Saturday, June 27, 2015

And He's Back!

And today we picked him back up! Happy and undamaged.

 He had such a good time, in fact, that he didn't have time to read my second letter... sniff! ("Did you get my letters?" "Yeh, but I don't think I opened the second one." Moment of appalled silence on my end.) Still, once he started tell us about all the fun stuff he was up to (including that he'd brought a recording of a "song" he created -- electronic music, in the style of Skrillex, so not a Song, exactly, but it has a beat and you can dance to it! -- and it was played at both the camp dance and a camp rave, which was very gratifying) all week I quickly got over it. And, after all, he did sit down at some point and scrawl a note to us, and mail it, so we weren't entirely forgotten!

And yesterday Facebook was kind enough to post me this picture, from five years ago, so I include it for the sake of comparison.

While Trav was off having fun, we managed to amuse ourselves at home. Reading, mostly. We are like that. But Katie did have a friend over a couple times, and attended a fun program at the library. A pleasant, peaceful week.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summer Rituals

We dropped Travis off at camp on Sunday. It is a fairish drive, but after quite a few years of it we have a routine. Approaching Old Fort I remind Ed that a rest stop would not be unwelcome, and he comments that I always say that as we are coming up on Old Fort. And he stops for me, because he is a good husband. Three hours, each way, on the nose. It's a very pretty drive.
 Travis, making his name tag. The tricky bit is threading the yarn through the hole in the wooden name tag disk.

The shirts this year are particularly nice!

Katie is really looking forward to her week of camp, at the end of July.

I'd say we're having a quiet week without Travis, but he never makes much noise anyway, so there's not a noticeable difference in that sense. But I miss seeing him around the place!

Ed taught Katie how to run the lawnmower. She did a fine job on the back yard. And virtue is being rewarded for once -- her friend, who was expected to be unavailable all week, came over this afternoon and is staying for dinner.

And the summer sorts of flowers are blooming.

And I'm reading.

And also these...

And I'm ignoring some things I should be doing. Maybe I'll do them tomorrow!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

I have a great father, and I married another one! Wishing a happy day to my daddy, and to my sweet honeybunch! You are both amazing, and I love you.

My daddy...

and my sweet Ed...

Love you guys!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

In Which We Go to the Mall!

Travis had his last NCJCL officer's meeting today, in Greensboro. I should mention that he did a Fabulous job as Tech Coordinator -- the website he designed really is a thing of beauty! Actually, you should take a peek at it, before the new Tech guy puts his own "tweaks" on it -- here's the link... NCJCL website. I particularly like the way he put a slideshow from the Spring Convention behind the logo thing!

But, anyway... the mall! That's where Ed, Katie, and I went while Travis was at his meeting. And it's a fine mall. Three stories of shops. (No Godiva store, though, which I thought was a shame. I'd have taken a chance and eaten a pumpkin spice truffle, if one had been available!) Katie tells me that I am an Unnatural Mother because I don't like to take her shopping (I've explained that I used up all my shopping in my twenties, and at this point, if Amazon doesn't have it, and it isn't a book, I don't need it. She's unimpressed.) So, here is evidence that I have (and I'm pretty sure there have been at least a couple other occasions) taken her shopping at a mall...

We stopped for ice cream. And to sit down.

See how cheerful I am? 

And Ed is positively jovial!

Katie bought small things at small shops. Small, pink shops. Strongly perfumed shops, for the most part. Ed and I found the Hot Topic store quite entertaining. They sold Doctor Who backpacks (quite a variety), Supernatural underwear, and more Minion merchandise than you could shake a stick at. (As if anyone would shake a stick at a Minion!) We did not make any purchases.

But, Ed did admire this very nice lawnmower.

After a couple hours (notice me not saying that it felt like many, many hours!) we went back to see if Travis was done meeting. He was, but they were getting ready for lunch (catered, as a treat for the officers), so we left him and got our own lunch. It was excellent.

So, I now have "mall mom" bragging rights (with documentary evidence), which I will use when accused of slackness in that department, and Katie has a spiffy new hair bow. In another few years I might just do it again!

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Church Picnic

Today was our annual church picnic. It threatened rain, but didn't, so that was nice, and the place (the B&B of a congregant) was really lovely. The food was excellent, too.

Did I mention that it was Really cold? Parka weather? Yeah. That part was rather less than optimal.

