Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First visitors

Our first visitors to Virginia were my sister, Katharine, and her husband, Jarey. They flew here all the way from Oregon to spend their Memorial Day weekend with us! They also spent some time with Jarey's brother and sister-in-law, who live just north of D.C. in Silver Spring, MD. One-stop shopping! We are trying to persuade Katharine and Jarey to move out here next year once he finishes his PhD program.

Both Katharine and Jarey have been to Washington before, so we didn't do too much sight-seeing. One day we showed them our favorite local park, Hidden Pond Park, and another morning we had a visit from our first cousin, Nikki, who lives in D.C.  We did go to Mount Vernon on Saturday, and I took a few photos of John and Lila with their aunt and uncle before we had our picnic lunch there.

Uncle Jarey is a scientist, so one afternoon when the kids were bored, he showed John and Lila how to do an experiment. I can't remember what kind of experiment it was, but it involved water in our kitchen sink, some plastic baggies and straws. The kids loved it!

More photos of the kids with their aunt and uncle:

A few days after Katharine and Jarey left, our longtime Army friends, the Reclas, stayed the night while en route to their new duty station, West Point. We've known 3-year-old Austin Recla since he was born! Austin has a younger sister, Lauren, who is 3 months younger than Lila. The four kiddos get along fabulously well.

John and Austin:

The kids on the couch, getting ready to eat some popsicles:

We've been fortunate enough to see the Reclas three times in one year, despite the fact that we've been stationed across the country from each other. We're hoping to continue this trend now that they're in New York. Not a bad road trip at all!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Moving to Virginia, part 2

Here are some more photos of our townhouse. I finally took a photo of the outside the other day. I've taken quite a few photos of the 1st and 2nd floors of the house but very few of the 3rd (where the bedrooms are), so that's my next project.  
The front of our house:

The kitchen/office area, which is on the 2nd floor at the back of the house:


The family room, which is on the 2nd floor at the front of the house:


The dining room, which is adjacent to the family room:

Close-up of my mom's hutch:

The playroom, which is on the 1st floor at the back of the house:

Lila showing off the "reading nook." The side table was built by my maternal great-grandfather, Ray Taylor. He was a carpenter, and my mom had quite a few of his pieces at her home. The rocking chair may have belonged to the Taylors, but I'm not sure. It is a really awesome chair, but it's extremely old. I tried to make it a little more comfortable (and fashionable) by adding a few pillows.

The kids posing at the work/craft table with their masterpieces:


Posing in front of the "vehicle table," which we got at a garage sale here after we moved. Sometimes the kids set up a showcase of all their vehicles on top of the table. If you take off the top, there's a cool set of tracks for them to use with their Matchbox cars or trains.

Our back deck. It's huge and it has a really nice view of the wooded area behind our townhouse. We all love to hang out there or eat a meal there at our outdoor table.

This Step2 slide is one that we move all around our house and yard. When we first moved in, we had it in our "backyard," which is below the deck. We've also used it on our front driveway, on the grassy area in our neighborhood (in conjunction with our inflatable kiddie pool), and in the playroom. 

Our new Weber grill. Daddy was tempted to buy a much cheaper brand, but I was able to convince him to get the one he really wanted. He LOVES it. Every time he uses it, he raves about how perfectly it cooks the meat. Worth every penny.

The grassy area down the street (literally 3 houses down):

We play baseball, Frisbee, golf, and soccer here. Here are some pictures of Lila on her favorite (but now deflated) purple bouncy ball and some of John just relaxing in the grass.


We've even brought our kiddie pool and slide to the grassy area. (Our "backyard" isn't really level enough to be suitable for the pool, plus there were a ton of mosquitoes back there this summer because of all the trees. Our front yard is the size of a postage stamp, so there's not enough room there.)

And finally, here's the neighborhood playground, which is adjacent to the grassy area. It's small, but it keeps the kids entertained with two "big kid" swings, two balance beams, and a big slide. They love to ride their bikes there.

All in all, it's a pretty fantastic neighborhood. We are so happy living here! Photos of the 3rd floor to come soon.....