Normally, on Memorial Day I would post a moving video and pay tribute to the fallen soldiers whose faces I will never know. Not this year. This year I am honoring my friend, Lt Col. Mike Phillips. I met Mike and his truly amazing wife, Deanna, (I am not kidding, the woman is a force of nature) in Tucson while Den was going through the B-course, and they came to be two of the most peaceful and inspiring influences on my life. I would not have made it throught that first long separation without them. God called Mike home just a few short months ago. I know that he is missed and well remembered today.
My kid sister is now a Masters of Divinity! It was so awesome to see all her hard work and struggles pay off. Plus, it was a chance to catch up with some of the fam who I have not seen in SOOO long. Congratulations J!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You may notice mine and the girls' attire for the graduation was definitely less than appropriate. Despite allowing myself PLENTY of time to get to Philly from Virginia, we pulled in to the parking lot right as the intro to Pomp and Circumstance began to play. Thank you Baltimore traffic for causing me to have to wear sweatpants and a tank top to one of the most significant events in my sister's life. Maybe I'll wear pajamas to her wedding.
Summer decided to try her hand at baseball this year. We were fortunate to have one of her besties, Maddie on the team too. The two girls stuck together and had a great time. I am working on regrouping my pictures into new storage albums, so consider this her highlight reel!
OK, OK, OK, I know I have been a total slacker as of late. We have been busy busy here at Haggis Manor. Baseball and Soccer seasons have come to a close, state testing has begun, after a decade of higher learning, my baby sister is now a Master of Divinity, we shipped Den off to Tampastan, and are trying to get ready to relocate to Tampa for the summer. So, I am going to start with the most recent events in our lives and work backwards until I get through everything or get tired of sharing. Then I will stop.
Today we took the girls for some fresh air fun. Our first stop was Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton. Bluebird Gap Farm is a city park that simulates a working farm. We had so much fun. There were tons of animals, including some really cute babies and a nice playground. We even ran into my Bunko buddy, Sarah, her hubby Steve, and their adorable little guys Brady and Eli. We had so much fun. They are trying to get a 4H program off the ground, so that may be right up Paige's alley. We shall see.
I don't know what kind of tree this was, but it was literally CRAWLING with caterpillars. Big ones, small ones, and ones of every color.
These baby goats were so cute. We spent a lot of time feeding them and their momma.
I love how completely blissed out this little guy looks while Den is scratching his ears.
There were about 15 ducklings of various sizes.
Paige made friends with the Shetland pony.
I wonder if she was stuck.
Taking a little break in the shade.
After leaving Bluebird Gap Farm, we headed for the strawberry patch at Wood's Orchards Farm and Market, where we took a hayride out to the patch and then spent about half an hour picking strawberries and eating them straight off the vine. I don't think I've done that since I was a kid.
For those of you who don't already know, Dennis has been tapped for yet another deployment. Due to his relatively recent return and the generosity of his commanders in going to bat for him, he was spared another trip to the Middle East. He will instead be based out of United States Central Command at Mac Dill AFB. We are very grateful for this "good deal" that we have been given. He will leave Virginia in just a couple of weeks for his 4-ish month deployment. The best news? The girls and I will relocate to Tampa once school is out to spend the summer with him! We are all very excited!
Now, on to the project portion of the title. I am going to start cooking my way through Pioneer Woman's cooking blog ala Julie and Julia! I am always so inspired by her wit and love of butter. I thought this would be a super fun way to pass the time before we reunite with Den in Florida.