Friday, December 31, 2010

Cookies for Santa

This is the first year we remembered to put cookies out for Santa. To make up for our past negligence, the boys personally decorated cookies this Christmas.

Ian is a big fan of the sprinkles. And the frosting. And cookies in general.

Nathan just had to sneak a taste of that green tube frosting. Yum!

The masterpieces! Aren't you glad that you didn't have to take a bit of these sugar-coated cookies?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Haze Grey, But Not Yet Underway

One recent Sunday afternoon, the four of us decided to visit daddy's ship to explore his home away from home. The boys had never been on an aircraft carrier and I was excited to compare the enlisted/nuke life of the Vinson to the officer/airwing life of the Enterprise.

I "borrowed" these first 2 pictures from the Enterprise Facebook page. Obviously I do not regularly fly over the ship while it is underway to capture beautiful images such as these. So, here's the floating city:

This is what Ryan actually does on the ship...when he is not busy writing flight schedules and eating quesadillas. He may even be in the plane in this picture! We have no idea, but we like to assume he was flying at the time.

The boys made themselves cozy in daddy's rack. They thought it was awesome that he has the top bunk!

The room holds eight men, here are racks for 5 guys. Nice and cozy for sure. Glad it's not me! At least it is better than the berthing that Ryan used to enjoy on the Vinson...he roomed with 249 of his nearest and dearest.

Sorry for the awful picture, but the lighting was terrible in the ready room. Nathan is sitting in Ryan's chair. The ready room is where the crews brief for flights, conduct training, do the majority of their work and sometimes they relax by watching movies.

This is the room that shocked me the most. The ward room. I cannot believe this is where Ryan eats onboard the ship! Such a change from the galley on the Vinson. I especially love the huge flat screen TV's hung on the walls and the covered chairs!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We have taken hundreds of photos this month and will share of the highlights with you soon. It has been a busy month full of holiday school programs, craft playdates, cookie decorating, underway period for Ryan and deployment preparation.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow Day!

We enjoyed a random snow "storm" yesterday. The weather guessers predicted snow at a 30% chance so we all ignored it and went about our daily business. School was cancelled in advance (not that I checked the website) and Ryan went to work. Whoops! It began snowing while the boys and I were at the commissary across town which resulted in a 90 minute drive home. At least we all had fun once we were home! Hopefully Ryan will edit the video of the boys and I engaged in an unfair snowball fight (I used a shovel).

Friday, October 8, 2010

3 Months Behind

Yes, I'm 3 months behind on all things blog related. That's my life. I still don't have Photoshop so I'm sharing some unedited photos of the boys. These were taken on the 4th of July!!!

We didn't do anything special, mainly because our boys go to bed at 6pm. They would NEVER be able to stay up past 9pm to see fireworks. Instead, we record the NYC fireworks display and let them watch it on TV. They seem happy with this routine.

Love this photo of them just waiting for me to adjust the settings on the camera. So enthusiastic!

And this is how they act the majority of the time around here...

Friday, August 20, 2010

A New Post???

Did you think that I forgot my own blog address? Probably. It has been almost two months since I lasted posted pics of the kids. We have been experiencing one computer nightmare after another. I am typing this on my new laptop (that I pretty much loathe) and Ryan has spent countless hours getting his desktop to work again while losing all the programs it formerly contained. That means I do not have Photoshop at the moment. Scary, I know. I'm working on it. I see CS5 at the student rate in my near future.

To hold you over, I'm sharing photos taken by my friend, Amanda. These were taken back in April and I just realized I never posted any of them here. Shame! The boys had another mini session with her a week ago and I cannot wait to see the new photos. She is such a talented photographer!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toy Story 3

We finally took the boys to see a movie in the theater for the first time this past week. Ryan took a week off from work so we have been enjoying our 'staycation' and time together as a family. We've also had contractors working in the backyard (again), but that's never fun.

Let me apologize for this awful photograph! I switched to auto mode on the camera and THIS is what I ended up with AFTER brightening the photo in Photoshop. This is why I rarely use auto. Hopefully you can sort of see the boys and their excited faces.

Popcorn was the key to keeping the boys happy as they sat through countless commercials followed by tons of movie previews AND a short. My goodness! It's as though the powers-that-be had no idea this was a children's movie. I had to explain at least 10 times to Nathan that Toy Story was going to come on soon after the many, many previews. I promise.

Toy Story 3 was definitely different than the first two movies, but the boys enjoyed themselves tremendously. I am relieved they have not asked to go and see it again. Yet.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Graduation Day

Can you believe that Ian has already graduated from preschool? I cannot! He is so very excited to start kindergarten in the fall. So excited that he tells virtually everyone who walks through our front door.

All three 4-year-old preschool classes combined to put on a little musical performance. These shows are always so cute and Ryan ALWAYS missed them courtesy of the Navy.

This is Ian's entire class along with his two teachers, Miss Pat and Miss Teddi. Nathan is very much looking forward to being in this same class in the fall.

Sorry for the strange picture of the two boys. They were not being very cooperative and struggle with looking AT the camera at the same time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dinner and a Movie

...Peck Family style.

The boys and I took in some live action entertainment the other night...field carrier landing practice! It was awesome! There is nothing like being a few feet, yes, FEET, from an airplane as it is practicing carrier landings. The F-18's startled the boys so they stayed in the van until the E-2's came along.

Wave to Daddy!

The boys enjoying some popcorn in the field. Only our boys find food just as captivating as an airplane speeding past our faces.

