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

Easter 2016 & White House Easter Egg Roll

We celebrated Resurrection Day at church on Easter morning.  
 Michael 10, Kate 8, David 5
5 Blakemores 

We had a nice dinner together, the we made resurrection rolls. 

 The Day after Easter, we headed up to the White House for the Easter Egg Roll.  Our elementary principal obtained some tickets and had a lottery to hand them out to families in the school.  Our family won!
We got up there late because we got just about to Quantico and I realized that I had forgotten the tickets.  But they still let us in.  

Fun games upon entry 

It started out rainy, then overcast, but the day cleared up nicely.  

It stayed cool, but it got quite sunny. 

The fountain on the south lawn 

We listened to a live concert by Daya (and her recent radio hit "Hideaway") 

Farm exhibit 

Go, farmers! 

 Farmer Kate 

Farm to table 

3 kiddos on the White House south lawn 

Healthy Michelle Obama snacks (that we later washed down with Fuddruckers burgers)   

Frisbee on the lawn 

Don't mind the heavily armed guards and the snipers on the roof 

We got to do some extra playing outside waiting for Jon.  He dropped us off at the entrance, then he went to park the van.  He had to wait for the next group to be let in.  They they had the shooting at the Capitol that day, so they delayed entry to his group.  I figure we were probably in the safest place in DC at this point.   

Running & having fun 

White House tag 

Waiting for the Egg Roll 

 Blakemore Family 5 

Preparing to roll eggs 


The kids were unimpressed with using a wooden spoon to push an Easter egg.  Oh well.  

They really enjoyed the trees.  Michael really wanted to climb one of the president's trees, but he decided not to when he spotted the snipers on the roof.  
We saw a pile of football players in jerseys, but I couldn't tell you who they were.  Also, I'm sure we saw some other famous people, but we were oblivious.  We did not get to see the 1st family, as they had already made their appearance by the time we arrived.

 David was pretty wiped out at the end of the day.  
What a fun, unique opportunity!