Monday, November 30, 2009


We found this cute little garage on a country road near our house. We drove down this road in hopes of finding something like this.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ocean Floor. 333/365

Hard at work making a model of the ocean floor.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pointsettias. 332/365

We stopped by our local nursery this afternoon to pick out a plant for our next-door neighbors. They don't have young kids so we don't have much interaction with them, except to say "hello" on occasion. They brought us a very nice welcome basket when we moved in. At Halloween they gave our girls candy bars even though they spend All Hallows Eve at church. This past summer, the wife brought over the loveliest basket of flowers from her garden. I wanted them to know that we are grateful to have them for neighbors. I let the girls deliver the plant and the holiday message. They love giving gifts.

Friday, November 27, 2009

He's Back! 331/365

Pepper Minstix is our elf (on the shelf). He visits every day and returns to the North Pole every night to let Santa know if we've been good or bad. We can't touch him or he'll lose his magical powers so he just sits and watches.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful for . . . 230/365

these two beauties. We spent some time at the mall today because we knew nobody else would be there and we could take some pictures with high hopes of one them being good enough for our Christmas card. I wasn't thrilled with the family photos, but I did like a few of the girls, particularly this one of Jordan outside of Hollister and of Maddie outside of Urban Outfitters.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fine Carpentry. 329/365

I wish I needed some remodeling done so I could call this guy. I noticed the sign while at a stop light on the way to school this morning. It made us all laugh. Maddie wondered aloud if the guy knew the initials he used in his company name spelled a bad word.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hugs. 328/365

These are the moments I live for. Jordan loves to hug Maddie, but Maddie's amount of hug time (with Jordan) depends on how much sleep she got the night before. She was done with hugs right after I snapped the photo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lemur Crossing. 327/365

One of our first days in Richmond last year while driving Jordan to school, we passed a gaggle of these guys and Jordan said, "Look at the lemurs." I don't really think she thought they were lemurs, but out of the corner of her eye she caught the white stripe on the head and maybe thought of lemur tails. I don't know . . . but ever since she said that we always say, "look at the lemurs." These guys were pretty brave just stepping out into traffic this afternoon. I laughed when only one stepped into the street at first. It was as if the others were waiting to see if he'd get run over before they all stepped out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fuji Applesauce. 326/365

We peeled, sliced, cooked, crushed, and canned the last of the Fuji apples. We had some good 'ole girl time today working so diligently on making this applesauce. There were three of those big bowls full of apples which made eight quarts of oh-so-delicious applesauce. I am still surprised at how easy this process is of picking and preserving our own food. As we worked we discussed the fact that years ago this was the only way to have fruits and vegetables available for winter consumption.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maddie's 25 Days. 325/365

Maddie's ready to construct her "25 Days" book. I wish I was more like her - she just jumps in and makes decisions. While Maddie chose her papers and embellishments, Jordan went to see New Moon. She said it was better than Twilight. We'll all go see it Wednesday before Thanksgiving when the girls have a half-day of school.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Multi-tasking. 324/365

Maddie and Amanda picto-chat and talk on speakerphone while looking at each other through their bedroom windows.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hangin' around. 323/365

She's been hanging (or doing exercise) since preschool. She called it exercise when she was younger because she'd break a sweat after a while. Ten years later she hangs every chance she gets and she's got some great abs because of it.

My plan for my photos for the rest of the year is to capture the everyday moments. My girls often ask me to tell them about things they did when they were younger. I think this sort of activity fits the bill. I just wish I could capture her "rocking" in photos.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How did I get so lucky? 322/365

She raked the seven leaves from the back yard, scooped the cat litter boxes, vacuumed, and set the table for dinner all while I leafed through a magazine.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

JDRF Awards. 321/365

The big news of the evening is that the Richmond chapter of the JDRF Walk for a Cure raised a half a million dollars this year. Tonight several corporations, teams, and individuals were recognized. Our team, Jordan's Journey, won a bronze award and Jordan won the Golden Sneaker award for the money raised for the cause. Thank you to all of our friends and relatives who generously donated $4,300 to help find a cure.

I know the picture is a bit blurry, but it holds the sentiment of the day. I didn't consider the horrible banquet hall lighting when I threw my camera in the bag without the external flash.

