Monday, January 18, 2016

Pittsburgh 2016

Pittsburgh 2016

It had been too long since we got together with the Mettenburgs, so we decided to take advantage of the three day weekend for a trip up to Pittsburgh.  Originally we were thinking of a ski weekend at 7 Springs, but it was in the 70's around Christmas when we were looking into condos, and we all decided not to risk a ski weekend without any snow.  Instead, we had a lovely visit with a trip to the Science museum, a delicious dinner with just the grown-ups at Morcilla, lots of hide-and-go-seek with Hugh and the kids, and of course plenty of bridge and Catan :-)

(click here for all the pictures)

Friday, January 15, 2016

FoodPrints

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It seems like I've been spending a lot of time in Nora's classroom this year, and not so much in Owen's. I attempted to restore equanimity by volunteering for Owen's Foodprints class. Unfortunately, Owen was placed in a different group than I, so the mother-son bonding time didn't happen, but the bean and veggie chili with cornbread did;-)

(To see all the pics from the day, click here)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pinewood Derby 2016



Owen didn't make it out of the qualifying rounds this year, but he had fun making a cool camo car, and I had fun running the finish line for the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby this year.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Family Cuddle Selfie

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Another family cuddle selfie :-)

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Christmas in MD...or was it New Year's

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Since we had Christmas in Iowa this year, we delayed Christmas dinner at Mom Mom's until New Year's Eve.  We were planning on opening presents in the afternoon before dinner, but Katherine & Lee were having new carpet installed in their basement, and that process ran long, so we managed to fulfill Katherine's life-long dream of delaying the opening of Christmas presents as long as possible without going into the next year.

After dinner and presents, we went over to Katherine & Lee's to ring in the New Year, and we spent New Year's day lounging around their place, watching bowl games, and breaking in Lee's new kegerator.  That of course resulted in us spending a second night at aunt Katherine & Uncle L's, making sure we rang every last drop out of our celebrations this year.  The kids were thrilled of course, since there was a new puppy to play with (Vhagar, Falcor, Suggsy Suggs, or whatever his name is), and the grownups were all just happy the weekend was long enough for all the fun.  Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

(click here for all the pictures)

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas in Iowa 2015

Christmas 2015 in Iowa
We left a balmy DC on a Wednesday to head to Iowa for Christmas, where the temperatures were moderately lower but the snow no more apparent. But the absence of a white Christmas was more than made up for by the presence of cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles (Uncle Bernie and Uncle Pete even made it by) and the release of Star Wars VII (Nora declined to go and Owen didn't like the ending and tried to warn others as if he had known that ***SPOILER*** he never would have gone).

We only had one full day of the whole crew as Dave and Kara had to head to Chicago to meet up with Kara's sister and parents, but we managed to get in dinner, presents, a couple of rock concerts, a whole lot of pictures (including one of Santa in the act!), pancakes a la Olivia and even got to hang out in the new sunroom Grandma and Grandpa Z finished hours before we all arrived.

Steve, Becky and the kids had to hurry back to Chicago iso that Olivia could perform for half time at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans with the school band. But not to worry, as we still had the Fawcett side of the family to hang out with. Despite a massive ice storm, we braved the backroads (and narrowly avoided a couple of ditches) in order to have a lovely lunch at Ken and Helen's with Grandpa Fawcett, Leanna, Grace and Grant (and Grandpa and Grandma Z).

Then we packed up and headed out the next day (to avoid a second storm on its way) in order to get back for our second Christmas celebration in Maryland.

(To see all the Iowa Christmas pics, click here).

Thursday, December 17, 2015

SWS Winter Concert 2015

Mom Mom and Grandpa Don missed Owen's Sinfonia concert due to a baby shower while Katherine, Lee and Grandpa Fawcett missed it in order for Katherine to run a marathon, Lee to run a half one and Grandpa Fawcett to watch. Not to worry, we told them, not only does Owen have a second concert with the newly formed SWS orchestra, and a duet in the new SWS chorus, but Nora would also be performing that holiday classic, "The Crawdad Song" with her classmates at the first annual SWS Winter concert.

The concert was scheduled for 6:00 pm which was a brilliant choice by the SWS administration in order to insure maximum attendance, but a disaster for the SWS administration in terms of adhering to fire codes as the parents, grandparents and other loved ones of 270 students descended into a gymnasium designed for an audience of 300 tops. It was a standing room only situation by the time I arrived at 5:40. By the time Katherine, Lee and John showed up (about 10 minutes after) it was an overflow situation.

But despite the mania, it was a really good, albeit a seasonally odd program. I'm genuinely not sure what the preschool and pre-K kids were singing but the kindergartners performed "Apples and Bananas" and "Little Bunny Foo Foo;" the second graders paid homage to the sixties with "Three Little Birds" and "Yellow Submarine;" the third graders sang "Albuquerque Turkey" and the "Hokey Pokey."

Nora got to show her flair for drama while demonstrating how to properly mourn dying crawdads (she had practice with jellyfish;-).



Owen and the chorus poised such existential meteorological questions as, "Who can see the wind?" and "Why are there so many songs about rainbows?"



And for the grand finale, the entire fourth grade, many of whom had only been playing their instruments for two months, covered "Eek!" and "Twelve Bar Blues."



It was a pretty impressive show, though I think everyone was ready for dinner at Liberty Tree afterwards, where Allen avoided crawdads but did take in a lobster roll.



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sinfonia


Owen's cello playing has come a long ways since his first DCYOP concert.  A solid year of private lessons coupled with additional sectionals now that SWS has its own orchestra means that the pieces Owen now plays are more interesting and the manner in which he (and his fellow orchestra members) plays them is far more enjoyable. Added to that, the audience was encouraged to make noise this year (as opposed to last Spring's accidental contribution), making it a pretty great concert all around.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Toothless

Nora's 1st Lost Tooth
At Nora's dentist appointment in September, Dr. Jackson announced that Nora had some loose teeth with some permanent ones on the move. This was news to us, but as she was clearly of age, we started to make preparations for the big day (ie we found her tooth fairy box and Allen lectured Nora on the beauty of exponential growth to preempt any disappointment for only getting a penny for her first tooth) and waited. And waited. Months passed and still nothing.

Well, not nothing -- Nora's teeth could practically do 360s in her mouth and her permanent tooth appeared to be coming in between the loose ones in question. Finally, after a few failed attempts and Nora's blessing, Allen pulled Nora's first tooth and a delighted Nora got to show off to all her friends.

Now if we could just get the second one out she can proclaim "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth!"

Nora's 1st Lost Tooth

Update: The second tooth held out for a long time -- so long that we became a bit worried that it was going to become a problem (it was kind of on its side and seemed to be re-treating into the gum), so after some aggressive loosening from Elaine, Nora pulled the second one on January 4th, by which time, her replacement teeth were pretty much already in.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Botanic Delight

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The tree is up, holiday cards are arriving, and it's time for the annual Botanic Gardens Holiday Reception.  Next to free parking with your zoo membership, there's no better deal in DC than a U.S. Botanic Gardens membership to skip the line for the annual train show, and instead attend the preview night with wine & cheese, trains, lights, and the kids having the run of the place for the night.  Katherine & Lee came down, and Jackie was in town, so she and Dad joined us as well.  Of course we also had to sneak in a side trip to the National Christmas Tree in front of the Capitol to boot.  If only the Hawkeyes would have won the Big 10 championship game, it would have been a perfect evening ;-)

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