Boogity boogity boogity

May 21, 2017

This weekend, we had two fun adventures. First, since Tempe and Robert love to watch the car races on the weekend, we decided to visit the Dominion Raceway.  The track itself is small, and no matter where you sit, you have a great view. We got there around 5pm, grabbed a bite to eat, then sat out on the bleachers to watch the cars roll. We were surprised Tempe didn't fall asleep on the way home with all the fresh evening air and the excitement of the cars, but when she got home, she immediately wanted to read one of her books. It was a fabulous evening.

The next morning (Sunday), we woke up and drove out to our friends' farm. They have a sick family member, and are going to be out of town, so we went down to help them out with a few chores, from mowing their fields, to fixing fences, to planting flowers, herbs and vegetables, and spreading mulch. At the end of the afternoon, Tempe got to ride on their old horse, DC. DC retired last year from a girls' camp that our friends own, so he was happy to have a little girl riding on him. Tempe rode bareback and even got to practice her "round the world" trick. Some of our work friends were there too with their kids so it was a fun-filled adventure and fun helping out some friends.

You can see our farm pics in our photo album. The pic attached here is from the racetrack on Saturday night.

Our 2017 England Trip

May 16, 2017

(Image from Port Lymphe website: http://www.visitkent.co.uk/attractions/port-lympne-reserve/8620)

Remember we said we're planning a trip to England this year? Well, it's booked. We're going in August. (But believe me, if we are fortunate enough to adopt, our plans and priorities will change swiftly ... that's what trip insurance is for.) We can't tell you how psyched we are to be going, as we've booked an adventure.

Port Lymphe is an animal reserve in Kent, England, where animals roam on over 600 acres of farmland. We went last year, and took a safari. We saw cheetah, lions, giraffe, orangutans, wild dogs, hyenas, zebra, European wolves, Bengal tigers and countless other animals. We also noticed places where you can "glamp" or stay in a treehouse. We said at the time, if we have the chance, we'll stay overnight. And guess what ... we are!

We've booked an overnight stay in one of the Port Lymphe treehouses. The three of us plus GiGi and Pop will check in, get settled, then start our adventure. We'll have our very own golf cart to drive around the reserve and (best of all) will be able to look out over the entire park from our treehouse!

Of course this adventure doesn't even come close to the adventures we've had building our family. Every day is fun and full of connection, even at home. While we're looking forward to some family time with Robert's parents and brother (who lives in Utah ... have we mentioned him yet?), we can't wait to welcome another member to our family. Oh what adventures we'll have throughout the years. 

It will be a few months before this England adventure begins. Until then, we have preschool graduation, gymnastics, lots of pool time in our neighborhood, backyard camping, July fireworks, a day trip to a girl's camp in Southern Virginia, two drives to Kentucky to visit Kris's parents, and more!

Tic Tac Toe

May 12, 2017

One of our favorite restaurants has the coolest kids' menu. On one side is a coloring page full of sea animals and on the other is a full page of games. One, of course, is tic tac toe. (If you recall, Pop Pop is the master, but as Tempe practices more and more, she's starting to win more!) Pictured here is Tempe and Robert playing their second hand at TTT.

We go out to dinner once a week, and each week one of us gets to choose which restaurant. Tempe is currently on a roll with one of the Asian restaurants in town, because she loves the rock shrimp. Huge shrimp covered in panko breadcrumbs on a bed of rocket (Arugula lettuce) and dipping sauce. She always tries the sauce knowing it's going to be too hot for her. Robert has started trying different things every time, and Kris usually gets sushi.

Next time it's Kris's time to choose. Maybe we'll just have to hit Texas Roadhouse for some good old American chain hamburgers. 

Our Nursery

May 09, 2017

Our lovely friends gave us a crib that converts to a toddler bed, a dresser and a glider rocker just last night. We were waiting to find out if our new addition would be a boy or a girl before we furnished our nursery. What a nice surprise! The finish is cherry, so no matter if we have a boy or girl, the color is versatile!

Once we do know who we're bringing home, we'll ask GiGi (Robert's mum) to make us a cover for the glider, and perhaps a pillow or two as well. She's made Tempe quilts, pillows, a bean bag chair and lots of dolls. Tempe cherishes them all. She can't wait to start sewing for a sister or brother.

