Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Quaintness of Life on the Eastern Shore

Yesterday was one of those days you have to remember.  We started it off by spending a couple of hours at the Cove.  It's a small beach area on the Chesapeake Bay side of the Eastern Shore.  It's perfect because the water is really no more than waist high for children for a couple hundred yards.  The only downside can be the tiny jellyfish which seem to come more when the water has warmed - which hasn't been a problem this year.

Sophie, Joshua and I are still on our own for a few more days so one of our jobs is Matt's garden.  It's a plot of land owned by a ward member's father about 20-25 minutes from our house.  It's one of Matt's hobbies.  It's where he gets to be a little bit of the farmer that he really is.  :)  We have a smaller garden at our house, but this other one is where Matt gets to really dig in.

Based on the geography of our home, the Cove, and our bigger garden, it made more sense to go directly from the Cove to the garden via the ferry.

The Eastern Shore has quite a few waterways throughout it, and a few of them have ferries.  It's very cool, and hasn't gotten old in the four years we've been here.  So Joshua, Sophie and I took off from our morning at the beach and explored the back roads of the Shore.  It was beautiful!  If I weren't driving I would've provided pictures. 

Soon we were in line for the ferry.
Sophie asked who lived in that big house.  When I told her it was a Bed & Breakfast, kind of like a hotel, she said it didn't look like a hotel.  :)

These small ferries hold two vehicles, or maybe three small cars.  Soon enough the ferry had made its way back to our side and we and the truck in front of us drove on board.
It's a short ride, less than five minutes, but pretty awesome.

We wound our way through more back country and I kept thinking, "I'd be willing to drive a little farther to church and shopping to be able to live out here."

Soon we were at our garden.  Holy Smoke, Matt would be proud.  It's doing awesome!  In fact I was ill-prepared for the bounty.  So we ended up turning on the water, weeding a bit, filling our 6-gallon bucket with tomatoes and other produce, and then took off farther south to the nearest town to get another bucket.  The plan was to visit a local creamery for a tasty Eastern Shore ice cream cone as well, but I couldn't seem to find the place.  I have a better idea of where it is now, so that's on our to-do list at the end of the week when we go to harvest more.

When we got back to the garden we turned off the water and picked some more.  We ended up with this.
So today our home smells of onions, tomatoes and garlic as we make spaghetti sauce.  Sophia loves the idea of harvesting and preserving food for the winter.  She's a true Laura Ingalls Wilder kind of gal and true gardener at heart.  She'll often say that we need to go check "our crops". 

What a wonderful day.  We returned home so thankful for where we live and the simple pleasure of a garden.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Capitol Fourth

By this point all my intentions of staying in chronological order have gone out the window.  With that in mind, here's a bucket list event we checked off in July.

Matt's a huge fan of PBS Memorial Day and Independence Day programs, the one's that usually rerun on a Sunday night of music, celebrities and a whole lot of patriotic fanfare.  Ever since we moved here he thought it would be fun to go to one of these celebrations at the U.S. Captiol, but the idea of throngs of humanity kept us away.  Finally last year he said, "Let's go for the Capitol Fourth." 

Armed with advice from friends who've gone, we parked at one of the farthest out train stations and commuted in.  After weaving our way through security we found there was plenty of lawn space in front of the Capitol, as long as you were okay with being in the wings.  We were totally fine with that, and settled in for a couple hour wait before the show started.  Some of our friends came shortly after and that added to the fun.
By the time the show started it was pretty packed, but there was room enough to dance along if you wanted to ... which Sophia did.  :)
The show was surprisingly short - only about 75-90 minutes, which was just perfect for our crew.  The fireworks themselves were only 15-20 minutes long.  But it was pretty cool seeing them with the backdrop of the Washington Monument.

A ton of people started packing up to leave just as the fireworks were starting, so by the time they were finished, we left with relative ease.  We walked back to the underground station.  We had to wait in a line for about 15 minutes to get onto the jam-packed trains, but we learned later that our wait was a breeze compared with our friends' two hour wait.  They went to a station right at the heart of the Mall, along with just about every other Tom, Dick and Harry.  We got home by 1 a.m., and they rolled in at 3 a.m.  (the drive home takes about 2 1/2 hrs).

It was pretty neat.  Probably not something we'll do every year, but on occasion. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Joshua's language

This boy of ours has more personality than you can shake a stick at.

He was very non-verbal for a while and I started to wonder if he was following in Wes' footsteps, but over these last several months, he's grown into his own little language.  He's got a lisp that will either correct itself eventually (Kate's did), or we'll help him with a Smartie method that Matt's cousin shared with us last month.  But for now it's really cute.

Joshua's language is a whole lot more than verbal though ... that picture above captures it perfectly.  One of Sophia's favorite things to do now is to ask Joshua to go cross-eyed.  He's masterful at it.  He reminds me a lot of Kate, which means he doesn't require the sleep that Wes and Sophie do; he's very high energy.  Which tells me that this little guy is going places - we just need to help direct him in the right way.  ;)

Just today I was making Monkey Bread and I said, "Joshua, are you my little monkey?"  To which he answered, "No, Mommy, I a people!"

He's a keeper.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity, Jig

We had a lovely almost-3-weeks away from home in July.  I don't have the camera with me (and am hoping it's with Matt), but I do have some phone pics I've sent to myself.  At some point I'll document our trip, which included a detour to Texas, because I've committed myself to journaling more - mostly because it's so much fun to go back through and read.

But in the meantime Sophia, Joshua and I are home.  Matt, Wes, and Kate are still partying like it's 2009 (since 2/3rd of them weren't born yet  in 1999:)) in Utah. 

There was such a whirlwind of events leading up to our trip (Young Women's Camp, youth conference planning, school meetings, etc), that now that we're back, I feel a bit lost.  With no pressing deadlines, I find myself wandering.  So I've made some deadlines of my own, which all point to when our family will be reunited. 

Sophie and Joshua are making the most of it, but will tell me, no less than 3x per day, that they miss Dad, or Wes, or Kate.
We've hung out at the playground a few times and eaten fast food so many times that I'm embarrassed at my parenting skills.  But it's reminded me of how quickly I've forgotten this stage of a child's life.  It's a lot more interactive.  And it's also shown me how much attention Wes and Kate demand (not in a bad way).  They just seem to run things a little more in our home and Sophie and Joshua go along for the ride.  So when they're the only one's there, it's a very different dynamic. 

Just some observations as we're hanging out for a while.