Thursday, April 19, 2012

look at Matthew run!

There are not many things I enjoy doing as much as watching my kids work hard at something and succeed! I am so proud of Matthew. He is up every morning for early morning seminary, works hard at his school work and puts in the time and energy to run like the wind. These photos are from a recent track meet at Oakton. He won the race. Way to go Matthew! So glad to cheer you on!

A get-a-way to Williamsburg with Emmy!

An early morning departure put us right on time to meet up with the other 4th graders and parents from Emily's school. Here we are at the fountain at Jamestown, our meeting spot. The tour of Jamestown was fabulous, I recommend it!

Emily got to demonstrate removing the hair from a hide using a shell as a tool.

She also got to model what a 12 year old Powatan Indian girl would wear (minus her own clothing). The class was surprised to lean that at their age they would wear nothing and when it was cold their parents would rub them down with bear fat for added warmth.

Our group worked together to load one of the barrels on to the ship, The Constant.

Emily, looking cool aboard the ship. It was amazing to tour.

Still aboard the ship, looking out to the point above Emily's head where the actual Jamestown existed, the original site is still being excavated.

Inside a burned out canoe. We got to see one of the canoes in the process of being burned out and the kids had a chance to scrape out some of the charcoal with a shell... very cool!

Inside the Chapel in Jamestown. This is where Pocahantas was baptized and married John Rolfe.

Inside of the Jamestown Fort the buildings look they are straight from England.

The group at the end of our Jamestown tour... now off to Yorktown!

At Yorktown we toured a colonial farm, take note of the Turkey behind Em.

A colonial farm kitchen.

The cherry blossoms were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.

We got to watch them shoot a cannon. It was so loud!

We visited the camp of the colonial soldiers.

The gang at the end of our Yorktown tour.

After an afternoon at Yorktown we were beat and at maximum capacity for historical information. The group disbanded and we drove to our hotel which turned out to be lovely and swam the evening away. We snagged the last reservation for dinner at an authentic tavern in Historical Williamsburg and were serenaded by a great colonial musician. When we returned to the hotel we were officially tired and slept so well.

Saturday morning we arrived at Busch Gardens for opening day! Emily loves Busch Gardens so this was a dream-come-true for her. Upon arrival we discovered that her recent growth had put her over the mark to allow her to ride on every ride at the park! It began to drizzle so we purchased our blue Busch Gardens rain ponchos and had a great time. The rain kept the crowds away and so we loved having no long lines. We rode the Griffin 5 times! 

We enjoyed seeing the animals, we watched wolves do tricks, the pet shenanigans show, different kinds of owls and this lovely hawk! We also loved watching those Irish dancers!

It was a day I will always treasure. When we were getting off the Griffin and I was feeling a little woosey, Emily looked at me and said "this is pure joy" and that woosey feeling left me quickly and we went on another ride. Being a mom is the best!
We love you Busch Gardens... hope to see you soon! Thanks Emily for a great get-a-way together.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Tonight some of the lovely young women from my church youth group came to my home for papermaking and printing. It was so fun. They each printed beautiful thank you note cards and Emily taught the fine art of papermaking... so fun to have them here! The theme for the youth this year is arise and shine forth. I am so proud to associate with these great young women.

Last night and this afternoon Jay worked and worked to put up a light over the press. What had seemed to be a simple task became a great challenge because of the placement of the light over a monster press would not budge. Thank you Jay... I love the light!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pi Day 3.14

Today we celebrated pi day with shepherd's pie and apple pie. YUM! I snapped a couple of pics with my phone... I love the leaf crust on the apple! Leaves are beginning to pop out all around here in Virginia. I spent the afternoon printing (and will soon reprint after discovering a little typo after completing the project). Then watching Emily ice skate -delightful... grabbed a chance to read between being wowed by her grace on the ice. I am rereading the Kite Runner. I loved it the first time although it is so sad in parts. Matthew is going to read it for his English class and I wanted to be ready to share the experience of this book with him. Tonight Jay worked on a hanging light over the press -so exciting!!! Hooray for pi day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

An Update!!!

