Monday, October 31, 2016

This is Halloween

In spite of (or because of) all the excitement surrounding Halloween and trick-or-treating, I was a bit of a grumpy mom today. I felt like no one would listen and that everyone was constantly whining. Zoë woke up early and refused to nap, which was a bad combination paired with the late-night gab session I'd had with Rosie. She and Benjamin were doing their best to pull the house apart. And then their sisters came home and everyone was fighting and I was going crazy. 

Maybe I'm just not used to being so outnumbered (thanks for pampering me, visitors) but four kids can be a lot of work. Phew!

We still managed to have a pretty okay day. It was beautiful and sunny out so I took Benjamin and Zoë outside to prepare our pumpkins for carving. They had fun scooping out the guts.

Lunch fail

Miriam really wanted to pack lunch from home today (usually she just gets school lunch). She asked me about it every day this weekend and on Sunday night she finally got to do it! She put together this spooktacular feast:

Age Gap Problems

On Sunday we went to church as usual, though it was nice (once again) to have an extra pair of hands to help get children ready in the morning. I've been so spoiled this month—between General Conference, Grandma visiting, and Rosie visiting, I've only had to get the kids ready for church on my own once.

Rosie came to nursery with me and it was nice to have an extra pair of hands in there as well.

After church we came home and had a movie afternoon with Hocus Pocus and popcorn. Andrew came home and made dinner, then we ate, went on a walk, put the children to bed, and then Rosie and I talked until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday with Rosie: Soccer, Grist Mill, Duke Chapel

We had another go-go-go Saturday, of course. Rosie and Zoë and I went to Miriam's soccer game while Rachel and Andrew went to Benjamin's. It was supposed be our last week of soccer but our season was extended by a week (because we missed so many games due to bad weather (Hurricane Matthew, for example). Miriam's team went ahead with their final celebration anyway, since it had been planned before we knew for certain the season was going to be extended.

Here's Miriam (second from left) with her teammates:

Her award was "most improved player." She really did improve by leaps and bounds this season!

Butler, Butler, Butler

Continuing the theme of nearly-inappropriate language, Benjamin was just singing a Halloween song for Zoë while we were eating lunch. We made some skeletons to tape to our front door before lunch and were singing "Dem Bones," but the lyrics and tune for this particular song were all original to Benjamin:

"Butler, butler, butler, butler, have you any bonesies?"

Technically he's not allowed to say the word butler. All that means, however, is that he says it all the more. I really should stop banning things from this kid...

He overheard the word during a conversation somewhere about something—involving butlers, obviously—and thought it was hilarious because it has the word "butt" in it, which is also technically a word we avoid saying (because kids can just get so rude). Anyway, "butler" has quickly replaced the word "butt" in Benjamin's lexicon.

And he uses it so rudely.

At ukulele practice last week he was playing in the basement with his friend Rosie (not his cousin Rosie) and she came upstairs to tattle on him. "Benjamin keeps saying butler," she told her mom.

Butler isn't even a bad word...but, oh, he makes it sound like a bad word.

"Butler! Butler! Butler!" he'll spew the syllables out like poison. "You're a butler!"

When I told him that if he can't start using that word nicely and appropriately he'd start getting in trouble for saying it, he did his best to make it more polite by changing it to...bumler.

"Bumler! Bumler! Bumler! Zoë, you're a bumler!" he started chanting.

Everyone knows that "bum" isn't nearly as rude of a word as "butt," so this was a big improvement. In his opinion. I wasn't quite satisfied and told him so, evoking further evolution of the word.

"Potty-ler! Potty-ler! Potty-ler! Is that better, Mom?"

"Yeah, not really," I said. "You're still trying to be rude and you're still using potty words and I just don't like it. You need to be nice."

"Can I just say -ler?" he asked innocently.

The boy knows how to negotiate, that's for sure.

Oh, and how to drive his mother slightly batty. He knows how to do that, too.

When the SHTF

A few nights ago when Benjamin was supposed to be getting out of his regular clothes and into his Halloween costume he was instead whooping and hollering and dancing around the house (not at all out of character for him). When he finally started doing what he was supposed to be doing the whooping, hollering, and dancing continued—despite all our protests and threats of consequences.

He pulled off his shirt and swung it above his head before launching it into the air with an emphatic, "YEEHAW!"

