Wednesday, December 17, 2014

When there is no snow and you want to go sledding...

We haven't missed the snow.  At All.

But sometimes, you just need the wind in your hair.

Sledding provides that for you - hence the mention of snow.

The movers left behind one of their dolly's several weeks ago after the move.  Within minutes of the discovery, the kids started playing with it by wrapping scarves around it and pulling each other around.  A few days later, the movers came back with my sewing machine that had gotten mixed in with another family's belongings.  We offered the dolly back to them but after several failed attempts to remove the scarves, they good-naturedly said the kids could keep it.

Sunday afternoon the kids got it out again.
They made a seat out of a cardboard box and the boys, in an odd act of chivalry, offered to be mules and pull the girls around.
Wheee!  Hold on tight!
These two love to pose.
Things went reasonably well. 
For awhile.
Until one of the mules lost interest and bailed out.
A new mule was found.  She was a bit over-eager and energetic.
The riders started to scream with delight at how fast they were going.
Then the delight turned to fright as SaraGrace realized that perhaps the 'sled' was going out of control as the mules ran amuk.
Kate had no such insight.
Suddenly, Jordan tripped as the happy mule dashed on ahead of him and caused a pile-up.  Jordan only had some skinned palms and although Zoey is lying on the ground, she was just fine.  

The riders decided that they had enjoyed enough thrills for one day so that was the end of the 'sled' for that day.

Today some of them found a board that they were using to 'skateboard' down the slide.
Thankfully, that ended without incident.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Digging out from under the boxes

I still feel pretty unsettled due to boxes lying around and only half of our pictures hung, but I can at least see the floor.

Last week, while I was unpacking, I decided to show the kids what I did as a child after a move that my family made.  I explained to them how my brother and I had made a small city out of the boxes.  It was actually more of a tunnel but we had little 'rooms' and spent hours crawling through them.  Ours were in the basement, so we didn't have to clean them up.  

Sadly, there are few basements in the South, so we no longer have a basement.  I let the kids set up their box city in the living/dining room.  They were far more creative than my brother and I had been.  Soon I heard the obnoxious sound of the pumpkin cutting knives sawing through cardboard.  

Well...whatever.  I didn't stop them.  I had stuff to do.

When I came back, I saw sights like this:
And this...
 The phone was a nice, albiet odd touch.
Chloe included the dog in her 'house.'  She also hung artwork on the walls. 
Don't be gettin' your tinsel in a tangle, ya'll.
Some made signs warning would-be intruders to stay out.
SaraGrace made a mail slot with a handful of 'letters' that she wrote out for everyone (even those who had no mail slots). 
Zoey was bummed because her house lacked the creative flair that some of her siblings have coming out of their pores.  I {think} I convinced her that her house was also very cool.
Jordan was bothered because his house was small due to having to wait endlessly for the pumpkin cutter since his {bossy} sisters hogged it for such a long time.  Jake was just happy to have a box resembling some type of dwelling.
{Sorry for the dreadful iphone pic}  Kate--the family cuddle bug, dragged her blankets, pillows and stuffed animals into her box and snuggled in for a five second nap.

We let them have their box city for about 24 hours until we were driven nearly mad by having to skirt it 26 zillion times a day as we unpacked our belongings.  

They begged to take their city elsewhere, so we let them move it to their rooms.  Do I hear some sad trombones playing in the background?  

Several of them still have their boxes in their rooms and have been sleeping in them.  Ha!

I am just thankful not to be tripping over them anymore.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Farewell, New England...

I hinted in my last post about needing to catch up on some news. 

And then I didn't post.

Because I can't get my act together, ya'll.

The reason for that is that we are moving South in 10 days.  Eeek!  Jeff has been working down there since mid-July while the kids and I remained behind to get the house sold.  It took awhile, but it finally sold.

We were soooo done getting the house ready for showings.  We all got pretty good at stashing things in weird places and we are still looking for some of those items.  Argh.

And now it is time to say goodbye....goodbye to some of our favorite places...

 The Mayflower in Plymouth - where it all began for us...

