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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Spring Flowers in Virginia

The hot and cold spells of late winter and early spring came and went, and up came the crocuses from the bulbs we bought at Colonial Williamsburg in the Fall. Success! That was the sign to start planting the annuals.

Kelson went to the store with the order to "just get a few, since we'll be moving soon." He came out with 36 flower packs.

But Emily loves flowers, he thought. She won't mind. We'll find a way to use them somehow. You should see her parents' house in the spring and summer.

We planted some baskets...
(oh, there's a cute little crocus there!)

And several colors of dianthus and pansies around the tree in front.

Sarah was ready to help out too. Flowers need water, and Sarah knows that.
Water comes from a hose, and it goes in a watering can. She also knows that.

We babysat Elaina Phillips that day, and she and Sarah helped a lot. Good idea.

They took turns for half an hour filling the watering cans, walking back and forth over-watering every flower until they weren't allowed to have the watering cans anymore.

They did a very good job, and they were very cute while doing it.

Then the cold spells came again, and we were afraid the freshly planted spring flowers wouldn't make it through the near freezing weather in April. But they pulled through, and we moved away a couple of weeks later. Hopefully, whoever lives in our house now is enjoying the beautiful flowers.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Child-free Day at Williamsburg

Our wonderful friends, the Phillips, were nice enough to take Sarah so that we could enjoy a whole day exploring Colonial Williamsburg child free. We could explore as many gardens and old houses as we wanted without worrying about a fussy toddler. We had all kinds of fun, and Sarah got to spend the day playing with her best buddy instead of stuck in the stroller. Win for everyone!
 I found this wonderfully relaxing spot in the the back yard of George Wythe's house. (By the way, he is a fascinating founding father that I had hardly heard of.) I told Kelson he needs to build me an arbor like this at our house.
 Not a bad view. I guess Kelson doesn't need to build me one of these. I'll just take this one and the house that goes with it.
 This "Biblical garden" was completely made up of plants mentioned in the Bible. 
 Don't you just love springtime? It is amazing to me how many individual gardens they maintain at Colonial Williamsburg. 
 We told my mom that we found a guesthouse for her to live in after we move in to the Colonial mansion. 
 Inside the Capitol building, where the Virginia House of Burgesses and the House of Lords met. Living in Virginia has given has such a great opportunity to learn about and immerse ourselves in the history of our country's origins. It has taught me even greater gratitude for how blessed we are to have the freedoms that we do.

 Admiring the beautiful dogwood trees blooming outside the church where many of the Founding Fathers attended.
Kelson, who has discovered quite the love for plants and trees, downloaded an app for his phone that allowed him to take a picture of any plant and find out what it was. He pretty much played with it all day.
After a wonderful all-day date, we got stuck in traffic on the way home, and our friends were kind enough to have pizza waiting for all of us so we didn't have to make dinner. Thank you, Phillips family!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Virginia Parks

Virginia's community, city, state, and national parks are first-rate, and we enjoyed many mornings or afternoons at parks all over the Tidewater region.

An example (but far from being the only example) of the effective way Virginia manages its parks and recreation funds is Bluebird Gap Farm, just another city park in Hampton, VA, featuring a full-fledged farm, dozens of animal species, native flower and vegetable gardens, a Master Gardeners section, play areas, a mini-museum, and even a book nook for kids (and for parents to rest). Since it's a city park, it's free. It has been running since 1969. Anyway, Sarah loves it every time we go (and we don't go just for her either) - whether she's petting the farm animals or chasing the geese. We also had her 2nd birthday party here.

