Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mike & Brenda's visit and Memorial Day Weekend

Mike and Brenda came to visit us in New Hampshire and attend an Andrus wedding in Boston.
Their first day here I took them to the nearby Robert Frost farm where we toured the farmhouse and learned about the Frost family.  We also went to a exhibit of art inspired by Frost's poetry and went for a nature walk at the Audubon Center along Lake Massabessic.

 We had gorgeous weather the whole time they were here.  Spring in New England is the best!  They spent Friday sight seeing in Boston and Saturday busy with the wedding.

 Their last day here we went to Lexington and Concord.  This picture is yard and boat house of the Old Manse house next to the North Bridge in Concord.

 We toured the Orchard House, where the story Little Women was written by Louisa May Alcott.  The Alcotts lived here and inspired her stories.

It was so great having them visit.  They shot hoops with Curtis and listened to music with Trevor.

It rained for a solid week after Mike and Brenda left.  Jonathan and I worked hard to finish the raised-bed garden boxes so I could plant my seedlings. 

 We're trying "Hugel Kultur" gardening, using natural ingredients like decaying wood, compost, chicken manure, peat moss and vermicullite.  We're growing potatoes, onions, corn, peas, beans and squash.  Next is the drip irrigation and row covers for cold nights and season extension.

 Jonathan got a nasty spider bite that turned into celluitis.  He had two injections of antibiotics, then a course of oral and topical antibiotics.  It's feeling a lot better, but will take awhile to heal completely.
By the way, the bees are doing great; building lots of comb and filling up the cells.

We had a few families from church over on Memorial Day.  The kids skateboarded down the driveway and ran around the yard.

Hensch's brought their instruments for a jam session.

KJ was excited to finally get a bull's eye!

Monday, May 13, 2013

8th grade trip to Washington D.C.

I was lucky enough to by-pass the lottery of chaperones and be selected to accompany Curtis on his 4-day 8th grade field trip to Washington D.C.  We saw lots of museums, memorials and monuments.
 "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope"  --MLK Jr Memorial
 FDR memorial has four courtyards (one for each term) with fountains, gardens and statues

The Jefferson memorial is my favorite.  

We went to a one-act play describing the Lincoln assassination at Ford's theater.

 The capitol building (it's much bigger in person)
 The 2nd night we went on a cruise (dinner and dance) on the Potomac.  We spent most of our time on the deck watching the sun set.

The Newsuem has some great exhibits about newsworthy events in the last century.  Curtis is fascinated with the presidents who have been assassinated.  The top two floors of this museum had blown up photos of JFK and his family.

 We walked along the gate of the White House.  We didn't see Obama there, but Curtis spotted him in a gift shop (albeit 2D).

I was glad Curtis got to see all these things in Washington D.C. so he would know they are not just characters from the movie "Night at the Museum."

 Reflecting pool in front of Lincoln.  The Washington Monument has been closed for renovation since an earthquake two years ago.

Curtis' bus group (one-third of the 120 kids from his school on the trip).

Our last stop was to tour this ship (USS Barry) and the museum at the U.S. Naval Yard. 

We also visited the American History Museum (has one of the three remaining sun stones from the Nauvoo temple and a cool U.S. coin collection), Natural History Museum, Aerospace Museum, Arlington Cemetery, and ALL the War Memorials.

Curtis did great on this trip--he had a great attitude and enough energy for all the walking around.  He shared a hotel room with 3 other boys.  I think the highlight for him was the yummy all-you-can eat buffet meals and of course soda.

Dinos, Birds and Bees

 During Curtis' Spring Break (end of April) I took him to the traveling automated Dinosaur exhibit

Last week I went with Curtis' 8th grade group to tour Washington D.C. (another blog post). Part of the tour was visiting the National Zoo.  Emily Maloy and her kids joined us and we saw lots of birds.  They are good friends from Bend that now live in Maryland where Wyatt is in Medical school through the Air Force. It was great to see them. Emily is expecting #6 any day.
Sheryl, Emily, Ian, Amanda and Keith (Dokey)

Ian, Dokey, and Mary

On Mother's Day, we picked up our two packages of bees (10k each) and installed them successfully in the deluxe hives Jonathan built.

The queen comes in her own cage.  The other bees eat the candy cork to release her inside the hive gradually.

Curtis was nervous at first, but after suiting up and watching Jonathan, he jumped in and helped (he's brushing strays into the hive box so they don't get smushed).  No bee stings yet!

Missionary Send Off for Jason

Jason came home for 12 days before leaving for his mission.  We spent a lot of time shopping for his missionary wardrobe and having wholesome recreational activities.

Playing miniature golf with mom and brothers at the fun park.
Cooking brats in our backyard.

Saturday before he left, Jonathan and Sheryl went with him to the temple in
Belmont, MA for his endowment. 

 Uncle Carl picked him up at the SLC airport and dropped him off at the Missionary Training Center with a quick hug and "see ya in two years."  Carl said he was very calm.

Up until a few days before Jason left, he wasn't sure he wanted to go.  He felt the spirit strongly his last Sunday here and knew it was the right thing for him to do.  He wasn't able to call home on Mother's Day but sent an email.  He loves his companions, was surprised to be made a zone leader ("just the MTC;won't be too hard"), and is praying intently and feeling the spirit.  He also said ever since he walked into the MTC he's felt a stronger desire to be obedient and live more righteously.