Friday, August 28, 2009

Visiting Our Bethany! Silver Spring, Maryland

Bethany's ROTC adventures took her to the far west (Ft. Lewis, Washington) and the far east (Washington, D.C.) this summer. Since we didn't get to talk to her for three whole weeks while she was at Ft. Lewis, you all know that I HAD to go and visit her while she was working at Walter Reed Hospital in D.C. Soooo, I managed to pack up Sir Bill and Bethy's lil sis and we made a whirlwind 2 day trip to the east!! (Mamas should not have to go three whole weeks without even a tiny phone call from their offspring!!).
The army put Bethany up at a very nice hotel in Silver Springs, Maryland. Once we arrived Beth grabbed Sir Bill to go and workout at the fitness club (fanatics) and Anna and I swam in the lovely pool. After a good workout - we were off to eat at the Lebanese Taverna. Bethany is all about trying different ethnic food. Below she and Bill dive in to the appetizer. Our meals were awesome and we each got to taste a variety. Anna was a bit unsure about what was on her plate. She was a trooper and said that her sandwich was the best.
Ah, but look. Joy comes to Anna's heart when we walk out of the restaurant and spot this.
This lovely sign with even more loveliness inside the shop. Cupcakes. Awesome Cupcakes. Made with awesome real butter. The icing on top was so incredible it made me cry! My favorite - chocolate cupcake with vanilla/strawberry icing! They even gave military discounts!! Cake Love, please open up shop in Ohio!! It should probably be northern Ohio so I am not too tempted. But still, please.
Look at Anna below. She is acting as if "real butter" doesn't matter to her. But it does. And it matters even more to her father!!

Silver Springs was a great area. Very crowded but easy to get around by foot. We also visited another restaurant - which by the way - needs to move to Ohio, too. Eggspectations. Wonderful.
The rest of our trip was spent riding the metro and touring D.C. Another post to come.........

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day Trip - Dayton, Ohio - Riverscape

Our final destination was to Riverscape part of Dayton's metro park system. Riverscape is right along the river and is home to this spray fountain!
Anna enjoyed herself and lucky us - she had the fountain to herself!! I imagine during the early afternoon hours this place is packed. It has a wonderful view of the river and the landscaping is awesome!!
Out on the river are a number of water jets that send shooting water across the river. The central geyser sends water shooting about 200' in the air! Very impressive and fun to watch. Paddle boats and bikes are available for rent here. They also offer laser light shows at various time throughout the warmer months. Also, the Dayton Dragons minor league baseball team plays very close to this park!! So, I know we'll be heading back up in the future!
This was a great one day vacation!! Three different places all in one day! We came home tired but enjoyed every single minute of our time in Dayton!

Day Trip - Dayton, Ohio - Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

After an enjoyable morning at Cox Arboretum we had planned to visit the metro park Riverscape. It was still cloudy and chilly (not enjoyable weather for running through water fountains!!). So, we decided to find this museum in Dayton that many other homeschoolers have told me about. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is another Dayton gem!! I am very sad that we had not taken advantage of it when my kids were younger. Many great things are found inside including a reduced fee admission price if you belong to the Cincinnati Zoo! Yahoo!!
There is so much to do here that I couldn't explain it all. Anna spent a good half an hour at the color wall. This screen was amazing. Since I am not techno savvy the best I can tell you is that Anna's movements were recorded and then changed into various color combinations and placed on the big screen!! She had the whole room to herself and used the opportunity to do many gymnastics skills and watch them back on the color wall. Below is a press handstand and above is a press handstand (in red) split into four with added color!! Let me tell you the price of admission was worth the fun we had at the color screen! It took back handsprings and front walkovers to a whole new level!!!

Boonshoft works hard at making learning fun. Below, Bill is explaining some sort of water pressure thingy. Bill is good at explaining stuff!! He reads all of the printed materials at all of the museums so he is up to snuff on much more than I am!!

They also have a wildlife of Ohio exhibit which was quite informative. Zoo Keepers come out a various times during the day to offer animal shows. The otters are too cute to miss!!
After Boonshoft the weather turned hot and sunny and even though it was getting close to rush hour we decided to take Anna downtown to the river! Next post, Riverscape.

Day Trip - Dayton, Ohio - Part One- Cox Arboretum

A few weeks ago we took a little road trip up to Dayton, Ohio. There is so much to do in Dayton but on this particular day we decided to concentrate on Cox Arboretum and Riverscape. Unfortunately, the day started out a bit cloudy and chilly; but, fortunately, we were able to change our plans a little and include one more indoor stop - The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery! I'll concentrate on the Cox Arboretum for this post. Wow, what a beautiful place!! About 3 - 4 miles of walking trails intermixed between amazing landscaping. Beautiful flowers, mature trees and little ponds were around every corner. Above, Bill and Anna are chasing each other through a shrubbery maze. The edible garden area is a must see. Both older and younger members of any family would enjoy a picnic here.

Cox Arboretum also is the home of a small butterfly house. We spent a good 20 - 25 minutes inside finding many caterpillars, butterflies and moths. Volunteers were available to answer our questions.

I believe the house is open during the summer months and closes right after Labor Day. Anna enjoyed her time here. I think she would say that her most favorite thing was the border collie, Zip, who guards the ponds and keeps the geese away!! Very enjoyable trip!!
Next stop, Boonshoft!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Muffin Tin Madness

You all know we love homeschooling around here. But I do admit that some parts of our school day get - well, shall I say boring. Some of you might guess that math or language would be boring. Some of you might guess that science would be boring. And some of you might even guess that just Anna and I being alone together all day might be boring!!! Shame on you. NO - the boring part can be Lunchtime!! Imagine, home....with one lunchroom gossip......well, we have a remedy to shake up some of those lunches...........
Muffin Tins!!! I found this idea over at She uses muffin tins on Mondays to make fun and exciting lunches. Her kids are much younger than Anna but Anna and I thought the concept was cool and decided to try some this summer. Above is our lunch with garden veggies and dip, homegrown blackberries and yogurt, trail mix and some turkey on multigrain sandwich thin. Love those sandwich thins!! Below is my surprise breakfast for Anna.
She woke up to three different cereals, blueberries and melon! She was so excited about this! I think the mini assortments of cereal are cute!! Notice the letters reading breakfast of "champions"!

If any of you have any fun suggestions for future muffin tin meals let us know. Variety is the spice of life!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Fun Morning!

Last week Nicky (Christian's girlfriend) came over to spend the morning with Anna. They went to the fabric store and came back home to sew pillows!! And watch SpongeBob. And eat lunch together.
They had a great time together!! We love this girl and enjoy having her around as much as we can.
Thanks Nicky for planning this activity!! Anna had a great time and made a great memory!