This one is for you, Ron. Guess I know where you'll be requesting to go the next time you visit. The pictures don't quite show you just how close we were. We were allowed to go in the shack on the side of the runway, but I couldn't bring myself to put the boys within 5 feet of a moving airplane. Instead we hung out about 10 yards away most of the evening.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Memory of...

This has been an incredibly tough couple of weeks for all of us in the Naval aviation community. I say this as though I'm a pilot or naval flight officer. Being married to this community makes all of its members family. This has never felt more true than in the last two weeks.

On March 31, we lost a true hero, Lt. Zilberman. A father of an adorable 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl. He fell in love with his wife in high school and they married in 1998. He was 31 at the time of his death. He flew the E-2C Hawkeye so that the other 3 crew members--one pilot, 2 naval flight officers--could bailout safely and survive the crash without injury. Had he not been so brave and quick to act, we would have most likely attended a memorial service for four lost aviators last week. Prayers for Katrina and her two young children. May she know that we continue to think of her and her children every day and we will always be here to help in any way that we can.

If you wish to read more, please do so HERE.

Personally, I have struggled every day since the news was released that an E-2 crashed. I know that it's "rare", but that does not make it any easier to sleep at night. It doesn't help that my husband is still 3,000 miles away training on this very plane every day...even as I type this. The memorial last week resulted in some of the most difficult hours of my life. I've always found it difficult to sleep when I know he is flying. I still get dressed every time his plane is scheduled to take off. I am very conscious that hostile fire is not my only concern. Up until now I was able to compartmentalize things to the point where my day-to-day activities were not affected, but that is out the window now. The life of Navy wife is tough enough--moving on command, taken away from our family and friends. I actually plan what I will do if my husband dies! We will stay here in Virginia Beach since this is where my young boys will remember living and playing with their daddy. All of this makes me want to stop going to school and stay home hugging my boys.

Yesterday, a T-39 crashed and all 4 aviators are believed dead. The plane was part of Training Air Wing 6 out of Pensacola, FL, Ryan's former command. One quarter of the fleet's original T-39's have crashed and no one has survived these crashes. Source.

We support our loved ones in their desire to defend our rights and freedom. I have said it before, that if Ryan were not in the Navy, I would join. I do not sit here feeling sorry for myself or my family. We have taken the risks with the rewards. How many people can honestly say they have a job where they fight for a way of life, a cause in which they truly believe? Not too many. I just needed to "write" down a few on my thoughts. My silly little blog is my therapy right now as I don't really have anyone to talk to about all of this.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

It's been a very busy few weeks for us so I apologize for the lack of blog updates. With Ryan out of town (again) and the end of the semester quickly approaching for me, there just hasn't been any spare time. Oh, we also had our backyard ripped apart and we are putting it all back together again...this means I'm out watering the entire new lawn by hand twice a day. Fun, fun! I promise more updates whenever I have the chance or feel like avoiding my homework.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Vote for Nathan!!!

Help my boys win a photo session with an awesome photographer here in Virginia Beach!!! You can vote two ways, every day until April 2.

#1: Here's the link to the contest on her blog: Cutest Kid Contest. You get one vote per IP address, per day. Nathan is cute kid #22 and the poll is at the end of the photos.

#2: Here's the link to the Facebook Fan Page: Kimberlin Gray. Once you become a Fan of her Facebook Page, leave one comment per day on Nathan's photo found HERE.

Thanks for your help!!! I promise to share photos from this shoot if we win!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Birthday Photos

I had better finish sharing photos from Nathan's party before Ian's party sneaks up on us!

Roar! Dinosaur Nathan was ready for his friends to arrive.

Ian, showing off his quick dinosaur door hanger craft. He was thrilled to be able to make a door hanger using his favorite color - black.

The CAKE! I was not allowed to make a cake or cupcakes for this party since Nathan had been talking about this very specific WalMart dinosaur cake for almost a year. It was delicious!

Blowing out the candles (with a little help from his nearby friends, whether he wanted the help or not).

Happily waiting for his piece of cake. These boys will do anything when they know food is only moments away.

Ian was showing daddy how big of a piece of cake he wanted. He polished off two pieces of cake, but the still didn't add up to his desired amount.

Our two 4-year-olds. They are so goofy and they very rarely look at the camera at the same time.

Nathan was so very excited to receive his Toy Story bike! He immediately climbed onto it and was ready to go!!!

A little bit of instruction from dad and Nathan thought he knew everything about riding bikes.

Both boys ready to explore the neighborhood. Yes, we made it two houses down the block. These kids are a bit slow when it comes to understanding the "art" of riding a bike...and not putting on the brakes constantly.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dino*mite Party

Nathan is 4! It's hard to believe that our "baby" is 4-years-old already. He had been talking about a dinosaur cake that he saw one day at WalMart for the 10 months leading up to his birthday, so we hosted a dinosaur party this past weekend.

Nathan thoroughly enjoyed his dinosaur cake and remained at the table eating frosting long after all of his friends had finished their slices.

Always underestimating how busy I will be, I decided to make or embellish all of the decorations myself. Will I ever learn? Probably not. These dinosaurs are from a cute digital scrapbooking kit I found online.

The 50 cent balloon chandelier decoration rocks! Oh, and it is still up, just in case you were wondering. Ryan's birthday is Monday so that's my "excuse" for not taking the balloons down just yet.

Goodie bags! Again, using the digital scrapbooking kit I quickly made up these personalized panels to decorate the plain bags.

We have about 150 more pictures from Nathan's birthday and I will be sure to post more soon...just as soon as I finish studying photosynthesis and have a chance to edit them all in Photoshop.