  Ed, enjoying his lunch!

This is the view from the front of the house. Really lovely.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Hey, look! It's June!

Huh. Well, I'd have sworn I posted more recently. I Thought about it, and then imagined that I had, I guess. Anyway....

My college roommate, Darcy, and her husband Paul (also an old college buddy) stopped by a couple weeks ago! It was the first time I'd seen them in nearly thirty years, and seeing them was really lovely. They've been sending wonderful gifts every Christmas for years, so the kids already had a deep affection for them, but meeting them in person was even better! Both of them are now college professors (in Ohio), and they travel the world giving workshops and lectures on mental health (and we now have the t-shirts to prove this!), and they are both really clever, funny people, so they kept us entertained through lunch with marvelous stories. It was a real treat.

We had a nest of robins in the tree by the kitchen, and Katie took lots of pictures. Poor ugly little things. Their parents fed them and took proper care of them anyway, and now I'm sure they are quite presentable! (I haven't seen them in a bit.)

And the kids had their piano recital! Katie played "Under the Sea," which, I think, is from The Little Mermaid. Very jaunty. Travis played Sonatina Op. 56, No. 3, by Muzio Clementi. He got a bit rattled and didn't play as excellently as he's been doing at home, but it is still quite nice.

And he got a haircut! It's a lot shorter and looks very nice. I got one too, but mine doesn't look nearly so good. Still, the girl was very nice and did what she could. And I think we've talked Katie out of dying her hair purple, which has been a thing she's wanted for a while. I talked with the hairdresser about it, and she said the same thing everyone else has, which is that Katie's hair would require bleaching first, and that she'd be sorry. The weight of opinion finally seems to have convinced her. Now she wants a tattoo! (But I think she's kidding about it!)

In other news...
Both kids have finished math for the year! Travis got an "A" in Algebra II, so is set for Precalculus next year. Katie... well, she will do Algebra next year, and we'll hope for the best. We can see the finish line for literature/writing/history -- five more weeks, I believe (though I haven't figured in camp), Latin is going okay, and chemistry is going pretty well. We really will have a few weeks off this summer, which will be fantastic. Frankly, when I finish the last two chapters of Paradise Lost, I am going to consider myself On Holiday -- I am That tired of Milton.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

It's been a while, but I'm still here! And today we had dinner with my parents! They're heading back to Maine soon, but we got in one last Saturday together.
Have I mentioned what an angel my mother is? Sweet, thoughtful, and generous, as well as highly decorative! I love you, Mommy!
(and my dad is pretty great too!)

The kids had the... interesting idea of playing "eyes closed" Bananagrams. We let them! Turns out that being able to read the tiles is pretty helpful.

And, since it has been about a month since my last post, a bit of catching up...

Emma does Not like grapefruit. She makes a habit of begging to lick my yogurt dish, but recently I had grapefruit in my bowl instead. She was not amused.

And we went to Chapel Hill again this year for the North Carolina Junior Classical League Convention, on April 17-18. Travis had a great year as Technology Coordinator for the NCJCL, and all the teachers involved in the organization had really nice things to say about the work he did. I'm pretty proud of him!

Katie loves the Chapel Hill campus. It is lovely!

And they gave out extra nice name tags this year! Ed was our chaperon.

Of course we had to visit the bagel shop for a salted bagel!

Travis, on his phone. He blended in with the students there pretty well!

Here he is, onstage, at the opening event, with the other officers.

Here is Katie, competing in her Circe costume. You've never seen so many Circes all in one place!

And then the Impromptu Art...

The hotel was pretty great. It had a heated pool!

Travis made a catapult for the catapult contest, but he neglected to read the fine print, which specified that they must be weighted, not wound. His worked nicely but was disqualified. Disappointing, but a good lesson in Read the Rules.

We did enjoy the chariot races.

 Both kids had some success in the art contests. Katie came in second in Middle School Poetry, plus placing in the cartoon and stuffed animal competitions,

and Travis placed with his drawing, photograph of a vineyard, and his Minecraft Circus Maximus model.

Not part of the convention, but an irresistible brag, Travis also earned another gold medal in the National Latin Exam last month. I was pleased!

The week after the convention, though, April 24, Ed's father passed away. He had been unwell, but his death was unexpected. We miss you, Bill.