Monday, April 27, 2009

Field Trips, Beaches and Baseball

We've had a wonderful few days! Both boys had field trips on Friday and they had gorgeous weather for it. Max's class went to St. Mary's City and toured the Dove. I was really impressed with everything down there. St. Mary's City is the site of the fourth permanent settlement in British America. The Ark and the Dove sailed here and the Dove was later lost at sea. The town was later destroyed and is being reconstructed as a historic site. As a side note, we went into a building that was once an Inn and Max was looking all around. One of the guides was explaining stuff to him and as she did, she took a musket off the wall and handed it to Max. I must be a city girl because it was VERY strange to see my four year old holding a gun that was taller than he is! Shoot...let me be clear - it was weird to see my four year old holding a gun at all! (I promise that my kids don't get to handle firearms unless you count light sabers)

Nolen's class went to Elm's Beach on the Chesapeake Bay. Sadly, I didn't get to attend that field trip and only got the stories. They held a crab and a turtle and brought home some oyster shells.

On Saturday, we went park hopping. No, we weren't at Disney (I WISH)! I want to start exploring new parks in the area. At the end of last summer when we moved here, we conquered most of the parks that are nearby but we never ventured too far from home...partly because at the time gas was $4 a gallon! So, sorry planet Earth, but we'll be taking some day trips to area parks in the next few months. Saturday we checked off the Recreation Area at Patuxent River NAS (the base that Ed works at). I had heard there was a beach area at the end of the base but hadn't ventured out there yet. The kids and I took off and found it. It was a nice enough beach at the end of the Pax River where it empties into the Chesapeake Bay. It was no Naples Beach, but it did cure my beach craving! Finally!!!

Max freaked out at first because the sand had a lot of rough rocks and shells and he refused to walk on it. Once he decided that playing in the sand and water fun enough, he sacrificed his precious feet and he had a blast! When we arrived, there was a sign that said, "Beach Closed due to Jellyfish Infestation." I immediately had flashbacks to Lake Tholocco and our standoff there with the MPs last spring. I wasn't feeling quite that brave - especially since its sort of a stretch that I still have base privileges at all. At first, I told the boys they could only get their hands in the water but by the end of the day they were up to their necks in the water. The jellyfish warning is bogus by the way. Jellyfish season starts in summer (July I think) and after that you REALLY can't I think its dumb that they're telling us not to swim now when we actually can. Oh well. No one bothered us about it. Luckily. Oh and by the bath time that night, Edward found a tick on each boy. Gross. He picked them out with tweezers and the boys didn't like that at all. Max told us he isn't going to play outside anymore because he doesn't want a tick. We'll have to find some good bug spray!

Sunday was another great day! Ed cooked us a big breakfast. Then we worked in the yard for awhile...I mowed the grass and dug up some plants that I wanted moved from the front yard to the back. (Ed did the actual replanting. Thanks Ed.) After our work, we showered, grilled some hot dogs, and headed up to Waldorf for a minor league baseball game. We went to see the Maryland Blue Crabs. They have a really cute stadium up there and this is only their second year. It would have been more fun if it hadn't been 91 degrees! I kept telling myself not to complain because this is nothing compared to a summer day in Florida but it actually was pretty hot to be sitting in the sun watching a game. The good part though was that the humidity was only about 40% so it wasn't that horribly suffocating heat. You know, the one where you have sweat dripping down between your legs and your underwear are stuck up your butt and there's no getting them out because they're pasted there with sweat. Sorry - is that TMI?? Its true though and you know it. :-)

We had great seats at the game. Ed got the tickets from work. We were right by first base and our team beat the Long Island Ducks 12-2. We saw 8 of those points before we the fourth inning. I'm telling you - it was hot! Look at poor Nolen's red face!

