Aidan at Beach

Aidan at Beach

Friday, August 15, 2014

Life Happenings

The end of summer is fast approaching.  The air is cooler and less humid (did I actually say that in mid-August???; the crickets are singing 24-7; the cicadas are still at it, but not at night as the air is too chilly for them now.  I haven't seen any geese gathering and the leaves are still on the trees.  But, there is a definite change in the air.

I haven't felt the need to whine about the weather this summer and the grass is green, even though it is mid-August.  This leads me to my point of how strange this summer has been:

There has been entirely too much travel for my comfort--I'm a home body.

There has been entirely too much sadness--the health of my mother continues to be not good and the losses of great talent just breaks my heart.

And on that note, I have to make mention of the loss of Robin Williams.  He and his characters have been a part of my life since I was probably close to Aidan's age.  He and his sayings are a part of so many of us of my age and time--we say them all the time without even realizing it.  He always had such great reminders to not take ourselves so seriously.  He was an Episcopalian, as our family is, and even found a way to make that funny with his top 10 reasons it's great to be an Episcopalian:

10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don't have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry - none of the guilt.
2. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.

If you belong to the Episcopal Church, I'm sure you've heard these before, but isn't it funny????

There are so many memories of laughter and tears and laughter through tears while watching his movies.  I just love nearly every one of them.  One of my personal favorites was Dead Poet Society.  Walt Whitman wrote O Captain! My Captain! which is about his great love and admiration for Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. . .and be honest, how many of you reading this never read any Whitman until you saw this movie and found out how interesting his work can be?  An yet, reading it now, I can't help seeing Robin Williams guiding and anchoring a group of boys while traversing the trials of life. . .and Uncle Walt's poetry.

And even Aidan will be touched by this.  His favorite movies include Night at the Museum 1 and 2. . .we'll definitely go and see #3 when it comes out in December.  So much fun in those movies. . .

I'm not sure if the lump in my throat will ever go away.

But, we are humans and we have to move on in life, so I'll go back to talking about the end of summer happenings:

We have had a bumper crop of tomatoes this year.  We have been eating them daily, making salsa at least once a week (yum!) and now we have decided to make tomato sauce!  Just look at this!  We opted for freezer bags of 8 oz. each because we were pressed for time.  But doesn't that look great???



This weekend we will do some canning though.  I'm going to make my world famous bread and butter pickles and Pat will put up some pints of perfectly pickled peppers.  : )  I love saying that.

Aidan is finishing up another week of hockey camp and is feeling great.  Although he is currently on the pink stuff. . .he was fine last Friday, but Saturday morning he woke up not feeling very good and it sounded like he was talking around his tonsils.  So I called the pediatrician and got him in right away.  Sure enough, he had strep.  I think I caught it quick, though, because he was feeling better after just two doses of the pink stuff.
Aidan Strong!

Pat and I have been laughing because Aidan loves to play with our phones.  But, usually when we get them back  there are about 200 new pictures. . .most of them are Aidan Selfies. . .: )
200 of the same Aidan Selfie, actually. . .so funny!!

On another note, Pat and I were introduced to Waze recently.  And we have been having fun with it.  It's really great for letting us know about traffic and where the police are when you're on the road.  With all of the hockey travel we do, it is a really nice little app.  

Here's a Screen Shot of my Waze

The second Screen Shot is the Scoreboard on my Waze. . .and yes, I check this every day to see if I am ahead of Pat on points. . .I'm competetive.  I can't help it.  : )

And here's another screen shot to show just how beautiful it is here lately!!
That is 78* at 4:00 pm!!!  In mid-August!!!  I just love this weather right now.  I could have this all the time.

And, one final Screen Shot, since I just discovered how to do this. . .

This is the cool page on Aidan's Xtreme hockey team.  There is a full team section, but each player has their own section where we, the parents, can track schedules and etc.!  Very neat little site called Team Snap.  Love it!!

