This is our second snow this year, and it is coming down hard. We probably have about an inch on the ground right now. It's nuts, since we were supposed to get snow 11-7 last night, but didn't get any, but now it has been snowing 7-now. And it is 10:45. I went out early, but came back in, but Laura, Brian, Miri, Jeff, and Dad are out there. I'll try to get pictures later.
Wow, we haven't written since September! So much has happened. Laura is now 9, November has come and gone, and Brian has had and been over strep throat. Yep, Brian had strep throat. Luckily, none of the rest of us got it. Saint Nick's Day has come, so now (plus the 4 we already had), we have 10 little Webkinz huskies (Lil' Kinz) running around the house. And there are 4-5 who all the difference is is a hairband around their neck. Whose husky is which band anyway? Rachel has an email account, we have had many Webkinz play dates with cousins, and we reprogrammed the laptop. Wow, we have done so much. Now if only I could start getting presents for Christmas...
We had a great whirlwind trip to DC so that Becca could go do baptisms for the dead at the temple this morning. Because it was a national holiday, the temple was open this morning and Derek and I got to both be there as she experienced the peace of the temple for the first time. It was so neat to share something that is so important to me with Becca. Dad sent us some family names, and other people had brought family names for the youth to do, and that always makes it even more special. Thanks to Amanda and Josh for taking care of the other five plus their four while we were at the temple and letting us crash at their house so we didn't have to get up at 5am to be at the temple at 9! What a great way to spend Labor day!
Yes, we are... but have just been horrible at blogging. Now, what has happened since we last posted?
First, I returned from Girl's Camp. Not a big deal.
Then, on August 4, we all went to California. Firstly, we stayed at Uncle Henry & Aunt Janine's house. Thank you for letting us stay with you!!!!! We had tons of fun playing with Claire, Madelyn, Ellen, and Ricky. That was a lot of fun. We will have to do that again. Then, we went up to South Lake Tahoe. We stayed at a timeshare in one condo, while the California Cates stayed in another. The Anguilla Cates stayed at a different timeshare. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Genelle, and Aunt Carolyn stayed at another. The McCowns stayed at a cabin of a friend of Grandma & Grandpa's. We stayed there for a week, enjoying our time-share's pool, having fun on the beach of Lake Tahoe, and just relaxing when we weren't hiking or spending time with family, or doing crafts of all sorts. What a wonderful way to spend the week.
Then we returned to Grandma and Grandpa's. We had a fun time until we (Rachel, Laura, and I) were on horseback & attacked by hornets. I got bucked off, Rachel's horse ran and bucked like crazy, while Laura got 9 or 10 stings. We are all fine now. And just for Michaela McCown, my scab looks like a Llama. She would enjoy that.
We had a fun time there...
Now, school has started. This Monday, we had to go back to school. It has been an interesting experience. Nothing less than interesting. Rachel just started middle school, 6th grade. I started 7th. Laura started 3rd at Bedford Hills (the local elementary school) where Brian has just started 1st. Miri will do the homeschool preschool thing.
I am noticing that Becca is doing most of the blogging recently. And since she is at Girl's Camp, I thought I would be the one to say how sad we all were to see the Malletts and Wilkins families go, and to see Becca head off to Camp, though she is super excited. Now it's back to the real world--laundry, dishes, cleaning the garage, etc. for a week before we get to go have fun at the Cate family reunion in California! :)
PS there were lots of great pics taken...we'll try to get some up soon.
Wow! Since we last posted, we have had 14 extra people come to Virginia, a couple of families move (or get ready to move) out of our ward at church, and have MY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Yes, I am now 12.
So, I said we have 14 extra people come to Virginia. We have the Wilkins ( you can see a link to their blog under FRIENDS AND FAMILY on the side of the posts) here from Utah. So they are staying at Grandma and Grandpa Bristow's house. Even as I type this, my siblings are playing with Abby and Emma and Ben and Lizzie. They are also playing with Anna, Melanie, and Jonathon, which brings me to the next visiting family. The Malletts are staying with us. They have Anna, Melanie, Jonathon, and Ryan, but Ryan is taking a nap right now. (You can also see a link to their blog on the side of the post under FRIENDS AND FAMILY.) Then, we have Bryce and Meg. They came out here from BYU, in Utah. They'll be staying for quite a bit. So there are our 14 visitors.
