Sunday, November 6, 2011

Welcome Chase Biscuit!

After about two months of background checks, a home visit and waiting, we adopted our greyhound yesterday, Chase Biscuit. He is loving, affectionate, obedient and playful - an all-around great dog.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pain, Chase Biscuit and Homeschool

So I've been MIA for a reason. Unfortunately, the last two weeks have been rather eventful. Chad traveled a bit, and while he was gone, got hit with some nastiness: a kidney infection and a kidney stone. I don't recommend either. I believe that I caught something in the ER, as well, and have only today recovered my voice and my strength. Apparently, I still have stones in my right kidney. I am awaiting an appointment with urology at Ft. Belvoir Hospital. I'm really hoping that they will approve the ultrasonic treatment (too bad the good Doctor (aka Doctor Who) couldn't just pull out his sonic screwdriver and zap 'em).

I haven't been able to teach Ingrid for an entire week... on Monday and Tuesday I was simply in too much pain. Wednesday through Friday I had no voice -- not even a whisper. It was rather pathetic.

A couple pieces of great news: our doggie adoption day has been set! We will be picking up our greyhound on November 5. Here is a picture of our dog. His race name is Chase Biscuit. We are contemplating whether or not we will re-name him. Chase is sort of growing on us.

Another good piece of news: Ingrid has started swimming with the home school swim team affiliated with the masters swim team which Chad swims, Fort Belvoir Swim Team. She is such a natural swimmer. She is the youngest and smallest on the team, and definitely NOT the slowest, and her endurance is astounding.

Chad was also able to take the girls on their very first camping trip two weeks ago over Columbus Day weekend. Our church had a father/child camp out south of here. For the first time since Ingrid was born, I was alone in my own home for a night. It was weird. And very quiet. VERY quiet.

Finally, Chad applied a couple of decals to our Subaru. A sweet greyhound profile, and a funny zombie one. Ha ha ha. I am hoping for a "Police Public Call Box" decal across the top soon :D

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wags & Whiskers

We visited the Wags & Whiskers dog show today and met some very nice greyhounds at an adoption booth. None of these dogs were available for adoption. This was just a time for the girls to actually stop and spend some time with the dogs. Our landlord has approved our request to have a greyhound. However, it remains to be seen whether or not we will be approved by the agency itself.

Posted from Steph's iPad

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Explaining My Absence and Some Updates

Okay, I know I have been oddly uncommunicative lately.

Some of the reasons:

  • Chad and I spent much of this summer apart - I in Washington state with my parents for the first half of the summer, and he in Arizona and Alabama for work. We are both back home again. He will be on the road again this fall.
  • I am returning to homeschooling, and have been planning. And planning. And planning. Part of the problem was I could NOT find a homeschool planner for Mac. I found a web-based solution two weeks ago, and I love it: Scholaric. It is simple, robust and intuitive. Give it a try!
  • I've started CrossFit. See previous post. I'm in pain.
  • I've been a little obsessed with Doctor Who and have been on another board a bit too often... I'm a geek. What can I say?
I am hoping to keep this blog a little more up to date than I have been.


  • If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm homeschooling Ingrid for second grade, and from here on out, unless something radical changes. We'll start Monday.
  • Ilsa starts kindergarten on Monday at a local church-run school. There are only nine children in her class, and it is half-day. We just do not see the need for full day kindergarten for her.
  • We're trying to eat more "Paleo." Chad has tried to convince me it is the way to go, and I'm not 100% convinced. I know people really get great results with it, but I am BikeBookBREAD after all! And it isn't like I am making my bread with shortening and chemicals... I grind wheat, etc. We bought a juicer to help support the Paleo way of eating. That has been a lot of fun... and DELICIOUS!
  • We survived Irene. Of course, I'm blogging this, aren't I?
  • The rain here in Virginia has been UNREAL -- much worse than anything Irene spat at us.
Well I guess that's all for now.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bunnies Broke Up

Chad secretly recorded Ilsa singing this extemporaneous song about bunnies breaking up. It is a bit long, but watch until the end. We can't stop laughing.

