Sunday, April 27, 2014


We did all the traditional things for Easter, including coloring eggs, hunting them in the backyard, going to church, and eating ham for Sunday dinner.  I really need to come up with something unique for our Easter celebrations.

We didn't have much luck with Easter photos, alas.

Monday, the boys also had school off so we drove out to Harper's Ferry, WV.  We hired a tour guide for G's parents and friends of theirs who are missionaries nearby while G took the kids around on their own tour.  He had done the full tour with the Boy Scouts a couple of years ago.  I love Harper's Ferry.  It's got a long and interesting history, the scenery is gorgeous and there are a variety of options of things to do, depending on the attention span of your kids!  Plus, as the guide said, up to 100 trains a day come through and our kids LOVED that.

Watching the train

From Jefferson Rock

We decided to stop by Antietam on the way back.  I remember it being doable in a short time, but that's because the last time we went, there was no M and the boys were really little so we just let them run around outside.  There is a nice visitor's center with a small museum and an audio tour that would be fun to do, but everyone was tired by then, so we watched a film in the visitor's center, walked around outside for a bit to look at monuments and cannons, then drove over to the observation tower.  I just realized I took the other pictures there with my phone, so this is it:
They were pretty tired by the time we got home, but I'm really glad we went.  I'm looking forward to more adventures this summer, now that we have no naps and no diapers to contend with!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break

By the second week of April, we were finally enjoying spring-like weather.  G's parents came into town and we were looking forward to a trip to southern NJ for spring break. 

Before we left though, we stopped by the elementary school for J's Bio-Wax museum.  All the 3rd graders researched an important person (mostly from history), dressed up, and "became" that person Friday afternoon.  They were frozen until we pushed their buttons, then they gave a short talk about themselves.  Can you tell who J was?

Most people couldn't.  He was the Swamp Fox, Francis Marion!  I love Francis Marion.  I had a huge crush on him in high school (I know; that's probably why I didn't date much...) so I was very pleased when J came up with that idea all on his own.

He did awesome, and it was fun to go around and see who all the other kids picked.  There were a lot of Rosa Parks and George Washingtons, of course, several Oprah Winfreys, two girls who picked Elizabeth I, and a great Elvis who was Indian.  Awesome.

Monday morning, we packed up and headed for the beach.  We got there in time to run around in the sand for a while in the afternoon.  It was nice and shallow, so there was a lot of beach at low tide.  We saw some snails crawling around ("Those shells are moving by themselves, Mama!") and found some really nice shells.  The boys loved that there was "quicksand" that they kept sinking into.  Yuck.  I don't know if that was oil or what but it was not sand or normal dirt.

But we were lucky to have that afternoon because Tuesday it POURED rain.  During one break in the storm, we went out to Cape May lighthouse and climbed the 199 steps to the top.  The boys loved that, especially the gale force winds at the top.  They chased some waves at the beach while the grandparents and I took M into the little museum which was full of slithery creatures that she adored.

Lighthouse hair

We got home in time for the storm to hit again.  We were glad we weren't in a tent.  The temperatures dropped dramatically, so we went to the zoo.  It's a pretty nice zoo but because of the cold, all the animals the kids wanted to see were in their houses, so we missed the snow leopards, giraffes, lions, the tiger, and most of the birds and smaller animals.  :(

M really wanted to pet this swan.  It really wanted to nip her.

J really, really liked the aviary.
Then the stomach flu hit.  So Thursday, G graciously stayed home with the three youngest, and I took C and the grandparents to take a trolley tour of Cape May and another tour of a Victorian house.  That was really interesting, and the architecture in the town is adorable.  That's what comes of a resort town built by rich vacationers!

All in all, it was a nice week and the kids loved the house and the beach and all the time they got to watch PBSKids while stuck inside...  I am still hoping that next spring break (after two in a row spent shivering), we get some nicer weather!

Shenanigans in the back seat.  The reason they rarely are allowed to sit together.

C was glad he brought a tripod.  He had fun taking pictures from the balcony.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Scenes from Conference Weekend

Just some images from our General Conference weekend (see
J fixed the bridge he built (that someone sat on) and it went back to work transporting cars over the lava.

 We made our traditional conference bread.  So yummy.

 M helped me roll out the dough and C photobombed.

S checked our line on Family Search and even though this image is hard to read, he discovered that we are descended from Adam and Eve.  He and J like to look through all the lines and see how far back they can go.  This is pretty much the end.  :)

 Here's the conference bread, in its cinnamony sugary goodness.

After weeks of barely letting me put in ponytails, M decided she wanted her hair like Elsa's Sunday afternoon.  Umm.... My braiding skills are a little rusty, but it turned out better than I thought it would and she felt like Elsa.

A little between-sessions game playing....

I didn't get a photo of the coloring, coloring, coloring, and conference bingo playing that went on.  But trust me, there was a lot of that too.  :)