Sunday, April 28, 2013

And it dawns on me...

...that in a few short weeks AG will be home all day with me and Avi-Kate. Don't get me wrong I'm excited about summer vacation. BUT it will mean that I need to restructure my day and how things get done. It's also going to mean that I need to have activities lined up for us to do throughout the week. AG loves doing things hands on and so I need to get myself organized and prepared for what lies ahead in the coming weeks. I also feel like that while AG is young we do need to have some hands on materials for him for our trip to Williamsburg to make connections. I started researching possibilities and have yet to find anything that is developmentally appropriate and well put together. Most likely I'm going to make my own 'lap book' for him to work in. We'll see what I come up with. And while I'm on school type activities I am probably going to have to do some sort of Tot School this summer for AKs because she is quite insistent that she be included in whatever 'Bubba' is doing. On the upside she colors/holds writing utensils much better than AG did at this age. She is also starting to prefer her left hand when she holds a crayon/pencil. Last night, while out to dinner with my parents, I watched her hold a crayon with her right hand...try to color...then switch to her left hand because she like it better. She did this repeatedly every single time she switched crayons. This left handed mom is slightly optimistic that maybe I won't be the only lefty in the family.

It also dawns on me that...

I need to get with it on the birthday party planning for Avi-Kate. I can't believe she is going to be two in a month. Over the weekend I was looking at my calendar and realized that in all reality I need to have said party planned/ready to go before we leave for Williamsburg so that I'm not scrambling when we come home.

Here's to a productive next few weeks...not to mention the ideas I've schemed up to do around the house. :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book List for May and looking forward to Vacation...

It's been awhile since I have done a book list for our book basket and in reorganizing things this afternoon I decided to pull books to post. The end of May brings a trip north to of our favorite places to vacation. I started visiting the 'Historic Triangle' when I was in elementary school and absolutely fell in love with the area. Shortly after we were married we took our first family vacation with Andy's family and we went to Virginia. Since then we've taken several trips back to the historic district but the last time we were there AG was 20 months old. After that trip we found out were pregnant with Avi-Kate. When I look back at the photos from that trip it amazes me what all has happened since we were last there. I can't believe it's been almost three years since we were there last. We are thrilled to be heading back for a week of good food, walking in the past, shopping at our favorite places, and visiting one of our favorite theme parks with lots of family time. Since I taught upper elementary school I have quite a large collection of books relating to Colonization and The American Revolution. 

Colonial Book Basket:
John, Paul, George, and Ben by Lane Smith
Those Rebels, John & Tom by Barbara Kerley
Katie's Trunk by Ann Turner
Samuel's Choice by Richard Berleth
The Lost Colony of Roanoke by Jean Fritz
Uncovering History at Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology for Young Explorers
D is for Drum A Colonial Williamsburg ABC by Kay Chorao
Imogene's Last Stand by Candace Fleming
Historic Communities A Colonial Town Williamsburg by Bobbie Kalman
Mary Geddy's Day A Colonial Girl in Williamsburg by Kate Waters
The Scarlet Stockings Spy by Trinka Hakes Noble
Let it Begin Here! Lexington and Concord by Dennis Brindell Fradin
George vs. George The American Revolution as Seen From Both Sides by Rosalyn Schanzer
Roanoke The Lost Colony by Jane Yolen and Heidi Elisabet Yolen Stemple
Redcoats and Petticoats by Katherine Kirkpatrick
The Folk Art Counting Book from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center Williamsburg, VA
If You Lived In Williamsburg in Colonial Days by Barbra Brenner
If You Lived At The Time Of The American Revolution by Kay Moore
Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? by Jean Fritz
Shh! We're Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz
Everyday Dress of the American Colonial Period Coloring Book by Peter F. Copeland

We The People Series of books:
The Boston Tea Party by Michael Burgan
Great Women of the American Revolution by Michael Burgan
Williamsburg by Judy Alter
African-Americans in the Colonies by Jean Kinney Williams
The Bill of Rights by Michael Burgan
The Declaration of Independence by Michael Burgan
The Battles of Lexington and Concord

Triangle Histories Revolutionary War Series
The Battle of Monmouth by Lewis K. Parker
The Battle of Harlem Heights by Mary Hertz Scarbrough
The Battle of Valcour Bay by Scott Ingram

I recognize that some of these are waaaaaaay over my kids' heads. BUT while the content might be over their heads the real photographs on the pages are great to look at and discuss. The Williamsburg We the People book is filled with photos of the historic district. This will be a list that I come back to as the kids age over the next few years. I am really excited about AG being older this time around. He'll actually be able to grasp some of the concepts that we'll experience and that makes this former history teacher's heart happy. Here's hoping this next month flies by because I can't wait to be back there after browsing through these photos earlier:

 Lunch with Elmo and Friends and lots of quality time at Busch Gardens is on tap next month. They've added several new rides since we were last there. Including a new roller coaster, Verbolten, that replaced one of our favorite coasters at any theme park, The Big Bad Wolf. 

