Friday, May 22, 2009

Let Me See Your Agitator!

The laundry door was open on Thursday, and Luke kept whining and touching the washing machine.  I picked him up and put him in the washer because it seemed like that's what he wanted.

Yep, it was what he wanted.  He cried when I took him out.  I guess he's another "Orton" who's obsessed with washing machines.  Next thing you know, he'll be sleeping with a sugar spoon...

(Inside joke for the Orton Fam)

Grandpa and Grandma's Visit: Thursday

On Thursday we mostly took the opportunity to chat and eat.  We did a few things out of the house though.  In the morning we went to the Muscarelle Museum of Art on William & Mary campus.  It was really small, but it had some impressive art in it.  There was a painting by Georgia O'Keefe!

And right now they have an exhibit of stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the founder/ mastermind behind Tiffany & Co.

I had no idea that the famous jewelry store began as a glass house.  The stained glass was beautiful.

Then we went on a picnic where we ran into the Moons.  It was good to get a chance to say bye to them. It's good to know they'll be near D.C. next year, so we'll still see them sometimes.

And then that night we played Cranium which is one of Jared's favorite games.  This time we didn't get any questions that we'd seen before.  And some of the questions were really hard, but it was a fun game.

We'll miss you, Mom and Dad, but we were glad to see you for a little while and share with you a few of the fun things about where we live.  Come back soon!  

And to the rest of our family who hasn't been here: You're welcome any time!

Grandpa and Grandma's Visit: Wednesday

On Wednesday Jared was in class again ( I know these posts are backwards.  Sorry).  Anyway, Mom, Dad and I hung around the house in the morning so Luke could nap, and then we met Jared for lunch again.  This time we went to Carrot Tree Kitchens because I had been dreaming about their carrot cake for weeks.  It seriously is the best cake I've ever had.

It looks like a dump, but don't be deceived.  It is soooo delicious.

After lunch, Jared headed back to William & Mary, and Dad, Mom, Luke, and I went to Historic Jamestown.  

Our first stop was the glass blowers hut.

On the path to see the glass blowers.

The beach in front of the hut.  

As soon as Luke saw the water, he made a run for it.  In the past, he's actually been scared of waves and water movement.  So I thought I'd nip his water run in the bud by taking off his shoes, sticking him in the water, and scaring him silly.  

Backfire!!! He loved the water.  He would have played in it all day if I had let him.  He even tried to sit down in it and ended up with a pretty droopy diaper.  After about 5 or 10 minutes, I noticed bugs around Luke's legs.  I think they were just mosquitoes, but it was enough to tell me to get him out.  So we went and joined Grandma and Grandpa watching the glass blower.

Making a wine bottle

After we watched the glass blower for a while we headed over to the monuments at Historic Jamestown.  Mom and Dad had a really good time, and Luke and I did too.

Go Law!

The inside of the old church

The most recent archaeological dig-- happening now!


That evening, we went to Waller Mill park for a cook out and walk.

Looks good, right?

Luke was served first of course.  He ate a whole hot dog!

The handsome chef

Bird watching while we eat


What a great evening!

Grandpa and Grandma's Visit: Tuesday

On Tuesday we all went to Yorktown to do the battleground tour and then walk around the touristy section on the beach.

(Thank you Nathan and Sarah for the year pass to Jamestown and Yorktown-- we all got in free!)

First stop was the visitor center where we watched a short video, looked at the museum and then checked out the British stronghold.

British stronghold cannon-- Dad's trying to blow away our ancestors!

We had a picnic near the visitor center before we went on to see the rest.  Then we took off to see the trenches, the redoubts, surrender field, and the rest.

Contemplating History

Dad loved all signs the whole trip-- no matter where we went.  He read everything he could find.  So I had to get a picture of Dad and a sign (all alone because everyone else had moved on).

The inner line of the American forces.

