Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Bike Rides

Thanksgiving weekend, I was supposed to work, work, work on finishing up my semester. However, it turns out I could not access the buildings on campus. A blessing in disguise, we ended up having some really wonderful family days together (and that paper got always does...several less hours of sleep each night...panicky moments at the doesn't even matter anymore).

A highlight of the weekend was a family bike ride along the C&O canal trail.  We could see our shadow on the rocks across the canal. Isn't that a neat picture?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Feasting and Family

After our 5K (doesn't it sound so sporty when I say that? ha!), we watched the Macy's parade at Aunt Rachel's house, and then went to Cousin David & Fatima's home for a Thanksgiving Feast.

Aunt Joyce and Uncle Dave were in town from Utah, bearing gifts as always.
Aunt Joyce made this Raggedy Ann doll for Abigail. What a special treasure.

Joseph loves his real flying airplane

Joseph and Great Uncle Dave

Missy working hard in the kitchen

Aunt Elizabeth and Joseph

Grandma Donna and Abigail

Joseph and Missy

Joseph with his Aunties

Roxanne, Missy, Lila

Missy and her dad

Our gracious hosts: cousin David & Fatima's family

Friday, November 25, 2011

Occupy D.C.

Our Thanksgiving race started at Freedom Plaza, which this year turns out to be right in the midst of the Occupy D.C. tent camp.  It was really fascinating to see the tents, read the signs, pick up a newspaper, and even engage a little with one of the protestors. When I told him I was a social worker, he started in on the social worker is a social control agent argument.  It's actually something I've struggled with over the years from time to time--this idea that social workers help people just enough to keep them above the breaking point, but that the programs (which social workers often carry out and become very invested in) don't provide enough to help people really get on their feet.  One argument is that social workers should be true to their social justice mission and be advocating for system wide changes.  In truth, I find that argument very compelling.  However, I cannot justify the part that requires ignoring the basic needs of people in order to foment widespread uprisings.  Where the protestor and I really differed was when we discussed rape crisis services (my former job in social work). He argued that lawyers are benefitting from rape cases and that this promotes rape. He seemed focused on changing that financial aspect of it; I am adamant that we provide services to survivors. All in all, it was an interesting, respectful discourse about ideas and approaches.

I don't see myself going and camping on Freedom Plaza; Joseph, however, was ready for a committee meeting--he sat right down.

In the Occupied Washington Post paper that we received, there was a  powerful article by Bill Moyers.  It was adapted from a speech he gave and also included in an edition of The Nation. I think he eloquently expresses why I support the Occupy movement.

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

On Thanksgiving morning, we joined 7,000 others to "Trot for Hunger" to benefit a fantastic local organization, So Others May Eat (SOME).  

We were in the group with lots of strollers and pets!  Joseph and Marc played chase throughout much of the course, which was a great way to get Joseph to run without realizing he was doing it!

The route was fantastic--right along Pennsylvania Avenue.  Do you see the Capitol behind us in this shot?

November 24, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We are Thankful

This may be a video only a mother can love, but since it is my blog ....  I love his expressions. I love how he reads the last page because it has an exclamation point (it designates excitement Joseph tells me!)

Kindergarten Thanksgiving

Joseph's class had a Thanksgiving tasting party. Grandma Donna watched Abigail so I was got to be the parent who picked up the food (from Boston Market) and helped serve the adorable kindergarteners in their Thanksgiving hats.
Joseph with Freya and Rebqa

Mrs. Grundy reading to the class at circle time.

Notice my adorable Joseph in the upper right corner. Love that smile! Can you tell he has fun at school?

November 22, 2011

Happy 18th Hannah!

My sister Hannah turns 18 today! 

I remember shopping for baby clothes before Hannah was born--we were anticipating her arrival long before her debut.  I remember going to the hospital to meet my new sister. I remember our best Thanksgiving ever was when Hannah first came home from the hospital. I remember studying in high school with little Hannah crawling around me--and I accidentally dropped a book on her--sorry! I remember people asking me if Hannah was my baby when I would take her places in public. I remember Hannah as a two-year-old on the phone talking to me when I was away at BYU; I was afraid she were going to forget me. I remember coming home for summers during college and taking Hannah to the pool and having movie nights where we would "vote" on the video. I remember asking Hannah's wise opinion about boys I brought home to meet the parents.

Aunt Hannah has been there from the start with my own little family. She came and helped when Joseph was born. She entertains my kids endlessly when we visit Missouri. She makes sure they get Cardinals baseball shirts and don't forget they have St. Louis roots. She tickles and wrestles and lets them listen endlessly to the "BEEP-beep-BEEP" CD she uses with her piano students.

Hannah is great fun and a blessing to our whole family. She helps us keep traditions and make new ones; she's fiercely loyal to her family. Hannah introduces me to new things like Silky's frozen custard flavors and Drop Dead Diva. She is always up for a road trip and has visited me in Utah, Blacksburg, and D.C.

Happy Birthday Hannah!  I love you and am so glad you're my sister and my children's aunt.

Happy Birthday Hannah! 

What is your favorite memory of Hannah?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Aunt Rachel

On Aunt Rachel's birthday we helped her celebrate by going out to dinner. She introduced us to a wonderful Neopolitan pizza place:  Pupatella

We love Aunt Rachel! Happy Birthday!
November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Sometimes you just have one of those days, when everything goes right. You didn't plan it, you couldn't re-create it if you tried, but it is like a little gift that you treasure in the midst of regular life. This zoo outing was one of those days.

November 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Autumn Bike Ride

One of our favorite places to ride is along the C&O Canal bike trail.  One day we plan to ride the whole 184 miles from Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, M.D. and camp along the way. But not this year.  We just had a nice Saturday afternoon autumn ride (November is the best month for bike rides!)

Our Abigail

Joseph found this hollowed out tree to explore

Light coming from the top of the hollowed trunk

I'm probably a little paranoid about bundling Abigail, it just seems she might get chilly since she's the only one not exerting any energy when we ride through the cool wind.

We even shared the trail with horses
November 12, 2011