Monday, 30 June 2014

Arlington Cemetary visit

It has been three weeks since the kids have been gone and it has gone by slow and fast all at the same time.  I speak to the children daily, while they are at my parents house and they are having a great time although MarioFan is starting to get homesick.  A month long visit might be a little too long for him.

While the kids were away my husband had to go away for a week long business trip which meant I was alone in the house and it was an interesting experience.  Since he was going to be away over the weekend we used some frequent flier miles to fly me to VA where he was so we could at least spend the a little time together on the weekend.   Both of us have lived in the Maryland and in the Virginia area years ago but never visited the Arlington Cemetery so we took the opportunity to tour the facility and we spent over five hours there.  Later that evening we got together with an old college friend of my husband that he hasn't seen in twenty plus years.  While we are missing the kids we are enjoying spending time together as a couple.

There is a shuttle that does cost but drives you to the three popluar sites and the grounds are huge.  

There is a great phone app that tells you where things are so you can find different sites and it gives you walking directions, I highly recommend it

Since my husband and I have been to many cemeteries honoring are fallen I was  surprised to see that some tombstones were not the normal standard stones.  
I actually preferred the look of the standard grave stones, but that is just me.

Audie Murphy gravesite

Monument to the challenger astronauts

Visiting General Robert E. Lee's home and learning how it became the site of the National cemetery.  

Visiting Kennedy's grave site and the eternal flame

President Taft's grave site.

Civil rights leader
Tomb of the unknown solider and watching the changing of the guard.  It is quite a moving experience

My husband knows of couple of people buried here and we tried to find each of them to pay our respects.  This grave is of the oldest serving women in the military who was a key note speaker at a graduation of my husband.  Her speech made such an impact on my husband.

The grounds of the cemetery are beautiful and I just loved the Magnolia flowers which were all in full bloom and it smelled wonderful.
 In just six days I will be reunited with my children...I am counting down the days:)

Monday, 23 June 2014

Stain Glass workshop

Whew it has been a week already since the kids left to visit my parents.  The first day after returning from our Memphis trip was hard, very, very hard once my husband went off to work.  I wandered the house aimlessly feeling down and out of sorts.  By 9:30 am I had already called and spoken to my kids at my parents house and placed a call to my husband at work because I was needing someone to talk too.  Once I put the phone down I started cleaning out the fridge, one of my most hated jobs.  I then did several loads of laundry, the dishes and cleaned the animal cages.  By lunch time I headed downstairs to start working on organizing my stain glass room.  My husband added electricity to a storage room a year ago in the hopes I would resume my hobby and I never organized it.  By the end of the first day it was almost done.  I am still missing many of my tools and soldering irons, so I need to tackle the unopened boxes in the basement in the hopes of finding them as to purchase new items would be expensive.  I am hoping they all are still in working order after being in storage so long.

I have two work desks for projects and a large storage bin for all my colored glass that I have had in storage for the last five years.  Eventually I would like to paint the cement walls but for now it is fine the way it is.

Some additional storage and a work station to hold my grinder (as soon as I find it)  Again one day I will put up dry wall in this area to give it  a more finished look.  I would also love to add a large sink one day, you know when we win the lottery:)

Some old stain glass projects that have been in storage, a few are broken and need repairing.

I found a few tools but not all of them and this is where they will be placed eventually.

Well I did eventually find my missing tools and they were all in working order, so for the last few days I have been working on some projects...I still need to clean them both up and put hangers on them:)

I started this one years ago but it was put away and never completed. 
I made this one for Firedrake since she loves Dragons so much
I am just completed cutting out two additional projects and have a fifth project already lined up to get started on.  :)

Monday, 16 June 2014

Couples get away

My kids left to spend a month with my parents, we have never left the children that long before and I was nervous and worried about being on my own for that long.  Luckily I have an amazing husband who took a few days off work and took me to Memphis for a long couple's only get away.  I have to say it was nice to just have some couple time.  My husband is a huge music fan of every type of music.  We had gone to Memphis many years ago to visit Elvis's Home so this time we skipped that and explored some other famous sites.  Memphis is such a great place for music and history.

