BRAT - (noun)

Brat- (noun)

1.A child, especially a spoiled or ill-mannered one.

2.A child of a career military person.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And the best part of the weekend was..

Catching up with our friends, the Mongolds! Isn't this just precious!!!
Little Joshua was crazy about big Joshua. Must be a name thing!

We met them halfway (between Williamsburg and their house in Norfolk) at a Cracker Barrel. I wanted to ask our waitress to take a picture of all of us so we could get the whole group, but she seemed a little overwhelmed just waiting on our table. I was afraid if we asked her for a picture we would never get our food. So, we just have the kid shot.

See, I told you Bill Jr. went on the trip with us! We missed Lizzy - she and Joshua Song Mongold have a special connection. It was great to finally meet Steve, catch up with Renee and little Josh, and get to know Will, Kyle and Ben a little better. We think Will would fit in great with our family.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Great Wolf Lodge

Last year Bill and I traveled almost every weekend from the end of January through the first of March to take Elizabeth to audition at all her college choices. And I realized something during that time - it's really, really nice to get away from the house in the dull, dreary days of winter. I usually think of vacation time in the warm summer months, but I decided this year we were going to take a winter mini-vacation.

We found the perfect place - Great Wolf Lodge. We went to the one in Williamsburg, just a couple of hours drive from our house. On their advertisements they say, "Where a kid can be a kid." They aren't "kidding" - my kids had a great time!

Bill Jr. went along, but somehow he didn't end up in too many of the pictures. Not sure why, although he did spend a fair amount of time in the hotel room working on history homework. We also did a couple of college visits while we were in that part of Virginia, so somehow he just didn't make it into many of the pictures. But he did like the 2 schools we visited, William & Mary and Christopher Newport University.

We stayed in one of the Wolf Den rooms. It had a queen size bed, pull out sofa, fridge and microwave, and the best part - the little kids had their own "suite". It was a set of bunk beds and t.v. in their own space. They loved it!

We took breakfast and lunch food to eat in the room. I saw a LOT of smiles the whole trip from these two - priceless!

One of the very cool parts of the weekend was an interactive "video-style" game called MagiQuest. Josh purchased the magic wand, and then went throughout the hotel opening treasure chests, gathering clues and eventually slaying a dragon. I don't think a 9 year old boy could have much more fun than this one did!

Michelle spent some time hanging out in the Cub Club. It was a place for programs, crafts and fun. She made this cute pillow case to take home for a souvenier.

Close to our room was a sweet treat area. Michelle had to sit on this bears lap every time we went by. (Mommy was very happy this little shop included Starbucks coffee.)

We got our money's worth at the indoor water park. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Come back tomorrow to see the BEST part of our weekend...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


It was 19 years ago today I became a mom. I wanted to post some of her baby pictures, but seem to be "experiencing technical difficulties" on my end. Maybe I will get them up later tonight. But for now, Happy Birthday sweet girl!

By the way, I was only 10 when I had her... wink!

Thursday, February 10, 2011 Kickin’ & Screamin’

My brother Benji recently started a new blog. He just joined a new church, started a men's Bible study, and he started this blog to just share with his friends what God is doing in his life. His latest entry is about Michelle. Thought some of my readers might enjoy visiting his blog to read it. Kickin’ & Screamin’: " Michelle and Midge Cole  I often think about my niece Michelle and smile. She is a trip! She has an incredible personality..."

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raising Responsive Children

Today I started teaching Raising Responsive Children for the 2nd year. It is a wonderful Bible study about raising children. Different from any other study or book I have ever read, because while most studies focus on "how-to's" to produce perfect children, this study really focuses on the heart of being a mom.

Last year I had the honor to co-teach alongside the author. Judy Rossi is one of those spiritual mentors in my life, and such a woman who loves the Lord. This year I am taking the lead teaching (yes, you can pray for me!) alongside my sweet friend Sara. We have over 60 women in the class. I'm excited to see what God is going to do in the lives of these women. I'm excited for what He is going to teach me as I lead.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Year of the Rabbit everyone! We plan to have a party this Saturday with Bill's office. We did this last year, complete with decorations and chinese food, and it was a huge hit! Think it might become a tradition. Last week I had the opportunity to go into Michelle's school for International Day. We did some simple crafts, and I shared books and Chinese food with the kids. It was a great way to share Chinese New Year with the kids. I love when I have chances to keep Michelle's culture alive in her little life.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


This past weekend my kids school presented "Annie". For the past 4 years Lizzy has been involved with the musical. Lake Braddock always does a fantastic, very professional job, and we enjoyed Annie very much.
This year, it was fun to see Bill Jr. get involved. He played lead guitar in the pit orchestra, and I have to say, this was the best pit I have seen at LB! How's that for a proud Ma-Ma?!

In all seriousness, they really were fantastic. It never ceases to amaze me that all these kids, cast/crew/pit, are still in high school. They are as good if not better than any community theater I've ever seen. I guess that's one of the advantages of going to a high school that has 4,000+ students!

Bill did a great job, and I am proud of him. I'm so glad he had this fun experience.

On a different note, it was interesting to watch "Annie" from a post-adoption perspective. This musical was very popular when I was a young girl, and I remember watching the movie with Carol Burnette as Miss Hannigan. As an adult with a child brought out of an orphanage, I have to admit parts of it were kind of hard to watch. I know it's only a musical, but it made me sad to hear them sing about having a "Hard Knock Life", with empty bellies and hands sore from cleaning all day. People think orphanages are a thing of the past, but I have seen firsthand that they are still around in other parts of the world.

Once you know, you always know. It changes everything, even how you enjoy your kids' highschool musical.