Saturday, May 30, 2009

Field Day!

Madeleine had field day Friday at Oak Lawn Child Development Center at the church where I work where the kids go to school. Here are some photos! Love those potato sack races and 3 legged races! Madeleine wanted braids (in her words) for the event.


















video

Family photos!





















Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Trip to Virginia, D.C., and Pennsylvania with my mom

Over Memorial Day weekend Lee was a single parent to Madeleine and Everett while I traveled with my mom to visit my Uncle Mike. Mike is my mom's brother and has a special place in my heart because his middle name is Kerry! Mike has had diabetes for about 30 years and recently had to have a foot amputated and the day before we arrived he had to have a toe amputated on his other foot. It was really good to see him and I feel honored and blessed to have had the opportunity.


Mom and I decided to fly into Baltimore to stay with my mom's longtime friend. Unfortunately, she was out of town! but her husband was a very gracious host. Saturday morning, we drove the rental car to the subway line of D.C. and had a whirlwind day in D.C. We started with a walking tour of Embassy Row where we learned many new things. We also walked by a drum circle! I guessed that it was an exercise class, they were all women!

DRUM CIRCLE

We then stopped at the Phillips Collection, which was amazing! This private collection of art was beautiful. Then, off to the National Mall where we went to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art. It was a beautiful day and such fun to see the Capital, Washington Monument, White House. We walked all around and then collapsed at an amazing restaurant, Founding Farmers. This restaurant is owned by the North Dakota farmers and is LEED certified as well as
a certified green restaurant. Everything tasted really good! After dinner we wandered around the White House and saw Marine One (two of them!) take off (it was really loud), but Obama was at Camp David... unless someone forgot their toothbrush and they came back home to get it... possibly...

We marveled at the new World War II memorial built in 2004 and then realized that it was getting dark and we had a hike to get to the metro station. We then drove to my Uncle's house in Manassas Virginia but we missed a turn and ended up driving right through downtown Washington D.C. on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend at 10pm!

SELF-PORTRAITS AT THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION

NEW ACQUISITION AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY!



MARINE ONE!

Sunday we visited my Uncle Mike who was in the hospital after his toe amputation. It was great to see him and to pray with him. We spent the day helping Mike with some errands and lounging in his wife's beautiful garden filled with irises and peonies.


Monday we drove to Pennsylvania where we visited with my mom's cousin and had a great day with relatives. Tuesday, our last day, we drove to mom's birthplace and saw the family barn (where my grandpa's parents had a dairy), the house mom grew up in, the church where I was baptized, a famous Pennsylvania covered bridge, and visited the family graves. Then we had brunch at Aunt Dot's. Aunt Dot is my grandpa's younger sister, and one of two of my grandpa's still living siblings. He had 9 siblings! She is 90 and has a great wit! Then, we drove to Pittsburgh and caught our airplanes home. A huge thank you to Lee for being a single parent while I had a wonderful adventure with my mom!
THIS IS THE OLD NICHOLLS FARM, IT HAS NOT BEEN KEPT UP. MY GRANDPA SAID HE NEVER KNEW IT TO BE RED, THEY ALWAYS PAINTED IT WHITE.

COVERED BRIDGE IN PENNSYLVANIA


VISITING GRANDPA AND GRANDMA (MY MOM'S PARENTS) AND OTHER NICHOLLS FAMILY



Monday, May 18, 2009

Recommendations

I just finished People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks and highly recommend it. It is inspired by a true story, which I found just amazing, and when I wikipediaed it, this info about the Sarajevo Haggadah was just amazing to me.

"The history of the remarkable man, Dervis Korkut, who saved the book from the Nazi officers who sought it, was told in the December 3, 2007 issue of The New Yorker magazine. The article, entitled "The Book of Exodus", also by Geraldine Brooks, sets out the equally remarkable story of the young Jewish girl, Mira Papo, whom Korkut and his wife hid from the Nazis just as they acted to save the Haggadah. In a twist of fate, as an elderly woman in Israel, Mira Papo secured the safety of Korkut's daughter from the Serbian genocide of the 1990s."

In other recommendations, Victor Tango's in Dallas is a great restaurant! I have been thinking about those ahi tuna nachos for weeks!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love

I enjoyed this book by Elizabeth Gilbert. A quote that I wrote down from it says, "Zen masters say you cannot see your reflection in running water, only in still water." It is so hard to slow down enough to see the still water. I am constantly going, cleaning, picking up toys, driving the car, answering the phone, responding to email, constantly going! It seems rare that I am actually still, that I actually stop. This book reminded me of the beauty of stillness, the beauty of quiet, the beauty of just being. I hope that you can stop today, even if it is just for a moment, to see your reflection in the still water.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Aunts!

My dad's two sisters, my aunts!, came to visit. They live in Seattle and Kentucky so we don't get to see them often, but when we do see them it is like no time has passed. Phyllis, my stepmom, made a great meal and we all had a great time.

Madeleine and Sydney dressing up. There are so many fun things to do at Grandma and Grandpa's!
My aunt Sharon, my dad, and my aunt Beverly.




Everett playing peek-a-boo with Aunt Sharon.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Kids are funny!

Yesterday in the car on the way from school:

Madeleine: "Mom, do you know what American idol is?"
Kerry: "What is it?"
Madeleine: "It's about America and it's an idol."
Kerry: "Oh, is it good?"
Madeleine: "I don't know..."
Kerry: "Me either."

Today Madeleine was able to go to kindergarten for 2 hours for move up day. She had a blast, but was twirling her hair with her finger as fast as she was physically able. When I picked her up, she was all smiles and seemed to enjoy herself. She was excited that when you get to kindergarten if you listen and have good behavior, on some days you don't have to wear shoes (according to Madeleine). She was very excited about this possibility.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My new kitchen floor!

The first week that we were in our house (almost 3 years ago!) we had to glue some of the kitchen floor pieces back in place. They have continued to come up and we have utilized super glue, super potent smelling glue, and duck tape. Now, we have a new kitchen floor and we knocked down the bar so our kitchen is more open. YEAH! I am so excited to say that after replacing carpet with tile in all three bathrooms and replacing the tile in the laundry room and kitchen we have no more floors to replace! Here are some before and after photos. The first 2 are from the day that we moved in... notice the bar in the 2nd photo.



Demolish the bar! Madeleine is stepping on it!


Go Uncle Andy! (My brother-in-law)


Look, it's so open!



The wonderful tile guy said the best thing would be to just put the thinset and hardibacker directly on the old flooring!

New tile!



All done! It is recommended that you wait 2 days before cleaning it, the haze is from the grout, so tomorrow we can wipe off the grime. Notice the open bar area...


This is the solution for the rounded edges to our breakfast room, it is bullnose tile cut in pieces!