Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day in Historic Varina

For Memorial Day, we headed out to Fort Harrison, part of the Richmond National Battlefield Park. We enjoyed the visitor's center, walked around the paths, and the girls completed the Junior Ranger booklet to earn a Junior Ranger patch. It's such a great way to help teach our girls a little US history.

Fort Harrison is one of a bunch of Civil War forts in the rural and beautiful Varina area of Henrico County. More Civil War battles were fought in Henrico County then in any other county in America. These Civil War forts exchanged back and forth between the Union and the Confederacy and were involved in both the 1862 and 1864 campaigns. The first Union soldiers to march into Richmond after Petersburg fell were stationed in Fort Harrison.

We also stopped by the Fort Harrison National Cemetery. We were pleasantly surprised to remember how awesome it is to see all the American flags placed by headstones in national cemeteries on Memorial Day.

One of the tasks the girls had to do to earn their Junior Ranger patch was a headstone rub. We looked up in the directory and found a solider with the last name Gates.

While trying to take pictures, I got the girls laughing so hard and it was so hilarious. We have very few pictures of the girls, especially Charly, with their true smiles.

We were so hot and exhausted by the end of the day, but it was so much fun. It was a great way to spend Memorial Day and remember all those that fought and died for the wonderful freedoms that we have today.


After weeks of spending every weekend lying around the house since we were either sick or Chuck was in so much pain from his back and leg problems, I convinced him that we needed to go do something. We finally felt like the real Gates family that we are, dragging our kids around in the heat making family memories.

The Maymont Gardens were gorgeous! We had a picnic, strolled around, and took lots of pictures.
It looks like we are the only ones there, but it was crowded. Chuck just did an awesome job taking the photos.
This tree was impossible to resist a little photo shoot of the girls and their dad.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Watch it Grow!

end of April
end of May

A list of what we are growing this year
(really so I can remember later):
  • italian basil (3)
  • cinnamon basil (2)
  • lemon basil
  • cilantro (2)
  • chocolate mint
  • golden bell peppers (3)
  • violet bell peppers
  • sweet banana peppers
  • tomato (3)
  • cherry tomato (2)
  • strawberries
  • baby carrots
  • onions
  • purple beans (5)
  • squash (2)
So glad it is portable, so we can take it to our new house next month.

Mother's Day Notes

Lucy's Mother's Day note from school. (click on picture to enlarge)
I think it was so sweet that she put that my job was taking care of my friends. She brought this home on a day that my friends were really taking care of me, so it was perfect.

Leland's "A Book About My Mom" with commentary by the mom. 
Leland said she drew me wearing "your church jewelry". Sunday is the only day I wear jewelry (and makeup too for that matter)
I thought...she makes me look like a healthy eater...salad, carrot, orange, chicken...
then she breaks out the Cheeburger, Cheeburger.
Pretty accurate picture with the red boxes too.
They also picked me a beautiful bouquet of flowers all from our yard. Sweet girls.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Look on the bright side

Being sick has its advantages. I have an excuse to ignore my dirty house, the dirty dishes piling up and the mounds of laundry to fold and just sit at the computer (coughing up a lung), sorting through pictures and blogging.

I have asthmatic bronchitis. Think bronchitis, but when you start coughing you have an asthma attack. Not Fun. Oh and I had no voice for 2 days.

Chuck hurt his back and has being laying on a mattress on our living room floor for over a week. He finally got some medication. Now every few hours he's in this silly euphoric, singing state. It's pretty amusing.

Our poor children have watched so much TV in the last few days. I'm sure they have loved it. I just hope they don't get sick.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Victorian Day

We all love a good parade and last week, we went to the Bon Air Victorian Day Parade and Festival. There was a great "small town" feeling in our historic area that is so close to the city. One of the things I love about living in Richmond is, even though we live in a fairly large city, there is a small town community feel to many areas.
Leland says, "The pollution from the fire truck stinks and makes it hard for me to breathe." The environmentalist in her has kicked in. It is very fitting that she was born on Earth Day. She is always reminding us on how we waste energy or water and tries to recycle everything.
The girls loved going down the slide "like a penguin". There were several concerned parents that there was a "baby" in the bounce house. I thought, if she gets hurt, she will realize she's not one of the big kids, but Charly could hold her own, she loved it and never cried despite getting bounced around.
Chuck hurt his back and spent the few hours out of the house laying on the grass like this.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Blessing and Birthday

Abigail Kate Morris
I am so grateful for my
parents and my sisters.
I love my family. (Chuck and
Charly were at home sick)
The Morris' have a fun back yard.
The kids caught some fish, too.
Being with family was a great
way to spend my birthday.