Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day Trip To DC

Today I kept the kids out of school, packed them in the Tacoma and headed to Washington DC for the day.  Tabytha, John and Jessi had been looking forward to this day for weeks.  Last night I packed bag lunches, Capri sun drinks and bottled water for a picnic lunch on the mall.  We met up with my friend, Jen, and her kids at the metro station in New Carollton.  We got our metro passes and waited for our other friend, Drea, and her kids to arrive.

We got on the metro and made our way to DC.  It was nearly noon when we arrived so we all decided to sit in a grassy area and have lunch before we went to the Museum of Natural History.  When we were done with lunch we gathered up all the kids.  11 kids between me, Jen and Drea, 10 of which were between the ages of 9 months and 5 yrs old.

During the last few steps before getting into the museum itself, Jessi started dragging and fussing and I realized I over estimated her ability to be able to handle all the walking we were going to do and SHOULD have brought the umbrella stroller for her.  As luck would have it, just inside the building, after going through the metal detectors, I spotted a wheelchair by the information desk.  I snatched it and put Jessi in it to keep her quiet for a bit.  It was big enough to have 2-3 kids in it at one time, so, I rotated all the little ones throughout the day so they each had a turn to rest their legs and have a ride.  It worked out perfectly and I firmly believe it alleviated any potential meltdowns we may have had with any of the little ones (remember, 10 children age 5 and under!!!)
Drea, Me and Jen and our kids

We did a LOT of walking and to be honest, all the kids were great while we were in the museum.  Although, with that many children we were constantly counting and recounting to make sure we had all 11 kids at all times.  We got a lot of looks throughout the day that's for sure.  I mean, come on, 3 women with 11 kids.  Jen pushing a double stroller with 2 kids in it, one baby on her chest and a child on her shoulders, Drea had an umbrella stroller holding the hand of another child and me pushing a wheelchair with 2-3 kids in it at any given time and a couple kids walking.  We certainly were a sight.

Two other friends of ours were coming from PA to meet up with us, but, a late start to their day and traffic prevented them from getting there to walk the Natural History Museum with us.  When the day was winding down Jen had to head back and Drea and I waited around for our other 2 friends to make it so we could at least see them and chat for a bit before we, too, had to leave and get back to our homes.

Me, Drea, Allyson and Bree with all our kids
Around 3pm our friends, Bree with her 3 kids and Ally with her 2 kids, finally made it to where we were.  We only had about half an hour with them before we had to go, but, it really was a treat to finally be able to meet these two women who I've built a friendship with through our mommy group on facebook over the past several years.

The day was drawing to an end and some of the little ones were spent and getting fussy so Drea and I said goodbye to our friends, gathered up the kids we came with and headed back to the metro station.  One or two kids dozed off on the metro.  Getting back to the parking garage Drea and I said our goodbyes and my kids and I headed back home.

It was a fantastic day.  John is looking forward to telling his teachers and classmates all about seeing the dinosaur bones.  I know this will be a day the kids are going to remember for a very long time.  I hope we'll be able to get back to DC this summer when Charlie can come and experience the fun with us :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

This year we spent Easter Sunday at my mother-in-law's house with Charlie's side of the family.  Charlie's mom, sister and I each brought a dish for dinner.  Mother-in-law made a ham and macaroni & cheese, sister-in-law made pineapple fluff and a cheesecake and I made homemade dinner rolls and cupcakes.

A few days ahead of time I also made Easter ornaments for a painting craft for the kids to do before dinner.  I brought paints, paint brushes and the ornaments.  I set up a folding table in the backyard, laid out newspaper and gave each kid a paint brush and some paint.  They went to town decorating the ornaments.  After all the decorations were painted they played around.  Sister-in-laws husband brought a small moon bounce for the kids to jump around in and my mother-in-laws neighbor had her grandkids visiting for the day and brought over some things to play with.

When dinner was ready we said goodbye to the neighbor and made our way inside, cleaned up the kids, said grace and enjoyed a delicious meal together.  After dinner sister-in-law hid some plastic easter eggs in the front yard and the kids had fun with a little easter egg hunt.  All in all, it was a wonderful day

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Friends And Fellowship

This weekend I had the opportunity to go on a Women's Retreat to the Skycroft Conference Center with one of my dearest friends, Drea.  A mutual friend of ours from a mommy group we're both in on Facebook flew in from Michigan to come, too.  Drea also invited her cousin, Anna, and another friend, Milbia.  The 5 of us carpooled to the retreat.

Friday morning I kissed Charlie and the kids goodbye and made my way over the bay bridge to meet up with Drea and Carol.  We didn't have to be at the conference center until the evening.  We picked up Anna and headed to DC to show Carol some of the sights.

After DC we picked up Milbia and made our way to the conference center.  Got our room keys and our whole group had dinner and started meeting other women there for the retreat as well.  The whole weekend was wonderful.  The weather was great and we were tucked away in the mountains.  Each session began with some fun 'getting to know you' games and praise music.  Our speaker was amazing.  I learned more than I anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed every minute I was there.  Getting to know other women in the church, spending the evenings after session with Drea, Carol and Anna and even getting in some quiet time of my own during our 'free time' Saturday afternoon.

I came home refreshed, recharged and closer to the Lord.  It was wonderful.