It was brought to my attention that I have not blogged in over a YEAR! I am afraid that I have fallen in to the trap of having missed so many wonderful amazing events that it is difficult to know where to start, and so I merely chose not to. My daughter gave me some great advice... just start with today. And so I do, I start with wonderful today... an ordinary day of trying to grow and learn and serve and do. Nothing really to report except that life is full and rich and wonderful. I spent a good part of the day in the garage organizing type and puttering in the want-to-be letterpress studio. I will take some pictures and share that sometime soon. I am basking in the glow of being part of a wonderful family. Some highlights of this week that I actually documented with photos are: the fourth grade Colonial Day! I got to slip into my mop cap (which was actually an old bonnet we had around that I cut the ties off of and wore backwards with the brim tucked in) and a long skirt and volunteer for the day at this wonderful festivity. I got to outline many many shadows of childrens profile's to make silloettes, watch fantastic dancing... Emily's dancing partner for the Virginia Reel is a sweet little girl in her class that has downs syndrome. Emily loves Hannah and Hannah loves Emily. The sheer joy on Hannah's face as they doe-se-doed is an image I hope to keep in my heart. I will include a pic of Em in her fabulous Colonial outfit that a kind friend loaned to us. I will also include a photo of Friday night papermaking with Emily and her friend Stephanie. They made some beautiful paper! It was a fun night. Well, cheers to blogging... to ordinary days made wonderful with the love of people and experience and to the highlights that bless us along the way!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The BEST time of the year!

We are so grateful for time together...

Greg and Megan home from College and getting to talk to Sister Livingston on the phone on Christmas Day! Here are some photos with Santa at the National Christmas Tree...

complete update coming soon...

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trip to the Northwest

Hi everyone, this is Jay, Melissa's rarely heard from husband, with no presence on the internet. I'm updating her blog with my trip to the great Pacific Northwest with Matthew and Emily! So remember, this is me writing, not Melissa--don't be confused by the change in voice!

Melissa had left town with Megan on the 20th of August, taking her out to Provo and BYU. Missy loves taking her kids to school and getting them settled in. I figured, if she thinks I'm just going to sit here alone with the kids while she's having fun in Utah, well, she's got a surprise coming. With Emily's help, we decided to go visit Grandma out in Portland. The only time Emily has seen her Grandma was 6 years ago when she was 2. Since she has no memory of her, we decided it was time to create one.

We left on the 23rd of August, catching the late flight out of Baltimore for Seattle (save $$ that way). It was a long flight, about 5 1/2 hours. Not much fun for the kids. We arrived very late, and got to the hotel around midnight. Very tired. Emily said she wasn't tired, but that was to prove untrue. We slept well, and got up around 7am, breakfasted on gourmet items like cereal, and headed off. BTW, that's a lighting effect on Matt's hair--it really isn't blond/green.

We loaded up the car with all our gear (8 bags, can you believe it?), and drove off on a beautiful, blue-sky day. These days are wonderful, and only occur in the NW during the summer. Don't be fooled by them. It WILL turn cloudy and drizzle for 9 solid months of the year. Count on it.

We drove to Anacortes and waited for the ferry to Lopez Island, one of the San Jaun islands. It was a 30 minute trip by ferry, and it was quite brisk if you were outside on the deck.

After arriving on Lopez Island, we went to our camp site and set up our tent.

Then we went exploring on the nearby beach. This beach was a spit of land between 2 islands, and is just covered with driftwood. We had taken the family to this Island some 12 or 13 years ago, and had explored the same beach then, too. Jessie and Megan had built a teepee out of driftwood, and here, Matt and Emmy have replicated the feat.

Then it was on to more serious matters, namely, dinner! We ate at a kind of earthy, healthy restaurant. It was the only one we could find open! Then we drove to a dock to start our kayaking experience. We noticed the sign on this port-a-john near the dock. It reads: Wizards of Ooze. We loved it!

We had a great guide, and he put Emmy and I into one kayak, and Matt got his very own. The single rider kayak's are very different, and are steered by leaning left and right. If you're not careful, you can roll over! Matt did really well, though. Here we are resting on our oars.

It was a beautiful experience. Very peaceful. On the way back to the dock, we noticed large areas of the surface of the bay, maybe 10 yards in diameter, erupting with fish. It turns out that a seal was chasing the herring under the water, and they would jump to get out of its way.

We then went back to our campsite and had a great nights sleep. Honestly, I don't think any of us woke up once during the night. Morning came and we again had a gourmet breakfast of various cereals. Yummy!

Up and at 'em, kids, we've got to drive to Portland today! Well, not before we stop at Agate Beach and Shark Reef!! Agate beach is covered with smooth stones (we gathered a few pounds to take home), and a few tidal pools.

Shark Reef has a jagged coastline with cliffs, and even more tidal pools.

Here, Emmy points to a bunch of anemones and a bunch of jelly fish.

