Monday, November 23, 2015

Puppy Steps

The puppies always want to get off the bed, get on the bed, get off the bed, get on the bed.  This is especially aggravating to me in the middle of the night.  They can't jump on the bed by themselves, so I have to pick them up and put them on the bed.  It's not difficult with Leo; I can scoop him up with one hand.  Gus on the other hand has gotten pretty hefty.  I have to get out of bed and use both hands to heft him up,

I decided to invest in some steps so they could climb up without assistance, saving me some sleep and a hernia.

I put treats on the steps.

They ate the treat off the bottom step and couldn't figure out how to get to the others.

This, despite the fact that they climb steps every day of their lives to get in the house.

How I get to treats?

Finally, Leo started to get the idea first.  But he wasn't taking his back feet off the floor.  That top step treat just wasn't tempting enough.

Leo finally got brave enough to get all the treats, but he still wouldn't go for the treats I had put on the bed.

To date, after a week of training, Leo will run up and down the steps to get on and off the bed.  No treats needed.

Gus is terrified of the steps and won't go near them.  If I put him squarely on the steps, he freezes like he thinks he's about to be eaten.  I can put my hands on his legs and physically walk him up the steps like a puppet, but if I take my hands off of him, he leaps for life off the side.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but at least he's snuggly.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


 Katie's ballroom dance class had a masquerade ball.

She went as a 50's chick.  Fortunately we had a dress from when Emily took ballroom dance.
And we had a leather jacket from when Ben was in the same ballroom dance class.

She added a mask because it was a masquerade!

It was a lot of fun to see everyone dressed up in costumes with the masks!

This is only the third week of lessons, but they've all gotten to the point where they can dance and talk at the same time!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lovin' The Leaves!

They've never experienced this before!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


 Katie's taking archery lessons again.

That girl's turning into a formidable weapon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Arm Knitting

 As part of a scout project, Katie had to learn to "arm knit".

This is where you use your arms as the knitting needles.

After a few mishaps, she got the hang of it, and even helped some of the younger girls with theirs.

She made two of them before she was finished and donated one of them to charity!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

Touring A Temple

Kerry was able to visit a 600 year old Confucian Temple surrounded by high rises.

He attended a Korean tea making ceremony where he learned to make Korean tea.  It was a very ritualized ceremony all the way down to holding tea cup in left hand.  Don't use wrong hand to pour or stir tea!  This is a very important ceremony in Korean culture.

He was also able to see a traditional Korean wedding while he was there. and was able to try his hand at calligraphy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Katie and I got to visit Jamestown!
I love this sculpture at the entrance!  It looks like the sails on a ship. With the fountain shooting up around it, it looks really cool!

We went with our scout troop and Katie kept the younger girls entertained.

We went through the museum, then through the Indian Village, to the docks, and then shot through the fort.  I'd love to go back when I have time to actually look at more of the exhibits in a leisurely manner.  Touring with kids means you don't take time to read or find out what an exhibit is about!

We got to pound a giant mortar and pestle in the Indian Village.

We were able to walk onto two of the ships.

We were able to go on the Susan Constant and the Godspeed.  The Discovery was closed to visitors.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fall Colors

 Everyone is enjoying the changing colors of the leaves!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Actual Cannibal

Emily is taking a music class in college.  One day, her professor asked them each to pick a song from thier personal playlist that was like their "theme song".  The professor had them each come to the front of the room and pull up their song on YouTube and the class would watch a minute of it and the student would explain to the class why this song represented them.

Because it's a Christian college, most of the students played contemporary Christian songs and talked about how they felt God speaking to them through the lyrics of the song.

Emily got up and pulled up the "Shia LaBeouf" video on YouTube and told the class, "This is pretty much my personality summed up in a song.  I like things that are funny, bizarre, wacky, and over-the-top!"

The teacher actually let everyone watch the entire video.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Ballroom Dancing

Katie is taking ballroom dance.

This is an amazing group here in Virginia.  There are so many teens involved, they have to meet at two separate locations now to accommodate all of them!

I love it because the boys are required to wear button down shirts and ties.  The girls are required to wear skirts that come down past the knee.  

The boys have to introduce themselves to the girls at the beginning of each dance and the girls have to introduce themselves as well.  The boys have to ask the girls if they would like to dance and they have to lead the girl by the hand out onto the dance floor.  Everyone trades partners after each dance.  No one is left out and no one has to work up the nerve to ask a specific girl.  They simply move to the next girl in line after each dance.  I love it!

Katie was dancing with a boy and Emily was videoing with her phone.  When the boy realized they were being videoed, he started putting on a show for the camera!

This was only Katie's second night there, but she is loving it!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Road Dandruff

Since Katie will start learning to drive this year, I've been pointing out to her various road rules as we go throughout our day.  I'll point out when someone does something they shouldn't (swoop across four lanes with no blinker) as well as why I'm changing lanes (big slow truck up ahead in my lane).

We were on the highway this week and saw a sign stating that you can not drive on the shoulder.

I pointed it out to Katie and told her, "When traffic is slow some people will try to drive in the breakdown lane rather than wait in line with everyone else.  That lane is for people who are having car trouble or a flat tire and need to pull over."

"They just sit on the shoulder and don't do anything?" Katie asked.  "So they're like road dandruff?"