Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sleepy Kate

Almost every night around midnight, this little girl comes downstairs to go potty, despite that she has a bathroom attached to her room. 
I have to say, though, that it's always nice to see her sweet face one more time before we go to bed.  We love our sweet, precious princess!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Playground Fun

We spent the evening at the playground after dinner tonight.
The kids ran off lots of energy.

David snacked on many rocks. 

Kate had a ton of fun running and climbing.

Michael enjoyed jumping and balancing

and climbing.

And we enjoyed just hanging out together

 with the cutest 3 kids I know!

Little monkeys

Silly pretenders (I think it was "pirates" here)
Getting dirty and spending time together

We stayed until the sun set

 and beyond.

Hurricane Aftermath

Hurricane Irene tore across the east coast this weekend. We had many downed limbs but no real damage to speak of.  Thankfully, we maintained power throughout it all (cable and internet was another story.  I realized how much we rely on the internet for info!).  We called the Williamsburg resort again today, and we were told that they are still without power and the town is basically shut down.  I figured that since it's colonial-themed, they would just light some lanterns and call it done.  ;-)  So we're doing a modified vacation here at home- lots of field trips, taking it easy, trips to the park.  Fun stuff. 
The kids were good helpers picking up branches and debris from the yard.  Afterward, they had fun collecting acorns.  

 I battoned down the hatches before Irene hit, and the only thing that blew off was the grill cover, and  it was pinned under the side. 

The day after Irene hit (Sunday) was a lovely day, and we've had fantastic weather today, too.  I guess it's not unusual for a hurricane to blow some mild, comfortable air in afterward.  We are enjoying it, for sure.  

David Keeps Me On My Toes

This baby keeps me on my toes. 
If he can climb it, he will.

 If he can eat it, he will.

If he can throw it, he will (and then yell "UH-Ooooooo!"

But he's lovable and adorable, and we are blessed to have this little stinker in our family!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. Prov 16:9

We had plans to head out to Williamsburg for vacation yesterday, but Hurricane Irene changed those plans.  We decided to wait one day to see what happened.  When we called the resort today, they had just had the power restored about noon, but we were told not to come.  The lady said that the highway was closed and the resort was a mess, and they were not even able to check anyone in even if we could get there (definitely not today and doubtful tomorrow).  So we will be revising our plans and will be having a stay-cation for the time being.  Despite the incredible week we have had- earthquakes, thunderstorms, hurricanes- we have much to be thankful for!

David and His Fuzzy Bear

David always snuggles his fuzzy-bear as he goes to sleep.
By an act of providence, I went into David's room late tonight to put a book away, and I happened to peek over his crib at him.  I noticed he had gotten his little finger wrapped up in the ribbon that was around the bear's neck, and it was so tight that it was cutting off his circulation.  It took some real work to get it off his finger (and I promptly cut that ribbon off), but I was thankful for that seemingly coincidental moment when I checked on my baby and noticed his little finger.  I love how God cares about even the little things (like tiny fingers), and He always takes care of His children (Mt 6:30).

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Zoo Trip

We met our friends The Seekins at the National Zoo on Friday.  They can fly free through Joel's work, so we decided to meet up for a day trip.  We really love spending time with the Seekins, and we are thankful for a close friendship, even though many miles separate us.
4 adults, 6 kids, lots of animals= tons of fun. 
3 silly Blakemore kids

6 zoo cuties

Benjamin and his Daddy

The boys are as strong as elephants.

David and Grace enjoyed hanging out in the stroller. Grace was cool with it, even though David kept pointing out all her facial parts. We kept getting comments on how cute the twins were. :-)

2 boys standing like flamingos.
What a wonderful time we had with good friends!
On a side note, I read in this news piece that the zoo animals seemed to sense the earthquake a good bit before it happened.  Interesting how the animals seem to be able to notice more than we busy, distracted humans can.

Double Rainbow

The other night when we were without power, we went out to get some dinner and let the kids run around at Chick-Fil-A, since they had electricity.  On our way over, we saw this beautiful double rainbow over I-95.
And we remembered God's promise to Noah. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Earthquakes & Thunderstorms & Hurricanes, Oh My!

Tonight, to add to our week of Earthquakes and aftershocks (we had a pretty nice 4.5 about 1:15am this morning- we were still up and the kids slept through it), we had a ferocious thunderstorm.  The wind was SO strong, and the rain was pounding.  Afterward, we saw many big trees down, branches everywhere, limbs hanging, etc.  We were without power for quite a few hours. 
But the house smelled so nice from the lovely candles keeping the darkness at bay (though the flash makes it look quite bright in the house, it was pretty dark).

