The kids are having a good school year. Both are keeping up their straight A's.
And churning out endless drawings, letters, and signs.
Looking out my office window at the park across the street coming together, and an amazing cloud-scape.
We wrapped up a great soccer season, with both kids making solid reputations for themselves. Annaliese is the girl who can effortlessly outpace everyone on the field, giving her just enough time to take three swings at the ball with her left foot before connecting.
Caspian is a killer goalie, falling on any ball that comes near him, and dancing his heart out when the ball is up field. (Or practicing his ninja moves, it looks the same from the sidelines.)
The team ended the season without their coach, who was indicted on bank fraud a few weeks before the end of the season. A friend of mine, my loan officer for several years, and the father of three young boys.
While Alexe was in DC for her birthday and her sister's engagement party, the kids and I focused on finishing up their bathroom renovation. They kept me company in the workshop while I knocked together some towel shelves.
This was easier than taking turns on the swing. And after I snapped a picture, they insisted on changing positions so I could send both pictures to Alexe.
My darling bride once again left the truck running on fumes. Brunch was postponed by a trip to the gas station.
Farm chores with my helpers.
Soccer season may be over, but we've been playing in the yard. The after dinner games, 2 on 2, get unexpectedly intense. I blame Alexe's competitive nature, that both her children have inherited.
I added a basketball hoop to the playground.
And a hammock. Alexe gave this to me for my birthday last year, and it took almost a year to find the right spot for it.
Sunday, all dressed up for church.
The days we find out there's a potluck in the basement after the service are the best. We are never checked in enough to know about it beforehand, so we are always empty-handed. And yet, everyone is so welcoming, and insists we stay, overcoming our weak attempts to beg off.
This Sunday was a chili cook off. If we had known we might not have put Caspian in a bright white shirt.
Sunday afternoon, family walk out by Ford's Well. There's a bonafide mountain out there on the edge of the lake, pointed out to me by a friend earlier in the week who was showing me her next renovation project, an old family cabin bordering this lovely Army Corps preserve. We went back as a family to explore, and spent several hours hiking. Not exactly on purpose. The trail markers were a little bit confusing.
Caspian helping out Pat the UPS man.
Annaliese had a lemonade stand this summer at the BTC. Caspian has been asking to have a cider stand ever since.
Alexe picked us up a case of apples, and on a morning when Annaliese went to work with Alexe, Caspian and I got to grinding and pressing those apples.
It was a lot of work for a gallon and a half of cider.
The next morning Caspian was supposed to wait until 10 am to set up his stand, giving him time to prepare before the lunch crowd started showing up at 11. I was barely able to keep him at home until 9.
He had already sold his first cup by 10.
And his second.
He settled in for the long haul, and by early afternoon he had sold every drop of his cider, and walked away with a cool $42.
Annaliese and I, in the meantime, filled 70 sandbags at the local concrete yard, used them to level the perimeter of the pond, installed a new liner, replaced the blocks, and started her filling again.
Topping the day off, I went to the courthouse in the evening to hear the opposing sides of a ballot initiative discuss a beat vs. unit system of road management in the county.