Sunday, February 15, 2009

Loving "Valentimes" Day

Well, I think the boys enjoyed "Valentimes" Day! What's not to like? There is candy, candy and more candy! For some reason I attempted more heart themed activities this year than usual. Maybe I'm just feeling extra amorous. Anyway, both boys wrote out all their Valentines by themselves. Nolen did his really quickly. He is getting really good at writing. Max took longer but still did all of them himself. Both boys had Valentine parties at school on Friday and came home with a bagful of loot. Remember when Valentines were simple little cards? Now they come with candy, tattoos, trinkets...but the boys loved inspecting their treasures!

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I didn't get a picture of Nolen checking out his Valentines. He wasn't quite as excited as Max was about them. He might have just been tired after a long day of school.

On Saturday morning, the boys woke up to find a table full of loot! I got each of the boys a squishy dinosaur, bubbles and a book. I love how the little things are still so much fun for them.

Max loved his dog from Nana. He said its name is Valentimey. How original.

After they unwrapped their presents, I made heart shaped pancakes for breakfast. Heart shaped PB&J for lunch and even a heart shaped pizza for dinner. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I spent ALL day Saturday in the kitchen. I made breakfast, made the pizza dough, and gave my Kitchenaid a workout! I made a triple chocolate cake...4 layers of cake, 2 layers of chocolate mousse from scratch, chocolate frosting from scratch and even a raspberry layer! It was delicious - even if it did take all day! I like this picture of the boys. They were so excited to eat their pizza - and they ate the WHOLE thing less one piece that the grown ups shared! The grown ups (Fran, Dale, Ed and myself) had a steak dinner after the boys ate. It was delicious! Ed and I decided not to try to squish into a restaurant on love day so instead we had dinner at home then went down to the BWB for a bit. We just hung out and shot some pool (Badly).

Today, Ed worked some more on the garage. The structure is all built up to the house wrap. Ed decided to the siding himself and got started on Saturday. It went slowly at first - he's never hung siding before so he was reading and figuring stuff out. Today he made a lot of progress and I even got to help him. It was really pretty fun. He did all of the measuring and cutting and I got to beat on nails with a hammer! We got one whole wall done and Ed got another wall ready to start tomorrow. I feel like I've had a productive weekend! I even did some laundry and mopped the floor today! Woo-hoo. I think I'll take tomorrow off. hehe.
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Monday, February 9, 2009

Wonderful Weekend Weather!

We had a gorgeous weekend here. This is the kind of weather you don't often get in Florida and in my opinion, its the payoff that makes sitting inside all winter worth it. For the second weekend in a row we had bright sunny days with temps in the 50s and 60s! This weekend, I took the kids and Jasmine to a trail at Dorsey Park. It was pretty fun. The boys brought their swords along. I was hoping that would make this seem more like an adventure and less like a walk. Last weekend at Sotterly the boys enjoyed walking at first but once we turned around to head home there was ALOT of complaining. We kept finding the blue trees that marked the trail - helpful since the trail was kind of hard to see. We did run into some mud issues. I thought Jasmine was going to pull me straight down a muddy hill, but I managed to walk off to the sides of the trail on the leaves and I was helped out by a few trees as well. Sadly though, Max DID fall down in the mud. It wasn't too bad, just a muddy hand and a muddy sword! But getting muddy is what boys are supposed to do right?

Defending the forest from evil!

Wouldn't you know that Jasmine found the water feature and jumped right in! There was a little wooden bridge over this creek. She walked over the bridge once and jumped in and on our way back. I let her go, she's been cooped up in the house all winter...she really did deserve a little fun!
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Look at that dirty water! Yuck! Luckily she was dry before we made it back to the van.

My little tree hugger!

Max decided to put his (Jayden's) sword in his pocket. He explained to me that is where you keep your sword. It looks like he is in some weird bowing pose, really he's just walking up a hill!

On Sunday the whole family headed out to AnnMarie Garden on Solomon's Island. Its only about twenty minutes from our house. I thought it was going to be a botanical garden but it seemed to be more of a sculpture garden. There is art everywhere. Even the wounds on the trees are painted, there was hopscotch on the path, and this cool bridge to nowhere. The boys liked walking up and down it but I'm really not sure what the point is. Maybe its more clear in the summer. There were a lot of sculptures on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, part of the Smithsonian! Pretty cool.
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Each of the benches throughout the garden had a plant name and an artsy sentence about it along with pictures. They were very pretty benches but some of the sentences kind of freaked me out. I didn't really get it.

