Saturday, July 21, 2012

Music Lessons: One Hit Wonders

Every now and then, I discover a song that I love by a band or artist that I'm not completely sold on. I might listen to the individual song a hundred times in as many days, but listening to the entire album? Meh...

This first video is one I found last night, and oh my goodness, it is the cutest video I have ever seen.




Thursday, July 19, 2012

Looking at Other People's Vacation Photos is So Boring...

When I was a kid, we drove nearly every year out to Utah, first starting from northern Indiana, and then from Kentucky. The goal was to get to relatives cheaply, not to see the sights. If I were going to make a list of all the states I've been to, the list would be quite long. But most of the time, I was passing through, not staying for a visit.

Now with kids of my own, we make the same trek twice a year. Not to Utah, but home to Kentucky/Tennessee. Our trip is shorter than the drive to the west, but the goal is the same - get there quickly and cheaply. The hills and mountains and then hills again pass by in a blur while I catch up on my reading, the boys re-watch the same movies for the hundredth time, and Michael drives and drives and drives. When we cross the border we say, "We're in Tennessee!" and then coming home, "Hello again, North Carolina."

I have a dream that someday we will buy an RV and spend the whole summer driving around the country. One time, I suggested to my boys that we buy an RV and spend an entire year on the road. Perhaps when Cole is in 5th grade, Eli is in 4th, and Rylan is in 1st, I mused, because that is the last year I will not have a job. The boys took me seriously and started telling their teachers, "I won't be here in 5th/4th grade. We're buying an RV."

Maybe someday I'll take a trip where I stop to see the sights in all those places I've passed through, but for now, vacation looks like this:

sightseeing Phillysightseeing Phillysightseeing Philly

My mom and I took the boys sight-seeing in Philly on one of the days that Miriam had to work. Okay, let's not kid ourselves...we took the boys to see the Liberty Bell and then forced them to walk around Philadelphia for three more hours. Everything else after the Liberty Bell was child torture (if you ask Cole, Eli, or Rylan) except perhaps riding the carousel. Actually, they were pretty good until the last 30 minutes, and my mom and I highly recommend these storytelling stations that they have set up throughout the city.

seeing Wanda's horsesseeing Wanda's horsesseeing Wanda's horses

On to Kentucky! A friend of my mom's has miniature horses and graciously invited my boys over for a ride. Actually, I think we invited ourselves, but she was still a gracious host.

at Gr and Gr Petersat Gr and Gr Petersat Gr and Gr Peters

We spent a couple days in Tennessee catching up with Michael's sister, whose family was stationed in Hawaii for three years. It was awesome to see them. All of a sudden, Christian is a teenager! (You can tell by his carefully styled Bieber haircut.) Plus, Diana is pregnant with her fourth, making her another one of those people who makes me feel like a slacker. I was disappointed going through my photos to see that I didn't catch a picture of Diana - she looks so good! in-laws got rabbits. You do not want to know why!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

George and Jack

George Kells and Rylan Jack

Rylan with George

When my brother was little, he had two stuffed monkeys: Jack and George. He loved the name Jack and always said that someday he'd use that name for his son. Unfortunately for him, I had three sons before he had one, so I got Jack and he was stuck with George.

Besides being the names of Josh's monkeys, both Jack and George are family names. Jack was the name of my Grandpa Alley, who died the year Rylan was born. George is my dad's name, my great-grandfather's name, and my great-great-great-grandfather's name. In other words:

George Alley (2012)
Josh Alley (1981)
George Alley (1955)
John Alley - aka Jack (1920)
George Alley (1878)
Stephen Alley (1832)
George Alley (1792)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Have I mentioned the potatoes?

potatoes from the garden

Another harvest from our garden. These are all new potatoes, meaning small. If you leave the potatoes in the ground until fall, they will supposedly get big like store potatoes. Red potatoes are generally small anyway though, and I needed the garden space. Besides, who has the patience for a crop that takes multiple seasons?

Digging up the potatoes was awesome. It was so fun that after the boys and I had done half the bed, I went across the street to see if the neighbor boy wanted to come dig some up too. What you see here is about 25 pounds, and I've already started daydreaming about potato condos to maximize our garden potential next year.

Monday, July 9, 2012

In Real Life

One of the things I loved about being a green blogger was the amazing network of women I came in contact with, many of whom I now consider friends. While in Atlanta visiting my brother, I hooked up with my blogger friend Jaime, known at the Green Phone Booth as Sustainamom. It was so fun to meet her in real life! She's super sweet, and her son was a doll.

blogger friendsgelato in Atlanta

We ate at Jaime's family's restaurant Pizzeria Venti. If you're in Atlanta, check it out. Eli gives two thumbs up to the chocolate gelato!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sunny in Philadelphia

swimming in Phillyswimming in Phillyswimming in Phillyswimming in Philly

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A trip to Philly is not complete...

...without a run to Rita's. Or two.

Rita's in phillyRita's in philly

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I don't always have it all together

Little Ceasar's after swim lessons

swim lessons

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Like We're Not Even Here

We returned home from vacationing with a couple of sick kids. Plans and playdates have been cancelled as we spend the week resting and recuping in preparation for more upcoming travel plans. The boys have watched the entire collection of Veggie Tales in the Netflix library, and yesterday we got in a 2 1/2 hour nap. I haven't opened the blinds in two days. We've barely left the house. Our neighbors might not even realize that we're home.

I have some plans to get a few things done while the boys are recovering, but those plans do not include blogging. I have a bunch of things I want to write about, loosely outlined in the drafts folder, but until I get to them, please to enjoy a few photo dump posts from the past few weeks.

On the way home from the science museum

science museumscience museumscience museumscience museumscience museum
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