Thursday, August 30, 2012

Deck Before and After

When I got home from school Monday, this is what our deck looked like.  I joked with Evelyn that she should go out and practice her balance beam routine.  She didn't buy it.
 And here's what the deck looked like today when I got home!
 All new floor and railings - safe, secure and splinter-free.  We can't wait to get grilling out here!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of 3rd Grade!

Even though I had to teach today (the first day of school), my good friend Kat was here to act as my stand-in for first-day-of-school maternal duties.  Before I left for work, I snapped this picture of the girls, ready to walk to school
 The obligatory picture taken en route to Great Seneca Creek.  This is the most scenic part of the walk to school, where the forest and creek meet the city and school.
 Waiting out front before entering the school's doors for the fourth year in a row . . .
 . . . and she's in!  Evelyn chose her locker last week when she met her teacher.  (Looks like pandemonium in the hallway this morning!)
 Getting all settled into her third-grade desk.  Here's to another great year at school!  (And thank you, Kat, for all you did today!)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Nosy Rosie

As we prepare to remodel the half bathroom and entryway, we are slowly accumulating boxes of stuff.  Today we came back from Home Depot with the tile and faucet.  I think Rosie approves of our purchase.
 I ordered the pedestal sink online.  The boxes holding the two sink pieces came inside of even bigger boxes.  The girls turned one of these boxes into a bed, and Rosie didn't waste any time checking it out.
 Unable to resist an open box, Rosie squeezed into this one (even though the sink was still in there!).

Friday, August 24, 2012

Teacher's Helper

This past Wednesday (aka, two days ago) I was hired as a long-term substitute for a math support teacher at a school I have never subbed in.  This morning Evelyn helped me get things organized in the classroom that will be my home-away-from-home for the next five weeks.  Since my strength is reading and language arts (not math!), Evelyn also told me what some of the math materials are.  Now we'll see what's in store for me for the next couple of weeks...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Almost School-Time

Today Evelyn met her third grade teacher, Mrs. Holstine.  Evelyn is excited to have her as her teacher for a couple of reasons - Mrs. Holstine has been Evelyn's substitute a few times, and Mrs. Holstine knows one of Evelyn's friends (a friend since preschool!).  Talk about connections and feeling comfortable with her new teacher!  Here's hoping Evelyn will have a great year in third grade!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Silly Girl

I'm not sure who or what Julia was pretending to be today, but she asked me to take a picture of her.  Sure...why not?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Crooked Smile

Since the Nebraska dentist did a root canal on the wrong tooth a couple of weeks ago, I had to see my Maryland endodontist to have the right tooth done this morning.  This guy literally numbs me up to my eyeball, and Evelyn couldn't stop laughing when I "smiled" after my appointment.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Evelyn the Face Painter

Using some of her tooth fairy money, Evelyn bought a face painting kit today.  Julia was an eager volunteer, wanting a butterfly painted on her face.  In order to speed things up a bit, I drew and filled in the outline of the butterfly...then Evelyn did the rest.
 Ta da!  A jazzy butterfly joined us for dinner on the deck tonight!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Last Day at the Beach

Proof that today was yet another rainy day at the beach...rain clouds off in the distance, and the beach was fairly empty at 9:15 this morning.  We decided to risk it, anyway, and headed out for about an hour this morning.
 We had to come in during a thunderstorm around lunch time, and then we ventured out again.
 Even though it wasn't rainy all day, it was cloudy and cool.  Julia and I did not go into the ocean today; we wanted to stay (somewhat) warm and dry.
 After supper the clouds broke enough to go for a sunset walk on the beach.  I just love the light in the evening and the pictures I get that time of day.
 Windy?  Yes.  But we all enjoyed one last evening stroll on Fenwick Island.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fun in the Sand

This morning's weather was picture-perfect.  We were on the beach by 9:30 and in the ocean not long after that.  Evelyn wanted to be buried and sculpted into a mermaid.  Julia and I were happy to oblige, as seen below.

