Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Taylor is going to learn to drive!!

What happened to my 18 month old who used to say "La Lou Merry Much" and who spent the next 8 years (at least) wearing a fur boa tucked into her pants so she could crawl around and be a puppy?
These days she spends time doing high school which means friends(sadly they've replaced us), academics, and racing around the track field, the soccer field, and the basketball court. She still amazes me with her speed but it doesn't suprise me--I have this vision in my mind of a 5-year-old chasing butterflies through the field and catching water snakes and other critters she won't let me mention.
At times I'm baffled by the typical teenage stuff--but notice that I hold very still and listen closely in those rare moments when she graces us with more than a one-syllable response. (To think I used to tune her out when she would talk nonstop about anything and everything)
I miss the carefree little girl but am so pleased when little pieces of what she is becoming inadvertently slip out in conversation. She seems wise beyond her years at times and very poised. Today she was suprisingly a little rattled when we went to the DMV to get set up for Driver's Ed. I sensed this was a rite of passage for her: she double-checked, triple-checked to be sure we had all the necessary documents and then forgot her photo ID. She made sure she fixed her hair and make-up for the picture because she had just come from track practice. She is counting the days until she will be driving and never misses the opportunity to let me know how great it will be when she can get herself home from sports and run errands for me.
I'm sure I'll be grateful and also a little sad at just one more step towards independence and another step away from having to rely on us.

Monday, February 16, 2009

X Country Skiing at Harriman State Park

During the holidays, we had a little getaway up to Island Park with my Brother, Devan and his family. My S-in-Law, Lynn, and I took the kids on their first cross country skiing adventure.
Thank you, Beck Family, for letting us crash your party. It was wonderful!

Jake picked up on X-country fast. He stayed happy and on the move. He and Charlie were the first two back to the car.

Jenna and Louisa. The day was perfect. Blue skies and not to cold. We skied on groomed trails into a warming cabin and had hot chocolate (the perfect motivation to keep the kids moving). The kids were such troopers. We figure they skied over 2 miles.

Jenna Age 6

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Island Park Getaway

Jakie-Blue-Eyes. Love to see this smile on your face, Jake.

At the Cabin in Island Park

We love you Annie!

We can't forget the hot tub. The kids loved the "rainbow lights" on it.

Fun at the Cabin

Grandma Annie bought Louisa and Jenna matching aprons and chef hats. They made cupcakes with Louisa's fancy little cupcake maker.

Sledding in Island Park

Jenna and her Mom

Sledding in Island Park

Jen couldn't get enough of the snowmobile rides with Uncle Devan. This girl has a need for speed. The most memorable moment of this day was watching Jenna take a serious spill down the sledding hill(I think a few flips even). We were all holding our breath expecting the "big cry". But she came up with a face full of snow.....giving us all the thumbs up sign!

Sledding in Island Park

"That was Awesome!" Jake goes down the hill in flames. He loves to crash on purpose.

Sledding in Island Park

Jake and Jenna. These two are fearless little sledders.

Monday, February 9, 2009

FBI Academy 2008

Sunday, January 25, 2009

FBI Academy Summer 2008

Rick at Arlington Cemetery with Washington Monument in the Background

Last Summer Rick had the opportunity to attend a 10-week FBI Law Enforcement Academy. The Academy involved leadership classes, intense physical fitness, and the chance to catch a glimpse of our heritage. For Rick, it was definitely a "Once in a Lifetime" opportunity and he took full advantage of it. He was able to spend time with George Pirro, the man who interrogated Sadam Hussein, Micheal Durrant, the only surviving pilot from the Black Hawk inident in Samalia (the movie Black Hawk Down was based on his story) and many others. Highlights were a trip to Baltimore/Camden Yards to see the Orioles play the Angels, seeing Washington D.C., visiting Battlegrounds, and checking out the Washington Memorial from the top. Definitely an awesome experience--not to mention proving to himself he is capable of college-level work. He left with straight A's and one B+ from the University of Virginia.

FBI Academy Summer 2008

Monday, January 12, 2009

Christmas 2008

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas 2008

Our Christmas Eve Jammies
I have to admit, we had a magical season this year filled with our usual traditions and the company of family and friends. We have a long list of things to be grateful for but we are especially grateful this year for two things: 1. That we are all together after Rick spent 2 1/2 months in Virginia this summer and 2. That we finished building our house and got moved in!