Saturday, August 30, 2008

A sad Goodbye.

Just a week or so after we moved into our new house, we had a wonderful surprise! The current neighbors were almost complete in their move out (they were renting the house next door) and the home "owners" were moving into their house for the summer months!! We heard that they had three children and we watched each day till we saw them pull into the driveway!

It only took about a week of seeing each other every day for the children and their mom Cathy to become family to the Mongolds! Andre is 11, Mikel is 9 and Snow is 7. Not a real good age match with my family on the surface, but their relationships quickly grew into special friendships!
Andre and Ben loved to ride bikes and scooter and catch lizards etc. etc. The 5 years between them was not visible at all and they became the best of buds! Kyle and Mikel LOVE LOVE LOVE star wars. They are slightly obsessed from my point of view...but hey...I'm a girl! They played leggo star wars and played with star wars guys and light sabers....every single day...and it never got old!
And then there is my dear Snow. I swear that Will and I fought for her attention! And Will won - by the way! She loved will like a little mother and Will is GA Ga over Snow. She played dress up with him and played "night night time" with him. They build forts and watch TV and would sing and dance together for hours. I can't believe that she does not get sick of him...but never once has she shown anything but love for little Will.
Snow and Andre helped Kyle and Ben with their homework. And all three kids had home school work to get done each day this summer and we would tell them to do it fast so we could play. It ended up being such a blessing for Cathy! She said that they were actually doing two days worth of work in one day, so that they could be free to go to the beach and the pool etc!

All three of the kids are adopted from Russia and Cathy quickly became a wonderful friend and sounding board for me for that reason and many more. We could talk for hours while the kids played in the sand and it was always a pleasure to be around her.

And now...the summer is over. School starts for them on Tuesday...they are renting out their house again and moving back to Ashburn VA. FOR GOOD? sad for the Mongolds. It was gut wrenching to say goodbye to our dear friends in Virginia and I don't feel ready to go through another goodbye so soon. But is the day.

Oh how you will be missed Andre, Mikel, Snow and Cathy! Thank you for making a hard time in our lives so much easier! You gave us friendship when we had none and you gave us fun when it seemed hard to find! Thank you for making our house loud and full of life! We are forever grateful to you all and we look forward to keeping in touch and watching you all grow from afar!

Friday, August 29, 2008

quick story.... we all know that Kyle is the king of the deadpan face and the mouth opening comments....and so in continues...

Kyle came home from school on the first day and I said "Did you meet any friends at school today?" and he said, "Yeah...but I don't remember their names."

"Surly you must remember one name Kyle - can you think hard and tell me one name of the kids you played with today?"

He said "Oh kids name is Hayden...he is a nice kid though...and kids don't Hay-den....that's just his name - he is really a very nice guy!"
(yeah....hay-den...hate-em...all the same to kyle!)

And with that he walked away. Not trying to be funny? But oh so funny to me!! :) ha ha ha

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Friends

When Uncle Brian was here we were able to get close and personal with some of our dear Florida Friends! This is our neighborhood Gator! No name yet!

If you look between the boys - and behind them in the water - you will see our friend. They were more interested in playing star wars in the grass? But I think the gator was much more fun!

We were having lunch and we watched this turtle come up out of the pond and head into the middle of the yard. We had to go see him!!

That's all for now!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

To visit or not to visit.....

The Hurricane was due to Hit the Jacksonville and the outlying areas on Thursday of Last week. How sad for the Mongold family because Uncle Brian was supposed to fly in Thursday morning. The reality looked bleak for planes being able to fly in at all last week. Stores were closing all over the place, the schools were closing down for the rest of the week, EVERYTHING was boarded up and other than the blowing trees and the noise of the tree frogs - Amelia Island was a weird kind of still.

I had to make the call to Uncle Brian on Wednesday morning to tell him of the terrible weather and about how it was just not going to be possible for him to get to us on Thursday. WE agreed that it was not the best idea to get in a plane and Brian suggested that he at least call the airlines and make sure that they were not flying....but all in didn't look good. I hung up the phone with a lump in my throat! Darn Hurricane....I want to see my brother and the kids wanted to see their uncle! But hey...what can you do.

About an hour after I had broken the news to Brian about the storm....I as walking from the YMCA to my car and noticed that I had a message on my phone. It was from Brian. In his message he explained that he had talked to the airlines and it was certain that the planes would not fly in or out of Jacksonville on Thursday, Friday and probably Saturday as well. He told me how sorry he was that the flights were cancelled and that he had even more bad news to tell me.....and after a pregnant pause he yelled....You are going to have to put up with me for an extra day because I fly out in 3 hours!!!! :)

The last plane from Norfolk to Jacksonville was leaving at 2pm and as you can well imagine - a plane flying into the eye of a hurricane - was not all that crowded and had lots of seats left! So instead of cooking dinner - I drove to the airport to get Brian!

And boy did he get here just in the nick of time!! The next three days were scary around here! As far as Hurricanes go, however, this was an easy one. Not a ton of destruction, lots of flooding, Trees down on roads and into some houses, some power loss (nothing all that long) and the movie theater stayed open!! Yeah....can't beat that! Boys loved Star Wars (Clone Wars)....all four of them!! :) Steve, Brian, Ben and Kyle!

The boys (everyone but Will and I) did some puddle hopping in the Jeep! Fun Hurricane time passer it was!!