Not wanting to be left out, Julia requested to be made into a sitting mermaid.  I worked as quickly as I could, knowing that the little redhead wouldn't be able to sit still for long.  Moments after this picture was taken, Julia was begging to be set free.
After spending three hours on the beach, we headed inside for lunch.  That's when the dark clouds of a thunderstorm developed on the western horizon.  That thunderstorm kept us cooped up in the condo for almost three hours this afternoon; we finally headed back outside around 5:00.  There was a steady south breeze, making it super-easy to fly our kite.  Julia insisted on holding the kite's spool by herself (Little Miss Independence), but I wouldn't let her.  Not yet.  Her attention span is too short, and she is too quick to become bored with activities and simply walk away...if she did that while flying our kite, it would be looong gone.
Evelyn, on the other hand, I trust.  She had fun letting the kite fly higher and higher.  But after a few minutes, Evelyn handed the kite over to me.  There was such a steady breeze this afternoon/evening that I was able to sit in a beach chair and do absolutely nothing to keep the kite airborne.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Donuts & Waves

Evelyn woke up at 6:30 this morning.  Too early?  Not at all.  That meant we could go to Fractured Prune (in Ocean City) for donuts!  We didn't have to wait in line at all, which is a first.  We loaded up on 1 1/2 dozen donuts so we would have enough to last us the rest of our vacation.

It was another chilly, cloudy morning, and none of us were too eager to be on the beach before lunch.  So we headed up to Rehoboth to check out the deals at the outlet mall; nothing there to write home about.  Then, after lunch, we finally set up camp at the beach.  It wasn't long before Evelyn asked Troy to take her out into the waves.

But what's this?  Julia wanted to go out in the waves, too!

The next thing I knew, both girls were out in the water with Troy, having a blast.  Julia wouldn't let Troy put her down (even though she was wearing her floaty-thing), but we still commended her on being brave enough to go into the ocean.

One last picture of the three wave-jumpers.....can you find Evelyn in this picture?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cloudy Beach Day

Even though it was cloudy today, the girls still had fun at the beach.  We logged about five hours in the surf and sand today, including splashing in the waves.....

.....doing various gymnastics skills in the sand.....
.....splashing in a girl-made puddle (that the ocean kept replenishing).....
.....eating a rainbow snowball with marshmallow topping.....
.....and building all sorts of things in the sand.  Tomorrow's forecast calls for more clouds, but that won't keep us away from the beach!

Monday, August 6, 2012


In the weeks leading up to our Delaware vacation, all Julia could talk about was Funland.  She couldn't wait to go back and ride all the rides.  Much to the girls' delight, we made a return-trip to Funland (in Rehoboth Beach) this evening. 

Afer riding the merry-go-round, the girls headed over to the helicopters.  Evelyn especially liked this ride because she controlled how high their vessel went.
Then we quickly made our way to the Free Fall.  This was Julia's favorite ride, for the second year in a row.  Julia just loves being dropped from several feet in the air - she squealed with delight for the entire ride.
Julia and I rode the teacups while Troy and Evelyn waited in line for the Paratrooper.  Their line was so long that, by the time Julia and I were finished spinning on our ride, I made it back to Troy and Evelyn and took a picture.
After the Paratrooper, I talked Evelyn into going through the Haunted House with me.  I'm not sure who was more scared, Evelyn or myself.  It was one freaky ride!  Evelyn and I also went on her favorite ride, the Sea Dragon (aka the Viking boat that swings back and forth).  Meanwhile, Julia went on some kiddie rides that Evelyn was too big for, like the cars in the picture below.
Just like last year, we only spent $20 on 90 tickets, and those 90 tickets lasted nearly two hours.  Funland has definitely become a tradition for the Luster family!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Second Beach Day

Armed with her buckets of water, Julia was ready to take on the second day at the beach!

 This morning the weather was perfect for the beach - it was sunny, the temperature was in the mid-80's, and there was a breeze.
 After making some creations in the shade (where the sand was very dry), Evelyn ventured closer to the shoreline (where the sand was more conducive to building).  Julia took a break with Troy, under the rainbow umbrella.  Our condo complex, Fenwick Towers, is in the background.  Notice the nearly-empty beach in my pictures?  That's why we love this place!
 The only way Julia would get close to the water is if Troy held her.  Meanwhile Evelyn darted in and out of the waves.
 After spending nearly three hours on the beach, we went back to the condo for lunch.  Since we planned to head back out to the beach after lunch, we dined al fresco (in our swimming suits) on the balcony of our condo.  The wind, however, messed with our afternoon plans.  The wind gusts were up to 30 mph, making it unbearable to play on the beach.  Plan B involved swimming in the pool for a couple of hours, which made everyone happy.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Fenwick Island 2012

An hour after checking into our condo at Fenwick Towers this afternoon, we were on the beach!

 Just like last year, Julia preferred the ocean water to come to her in a bucket...while Evelyn started building castles in the sand.
Julia took a quick break for a picture with me.....
 Evelyn also built a complicated structure for her toy turtle and frogs, complete with tunnels and pens.
 Evelyn couldn't wait to get into the waves with Troy.  She jumped over several of them by herself, the brave little girl.