So far, here are the types of animals housed at the park:
- Tortoises
- Turtles
- Rabbits
- Red-tailed hawk
- Great horned owl
- Bobwhites
- Pigeons
- Pheasant
- Ducks
- Geese
- Horses
- Sheep
- Goats
- Cows
- Pigs
- Donkey
- Llamas
- Alpaca
- Chickens
- Wild and domestic turkeys
- White-tailed deer
- Emu (two are nice, one likes to nip people)
- Peacocks

The gardens are beautiful in spring, summer, and fall. To prevent Sarah from picking the flowers, we encourage her to smell them instead. She tells us how they smell sometimes: "Mmm! Smells good!" (whether they actually have a scent or not)

And sometimes Sarah is just really cute.

Sarah and Mommy moment.


North Newport News, just up the highway from Bluebird Gap Farm, has a wonderful park (called Newport News Park) full of many miles of trails, 7 or 8 sets of jungle gyms interspersed throughout acres of wooded areas, camp sites, an interpretive center, and more. We discovered this park a week or so before we moved away. So much untapped potential, as we discovered.

And turtles everywhere!

We also saw a large snapping turtle. Sarah wanted to meet him.

Sarah found what was assuredly a very rare species of inch-worm on this jungle gym. She was extremely happy about her temporary pet.


And just a mile or so up the road from Newport News Park is Yorktown National Battlefield. It has bike roads throughout the battlefields, marking where the French and American encampments were, as well as other emplacements, historical site markers, an interpretive center, and other sites.

We took Sarah in the bike trailer, which she enjoys until she just wants to get out and run around.

Into random fields with weeds taller than herself.

It was getting pretty late - actually almost dark - before we finally made it back to the car. And it was a little bit cold on this spring day, so we were tired as well as a bit eager to get back and relax.


Located in "the Chuckatuck village of Suffolk" is Lonestar Lakes Park, a series of lakes interspersed with recreation and camp sites, play areas, horse and walking trails, and wild animals.

Like this muscovy duck. It was the biggest duck I've ever seen - at least as big as a goose, and not very pretty. It was very friendly, though, and wanted to snuggle with us. Sarah was put onto Daddy's shoulders just in case it was too friendly.

  After hiking some of the trails and playing on the jungle gym with Sarah, we were finally forced to leave the park by the Virginia state militia - swarms of biting flies and mosquitoes.

This is just a taste of the parks and rec we were treated to in Virginia - all funded by taxpayers like you. A big thank you from the Mosiers!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Lantern Asia

One of our favorite things to do here in Virginia is visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden. This spring, they had an amazing exhibit of Chinese lanterns called Lantern Asia. We all had so much fun walking through it!
 We arrived at the garden early so that we could stroll through the spring flowers. Daffodils are such cheerful things.
 Sarah and I played at the sand park while Kelson went for a run. I was too busy keeping morning sickness at bay to even think about running.
 On top of the mountain!
 Going for a ride on the caterpillar
We all enjoyed a picnic while we waited for it to get dark.
 The lanterns were all so beautiful and vibrant. Sarah loved the bugs.

 This Taj Mahal lantern was at least 60 feet tall. Wow!
 Sarah has been asking to go to the garden and see the dragon pretty much every day since then.
 There was a temple sculpture I forgot to take a photo of that was made of over 1 million dishes and silverware held together with fishing line. It was amazing how it all came together to look like a temple.
Sarah riding on Daddy's shoulders dressed like a bug singing twinkle twinkle. Pretty much standard practice around our house. 
What a fun family evening out!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Family of 4!

We received a wonderful New Year's gift this year. We learned that we will soon be adding another member to our family! Sarah helped us tell our friends and family with a little chalkboard art:
 We have been hoping for this addition for quite some time, so we couldn't wait to share our good news with our friends and family. Since we have lost 3 babies now, there was definitely a lot of anxiety mixed with our excitement, and we spent the next few months saying a lot of prayers. We have been blessed with a seamless pregnancy so far. No problems whatsoever. Yay!
We got to meet the newest little Mosier for the first time at 9 weeks. Isn't our baby adorable already? Okay, it pretty much looks like a gummy bear, but we are in love. This baby is due to join us October 4th, and we can't wait to meet him or her.