Monday, May 19, 2014


Cubs Scouts got off to a bit of a slow start for Owen, with the Wolf Den never really forming up.  Owen did manage to race in the Pinewood Derby, but things didn't really take off until the Wolf Den merged with the younger, larger and more active Tiger Den.  With a few Den meetings under our belt, and some patches and belt loops earned, we finally went out on that quintessential Scout outing, the Cub Scout camping trip.

Saturday afternoon the whole family drove out to Watkins Regional Park.  Before heading over to the campsite, we rode the train and played a round of mini-golf while waiting for the rest of the Den.  Then we drove over to the camp-site and found our spot, nicely tucked away in the woods with  decent clearing for tents, and a fire ring.  We pitched our tents, and the Scouts started collecting wood for the fire.  Then we all gathered around the ring, built a nice tinder and kindling tipi inside of a fuel wood log cabin, and let the boys light it.  I'm fairly confident it could have been started with one match, but with a bunch of boys playing with matches for the first time, let's just say we were lucky we didn't run out ;-)

We played some games while the fire burned down, and when it was ready to cook on we started working on dinner.  Some of the kids, including Owen and Nora grilled hot dogs on a stick, and we improvised a way to cook hamburgers on the fire for everyone else.  Elaine, Nora and Grandpa Fawcett all headed home before it got too late, and Owen and I stayed up with the Scouts roasting marshmallows over the fire and telling stories.  We retired to our tent, which was next to a tent with a bunch of the boys, and tried to fall asleep in the less than peacefully quiet surroundings.

The dawn came all too soon, though Owen still managed to sleep in somehow.  Sausages, and breakfast burritos cooked on the camp fire were the order of the day.  After breaking camp, we went on a hike through the woods, and before we knew it our first Cub Scout camping trip was in the books.

(click here for all the pictures)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day and Birthdays

So I seem to have neglected to take pictures this year, but that doesn't mean we didn't have a lovely time celebrating Mother's Day.  Instead of fighting the crowds to go out for brunch, we decided that the boys should make brunch here.  A few years ago I tried to make poached eggs for brunch, and it turned out to be a little bit of a disaster, but armed with my new sous vide machine, we managed to make a lovely meal of poached eggs on hearty toast with bacon from Union Market, home made bacon jam, and fresh greens from our CSA.  And since there was little chance of the kids of the kids eating all of that, we whipped up our old standby orange French toast.

Thankfully Elaine's birthday didn't fall on Mother's day this year, so on Tuesday we left the kids with Dad, and went out for a delicious dinner at Rose's Luxury.  The wait was surprisingly short, and the meal was wonderful, but we weren't quite ready to call it a night after polishing off our deserts, so we went out for a glass of wine at Sona, the new creamery and wine bar near Eastern Market.  It was bit late, but we shut the place down having a lovely chat with the owner about all the challenges of starting up the first cheese making operation in the District, and we can't wait to go back and try out their offerings from their own cheese cave ;-)  Nothing too fancy in our celebrations this year, but the sentiment is as strong as ever, Elaine you are an amazing Wife and Mother, and we all our so lucky to have you in our lives :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Tea

Nora's teacher, Ms. Ogden, has an annual Mother's Day celebration where the Mom's of Classroom 7 (or appropriate substitutes) are invited for a little entertainment, refreshments, gifts and a mothering talk from Ms. Ogden's mother the Friday before Mother's Day. Sadly, Mama Ogden couldn't make it due to a foot injury, but the rest of us had a lovely time.

To see the special videos the kids made for us, check out the links here and here.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Bend it with Bedlam

Nora has told us time and time again that she's really good at soccer (she took a class while in daycare), but we were unable to prove her meddle due to some reluctance on our part (we'd started Owen off in soccer and he'd spent most of his time climbing trees in lieu of drills) and dance conflicts. But when the Spring season rolled around, I decided that our little girl needed a sport and so convinced the league to let her be in the "Under 5" instead of "Under 4" group (red-shirting be damned) and dutifully took her to her first practice.

Nora quickly found herself on an almost all-girl team, The Dragonflies (Nora initially suggested the name, "Unicorn Sparkles," and got several other girls to agree, but the coaches eventually intervened and decided "Dragonflies" was a bit more practical). Practices have generally gone well and she's mostly enjoying herself (except when her brother gets help out as goalie and blocks her kick...). Hopefully she'll stick with it, though as a friend pointed out, given her insistence on wearing a skirt, she might be better suited to field hockey.