Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hi Blog, it's me, Claire.

Okay, so after a long hiatus I'm finally going to add to my blog.  No real reason for not posting because we've been doing all sorts of fun things.  I guess I just got out of the habit and then I didn't think about doing it!  Well, I thought that our upcoming move and Christmas were pretty good reasons for starting back up again.  I won't try to catch you up on six months of our goings-on but I will recap our December for you because we were busy!  The next time you hear from me we'll be Floridians once again (3rd time, actually)!  Once we're settled (and have TV/internet) I'll be sure and post pics of the new place.  Until then, I wish you all a VERY Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!!

In early December we took a house-hunting trip to Jacksonville, FL.  Here's the fruit of our labor - our new home on Jan. 1st!!  We love it and can't wait to get settled in.  Plus, the neighborhood amenities are fabulous - zero entry pool, water slide, etc.  So we'd love to have visitors!!

Jack's Kindergarten class had their Christmas party on the last day of school before the break, which was also Jack's last day at this school.  Here are all his classmates surrounding him in a huge hug before saying goodbye.  (I had been holding back tears all morning but this was just too much for me! It's his last day and I'm the one in tears!!)

Last weekend, we were all supposed to make a trip to DC to stay with Aunt Lynn & Uncle Ed (and visit with Aunt Jennie!), however, I ended up staying home with the twins because they were sick.  But Jay and Jack had a ton of fun without us (and probably in all honesty had more fun without us!).  Here is Jack on one of his favorite things - the subway!

Jay & Jack in front of the first minivan. 

Jack & Aunt Lynn making jewelry.

And last, but not least, Christmas!!  Santa found us and we were blessed to have a very lovely Christmas thanks in large part to our wonderful family.  We certainly wish we could have spent the holidays with our family but the timing just didn't work this year seeing as our packers are coming in two days!!  But here are some highlights...

Santa brought Jack one of his most highly sought after gifts - Night Vision Goggles. 


Light up slippers were a big hit! (I made the mistake of trying them on before putting their clothes on, so they then refused clothes because that meant having to briefly remove the slippers) 

Jack received a new Wii game (Super Mario Brothers Galaxy 2) from us (not Santa) and has been glued to the screen in concentration since Christmas.

The little boys are having fun with Lego's. 

Since the little boys LOVE cars, Santa's big gift to them was this new car ramp/race toy. 

 

Ever the builder, this crazy-gear-googly-eyed-remote-control building set kept Jack busy too!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Maine!

**Note:  I apologize for the delay in getting these pictures up!  I was having trouble posting the pics and then our computer came down with the blue screen of death (i.e., the fatal error screen).  So I've had some technical difficulties lately!  But, we now have a new computer so I'm back up and running.  Now to get all my pictures from the old computer to the one one.....

We spent the last week of July and the first week of August in Maine at my parents' house.  Jay was able to join us for the second week which was wonderful since he missed out on all the Maine fun last summer!  Jack LOVES to be outside so Maine is pretty much his heaven-on-earth for doing all things outside.  This year, Nathan and Matthew were old enough to partake in many of the outside fun as well which I know they enjoyed.  We had many fun adventures in our two weeks and LOTS of campfires, which are another of Jack's favorites.  I must admit, I do also like sitting around a campfire. :) I'll let the pictures tell the story...

Thanks to Gram & Gramps, Jack now has a red power wheels four wheeler just like Grandpa's real red four wheeler!  And as the below video shows, he is fearless on it.  One of his favorite activities was zooming down the hills in the yard!
video

Nathan enjoying the porch.

Matthew playing on the porch as well.

Nathan & Matthew exploring the kitchen....which is why they aren't allowed in my kitchen!!

Waking up and enjoying some AM television.  I do believe Matthew may share my dislike of mornings...

One cool thing we did was ride the chair lift up the mountain at Sugarloaf Ski area.

Up we go!!

The views from the top were fantastic!!




Jack took this one...not too bad!




On the way back down...more spectacular views.  I don't think I've ever ridden a chairlift down before!

We went down to the coast in Bath, ME, and visited with one of my dearest and oldest friends, Lindsay and her family.  Here is Jack with her daughter Cate.

