Sunday, June 30, 2013


Evelyn has been wanting to put away Grandma Birch's china dishes ever since we moved in.  Today I granted her wish.  This china was packed up when we moved from Dallas...and it has been in boxes ever since because we never had a place to display it in Maryland.  There's a display case in our new kitchen, which seems like the perfect spot for the dishes.  Evelyn did an awesome job carefully unwrapping each piece, and she had fun, too!
Speaking of fun, Rosie had loved burrowing in yet another pile of crumpled up paper.

Boston Outing

Troy had to go into work this morning, and he asked us to come along so we could see where he works.  After a 50-minute drive up to Boston, we found his building.  Visitors are not allowed to go into the labs and offices, so we said good-bye at the door...
 ...and waited at the Starbucks around the corner until Troy was done.
 Since it was lunch time, we found a pizzeria a couple of blocks away from Troy's work to grab a bite to eat.  Talk about HUGE slices of pizza!  Good grief!  And, for the record, Julia ate all but the crust.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pie Contest!

Our neighborhood's block party was this afternoon/evening, which had several activities and events for the kids.  Evelyn signed up for the pie-eating contest.  Here's a "before" picture...
 ...and after!  Evelyn came in second place - not too shabby!

Rosie's TV

We call the window in front of Rosie's perch her TV.  She gets to watch all sorts of critters in the backyard from her comfy, cozy spot.

Getting Punchy at Lowe's

We girls tagged along with Troy when he went to Lowe's this morning.  While he was checking out weed killers, the girls found these ENORMOUS pots.  So they climbed in an pretended to be plants.  Naturally.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ikea Trip...#1...

There are several rooms in our new house that need major overhauls.  In other words, the walls need a new paint color, and we need to get new furniture for those rooms.  The first room we girls are tackling is the art/craft room in the basement.  It's a 10-foot by 10-foot space that will house ALL of the girls' arts and crafts materials.  (There will be a separate post later on, showing before, during and after pictures of that project.)

Today we went to Ikea to get most of the organizing pieces for the art/craft room.  The picture below demonstrates yet another reason why I love my Honda Pilot - it holds Ikea boxes and the girls!
 Evelyn got her first lesson in Ikea products this evening:  you must build your own things.
 This was a minor project, but Evelyn was still very proud of her efforts!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Club Necessities

When we girls left the house this morning at 9:00, this is what we loaded into the back of my Pilot:
I had a yoga class at 9:30, and the girls went to the two childcare rooms (Julia to the younger kids' room, Evelyn to the older kids' area).  Then we hung out at the pool for several hours, meaning we ate lunch there, too.  I think we spent about six hours at the club today.  When the weather is sunny and hot, this will probably become the norm!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday Summer Fun

While Troy was mowing the front yard this morning, this little girl popped out of the bushes.  Knowing how much I like turtles, he called me outside to catch it so my girls could look at it.  After observing the turtle for a couple of minutes, we brought her to the creek in the backyard, where she promptly disappeared into the water.
 After lunch we all went to the pool at the club we just joined.  This facility has two outdoor pools, a splash park, and a wonderful exercise facility - complete with the cardio equipment Troy likes and all the group exercise classes I like.
 We are so glad we found the Adirondack Club (it's only 10 minutes from our house), especially because Julia just got the hang of swimming before we moved.  Now she can swim all summer!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Julia's New School!

This is our 5th day in Massachusetts, and Julia went to her new school to participate in Kindergarten screening.  She was so excited to see where she will be going to Kindergarten in the fall, and she didn't hesitate at all to go with the teachers to "play."  This school serves Pre-K through 2nd grade, so this will be her school for the next three years.  Glad to see a smile on her face!

