Sunday, July 19, 2009

North Carolina

North Carolina was our last stop. We met all of Jim's brothers and his parents there. It was very relaxing, and a perfect last stop on our journey. Rocking chairs are everywhere in NC. We enjoyed them where ever we went. It adds to that peaceful, laid back feel of the place.

Boogie boarding was an everyday event.

The kiddos played with their cousin all day long...

Jim and I enjoyed some long walks on the beach.

Ocean Isle, NC is very peaceful and beautiful. The water is warm, and calm. It was a perfect ending to our vacation. I still feel like I am soaking in how wonderful our summer has been this year. Each stop on our trip was wonderful, but there were no regrets about moving on to the next wonderful stop. Each stop seemed to be exactly what we needed at the time-the excitement of Paris, the reunion with friends in Sweden, a few days with my sister in NY, mostly hanging at her house, time in PA in a very special community with friends and family, then a relaxing time on the beach with Jim's family. It was just perfect. I am so grateful.


We did so many things in Pennsylvania, including meeting an old friend at a gym camp one day to play. It was great fun.

Met another friend at one of PA's state parks. This one, RB Winter, will be closing this summer as part of budget cuts in PA. We wanted to get there before the closure.

Grandma took the whole week off work to spend with us, and we had so much fun with her and grandpa.

We had to go the the Elk Creek Cafe a few times for dinner, it is just so delicious!

Grandma drove us to BWI to catch our flight to NC. We had a wonderful time in beautiful PA. Such a fabulous community. I definitely would like to move back someday...sooner than later! I would love for my children to experience living in central PA. For now, we will just have to plan more visits.

New York

We had a great visit with my sister and her family in New York. My sister took us on a hike in the woods around her house.

They have a few animals on their 25 acres in the woods, including chickens.

They also had Evelyn, the sheep. She was missing for most of our visit, but was found the last day a few miles away.

Quinn helped in the garden.

Keegan and Lena had ice cream at a small shop that sold home made ice cream. We had a bonfire one night, and just enjoyed simple pleasures and good company in a beautiful, green place. Then, we were on to PA.


Our stay in Sweden was so special because we were visiting our friends! We stayed with them in Sandviken. Quinn went to school with Elena 2 days, and on our only sunny day, we enjoyed our afternoon at the farm where Petra boards her horses. It was so beautiful, and so much fun!

It was a thrill when Petra ran the horses down the lane.

Keegan loved the open spaces.

We went to a lake.

There were lupines everywhere.

Quinn and Elena at Elena's end of year program for school.

Carl Linne's(the man responsible for creating the binomial nomenclature system!) house and gardens in Uppsala. We saw quite a few wonderful gardens in Sweden.

After a quick stop in Uppsala, we all went to Stockholm. We spend one day at Skansen. The kiddos fed the camels...and fed them and fed them and fed them.

A very narrow street in Old town.

Keegan adored Sebastian...I guess we all did! Thank you Petra for a wonderful week. I hope we can visit again someday! We also got to meet some of my mom's relatives who live in Uppsala. We had a wonderful lunch with them at their home. Would be great to see them again too someday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We had a fabulous vacation. Each leg of our trip was wonderful. I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed everything. I just feel bliss when I remember our travels, the people and places. Paris was our first stop.

Quinn tried to get the Mona Lisa smile down at our visit to the Louvre.

The cheese in France was glorious! We enjoyed it every night that we were there.

The whole gang at Versailles.

Walking through the grounds of Versailles. It was a big group to keep together, but we did pretty good!

A moment in the gardens.

Notre Dame...we climbed to the top!

La Tour Eiffel...we made it to the second level.

The Louvre at night. Right across the street from the flat where we stayed, a great location.

Keegan, having his portrait done in Place Du Tertre, Montmartre. All the kiddos had one done, as I had 20 years ago!

Ah, Giverny, Monet's house and gardens. We went to the Orsay Museum the day before and saw many of his paintings. His gardens were delightful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Keegan's 10th Birthday

Keegan's 10th birthday in Paris! Just where he wanted to be. On the birthday eve, we celebrated in our flat with a fruit cake and a poetry reading. All of our family that was in Paris with us had written a poem for Keegan. It was a wonderful night.

Uncle Devin took his turn. It was a funny one, and Keegan has me read it over and over.

EuroDisney on June 4.

Keegan gets to be with Ryland, one of the greatest gifts of all.

Each poem was so special. Each person wrote their poem in a book that Keegan keeps by his bedside and asks me to read each one when I tuck him in.

For Keegan from mom....

There's a light that is shining in my heart
The light is a fire that my soul did start

The fire is fueled with deeds of courage, wisdom and with love
I lit the fire and keep it burning, this is who I am proud of

When I reach a crossroads and choose the way to go
The fire inside can guide me, if I feel its glow
Sometimes I may not choose its path, and ergo the fire may dim
Then I will know to gather sticks and stoke the fire's brim

I'll burn it bright and hot and true and remember what is inside me
This is the me I know and love, it is the bona-fide me!

I'll burn it bright and hot and true and treasure my quintessence
This is the me I know and love, it is my luminescence!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bon Voyage

We are leaving tomorrow for 5 weeks of travel.  Paris, France, then Sandviken and Stockholm, Sweden,  then High Falls, NY,  then Penns Valley, PA, and last Ocean Isle, NC.  I feel a little crazy, trying to pack, finishing up the school year a little early(I think we will not do that next year), test the kiddos early for TKD tonight, celebrate Keegan's birthday at school this morning, get the house ready to leave, and Quinn has an ear infection that needs attention today.  AHHHHH!

But it will all be ok tomorrow.  We will board the first plane for NY, and officially begin our adventure.  We are all very excited.  Hopefully I can figure out how to post pictures from my iphone...we will see. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fun stuff..

The Springs Preserve for Mother's Day.  We wondered around the gardens.  It was a beautiful day.

We took a fieldtrip on Friday to see a homeschool production of The Taming Of The Shrew.  Tricia was the Shrew.  It was an inspiring production.  And the kiddos had fun with their Life Learner friends.  Afterward, they all came over for lunch and play.  It was a great day, just like old homeschooling times....  
Quinn with Tricia, the shrew.  All the costumes were made by the parents.

What to do when you are grounded at our house...

We were all feeling a little off... rushed, we took a week to get grounded.  That means, we slow way down, take care of ourselves, do not schedule any extras, no playdates, and we take a techno break, so no screentime.  
That week, our praying manthis hatched.  We had about 75 babies to feed.  I think they waited for us to be grounded, because if we were rushing around as usual, we may have had a hard time catching enough insects to feed them...

The kiddos rediscover "together time".  They dug out the art supplies, and enjoyed creating together. 

Of course there was time to get naked and go swimming.

The Brio trains have not been out of their chest in years...but the kids had a fun time making a layout together.

The Lincoln Logs can't compete with video games, but when the video games are away....

The week had us reading every night, playing games together, talking, getting to bed on time, eating healthy, talking at meals, doing things together, and being peaceful together.  The kids had a chance to reconnect.  We felt great by the end...we love getting grounded...