The shirt flew up and hit the fan, sending up a poof of dust (because I'm an A+ housekeeper) before landing on the floor with a thud. 

"Benjamin," Andrew growled in his best serious-daddy voice. "Come here."

"Okay," Benjamin sulked remorsefully.

"You are out of control," Andrew said, getting down at Benjamin's level and holding onto his shoulders to steady the wild child. 

"Okay," Benjamin mumbled.

"What did you do that was wrong?"

"I threw my shirt," Benjamin said.

"Yes. You threw your shirt and your shirt hit the fan," Andrew said, suddenly fighting to maintain his composure. "And do you know what happens when the shirt hits the fan?"

Halloween dance FTW

On Friday morning we were just getting ready to head out the door to go to the Museum of Life and Science with Rosie when I got a text from Miriam's teacher saying that Miriam didn't feel well and wanted to come home—her ears were bothering her. So instead of heading to the museum we headed to school where we found Miriam playing with her friends, seemingly fine. 

We've had a cold at our house, it's true, but we're all (mostly) over it. Some lingering side effects seem to be an abnormal amount of ear popping (which can be uncomfortable), a bit of a stuffy (though no longer runny) nose, and, for me, laryngitis (because I can't get sick without getting laryngitis). I'm sure Miriam was experiencing ear popping at school and just didn't know how to handle it, because she wasn't really acting sick at all. 

I had such a terrible time deciding what to do. Selfishly, I didn't really want to bring a sick child home to just sit around the house doing nothing (Rosie was with us for such a short time!) but I also didn't want to leave a sick child at school. Miriam didn't seem sick at all (no fever, no cough, no runny nose, no throwing up) but insisted that she wanted to come home. Andrew said that we should just take Miriam to the museum with us, but I didn't want to set up that sort of precedent—at our house if you come home sick you have to be sick for the rest of the day so there's no going outside to play with friends or going to Halloween parties in the evenings or anything. Besides, if we'd done that I imagine Rachel would have felt really left out. 

In the end we made a deal with Miriam: if she could stick through the next three hours at school, I would pick them up at the end of the day. That way we'd still get to go out during the day and she'd still get to go to the ward Halloween party but wouldn't have to suffer through an hour-long bus ride.

When we got to the museum, however, both parking lots were completely packed. There were no free spaces in the regular lot and there were no free spaces in the overflow parking. So instead we headed next-door to Rock Quarry Park where Rosie and I chatted while we watched Zoë and Benjamin play. Rosie also pushed Benjamin in the swing for quite a while—this boy is a marathon swinger.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Grandma leaves, Rosie arrives, we visit a plantation and attend a costume party

My niece Rosie decided to come visit us for the weekend, so when Andrew dropped his mom off at the airport early on Thursday morning he brought Rosie back with him (she picked an early flight to save him a trip to the airport). Rachel and Miriam had already left for school but Benjamin and Zoë had not yet woken up by the time Rosie arrived. They took to her like glue. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Come to the Funfair

Grandma treated us with a trip to the State Fair on Saturday afternoon—to see Rachel's picture, of course. We were so glad we had a ratio of three adults to four children, otherwise I don't know how we would have managed the crowd! It was pretty overwhelming as it was. We had two kids in the double stroller (being pushed by Andrew) and then Grandma admonished the girls, "If you aren't holding my hand or Mom's're doing something wrong!" We got through the day without losing anyone, so our system seemed to work well (even if it did fall apart a few times, like when I was nursing while walking or when Zoë/Benjamin refused to ride in the stroller). Over all, though, I'm just proud of us for making it out of there alive.

Zoë's favourite exhibits, by far, were the animal exhibits. Here we are in one of the barns, having fun with some cutouts. This one was a surprise for Benjamin and Rachel. I had them put their heads through the holes and then ran around to the other side to take a picture. I thought it was pretty funny—though Rachel was not impressed—when the other side was revealed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Miriam's 7th birthday

Our Tuesday nights are so chaotic that we decided to do the bulk of our celebration on Monday night, and even that was rushed (Andrew always feels swamped on Mondays (probably due to taking family time on the weekends) and this Monday he was feeling particularly swamped (because of having just returned from his trip(s)) so he ends up not coming home until around 6:30...which is fine, except that cramming dinner and FHE in before bedtime ends up a little tricky when he does that). Miriam chose Cook Out for dinner (Grandma's treat) and we ate until we were stuffed and decided we had better open presents before doing cake.