Friday, September 2, 2011

You may think me insane, but actually, I have come to my senses

I have joined CrossFit Old Town. Yep. Me + CrossFit. Don't know what CrossFit is? Watch:

Yep. I'm doing this. Well, not THIS much weight.

I'll keep you updated... after I can walk again. My quads are jelly, and my back is stiff as a board.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Apple Store of Pizza-Dom

Found this pizza place in Pentagon Row mall. Naked pizza storefront is clean and inviting. The ingredients are all natural. The crust is 10 grain including prebiotic agave fibre and probiotics. We are sitting here waiting for our order and I am salivating!

Posted from Steph's iPad

SciFi awesomeness

Found at William Sonoma:

Posted from Steph's iPad

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Riot Wheel (Re-Invention Of The) wheel.©

This is so Mad Max!

I wonder how it would hold in a hurricane. Looks stout.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Hurricane Irene...

We are now officially under a Tropical storm warning. Ugh.

We won't be hit with hurricane force winds, but our power will most likely go down tomorrow. Dominion Power Has told us to be prepared to be without power for days, not hours. We will be spending today prepping. Chad is off to find dry ice and prepare our Craig's List generator. I am off to buy supplies.

God protect us all.

Posted from Steph's iPad

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Virginia - Disaster Central!

So we were sitting in a restaurant on the ground floor of a 200 or so year old building in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. The room began to shake, dust was coming from the walls, and Chad shouted, "Earthquake! Earthquake! Earthquake! Everybody out!"

Only ourselves and the staff left the restaurant. The rest started laughing and looking up at the ceiling. Didn't anyone notice that we were in the bottom floor? Of an old rickety buiding? With 2 ton beams overhead and walls made of brick and plaster? Wo knows how serious it is going to be... And what about aftershocks and gas leaks? Sure it ended up not being as bad as it could have been. But come on people! Use your brains!

When we left the building, smart people were out in the street rather than on the sidewalks, a smart idea given the fact that the walls of the buildings are lined with bricks. Old bricks. Old loose bricks.

We paid for our food and took it to-go. When we got home, being the good homeschooling mama that I am, I got on the web and showed the girls the science of earthquakes on the computer. (Our phone lines our spotty, but web connection remains good. Cellular coverage is very iffy as well.)

Ilsa drew this picture from what she learned:

Next excitement may be arriving on Sunday: the remnants of Hurricane Irene, but I am not going to borrow worry from tomorrow.

Posted from Steph's iPad

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nice people

We are in Charlottesville at the moment. Chad was sent here to take a class at the Army JAG school at the University of Virginia. Every morning on the way to class, we have stopped to buy a cup of coffee and a morning pastry at a lovely shop called Hot Cakes. This morning, Ingrid went in with him and was admiring a little cow creamer. A man asked Chad if he could buy it for her. He proceeded to pick up Chad's entire order -- coffee, pastries, etc. Chad was in uniform... Now I don't know if this was one of the reasons he did it, but it was such a kind gesture. It turns out he was a friend of the owners of the shop.

We went back this afternoon and bought some beautiful desserts for this evening. So if you are ever in Charlottesville, check out HotCakes.

Ingrid excited about the goodies.

Ilsa "kissing" the ladybug cupcakes.

Posted from Steph's iPad

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How soon we forget... the Minot, ND floods

I am suddenly struck by how fast the national consciousness forgets. I forgot. I lived in this beautiful community for three years. And I forgot. Just a short few weeks ago, my former home was overrun by flooding.

I received an email this morning from our best friends who left Minot to start a church in Ft. Collins, Colorado asking for prayer and humbly requesting financial assistance for their trip (they'll be sleeping on the floor of our former church, making their own meals, etc.) back to Minot to help rebuild friends' homes.

I went to our former church's website. I am in shock. They posted a Google map with markers indicating all of the families -- OUR FRIENDS -- who have been "displaced" by the flood. What a humble way to say they lost their homes, our former pastor's family included. His home remains underwater.

Please would you pray for this wonderful community? It isn't a flashy place to live -- North Dakota -- but it is filled with the kindest and most giving people my husband and I have ever met in our entire lives. We have said this over and over and over again since we left. I have rarely cried when leaving a location (I usually cry when we arrive at the new place knowing the hard work of replanting roots). But I wept as we sped past the city limits of Minot, ND.

