Friday, October 31, 2014

Adella turns 8!

Ryan and Adella bowling at the same time.
 Last weekend the kids and I traveled to Richmond to celebrate my brother's daughter's 8th birthday.  She celebrated at a bowl america.  My kids love bowling and were able to play several games while they were there.  They also got to play with Adella's sister, my other niece, Penny.  Penny is 4 and really took advantage of the aiming stand that bowling allies provide for their younger patrons.  It was too funny!!  Fun day!  After that, we met up with Michelle and Trevor and their boy girl twins, Sydney and Grayson.  Love them!!

Fun Friday

Last Friday the kids had a day off school for teacher a teacher work day.  I took the day off and we took the opportunity to hang out with my friend Rabia and her kids.  The weather was amazing!  We spent some time riding bikes at the park, had lunch there and the kids played for a while.  It was a lot of fun!!  After park fun all afternoon, we introduced Geocaching to Rabia and her kids.  They loved it so much that she actually blogged about it on her blog.  Instructions and explanations and everything.  Check it out . . .

Love hanging with Rabia and her family and we don't do that nearly often enough.  Used to be very often, but now we no longer work together.

One of the caches was at our local camel farm.  Was too funny!!  The closest I had ever been to a camel.
Benjamin had to help with getting the cache out of the tube because we did not understand that we had to bring water.  :)

There were horses there too.  Was a really fun day!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel

Since she was three years old, Emily has worn eye glasses.  Infact, one of the ways I would tell people who was who with my twins is to say "Emily wears Eyeglasses.  E for Eyeglasses"  When she got her glasses her eye doctor explained that she does not have a vision problem, but that one of her eyes simply crosses and shuts off a certain part of her brain when it does.  This would happen often at that time.  He also explained that Emily had a 50% chance of outgrowing this problem when she as about 10 or 11 and a 50% chance that she would have to wear glasses or contacts for the remainder of her life.  She had to wear patches, drops in her strong eye to make it blurry so that her weak eye would get stronger.  She hated patches and the drops eventually started giving her headaches since it kept her eye dilated all the time.   

She started off with wire frames that had pieces that went behind her ears.  We hoped this would prevent an active 3 year old from them falling off her face and she step on them.  Mike and I have never worn glasses so we never really knew when to adjust her glasses (since she really didn't know how or when to tell us) until we would see her eyelashes curling up inside her lenses.  It was really bad!  A couple of years ago she decided she wanted a pair of plastic frames.  I had a good friend who wore the plastic frames and loved them.  We got her those and she was much happier.  She has her athletic glasses for softball and gymnastics and we don't know her without them. 

Two weeks ago she came home from her eye doctor appointment with a huge smile on her face.  Mike had taken her to the doctor.  She looked at me and Mike said something about "look at what is missing."  I looked at her and she was smiling just like this. The doctor told her she only has to wear glasses at school and when she is working on things that are up close.  If she is not focusing on something close up she does not have to wear them.  No more athletic glasses and no more glasses at home unless we are doing homework or working on the computer.  She is so excited!!  We go back again in a year and are hoping that at that point he will tell us that she does not have to wear them anymore.  Who knows--this may be something she will still always have to have, but at least it is not constant anymore.  Can't tell you how happy she is.  :)

Emily at three years old when she first got her glasses.

Pies and Parties

Ryan turned 11 this year and Lydia and Emily turned 9.  They each had pool parties at my parents house.  Lydia and Emily had nice warm weather and it was perfect except for a small bit of rain we had at the very end of the party.  The following weekend seemed as if we had already come into a different season.  It was cold and windy and a bit rainy.  The boys still had a good time swimming, but spent a bit more time inside since it was warmer.  We had a good time with both.

Making food is always one of Lydia's favorite things to do.  She hopes to be a chef some day.  Had some stuff for her to make pumpkin pies a few weeks ago and she was kind enough to let Emily make them with her.  They each made a pie from start to finish.  They were yummy!!