2 more weeks of camps and then we're into the new Fall routine. . .which is already looking to be very busy and active.  All good stuff.

Well, that's about it.  It's Friday.  It's beautiful.  And we have an entire weekend ahead of us.  Have a good weekend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Summer Tidbits and Funnies

Aidan and the neighbor boy had a sleep over a few weeks ago.  On our porch.  The porch does look like and inviting place for little boys to pull out sleeping bags and sleep the summer night away. . .

There was a problem, however.  And it wasn't because those two adorable dogs didn't want to stay with the boys!

Aidan is a sleeper.  He loves to sleep and will sleep as late as he can when he can.  Most weekends, he sleeps until at least nine and often times even later.  And because of this, Pat and I have never had the need to tell Aidan he can't wake us up before 8:00.  Aside from Christmas, that is!

Zachary, on the other hand, is an early riser.  He is up and at em as early as he can be.  There have been many a weekend morning when he has rung the bell just after 9:00 (I'm sure that is the time his mom has imposed on him!) only to find out that Aidan is still sleeping.  I have gone so far as to put notes, from time to time, on the doorbell button asking that it not be rung--doorbells ringing and dogs barking do not make a good sleep environment for anybody.

Flash back to the sleep over. . .

Aidan and Zach got all snuggled in their sleeping bags, we said good night and off to bed we went.  We did hear the boys up for a while talking, but they did eventually go to sleep.  The problem came up the next morning.  Zach, as is his habit, was up early.  This woke Aidan up and then they were both bouncing around downstairs.  At 6:30, they came upstairs to get us up.  I tried to tell Aidan it was too early, but it didn't work.  We were all up.

It was a tired day for all of us!

Note to self:  Think twice in the future when asked about having an early riser over for a sleep over!!  And discuss appropriate wake up times for Mom and Dad with Aidan.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vacation Week

I can't believe it's August already!  4 weeks until school starts, 4 weeks of camps left, 2 weeks until we find out who Aidan will have for his Third Grade teacher, and 1 week until Preseason hockey practice starts!  What a crazy summer it's been!

But, this past week was fun, blissful, restful (sort of), and just a nice family get away at the beach.

We don't like driving in traffic and, in fact, can't really tolerate it even to go to the beach.  So, we have altered our plans a bit over the years.  We left on Sunday morning--early--and actually arrived at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina after only 4 1/2 hours of driving!  We had actually been on the road closer to 6 hours, but that included potty breaks and a stop for breakfast.  We made the best time getting down there ever.  That set the stage for a perfect week!

We stayed, like last year, at the Hilton, which is located immediately on the beach just after crossing the bridge to get out onto the Outer Banks.  Aidan was very impatient, so I had him get his suit on as soon as we got into the room so he and Pat could go down to the beach while I got us settled.  He was ready as soon as the cart was empty!


Our view from our room was perfect.  Just right to sit and have a beverage and just watch the beach goings on.  The figure in blue near the center of the below picture is Aidan. . .Pat is sitting in the chair just the left.
As luck would have it, the weather turned very chilly the very next day!  But, honestly, it was absolutely gorgeous.  Just a lot cooler than you would normally have in July in North Carolina!  Mid to upper 70's prevailed the remainder of the week, which set up some very chilly water temperatures.  In fact, I don't think I have ever felt the Atlantic Ocean that chilly this late in the season.  Ever!  But we still had a blast on the beach!

 Day 2 view with my morning Cuppa. . .
Can you see Aidan's hands clenched?  He was so cold!!  In fact, this was Aidan 5 minutes later. . .

And the ocean actually began to look chillier by the second morning there!


 But, the hat was still needed!!!  As was the sunscreen!!!  70spf was the order of the day. . .
We also spent a day several miles north at the 4 wheel drive beach.  This place was so awesome!!  It was nearly empty. . .we didn't see any Bankers (wild ponies) but we did see evidence of them. . .



