Saturday, October 31, 2015


This year's costumes:

Lewis and Clark

Hippie Girl
(She's wearing a top that Mom used to actually wear -- as  a DRESS!)

Off with the gang of cousins for some trick-or-treating!
Strider, too old for costumes, is currently hiding in the front yard, jumping out at unsuspecting trick-or-treaters.  I keep hearing screams!

He asked if he could be in charge of the candy distribution because he wanted to give some kids a lot and some kids just one piece, in order to teach them "a lesson about the progressive tax."  #sonofaneconomist

Monday, October 26, 2015

Big Moldova Meeting Weekend

Last weekend was one of the busiest and most-planned-for weekends of our whole year... and yet I have essentially no good pictures to show from it!

Some of the preparations... during which I was channeling my mom
The board of directors for Moldova World Children's Fund all assembled here, arriving from Alabama, Florida, Washington, D.C., Georgia, and Hendersonville, for the big annual weekend of parties and meetings.  It was a lot of fun getting to see old friends, and meeting some new ones.

 Friday night everyone came over for dinner.  We squeezed all 14 of us around the table... although it did have to extend into the foyer.  Somehow that small group drank 5 bottles of Moldovan wine and 6 (non-Moldovan) beers throughout the evening.  And that was just the beginning of the fun!
After everyone left...

Saturday, after a very full day of meetings about all of the previous year's projects and all of the upcoming plans for new ones, the group again gathered.  This time we all met at Dan and Amy's house for a big reception that we had invited family and friends to.
Got a quick shot of the drink table...
there was also a large food table that
I did not remember to photograph
Very blurry picture of some of the people there
We loved getting to share our love for the Moldovan people with others, some who had been there and some who had not.  Now it's just sad that we don't get to see the board again until next year.

I should also mention some of the other activities that went on that weekend.  While Pete was off doing the big meeting all day Saturday, the kids and I were running to soccer games, reffing jobs, and the neighborhood festival -- and getting all the food ready for the party.  :)

It was a VERY full weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Backyard Wonders

After learning about the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World a few weeks ago, the boys announced recently that they had been constructing the 7 Wonders of the Frank Backyard.  As their teacher, I thought it was pretty cool that they were applying their knowledge in a creative way.  As their landlord and groundskeeper, Pete may not be quite as amused... we'll see.

They took me on a tour yesterday.  Each structure had a fancy name, like The Temple of Leafdom or something.

Now today they are on to new endeavors -- specifically working on a large Leaf Labyrinth, "with dead ends and everything."

Meanwhile I found great delight in this scene in backyard when we got home from a quick library trip:

The boys couldn't wait to take their books up to their tree fort to read.  Reading in a tree fort on a beautiful fall day -- IS there anything better??

You may notice Strider in the background -- doing flips on the trampoline.

Rayna is in the waaaay background, nicely finishing her homework.

All 4 kids happy and productive -- a Wonder for sure!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Ohio Fall Weekend

For their fall break, Pete took the younger 3 kids up to visit Grandpa and Gee-Gee for a few days!  They had a great time doing all the classic Fall activities...

Note:  Pete took all of these pictures, so I am not responsible for the fact that there are no pictures of Bud, only one of Jane, and none of Pete.  They were, to the best of my knowledge, full participants of all the activities, just not photographed.

And the reason I neither photographed nor participated in the trip was because of our other child:  the firstborn who currently needs a personal chauffeur to his many and sundried activities.  We stayed home because he had school (while the others were on break), had a football game he did NOT want to miss, and had some games to ref (his job).  Unfortunately, the games all got rained out, so he did not have quite the weekend he had anticipated.  In fact, he moaned a few times, that he just "should have gone to Ohio!"

BUT, he did at least achieve this milestone:

He is now driving with a NC learner's permit!  We have gone on several hair-raising excursions already... All new adventures are on the horizon...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Team CoLo

Raising these two, Cole and Milo, together has been such a joy.  The idea of having two children of the same gender right in a row made me think of lots of sibling rivalry -- and maybe that will come someday, but that day is not now.  These two are such a team!

Colsen's name means "from a victorious people," and Miles' name means "merciful," and I think they're brothership will help them to grow into their names.  Miles is definitely more of the conquering type right now and Colsen is actually more merciful... we'll see how they rub off on each other!

Meanwhile, they giggle and giggle all day long.  They play bunches of "Let's pretend that you are___" games and they have all kinds of jokes and funny characters they like to resurrect daily.  Ask them about Jo-Jo or Burp-Up or Bob or Bill Swa and you'll get all kinds of silly impressions.  (I just asked Colsen if I was missing anyone and he said, "Well we also have Burp-Down, Burp-Left and Burp-Right.")

When one of them finds a passion, they both find it.  They sharpen each other, iron against iron, in all pursuits, be it fishing, roller blading, playing the violin, or even today's basket weaving.

In school they are learning a lot of the same things (history, Bible, and science we all do together), so they have a lot to build on in their free time.  Right now they're constructing the "7 Wonders of Our Backyard," for instance.  I love hearing them talk about various historical events or even correct each other on their Latin noun-endings song.

And they still roll around and around on the floor like little cubs.

In our Bible time this morning, Colsen announced he had a "sermon" he wanted to preach to us.  As I videoed (just the first few seconds), I realized I had gotten good footage, blurry and all, of both of their personalities.  :)

I'm so glad they have each other.

Friday, October 2, 2015


This weekend was supposed to be a Big Adventure Weekend for Pete and the boys. Then we started getting weather forecast reports of major flooding in the mountains where they had intended to go, so that trip got cancelled.

Pete and I scrambled for a new idea to mitigate the Great Disappointment of the boys, and we thought we had found one -- an overnight trip in the other direction, to Fayetteville to watch Strider play a football game.  But then THAT trip got cancelled, too, thanks to the approaching hurricane.

Now Pete and I were really up a creek, facing not just a deluge of rain, but a deluge of tears.

So this morning I told the kids to get out all their books and a pencil, then told them to put on their shoes and get in the car.  Instead of Homeschooling, we did CoffeeShopschooling today!  

It was a huge hit.  Miles said it was the Best Day Ever.  (He proclaims this often, but still it's nice to hear each time.)

Plus they got the bonus education of watching how their donuts got made.

This afternoon Pete came home early from work to take them to the Bass Pro Shop -- also a HUGE hit.  When it comes down to it, these kids are not all that easy to please.  :)