Saturday, June 27, 2009
After all this excitement, we went in to celebrate the birth by eating ice cream! Cheers! LOL Anna was no longer scared, and kept talking about how they were going with their new baby to the hospital. In fact, she's mentioned them today as well, LOL. And after it got dark, we watched a lovely fireworks show that was also part of the Tattoo over at the Air Force Museum. What a memorable evening!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Wednesday was an all-day day of fun. We started out over at Amy's house. The boys played baseball and ran around in the water on that very hot day. After lunch, Bob volunteered to take the girls home to nap, and I stayed behind to visit with Amy, while the boys kept on playing. Bob and the girls came back a little after 5:00, and we headed to a different house for dinner!
We went over to Fred and Marie's house, which is on 6 acres out in the country. Marie and I both went to Cedarville and graduated in '95, and we both were married in college to Air Force husbands! Bob and Fred actually worked in the same building while we were finishing up college. Now they are stationed back at Wright-Pat again. They also have 7 kids and homeschool, so we have lots in common. It was so fun to get together and catch up while our kdis all played! Their oldest is a boy who is in between Nathan and Luke, and then they have 5 girls. They also have a baby boy, who was born back in October. You can imagine that Anna was in heaven with all these girls around! She's been getting her emotions mixed up lately, so as we were leaving, she told the girls, "I love you! I'm so mad!" LOL. Nathan, Luke, and Samuel played some soccer, but Nathan was fairly unenthusiastic about everything, which is really out of character for him. As we were leaving, I realized that it was most likely the day spent in the presence of cats, along with him having to take benedryl over at Amy's. That'll take the edge off! Anyway, it was a lovely evening, and we were very envious of their beautiful house, garden, and most of all, acres of land right by the bike path!
Yesterday we took it easy. Bob took the boys bowling at Wright-Pat. The bowling alley has an "eat and exercise" deal where you get shoe rental, 2 games, and $3.50 for the snack bar for $6.00. Of course, the exercise is bowling, and the food is typical snack bar fare, albeit with fancy bowling names, so I'm not sure this is a healthy option for lunchtime exercising, LOL. The boys had a ball, though, and they are back there again today. I headed down to the teacher store in Centerville yesterday afternoon to pick up some stuff for the Egypt unit I'll be teaching at our co-op this year.
This morning, Anna, Grandma, and I went to Great Clips to get Anna's hair cut by a professional. It has grown in really wonky, and I needed someone who knew what they were doing to kind of just even everything out. It looks cute, although not all that much different from the front. Now maybe I'll be able to keep up with it. The sides need to grow out more before it can all be even. Anna did really well.
On Sunday afternoon we're heading down to KY to visit another family for a few nights. Fred and Marie's family were just a warm-up because this family has 9 kids and are expecting #10! I've know Carri for years, ever since we both worked on staff at White Sulphur Springs in the summers when I was in high school. I am so excited to see her again and meet her family! We're going to stay at their house, which is a converted milking parlor, for 2 nights. The boys are going to sleep in a tent, which Nathan and Luke at least are VERY excited about! Then when we come back we'll stay with Amy and Jason for 2 nights before heading back home and leaving Nathan and Luke here with my parents for an extra 10 days or so. They're going to take part in a camp on flight principles at the Air Force Museum during the mornings. I hope it's fun!
Monday, June 22, 2009
We started out in the "Lower Egypt Gallery". Here they had all these pillars, door frames, and other parts of a palace that a man from the museum had excavated back in the early 1900's. This sphinx had guarded the palace. Apparently, after the pharoah's death (no one you would recognize, most likely, and I'm too lazy to search for it right now), the palace burned down. It was buried in ash and mud, which preserved it until the archaeologist discovered it. The body of the sphinx was under the mud, but the head was exposed to the wind and sands for thousands of years, and it wore away his face.
Next we moved through an amazing rotunda, which was totally huge. The whole building was so old and fascinating, and this rotunda was a beautiful part of it! It housed artifacts from China, including a bunch of Buddhas, but also this really cool crystal ball.