We visited the Civil rights museum which is housed in the motel where Martin Luther King was shot

Explored Beale street and listened to music every single night

Visited the Peabody hotel and the famous ducks

Explored the rock and soul museum

The Cotton exchange museum

Visited a home which was part of the underground railroad

toured Gibson's guitar factory

attended a minor league baseball game, Memphis Redbirds:) and caught a baseball to bring home for the kids:)

It was nice to get away just the two of us and it gave me time to adjust to the fact that the children are gone for a month:)  While I know my kids are going to have an amazing time with my parents and I am so happy for them, I am still feeling a bit lost.  Even my husband said the house upon our return was too quiet:)!

If I have time I will do a few longer posts about our trip, but right now I am spending some time in my new stain glass room working on some projects for the house:)

Monday, 9 June 2014

Summer Schedule

Whew, we have made it thru another school year! While we continue to school year round we usually take it a bit slower in the summer.  My parents spent a month visiting us and we only schooled  half days for the month of May finishing up our Math and grammar programs.  My parents returned to their home and took with them my two children for A MONTH!!!  I have never been away from the kids that long before, usually only a week or so.  What is so strange about it this time is that my husband will be working while I am at home, ALONE!!  We do have a few couple get aways planned but the majority of the time I will be at home.  My husband has a fantasy that he will be coming home to gourmet meals during this time:)!  My plans are to work on my stain glass hobby which I have neglected for years and years! and possibly start planning next years school schedule and maybe even organize a few rooms that really need my attention.

We are very lucky as my parents whole heartedly support our homeschooling endeavors and have several exciting things planned for the children that related to our studying.  For example my parents are taking them to Philadelphia to visit the liberty bell and some of the Revolutionary war sites we are beginning to study.  I even sent a few simple school assignments that the kids will work on while with my parents.  If they get done that is great but if not that is also fine, too.

Summer School schedule includes (some done with my parents and the rest will begin once the kids return home)

1.  Work on Life of Fred books intermediate level--we are taking a break from Math U see this           summer and trying something a little different

2.  Continue to study and learn about the Revolutionary War thru readings, field trips and videos

3.  MarioFan is going to begin working on Cursive handwriting with HWT

4.  Complete Weather unit--we are almost done just a few more experiments and things to look over before we move on to the Human body

5.  Reading, reading, and more reading:) books of the children's choosing

6.  Minecraft classes thru Homeschooling with Minecraft

7.  Continue to practice Piano

8.  Try Mango for Spanish lessons to retain what we have learned for the years as our Tutor takes the summer off

Of course we always take plenty of time off to play and explore during the summer.  We have several camping trips planned and lots of field trips.

If you haven't seen me stopping by your blogs it is because with my parents visiting I have been incredibly busy.  Hopefully I will be stopping by soon.  Blogging over the next month or so will be sporadic since the kids are with my parents and I will be taking some time off to regroup and organize my home and according to my husband fixing him gourmet meals when he comes home from work!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Legos in the Garden

My parents have been visiting us for a month and we have been very busy seeing some local sights in our area.  Recently we ventured to the local Botanical gardens where they were holding a Lego exhibition.  We enjoyed walking throughout the garden looking for the lego sculptures.

We found another St. Louis Birthday Cake right outside the gardens
The Lego exhibit is running until mid September and did cost a little bit extra to see

There was a scavenger hunt for the kids to complete -- the first  lego sculpture found was a  tiller

with a hidden lego man beneath:)

Lego gardener

Beside each sculpture was a sign letting us know how many legos it took to build each design the most we saw was 60,000 legos

MarioFan with his scavenger form looking for legos

snake chasing mouse

praying mantis

Firedrake no longer wants to be in photos as much so I had to sneak this one in because she was with us:)

Monarch Butterfly and flower

Wood Pecker

garden animals

Even the bird feeder had legos in it:)
Sun dial

We also found a real lizard hanging out on a flower

My Dad with the kids

We had a fun day exploring the lego creations and the Botanical gardens with my parents.  We are enjoying having them visit us and of course they are spoiling the kids rotten while they are here:)!