Wednesday, March 26, 2014


When Ellie came home and said she might want to do crew, I said, "Cool!"  It always looked so romantic in the movies.  Slender boats gliding along glassy rivers. It turns out it's a little like ballet; there is a lot of hard work and athleticism going on behind that grace.

Ellie leaves for practice every weekday immediately after school (2:30) and gets back at 6:45.  Sometimes I'm the one driving the carpool.  Saturdays she leaves around 7:30 and gets back after noon.  It is a BIG commitment.

First, they've been doing tons of working out: running, rowing machines, exercises I've never heard of that combine jumping jacks, pushups, and a little more.  Then they had to learn how to carry the 65 foot long boat.  They they have to learn how to carry it down a steep hill to the dock and put it in the water in a coordinated manner.

Ellie's in the sea-green fleece and yellow backpack

Then they have to attach all the oars and learn to get in the boat at the same time without tipping it over.  I'm totally impressed.

That's Ellie with an oar
I tried to be sneaky and take these pictures of Iliana and her team.

Ellie is the third white t-shirt back

Sneaky because I didn't want to embarrass her.  I had a beautiful 3 mile hike in the process.  But it turns out that if you wear a bright coral shirt and carry a camera, you aren't being that sneaky.

This is Iliana's whole boat waving to me and yelling "Hi Iliana's Mom!"

Some March Catch Up

Early in March, Mark and Dane got to go on the cub scout Polar Bear Campout.  They saw some beautiful woods, slept in a cabin with a snorer, and Dane made a paracord bracelet that he's worn every day since.

Sammy, Dane, and Jacob--All Tiger Cubs

Paracord Bracelet

I got to drive Iliana's carpool to Crew, and took the opportunity to spy on the kids a bit and take a hike. I'm really impressed by the size of the boats!  Learning to carry them and put them in the water is half the struggle for the new kids. The woods around here are gorgeous!

Carrying a crew "shell"

Another sign of spring

Mark took the scouts on their first actual backpacking trip.  They went to the C&O Canal, and whet their appetites for the bigger trip in April.  

Leaving after work means arriving and cooking in the dark.

Scoutmaster Mark and Star scout Drake

The IceBane Patrol

And the Tiger Cubs when on a Go See It to the Leesburg Today Newspaper. They had "Rex the Stinky Skunk" along because he was awarded to them this month for being an exemplary den.

Dane, Owen, and Spencer

A Little Catching Up: February

I haven't posted much about what we're doing in a long time.  I feel like it's time to catch up a little, so many things are happening in our family.

First up: Snow in Virginia!  We finally got a snowstorm that actually qualified as a snow storm in our Utah sensibilities.  And then we got a few more after that.  I think this week will be only the second weeks since Christmas that the kids haven't had either a snow day or at least a late start.  These photos are from the "big one" in mid-February.

The weekend after this, the three youngest kids and I went for a hike along a piece of the Bull Run-Occoquan trail.  This trail goes along the Occoquan reservoir where Iliana is doing Crew.  We wanted to check it out.  It was beautiful, and we saw our first sign of spring!

 February is also my birthday!  Julie took me out to lunch, and we tried out a new mexican place.  I haven't been impressed with Mexican food on the east coast so far, but this one was really good!

Then we had some more snow.  This time we finally made it sledding on the big hill in Manassas National Battlefield Park.  Yes, the location of the First and Second Battle of Bull Run.

The building in the background in this picture is "The Old Stone House".  It was used during both battles as a field hospital and a place to keep prisoners of war.