Thursday, June 12, 2003

Wow, it's Thursday already! Life always goes in a tailspin at the end of the schoolyear, what with parties, picnics, graduations etc.!

And the weather has been fine this week too, albeit quite humid, so the moment you step outside, sweat drips off of you, but at least it's not raining all day and the sun comes out at times. We did have some serious storms roll through last night though and are expecting more today.

Saskia wants to go to the pool, but the water is still too cold for me, so I've (successfully) dissuaded her. If there wasn't a thunderstorm only a half hour or so away, I would have let her go, heaven knows she needs the exercise. But I have a feeling it would be one of those sweating to get to the pool and just jumped in and then the first thunder is heard, deals. They close the pool for 15 minutes at the first sound of thunder and don't reopen it until no thunder is heard for 15 minutes. So, that effectively closes the pool for the afternoon if there are storms in the area as you can hear thunder for a loooooong time before and after a storm!

Recapping the week, on Monday Christine and I worked out on the fitness trail in the nearby park. It's really cool, a beautiful forest, with every few hundred feet an exercise to do, like push ups, pull ups, hopping over bars etc. There are 20 exercises that works all kinds of different muscles. You jog between stations and by the end have done quite a good workout.

Katja had a dentist appointment in the afternoon and Kai had his end of year concert that evening. They sounded a lot better than in the beginning of the year. Kai plays trumpet, he doesn't know yet if he wants to continue next year. I don't think our kids are very musically inclined, but if Kai would really get into the trumpet, it would be cool. In the fall we listened to the high school jazz band and that was lots of fun and the kids playing clearly enjoyed it too.

On Tuesday at 7am, my dad called to see if I'd gotten his messages (oops, no, didn't check the machine!) and asked if I wanted to go for a long bike ride. So we rode out to Herndon on the W&OD trail , about 10 miles out. He was a great biking companion keeping up my pace, until the last 3 miles, then he suddenly was really tired.

It was a beautiful ride, we saw 2 groundhogs, several chipmunks, colorful birds and a fox! The latter was sitting at the top of a bridge looking at us and didn't run away till I was very close to him. On the way back, he was there again. It's definitely the closest up I've ever seen a fox!

Talking about wildlife, apparently, a bear was tranquilized less than 2 miles from our house the other day! This is what the Washington Post wrote about it:
"Wandering Bear Captured in Fairfax

An adolescent bear seen wandering through yards in Fairfax County foraging for food was tranquilized and carried away on a litter after startled homeowners in Vienna contacted police yesterday.

The 80-pound black bear was spotted in the late morning lumbering through residential neighborhoods near Route 123, said Earl Hodnett, a wildlife biologist with the police department's animal control division. The bear was shot with a dart gun and eventually transferred to state animal control officers, who were to release it into woods far from the crowded suburbs, Hodnett said.

Bears and other wildlife -- including red foxes, coyotes and deer -- are becoming a common sight in the suburbs. "This isn't necessarily the only bear around," Hodnett said. "It's just the only one we tranquilized today.""

A little disconcerting to think we could see a bear in our backyard next! Our neighbor said he had recently seen a coyote in his yard and this really can't be called a rural area by any stretch of the imagination!

Back to the events at hand, after the bike ride, I went over to Saskia's class picnic and walked back home with her. We had about an hour before the school would let out, so I took her to the pool. This was a good move, as she got all my attention and could tell me a thousand times "Watch this, Mommy", without being interrupted by a sibling. I think she sometimes really needs that one on one total attention on her.

After Katja's tutoring, Lauren came to babysit and Rick and I went out to dinner to the Pacific Rim restaurant. It's a little bit of a drive from us, but they have the best vegetable roll appetizer: like a sushi hand roll, but then with crispy veggies. Really good!

Yesterday, I worked out at home, boring! Then went to Kai's picnic and helped out with pizza and games. I took Kai home with me as well, but his was over later, so we didn't have much time together.

Saskia had gymnastics and Katja her second tutoring session of the week, so I felt like a total chauffeur.

Oh yes, and it was Saskia's half birthday yesterday. She's going to be an actress that one, I've determined. The drama she can create! You would think she was the saddest little girl, because her birthday is so close to Christmas and she gets *all* her presents all at once and then nothing for a *whole* year (all brought with much flair). So, I decided to let her have some fun for her half birthday. We went to Zany Brainy, where she picked out some Scratchmagic (stipulation for the gift was that it had to be something she could make). And tomorrow night she's having a sleepover with 3 of her friends, with pizza, ice cream and a movie. She's happy :).

Today, I got my nails done, especially my toenails were highly necessary. Rick jokes with me, that I never used to get nails done and now I have to of course keep it up (I have silk wraps). And I like to get my toenails done, so I can get a cool design on my big toe with a little diamond. Ok, so, that's my one little indulgence and I like looking well groomed.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Yes, after rain comes sunshine is an old Dutch saying and thank goodness it's always true! It was pouring down rain all day yesterday, but today it's dry and we've seen some rays of sunshine. We went to the Great Falls park again, as they opened some floodgates upstream which turned the river into a raging rapid, very impressive! We walked about 2 hours through the mud, so we were gross when we came home, but oh was it gorgeous! I'll upload a picture here too.

On Friday night we had a great party for Chuck's 50th birthday. It had a southwest theme, so we brought stuffed jalapenos from Tequila Grande, they're so good, they're stuffed with spinach and cheese.

Yesterday we just kind of hung out, Katja had to babysit and after she left, Rick and I and the other 2 kids went to Renaissance Cafe, our favorite restaurant. The kids were so much fun! While waiting for the meals, I gave them each coins to check out from what year they were and we made an "oldest", "middle" and "newest" pile. The oldest was 1962, so not extremely old.

I'm working on editing my pictures now, so I'm keeping this short.