Backlog clear!

These photos seem appropriate to clearing out the backlog for 2015.  This was Georgia’s experiment but Owen wanted to be part of the action.  It’s the classic Mentos and Coke geyser which we took into the street because we didn’t want the mess on the driveway.  Better to share it with the neighbors, right?

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On realizing it shot WAY over his head…

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No, they didn’t get to drink the leftovers.

Jack-o-lantern carvers at work

Halloween included a trip into Louisiana where the kids carved pumpkins with Grammie and Paw Paw, played in Aunt Tricia’s pool, and got rained on a lot.  It was the puppies first road trip and they did beautifully.

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Pitbulls and Parolees

Early in the year while we were living in temporary housing, Owen discovered the show Pitbulls & Parolees, which follows a family that runs a shelter for abandoned pit bull dogs and employees parolees in an attempt to find a second chance for both dogs and people who society throws away.  Owen was enthralled and pretty soon we were all watching the show.  The group started in California but relocated to New Orleans post-Katrina.  On one of our trips into New Orleans, we rode over to take the tour and see their operations.  Michael’s main concern was that we would not come home with a dog.  We did not.  But Owen did come away convinced that Tia can do anything.  So, last month, when we saw an obviously nursing dog loose on Broad, he was beside himself until he knew we had contacted Villa Lobos.  It was enough for him that Villa Lobos knew there was a dog in need.  No further rescue required from Mom and Dad.

Advancement

When we moved, Owen had to go back to the beginning of the belt scale in Tae Kwan Do but he’s back on track.  This fall, he tested for his blue belt which is his highest rank to date.  Once he hit yellow, testing involved breaking boards.  The last couple of tests have been private, which gives us a better shot at pictures.  These are from his double test, where he jumped from yellow straight to green, skipping orange.  He gets to keep his broken boards so he has a nice little collection going in his room.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

Being in a new house means figuring out how to decorate for Christmas.  This Advent has been a much more relaxed pace for us: we spent the first week settling in, then we pulled everything down and started placing stuff around the house, and this weekend we bought a tree (note to self: buy tree earlier next year as they were almost gone).  The kids took their teachers gifts to school today.  We almost have the menu sorted.  The cookie dough is already in the freezer.  Owen is wondering if he’s going to get a letter from Santa.  The puppies haven’t attacked the tree (yet?)…

Carol of the Bells performance

This weekend, Georgia’s dance company had a community performance of their Holiday Express show which gave us an opportunity to video and take pictures.

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Virginia’s Historic Triangle or, Georgia’s Calling Found

In September, the kids got a Fall break.  I’d never heard of such a thing but was glad to take the opportunity to travel to visit friends.  Well, we kind of invaded the house and they were nice enough to let us.  While everyone was at school or work, we explored Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown.  We would show up when school let out and spend the afternoon and evening visiting.  Saturday was for football–back when LSU’s season was still fun to watch.

At Williamsburg, Georgia met folks whose job entailed dressing in period costume and talking about history…five minutes in, she was ready to sign up for that gig.  The admittance also includes a game you play on your smart phone–you follow directions to meet up with spies and supporters to keep the Revolution alive.  Very well done and engaging.  Of course the kids had to have costumes of their own.  Of course!

While in Yorktown at breakfast, we saw a submarine being towed to harbor.  That doesn’t happen every day (for us, at least.  I’m sure it’s a regular occurrence for the Yorkies).  Jamestown has a mature historic center, with a great museum, replicas of Native villages and English ships.  Yorktown has a fledging center with the beginning of a museum and some farm buildings and an army camp area.  It’ll grow into a nice facility like Jamestown with time.  In Jamestown, Owen was offered an indentured servitude position on a ship.  In Yorktown, Georgia got to be a powder monkey.  On this trip, we were traveling with Flat Francis in honor of the Pope’s visit.  Their school created a slide show of all the places Flat Francis visited over Fall Break.

 

On the drive home, we stopped at Duke University to attend Mass at the Catholic  Center.  The campus was lovely, the student-provided music beautiful.  It was a nice way meet our Mass obligation and stretch our legs.  Georgia was entranced and decided that Duke is on the short list of colleges she’d like to attend.