Journal Archive

Happy Birthdays Sasha & Anya 2016!

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26 May 2015

Anya coins a new idiom last night when she refers to something as "straight as a nickel."  Feel free to incorporate this into your every day speech henceforth. 

12 October 2014

Holly likes to plan imaginary vacations that we would take if we ever had any money.  In bed last night, she was telling me about different cruises that depart from where we live.  She mentioned that one goes to the Bahamas but that she isn't interested in going to the Bahamas.  Anya, who was sleeping between us, sits up and says, "Wait...  Obama's will be on the boat and you don't want to go!?"

16 January 2014

Anya, wandering around the house yesterday, singing to herself the classic song "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off":

You say Snowman 
I say Butterfly 
You say Picture 
I say Banana 
Let's call the whole thing off!

Journal Archive


25 June 2015

Holly, with her glasses off, had this magazine below pressed up to her face to read the tiny captions next to their heads.  Anya walks in, sees her, and says: "Mommy!  Stop looking at all those beautiful men!!!"


October 2014

Steam Girls : Halloween 2014

Click the pics above for Photos from the events!

March 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art hosted a reception for all the artists chosen for this years student exhibit
The director of the museum actually choose Sasha's work off the wall of the school one day during a random visit.
It was not actually created as a submission for the exhibition.  The director just asked that it be included!
This piece was done as an homage to the winter scene work of Grandma Moses.


18 October 2013

Sasha get's her original artwork added to the Official Website for the popular children's novel (and soon to be feature film)
 "The School for Good & Evil."
She also got a Thank You note from the Author!

"Gorgeous, Sasha!!!!! We'll put it up on the book site soon! Thanks for being such a great fan.  -S"

Here's a link to the website for the book: 

and the art gallery with Sasha's art: 

22 August 2013

Sasha (Age 9) showed her little sister Anya (Age 5) how to arm wrestle tonight. The best part of this was the moment after they locked grips and said "go." During that brief instant, Sasha's face went from cocky to surprised and then finally to realizing that no matter how hard she tried, her baby sister was going to pin her arm. The rematch she demanded, and lost, immediately after only served to heighten her shame. Soooooo funny.


1 June 2013

Last Night Sasha and Anya saw a few minutes of the Flintstones on TV for the first time.  When Mr. Slate came on the screen and started yelling at Fred, Anya says "Hey!  It's Daddy!"

21 Nov 2012

While Anya (age 4) was getting ready for bed tonight I heard her singing this christmas song to the tune of Frosty the Snowman. 

"Frosty the snowman had a very shiny nose, and he did some stuff then he went to bed saying Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho!" 

17 Dec 2012

 Anya, talking to herself while choosing a bedtime story last night:

"Eenie Meenie Moe, Catch a little toe, OK... Now pick one."

19 Oct 2012

Anya: "Daddy?  I don't like shooting stars."

Alan: "What?  Who doesn't like shooting stars?"

Anya: "I don't."

1 Sept 2012

The kittens have figured out how to open the drawer where we keep the wads of yarn that they love so much.  Hopefully they don't get interested in the knife drawer.

7 July 2012

We were watching the kids movie "Sky High" today.  This mad scientist with a giant head came on the screen and Anya says, "Mommy!  It's Mitt Romney!"  She would really only know Romney from Stewart and Colbert.  We're not sure why she sees him like this though.






4 July 2012

Sasha gets her first bee sting!

29 June 2012

First Family camping trip ends in disaster

24 June 2012

Anya Boogie Boards in the Ocean!

12 April 2012

The Kittens Have Landed

24 March 2012

We met our new kittens for the first time!  Jack & Professor Cupcake.  :)

17 March 2012

Sasha ran in her first marathon today!

13 January 2012

The other day Anya was doing something naughty.  When Holly stopped her and told her "no" Anya looked at the stuffed animal in her hand and said to it "I told you!"  So it appears Anya is now taking her mischief orders from inanimate objects.  :)

25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!


It's almost here! It's almost here! Twice today it will be 11/11/11/11:11:11. I've been waiting 100 years for this moment!

17 September 2011

We were watching some fireworks last night and "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong came on over the sound system.  Sasha said really loud "Daddy!  Why is Cookie Monster singing this song?"