My mom had been nervous about her selection of Miriam's card since Rachel's birthday (when Rachel received the same card from both sets of grandparents). Well, the first gift Miriam chose to open was from Sister Wood, who selected some excellent books for Miriam (one about Eleanor Roosevelt and one about authors), as well as a beautiful new dress (which she is rather excited to wear):

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Miriam's soccer game

This morning Grandma attended Rachel's soccer game, which means she had a chance to see each child play (Miriam's game last weekend, Benjamin's practice on Tuesday, and Rachel's game today). Andrew and I took the rest of the kids to Miriam's game (Benjamin, thankfully, had a bye-game; it's always nice to only have to get kids to two soccer games rather than three).

The kids are so excited to have Daddy home.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall is here, hear the yell

At dinner, Miriam's hair was a mess. Her ponytail had become quite mussed and she had more than a couple leafs entangled in her rapunzelesque locks. 

"What did you do?" Grandma asked. "Get down and roll around on the ground or something?"


Phone camera

We have, in our collection of toys, an old demo phone (there's no battery pack and the screen isn't even real; it's a lenticular print). The kids all loved it when they were babies because it looks and feels like a real (if not incredibly outdated) cell phone and the buttons are real (and buttons are where it's at). Recently, Zoë (and Benjamin, to a lesser extent) has decided this phone has a camera function and has been taking billions of photos on it (its memory card must be huge).

She's a very intent photographer:

Off Their Rockers

I feel like we literally just attended Miriam's class concert, but I suppose it was about six months ago. Still, after performing that late into the school year it feels rather sudden to be the first musical performance of the year! 

This year the title of their little musical was Off Their Rockers. It was set in a nursing home; a group of young performers is determined to get the tired, bored residents up and rocking by serenading them with some hits from the 1950s. The kids were dressed either as old people or in 1950s attire. 

We put Miriam's costume together earlier this week and she looked darling!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here today, gone tomorrow

Andrew flew in from England at around 12:30 AM yesterday, after being stuck in New Jersey for a few more hours than he had originally planned and nudging his travel time to over 24 hours. Then, very unfortunately, he had to get up in the morning to run in to campus for a meeting. The most unfortunate part about this was that this meeting was actually scheduled for this morning, not yesterday, so he could have slept in a little bit!

He spent the day on campus today, came home and packed, and then Karen drove him to the airport. He's now in Columbus, Ohio for NASPAA.

I have a feeling we'll continue to sprint through life like this for quite a while.

Even with Grandma here to help, we've mostly been lying low—though we're keeping plenty busy with soccer (just a few more weeks and then we get a break)! Part of the reason we've so sluggish around here is the cold that's sweeping through our house. Benjamin has been complaining for days about how terribly sick he is (while everyone else seems to be suffering much quieter) so I mentioned something about a 'man cold' and now every chance he gets he repeats that phrase.

"I can't do the dishes. I have a man cold!"

"It's just that I have a man cold!"

"My man cold is getting worse. I think I need more cough drops."

It's really not that bad of an illness and we'll all survive...but we'll also just be at home, I think.

Here are some completely unrelated pictures to Andrew's travels: life on the home front, if you will.

Zoë has finally sprouted enough hair for almost-pigtails. She's still a little sparse in places but I got pigtails in on Sunday and she kept them in all day long.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Homework

It's the weekend, which means that the girls came home with their backpacks bursting with papers. Among them was this cute poem by Miriam:

Miriam is a reader, writer, school LOVER!
Love of lab dogs and science.
Who is able to swim REALLY GOOD!!!
Who feels tired in the morning for school.
Who wonders if witches and wizards are real.
Who fears the dark.
Who would like to be a librarian when she grows up.
Who dreams of her brother going to sleep without talking.

With the new quarter, our school has begun a no-homework experiment. They sent a letter home (which I swear I kept because I knew I wanted to write a blog post about how excited I was to not have to worry about homework anymore) but I can't seem to find it. I have a million papers on my desk but that paper doesn't seem to be there. I even had two copies of it because each of the girls brought one home—and it's on a lovely goldenrod paper so it's not like it blends in with much. It's just gone.

