Friday, August 27, 2010

W is for Waterpark

We are really down to the wire with our alphabet summer. We leave for a week long vacation tomorrow and will get home two days before school starts. We still have two letters to go and I have doubts we will make it, but regardless, we will finish even if it isn't technically summer anymore. Today we took a late afternoon visit to Signal Bay Waterpark with the Wadley's for some fun in the sun. This park is perfect for little kids and I din't have to worry too much about Cameron and Gavin because I knew they could touch everywhere and most of the park is only 1 foot deep. Mason and his friend Luke went down slide after slide, again and again, and again, never tiring from it. We were only there for about two hours but it was just perfect and the kids came home ready for bed so we can get an early start on the road tomorrow. I'm so glad I planned ahead and had everything packed so we could fit this in. I can't believe the pools close in a week!

Peach, I mean apple picking

On Thursday my sister Kristin came up with her kids for the day and we went out to Stribling Orchard to pick peaches. Little did we know that the peaches were all picked and the few they had left were way up high and hard as rocks. Lucky for us, Gala apples were in season and we picked bushels, most of which ended up in the kids mouths or discarded because they weren't perfect but we left with our $15 bag full (yikes!) It was another beautiful day and the orchard was deserted so we took our time romping among the trees. Our kids always love it when the cousins come to visit and they pick up right where they left off the last time as if no time has elapsed between visits. I'm so glad that my kiddos have cousins around the same age to frolic with when we get together. After the orchard, we headed to Wegmans for pizza and a birthday cake for my mom. We are surely sucking the most out of this summer and I love it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Y is for Yoga

I have been doing yoga up at our clubhouse off and on since Gavin was born. It is wonderfully relaxing and pretty low impact, so it is right up my alley as far as exercise goes. For Y day I taught the kids a few poses and they ate it up! They didn't want to stop and they actually did pretty well!
Mason doing some stretching
Gavin in starfish pose
Cameron in holy fig tree
All of them in downward facing dog

Monday, August 23, 2010

S is for Sailboat

Today was a beautiful day. Temperatures in the 80's, low humidity and a nice breeze made it a perfect day for the park. So we called up the Tolers and Turners, packed up a lunch and headed to Rady Park in Warrenton, our family favorite because of the shady playground and creek that the kids can play in. We made paper sailboats to race in the stream, but there was scarcely any current, so we just watched them float until they became waterlogged and sank. The kids just love the creek, it has water striders, minnows and crawfish, one of which we were lucky enough to catch! None of us wanted to leave with the perfect weather, but with the exception of tomorrow (rain) it should be like this all week! Yay!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Busch Gardens with the Tolers!

This Tuesday we took off with our friends the Tolers to go to Busch Gardens. Jonathan Toler was home on leave from Iraq and we were so glad that Ange would share the precious time she had with him with us! We got to the park right at 10 and stayed until it closed at 10. Twelve hours of pure fun! The kids were so excited to tell their friends about all of the rides, and for the first time the adults could take turns going on the "big kid rides." Luckily, Jonathan and Angie both love roller coasters and were willing to be brave with us. I'm not a teenager anymore though, and I'll admit, I had white knuckles on some of those coasters. It was a HOT day, with a heat index of 107, but the kids didn't seem to mind at all, they were with their buddies! For the first time this season we got to experience the nightly fireworks which were fantastic! It was definitely more fun with friends. How about an encore next year, Tolers?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

R is for Rodeo

Last night we Cameron, Gavin and I attended the county fair with their former and current preschool teacher, and my friend, Kathie Winger. After walking around to look at the animals (my favorite) and pretending to drive lots of tractors (the boys' favorite) we went to get seats at the main attraction and the reason we came- the rodeo! Now having been to my share of Utah rodeos that have blown my socks off, I had high standards to compare this one to. I must say it was better than I thought it would be and the boys enjoyed every minute! This was their first rodeo and they both signed up to do the Mutton-Bustin' where the kids try to hold on to a sheep for 6 seconds. Cameron was first and only lasted a second or two but I was so impressed that he even tried! Unfortunately, by the time it was Gavin's turn they had run out of sheep. He and Cameron did get to participate in a stick horse race though, and that seemed to make up for it. We then watched the show full of Bucking Broncos, steer wrestling, calf roping, barrel racing and bull riding. This was Kathie's first rodeo too and I'm so glad that she decided to come with us. The boys adore her and she made the experience so much more fun. Can you guess what Gavin's latest future profession will be?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

T is for Temple

Today the boys and I jumped in the car and headed to the DC temple. It was the perfect day to take a picnic lunch and just wander around the temple grounds. We went into the Visitors Center and saw the famous Christus statue and even got to see a short movie. Then we walked around the temple to some benches to have our lunch. It was peaceful and not too hot in the shade and the kids enjoyed throwing acorns at each other... Boys can make a weapon out of anything! Despite getting lost because of a road closure on the way there and then sitting in traffic so a 45 minute trip takes an hour and a half on the way back, it was a worthwhile trip and the kids want to go back with a frisbee. Since we only really take the kids up to the temple at Christmastime this was a special treat and something we ought to do more often.
Gavin is searching for gold...

Gavin just had his hands down his pants so now his underwear is showing. Classic.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

V is for Volcano

We're still going all out of order here and today we made a paper mache "V"olcano. Cameron helped me cover our base with glue and newspaper and then painted it brown with green trees. Grandma and Jeff came over for dinner and our eruption. A little baking soda, food coloring and vinegar and we were in business. Gavin even had his dinosaurs ready and waiting to watch. Doesn't every kid do this experiment? It's a true classic and fun every time!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The "Q"uest for Q

At the beginning of the summer when I outlined our plans for each letter, I knew instantly where I wanted to take the boys for the letter Q. When I worked as a Vet Tech at an animal hospital in Centreville, my route drove me right past this amazing quarry that you could see right down into from the road. Tuesday we drove out to the quarry and unlike the greetings we have had at other locations, the people here were less than happy to see three bouncing boys bounding towards the outer building of the quarry. I asked for a tour and they told me they were just about to close for the day and to call tomorrow to schedule a Saturday tour. To make a long story short, the first tour they had available was in October which wouldn't exactly work for our purpose. I started searching online for an alternative. I found another quarry in Leesburg that had an overlook on a nearby bike path. We headed there first thing this morning. The kids rode their scooters about a half a mile up to where they had a few benches where you could see all the goings on in the quarry. Except that it was Saturday and there were no workers or trucks... We waited and waited until at long last a truck came into view. You would think we had struck oil by the reaction of my children. They were fixated on that truck like vultures, anxiously awaiting what it would do next. I am grateful for that singular truck that came to work today and make the day of three little boys. It made the whole trip worth while. Now Gavin wants to be a quarry man. I'll add it to the list :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

You can stand under my "U"mbrella

No, U isn't the next letter in our alphabet, but what I was trying to plan for Q wasn't working and there are only so many days left before school starts so I thought we would skip around a bit to get through the rest of our alphabet. Yesterday the kids were couped up in the house all day while I did some cleaning and it was so dull that when I asked them before bed what their favorite part of the day was they both said, "nothing, we didn't do anything!" Today it has been rainy but instead of being stuck at home again we decided to embrace the weather and frolic in the rain. I let each boy have his own umbrella and they let me take some nice pictures of them. We took off our shoes and splashed in the puddles as it drizzled on us. I was secretly hoping for a good downpour to get us good and wet, but it didn't happen. We'll have to do this again when it's pouring.