Saturday, June 25, 2011

Farm Days

We left Texas with 4 worn out kids- especially the big boys- they all four were asleep in the car before 10 am- a few days of running around the farm, staying up late, sleeping in the tent will wear you out. The tired kids made for a pretty quiet 2 day drive home and we were ready to go to another farm- One Straw Farm. We joined their CSA and pick up veggies every Sat from their stand at the Farmer's Market down the street. We had a great night there- they invited people out for music on the lawn and to check out the farm. It was great- we had farms in our hearts especially after our trip to the Cole's and we loved the land, the hayride, the animals, the music, the kids dancing, ...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Trip- NC, MS

We drove from Baltimore to Grandma's house. We were just there overnight but packed clothes and a recorder for their graduation. the kids were excited to graduate to 2nd grade (K), K/1 (C), and Preschool for T and KG.
Here's LewCrew Christian Academy with diplomas

saying the Pledge of Allegiance
We left the next morning for MS. We'd been talking with Grandmollie about her family working on the railroad so the kids were excited to see the train at a new park.

A carousel ride (or two) is always a tradition when we visit Grandmollie
This time we got to see lots of baby ducks, a duck sitting on eggs, and some big scary turkey ducks.
there were huge fish in the lake just waiting to be fed
Another MS tradition is a snow cone- these aren't your regular grape, cherry, ... I think I got Mounds Bar, someone got blueberry cheesecake, ...yummy!

the long list of flavors

KG got some extra reading time with Grandmollie since she and I stayed with Grandmollie. The boys and James all stayed in the hotel. We all did some swimming at the hotel.
Here's a pic of all of us after church and a yummy southern lunch out. We always feel like family at Mollie's church. The boys all sang with the church's children's choir. K even sang his first solo. Then Grandmollie treated us to a super yummy lunch- the kids were amazed by all the deserts out on the bar.
The kids loved the carousel. the boys wanted to ride every different animal while KG wanted to ride the sleighs.
More precious reading time. I don't have pics of all our fun skip-bo games or the tons of yummy food we had. Wonderful meatloaf, delicious cakes, ... A great visit!
We were really excited to get to see Aunt Penny and Uncle Joe too. We went to their house where Aunt Penny had packed tons of good food and drinks for lunch. We drove to the wonderful park and the kids played for a while- the zipline was a favorite- but the MS heat was too much so we went back home for lunch.
We had a wonderful visit before we got on the road again.

Our Trip- TX part

somehow my pictures aren't all loading but here's a few from our photo shoot :)

The Kids

The Photographer
The Dad getting the kids to smile
the two we're making wedding plans for
We had such a great trip. Only bad part was it was too short- well there was a lack of sleep but that just made for a quiet drive home. :) We loved being out in the country, loved that we didn't go anywhere (except Janelle & I had a great trip to Walmart & Sonic and we took the kids to church Wed night), loved the yummy veggies from the garden, homemade bread and jam, late night treats, and awesome school building. But even more than all those great things- I love that we've kept our friendship alive and growing. Crazy to think how much things have changed since our West Point roommate days back in 92-94. But also amazing to see how we've stayed close. On our long drive back from Texas, James and i had time to think through the years since West Point graduation and how we've gotten together almost every year. We couldn't remember a time in 2005 but other than that every year for almost 15 years- and a lot of visit when we lived close (KS & TX- we made near monthly trips to see each other.) It was really neat to see the kids pick up where they left off- like old friends who can not see each other for a long time but still remain close.

We had a blast and filled our couple of days with fun. We didn't take a ton of pictures but have lots of fun photos in our minds
- all the kids trying to round up chickens
-8 kids & 4 adults in tie-dyed shirts
-late night settlers games
-a school house filled with fun and learning
-kids holding hands to help each other on the race
-two families living far apart in miles but always close at heart

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Park Quest #5 & 6

What a great weekend: 25 pounds of blueberries & cherries picked. Park Quests 5 & 6 Complete.

We headed out to Cunningham State Park. After picking up our packet, watching neat turtles, and a brief scare from a vulture ( one of many birds in the aviary), we went on our search to find out what the fox saw. We hiked from the aviary to the tire park, enjoyed lunch and playing (especially the zipline), and then hiked to Isabella's Rock which was pretty steep so we found an alternate way back down (very thankful for no poison ivy off that path)

Next we hiked over the highway (very high bridge) to Isabella's Furnace (part of Catoctin Furnace).
Then we headed on our drive/ nap to South Mountain State Park.

Our GPS led us through strange small roads but we eventually found our way to the Washington Memorial- no, not in DC. The first memorial to Washington was built July 4th 1827. We climbed to the top of the 30 foot memorial. Then drove to our first leg of the Appalachian Trail. One mile down 2164 to go!

We loved hiking. We're not quite ready for through hiking yet! But we're excited for lots more days of family hiking! It's awesome to be out in God's beauty!

Oh and we did end the day with buy one get one free icecream (thanks park quest and South Mountain Creamery) See the chocolate face!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

12 states, 2700 miles, 9 days,

4 kids, 1 Mommy, 1 Daddy- one great trip especially when you add
1 graduation
1 Grandmollie
1 aunt and uncle
1 college roommate, 1 college friend, 4 more great kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 turkeys, 2 guineas, 18 chickens, and a fishing pond!

Memorial Day Fun

We were so excited for Grandma and Pops Leon to come visit Memorial Day weekend. They drove up Friday and were happy to see a little girl with a pretend haircut and 3 boys with brand-new haircuts from Daddy. We enjoyed lots of time hanging out around the house enjoying all our neat birds (see our nature blog for more pics) and took them to our favorite hang-out, bird watching, tree-IDing & climbing spot: Sherwood Gardens. James and I got some much appreciated time out alone too (Friday night to Cheesecake Factory for lettuce wraps and cheesecake, Saturday morning a bike ride to the 32nd street Farmer's Market, and Sunday morning a bike ride to/ around Druid Hill Park). James' smoked yummy pork Saturday and Sunday we went to church and then strawberry picking. We picked 45 lbs of strawberries (that's a lot!) The kids did great- the big boys both filled their buckets and then helped grandma and KG & T both did super picking too! It was a lot of fun- a picnic there, trailer ride to the fields, lots of picking and then a playground. We didn't even make it to the petting zoo.

Then Monday we completed another Park Quest #3 for our family. We'd been camping in Patapsco State Park but headed back this time for a hiking trip. We did the GPS course for bigger kids and loved it. It's so great to be outdoors!!