7 September 2011 

Worst First Day of School Ever (For Alan)

So Sasha started at her new school yesterday.  Her bus picks her up and drops her off a couple blocks from our house so Holly walks her down to the stop in the morning and I walk down to pick her up at the end of the day.  Her new school has a complicated bus schedule because itís a magnet school that takes kids from all over the city.  So she rides a bus to a different school in the morning then transfers to another bus that takes her to her school.  This process is reversed in the afternoon. 

For the first day of school yesterday, one of the older kids told Holly in the morning that the bus arrives sometime around 4pm at the end of the day.  School gets out at 3pm so I decided to leave around 3:15 to go wait at the bus stop for Sasha.  I knew this was early, but figured for the first day the bus might be a little early or late.  It was about 90+ degrees yesterday afternoon.  

I waited.  4pm Ė no bus.  Kids from the local elementary school dropped off by their bus at around the usual time.  Then the older kids. 

4:30pm Ė No Bus.  OK, so the bus is a bit late on the first day as the kids try to figure out the transfer system. 

4:45pm No bus.  I was supposed to pick Anya up at the sitter 15 minutes ago and now Iím getting worried.  I canít leave the bus stop to go home and see if there was a call from the school that something is wrong because the bus might come. 

5pm Ė NO BUS.  I am frantic.  Every horrible possibility is running through my head.  The bus crashed.  I heard sirens in the area about 10 minutes before.  Sasha got off at the wrong stop and sheís lost.  Someone took her during the transfer or at some other point along the way. 

5:05pm  NO BUS.  My head whips back and forth every time I hear a car approach the intersection.  Iím scanning all their backseats. 

5:10pm  NO BUS.  Iíve been standing here waiting in 90 degree heat for 2 hours.  For the last Ĺ hour my mind is racing with terror.  My heart is beating like crazy and Iím soaked with sweat.  I was supposed to pick up Anya an hour ago.  The parent of the older kid from this morning is there waiting now too.  Worried.  She says itís never been this late.   Iím completely losing it.  I canít go home to see if there are any messages.  I have no idea whatís going on.  For the last hour I have no idea where Sasha is.  For the first time in her life, I DO NOT KNOW WHERE SHE IS. 

5:15pm.  The bus arrives. 

The driver explains that they are over an hour late because some high school kid got on the wrong bus earlier in the day and threw off the schedule.

Holly had received a call from the school on her cell around 4:35pm to tell her what was happening and there were multiple messages from her when I got home.

It takes me hours to recover from this.  I went to bed last night at 8pm because I was so exhausted from the stress.

That was insane.

27 August 2011


The Hurricane Blog of 2011


We have survived The Great Virginia Earthquake of 2011.  We now direct our fear and animosity for nature toward Hurricane Irene.


News reports are beginning to stop scaring us about the Earthquake and start scaring us about the hurricane.  The Navy evacuates Norfolk.  They say it is likely that tornados will spin off from the hurricane and cause more destruction.


3pm: Throughout most of the day we watch as reporters stand on the beautiful beaches of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and report that Death is coming for us all.  During Hurricane Isabel 8 years ago they told us on the news that if we choose to ignore the evacuation, we should write our names on our arms and legs with black markers so they could easier identify our remains.

4:30pm:  Holly picks up the kids.  We find out Michelle and her kids are evacuating.  Holly suggests the go to Charlottesville, VA.

5pm: Iím done working for the day and the week.  Sasha and I are going to go to the East Coast Surfing Championships down at the beach tomorrow morning to get as much free swag as we can before they cancel the Festival.

6pm: I made a Orzo Risotto with Mushrooms for dinner, we're eating it now and watching The Simpsons episode where they hire a nanny like Mary Poppins.

9:30pm: Watching Project Runway.  I don't really like any of the designers or their design aesthetics this year.  Nobody stands out with personality or talent.  I watch but don't really care.

10:30pm:  After a "did you know there's a hurricane coming?" call from Holly's parents, Holly starts to stress out about the hurricane.  By the end of Project Runway she has decided that we must evacuate.

11:30pm: I don't want to evacuate because I'm worried about leaving the house and the storm is only supposed to be a Cat 2 when it hits and we're on somewhat high ground and far enough away from the ocean front.  It's decided that Holly and the girls will evacuate on Saturday morning.  I will stay behind and protect the house and eat all the fresh food before the power goes out.