Poor Kate was absolutely terrified.  She saw the trees bending over and was sure one was going to fall on her.  I held her for a while, then all she wanted was to cuddle under a blanket.  Sweet girl.  Michael thought it was "Cool!"  David was oblivious. 
We are supposed to leave for our vacation Saturday afternoon, however, Hurricane Irene is supposed to hit Sunday night.  So we will hunker down here for another night, not risking being that close to VA beach, as they are supposed to get a significantly more intense storm there than we are here.  We are looking forward to vacation, though. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CSA Week 17 (plus menu)

Here's week 17 of our CSA share:
Seedless watermelon, a dozen corn, okra, 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 4 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers, 6 peaches, 6 green apples

We have plans to go on vacation this weekend, but we're waiting to see what Hurricaine Irene does before we commit to being stuck in a tiny condo for a week while gale-force winds whip around us.  Anyways, our menu is tentative. I plan on putting up the corn and peppers, and passing the okra and cukes along to someone else.  We will take the watermelon, apples, and peaches along with us to enjoy on our trip. I don't plan on doing any real cooking while on vacation, but we will eat a good portion of our meals in the condo. 

WEDNESDAY: Tomato sandwiches, sliced watermelon
THURSDAY: leftovers
FRIDAY: National Zoo trip- picnic for lunch, eat dinner in DC
SATURDAY: spaghetti and garlic bread, salad
SUNDAY: out to eat
MONDAY:  Hot dogs, mac and cheese, chips, fruit/veggies
TUESDAY: Hot ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, fruit/veggies
WEDNESDAY: Cheese and chicken quesadillas, beans and rice, salad
THURSDAY: chicken nuggets, diced fruit (Michael has Kindergarten orientation this night so a quick dinner)

Cleaning Helpers

The kids are great helpers, and they WANT to clean.
Little do they know that they are in training to take over the cleaning chores one day... :-)

Mr Smarty Pants

This baby is quite the smart little guy.  He "gets" so much, and shows it in strange ways sometimes.

He found my headband (that I have worn maybe 3 times)

He knew it went on his head.

So he stuck it up there and wore it around the house.

Now, he doesn't get points for fashion sense or gender appropriateness, but this is one example of how observant he is.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We had an 5.8 earthquake today here in Virginia, with the epicenter about 45 miles SW of Fredericksburg.  It was quite frightening, and I ran to get the kids, all of whom had just gone down for a  rest/nap. Poor David had just fallen asleep and was yanked from his crib to head for a doorway (because that's what they do in the movies...).  Michael was quite frightened, as he thought a car had run into our house or a tornado was coming.  We had some picture fall, the china fell, and some other things got shaken off, but otherwise, we are fine- just a little shook up. ;-) 
Michael didn't want to settle down afterwards, so I reminded him (and myself):
1. God is powerful and completely in control.
2. God is good and He loves us very much.
Through scary times &/or difficult times, those 2 facts sustain me.  Thankful for a good, loving, all-powerful God.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Outside Play

We had an unseasonably cool August evening tonight, so we spent a good bit of the evening outside. 
David loves playing outside on the deck (even if he did find some chalk and a few leaves to eat).

Michael and Kate spent some time practicing their flips on the trampoline.  

Then it was off on a bug-hunting expedition.

David loves to play ball.

David only likes the pool when it's empty.  He had a great time playing in the snake and bouncing on the edges. 

The Shoe Saga

After trying many types of shoes on David, I finally had a revelation- try some shoes where his feet were half barefoot.  Like so:
He was not a fan at first (though he didn't wail like he did with the others).

Then he was annoyed.

Then he took a few steps holding on.  

Then he let go!

And he didn't even hate them.  Now, he didn't love them, as he kept trying to yank them off, but he got a bit more acclimated to them, and was walking around, which is a huge improvement.  What a relief that I can actually put him down to play some while we're on vacation next week! 

Hungry Boys

We had Papa John's pizza tonight (thank you, free coupon!!), and I'm amazed at what the boys can put away.
Michael ate 3 pieces (which is light for him- he ate FIVE tacos at Taco Bell yesterday for lunch)!

This baby ate 2 full pieces, and that's after a container of mandarin oranges, a handful of raisins and some goldfish. 
Kate had 1.5 pieces, which is a lot for her.  Thankfully, we have a little girl in the house to even out some portion sizes! 

Fun in the Kitchen

I have had quite a bit of leftover produce, so I decided to put some up in the freezer. 
I had 5lbs leftover carrots (thank you, Costco!), so I blanched them and put them in the freezer.

Like so.  I also put up some corn and had planned to put some apples up, too... however:

My kids have been apple maniacs lately.  I guess that's a good thing.

I've really not been able to keep enough apples in the house for these guys.

Here are my kitchen helpers. They're maybe not as helpful as they are cute, but I'm glad to have them around when I'm working.