Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring School Pictures

The kids' (kind of blurry) school pics for 2015-2016:
Michael, 4th grade

Kate, 2nd Grade

David, Kindergarten

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Stafford County Fine Arts Fair

Every year in the spring, Stafford County Schools has a Fine Arts Fair, which showcases the talents and creations of those in the school system.  They had almost the entire high school filled with creativity- on halls, lockers, assembly rooms.  Various choruses, orchestras, bands, & drama clubs filled the cafeteria with lovely sounds and creative pieces.  It was pretty incredible.  We are glad that we have these specialties offered, even in the elementary schools.  

Between a lot of the displays, they had interactive projects that the kids could try.  This is sand art, which Kate loved.  

Kate had one of her projects selected to display at the fair- a clay waterlily.   

David also had a piece selected, and he was so proud of his clay bowl.  

One of the highlights of the fair for my kids was the Musical Petting Zoo.  They were able to try quite a few instruments.  
David plays the cello.  

Kate tries a trumpet.  

David's turn 

Kate absolutely fell in love with the violin.  She has decided that is the instrument that she would love to play when she begins orchestra in middle school.  She is taking her first year of piano lessons this year, but she is looking forward greatly to the violin in a few years.  Michael was not excited to hear this, as he has a difficult time tolerating un-skilled strings players. ;-)

David tries the violin 

The flute is hard.  Kate couldn't get it to make noise. 

 Tuba

Lots of air for the trumpet. 
Michael was not excited about this, as he just wants to stick with the piano.  

The band students were quite patient with the children, and you could tell they enjoyed music.  They were allegedly washing all the mouthpieces between children, but I am suspicious of their cleaning methods, since both Kate and David now have strep throat.  Fun. 

Regardless, I am glad for antibiotics and modern medicine, and also for a good school system that offers both excellent academics and fine arts opportunities.  

Minecraft Mania

The local libary had a fun event called Minecraft Mania.  Games and activities were based on the very popular game of Minecraft, and they had lots of minecraft books available to borrow. 
David loved the obstacle course, where you had to "destroy" blocks with a diamond sword. 

Kate loved the lego table, where she designed some creepers and other such characters. 

The craft center was pretty fun, too.  They could take tiny boxes and make sheep, pigs, etc.  

Auntie Anne sent the kids new shirts and light sabers!  So much fun!  We miss you, Ohio Blakemores!!


Michael's Colonial Days Field Trip

Michael's 4th grade class has been studying the Colonial period lately, so they went on a field trip to Downtown Fredericksburg to experience a few things from this time period.  I was able to go along as a chaperone.
The first stop was Hugh Mercer's Apothecary Shop.  Colonial medicine was not exactly beneficial to sustaining long life and health (read: leeches, induced bleeding, etc)
It's fun that Olde Town Fredericksburg has retained that quaint feel, even with SUVs and minivans in the background.

A lecture on the most modern medical methods of the 1770s.   They still used the theory of the 4 humors, so when you were sick, you were...um... purged of whatever substance was out of whack.  Fun times.  

Leeches were a very popular way to purge patients of blood.  They were much more pleasant that the scalpel.  

 These leeches were happy and fat, as they had just fed the previous day on fine dining from the local butcher shop.  

The next stop was the Rising Sun Tavern.  I think hotel stays in the 1700-early 1800s are probably not on my list of things to do if they ever invent time travel... 
They did not allow indoor photography, so you will have to come and visit!

The last place we visited was Mary Washington House, which is where George moved his mother Mary during the unrest of the Revolutionary war.  She as living at Ferry Farm, but since it is near the river, he thought it was too dangerous.  Also, her new home was just a block away from her physician/pharmacist, Hugh Mercer.  
Side view of Mary's house 

Front view of Mary's house 

 Home of George's Mom.  Despite the medical care of the day, she lived to be 80 years old. 

The parlor where she had people over for (very expensive) tea.  Michael raised his hand and asked, "If tea was so expensive (because of the tax levied from England), why didn't they just switch to coffee?"  That's my boy! 

The outdoor kitchen 

The kids ate lunch at Hardees, which was the closest fast food joint in downtown Fredericksburg.  

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Upward Basketball 2016

The boys just finished up their basketball seasons this week, and they really had a fun time playing this year.  
Michael played for the Razorbacks.  

 David played for the Leopards. 
The boys really love playing sports, but they have decided that they want to run in The Great Train Race this spring, so no formal teams.  They have been running every single day for a little while now, and they are quite dedicated.