Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I am having the time of my life!

I realized I am getting my posts a little bit out of order.  The hazards of not being able to post regularly.  So, I thought I would just go ahead and throw this one in and then post back ones after this one.  Who cares, right?  :)

Hearing Lydia say "I am having the time of my life!" this past weekend made Mike and me realize that even though she might forget what she was doing at the time, she would never forget that moment!  None of them would.

This past weekend was Labor Day Weekend.  Mike and I were both off work so we were able to spend a couple of days doing some different things.  Friday evening and Saturday were rainy and cold.  Kinda knocked out much of the outdoor stuff.  Ryan's birthday was Saturday.  We spent it by going to the movies (Mike won two tickets to the movies off the radio) and seeing Cars 3.  Sequels are never as good as the original, but this one was pretty good.  After much debating, Ryan picked Wood Grill as his restaurant of choice.  We ended up having lunch there. 

On Sunday we spent the day at the lake.  The lake has become one of our favorite places.  It really rides the fence with the beach!!  I am pretty convinced that as long as I am in or around water, I am pretty happy.  :) 

You can't tell from this angle, but Loki is actually falling asleep.  He gets so tired when we are at the lake!  He has his own life jacket and swims too!!

We ended up seeing a Water Moccasin swimming with us while we were there.  In all the times we have been to Lake Anna.  Which have been A LOT, we have never seen a snake.  This was the first one.  We were swimming in the water and I took a step back and felt something hit my leg.  I turned around to see what it was and saw what I thought was a stick float past me.  It was not a stick at all.  Needless to say, we all ran out of the water--kind of cartoon character style. :) Once up on the boat, we saw it come back towards the boat and went up on to the "beach area" where we had docked our boat.  He was quite the swimmer!  We are so thankful that Loki was on the boat at the time!!

On Labor Day we decided to make our second pick up for our Adopt-A-Highway project.  Since we had given Ryan the opportunity to drive the last time (and other times on our street), we decided to let the girls try it.  While it's not conventional or legal really, we figure the earlier they can get the hang of a vehicle and what it does, the better off they will be when they start driving.  There were only a few cars that passed us and no one seemed to notice.  Or care.  Who knows.  :) 

Not long after this picture was taken, Lydia was trading out with Emily to drive and said "I am having the time of my life!"  It was so cute!!  They really did have fun!  All three of them.  Even though they were working.  It was for a good cause.  I also think we are curing them of EVER being interested in drinking beer!!  We pick up MANY MANY cans of beer along this 3 mile stretch of road!!  :)  It's pretty gross!!

I will have to start putting things in order again!!  :)

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Washington Family Adopts a Highway!!

Well, we really adopted three roads.  Not actually a highway.  They are back roads, but it is roughly 4 miles total.  We have been wanting to do something like this for a while.  However, we didn't realize how difficult it would be to find time to pick up the trash.  We have only managed to pick up trash once since we adopted the highway--which was back in April or May.  Hoping to go again this coming weekend!  Once we get a certain amount of pick ups, we will get a sign with our names on it, posted at our streets.  VERY EXCITING!!  Other than the total disgusting stuff that you find on the side of the road, this was really fun!  The state provides us with trash bags and neon ponchos so that people can see us from their cars. 

We attached our trailer to our SUV to keep the trash away from the inside of the vehicle.

Holding up our sign so we are seen by passers by.  However, these roads are not that heavily traveled.

Mike had a brain child and had Ryan drive for a little bit on this back road.  Ryan loved it.  He did pretty well.  He drives in our cul-de-sac sometimes.  Weird to see!!

Emily didn't appreciate Ryan driving.  So she walked behind.  :)

Sadly, Loki didn't go with us.  We didn't want to have to keep him away from cars, etc.  Next time we may have him ride in the back of the SUV.  Just so it is a family adventure.  We are hoping that we can find enough time to keep this up and do this every quarter or so.  If you see the kids, you will have to ask them about the beer containers . . . with nasty beer still in them!!  Yuck!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Middles (formerly Club 56) youth group hits Sunnyside

They once again had a great service!!  Lydia and Emily are part of the Middlers Youth Group at Church.  This is the same youth group that Ryan was part of and that Lydia and Emily have been part of.  The name just changed because we now have 5th, 6th and 7th graders instead of just 5th and 6th.  Annually, they do a service at our local Presbyterian assisted living facility.  Many of their residents, who are able, attend our church.  There are several residents who are not able to attend our church and they attend the service that is held at the home.  Our youth group does a service there each year the Sunday after Easter.  Last year I was so impressed by the way Lydia was able to do the Children's Sermon in front of all of those people.  She did a great job!  This year, no less at all!!  We did remove the Children's Sermon from our service.  Lydia wanted to do the sermon, but we often save that for the oldest kids.  Her time will come soon!!  She headed a skit/prayer that we did.  It was great!!  While I can't remember what was said, here are some pictures.

Emily and Dylan handing out Bulletins

Emily and Dylan

Bella, Anissa and Carson along with Lydia and John (our youth pastor)

Lydia heading the skit.  She's in the back.

We always greet the residents at the end of the service.  They are always so complimentary.

In addition to this great activity, our Middlers class painted this past winter as well.  Since I have become addicted to this painting class stuff, I suggested this one.  We have a family of artists at our church who were so great in volunteering to head up the class.  They let me bring Ryan too even though he was part of the confirmation class youth.  The kids really enjoyed this one!!

Emily's horse

Lydia's Loki

Ryan's Loki

They all enjoyed and did such a great job with them!  All the kids did!!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The hills are alive!!