A very soccer Saturday

Last night Benjamin's coach emailed to ask the team to be at the field at 7:45 am for pictures. Their game time was 9:00 am. I thought this was, in a word, delusional. So I planned to be late and pull the, "Meh. Sorry. My husband is out of town and I have four kids and two of them had soccer games at 9:00 so... We're here now. Applause. Thanks," card.

But then he sent an email with a revised time of 8:30 and I decided that I could live with that.

Miriam's coach had asked that the team show up at 8:45, so this worked out perfectly. Grandma and Miriam dropped the rest of us off at Benjamin's field before heading off to her game. 

We waited around and waited around until they finally called us over for our team 8:55 am. I kind of hate team picture day. I mean, it's fun to have a picture of the team for memory's sake, I guess, but I am simply not interested in buying professional pictures of my child in droopy soccer clothes (hashtag: bad mother). 

The photographer asked the kids to put their hands on their hips and Benjamin could not figure this pose out, which was hilarious. First he had them up like chicken wings, but we got him to lower them a little. But he still just could not figure out what in the world we wanted him to do. 

Here he is looking at his teammates for help:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jamestown Settlement (September 26)

To pick up where Rachel left off, and perhaps to offer a little more background, on our drive back from DC we stopped at Jamestown to do some exploring. We had to use up the rest of the passes to Yorktown/Jamestown that we'd purchased, so off to Jamestown Settlement we went.

The Powhatan camp was, truthfully, a little awkward. There were a bunch of retired school teachers playing the role of Native American women...but they were very obviously not Native American...and the whole thing smacked a bit of orientalism. It was fun for the children, for sure, and it was interesting to get to walk through the houses. But the actors (or "historical interpreters") were a bit much for us.

(To be fair, we also steered clear of the "historical interpreters" at the colonial village (and probably would have avoided them on the boat as well except that we know...stuck on a boat)).

One tour guide (not an actor) said, and I quote, "We don't really know what these [totems] are for because it's like some big secret or something and 'The Indians' don't like to share their secrets with us."

That made my eyes bulge out a little bit. First of all, she was an actual employed tour guide. Second of all, way to "otherize" another culture. Third of all, it's not a huge secret, really. According to the Powhatan Museum: "Powhatan totems were thought to be carved portraits of important people. They were never worshiped but represented the location of the ceremonial dance area."

Anyway, next in our little tour of Jamestown Settlement was a stop at the harbour. Our first thought when we saw the ships was that they were much smaller than we'd expected. But apparently they are to-scale replicas. It makes me sick of thinking about getting into the bottom of this ship with 50 other passengers and staying down there while we sailed for weeks and weeks. I felt crowded enough going down there with a handful of other tourists—and that was without any cargo taking up space!

The Susan Constant

Bathroom rants and camps in Jamestown (September 26) by Rachel

On Monday, September 26, we went to Jamestown. The first thing we did was go to the bathroom. I got stuck in the first stall! With an automatic toilet! I hate automatic toilets! With regular toilets you can open the door and then flush, if you're scared of bathroom stalls and toilet sounds (which I am)! After banging on the door it finally opened. 

Then we walked to the Native American tribe camp. All of the stuff outside was hands on so we could touch anything: pelts, feathers, beds, turtle shells. I loved everything about the camp! 

Inside one of the houses


I'll see your picture of you hanging out with my mom, Andrew, and raise you this:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Andrew's in London

On Tuesday morning Andrew texted me to let me know that he'd finally "made it" and had met up with my mom and brother in London. 

Walking tour of Alexandria (September 26)

After getting everything all packed up on Monday morning, we struck out for Old Town Alexandria with our trusty tour guide, Amanda. I love exploring new places, but it doesn't hurt to have someone around who has done all the exploring for you and can simply show you the highlights of a place. This was probably our most efficient tour of our DC trip because with Amanda there we didn't make a single wrong turn!

Here we are leaving the parking garage:

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sunday in DC (September 25)

We visited Amanda's ward in the morning and the primary children gave their primary presentation. It was fun for the kids to watch since they'd just given theirs the week before. The primary in Amanda's ward is so small that we threatened to make the kids go up to sing with them (but our kids did not like that idea at all (I don't know why—they knew all the songs!)).

We stopped by For Ward on our way home, which Rachel thought was funny. She's always after a good pun and stopping by Fort Ward on a Sunday after visiting Amanda's ward was just too funny.

We didn't stay long, but we did play on a few more cannons...