12am:  They cancelled the ECSC!  Now I took the day off work for nothing and Sasha and I aren't gonna score any swag this year :(

12:30am:  Holly can't find a hotel in Charlottesville or anywhere nearby.

1am:  Holly finds a Holiday Inn in Staunton, VA.  It's about 3.5 hours to the North West near the mountains.  They will be leaving tomorrow morning instead of Saturday to beat the traffic.

1:30am: I'm reading my Walking Dead comics.  The TV show didn't really follow the comic storyline for very long.

2am: We go to bed.

2:15am:  I can't sleep.  Probably drank too much ice tea.  I go watch the end of an episode of American Pickers and 2 episodes of Storage Wars.

3:30am:  I go to bed.  Sasha is in our bed now asking a ton of questions about why she has to go to the hotel tomorrow and miss the hurricane.

8am: Sasha wakes me up.  I tell her and Anya to start packing.

8:30am:  I go to the bank to get some cash for Holly to take with her and gas up the van.

9am:  Get suitcases out of attic and pack clothes and toys and stuff for Anya.  Sasha and Holly start packing.

9:30-10:30am:  Take everything in the backyard and cram it in the shed.  Tied down everything that didn't fit in the shed including the swingset.  Backyard is empty.

10:30-12pm:  Helped Holly and the girls get everything they needed to go.  They are on their way to Staunton.

12:01pm:  I'm alone now.  So alone.  I can feel the madness beginning to take over.  The house makes weird sounds when nobody else is here.  I have to focus.  I have to hold onto my sanity.  I know what is real, don't I?

12:30pm: I'm going to go get a few groceries, some ice and sell some movies and cd's at Coolstuff.

1:30pm:  I'm back.  I got a loaf of bread,  some chips and salsa,  a pack of 4 C batteries for the flashlights, 2 bags of ice and a 1995 Star Wars Power of the Force Electronic Millennium Falcon sealed in the box in mint condition.  I'm ready for the hurricane.

2pm: The hurricane has been down-graded to a Cat 2 before it even gets to the Outer Banks.

3pm: I'm doing the kids laundry, watching my DVR of the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear that I taped last fall when we went to see it in DC.  Pausing on crowd scenes to see if I can find myself with Holly and the kids.  I think I'll have some tacos, gotta get rid of some shredded cheese and sour cream.

4pm: I ate 7 tacos.  I feel sick.  By the 5th one I knew I made a mistake but I still ate the last 2.  I was going to clean up the toys in the living room but I feel too stuffed.  Just gonna lay here and watch the rest of the rally on TV.

5pm:  Holly just called.  It took 5 hours in thick traffic for them to make the 90 minute drive to Richmond.  They still have about 2 hours to go to get to Staunton if the traffic stays clear.

6:47pm: It's getting surreal around here.  The skies are filling with clouds and turning various shades of pink and red.  The wind is starting to pick up.  And all is quiet except for the ice cream truck that just drove by playing its little tune.  Either a hurricane is coming or an awesome John Woo gunfight is about to begin.

7:58pm: You know a serious storm is coming when the movie theater that you were just about to go to has cancelled their 9pm showing of Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  ďAll the time, it was... They finally really did it.  You Maniacs! You cancelled it! Ah, damn you AMC Theaters! Damn you all to hell!Ē

10:00pm: I'm sleepy.  The hurricane will be here in the morning and then it will attack us all day long (that'll be kinda neat because I'll get to see everything.  Better than the night hurricane they were projecting.)  I'm gonna watch a zombie movie now and then go to sleep so I'm refreshed for the big day tomorrow.  Sasha just called and said they were all settled in at the hotel.  Signing off for now.  See ya in the AM!

08/27/11  Hurricane Day!

9am: OK.  OK.  I'm awake.  The storm is here and has been raging for about the last 2 hours.  The hurricane is like Sasha, in that it woke me up at 7am on a Saturday and then wouldn't really let me go back to sleep.  I turned on the news.  We're under a tornado warning at the moment, so I may have to blog from the coat closet soon.  Also someone at the nearby High School reported their power was out so I may have to blog on paper soon.  Can you do that?  Is it really blogging when nobody is reading it?  Anyway, if I lose power you won't hear from me anymore because my phone and cable and internet are all bundled.  Damn Cox cable and their wonderfully convenient cost saving deals!  It's actually getting darker as I type this.  The house is creaking in the wind.  It sounds like I'm on an old pirate ship at sea.  One of the local reporters just had her hat blow off in the wind.  So obviously, it's time to start panicking.