Be sure to visit the Our Nursery photo album to see the rest of the furniture!

The Baby Room

Apr 30, 2017

We had such a fun time creating a warm, safe and cozy environment for Tempe before she was born. Her nursery was our favorite room in the house. And now that she's five, her room is still pretty awesome. We're working to gather some ideas for our new addition, when he or she comes. Whether it's a newborn or a child up to the age of two, we plan to create just as awesome of a room.

Although we've bought some basics, until we know exactly who he or she is, we want to wait to build an environment around them. So we've been working on Pinterest boards for a boy and a girl. (And if it's twins, well, that's a whole different story!)

Visit our boards!

Boy: https://www.pinterest.com/adoptionisapowerfulchoice/breadboard/

Girl: https://www.pinterest.com/adoptionisapowerfulchoice/dagny/

It could be that the room looks nothing like anything on these boards, because when we do add a new brother or sister, we may get lots and lots of gifts from friends and family, like we did for Tempe. And those gifts will likely influence his or her room.

You might be wondering about our board names. Well, Robert's brother recently had his DNA tested for ancestry. He found he was 17% Scandinavian, meaning he could have Viking ancestry. So we used Viking names for our boy and girl boards just for fun. 

Why be normal, right?

What Robert Got for His Birthday

Apr 30, 2017

So what was the big surprise?

It was a reproduction Whitworth rifle.

Back during Civil War times, this English guy named Mr. Whitworth was commissioned to create a long-range rifle. Queen Victoria was said to have given it her blessing when she shot it 800 yards. It was an innovation for its time and because Robert is English, and because we live in Virginia close to the Battle of Chancellorsville and because Robert works at the FBI with a bunch of guys who love to study history and ballistics, he wanted a Whitworth.

We had to save for a while to get him that rifle, but it was totally worth it. Now he plans to paint a target blue like a Union soldier and see how far it will actually shoot.

Boys. Ya gotta love 'em.

He'd kind of look like a soldier in that picture if soldiers wore birthday hats and birthday necklaces.

Happy Birthday Robert!

Apr 28, 2017

This weekend is Robert's birthday and we're looking forward to celebrating ... in a bit of a different way.

If you recall, Robert is originally from England. He came over to the States when he was 19 to join the U.S. Air Force. He's lived here ever since. (Though we do visit his Mum and Dad in England!) He absolutely adores Indian food, but said he doesn't want to go to an Indian restaurant. So Kristen and Tempe are going to MAKE Indian food. On the menu are two different types of curry: goat and chicken. Robert is the only one who will eat goat (though Kristen does like lamb saag), so we'll make him a healthy portion. Kristen and Tempe will eat the chicken version. We'll also try to make their own naan bread. We haven't decided what the birthday cake will be. We're considering either cheesecake or a decorated vanilla cake, as Robert is allergic to chocolate. (Poor guy.)

Robert is a gunsmith by trade, and works at the FBI in Ballistics. That pretty much makes him a gun guy. We got him a surprise for his birthday that will blow him away! Details to come.

The weekend promises to be beautiful here in Virginia so we will spend a lot of time outdoors this weekend, but don't plan to go anywhere. The back yard is calling!

On a side note, the picture of Robert you see here is of him riding in a hostage rescue team helicopter. He went out one night with the guys and flew over the Potomac River, over Washington D.C., and into Maryland. He is one adventurous guy - which is one reason why he's such a fun and unique husband and father.

This Past Weekend

Apr 24, 2017

We really did have fun this past weekend with Nana and Pop Pop. They came in on Friday and hung out playing games all night Friday night. Tempe is a match game master, so we truly had our work cut out for us with Animal Match and Animal Bingo. We also fixed lots of fruits, cheeses, chicken wings and shrimp cocktail. After all, when you're having a party, food is always a centerpiece!

On Saturday we all got up and piled in the car to head to Colonial Williamsburg. Nana and Pop Pop visit there every year, so we thought we'd tag along this year. Unfortunately, rain was in the forecast so we knew there wouldn't be any swimming or much walking around - which was fine with us. The important thing was, we were together! It took us about two hours to get there. We first stopped at Yorktown, ate lunch on the James River and shopped. Afterwards, we headed over to the Williamsburg Lodge and checked in. The rain by that time was pretty bad, so we stayed in our rooms, played cards and relaxed for the afternoon.

