Sunday, October 30, 2016

Neighborhood Wildlife

It's amazing the wildlife you can observe in our neighborhood.  We went for a small walk this afternoon and this is what we saw (we also saw a fox and lots of birds, but didn't get pictures of them):

I love how this beautiful flower is growing out of a mostly dead plant.

Switch Witch

The Switch Witch has visited us the last couple of years.  We let the kids pick out their favorite candies, then Mom and Dad trade the 'Switch Witch' gift for the rest of their candy.  The kids end up a with small gift and only the candies they really like.  We then ration out the candy over the next week or two (or dispose of it).

So we went to Target on Saturday for the Switch Witch gifts and found that they had in-store trick-or-treating.  I don't think I've even seen the kids as excited to be shopping at Target.

Later in the afternoon, we had the church Trunk-or-Treat.  Exciting day!

At Target:

At the Church Trunk-or-Treat:

Learning to Ride Bicycle

We didn't have a good area for the kids to ride bicycles in Atlanta, so Tucker and Savannah didn't get much experience until we moved to Fairfax.

A few weeks ago, Tucker said, "I don't want the training wheels on my bicycle anymore."  I was busy working on the car, so I told him that he was welcome to take them off.  So he got out a ratchet, found the right socket, and removed the training wheels all by himself.  Then he started riding without any real help.  You know you waiting too long to take them off when your child is old enough to take them off without your help.

Then yesterday, Savannah said, 'Dad, I want to learn to ride my bicycle today.  Will you help me?'  So we went outside and she climbed on the bicycle (without training wheels) and she started trying.  I gave her a few pointers, then she started riding.  Pretty amazing!

We read the New Testament as a family each night.  We had been helping Savannah by telling her the words for her verses.  A couple weeks ago, Savannah said, 'I want to read by myself.'  She did.  It's not easily to read the old english in the Bible, but she is reading really well (with a little help).

Carson and Savannah

Angela and I upgraded our phones, and the camera on my new phone is really good.  I took a couple quick shots of the kids and was shocked at how well they turned out.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

US Marine Corp Museum, Quantico

Living near DC, you have easy access to amazing places and most of them are free.

We decided to go to the United States Marine Corp Museum near the Quantico Marine base (about a 25 minute drive from our house).

We were in awe; even walking up to it is impressive.  It is an amazing and unique building.  Carson pointed out that it appears to be inspired by the Iwo Jima Memorial statue.  For a museum largely about war, it is surprisingly kid friendly.  We loved it and hope to go back soon to keep learning more.

This is the actual larger flag that flew over Mt Suribachi at Iwo Jima.  Inspiring to see.

A World War I scene with a movie.  You actually felt like you were there.

Carson saying, "Don't Shoot"

Warrenton, VA

Keith and the kids spent Saturday exploring Virginia.  They starting by visiting a nice small town, Warrenton, VA.  It was a clean old town with charming historic buildings.  Surrounding it were beautiful farms and country roads lined will the autumn leaves.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Homeschool PE

We just started homeschooling this year for all 3 kids. We are tying it out for a year a least and so far it is going well. I heard about a homeschool PE class at an athletic facility about a half an hour (everything is about half an hour away) from us. You can see Tucker and Savannah on the far left. I didn't know if they would, but the kids really enjoyed the exercise, the interaction with other kids, and the games. It's held twice a week for an hour and it's only $5! And, we can just drop in whenever we can and pay as we go. So nice to have that option. 

Frying Pan Farm Park Junior Farmer Class

There's a Fairfax Parks and Rec property about a half an hour from our house called 'Frying Pan Farm Park'. They are offering a Jr. Farmer class for the next four Thursdays, and after experiencing a little farmlife in Lancaster, PA, I wanted to give the kids some more time on a farm. 

Each class is an hour and focuses on different aspects of working on a farm: taking care of animals, planting and harvesting, using farm equipment, etc. 

We got there a little early, so we walked around the property. This is an old carousel that was built in 1908. 

Hard to see, but there's a guy milking a cow in the foreground. You can just come to the park and observe the milking and any other activities going on at the farm. We paid $6 each to participate in the class. 

Carson found a huge locust in the garden. 

We were on the tractor-trailer riding through the property at this point. They have two draft horses. 

At the end of the class, they let everyone pet a rooster before feeding the chickens in the henhouse. 

The park also offers horseback riding lessons; they have an indoor and outdoor arena. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Turkey Hill Experience

what is Turkey Hill? an ice cream company that makes really good ice cream

Inside, there was a small museum area that told the history of the family that started the company

Then there was a hands-on section for kids to milk a cow and drive a delivery truck

These were phones you could pick up and listen to actual past truck drivers stories

They offered free ice cream and free cups of their different lemonades and other drinks they make. (I kept making this weird face.....)