 Our last few trips have come in the lates summer/ fall so I'm excited to see the late spring/early summer gardens. 

 AG has requested a new hat since this one now fits Avi-Kate, a colonial drum, and a wooden pistol like the one he is holding in this photo. We are going to buy Avi-Kate a mob cap but I have a feeling she'll be wearing AG's old tri-cornered hat everywhere she goes. 

 I'm elated about this...when we were there last they had started working on excavating and rebuilding the Public Armoury. Since we've been there they completed the project and we will actually get to walk inside this building that was a big hole in the ground last time we were there. 

 Afternoon hot chocolate at Charlton's Coffee House is a must do for me. Colonial hot chocolate is very different from today's hot chocolate. 

 Even in the rain Williamsburg is just beautiful to me. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I'm back!

Well, after a much needed blog sabbatical I'm back. Whew.

If you are still here...thanks for sticking with me. I needed some time to process life and focus on what has been going on around us. Life has been moving at warp speed but I'm ready to jump back on the blogging bandwagon.

Randomness and slightly all over the map thoughts from today:

~Today is my half birthday. Normally, not a big deal but six months from today I turn 30. Somewhat surreal to think about. I've been quite contemplative all day about all that has happened in the last ten years of my life. Ten years ago I didn't know Andy. Since then I've met the love of my life, graduated from Berry, married Andy, bought and remodeled a house, had two children, 'adopted' a house full of college students, and become something I never thought I'd be...a runner who has completed two half marathons. And that's just a few of the high points. What really amazes me is to think where we will be ten years from now...AG will be 14 and Avi-Kate will be almost 12!

~ The kids were in a wedding this weekend and they were absolutely precious. I've known the bride since we were little. We were campers together and she was a few years behind me at Berry. Her wedding was gorgeous. She is so detail oriented and there were details every where you looked. I'll post pictures this week and more details.

~We had a picnic today in the park after church and it was wonderful! Despite the pollen it was a beautiful spring day. We had a great turn out...probably one of the largest church events we've ever hosted. The kids played non-stop and between the wedding festivities and today they are beat. They sacked out pretty quickly this evening.

~Avi-Kate is going to be two in less than two months. Nuts. Seems like she was born just yesterday. Since she had surgery I feel like she has grown a ton. Her vocabulary has finally taken off. It is sweet music to our ears to hear her little voice. A few weeks back she started piecing together simple sentences, that you can actually understand what she is saying, and I about wept tears of joy. It also has made Andy and I realize just how bad her hearing was and how much her tongue being tied hindered her ability to speak. I'm extremely grateful that we were able to address those issues and that she is doing so well.

~AG has become such a big kid. I'm amazed how much he has grown and changed since starting school. I'm even more amazed that he has one more year left of preschool before he is in kindergarten! Everyone always talks about quickly time passes but it really does amaze me how quickly our children change before our eyes. AG is all about his sports teams and becoming a farmer. A few weeks ago his teachers did a week long unit on farms and he was beside himself with joy! He's quite happy that baseball season and the Braves are back.

~My house is a complete wreck at the moment. (From all of the hustle and bustle this weekend!) I am hoping to regroup this week. At least before hosting my ladies bible study on Wednesday night.

~My sweet mother-in-law is here for a few days and I'm hoping we can get out in the yard tomorrow and get some stuff planted that I bought at the Berry plant sale two weeks ago.

~Andy is still looking for a job and we are faithfully walking through this new season in our lives. He has applied for some things and we are hopeful that something might happen soon. In this season of uncertainty I've taken great comfort in knowing that God is sovereign. In all things.

~What an emotional week it has been for our country as a whole. As someone who runs Boston hit me on a deep, personal level. We had friends that were there running but thankfully they are okay. And then there is the plant explosion in Texas. Which hits home as dad's only sibling, my Aunt Joy, lives in Texas. Not too far from West where the explosion happened. I'm grateful that she, my uncle, and my cousin are all ok. My heart hurts on so many, many levels. And again, despite all of this I'm grateful for God's sovereignty. What happened in Texas is tragic. What happened in Boston is heinous. I have lots of thoughts running around in my head and I'm not sure if I'll share those things here...still mulling over that.

~Lastly, I'm in the process of starting a side business selling stuff I've made. This is something I've wanted to do for years and finally have the opportunity to give it a go. I'm really excited about it. Andy is currently building my website but we do have a facebook page. Feel free to take a peek at what we've been up to. I'm also working on getting a 'store' on Etsy up and going. These Southern Roots is what we've named it. I'm not really sure where it will go but I'm excited about the possibilities.

I'll be back soon with pictures and posts of what we've been up to.  Here's hoping this week is better than last.