Saturday, June 30, 2012

Barbecue for Independence!

By the numbers:
4 years in a row
110 people
15 pounds of ground beef
15 brats
90 hot dogs
98 degrees
Rebekah on the slip 'n slide.
Line up of kids for the slip 'n slide.
Line up for food.

"The party starts here"
 Kids gather round for sparklers.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

June swim meets

I have so many pictures from all the swim meets that we have been going to. We have a meet on Wednesday and Saturday each week. It's a lot. I take pictures that don't turn out too well (see previous post about our camera). We have team photographers that take pictures and those turn out great, but I never know which meet they are from. So here is a sampling of photos from this month's meets.

 Emma won her heat.
 Swim caps make you look awesome.
 This is MY swim meet uniform -wide brim hat and sunglasses.
 My hat gets stolen frequently.
 There's Emma at the end, getting ready to swim.
Rebekah and I hang out waiting for Emma's next swim. Rebekah also finds lots of friends to play with while we wait.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swimming, Cousins, and Riding Lesson

We had a fun-filled, action-packed, non-stop day today. We started the morning with swim practice. At some point Emma took my iPod and made this video for her dad and emailed it to him.
After practice we went back to the pool to meet up with my cousin Patience, who moved out here almost a year ago. We had a great time chatting and catching up while our girls played together.
 From there we hurried and changed so Rebekah could go to her horse riding lesson. She entered a drawing when we were at the Flower_And_Garden_Festival  in April. She won!! It is just a one time lesson, but Rebekah was so excited. She currently wants to be a Horse Rider when she grows up. In this first picture she has her arms out to the side to get a feel for the horse.
 Side note: My camera is not working properly anymore. It won't take any picture with a flash. Sorry these are bad. The pony and Rebekah would not stay still long enough for my camera to work. I finally just switched to video to capture it. That turned out much better.

The owner was very impressed with Rebekah. Said she did a great job sitting straight on the pony. Emma was heart-broken that she couldn't take lessons too. They were very nice to let Emma do a quick lap or two on Cocoa, the pony.
After the lesson we hurried back home to eat and change for Emma's swim meet.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Junior Rangers

Finally we have a day that is NOT above 90 degrees. It is only in the low 80s, and low humidity. A great day for an outing. I took the girls to Great_Falls_National_Park. We stopped at the ranger station and got Junior_Ranger books for each of them. If you have never done a Junior Ranger program, you really must. It is a great way to get the kids interested in what you are doing, and they get a certificate and badge at the end. It only takes about an hour or so to complete. The same amount of time you would be spending in the park anyway.

The falls.
 Working on their Junior Ranger books.
 A skink on the old canal.
 Mather Gorge.
 Foot bridge.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

End of homework

That is what I am most grateful for. We had a hard time this year. I have been clearing out all the stuff that Emma brought home from school. I came across her spelling book. This is the book that caused much dread in both of us.

How many of these words can you use in a sentence (without looking it up)?

These were all words that my 4th grader had for homework.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Emma has just started with a new piano teacher. While we were waiting for Emma's lesson, Rebekah and I walked around the neighborhood. It was filled with hydrangeas!! About 7 or 8 houses on that little block had them. These were my favorite!
Look at that! They are dark purple, almost a navy. So pretty. If you are a gardener and know anything about hydrangeas please tell me how I can get that color at my house!! I did knock on the door, but no one answered.

Monday, June 18, 2012

War of 1812

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War_of_1812. Basically, the British were commandeering American ships to fight in their war against France. This was not many years after our war for independence. There were a whole lot of events planned in Baltimore for the occasion, a Star-Spangled_Sailabration.

We drove up and walked around Fort McHenry. It was the battle here at Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to compose the Star-Spangled_Banner. It was also during this war that the British burned down the Capital and Dolley_Madison saved several important documents.

This is an actual canon ball from the battle that did not explode.
Lots of men in period uniforms.
Fife and Drum to start the ceremony.
 During the ceremony this ship came by and shot a blank. It was LOUD.
 The flag at Fort McHenry has 15 stars on it. That's what it looked like in 1812.

Then we drove down to the Inner Harbor to see all the tall ships from around the world.
This little "pleasure boat" was driving around and spraying people with water.

 Clay says to me "Oh look, we are all red and blue. Did you know that? That looks great" 
Yes, dear, I did. I planned it that way.

 These little beauties have been the envy of our girls for a long time. We finally relented and coughed up the cash to take one of these paddle boats out. Clay and Emma provided all the power while Rebekah and I enjoyed the views.