Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

It was a lovely Easter! Perfect weather, a beautiful service, and all eggs are accounted for.

And since March was not a very "bloggy" month, here are a few pictures.

Katie, with hair braided as per the instructions in a book she got for her birthday...

and Emma, doing what she does best. 

Travis took Driver's Education through a local high school during the month of March. (It seemed as if it took up the Entire month -- a spectacular lot of time. But the instructor was patient and Travis is now at least marginally confident. He drove the last leg of the trip home from church today and did just fine!) Here we are, hugging our "baby" before he headed off for the first class.

And here he is, wearing the virtual reality headset that he made out of cardboard. He had me try it on, set up to view a roller coaster ride, and I had to take it off -- it was that terrifying!

And we've finally gotten to Shakespeare!!! We spent a week reading Much Ado About Nothing together, then watching the video (the Tennant/Tate version, since we've seen the Branagh several times), and the kids wrote their own (short) versions. This past week we read Henry V and watched The Hollow Crown (Katie and I had seen it before, but Travis hadn't and was Really impressed, and he is a hard person to impress!) This week I'll be reading King Lear with Travis, and Twelfth Night with Katie (who won't read Lear on account of the thing with Gloucester's eyes). I have the Ian McKellan King Lear on order from Netflix, and we'll watch the Twelfth Night with Imogen Stubbs -- good stuff!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

My Baby is a Teenager

Actually, she is a teenager as of yesterday, but we had such a good time celebrating her birthday that I was too tired to post anything last night. 

She started with the birthday crepe.

 Then presents. She was magnificently spoiled. Books, a stuffed Minecraft sheep, a curling iron, and....

The big, really exciting gift from my parents!

Such a happy girl.

Her favorite dinner, and then an ice cream cake (graham cracker crust with a layer of Nutella, then ice cream, topped with marshmallows, browned under the broiler). Ed and Travis had to work together to light all 13 candles before it all melted into a pool of wax and melted ice cream.

I am told it was The Best Cake Ever.

And then I was a Really Good Mom. We did mud masks and painted our nails and toes, while watching an animated movie -- Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2. How is that for motherly devotion, eh?

Travis had driver's ed. from 3:30-6:30, but we picked him up at 6:30 and went to the movies to watch the new Sponge Bob movie. Katie says that it was absolutely the Best Birthday Ever! I'm glad, because that is certainly what she deserves. Happy birthday, darling girl!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Happy Birthday, Ed!

Today is Ed's birthday! He's.... well, not as young as he once was! But he celebrated the day in fine style anyway.
We made it up to church for the first time in two weeks, and then home for presents and cake. My parents came over and helped with the rousing Birthday Song (None of us are candidates for Carnegie Hall, but greater numbers help disguise our tunelessness. Unless, maybe, they just magnify it? Anyway, we all sing with feeling!)

None of the rest of this has to do with Ed's birthday. But I finished Alan Jacobs's The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography the other day, and it was really excellent. Perhaps especially for big Prayer Book fans, of course!

And last week we got more snow. While I do object to ice, which keeps me off the walking trail, I think the snow is gorgeous.

Travis, posting snow pictures. Because that is Really why we want snow, after all.

Here are Snow Patrick and Snow Sponge Bob.

And last Sunday the Diocese of Western North Carolina youth group offered a "ski day" at a ski place in Maggie Valley. The kids have never skied before, and they wanted to try, so we went. They had a great time!

I stayed inside (with my book), but I spent a good forty minutes hanging out a window trying to get a picture of them coming down the slope. You'd think I'd have gotten lucky at least once and gotten them coming down, but I didn't.

Here they are, though, heading over to the lift.

And here's where I was sure I had them! All these downed skiers and snow boarders, you'd have been sure Travis and Katie would be among them. But I've checked up close, and these are all fallen strangers. So you'll just have to imagine them, swooping gracefully and swiftly down the slope, and we'll pretend that's the way it was!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Snow Days

It snowed here on Monday, and since then it's flurried and snowed enough, and been cold enough, to maintain a good solid layer of snow and ice. Especially the ice. It's pretty, anyway.

We were a bit worried about Harry in the snow (he has his very insulated palace in the garage, of course, but I was afraid he wouldn't go outside), but it turns out that he is okay with it. The kids said that the first time he saw his footprints he got scared and leaped backwards, but he quickly got used to it.

(Here you can see Harry, peeking around the corner of the garage, watching the kids. That was on Monday, when snow was still a new thing for him!)

And here Harry is helping Katie build a snowman.

It's a good thing Katie has Harry to play with in the snow, because Travis inherited my tolerance for cold -- pretty much none. His feet and hands turn blue after just a few minutes. Still, he did manage a couple hours of "sledding" across the street before duty (and the need to thaw) called him back to his books!

I've gotten in a fair lot of reading this week, and am hoping to sneak in a bit more tomorrow. The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams was really interesting, and today I read Petrarch, who was wonderfully passionate and intense. Also Rowan Williams's Tokens of Trust, which was a perfect Lenten read. Next in the list is a swashbuckling fantasy. Variety, you know!

Here Emma is channeling Yoda. She likes to lie on top of my stomach and meditate while I read.