Now, it's lunchtime, so I have to go!
P.S.- the Moms are going out to lunch. That's Sarah (cate), Katie (wilkins), Amanda (mallett), Meg (bristow) (I think), and Grandma Bristow! Lucky ducks!!!!!
Lately, family has been here in VA with us. The Malletts (link to their blog under friends and family) came down since Grandpa Bristow had problems with the pacemaker (?) in his heart, and had to be at the hospital. So they came down. In about 10 minutes, we will be driving to the Lynchburg Airport to pick up Uncle Bryce and Aunt Meg. Wait, scratch the 10, instead, put a 1, so I have to go!
School is out, and I start to pity my parents. No more days of peace and quiet left, but then again, I get to spend more time with them.
So far, we have a busy schedule- Cousins on the Bristow side coming July 17ish Girls Camp for me on the last week of July Leaving for California the beginning of August Family Reunion for Cate side 2nd week of August Come home from Cali
Then school on the 20th I think. It's ridiculous how much we're going to have happen this summer, as well as Mom wanting to do some work on the house itself. Here are things we want to accomplish-
Paint the Main Level Do yard work
that's all I know of, but there is probably more to this list then I know of...
Seems like we're in for a busy summer!
Summertime is great! Yes, it is busy, but before we get to do the extended family thing, we are enjoying having time for the more important things in life, like taking walks together, making friendship bracelets, homemade ice cream and umbrella houses (during the storm, no less), and reading lots and lots. Gotta love it!
We have had a bug going around our house, and Jeffrey & Laura have been sick. I caught Laura asleep in the reading corner in our room (me and Rachel) when Mom was looking for her. I had to take some pictures, she was so cute, so here they are:
She is SO cute, isn't she?
She woke up (halfway) to tell Dad that she was just tired, then I tucked her back in, brought Hedwig, Hermes, and Tenise (her owls, but I have no clue where the name Tenise came from, and Laura says, neither does she!) She later woke to eat a little bit, fell back asleep again, and was woken up to eat a bit more. We are still recovering from the bug, but who knows who it will strike next?
The girls had fun taking pictures of everyone down in the woods behind Grandma and Grandpa Bristow's house. Just FYI, Grandpa Bristow is doing much better and started cardiac rehab this week.
Jeffrey on a Sunday afternoon ride around the race track.
Laura sitting on their little bridge over a little creek that is higher now than later in the summer.
Brian with his dimples.
Miriam (second attempt). I love her smile--she doesn't hold any emotion back! I had to laugh last week when we were watching one of her little friends, her friend got angry and did the same growl that Miriam does sometimes when she's mad. And another kid in church her age did the same thing today, during church. lol!
After tasting the ritual passover foods, we had a "feast" on the floor of simple foods that Jesus might have eaten--pita and hummus, carrots, and of course, olives. You can guess which was Miriam's favorite. For a 4 year old, (or a 2 or 6...) it doesn't get much better than enough olives for all your fingers. :)
It would have been a candlelight dinner, which the kids love, except that with daylight savings, it's too light unless we eat at 8pm.
We had a challenging day today, but at the end of the day, things are looking up. My dad had a heart attack today, but he realized it quickly and got to the hospital and they were able to treat him quickly. The next couple of days will hopefully be very boring as he simply responds to the treatment and gets better. I'm grateful he's been exercising regularly the past couple of years--hopefully that will make recovery easier.
Kids are very resilient. They weren't happy about not getting to visit Grandpa at the hospital tonight (he needed to sleep!), but we'll have corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, assuming it's a boring day at the hospital. A day late, but I don't think they'll mind too much.
