Monday, April 30, 2012


These kids are so fun.
 Ready for Michael's Saturday morning t-ball game at 9am (and still a little sleepy after staying up too late).

Brothers with their new #3 on top haircuts, thanks to a nice black tick that I found in Michael's scalp.  


We have been enjoying the 'side (as David calls "outside").  
Riding bikes

 t-ball games
This picture makes me laugh, as it is typical t-ball.  Michael is not paying attention, even though the coach is a foot away reminding him quite frequently.  The boy on 2nd is checking out the outfield, and the shortstop is doing yoga while playing in the dirt.  Very typical.  

The kids have lots of trampoline fun.

And Michael and Kate love to explore the woods.  

And I have cleared an area in the woods for bonfires.  Of course, right after I finished up (minus some rocks and an insert), the county placed an open burning restrictions for a few weeks following.   

We just have been enjoying the generally lovely changes in spring weather.  
Oh, and yes, that is a tarp-covered cook-top range in the backyard.  We're officially redneck.  

Monday, April 23, 2012

Saturday was Stafford Baseball League's opening ceremonies, so the kids and I (Jon was helping a friend move) headed over to the high school along with 1,700 other SBL players (from t-ball to 18 years) and their families to celebrate the sport of baseball.  Michael ended the day with a game at 3pm.   
3 little baseball fans

Friday, April 20, 2012

Library Day

The lady at our local library recommended that I get a rolling suitcase for library day when I noticed that our library bag was coming apart at the seams.  Perhaps it was the 26 books we were checking out.  Or the 40 books we had just returned (plus 4 Fine Homebuilding magazines for Dad).

We got rid of Netflix a couple months ago to purpose to spend more time reading, and it has been a really great choice.  We still rent movies occasionally from the library (or redbox, when we get a free code), and the kids watch PBS kids now and then, but we've really deepened our love for reading by clicking the TV off.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Out of Doors

We  love when winter officially turns to spring around here, and we can spend our days playing outside.  
Michael has been learning about our earth in science class, and he decided to start collecting worms for a compost. Luckily, Kate is always up for a creature adventure.  She thinks dresses and bows are appropriate for ANY occasion.  

 Checking out their worm collection.  They ended up with quite a few big fat earthworms, as well as a few tiny guys.  Kate's hands took a few washing plus extra scrubbing in the bath to get all the dirt off.  

Michael has decided that skateboarding is more fun when you sit on it.  David wants to learn, too.  

Michael really wanted to read early, but Kate desperately wants to write.  She currently has a very misspelled (but adorable and logically formed) letter to the "Tuff Faree" under her pillow, in case she should stop by sometime unexpectedly.  

Chalk fun

David decided that chalk would be tasty as a snack, too.

A Weekend with The Seekins

Our very good friends, The Seekins, came to visit us this past weekend.  We were so happy to spend some time with them.  Our families have outgrown the ability to fit into our vehicles, so we hang out here at home. 
Michael and Noah, the shirtless wonders 

David, the ice cream mess-maker 

Jon and Joel, college buddies and great dads! 

 We enjoyed ice cream on the porch.

Grace- sweet girl (and David's female alter ego)! 

We were thankful for beautiful weather.  The kids (and adults, too!) spent SO much time outside (with a minor side effect of poison ivy during an exploration of the woods). 

Daddy made an adjustment to the swing set, and he had lots of helpers. 

Lots of outside adventure! 

And a ton of trampoline fun. 

The "twins" 

In the midst of creature hunting, the kids dug up the (dead) sod and found some pet ants.

Fun boys with lots of imagination.  
What a wonderful time we had!  Friends like this are rare, and we're thankful for that, despite time and distance, we have remained good friends.  We miss you already!!

We Have a New Dishwasher

We Have a New Dishwasher.  Her name is Karen.  
Our dishwasher started leaking water and not cleaning the dishes, so I've been handwashing everything.  Not my favorite thing, but it makes me appreciate modern appliances a lot more.  

T-ball 2012

Michael had his first t-ball game on Tuesday.  Very entertaining. 
Despite this face he is making, he had a fun time. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Family Pics

My friend Cynetta takes awesome pictures, and she was kind enough to take some photos during their visit this weekend.  I'll post more about that soon, but here are the preliminary Blakemore family shots:


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring Break

We are enjoying spring break this week and have been doing some special things since Michael is home with us during the day.  Monday, Michael had t-ball practice and we made sure to stock up on library books for the week.  We played outside and enjoyed a new (to the kids) movie- The NeverEnding Story.  Michael thought it was the BEST adventure movie!  
Today, we went to our favorite free museum, The National Museum of the Marine Corps.  Michael (currently) wants to be a Marine when he grow up, so he loves to visit the museum often (not to mention his renewed excitement for the Marines when his cousin Josh visited last weekend!)   

David LOVES "copters," and he was just in awe of the real aircraft displays. Kate is up for mostly anything, and she enjoys pretty much anything we do.
The museum has a great picnic area and park, so we finished off our morning with a picnic lunch and some playground adventures in Quantico. 

Michael has been really devouring books.  It has been a challenge for both me and his teacher to figure out where his reading level is (She said Michael has his own reading group).  He has been exploding with his comprehension, and he just can't get enough of the action and adventure that books provide.  He started the *real* Narnia series, starting with The Magician's Nephew this week, and I am hoping it lasts him longer than some of the others he blazes through.   

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter 2012

Resurrection Day is my favorite day of the year
 Blakemores x5

 Just the kids
CANDY, Not pictures!

Daddy hid the eggs for an Easter egg hunt

Kate searches for eggs 

Michael does all things exuberantly! 

David thought they were balls and kept throwing them. 

Michael digs into the candy

Kate's Easter basket 

Chocolate and Elmo- all David needs! 

Spring and Cousins

We were so blessed to have the Ohio Blakemores (Minus Steve) visit this past weekend.  We loved having them here, but it reminded us that we wish they lived closer!  
Because you're never too big for a swingset 

or a trampoline 

Lots of big appetites in the kitchen 

We dyed Easter eggs 

 Mostly for my kids, but some of the others joined in.

Silly computer faces with a fun distortion app 

We went on a hike at the park (and I was SO thankful that I was put on-call for work on Saturday.  It was truly an answer to prayer, as I was not expecting to stay home). 

The older cousins helped the younger ones. 

And we celebrated Josh's 19th birthday, right before he gets stationed in Hawaii. 

Easter dinner together after church 

A forgotten sport- BB guns and old cans.  
We miss them SO, so much now, and the house is much too quiet for our liking!  Come back soon!!