Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween 2010 - The Costumes

The little bumblebee. Really it was a miracle we got her to wear this. She started crying after we put on her tights. But she finally caught the vision and loved it in the end.

Of course the gypsy had no issues about wearing her costume! Dress-ups and make-up - it doesn't get any better than that for her!

Mr. "I hate to dress up" gave in and went to work dressed as a skeleton (without the scary mask).
The UPS man. He came up with the idea and my very talented sister Amy made it for him. It was darling and definitely one of the favorites this year. (It was his idea to use the box for his trick-or-treat container.) Wish I had better pictures!!!

She debated up until the night before whether 7th graders still wore costumes to school. At last minute it was decided she would be an aerobics instructor from the 1980's. She looked darling!

Grandma and Papa came to watch the Halloween parade. Can you see my mom's cool bat earrings?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friends and D.C.

I just returned from a wonderful trip to the Washington D.C. area to visit some friends. This little doll was one of the main reasons I went.

My dear friend Becca, after having 4 boys - finally got her darling girl! I felt that this was cause for celebration! And since my other dear friends live in the area - we turned it into a girls' get-away.

Becca and I had a day and a half to ourselves and although we spent most of the time talking and catching up - we did take the time to visit Gunston Hall. Just down the river from Mt. Vernon, this plantation (originally 5500 acres) belonged to George Mason who was one of Founding Fathers. He wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights which was the basis for the Bill of Rights in the Constitution.
View of the Potomac. The photo does not do justice to the amazing fall colors!
The lane to the Mason family cemetery
We eventually joined up with Jennette and Anna and spent an afternoon in Old Town Alexandria. (Actually we spent the afternoon talking and eating at the delicious La Madeleine - but we walked around a little to see the charming architecture.)
We spent the next couple of days seeing the sites of Washington D.C.
We strolled through the National Gallery of Art and the sculpture garden
We went to the American History Museum and saw Julia Child's kitchen
And the gowns of the First Ladies. Below is Michelle Obama's gown.
And the ruby slippers...and Kermit the Frog...among other things
We walked around Georgetown and waited in this line for the famous Georgetown Cupcake

We each got two and were able to sample eight different flavors!

The moon rising over Georgetown
We went to the National Portrait Gallery to see a Norman Rockwell exhibit (which I loved!!!) and walked through the folk art museum. This is an alter that a man made out of aluminum foil. He thought he was called of God.
License plates from every state - look closely to read what it says...
Ford's Theater was closed for the day but Anna had been on the tour and gave us the highlights. The house where Lincoln was kept overnight until he died in the morning still exists across the street.
This picture is for Wes and probably only his parents, brother and a certain past young men's leader know why
The White House
The protesters weren't really making any sense
And this person claims they have been there 24 hours a day since 1981!

We visited the memorials

This city is rich with culture and history and I can't wait to return with my family!

As much as I loved sightseeing - the true highlights were the hours and hours spent talking about anything and everything with my friends. I came home rejuvenated and inspired to be a better mom, wife and person. Thanks ladies!

Many thanks to Meredith for watching my kids for a day and I am especially grateful to Wes for being such a great "mom" while I was gone. From what I heard - it was a party!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 4th Annual Donuts in the Driveway

It's that time of year again! This is the fourth year of our "Donuts in the Driveway" tradition and each year it gets better and bigger!

The stats from this year:
175 people
30 lbs of donut dough = >500 donuts!!

It was a huge success and we love doing it. Of course when I say "we" - it includes the following amazing, stupendous, incredible, fantastic helpers:

The donut rollers, cutters and deliverers: Mom, Dad, Kip, Amy, Addie, Cate and SJ
The donut cookers: Wes, Kip, Dad and Addie
The glaze contributers: Jan and Mom
The babysitters (I didn't see SJ once the entire evening!): Jan and Eldine
The set-up and take-down workers: Wes, Wes, Wes, Wes, my kids, Dad and Kip

We couldn't have pulled it off without this amazing help!!!

This is just a fraction of the dough we rolled out before the party started. My parents (i.e. slaves) were in the kitchen rolling and cutting dough almost the full two hours of the party.
She helped a ton!!!
The scene before the mobscene.

She gets to taste the very first donuts!
The first-comers. It doesn't get really busy until after dark.

The teens and kids found the backyard to be the perfect hangout. And of course the treehouse was big hit.

Maybe someday I will get better pictures.

And today I finally got a few Halloween decorations up!