We went to the Kings Arms Pub for dinner. It's been around since the 1700s and everyone is dressed in period. We learned a lot about the history of the place and how people were back in Colonial days. The Pub was a public place where people came to eat and drink, then they all went upstairs and slept in one big room. What a crazy way to live. 

Sunday was another washout, so we packed our bathing suits away and headed out to Williamsburg, We walked around the historic buildings and then headed over to the shopping area. Tempe got a Trolls coloring book from Nana at the William and Mary Bookstore. Because of the rain, we decided to leave a little bit earlier than expected and head home - where we all took naps on different couches or beds. Well, everyone except the three of us. We watched a Disney animals show on Netflix that told the stories of a bear, cheetah, lion and monkey families. Tempe is a huge animal lover, so she was mesmerized. 

For dinner, we ordered pizza and played more Match and Bingo. We also added Old Maid into the mix and a couple hands of War. We were a little tired after that so turned on the British Baking Show and watched another contestant get kicked off the show.

This morning Nana and Pop Pop left early, as they had a nine hour drive home. We were sad to see them leave, but will see them in a few weeks when Tempe's cousin graduates from high school. Every chance we get, we spend it with family.

We uploaded some pictures of our weekend in Photos. Take a look in the Nana and Pop Pop folder!

A Visit from Nana and PopPop

Apr 20, 2017

We're looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with Nana and PopPop, starting tomorrow! They're driving in from Kentucky, staying the night on Friday night, then we're all headed to Williamsburg, Virginia for the weekend. Williamsburg is Nana and PopPop's favorite place to visit (besides Hilton Head). 

While we're looking forward to walking around, shopping and eating some delicious food, the funnest part will be hanging out in the room playing games and being silly. Nana and T are two peas in a pod. And PopPop loves to have singing contests with T to see who can sing the loudest. (I'm pretty sure it's PopPop but T is a close contender.) We plan to take board games, puzzles and plenty of art supplies.

Stay tuned!

 

Our First Disney Trip

Apr 19, 2017

You might have noticed some pictures of our recent trip to Disney World in Florida. T's birthday was coming up, so we made the decision to go to Disney! Although Robert and I had been many times throughout the years, this was the first time we'd go together, and T's first time ever! The entire trip was planned in three weeks because, honestly, that's sometimes just how we roll.

Before we went, we planned which parks we would visit on what day. The first day, of course, we spent the entire morning and evening at Magic Kingdom. T rode every ride we could get onto - but the lines were so long at Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain that we couldn't get on them. T announced that before she leaves, she wants to ride both. We made note. A highlight that night was the fireworks. We camped out in front of the castle and right around 9:00 p.m., we heard Jiminy Cricket over the speaker. Then we saw Tinkerbell fly high in the sky and the show began. By the time the fireworks were done, we were exhausted but happy.

The second day we started at Epcot Center. After walking 8 miles at Magic Kingdom, we were a little tired. But we hung in there! T met Anna and Else right away. We then went on the Frozen ride and rounded it out with a trip to the Nemo ride. Epcot is really pretty, but I hear they are turning into Star Wars Land in 2019. Looking forward to that one, believe me! We went back to the room for a quick nap, then headed over to Animal Kingdom, where we had booked a safari. I couldn't believe the size of the hyenas or how beautiful the grounds were. We also went on a water ride (the name escapes me now) and then ate dinner with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy Duck! 

The third and last day, we headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios. We rode the Star Wars ride, then headed over to meet Olaf followed by Moana. Have you seen that movie yet? If not, you have to see it. I love the crab. We then made the executive decision to head back to Magic Kingdom that night for dinner and guess what? We were able to FastPass Splash Mountain and Thunder Mountain. 

On the drive home, we asked T what her favorite ride was and she answered THUNDER MOUNTAIN! She held her hands in the air the entire time. 

We will definitely be going back to Disney, though we may also try to hit Harry Potter world at Universal too. (Because Robert and I love HP!) 

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