Imagine a Saint Patrick's Day, you're all happy, and you come home to find crazy kids, throwing Legos, and no mom in sight. Dad says he needs a hug, which normally means something went wrong. I asked and he told me Grandpa Bristow was in the hospital. Mom is with Grandma, which also meant no St. Patrick's Day dinner (traditional), so that really dampened the holiday happiness. Grandpa's had a heart attack and damaged an artery, so they put in stents, and he'll be there for 3 days to make sure he's okay. Looks like we may have Daddy-cooking for the next 3 days. But thank goodness for visiting teachers. Sister Council brought dinner, so we'll have that. Thank you Sister Council!!!
We had a very sad evening tonight. Just before family prayer, Rachel put Snowball (the white gerbil) back in her cage, and when she came back, Snowball hadn't moved. And she wasn't breathing. She has had some health challenges for awhile, but it's still sad that she is gone. Rachel was especially sad because she loved and played with Snowball more than anyone else, but we are looking to get another gerbil to keep Butterscotch company in the next couple of weeks. The kids had a hard time tonight, but we will bury her tomorrow and hopefully that will give them some closure. RIP Snowball.
Here's Rachel inspecting her snow candy. We made cherry flavored lollipop stuff and then drizzled it over the cookie sheet covered in ice. It cools very quickly in wacky shapes. This was on Jan 30 and there is another cookie sheet out there gathering more snow. Yeah!
We had fun walking in the snow this morning when there was only an inch or two on the ground which is more to Jeffrey's liking than when there's 12 inches on the ground and he can't really walk anywhere. Becca and Derek worked on making a snowman around the mailbox post--I'll try to get a picture of that after they add the scarf, etc. when it stops snowing. I guess we're making up for the past few warmer winters with all this white stuff (29 inches of snow so far this winter, before this storm). The kids have been out of school all week and we're enjoying it and all the sledding. But we are just laughing and amazed at how much it has snowed--this storm comes on top of about 6 inches still on the grass, though the roads were clear. Hope you're having a great winter too! --Sarah
Well, at least they plowed our cul-de-sac the first night, just wish they hadn't left 3 feet of packed snow and ice in front of our driveway.
White stuff sure is pretty.
Trying to make the trampoline into something of a snow fort. Of course after all that effort, the kids have shown almost no interest in it. Oh well.
In order to have weather-appropriate food we had Brazilian beans and rice. The kids were pretty squirrelly so we turned out the lights and used candles, it sometimes has a calming effect on them, not so much this time.
Dad has always wanted to take a picture in front of this plane/jet/glider/whatever it is. We went to an Air and Space Museum on the way to the Malletts' house, and it happened to have it, the USS Blackbird. He had me take a picture of him with it.
We tried a new recipe and made these cookies, but didn't have any white chocolate chips, so we used regular chocolate chips and it tasted just fine! What else are we supposed to do on a Sunday when we're snowed in?
I'm getting to type this because we are snowed in. Normally, we're off to church by now, but with 12 inches of snow on the ground, we're not going anywhere. Snow started falling late Friday, and lasted most of Saturday. Church is canceled, yet the newspaper still came! We spent yesterday playing inside, eating snow candy, and going out in the snow once. Mom wanted to make a snowman, but this snow is a powdery snow, so we can't go sledding or make a snowman for a couple days...
A couple of funny things the kids have said recently... Brian can't seem to remember how to say spaghetti. Normally kids say pasketti, but he always calls it scapetti. Funny boy. Maybe we need to have it more often...
Miriam was sick on Sunday with a fever and body aches. I felt bad for her because she was truly miserable as we drove home from DC, but I had to hide my laughs as she kept saying there were evil spirits in her tummy, and wherever it hurt. It took a bit of explaining that it was the germs that were causing her troubles. She was fine on Monday, but Laura threw up during the night last night so maybe we're not quite done with the bug after all.
Jeffrey is also starting to talk, which is delightful. He says Mama, Dada, Bebo, Yatchel, and Yora. Now if he could only say Grandma...