Sunday, April 24, 2011










Rylan's victory dance



Cole was the only one of the three interested in fishing. He didn't catch anything.


Neither did Michael.


Rylan kept an eye on the mealworms.


This kid is so darn photogenic.

Cave Exploring


Oh lovely Shenandoah Valley, how we will miss you for another year!

Looks Like We're Not in Kansas

Several months ago, Cole was suffering from some anxiety about natural disasters. "What if there's an earthquake?" he'd ask, and we would say, "North Carolina doesn't get earthquakes."

"What if there's a hurricane?"

"We're too far from the ocean for a hurricane to do any damage."

"What if there's a flood?"

"We live at the top of a hill."

"What if there's a tornado?"

"Tornadoes are very uncommon in Raleigh because it's hard for that kind of storm to make it over the mountains."


Last Saturday, I got a call from my neighbor telling me that a tornado had been sighted just south of downtown and that I should find somewhere safe to hide. Michael and Cole were out running errands, so I called Michael and said, "There's a tornado heading your way."

He said, "We'll be fine," and drove straight into the tornado. This is the brilliant man I married.

Meanwhile, just as I hung up the phone, the power went out. I grabbed a stack of books and a flashlight and hunkered down with Eli and Rylan in my walk in closet. Which on further reflection is not the safest place in the house. We keep all of our tools on the top shelf of that closet.

The boys had no idea what was going on, and I kept a good poker face:

"Why are we in the closet in the dark, Momma?"

"We're just reading some books."

The tornado passed through really quickly, and all I can say is that it did not sound like a freight train. It sounded more like someone was shooting pebbles at my house. And maybe throwing lawn furniture.


The first thing I noticed when I opened the door was that our house was covered in leaf pulp.


Then I saw that a tree had fallen on my next-door-neighbor's house. Luckily, it fell at just the right angle so that it barely swiped her porch. Even her car (which is under that tree) escaped unscathed.


This was the extent of the damage to our house - part of the back fence blew down and our yard was littered with sticks and shingles.


And the biggest exclamation from me: "Ah, man, my seedlings..."

Our house suffered minimal damage, but some of our neighbors were not so lucky. The house two houses down (one of the few remaining old houses in our transitional neighborhood) was wiped out by a tree. The couple inside were able to climb out safely and are now staying with relatives. Here are a few other pictures from the neighborhood:





Michael and Cole made it home safely, though I do believe they drove right through the tornado. I also didn't really realize that the tornado had actually passed through our neighborhood until I saw this map tonight. So now, I am feeling very very lucky and grateful for the awesome builders who constructed our very solid home and also grateful that our yard has no trees (something I would never in a million years have been grateful for before).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rylan Says...

At the grocery store:

"Let me see what's next on your list...Cookies!"

(It did not say cookies...)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

While I Was Gone

I flew up to Philly last weekend to see my sisters and mom. This is what happened in Philly:

Erin haircut

This is what happened at home: "We got to watch TV all day on Saturday and then we ate hot dogs and french fries, and Daddy let us play Wii all day on Sunday, and we got to go to McDonalds..." (in Eli's words)

This is what one of the Joy School kids said when he saw my new haircut: "Your hair is different, but you're still Miss Erin."

And another kid waited until halfway through Joy School to exclaim, "You got a haircut!"

Growing in the Garden

in the garden

in the garden

in the garden

If that darn squirrel doesn't dig up everything, we should be getting a ton of greens in the next couple weeks.

Yesterday, I spent the whole afternoon weeding our front lawn. The people building the new house across the street put sod in a couple weeks ago, and now I have lawn envy. I've long been a proponent of natural lawns, but I think ours has gotten a bit out of hand. As I told Michael, I don't mind the wildflowers - I kind of like them. What I mind are the bare patches and the mud.

So anyway, because I'm anti-herbicides, I had to dig out all of the weeds by hand and it took all afternoon, but I love working in the yard so I didn't mind. Then Michael spread some grass seed, and hopefully in a couple weeks, our front yard will at least look passable.

There's no point in bothering with the backyard...

Cole Says...

The other day on the bus, I looked over at Cole and saw a weird expression on his face. "Are you okay?" I asked.

He said, "I'm practicing rolling my eyes."

(He did not appreciate it the next day when he rolled his eyes at me and I said, "Looks like all of that practicing is paying off.")

Rylan Says...

I was reading to Rylan from his "All About Me" book that we made at Joy School: "My family includes my mother, my father, and my brothers Eli and Cole."

Rylan interrupted, "I don't have a father."

I said, "You don't have a father? Do you have a mother?"

Rylan nodded, pointing at me.

I said, "But you don't have a father?"

Rylan said, "I have a daddy."
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