National Museum of the U.S. Air Force11.21.12

While visiting in Indiana over the summer Carol and I took the kids on a super secret road trip to somewhere cool and exciting near Dayton, OH – or specifically the National Museum of the United States Air Force.  When looking up things to do this seemed like a good option.  It was reasonably close to Indy to accommodate a day trip, there was no entry fee, they had food onsite and best of all it was chalked full of anything and everything that could, did or might one day fly.

There is no pamphlet that could ever come close to doing this place justice – no way – no how.  This is the best museum I have ever been too related to aviation – ever.  I think it might even top or at minimum rival the Smithsonian in D.C. – hard to say though since my visit there was in eighth grade.  Regardless, the Air Force museum was top notch from the moment we entered when they opened until we were ushered out the doors when they closed.  A long day of walking, reading, sightseeing and generally staring in disbelief at the sites surrounding you in three massive hangers. (more…)

Posted in Carol and Israel, Isaac, Jacob, Kids, Photos, Piper, Trips, Violetwith No Comments →

Leisurely Labor Day09.05.11

The kids are back in school, summer is at its height and the daily scheduled grind has taken hold.  Thank goodness for the break brought by Labor Day.  We had not ambitious plans and wanted nothing other than to spend some time with the kids and enjoy our time off.  There was plenty to do however that we talked about through the summer but just couldn’t fit in so we planned to take full advantage of our few days of free time and get in some activities with the CoTC.  Specifically we wanted to see the DragonCon Parade, Atlanta Aquarium and Stone Mountain Laser Show.

DragonCon was back in town and while I would have preferred to have purchased tickets and gone sightseeing at the actual show, it was cost prohibitive to take all the kids – even if the cost was right there was no way I was taking them to wait for tickets in the six hour line that literally wrapped around the block.  The parade was a good second and something I had never seen as well.  The kids loved it.  We found a nice spot to watch above the road and behind some glass that we were able to squeeze in to – certainly better than being at ground level with four munchkins that couldn’t see over a shrubbery.  The costumes were pretty awesome and all of us had our favorites.  Jacob took the only pictures with his camera and the rest of us just soaked it in.

Next up was a walk to the Atlanta Aquarium.  We had been planning to take the kids here all summer but just couldn’t find the time to do it.  Labor Day probably wasn’t the wisest choice in timing though as it was packed wall to wall with people.  Crazy.  Oh well, tickets had been purchased already online so at the very least we were able to bypass the ridiculously long entry line and head straight in.  Having been many times in the past we were hoping to see some of the new exhibits that had been added such as the dolphins but they were not open unless you purchased another ticket specifically to view them.  We instead took our time strolling from room to room and soaking up the sites.  Many times just sitting in front of a particular wall and watching everything swim around.  We managed to time our trip to the main viewing room of the large tank in time for the feeding of the massive whale sharks.  The biologist would drop buckets of krill onto the surface and the whales would basically inhale massive amounts of water and filter it through their gills each eating twenty pounds or so of these obviously delicious morsels per bite.

We did not end up going to Stone Mountain as it started raining early in the evening.  With the laser light show changing this year to something new and supposedly now in a type of 3-D where it looks like they are inside of the mountain we were bummed and will hopefully get to check it out before the season ends.

All in all a great weekend with the family.  Lots of time away from the house but also plenty of time at home to just take it easy and chill.

Posted in Activities, Family, Holidays, Kids, Photoswith 3 Comments →

Reading Rewarded Rightly Riding Roller Coasters08.14.11

The kids are challenged by their school to read, read, and read even more.  All in an effort to get them reading at or above the state mandated reading recommendations for their age group and class.  The program is called “Read to Succeed” and requires the kids to read six hours of material over two months.  We take the program a step farther and turn reading into a nightly bedtime requirement.  Thirty minutes before lights out the CoTC head up to their rooms, grab their latest chapter book, board book, Lego magazine, game manual, or whatever might float their fancy for the evening and partake in some serious forced leisure time.  More often than not they pass through several books during this time and certainly rack up more hours than required by the program.  The reward for this challenge is a free ticket to Six Flags Over Georgia.  That is quite a great deal for us as well since kids tickets run $45 and adult tickets are $54.  Lump that into a quick buy one get one free coupon for Carol and I and we end up getting a day of fun for something we would enforce regardless of the program requirements.

Our family outing to partake in combating Georgia heat exhaustion while getting our thrills happened to be this weekend.  Everyone was excited and pumped to go.  We spent the evening prior with the boys watching various rides on YouTube so that they knew what they were getting into if they decided to ride some “real” roller coasters.  Isaac thought there were all cool but wanted nothing to do with actually riding one.  Jacob adamantly wanted to ride the Mind Bender.  The girls had recently been to Kings Island in Ohio with Grandma and Grandpa and were psyched as well to see what Six Flags had to offer.  Weather checked, bag of snacks and water packed, sunscreen applied, we headed out toward adventure.


