Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Happenings

Grandma Donna had a birthday! Joseph was pretty excited about the cake. Joseph received a special Easter package from Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Bill. Here is a picture of him just after opening it--he immediately put on the Curious George pajamas and started hugging the Corduroy bear (and eating the jelly beans!)

The Naval Observatory opened its secure gates for a public open house. We went to visit where Daddy works, look through telescopes, and peek at the Vice President's house.
Rachel and Joseph sitting out on our front lawn.
April 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sunday morning, 5:15 am

Sarah: "Did you hear that?"

Marc: "What do you think it was?"

Sarah: "It sounds like someone is moving the trash cans by our back gate."

Marc gets up out of bed, takes a flashlight and goes downstairs. I bravely lie in bed and wait. Marc went outside and saw a man crouched behind our car by our gate. Marc shined the flashlight in his face and asked him what he was doing. He said he was hiding from someone. Marc told him he "better get out of here" and the man ran off toward an apartment complex down the street. Marc came back in and called the police, gave a report and a description. A few hours later the police officer who lives down the street stopped by our house. (Side note: She was in her police uniform and Joseph was thrilled to have a police officer at our house). It turns out she saw an unfamiliar car that morning as she was getting ready to leave for her early morning shift, but she had no cause to pull it over. Well, when she got to the station, she immediately saw Marc's report. Anyway, she had gotten the license plate number, and she came to our house and got Marc's statement. The person that Marc had seen in our driveway, the time of the incident and all of it matched in a way that they were able to nab these guys who have recently been stealing tires off of cars in driveways in our neighborhood.

Marc wins the citizen of the week award for calling to report it.

I'm grateful the guy didn't have a gun when Marc confronted him. I'm a little more nervous about our neighborhood, but tire stealing doesn't compete with violent crime which is what we would have been dealing with if we'd moved into the District.

Exciting Sunday, eh?

April 26, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Spontaneous Visit

My good friend came to visit me (oh, and Washington, D.C.). I had such a wonderful time visiting with her. We did all kinds of sight-seeing. Here are some of the pictures she took:

Joseph trying to refuse a smile in front of the White House.
Joseph asked if he could play with President Obama's two little girls. I told him if their mom called and asked, I would say yes.

Cherry Blossoms along the Tidal Basin

My friend took a tour of Arlington Cemetery while Joseph ran around the visitor center's lawn. She took this beautiful picture during the tour.

We took a tour of the U.S. Capitol. I did not know that you are not allowed to take food (even if it is unopened) in to the Capitol. The Capitol was our first stop of the day, and I had brought blueberry muffins for snacks through the day--we hadn't eaten any yet. At security, they took away the muffins. If you know Joseph and muffins, you know this was a tragedy. Now, whenever he sees the Capitol, he tells us what happens in that building: "the man throws our food away!"
For our girls night out, we went to see the opening night of Crowns at the Lincoln Theater and then to a late night dinner next door at Ben's Chili Bowl. Saturday we drove by the Embassies on Massachusetts Ave., went to the WWII Memorial, The Vietnam Memorial Wall, and the Holocaust Museum.
Thanks for coming to visit us. We had so much fun. We will miss you.
March 26-29, 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Question

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Circus

We went to the Ringley Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus. Bryan Banker gave us tickets, and it was so much fun. I'd never been to a circus, neither had Joseph. I was most impressed by the acrobats--and the man on stilts who looked like he was having so much fun. Marc liked the motorcycles in a cage. Joseph loved the clowns; he retells their skits and giggles everytime.

Our pictures didn't turn out well because of some camera problems, but I'm going to post them anyway. You'll get the idea. The circus was amazing! Thank you Bryan.

March 19, 2009

Elephant Parade

When the circus comes to Washington, D.C., they have a parade to celebrate its arrival. This year, the parade coincided with St. Patrick's Day. Rachel told us about the parade so we could go--and anticipate our upcoming trip to the circus.

Joseph ate some muffins before the parade starts. Joseph loves muffins. No matter how healthy I make them, I can't seem to deter him from eating the whole batch.

We're so glad Aunt Rachel told us about the parade--and came with us!

We took the metro down to Union Station where we had a great view of the elephants.

March 17, 2009

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Happy Birthday Joseph!

