Ryan joined Aunt Elaine, Uncle Drew, cousin Connor, Grandma and Papa ChooChoo (Connnor's name for Al) for a Day Out with Thomas in Burnet, Texas. He had the chance to play the Big Cousin and look after little Connor, including making sure he didn't get anywhere near the open window on the train.
Carl and Alex went to a Yard Battles birthday party for a classmate of Alex's. Apparently you get your very own army sergeant, and they play all sorts of army games, with slingshots and water guns.
Alex thought this was pretty much the best birthday party ever, and declared he was doing this next year.
Next to Jane Austen, she is my favorite author, and if you haven't read North and South or Wives and Daughters or the Cranford Chronicles or Mary Barton, or seen any of the BBC adaptations of the books, run, don't walk to the library and/or Netflix.
The character of John Thornton in North and South is right up there, neck and neck with Mr. Darcy and Edward Cullen in my book, and we have Elizabeth Gaskell to thank for creating my most realistic fantasy man.
So here's to you, Mrs. Gaskell.