Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Whirling Dust storms. . .

Whew!  This is one tired birthday girl!  Yes, today is my birthday.  I'm not sure how I feel about the number part, so I'm not going to mention or even think about it.  If you want to know what it is, look at my prior years posts for this day. . .

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity. 

Aidan has hockey on Wednesday nights, so last Wednesday, that's what we did.  Then, very early on Thursday, (the middle of the night, according to Aidan), we got up and went to the airport so Aidan and I could catch our 6:00 am flight to Las Vegas and my mom's house.  Mom picked us up at about 9:30 her time.   And then we were off to her pool for an hour and a half so Aidan could swim some.

The rest of Thursday we hung out and did some errands and then went out for a nice Mexican dinner. 

Friday, we got up, packed up Mom's car and headed out to make our 3 1/2 to 4 hour drive to Newport Beach, California.  We had planned on arriving there, taking into consideration potty breaks and lunch, about 2:00 with a 9:00 departure time from Moms.  Due to a massive chemical spill on the main road (there are only two roads down) down to Southern California, we had to take a detour and so spent 10 hours on the road.  Yes, that's right.  10.  Yikes!!! 

I really hate the desert--no offense to desert dwellers--it's just not my thing.  So, 10 hours put me in H E double toothpicks!!!  This was what we saw for about 9 1/2 hours:

Yeesh. . .

My sister checked us in and then we were able to meet everyone at the restaurant for dinner.  That was nice.  When we got to our hotel, we did not have to get in the car and go anywhere else until the next day.

The next morning we all got up--there were 15 of us in our core party--and had breakfast.  Then, Mom, my two sisters and one of my brother in law set off to buy flowers for the graves and my other grandparents niches.  While they were gone, I supvervised Aidan, Tyler, and Jaycee while they swam and had fun together.  Kendall stayed also as did my other brother in law.

After getting cleaned up, we headed off to the cemetary for my Grandfathers memorial service.  It was a beautiful day and it was a very nice statement written by my mom and read by my sister.  Other cousins and aunts were there and I think there were probably about 40 or so of us.  Aidan looked awesome in his new suit!

AFterward, we went off to my Great Aunts, Aunty Babe, house and had a buffet and just hung out visitng for a few hours.  The kids changed and played. . .in the street!. . .and had a really great time.

 Afterward, my sisters and I, our kids and grandkids and our mom as well as a couple of cousins, their kids and grandkids, went back to our hotel and we hung out around a fire pit eating pizza while the kids swam in the pool.  A most enjoyable evening catching up with all of the family whom I haven't seen in sooooo many years!  And the view was wonderful with the backdrop of Balboa Bay behind us. . .

 The next morning, Sunday--really???--we had breakfast together and then got some pictures of the kids:

The younger ones. . .

The first cousins. . .

The first cousins and two first cousins once removed.

After all of that, Mom, Aidan and I headed back to Mom's house where we crashed. . .oh, except we did order in Chinese and I did three loads of laundry!!

Very early Monday morning, Mom drove Aidan and I back to the airport and we headed home. . .where we have been walking zombies ever since!!

Next up, beach trip. . .will I actually get through all I need to do and pack in time to leave at 6:00 Saturday morning?? 

Stay tuned to find out!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Discovered Photos and Travel Plans

I discovered some photos on the big camera that I hadn't downloaded. . .some cool pictures of Aidan's really big Large Mouth Bass that Pat had mounted and some nice pictures of the horse show that Pat must have taken.  So, here they are:

That is really one big fish!!  Imagine this little guy reeling that in!

I got suckered into going on this ride with Aidan. . .yes, I had sunscreen on.

And then Aidan went by himself.

The kid looks like a natural on a horse!!  But, no!  We are not paying for riding lessons!!  We have enough going out with hockey!!

If there is a big blow up slide or bouncy thing, Aidan is soooo there!

And yes, the horse show did have some horses!!!  We love the Jumper Classic.  The skill involved is truly awesome to watch.

These horses are really so beautiful.

