Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sewing Camp

Olivia did a sewing camp through the Greensboro 4-H last week. She spent 5 full days learning how to pick fabrics and sew by hand and machine. The made these little quilts called "fidget quilts." They have various items sewn on them that can be touched and manipulated. Generally this kind of quilt is for babies to play with, but they sometimes use them with Alzheimer's patients because the activity can be calming and stimulate brain activity.
She had a lot of fun and is now begging to go to the fabric store so she can start on a new project at home. :)

Friday, July 7, 2017


One thing Olivia has is hair in abundance! It's incredibly thick and, when taken care of, can be absolutely stunning. But it's also difficult to brush and is like a thermal blanket, so she asked if she could get a haircut and donate the hair to Locks of Love.
She looks amazing! And all that hair will make quite a wig for someone special. :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 4th

This year, we wanted to see some big, professional fireworks, but still wanted to go to our friends' farm in Pleasant Garden like we've done for the past couple of years. So we compromised and went to a Greensboro Grasshoppers game on July 3rd so we could teach the kids about baseball and get to see the fireworks after the game.
 They had a lot of fun cheering for the Hoppers, who beat the Asheville Tourists pretty handily, 12-4. There were some tense moments early when the Tourists hit 3-straight home runs, but the Hoppers had a 9-run 6th inning to put the Tourists away for good.
 We were sitting in the second row along the first base line, which happened to be where the pitchers for the Tourists sat along the wall. This allowed Emma and Irene to get up close and see the players.
 Emma spotted the little knob-thing on top of their hats and kept reaching over to poke it on a player's head until the usher came down to send them back to their seats. The Tourist player never even looked up at who was poking him. :)
 One convenience of sitting in the section we did was that we were close to the playground for when the kids got a little bored with the game. 
 At the end of the evening, it started to rain, and while it was heavy enough that I didn't want to pull the camera out, it wasn't heavy enough for them to stop the fireworks. It was a big, non-stop display that was practically right over our heads. The kids all loved it!
They've asked if we can make the baseball game a family tradition from now on. We'll have to see... :)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Camping with Nana and Pop-pop

Nana and Pop-pop came through town for a couple of weeks on their way north from Florida as they went on their yearly Summer Tour and we thought it would be fun to stay a few days with them at the Oak Hollow Campground in High Point where they parked their RV. It was also about 20 yards from the edge of Oak Hollow Lake, which made for pretty views.
 The sites we got was pretty, flat and right across from N&P's RV, so we could just walk over whenever we wanted to hang out. We ate together, played games, and just sat and talked. I wish Ihad pulled the camera out for the games of Sorry that were played! :/

 Despite my kids' love of technology, this was actually a rare sight that week. It just happened to be a good shot of all of them together...
 The sunrise on the lake was gorgeous!
 Mealtimes were always fun.
 We had some visitors who kept hanging around looking for anything the kids were dropping. I couldn't believe it when this little girl waddled right under the table as they were eating! Of course, I told the kids to not give anything to the ducks because it's not good for them.
 The campsite had a nearby playground that kept the kids busy in the middle of the day.
 It also had a pool that was helpful on one of the blazing hot days we spent there. It actually turned out to be the hottest and sunniest day, with the others being kinda cloudy.

I'm sure you've noticed that, except for the pool, Olivia's not here... She and Rebecca left after the first night to go on a retreat for the Bar and Bat Mitzvah students from our community to have those special Mother/Daughter conversations. I'll have to have those same conversations with Gabe and Ezra in the coming years... hoo boy.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

USS North Carolina

Day 3, still raining. Today, we took a drive up to Wilmington to see the Battleship North Carolina, which goes along with the Sea and Sky curriculum we did with the boys.

I've lived in NC for a total of 20 years (besides our 5-year stretch in CO) and I had never been to see this ship. It's HUGE!
The boys got a kick out of the huge guns, but thought it was cooler that they could actually touch the smaller ones and pretend to shoot down planes.

That's a big shell... not the kind you want to find on the beach.
There were all kinds of cool interactive exhibits on the ship for the kids to touch and experience.

Of course, Ezra and Irene were hungry and demanded to be fed...
Even though the kitchen was permanently closed. ;) Walking around, it seemed like such a big, open space inside the ship, but then you consider that they had 2500 men working, sleeping, eating and bathing inside her and you realize that it was probably pretty tight quarters.
Manually steering the ship from the belly of the ship was apparently an optin they had if there were damage to the Bridge or steering controls.

This is one of the many policies I'm considering instituting at home... You leave your stuff out, it's an extra hour of work to get it back. The kids were not excited.
For entertainment, they had movie projectors they could use in the Mess Hall. They also had ice cream and candy they could buy, a post office, and an on-ship newspaper. 
These are the kid of bunks I wanted to put in the kids rooms, but could find anywhere for sale. They fold up against the wall to make space to move around when nobody's sleeping in them.

The "Navy Shower"... another policy I'd like to implement for the kids...
The pharmacy was way impressive... I guess when you're out to sea months at a time, you'd better be able to make your own medicines.
They even had a surgical bay on board.
The doctor had some decent quarters, but they weren't exactly roomy, and they still had to share the showers with the rest of the men.
I told the kids to weigh anchor, but they failed. It as just too heavy for them.
On the bridge, the kids got to see where the real controlling of the ship took place. 

Ezra, the crotchety Captain.
Quite a view...
Gabe and I learned how to plot the position of friendly and enemy ships.

Ezra figured out how to tell the engine room how many RPMs to set the propellers for by turning these little brass wheel.
On the way out, Ezra wanted to sit in an anti-aircraft gun. It was crazy just how big even those were...

After I walked the rest of the family towards the exit, I took a quick run back to the Engine Room, which we had somehow missed on our tour. It was incredibly cramped with all the pipes and such, so it was hard to really make out anything that made a decent picture until I found this console. That's a lot of dials and gauges to watch... Cool note: see that brass plate with the 3 squares in it? the wheel that Ezra turned on the Bridge changed the numbers in those squares to tell the Engine Room how fast to go.