Sunday, March 19, 2017

Recap of 2016 a.k.a. clearly I haven't posted on my blog in awhile...

If you had asked me when I last posted on this blog I would have said, "hmm....it's been awhile, maybe late fall...?"  Ha.  Then I opened my blog up....where does the time go?  Considering how long it has been since I updated this blog you would think we have been crazy busy finishing on the house....but the house is not finished.   So here is a very lengthy recap of what we have been doing this past year. 

We finally moved into the house the end of March.  We unpacked a few boxes then curled up in the fetal position and whimpered for a few months.  
It wasn't quite that bad, but we did take a break from working on the house.  All those items on my list that were "must do before moving in"  suddenly didn't seem that important.  We learned that interior doors are optional, though the missing door on the half bath can still be tricky....       

We did need to take a break though, we had been pushing so hard to get into the house and everyone was exhausted.  We needed to slow down and regroup,  to get our daily routine back, to go back to eating real dinners at a reasonable time,  to buckle down and get caught up on school work. We figured we would take a month or two off as a much needed rest, so that as a family we could recover our equilibrium.  So for April and May we enjoyed the beautiful spring and rested.

Ainsley, loving all the violets
Wythe, practicing his golf swing

Enjoying the spring in our new neighborhood
eating lunch at Timberlake's Drug Store

Mother's Day 2016

My birthday dinner


June was the beginning of pool season and swim team. Our first year of swim team will probably be a separate post, I have lots to say about that experience!
Fry's Spring Beach Club, our summer home.

loving the pool!

And then one morning I overhear... "we should take some of the siding off of the house and make a race track!"  
house siding makes a really good race track...who knew?
 So while we hung out at the pool, Peter worked on removing the rest of the siding. 



July continued with spending almost every waking hour at the pool, celebrating Wythe's birthday, having a massive tree cut down in our yard and wrapping up swim team season. 

with Great-Grandma on her birthday

Wythe turns 8!

cookout and bonfire on Wythe's birthday

at Wythe's party

Wythe's birthday party

celebrating Bastille Day, French food all day long!

very sad that this tree had to go!

cutting down the old tree

tanned and blond from the sun!

tanned and blond from the pool!

time to start splitting wood!
 
end of the swim team season!


In August we tackled removing the awful concrete steps on the back of the house.  We thought (hoped) they were hollow and that we could just bust them up into small pieces.  They were solid and it took several pieces of equipment and many hours on a jack hammer to break it into movable pieces.  But Wythe got to operate the mini excavator so that made his year! 
the destruction of the awful, concrete steps
Wythe operating the excavator

he couldn't be happier!
 We continued to go to the pool every day. Though now that swim team season was over it was much more peaceful.  On hot days it is quite nice to sit in the shade of these lovely old trees!
Fry's Spring Beach Club

Carter's Mountain Orchard
 The last couple weeks of the month were spent going up to our old house, it needed a lot of work to prepare for new tenants. 
The kids enjoying being back at our old place!
Ainsley at Griffin Tavern


September we continued to spend a lot of time traveling back and forth to work on our old house, enjoyed the last days at the pool and started back with our school.
we are fond of child labor

end of pool season

the kids enjoying the old dirt pile

they loved being back at the old place!


October was another busy month.  I took the kids to visit Woodson Mill. They were grinding corn that day so it was really neat to see it in operation.  I may do a separate post about the mill, it is such a neat place and has special ties to our family. 
Woodson Mill

Woodson Mill
 One Saturday in October they closed down the main street in our neighborhood for people to come out and walk, bike and play. The kids loved riding their bikes and scooters in the road!
Bike Walk Play JPA 2016
The library hosted a Star-wars day.  Wythe got to take a light saber training class and got to meet his hero, Darth Vader. 
light saber class

Wythe and Darth Vader


We continued to work on our rental property.  The kids loved spending more time there, Ainsley was thrilled to hang her swing back up!

Ainsley had a special party for her birthday.  She planned the party and was very specific on what decorations she wanted. It was a lovely tea party!
the food at Ainsley's party

the birthday girl

What a sweet group of girls at her tea party!
 This year we attended the Harry Potter festival in Scottsville.  It was so much fun but also so many people that it is a little overwhelming.  I think this event deserves its own post too!
Harry Potter festival 2016

truck-or-treat 2016

Halloween 2016

In November I attended the Virginia Film festival and had the privilege of seeing the moving "Loving".  I was excited to go because one of the directors, Colin Firth, was going to be there.  The movie was amazing and one I think everyone should see. Here's the best way to describe how good the movie was, I completely forgot that Colin Firth was there!  After the movie they had a discussion between the director and producers about the making of the movie.  I was seated on the front row, great spot for the discussion!

Peter continued chopping wood, I'm not sure he realized how big the tree was till he started splitting the wood. Although, it is also possible that the logs kept reproducing each time he turned his back.  
 We did our civic duty and voted, then watched in stunned disbelief as the election results came in.  We spent the next day (or weeks) in the fetal position. 
 Our big house project for the year was getting the chimney working. While we weren't doing the work ourselves, it was a costly project and put a dent in the budget for doing some of the other work on the house.  We finally found a mason who does restoration work and was able to replace some of the bricks to make it structurally sound, remove and replace all the mortar and rebuild the fire box. The brick work was very messy, though they contained a lot of the mess by tenting the area. Having the chimney tented off made for some cosy evenings in our living room! 

the tent around our chimney














December was busy as always with the holidays and continued chimney work. 
rebuilding the fire box
 My aunt, who is also a dear friend, and I have a tradition of having Christmas tea at The Jefferson hotel.  It is a delightful experience. 
Christmas tea at The Jefferson. 

tea at The Jefferson
mailing letters to Santa
 I took the kids to The Jefferson hotel to see the Christmas decorations. 

The Jefferson Hotel ~ Richmond, Virginia

I love the way they never run out of things to talk about
 We always enjoy going to Williamsburg during the Christmas season, the decorations are so lovely. 
The Apple house


Wythe got to perform in The Christmas Carol

So pleased with himself for participating!

It was so very cold but still neat to walk around after dark!
In front of the Wythe house




 We surprised the kids with a trip to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.  We had a blast!  We spent the whole day there, saw a couple shows, the kids rode their first roller coaster, everything was so much fun!
Riding the train at Christmas Town



the place was just magical!


 Just in time for Christmas the chimney work was finally completed!  

Christmas Eve....just a tad excited!

you may notice that Puppy and Bunny have their own stockings


a "new" jersey for Wythe

a picture of her with Bunny

all the excitement!!




My brother and his family came over for our annual Christmas dinner.  Once again, we did a British or Dickens themed dinner.  It was a little scaled back from previous years due to lack of dining room, lack of counter space issues. But it was still festive and delicious. 

We ended the year with our Hogmanay celebration, Scottish food on New Year's Eve.   

Cheers to 2017!

My Atholl Brose on  Hogmanay


'til next time...