Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Talent Show

As promised, I am uploading lots of pictures this month. Today, I am posting two videos. There was a talent show yesterday at the older kids' home school co-op and both Joella and Liesl signed up to perform in it. First up is a video of Joella performing what she has learned in Irish dance so far. She really enjoys it. The 2nd video is of Liesl performing with her worship dance class. Isn't she too cute? Look how little she is compared to the other girls!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Squadron Children's Party @Hunt Club Farm

This past Sunday, the family went to a Squadron children's party that was held at Hunt Club Farm. It is a place here in Virginia Beach that has a goat pen & a chicken coop that children can go in & interact with the animals. The kids always have a ball with that. There are also various other animals, like a Cebu & Shetland ponies, to look at. Sometimes they offer hay rides (but not on Sunday). As part of their Winter Wonderland theme during the holiday season, they also convert one of their barns into a cheesy walk-through of outdoor scenes & elves' workshop scenes... mushrooms made out of cotton candy w/signs that says 'Do Not Eat.'. Anyway, I took some pictures of the kids with the animals. The kids had a wonderful time at the party in spite of the freezing temperature... we were all wearing long underwears, sweaters, jackets, & winter boots with our clothes. Brrrr!! If only they had fake snow at the farm, it would have been very 'wintery' indeed!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Two Months?!?!

Holey Moley! Has it been that long already? Time for me to crack my knuckles and tackle the blog. See why it's appropriately named The Slogging Blog?? Anyway, the Advent Season is upon us and I, for one, am looking forward to Christmas and the Twelve Days leading up to Epiphany. In the interest of keeping it simple, so that we can truly appreciate what we have, I have pared back on the craziness that sometimes accompanies the holiday season. I am trying to teach my kids that 'tis better to give than to receive... and make the shopping/creating a fun adventure in itself. I promise there will be oodles and oodles of pictures on the blog in the next few weeks as we make the rounds of holiday parties and fun.... for now, you can just enjoy the few pictures I have put up of Liesl's birthday, Ray's squadron dining out, and random sunny day pictures....

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New pets

New Pets
Our household has expanded to include two animals: one bearded dragon named Sydney and a beagle mix named Sally. The bearded dragon belongs to Colum (thanks to Grandma Timi's b-day $$) and the beagle mix 'belongs' to Joella as she earned it by taking care of a hamster for over a year. The promise was that we would get a dog when the hamster died... well... it died. We couldn't be happier with both pets so far... I must say I did a dang good job of picking Sally out at a Super Adoptathon that a local Petsmart was hosting... as for the names, they already had 'em and to the children, that's just their names... so, Sydney & Sally, it is!

Papa Richard visits

With Papa Richard

Liesl's Glasses

Liesl's 1st Glasses
One beautiful girl in glasses. She LOVES them. Thinks they're really cool. It's been about two weeks and she is doing great with the glasses, as far as wearing them all the time and taking care of them.

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

Norfolk Botanical Garden
Colum got some free passes to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens as a reward for helping with a service project, so we took this opportunity to check it out. We had a great day walking the trails and feasting our eyes on all the pretty flowers. The kids loved the WOW! Garden for Children (obviously) and I really enjoyed the butterfly pavilion... I think we'll have to get an annual membership pass soon.

Strike-Fighter Ball 2009

Hornet Ball 2009

Played dress-up twice in one evening. Ate fancy food. Ignored the speeches. Enjoyed the 'patriotic' video...

Virginia Zoo

My Favorite Animal Exhibit

Every time we go to the Virginia Zoo, I have to stop by the Prairie Dog exhibit. They are always amusing to watch as they go about their business. I couldn't get over a particular specimen...
Scout Cookout

This past weekend, the family visited the troop's campsite one evening to sample some campfire cookin'. Colum's patrol cooked up some fried squash, stuffed green peppers, & spice cake. It was surprisingly very good. We had so much fun that we forgot to take pictures until towards the end of the evening, and ALL the girls cried when it was time to go home.

