Lucas’ Birthday Interview

I ask him these same questions every year. Love this chance to talk with Lucas about his favorites and to show him how much we value his thoughts, his dreams and HIM!


The photo above is from Carter Mountain Orchard here in Charlottesville. We took the first photo just before his 4th birthday and once every year after!

▪ STATS: Lucas is 47.5 inches tall (40th percentile), 50 lbs (40th percentile), and he wears size 6-7 tops, 6-Slim pants and kids’ size 13 shoes.

▪ Favorite colors: “shiny orange, bright yellow, highlighter pink, blank white, light green”

▪ Favorite activities: “swimming, rock scrambling, singing, eating”

▪ Favorite toys: “Legos and iPad”
▪ Favorite friends: “Lily, Mira, Luca, Josh, Leo”
▪ Favorite foods:  “soy glazed salmon, peaches, pineapples”
▪ Favorite book: “Jack and Annie’s Magic Tree House series”
▪ What makes you happiest? “Mommy, Daddy, and snuggling while watching a video together”
▪ What do you want to be when you grow up? “a scientist, an inventor, and a city pool snack bar attendant”
▪ What new thing would you like to try this year? “singing lessons”
▪ Where in the world would you like to go on vacation some day? “China, Japan, and Vietnam”
▪ What do you love to learn about? “math, reading and writing”
▪ What are you really good at? “being a cat”
▪ Which three words describe you? “I’m kind, smart, active, and I’m a weirdo!”
▪ What will you be doing in 10 years?  “Driving!”
▪ Please give me a recipe: “Mix walnuts and oats and nutella and put it in an ice-cream cone. Put strawberries on top. It’s called a Super Dump.”
▪ Give some advice/words of wisdom to Mommy: and to Daddy: “You should go in the woods with me and watch Pokemon with me.”
▪ Describe a perfect day: “I would have lots of screen time and play Minecraft with Daddy, and I would paint our back woods with silver spray paint and we would all spend time together with Mosby and Gigi too and I wouldn’t fall out of a tree.”
▪ How would you spend a million dollars? “I would buy lots of shiny spray paint, and have an awesome house and fun backyard with lots of trails and give some to poor people and save some too.”
▪ What’s your favorite family/holiday tradition? “I like lots of things! Easter egg hunting and when the kitchen is decorated for my birthday and when I come downstairs Christmas morning and the presents are out!”


November Misc

Our one and only family hike this autumn. We miss being able to do this, but are thankful we got out at least once. We picked a half-mile hike right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sophie wasn’t particularly happy about it so she and Laith bailed out as soon as we got to this view. She did enjoy the car ride views and small animal sightings though.IMG_4320bsmIMG_4310sm

A few pics of the kids looking cute!

IMG_4409smIMG_4568smIMG_4674smSophie’s Nutbutter recipe (she chose the ingredients, taste-tested along the way, and decided when to add more of something or something new!) We made this for Sophie’s starve-the-cancer-cells-of-sugar ketogenic diet so it’s super high in fat and soooooo delicious!

1/2 cup of pecans, 1/4 cup roasted salted cashews, 1 Tbsp coconut oil, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 cup of Lily’s (sugar-free) Chocolate chips.  Combine in food processor until the ball of ingredients rolling around in there starts to become smooth and uniform. Don’t over-blend. Chill in fridge for a more solid consistency.

She actually picked to add a 1/4 tsp of salt too, which she thought improved the taste but that made it too salty for the rest of the family. We omitted that ingredient the next time we made it. 🙂

IMG_4638smAre cats really like this? Gigi’s personality totally cracks me up.IMG_4643smIMG_4451smIMG_4457sm
A cool art installation at the Architecture School:IMG_4485smIMG_4501smIMG_4489sm IMG_4491bsm Art has become an increasingly favorite activity for the kids as it’s often too cold (and wet) outside to play or too bright for Sophie’s sensitive eyes (even with sunglasses). Plus it’s one of the few things the kids can still do together.IMG_4335smIMG_4417sm Sophie has made one of these bracelets for herself, Laith, Lucas and I and has moved on to making more for our extended family. We’ll give them to you when we see you (or mail them) 🙂IMG_4413smOne of Sophie’s last hippotherapy sessions before the winter break:
IMG_4359smI see you Kitty!
IMG_4329sm Lucas loves his rock collection and arranges it often. (Thanks Meemom!!)IMG_4327smA nd I’ll leave you with this:  …I bet Laith likes the first picture the best 😉Untitled-1sm