 Can you believe how empty that is???  We were practically alone!!!
Aidan had a lot of good practice learning how to do his new skim board. . .
 And then we built an Alligator. . .I know.  Most people build sand castles.  But, anyone can do that!!
Ont he way back from the 4 wheel drive beach, we stopped off at the Currituck Light House and toured the grounds.  Beautiful!!!
And just so you don't think I just scanned in a post card for this picture. . .
I had Aidan get in the foreground!  : )

As mentioned briefly, Aidan got a Skim Board and practiced it all week.  He really was getting pretty good at it by the time we left!

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And when he needed to warm up, he would head into the in door pool. . .where he met another little boy.  I couldn't resist a slow mo jump in!!!

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Sadly, as all good things do, our beach trip ended all too soon.  We headed back on Friday. . .and apparantly, a lot of other people now do that too.  The roads were jammed!!!  We did stop at Bass Pro Shop for lunch, but still it took over 9 hours to get home!!  Not happy campers. . .

But, home we arrived.  And just in time to go Back to School shopping for Tax Free Weekend!!!  Where I discovered that Aidan has moved on from Gymboree.  There is no longer anything there that he likes.  At all.  We were only at Dick's Sporting Goods, Old Navy, and The Gap this year.  Sad. . . and end of an era. . .

With a final purchase at Lids 

we headed home. . .

But, there was one final thing we did on our week off.  The Annual Caps Shoot Out!!  I had not signed Aidan up at Ashburn for the Shoot Out because it was held there while we were on vacation.  But, I did sign up for Reston. It was full, so he was placed on the Waiting List.  I got the call while we were in North Carolina that he was in, so we headed up to Reston right after church yesterday.  The boys had three shots in three rounds. . .and Aidan is now moving on to the Semi Finals!!  This will be held at Kettler Ice Plex, which is were the Caps practice, on September 7th.  Two of Aidan's team mates were at the Ashburn Shoot Out and are also moving on to the Semi Finals!!!  Woo Hoo!!!

So now it's Monday and I'm heading back to work.  Have a great week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Moving Mom, Loudoun County Fair, and Fun Hockey Times!

This past week has been eventful.  Very eventful.  I am exhausted and really looking forward to a full week off with my family.

Last Friday, after working all day, I got on a plane and headed west.  My flight left Dulles Airport at 10:10 pm Eastern time and landed in Los Angeles in the wee hours.  I had a 5 hour layover and then headed to Las Vegas, arriving there about 7:30 am Pacific time.  Although I had tried, I did not sleep.  Maybe a couple of short cat naps. . .

My sister Gini picked me up at the airport and we headed to moms, me with my coffee in my hand.  We spent the entire day, along with Gini's husband and his friend, two of our cousins, our cousins wife, and our other cousins son, packing my moms house.  We had a large pile of trash, a truck load going back to Gini's house and the rest is heading east to moms new place at an Assisted Living facility in Chicago, near my other sisters house.  We amazed ourselves with how much we got done in one day.  Truly amazing!!

After a good dinner of Mexican food and a quick night of sleep, we loaded up the truck and car, sold my moms car to one of our cousins, and headed out on the road for the 10 hour drive to Gini's.  During our drive, I convinced my sister that I had to have some Jack in the Box!!!  Gini just rolled her eyes, but Pat was jealous!!!

We don't have this fine food in Virginia!!!  : )

We finally arrived at Gini's where we found mom very upset.  Of course, our arrival represented to her that her life at her house was over.  I felt terrible about it, but we just can't let her live on her own anymore.  It would be irresponsible of us. . .

Mom's dog was happy, though.  Mia is a very cute little dog.  And very spoiled.  But I;m glad mom has her.
I spent the next few days visiting with mom and helping her take Mia to the vet, and etc. items that needed to be taken care of.  We checked a few things off the list of things to do. . .and added a few, too.  I headed back home again very early on Wednesday and arrived home in time to have dinner with my family.  A couple of days of work and then we'll be on vacation!!  and not a moment too soon for this tired girl. . .