Boy Scout Camp

Camp Powhatan

Colum went to a Scout camp over the summer. He had a lot of fun spending one week with boys, reptiles, a slimy lake, no showers (I don't think he even brushed his teeth either), & rifles.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Jailhouse Rock

I know, I know.... I'm really behind on updating the blog. This series of video is from a musical back in the middle of May. Colum and Joella took a musical theater class for the 2008-2009 school year and then the class put on a couple of shows over one weekend in May... they had a lot of fun and will be taking the class again for the next school year. Colum is pretty much front and center for most of this series, but if you keep an eye out, you can see Joella in all of them too. Enjoy!

Joella's Tea Party

Joella had her birthday tea party at My Enchanted Cottage in Ridgecrest. All the girls in the extended Marshall Clan were invited... plus one special friend! The girls had fun getting dressed up, trying on tea hats, and eating yummy food. Many pictures were taken... some really cute, some a little blurry. There is nothing like a little tea with friends.

On with the Show!

Liesl and Therese performed in an end of year show a couple of weeks ago. They were so cute! Poor Therese, she had to deal with glasses that kept slipping off her nose throughout her performance. But I say she did well because, after all, the show must go on!! Our seats were up on the 2nd level and pretty far from the stage so I was not able to get some close up footage of the girls dancing. But if you make the effort to peer closely at the screen, and maybe even do some zooming of your own, you may be able to see the two cute girls tapping away....

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Noni Turns Two Today!

Today is Noni's birthday! She is 2 years old and quite bonny. The whole family took Noni out to dinner last night, and then to the ColdStone Creamery for some ice cream. She loved her ice cream as you can see from the evidence on her t-shirt. After a fun evening out, we went home and gave Noni her birthday present. It was funny to watch her figure out what a present is. Tissue paper? A purse to walk around with? Anyway, Noni is napping now and I am taking the time to update and sort out my web album and the blog. Yikes! I will try to post pictures from April-June that hasn't been posted yet during the next few days....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Crossing Over

Colum is now on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout! On Monday evening, his den, the Komodo Dragons had their crossing over ceremony. Ray wanted me to point out that Colum has also earned his first 'major' achievement in scouting, which is the Arrow of Light award.

The Carrier Teddy Roosevelt, TR, Pulls Into Port

The day after the fly in, we headed out to Norfolk to welcome the rest of the ground officers and sailors on the TR home. It was a neat experience to catch that first glimpse of the carrier returning home after a long deployment, with the sailors in white manning the rails. It's quite something to see a ring of white all around atop the carrier. The kids had a lot of fun playing with the other kids at the pier, and we chatted with fellow officers and wives while watching the festivities....
what was even better was going on board the TR later that day! Ray showed the kids (& me!) where he slept, ate, worked, and prayed while at sea. An interesting thing to me is that the carrier had that 'airport' smell, and you have to think it's quite impressive for these guys to live on something that inspires claustrophobia... (I don't even wanna think about the guys who live in submarines!!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

VFA-15 Fly-In

Today was homecoming day for the pilots of VFA-15. Even though Ray was not flying in, we went anyway to support the squadron and to participate in the festivities. It was kind of nice to go and enjoy the afternoon, without any of the stress or hyper-excitement... the only thing that I really missed out on, was the 'cool' factor of being able to see my hubby fly over in formation... and to see him strut down the line in his flight suit, flowers in hand, after 8 months away! After all, you pretty much deserve it after loaning your hubby to the Navy for 24/7 over eight months....

Easter Fun at Liesl's & Therese's Preschool

Liesl's & Therese's preschool hosted an easter party & egg hunt. Unfortunately, it rained all that day so the egg hunt was held inside. The kids still had a lot of fun searching from eggs amongst the chairs, tables, & fake topiary.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fun at the Museum

On the last Saturday of March, we went to the Virginia Air and Space Museum. We had a lot of fun checking out the exhibits, and saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 3D. I don't think I'll watch another movie in 3D. The technology for that just isn't good enough yet. Pretty much watched the whole movie with one eye shut to solve the 'blurry' problem (even with the glasses on). Anyway, it was a good way to relax after a long trip from the west coast to the east coast the previous day....

