Saturday, July 10, 2010

This and that....

I was looking through some pictures and wasn't sure I'd shared some! So here are a few that missed the cut or I just plain ole forgot!

John's trusty jeep, Mongo! This jeep got us around during the snow storm! I forgot to start it when John was out to see one deployment..but it started better than our other vehicles! I almost need a ladder to get in it but it's a good jeep and believe it or not has great ac and heat!!
I named the Jeep Mongo because it reminded me of that character in Blazing Saddles. So, with my suggestion ...Dad and Jane had the tire cover made for John!
I was looking through my photos and this one caught my eye...the beautiful sky and clouds on commencement day back in May of 09. That was a spectacular trip and one I'll always cherish. So many people that I care about came to celebrate with me!
These beautiful flowers were a gift to me from my sorority sister, Cyndi. They were so beautiful I had to take a picture so I could enjoy them longer!!! Wonder if I took her the vase I could get a "refill". lol Her family owns a florist so we always get the most beautiful flowers there!! Thanks again Cyndi!! I'm still enjoying them!!
Cherries on our Bing Cherry tree! I wish we could have gotten to them before the birds did!!
Ian and Mr. Mick Meyer, the Scout Liason for the Chesapeake Arboretum discussing Ian's Eagle Project plans. What a life saver Mr. Mick has been!! We have been truly blessed to have so many inspirational males come into our boys lives!! Thanks Mr. Mick! I will blog about Ian's project soon!!
when I went to City Council with Ian when the Forensics team was recognized, Miss Chesapeake was there! Turns out, both Arrick and Ian went to school with her! The guys said she is as sweet as she is pretty!!
Before John left for deployment in January, the boys and I wanted to celebrate his birthday! It was his 50th! So we were sneaky and worked it out with the air soft people to celebrate at the airsoft field. John had no idea!! We took decorations and treats to share...John was presented witih a cane with a horn and rear view mirror and a old timer's survival hat too!! Everyone joined in the celebration to sing Happy Birthday!! John sharing some love with his sneaky sons!!
John sporting his old timer hat and cane!

We used someone's truck for our banner!! lol
Ian prepping for the Birthday celebration!
I bought this melon and Arrick said, "Mom, that melon is as big as my head!" and he proceeded to show me! lol

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Fourth of July 2010 In Yorktown, Virginia

This fourth of July, I thought we should do something different. What about going back to where it all started? Walking in the footsteps of our ancestors, we hopped in the car and went down the road to Yorktown,VA! It's a short drive and free parking! We took in some of the festivities and enjoyed the waterfront on the York River and Olde Towne Yorktown. To top it off there was a parade! One of the tidbits of info we learned at this particular parade was that in Virginia, all of Virginia there were only 20 4th of July Parades. Only 2 in our Tidewater region! We were some of the lucky ones to get back to the good ole days!

Here are some pictures I took of the sites and parade!!
Looking out on the York River and beaches there....docks were to the left...
people conversing with a few of the patriots!

A pretty courtyard in which to cool off!
Wine tasting!!!!
We had our lunch in the shade of this house and watched people play games and families relax ...fireworks were going to be on the river later!
The parade begins!!

Uncle Sam made an appearance too!!
some of the local folks...they all looked so festive!!

she wasn't in the parade but she was just too cute!

Thought these ladies were adorable! They were carrying garden tools and one had a water can and another had a hose!!

And of course there were cub scouts!!! Too cute!!

These guys cracked me up!! From clown cars to segways!
We had a wonderful time walking back in time and sharing America's birthday with a slew of other patriots! Happy Birthday America!! Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!

Indian River Forensics Team recognized by Chesapeake City Council!

June 8, 2010, The city council of Chesapeake honored the State Champions of the Indian River High School Forensic Team! Since it had been over 15 years since Indian River high school had placed in a state competition, it was a pretty huge deal! The Chair of Education presented certificates to each of the members of the team who went to state along with the vice mayor (Mr. mayor was under the weather).

In the chambers the team patiently awaits the honor of being recognized by city council.
Gally short for Galixina is all smiles...while Tamara talks to Mrs. Shabazz and Erica takes it all in.
Ian looks to see what I'm doing while Tyler fidgets!