In other news, Aidan and I will be getting on a plane early on Thursday morning and jetting off to my Mom's in Las Vegas.  Then, on Friday, the three of us, Mom, Aidan, and I will hop in the car and drive the 3 1/2 to 4 hours south to Southern California where we will meet up with my sisters and their kids and grandkids in Newport Beach. 

On Saturday, all of us and our cousins will gather at the Memorial Gardens in Newport Beach to say our good byes to my grandfather who passed the day after Easter.  My sisters and I also plan to leave some flowers at the niches where our other grandparents are interred.

Then, we wll all head over to my great aunts house, Aunty Babe.  She is the younger sister of my grandmother (also already gone) who was married to the grandfather that we are saying goodbye to.  She is hosting a luncheon buffet for us all.  I haven't seen Aunty Babe since I was out there in 2002 for my Aunty Wrea's funeral. . .she's never met Aidan.

On Sunday, Mom, Aidan and I will get back in the car and drive the 3 1/2 to 4 hours back to Mom's house in Las Vegas where we plan to crash from exhaustion, order in and watch a movie. 

On Monday morning, Aidan and I will get back on the big plane and fly east and will be home in time to have dinner with Daddy. . .then we get to do laundry and pack back up for our beach trip!!!  Which, thankfully won't start for a few days after that.

Whew!!!  I'm looking forward to sitting on the beach with my book, hat, sunscreen and just relaxing. . .
But, first, we have hockey tomorrow night where Aidan is king on the ice. . .

Saturday, June 16, 2012

War of 1812 Interlude

If I had been thinking, this might have been a great year to take Aidan up to Niagara Falls to see the falls and to learn a little bit about the War of 1812 from the British perspective.  A few years ago,  Pat and I went up there for a long weekend and also went to a local Anglican church for Sunday services--close enough to the Episcopal Church for comfort.  We stayed for the coffee hour and were regaled about the evils of Americans during the War of 1812 in those parts.  Good naturedly so.  They were very nice people who thought it hilarious to tell these two Virginians about how awful their country had been.

What fun it would have been to take our little Russian into that mix!!!   : )

Seriously, though, this old war was really an early rendition of a world war.  Napolean was on the march in Europe; The Ottoman Empire was being taken down by the British and anyone who could lend a hand; Mexico was fighting Spain for it's independence. . .

The big battles that were fought, and which are now a part of the fabric of our identity:  The Burning of York (Toronto-and of which tales our friends at the Anglican Church in Niagara regaled us with!) which led to the The Battle of Lake Erie.

After Napolean Bonaparte was captured and sent into exhile, the British had additional troops to commit to this cause of bringing the  upstart Americans back under their thumb.  And so they marched on Washington.  They invaded our little capital and began burning everything in sight:  The Presidents Mansion--which was really brick and sandstone at the time and later rebuilt and painted White then being called The White House, The Capital building, The Treasury and a host of other buildings.  On the way back down the Potomac, they also captured Alexandria, but made a deal with the mayor so it was not burned.  Back out in the Chesapeake Bay, they sailed north to Batimore and the next month found them fighting The Battle of Baltimore-which everyone knows about because this is when Francis Scott Key supposedly wrote our National Anthem.  The Americans won this battle, as we know.  But, ironically, the British were not just scared off by our might and fight but also by a hurricane that blew up the Chesapeake causing all kinds of havoc!

Interesting facts about the burning of Washington:  It was, of course, in retaliation for the burning of York by the Americans.  As most know, James and Dolly Madison took the Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution and the portraits of George and Martha Washington and fled west. . .to Leesburg, Virginia!!!  Yes, folks.  Our little town was the Provisional Capital of the United States for a short time during the War of 1812.  Pat and I toured a Plantation House, Rokeby, several years ago, and saw the secret vault of the main house where our precious documents and portraits were stored.  Pretty cool!!

The final big battle of this war was actually fought after the Treaty of Ghent ended the war--no one on this side of the pond knew about that treaty.  The Battle of New Orleans was fought in early 1815.  The Americans were led by Andrew Jackson in a decisive battle, even though he was outnumbered, and led to the final determination of our sovereignty. 

