Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where we spend our days

*A* is on swim team this summer and she totally rocks. I absolutely love the coach (who happens to be the coach for the university as well) and love that she enjoys swimming so much. When she first started going to conditioning for swim team, she wanted to play around, like you usually do when you go to a pool, but she quickly realized swim team is not about playing. It's work! They make it fun but they are teaching specific skills that will improve their strokes.
It really is amazing to me to watch how he teaches 5 to 18 year olds some of the same techniques, and how everything *A* learns has a purpose as I watch kids three times her age using those same skills. Swim team in Sewanee is one of those things I am going to hate to leave behind. We love to go watch her master new things everyday and I just know her first meet is going to be so fun!

We've also been spending a big hunk of our time these days at our new garden spot. Sewanee has a large Community Garden which we've learned rarely has openings. However, a friend's neighbor had extra space in her plot and offered it to them. They asked if we'd be interested and we've since asked a few other families. I think all together now we have 6 families contributing. It's a huge area and if it all works out, we're going to have so much food this summer! We went out there today and transplanted our strawberries from last year's failed garden spot at our house. So far we have tomatoes, peppers, basil, squash, cucumber, brocoli, carrots, radishes, beans, lettuce, strawberries, blackberries, and cilantro. We plan to add melons and pumpkins too.
The kids love going out there too and finding worms and eating any strawberries that may be ripe. I'm hoping to start a blog about the garden for all the families to contribute and share their experiences with it. I'll post a link here when it's up and running.  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reluctant Summer Fun

Well, summer is officially here. We've been having a blast but sadly this means many of our best friends on the mountain are gone. We made close friends with many of the families one year ahead of us because we all had kids the same ages. It was a great group of people to introduce us to seminary life and help us on our journey since they'd all been there one year before us. However, it was not so fun saying goodbye. They've graduated, gotten jobs, and packed their moving trucks (or are about to). Many of them are moving to far away places like Texas and Virginia and we just don't know when we'll see them again. We'll keep up on facebook and blogs of course but it just won't be the same as our almost daily playtime at the park or constant last-minute dinner invitations. The moms had a blast in Nashville a month or so ago and we plan to have an annual girl's trip somewhere, so that will be a treat. I just hope we can all keep it a priority once real-life sets in.
Anyway, we've tried to capture as much time as possible with these families in the last few weeks while enjoying our time off together. Here are some pictures of the graduation picnic at the lake, one of the last times we were all together. We're gonna miss you guys.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Up and Running

Finally we're back up and running around here. In more ways than one actually. Yes, we now have Internet again but we're also up and running each day now that summer break is here. We're up and outside as soon as we're dressed (except for (H) who prefers to be mostly undressed) and we're either fishing, gardening, playing/eating on the porch, catching snails,

watching for hummingbirds, riding bikes, making flower soup, playing in the sand pile, or just talking a walk around the ponds. We spend most of our days outside now and we've got the bug bites to prove it.  We're remembering how wonderful it is to be home and to be together in this town that empties out so much in the summer that it seems like it's our own personal resort.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tech. Issues

No Internet=No updates.
According to evil DSL provider, should be up later today...
Have lots to update.
Stealing Wireless while watching *A*'s 1st swim team practice! Go TigerSharks!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Buckle Up

Ok, Here's an attempt to catch up on the past few whirlwind weeks.
Please forgive any lack of clever writing, basically, there are just too many events and pictures to post.

First up, (H)'s End-of PMO Program: cute songs, memory books and kids freezing up when faced with a large audience. They did really well though and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so as director of PMO, I count that as a success. Each kid was presented with their memory book and since Mother's Day was that weekend, they had planted basil plants which they gave to their moms. There were 8 kids from Senior families who received special recognition for "graduating" from PMO since they had been there all 3 years, some of them from birth. These kids are all very dear friends of ours and we will miss them dearly next year. I honestly don't know what PMO will be like (or our seminary community for that matter) without these kids.
Here's (H) with his best bud who is moving to Texas in a few weeks. And here he is after getting his memory book. What is it about our kids and sticking their tongues out?!

Next up, Mother's Day Weekend and my cousin's graduation from Emory:
Sunday we headed to Atlanta and after a nice lunch and the children's symphony concert with ^J^'s family, we headed down to Decatur for a celebratory graduation dinner at one of the best restaurants I've ever been to: The Iberian Pig. 
Both of my cousins are major foodies and I was super-excited when I heard he was picking the restaurant because I knew we wouldn't end up at some generic chain place. When we got there, the staff was so helpful and genuinely nice, we had to wait for a table and so my mom said she'd order a round of drinks. They had some really unusual cocktails and great beers and wines. ^J^ got some vodka drink with essence of violets and they hand-chip the ice off a huge hunk of ice with an actual ice-pick! The kids had fun watching that! I realized they'd never had a shirley temple so I let them order one and *A* would not stop talking about her "fancy drink".
The Iberian Pig is Spanish-themed which means lots of tapas, and while it has regular entrees as well, we opted to order a bunch of things off the tapas menu and share. It was ALL so heavenly. My favorite thing was probably the bacon wrapped dates, I see these all the time on the Food Network but I've never had them and they were like candy! So good! There was a bunch of interesting flat breads, like a really crispy pizza with toppings like arugula and shaved cheese and mushrooms with truffle oil. I tried so many things I'd heard of but never had the chance to try before, things I may not try again (like wild boar sausage), but I just had to try everything even if it was odd because it was just so fancy and fun! Here's the menu.
The next drink ^J^ ordered was this bacon-infused rye drink. It was odd and smokey-tasting, but he loved it. After so much food, they started bringing out desserts. I didn't think we'd ordered any but we dug right in anyway and those were amazing as well: some kind of fruity gelato with hardened white chocolate on the outside and cinnamon donuts with dark chocolate dipping sauce. yum! Come to find out, our waitress gave the desserts to us on the house because she felt bad that they were out of a few things we asked for. She felt so bad in fact that she gave all of us gift certificates to use the next time we came! It was a wonderful night and we closed the place down!
Our kids were so great too, it was like they knew it was a special place and they behaved accordingly. They tried most all of the food we ordered and (H)'s favorite was the eggplant fries. *A* loved the goat cheese tortellini and of course the desserts!

We spent the night in a hotel near Emory that night and went to the ceremony the next morning followed by a brunch reception. It was a great time to celebrate and spend time together as a family!
Here are the kids with their Great-Great Aunt, aren't they so matchy and cute?!
Waiting for the ceremony to start. 

We all clapped and cheered when his name was read aloud and we are so proud of where he's been and where he's going, although we will miss him. Hopefully he'll come visit lots and California won't change him too much because *A* now has a slight crush on her 21 year old 2nd cousin!
Although, really, who could blame her?

Ok. I'm tired so I'll catch you up on the fun-filled seminary graduation events of last week...tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Catching Up

On laundry, blogs, work, laundry, photo downoading, bills, laundry, saying goodbye to graduating seniors, cleaning, garden stuff, oh and back soon I promise...