Thursday, July 16, 2015

Getting ready for Molly's Birthday party

Molly has been planning her big 6th Birthday party for months now. It will be next week so we are getting down to the wire and need to finalize our plans. The invitations already went out so the countdown is starting.  The Theme of course is My Little Pony.

Today (yes I am posting pictures of something I did and I actually took pictures of today!) I wanted to give one of the activities we have planned a go before that day to make sure it works alright.

I bought a package of white undershirts (that is the cheapest option, 6 shirts for 5$ at Walmart!) and the kids are going to color a My Little Pony character.  I wanted to make sure the markers I have work alright on the shirts since I didn't buy fabric markers.

 I traced a Dr. Hooves onto a shirt and of course had to put a Tardis on the back. The kids then took crayons and colored them in. We gave it a quick iron and there is the finished shirt.
Molly loves it! I guess it is a success. My big kids want shirts of their own now. I guess we we will have to get some more undershirts in their size so they can do this project too.

Now I need to come up with a plan for the other activities at the party.

Midsummer Night's Dream

 Mid May Sophia saw the Audition Notice for a play the town was sponsoring. It was Shakespere's Midsummer Night's Dream. Sophie really wanted to audition so I took her. She ended up with the part of Mustard Seed.  She has been doing practices three times a week through all of June and then once July hit it was every night.
 Quite a crowd gathered for the performance.

 Here are the Fairies and Tatiana doting on Bottom with the donkey head.

Of course I went to the performance and forgot to grab the camera. So you get the poor pictures I could get with my phone again.  

The Stage was great. The director of the play is a high school drama teacher and did a wonderful job on the set and getting the best performance out of all the adults and kids in the play.  He ended up playing the part of Oberon in the play. 

Sophie had such a good time doing this play. She was good about riding her bike to and from practices most nights and really got a taste for performing.  I have a feeling she will want to do more in the future. I hope they plan to do another play next summer.

Our Fourth of July

Our little town had a parade on the Fourth of July. We sat with a bunch of our friends and watched the parade. Mostly it was cars with town businesses/leaders and such throwing candy. The candy was the big excitement for the kids.

Sophie's group of actors who are performing Midsummer Night's Dream in the park walked the parade in costume to promote the play. 

After relaxing in the afternoon we went and helped clean the church since it was our Ward's (The newly formed ward) turn.  And then headed to our former Bishop's house for a BBQ and Fireworks.

A rather laid back 4th. But the kids loved getting to do sparklers and watching the fireworks close up. Henry especially was riveted. This firebug would have loved to get to light them. As we drove home that night the kids said "This is the Best Fourth of July Ever". I guess that means it was a success.

A month and more with nothing to show for it. Here is June!

 Most of the month of June was spent hanging out at home trying to keep up a somewhat reduced school schedule. We tried to do Scripture, Math, reading and Piano everyday. Tried is the word. Once all the other kids around us were out of school for the Summer my kids seemed to think they didn't need to do anything anymore either. But we did make it outside quite a bit for bike rides. Molly finally let us take her training wheels off. She hadn't really been using them when she rode but told us she still needed them for curves. I tried to explain that she didn't really need them even for the curves. She only heard them then because that was the only time they actually touched as she rode.  I took this quick shot of her riding the first time without her training wheels with my phone. Junky camera but at least I caught the moment. She zips along quite well now. We take bike rides to this or that park around our town about 3-4 times a week. 

Cub Scout camp happened in June too. 

 Ian went to Cub Camp as a Youth leader. He was assigned a Wolf Den to mentor and help with.

 Henry is still a Bear so he attended camp with some of the other scouts in his Den.
 They played frisbee

 Shot off water bottle rockets.

 And dissected owl pellets.
 He was lucky to find a complete skull of a rat. Upper and lower jaws still attached.
 Here is Ian's group doing their skit
 Sophie also spent the week at camp as a Youth Leader. She had a Webelos group she was assigned. Molly spent the week at the Tot Lot and loved every minute of it. She got to play with friends, do crafts, and watch movies. I spent the week helping out with one of the classes. I was in charge of the service project that they scouts did for the USO.

 All four kids also had an informal piano recital at the end of June. Lessons continued through most of the month and they each played pieces they had been working on.

Ian played The Entertainer, and the Star Wars march.
 Sophie played Alexander's Ragtime Band, William Tell Overture, and
 Molly's pieces were Yankee Doodle and BaBa Black Sheep.
Henry played Mozart's Minuet in F and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

On one of our 100+ degree days (Which also happened to be discount Tuesday) we all headed to the movies to see Inside Out. We all loved it! I especially loved the short film Lava.

