Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A Video of Rowan in the Snow

This is a video of last weekend like I promised...

We have had lots of cold, snow, and ice this winter! It seems like every time I'm scheduled to substitute teach, it snows and we have a snow day! AAAAAAHHH! I'm not in control, though, so I'm trying to stay calm about it...

Today, there's been so much ice and snow that almost every county in WV closed schools--as well as a lot of Maryland. Even Marshall University is closed today, so Andrew has a paid day off! ;) Too bad we're snowed in and can't go anywhere... We can only think of things to do that require driving somewhere! Except cleaning...and NONE of us want to do that on a day off! :) So far, we've taken the cushions off the couch and jumped on them, tickled each other, danced around a little, ate butter sandwiches, caught up on Facebook and Blogger, walked on the treadmill, and asked each other every 5 minutes, "What do you want to do today?!" AAAAAHHH!

And tomorrow's prospects aren't looking good, either. I'm supposed to go to Fairmont for my first week of lessons at the college, but not sure I'm going to be able to get there--or get back... AAAAAHHH!

Really, though, it's kind of nice to be with each other with no agenda. I'm sure that the first day we can get out, we'll think of all kinds of things we could have done today. Hindsight is always 20/20... :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Snowy Holiday!

Today was a great day! It snowed beautiful "snow globe" snow and was around 20 degrees. Perfect for sled riding with the whole family! Julia, Elijah, my Mom (Granny), Papa, Rowan, Ingrid, and Mama! Rowan's first sled ride and Ingrid's first that she can remember...
Good times. Here's a picture journal of our family day....

Rowan looking mischievous...

Rowan & Eli having fun

Rowan had his own runner sled. It used to be Aunt Anita's...and before that, it was Granny's!

Papa being a Papa--or a sledhorse! :)

The whole gang...

A Snowy Day in Aurora...

Stay tuned for some videos...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Andrew is home!

We're spending our first day in 3 weeks as a family again!

Andrew got home yesterday. He flew into Reagan National Airport at around 12:30pm. After teaching music class at Sacred Meadow Montessori Preschool, I drove to DC and met him at baggage claim looking tired but really good. He was feeling all healthy from his diet of rice and vegetarian meals and was going to be really ready to sleep when he was supposed to go to sleep (which is difficult because days and nights are flipped between here and India...).

We drove toward home, but stopped at the Hagerstown Outlets to eat a nice meal, catch up, and find him some new work clothes since his pants were all too big (they had been for a while, but now they REALLY are...) and we were at the outlets! :) It was nice to have him to myself for a while before heading home to the kids and the rest of the family... We had time to catch up a little on the kids, his work, and what we had been thinking during the past 3 weeks.

He has several stories of things he saw, experienced, and learned. I had so many stories about the kids, and tried to catch him up on all of the new things Rowan had learned to say and do, and how Ingrid had missed him. So good to talk freely--not over the phone in a public place!

So, we headed back to the farm to get the kids, sat around and talked for a couple of hours, Andrew gave some gifts and then headed out to go home...

.....in a snow storm! It took us an hour to get home (it usually takes 30-40 minutes)--and after stopping a few times to give Andrew time to wake up (we had to drive both of our cars from the farm...), we finally made it!

This morning, I was supposed to sub, but the snow cancelled school, so here we all are together for the day! It's fun. Poor Andrew is trying to work from home, getting caught up, while he deals with two little shadows...in the truest sense of the word...truly attached to his heels. He's loving it, though, for the most part... :) And I'm enjoying a little break...

So, all is well. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers! More to come soon...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Excuse me?

Tonight, the kids and I went to some friends from church's house. Adrienne and Evangeline are both about 6 months older than both of our kids, and their parents are very cool people. They knew Andrew had been out of town, so they invited us all over so the kids could play and we adults could watch the Steelers win their game! :) It was fun.

Well, when we were on our way out to the car in the bitter cold, I was carrying Rowan and helping Ingrid get into her car seat. I bent down to help Ingrid and I must have squeezed Rowan's tummy and it made him burp... He looked at me and laughed a hearty laugh...and then got serious and said, "excuse me."

What?!? This was NOT one of the phrases we had tried to teach him--in fact, I've never even prompted him to say it! He just said it. And in context. I don't know what to do with this child. You only have to tell him something once and he's got it. Guess we'd better be careful what we say around him... :)

Of course, we think he must be a genius... ;)

Friday, January 9, 2009

More Christmas and New Year

While Andrew has been away, the kids and I have tried to keep busy doing things. We're lucky to be so close to my parents and sisters/brother. So, last weekend, after a New Year's Eve with the WHOLE gang, the kids and I hopped down to Fairmont to spend some time with Aunt B, Uncle B, and Isaac for the whole weekend!