Lindsay's parents recently built a beautiful new house in Bath, so we popped in for a visit!
(another shot by Jack)

One of my other dearest and oldest friends, Tara, lives in Bar Harbor so we made the trek out there for a visit as well.  Here is Jack with her son, Liam, in Acadia National Park.  This is the one and only picture we captured of this visit because following this shot our camera battery died.  Thankfully Tara had hers so the rest of the pictures from that day are from her!

Ahh, the view from Acadia - SO beautiful!

Tara took us on a great hike which the boys loved.

Of course along the way we had to take a potty stop (Liam is off to the side doing the same thing!). Once we got home I actually had to have a serious discussion w/ Jack about why we just can't stop and pee wherever he wants because we live in a city. :)

Tara's husband works at a Marine Lab.  Here is the touch tank at the lab.

Lobster!



And slimy snails!!


On our hike. :)


Awww.  :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yeah Mon! No Problem!

As many of you know, Jay and I were recently able to take a vacation (a second honeymoon of sorts) to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!  My parents so graciously came and held down the fort while we went away, and I think the kids may have been sad for about....oh....five minutes!  We had a fantastic time, although the adjustment from busy, busy, busy to absolutely NOTHING on the agenda took a little getting used to!  As an example, we arrived in Jamaica late Sunday night (two flights, TWO & A HALF HOURS of standing in the immigration line at the Montego Bay airport, and a two hour bus ride...UGH).  Monday morning, Jay and I were up, bathing suits on, suntan lotion applied, and ready to eat breakfast and hit the beach promptly at 7am.  You know, when you've got little kids there is no such thing as sleeping in, so we are used to getting up on the early side.  It didn't take long for us to realize we were the ONLY people out and about that early in the morning.  And we came to find out that breakfast didn't even start until 7:30am.  Oops!  Ah well, we soon acclimated to more of a leisurely pace and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!!  One of the highlights of the trip for me was not being responsible in any way for the procurement, preparation, or clean-up of the meals!!  Plus, I only had to worry about the food on my plate - a dramatic difference from at home when I not only have to concentrate on my own food but three other peoples' too. :)  As they say in Jamaica, "yeah mon, it was no problem!!"

Sandals Grande Ocho Rios, Jamaica


Our room as you walk in the door.


Looking out from the bathroom (you can see we had a balcony too!)


Looking in from the balcony.


View from balcony to the right. Not quite visible here, but Jamaica was actually sort of mountainous.


View from balcony looking left. Very lush and tropical.


Ahhh, the beach.


Jay's favorite - the pool. Complete with swim-up bar. :)


Us during our hike up Dunn's River Falls (a local tourist attraction).


The only "official" picture taken by the Sandals' photographers that we actually purchased.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Crafty

This one's for Grandma & Grandpa Lambert who sent Jack "My Giant Busy Box" a while back.  It's a box filled with all kinds of crafting supplies.  Well, he's been bitten by the crafty bug recently....and here is one of the end-products of some time spent in the busy box:

Jack named this: "The Alien Chicken"
Right now his artwork may be misunderstood by the masses, but someday he'll be hailed as a master. ;)

It's all about the accessories!

I recently bought hats for the twins to help keep the summer sun off their little heads. I was worried that they wouldn't keep them on for there are no straps. However, after trying them on, both Nathan and Matthew refused to take them off! They are now officially their favorite accessory.






Nathan insisted on wearing his hat to bed....and then we found him asleep like this. 

Happy Fourth!

I absolutely LOVE fireworks so this Fourth we decided to take the whole tribe to the Chesapeake fireworks.  The evening starts with a concert by the US Fleet Forces Band and then at dark the fireworks show begins.  I was leery of taking Nathan & Matthew for fear that the fireworks would scare them but in the end we decided to give it a whirl!  It turned out to be a wonderful evening of music, food, and fireworks all shared with some great friends.  Matthew didn't seem to mind the fireworks but Nathan really wasn't too sure at first; thankfully, about halfway through he changed his mind.


Nathan &  Matthew waiting patiently for the show to begin.

Bubble wands quickly became light sabers.