Last tournament of the year

Emily's Crush team had their last tournament the other weekend.  We were to have another one this upcoming weekend, but several of the teams pulled out so they have cancelled it.  These girls do a great job and were excited to collect their trophies!!

Emily is typically the 3rd baseman, but at this tournament the catcher ended up getting sick and they needed to move kids around.  Her coach put her at catcher for a few innings. She did pretty well for never having tried it before.
 Waiting in line to get their tropies
                              Emily's coach, Jon, presenting
                               her with her trophy.

This particular tournament had various ages of softball teams playing that day.  There was another Crush team we had never seen before.  They were from Northern Virginia.  Two of the girls from that team came over to find the girls that were the same number as they were.  One of them was a number 1.  Emily had her picture taken with her.  It was so neat!!  They even had the same colors.

Summer Beach Trip

I know I have posted vacation posts before, but not sure if I have ever explained how things work in our family.  Every other year my parents rent a condo that we all stay in at the beach.  My parents, my brother and his wife and kids and the five of us stay at Myrtle Beach.  It is really great!  Then, every other year, we vacation as just the five of us.  It is the best of both worlds!!  This past July we did our vacation with parents, brother and family.  Had a great time, as always!!  We took our traditional trip to Broadway at the Beach, played mini golf and made a sand castle with the cousins.  A fun fun week!!
 The girls and me at Broadway at the Beach

  Eatin ice cream                                                              

The Zoltar Machine like in the movie Big.  We had just recently seen that movie.  They saw this from outside and thought it was actually from the movie.  :)
                                                                                            We enjoy going to
                                                                                       Bass Pro Shops and
                                                                                     play on the 4 wheelers
                                                                                            and boats
 With the cousins at our traditional
eating out night at Calabash.  Sadly
the restaurant burned down a few
weeks ago.
                                                                                    Me and E on the beach
 Geocaching one evening after hitting
Krispy Kream while they are making
the donuts
                                                                                  All the girls
                                                                               playing in the pool

 Love to watch them make the donuts
                                                                                       Lydi and Pen playing
                                                                             on the beach
Mike, Dad and Ryan--just hanging
                                                                                             Mini Golf
Did you know my niece
could fly?  :)
                                                                                 Had fun making our
                                                                             sand castle!
While we were planning our trip to Myrtle Beach, we realized our friends, the Liebers, were going to be there the same week!!  It was so cool.  We visited one morning for a few hours and had a fun time!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Caching and Biking

2 years later, we are still Geocaching and loving it.  We have this really great park near our house.  It is connected to some caverns, but we just go for the park.  There is a great bike trail around it and we spent the day there Geocaching a few months ago.  It was great!!  I wish we made a point to go there more often.  I really was most excited that I was able to put the bikes in our trailer and take them over there with us.  I did have to unhook the trailer to turn it around in the parking lot without hitting any cars--and my then 10 year old son had to help me hook it back up, but we won't talk about that right now.

They have this great biking trail there that has various exercise stations and dinosaurs in the trees.  Pretty funny when you come across them.  The kids liked modeling in front of them.  We need to go there more often.  Too fun!!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Club 56

Our church has so many wonderful programs for our youth.  For the 5th and 6th graders, they have a club called Club 56.  This group of kids does various activities together throughout the year and at Christmas time they take stuffed stockings to the shut ins at the Assisted Living Facility that is affiliated with our church.  They really do a lot of fun things and it enables the kids to get to know their church family a bit better.  Ryan participated in this group and I am a volunteer.  Ryan participated in this group last year as well.  This past weekend we did a really neat ropes course experiential team building program for this age kid.  They were really neat!  They did a low ropes that they had to use their "suitcases" to get themselves across the "swamp" and not get eaten by the "water snakes."  They had to figure out the best way to get across the swamp and had to guide two kids who were blindfolded.  Ryan was one the kids to help the blindfolded swamp crosser.  He and Ellie did such a great job!  Someone had to be standing on a "suitcase" at all times.  This made the crossing more difficult.  They had to also pass their suitcases to the kids that were in the front of the suitcase crossing bridge.