After a morning of exploring, we picked up smoothies for lunch and headed back to the ferry. I drove like a maniac to make a second ferry, from Keystone to Port Townsend. I didn't want to drive back down through Seattle during rush hour, so we drove Highway 20 from Port Townsend to Olympia, and then down to Portland. We arrived around 9pm, and Emily finally got to meet her Grandma!

Then it was off to the hotel, and dropping exhausted into bed. Then next day, we toured around with Aunt Leann. We went to Bonneville dam and watched the salmon run up the fish ladders.

Note the influence of the fish on Matthew. We then went to Cascade Locks, and walked across them on a bridge. The wind was blowing SO HARD. We could hardly stand up straight.

After a delicious lunch at the Eastwind Drive In (great milkshakes, fries, and burgers!), we went to the fish hatchery. Now, Leann claims that we went to the hatchery when I was a kid, but I have no memory of it. At any rate, it was more fun than it sounds. Here Emmy and Matt feed a holding pen full of rainbow trout, each of them was about 18 inches long! Oh, but I wish I could fish there. That statement alone should let you know that Melissa is not writing this.

Then we saw the sturgeon. This guy is HUGE. 10 feet long, about 600 pounds, and 70 years old.

We also saw salmon running up the ladders there. It was a really cool place.

Then we went to Multomah Falls. This is a very beautiful falls right off the freeway there. I've hiked to the top before with Greg, and it's very strenuous, but the view is not worth it. BTW, Greg ran down the trail on the way back, wearing FLIP FLOPS, and got blisters. He had to cool his feet off in the small creek at the falls.

We then went to Leann's and had dinner with Uncle Gary and Cousin Jared with his wife Jubilee and their two kids Tate and Fin. Absolutely great day.

Then next day we went shopping at the Nike outlet, then met Grandma for lunch. Emmy then went shopping with Aunt Leann, while Matt and I hung out with Grandma and Uncle David.

We had dinner again with Leann and Gary, and then went to VooDoo Donuts for dessert!!

Here Emmy is eating a bubble gum donut.

And Matt enjoys a maple bar with bacon donut!

Then it was off to bed, well, after a swim by Emmy, first.

It's now Saturday, for those who keep track of those kind of things. We got up and hit the Portland Market. The kids made excellent purchases: a bracelet, a toy turtle, and a ceramic 3-note whistle for Emmy. A Batman belt buckle and a South American-style hoodie for Matt. We had delicious fresh cut fruit for a snack and then drove to Powell's Books.

Now I love books, and I love this place. I picked up two used books by William Goldman (Marathon Man and Which Lie Did I Tell?). Emmy bought a How to Train you Dragon book. She is now practicing the language that dragon trainers use on their charges.

Lunch was at Noodles Co., and then we went to the Portland Audobon Society. They only had one bird out, but it was a beautiful owl.

And for the highlight of the morning/afternoon, we went to the Japanese Gardens. This place is really incredible. We all really enjoyed the beauty and peacefulness of it.

Then we had dinner with Grandma and spent some time with her. A final trip to get ice cream with Aunt Leann and Uncle Gary, and then off to bed! Whew. Tiring. Here Emmy snuggles into Matt's bed (the fold-out couch) while they watch a movie.

Sunday we got up, packed, and went to church with Grandma. We then said goodbye, and drove up to Seattle. But on the way, we stopped at Mt. Rainier to see real mountains and hike a bit. Here are some photos. It is incredibly beautiful.

After the hike, we were kind of cold, so we had hot chocolate.

Then we drove to Seattle. Monday morning we got up and hit the trail, stopping first at the Space Needle, where we had a delicious (really, it was) lunch.

We took in the view, which was wonderful, it being another blue-sky day in the Pacific Northwest.

Then off to Pike Street Market where the kids made more wonderful purchases.

I bought them some honeycomb to try. Yum, that is really good stuff. We then had lunch of sushi (the kids wanted to try it), and walked around for awhile. We also got a treat at Starbucks. The kids got the double chocolate chip frappuccino, and I got the strawberry-banana smoothie. Then, as a final act, we walked down to the waterfront, and stood at Ivar's Acre's of Clams!!! This was a place we went to EVERY TIME we visited Seattle when I was growing up.

We drove to the airport, dropped the car off (whew!! no accidents!!), and checked in. The flight was a red-eye, and we arrived in Baltimore at 6am. By 7am, we had our bags and were driving down I-95. Wait, there is an accident. Traffic is stopped. OK, we can handle this. We take surface streets for an hour, finally get back on the freeway, and get home at 9am. Well, except for that last two hours of travel, it was the perfect trip. We couldn't have done any more or had anymore fun than we did. Now that I'm rested, I'm ready to go again!