Meanwhile, while I was gone, the boys were having fun.

Aidan started his week off from camps with a play date with his buddy Evan.  Daddy took the boys to the park where they had a blast rolling down the hills. . .

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He also went to the pool with our neighbor kids and came home and did this. . .after a freak out from Mommy, I was assured that he did not actually go down the stairs this way. . .Where does he come up with these things???

This week was also the Loudoun County Fair, so I got the boys tickets and Pat took Aidan and his cousin Kurt on Monday evening.
Saw some camels. . .


And went on some rides. . .

















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They also stayed for the Demolition Derby.  A good time was had by all!!!

And I've been told the pink socks have been hidden. . .never to be seen, or worn, by our boy again!!  LOL!!

And then on Tuesday, Pat took Aidan to his hockey practice and sent me videos so I could watch even though I was 3,000 miles away!!
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Isn't my kiddo amazing???  : )


And now my friends, I am off to work for one final day and then we'll be headed out to the beach!!!  Can I hear your hallelujah???

Have a great weekend!  Catch you on the flipside. . .

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Time

Its that time of year where the air weighs heavily and the cicadas are singing.  There are afternoon thunderstorms, and some evening ones as well.  The kids have settled into a summertime routine of pools and play thoughts of school are a distant memory.  The days are long and filled with fun and the nights are too short--at least for this mom.  Fun times abound!

Last Saturday, I took Aidan to get a hair cut.  He wanted it really short with a mohawk on the top.  I told him he could get it cut however he wanted but no mohawk. . .so he got it cut really short all over.  Cute and perfect for the summertime heat, but I miss his shaggy head!!

Doesn't he remind you of the Saturday Evening Post with this picture??

His hair is so short. . .: (  but the good part is that it is easier to care for.  With all the swimming he's been doing, his hair was getting really sticky feeling from the chlorine.  We're going to let it grow out again, though.  In fact, we probably won't get it cut again until it's time for school pictures in October!

Speaking of school . . .the tax free weekend is the first weekend of August.  We get home from the beach just before, so I've already been planning what I need to purchase for Aidan for school.  We have his new backpack and lunch box picked out from LLBean.  And I've already purchased most of his school supplies.  I'll pick up his clothing and shoes during the tax free weekend.

And in case you think I'm being a summertime killjoy, I'm truly not.  I just have to plan ahead!!!  I will be leaving Friday after work to go out west and help pack up my moms house and I'll be there until next Wednesday.  So not looking forward to this trip.  Lots of angst, emotions and tempers have been boiling up.  I'll be home a couple of days--just long enough to get the laundry caught up and repacked--and we'll be off to the beach.  That's the reward.  Looking forward to watching my little dudely get back into surfing the waves!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Aidan and I headed to our pool for a couple of hours last Sunday.  However, it was a long trip to get there.  Why?  Well, we had turned down a road on the way to pick up a friend when I noticed the car in front of me swerving all over.  I watched and pulled back, realizing that the driver was actually looking for a specific address.  He finally pulled over to the curb--brake lights but no signal--so I thought he was stopping to figure this out instead of trying to do it while driving.  But, no!!  He ran into me!!!  He hit hard enough that we bounced a bit.  It was in the right rear, damaging the tire (flattened it!!) and rim plus some dents and scrapes along the wheel well and running board.  He admitted fault immediately (no kidding) and he called in the claim.  Everything will be taken care of while I am in Nevada and California so no worries there.  But I had to tell him that he was very lucky that there was nothing wrong with Aidan (there isn't).  He might not have survived my reaction if there had been!!

And lest you think we haven't been doing any hockey. . .think again!!  Aidan continues his weekly practices plus Cold Rush.  Last night we had a parent meeting to discuss our upcoming travel and tournament schedule.  We're booked through the end of the year now and have a couple more decisions to make for after the first of the year.  It's going to be a really fun season!!!

Have a good rest of the week!!!  Think nice cool thoughts. . .