Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baseball Drake

Drake has discovered baseball and he is crazy about it. He was on an excellent team this season, which made the championship tournament fun. His team, the A's, ended up third. He liked his coach and his teammates.

Drake usually ends up in the outfield. Many of his teammates have played since T-Ball and are on two teams so are getting twice the exposure currently. All of this places Drake at a bit of a disadvantage but he loves it anyway. He has taken to reading novels with a baseball element and likes to study up on the MLB players and their stats. We like that he is enthusiastic about something other than video games.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fort Monroe

One of our outings while grandparents were here was going to Fort Monroe. Though we have been before, it is a singular place and was worth visiting again. Older than the Civil War, much of its famous history was made during the Civil War. One of its nicknames was Fort Freedom because if slaves could make it there, they were considered contraband of war by the general of the fort and could expect freedom. It is also where Jefferson Davis was kept imprisoned at the end of the war while he awaited trial.

Check out this battle scarred flag that is on display there. I love the flag! I have to say my favorite part of the whole day was putting each one of my children behind bars. Sometimes, they really do deserve that. :-)

Walking along the top of the fort allows views of the surrounding water. You can also see where the cannons were kept. It was a nice day so it felt good to be outside.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Zoa is a Teenager!

Zoa turned 13, much to our dismay and without permission, on March 14. Grandpa and Grandma Terry were here for the occassion. It was so fun to have them here to visit and share in her celebrations. Unbeknownst to me, one of her unfulfilled life ambitions was to go make a Build-a-Bear. She followed her younger sister's example and did that rather than have a party with friends. Her end result, quite honestly, was the thing I thought the cutest in the store, outfit and all. She is a cute bunny with a denim and gingham dress that Zoa named Chloe. Dreams do come true!

We spent a lot of time trying to find a dress for her birthday gift. That is what she wanted most-a real dress to wear as an alternative to the skirts and shirts she often wears. The shopping trip was frustrating because all the dresses we tried on in stores for juniors were too short. We finally had to ditch those and go to stores for women. We found a beautiful dress in a size 0 that flattered her nicely. It was excellent to have Grandma there to help us stay optimistic and sane. We ended the day with a lovely cheesecake because that is Zoa's favorite. Of course we also had to have icecream. Again, dreams do come true!

I love my teenager. Horror stories abound and I realize she still has time to go off the deep end if she wants to but thus far she is delightful. She has proven herself to be a kind and level headed girl with a true desire to do what is right. I greatly enjoy our talks and time together. I receive compliments about her quite often. She is on a good path. Love that teenage daughter of mine.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Manteo, North Carolina

 One of our favorite things about living here is the many opportunities we have to explore significant historical sites. On one of Ben's rare free weekends, we drove down to North Carolina to enjoy the sand dunes where the Wright Brothers performed their first flight experiments at Kitty Hawk. We have been there before but our kids love playing in the sand. Afterward, we went to Manteo, North Carolina. They have a replica of the ship that came over even before James Town was colonized and became the "lost colony" because they are unsure what happened to them.

The kids enjoyed exploring the ship's tight quarters and trying their hand at different ship tasks, including swabbing the deck. (Do you think if I start asking them to swab the floor, rather than sweep or vacuum, they will do it? It does sound more fun.)

There is also a replica of the village there. We were highly entertained watching the blacksmith. She had several more intricate things on display that she had made but the day we were there, she was making nails. Each of the kids got one.

We also tried on armor and scraped the fur off a piece of drying hide with seashells just as they would have back in the settlers' day.

In the museum, the kids tried on clothes from the period. Zoa even tried on the butt bump. We thought it quite funny that they wanted to accentuate their backside.