On Sunday night the boys sat down to make some Valentines! Its funny how the boys aren't really interested in making a pretty card. They are more interested in making sure it says who its to and who its from. After that, its just fun to color, stamp and paste stuff. Oh well. I gave it shot and they had fun! Hi Kim, I know you're thinking about how you would "help" them more than I did. hehe :-)
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Port Discovery

Monday the kids went to school and us girls did a little shopping. (As much as you can do in Southern Maryland) After Max got out of school, we packed a picnic and had lunch at a park. After Nolen got out of school we went to Jazzercise where Britt tore it up and Mom and the boys blew bubbles and read books outside. I told Mom she could come in but she wouldn't. She's too chicken to try Jazzercise!

The fam had to fly back to Flo-rida on Tuesday. I had trouble deciding what to do with the kids if I drove them to Baltimore and sent the kids to school. Someone would have had to pick up Nolen and maybe Max too. I dodged the whole quandry and made myself a fun day in Baltimore instead! We woke up early in the morning and got on the road at 8. We were at the Children's Museum by 10am and I was really happy with my decision. (I hope Brittany didn't mind too much, especially the lunch part. Sorry Britt, I love you.) The kids had a BLAST too. Nolen couldn't stop talking about it on the way home.

Welcome to the Diner. Today's special is one pancake, a fourth of a waffle and one egg. Nolen and Max will be your servers today.

Here ya go Mom!

Of course the water play exhibit was a big hit too!

Nolen and Max standing by the spooky Sarcophagus. Max was so scared to walk into the Egypt exhibit that he made me carry him in. Nolen got freaked out in the Mummy room. It was pretty awesome! The idea of the Egypt exhibit is that you have to follow clues and use hyroglyphics to solve the mystery of the Pharoah or something. You walk through different archeology tents, cross the Nile river, and end up in a tomb. Then you have to climb through a jungle gym type thing to get to the secret room in the tomb. It was pretty awesome!

This part of the museum consumes the interior of the building on all 3 floors. It is a giagantic jungle gym. The kids go in and may end up coming out on any of the floors. I followed them through a few times (and lost my cell phone doing it). We left the museum to make the airport drop off and went back afterwards. In the afternoon there were only three other families in the whole museum so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. I also discovered that our arm bracelets matched so that the kids can't leave without an adult. So, in the afternoon, I let the kids run willy-nilly through the KidWorks. I gave them some rules first, 1. stay togehter, 2. if you come out and you're on a different floor, either go back in the jungle gym or come down the first floor and find me. Do not wander into an exhibit without me. They did awesome at following the rules and I think they really liked being able to "explore" on their own and find their way around.

There was also a cowboy exhibit. I like this picture of Max's lasso!

Family Fun Weekend

Mom and Brittany flew up to see us this weekend! Hooray! And for those of you who aren't sure who is who, let me take a moment to make some introductions. Aunt Brittany is my (Melissa's) younger sister. She is tall, brown eyed, beautiful, smart, loving and a bit sarcastic and smart. Nana is my Mom. She is quiet unless she knows everyone in the room, she loves loves loves kids and kids books and kids games. She is the best mom ever and she doesn't usually drink Margarita's. OK, Max and Nolen, do we have these two straight now?

Margarita's and Fajitas Saturday night. Brittany's friend Carrie drove up from NC to hang out with Britt. After dinner, the kids went to bed and the young adults went out to BWB. I admit, I was trying to score some cool points with my sister! After years of being a lame mom, I had to show Britt that I can still P-ar-ty!

3-D Movie Trailer during the Super Bowl! Go Steelers! Woop Woop!

Sunday we had freakishly warm weather and failed to realize it until 1 o'clock. We quickly rallied the troops and set off for some sight-seeing and adventuring in St. Mary's County. First we went to our local park and the kids ran around for awhile.

Next we drove out to Sotterly Plantation to check it out. Many festivals are held there during the non-winter months but we haven't made it to any of them yet. It was a good find for the warm day. I told the boys that we had to finish a scavenger hunt while we were there because they weren't very interested in being there. The quickly got into it and had a blast! Here they are with the plantation house behind them. We never made it to the main house but we saw the corn cribb, the slave cabin, rolling road, a few trails through the woods (complete with deer tracks), and the stable. The boys had fun running ahead on the trail to read the signs!