Friday, August 30, 2013

Museum Trips

I love how Abigail happily cuddles with her family. She is so loving, especially since she doesn't see them very often. I'm sure Nana loved cuddling with her cute little granddaughter.

While Nana taught piano lessons every day, we would go on our own trips. While we waited for the metro, she happily colored on the new color wonder book that Nana gave her. This was a great gift and we used it lots during this trip.

I've been to DC enough to know that Tuesdays are the best day to visit the Natural History museum. The Discovery room is open and the butterfly museum is free. We went to the discovery room again this trip and she was so fascinated by all of the exhibits and all of the opportunities to explore. She loved the x-rays, the measuring tape, the dress-ups, the fossils, the magnifying glasses, and the microscopes.

I was excited to make her try on this dress that is made be some of the natives in Panama, it reminded me of my mission there.


She is turning in to a pretty good photographer. I did hear the ocean.

I was proud of her for being careful with the fragile items. This room is so great. I think she colored at least four pictures here too. She also spent quite a bit of time looking through the binoculars. I am not so very good at getting the binoculars to focus where I want them to.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

New Swimming Suit

I am always worried about my little pale faced child getting sunburns. I like to look for rash guard swimsuits. My sister Kristy made her little girl a cute body suit last year and so I commissioned her to make one for Abigail this year. I ordered some fabric online (which I wasn't impressed with and for which the shipping costs were more expensive than the fabric. Blech!) and had it sent to Kristy. She then made this cute swimming suit for Abigail. My mom went to Utah for a quick trip early summer to help my sister Karolyn prepare for her upcoming wedding and Kristy sent the suit back with her. We forgot to ask for it and Kristy had to call us to see what we thought about it before my mom remembered to bring it out.

Abigail was ecstatic. She danced and posed and showed off her swimming suit.

This video is hilarious. Poor, poor Benjamin...but, don't tell him. ;)

We've used this suit a lot this summer and she gets lots of compliments on it. It also has a cute skirt that goes with it and a matching flower. I heard that Kristy had enough fabric to make a matching suit for Katelyn. Too bad we were too busy on our Utah trip to get them together for a swim. Abby would have loved it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

On The Road Again

The ten-hour drive went better this time. Last year I traveled to Texas by myself and had quite the challenges on the drive. It is so difficult to drive when a needy child wants me to hand her food, be her DJ, hand her toys, and entertain her. I always try to pack lots of toys, games, food, digital devices, etc. This time seemed to go better. I was especially pleased with the "Fancy Nancy" audio books that we downloaded and listened to on the drive. She even napped some. I listened to "Harry Potter" during the times on my drive when she was happily entertained or sleeping.

Being in the drivers seat also seemed to help me avoid car sickness in the mountains of West Virginia.

She immediately began loving on Chessie as soon as we arrived. She wanted the dog to climb up onto her shoulder and sleep there just like she does on Nana.

We also celebrated her four and a half year birthday. She has been anxiously awaiting this day as many of her friends were four and a half before she was. She is going to be sad when they turn five before she does. :)
We found four and a half candles and made some cupcakes, but there were no presents. This movie makes me laugh, you would think that by 4.5 she would be able to blow out her own candles. Sweet girl.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Summer Fun!

She still always asks for a butterfly. This $1 was well spent, the woman did a great job.

The balloon race was a no-go. The weather seemed perfect, but they never lifted off. We had fun hanging out and playing, but were sad that we still have never actually seen the balloons race. This is the second time we've gone and had it cancelled.

We went to the parade the next morning and found this bridge ahead of time. Abigail now asks for me to take pictures of her and videos of her. She wanted me to video her as she walked across this bridge.

We had fun with friends as we watched the parade.

Such a cute group! Little N. really wanted the butterfly wings.

The mini cars were a real hit.

This coffin on wheels also was fun, although somewhat disturbing.

The parade was part of the Great American Brass Brand Festival. We missed some of the festivities, because we left the parade and immediately began our drive to Maryland. Benjamin was out of town working in Utah and so we decided to take our own little vacation. More about that to come soon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wrapping Paper

Instead of buying premade "boring" wrapping paper (that costs money), we have started using butcher paper. Abby spent a long time personalizing this present for her neighbor friend. This is even more personalized than a card. I was proud of her for working so hard on it and I loved how the rainbow and the spirals turned out. I outlined the number four for her and she colored it in.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Panning for Treasure

We also spent time at the visitors center and learned a lot about the falls and how they have been receding for many years. We learned about how people used to be able to swim below and walk under the falls. We also heard about people who went over the falls in barrels, some survived and some didn't.

In the gift shop we bought a super touristy, gimmicky toy for Abigail. It was a bag of rocks with gems and fossils hidden inside of it. Then we took it outside and were able to wash away the small rocks and reveal the treasures hidden inside. This was worth the money (maybe). The experience was so much fun for Abigail and she loves her fossils and shark teeth. Her father later, at home, went through and helped her know what each item was called and when it had lived. Abby shows them to everyone that will listen.

We also hiked down to the beach below the falls and watched some fishers fish. Abby played in the sand and collected shells, while we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

After lunch, we packed up and headed home. We were very pleased with our camping experience and were glad that we made the effort. It really was so much fun.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cumberland Falls

The next morning we went to the visitors center and then walked over to see the falls. Everything was paved and protected with railings. I have heard that in the past there were no fences to protect children from falling. Even so, I was still nervous to be so near dangerous cliffs with my little girl.

The cascades were amazingly beautiful, I can't explain it, but it brought tears to my eyes. The weather was perfect and we loved seeing everything. Abigail wasn't near as patient as she had been the day before. She wasn't as fascinated by the geology as her parents were. She just wanted someone to play with her and spent quite a bit of time pouting. She was much happier once we got her to the beach.

These two are so sweet together.
The scenery was beautiful. This is the view right before the falls. It looks so calm and peaceful. We even saw a water snake swimming around.

Abby collected shells, shells, and more shells. She was not happy when we finally tried to take her to see the actually falls.

Her pockets were full.

The mist from the falls made a breathtaking rainbow.

This tree was the perfect size for her to snuggle in to.

Cumberland Falls Lookout.