Another Happy Valentine’s Day!

The last few weeks have been full with fun Valentine’s Day activities. Two Saturdays ago we went to the monthly kids hands-on workshop at our local Home Depot. Noah got to build and paint a wooden photo box for his Valentine’s cards. Check it out!

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Here’s the painted box with one of Noah’s Valentine’s cards from the “Pets” movie in the photo slot. Pretty cool!

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The next day our good friend Barbara came over to make Valentine’s cards with us. Yes, we had paper, stickers and glue everywhere, but we made some AWESOME cards!

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This past weekend was full of Valentine’s Day activities too. Friday night we went to a family sweetheart dance at Noah’s elementary school. A DJ played music, and there were treats and arts and crafts too. Our photos from the dance didn’t turn out well since the gym was so dark, but you can still tell that Noah had a great time.

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They had a professional photographer there too. Here’s our snapshot. What a fun night!

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Then Saturday morning we went to the monthly mini model build at our local Lego Store. This month’s Lego creation was a rose. Noah did a great job putting it together. Check it out!

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And here’s the final creation…

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Noah’s kindergarten class had a party on Valentine’s Day, and the kids exchanged Valentine’s cards. There are 21 kids in Noah’s class. He had fun addressing all their cards and stuffing the envelopes.

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Here is Noah’s Valentine’s loot from school. Yes, he definitely collected a lot of goodies!

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We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and we hope you did too!

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Categories: Arts & Crafts, Fun outings, Holidays, Kindergarten, Legos | Leave a comment

A fun day at the Washington Auto Show

Last Saturday we went to the annual Washington Auto Show in downtown D.C. Noah and Ryan had a blast at last year’s auto show, so they were really excited to go again this year.

The show featured more than 600 new cars from over 35 auto companies – so cool! Similar to the Truck Touch events that we’ve blogged about, Noah was able to sit in and “drive” the vehicles. The big kid hopped in some of the cars too. Check it out!

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In case you are wondering, yes, all the horns were deactivated! Ha.

We got to see a few concept cars at the show too. This Lincoln Navigator concept car has doors hinged form the roof and steps. Very fun!

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Noah’s favorite vehicles were the big cargo vans. Why? “Because lots of toys would fit, and because I can run in the back.” Ha.

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We had a great time at the auto show, and we definitely plan to go again next year. Who knew that window shopping could be so much fun?!?! Ha.

Categories: Cars, DC, Fun outings, Trucks | Leave a comment

Museum fun: planes and trolleys!

If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, you know that Noah loves all things transportation – and this past month we visited two of Noah’s favorite transportation museums in Maryland.

Our first museum outing was to the Aviation Museum in College Park. The museum is at the College Park Airport, which is the oldest continually operated airport in the world – it’s over 100 years old.

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The museum features ten or so large planes that were made between 1901 and 1946. Some of the planes were parked on the ground and some were suspended from the ceiling. While a few of the planes were reproductions, they were all really cool.

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Noah’s favorite plane at the museum was this 1939 Taylorcraft that has been retrofitted as a hands-on “imagination Plane” for kids to explore and sit in. While in the cockpit, Noah got to use the controls to move the ailerons and elevator. Pretty cool!

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Since the plane is a two-seater, Ryan got to join in too.

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In the hands-on area, Noah got to play with flight simulators. As you can see, the big kid did too!

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Here’s a short video of Pilot Noah at the controls…

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

We also visited the National Capital Trolley Museum in Colesville. The coolest thing about the museum is riding the electric streetcar on the museum’s one-mile rail line. This streetcar is from Toronto and was built in 1951.

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Next we visited the museum’s Street Car Hall, which houses numerous American and international streetcars. The U.S. streetcars were from New York City, Philadelphia and D.C., and the international streetcars were from Germany, Belgium and England. Some of the streetcars are more than 100 years old – very cool!

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Noah also enjoyed “steering” the model streetcar along the tracks and turning on the signal lights…

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We’ve written about the aviation and trolley museums before – they are two of our favorite nearby outings. We definitely plan to visit again, so stay tuned to read even more!

Categories: Airplanes, Fun outings, Maryland, Trolleys | Leave a comment

More winter break fun with Grandma and Grandpa

As you probably read in our previous blog post, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don flew to DC from Ohio to celebrate Christmas with us. If you missed our post about our Christmas festivities, you can read it here.

We had lots of other fun during their visit too. The day after Christmas, Noah went on a short Amtrak ride with Grandma and Grandpa. They boarded the train at Alexandria’s Union Station. The best part about Alexandria’s small station (compared to DC’s Union Station) is that you can stand railside and watch the other trains go by while you’re waiting.

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(Random fun fact from Ryan: There are many Union Stations in the United States. Union Stations have multiple railroad companies sharing the same building.)

They rode the train 45 miles south to Fredericksburg, VA. Their trip took about an hour.

