Friday, July 29, 2016

Florida 2016

We headed to Florida for vacation this year.  
 We managed to make the 13 hour trips both in single days.  The kids are becoming amazing travelers.  This is one of our stops to eat at Zakbys.   

Do what you need to do for entertainment.  The kids played on their kindles and had a Harry Potter movie marathon. 

Our friends the Scantlins were gracious hosts to my loud family for a week.  They get a medal.  Florida is hot in July.  Virginia is hot in July.  But Florida has a lot of pools, which makes the hot a lot better.  
Kate officially learned to swim this week in Florida.  

Brandy introduced the kids to her Get-Along shirt for when they argue. :-) 

We did not go in the Disney Parks, but we enjoyed the free stuff they had to offer.  Riding the monorail. 

Enjoying some A/C & Dole Whips at the Polynesian Resort 

3 Blakemores and 3 Scantlins.  Love these girls! 

Disney hats (that we promptly put back on the shelves after a picture) 

Visiting the Grand Floridian Resort

Inside the Grand Floridian
We noticed that the beach line now has a large plastic barrier along the shore to prevent furure alligator incidents. 

Enjoying the Disney bath & body shop @ The Grand Floridian

Bath bomb demonstration 

Monorail transport 

We ate dinner at Disney's Contemporary Resort.  Love the Scantlins!

We got to meet up with Melanie and Erik, who were in town for a wedding.  They introduced the kids to Pokemon Go.   

Pulse Nightclub, where the shooting took place just a few weeks before our visit.   

We also were able to visit (on separate occasions) with my college friend Tiffany & also with Judy.  We had such a wonderful time that I forgot to take pictures.  Judy lives at Edgewood Children's Ranch (picture of the playground above), which is a wonderful ministry to troubled children in Orlando.  Check out their page to learn about the great work they are doing for families in the Orlando area.  It was wonderful to catch up with Judy, and she introduced us to the card game Scum.  If you visit, we will teach you!
It was also lovely to catch up with Tiffany and her family, too!  As my oldest son informed me, I have the BEST college friends.

Nothing like the Florida sky!  
Wonderful memories and amazing friends!  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quick Trip to Ohio

We made a quick trip out to visit our dear friends Joel & Cynetta Seekins last weekend.  We had a wonderful time, and the kids really enjoyed playing with each other. 
Cynetta and I enjoyed the Arts & Crafts Festival just down the street from their house.   

 David on the church playground

Kate on the church playground 

Climbing after church 

 All 6 kids
Joel works at the airport, so we got prime seats to watch the Dayton Airshow.  The F-22 Raptor was incredible! 

In formation 

We were able to swim in the pool on Sunday afternoon 

The kids loved the kitty!

End of School Year 2015-2016

The kids finished up their school year on June 15th.  
 Done with 4th, 2nd, & Kindergarten

David got the Responsibility Award from his teacher.  David is a great student, and he absolutely loves math.  1st grade will be a treat for him, as he adores the routine and structure of school. This lovely lady above taught kindergarten to all 3 Blakemores, and we can't thank her enough for getting our kids off to a great start in school!
Kate got into the accelerated program that starts in 3rd grade.  She is an excellent reader and has very high verbal scores.  Kate really wanted to get into the program, because she loves seeing all the projects that Michael has been assigned, and she wants to do them, too.  It helps that the FOCUS teacher is absolutely amazing!  
Michael will be a 5th grader next year, and he was voted "Most Likely to be President" by his classmates.  He is a natural leader, and we look forward to seeing these skills develop.  He did great on his VA SOLs, and we're proud of the progress he has made this year!

My handsome hubby playing guitar. 

Kate has some plans for making money this summer.  

But the boys have been bugging her this summer.  Anyone with girls her age want to move to the neighborhood?

Friday, May 06, 2016

2016 Piano Recital

Recital group picture
We are honored to have Anna as our kids' teacher for piano. 

Michael, age 10   
2.75 years of piano instruction

Kate, Age 8
9 months of piano instruction

Our 2 piano players after their recital

Piano Recital 2016- Michael

This is Michael's 3rd piano recital, and he worked very hard on his pieces, which were challenging.  He is really starting to love the piano, and it shows.  We are proud of Michael's hard work!


Piano Recital 2016- Kate

Kate had her 1st piano recital yesterday evening.  She played Lullaby for her solo piece, and Classic Dance for her duet.  She worked hard and did a great job, and we are proud of her. 


The Great Train Race 2016

In lieu of spring sports this year, the boys opted to run The Great Train Race in Fredericksburg.  
FLS article & pics here

David ran with the 10-year-olds, since he and Michael had trained together.  This was probably not the best choice, since he is super competitive and was so upset that he was 2nd to last.  I almost quit on the home-stretch, but I ran a little bit with him and showed him that he was almost done, and he finished well.  The above picture was snapped by the newspaper photographer, and you can see him hustling toward the finish line.   

The boys right before they got their chips to run. 

At the starting line (under the train bridge) 

Their medals for a job well-done.  Great race, boys!

Eventful Spring

We have been quite busy this spring with events and activities.  Here are a few other things:
 Rainy day Lego fun

A round of Strep which led to a trip to the peds office.  Michael is now on Round #2. 

Kate loving on her Daddy 

And making art from anything she can find

We went to a production of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe, thanks to the kindness of Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle David.  The kids really enjoyed it! 

It was well-done. 

A little long, but pretty true to the book.  

Kate has taken over our garden.  The kids were hunting for worms, and they found this slithering "worm."  We think it is an Eastern Worm Snake

Say "Cheessssssssssse" 

 We went to the Stafford Science & Engineering Festival.  It was pouring and a nasty day, but we still had fun. 

 Touring the cockpit a WW2 plane.
They had astronaut Tom Jones present, a Lego building contest, a motorcycle show, & a gaming trailer, to name a few things. 

 The STEM festival also had a presentation from Reptiles Alive!  

Kate had a great day last weekend when she got both a sister and a pet.  She made her sister from paper, and she found a caterpillar (which she later released, since she was concerned that he might miss his family.) 

Awards assemblies for both Michael and Kate's classes at school  

Michael participated in the Focus Festival for Stafford County Public School to present his Independent Study project that he has worked on all year.  He did a "Living Wax Museum" project where he had to do a power point, a display board, and a monologue (as George himself).  He worked very hard on this project, and we are very proud of his hard work.  BTW, in the picture above, that bowl contains George C Marsh-mallows.  :-)  Michael's Focus teacher is absolutely amazing, and we have been so impressed with the work she has done to teach Michael to be a great learner.  

 The Focus Festival had a lot of advanced projects.  One of the SCPS high school students presents his musical work, and he let the kids take a turn.  David LOVED the drums.  (Don't get any ideas.  We do NOT want a set of drums...)

Michael's Focus group