Aug 19 2014

First Day of fourth grade

It’s hard to believe it is that time of year again!  School started this week.  Somehow my babies are growing up quickly and now are in 4th grade.  Praying that they have an amazing year, packed full of fun, and learning.  Thankful for these two sweethearts and looking forward to another big year.

Fourth Grade

Ready for the first day of 4th Grade!

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Jun 28 2014


Relaxing at the hotel and watching the traffic for a few minutes while we figure out our evening plans!

 We arrived at our next stop Reston, Virginia!  Thankfully, it wasn’t too far to drive from Colonial Williamsburg and the traffic was really good.  We had reserved our hotel room in advance at Weston, however, by the time we arrived they didn’t have any more of our size rooms so we got free upgrade to a suite with two rooms and a refrigerator which was really nice.


So happy to be hanging out with these 3 people, my sweet family!


 Brina socializing while Karlie finds a place to lounge and catch up with her current book!


 Cool open area in downtown Reston area.  A bunch of kids were riding bikes, skating, and playing in this covered area.  They also use it to host community concerts.


 Hanging out by the water fountain after walking through the downtown area.

Travel and Vacation - Exploring Colonial Williamsburg

We finally decided on Clydes restaurant after walking through the downtown area.  It was a nice family restaurant and we were seated in the western style area with lots of horse memorabilia and pictures so they girls thought it was great!

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Jun 28 2014


Our wild crew at Colonial Williamsburg in front of the Governor’s Palace!

We had a chance to explore Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia on our recent road trip up the East Coast!  It was our first big stop an our road trip.  After driving to the area the day before we spent the night at a local hotel and were up early the next morning with our picnic lunch packed and ready to explore the area.

Jake had to work on Friday so for the most part it was just the girls and I exploring  Colonial Williamsburg.  He did get to join us for a little bit over his lunch break though which was really nice.  It was a lot of fun seeing so many neat historical places.  The girls did the quest exploration and scavenger hunt.  My phone didn’t work in all the areas so we didn’t finish all the quest activities, but we did get our prize for completing the scavenger hunt.

Last year in school the girls studied a lot of about the American Revolution, Civil War and more in Social Studies so this adventure really ties into some of the items they have been learning about in school.  Colonial Williamsburg is like taking a step back into America’s past during the time of the American Revolution.  There are hundreds of restored buildings, exhibits, homes, government offices, trade shops, museums and more to explore.


We’ve made it!


Hiking along the path to the next location to explore!  This was a neat bridge with a stream and path running underneath it, nice and cool on a hot summer day!


Brina and Karlie outside the Governor’s Palace!


Beautiful display of pistols with the family crest in the entry way of the Governor’s Palace!


Standing in front of the fire palace with a small portion of the weapons on display in the palace.  The Governor’s Palace had impressive displays of muskets, pistols, swords, curve-blade sabers and more!  The hundreds of weapons visible once stepping into the house was meant to both wow and intimidate you.


More weapons displayed on the stairwell.  Brina really thought they did a great job hanging the guns!


Touring the gardens at the Governor’s Palace!


Jake with his girls near the palace greens!


George Wythe House and gardens!


Exploring inside George Wythe’s house!


Wow, he was studying some really cool scientific items.


Playing the game of “Pick up Sticks”

Travel & Vacation - Colonial Williamsburg

Watching him hand-make cedar shingles for a building at Colonial Williamsburg!  The fresh wood shavings smelled awesome!


Oh no! Brina and Karlie in the stocks, what did they do?!


Touring the print shop!  Wow, there are some BIG books!  Karlie loved it!


Brina all smiles!


Grinding up seeds of grain.  This is going to take forever if we want to make some homemade bread!


Outside the capital building!

We had a blast exploring Colonial Williamsburg!  The girls were ready to stay for a week and explore even more.  We only had the one day at Colonial Williamsburg along our road trip, but we packed in a ton of activities into that one day.  Thankfully, we started early and were able to get through a large portion of the items that the girls wanted to do.  It was really neat learning what it would be like to live there during the time of the American Revolution.  All the people were very friendly, helpful, and it was a great day with the kids.  We were all exhausted by the time we got back into the car later that day and headed back onto the road towards our next destination.

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Jun 25 2014


Karlie having fun and being goofy on the road trip.