Even though I watched the video and have been on the battleground tour twice now, I still get things a little bit confused.  The British had a strong point near the actual town.  The Americans started pretty far out and bit by bit were able to get closer.  So this is their second advance where they built more trenches.

This is next to the second defense line.  It's a graveyard from the CIVIL war.  Most of the graves are unknown union soldiers.  This graveyard contains union soldiers who were killed in surrounding areas as well as at Yorktown.

A walk by York river when our driving tour was done.  It was beautiful, but it was also very windy which made it cold down by the water.  Brrrr!

Grandpa and Grandma's Visit: Monday

Jared took a 1 credit summer class, so he was pretty busy on Monday and Wednesday.  It was nice for me because I got to have more time with Mom and Dad Wilkerson and have some one on one conversations (or two on one conversations, I guess).  We toured Colonial Williamsburg on Monday while Jared was at class.

Jared had a long lunch break, so he met us for lunch at Berret's.  It was pretty good...

After lunch Mom, Dad, Luke and I hit the streets hard.  We peeked in practically every garden we could get into without an official pass.

Mom and Dad got into some trouble for not buying a pass.

Just kidding.  
We saw a lot of dressed up Colonials and the fun buildings.  We got a lot of exercise that day! When Jared's class got out, we went to the undergrad campus and toured the Wren building where Thomas Jefferson and some other famous people studied.  Even though I was really, REALLY tired by then, I think that was my favorite part of the day because I'd never seen it before.

Snack time at CW

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shamed in Front of the Regency Staff and Other Such Stories from Luke's Life

I have a pretty big "To Do" list before we leave for Houston, and I've been trying to get some things checked off this week.  One of the big things is to sign our new contract at Regency before we leave.  So I called the office this morning and made an appointment to go down and sign our new contract.  Sounds easy, right?  There's only one hitch: what to do with Luke while Jared and I are signing papers?

The Regency Lady (What's her real title?) said it was fine for him to wander around the office.  She showed Luke some pictures on her computer, and then she showed him two plastic deer that she had over by a potted plant.  They look like something you might see in a flower bed or garden.  Luke picked up the baby and was carrying it around.  Debbie said it was fine, so I let him do it.  We got to talking about what things we need to take care of: the best way to pay rent while we're gone, how high we can keep the A/C, yatta, yatta, yatta.  All the while Luke is wandering around, although he has now traded and is carrying the slightly bigger (and slightly heavier) momma deer.  Jared and I keep glancing at him, and Debbie keeps reassuring us that he's fine.  "He can't break anything," she says.  Well, just then we hear a crash.  I go over to see what Luke has done and find the momma deer on the floor-- now missing a leg.

I bend down to pick it up and while I'm apologizing profusely, Luke realizes there's a really great calculator on the desk that acts somewhat like a cash register.  It makes good loud noises when you push buttons and paper comes out of the top.  So he starts jabbing buttons left and right while I'm trying to pick up the pieces of the deer.  Jared runs to stop Luke from breaking the calculator too, and we're both red in the face.  We keep apologizing, and while Debbie swore it didn't matter, that the owner hated the deer, that she has another one at home, etc. we both still feel so embarrassed.  (And I a little perplexed.  How in the world would I replace that deer?  Where would I find one?)

And so with slightly less dignity than we possessed when we arrived, we picked up our child and our copy of the contract, and went back home where we can hopefully hide from the staff until we leave.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Mom

Mom, you are wonderful and since today is Mother's day, I have the special opportunity to tell you how much I love you.  And to expound on the miraculous fact that you love me (and all of your kids) too.

You loved me even when I looked like a boy and had crazy hair.  You loved Megan even though she demanded that she wear her pajama top around Disney Land.  You loved Eric even though he terrorized us all, and you loved Nathan even though he ruined the day complaining that a duck bit him.  (Isn't that how the story goes?)

