S: The Grant Family 2011
FC: The Grant Family 2011
1: It all starts with snow and more snow and more snow and more snow. After a week of the white stuff, we're all pretty sick of the winter wonderland and even the kids want to go back to school.
2: I sure hope crazy isn't contagious because these people have a BAD case of it!
3: At Kroger on Valentine's day William spends a lot of time in the floral department looking at the roses and talking to the associates who worked in the area. After a few minutes, he returns with a rose for Mom and the story unfolds that he really wanted to buy a bouquet of roses but didn't even have enough money for one. The associates are so moved by this adorable little man who wants to surprise his mother for Valentine's day that they cover the difference in cost for him. | Is Love in the Air?
5: Olivia's 10th Birthday
6: It's all fun and games at Gran's house until she decides to whoop us all! To the victor goes the spoils and the tears of her grandson. Is it worth it, Gran? All in the name of Monopoly. | Getting Schooled by Gran
7: Yellow River Game Ranch | It's a super fun day feeding all sorts of critters, chasing some very unhappy peacocks, and playing on the playground with all our Kindergarten friends.
8: Strawberries from the grocery store just don't compare to fresh picked from Washington Farms. Half the fun is finding not only the biggest but also the strangest strawberries. Eating them isn't too bad either.
9: Dad's Model Behavior
10: Easter Celebrations Talking to kids about Jesus and the resurrection is no easy task. William's take on it is simply that bad guys killed Jesus. Well, that will do for now. For the time being, we'll focus on bunnies and eggs and leave theological details for next year. Traditions put on a fun celebration with an egg hunt and a cupcake walk. William doesn't want to walk in the cupcake walk and ends up winning several times whereas Olivia actually tries hard to win and just can't . Time to share some of your spoils, little brother!
11: The Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt is a new addition to our Easter celebration and it is a hit. The kids search high and low for eggs with words like God, Jesus, Spring, and Easter written on them. This results in a few interesting exclamations such as Erica's report, "All I need is God." Can't wait to do it again next year!
12: Happy Birthday Dad! Dad thinks if he hangs with a young crowd those candles won't pile up every year. Yeah, good luck with that.
13: Thanks to Mrs. Dietz, Ms. Hacker, and Mrs. Venable for an awesome year. We're well prepared for First Grade and Fifth Grade now!
15: Hey Batter Batter Swing Batter Batter We have a season of fun watching #7 try his hardest out on the field. We might not win too often, but we look real good out there!
16: We learn quickly that we REALLY don't like Dad being away from us while he is in Virginia during the summer. The one positive note is that we have a great first trip to see him. On our first night, we try to visit DC, but everything is blocked off and then it rains torrentially. Turns out there was some suspicious activity in the area and the police have to seal off many of the streets. From then on, we steer clear of the Capitol.Our first outing is to Occoquan where O and Will search for all the reported ghosts of the little river town. Alas, no haints for us on this trip.
18: We interrupt the trip to bring you...Geese We actually have to stop a few times to let the geese cross the street and they are in absolutely no hurry to get where they're going! | As Seen on TV Olivia really wants a cupcake from DC Cupcakes after having seen a few episodes of the show at home, but after seeing the mile long line that stretches along the side of the store and up the street, she decides a photo would do.
19: The National Air and Space Museum offers an opportunity to see amazing fetes in air travel. The simulators are a little too realistic for Olivia who doesn't care for the 360 rolls that Mom pulls but just to sit in a cockpit makes it all worth while. The girls have fun, but this trip is an especial joy for the boys.
21: The long drive to Luray Caverns through the twisting and winding Shenandoah National Park is all for the parents. After a few nice views, the kids are ready for the next fun thing. Seeing Yogi is cool and of course, we have to stop and take a picture! Hey, BooBoo, check out who's in the pickanic basket!
23: Stalactites and Stalagmites! Oh, my! We love Luray Caverns. The natural sights are amazing and the cool underground is a nice break from the sweltering heat up above. There is no way to capture the beauty of the caverns on film. You just have to see it for yourself.
24: Fourth of July in Washington, DC For our second trip to DC, Gran goes with us and we have a wonderful time, even if it doesn't go as planned. I am determined to see all the museums and monuments and share the Bill of Rights with Olivia after she has studied it in school. The trip in my mind will culminate with us enjoying 4th of July Fireworks on the mall where we will sing while holding hands just like the VonTrapps. Well...here's what really happens.
25: It's clear Olivia's got no love for the Nation's Capitol. In her defense, it is REALLY hot and I have tried to pack too much into one day. Still, she doesn't have to look SO miserable. Ah, the beauty of prepubescence.
26: Everyone's mood improves once we find air conditioning at the Smithsonian. | Everywhere we turn, people are taking this shot of the Washington Monument. Will has to as well. Look. Ma, a big q-tip. | After studying all about Lincoln at school, it is a real treat for Will to see the monument in person. | As close as William will allow his sister to get in a photo with him.
27: She's not mad anymore; this is just a great shot that we can't resist taking! | I could visit all the Smithsonian museums and stay for hours, but apparently museums are boring. No one told me. | The boy and his boats. I'm just glad he doesn't ask to bring this one home with us. | I really thought Dad would back me on seeing all the museums, but he sides with the kids.
28: Happy Birthday, America! You go, girl! The plan is to find the perfect spot on the mall to witness the Capitol's fireworks with Lee Greenwood belting "God Bless the USA" in the background and jets flying overhead as my national pride swells within. It's a bucket list thing for me. Problem is, security is super tight and it will take hours to get out of DC provided we ever get in, can find a place to park, and can locate the car afterwards. Plan B is even better. We enjoy great food and carnival rides in downtown Manassas. The fireworks are spectacular and we don't have to fight traffic and possible terrorists. That's an American WIN and Bucket Lists are slightly overrated!
30: Kids eating ice cream...must be the first day of school
31: Argh! Thar be treasure at this gatherin' Even after a night of some serious partying (those are rootbeers by the way), William is ready to celebrate his 7th Birthday with a Pirate themed party.
32: Annual Family Trip to Burt's Pumpkin Patch
33: Trick or Treat Smell My Feet Give me Something Good to Eat
34: The tree hugger and the animal lover.
35: Sumo wrestling brings these two together.
36: O's Christmas Bash Sure you can invite 48 Fifth graders to our house for a Christmas party and of course I'll make 120 cupcakes with homemade cream cheese icing. It's a little crazy, but it is also the talk of the school and makes my baby girl really happy. But I don't know that we'll ever do that again!
37: Dance party, yard surfing, a cupcake fight, a silly string fight, and a real fight make this one eventful party!
39: Gran and Da's visit brings jammies for the kids, movies and more for Mom and Dad, and even some beef jerky for Roxy.
40: Cookie Party! 10 kids + Lots of sugar cookies + 2 pounds of sprinkles + a gallon of icing = I'm crazy!
41: Our bad little elves party too hard right along with Olivia's friends and spend the next day passed out in a pool of maple syrup and cupcakes. Tsk tsk tsk! They eventually clean it all up the next day and are contrite, but let's hope they are better behaved in 2012. | Eli and ellie: This Season's Misadventures
42: Christmas Eve at Nana's House Of course, she gives Santa a run for his money with all the presents, but the whole family has fun opening gifts and watching the kids put on a Christmas show. Dad has to add some lights so we can all see and the talk of the night is him standing on one of Nana's tables. Truly the Nightmare Before Christmas!
45: The true meaning of Christmas? According to William it's hugging people for presents and celebrating baby Jesus who was born in Mexico. Well, at least he's close.