Monday, November 16, 2009

America Recycles Day. 320/365

From trash to fashion. The students were encouraged to make something wearable out of items from their recycling bin. Many more kids participated than I expected. Maddie, however, was the most talked about with her newspaper skirt, Capri Sun bag, gum wrapper necklace, and her Mad Hatter hat. Unfortunately, even with the spirit of the day, she wasn't allowed to wear the hat. But she was happy with all of the gushing about her skirt.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A fine autumn day. 319/365

Today was 72 degrees and sunny. After the previous week of cold and rain, it's a welcome change. We spent most of the day making recycled wearable art for tomorrow's America Recycles Day (the day was Saturday, but at school they'll celebrate tomorrow) and the remainder of the day at the outdoor mall. This tree stands just few yards from the huge Christmas tree in the main courtyard. Both are beautiful, but I'm not quite ready to begin my Christmas celebration yet. I have to wait until Thanksgiving has had a chance.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'll give you a dollar if . . . 318/365

It's wonderful how a simple task of tearing up old bread for birds can turn into a game. The three of us were tearing up two packages of old bread and throwing it from the deck when Jordan decided to go into the yard. The only obvious thing to do would be to throw the bread at Jordan which then turned into "I'll give you a dollar if you can catch a piece of the bread". Thanks Rachel. She caught five pieces.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tredegar Iron Works. 317/365

An interesting and informative fifth grade field trip to learn about the Civil War. This foundry supplied the Confederacy with their artillery, ammunition, and other war-related materials.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tamagotchi! 316/365

You feed them, play with them, take them shopping, praise them, collect their mail, take them to school, train them, get them a job, give them medicine when they're ill, and clean up their poop. When you have more than one, they make friends with each other and can even have babies together. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank you. 315/365

In trying to locate Buddy Poppies for us to wear today, I learned that these poppies are assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals and proceeds from distribution of the flowers go to veterans assistance programs. I was able to get mine from the Richmond VFW. The poppy is the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Upon opening my Yahoo account this morning, I was reminded of the story behind the exact date (November 11) of Veteran's Day. Back in 1918, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a stop to hostilities was declared, ending World War I. An armistice to cease the fighting on the Western Front was signed by the Allied powers and Germany. President Woodrow Wilson immediately proclaimed the day "Armistice Day," kicking off the annual commemoration on November 11. But over the years, with veterans returning from World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day — a day reserved to honor veterans returning from all wars. Congress designated Veterans Day as a legal holiday in 1938.

We spent some time today talking about the veterans in our family and what they and all veterans have done for our country. President Obama said it best today at Arlington National Cemetery, "To all of them — to our veterans, to the fallen and to their families — there is no tribute, no commemoration, no praise that can truly match the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dear Diary. 314/365

This has been the end-of-the-day routine for Maddie for the past couple of days. She's decided to start journaling on Ye Olde Smith Corona.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Leftovers. 313/365

After picking so many apples a couple of weeks ago, we still have too many filling drawers of two refrigerators. Yesterday we made our first batch of applesauce. Jordan peeled, Maddie cored and sliced, and I cooked and crushed. This is the "chunky" batch. I really like it, but the girls have instructed me to make the next few jars smooth.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Will you go to the prom with me? 312/365

We went antiquing today. I found plenty of Mary/Jesus figurines and children's Christmas books, Maddie found some miniatures for her doll house, and Jordan found this dress and shoes. Groovy man! Can you dig it?!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

More fall color. 311/365

Today was one of those days that we just took care of the things that needed to be done - homework, cleaning up the remaining halloween decorations, painting . . . and Maddie's "thing that needed to be done" - buying a $5 Tomagatchi at Five Below. On our way home we found these Sumac trees that still had beautiful color.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Polka Dotted Mushroom. 310/365

I am curious. Which little critter eats (or should I say tastes) mushrooms?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Goin' my way? 309/365

This made me laugh out loud (by myself in my car). I've never seen a sign like this before. It's almost as good as the no cursing sign in Virginia Beach.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Slug. 308/365

Found this guy cruising around on the front steps. He is huge - that brick is 2-1/2" wide. I've never seen a slug this big. We saved him from getting squashed by putting him in the garden. Hopefully he appreciates that since he didn't seem to like getting picked up as he slimed both Jordan and me.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cat tails. 307/365

Continuing with the cat theme . . . we had to trudge through marsh land to get this picture.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cats. 306/365

We have three of them. Two we adopted eight years ago and one adopted us a few months ago. Now this guy shows up. We named him Gene Simmons, but he's not going to live with us.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Remember when . . . 305/365

Remember when this was okay in all neighborhoods? I would love to have a clothes line in my back yard. Then I wouldn't have to hang clothes all over my house (and mattress pads and pillow covers, etc.).