Another low ropes they did was having to get from one tree to another without falling off the rope.  They had to help each other to the different "posts" where they could be more stable.  This required strength and balancing and trusting a person that you might not know very well.  It was really neat to see these kids do this.
After he helped Nicholas balance, Nicholas is now pulling him while Anyssa is helping him balance at the first post.

Drama Becomes Her

This past summer Lydia attended her first Drama camp.  One of our area high schools does a drama camp where the high school students are the counselors.  The drama teacher heads up the camp so that the high school kids can earn money for a trip they take during the school year.  It is such an amazing program!!  I had heard wonderful things and it sounded like it was right up Lydia's alley.  She LOVED it!!  For five days, for about 4 or 5 hours a day, they developed, wrote and acted in a play.  They put on a performance at the end of the week for all the families.  Lydia knew all her lines and even helped prompt another little girl who had forgotten a line or two.  We were so proud of her!!

 Scenes from Lydia's play
Lydia and one of her counselors, Allyson
 The entire group of kids and counselors from the drama camp

She enjoyed dressing up in "wardrobe" and being on a microphone so that everyone in the audience could hear her.  She loves being in front of people.  I wish there was some kind or program like this that she could participate in all year long.  At this point, I am not aware of one.  She will be able to take drama in the 6th grade so we just have two more years before she can do that.  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Uncle Chris's Wedding

Mike's brother, Chris, got married this past summer.  He and his then fiance asked Mike to be a member of Chris's wedding party.  Mike agreed to do this and we were all excited about Carrie and her little boy Chason to become part of our family.

About 2 weeks or so before the wedding, we found out that Mike had an aortic aneurism and needed to have an operation.  He was released from the hospital, from having his open heart surgery to get the aneurism, the day before the wedding.  It was not possible for him to go.  We knew he would be in too much pain and told Chris and Carrie the bad news.  They then asked Ryan if he would stand up in place of his dad.  Ryan was beyond excited about wearing a tuxedo in this wedding.  His Uncle Jeremy, Mike's other brother, took Ryan under his wing and made sure Ryan was where he needed to be at the right times.  Jeremy indicated that Ryan really realized what he was supposed to do without the help of Jeremy.  During the introductions at the reception, Ryan was introduced and an explanation was made as to why the name Michael Washington was printed in the bulletin.  The sound that everyone made in their awe of how sweet this was, was so great!

The Washington's who were part of the wedding party.  L to R-Chris, Savannah, Jeremy and Ryan


                                                  Chris and Carrie

Emily can Crush it!

 In the Spring of 2013, Emily and Lydia started playing softball.  After their spring season, their coach asked them if they wanted to participate in a travel softball team.  Lydia was kind of done playing softball for the time being, but Emily was very excited to continue playing.  Their coach brought several girls from the various spring teams together to form one travel team.  They are called Crush.  Emily spent part of her first year with Crush playing 2nd base.  About mid season, he switched her to 3rd base.  While all the players could be moved to various positions, she has played 3rd base ever since.  She loves it!  After the first year, a few of the girls aged out of the 8U program so starting this year, she started with several new players.  They have all gelled together nicely and really enjoy playing in the tournaments on different weekends throughout the summer. 
Lydia picked softball back up this past spring, most likely as a result of our convincing, and played with Emily on a different team for the spring.  Crush continued practicing, but picked playing back up after the spring season was over.  We hope she continues to love this sport and wants to play for a long time.  Getting a scholarship to college would be awesome since all three of our kids will be there at the same time!!  :)  No pressure though Emily!!  If you decide to stop, we won't be upset . . . well, too much anyway.  ;)

She is very competitive and think she is a good player.  While she has room to grow--even pros can get better than they are.