Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Driver in the House

Lily is an official driver! She held two state's permits for 14 months. She took the permit test in both states. She learned how to drive on country roads and busy streets. Lily did it all with a happy attitude and she is now a licensed driver. I could not be happier for her. 

It took many phone calls to the DMV to secure all of the necessary paperwork for this to happen. I even developed a friendship with one of the DMV employees along the way. I admit it also caused me to have many sleepless nights worrying about when and if she would get her license in a timely manner. 

But, it all worked out perfectly and Lily now has a new sense of freedom. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Road Trip

We took a fun 5 day road trip. Our first stop was Annapolis where we all ordered crab for lunch. We walked around the sweet town and enjoyed ice cream and a delicious crepe. Then it was on to Baltimore to check out the inner harbor. We walked through a few shops and then we were back on the road. 

Lily driving us to Annapolis

In Annapolis 

My next mission was finding some of the Amish in Pennsylvania. We drove through miles of Amish farmland and saw two horse and buggies on the road. We stayed that night in a cool hotel called the Warehouse Hotel. It's connected to a sports complex and is such a unique experience. 

The arcade in the sports complex attached to our hotel

Our second day we went to Hershey, Pennsylvania and toured Chocolate World. We also took a fun filled trolley tour of the town and enjoyed a chocolate tasting to end our day. When we left we were t too sure we wanted to see anymore chocolate. We were stuffed. That evening we stayed in west Philadelphia and got a good night's sleep. 

Ready for Chocolate World

Day three consisted of a visit to Franklin Institute. I remember going there when I was 15 and it's still as fun now as it was then. We all enjoyed it. Then it was on to downtown Philadelphia to get a Philly cheesesteak at the Reading Terminal. It didn't disappoint. We walked to Independence Hall and saw the Liberty Bell along with a couple cobblestone streets. After our visit downtown we went back to our hotel to meet up with Sofia. That was definitely the highlight of our visit. We enjoyed seeing her and eating dinner in Mayanhuck at Winnie's. Delicious. 

Ben and the girls at Franklin Institute

Independence Hall

The Liberty Bell behind the girls

                                        Beautiful cousins 

On day four, we headed south to Virginia to take a tour of the Luray Caverns. It was such an interesting walk through the caves and it felt especially comfy underground with the outside temps in the 90s. We stayed in Charlottesville that night and had a tasty meal at Timberwood Grill. 

Luray Caverns and the mountains

Our final day, we toured the campus of the University of Virginia and did a little shopping around town. John had work in the area. So the girls and I relaxed at Panera's while we waited for him. 

Beautiful grounds of UVA

In the tunnel heading home

This beautiful sight greeted us on our way to our home

It was a great trip filled with laughs and plenty of family togetherness. 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Friend Time

Last week Lily had a good friend here visiting from North Carolina and we packed the week with all kinds of fun activities. Shopping, parasailing, Busch Gardens, the beach, seafood restaurants, watching the sunrise, and The Mermaid Factory kept us busy. It was a great visit and we can't wait to see Tay Tay again. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Let's Care About One Another

So much sadness, hate, and dissent in the world today. Let's all find a way to just care about each other. 
Saw this video and thought it was an excellent piece on how to be good to each other:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Teacher Gift

My niece was just hired for a 4th grade position in Virginia Beach. We were super excited for her and we made a little basket of teacher goodies for her. 

The watercolor sign was made by Shelly

Always loved putting up the bulletin boards. Thought I'd offer up my expertise.

Target was full of cute teacher items for the basket

Always handy to have some hand soap available

Monday, July 25, 2016


We woke up early and went to the oceanfront to watch the sun rise. It was beautiful. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Longtime Friends

Shelly was fortunate enough to spend time with her good friend, Shelby, on a recent orthodontist visit to NC. 

Free Slurpees on 7-11

Then the girls came back to Virginia for a several day visit. We are making the most of their time with trips to the beach, biking at the oceanfront, crafting at the Mermaid Factory, playing with the puppy, and sharing time being with one another. 

So glad Shelly is getting a much needed friend fix!

Enjoying crab from Chix