First half of Summer 2010!

I know, I know... that's not a summer pic, but it's so hot outside, I was hoping this would cool me off a bit.

Summer is halfway over. We had a great vacation in May on our cruise, but other than that, I haven't updated much. So here's everything from Spring into the first half of summer (minus the cruise).

Let's start with the never ending story of Maggie being tortured:

Chase stalking the dog with his axe... poor Maggie:

Chrissie took the gang on a trip to the Torpedo factory in Old Town and then crossed over to National Harbor via water taxi:

Once back in Old Town, they stopped to admire this guy playing glass. It was actually very cool:

Here's a vid of him playing the Star Spangled Banner (not my vid, but I'm borrowing it):

He even let Chase & Catey get in on the act:

Meanwhile, back in the insane asylum, Chase has transformed from his normally mild mannered self into... UnderPants Man!:

Here, you can see UnderPants man rescuing this damsel in distress. Nice job UnderPants Man!

Prom is here, and Saniya and Svetlana head out for a night on the town:

Two out of three Charlie's Angels.

Catey had her ballet recital, which we never get video of, but here's a great picture of the prettiest girl in the ballet:

It's early June, and already my garden is going gang busters:

And, for the sad part... the school year is over, and Saniya has to head back to Kazakhstan. She came with only one suitcase... she leaves with two, and had to ship some items back via mail as well!

Saniya was so sweet. She left us these little notes on things so that we wouldn't forget her!

Even or Odd Day is an inside joke

Chase's frog... I wonder when was the last time he fed it?

We'll be sure to give Maggie a treat for Saniya... but what Maggie really loved was all the table scraps she would feed her!

Beer... - Homer

And she left this note on her desk to Catey and Chase... so sweet.

We found other stickies in hidden places over the next few weeks reminding us of Saniya. She will definitely be missed and it was a great experience with plenty of ups and downs, but overall very rewarding when we look back on it.

Kicking off summer, we went camping at Elizabeth's furnace with our neighbors. It was a great time as usual! We went for a big hike up the side of one of the mountains. Here's the kiddos hikng through GW National Forest:

Saniya survived the climb. It started to get pretty hot when we got out of the shelter of the trees.

Chrissie and Kirsten held eachother for support on the climb up.

At the top, Chase and I took a break in front of a very scenic view:

But, then he made me mad, and I threw him off the edge of the mountain:

Everybody relaxing at the top.

On the way back down, we noticed that there were lots of millipede's everywhere. Millipedes do not bite or sting, and tickle as they crawl along your skin.

Back at the campsite, we all went down to the river (creek) to play in the water. We caught crayfish and a salamander, then played on a very cool rope swing. Here's me clowning around:

And here's Chrissie getting a little push from Patrick:

Here's Chase getting a BIG push from Patrick:

And here's Catey getting a push.. she didn't want quite as wild a ride as Chase's though:

That evening, I cooked up some RockFish that I had caught in the Bay earlier in the Spring. Oh, here's some pics of the fish during the fishing trip, and Catey admiring the final product at home:

They were delicious over the open fire... I need more!!!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the garden is growing like crazy and producing way more than we could ever hope to eat. The neighbors love us though. :)

With Saniya gone, we enlisted Chrissie's dad (who is officially retired now) to live with us for two weeks. It was great having him, and he took the kids all over the place. They went to the Spy Museum, some museum in Winchester, and to the Baltimore Aquarium... we got so jealous, we went to the aquarium with him!

Here's Catey and Chase checking out the trout exhibit:

The gnag hanging over the edge of the shark tank!

In the tropical rainforest section:

Yes, that's a sloth at the aquarium:

And bats on the ceiling:

And thus concludes the first half of 2010! I should have swim team pics coming up and whatever other adventures we find ourselves in over the next few months!