Next we moved on to the Upper Egypt Gallery, which had a lot of mummies exhibited. The mummies in the display case were the "youngest" mummies on display, from around 1000 B.C. There were others that were much older. One of the mummies had been removed from his bandages so you could actually see what was left of him. It was definitely a "him" too, since they preserve all those parts too. The boys were quite amazed by that. Ewww.
We drove to the house of my friends from college, Sandra and Phil. They live in this beautiful house, the stone part of which was built in the early 1700s. A builder completely restored it and added on a large kitchne, family room, and master bedroom suite. It was so lovely!
Saturday we drove into downtown Philadelphia after breakfast. We started out at the Betsy Ross house, where Betsy Ross herself told us that we were one of the few families she had seen that had an average amount of children for the time! She also pointed out that we looked like a troop of Redcoats, since I had done the matching red shirts again. Whoops!
We then walked over to a large Quaker meeting house, which had a little exhibit on William Penn that was interesting, not to mention free. I am all for that!
It was so great to have someone like Phil around, who was very knowledgeable about downtown Philadelphia, since he grew up in Philly. This was a great boon at lunch time, especially. We had brought a cooler for a picnic lunch, but with all the rain, where could we eat? He suggested a food court place, the Bouse or something, where you can also take food in. This sounded great, so we walked over there. It was really crowded and I was wondering where we would ever find tables all together. Then he said we would go downstairs, where they had cafeteria-style tables. There was plenty of room there! This is where students on field trips would come to eat their lunches. Inside information--it makes life much easier!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Sunday, June 14, 2009
We got him a food dehydrator! And not just any food dehydrator . . . we got the Nesco FD-1018 Gardenmaster, complete with 8 trays, 8 mesh sheets for drying small things like herbs, and 8 fruit roll sheets. We figured if we were going to use the electricity to dry stuff, we might as well be able to dry a whole lot of stuff at one time! This dehydrator has a variable temperature setting, so you can be sure your beef jerky is drying at a hot enough temp, but your herbs are drying at a low enough temp. Also, it has some fancy air-flow thing so that the stuff takes hours, as opposed to days, to dry. It also came with a big book on how to dry foods, as well as the little basic intruction manual. Nathan was THRILLED! He really, truly was. He immediately started going through the bok and marking recipes and things he'd like to try. First off was jerky, which he absolutely loves to snack on, but which is very expensive in stores, and is filled with nitrates to boot. After Bible study, we got out an old flank steak from the freezer, and he made up a teriyaki marinade while I sliced the meat. We marinated it overnight, and then he put all the strips on the trays (it took up 3 trays) at 10:30 in the morning. We dryed the jerky at the highest setting (160 degrees) for the first 4 hours, as the book said to do, and then we moved the temperature down to 135 degrees for the remaining time we could make some apple/pear fruit leather at the same time. Nathan did the peeling/coring of the fruit, with some help from his brothers, and he pureed everything all by himself. Three apples and 3 pears gave us 3 trays' worth of puree. Here is the finished beef jerky! It was done around 5:00, so it took about 6 1/2 hours. It was SOO delicious! Even Luke, who doesn't like jerky, really loved this. We all gobbled it down. By last night, there were only a few lone pieces left, all of which are gone today. I was wishing we had this thing before my gestational diabetes--this jerky would have been the perfect thing to take along for snacks when I needed my protein! Here is the finished fruit leather. It was quite tasty as well. Everyone except Caleb loved it. Caleb was disappointed because it didn't taste like "real" fruit-roll-ups, which of course are filled with sugar, LOL. He'll get over it.
We are actually making an unplanned trip to the commissary tomorrow afternoon to get more beef and fruit for more dehydrating adventures. We did a ton of research, and I must say that this machine is living up to the good reviews it got on Amazon. It is incredibly easy to use, it's quiet, and we can fit a lot of stuff on at one time. Best of all, we got it for a great price because of the Memorial Day sake! I hope we get lots and lots of good use out of this thing for many years!
