Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Alternate Mode of Transportation

Have you ever been so tired while DRIVING some place that you suddenly looked around and either you didn't know where you were OR maybe you knew where you were but didn't know how you GOT there? Please tell me this has happened to someone else out there!

It's downright frightening! Your heart sort of does a fluttery flip-flop and you get a little sick to your stomach as the realization hits you that you were in DANGER and didn't even know it! That you could have wrecked a thousand times because you were so spaced out. How many things could have gone wrong!?!

And, of course, if you're off-track, now you've got to find your way back again to the right path. But hopefully, you have been startled enough to WAKE UP and focus on WHERE YOU'RE GOING. Hopefully you won't make that same mistake again...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Project 365: Week 26 "books, berries, gifts, & ice cream"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Paul had a little shopping to do this afternoon and brought back "From-Daddy-Just-'Cause" gifts. Gabe got a coloring book. He set right to work. I'm telling you--it's art classes I've got to find for this kid!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Vacationing in Virginia: Our Photo Album, Part 3

It's Flashback Friday once again, and I am going to try to wrap up our vacation to Virginia we took last fall. If you haven't already, be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2.

Day 5:

After a very full day in Williamsburg the day before, unbelievably, we somehow mustered enough energy today to get up and drive to DC! On the way, we noticed the clouds were in a perfect, very large horseshoe around us! It was crazy weird. Anyway, just had to share that with ya!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Time

This is my favorite picture from the last couple of months. Had to choose one for Melissa. Be sure to check out her photo contest each week!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Project 365: Week 25 "cherished friendships & summer fun"

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lunch fellowship at church. Always a treat!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today Saylor got to go out to lunch with her favorite friend, Miriam. They did let their mommies come along, too. Nice of them, huh?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Water play

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Noah likes to read the little boys a bedtime story nowadays. (But it has to be HIS idea.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shopping in Hobby Lobby makes me a nervous wreck. (Waaaay too many breakables at eye-level!!) Good choice, Atticus!

And...Noah asked me to teach him a fingerplay to do with Atticus.

The others wanted a piece of the action, too.

Even this big girl!

Friday, June 16, 2011

Saying goodbye to Maria. She's moving out-of-state tomorrow!  :(

Our gift to her was a photo book I made at

Saturday, June 17, 2011

We picked blueberries again today. Everyone was outfitted for the heat!

Noah wanted the basket for "Serious Blueberry Pickers Only."  ;) Really, he IS serious about it. He and I could stay out there for hours on end until we had stripped those bushes clean. We don't even feel the heat while there are berries to be picked!

He said this one was a "prize winner"!

This is pretty much all Atticus is good for out here.

We only managed just under two quarts because the others were too hot. *eyes rolling*

Y'all!! Two weeks in a row I'm on time! Look at me go! Sara, if there were a prize for "Most Improved 365er," I think I just might win it!! (Yeah, I hear ya. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

Project 365 button designed by

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vacationing in Virginia: Our Photo Album, Part 2

Flashback Friday this week is a continuation from Part 1, found here...

Day 3: 

We wanted to go to Williamsburg today, but it was raining (actually storming) there, so we hung around the Harrisonburg area. Maybe twenty minutes away we found the Grand Caverns in the town of Grottoes. I have such great memories of touring caverns as a kid. They always fascinated me.

I'm telling you. Are the colors in this state not dreamy?

First of all, I loved that it was such a kid-friendly place. The waiting area was highly educational, as one would expect, but they thought of all ages, which I totally appreciated. It kept us busy until our tour time and then again afterward!

Our tour guide was amazing and full of extremely interesting tidbits. The thing about these caverns is that they were discovered back in 1804, not long after the founding of our country. And because of their location, many famous people, founding fathers and such, visited these caverns! In fact, the Victorians (the crazy things) used to have actual BALLS here, complete with food, musicians, gaudy dancing gowns, etc. This was once the main entrance.

Yes! They crawled down INTO a dark hole in the ground, slid down rock face, and clambered about in the dark so that they could have a ball in the damp and freezing cold underground, lit only by candle and torchlight! Like I said, crazy. The women would bring along their fancy gowns and change once inside. I don't know why, but the thought of that just floored me.

In the "Grand Ballroom," there was a spot for the musicians to stand, which actually looked like an orchestra pit! And behind the little boys in this picture, you can see there was a naturally-occurring spot just perfect for the buffet of elaborate food. (Seriously!)

I just totally dig this kind of stuff. (Go ahead, say it: Nerd.)

