Thursday, August 28, 2008


We've been going places.

I don't know if I mentioned that right before Zack's failed camp experience, I loaded the bikes onto my car and we spent a few days in NC with Gma and Gpa. It was great weather and we spent a good amount of time on the beach. Too bad it had to be so short, since we thought we had to be back for Zack's trip. I remembered to take a picture this time:

On mom and dad's new front lawn

Two weeks ago, I called Nanci to see if she would like some lunch guests and off we went to Gettysburg for the morning (which turned into the afternoon). From now on I will take a page from Nanci's book and not give the kids the details on the day.

Katie and Zack really like places like Gettysburg, but it was hard to get them into the experience at the new visitor's center and museum because they were so anxious to get to Nanci's and see their friends. Next time, I won't tell them about the visit.

Once we started the auto tour (we did the 4 hour tour in about an hour and a half) they had a great time and were irritated I was rushing them through.

We had a nice lunch and visit with the Marts and it was a fun day all around, if a long drive for me. I didn't bring a camera and left my phone in the car most of the day, so have no pictures from the day at all.

Last week Gadsby's Tavern was holding a homeschool day. We could visit Gadsby's and get a tour, the Lyceum with a short walking tour of Alexandria and Friendship Firehouse all for $5 per child and adults were free. It was fun but I didn't want to miss Tae Kwon Do that day because this week was test week (more on that later). So--we ran out of time at the end of the day and never made it to the Firehouse. Still, it was a good deal, we got to see some HS friends we haven't seen for a while, met some new people and the kids had a great time.

Katie dressed up--she also got to make a mob cap from a giant coffee filter (just sew around the edges) but this one is cloth.

Zack is sporting a tri-cornered hat he made.
There were also colonial games and toys to play, not shown in this photo though. I was able to catch the ball in the cup a few times.

Pete's band played a show in a DC park and so the kids and I had a rare chance to see them play. It was hot and sticky and still very fun.

Some time last week we went to the Baltimore Zoo. Hadn't been for years. I always remembered it as being much bigger than the National Zoo but it turns out that it was just that the kids were so small! It was very manageable. We got to try out our new Science Museum membership, which works with ASTC museums (science and kids) and also AZA zoos. Worked like a charm and we visited at no charge. Yay! That way, the price of lunch didn't seem so out of reach.

Katie and Zack got to feed a giraffe which was pretty cool and there was a petting zoo with goats to brush. Our zoo technically has that too, but it's only been staffed one time that we've visited, so it's a let-down.

This Monday, the Newseum had a summer deal where kids got in free with a paying parent. A real deal--normally kids are $13 a piece. Katie was not thrilled about going and whined a good deal about it but we all enjoyed the museum and spent all day there and still didn't get to everything. They had newspapers dating back to the 1400s, lots of video on different subjects and a whole floor devoted to Sept 11 which included the antennae from the top of one of the towers. I knew that on the floor just below that were technicians from a lot of the TV networks, including PBS, none of whom made it out that day so it was an eerie sight. The kids wanted to watch the video of the coverage from that day and I sat for about 10 minutes and then had to leave.

It's a great museum but very pricey, so I'm glad we found out about the deal being offered.

Katie and Zack were invited to the MD Renaissance Festival for a friend's birthday. Pete and I got a day to ourselves and went on a picnic to munch on cold chicken and play some Scrabble (I killed!). Plus, we didn't need to go to the Ren Fest ourselves--not a favorite. K&Z had a great time.

Zack's "Renaissance" face painting.

Tuesday was the end of summer party for the Boy Scouts. Where did the summer go? It's not really over for us though. We have a vacation coming up and will enjoy more museums and sites around town in this empty time when kids are in school but not yet on field trips. Great times for homeschoolers!

Today, it's rainy so we are having a lazy morning and probably a lazy afternoon--except for the dreaded math!!!!

Katie and Zack feed a giraffe (I'm still getting used to my cell phone, it's not easy to remember which way you have to hold it to get the picture the right way....)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

No Boy Scout Camp

You may have read about the Boy Scout camp at Goshen closing. Well, this was Zack's troop's week to go--the final week of camp, so no do-overs...

Zack was pretty disappointed about the camp fiasco. He was VERY nervous about going the night before and had a little cry about it. By morning, he had screwed up his nerve and was excited about going.

We put him on the bus at 10am on Sunday and headed home. We had hoped to make it to church where the Rev. was going to speak to the events in TN but would have gotten there too late.

Two hours--yes two--we get a call that they have closed the camp due to E coli and have turned the buses around possibly to another BS camp, more info to come. We hear they have arrived at camp Snyder and can't be accommodated, we need to drive an hour to go pick them up.

So--4 hours on the road for the kids to arrive...BACK HOME!!!

Zack was very disappointed. Our leaders belong to the local pool and they arranged for a pool party/BBQ to have something nice for the boys and families. They are so good to the kids, we're very lucky to have them.

I feel especially bad for the leaders, who had taken time off work and put in a lot of time getting everything ready. What a mess!

So, Zack unpacked his bag today. :-(

Katie is signed up for a sewing class all week--what I though was a brilliant piece of scheduling synergy--so now I have to shuffle her while still getting Zack to his regular activities and my 3 hours of free time each day this week is gone. Bummer.

We're in the midst of planning our Labor Day camper trip, so that's helping diminish the disappointment for Zack--and Katie too, who was looking forward to her chance to be an only child for a week. I'm irritated that we came home from the beach on Friday because of the trip when we could have stayed longer if we'd known and maybe even made it to church on Sunday.

I understand the safety issues involved, just irritated they waited until the kids were on the bus to close when the camp was empty from 7am the previous morning.

Still, it's nice to have Zack home :-)