9:05am:  There has been no further news regarding the status of that reporter's hat.  We don't know if she recovered it or if it was lost in the storm.  I'm mentally preparing for the worst.  In my mind I just saw a beautiful montage of all the fun times she had with that hat.  That Green Day "Time of your life" song played during the montage.  Too choked up to continue writing.  I'm going to go make sure all my hats are OK.

10:45am: During a moment of fear and weakness I ate and drank all my hurricane provisions. All that remains is 1/2 a container of cornstarch, a warm bottle of pickle juice that I recovered from the trash and 36 boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Nothing edible.

10:52am: The Emergency Broadcast System just broke in over the Emergency Breaking News coverage to tell us that we are experiencing some sort of hurricane!  This is terrible news.  So if I'm understanding correctly, we have a hurricane that is going to hit us DURING the hurricane that's already been here for the last 4 hours!

11:13am:  The news has just reported that the City of Virginia Beach has suspended all alcohol sales!  Ron Paul must be spinning in his grave.  So now I'm going to either have to cancel my 2pm, 4pm, 6:23pm, 9pm and 11:47pm beer runs or I'll have to go to one of the more conservative freedom-loving cities outside of Virginia Beach.  This may also cause my blog to take on a more dour tone over the next few minutes as my buzz wears off.  I apologize in advance. 

12pm: Alan's Famous Hurricane Omelet.  Melt butter.  Sautť finely chopped sweet onion and small chopped asparagus.  Add smoked pepper, garlic powder, and seasoned salt to sautť.  Beat eggs with cream.  Add thyme and smoked pepper to egg mixture.  Remove sautť.  Add eggs to pan.  Once egg disc is done on one side, flip.  Add asparagus and onion sautť to one side of the egg disc.  Sprinkle lightly with shredded cheddar.  Fold egg disc over to cover and melt the cheese.  Enjoy!

12:58pm: After making that omelet I have only 1/3 of a container of smoked pepper left.  This will seriously upset the balance of my carefully constructed hurricane preparedness plan.  Damn!  How could I have been so reckless with the seasonings.  What was I thinking!?  Rookie mistake.  I will now have to brave a trip into the maw of the storm to try and replenish my resources.  Watch for me on the news!  Wish me luck!

2:37pm: The local TV station I'm watching has a "guest" reporter and meteorologist from Grand Rapids, Michigan that they've dispatched out into the worst of the hurricane. Note to future communications students: DO NOT accept internships with Grand Rapids news stations.

4:44pm: Wind gusts are picking up as the eye of the storm approaches.  Rain sheets battering the house.  Cabin Fever setting in.  Sasha's Disney Fairy dolls are all staring at me.  Vidia and Silvermist are conspiring when I'm not looking.  Fawn and Rosetta have a deranged look in their eyes.  I threw a blanket over them to break off their penetrating gazes.  But now I can't see what they're doing.  Tinkerbell can not be trusted.  Tinkerbell can not be trusted.  Tinkerbell CAN NOT be trusted..............

5:08pm: Some of you may be wondering what its like to "live through a nightmare, once in a century, earth shattering hurricane, like my hero Alan."  I'm here to tell you, it's nothing like anything you could imagine.  Well, maybe some of you might be able to imagine it.  Think about a really bad rain storm.  Now...  imagine that rain storm is a little more severe.  That's... a hurricane!  That's what I've been living in for the last 10 hours and 11 minutes.  That's what all the pundits and reporters can never understand.  Never will understand.

7:20pm:  The eye of the storm is upon me.  This is probably as bad as it's gonna get.  I attempted a video chat through Facebook with Holly and the kids a little while ago but we were unsuccessful in getting the plug-in activated on Holly's mini laptop.  What kind of a backward outdated Luddite world are we living in where a guy can't set up a person to person wireless social media hosted video chat conference during a full on hurricane with his wife and kids?  I know!  It's crazy!  

