A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, August 18, 2017

DaVinci's Machines in Motion at the Aerospace Museum

If you're thinking, "Haven't you guys been to the Aerospace Museum before?" you're right.  Almost a year ago, actually.  We went on a field trip there right before Josiah left for boot camp last September.  You can read about that here.  But the DaVinci Machines in Motion exhibit is there for another week or two, and I wanted the kids to see it.  My older kids vaguely remember it from the last time it was there, several years ago.

I think Hannah should have been on a step stool for this picture.

We decided to go outside and look at the airplanes first, before it got too warm.  This is a retired Blue Angel.

Some of the planes were open for people to go inside, which the kids really enjoy.

There's a lot of buttons and gauges in the cockpits!  Makes me appreciate the skill needed to be a pilot.

Jack has decided he wants to be in the Coast Guard someday, so I figured I'd take a couple pictures of him with one of the Coast Guard planes, on the off chance I can use them to embarrass him a little later in life.  Because that's how we roll.

The next 5 years are going to fly by, and he'll grow up and pick a direction, whether that's USCG or not.  This coming year will be full of change for him, and I'm looking forward to seeing where he's at a year from now, but I'm a little nervous about the growing pains between now and then.

But enough of my maternal ramblings, back to airplanes.

Inside one of the Coast Guard planes.  Yes that's Boy and Brianna in the back row.

Hey, look!  I was there, too!  After leaving the Walk For Love and realizing there wasn't a single picture from that event with me in it, I'm trying to be more intentional about getting in some of the photos, instead of always being behind the camera.

I'm sure there's some fascinating scientific explanation for all the long noses on the jets, but I don't know what it is; I just wanted to touch it.

Brianna touched everything.  Wings, propellers, noses.  It's okay, we used hand sanitizer before snack time.

One of the D Day planes with invasion stripes.

It was like touching a piece of history.

Although this is an air museum, there are a couple vehicles, too.  Jeeps, a fire engine, an army ambulance.

This little guy is new, and we were told that it's the only one that was made.  It belonged to the Air Force, and is a turboprop.

This was actually the first picture that I took when we arrived, before the high school kids dispersed (I can't say "teens" any more now that Jack is 13!)  On the left is Eli, his friend A, and Katie.  On the right we have Boy, Brianna, Jack, and Hannah.

This was Leonardo's precursor to the modern day tank--which would not be a reality for another 400 years.

He was obsessed with coming up with a way for man to fly, and several of his inventions deal with flight.

While the leather swimming mitt (perhaps inspired by webbed duck feet) never took off, the life preserver is still in use today.

The show DaVinci's Demons (affiliate link) is not at all to be taken as historically accurate, but there were a few points from his known life that showed up among the wildly imaginative story line.  

A display dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen, the squadron of black pilots, navigators, bombardiers, etc. of WW2.

Soon, we'd played with many of the hands on exhibits and seen most of what there was to see, and it was time to make a quick pass through the gift shop and head out.

There's a great space themed park next door, so we all had a snack and then the kids played for a while before having to get back in the van again.

Boy bought a little airplane model glider thingie and assembled it while we munched.

The many ways up and down make this the perfect park for chasing games.

I love that these two humor me when I ask to take their picture.

Not all of the youth are as agreeable about photos.

Eli's been in a no pictures phase for a while, but this was too cute not to share.

They're adorable together.

I'm excited for Katie to have PE at school this year, so she can start learning playground games and sports.  She's more physically active than Hannah is, and may be more interested in doing a team sport later on.  And I think it's awesome that she can climb a rock wall in a dress.

After playing for a while, we left so Brianna and Boy would have time to go get haircuts.  A good time was had by all, and it was nice to have a sort of "final field trip" before the high schoolers head off to school on Monday.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Haircuts, Volunteering, and a Party

I think I might be ready to give up Our Week.  This is the second week in a row that I haven't managed to post until Tuesday of the following week.

So what have I been so busy doing?  Well, I spent some time at the SPCA, learning how to socialize cats.  Which kind of makes me giggle, since homeschoolers get the whole, "What about socialization?" question.

Again, I feel like I learned a lot.  Did you know that there are more black cats in shelters than any other color cat?

The main 3 cats I interacted with were all black.  The volunteer I was working with said it's not unheard of for a dozen out of 15 cats in care to be black.  I didn't take any pictures in the multi cat habitat, but I think it's going to be one of my favorite places to hang out.

Brianna and Boy washed my van and his truck this week.  The quality wasn't great, but at least they knocked the dust and bugs from our Nevada trip off.

Here's how I know school is getting close.  Back to school haircuts.  Eli wanted something different, which was outside my comfort zone, so I took him in.  Looks an awful lot like what I usually do, except now he has no sideburns.

And in the interest of giving Hannah the ability to do her own hair, she got bangs and we "trimmed" about 5" off the length.  (It's in a ponytail in the "after" picture.)  We're still figuring out what's going to work in terms of barrettes, but the goal is that she will be able to do it herself.  She's 10.

So, I've talked before about being the "snack lady" at BloodSource.  These are some of the yummy treats available to you when you come in and donate blood, platelets, or plasma.  If you are able to donate, and you haven't in the last 8 weeks, I hope you'll consider making an appointment at your local facility to donate.

When I was volunteering this week, Brianna came in after a Future Soldier event with her recruiting station (and other local stations).  She is not eligible to donate blood again until September, but it was fun to have her hang out with me while I did my thing.

I got a nice boo boo when something fell on my foot.  I've always been squeamish about injuries to the top of my feet.

We went on a long drive recently, and we saw oodles of windmills.  Being the interactive mom, when I noticed them in the distance, I said, "Hey guys, do you see the windmills?"  The older kids pretty much ignore me, but Hannah and Katie are still interested, so they looked.  Katie spotted them.  Hannah did not.  For miles.  Note to self:  get her in for an eye exam.  It must be time for new glasses.  I called this morning, and she's scheduled for October.

Brayden had a birthday!  We went to his party, which was held at the little community center/park on base.

Always fun to check out a new playground!

Zach and Brayden.  I love watching him parent.

Right before the pinata, "Hey Brayden, gimme your grr face!"

Katie and pinata.

Hannah and pinata.

After all the children had gone through, I asked if Jack could take a crack at it, and he knocked it open.

Brianna and Eli fighting with the pinata whackers.

Brayden blows out his candle.

Katie and Grammy with party blowers.

Brianna with the photo props.

Heather making balloon animals for the kids.  She's so talented!  I'm bummed her face isn't showing.

The teens are ready to go.  They wandered away from the main room because it was too people-y.

Chillin' on the playground.

I guess he's not my little boy any more, eh?  Love my boy.  So proud of him and his little family.

The next day, the girls were still playing with all their party loot.

And Jack still had candy from the party the next day.  Yeesh, won't be long until this one is taller than me, too.

Paul took me out to lunch, and my fortune cookie said, "Your boundless heart will make room for one more."  Made me smile.  I usually toss fortunes, but I'm using this one as a bookmark right now.

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