This weekend we went out to a lovely restaurant and had lemon marshmallow meringue pie. It was awesome, so I had to try it at home. I used a graham cracker crust, and I used a Barefoot Contessa Lime Curd recipe, but substituted lemon juice for lime (1/2 cup), used 3 egg yolks, and 1 egg instead of 4 whole eggs (to leave the whites for the meringue), and added 1 Tbsp of corn strach so it would hold up in a pie. Then I made whipped my meringue; 3 egg whites, 6 T of sugar, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar. Then once the peaks are glossy, I added marshmallow fluff, from the 7.5 oz jar, by the spoonful. Then I put it on the pie, and baked at 350 for 15 minutes. I finished browning the tips with a kitchen torch, this is optional, but be careful because as any camper knows marshmallow is flammable.

Happy Mother's Day!

No picture (camera cord is MIA).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Projects and Cherry blossoms

I saw this cute grocery store on clearance, and decided to make the frame myself (with David's help). We made it out of 2x2's a 1x12. Then I painted it and used a staple gun to put on some velcro, and we were in the grocery business.
I also made these reusable snack bags for the kids. They are lined with a vinyl fabric, and close with velcro.

Friday, April 1, 2011

A near miss

This morning I woke up in a panic! David was already ready for work and I was just realizing that it was April fool's day, even worse I blurted out, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS?" I had missed the most crucial pranking window. He had already taken a shower free of Easter egg dye, every light bulb in the house was still in place. I had no idea where the plastic bugs were! There was no time to make a "special" April fool's day breakfast. I didn't think to hide David's glasses while he was in the shower. The whole day seemed ruined, sad...

But then I had an idea! David usually bears the brunt of this special day, but this year it would be Peter's turn. So while he was eating a plastic bug free breakfast I went outside and filled his sandwich box with rocks :P and a note that said, "Aprils Fool's Day, I got you. I have your lunch. Love, Mom." Then I decided to make cupcakes for his class from the book "Hello Cupcake." The carrots are made from orange tootsie rolls, and orange starbursts, the tootsie rolls look better, and the peas are mini sweet tarts, I was trying to find runts, but they are ridiculously hard to find. I went to 7-11, then to target where I almost literally ran into someone I know from church. At this point I am starting to panic. Lunch starts for Peter at 11:05am and I can't find any candies that look like peas. Finally success, I run to checkout and there are half a dozen people in each line at target. I was starting to doubt the genius of my plan, "What kind of person puts rocks in their kids lunch box, what kind of person." This could be scarred for life material if I don't make it in time. I got home, made some frosting, and realized I only had one cup of powdered sugar, I never run out of sugar, but today I did... April fool's on me.

I made it to the cafeteria at 11:07, Peter had already opened his lunch and found the note. The teacher even took the box around to show all the other kids what was in Peter's lunch. Peter say me across the room and said with a big smile, "You got me!"All the kids though it was hilarious, except a few who were very confused. I told Peter that I brought a healthy treat for his class. I hope they like them.


Also, I discovered that the cupcake wrapper container makes an excellent single cupcake holder for a lunch box.

I found this funny bunny nibbling in my lettuce garden when I brought my lettuce in for the frost last week. And one last photo of Kate being paraded about.
Happy April Fool's day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Fabulously Fancy Party

Abby turned five! We had a "Fabulously Fancy Fifth Birthday Party" inspired by Fancy Nancy. There was a Sign at the door that said, learn to be Fancy with lessons by Amy, Victoria, and David. There was a lesson on accessories, we made bracelets, gumball necklaces, and they got headbands.

I had a station to do "fancy" hair-do. I failed to realize 4 and 5 year old girls would rather make bracelets than have their hair done. I had one taker, the girl with her back to me in this picture (the one with the awesome hair!)

David taught the girls some french words, and my sister-in-law taught them to raise their pinkies when sipping tea, and how to walk with a book on their heads.

The night before the party I made a table runner with the scraps of fabric from the birthday banner I made earlier (I changed the flowers from the last time I posted it.)
Thanks Vicki, and Thank you David for drilling holes in 100 gumballs, then re-drilling slightly larger holes in 100 gumballs. Merci!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Valentine Pictures and Chinese Mothers

Have you read this article about Chinese mothers? I would write more but I have to go turn off the wii and make Peter practice the piano for 4 hours!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

1. Just for the record this is what Peter's bed usually looks like when it is not being used as a bunk bed.
2. My sewing machine has been broken since early October, and not just a little broken, but like dead. The last time I got in the car to get a new one the universe struck me down in a very unfortunate and expensive way. So, I have been doing a lot of hand sewing, and crocheting. I just finished this for Abby's upcoming birthday. Not sure how I feel about the flowers, any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Crawl baby, and other news

Kate is now a crawl baby, and has been since Christmas day.

Peter and Abby enjoy sleeping anywhere except in thier beds. This began with me letting them Abby sleep in the bathtub when she experienced GI unrest in the night. I put pillows and blankets in with her. They took up occupancy in this box for about a week...
Then after much pleading, they gave up hope of having bunk beds, and created thier own.
I think they really just miss sharing a bedroom, so they come up with ways to sleep in the same place again.

I may regret posting this. I have been expecting a social worker to knock on my door anyday, and say, "we have had several reports from people at the bus stop that your baby is "FREEZING" and that on occasion, you let the sun get in her eyes."