The whole team all smiles and thrilled for the honor to be recognized as "some of the smartest kids in Chesapeake!"
Dr. Shabazz and the Education Chair

Spinning Retreat in PA!

In October, one of my best friend's Lauri, from Maine, invited me to a spinning retreat in PA! At first I thought, I don't know to knit, let alone anything about wool or spinning on a spinning wheel! She said, not to worry, I'd learn how to drop spindle and perhaps get to use a spinning wheel too! That was the point of the retreat, to learn! So I agreed. It was a five hour drive and I'd leave the boys on their own, which isn't a problem really. They looked forward to the weekend on their own. So, I set out up to PA via the eastern shore of VA on my way to my adventure in spinning!

Snapped a picture of this while driving...looks a little scary....and retreat wasn't far from it! lol
The grounds were lovely....ponds and places of reflection!

beautiful hedges and sitting areas...

the lovely Victorian home that the spinning retreat, basically took over for the weekend! The spinning instructor's parents owned the B&B so it was like being at home!

There were quite a few spinners!! I was the! It was so lovely outside, we took our wooly adventures outdoors!

Lauri learning how to use her new spindle. While the instructor provides some tips!

dyed wool inside for sale! I bought a nitty noddy to wind my spun wool from my spindle on...then I'll ply it from there! See how much I've learned?? Besides, it's fun to say nitty noddy!

Our room was lovely!! Lauri and I shared a room and that was fun too!!
Lauri is one of my closest friends but the proprietor brought in an inflatable bed for us to use as well.
The fireplace in our room with the lovely collectibles in it. She had cases with vintage perfume bottles, and beaded purses! It was museum like but homey too!
I had an incredible time with Lauri and have been spinning up some alpaca that one of the ladies had given me. It's very soothing to spindle. I want to learn how to knit now so I can use up the yarn I spun!!

Hot Air Balloon Ride!

So, in October when Lauri posed this spinning retreat to me, she also mentioned something about a hot air balloon ride. I thought, well, let's see about it. I was just laid off and it was more money but I went out on a limb. I knew I'd have a job by then and I'd have the bucks to pay for it so I said, sure! What the heck! It'll be fun!

One of the crew watching the small helium balloon let go to get a fix on how fast the winds were moving and in which direction. Very important I'd come to learn. The other crew member looking for the release forms. ..... by the way...that stuff on the trailer the basket we'll be riding in..
Lauri reads the release forms....the company won't be held liable for arrest...and a plethora of other things....getting a little but what the heck. One more item to cross off the bucket list.
The set up the fan after putting together the basket and frame...and fill the envelope!

After crawling in the basket, thankfully they had a stool we could stand on and pushed on our behinds, we got in the basket and lifted off. It was so smooth and was magical! The fear left me immediately!! It was awesome! Down below we see our chase team!! They will be following us to help us when it's time to land...
Our shadow on the tree tops of Valley Forge National Park! We skimmed the tree tops!!

The towns below!! It was such a beautiful view and so quiet!!
Since we're snuggled in the basket together, it's difficult to get a good picture but Lauri pulled it off very well!!!
Here is the little gadget, Vince, our pilot kept looking at to give our heading to the chase team!

Looking straight up into the balloon!!! I'm glad we had a pretty balloon!!

We set down rather roughly in a farmers field. With the basket on its side...we crawled out and Vince wrangled the balloon into submission till the crew arrived to assist!
Since the Balloon landed on private property, the balloon team presents the land owners with a bottle of champagne or sparkling cider and a card stating their thanks !
The crew push the air out and fold the balloon....and get it all back on the trailer with precision!

We were returned to the Bed and Breakfast where were staying and whilst the class inside went on without us, we brunched on the patio. Vince and the crew provided Lauri and I with a champagne toast to our survival...and a prayer...
The Balloonist Prayer
The winds have welcomed you with softness,
Ths sun has blessed you with its warm hands
You have flown so high and so well,
that God has joined you in your laughter,
and set you gently back again
into the loving hands of Mother Earth.
Sky Riders
from Trappe-Limerick, PA
Our crew, on the ground and our pilot Vince in the glasses!! Thanks for a wonderful experience!

On my way back home via the Eastern Shore, I snapped this picture for my dad....apparently there are races there of the NASCAR variety!
almost home ready to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and I had to stop and take these pictures!