We have loved living in New England, despite being so far from family.  Our church family has become so dear to our hearts and our kids have benefited greatly from the excellent doctors in Boston. 
My favorite harbor
Sturbridge Village
Seeing Mitt Romney
And Scott Brown
Driving the infamous White Mountains to see the fall folliage
Going for a boat ride and climbing rocks near the Light Houses in Maine
Traveling to the spot where the "shot heard 'round the world was fired," Lexington MA
 Then on to Concord where the militia marched that day...where the Waldon Pond, the David Henry Thoreau home and Louisa May Alcott home is located.
And favorite city of all
Many trips to this hospital
And meeting 'Ben Franklin'
Farewell, Boston...

 We will miss all of our friends here as well as the amazing New England history and  picturesque village greens, white steeples and picket fences in every town.  We didn't want to move here but God had wonderful blessings and surprises in store for us.  We have had heartache here at times but through it all, God has held us and grown us in new ways.  He is so good!

Now we are on to a new adventure - our first time living in the South.  We will treasure the memories and friends we have made here and look forward to making new friends soon.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Trot, Trot back to Boston

We took a field trip to celebrate Columbus Day on Monday.  We had not taken the kids to do the Freedom Trail since they were little and {gasp} they didn't remember it.

We have always started on the Boston Common end of the Freedom Trail and never made it to the end...which is the Navy Ship Yard and the USS Constitution.  A little research revealed that The National Park Service had a parking garage near the Ship Yard.

I'm so glad we started on that end!  It was fun to see a different part of Boston and to also see Charlestown.
My parents have a painting of the USS Constitution and I only recently realized that it was THAT ship that was moored right here in Boston.  Here are the kids in front of "Old Ironsides."
This friendly sailor was fresh out of boot camp and delighted to have scored a Boston gig.
The kids were pretty impressed with the cannon balls (lower right corner).
Quite an impressive battleship.
No idea what this was but had some eager posers.  ha.
There was also another ship, the USS Cassin Young, that we were able to board and explore.
Chloe was impressed with the size of this mixer!
Nice view of the Old North Church from the ship.
This one is for you, Dad!  {Private joke}

We then visited the Museum at the Navy Yard but didn't have time to do it justice.  At all.  But we had things to see and so we pressed on.

We hiked into Charlestown (still following the Freedom Trail red bricks the marked the it out for us) to see the Bunker Hill Monument.
There are 294 steps to the top of the monument where you can get a breathtaking view of the city.  There is a notice at the entrance that people with heart conditions should not attempt it.  Kate and SaraGrace wanted to try but didn't make it very far, so Molly took the rest of the kids to the top and I waited for them at the bottom with my heart babies.  (I was secretly happy to have an excuse not to make the climb - haha).

Molly thought it was cool to find out that the battle of Bunker Hill took place on her birth date.
Clearly, I have been missing out on the stunning views in Charlestown.  So incredibly pretty there.

Then it was time to head back into Boston because we were all starving and we needed to work on our Junior Ranger books.  I kept thinking Quincy Market was 'just around the corner,' but alas....  it was around many, many corners.  The kids were troupers for the most part.
Katie started to struggle so the bigger kids took turns giving her rides.  Jordan made an attempt and they both almost fell over.  Rather comical...but so sweet of him to want to help her.
"Seriously, Mom, you're killin' us here."
Finally found some overpriced ham and cheese sandwiches and sat by the fountains to snarf them while finishing up our Junior Ranger books.  By this time, our feet were throbbing but the show must go on.
Some guy offered to take a picture of all of us.
Ben Franklin offered us a photo op and then wanted $2 for the privilege. 
Sworn in as Junior Rangers for their Boston badge.  This guy took his job very seriously and tried to quiz the kids on some of the material in the book.  They were mortified and most of them just stood there wordlessly. 
Acrobats in front of Quincy Market.  There were other performers in front of Fanieul Hall which enthralled the kids.  Only the lure of the gift shop at the Navy Yard could tear them away.
We couldn't leave the area without making a quick dash to the Old State House.  It is being refurbished so one whole side is covered with scaffolding. 

I thought it was important for them to see the spot where the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston.  (Above door, being repaired, and I think there is usually a balcony railing there.)
Beautiful staircase inside. 

Next trek was back to the Ship Yard and we made a brief stop at the Old North Church so they could see where Paul Revere and William Dawes awaited the lantern signal.
Last stop of the day was the Museum Store where the kids bought some souvenirs.  The kids were sure that we walked a million miles due to our aching feet but all agreed that it was a very fun day!