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Bull Run (September 24)

Our last stop of the day on Saturday was to where the Battle of Bull Run (or The First Battle of Mannassas) took place. The man running the visitor's center was super excited about history and invited us to watch a short film about the battle, which ended up being a pretty intense 45 minutes! 

When we stumbled out of the theater he said, "Oh, I hope that wasn't too gory for the children!"

We thought that was funny because at Mount Vernon we were warned several times about how violent the introductory film was, but in reality it was quite mild compared to the film at Bull Run.

Benjamin thought it was awesome because there were a lot of cannons being fired the whole time. 

Andrew and I kept turning to each other with our mouths wide open. We didn't realize that back then war was a spectator sport and that people were gathered up on the hillsides to watch their men battle to the death (what). And I suppose civilians are always getting in the way of things (o hi syria) but—the poor Henry family! They were bunkered down in their little farmhouse throughout that terrifying first battle and when "Ricketts began receiving rifle fire, he concluded that it was coming from the Henry House and turned his guns on the building. A shell that crashed through the bedroom wall tore off one of the widow's feet and inflicted multiple injuries, from which she died later that day." Insanity.

I think the girls enjoyed the movie as well. Part of it was told from the point of view of a little boy and girl who lived in the area as well (and who were told in advance to leave their house or "be blown to bits" shortly before a subsequent battle broke out).

Here are some pictures from our time exploring the area around the reconstructed Henry house.

Our state fair is a great state fair

Today Rachel came home, beaming with pride, and presented me with a letter from her art teacher that said her "artwork was selected to represent [our school] at the North Carolina State Fair.... We hope that you will be able to see this wonderful exhibit. Thanks for sharing your talented student with [our school] AND the State of North Carolina."

This is her project that was selected, The Hattaras Lighthouse:

We'll have to see if we can figure out the whole state fair thing...we've never been...but even if we don't make it (because this month, let's face it, is bordering on insanity) we're very pleased with Rachel's artwork this year.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Mount Vernon (September 24)

With the festivities surrounding the opening of the new museum in DC, we decided to spend some time out of the city center. On Saturday morning we hit up Mount Vernon, which gave Benjamin George Washington fever! 

I'm sure I mentioned earlier how we were skimping on meals. We stocked up on breakfast foods while we were at Target, though, and I was groggily passing stuff out to the children one morning. I grabbed a bunch of bananas out of one of our grocery bags that also contained a package of doughnuts.

"Doughnuts?" I offered, holding up the bananas.

Everyone got a good kick out of that.

One "travel treat" our children requested was beef jerky. We had to explain to Benjamin several times what it was and when the information finally seeped into his brain he exclusively called it "cow," as in, "Pass the cow, please? Mmm! This cow sure is good."

It made it difficult for everyone else to eat the jerky, but Benjamin seemed to enjoy it just as well as before he realized it was...cow.

Anyway, breakfast aside, we made it to Mount Vernon and went into the main lobby where a volunteer handed out fun little maps with a puzzle for the kids to figure to earn a prize. The kids were all rather excited about the map.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

This is how we hurricane

Hurricane Matthew is fast approaching. 

Today we had nonstop drizzling and even a few (enjoyable) downpours. 

A friend in Florida compared hurricanes to "contractions in labor. Initially they come slow and intermittent. Then you get into the eye of the storm we're at crescendos and you're an actual hard labor and then you come out the other end again with an equal exit to your entrance."

Tomorrow is supposed to be another rainy day for us, but we're pretty far inland and the storm has spent quite a bit of its energy already so I don't think we'll suffer too badly.

We are thinking and praying for those harder hit, however. I showed my kids some pictures of Cuba and Haiti and they were shocked, not only by the destruction the hurricane caused in those places but also by the general poverty evident in the pictures.

Miriam remarked (about some pictures of Haiti before the storm), "Those houses already look like a hurricane hit them. What's going to happen when the hurricane actually hits?"

So much tragedy. That's what.

And by pure, dumb luck we live here in opulence while they live there in shambles (...once again)

DC waterfronts on September 23

On Friday the 23rd we set out to meet a friend at the Georgetown Waterfront Park. We were aiming to be there at 9:30 but didn't end up parking until 9:58 (we had to stop at Target to pick up some pants for Rachel and then hit some traffic). Unfortunately, our friend got stuck in such terrible traffic that we weren't able to meet up at all, but we enjoyed the park quite a bit anyway. It's a beautiful part of DC, and made us feel like we weren't even in the middle of a bustling city.