7:53pm:  It's dark now and the lights are flickering.  I may lose power soon.  If I go dark for a bit you'll have to carry on without me for a while.  No... No arguments...  You go on.  Live your lives.  Be strong.....    AVENGE ME!

9:19pm:  OK.  I'm still here.  The lights are still on.  To make sure the electricity doesn't go out I have turned on every appliance in the house.  I'm doing laundry, washing the dishes, all lights and computers and TVs are on.  The stereo and clock radio's are all blasting away, the oven is set to 450 degrees and I've left the refrigerator door open.  Also the blender has been running for 7 hours (but that's just because I've been drinking margaritas non-stop since this morning.)

11:57pm: Well that was an exciting day.  I'm gonna go to bed now.  I can go out tomorrow and see if there was any external damage.  Lessons learned?  I'm more humble now in the face of Nature.  In that I no longer believe that Nature thinks it's better than me.  I now know that losing a hat in the wind happens to the best of us.  The best of ALL of us!  And I just discovered that Trix and Fruit Loops are pretty much the exact same cereal but in different shapes. What a rip-off! 

23 August 2011

I wander the post-quake apocalypse that was my home.  It's a mess.  Toys scattered everywhere. The Governor just declared Sasha's room a disaster area.  I've already started the paperwork to apply for Federal relief funds for the cleanup.  Earlier today we were lucky enough to have survived the 5.8 Quake of 2011.  How could Obama have let this happen on his watch?  We will now start down the long road of rebuilding and healing -  otherwise the Earthquake wins.  Hopefully our military response will be swift and decisive.

12 August 2011

I'm slowly re-scanning some of our old photos.  The first Flashback Photo Gallery is featured below.  

30 July 2011

The Rowland visit and The Star Wars Party were a super fun success!  We had a great long weekend packed with fun everyday!

24 July 2011

We had a harsh windy storm for about 1/2 an hour last night while Holly was upstairs reading bedtime stories to the kids on our bed.  Sasha got off the bed to peek out the window at the lightening.  About 2 seconds after she turned away from the window, the wind caught our backyard table umbrella and smashed it right through our bedroom window sending glass flying into the room.  Sasha wasn't hurt.  Everyone was scared though.

10 July 2011

The other day Sasha was playing house with some toys.  There was a toy for Mommy, Daddy, Anya and Sasha.  After the Daddy yelled at the kids for something, he was placed on the couch in the dollhouse.  Holly asked "What's Daddy doing now?"  Sasha said "Nothing, he's just going to lay there on the couch drunk for the rest of the night."

30 June 2011

Added 3 New sets of Pictures today!

17 June 2011

Today was Sasha's last day of school and her last day at that school.  She came home crying.  :(

16 June 2011

Went to the Amococo Luminarium at the beach with the kids yesterday.  It changed my life.

26 May 2011

So here's the new home page for the website.  I thought I'd simplify things a bit.  I'm actually going to redo the whole thing and do some back end organization. If you encounter broken links or broken images please let me know.  Thanks!

15 May 2011

Sasha was accepted into the gifted program for school next year and then she was accepted to the magnet gifted school. It was a surprise when she tested and was accepted in the gifted program, but it was really a shock that the gifted school wanted her. Only 126 kids in the whole city are selected to go to the school each year. That's 126 out of 1000's. Virginia Beach Public Schools have over 75,000 students. So we have meetings at the school in the next week to check it out and ask questions.

Anya was playing in the downstairs bathroom sink last weekend giving an R2D2 toy "a bath". At some point while Sasha and Holly and I were upstairs she closed the drain in the sink and then turned on the water. At first she told us it was wet downstairs. I assumed she meant she had spilled some water and told her to take a towel from the bathroom down to wipe it up. About 15 minutes later she started calling Holly and saying the same thing over and over but we didn't know what she was saying and kept telling her to just quiet down and play. Eventually I went downstairs for something and there was like a waterfall of water and bubbles flowing out of the bathroom. The entire hall was underwater, as well as the laundry room. It was flowing into the kitchen and 1/2 of the breakfast area of the kitchen was underwater. The sink had probably been overflowing onto the floor with the water on full blast for at least 15-20 minutes. We had to use every towel in the house (like about 40 or so) to sop it all up.