...a blog for the friends and family of dan, jen, worthy, william, calvin & christian

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Piano Practice

Worthy & William are both taking piano lessons.  It's really a pleasure for me to hear them practice at home.  And I'm not quite sure how it came about, but they don't complain about practicing.  Believe me - this is NOT because of any excellent parenting move we figured out. It's just how it works.  Don't get me wrong there is plenty of things they voice objections over - just not this.

Here's a snippet video of Worthy practicing some runs.  I should have edited out the beginning, but it just cracks me up too much.

Worthy & William are both having recitals in a couple weeks and they are each doing a duet with Dan.  It's been really endearing to hear them practicing together.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Udvar-Hazy Center (Air & Space Museum companion facility)

 We've had some cold weather lately and we all were suffering from cabin fever.  We needed to get out and run around a bit... so we decided to go to a museum.  Generally, I wouldn't advise visiting a museum to run, but when it's in a ginormous air hanger it's probably okay. It's the companion facility to the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum.  It's called the Udvar-Hazy Center.
It was awesome.
We'd heard tales. Unbelievable tales.  Truly.  We didn't believe them.  We assumed there was a lot of embellishing happening.  The museum was truly everything fantastic.
half of the main air hanger
 One of the highlights was a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. Of course being the well rounded, intelligent gal I am I knew exactly what this was the moment I looked at it read the sign.  Dan actually did have boyhood knowledge of this and was really thrilled to see it up close.  
Dan & Worthy with the Blackbird
it is a visually amazing aircraft
Without a doubt the highlight of the museum was the space shuttle Discovery.  I expected it to be immense, but was unprepared for how amazing it was. We were able to hop in on a free tour that was in progress and the engineering details and information was remarkable.  I'm so glad we got to hear an expert talk for awhile on it. 

They had so many aviation things there, but this really caught my eye.  It's Charles Lindbergh's wristwatch. I think it is so handsome.  If I were a designer of such things I'd definitely be recreating this for Dan. 
So classic.
On a heavier note, they also house the Enola Gay which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.  The immensity of the craft shouldn't have surprised me, but it did.

It was an amazing day and we got out of there just as the snow started to fall.  
So we capped off the night with a warm fire, snuggling and Doctor Who (season 8) which all our boys love.  
Some days things go so much better than I can plan or imagine.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Christian's Playdough

Our sweet baby boy, Christian, doesn't really enjoy playing on his own.  This should probably come as no surprise to me since he has three older brothers and rarely has the need or opportunity to entertain himself.  My other three were and are self-entertaining.  I was never their Entertainment Coordinator.  It wasn't until Worthy was about seven that I think he used the word "bored" in a self-referential way. So it was always hard for me to empathize with people that had kids that were needy in that way.  I never had it... until now.  I get it now.  
Christian is an extrovert in every sense.  He wants action, entertainment, involvement and an audience.  When his brothers are occupied and even when they're not... I become his target.  All this to say... we've finally discovered something that holds his solo interest.  Playdough!  Yes.   
Historically, I wasn't a huge Playdough fan.  The mess was usually not worth it for the 15 minutes that it occupied my other boys.  This guy is different.  He can easily solo Playdough and play for as long as it takes to make spaghetti from all the 6 cannisters we own. My sweet OCD boy will even clean up afterwards.
I'm sure he's learning wonderful tactile things, etc., but what I honestly love is the 45 minutes of quiet I get.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Maryland Science Center

This past week we went to the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore.  Calvin declared it the Best Museum Ever.  And indeed... it was really cool.  We went on a field trip with a lot of kids from Worthy & William's co-op. When we first arrived the kids split up into older & younger groups and conducted experiments that the curator talked them through.  
William testing an acid and a base
After that we were free to explore the rest of the museum.  Everything was hands-on and each of the kiddos took full advantage.  I was a little unsure if Christian would be able to engage, but he was OverJoyed. I hardly saw anything in the place because I was continually counting kids.  One, Two, Three... where is Four??!! It was great to see them so curious and eager to engage with the exhibits.
Worthy's highlight was joining his friends in the Hurricane Simulator.  It basically just pumps hurricane force winds.  I think it got up to about 75mph.  He was thrilled.
They had an area devoted to dinosaurs.  The kids were able to grab paint brushes and help excavate dinosaur bones (or at least simulate that...)
They had some life-size dinosaur replicas and their tracks as well.  It was so fun to look at them and remind the boys (which they remembered!) of when we saw real dinosaur tracks in Jura, France on vacation. 

 William was very intrigued by the Maryland Blue Crab.  I can't wait to introduce him to them this spring with a little Old Bay sprinkled on top... he'll really love them then!
They also had a bed of nails there.  The kids would lay down on the "bed" and the nails would move up, lifting them a few inches.  They were quite impressed.
It was such a fun museum.  We really had a great day and it was so special to enjoy it with friends too.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Calvin loves to paint.  Really loves it.  It's usually a daily activity in our home.  He can honestly sit for an hour or two and do nothing but paint abstracts.  My older two boys never really got into painting, so it's neat to see the vivid differences between brothers that have so much in common.

We got him these awesome paints in Vienna for Christmas in 2013.  He was separated from them for 9 months, so he's making up for lost time.
 Another piece of priceless artwork.
I love that he loves creating things.