My eyes are shutting down even though my brain is completely awake.  I’ve been working on my 6 hour presentation for an all day seminar for weeks and it’s in the final stages of tweaking now.  (If you’re in the NY/NJ area and want to come to a free seminar on teaching our children their faith in August – let me know and I’ll send you the details.)

I’m just happy.  It’s as simple as that and I thought I’d share some pictures with you before I crawl into bed to close my eyes and continue writing in my mind.  (A normal thing for me)

I get to see my husband pretty much every day (minus trips for training) which is a first….in our marriage.  Ever.  My Niki is happily married and doing well.  My big boys have been making HUGE leaps forward.  My little boys are just adorable.

I’m simply happy and enjoying every moment of my daily life.


Zach and Chris just finished a level of math and each got to pick out their own pie for conquering pi.  This is a huge deal.  A. Seriously. Huge. Deal.


We went on a last minute, because Les had two days off without training or flying commitments, to run down to Georgia to see Niki and Zach before the move back north for school again.  Both of their internships are going great!  We went for a walk and it started raining so we took refuge inside the CNN building.  It’s MASSIVE!!!!  This is where they film the CNN news.  I wanted to go on a tour to see behind-the-scenes of a new station.  I was the only one.  Then we overheard that no photos were allowed on the tour and all the kids teased me, “Well…now mom doesn’t want to go anymore either.”  Hahaha.  There was some truth in it although I’d still be curious to see behind the scenes at a news station – maybe because for a short time I was majoring in journalism.



We went to church at a mission parish there.  An old friend of mine goes to this parish and I wanted to thank her for letting Niki live with her last fall for 4 months (for free!).  That was part of the reason we wanted to go down there before Niki and Zach left was to thank Anya for her generosity.  I’ve known her for a long time but haven’t seen her in years.  (She came to see me in the hospital when Niki was born and let me borrow her infant car seat for her.)

The mission parish is in a shopping center and a farmers market is literally on the street in front of the church on Sunday mornings.  We got popsicles from a trolley and coffee next door at the coffee shop along with some fresh Georgia peaches.  Pretty awesome Sunday morning!


The boys befriended kids from church and were playing chase in the courtyard during fellowship hour.  The church is located in an old railroad station from the Civil War era!



The red brick building is the railroad station from the Civil War.  The church is in the tan building next to it.


We called this the mini London Eye and felt a bit nostalgic for our trip to England with the kids.


It was still raining so we went to the Children’s Museum.  Symeon loves balls.  My goodness.  He was determined to pick up three balls each time and carry them over to the bin.  He was completely happy walking around and picking up all the forgotten balls on the ground from the other kids.




So Gabriel was not content with a pretend sink.  I got distracted talking to Niki and Zach N. and Gabriel grabbed a pot from the kitchen, ran over to the water table in the above photo (just outside that kitchen sink window) and poured water into the pretend sink – that didn’t drain.  Sweet Zach N. got paper towels from the bathroom and soaked up all the water from the sink.  The homeschool mom side of me says – Gabriel gets points for problem solving skills!!!


Les was attempting a nap when Chris came over to talk to him.  Les snatched him up for a hug and my heart melted when I walked into the room to tell them dinner was ready.  If you only understood how far they’ve come to reach this point where they’d let us even touch their skin without crying in pain and pushing away from us.  This is what it’s all about – love.


The botanical garden is my favorite here!  This is the Ottoman Garden inspired by Istanbul.

We have a map of our city on our dining room wall marking all the places we’ve visited so far.  We really love it here – I think a lot of it is the change in our situation with having Les actually home but the city itself is rather nice too.





This boy.  Endless energy.


My big boys decided they were going to build this structure for me one day and make it an outdoor chapel.  Awwwww.  We sat in there and they were talking about the modifications they’d make so we could hang up icons.