Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring Photos

27 March 2010 - spring photos in the park. The River is unusually high due to a site lower down on the river being overwhelmed by spring run-off.  We brought our neighbor along.

Book Group - "The Cay"

26 March 2010

We read "The Cay" by Theodore Taylor - a book about a boy, Phillip who lives in the Dutch colony of Curacao.  It is World War II and his mom wants to leave.  Their ship is attacked by a German U-boat and he is shipwrecked on a deserted island in the Caribbean with Timothy and the Stew Cat.  Phillip is blinded by a head injury when the ship was attacked.  Phillip is prejudiced against blacks and learns to care about Timothy who teaches him how to take care of himself in spite of his disability.
Timothy taught Phillip to weave mats.  Her J is trying her had at weaving.
.C and J are playing battleship.  The East Coast and Caribbean were some of the most dangerous waterways during World War II for commercial ships were often sunk by submarines.
We made "No-Bake" cookies because when I lived in Venezuela we rarely had ovens and often baked these cookies.  Curacao is off the coast of Venezuela.
A birthday party for D followed our book group.

Sensory Group - Zip Line

Mar 24, 2010  RU has a Sensory Group for elementary school kids that want to come. They loosely follow ideas from "The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun."  The college students engage all the senses as the do things with the children.
First they had a snack.
 Then they got to go down the zip line.
Happy campers! They had a great time.  After the zip line they played with parachutes, colored balls - throwing them into a giant tube, etc. until the time was up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Geel Rys - Yellow Rice

March 23 - we learned about South Africa and apartheid and cooked Yellow Rice.
Everything mixed up in one pot - rice, raisins, turmeric, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
It looks better in the dish.
The girls did not like it, but I did!

D-Day Memorial - Bedford, VA

March 19 - our home school group headed to Bedford, VA to see the D-Day Memorial. The theme that runs through the memorial is "Valor, Fidelity and Sacrifice. We started out in a tent full of educational information.  Our educational guide talked to us about World War II, what it was like to be a soldier and what it was like on the home front.  They focused on the European War since the Infantry Division 116 came from Bedford and suffered such great losses.
German soldier's uniform.
C-rations.  World War II's MRE's (Meals-Ready-to-Eat).  
Some of the girls demonstrating.
R. showing what a soldier would carry with him.
Our educational guide with a knife.
R. with more equipment a soldier might carry.  One of the problems was if a soldier fell into the water with all his pack on it was very hard to get up.
The memorial is divided into three main areas: Planning, the Battle and the Victory.  The area representing Planning was in the form of a formal garden since they used a mansion. Busts of all the major military leaders surrounded the garden area.
The formal garden has the same shape and colors as the D-Day shield, except the black is replaced with green grass.
The shield.  The rainbow represents the many nations that participated.
Bronze plaques are everywhere.  This one shows the layout of the D-Day beaches and the battle plans.  Hardly any troops were actually at their assigned places but it did reduce the number of expected fatalities.
From the Planning area we went up the Battle area . The right side lists all the USA soldiers who died and on other side...
lists all the soldiers who died from other nations with flags of those nations.
The water was not in the reflecting pool yet, so I plan to take the kids to the memorial again.  Apparently the fountains mimic the sounds and actions of the gun fire.  If you get wet, you've been shot.  The big X thing is something the enemy put in the water to thwart ships.
This soldier represented valor.
These soldiers represented fidelity.  
This soldier represents sacrifice and the soldier he represents actually had a Bible that fell out on the sand.  The sand at the memorial is actual D-Day beach sand.
These soldiers climbing the wall represent valor, fidelity and sacrifice and the heroic climb that many soldiers made to take over the enemy positions.  Above was the third part of the memorial the Victory area.
Here is the Victory Arch.  The colors on the top represent markings on the airplanes used to make them different from the enemy airplanes.  Flags of the participating nations surround the arch plaza.
A reminder that when a soldier died they tried to bury the body with gun, helmet and dog tags.
Another representation of valor, fidelity and sacrifice.
I am reminded by our visit to the D-Day Memorial is that it is important for us to stop and remember the sacrifices of those who came before us for liberty and the many great blessings we enjoy.