October Miscellaneous Plus Halloween

This package of mustache stickers (a present to Laith from some friends) got some serious mileage 🙂sm IMG_4235sm A lovely visit from our friends (of 25 years!) the SuttersIMG_4233sm IMG_4228sm IMG_4225sm And a lovely visit and dinner with our friends the MooresIMG_4170sm More mustache action:IMG_4116bsmLaith’s ‘stache looks scarily realisticIMG_4125smSophie has been doing hippotherapy- similar to therapeutic riding but with a licenced occupational therapist leading the session and implementing strategies that challenge Sophie’s particular weaknesses. After 3 weeks, Sophie had enough core-strength and stability to ditch the highchair and sit safely in a regular chair at our table!


ABC_0379smIMG_4005smIMG_4109smIMG_4100smIMG_4096smIMG_3911smLucas has been able to resume Tae Kwon Do and after a month back in it, tested for his orange belt! Good job, Lucas! I still can’t get over the cuteness of seeing 3-6 year olds doing martial arts 🙂IMG_3905sm Sophie and Gigi are so sweet togetherIMG_3896sm And Lucas exploded my heart with this sweetness: he gave me this clay jar he made with little yellow balls inside and told me he was giving me the last drops of sunshine before nighttime.IMG_3865sm Yay, a visit with Jill! Sophie almost never smiles like this and it made us so happy to see HER so happy!IMG_3858sm IMG_3851sm IMG_3847smIt’s so nice to do regular (non-hospital or intensive Sophie-care) activities. Laith is back to building and creating. He made us a beautiful farm table with benches for our back porch!
IMG_3825sm IMG_4840smIMG_3820sm IMG_3816sm IMG_3794b ABC_0188smHalloween: Ladybug Sophie and Black Ghost Lucas (he came up with the costume on his own).IMG_4287smIMG_4288smMira recognized him right away- and to his chagrin, wasn’t scared of him at all. This photo is so incredibly cute! Sorry Lucas, you’re still huggable and adorable no matter what you look like!IMG_4292sm

Apples and Pumpkins

Our favorite orchard: Carter Mountain. The view is worth the trip alone. And the cider slushies are so amazing that we buy them even when it’s cold out. 
ABC_0363smIMG_4134IMG_4159smOh my goodness, was Lucas ever as tiny and cute as he is in that first picture- just about to turn 4 years old? He’s grown two whole apples taller since then 🙂JBV_0289

This was the cutest place to take pumpkin pics! But even a photographer mom couldn’t get it right this year. Not worth it. Sophie wouldn’t keep her hat on or hold her head up. I asked Lucas to help her. Not happening. No big deal- this is supposed to be family fun… ABC_0354smnot a dramatic torture 🙂 ABC_0350smWe did get some awesome pumpkins here and had fun painting and carving and eating the roasted seeds!

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Kitty got some pumpkins too 🙂ABC_0385sm

We Love Liberty Mills Farm!

Such a beautiful and peaceful place, but lots of fun too! IMG_3441smA view of the corn maze: IMG_3453smABC_0040sm ABC_0042smA quick break for the hayride:ABC_0175smABC_0171sm

And a picnic!ABC_0050sm ABC_0062bsm ABC_0157smWe met up with friends and had so much fun looking for the checkpoints hidden in the maze!ABC_0132sm ABC_0137sm ABC_0144sm ABC_0152sm And if that wasn’t enough exercise, there was a big pile of hay to jump off of too!ABC_0155sm ABC_0162bsm ABC_0165sm ABC_0167sm