Sunday, December 31, 2017

Labor Day- playing all day long and celebrating the start of a new school year

Early Labor Day morning we headed to the Potomac River to watch the U.S. Coast Guard ship, "Eagle" pass under the bridge. We barely made it in time but it was so cool to see. 

After we played in Old Town Alexandria and ate a fun breakfast at Table Top. It had a great diner feel to it and our girls were starving- so it hit the spot!

Old Town has so much charm. I love walking the cobblestone streets anytime I can.

Ice Cream at Pops Old Fashioned Ice Cream. I really love making these fun memories with this group! 

We waited in line to tour the "Eagle" so the girls could see what it was like on a big ship. They thought it was cool, but ma have liked throwing rocks into the water more as they waited in line. 

Tired, and ready to go home. Little Haddie is quick to tell us when she's had enough. 

Dinner at home
We celebrated the start of another school year for Taryn. 
Setting goals and talking about what we can do in school to be a good example. We set a theme of "Find the Good" for our family this year. 

And a little fun treat because it was Family Home Evening.... and cake is always a good idea. 

Not sure how much longer Tyson will be able to carry the girls up like this, but he will try for as long as he can. Tyson is a master at bed time and I love his patience through the whole process. The girls (and I) adore him. 

Going to the county fair in the summer

My kids favorite things:
Face painting and balloons

And you better believe we wait in every line where there is face painting. 

Funny thing about those balloons: We went through 3. EACH.
Some were dropped and popped.
Some had the air go out of them toooooo fast
And some mom accidentally bumped and they popped. 


But we got balloons and that made their day (3 x's over)

Our little princess (crown)

Our animal lover (octopus) 

Each girl could pick a few rides to do while we were there. 
Haddie chose the swings and Taryn chose the bungie jumping on a trampoline. 

Tyson had to get some work done that Saturday morning (which is rare) so it was a mommy/daughters date for us. 

We've decided that going to fairs in the summer time while the humidity is unbearable and everyone gets grumpy is the worst. Taryn actually asked that we not go to fairs in the summer anymore. True story. 
So though they enjoyed their day at the fair, we won't be going back to the summer fair unless a miracle happens and it's a perfect summer weather day, with NO humidity. A girl can dream, right?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

When I first heard about the solar eclipse that was coming, about 6 months before, I didn't think much of it. But one month before it was to happen, I got the hint that I really needed to find some solar eclipse glasses for the viewing! I started watching videos online about the eclipse and showing the girls how the eclipse worked so they would understand what they were seeing. 

After searching high and low, I found out that the Air and Space Museum was handing 2 out per family. I made sure to be there in line to get some. I wasn't the only one with the same thought. I waited about an hour total but it was sooooo worth it. I got the free solar eclipse glasses that would cover Tyson at work and me and the girls. Perfect!

After standing in line for an hour in the hot summer humidity, I took the girls around one of their favorite museums. Taryn has been more bold lately and volunteered to wear this awesome space suit for the space demonstration. She was thrilled and didn't want to take it off. 

On August 21st, We headed out as the eclipse was starting and viewed it for ourselves. I have to be honest. The girls thought it was cool to see it the first few times before the total eclipse (or the 80 % that we had a viewing of) but after that they were more focused on playing with their friends at a backyard water party.

Haddie snuck in another view (and so did Taryn- finally,) after I asked the girls several times to come and view before the eclipse went away. 
They may not remember this life moment, but I'm glad that I didn't let it pass!

Two temple trips and two different experiences.

We thought that one Sunday after church during the summer we would head to the temple. Well we hit random traffic, the girls got hungry and we were all ready to get out of the car by the time we arrived at the DC Temple. 

Luckily the girls were so happy to get out of the car and wiggle their legs (after only 40 minutes in the car) they were willing and happy to take pictures before we walked around and went to the visitors center. 

She has mastered the selfie stick! 

It wasn't the peaceful experience we had hoped it would be in totality, but I'm still glad we made the effort to head to the temple. It's important to show our girls how special this place is to us. 

And....Tyson and I returned a few weeks later by ourselves to go inside the temple. This was the very peaceful experience we were looking for :)

Friday, December 15, 2017

the nature we love

We're lucky to live next to so many lush gardens and forests. We've had a great time exploring lots of them over the past few years. 

Meadowlark was a new one for us! We went on a day that admission was free and walked the beautiful grounds. 

Fairy gardens, koi ponds, children's gardens and a Chinese garden. We went back this December to explore their Festival of Lights. It was so beautiful to walk around the gardens at night while walking under Christmas lights all around. 

During my training for my 1/2 marathon, I would get up early in the summer to get my runs in for the day. 

I loved running the Four Mile Trail that connects with the Mount Vernon trail. You could run it for miles with the most beautiful scenes of gorgeous trees, water, sun rises and animal life. 

Each day I would run, I had the thought, "How could anyone deny there is a God. There is so much beauty in this world. He created it all for us. "

Over the summer we had lots of adventures with our friends. One included a visit to the U.S. Botanic Gardens for the "Death Flower" blooming. We came about 24 hours before the bloom (which I'm not sad about at all- that horrid smell would make me loose my lunch!) But we still got to see the beautiful flower and have fun with our friends. 

The newly renovated Children's Garden just reopened so we spent a lot of time planting, watering and cleaning the gardens. 

This may be one of my favorite photos of my kids in D.C. A lush summer day with the top of the capitol building peaking through the tops of the trees. 

Look at Haddie's pose! Where does she come up with that stuff!?

We found this little place in Burke Lake community and fell in love. We may have started plotting our move there. 
The trails wrap around the lake. Just long enough for a good morning run, right behind the homes (see why we want to live here!?)

A day at the Butterfly pavilion is always fun! We go on Tuesdays when it's free and enjoy all of our fluttering friends. Haddie gets a little scared but Taryn wants to always stand like a statue so the butterflies will land on her. She got her wish just before we had to head out the doors. 

Tyson, in his birding element. 
He finds the best hikes for us. I woke up that beautiful summer day wanting to go on a hike that was close enough to our home and easy for the girls. Tyson delivered! Finding this Fairfax Falls hike was the perfect thing for my heart that day.

We try and incorporate some kind of service into our week and weekend. That day we decided to pick up trash along our hike. I was surprised at home much trash people had left everywhere. SO MANY STARBUCKS CUPS. Come on people. That's just ridiculous! 

Taryn was itching to climb everywhere but it was a bit crazy. We let her go as far as possible but she ended up having a few meltdowns because she couldn't go further. Even older kids had to stop where she did so we didn't feel bad. It was dangerous and everyone knew it (but Taryn.)

Love this man of mine. 

My favorite story of the day came when Tyson went to grab the car so he could pick us p in a different parking lot, so we didn't have a cross a super crazy busy street and risk our lives again. 
The girls and I decided to head back down to the river bank to wade in the water while we waited for Tyson. 
Well the girls were hoping rocks and touching the water and then Haddie screamed louder and longer than I have ever heard her do. I didn't even think twice. I skipped over those rocks so fast to grab her after hearing her terrified scream. I stopped her up just in time to see a crawfish swimming by her foot. She was terrified and still panicking. She thought it was a giant water spider coming after her. 

I had a good laugh after saving her and Taryn got to see a boy standing near by pick the crawfish up in his hand.