December 31, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Henry!

It's hard to believe that just 5 years ago today, Henry looked like this. . . .

Now, he has grown into a bright, funny, and creative little boy who we are SO proud of! Happy Birthday Henry! We love you very much!


December 20, 2008

Preschool Program

It's that time of year for all parents of preschoolers -- that wonderful day when you anxiously gather at your child's school with all sorts of AV equipment in hopes of capturing what might be a first glimpse of raw talent in your performer. That's how it was at Henry & Bradley's school this week. Parents elbowing each other for the best seats, cameras galore, grandparents galore. . . oh, the expectations were high!! Here are a few glimpses of our "performers."

video

video

video

So, for those of you who know our son, you know that he is NOT comfortable in the public eye as evidenced here. But, we all have our gifts, and his are numerous. . . just don't ask him to show you in front of a large group of people. Bradley, on the other hand, usually welcomes an audience but perhaps this gig was a bit too much for her.

December 02, 2008

Yes, they are real.

While I might make our new home sound picturesque in my blog, there are a few drawbacks that I have failed to mention such as the loud magnolia wallpaper in the kitchen, sharing a hot water heater with the neighbor upstairs, gold faux-painted molding with emerald green wallpaper in the bathroom, and oh, let's see . . . a NAKED mermaid statue in the front yard!! Norfolk has a mermaids all over town as part of their public art. You will find them in parking lots, on top of buildings, on the harbor, etc. Apparently, the owner of our house thought it would be really cool to have one in his front yard. When we met him, we discovered quickly that he took great pride in "his mermaid." He even went so far as to "enhance" her with the aid of Playboy centerfold models so that she was more voluptuous than when he originally purchased her. Yes, that's right - he performed ceramic surgery on this lady. He explained that the reasonings behind his augmentation was because he was a "T-n-A kind of man." Nice.

During our first few weeks here, we tried to brainstorm ways to cover her up to make our home more G-rated. But over time, we got used to her and now barely notice her as we pull down the driveway. A few weeks ago, we got home from a trip, and to our great surprise (and dismay) she had been repainted and spruced up! She was a bit more palatable when all the colors were muted, but NOW everything is florescent!! She practically gleams now -- especially with her spotlight that comes on at night. . . sigh. . . .

Let's end on a positive and say, that it's REAL easy for the pizza guy to find us! We always say, "We're the house with the naked mermaid," and people always know where we are. We're getting a giggle out of it, and isn't that a grand thing in life. Any creative ideas on how we should decorate her for Christmas????


November 23, 2008

Last row out

It is FREEZING here in Norfolk. I hear it is cold everywhere, but I feel like winter has slapped us in the faces with its arrival. Determined to keep fall alive, I spearheaded one last boat outing last weekend. It wasn't THAT cold, and besides that's why we have hats! Getting into the boat is a bit trickier now that you really don't want to get wet, and keeping the hats on with the wind is also a problem. Our last row out lasted about 9 minutes. Oh well. Looking forward to the spring. . . .




This is what we see everyday from our house before day turns to night. Have I mentioned before how much we love it here?

November 13, 2008

Halloween

I despise Halloween. I'm not sure why it has been deemed a holiday for children because it is anything but. Creepy masks, frightening porches, ghosts, and loads of sugar??? Any mother would agree that this is NOT a holiday for kids. . . or at least for pre-schoolers. We tried trick or treating for the first time this year, and it bombed. At one point, our kids were paralyzed with fear at the edge of a driveway, viciously shaking their heads indicating that they were NOT going towards that house with spiderwebs, scary music, and a sketchy clown handing out candy. We retreated and found a "harvest festival" at a nearby church. sigh. . . . twas a fun event with nice people, CUTE costumes, games and candy. Call me conservative, call me a party pooper, but my kids had a blast!

Our Halloween was made even MORE fun because we had my sister's family in town with us! Loved having them here, and the cousins had a ball together.

Have I told you that we have a giant mermaid statue in our front yard??? This was taken from the back of her. I'll get a picture in the next few days of her frontside. . . .

Burkes Garden



I'm slowly catching up on the blog. Thanks for your patience! Here are some pictures from our trip to Burkes Garden, VA. John's family has a house in this SW Virginia mountain valley. John remembers flying there as a small boy with his granddaddy and now has a memory of taking his own family here. It truly is one of the most beautful places on earth. Click HERE to see even more pics from the trip.

November 02, 2008

San Francisco



I know, I know. . . it's been too long since I posted last. We have had a FUN but busy October. I have lots of fun pictures to post, but only a few hours in the day of free time. I am NOT one of those moms who blogs with all her free time!