And so, now on our Independence Day, we celebrate with fireworks to mark how we fought the Brits twice and won.  And while watching said fireworks, we tend to listen to the War of 1812 Overture. . . which was actually written by Tchaikovsky to commemorate the Russians win over Napolean and the French in 1812. . .: )

And so, on Monday, June 18th, we will mark the 200th anniversary of the start of Mr. Madison's war, which is the date on which Congress agreed that this was a war worth fighting, to rid ourselves of the impressment of our navy and ships and to eliminate any future doubt about who we Americans are.

I now return you back to our regularly scheduled over filled summer of fun and sun.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Recall

Madagascar 3 was awesome. Aidan and I saw it on Friday afternoon, before the crowds hit, and really enjoyed it! Aidan even did pretty good with the 3D aspect of it.  Although he kept wanting to stand. . .

 We've been signing one of the songs that Marty sings ever since:  Circus Afro Circus Afro Polka Dot Polka Dot Polka Dot!!!  Okay you had to be there.

And, while we there, we saw a trailer for another movie coming out later in the month for Brave.  Looks fantastically fun!!!

Later that evening, we had dinner at Grandma and Grandpas and then headed into Herndon for the Friday Night on the Green concert.  We got a late start and probably shouldn't have gone, but we did have fun. 

We all slept in on Saturday and then Daddy took Aidan to a birthday party at Loudoun Sport Bounce.  Daddy had to work in the afternoon so Aidan and I headed off to the pool by ourselves.  It was a hot day, but the water was really cold because of all the cool weather we've had lately.  We could only stay 2 hours because Aidan kept shivering so much and his lips looked blue.

I had temporarily thought about taking Aidan up to Tarara Winery for another outdoor concert--there are some really cool Indian Caves up there--but I decided we had done enough for one day.  I'm really glad we stayed home because Aidan, uncharacteristically, told me he was really tired and wanted to go to bed at 8:00.  He was in bed and totally asleep by 8:30. 

Sunday, the boys slept in and I went off to church by myself.  Glad I didn't wake everyone up to go!!!  It was Bishop Sunday. . .nice service of Baptisms, Confirmations and Reaffirmation/Reception, beautiful, really. . .but really really looonnnnggg. 

Once home, I changed really quick into cool clothes and then we were off to the 159th Upperville Horse and Colt show. . .where we sweltered all afternoon in the first 90 degree weather we have had all season.  And where I only got a couple of pictures and none of the Jumper Classic!!

You'll have to settle for one of Aidan riding the pony. . .I swear he wears other shirts!!!

We had a lot of fun at the Horse Show and a 14 year old local girl from Upperville came in Second this year!!  We'll be looking for some of these riders when the Olympics start in August.

Aidan starts Summer Camp today at Winwood and then Mini Mites Skills on Wednesday night and then Mini Mites Summer League next Sunday.  Next weekend will be much quieter I think.  We need a quiet one. . .especially since Aidan and I will be travelling the weekend after that and then. . .BEACH time!!!!

And that's the way it was. . .June 8th, 9th and 10th, 2012

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Last Day!

So this is it.  The last day of Kindergarten.  In a few hours, I will drop off my son for the last day.  He has done extremely well this year.  He can now read us a bed time story of Hop on Pop!  He can do simple math, both in his head and on paper.  He's learned some history and science and talks about  the Indians that the Americans fought out west. . .in the fires. . .  (??)  He came home yesterday with two pictures that he had drawn of himself:  one was done on September 7th and he had arms, legs, head, fingers but no body.  The second picutre was also of himself drawn on June 6th.  I'm happy to say he now has a body and has included his adorable freckles on the picture!  : )

I took him to the pediatrician the other day for his 6 year old well check up.  He is now in the 91st percentile for height (what does that really mean???) at 49 inches tall.  That's 4 feet 1 inch.  He is barely in the 50th percentile for weight at 52 pounds.  The boy needs to put in a couple of pounds.  In fact, the pediatrician said 5 wouldn't hurt him.  He does eat, he's just very very active. 

