Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New Adventures

After our unexpected trip to SLC, we got home and wanted to catch the last of the Cherry Blossoms around DC. We brought the kids National Parks passports and they were able to collect quite a few stamps around the Mall. Not many blossoms left, but we did find this pretty tree. Some day I hope to get there during the peak. Somehow we always seem to miss it.

Here's Katie's progress with her braces. This was mid-April. She now has springs and screws and things are looking great! I can't believe how fast her teeth have moved.

Some time, we went with Katie's GS troop to see a landfill and recycling center. This is the top of one of the capped piles. It apparently is the highest point in the area and has a really lovely view--as long as the wind off the open pile is blowing away from it.

We went on a field trip to ride a horse trail another day (sketchy on the dates here).

Zack had a good time after working out nerves for his first time on a horse but wasn't interested in the discount riding lessons they offered us.

Katie, however, was thrilled to be able to ride again. She took lessons for about a month, I think. I didn't want to continue into the summer, since we are gone so much of it, plus, this particular stable is not clean at all and is pretty stinky even on the coolest of days. I can't imagine how it is in July!

On a whim, we went to the Crime and Punishment Museum on a Groupon. At first it didn't look like much, but we actually had a great time and stayed over two hours looking at everything. the kids were much more interested in it than I thought they would be.

May brought the brick-laying for Dad. It's in a nice spot near the Chapel on the Green. Some tears and some laughs which is, I think, how he would have wanted it. Mom and I picked out a couple of tunes from movies to play on the carillon at the beginning and the end and that seemed to fit dad as well. It was a nice ceremony and reception, which mom held at the house and it gave me, at least, some closure on everything. It was also just before the kids' birthday, so the whole family (except Jonathan) was there to celebrate that as well, which was nice.

We stayed for a few days after and took our first trip of the season to the beach. It was a great day to be there, since school wasn't out yet. Bittersweet, especially when the kids started in on a sand castle. Dad would have been right down there with them and mom and I missed him a lot. Still, it was a nice day and a good stay with mom.

Katie even found a collection of critters.

Katie's GS troop went camping at long last. The leaders arranged for a group called Ancestral Knowledge to come in a take the girls on a hike and set up a fire. They are a great group and I'd love to do something with them again. The next day we stopped by Port Tobacco to take a tour of their archaeological dig. The girls got to wash off some artifacts.

It was a nice ending to the GS year. Katie has decided to try a troop that has many more older girls and was also attending their meetings by invitation and was invited to go on their camp out as well. So off she went Kayaking with that troop!

In a stroke of master-planning I scheduled a camping trip for Katie and me for the very day after we got back from the GS trip. Pete and Zack were attending the BS Camporee. Katie and I took off for Jamestown and Williamsburg. We spent our first day setting up our campsite and then went to stroll the streets of Williamsburg. Since it was so late in the day, we opted to stroll around without tickets, which you only need to enter the historic buildings.

The next day we went to Jamestown, where Katie was enamored with one of the settlers who showed her how to carve bone into tools. She helped out for quite a while-he was pretty cute ;-)

Katie met a nice couple of girls at the campsite and ran around with them in the evenings. There was also a giant slide that she enjoyed--see the video below.

I also snapped an early morning shot of Katie sleeping. Just thought she looked so lovely.

Somewhere in the following weeks, I came down with vertigo so now have a relationship with an ENT practice. Still haven't figured out exactly what's going on, but we're working on it. We have discovered that I have a chronic sinus infection which might be contributing to the dizziness. But maybe not. In any case, it looks like surgery some time in Sept/Oct. What fun!

Here's Katie accepting a gift from a Neanderthal at the origins exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. A great new exhibit. Pete's parents and my mom were in town for Zack's Black Belt Ceremony, so we all hit the museum together.

Here's Zack checking out his bone structure against Australopithecus.

And the big ceremony! We were all bursting with pride as Zack received his Black Belt.

They even spelled his name right!

The very next day, Zack left for BS sleep away camp for a week. Katie started art day camp that Monday, which she did for two weeks. I'll need to post photos of her work in a future post. She did some really nice pieces.

So, I had a week to myself! Tried to hook up with friends but most couldn't get the time free, so I spent a good deal of time loafing around. Ahhhhh!

I don't seems to have pictures from the day, but we also spent a lovely 4th of July at Chez Mart. We had a terrific time with them and the Ebbins, chowing, swimming, playing kick ball (!) and watching the fireworks. It had been quite a while since the families had gotten together and it was a very fun time.

And it wouldn't be summer without a trip to grandma's and hitting the beach! Can't believe how much more crowded the beach becomes each year. We are not used to sharing it!

The rain this morning helped thin the crowds, but when the thunder struck, we also cleared off. Nice background for photos though.

Katie's latest castle.

Zack hanging out on the shore.

And now it's August--already?!--and we are having a few weeks of our typical schedule of TKD/Piano/Art (when the teacher gets back from vaycay) and some extra girl outings for Katie, so she can meet a few more girls now that her best friend is spending more time in VT than in VA these days.

Hope you are enjoying the waning days of summer wherever you are.

Next up for us: Disney World!