Sunday, June 28, 2009

What Did You Do Today?

The other day, Ed came home and asked me what I did that day. I had been busy all day but none of it sounded very impressive...a little straightening up, some workbook pages with the kids, Jazzercise, cooked dinner, took the kids to the library...Then I decided that I need a category of accountability called, "childhood enrichment". It sounds way cooler than, "played with the kids" or "took the kids to the park". I love that I am home to hang out with the kids and I love having them home from school so we have time to get out and enjoy stuff. None of the things we do are all that exciting but kids are so great because they really don't need much to be entertained. We have had a blast lately...

On Wednesday I took the kids over to the Navy Rec Center on Solomon's Island. We still have MWR privileges for another year so we're gonna use them. The Rec Center is awesome. The pool has two water slides that are too big for my boys and a pool that is the perfect size for ranges from 1 1/2 feet deep to 4 feet deep and its surrounded by lounge chairs for moi! I actually got to sit and read while they played in the pool! It was awesome!

After awhile, the boys needed a break from swimming too I guess! Either that or they wanted to get a tan!

You can see one of the slides in this picture, the pool the kids swam in and you can almost see the Pax River through the fence. This is all right on the river - beautiful!

The Navy Rec Center has a couple cool playgrounds, picnic areas, a fishing pier, a beach, a campground, cabins, beach houses, mini golf, an arcade (but don't tell the boys that - they don't know it and I would like to keep it that way). The boys played for a bit before we left. I don't remember why they're making grumpy faces...

Edward has sailing on Wednesday nights and doesn't get home til after 9 so we were on our own. I took the boys for a little nature walk...well it was really just a walk through the neighborhood but around here we have quite a bit of nature. We found black eyed Susans blooming in a field. They are the state flower of Maryland.

And the boys snuck up on a bunny. He ran away from them and ended up running straight up to me and Jasmine! He got about five feet from us and just froze. Then he darted across the street. Jasmine would have loved to chase him...but don't worry...I'm all for saving the bunnies!

St. Mary's County Libraries are running an Adventure Passport program for kids this summer. Each kid gets a passport and takes it to different historic sites around town and gets a sticker at each one. When they have five stickers they can take it back to the library to get a coupon for a free ice cream cone. The boys are way more excited about it than I thought they would be and I love that! We only have two stickers so we still need to visit Sotterly Plantation, St. Mary's City (Maryland's first capital and the place where Max had a field trip) and maybe the Navy Air Museum on base. There are more than five sites so we have some choices. On Thursday we went to Tudor Hall here in Leonardtown. It was built in 1778 as part of the Tudor Farm plantation. Our house is actually in a neighborhood called Tudor Farm so presumably, this land was once part of the farm. The house was owned by several families including a cousin (if I remember correctly) of Francis Scott Key and he visited there. The boys weren't very impressed with the house as its been transformed into a home for the St. Mary's County Historical Society and isn't very original anymore. We went over to see the Old Jail after that and it was more fun. The boys even got "locked" in a jail cell by the volunteer that was working there. Max shreiked! He was not a fan of that. Ha!

On Saturday we went to Daniel's birthday party next door. The boys had fun playing on the water slide.

Nolen and his friend Jayden. His mom has good taste! We bought the boys the same bathing suits from Target and they both had them on at the party. haha!

Max taking a swing at the pinata.

Nolen's turn.

The swarm of kids after the candy. Don't worry, no one was injured.

Saturday Edward rented scaffolding so that he could finish siding the garage. It was getting tough to keep climbing up and down multiple ladders. But by renting scaffolding, he put himself under some pressure to get the job done before the scaffolding needed to be returned on Sunday afternoon.

And because I'm so cheap...I decided to pitch in and make sure we got our money's worth out of that scaffolding. Also, its pretty fun to do this kind of work. Here I am cutting lengths of soffit with the miter saw.

And there I am on the scaffolding hammering up siding!