We learned about limestone...

cave algae...

draperies (when water zigzags evenly down only one side of a stalactite)...

soda straws (tiny hollow "straws" from which water slowly drips and deposits calcite on the straw's tip; the very early beginnings of stalactites)...

and flowstone...

Grand Caverns is also known for its astounding amount of "shields." No one knows for sure how shields are formed, but they are fairly rare. And beautifully amazing. Grand Caverns has hundreds! This one also has draperies coming down from it.

Of course, we saw our fair share of stalagmites as well. But this one takes the cake. This one stands alone down a very long corridor on a steady decline down from the ballroom I spoke of before. People who toured the caverns when it was first discovered named this one "George Washington's Ghost," as he had just died only five years before and because, by candlelight from the end of the corridor, it looked JUST like General Washington standing down there. Freak-ay! But also pretty cool. Here are the kids standing with the great General W. Take note he has a wee friend on his shoulder!


My favorite part was looking in the reflecting pools. Just amazing. I tried my best to get pictures, but I was warned it would be crazy difficult.

This is what the pools look like with flash photography. Ugh.

From this angle, you can sort of see that the pools reflect what's above them.

With CONSIDERABLE adjustments made, I managed these. What's awesome is that because of the vast expanse of the caverns, it seems that instead of seeing a reflection, you are actually looking DOWN into a pit below. Only in real life, the view is crystal clear, making it quite deceptive.

Eh. You'll just have to go see for yourself.

Our guide had us looking for "eggs" (actually beginnings of stalagmites) throughout the tour.

But who knew we'd see the chicken that laid all those eggs?!

Also quite interesting was that soldiers of the Civil War (on BOTH sides...and at the SAME time) would come tour the caverns when on furlough. Many of them left their autographs on the cavern walls! (This one reads "1864"!)

This tour definitely intrigued Noah. He took a ton of nearly pitch-black photos on my iPhone!

We highly recommend this place! Go marvel at God's creativity. I mean, wow.

I can't promise you'll have along a cutie like THIS, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't at least TRY to muddle through it without him. (Of course, I wouldn't.)

And then...because we had been looking at cold stone all day, we just had to wrap things up with...what else, but Cold Stone!? The love of ice cream definitely runs in the family.

Day 4:

This morning we headed to Colonial Williamsburg. It was quite a drive, so we left the littlest man with Aunt Wendy and headed out with only three tag-alongs. With all the driving and then walking we did, it was a good thing.

There was SO. MUCH. to see here. We could not possibly get to it all. Not even close! This area is simply not meant to be seen on a "day trip." However, I loved every minute of it. Especially the chapel. The kids weren't quite as into it as their weird mommy, but at least Noah and Saylor were impressed with THIS name:

Wait. Can you see it? "General George Washington."

Of course, that was only one of many esteemed, famous, important names in our history found here. People who worshipped here. In this church. So long ago.

Did you know Martha Washington was married to Daniel P. Custis before becoming the first First Lady of the United States?? Yup. In fact, she had four children with Daniel before she was widowed and later married good ol' George.

Anyway, this place gave me cold chills.

Notice Gabe is "praying" in Thomas "T.J." Jefferson's pew!  ;)

Then it was on to the College of William and Mary where we toured the Wren Building, the oldest academic building still in use in the United States today.

But not before a quick pic by the way-cool cannon!

And...a wild (squirrel) chase! *sigh* Boys.

Finally we entered.

In the chapel.

This was once the dining hall.

The classroom.

Once a student, always a student.

Saylor wanted her picture made with Queen Anne.

This poor building was burned down three times and then rebuilt using what was salvageable of the old walls. See the holes in the brick here? These are actual bullet holes made during the Civil War!

What a beautiful place to go to college.

The town is just lovely.

People are dressed up and going about "life" as it once was.

Historic buildings are literally everywhere. I could spend days combing this place. (And, y'all, I was not into history growing up!)

The shops, of course, were lots of fun. It seems we enjoyed the hats, especially.

Ha! Noah and Gabe are twinkies!

After a while, though, certain of the younger generation started to wear down on us.

Started to lose patience.

Oh, yeah? I'll show you!!


You gotta watch out for the wrath of a momma scorned for her camera usage.

Right, Daddy?

After a lot of walking, a bite of food, and some general hanging around, we ended our visit with, sadly, no time left for Jamestown.

Hmm...I must have bribed them for these smiles as we walked toward the car for another long drive.

Must have.

Stay tuned for the final installment. Almost done, I promise!
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