Everything about him is advanced for his age.  However, one thing we have to do is to take him to an Audiologist.  He missed two beeps at different levels, both on the left side.  That is the ear that always gets fluid in it too.  I joked that maybe that was why he doesn't listen too well sometimes.  The doctor just laughed and said it was more like he is a 6 year old boy!  : )

This past week has been pretty funny with the deconstruction of the classroom.  So may papers, artwork and journals!!!  Cute to look through it all and I'm hoping for a rainy day--later in the summer--where I can sit down and sort through it all to create a little notebook for Aidan.  But, the really hilarious part has been that we have gotten it from the Elementary School AND from Winwood, the after school care!  Really.  Didn't I already get 20 pounds of artwork a week during the year???  I may have to toughen myself up and not keep everything Aidan creates. . .  : (

Today I have scheduled a half day off for myself and will pick Aidan up at noon.  We will have lunch at Chik-fil-a, his favorite.  Then I will take him to see Madagascar 3 at the Cobb Theatre--where I did the good Mommy thing and pre-purchased our tickets!!!  We'll get home by 4:00ish and will then just play play play and cook out our dinner!!!  And for this weekend?  Nothing major planned. . .just pool tomorrow and the Upperville Horse and Colt show on Sunday. 

Aidan does seem to be excited to be finishing with Kindergarten.  But, the other day he said, in a slightly down voice, that he would be a Rising First Grader ( a new term, I guess) as of Friday afternoon. . .Are you looking forward to First Grade?  Yes, but there will be a lot more homework and it will be harder!!!  Don't worry, buddy.  Mommy will help you learn it all.

And, just in ase you weren't clear. . .NO HOMEWORK FOR 11 WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome Summer Vacation!!!  We're glad to see you!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fun Summer Weekends

As much as last weekend was about the pool, this weekend has not been. 

For starters, Friday we had some big weather.  Some big scary weather.  I mean really scary!  There were thunderstorms and very heavy rain all afternoon and even a tornado in Sterling--about 15 miles from where we are.  I even saw Aidan's after school class evacuate the upstairs room they were in order to take cover downstairs. . .Eastern Loudoun was under a Tornado Warning and the school, thanks be to God!, takes that very seriously!

So, in spite of the weather, the boys met me in Purcellville in order to drop off my car for the annual inspection and then we drove back to Leesburg to meet friends for dinner at a really good Mexican restaurant. . .the flooding, heavy rain and scary lightening caused me to have a big Margarita. . .okay, I might have anyway, but this time I had a really good excuse!

Saturday, we headed over to the Mall and bought a car top carrier to put our luggage in for when we go to the beach.  Love it!!  It's going to make it so much easier to cart our stuff, us and a dog down there this year. 

Then, after a quick lunch, we got in line to meet Braden Holtby--Phenom Goalie for the Caps this past Playoffs!!  We brought a shirt and got his autograph and pictures.

Waiting in line can be hard, but not when you can spy on the one your there to meet it makes it more fun!!  Aidan was really excited!  As my friend Joy quipped, this was better than meeting Mickey Mouse!!  Or at least a close second!!  : )

And then it was our turn. . .

And finally, Aidan and Braden!

Braden was really cool about it all and seemed to be really enjoying himself.  He gave me a really big smile when I quipped "Braden and Aidan" while shooting the picture.  Cute!

But, it wasn't over yet!  After a quick stop to see Mr. Rob and Aunty Allison--who is here visiting from the West Coast, Aidan and Daddy got the Corvette all cleaned up and ready to go and show at the Classic Car Show in Leesburg!

While downtown, we decided to eat dinner at Olde Town Grill, a newly renovated restuarant.  We'd been a bit hesitant about it due to the owner not doing such  great job with the group of restaurants he has down there.  But I am here to tell you, it was AWESOME!!  We will soooo be going back!

Today has been a bit calmer:  Church for Mama this morning while the boys slept in late.  Then, I took Aidan to a birthday party for one of his school buddies.  We have hockey in an hour--gotta get going in a bit and then some friends will come for a dinner of hamburgers! 

So, although we still have a week of school left, I'm beginning to wonder if we will really slow down for summe after all!