Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Monday, May 24, 2010

Update, Summertime....

School is out already for this part of Kentucky, and the kids think they should get the "start with the West, end with the East" deal this year... but Alas! Their parents are smarter than that. We are finishing up some projects, mainly a hand drawn map of our travels this year and highlights from some favorite spots. They have been working on a "museum" that they are anxious to set up, as soon as we have a place to do that.

I know its almost summer as we are delighted to meet several travelers from the west coast at our camp... and its getting hot. We have a spotty cell signal at our camp (know you'll likely have to leave a message if you try to call). The boys are full swing in their baseball seasons, which is fun, but also a challenge to manage with one car (the "scheduled lifestyle" is so much easier with two cars!!) We are hanging here, working and enjoying baseball, until we head back to DC in July.

I'll leave you with a couple of Josiah's latest quotes.....

"Mom, how did you get the message from the sanitary police that all children had to take a shower??"

"I see that the popularity of random junk is rising on my bunk. Perhaps I should make a deduction."

"Wow, you've been married almost 15 years? Not that you can tell in your communication, no offense."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

more beach fun....

Oh, we loved our time at the beach so much... had to include a couple more classic shots...

JJ catching air on the wave board (oops) and later building his sand fortress...

Jo trying to be like his brother, only with the boogie board... (hmmm)

That's it, hope you were as refreshed as we were! Now heading back to Kentucky!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

12 good years....

First of all, Shayna has grown so much this year (in more ways than just height..) it is an extra special joy to celebrate her birthday this weekend in the Outer Banks. She is thrilled to be here (healthy) and be able to walk (and run) along the beach!
But little did she know, we had a couple surprises up our sleeves, especially for her. First, we sent her off on our traditional birthday scavenger hunt... which included a clue that she would find in Manteo (thats a little town on Roanoke Island, the first English "lost colony"...)
It's also where they do parasailing. It's been her dream to do this all sabbatical, and finally it came true!! We were going to send up her and JJ, but the wind started picking up (do you love the hair?!!) and they were too light, so Greg had to go along to keep them from blowing eternally behind the boat (some good solid weight to bring them down.)

Getting ready to be harnessed up!
up, up and away!!!

Shayna says "IT WAS AWESOME!!!"

The next day, we kept the scavenger hunt going by doing an amazing race type challenge at the hotel. JJ was guiding her via the cell phone to his present for her.... he managed to get her there without dumping her in the pool, though she did bonk a few walls and got quite a few giggles from the hotel staff.
She loved the challenge as well as the gift (a jewelry drill).
As if that wasn't enough, later that afternoon we took her on a hard core treasure hunt at the beach... where Josiah had buried a little treasure chest and marked the spot with an "X".
She had a less than accurate map that took around the K team for quite some time...

She finally found it and was delighted with the shells, coins, fools gold and even a pirate coin....
(good job team!)

In her free moments she is always creating... here is her little sea turtle,
and a starfish birthday cake!!
Happy Birthday Naynee!!!
It's been 12 wonderful years!!

Kitty Hawk, NC

Hey!! We made it to the Outer Banks, take two!! This time we are going to be full on tourists instead of hanging out in the hospital. Our hotel is in Kitty Hawk, where we drove out along a road with many bridges. We were happy to be back by the water!!
The Outer Banks are the barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, and are known for the sand dunes, wind, surf, several shipwrecks and pirates treasures.

The wind and the sand of these barrier islands are why Orville and Wilbur Wright chose this place to test first their hangliders, and eventually the first motorized plane flight.
(The kids are tying to catch thier own air.....) This is "Big Hill" in "Kill Devil Hills".. the place where they would take off and try to get the most distance with the hangliders. To get credit for the first flight, it had to take off from the ground and land at the same altitude or higher, so they did that down on the flat part. It used to be pure sand, but sand dunes shift... so they've planted lots of grass to preserve it and erected a monument.
They had a nice museum and a metal replica outside.....

That front part of the plane is called the "elevator," its what makes the plane go up and down and was controlled by Orville or Wilbur's left hand. They hung on for dear life with thier right.
They made a lot of attempts and did a lot of problem solving to get the first plane off the ground!! A lot of the principals they figured out here are still used in modern planes (for example, the elevator functions are now on the wings.) And did you know Neil Armstrong took an original piece of the wood and cloth from this plane with him to the moon?
We owe these guys a lot!!
Now stay tuned for our own version of flying coming next!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

McSquizzy sees DC....

A little post graduation hop at our favorite duck spot, before we take McSquizzy out for her first tour of DC!!
Whadaya know, it started raining.

So we took in the sights from the car. Here is one of the Smithsonian Museums of Art...
and then it stopped raining! So we got out for the Washington Monument.
Go McSquizzy Go!!
And then, typical of all our wierd weather patterns this year, it started hailing.

We had a moment to enjoy the aftermath
(getting Daddy)
And then it poured, poured, poured, with a wonderful lightning show while we drove south through Virginia. We were actually going to tent camp tonight, but the rangers at Chesapeake had a better idea... they let us hang out in the lounge!!
(Don't tell but man were we thankful!!)
(We love Thousand Trails.)
Good night friends! Next stop, the Outer Banks!!

Graduation, at last!!

This "summers only" progam really turned out to be four years of a life changing experience... and even though there is still one more summer, we took this day to celebrate!!
The kids deserve the party as much as momma, they have been so awesome and supportive!!

"We each got awards from mommy. Mine the very supportive award. That's me getting awarded!!" -Josiah

"Mommy got an award too. It's the MARRIED GRADUATE STUDENT award!!"

Really an award for the whole family!!

With our classmates Wendy (Salem) and Jim (Boston)... Wendy got the department "Fran White award." Both have been an integral part of our family over the summers, and it was awesome to share this experience!!!