Welcome Home, Daddy!

Daddy came home a bit early from deployment in March. The girls and I went to the airport to pick him up. We made our own signs and had a small homecoming of our own...

Friday, March 6, 2009


We were eating dinner last night and I just could not pass up this opportunity to take pictures of Noni playing with her lips during dinner. Too cute!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Open House

HomeSchoolPlus had an Open House this afternoon. Joella demonstrated some cheers and Colum had some artwork on display. It wasn't a bad way to pass a very wet and rainy day. We even had some cake at the reception. Ahh! It was pretty nice to eat some cake after going 4 days without any dessert whatsoever!

Kite Day

On Friday, the kids and I headed over to Mt. Trashmore park to fly a kite since it was actually warm enough to go out without jackets. It was also windy enough. Maybe too windy! We had a lot of fun flying the kite and taking a walk around the lake afterwards.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blue and Gold Banquet

Last weekend was Colum's Blue and Gold Banquet. We showed up expecting it to be a banquet, with food and decorated tables, giving out of awards, and such. I was surprised to find out that it is simply a 'birthday' party for scouting, with cupcakes and some party games. I talked to one of the other mothers, and she said they decided a while back it was too stressful doing the 'whole banquet thing with the theme decorating'... and decided to keep it very laid back and just have fun. Hmmmm? Anyway, the kids certainly did have a lot of fun so I can't complain too much... but I certainly do think they should change it to Blue and Gold Birthday Party, if that's the case. So Colum will have to wait until March to get the many activity pins and compass points that he has earned, along with his religious emblem.

Kids' Halfway Party

The squadron threw a halfway party for the kids. It was at an indoor bounce house place. It was really nice. One of the better ones in the area, the Jumpin' Jelly Bean in Norfolk, VA. The TRG did a nice job... snacks and drinks, door prizes for the kids. I pretty much sat on a couch the whole time, watching television with some other moms...

Friday, February 20, 2009


We went to an open house just for members of the Air & Space Museum in Virginia. We saw an IMAX movie, then hung around for about an hour to check out some of their exhibits. Luckily, I remembered to take SOME pictures, otherwise there would have been NO cute pictures for you to peruse.


So, we actually had some snow... crunchy snow, that is. Joella jumped on me at seven in the morning screaming gibberish about snow on the ground. Needless to say, I allowed the girls to throw on their snow clothes and go play in the 'snow' before breakfast. It was the kind of snow that stuck to everything. If you tried to pick up some snow off the ground, you pulled up a chunk of sod with it. The girls had fun anyway. Colum is not in any of the pictures because he was sleeping over at a friend's house. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Christmas Letter

Click and read! Just think of it as saving paper, stamps, and the time it would take to type the letter out on the blog. :P

Feast of Epiphany

We celebrated the Feast of Epiphany (wise men presenting Jesus with gifts) by going to Aunt Becca's house. The Voltzs are good friends of ours, and the parents are Colum's godparents. Hence, Aunt Becca and Uncle Ted! They have four kids and all the kids play together well when we meet. We had a lot of fun celebrating Epiphany at their house and did some fun activities as you can see from the pictures.

Presents Galore!

Christmas in NYC

Finally... pictures of our trip to NYC. Not too many pictures of the kids, mostly pictures of things we saw while walking around a part of NYC. It was fun to visit with my brother and his family. The cousins had a terrific time playing together. Let's see... what was my favorite part of the trip? I think that my favorite part of the trip was eating the yummy food at Alice's Tea House. And simply hanging around in the apartment with Dan and Christi.

Pinewood Derby

Today was the Pinewood Derby for Colum's Cub Scout pack. It was very well run and the boys had a good time. Here are the pictures from the derby. Enjoy! And for those of you wondering where those holiday pictures are, I'm getting to them!! There's a lot of pictures to wade through and sort before I post pictures from the Christmas season... anyway, enjoy these pictures from today.