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Ryan and I drove down to meet them, and they beat us – by about 90 minutes! Yes, it took us 2 ½ hours to drive those 45 miles. Pesky DC traffic! When we finally met up in Fredericksburg, we had supper at the Capital Ale House restaurant in the downtown area. Noah and Grandma played tic-tac-toe while we waited for our food.

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Going to Fredericksburg was a fun outing – but yes, all of us will be riding the train next time! Ha.

We spent a lot of time just hanging out at the house that week too. Noah, Grandma and Grandpa read books, did some arts and crafts (they painted a wooden boat), and played Legos – lots and lots of Legos!

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We also went to the park at Noah’s school when the weather was nice. Here are some photos that Grandma Cindy snapped…

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And here are a few pictures of Noah with Grandma and Grandpa at the airport before they flew home. We’ll see you again soon, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don! We had a great time!

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Categories: Fun outings, Grandparents, Our neighborhood, Trains | Leave a comment

A very merry Christmas with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don

Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don flew to DC from Ohio to celebrate Christmas with us. We like to travel, but it’s always fun to have family here for the holidays too.

The first few days of their visit were busy with holiday preparations. Noah helped Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don make nut rolls. Mmmm! He loved rolling the dough.

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Noah also got in the Christmas spirit by building a gingerbread train with Grandma Cindy. And yes, some parts of the train were edible!

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On Christmas Eve we went to Old Town Alexandria. We stopped by the big Christmas tree in front of City Hall. Smile!

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Then we went to the Christmas Eve service at our church.

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When we got home, we took a few photos in front of our Christmas tree before we got in our pajamas. We clean up well, right? Ha.

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On Christmas morning we opened our stockings from Santa and presents from our families. This was definitely the Christmas for Legos – so many Legos! Noah also got books, magnetic blocks, trains, a trolley, a truck and board games. Lucky kid!

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One of Noah’s favorite presents was the Lego Amtrak train that Ryan constructed ahead of time. Ryan didn’t have instructions to follow, just his imagination and a lot of help from random Lego sellers on the internet. Ha. It’s pretty awesome – check it out!

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Here’s a short video of Noah’s new Lego Amtrak train in motion.

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Oh, and don’t worry, the big kids got some cool stuff too! Ha.

After we opened all of our presents, we enjoyed a huge Christmas dinner – and we were stuffed!

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We had a wonderful Christmas, and we hope you did too! Stay tuned to read more about Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don’s visit – there’s much more to share! And since we still have our Christmas tree up, we’re not really that behind with holiday posts, right? Ha.

Categories: Grandparents, Holidays, Trains | 2 Comments

Getting in the holiday spirit!

December was busy with holiday festivities and preparations. A few weeks ago we went to the annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights in Old Town, Alexandria. Dozens of illuminated boats paraded along the Potomac River – so fun! Check it out…

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We also had a great time putting up our Christmas tree. Our good friend Barbara helped us decorate too. Thanks, Barbara!

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I’m sure you noticed that quite a few of the ornaments ended up being clustered at the bottom in the front. Can you guess why? The shortest elf! Ha.

Noah had a fun time preparing for Santa too. Here’s a short video of Noah reading a book about Santa.

Just a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Stay tuned to read more about Noah’s holiday festivities – there’s much more to share. Here’s a sneak peek: He’s having a blast with Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Don! We hope you’re having the happiest of holidays too!

Categories: Fun outings, Holidays, Our neighborhood | 1 Comment

A fun trip to Maryland: fish & football

This year we stayed in Alexandria for Thanksgiving. Since we had a few extra days, we decided to take a short overnight trip to Baltimore to visit the National Aquarium. We have wanted to take Noah to the aquarium for a while now, and the long weekend provided a great opportunity.

We drove up to Baltimore Friday afternoon (it’s about an hour away). Our first stop was to check in at the hotel. We lucked out and got a room on the top floor. Hello down there!

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Next we had an early supper at James Joyce (an awesome Irish pub) and then walked the short distance to the Inner Harbor. We couldn’t get in to the aquarium right away (it was busy!), so we hung out at the nearby Barnes & Noble until our time slot. Noah can’t pass up an opportunity to play with trains! Ha.

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Our first stop at the National Aquarium was the “Blacktip Reef” exhibit. We saw blacktip reef sharks and lots of other fish too, including angelfish, puffer fish and whiptail rays.

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Next we checked out the “Living Seashore” hands-on exhibit. Noah and Ryan got to touch clearnose skates and horseshoe crabs – so cool!

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Then we started to work our way through the maze of massive aquariums. We saw groupers, creole fish, cowfish, seahorses, eels and porcupine fish, just to name a few. There were so many fish!

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Here’s a short video of Noah in the “Atlantic Coral Reef” exhibit.

As a quick reminder: If you’re reading this post in an email, you may need to open the blog webpage in order to view the video. To do so, just click on the title of the post (the link in blue) at the top of the email to open the blog in your web browser.