Here is more information about the flood.

Thank you friends.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Too Late to Apologize: A Declaration

I've been a bit... MIA lately. But I just had to post this video.

Happy Independence Friends!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ilsa's paper art princess costume

Ilsa is definitely creative. Give her a ream of paper, a roll of tape and a stapler, and she is set for a few hours.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Where's the TARDIS contest winner!!

So here's the winner... I don't think that my sad little crocheted TARDIS (which I never finished) could have held a candle to the ice fishing hut built by this family. FANTASTIC! to quote Nine! Molto bene' to quote Ten. I don't know what Eleven says... Geronimo!!!! I suppose.

Tardis Entry #345 | Where's The Tardis?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Please take the time to read this article. The soldier was the brother of my mother-in-law's good friend.

These are pictures taken today while out and about in and around Where George Walked, VA.
Arlington National Cemetery
Flag half-mast at the Pentagon

Wreath laid during a City of Arlington/VFW memorial service 

City of Arlington Memorial Pillar 

Honor Guard

Stones were from originally from a memorial adjacent to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (yes, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier... that was the former name of the Tomb of the Unknowns). I believe that it was erected in the early 1930's.

In Memory of Those Who Sacrificed Their All

Arlington National Cemetery, Memorial Day 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

View from the pool

We signed up for a season pass at the Ft. Belvior O Club pool. Feels like we are at a posh resort. 3 pools, snack bar, tons of lifeguards. It is so wonderful!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Picking Honeysuckle

Ilsa has discovered the deliciousness that is Honeysuckle. Every morning after we drop off Ingrid, she fills a ziplock with blossoms to "eat" on the way home. Ahhhhhh... spring in Where George Walked is lovely!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Doctor Hoooooooooooooo

Isn't this clever? This DeviantArt image was t-shirt on recently.
Unfortunately already sold out. Vote to re-print!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr Bean - At the Beach

My girls have never laughed so hard... don't know that I can say I've laughed so hardly lately either!

Adventures of Tin Tin

Tintin by teasertrailer

Whovians, watch until the very end and note the screenwriter. SQUEEE!!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

homemade toys


homemade toys, a set on Flickr.

Today, the girls built their own computers. Ilsa announced that hers is a Mac. Ingrid said hers is a laptop. Hee hee :)

A working lunch

Ingrid "built" a computer with an old keyboard she found in the basement. She told me she was looking for clothes on the Nordstrom website. Uh oh...

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10 things for which i'm thankful

It has been TOO LONG since I have counted my blessings... You know the rules, these are in no particular order:

  1. Homemade pancakes
  2. Mr. BikeMan is back in the saddle and commuting...and all but one of his many doctors have released him fully, and off of the antibiotics
  3. I've been a mommy for 7 years now! Mother's Day was lovely
  4. Summer break is 41 days away, and Ingy will be back home!
  5. The tire swing
  6. Longer days, and the girls don't want to come in at night...they want to play and play and play outside
  7. There are lots of girls in this neighborhood...nice girls for our girls to play with late into the evening
  8. Swimming lessons begin tonight
  9. Our healthy garden -- looking forward to cucumbers, beans, peas, carrots, tomatoes and peppers
  10. Mr. BikeMan signed up for the men's retreat at church -- a first in our married life. We've never attended a church that held a men's retreat that he actually felt would be beneficial to attend. This is a big deal.

if you've never watched Doctor Who...

This is the episode you will want to watch...apparently. Coming this Saturday to BBCAmerica (or in our case, at 12:01 am Sunday via iTunes)

And tell me if I'm crazy (I'm fixated on my theory that Rory is a fobbed Time Lord, BTW). At 22 seconds, I think this is RORY...

Monday, May 2, 2011

royal wedding recap

I'm sure there is very little to add that hasn't been said: lovely bride, gorgeous dress, happy groom, cool carriages, handsome military men, pomp, Anglophenia Overload...

I wrote out the following blog post, but forgot to make it live :)-

It's 5:04 am here. I got up at 4:45 to watch live streaming on BBC. 

Watching the guests arrive...

Love their musical choices for the arrival of the guests. The ensemble is playing a particularly lovely arrangement of Greensleeves right now. Beautiful. 

