Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Old Town Scavenger Hunt

Today we spent the morning wandering around Alexandria searching for clues about George Washington!  I made the boys use directions-like head West on Cameron Street until you see the White Clap Board House.  They even had to use the compass on my phone.  Alexandria is such a quaint old town and we love spending time there.  The day was such a success, I might have to plan a few more hunts before summer's end.
We visited Wise & Gadsby's Tavern. Wise's Tavern is where Washington was first referred to as Mr. President, which is a moniker that has stuck with each succeeding president.  Gadsby's is an Inn that Washington frequented and where Thomas Jefferson held his Inaugural Ball.
We visited Washington's Town Home and even sat in his Pew at Christ's Church. The kids especially loved walking through the cemetery in the churchyard. They were morbidly fascinated with the graves, some of which even explained in detail how the person had died nearly 300 years earlier.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cooking with my MINIONS

I love cooking with my kids. I think it is a fantastic learning experience for them and an amazing way for me to develop my patience.  I saw a picture of these adorable Minion cupcakes and thought it would be a great summer afternoon activity.  (SHH! The kids think I am totally amazing and that I had the idea all by myself!!)
The best part about these treats is that there are enough steps to keep each kid busy throughout the entire process.
Atley's job was to follow the directions on the cake mix and make it entirely on his own. Of course this job included licking the beaters.
Nash was in charge of opening and cutting the Twinkies in half and helping me ice the cooled cupcakes.
Harley had to line the cupcake pan, sort the Smarties, and then add/eat the blue sugar sprinkles on the iced cupcakes. Meanwhile the boys decorated the Twinkies to look like Minions.

They were so proud of their finished product that they opted not to eat any until their dad got home.  At first I thought, what a tender little sacrifice but then I realized they actually weren't eating them because they were already too full of batter, Twinkies, Smarties, icing and sugar sprinkles to find the cupcakes in the least bit appetizing.

Pin-tastic Carpet Cleaner

The highlight of my weekend was cleaning the carpet in the kid's bedrooms. Lest you think I am being facetious, I am not. I used a cleaning recipe I found on Pinterest and it worked like a charm. The carpets look brand new!  So, exciting.

Combine 2 parts peroxide and 1 part Dawn Original Blue Dish Soap in a spray bottle. Spray stains or entire carpet. Let set for a couple of minutes and wipe/brush away stains. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Washington Nationals

Flying home and a couple of days later when I took the kids to a Washington Nationals baseball game, there was one comment that kept repeating. People would walk by and say, "Wow! You're brave." Like I was taking three baby grizzly bears out in public in hopes they wouldn't attack others when they got hungry. They are tiny HUMANS people! Sometimes their behavior is far from perfect but being in a public setting is a great place for them to learn and grow.  Anyway, I'm off my soapbox.  Now on to the fun we had at the game!

 William Taft, aka Bill, won the President's race! Teddy biffed it at the finish line and I lost a dollar to the boys!
We ate at Shake Shack at the ballpark. My favorite, YUM!

 Harley's first cotton candy EVER!!


 Oh! The agony of being a sports fan. The Pirates scored 4 runs in the 9th inning to tie the Nat's 7 to 7!
 "I see Bryce, but which one is daddy?"

 Bryce Harper hit a home run in extra innings to win the game.  It was such a perfectly lovely summer day! How can I make summer last all year?
Happy DANCE!

We're Back

It was hard to say goodbye to our friends and family in Colorado. Scott surprised us by showing up last weekend. It was great having him there for a few days. We had such a fun time. Here are a few random pictures of our adventures.
Harley playing with mommy and granny's old Barbie Dolls.
 Swimming with cousins!

 A night at the drive-in.


 Tons of fun at the Carnival.
 Plenty of trips to Sonic, where you can also take your horses through the drive-through.
A great visit with Scott's grandma. And although I somehow forgot my camera during each visit, we also spent a lot of time with my Grandpa and Grandma Edgar.  Grandma made us cookies and lunch more than once.  My kids are so lucky to have such amazing Great-Grandparents who they know and love.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Taos, New Mexico

Taos is about an hour and a half from where I grew up. As a child my Grandpa and Grandma Edgar used to take me there on selling trips. My grandfather made jewelry and cut turquoise and he sold some of his items at the jewelry shops all along the plaza.  I love to go back because it reminds me of those fun trips with my grandparents.

To get to Taos you must cross the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.  I remember walking across it as a kid and thought it would be fun to do the same with my own children. But, about half way across the bridge I totally panicked.  I made my mom come pick me up in the car. The boys were very disappointed in their mother. What a weenie!

Only around Taos are cow crossing signs equipped with UFO sighting warnings as well.  Plus it is the only place I know where FBI stands for Full-Blooded-Indian.

One of my favorite spots is the Twirl Toy Store. It isn't just a store but an outdoor playground as well. It wasn't easy prying the kids away.

In Taos nobody judges you if you switch sides from Cowboy's to Indian's.

In Taos there are plenty of treats for everyone and beauty wherever you look.