Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Maybe this is only funny to me...

The background:
On Sunday, during Sacrament meeting, the kind sister behind us passed the girls one of those dot games - you know the ones where you draw lines from dot to dot to complete a square and the last one to complete the square, gets a point. So, Maggie and Ashlee played. Ashlee is competitive, and not in a good, driven way, but in the way that makes us all dread playing games with her. We are working on it, and so is she, but it's a hard lesson to learn - and we all know people who haven't learned that lesson. (I'm crossing my fingers right now that it won't be her.) I don't think she'll be like this forever -during soccer season, she is definitely not as competitive as she is during family games. Maybe it's us.
I don't know why the pictures are turned on their sides - they are not that way in the file.
Picture #1 - Ashlee quits, Maggie tries to persuade her to continue. (I wrote the numbers to make it easier to follow. Paige was helping me)
Picture #2 The argument continues. (I did not write any numbers, because I couldn't really follow)
Missing - one page of a few more notes back and forth. Then it is quiet for a little while - no notes back and forth, Ashlee appears to be coloring. Then she hands Maggie picture number 4 - She has stacked the game so she cannot lose (because everyone knows once you pass a certain age no-one EVER wins tic-tac-toe anymore) I love the "make your move." with the evil mouse face. I hear it in my head said in a very threatening tone. I laughed (quietly, to myself for a few minutes) I really love this girl!

I have been wanting to get a picture of her with her eyes wide open for a long time - they are so beautiful, but I never can, so here is one sad attempt. Isn't she great?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

More Spring Break

More spring break from DE - while we were there, we went to Baltimore for the day. We stayed in the inner harbor and went to the National Aquarium and on board one of the ships in the harbor. The best part of the Aquarium was the dolphin show. Paige really liked the fish too. While we were on the boat - I think it was the USS Constellation, but my memory is failing me right at the moment - Paige managed to disappear a couple of times when I was reading the signs. Once, we found her behind the rope through one of the officer cabins in a little cubby between the cabin and the wall of the ship. She's pretty sneaky and it's more difficult without 2 adults to help with the supervision. Anyway, Baltimore looked really fun and I wouldn't mind going back when we can spend more time. There is an old Basilica there somewhere (the first one built in the U.S.???? maybe, but just as before, my memory is failing) and I really wanted to see it. My map skills are terrible though and we had already gotten lost once, so we missed it.

Unrelated photo: the monkey in the closet. Her changing table is inside the closet to help save space, and this is one of her new favorite tricks.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring Break

The girls were on Spring Break last week, so we went down to Delaware for the last couple of days to stay with Christopher. He was/is very busy there and I think he was a little bit stressed out with us there. It's hard to study with 4 extra people in your hotel room. On Friday we went to Wintherthur Gardens and Estate - I am not exaggerating one little bit when I say that it was magical. Formerly one of the homes of the DuPont family, it is now open to the public with a library, a museum and gardens. Longwood Gardens (in PA, but just 20 minutes away), that I have posted about before, was owned by the same family. We had perfect weather and enjoyed a beautiful day!
Paigie playing with the water in the children's garden "The Enchanted Woods" which really were enchanting - the had a fairy ring, a huge bird's nest, little tables, a gate that had chimes on the hinges so that when it opened, the chimes rang, a wishing well....I could go on and on.
They are sitting in the window box/stage? of the little house (with a thatched roof!). When they sat down on the chairs, Maggie said "I'm the first counselor." Funny - to me anyway.
One of the "Fairy Huts"

If I knew my trees better I could tell you what is blooming back there. Not Cherry Trees (I don't think) or Dogwoods (which are the only ones I am certain of), but aren't they lovely?

Daffodil Clouds - just past their prime. Our guide said that the workers would go out and lay sticks in the shape of the shadows cast by clouds overhead and then plant daffodils in them. I really, really, really loved this place. They let people walk all around, the kids can climb in the trees, plus, as you can see in the pictures, there were was actually a little bit of elevation change - it was perfect. We will be going back when more things start blooming. Mr. Dupont planted 8 acres of Azaleas - "Azalea Woods", only 3-4 plants were blooming when we were there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter!

No family pictures this year because while we were inside waiting for Papa Bunny to hide the eggs, Paige managed to find and spill a 1/2 full bottle of bubbles on her head. This was one of many "I told you so" moments for Christopher in our marriage. He was 150% against letting the girls play bubbles inside - too messy, he said. But it was cold, so I let them.
A "briefing" was held to be sure that all eggs were accounted for and evenly distributed.Ready, break.... I love Maggie's dress - and secretly wish I was skinny enough to wear one like it. She liked it too, but I think the best part for her was that she wasn't matching her two younger sisters.
Chris left last night to start learning the new plane. While the girls were snapping green beans for dinner, they both agreed that it seemed like this period leading up to training had gone by too quickly. Ashlee was a bit of a wreck when he left. We kept saying "He's only an hour away...we're going to see him on Wednesday..."and Maggie would add "just wait until he's leaving for six months, then we're really going to cry." He should be done in three weeks and then be home for about three before he has to leave...and if I'm honest, I'm a bit of a wreck about it too. I'm not looking for sympathy, it will most likely go by quickly and we have the summer so we can head out west, Jennifer is coming at the end of June, and I'll get to see Andrew and Carly's new baby etc., etc... But it is six months.
And while I'm on the subject... I am leaning more toward driving to Utah this summer...it's starting to sound more and more like an adventure. 34 hours - so with kids 4 days. They get along so well and it could be fun, right?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

General Conference Saturday

"The Church needs strong Christians...who perservere through hardships...make important things happen through their faith." - D. Todd Christofferson"Joyfully live within your means...buying what we don't need makes us poor spiritually and unable to serve. Three most loving words 'I love you.' Four most loving words 'We can't afford it." Robert D. Hales
"Faith and courage come from a testimony that it is true that we are being prepared here for eternal life." Henry B. Eyring

"...Life and faith centered on Jesus Christ and his gospel...nothing can go permanently wrong...not centered on Christ, nothing can be permanently right." Rafael E. Pino, quoting President Howard W. Hunter.

We had a great conference Saturday - I'm so thankful for general conference, for the opportunity for renewal and repentance that it brings. I am so glad to know that there is a Prophet. I am glad to belong to a church that sets a high standard and expects me to reach up and live it- and I am especially glad that they teach about Christ so I know that I can and that I will be happy as I try - no matter what.
(None of the above are direct quotes - just my notes from today - better information at lds.org)

And...remember the blind man? Well, on April first he went racing halfway to the emergency room for a cut. But, it wasn't. Just a wet rag and some red food coloring. FYI if you need someone from this house to play a joke - Ashlee is your girl. Maggie and I cannot keep a straight face.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

How Great is This?

Sorry, I can't figure out how to Embed this - here is a link.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We Were Out of Dresses

What, this isn't how you send your kids outside to play?
Paige has her own sense of style - it's called she hates to wear pants and her mom is a sucker. Paige also has the best sisters.
(These pictures were taken on different days - but it honestly wasn't warm enough for her to be outside in bloomers yesterday. Oh well.)