So, we had a great weekend. This was what I needed a few weeks back during spring break when it was 50 degrees and raining. I've been grumpy ever since waiting for this weather so I'm enjoying at as much as I can!!! I was outside so much this weekend I had to put on sunscreen! I'm just a Florida girl at heart!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


In the winter the kids and I were climbing the walls. Now that its finally spring, we're climbing the Cherry Blossom Tree! Yeah!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Fun!

Well, its time for my weekly post. ha! We had a wonderful weekend - spring visited on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day and we spent all of it outside! Edward worked on the garage some more, I cleared out some flower beds (although I don't think I actually planted anything. I planted some petunias last week), and the boys played. By 3 o'clock we were all ready for a nap but the fun wasn't over yet! Pam stopped by and invited us to go with her to the wooden park so we did. The boys haven't had that much fun at a park in a LONG time! They love Jayden and Gigi. Its so cute! The boys played at the park for two hours and I was the one that was ready to leave, not them. Later, I found out that Nolen held a turtle while we were there. I don't really know what that is about. I hope it was a friendly turtle!

On Sunday we walked to the Earth Day Celebration on the square. (That's right, my town has a square and I can walk to it - I love that) I think the city did a really good job of brining in activities, vendors, and local organizations with info to share. We saw some turtles, owls, greyhounds and this was really cool - a Maypole! There was a leader there teaching people how to wrap it up and it was very fun to watch.

After that we headed down the hill to the wharf and took a canoe ride. I was quite surprised that the operators could manage this but they were offering free canoe rides into the Bay. They probably had 30 canoes and kayaks and plenty of life jackets. We had a good time paddling over to a little "island" and then back around to the wharf. Oh yeah - and we also wore our matching tie dye t-shirts for the adventure! I saw a few people point at us as we walked around. It was Earth Day people - Earth Day, hippies, tie - if one of the boys got lost it would be easy to find him again!

This morning when I came downstairs (at 6:50!!!!) this is what I found. The boys' animals were eating breakfast. Every last one of them! I've seen them "feed" their animals before, but I don't think they've ever served breakfast for 20 before. Ha!
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Friday, April 17, 2009

Max's Trike-A-Thon

Max's school held a Trike-A-Thon today to support St. Jude's Children's Hospital. They did a great job of setting up a mini town for them to drive through. There was a church, a hospital, a school and a garbage dump(? it was actually the dumpster in the corner of the parking lot. haha). The kids did a great job of following the course and obeying the traffic signs. It also gave them a chance to teach bike safety. There were a couple police officers there to talk about wearing helmets and how to ride a bike safely. It was a really fun activity for the kids. These teachers really work hard to do some special things for the kids. The director of the school even goes out and wipes the dew off the playground most mornings so that it will be dry for the kids to play! Incredible!

It took Max a few laps around the course before he remembered to stop at the stop sign.

I think we're really turning a corner here!

Traffic Jam!
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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter With the Smiths

I am getting closer to convincing Edward that holidays are FUN! He has never been a big fan and he still smirks at me when I am buying stuff for baskets or stockings, planning birthday parties or writing letters from imaginary characters that creep into our house at night. Today was no exception! I had a blast playing Easter bunny. I woke up at 5:30, which was fortuitous because it rarely happens anymore, got up and went out to hide eggs (btw it was 35 degrees this morning). Then I came inside, wrote a note to each boy from the Bunny detailing how many eggs they needed to find and where. Each boy was to find 3 eggs in the house and 12 eggs outside. They were so excited to hunt for eggs that I decided to give them a mini hunt before breakfast! I left the eggs in their bed (they are still sleeping in one bed lately) and listened a little while later when they woke up and opened their eggs! There was some debate between them about whether or not they were allowed to get up (they have an alarm clock that turns green at 6:30 to let them  know its morning time and its ok to wake up). Finally, they came in our room and Nolen read his note to us!

After that we had to go downstairs and tear open the baskets!
After tearing through the baskets, I offered to make pancakes for the boys - an offer they can't refuse. While I cooked they sat down at the table and worked in their workbooks from the Easter Bunny. I thought it was so cute! Nolen's is a really cute Cars reading book and its just right for him. Max's is Spiderman addition and subtraction.