On the road again….! After a full day of work, horse camp, packing the van, and more fun we set off on another road trip adventure with the whole family.  The kids are excited and we have several days worth of fun on the road planned.  We get to go to a few places we’ve never been before so that is always fun for the family!


Road Trip Game ideas (here are a few that we played on this particular trip):

  • Road Trip Bingo – you can buy a road trip bingo board or create your own if you know some of the items you will be seeing such including road signs, building, national monuments, animals, etc….
  • I Spy – you don’t need anything to bring for this game.  You just have someone say “I Spy With My Little Eye” and the rest of the family has to guess what object they see whether in the car or outside of the vehicle.
  • License Plate Game – how many of the 50 states can you see while on the road trip, if I remember correctly we got 37 US states and even some Canada ones too!  It was the closest we have ever come to getting 50 states!
  • 20 Questions – this does not require any prep or packing either.  Have one person think of a plant, animal, or thing and the rest of the family gets a total of 20 questions to determine what object they were thinking about.  The person answering the question can only answer “yes” or “no” and nothing else.
  • Animal Game – the first person to spy an animal or pen of animals (a herd counts as 1 point) gets one point.  If there are different types of animals in the same pen or location (such as horses, cows, donkey, etc…) they can get additional points for each type of animal if they call them out first.  Wild animals or unique farm animals (other than birds) such as deer, coyotes, emus, llamas, etc…. get a bonus 5 points for each type they see.  Our rule is at least one other person in the car must see the animal as well.
  • Car Game – everyone picks a different color of car and gets a point for every car they see with their color.  This game works best in a quieter traffic or two lane highway since in a big city the score keeper will have a harder time keeping up and it becomes a series of yelling “I see a red, white, blue, green…!”
  • Historical Marker Game – the first person to see something of historical significance gets a point.
  • ABC Game – this one is great for areas with a lot of road signs or billboards.  You start with the letter “A” and find a written word that starts with that letter than move onto “B” and so forth.
  • Car Color Bingo – we picked the car color “yellow” and the first person to spy a yellow vehicle would call out “Bingo yellow Penske truck or Bingo yellow convertible, etc…” and they would get one point per vehicle they spotted.  Another person had to see the vehicle to count and the majority of the vehicle had to be yellow in order to count.

These were a handful of the ones we played on our road trip.  Hope you enjoy some of them if you are going on a road trip too!  It is a great way to pass the time and have fun.  We all want road trips with the whole family to be fun and pleasant for everyone!

East Coast Road Trip

We stopped for dinner at a Chic-Fil-A along the way and let the kids run around in the play area for a few minutes while we waiting for the food.  It was a great way to let them stretch their legs and have fun.  It helps break up the time just sitting idle in the vehicle too.

Our family enjoys road trips!  It is a fun way to spend extra time since we are all packed into the van together.  While in the car we have plenty to talk about, games to play, snacks, videos to watch, audiobooks to listen, and even summer workbooks to complete, stories to tell, memories to laugh about, books to read, and more so the time goes by quickly!  Yes, we are one of “those” families that make their kids do summer workbooks to keep them up to speed during summer vacation, although we don’t necessarily make them do it everyday (road trips are a great time to get a few pages of some workbooks done).  Even though we have a DVD player in our van the kids are not allowed to watch it very often.  It is our rule that unless the trip is 5 or more hours the DVD never gets opened.  Since we had a 40 plus hours of driving ahead of us the kids were excited to watch a few DVDs on this trip!  What do you do to make road trips fun for your family and break up those long hours in the vehicle with the kids?

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Jun 25 2014


What a great week of fun and learning at Welcome Ranch!  Thanks Ms. Lisa!

 The girls were able to do a week of Horse Camp this summer at Welcome Ranch!  They always enjoyed getting there a few minutes early to say “hi” to all the farm animals on Ms. Lisa’s farm before camp started.  Both girls love horses and animals so camp is always an activity they look forward to during the summer.

Welcome Ranch Horse Camp and East Coast Road Trip

Brina on the move around the ring!


Ready to ride?  Karlie all smiles while Brina holds one of the cats at the ranch!


Karlie all decked out waiting for her turn to ride.  Ms. Lisa always has some special surprise or something different to do each day in addition to taking care of the horses and riding lessons.


Brina leading the horse back to the barn!


Finger painting their names and designs onto Reno, who was being a good sport standing still with all the kids around him!


I didn’t get a picture of all their finger painted drawings, but I did get a shot of their names!

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