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Scott taught him on Sunday evening…. and on Friday morning he did the whole thing entirely himself.  Got it out of the garage, started it up, mowed the ENTIRE back yard and put it away. 

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Wasn’t this just yesterday?

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Our oldest daughter has been wanting to learn how to start a fire and how to use a pocket knife.  And Daddy has been looking for an opportunity for a little one on one time with his kids.  (a truly rare gift with 4 kids).

Sooooooooo an overnight camping trip was planned to make both wishes come true. 

The look of excitement when he told her his plan was priceless.  And I loved watching her pack her stuff for their night away.

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There is a state park not far from our house which made this very doable…. I foresee a few more Dad/Child overnights this summer as the other 3 are eager for their chance to have Dad to themselves.  They left our house around 6pm, got to the campground, set up camp and had a wonderful evening together… then woke up, made another fire, took a little walk and were back home in time for dad to go into work and still get in several hours of work.   I greatly enjoyed listening to them tell all about their adventure and looking at their pictures. 

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Dinner Menu:  hot dogs and baked beans  (her most favorite meal ever)

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With of course, Smores for dessert!

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Next morning:  time for fire number 2!

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And another lesson on whittling….When she got home she told me she is saving her allowance for her own pocket knife.

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One very happy girl

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I am glad they had that little time away together.  I am so thankful for this girl and her Daddy and the special bond they share.

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Even though I have lived in MD for 30 out of my 35 years, I am not really much of a Marylander.  Can’t stand the taste or smell of crabs or any sea food….stepping foot on a boat sends me into an all out panic attack, and I am a die hard Steelers fan. 

However, the one local tradition I fully stand behind is the Blue Angels show every May.  Growing up I only recall watching it from the field of our high school, as they soared overhead.  But, ever since I stopped working in 2004, I have made it to every single show. 

And I love it.

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What an amazing show it is.

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And this year the weather was PERFECT. 

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70 degrees, sunny… not a cloud in the sky.

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Family fun at its finest.

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These are the moments I cherish.   Sitting in a grassy field, watching the kids play and then watching the jets swarm overhead.

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ha!  I love this picture… my youngest very seriously taking the pics on Dad’s phone, while I am excitedly pointing out the Blue Angels and my oldest is going, “Dad, their over there…. get the picture!” 

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Such a fun afternoon!

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So thankful for our hometown.

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This past week was insane.  We had our year end celebration night at the tutorial on Thursday.  This is the night when they proudly display their science and history projects, as well as present the recitations they’ve been memorizing all year.  This meant that Tuesday and Wednesday were spent feverishly working on completing those projects.  Throw in 2 trips to the pharmacy for strep throat medicine, practices, May the 4th celebrations, and Scott working overtime… and you result in one messy house…. and one slightly insanely stressed out Mom.  I am not exaggerating when I say that by Thursday we were out of all groceries and our house was a very literal disaster.  I don’t think it has ever been messier than it was this week.

In honor of the 70th anniversary of WW II Victory Day in Europe there was a flyover of historic WW II planes.  We described it to the kids as a parade of planes.

I had it on my calendar for a few months, but then Scott’s work schedule picked up and I had given up on the possibility of us going. There was no way I was going to attempt it on my own after the week we had, but, he worked it out and was able to go in early for a few hours and then come home and spend the day with us.

It was a much, much needed family day out for us.

We started out with a flat tire in the driveway. 

I wondered if we would make it after all.  But, we got it patched and were on the road. 

We got to DC and found a spot to watch the planes. 

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My oldest had read the YA version of Unbroken this quarter and was quite excited to see a B24 just like Louie Zamperini had flown in.

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After the parade we grabbed lunch from a food truck.  (I am obsessed and slightly romanced by food trucks and love eat from them whenever possible).   We then discussed what we wanted to do/see with our remaining time in the city.  One child wanted to see the Washington Monument, one the Lincoln Memorial, one the WW II memorial and one wanted to walk into the building across the street from us. 

Perfect.

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(so convenient that 3 of the 4 were in a straight row)…. we threw in a visit to the Vietnam Memorial, a walk by the back side of the White House, and ended with all of us walking into the lobby of the Department of Commerce to make our youngest happy.

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It was a beautiful day and just exactly the balm this tired Momma needed… to get away from the house and enjoy some time together as a family.

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I love Washington DC and am grateful we live close enough to go in for an afternoon with little planning and preparation needed.   It was the perfect kick off to Mother’s Day weekend.

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The other night I was speaking with my child about her words.  What was of particular concern to me was the way she said things.   I told her she needed to apologize for something and she said “sorry” in that voice that didn’t sound at all like she was sorry.   I told her she didn’t sound sorry.  I told her that she needs to be mindful not just of what she says but HOW she says it. 

And she replied, “Mom you don’t know how I feel.  You can’t tell if I am sorry or not just by the way I say it.  You think you can, but you don’t know.  It’s just like changing the font on a paper.  The words are the same no matter what font you use.  Changing the font doesn’t change their meaning.  And the way I say something doesn’t change the meaning.”

I disagree completely with her on this.  But, once again she stumped me.  I decided to respectfully disagree and take up my point again at another time because it was late and I was tired and I didn’t want to engage in a battle at that moment.   But, I applauded her clever simile.  She’s quick that girl.  And has kept me on my toes from the very beginning. 

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For as long as I can remember, I have loved my birthday.  Seriously, I count down the days starting at least 6 weeks out.   Now, that I am a mom, I find I love their birthdays pretty much as much as I love my own.  And I try my best to make their day as special as I can. 

This week my son turned 11.  I already wrote about his party earlier, but I just can’t stop reflecting on it. 

11 feels big to me.  I know 10 years from now when he’s 21 and having his first beer  with us on the back patio, I’ll look back at today and say, “11, gosh he was just a baby then.” IMG_9705

But, the mere fact he is only 10 years away from drinking a beer, is an indication of just how old he is.  Sheesh!

I remember holding him that first night in the hospital.  My heart a big muddle of mush.  He slept all evening as we had proudly showed him off to all our friends and family, and then when we were ready to sleep ourselves, he was wide awake.  I remember holding him and swaying him and trying to imagine him older.  What would he be like?  Here was this little person in my arms.  With a whole future ahead of him.   My heart swelled with joy. 

Some days I look at him and marvel at how much he has grown.  How much I trust him with.  He is capable and mature in so many ways. And then other times, I look at him and realize, he is still just a boy.  Full of imagination and gross jokes and a ever changing range of emotions.  And now I know his personality.  I know him.  And he is slowly, but surely growing into himself.  Which I guess it what these “tween” and quickly approaching “teen” years are all about.  Figuring out who you are and growing into the person God created you to be.  And of course something as big and monumental as that will have more than a few emotions packed with it and bumps in the road.  

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