Saturday, October 12, 2019

Happy Birthday, James

When we are in town we usually go to dinner Friday nights with friends from our CR community. Sometimes we carpool. We had another couple in our car going to the restaurant when James' brother called from England to wish him a happy birthday a little early.
Marsha and Jack heard and told the others and at the end of the meal a birthday treat for James arrived as a surprise. Everybody sang (loudly) and it was fun. Later there was singing at another table but when we left another guest said that our singing was better, ha-ha.

Amtrak had a special advertised because of an anniversary of the railroad company that from October 1 to 10 all train rides in Virginia were $10 each. James and I thought it might be a good idea to treat the three younger grandsons since they had not been on one before. We had treated William on one of his visits to one to Williamsburg which is about an hour and a half.

So it was arranged. I bought the tickets the evening before at the station for $40 and the lady at the counter who helped me with the tickets was super nice. Sarah and I went with the kids and this time James drove the car to the other end. The train was supposed to leave Staples Mill Station at 9:08 but was delayed about 1 hour. Luckily Amtrak kept texting me about the status and we could wait at home instead of the station. But finally ...

Papa was there and we walked into Williamsburg. Unfortunately there was a big Arts Festival going on with a very large crowd and finding a place for lunch seemed difficult. 

So we walked back to the parked car (Papa is getting it) and drove towards home.

I sat in the back (third row) with Caleb. 

We went to a pizza place. No photos.

Sarah is always informed about what is going on and her friend had told her about this place right on our way home. Of course the children loved this too. I have never really been to a place like this and I love my orange photos.

Sunday October 6 was THE day. We met the crew for lunch at Tarrant's West at noon straight from church. It was very nice and relaxing. The children were fun.

When we left the restaurant Sarah asked somebody about to walk in to use her camera and take a photo of us.

We went from there to their house because it is always easier with the children (so close to the twins nap time). 
I had prepared a birthday cookie at home the night before but it was definitely a fail. No idea what I did wrong except that I thought I had a pizza pan but didn't have it in Richmond. I have one in Nashville, ha-ha. So it ended up (almost) square which is no problem but it also didn't spread and was very lumpy. The taste was not bad but it was a bit crumbly. 

Anyway, I had brought all the decoration and the children were eager to help. They took turns putting gummy bears on the white icing dots I sprayed. Of course not all bears made it onto the cookie and I had to wipe Colins fingers several times dry because they got wet when he put one into his mouth to suck on. I had fun with my helpers.

Of course then we had the singing and eating which counted as the after-lunch dessert. 
VIDEO!     (0:25

Since it was nap time James and I went home because we were planning to leave the next day on a trip. James kept saying how nice his birthday was.

Friday, October 11, 2019

This and that

End of September / beginning of October we helped out "across the river" as much as possible. Sarah's nanny was gone on a mission trip. Walking in the neighborhood is always an option. The boys love their bicycles. Do you see the deer on the right side in this photo?

Playing in the back yard is also a great option. There are plenty of toys including a tractor one of them is always driving around and the cool play set. Even Stella likes it.
VIDEO!     (1:00)

Papa is the best bed-time reader ever.

A couple of days we were there at 7 am. 

Here we are waiting for the school bus to bring Caleb back in the afternoon. 

On September 23 we had some time finally for James to get new glasses. Ha-ha, what do you see in the mirror when you are trying on a new frame? Not much because they don't have the proper prescription glass. Fuzzy! Good thing James had me. I took pictures of him, he then put his "old" glasses on and could study the photos ... and choose. As my mother used to say: "There is always a solution" (of course she said it in German, ha-ha).

More deer when we were leaving from babysitting. I always look for something to include in the letters to William which I try to write since he can read (starting in first grade).

This is another photo I took for William's letter. Papa uses this blue bowl every morning for breakfast. He got it (most likely from his grandmother) when he was about William's age. It gets hand washed (by him) afterwards.

I did do some sewing. Yeah (it's like therapy to me). But I did also some lace. The Colonial Lacemakers always demonstrate lacemaking one day at the Virginia State Fair. This time October 2. It was a lot of fun. 

Oh yes, we also finally got our new front sliding door installed. Three times we thought it would happen and had the table, chairs, curtain rod etc moved but twice we got disappointed. 

Oh yes, and there are perks living in a community like ours. Sometimes we have the opportunity to show up with "stuff" that needs to be shredded ... for free. This time it was a lot of stuff from Helen. It's rather expensive when you have to pay for it. 

And that is it in a nut shell. Always something going on.


More memories. Monday 9/2  was Labor Day and of course there was no school for William. Papa took him to Huntsville in Alabama because he likes space things so much.

It was a successful long weekend helping Helen with her house. But then on Tuesday we had to drive back to Virginia.

Back home we had the surprise that the Kousa dogwood looked the nicest it has ever looked. And just now writing this (looking up how to spell it) I read that the berries are edible. Next year!??

We like going for walks in the neighborhood. This night the sundown was stunning. The color changed so fast one almost shouldn't blink. It's the little things in life...

And then it was finally Thursday September 5 for Caleb. He had been waiting for it. It was his first day of Kindergarten. 

Everybody was there for the send-off. 

Colin had found the toy camera and took photos just like his Mommy.

Waiting at the designated school bus stop. And there it is.

OMG, Owen is kissing his brother bye. Can you see it in this photo? He is on tippy toes.

Here is the crop.

A few days later: celebrating the twins birthday. The fun bus! The guest/siblings had a lot of fun.

VIDEO in the bus     (0:41)

VIDEO happy birthday!     (0:40)

And on the "real" day .... another cake just in the family.    VIDEO!     (0:39)

And that was only the first half of the month. Being retired is a full-time job.