Friday, June 12, 2009
*CVN-68 is the USS Nimitz, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, so the others after it are called "Nimitz class carriers". Bob was on the Nimitz for a retirement ceremony when he was the aide to the admiral who was DCINC of USSPACECOM, back in our Colorado days. He also got to fly out to the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) with the admiral.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The doctor didn't give me too hard of a time about putting her to sleep on her tummy. I guess they have to say something, even though most babies sleep so much better on their tummies, where they don't startle themselves awake. And now Faith is pretty close to being able to roll from back to tummy, so then she'll be able to get herself over to her own tummy and choose her own sleeping position! Right now, she can turn from tummy to back, and when she does this, she fusses around for awhile until someone come and turns her back over to her tummy. Then she goes off to sleep.
The doctor also told me that they are now recommending babies stay rear-facing until 2 years old. Can you believe that?! I mean, it's really probably safer to never put your child in a car at all, so when are they just going to start recommending that? And frankly, with the super-nanny democrats in office, it's probably just a matter of time until they pass that as a law--"Don't drive with children in the vehicle." Good grief.
So Faith is a healthy, happy baby. I tried to get her to smile today for a picture, but she was having none of it. She had shots yesterday, so she wasn't as cooperative. But in general, she still rarely fusses, and she absolutely adores all her big brothers and sisters, who adore her in return. What a life!
Friday, June 05, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
This has been, and will continue to be, a week of special things. Sunday afternoon the McCs took their canoe out for the first time this year, and they asked Bob and the boys to go with them. They all had such a blast out there on the river! They reported getting lots of questioning looks at their big group of boys (8 boys, 2 dads). I'm sure everyone assumed they were a boy scout tropp or something! The girls and I went over to their house at dinnertime to help Christine, who made dinner for all of us when the menfolk returned. Then the boys played street hockey for awhile while we visited. So fun!
Today we didn't do school, but instead went over to the church for a playgroup in the morning. It's every first Tuesday, and it's for all women, not just moms with young children, which I really like. So today a newly married woman came as well and visited. She's a nurse, so she was off today, and we all enjoyed getting to know her better. The kids ran around outside and played on the swingset, and then we had a picnic lunch, so that was fun.
Tomorrow night we're going to drive down to Richmond after Bob gets home from work, and we all get home from Bethesda where Caleb has a doctor appointment at the horrible time of 3:20. I'm hoping we get home by 6:00! After we grab a quick bite to eat, we'll leave for the house of Bob's sister Ann and her husband Wally. We are going to go to Busch Garden Williamsburg with them on Thursday (although the weather is looking like it will be cooler and possibly rainy! No!). Busch Gardens has that specail deal where active duty military members can get in free for one day, along with 3 dependents, so we are going to take them up on that! Who knows how much longer Bob will be active duty?! Ann is getting 3 kids tickets at her parks and rec department, so for all 9 of us to get in, it will cost us $105! That's a lot of money, but not anywhere as much as it could be, considering the regular admission price is $59.99 for an adult, and we have 3 adults--wait, I think Luke is one now too--Ack!--and 3 paying kids, who normally cost $49.99 a person! Ann and Wally have season's tickets, so they really know their way around. Hopefully it will be a really fun day for everyone, and not too crowded. We're going before all the schools let out.
So you can see that Jonathan is not lacking special things with which to celebrate his birthday! We're having his birthday dinner tonight (he requested tacos), but I'm not making his cake until next Friday's Bible study. I'm making another joint cake for Jonathan and Nathan (yes!), which is going to be a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, with airplanes out of fondant, if I can make it work. Amy P. sent me a recipe for fondant using marshmallows that she said tasted a lot better than store-bought fondant, so I'm going to give that a go. I can't stand fondant, so I'm thinking anything has to be better, and Amy is an excellent cook!