Noah’s favorite exhibit was definitely “Shark Alley.” We saw many shark species – check it out!

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And here are two short videos of the sharks…

In the “Amazon River Forest” exhibit, we saw poison dart frogs and a big emerald tree boa snake.

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We had a great time at the aquarium! We didn’t quite make it through all the exhibits, so we definitely plan to visit again.

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After the aquarium we walked back to the hotel to relax. We had a busy day, and we were tired!

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On the way home the next day, we went to the University of Maryland in College Park to watch the Terps play Rutgers University. This was the Terps’ final home game of the season.

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As you can tell from the photos, it was a little chilly outside, but we had a great time. The Terps won 31 to 13. Yep, #FearTheTurtle!

We had a fun Thanksgiving weekend, and we hope you did too!

Categories: Fun outings, Maryland, Sports | 1 Comment

Another fun weekend with Uncle Chris

Two weekends ago Uncle Chris (Noah’s godfather) flew from Ohio to DC to hang out with us for a long weekend. Chris arrived midday Friday. That afternoon we picked up Noah from school and went to the nearby park. Here are a few pictures of the little kid and the two big kids playing at the park. (In case you’re curious about Noah’s outfit, it was pajama day at school. Ha.)

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We spent a lot of the weekend just hanging out at the house (we played lots of Legos and trains), but we had some fun outings too. Saturday morning after breakfast, we hopped in the car to run some errands. One of our pit stops was the toy store. Noah recently lost his first tooth, so Uncle Chris helped Noah pick out a toy to buy with the money that the tooth fairy left.

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That afternoon Ryan and Uncle Chris drove to College Park, MD to watch the Ohio State vs. University of Maryland football game.

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While they were gone, Noah and I went swimming at our local rec center.

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We were all tuckered out by the end of the day, so we just lounged at the house Saturday night.

Sunday morning we made French toast and sausages for breakfast – so yummy!

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After breakfast we headed to Old Town Alexandria to tour the 170-foot El Galeón, a full-size reconstruction of a 16th century Spanish galleon ship. The ship was sailing up the East Coast from St. Augustine, FL, and it docked in Alexandria for six days – very cool!

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One of the crewmembers explained that the Spanish galleon ships were used as both fighting and merchant ships during the 15th to 17th centuries. These ships had a larger cargo capacity and better defense capabilities and maneuverability than previous ships. Despite what Noah would tell you, the El Galeón was not a pirate ship! Ha.

We got to tour five of the ship’s six decks.

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We even got to see the poop deck (see the sign). Ha!

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There were cannons on the lower and middle decks…

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Noah’s favorite part was “steering” the ship. Ahoy!

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In case you’re interested, you can click here to watch a short video about the history of the El Galeón ship.

After our tour of the ship, Noah and Uncle Chris ran around Oronoco Park for a while before we headed home for lunch.

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We drove back to Old Town later that day to check out the supermoon (also November’s beaver moon) from the harbor.

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Uncle Chris flew home the next morning, but before he left, he got to see Noah get on the school bus. Noah was so excited!

Yep, we had another AWESOME weekend with Uncle Chris. Visit us again soon!

Categories: Fun outings, Our neighborhood | Leave a comment

Another Happy Halloween!

We had a very fun Halloween this year! Noah dressed up as a firefighter. If you missed our previous post about Noah putting on his costume and visiting our local fire station, you can read it here. This Halloween collage has all the highlights though too.

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On Halloween night we went trick-or-treating at a nearby townhouse community…the same area we’ve gone to the last few years. There are a lot of houses to visit without having to do much walking – perfect for trick-or-treating!

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As you can tell, many of the homeowners went all out with their decorations and costumes – very fun! It was also pretty cool how the reflective material on Noah’s gear really stood out with the camera flash. You couldn’t miss him!

Noah’s pumpkin was FULL of candy by the end of the night! Also, because Noah’s elementary and old preschool are in the same area, we came across quite a few of his friends too. It was a great night all around!

Just for fun, here’s a flashback at Noah’s previous Halloween costumes. He’s been a dragon (twice!), monkey, tiger and dinosaur.

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We had another fun Halloween season, and we hope you did too!

Categories: Halloween, Our neighborhood | Leave a comment

Pumpkin picking

We recently went to the annual pumpkin patch at Immanuel Church-on-the-Hill here in Alexandria. Our good friend Barbara came along too!

Noah picked out some AWESOME pumpkins. Check it out!

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Yeah, he always enjoys pulling the wagon through the pumpkin maze. That of course means the big kids didn’t have to carry them – score! Ha.

This was our fourth year visiting this local pumpkin patch – we always have a great time!

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Picking pumpkins was the perfect way to get into the Halloween spirit. Stay tuned to read more about Noah’s Halloween fun. Tomorrow is the big day!

Categories: Fun outings, Halloween, Our neighborhood | 1 Comment

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