Sunday, May 28, 2017

On the way

We are in an Uber car on the way to the airport. Here is the big question: did I pack everything I need, ha-ha. Well, we are going to civilized countries. It might be fun to go shopping.

We are excited to meet up with Helen and William BUT we had to say good-bye to Sarah and her family. It was her first weekend to work at her new job but we had agreed to visit them for a short while after her work in the afternoon. 

In the morning Wade sent us THIS VIDEO though. I took a photo from it. Colin is on the move. Owen doesn't have any interest yet. James and I think thought it's unfair to keep taking Colin's toys away just so he keeps moving. 


Caleb gave us the best hugs ever and the twins appreciated some food. 


We made it home just in time before an incredible hail storm. Watch and LISTEN to this VIDEO




Did you watch the video? At the end James came up and asked whether I wanted some more ice rocks in my G+T and held it out through the open door. 


. . . . .

Laggage gone. Time enough for something red to chill. 


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Testing testing


Back home from Nashville. There is lots to do. Less then two weeks until our big adventure. But first some tidying up. There must have been a big rain here because the peonies are beaten down. But we can enjoy them in a vase for several days. So beautiful. 

Of course Sarah and her children wanted to see us. 



A few days it was so hot that we preferred to walk when it was dark. Almost stepped on this fellow on the driveway. Had to take a photo for the weekly letter I write to William. 



Last Saturday Sarah had a subdivision-wide yard sale. We promised to help and we're there early. Unfortunately nothing much happened. But we had fun. 




A surprise in one of my flower pots. A neighbor had given these to me and I had forgotten about them. So pretty. 


In the evening I worked on the secret Cotton Robin. I think the "big reveal" will have been when I am back. I will report then. 


After the kitchen remodeling more needs to be done ... like the TV needs to be mounted. 


Several times when there was a chance we had tried to find new sofas. The present one had recliner features but where broken. Broken furniture are not comfortable. Not easy for "Daddy Longlegs" to find something comfortable. Lots of test-sitting in stores. 


But finally ... out with the old ...


... in with the new. 


And finally ... the birthday dinner for our friend Julie with guests Irma and Jim two days ago. So much laughter. 


First course: cauliflower muffins and heart beets (not a typing mistake). 


At the end the birthday candle. It was supposed to twirl around and play "happy birthday" but it didn't. A bit disappointing. Well, it had to go into the trash anyway. 


Next morning I found my trash can singing. All morning. Until after 2 pm. Really?


But why is this blog called "testing testing"? James found a new App since our old (Blogsy) died. Blogging can be difficult when you are traveling. I am doing this on my iPhone. Fingers crossed!

Today, Saturday, I have to get serious about packing. 
What to take ....
Tomorrow ....

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

William's birthday

Only three days but so many photos.


I had tried out the new oven and all worked well. I had been told that William wanted a bacteria themed birthday cake (and I guessed cupcakes too). He had told Helen not to worry about the white blood cells.
Unfortunately I didn't like anything on Pinterest and this is the best I could come up with.

I could have also used these but it is licorice and I was pretty sure that most children would not like it. I wasn't keen to hear "yuckyyyyyy".

First grade lunchtime is 12:40 and we were there with a packed lunch for him and us and the cupcakes for his class. Lunch for him was all his favorite things: sandwich with manchego cheese, hard-boiled egg, mango etc.
Papa helped pass out the cupcakes. William had fun and even gave them to his teachers.

He was happy with all and I made a mental check-mark. After that James and I had some errands to do.

Friday taekwondo starts at 6 pm and it was testing day. William wanted us to watch. It is the other side of the city and it was rush hour of course. It took us a while but we were there to see the important things. 

First everybody did as a group what is called "form" I thing. Then the different belts did it.

After that came some "fighting". I understand now how Helen's hand got hurt several weeks ago (she still is going to physical therapy).

And then boards were broken. I thought I was getting a heart attack. Both Helen and William took boards. About two weeks until we travel to Europe. I really didn't want anybody to get hurt. William tried first to do it with his heel but couldn't get enough power into it. So he did it with his fist. Really?

Helen did it with the side of her arm. Nobody got hurt. Sigh.

And here are two videos from Ben:

I must say that I am a fan. It is a very disciplined sport and good exercise. It was stressed that it is for defense and not offense even if it looks a bit brutal. It's also about trust and courage.

Of course it took longer then a regular session and we all arrived at the townhouse after 8 pm. But it was not over yet. More excitement to come ... William was getting his big birthday present from his parents. I took him upstairs while his parents put it in the middle of the living room.

Finally William had to go to bed and his parents left. Helen reported next day that she was treated to a romantic Mother's Day dinner.


He had been excited but still had a good nights sleep. He practiced putting his lifejacket on and taking it off. He practiced getting in and out of the kayak. Papa was on the rowing team in college and showed him a few things. His birthday weekend ... he was allowed to watch a cartoon too ... or two.

The testing of the kayak was scheduled for 2 pm at the lake. There was a lot of time to be killed till then.

Finally the time had come ... and his parents too. William's kayak was loaded up.


It is taking too long for him.

What can I say? William took to it like a duck takes to water!

It was a bit windy and it was William's first time. Everybody was blown to shore. But it was a gorgeous day and he had so much fun. Everybody had a good time.

A photo Ben took.

James and I enjoyed everything for a while from the shore and then went home to take care of a few things.

Everybody came back to the townhouse for a while. Helen ate dinner with us and then went home to her project. William was so tired. He had a long bath with Omi's Saturday night ritual of washing hair, blowdrying it etc etc. Papa's ritual of reading with him ... 
He was asleep very fast.

A good thing since Omi had to finish the birthday cake ... bacteria themed!
I thought I make a "bacteria petri dish" and put it on top (with jello). I had to make three. The first two would not come out of the form. The third one was decent. I added the writing and put it into the refrigerator. 
What happened in the night?
It slithered off.

Sunday. THE day. Of course a birthday person can have for breakfast whatever he wants. What he wanted was a sandwich with mantego cheese. I added sliced apple and some bread with strawberry jam. Does he look as if he liked it?

Caleb wanted to do FaceTime with his cousin. Auntie Sarah and Caleb sang "Happy Birthday" to William. They had a lot to tell to each other.

Church at 9 am. Helen took William with her from there. James and I had to go back to get the cake. We all met at 1 pm at William's other grandmother Joy's house. It was a perfect day to enjoy on the front porch of the farm house. Lunch first and then ...

And then the gifts ...

William is so into dinosaurs. You can see some in the background. His other grandmother Joy is his play buddy with that. Decorations and paper plates were dinosaur themed. When we arrived they were playing with the figures. William had used boxes to make a landscape and bamboo branches as camouflage from the garden.

Papa and I gave hime a suitcase for his travel in two weeks. He was very excited about it.

At the end just some play and social time. Uncle Jim threw a parachute into the air and William caught it.  

And then it was time to say good-bye. See you in two weeks.

Monday morning we woke up even before the alarm rang. That was a good thing and we got off a little earlier than usual. There was heavy traffic and twice we had to deal with a jam and left the highway to avoid it.

It was a picture perfect day and we had packed a picnic.

Arrived home at 5 pm and could even go for a walk in the neighborhood.