Saturday, August 31, 2013

Outdoor Art

One of the things the girls like about the new house is the HUGE sidewalk chalk canvas (aka the driveway).  Julia and Evelyn can go outside whenever they want to and draw to their heart's content.
And you can't beat the scenery, either!

Selfish Feline

Before going to bed, Evelyn usually lays out the next day's clothes on her dresser.  Guess what happened this morning when Evelyn went to get dressed?  Rosie made her wait...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Evelyn has a swimming stroke clinic at the pool every evening this week.  The stroke clinic is also tryouts for the Adirondack Aquatics Club swim team, which Evelyn is thinking about doing during the school year.  The stroke clinic is from 6:00 to 8:00 every evening, so when the weather is nice, Julia will have a chance to swim in a mostly-empty pool.
 I know it's really hard to see Evelyn in this picture, but let me try to help you find her.  She is in the lane second-to-the-farthest-back, just below and to the right of the lifeguard chair (in a purple swim cap, if you can tell from this distance).  Evelyn does really well, holding her own with the practices.  They spend the first hour inside, watching videos and talking about how to perfect their strokes.  Then they warm up with two 100-yard freestyle swims, followed up by focusing on different kicks or arm skills.  We'll see how this whole thing shakes out for our Peanut...

Back-to-School Shopping

Back-to-school shopping is totally different in our new town.  The schools provide all the materials students need, such as folders, crayons and pencils.  That made shopping for the girls very easy.  

Evelyn's backpack is still in great shape (the one she has used since Kindergarten!), but she needed a new lunchbox.

Julia needed a backpack.  Since Evelyn's Land's End backpack has held up so well for the past four years, that's where Julia's came from.

And we're done!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Return Trip

Our whirlwind summer trip came to an end today as we returned to Massachusetts.  We started with lunch at the Omaha airport...
 ...and then we were pleasantly surprised when we boarded our plane to Chicago.  The plane had three seats on each side, so we girls actually got to sit together (instead of having an aisle separating us somehow).  Woo hoo!
 We had a looooooong layover in Chicago this time - about two and a half hours - which gave us plenty of time to wander around O'Hare.
 We made our way to the kids' play area, where the girls ran around for about an hour.  Julia and Evelyn were so happy to have this play time break up the trip.
 Then we boarded our second flight, where we lucked out again with having all three of our seats on the same side of the plane.  When did the sleepy side-effects of Julia's Dramamine kick in?  Right before the plane touched down in Boston.  Poor girl didn't get much rest this time!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cabin Time

Today was the final excursion our Nebraska/Colorado trip:  the cabin at Cedar Creek.  The girls couldn't wait to go swimming and fishing in the lake - they love how there are no waves at this "beach."
 And their Uncle Matt was there!  How awesome was that?!
 Evelyn tried fishing in different spots, but no luck.
 Uncle Matt gave Julia some pointers on casting her line...but they didn't catch any fish, either.
 After trying to catch a fish for quite a while, the girls gave into playing in the sand and the water, building castles and splashing around.  Perfect fun for a sunny, hot day!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Omaha's Zoo

Since today promised to be a cooker, we planned to go to the zoo in the morning.

 We girls hadn't been inside the Desert Dome for a while, so that was our first stop.  Here are some meerkats and klipspringers.
 The wallaby was enjoying his mid-morning snack.
 The bobcat was my favorite in the Desert Dome, looking high and mighty.
 Julia's favorite animal today was the giraffe.  She liked watching him stretch waaaay up high to reach a branch.
 Evelyn really liked exploring the critters in the aquarium's touch tank.  Julia, on the other hand, didn't want any part of it.
 The aquarium is pretty amazing.  The girls loved watching all the fish and penguins.
 And the shark tunnel is always a favorite, where the sea creatures swim right over your head.
 We ended the morning with a train ride.  The girls wanted to ride in the last car so they could be as far away from the locomotive (and its loud whistle) as possible.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Julia and her Great-Grandma Shirley had a lot of fun playing "Knocks," a game played on a checkers board with checkers pieces, but also a game where you make up the rules as you go.  Sometimes they would knock other pieces off the board, or they might jump another piece to get it off the board...or they just might start making patterns with the pieces.  No matter what the "rules" were, they both had fun!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Moooving the Cows

This morning we helped my Aunt Diane move 150 cows from one pasture to an adjacent one.  To get out to the pasture, Evelyn and I rode in the Gator (pictured below...Julia did not drive), while Julia rode in the pickup truck with Aunt Diane.  We parked the pickup near the gate that connects the two pastures, and then we all four piled into the Gator.
 Here's a view of all the cows we had to move.  They were spread out across what is known as the northeast pasture, around a little pond.
 By hollering and zipping around in the Gator, we convinced the cows to start heading in the right direction.
 We hit a snag when trying to get the cows to cross over the dam.  We had to circle around three times before they all decided to continue following us.  Julia is covering her eyes because the wind was blowing dust in her eyes.
 About an hour after we started, we got all 150 cows through the gate and into the southeast pasture.  That number includes 3 bulls, 73 cows and 74 calves.
 Here's my Gator companion...
 ...and here's Julia, hanging out in the pickup (also snitching candy from the glove box, I later learned).
 Before heading back to Aunt Diane's house, a section of barbed wire fence needed to be fixed.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fort Morgan Pool Time!

Whenever we visit my cousin Letty in Fort Morgan (Colorado) in the summer, we usually end up at her in-laws' pool.  Today was no exception.  It was sunny and hot, so we spent a couple of hours at the pool - first eating lunch while everyone's sunscreen soaked in, and then playing in the pool.  My girls love jumping off the diving board.
 We almost got everyone in this picture...Letty's oldest son, Simon, wasn't in the pool when the other five hooligans posed together.  The kiddos are (from left to right) Hanna (13), Rachel (7), Evelyn (9), Julia (5) and Jacob (10).

Sunday, August 18, 2013


The girls - Evelyn (9 years old), Julia (5 years old) and Lindsay (18 months) - had so much fun together.  And I had to post all of these pictures - I couldn't just pick a few!
 Julia loved having a pretend picnic with Lindsay.
 After church this morning, we managed to get all the girls smiling in a picture together (whew!)
 It's pretty tricky to get all three of these monkeys smiling and looking at the camera at the same time...
Lindsay loved hamming it up for the camera!
 More smiles!
 Julia and Lindsay pretended to take a nap together...
 ...followed by reading a story.  Look closely, and you'll see that Lindsay also likes Julia's most-loved animal, Teddy Bear.
 This picture cracks me up because they both look a little nutty.

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Today we continued our trek west.  Road trips can be sooooo exciting, right Julia?
 But look!  We made it to Colorado!
 We made it to the girls' Uncle Eric's (and Aunt Heather's and cousin Lindsay's) house south of Denver in time to play, eat dinner, take showers...and play with trains, of course.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Nebraska Trip

It wasn't until the very last minute that we girls planned our trip to Nebraska.  Usually we spend a couple of weeks in July visiting friends and family, but this year we managed to squeeze in a ten-day visit in August.  Every day that we were in Bellevue, we visited my Grandma Shirley at her assisted living facility.  The girls loved seeing her, and she loved having the girls visit.  Here's everyone, working on a puzzle in the game room.  (Teddy Bear is helping, too.)