So, back to early October. . . John attended a conference in San Francisco, and I got to tag along. HUGE thanks to Grammy & Pop Pop (john's mom & dad) who (i won't just say watched) played with, fed, transported, read to, bathed, entertained and loved on our kids while we were gone. We could not have had this great time without them! I put a slew of pictures on flickr here, but posted a few on the blog. We loved everything about our trip. Highlights. . . . fresh, organic food EVERYWHERE, seeing the Blue Angels flying overhead as we crossed the Golden Gate bridge, uninterrupted days with no children, experiencing the diversity of California, and walking everywhere.

October 18, 2008

On the Road Again

We're back from San Francisco and off to Burkes Garden, VA this morning for a little time away with foliage, fires and family time! See ya when we get back!

October 08, 2008

Festivals, Festivals, Festivals

This post is a bit out of order, but I had some post-worthy pictures to share. Not really in their artistic quality but more in their description of where we live. Some of you have asked me to post some more pictures of our town. . . . . so here you have it. . . .
Last weekend, we attended the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival which was loads of fun. We haven't done any beach night events, and this surely was the one to attend!! The whole boardwalk was full of rides, fair food, arts & crafts, and exhibits. On the beach, there was a sandsculpting contest and surfing competition. I kept calling it a Sand Castle contest, but Sandsculpting really is more fitting. Check out these creations! UNREAL!

(this one was my favorite - the one on the left was the Foolish Man's house built on sand and the one on the right is the Wise Man's house built on the rock.)

After the contest, we played on the beach for a while, ate deliciously unhealthy food and let the kids indulge in a few fair rides. Maybe one day I'll get a picture of me posted here. Sigh. . . . .

To top off the weekend, we also attended the Acoustic Music Festival. This was not as overtly entertaining for the kiddos, but we enjoyed a quiet sunset evening on the waterway with new friends listening to Eddie from Ohio and the Old Crow Medicine Show. Can you see the water behind the stage? Henry & Bradley danced to the music and rolled around in the grass the whole time. It was one of those perfect evenings where you want a glass of wine, a nice camping chair, dinner in some sort of box brought to you and the company of friends. We had the friends but none of the other stuff, so unfortunately, our evening was cut a bit short. =)



October 07, 2008

Welcome Davis Tillman Jackson!



My sister's family (Stacy, Ryan and Alyssa) welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world last week! Born Sept. 30th, 8 lb. 6 oz. 22 in. long. Welcome to the family Davis! We love you already!!

September 30, 2008

September 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Mom, can I have a piggy bank ride?"
-Henry Malcolm, age 4

September 21, 2008

Malcolm Camping Adventure '08

Some of you may remember stories from Malcolm Camping Adventure '06 that were highly entertaining and very unsuccessful. There were a variety of things that contributed to its failure: a nursing 6 month old, rowdy campsite neighbors, insufficient bedding, etc. I'm happy to report that Camping in '08 was much more successful! Mainly because it involved only the boys, and it happened in our awesome backyard. John has been itching to camp out ever since we set foot on this property, and the weather this weekend has been spectacular! Breezy, mild and no humidity. Perfect set-up for camping.

We started with a delicious kabob meal prepared by Chef/Doc Malcolm.



Then, the boys retired to their quarters. Henry loved camping so much that he has requested to sleep outside for every nap and for every slumber since. (which we have denied)


View from the tent at dusk:

September 16, 2008

Future Child Models? Don't think so.

The light was right, and I was in the mood to snap some photos. I had just spent the afternoon grazing a photographer's website and was inspired to see if I could replicate some of what I had seen. All I needed was a subject. Enter Henry who wakes up from a nap. PERFECT! Well, since entering the photography business, my children are less and less likely to actually look at a camera when pointed at them. They have actually grown to detest seeing half my face hidden behind my black idol. It's quite a shame. My kids have an opportunity to take center stage in photographs, and mostly what I get is a whine and a quiet, disobedient turn of the head. . . . sigh. . . .

Here's what I got that afternoon:


And, here's that "look" that says "do not point that thing at me again!"

September 10, 2008

Sign of things to come?

Every time I pick up Bradley from preschool, time this is how the conversation goes:

Me: "Hi Bradley! How was school today?
Bradley: "Good."
Me: "What did you do today?"
Bradley: "Boys."
Me: "You played with boys?"
Bradley: "Yeah, boys."

Apparantly, she loves boys! Oh, the teenage years are going to be fun!

September 05, 2008

First Day of Preschool

Here the kids are getting ready to enter into a whole new world of preschool! Let's hear it for some free time for momma!
We hope Henry is going to make some good buddies at school! Doesn't he look so big? He had a great attitude and a fantastic first day.

Bradley, on the other hand, was not too excited about leaving the house to be dropped off with strangers for 3 hours. She collected herself by the time we arrived at school, but voiced her opinon LOUDLY for the first part of our journey.


August 29, 2008

Should we live here?

We visited Stauton, VA this weekend. It's one of the potential relocation spots for the Malcolms. I didn't get any pictures of the quaint downtown, but here are some pictures from Granny's farm. We went swimming and visited the animals. What do you think?