Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, 2012

Merry Christmas, from the Blakemore kids
Michael (7), Kate (5), David (2)

A Few Outtakes:
(Getting a decent picture was like herding cats.)

It's Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas Eve

The kids were delighted to see that we had a minuscule accumulation of snow on the deck today!  
What a special Christmas Eve treat!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Lights

We hopped in the van tonight and went to check out the area Christmas lights. 
The kids were already in their jammies, and Kate and Michael were wearing summer shorts sets.  They would not be persuaded otherwise, so that's why they are out in December in shorts and short-sleeves.   

The excitement of Christmas is evident on his face.  

We saw quite a few really great displays.

The kids were happy to shout "Christmas Lights!" at everything except a porch light.  
We saw a really cool house that had an FM transmitter with lights that were choreographed to the music.  We stayed and watched it for a while. 

We ended out night with Sweet Frog frozen yogurt, even though the kids were dressed for a mid-summer night's sleep, plus coats and fuzzy hats.  Part of the fun, I say.  This was our first trip there, and we really enjoyed it.  What a fun night we had!  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Naughty or Nice?

We will see in just 4 days!

Fashion Week

The kids have not played with dress-up clothes for a while, but all of the sudden, they have become interested in them again.  
David took it in stride when Kate dressed him up like a little sister. 

Fancy Kate 

Cowgirl Kate  

Mischievous elf

Michael's school had Polar Express Day for their Christmas party.  They got to wear Jammies and festive Christmas gear to school.  Michael took a light-up necklace, but decided the Santa hat was too itchy to wear.  Nothing says Christmas like fierce dinosaur jammies.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kenmore Field Trip

Today, the 1st grade classes of Michael's school went on a field trip to Kenmore Plantation, historic home of  Betty Washington Lewis (George Washington's sister) and her husband Fielding Lewis.  (You can take your own virtual tour by clicking the link above.)  The kids got to vote for their favorite display in the Gingerbread House contest, which was based around the theme of "Favorite Christmas Songs."
I got to chaperone the field trip, then I stayed for lunch with Michael at school.  We had a fun time! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Merry Christmas, Daddy

Jon got his Christmas present a few days early.
He has been wanting a bass guitar for a while now, and he finally got one.

Christmas Cuties

David was taking a nap, but the older kids were so cute in their Christmas gear.  
Michael's shirt is quite fun. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Train Show

We went to the Rappahannock Model Railroaders Model Train Display and Show on Saturday with the kids. 
 They really enjoyed all the trains and displays.  Some were interactive where kids could push buttons and make whistles blow and houses light up.  David loved that he could identify all the Thomas trains they had going.  

Michael sat on Santa's lap, but the younger two kids looked at me as though I were crazy when I asked if they wanted to sit on Santa's lap.   I asked David who Santa was, and he looked questioningly at me and said, "Doctor?"  I guess we should read a couple of tales of St Nicholas of yore so my poor kids aren't completely uninformed. On the other hand, it's really cute to hear David spontaneously pop out with "Happy birthday, Jesus!"

Kate and David really enjoyed some of the train play lands. 
What a fun event!

Basketball Evals

Michael has been asking to play basketball, so I signed him up with an Upward Basketball league.  
He had an evaluation on Saturday, and he LOVED it.  The season starts in January, and I know Michael is going to have a great time.  I asked Kate if she wanted to play basketball, too, but she said, "No, I like baseball."  

Friday, December 07, 2012

Michael's Celebration Continued

Michael requested Cici's Pizza and Fun Land for his birthday celebration, now that all the kids are on the mend.  
We went on a Wednesday evening to ensure that we were pretty much the only ones there.  Michael was in motion pretty much the entire time.  

 Rides and games, noise and lights.  The kids love it.  

David, the guitar hero

Monday, December 03, 2012


The kids were upright for a while today.  Michael seems to be feeling somewhat better, but Kate and David are still running high fevers.  
So more snuggles, lots of fluids, and too much TV is the cure for us all.  

Sunday, December 02, 2012


3 kids, 3 fevers, 3 coughs, 3 blankets in which to snuggle
1 mom home from church, 1 dad heading in for duty while mom works this evening
The kids got the flu shot last week, so they still have flu-symptoms (fever, chills, malaise, cough), as it generally takes 14-15 days for immunity to develop.  At least their symptoms are milder than Jon's were.  
Get well soon, kids!  


Michael woke up long enough to open some presents on his birthday. 
His favorite present was a Piano Guys CD.  If you don't know The Piano Guys from YouTube, then let me introduce you.  It's classical music with a modern twist.  Michael is in love with their music, and desperately wants to be a cellist when he grows up.   He was so excited to get their CD.  

He quickly fell back asleep.  We will do all the fun birthday things another day, but we got the important things taken care of- presents!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Happy 7th Birthday, Michael!

