Friday, February 26, 2016

National Air and Space Exploration

This past weekend we went to the National Air and Space Museum by Dulles Airport.  It was so cool!!! We had been wanting to visit for a while as this was where they filmed a portion of Transformers, The Fallen.  We are Transformers fans and liked that movie a lot.  Had just never gotten around to visiting this museum.
There are lots of planes and historical aircraft that are in this museum.  This is Lydia and Emily "holding up" one of the jets.  Ryan has a picture like this too, but it is on his phone and I never managed to get a copy.

This was the first plane to land at Hiroshima.
This is the "hanger"/door that the Prime Transformer went out in the movie.
This is the Space Shuttle Discovery.  After its last mission, it was flown to Dulles airport where it was then placed in the museum.  It is the real deal!!
 Same thing, just a little closer.
 This is the back of Discovery and the kids below it.  So huge!  However, the door that the Discovery had to come in was even bigger.  Check that out.  Yep, that is Lydia and Emily standing in front of it.  You can hardly see them!
 Not sure how well you can read this, but this is some information about Discovery.
 It is not a model!  It is REAL!  Can you tell this was my favorite exhibit that day?  This is a picture taken from up under the back wing  You can actually see the marks where the fire, from re-entering the atmosphere, "kissed" the underside of the wing.  So amazing!  Makes you want to continue with that childhood dream of wanting to be an astronaut when you grow up.  
Ryan found his own plane!
 This is a tower that you can go up the 7 flights to observe.  It is an observation deck as well as a set up of an air traffic control center.  When you are at the top, you can overlook Dulles Airport.
 And the plane that made us think of Grammy.  The Waterman.  My mom taught at Waterman Elementary School for 35 years.  Or 38 years.  I am actually not completely sure anymore.  :)  Anyway, she has been retired for some time, but thought of her when we saw this one.  The older planes all look so funny.
This was a great trip and a great day.  As we were leaving, there were a ton of huge planes flying overhead as they were leaving Dulles.  If you have never been, highly recommend the trip to this free museum.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

All City County??? What??!!


All of the high school and middle schools in our area participate in the All City County Honors Band each year.  The majority of the Middle School honors band is compiled of 8th graders and the high school honors band tends to be juniors and seniors.  However, there are kids that are asked to be part of honors band who are not in these grades and Ryan was one of them.  I was so excited to see him and was BLOWN AWAY by the talent that was on the stage for both middle and high school!!  The best of the best for both and the songs they learned, they learned in less than a 24 hour period.  CRAZY!!  Middle school played 4 songs.  Songs they had never played before, with kids they didn't know and learned everything in 8 hours of one day and 5 of another.  THAT'S IT!!!  High School played 5 songs that they learned in the same amount of time.  It was amazing!  They even had a different director that they didn't know.  Had to learn from someone else.

Sadly, I could only hear.  I was not able to see him.  I have not learned where to sit when my child is shorter than the drum he stands behind.  I have no pictures, but did video tape and you can hear what he is playing. In coming out of the auditorium, we ran into a family from our church.  They were there seeing their daughter who is in high school.  They said "Ryan was great!  He was really wailing on those things wasn't he?!"  I almost cried when I said "I couldn't even see him!  I was sitting in the wrong place.  I have no idea where to sit."  Their son plays the drums too, but was not part of the all city county.  They said they learned where to sit before their son was taller than the drums.  Much like Ryan.  They told me where to sit the next time.  I just hope I get to see him next time!!! 

Thankfully, his band director took and sent pictures of the kids to the parents.  They were taken the day before when they were learning the material.  Better than nothing I suppose.  :)

Ryan and the All City County Band Middle Schoolers from Ryan's school.  Just wish he would have been holding drumsticks or something.  :)  The guy in the middle is Mr. Todd.  He is their band director.  Yes, I know he looks like one of the students, but he is an adult.  :)  He is such a great guy and so good for the kids!  He works very hard with them and has taught Ryan everything he knows.

This is the band director who directed the middle school kids for the event.  Ryan had never met him before that day, but said that he liked him.


Monday, February 1, 2016

Had that big snow--now we are done

Last week we were out of school for a few days because of the snow.  The weather reports called for anywhere between 5 inches and 60 inches.  It was kind of stupid how broad the forecast was, but as it turns out--we got about 2 feet of snow.  Thankfully it did not last long, but while it was here the kids really enjoyed it.  We did realize that we needed to get the snow off of the trampoline quickly as it weighed down on the springs.

This is something really silly to share, but I was so happy with the end results!  When the kids were younger, I purchased snow bibs, boots and gloves for them all.  As the years have gone on, we have handed down outgrown ones to each other and Ryan has often worn clothes and boots of mine.  We often wear slicky athletic pants over sweatpants because I just have a hard time justifying paying for all of these things when we often have one big snow a year.  Seems like we can just make due for that one snow.  And they do.  Last year, I made note that all of the hand me downs were completely outgrown and the boots I loaned Ryan and then loaned Emily, had lost their soles.  Hard to use that way.  So, I knew this year I had to break down and purchase some more snow stuff.  The kids are at the age where they still like to go out in the snow, but they never stay long because they often get too cold.  Lack of proper clothing.  :)

The snow forecast was calling for snow to start on Friday.  On Thursday, I thought about the fact that I had nothing for them to wear if it snows the next day.  It is bad that I tend to think of these things in the 11th hour.  I called several places to find that all the thermal gloves in the city were gone.  I called and found that many places no longer had boots in stock.  I did find three pair, and the woman on the phone said she would hold them for me.  In addition, I found a sled (was down to only one of those last year too) that someone was selling on our work classifieds.  When I talked to her she told me about another person on the classifieds who had bibs and snow pants that they were giving away.  Jenny (my friend selling the sled) had grabbed them up to have extras for her older kids who don't play in the snow too often anymore.  She said I could have them since I could not find snow clothes anywhere in the city.  She also had an extra pair of bibs that her kids used to wear.  She gave us those as well.  I picked up the boots and layered several pair of gloves along with work gloves that seemed to push the water away a little bit.  THEY HAD THE BEST TIME IN THE SNOW!  For the first time in a few years they stayed outside all day long.  They took Loki out a few times, but since he doesn't have snow pants to wear, he got cold quickly.  We went sledding and had a blast.  Loki ran up and down the hill over and over following everyone and running in front of the sled a time or two--he seemed to enjoy getting run over though.  At one time, Ryan exclaimed, "this is the driest I have been in the snow ever!"  Of course he had been drier, just years ago and he does not remember.  I felt like a terrible parent knowing that he has been cold and wet for so many snows.  By far, the BEST snow we have had in a long time.  This, coming from a person who does not like snow at all.

Loki, Lydia, Ryan and Emily dressed in their new snow clothes.  Wish you could see their boots.  :)

We gave our wagon away several years ago.  The kids have been wanting to wagon Loki around, but have not had a wagon to do that with.  So, Ryan pulled out the fertilizer spreader, put a towel in the bottom and wrapped Loki up and let him ride in there.  It was so funny!!  Mike and I looked at them through the window and said (at the same time) "Looks like ET."  Though the picture was taken from inside and is not that good, you get the ET look.  Too funny!

Sledding fun!!