Monday, April 30, 2012

The Good Pirate Jesse

He is a good pirate, super excited for his 4th birthday - a pirate party. 
Arrrrr Matey!

 He would only answer to the name Captain Hook for the day.

 Josie got into the theme and wore this hat almost the entire day!

 A good old fashioned treasure hunt in the backyard to include being attacked my cannonballs which they had to pop to find their next clue.

 Walking the plank included a trap - being attacked by silly string!

 Following the treasure map...the kids were not as skilled at this as I thought they would be.

 Nevertheless, the treasure was still found!

 Blowing out the candles on his pirate ship birthday cake. The food included peg legs, rubies and emeralds, doubloons, goldfish, pirate's booty, and shark's blood!

Happy 4th birthday Jesse! 

We had a great time planning this party which included more reunions...a family from Hawaii we hadn't seen in 2 years, a family from Ohio that moved here as well, and a new family from across the street.  Something we prayed for here was friends in the neighborhood for all the kids.  Jesse has become buddies with 2 little boys across the street.  They sit outside for hours playing with cars, riding bikes in the alley, and having nerf gun fights.  It brings tears to my eyes every time I watch them.  It was a joy to have them be part of Jesse's special day...a bash I feel would make any pirate captain very happy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


DC has been the hub for us to reunite with many friends that have either moved to the DC area or are just passing through.  We can't believe we have only been here 3 weeks and have already had so many reunions. We are loving it!
Anna with good friend from Hawaii Mia Belmear enjoying a trolley ride.
 Asher with Carter Belmear and Liam and Christian Sullivan.
Enjoying gelato in old town Alexandria.
Thorsons, Belmears, and Sullivans reunite!
Joel with good friend from VT and Boston Kevin Gagnier catching up while attending a baseball game.

Not a reunion photo but too amazing not to include.  This was Joel's view of the space shuttle Discovery's last flight from the roof of his work building.  It did a fly over all throughout the area.
And this doesn't include photos of reunions with the Colaw and Beers families and we know of others to come!!  So exciting!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Introducing 42860 Nashua Street

 Our amazing fenced in back yard.  The owners left swing structure for us.

 Our main living room complete with a fireplace.  Through the windows, you can see the backyard and detached garage.

 "Formal dining room".  We are not really formal dining room kind of people but our table wouldn't fit in the kitchen and we didn't want to drag the kids into this space every time they eat so we now have a formal dining room.  Right now it has some of my craft projects out on it.  That is how I am busying myself while Joel is at work full time again.

 The other half of the main living room.  It has our computer desk, piano, and all important rug that is the boys race track.

 The kitchen. That door leads to the back yard.

 Our bedroom. The house was painted when we moved in and we loved all the colors.  The boys room is the only room we had to paint (because it was purple).

 My favorite space...our master bathroom.  We have never had our own bathroom before and now I don't think I can ever give it up!

The basement.  It is the family TV room/kids space.

The other half of basement...toy heaven! The basement also has a guest bedroom/bath so everyone is welcome to visit!

We absolutely love this house and feel so blessed.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Blessings

Easter was truly a time of thankfulness for us...praise for Christ Jesus who defeated death and for the resurrection power that lives in us each day. It is that power that enables me to face each day of uncertainty in a new place. It is hard to be "church hunting" on Easter Sunday but out we went even so. We enjoyed a wonderful church with lots of potential that we are definitely going to check out again. We know God has a church home already waiting for us and we can't wait to find it!

Easter weekend is usually filled with lots of traditions for us, fun traditions and traditions that point to Jesus. However this year I am ashamed to say that many of those traditions fell by the wayside. I didn't even send out my usual Easter cards this year! We were able to still enjoy each other and do some fun activities.

Dying Easter eggs is a must. The kids wouldn't let me forget that one!

Thank you to my wonderful husband who took charge of this activity while I got my many marathon training miles in.

A new tradition this year: planting magic jelly beans. Asher was smart enough to see the "Starburst" symbol on the jelly beans so if you decide to do this...get generic ones! However he still chooses to believe in the magic of it all.

And in the morning we found giant lollipops had grown! Anna saw them out the window and came running into our room to excitedly get us out of bed.

Josie didn't have too much fun planting the jelly beans (she wanted to eat them), but she liked the lollipop!

The biggest blessing of Easter was still having family to celebrate with. Joel's Aunt Priscilla and Uncle Pat live an hour away and had us over for a lovely Easter dinner and Joel's cousin Alison did a marvelous color coded egg hunt for the kids.

Josie loved playing with the eggs.

Jesse was exhausted after a fun filled day of celebrating!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Since the kids are on spring break and Joel is on leave, we escaped the boxes for the day and headed into Washington D.C. for the day. Asher and Anna have been so excited to see the White House and it was a perfect diversion from the mess at home. The poor kids have been ignored a lot while we unpack so it was very nice to have a family day with no time pressure on when we had to be back. The were very disappointed that they couldn't go knock on the White House door and meet Barack. I mean why wouldn't he answer his door if he lives there?

We spent most of our time there walking the mall area and educating the kids on our country and the history. To our surprise, Asher knew more than we did! He loved filling us in on lots of the details.

We were super glad we weren't looking for Poppy's name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Such a sobering sight.

Asher wants to know if he can be called "Honest Ash". We said we hope he is known as that of course!

Our little explorers for the day. We all had a blast!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Graduation day. After 18 months of late late nights and hard work, Joel did it! He received his Master's in electrical engineering. I am not sure he thought this day would ever come...our whole reason for moving on a whirlwind tour to Dayton, OH. Graduation was amazing. It was in the Air Force Museum so the stage and audience were surrounded by World War II history and planes.

Joel parent's came for the ceremony. Leslie prided herself of cheering the louder than anyone. She did do a pretty good job! and bless their hearts-they were amazing for the 5 days they were with us...sleeping in temporary lodging with us, watching kids at the drop of a hat as we had ER visits, house cleaning and walk through, car weighing, goodbye dinners, and a date! Thank you Larry and Leslie!!

and we all couldn't be prouder of Joel!

Graduation then brought us to the big move to Ashburn, VA . The kids survived the drive and hotel stay much better than we thought they would! As the boxes rolled in and the stress level rose, I found myself wondering how in the world we keep doing this. This is move #7 for us! I keep thinking it gets easier but it really doesn't. God just gives us a new perspective. We are in love with our new house and neighborhood. Kids are everywhere, neighbors are amazing, it truly is a community that so far has welcomed us with open arms and smiles. As soon as the house looks as nice on the inside as it does on the outside, I will post some pictures.

Anna and Asher are ecstatic about riding the school bus. It is literally a 5 minute ride with only 3 stops on the whole route (they are stop #2). Our neighbor's daughter has taken them under her wing and sits with them and walks home with them. The bus driver knows them by name and welcomed us to the neighborhood. They are loving their new school and Joel and I have been amazed by it as well. Again, everyone knew our names and made the kids feel right at home. I peeked in on Asher at lunch who already has a pack of boys he runs with and he looked so happy.

Joel and I keep joking that we live in Mayberry. Seriously we walk outside and get a "Howdy neighbor" from at least one person. Even the mailman (Gus) left us a welcome note in our mailbox. The kids roam the alley and sidewalks freely playing games of basketball and baseball. The girls next door (in this picture) keep coming over to play with our kids in the back yard and are babysitting age (smiles from me). They even set up a lemonade stand with our kids today while Joel and I worked in the yard! It is everything we prayed for and more. We are so moved by God's goodness and know that he also has a church home just waiting for us as well.