Zayn, Nathan, ______, ________, Corrina, ________, Tim, Bre, ________, Carly, Will, Ryan, Braedon and Mr. Todd.
Last year Ryan participated in his first year of All City County Honors band.  We were so proud of him!  7th grade is the earliest you can participate on the Middle School level.  Now that he is a Freshman in high school, he will compete on the high school level this upcoming year.  Assuming he is invited to participate.  Somehow I missed posting this back in January when it actually happened.  As always, we continue to be so proud of Ryan's musical accomplishments!!

This is the program that was given out to each person who came in to watch the performance.  The Honors band is comprised of middle school students throughout our area.  The four middle schools within our county and the middle schools of Harrisonburg City Schools and a local private school are included.  There are only a certain amount of kids who can participate from each school as there are only a certain amount of kids who can participate in the program.  It is quite an honor to make it at all.

This year when I opened up my program, as I got to my seat, I noticed that Ryan's name was listed first in the percussion section.  My son made "First Chair" Honors Band!  This is huge!  The chair you receive determines your level.  If you are first chair, you are the best of the ones you are seated with.  Second chair is the second best and so on.  6 schools.  He made first chair!  And the person who appointed him first chair, never met him before the first of the two days they spend at Honors Band.  So proud!!

At the same moment I realized he was first chair, the father of the kid who is listed just below Ryan's name (also a Ryan and second chair) happened to ask me if Ryan was part of District Band this year.  District Band is something that you also try out for, but the judges can't see you or know who you are.  They are not aware of your talent and what you could do up to the district band competition.  Therefore if you don't practice like you should, you basically have no chance of making it regardless how talented you are.  The student who belongs to the father who asked me, made "First Chair" for district band.  Ryan made "First Chair" for Honors band.  In front of the district band kid.  Ryan tried out for district band, but only practiced the song one time before going in to audition.  Needless to say, he didn't make it.  However, he made first chair over the kid who made first chair district.  This leads me to believe that he most certainly could have made first chair district if he had practiced.  He is so used to not needing to practice too often because this stuff comes so easily to him.  He will just hear something and just get it after a few times of playing it.  So he really didn't think he would need to practice until the very last minute.  Then it was too late.  Oh well, there is always this upcoming year.  He will make both I know it!!!

I am guessing he gets this talent from my Uncle Bill.  Mike and I have NO musical talent what so ever!!  :) 

Monday, June 5, 2017

So much smarter than me!

When I was in school, I never received any type of academic award.  I was lucky to get average grades by the time I was in middle school!!  Somehow, I have managed to have kids who have done quite well in school!!  I chalk my school struggle up to a few different things, but am hoping that knowing these problems can exist in my kids--we are ahead of the game at all times.  I am so proud of what they accomplish.  All of them!  And hope it continues.

These were the Bronze Award winners.  Well, the ones who showed up.  Kind of sad that no more showed up than this.  At least two of his good friends (Kendall and Andrew) showed up as they were awarded too.  Ryan is laughing and therefore I didn't get a good shot.  He almost forgot to stand for the picture he was laughing so hard.  He had, had a weird handshake experience with the Principal just before this was taken.  :) 

Shaking hands with Mr. Wimer (Social Studies teacher) while Mr. Disharoon (Algebra teacher) looks on.  They were both really great teachers for Ryan!

Ms. Saaed is putting Ryan's metal on him.  She was his English teacher.

Emily received the Gold Academic Award.  So very proud of her accomplishments!! 

Ms. Matthews is putting the metal on Emily.  Ms. Matthews was Lydia's math teacher.  Ms. Pierson is looking on to Ms. Matthew's right.  She was Emily's English Teacher. 


Lydia came up just short of a Bronze Award.  Literally points away as a result of her Math grade.  Ryan didn't quite make it in 6th grade either.  I feel pretty certain, if she continues as strong as she is, she will be getting an award in 7th grade for sure!  She was the only one who received perfect attendance.  Ryan almost was one of the recipients of the Perfect Attendance for the length of time he had been at Elkton Middle School, but when he busted his knee in October of last year, he missed three days and it knocked him out of contention.  :(  Maybe High School will work out for him.

Friday, June 2, 2017

First and last semi-formal

Lydia and Emily went to their first Middle School semi-formal on June 2.  Ryan attended his last Middle School semi-formal on the same day.  We were able to get a group of Lydia and Emily's friends together for some fun pictures.  The girls had a great time.  It is exciting to see the kids growing so fast--Ryan is now headed to high school, but it is also sad.  I am excited about seeing the people they are becoming.  I am excited to see the great things they will do with their life.  But I am also sad as I know they will be gone and out of the house before I know it.  Very sad.  :( 

L to R - Jesela, Emily S., Ashley, Lydia, Emily W., Hayleigh and Kiera

Lydia and Emily with Ashley

Andrew and Ryan.  Next stop, high school!

My kiddos at their first and last semi formal

The girls wanted to have a goofy one!!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Field Trips are fun!!

Ryan and Emily both went on a Field Trip this year.  Emily went with her Challenge class and Ryan went with the 8th grade.  In past years, the 8th grade has gone to Kings Dominion.  For some reason, this year they decided that was not where the 8th grade would be going.  They took them on YET ANOTHER field trip to DC.  He was kind of bummed, but had a good time anyway.  Mike or I were not able to go on either field trip, but we have good friends who did go.  They were kind enough to send me pictures!!  :)


Thank you to Natasha, Jesela's mom, for the great pictures!!!