Here's Andrew leading the children around the labyrinth at the park:

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Zoo Day

Even though Andrew is insanely busy I convinced him to play hooky and come to the zoo with us today. In all honesty though, we did cut our DC trip a day short, so this kind of makes up for that, in a way. There are a few other reasons forthcoming which justify front-loading some family time for October...but since those are in the future and I still have so much to cover in the past (like the week we spent in DC) I'd better get to it.

I boiled eggs last night so we could pack them for our lunch today, which was brilliant. No one even asked for a snack the whole time we were at the zoo (except Zoë, but she doesn't count because she didn't eat much of her egg). Protein really does make you feel full longer!

Zoë was the perfect age for a trip to the zoo. She loved everything about it.


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Miriam's Toad Story

Here's Miriam's version of the toad story:

On Tuesday, I picked up a toad! After I picked it up, I dropped it, because it felt really weird and gross. (It was at night time, the next morning we were going to Washington, D.C.). Well, after I dropped it, I chased it around the stroller. When it finally got onto the curb I grabbed it. It still felt weird, it still felt gross. After that I carried it home. I brought it inside, then we took pictures. Then I grossed out dad. It was fun, I had to let it go. The end.

And here she is doing her best impression of the toad:

In DC on September 22

Andrew had some interviews to conduct on Thursday (for research purposes) but he had time to walk us over to the Air and Space Museum beforehand, which was nice for me because my sense of direction is terrible, and nice for him because he loves the Air and Space Museum.

Here are the kids sitting on the lawn of the mall in front of the Capitol Building.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Damp fools in the woods

Today while I was forcing the children to help clean the house, Miriam wondered aloud when they'd get to go back to school because being at home was so boring. I was like, "What do you mean 'boring?' We're cleaning the house so we can go do something fun. If you want to get to the fun part faster then stop sniffling and pick up the pace."

That's probably why she wants to go back to school, truthfully. Her teacher is super nice. I'm pretty heartless. Just ask my kids. 

Why, just a few minutes ago Benjamin got out of bed to show me a little hangnail that's causing him grief and instead of expressing sympathy I...sniffed his finger? In my defence, I'm rather sleepy (Zoë went to bed at 4:45 AM last night) and I was reading a friend's blog post about the sense of smell. I think I meant to fake kiss his finger but ended up sniffing it instead, uttering, "Mmm...that's too bad. Get back to bed. I love you."

Anyway, I'm heartless. And I force my kids to do chores. 

Even school is better than this.

*eye roll*

Our fun activity, which we did eventually get around to doing, was a hike along the river. Fall hasn't always been one of my favourite seasons, but here where fall stretches and lingers for months, it really is. I suppose I have always enjoyed autumn, but sometimes in the north autumn is too brief to even think about enjoying. Here, however, autumn is an actual factual thing. And it's beautiful.

Here's a lovely zigzag spider that I found in our front garden as we were headed to the van. Isn't she beautiful?

Sunday, October 02, 2016

DC at night (September 21)

We arrived in DC around 8:00 at night on the 21st and were all so excited to be there that instead of heading straight to Amanda's house we decided to head downtown to see the sights. We parked by Potomac River, which was p-totally awesome (the 'puh-tuh' thing carried on through the whole p-trip (because, as our children would be happy to tell you, we're nerds)). The kids were all very impressed with how many planes and helicopters flew overhead, just while we were standing on the sidewalk.

We walked over to the Lincoln Memorial first and took some terrible-quality pictures. But though the pictures are sub-par, the night was wonderful. Seeing the monuments all lit up at night is pretty amazing.

Here's Miriam with the Washington Monument behind her:

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Goodbye to pool season

All week long the forecast has called for rain so Andrew has been taking the van to campus, leaving us stranded at home. It never actually rained while he was gone with the van, but it always threatened to so we didn't have the courage to walk anywhere too far from home (getting caught in a wicked thunder storm with four kids isn't my idea of a good time), which meant we've mostly been stuck at home driving each other crazy.

On Friday, however, we needed the van to go to ukulele practice. There was still rain in the forecast, but it wasn't raining in the morning, so Andrew took the scooter to campus, which meant we were free to go to the pool...even though the sky was threatening to unleash its fury at any moment.

It was the very last day the pool was open this year so we had to go!