Posted in Activities, Children of the Corn, Kids will be kids, Photos, Tripswith 1 Comment →

Zoo Atlanta07.13.11

Today the boys and I adventured out to Zoo Atlanta. It was an exhausting 100 degrees, and the boys were in go-go hyper mode. They were so excited, like children in a candy shop. Mommy mentally and physically could barely keep up…. Lol.

DSCN3302.JPG Boys cooling off in the misting fans, lol.


Posted in Activities, Isaac, Jacobwith 1 Comment →

Skate Country07.12.11

Today I took the boys to Skate Country. As a child “Skate Country” was the place to be, but as I have grown I tend to forget about these cool places. The boys and I have been searching for “BIG” kid things to do and came up with a list. Today Roller Skating was chosen and with much excitement. The boys were going on and on  – how cool they were gonna be skating and how they new exactly what to do. Surprise…Surprise!


Within minutes after we arrived the boys had their skates laced up and were ready to go. The moment they stepped on the rink, everything that they had boasted about was washed away. I was able to get them around the rink one time. After that they were done…”I want to go home” – “can we play games – “I don’t want to skate”. Poor babies, they were so disappointed on how “not easy” it was.


Posted in Activities, Isaac, Jacobwith 1 Comment →

Staying Cool In The South06.27.11

The South: The heat and humidity can become annoyingly unbearable in the summer, temperatures rising way over 100 degrees.  To stay cool and enjoy our summer vacation we have decided to spend lots of much needed time in the cold refreshing waters.  Mommies and Daddies get to relax and kiddos are able to release wild energies that are built up and have a blast in the process.

It was very entertaining to watch the boy’s play with Jacob’s new flippers.  Isaac spent most of the day using them as paddles on his hands while riding his tube.  Jacob tried them for a short period and decided today wasn’t the day to learn (water guns were way more exciting).  Israel or should I say “Scuba Steve”, (lol) swam around the pool like a wild shark amusing us girls (Piper, Violet & I)


Posted in Activities, Family, Friends, Kids, Photoswith 1 Comment →

Jacob’s 10th Birthday05.30.11

Jacob recently celebrated his 10th birthday.  Long before this day came he had it all planned out.  Dinner was going to be Taco Salad, cake was going to be white with white icing, and presents were going to be had.  Ah, the tough life of a ten year old.  He got his wishes though and then some – even some special bits, purchased months ago that he didn’t know about until the next day.

Jacob was certainly shy this year for pictures and while opening gifts but he had a great time and when the spotlight wasn’t pointed in his direction he opened up and enjoyed himself.  I guess ten is that magic age where things start to change and you notice when you are center of any type of attention.


Posted in Birthdays, Jacobwith 2 Comments →

Family Beach Trip – SeaWorld07.29.10

Sea World here we come!!!  The kids were very excited to be headed out to their adventure “under the sea”.  The drive was about one hour and they kept themselves busy doing what all twenty-first century kids do in the car – watch movies and play games.


Posted in Activities, Children of the Corn, Family, Kids, Tripswith 1 Comment →

Yellow River Game Ranch04.06.10

I am never sure whether to feel happy or sad whenever I get to visit the Ranch.  On one hand I am happy that these animals get to live, basically get a second chance, and at the same time provide some up close encounters for the kids, sort of entertainment.  On the other it makes me feel that this is just another form of making money that, while providing entertainment, lacks what it is perceived to offer.  Many of the animals are caged indefinitely without even the chance of freedom.  I can only hope that our kids take the time to appreciate Nature for what it is and the impact that We can have on it in both large and small scale.

Now enough of me on a soap box.  All the kiddos were going to be away for some or all of Spring Break this year so we thought it would be fun to do something out of the ordinary with them before seeing them off.  We didn’t tell them what we were doing until we got there and even then I don’t think they really understood what we were going to do until we started seeing and feeding the animals.  We packed a backpack full of old food stuff and picked up some corn and apples at the concession as well.


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Gold Rush Festival10.28.09

Fall is here…although sometimes I think fall actually skips the southeast and winter tries desperately to blow in early, dragging wind and rain with it.  Such was this particular day.  With winter…fall, comes the annual Dahlonega Gold Rush festival.  This was a new festival for the girls and I.  We have been to the Duluth Fall Festival and the Norcross Art Festival but hadn’t ventured out much beyond.  It was fun from the beginning and much, much larger than the others – not to mention more organized.  There were certainly some planned destinations as well.  Carol and Bonnie wanted to eat lunch at the “Smith House“, watch the parade on Main Street, and checkout the goodies offered by the hundreds of vendors.


Posted in Activities, Family, Kids will be kids, Tripswith 2 Comments →

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