Six Months and Moving

We have hit the six month mark of living in our Norfolk house and I have just gotten to the point where the rooms are put together and everything has a place. Of course, just when we settled into our new house and established some deep friendships we are told it is time to move. Usually we have a bit longer in one place and more notice we're leaving. Due to the Enterprise decommissioning and them needing DaddyO right away in his next job, we are leaving six months early and only had three weeks notice. So life is in fast forward.

Too add to the craziness we are in the middle of switching out our boiler and putting in a half bath. A partial DITY move seemed like the best option. We had a Pack Rat delivered so we could clean out the laundry room for the renovations and then DaddyO would pack everything else he could fit in it. Movers will then come and pack whatever we have left over. We have done a full Military PCS move and DITY move and this seems like the best of both worlds. The kids were willing to jump right in as DaddyO's helpers.

We will see how this works out...

First Ballet Recital

garden princesses
My darling EJ made it to the big stage! In her mind at least. She has been looking forward to her recital night ever since she attended her first ballet class in February. I don't know what she was more interested in, dancing ballet or performing on stage. She got to do both last night!

It was a full day of ballet excitement. Grandma came down to attend her recital. We spent the afternoon making cupcakes to bring to post-party and after an attempt at a nap it was time to get ready.

I wasn't prepared see my daughter in make-up, especially at three years old, but I guess that's what dancers do. She couldn't be more excited about the blush, lipstick and mascara and was smiling and giggling the whole time Grandma put it on her.

Her hair went up in a bun.

 And she was ready to get dressed.

The parents picked out the sweetest leotard and tutu for the girls to wear. I called her my garden princess. 

She met up with her ballerina friends back stage.

They practiced their dance a couple times before it was time to perform.

EJ can sometimes get distracted during the dance and add her own steps to the music, the difference between her and her older classmates can be quite noticeable,  so I was curious to see how she would do through both songs.

She entered the stage waving and even gave a shout out to her little brother.

Once the song started though she kept her eyes (mostly) on the teacher and didn't get (too) distracted. She danced beautifully and DaddyO and I were so proud of our little ballerina.

Ballerina Cupcakes

fit for a ballerina
EJ had a her first ballet recital today and I got to make cupcakes for it. Surprisingly there is no pink in EJ's leotard or tutu but not surprisingly it still the EJ's color of choice for the little cakes. EJ decorated a couple special ones for her ballet friends (Megan, Elizabeth and Emma).

The results were truly EJesk.

Blue Crabs

Crabs have been on EJ's mind ever since the snappy little creatures appeared from the sand on a recent trip to the beach. She wasn't sure what to think of them at first and after one ran into her ankle they definitely weren't friends. She spent the whole ride home asking why they "pinched" her ankle and talked about them in her sleep.

DaddyO decided to put a positive twist on her crab obsession by picking some up for dinner while we were visiting Avia and PopPop. He brought them home live and let EJ get nice and close.

She was fascinated.

I wasn't sure how she would handle DaddyO killing and cleaning them and tried to keep her away but she ended up being just fine with the whole process.

She brought in a tray of beautiful blue crabs ready to be boiled.

CJ relaxed in the sunroom during the preparation process. 

 But had not problem getting his hands dirty when they were ready to eat.

EJ loves food that requires a bit of work so they were right up her alley. She got her wooden mallet and went to work at extracting the crab meat.

 She liked them dipped in butter and a little Old Bay.

I don't think she'll ever look at crabs the same after this.

CJ's Baby Dedication

Everything seemed to work out for us to dedicate our precious CJ while visiting family up north over Father's Day weekend.

It was much like his older sister's dedication. Family and friends gathered for the ceremony at the church. The pastor who married us and dedicated his older sister said the prayer over him as well.

not  quite sure what is going on
 From church we headed to my parent's home for a lunch reception. DaddyO made his Ring of Fire Grilled Chicken.

And I prepared deviled eggs.

The day was extra special being able to celebrate with the people that are important in our life.


CJ loves to blow out candles so it was the perfect opportunity to sing "Happy Dedication Day" and let him blow some out.

EJ was my little helper and had fun passing out the cross sugar cookies she had help me make. 

This was a special day for us to publicly promise our commitment to bringing CJ up to know Christ. We will always remember this special day.

Portrait Sitting

After a couple years of one of us here and another there we took advantage of having the whole family under one roof and sat for a family photo. Thirty or so clicks later we have (almost) everyone looking and even the dog decided to join the photo (thanks Lily).

We had tried a "casual" picture but couldn't seem to get the right one.

For some reason the one with the grandkids was a bit easier.

Sure do love family!

She Said Yes

It has been a while since the whole family has been together under one roof and so we are making the most of our few days together and doing some of our favorite things. We loaded up the cars and vans for an afternoon of fun in Jim Thorpe. Little did most of us know that it would be a day that would stick in our memories for more than just the beautiful hiking. 

It started off like many others up there. A hike through the train tunnel.

A stop to skip rocks along the river.

And then the steep hike up to the falls.


We all took our obligatory pictures under the crashing water.

But when it was my youngest brother's turn he surprised us by getting on one knee and asking his sweet southern girlfriend to marry him.

To all of our delight her answer was a resounding yes.

Our family is about to grow by one more and we couldn't be happier!

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