This Anglophile is in a state of Anglophelia Ecstasy...

THE PRINCES JUST ARRIVED!!!! Squeee!!! I feel like I'm 11 again, watching the wedding of Charles and Diana!


I'm back... it is now 8:13 am. I went upstairs at 5:45 and woke up Ingrid so that she could make a memory :)  She was pretty groggy, but woke up quickly. She wasn't quite as interested as I thought she would be. She is only 7 after all. But she had a lot of questions: 

"Why can't the people in the church see the wedding?" 
"Why are the bridesmaids so little?" 
"Why are they kneeling?" 
"What's with all of those huge hats? They are getting in the way." 
"Why didn't the Prince and Princess kiss each other after they got married?" 
Then a declaration: "But I wanted to marry Prince William!"

Post-wedding reflections:

Glad to see Kate wearing such a beautiful, classic and cathedral-appropriate dress. Stunning. Perfect. Memorable. Timeless.

The order of service was lovely. Beautiful Bible readings. Perfect hymns. Loved the John Rutter anthem written for the occasion. (I'm a choral music snob.)

I don't understand all British traditions. Why would Prince William wear the uniform (even honorarily) of an Irish Guard colonel when he is neither a colonel nor in the Irish Guard, but in the RAF? British friends, please explain. Not that he didn't look spectacular, though.

Well, off to take Ingrid to school. I'm sure she'll be dozey today. I don't care. This will be one of those memories of a lifetime, even if she doesn't think so right now.

Old Presbyterian Meeting House

On the way home from work tonight, Mr. BikeMan stumbled upon one of those great places that are everywhere here Where George Walked: the Old Presbyterian Meeting House Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier.

 The cemetery holds over 300 "inhabitants" and is smaller than our modest back yard.

The church is still very active, and has a membership of around 1,000. The congregation was founded in 1760. They called their first pastor in 1772, and the first meeting house built in 1775.

Royal Wedding - sort of...

I know it's everywhere, but this made me smile...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I love family businesses!

In the age of big box retail and corporate behemoths, we are lucky to have this family-owned gas station just 3 minutes from our home.

Today they are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Congratulations!

The service station attendants pump your gas. They are friendly and genuinely cheerful. Their repair service is excellent. A few times a week, the wife of the original owner works as cashier. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

severe thunderstorm has hit

Hard to tell just how hard it is raining in these pictures, but you can tell it's heavy, looking at the puddles in the street. It has only been raining about 3 minutes.


Stephanie J.

so what do YOU do when there's a tornado watch?

You play with bubbles, of course. The humidity was really high, so the bubbles lasted forever. For your information, here is a great bubble solution recipe that I found on the giant bubble wand package:

24 ounces (3 cups) dishwashing liquid (original blue Dawn works best)
3/4 cup corn syrup
12 cups water

Mix and play!

There were tornadoes very close to us, but none in our immediate area. Still under a watch until 8:00 am this morning, with severe thunderstorm warning for the day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How Are Mac & PC People Different? [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Are Mac & PC People Different? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Very interesting. For the record, I have a Mac. Some of the points are 100% right on target, some aren't. But more are than aren't. Not the politics, though.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

garden tomb tableau

A church in our neighborhood has set up a garden tomb with two Roman guards keeping watch all weekend. I took the girls down to see it this afternoon, and the guards stayed in character. The girls were really scared of them, though, and refused to ask or answer questions. Pretty neat, though.

beautiful tribute to elisabeth sladen

I didn't know Sally Forth was a Whovian...

My friend Molly sent this to me. Ha ha ha! Click to read...

Monday, April 18, 2011

don't wanna wake you up...

Said Ilsa at approximately 4:30 this morning:

"Mommy! Mommy! I just want you to know that I'm going to the bathroom. But I won't flush the toilet because I don't want to wake you up."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mr. BikeMan built his first wheel!

Chad had the privilege of learning how to build a bicycle wheel from one of the best wheel builders on the East coast. Here is the fruit of his labor. He'll be building his second wheel soon.

Note the absence of crutches and the presence of two real shoes! Whoopee!

Happy 50th Anniversary Mom & Dad

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