Backyard Critters

In the short time we have been in our new Massachusetts house, we have seen all sorts of wildlife in our backyard.  The beaver commonly swims in the creek around 7:30 each evening.
 Chipmunks run around the yard all day.
 We have seen all sorts of birds at our feeders, like the cardinal and grosbeak picture below.
 I just love this picture of a goldfinch.  It's like he's looking right at me.
 This little red squirrel is really cute.  It's smaller than a grey squirrel, but bigger than a chipmunk.  Oh, we have also seen a coyote trot through our backyard, but he moved too quickly for me to get a picture (yikes!).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Unpacking the Kitchen

Here's what the kitchen looked like last night.  Towers of boxes everywhere.
 The girls wanted macaroni and cheese for lunch.  I told them they had to find the macaroni pot first.  I couldn't believe it, but both Julia and Evelyn loved unpacking the boxes.  Julia even commented that it felt like Christmas.  Maybe it felt like that to her because she wasn't faced with the predicament of where to put everything...
 We didn't find the macaroni pot in time for lunch (we all had to surrender to chips and sandwiches), but the kitchen is completely unpacked.  Want proof?  Look at all the paper leftover from the packing!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

UNloading Day

The first question the girls asked this morning was, "Can we go play by the creek?"  Absolutely!  Who wouldn't want to play in a backyard like this?
 Around 9:00 this morning, the movers showed up with their semi truck.  Since we are at the end of the cul de sac, hogging up the street wasn't a problem at all.
 "Where's my bike?"  "Where's my scooter?"  They're in there somewhere...
 In an attempt to keep the girls out of the movers' way, I let them dig into my surprise bag - mostly activities and toys they had never seen before.  Evelyn really liked the restaurant kit for her American Girl dolls, and Julia liked building pop-bead critters.
 Once we found her bike and her helmet, Evelyn took off.  This is going to be a great house and neighborhood to play in!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rosie the Navigator

One more picture of our moving day - Rosie hanging out on the atlas, helping to navigate us through New Jersey.

From Maryland to Massachusetts

Here is our moving day in pictures.  Personally, I was sad to leave the hydrangeas and butterfly bushes (aka buddleja) behind.  I hand-picked these beauties; hopefully the new owners will like them.
 I didn't let the girls walk through their bedrooms this morning.  They didn't ask to do that, and I wasn't going to encourage excess sadness.  We all settled for one last picture in front of the Germantown townhouse.
 There were (understandably) plenty of tears for the first couple of minutes as we drove away.  Then the girls settled down to do several roadtrip activities.  Here's Evelyn, writing and drawing.
 The girls watched a couple of movies.  With headphones, so Troy and I could enjoy music in the front.
 We stopped at a service area just east of Trenton, New Jersey for lunch.  We shared Quiznos sandwiches and chips.  Not pictured is Rosie, chillin' in her cat carrier, so she wouldn't get hot in the sunny car.
 Julia and Evelyn were so excited to see the New York City skyline!
 The George Washington Bridge was pretty cool.  Since we were stuck in a traffic jam, I had plenty of time to take pictures.  (It only took us a little over an hour to drive through the NYC metro area.)
Let's combine a sleeping kitty with a movie-watching Evelyn for this picture...
 ...and now a sleeping kitty with a drawing Julia.  Clearly, Rosie's sleepy medicine was working.
 No, I didn't give Julia any of the mellowing meds.  She just decided that nine hours in a car was grounds for taking a nap.
 After a ten-hour road trip, we had arrived at the Creek House!  The girls explored the backyard for a little bit.  It was getting late, and it had been quite an exhausting day.
 And then we headed to the front for a quick picture before heading in for the night.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Swim Time

Today was the last time to swim at our beloved community pool.  We spent nearly three hours at the pool, playing...
 ...getting ready to swim...
 ...and having fun with Daddy.
 And guess who shed her puddle jumper (flotation device) in lieu of swimming underwater?  Julia!  She was so excited, as were we, that she started swimming without any help!  Nice work, Sunshine!

Evelyn's Last Day of 3rd Grade

How can this school year be over already?  It seems like it was not that long ago that Evelyn was starting 3rd grade...and now here we are, at the end of yet another wonderful year of elementary school.  Even though we spent last night at a hotel, we drove back to the townhouse this morning so we could walk to school like normal.
 Julia is ready to send off Evelyn one last time to Great Seneca Creek.  And guess what we found at the end of the day?
 Evelyn with her Perfect Attendance certificate.  In the four years she has attended elementary school, Evelyn has only missed two days.  And neither of them were due to illness (one funeral and one wedding).  Way to go, Peanut!