We're so happy we've had you with us for 3 wonderful years, Joseph. You are our treasure!
Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Rachel threw Joseph a wonderful birthday party. Grandpa, Grandma, Rachel, David, Fatima, Roxanne, Lila (and Lila's helper), Missy, Bryan, Mom, Dad and Joseph were all there! *Also thanks to Rachel for taking pictures!
Rachel, Joseph, Roxanne, Fatima and Lila

As requested, Joseph had chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Missy gave Joseph Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Grandpa Lincoln and Grandma Donna gave Joseph a bicycle.

Grandma Charlotte and Grandpa Bill gave Joseph a sandbox! He loves to play in the sand.

Joseph's birthday was wonderful. Marc and I went in to sing to him when he woke up. After our song, the first thing he said was "I get to wear underwear!" We had bought Thomas the Tank underwear a day earlier, but made Joseph save it until he was 3 because three-year-olds are big enough to use the potty. It worked like a dream. Joseph gave Mommy and Daddy the best present: no more diapers!
We had Joseph's favorite pancakes for breakfast. I have a whole grain recipe that uses whole wheat, flax seeds and egg beaters. I feel so satisfied when I feed them to my little family. The dining room was decorated with streamers and a big banner. Joseph said, "thank you for the flying happy birthday letters." Isn't he adorable? We just love him so much.
At three, Joseph has so much to say. He wants to be part of every conversation. Last night I was telling Marc something while Joseph had to go upstairs to go potty. As Joseph ran down, he said, "I want to hear the story you're telling Daddy." He remembers everything. He prays for his friends. His favorite place is the library, and he begs to go there. Joseph loves puppies and babies. He has started asking for a dog, "I wish I could have my own puppy." When he sees a baby he tells me how cute he or she is and inches over to see the baby. He will ask to hold babies, tickle their cheeks and smile into their little faces. The other day some neighbors were over and the kids were playing with toys, but Joseph couldn't be torn from the seven-month-old he was holding.

March 4, 2009

Welcome Home!

We ended our trip at our new home in Arlington, Virginia. We'd been transient for a couple of months and toward the end of our trip, Joseph was starting to really miss his Blacksburg friends and routine (and toys that were packed in storage). We started prepping him for our new house and life. We learned a little trick: if you want your child to be happy with a new home, keep him confined in a carseat for 3000+ miles. He'll be thrilled at wherever you finally call home!

Arlington is like coming home for us. Marc, of course, grew up here, but all of us lived with Marc's parents for a year while Marc was working for Fairfax before we went to Blacksburg. Joseph doesn't remember living here. I keep pointing out parks I took him to or stores we used to frequent. He asks me "did we go there when I was a baby?", but he has no recollection. We're in the same ward as last time, though there has been a boundary change so there are lots of people we haven't met yet.

Marc's parents have been wonderful. From the moment we arrived, they have been such a huge support--feeding us meals, throwing a birthday party for Joseph, loaning us an air mattress, watching Joseph, and the list goes on and on. They also stored all of our belongings during our "without an address" phase.

We're in a little duplex that has a yard with a garden spot that Marc is quite excited to plant. Joseph loves the neighborhood children and park down the street--and our next door neighbor's dogs named Surprise and Marley. Marc rides his bike to his office at the Naval Observatory (the same compound where the Vice President lives). We feel really lucky to have a job in the current economy, and especially a job that Marc really likes.
Our first weekend in our new place we had a big snow storm. I wasn't very appreciative of the snow. Marc hadn't started working so he didn't get a "snow day" and we hadn't been to the grocery store yet. (Thank goodness for the Murphy's food storage they gave us when they moved to Germany. Thank you!) I was looking forward to searching for furniture and getting settled right away. But, Joseph loved getting to sled with Aunt Rachel and playing in the snow with some of the neighborhood kids. And, we still had time to search for furniture and get all settled into our new home together before Marc started work. Have I mentioned how much I love craigslist?

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Our last stop was in Corolla, North Carolina at Aunt Joyce and Uncle Dave's house. It was wonderful to relax and spend time with them at their beautiful home. Joseph didn't mind the freezing cold temperatures. He still rested in the hammock, fed the birds and played in the sand at the beach. He quickly became best buds with Uncle Dave who took him to the library and the kite store, and Aunt Joyce who read magazines and played UNO (color and number recognition) with him. As we were driving on our way home, Joseph said, "I miss Aunt Joyce. I miss Uncle Dave, too."

February 25-26, 2009