 I should have known Michael was not feeling the best when he came downstairs this morning mellow and with little energy. He LOVES his birthday, and he has been looking forward to it for a while now.  

I suspected something wasn't right when he gave me fake birthday smiles and didn't eat his apple cinnamon danish for breakfast.  The school nurse called me about 11:15 and said that Michael was complaining of a headache and had a fever.  I picked him up, and he's been lying on the couch watching movies ever since.  
Michael got his first present last night- his very own library card!  He was SO proud! 

The other kids will celebrate for him.  Kate came down sporting her party dress and party hat at 6 something this morning.  This girls loves any opportunity to party, and she's spent the morning making cards, posters, and art work to celebrate!  David was so excited for the balloons.  
So, party festivities to be continued...

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Michael read to Kate.  A noteworthy moment of sibling peace.  
Michael learned to whistle this past week.  This is a great accomplishment for him, but one I wish he would not practice 24/7 now. ;-)

Turkey Trot 2012

Michael's school had a Turkey Trot 2 weeks ago, and me and the younger kids were able to make it out to watch him.  Kate, of course, made signs to support Michael.  
These are all the first grade classes getting instruction from the PE teachers.  Michael's teacher is in the brown.   

The girls ran first, then it was time for the boys to run.  You can tell that Michael was eager (little cheater is 2 steps ahead of everyone else).  

And they're off!
Michael didn't place, but he had fun.  He would sprint all-out for half a lap, then stroll and look at birds and such.  Then he would repeat.  In fact, I think that's how Michael does pretty much everything- either sprint or bird-watch.
Good job, GVES 1st graders!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Kate Reads

Kate is doing a very good job with her reading.  She is absolutely delightful to listen to.  
Unlike her older brother, who blazes through books, Kate has lots of fun inflection.
We mostly practice on library books, since she has most of our books memorized.  

"You are not my mother.  You are a Snort.  I have to get OUT OF HERE!"

Cuties at Play

Kate and David play really well together.  
David will really miss Kate when she goes to school next year.

Daddy's Boys

David is especially attached to his Daddy.  
He adores him through and through (and it is mutual).  Every time David goes in the potty, he says proudly, "I tell Daddy I go pee-pee in the potty!"   

Michael is a little big to cuddle with Daddy on his lap anymore.  
We had to go pick Michael up from school today, as he was so "into" his school project that he forgot to pay attention when his bus was loading at the end of the day.  All the kids were gone when they realized, and Michael's teacher gave me a call to say he was there.  Silly student!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


My biggest kitchen helper discovered the packet of turkey innards, and he thought they were very cool.  
This was my turkey, which actually turned out pretty well.  I only make a turkey at Thanksgiving, so I always have to look up how to cook it.  I was scoping out youtube tutorials last night to remind me how to prepare it.  

He thought the lungs looked like a talking mouth.  

My sister Meredith and her family joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, and we had a lovely time.  Though I wish the rest of the family could have joined us, we had a nice, relaxing day of food, family, and football.  Fun!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

CYT's Beauty and the Beast

Today, we are going to see CYT's Beauty and the Beast with my sister and her girls.  We're pretty excited about it, especially since our friends the Scantlins are starring in the show.  
One of the reasons I really like Beauty and the Beast is that the "princess" is not a simple, dumb character like in many other Disney productions. Belle is educated and can think, and she chooses to love the beast for his character instead of loving him merely because the handsome prince rides in on his dashing steed and rescues the damsel from imminent peril.  It's refreshing to see a strong, intelligent female character with a good love story at the center (if you forget the kidnapping and held-against-her-will part...).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cutie David

David is becoming much more independent.  He loves to climb up and get his own books off the shelf.
He is talking more and more every day, and it's really cute to see him imitating things that the big kids do.  He now insists on taking a book to bed with him like the big kids do. 

We are amazed by what a big boy David is becoming.  He seems to be growing and developing by leaps and bounds lately, and it makes me both happy and sad.  
Please excuse the underwear in the picture.  David was doing very well with the potty until the weather turned really cold.  Now he hates going into the bathroom with the cold tile floor, so we limited the pant-wearing to save some time when he has to go.  It won't be too long until we are diaper-free!  

Kate the Reader

Kate has decided that she wants to read.  Her goal is to read so well that she can read chapter books like her big brother.  She has been quite determined, and she has practiced a lot with me and with reading along with audio books.  She is doing GREAT!   
I'll get a video soon of her reading.  We have to mix up our book selection often, since Kate has a really great memory and can recite books after reading them a few times.  She's learning a lot, and I know she will really love going to school next year.  

More Fun With Leaves

The kids love to play in the crunchy autumn leaves.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Fallen Leaves of Fall

Big Pile of Leaves:

Big Pile of Leaves with a Michael in the Middle:
The kids have been enjoying Daddy's leaf piles in between their capture and removal (the leaves, not the kids...)