After we finished up at the memorial we headed over to Liberty Park for lunch and playtime.  We forgot bread for our egg salad sandwiches so we ate them on potato chips.  B. decided she likes it and thinks we should do it all the time.
A lovely, shady shelter.
A colorful play structure.

On the way home we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Floyd, VA.  I had never gone that way before.  I knew it would take longer and I promised the girls ice cream at the Country Store.  We drove and drove. There are not many turn offs from the Blue Ridge Parkway and I was getting worried that we had somehow missed the turn. Fortunately the girls fell asleep and didn't notice how long it was taking. I saw a sign for Rocky Knob and figured if I didn't find route 8 by the time I got to Rocky Knob I better stop and find out where I was.  Fortunately route 8 showed up right before Rocky Know and we made our way to Floyd and the Country Store.
 Yummy ice cream!  Worth the wait.

Home again.

March 17 - I'm home again.  So here is the after-trip notes.  I picked up some See's Chocolates at the airport.  They've changed the look of their boxes but it is still the same great chocolate.
They didn't last long.  I did bring home CTR necklaces for the girls.
And my tulips are peaking out of the ground.

Mom went on a trip.

March 12 to 16 I traveled to Northern California to take the California Supplemental (Architecture) Exam.  It was a lovely trip and I got to see some friends and do a little tourist action while I was at it.  I arrived late evening on Friday.

Saturday I was pretty jet-lagged but I did get to have dim sum with R. and his wife S. who are from the same city in China that one of my daughters is from. They have done many nice things for our group and I wanted to meet them personally and thank them.
  We went to Cupertino Village which is quite close to the hotel I was at. We walked to the restaurant and the dim sum was awesome.  Ray and Sue and I found quite a few things in common and it was hard to part.  Sue has a website where children can self-publish their writings and drawings.  Evening was spent with Mark and his wife (after a refreshing jet-lag nap), brother of two good friends here in southwestern Virginia.
After church services on Sunday I got invited to someone's house for lunch and to wait out the time until I could check into the lovely hotel pictured above.  It is in Burlingame and is on the edge of the flight path for the San Francisco Airport.  (I flew in and out of San Jose, FWIW).
There actually is a tiny tiny airplane in the photograph just above the middle and to the right of center.  Planes were flying in and landing in pairs.  It was awesome watching them land.  There was a great walking path to stretch out my legs on and to relieve some of the stress and anxiety of the up coming test.

The test was over first thing on Monday morning and I checked out and headed up to Sacramento to visit an architecture friend and meet his family.  On the way up I went to a Deseret Book store in Sacramento and on the way had a minor fender bender. If had been my home car I wouldn't have worried about it but it was a rental.  A cute Versa.  The key thingy said it was red but clearly it is not.  Can you see the bump?  Here is a close up.
I hope it was pretty minor.  The car had less then a thousand miles on it.
Here I am in front of the State capitol of California.  I was born in California and lived in California a good portion of my life but had never been to Sacramento until this day.
We went to "Old Sac."  The two yellow pillars in the background is the Golden State Bridge.  The middle section rises up on the two pillars and lets boats pass through.

One of these is the model of the ship we were on - it is beached but impressive.
Old Sac railroad station.
More Old Sac.
When I got to J.'s place I got to meet his delightful daughter M. for the first time.  What a cutie!  He and his wife have an infant son as well.  Next time I will get a photo of the whole family.
Then I spent the afternoon at the Oakland Temple.  I enjoyed lunch in the cafeteria and spent most of the afternoon there.  After I finished I had a great time photographing around the site.  It is situated on the side of a hill.
 And has lovely gardens all around.
 Tulips - I've had a thing for tulips this year as I am growing my own at home.
View from the roof terrace.
Close-up of a tower.  After I finished I headed back to the San Jose Airport to return the car (and make the accident report) and to catch my late night flight home via Atlanta.  (Even though I found out later I did not pass the test, I did feel especially blessed and well taken care of my whole trip.)