And on Saturday, the sky turned blue and everyone started cleaning up! WE were able to take my Dad and Brain to the Historic District on Amelia Island - out to dinner on the docs with live music and we even got to watch our Alligator play in the pond for the better part of an hour! We crammed a whole lot of fun into that one nice day before Uncle Brian had to leave on Sunday morning!

Thanks for coming!! WE had so much fun! Thanks for weathering the storm with us! We miss you! Brian did most of the picutre taking, so I'll have to add more photos as I get them from him! But here are a few!

This is Uncle Brian from Will's view! Will was taking many of the photos!

Finding our way around and under the fallen trees! It was quite fun - kids felt like Diego on an adventure!

Will's favorite part of the after math was the mud!! That little piggy was right at home!

Will's view of Mommy and Uncle Brian? Yeah...just so funny to think about how the world looks to a two year old? Glad I am not that short anymore!! :)

More blockage! More trees to climb over and under! yeah!

DAdd and Kyle...walking the Greenway looking for destruction!!

This was the hour of still, where trees didn't move....birds didn't sing...and it was just still and quiet! And then came the rest of the storm! It was beautiful in a national geographics kind of way!

This is Steve gearing up for the big splash! This puddle was twice as big the day before but it was raining to hard to get out and take a photo! So these will have to do! I am no reporter...and I don' t brave the elements very well!

The kids were in the car and Brian was vido taping it yelling....STEVE YOU ARE THE BEST DAY EVER!!!! :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The New FAmily of Three

I headed to Alamogordo New Mexico this passed weekend to visit with Alyssa and Niles and Dorian "Baby D"! It was a blast. Grandma and Nana were there too! Here are some pics of the new family, the old family, and the scenery!! We all stayed with Alyssa in their very nice three bedroom home!! What a great host she and Niles were to all of us! And we took a day to visit the White sand Desert. Over 200 miles of non stop white sand mountains. And all at the foot of the grander mountains. Breathtaking really! But nothing held a candle to the perfect little Princess that Alyssa and Niles have brought into this world! She is sweet and beautiful and perfect in every way! WE LOVE YOU BABY D!!! Can't wait to see you in September!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Just some more pics...

I'll tell ya....usually, I have at least one inspiring moment in a month that I am driven to write thought or feelings about. And truly....this past couple of months....NOTHING? Maybe that makes people happy! ha ha ha....and maybe not...but just the same - it is what it is.

I think that when you are sitting around talking to good friends for hours on end, it is unstoppable. The juices are always flowing and world problems, joys, life paths, life lessons etc. etc....they are just always happening and being talked about and being solved or raked over the coals for clarity! So to all of my dear friends who kept my life interesting and my brain engaged - I MISS THE HELL OUT OF YOU! And I miss our time together! That easy time...that means so much, yet was such a part of my life that i took it for granted! I miss it all!! And I can't wait to have it again real soon :)

And until I get some creative juices back...I'll just share some pics of our last week together!!

Yes...Dear Brothers and Sister...That is YOUR the water! And on day two...she even got her hair wet...AND....dove to the deep end on NUMEROUS occasions, to retrieve the diving torpedo! saw it first right here!

The MOngold boys FINALLY all swim with their faces in the water! And Will...when he is about to go under with his face....seems to have a need for an extra surge of energy before the big dive. He screams out like a drunk frat boy right before he breaks the bottle over his own head!! :) but in the end of the show...he does in fact...put his head in the water!! Yeah!

Even now an UNDERWATER swimmer. He said to me this day at the pool, " is so much easier to get places when you are under that water!" I wanted to say "Duhhhhhhh!" But I am too mature for that!! :) Another big Yeah!

And Ben...the resident lifeguard...continues to be a fish in the water! I sooooo wish that he would agree to swim team. The coach saw him swim at the local pool and asked me if he would like to be on the team. She said they could use a fish like him. But he said no! Maybe next year?!?!

Just because I can....I had to share yet another photo of Mom in the pool! ha ha ha....oh my...I am cracking myself up!

All in all...Will summed it is relaxing and easy these days!! And we are enjoying it while we can!

Ben told me that he wanted to give he and Will a bath all by himself. So I said fine! I am all for some help around here! I waited 20 min before I headed in to the bathroom. (I listened from the next room carefully, but allowed Ben his time to do this job!) When I get in there...Will was in the tub with no clothes on (last time Ben forgot to take off Will's underware!) and they were both very very clean! Ben did awesome. He did get a bit creative and squirt mommy's shampoo (whole bottle) in the tub while it was filling! Amazing the bubbles that will create!

Anyone in need of entertainment each evening between 7 and 8 - feel free to visit Chez Mongold. It is free and quite entertaining! The Mongold Boys feature Ben on trumpet and Will on "tar"! Will they get sick of doing this each day? One can only hope!! :)


He got up the other morning and said - Mom...I had a dream that I didn't have training wheels - can I take them off? Of course we said sure....and within 2 min...Kyle was getting on and off his bike without help, starting stopping etc. etc. Like he had been doing it for years! WE even went trail riding the next morning! Just proves...when you are are just ready!!

Finally a real phot of our back yard friend! This is our guy sunning his head in the late afternoon. I took the photo form the back porch. Good thing...because by the time I got down the stairs....he was gone! So timid!! I like that in an alligator!! :)