We hung out at the Mall for a bit after the film because she didn't want to leave and head out into that heat yet. So the kids played chess.

That about sums up our June. Oh wait.... some fun/important info for June too was that our Ward split. We are now in the newly formed ward and I am no longer the Primary President. What a relief! That is one very time consuming calling! Our new ward still ended up with most of the kids so our Primary isn't smaller by much. I am just happy to have a less demanding calling. Maybe that means I may have time to actually blog. We will see. I need to take my camera with my more. My phone's camera is really junk and that is often what I am stuck with because I forget to bring the actual camera.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 7 - Last day - John Adams

Our last stop on our trip was Quincy Mass. (Pronounced "Quinzy") 
This is the Birthplace of John Adams.
 Evidently at the time he was born this was Braintree. But as Braintree grew they had to divide up the town a bit and Quincy was one of the parts separated off.

After finding the visitor's center in Quincy we joined a tour and got on a trolley that took us to Braintree to see the actual homes where John Adams was born and then later raised his family.
 The upper right window was the room where John Adams was born.
The guide called it a "Salt box" house. Two stories in the front and one story in the back. 

 Here is the home John Adams brought Abigail home to after they got married. This is where they lived for the next 20 years. So this is where John Quincy Adams was born and where Abigail lived and farmed while John was off being an ambassador and such.

The colonial flag flies over the property here.

Another Saltbox house.
Just to show how close these two houses are to one another. John Adams didn't move too far from home when he married. I guess it was nice to have family close by when John was away for years at a time.

After another short drive on our trolley we disembarked at Peacefield.  This is the house John Adams and Abigail settle in when they return from France. It was much smaller then and the guide explained that it was a bit of a fixer upper. The Adams' (Four generations called this home) added on several times to this house.

 The smaller building off to the side of the house is "the first Presidential Library", not officially of course. But it was a library built by John Quincy Adams' son Charles to hold all his father's books. The Adams family really loved books and John Quincy Adams had books in 10 different languages in his library.

 I really wish we could have taken pictures inside the buildings. The home was lovely and certainly much grander than the two saltbox homes that they had lived in and that we had toured earlier.

 The grounds were lovely! Everything so green and the flowers seemed to all be blooming.

 Our trolley dropped us off back in downtown Quincy.  A short walk down the street was the Church of the Presidents. Not an official part of the John Adams tour but we figured it would be a good place to finish off our visit with John Adams.

 This is where he is buried.
 Here is the crypt where John, Abigail, John Quincy and his wife Louisa are all buried.

 There were flags on each of the presidents. Take a close look at the one on John Adams. How many stripes and stars are there?  15 stripes and 15 stars. This is the flag as it would have been when he died. They hadn't yet set the standard as 13 stripes and a star for each state.

Here is John Quincy Adam's flag. He has the 13 stripes and 24 stars.

 We sat in the Adam's pew and the guide told us more about the church. This wasn't the original resting place for any of the Adams'. They have a family crypt across the street where the other member's of the family are laid to rest. This church was built after they had already passed.

 Their descendants still attend services here at times. Usually for the birthday wreath laying ceremonies and such.

 Did I say that was our last stop? I was wrong. We had one last place to visit before heading to the airport to fly home.

 While driving around in Massachusetts we joked that there was a Dunkin Donuts on every corner. It was such a joke we tried to google how many there were in the Boston Area. After doing a bit of research we found out that Dunkin Donuts originated in Quincy and that they outnumber Starbucks 10 to 1 in the area. We think that ratio is even greater because we hardly saw any Starbucks and everywhere we looked we saw Dunkin Donuts stores and everyone had a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup.  80% of their sales is in coffee.

 So we visitied the original store that started it all. It was only a few blocks away from down town so it was rather convenient.

 No coffee for us but we did get a Boston Cream Donut. YUM!
This truely was the last stop and we headed to the airport after this. We were ready to return home. We missed our normal life and families at home.

This is what we brought home for them.
Some Boston Baked Beans candies, Historical recipe hot chocolate, a magnent that says "Keep Calm and eat Chocolate" and another magnet for the fridge from Boston's Freedom Trail. There were some Little Women Paperdolls Sophie picked up at Orchard House. A Fife for me. I wanted to see if it was like playing a flute.  We brought the boys some Thanksgiving madlibs and a musket pen to do them with. Sophie picked up a lovely anchor bracelet and a snowglobe (not in the picture) from Plymouth.

That was the trip. Travel always wears me out. I am happy to be home.