Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Happy Summer!

I can finally say those two words because it's FINALLY summer. The solstice came and went last weekend and we celebrated with going to the Summer Solstice Festival in Blacksburg.

But really, we've been celebrating summer for a couple of weeks now, it seems. It's been quite hot and Ian's body weight has been mostly consisting of watermelon for the last month or so.
 With short hikes with friends, time at the pool, play dates, chicken-visiting, and playing with Leif, we've kept quite busy.

It never quite feels like summer until I've been to The Pinery and that happens NEXT WEEK! Ian and I will be there to visit with my parents, brother, and my uncle and his family from Washington state. I cannot wait to meet my newest cousins and to see Ian enjoying the river in all its glory.

Friday, June 12, 2015


So far, this is the only picture I have of our new friends, Chris & Jessica. Jess and I met at storytime by happenstance, since Iris normally is in preschool during that time. Anyway, about two weeks later we were over at their house for tree planting and dinner. Since then, we've gotten together at least once a week (almost). 
We have been really grateful for their friendship. They have a wealth of knowledge about all things farming/gardening/nature and they are incredible foodies/chefs!! They're really fascinating people (much cooler than us). Chris taught Jim how to butcher rabbits and Jim's worked on Chris' hurt shoulder.

 The BEST thing about this friendship is that they have a sweet little girl to go with our sweet little boy.
 They've become very good friends in a few short months. Each of them asks for the other almost daily. Iris points to the seats at her table and names our names for each spot, since we have our usually seats.
 Ian asks for "Aras" and "Cuckeye" (their dog, Buckeye) often.
 Today we played with Iris while Jessica had an appointment. They have a great outdoor play area!

 They even ate cake!! Iris' birthday just passed, but we are celebrating on Sunday!
 And did the slack line.
They are so cool.
And super sweet.

New friends are great!! We look forward to more times together.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


The last two weeks have been less than awesome as chicken owners. Let's just say we've learned a few lessons the hard way. Today, though, we received our first egg and that is cause for some celebration.

Monday, June 1, 2015

DSF & Family Reunion

Every Memorial Day Weekend, my family gathers together for the Delaplane Strawberry Festival. This year my dad switched to a different church and became their choir director, but my parents still volunteered for the festival. Most of my childhood I volunteered, too. Now, with a toddler, it's a bit harder.

This year our get-together was more like a reunion!! Our whole family hasn't been together since... well... the festival last year? Correct me if I'm wrong, everyone. Phoebe & James were living in France since September and Willem has been in shows throughout the year. Whenever we've been together it's been just a few of us, but not the whole group. In fact, the last whole-family picture we have of the whole gang was while I was still pregnant with Ian!! It was in the summer before he was born and now he's 20 months old. Crazy.

Anyway, I was bound and determined to get a picture with everyone during this visit. 

Our first morning there, Grumps spotted a deer in the front yard and shared it with Ian.
Grumps also gave Ian a very special gift!! No longer will we have to listen to the painfully out-of-tune and twangy xylophones we have here. No sir. Now we have a beautiful and authentic xylophone to call our own! Ian is mesmerized by it. He plays the notes up high and down low. He plays them fast and slow. He uses both hands or just one. Oh what fun!!
Thank you, Grumps, for such a wonderful gift.
He takes it pretty seriously. I love his expression in the photo below.
Eventually everyone was up and ready to hike over to the festival. My parents live right on the Appalachian Trail which is handy for hiking, and especially handy for hiking over to the festival!!! It's one of our favorite little traditions. The festival appears like Brigadoon, when you head down over the hill. I love it.

Here are the many family pictures we took. Unfortunately, to get the view Dad wanted, we also have some shadows to deal with. That's okay. We were all together!!

Ian was asleep at the time we all agreed to meet, so we gathered around him in the stroller! Left to right: Samanda, Willem, Mom, Ian, Dad, Me, Jim, Phoebe & James.
This one has the added face of Leif ;)
And Phoebe's friend, Bailey, was visiting that weekend, so we got a picture with her.
We're so excited for these two who each recently signed their first contracts for full-time teaching positions!!! Phoebe will be teaching upper school English at Highland School, where she went to high school and where Dad teaches. James will be teaching Spanish and coaching sports, among a few other things, at The Hill School, where we all went to school through eighth grade and where Mom teaches. They'll be living near Mom & Dad in a sweet place where we cannot wait to visit them starting in August!! Congrats, guys!

Our little sleeping beauty...
Unfortunately, the original five's (plus Ian) picture turned out a bit too dark. Oh well!!

Love those siblings of mine.
The tractor made it's grand photo-bombing presence just in time!!
And just when we thought it we were done, someone we knew walked by and took a picture of the entire gang.
Soon we all headed back to the mountain, some in vehicles. 
Well, actually all of us except for Leif & Jim ;)
Most of us passed a frisbee in the yard for a while during dinner preparations.

But then there was one who decided to keep exploring...

It was a great weekend with family. This night finished with a delicious dinner on the deck with everyone and then a bonfire with the middle generation. I'm grateful that Jim was able to come along and for the time we had to enjoy together in the car up and back. A wonderful weekend all around!

Mom & Dad, thank you for hosting the whole bunch of us!! The food, the conversations, the xylophone, the pottery... we are thankful and had a great time with you!!!