While we were there, we went to the Wow Factory (a ceramic/glass painting place) and to the mall to play! Rebecca and I have loved dressing the boys up in matching outfits (something I'm sure they'll roll their eyes at later on...) and watching people point and smile at how cute they are...and then answer that they're first cousins, not twins, but they're 2 weeks apart. Fun!
Ingrid had a blast, too! She made friends at the Wow Factory with the owner/operator's daughters, and then she had fun running around the playground at the mall -- climbing on things that were too big for her to climb last timewe were there (which I had realized had been almost a year ago!). They're all growing sooooo much! And while that's a bit sad for me, it's also a bit easier to get around with them as they get bigger, so I'm trying to find that silver lining when I can.

Anyway, here are some pictures of our outings (forgive my wrong dates...my camera reset itself...and also Ingrid was there that weekend, she just didn't sit still long enough to get into any of the pictures)!
The boys in their matching personalized Christmas Elmo shirts!
We all piled into Aunt B's Jeep for our weekend of fun! Aunt B and her friend, Heidi, painting ceramics at the Wow Factory in Morgantown
Granny played with the kids in the playroom while we finished our painting


Again, we had them dressed in matching outfits. they both had shirts that said, "I didn't do it." Thought that was pretty appropriate!

The boys liked the tunnel, but they were so fast, we couldn't get a picture of them together!

Here, we got them together, but not looking at us. They were both so intent on what they were doing...namely climbing up the slide and sliding back down!

It took Rowan a little while to realize what to do with the slide... I took his socks off and Ingrid showed him what to do, and it took him all of about 30 seconds to figure it out!!
He was so cute when he made it to the top! He was so proud of himself. He got up to the top, turned around and said....well, SOMETHING. Very decidedly and proudly. Adorable!

Two little monkeys climbing up a slide...

Rowan wanted to see the cars you ride when you put the quarter in, once he spotted them. He had so much fun just sitting in them! How wonderful to be excited about the simple things in life...

It was a good weekend, all in all... Hooray for counsins!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hop on over...

Hop on over to Andrew's blog and check out his new pics! He's in Madurai until next Tuesday when he will fly home and I'll get him next Wednesday. He's staying with his friend, Ram, at his home, and actually has a few days of rest and relaxation--but probably lots of sight-seeing, too! :) Pictures take a long time to load for him, so he's only doing a few at a time, but he said he'll keep trying!

The people he's worked with have been very gracious, and he's been very well taken care of. He got a little cold, but he's feeling better now, and he sounds great when we get to talk on the phone for 10 minutes or so every other day. He said he's been invited back, so who knows? Maybe I'll get to go sometime! ;)

Things are fine here on the home front. The kids miss Andrew, but they're just seeming to take it all in stride... It's been fine since it's been Christmas break for all of us, but things will start getting busier this week. I'm already substitute teaching 3 days this week, and 2 next week, so I'll be taking the kids here, there, and everywhere for a while. I've found that Rowan sleeps very well at home, but not so well anywhere else... Bummer because on the days that I substitute, we usually stay at the farm the night before. Now, I'm torn between not sleeping at night at getting us all up very early before I teach all day... 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other, I guess... We'll just have to go back and forth a lot in the next week or so, I think.

Otherwise, I'm trying to get my ducks in a row for next semester's School of the Arts, Kindermusik, and voice lessons. One day at a time! ...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Andrew in India

Just to let you all know, Andrew has posted his first (but short) post on his India trip blog at http://indiaautism.blogspot.com/ . No pictures until Jan 5th, but check it out and watch his trip unfold! He's doing good work there with his friend Ram as they work together to help kids with autism by doing workshops and presentations using theatre and dramatic techniques to help teach them social skills and every day things we take for granted. He's in Bangalore right now, but will be headed to Madurai (where Ram is from) as well as Hyderabad in the next few days.
His phone conversations have had to be short (international calling card -- calling from a public phone in his hotel...) but he sounds good. At first, the culture shock was pretty intense, but after a day or so, he started getting used to the noises, smells, and overall cultural differences. It helps to have Ram--a native--taking him around and staying in the hotel with him. The one thing he did say was that the food was really amazing, and that the people he was meeting were kindred spirits. I'm so glad he's enjoying his time. It's always been my dream to go to India, so I'm soaking up anything he can tell me. He promised he is keeping a journal, so I'm excited to hear his thoughts and processing.
Here are a few pictures I found on the web that shows you a little of what it might look like in Bangalore. Andrew described downtown as "Times Square after a missle attack and a dust storm." :) Interesting...

Here is a picture of the outside of the Hotel Maurya where Andrew has been staying this week.
Here is a picture from one of the temples he visited, too! (If I got the right one...it was a rushed phone call and it's hard to remember the names of things when you've never heard or seen them before...) Iskcon Sri Radhakrishna Temple (Hare Krishna Consciousness Center).
He flies out of Bangalore at 8:30pm his time and he's off to Hyderabad. So, check out his blog now and watch for pictures after January 5th!

Check back here, too, for pictures of the kids soon...