Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Off to camp!

The big kids are off to camp, and we had the usual routine:

Loads of packing to get us through the month.

Camp packing begins!

Travel adventure stories made more memorable with the arrival of this guy.

Longest plane ride in history.

Reaching home base at Grandmas and waking up to this.

Morning guests in PA

Loads of food.






Family Game night. 

And finally, drop off.

To make it easier, we split up this year.  Jeff took Mina. 


And I took Jordan.


Saying goodbye was not easy.


And I am already weepy thinking about it.  They've only been gone three days.  I really don't know what I am going to do when they go off to college.  I told Jeff maybe I would feel differently by then since they will be teenagers, and I'll be sick of them. 

But I doubt it.

Going to miss this girl!  Off to camp tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Haunted History Tour of St Georges

One of the nice parts about having family visit, is discovering new attractions in Bermuda.  Recently, I learned about a tour of St. Georges, billed as a Haunted History.  What better way of exploring the cobblestone back alleys of a historic UNESCO site?


Our tour leader, in full attire.  He met us in Kings Square, lantern in hand.


As the sun set and introductions concluded, we ventured forth.


It was definitely a little creepy, especially wandering the graveyard at St. Peter's.


But it was also fascinating to learn about the settlement of the town, the former residents, and their tales of love, death and valor.


St Georges is a living, breathing town, despite its heritage status.  People go about their day to day lives in the midst of living history.

I loved peeking into courtyards and learning who once lived in this place.


The kids did too.


The Haunted History tour is a lot of fun and a welcome new attraction for Bermuda.  It's an easy walk of less than a mile, through the streets.  Wear comfortable shoes and feel free to bring the school age kids.  Definitely a family friendly activity!

Kristin White is the creative director and writer for this tour.  She's an amazing young woman whose love for St Georges is evident in this project she's put together.

More info on the tour can be found on the Haunted History site

And if you have specific questions, or want suggestions about arranging an itinerary, contact me via my Tipglo account.  A small fee is charged.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Travels with Theo - crawling to the finish.

Getting the older kids to sleep away camp this summer was made slight more complicated. 

Exhibit 1:

Theo, age 10 months. All he wants to do is crawl around on the floor, pull himself up into standing position, and maybe eat. 

Not so easy in an airport terminal.  

Definitely made worse by a two hour plus delay. 

Once in the air, he seemed confused by the rule regarding staying in one's seat. He responded by silencing Jeff. And then spitting up. 

Arriving in Newark and no air tram to get us to the rental car. The overcrowded bus would not seat us, the stroller and our three large suitcases. 

So, more waiting while Jeff darts off solo to get the car. 

By this point Theo is so overtired, he turns on his brother and begins pulling hair. Jordan responds as only he can. Goofy faces and howling.  Perfect. Fits right into the chaos. 

Despite an exhausting start, we made it up de country and were greeted with the morning breakfast club. 

A day to regroup, last minute shopping and re packing the kids trunks, and then seeing them off for a glorious month of parent-free fun. 

I am a rock. I will not cry this year. 

Edited to add:
Too late. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A tie dye birthday - highlights!

Before Pinterest, all we had was our own imagination to craft memorable birthdays for our kids.  Life may have been simpler then, but I'm not complaining.  I'll take all the help I can get!

Fast forward to 2015, and between Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, there is no shortage of inspired ideas out there to compare your own handiwork against.

For Mina's 9th birthday, she asked for a tie dye party. No other explanation. After sitting down and talking about it, we came up with some ideas and I set off to execute the grand vision. 

The plan:
Food station
T shirt tie dye

I shamelessly borrowed from all the above mentioned online sources and came up with this. 

Cake:  Birdonacake has a great tutorial for the whole thing. 


Practice round. 

Stage 2.

I tried the blue frosting in the middle for this round, but it was easier to just stick to white.

I added some Trix bits along the edge to tidy it up (and get rid of the cereal.)

Once sliced, you get the full effect.


I like chalkboard art.  Plus, I needed a sign by the front door so people would just come inside.  We disconnected the doorbell to preserve the baby's naps.  hahaha

Party prep work.
Theme inspired food ideas:

Trix krispy bars from Cravings of a Lunatic

Colorful balls of madness #tiedyeparty7


Tie dye and rainbow colors, courtesy of and Oriental trading company.  We did tie dye backpacks as favors too.



The girls decided to have an impromptu freeze dance competition at the end, and we used the peace sign fans as prizes.

T shirts:

Fantastic tutorial on YouTube on how to do this with acrylic paint and fabric medium, by Shemi Dixon

I bought some fabric markers, so the girls could flair out their shirts.

Drying on the tarp, once the rubber bands are removed. Yes, that is a pair of boxer shorts there as well.  Jeff thought he needed one.



We put together a fun playlist with songs from the 60's through today, and the girls had a blast dancing and diving into the pool.  It was a great way to cool off after doing the shirts in the sun.



Tuesday, July 07, 2015

On the verge of double digits. Nine year old Mina

Nine years old this month.

Miss Bean turns nine in just a few more days.  We do love birthdays in this house, but seeing my little girl grow up is making me a bit weepy.


This shot put it in perspective for me.  I had to take the kids to get their passport pictures updated.  Five years ago, I took them to get their first ones done.  How much they have grown since then.

Big girl salon.

Sometimes I can still see that roly-poly baby face in there


And then sometimes, there is this.


Mina, you will always be a superstar.  Do you realize how many talents you have?  Whether it's in school, singing or dancing on stage, or being a part of our family - you shine with such brilliance.



An inspiring girl.

I wish I could capture it in words.  You do so much and make it look effortless.  That makes me recall the way I was when I was in school.  I always worked hard.  I took all of it seriously.  I never made a fuss.  I did what I needed to do and what was expected of me.  But in the process, I suspect people took that for granted. 


I hope I never do that with you. 

We could not ask for more - we've been blessed with a fantastic daughter.

You make me so proud to be your mother. 

Miss chocolate

Not only are you a good kid.  You are genuinely a GOOD kid.  You have a beautiful, generous soul. 


You have such a way with people.  Ever since you learned to talk, you managed to win people over with your smiles, your conversation, and your ability to always know what to say.


As you get older, and start to cover uncharted territory, I hope you will always rely on the inner grace that has guided you so well.  It's not easy.  There will be new challenges you face, new friends to meet, old ones who may not always grow with you.  Our time here will be drawing to a close too, and with that, you will learn what it's like to say good bye.

I have faith in you. 

You will rock being nine.