And...drumroll please....The garage!!! Ed finished all he needed to with the scaffolding. He still has a bit more finished to do at the corners but the majority of the work is done. Now he can start on the electrical. He took a test to get his homeowners electrical license. He is now licensed to do his own electrical work for two years. My husband is a real reneissance man!

And one more pic of the garage.

Phew, I'm exhausted! I need a vacation! Oh wait! We're leaving Thursday! Hooray!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Fun!

Its been fun hanging out with the boys again. It seemed like we didn't get much of a chance to go exploring while Nolen was in school. I could have taken just Max, but you'd be amazed by how quickly a 4 year old can rub something special in his older brother's face. Sheesh!!! Where do they learn this stuff. Last week we went to the pool, the library, two parks and another pool. We also went to Jazzercise 5 times. Nolen didn't like that part so much. ha!

On Friday we went to a pool over in Lusby...its not that far away and it was pretty cool. They had a few small slides, a smaller kiddie pool and a couple "water slides" too. The boys had a blast! They could both touch the bottom in the middle sized pool and Max is nearly fearless which means he keeps me hopping!

This orange slide was the best. Both of the boys liked it. Max must have gone down it 30 times. I went with him the first time and it really was fun.

Nolen was less sure but he went down at least 5 times.
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Company Picnic

Yesterday was the company picnic for J. F. Taylor. We had heard that it was a big deal and it delivered. The president of the company hosts it at his house every year. There were pony rides, bounce houses, a skipjack, a cotton candy maker, a clown, and tons of delicious food. The boys maxed out their junk food intake for the week!

Nolen swimming in Mr. Taylor's pool. I guess I didn't get a picture of Max in the pool. Oops.

Ed manned the grill for awhile. Looks like he was working real hard!

We took a ride on a skipjack. These boats are used for oyster dredging in the Chesapeake Bay. There is a lot of talk about how polluted the bay has become. As an example...out guide said that in 1981, you could dredge 150 bushels of oysters in three hours. By the early 90's the number of oysters had been so greatly reduced that after fishing all day, you only had 35 bushels of oysters. It was a a fun boat ride. They also pulled up a crab trap with a few blue crabs in it and he talked about the life cycle of a crab and how the traps work. Max loved it and he helped throw one of the crabs back into the water.

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Last Day of School

I think we are the last school system in the country to be out for summer. Ha! Friday was Nolen's last day of school with Ms. Murray and Mrs. Shelley. The parents were invited to come in for their ice cream party and we had a great time.

Max sat in the circle with the class as they went around and said one thing they liked about Kindergarten and one thing they didn't like about Kindergarten. Most of the kids (including Nolen) said they liked it when they went home on blue (extra good behavior) and they didn't like it went they went home on yellow, orange or red.

My boys eating their ice cream sundaes.

Since Valentines Day, Nolen has been saying that Rebecca is his girlfriend. He says he loves her because she has green eyes. He even brought home her phone number and called her to see if she could come over and play. (We never did get a play date set up though.) She is a very sweet girl...hopefully all of his future girlfriends are as nice. Ha!

Nolen had a great year in Kindergarten! He had two wonderful and caring teachers. I hope he gets as lucky next year! I also hope that Max will get Ms. Murray as his teacher next year! There is a good chance because I have heard that they try to put siblings with the same teachers!
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Monday, June 1, 2009


Last night I crawled into bed with my boys to read bedtime stories and Max brought a book called, "Time for Bed Otto". This was Nolen's FAVORITE book when he was two. We had to read it EVERY night and he had it memorized and would say most of it while I turned the pages. Its a cute story about a dog that doesn't want to go to bed so he tries different things to get sleepy. Finally he lays down and thinks about all the things he loves to do and then he falls asleep. Anyway, last night Max read this book to me. It was kind of bitter-sweet for that book to come full circle like that. A book that little toddler Nolen was obsessed with and now Max is big enough to read it himself. If I was mushier, I probably would have cried!!!