After breakfast, the boys got dressed and headed out for an egg hunt. Unfortunately, I missed taking a picture of them before we went out. They were dressed in cute matching outfits. Oh well.  If you have spent any time around my boys, you know that they get along really well (knock on wood). We have very few fights over anything and Max is always ready to give Nolen whatever he wants. Well, the egg hunt went a little differently. They ran around the yard together so whenever one of them spotted an egg, the other would run towards it as well and it was mostly a race and a test of wills! Max nearly bowled Nolen over for one under the (new) air conditioner. Ha! I thought it was kind of funny but I did correct him for it.

Look at that dimple!

Checking out the loot!
For dinner we made a ham and had Pam and her kids over. Its always nice to have good friends over, especially when we can't be with family. I think the biggest hit of the day (aside from the candy of course) were the rocket balloons and balloon animals. I am now an expert at making deformed balloon dogs! Don't ask for a regular balloon dog because I haven't figured that out just yet. Oh, and I can do swords. Also, Stephanie, I apologize for the two rocket balloons that are stuck in your tree.

Sugar Crash! All the boys passed out while watching Tom and Jerry  after a fun filled Easter!
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Pageants and Parties

We started the week by saying goodbye to our friends, the Heaths. Geoff (or Jarf as we like to tease him) is in the Marines and they got orders for Camp Lajune, so even though Ed is done with the military, we had to say goodbye to friends again! We had a lot of fun getting to know Lara, Geoff, Logan and baby Rowan. I already miss being able to spy on them from my kitchen window. Anyone who has ever been my neighbor knows that I like to keep track of people for no particular reason. Its just what I do. Doing the dishes is going to be pretty boring until someone cool moves in back there.

Last Friday, the boys had their Easter celebrations at school. Max's school held an Easter Pageant followed by an egg hunt. Nolen's school had a Spring Fling party. (Can't call it an Easter party!) I went to both and enjoyed each. This is the best picture I could get of the boys before they left for school.

Max's pageant was very nice. They have a wonderful music teacher at the school. She taught them several songs including one with colored hand bells for the kids to ring and egg shakers for another song. Max's favorite song was "Shaky, Shaky Egg". When he marched in with his class he was his typical hammish self blowing kisses and hugs to Edward and me. However, as soon as the music started, he clammed up. He didn't sing a word! Not even for "Shaky, Shaky Egg"! I was heartbroken! Later he told me that he was tired and didn't want to sing. I tried to tell him that that wasn't ok. His class needed him to sing with him. I don't know if he really understood what I was getting at. Boo.

Nolen's class had a nice party. It was really great to go in and meet a few other moms. The kids dyed eggs, had an egg hunt (in another classroom because it was chilly and rainy), and had a feast of a snack! I got a few pictures of his class including, a picture of Rebecca who he always talks about!

We've been pretty busy since then. Saturday morning I had a garage sale. I didn't have any great stuff to sell but it was nice to clean out. I feel like we had a lot of random junk lying around. We had amazing weather for it - it was the first sunny and warm Saturday of the spring! yay! Saturday evening, Ed worked on another concrete project which he finished on Sunday and I mowed the grass while the kids played.

Sunday we cleaned house a bit, took the kids to the park to enjoy the nice weather and then I had a Jazzercise meeting. Fran got in Sunday evening as well. She'll be here off and on all week. Tonight she headed back to Richmond so she could go to band practice. That is committment! Yesterday I took full advantage of Fran being here and I went to the mall all day! I don't get to do that very often so it was a real treat! I got a few spring things and new sandals (which I'll need if it ever warms up enough) . After the mall, I drove back and taught 1 1/2 hours of Jazzercise and then stayed for the first half of another class. My body doesn't usually do well with that much exercise but it felt good yesterday (until I came home and CRASHED!)