And to further expound: You loved me even when I clung all over you and guessing from my own experience threw up on you and snotted you.  But you went so much farther than putting up with me/us.  You stood up for me and knew me better than I knew myself.  You helped me overcome my fears and inhibitions.  You believed in me far more than I believed in myself.  From the little girl who "failed" kindergarten and could barely face the camera man, you turned me into a confidant woman.  Wow!

Having gone through pregnancy and labor (and it sucked!) I am still in awe that you did it 6 times!!!  (And Jared's mom 8 times!!!)  I know you loved Eric, but you didn't really know what was coming.  To consciously choose to go through it again when knew what was coming, that's true love.  So I guess Eric gets love, but the rest of us got true love?  Just kidding.  Anyway, looking at this picture of brand new Michael reminds me of your sacrifice.  And it also makes me a little jealous.  Because you look AMAZING for having a brand new baby!  (Is Nathan plotting Michael's downfall?)

I know that your life was often overshadowed by ours.  We were your life.  While we had pictures by ourselves holding our cake, you never had the spotlight to yourself.  I am thankful that you wanted us there-- that you felt like a spotlight wouldn't have meaning or even be fun unless we were in it with you.  I always knew without any doubt that we were what you wanted more than anything else.  That's what made you a great mom.  Because it seemed and still seems like motherhood was and is always wonderful to you because you didn't want anything else.  We didn't seem to you like your little crosses to bear.  To you, we were blessings, and you always treated us that way.  And because of are one of the greatest and biggest and most important and most eternal blessings in mine.

I put this picture in purely because it looks like Michael is prepping for his revenge on Nathan.  Either that or Dad must have really made him mad.  Also, Amber looks so dang cute!

I loved that you played with us.  Prison?  Do you remember that game?  Played for HOURS at a time.  You were a great sport!

Once again: the memories of playing together as a family

(Dad, I love that you played with us too.  Don't have as many pictures with you, but that's your own fault for having a camera that no one else could figure out-- and for not trusting anyone else to take the picture even if they could have!)

I love you, Mom.  We ALL love you!!!

The Sacred Blankie

Luke is somewhat attached at the hip (or at his hand) to his blanket when we're at home.  It doesn't leave the house except when it occasionally makes the journey to church.  But at home it is a necessity.

On Saturday this was demonstrated quite clearly by two events:

1.  I heard Luke crying in his room and went in to find him curled up in a ball in front of his crib.  His blanket was stuck between two bars and he couldn't pull it out of his bed.  It was very nearly the end of the world until I rescued it.
2.  Later that day I knew Luke was hungry, so I pried his blanket away and put him in his high chair.  He became practically hysterical trying to get out of his chair, all the while reaching his arms toward his blanket which lay on the floor.  Once he had it in his hand, he could eat quite happily.

This was the first and only time Blankie has joined snack time.  I won't let that become a habit because it gets dirty enough without having Luke spit crackers all over it.  I wash his blanket every week, but I have to time it right so that it can be washed and dried before sleep.  He won't lay down without it.  Last week I put it in the washing machine before running errands and got home right before nap time.  That day Luke just slept with a wet blanket.

Friday, May 8, 2009

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It's been raining a lot this spring, but that has made everything BEAUTIFUL!  There is so much green here.  I absolutely love it.  And today, to enjoy it, (and since Jared is done with school!) we went to CW for a little while.  The palace gardens were amazing.

Watching a squirrel

The pretty flowers

The only "smile" we caught on camera

Running through the arbor

The view from the arbor-- is that what it's called?

Looking at the leaves

Luke and I

Jared and Luke

After we walked around the gardens, we headed over to Retros.  Do I talk about that place a lot?  Well, they have grilled cheese for $1.30, and Luke loves them.  So it's true that we stop by quite often.

Luke trying chocolate custard for the first time.  He was a fan.
Don't worry- he ate his lunch first.

Luke singing to all the Retros customers-- I hope they enjoyed their free concert.

And as we left Retros and headed back to the car, we saw the zealot....