Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer To-Do List (Update)

Summer is coming to a close, and we were able to get some of our summer to-do list complete.  

Sounds of Summer Concert Series @ Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Ctr (HERE and HERE)

Ferry Farm 4th of July Activities (and a cookout) (HERE)

Vacation Bible School

Visit National Zoo (Didn't get to this)

Visit Mt Vernon (Didn't get to this)

Visit the YMCA Waterpark (HERE)

See Monsters University in 3D (Didn't get to this)

See new Percy Jackson Movie- Sea of Monsters (Michael and Mom)  (HERE)
Go to the beach (HERE)
Play dates with friends
Get the Wii back  (Michael was grounded from it for a long time)
Go to a hotel and swim in their pool (Didn't get to this)
Make ice cream (Didn't get to this)
Run through the sprinkler
Drink root beer floats
David's birthday party (HERE)
Campfire and S'mores (HERE)
Find a farm to visit (The Alpaca Farm we were going visit was closed for tours)

YMCA Back-to-School Splash

Our school has an annual PTA drive, and it's usually at the YMCA water park.
I liked that our whole family got in for $10.
The kids had a ton of fun playing at the water park. 
Now they are looking forward to starting school.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Library Party #2

I guess you could say we are library junkies.  We went to the end-of-summer party at our usual branch, and the kids had a great time.  
Michael looking sullen, like the real book cover.  

The library frog 

Face (or arm) painting 

She promptly (but accidentally) wacked me in the leg with her arm and left a rainbow print on my jeans.

 This guy sitting down is Michael's library buddy Seth.  Seth is a library volunteer, and he's "somewhere around 8th grade."  (He's a homeschooler, and he said they don't really keep track of what grade they are in.)  Seth and Michael have similar interest in books, and they have similar personalities.  

A hedgehog, which has to stay around 80 degrees. It was a cooler day, so he could only come out of the pouch or out from under the lights for a minute or two.

Popcicles outside (which was a smart place to eat them- look at David's there on the ground.) 

Firemen hats 

Summer Book Club prizes- NEW BOOKS!
The kids were elated!  They chose exactly what they wanted, and they each love their books dearly!

Lego Quest

Michael's and his friend Noah in Ohio have been working through Lego Quest.  They have been using Skype to do the challenges together.  
 This was a challenge that only allowed you to use 30 pieces.  

Back view 

This quest was "Build a Car."  
The boys had fun working on their creations.  Technology is so cool!
You can check out Noah's creations HERE.


I took all 3 kids in for back-to-school check-ups, and we managed to get out of there with no shots!  All were declared healthy. Our pediatrician moved out to Spotsylvania, which is a good 25-30min south (depending on traffic), but since we rarely have to go see him, and since we love him so much, we make the trip.  Dr A was my pediatrician when I was a kid, so he and I go way back.  He was also selected as Top Pediatrics Doctor in the entire Northern Virginia area last year & this year- a well-deserved honor.

Michael @ 7 yrs
Michael is 4' 3" and weighs 84lbs
(Which is a LOT for his age, but if he stays true to pattern, this means that he is about to shoot up 6 inches or so.)

Kate @ 5 yrs
Kate is 3' 8.5in and 45lbs

David @ 3 years
Davis is 3' 1.5in and 35.5lbs

Monday, August 12, 2013

Water Weekend, Day 2

On Sunday, we went to DC for more water-y adventures.  
The kids have been asking to go to the National Aquarium, and they were quite excited to see all the exotic marine animals.  This is a much smaller aquarium than the one in Baltimore, but we had a good time.  

Finding Nemo (and Dory) 

The kids enjoyed the gators most of all.  They were young and feisty, and they kept playing games with each other.  I helped by narrating in my best gator voice.   

This one was a sneaky little gator.  He kept antagonizing the others, then he would run off.   Doesn't he just look mischievous? 

Did you know?  The gender of a gator is determined by the nest temperature.  

We saw the White House. 

And the Capitol (even though this picture has the Capitol hidden by Michael's head) 

We walked 11 blocks and back for the sole purpose of eating at a Fuddruckers.  The boys were quite happy, as I think that might have been a highlight for them.
On the way back, which we took it nice and easy, the kids stopped to try to catch pigeons.  We chatted with this nice couple on the steps of the church.  He said that he feeds these pigeons every day.  He's been trying to get this girl to marry him, but she keeps telling him "'no."  He asked if we could talk some sense in to her. :-)
The kids had lots of questions about the homeless population.  We talked about how we can be compassionate and kind like Jesus, and we tried to do what we could.  Kate was so happy when we helped that she asked if she could bring her Bank Book (where she keeps her money) with her next time. 

We were going to stop at the library and relax for a little while, but it closed just before we got there.  

The kids enjoyed this fountain.  They didn't seem to notice the dried vomit on the sidewalk. Gotta love DC.

We did not take the Metro in, but the kids wanted to ride the escalators.   

We did not take the Metro in to the city because Metro fares have gone up considerably.  It's much cheaper to park in a parking garage than it is to ride in, so that's what we have done the last few times we have been in to DC.  We found a really nice parking garage under the Reagan Building @ 1300 Pennsylvania Ave that I think we will try to use when we can.  

Something about street sculptures just beg a picture 

The scaffolding for the Washington Monument is all the way up now.  It was about half-way up when we last visited over spring break.  This is ongoing repair from the 5.8 earthquake in 2011.    

Sunset over the Potomac 

We headed to Alexandria as the sun was setting.  
This is the Spite House in Alexandria.  It was built "just for spite" by the homeowner next door because he was tired of people driving their horses and wagons right next to his house.  It's 7ft wide, 25 ft deep, and 325sq feet.  

 Of course, we had to get a picture of Landini Brothers, where Jon took me to dinner before he proposed.  

Founders Park in Olde Town Alexandria is right by the water on the VA side of the Potomac, and it's where Jon proposed.  Awe.  

We played some sand volleyball with some kids in the park until it got too dark and the kids were tuckered.  I think it's safe to say that we enjoyed our weekend to it's fullest!

Water Weekend, Day 1

I normally work every weekend so Jon can be with the kids, but I took last weekend as 2 vacation days so we could do some fun things together before the summer is over. 
 On Friday evening, the kids and I went to scope out a new park we discovered, Aquia Landing Beach Park.  It's less than 9 miles from our house, and it's a sandy peninsula on the Potomac River.  I can't believe it took me this long to find it!  I'm so glad we did!

 A storm was passing between Virginia and Maryland, and it produced this lovely double rainbow. 

After the library event on Friday, I stocked up on beach reads.  I guess I forgot that I have small children to watch near water, so I did not get even one page read.  Such is my life at this time. 

It was a little overcast on Saturday, so the only people there were another family of 5 and a few scattered fishermen.  

Testing the waters

The kids made quick friends with the other kids.  We went to Walmart the night before and bought some clearance beach toys.  They all had a fun time.  

My toes in the sand

A fish head in the sand

A David head covered in sand

The kids waded out quite a bit. Michael, my adventurer, would have swam across the Potomac to Maryland if I hadn't kept the reigns on him. 

We had a picnic lunch at the pavilion, then we came home and let David get a nap while the older kids watched a movie.  

The kids requested CiCi's Pizza for dinner, and we reluctantly obliged.
We had a wonderful Saturday during Water Weekend!