Lego Club

I love the idea of Lego Club almost as much as EJ loves going. A bucket full of legos strewn across a table for her to built with and I don't need to clean them up at the end of the time.

Her good friend from down the street came with us and the girls worked diligently at constructing something for the library to display in their case.

EJ gathered as many pink and purple pieces as she could find and even found a pink haired person to rock on top of her "palace".

It was a great Lego Club day at the library!

Mouse House

 EJ's imagination has been running wild with all the birds, animals and insects that we've been seeing in the yard. The April issue of Ladybug magazine has contributed to the magic of the critters.

We read a story about a ladybug picnic and a few minutes later she found one on a blade of grass.

There was another story about a butterfly garden and EJ is now convinced that the butterfly we've seen fluttering around our garden was the caterpillar she had for a few days as a pet.

No mice have made their appearance yet, to DaddyO's relief, but the project at the end of the magazine as left EJ hoping that we will see some. She cut, folded, and glued a house just for them as I read her the "Mouse House" poem.


The little tiny mouse
Made a little tiny house
With a little tiny box that he found.

He cut a tiny door, 
He swept his tiny floor,
And he cut a tiny window, 
round and round.

Now the little tiny mouse
Loves his little tiny house
That he made from the box that he found.

If only they would stick to painting their box house a collecting seeds.

In EJ's mind they do.

Painting Me a Masterpiece

Art class is EJ's favorite time of the day. Reading and dance are stiff competitors and she would probably say dancing was her favorite but from the time and concentration she devotes to her artistic endeavors and the enjoyment she seems to get out of it, I think I can safely say it's a favorite. She runs enthusiastically upstairs to put on her "painting shirt" whenever it's time to get her art supplies out.

We've gone from watercolors to finger paints to glitter glue pens and now we are doing the washable paint. It is fun to see her progression from simple smudges and spots to pictures she can explain to me.


I have her artwork strewn around the house drying and on display. She's my budding artist!

Portsmouth's 129th Annual Memorial Day Parade

We observed Memorial Day by attending our nations longest run Memorial Day parade in just across the water in Portsmouth.

 Navy sailors were handing out American flags as we arrived and the kids waved them enthusiastically.

We found a spot in the shade and had fun people as we waited for the parade to begin.

Present and past service members marched to the cheering of the crowd.
There were Korea, Vietnam, and WWII vets as well as organizations that support the military.


We have been reading "Memorial Day Parade" one of the books we got from the library to prepare for this holiday, and EJ got to experience almost all of the events in the book. The parade didn't throw any candy and her grandfather wasn't marching in it. I did tell her that her Great Grandfather served in WWII and she proceeded to express how much she would love to watch him in the parade as well as go visit him. I think she has gained a better understanding of what this holiday is about. 

Little Creek Beach Day


We live so close to the beach yet don't seem to go as much as we should. I'm not sure if that's due to the fact that I don't like cleaning up the sand that seems to permeate everything or I hate having to use sun screen on the kids. In either case I know we need to go more and DaddyO and the kids are great at reminding me of that.

DaddyO loaded up our beach chairs and towels and we spent a relaxing couple hours in the sand and sun at Damn Neck Beach. It came highly recommended and I must say I don't think I'll go to any other beach again. The parking was easy, the restrooms were clean, and it was just a short walk to the beach. It was filled with family and children and the sand and water were clean and sparkling.

The temperature has been unseasonably cool. It was the perfect temp for me but EJ got cold for the first time in her life. She still ventured out into the waves and spent a bit of time digging in the sand with some friends she made, but as the sun went down and the wind picked up she wrapped herself in her towl and wanted to be cuddled.

Reading with PopPop

EJ and CJ were able to finagle quite a bit of reading time with their PopPop this last visit. He was working his way through Freakonomics and every time they saw him on the couch or armchair they were there with a book and a plead to read a story. How could he say no? 

CJ learned about aircraft carriers, tugboats and zoos. 

EJ got the full gamut of  travel (Williamsburg), holidays (Memorial Day, Father's Day) and princesses.

I heard he read a couple books over three times. More than I've been able to do in one sitting, but I guess that is what PopPop's are for!

DaddyO's Sous Chef

 For their birthdays this year DaddyO and CJ received aprons from Avia. She turned an old pair of red curtains and fabric she bought when she visited us in Japan into this matching set.

CJ likes to find things to stick in his pocket, not always cooking related.

CJ is DaddyOs sous chef in training!

Avia's Birthday

We are reaching the end of our time being within a six hour drive from family and can easily get together for a week or weekend. With that realization we are making as many trips as possible to visit family and they are doing the same. We got to celebrate Avia's birthday a few days late but at least in person.

EJ was thrilled to have a birthday to prepare for and of course we had to make a cake with frosting.

Since our absolute favorite cake recipe is hers it was only fitting that we make it for her birthday since we make it for almost every birthday celebration. We did give it a twist thought and add pink pomegranate cream cheese frosting on top.


We sang Avia Happy Birthday and then she had a lot of help blowing out the candles.

Happy Birthday Avia!

Norfolk Botanical Garden by Bicycle

The Norfolk Botanical Garden opens its paths to bikers a couple nights a week and now that we have a bicycle carrier we were able to enjoy all the blooming gardens from the comfort of our bikes.

DaddyO pulled the kids along in the trailer.

While Avia and I followed along on our bikes.

I saw gardens I never ventured to before on foot with kids.

We especially enjoyed getting our feet wet in the fountain at the Perennial Garden.

Cool Cat in Glasses

Bright red with rhinestones, CJ didn't care. He put on a pair I found while cleaning out the attic. CJ put them on and giggled as he toddled around the house.

He knew he had the look.

Awana Awards Ceremony

receiving parent's hopper diploma
It was end of year awards night for my Awana Cubbie.

EJ joined this wonderful program half way through the year but was diligent in memorizing her Bible verses and finished her book just in time to receive her book award and last patch for her vest.

saying last verses to teacher
She brought the invitation  home with her a couple weeks ago and we hung it on the refrigerator. EJ was excited about the upcoming "party" and made sure Mom, Dad, little brother and Grandma were there to cheer her on.

receiving her badge
CJ was her biggest fan.

her biggest fan
After the awards were distributed it was time to use the bucks they had accumulated at the Awana store, jump in the bouncy house, and enjoy some treats (the sugar and coloring equaled a very late night for us).

lots of colored treats
I was so thankful for this Bible memorization program. I attended it when I was a little older than EJ and I still remember the verses I learned. It is wonderful hearing the verses in her little voice now. The one she says the most is "God loved us, and send His Son....1 John 4:10". It's the first one she learned and has definitely stuck. This will be the first program I look for wherever we move to next!

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar

 One of the perks of doing yard work is finding critters to show the kids.


We've discovered bullfrogs, camelions, grasshoppers, and now caterpillars.

"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" has always been a favorite of EJ's so she was very excited to have a caterpillar of her own as a pet. 

I was excited to use one of my Japanese shrine sale finds as a home for it.

One thing we learned from this pet is that most caterpillars are not as hungry as the one in the book. Each is very specific about the type of leaves it eats and we had to figure out what this one liked.

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