Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Break 2011

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words. (What I think this really translates to is "I'll spare you the thousand words and post some pictures that explain things quite clearly.")

In lieu of a thousand words - spring break was very memorable, with some great trips and outings and adventures. I've photo-journaled most of the highlights below, but the ones that didn't make the cut include movie night (Karate Kid, the Jackie Chan version); seeing the cherry blossoms (they were beautiful, but past their peak; there was a lot of crabbiness during this time, hence, no photos); swimming in the hotel pool (Jeff scared Pax to death with his cannonball); reading by headlamp in the hotel room (Jeff, to the kids; The Neverending Story); and tons of tree climbing and stick finding all over Virginia and D.C.! The rest is chronicled below:

Beach Day with friends - the temperature was a gorgeous 75 degrees and the sun was bright!

Rock Climbing - All of us except for Pax (who stayed with Grandma and Grandpa) got to climb! It was really fun to belay the kids, and fun for Jeff and I to belay each other. Planting seeds for our future garden - we spent one day at Grandma's house, planting seed annuals like dahlias and veggies and birdhouse gourds as well.

An overnight adventure to Washington, D.C.! We arrived at the height of the tension surrounding the possible government shut-down. It was a surreal moment to be on the Mall, surrounded by Planned Parenthood supporters juxtaposed near the ultra-conservative, fundamentalist religious right who were predicting Doomsday - only 43 days left until the End of the World, according to these passionate demonstrators! I felt pride and love for my country, I really did, to bear witness, quite literally, to our first amendment rights.

Our picnic was delicious, the weather was glorious, and it was an unforgettable day.
Still, kids get cranky and tired no matter how gorgeous the flowers and no matter how free our speech might be. This is the last decent shot before meltdowns abounded:
We all perked up after happy hour (juice for the kids; wine for the wise ones) and a dip in the pool. We headed to a great little Asian-American restaurant where the kids floored me by eating with chopsticks - so perfectly! They were very cleverly designed; I found a link to make them at home. In our kitchen we have a black and white picture of Aidan, taken at about age 14 months, in this exact spot and style. We decided to replicate the photo with all three boys. It will look even better in B&W, I think!
I love the feeling I get when I see this picture. We were all so happy, fully recovered from the day's earlier crabbiness and general fatigue that inevitably accompanies adventure. We were about to feast on Ben & Jerry's ice cream and stroll the town, well past bedtime but happy as could be. We used the self-timer for the shot, which always makes me laugh, too.
Mischief in the morning. Leo is wearing said headlamp from the previous night's reading, and annoying the crap out of Aidan. Aidan is trying to ignore him as he's fully engrossed in a Pokemon Tyflosion!
Back home, there were puppet shows. Aidan's was about a knight, a dragon, and a castle. Leo's was about two monsters, one of whom had a very large ear! Their creativity is endlessly delightful to me.These cutout kids actually came from a church activity, and they were so cute, I had to find a more permanent place for them. I never dread coming down to the basement to get something now that I am greeted by these cheerful cuties!

I saved this photo for the very end, because it is my all-time favorite. I adore the crazy camera angle, and I love how happy everyone looks - is - in the photo. It pretty much sums up our lives: kinda crazy and off-kilter, sometimes with a gray background, but at the center - love.

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