Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Night at the Air Force Museum"

This past Friday we braved the crowds and got to enjoy the first annual "Night at the Air Force Museum" hosted by, well, the Air Force Museum here by the base. They timed it to take place right before "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" opens in theaters.

(the girls eating candy we were "bombed" with passing through the Russian exhibit)

There had to have been at least a couple thousand people there, but it was really managed pretty well. We were given a "map" of the huge museum (3 full-size airplane hangars connected, plus an IMAX theatre).

(Gregory was THRILLED to pose with his FAVORITE plane, the B-2)

The theme was centered on aliens roaming the museum, trying to find their space ship. The museum has a "spaceship" on regular display that was created by the military years ago as "proof" of artificial intelligence.

(some little kids freaked out when an alien would walk by)

The map directed us to "travel through time"- each hangar is packed with aircraft (on the floor and hanging from the hangar ceiling) from a different era starting with the birth of aviation working up to space travel. We were roughly grouped and moved from exhibit to exhibit, as we could follow on the map.

(approaching the first exhibit: the Wright Brothers, complete with actors)

(Fred LOVEs this picture- Leora's angelic grin seems to imply that she has something to do with the picture behind us)

(I caught Leora pointing her bottle at people and making shooting sounds)

They did such a great job! Several of the exhibits had actors who were standing frozen when you walked up (the museum has 100+ different wax figurines on regular display with the aircraft and various displays). When a substantial crowd was gathered, the figurines would burst to life in full character. Then when they "realized" people were watching, they'd promptly freeze again.

(I loved this one- it's of the first women pilots in the military, during WWII)

(this one oddly reminded of us Fred's youngest brother... a sign?? j/k)

(This guy was hilarious. He was supposed to be a Russian officer regulating people entering the USSR territory)

Some of the stops along the way gave visitors the opportunity to climb into the cockpits of different airplanes. The longest line was definitely for the F-22.

(this is obviously NOT the F-22... we didn't wait in that line)

There were free flight simulators and the IMAX was showing different movies about aviation, also for free. We didn't think the kids could handle the wait for those, but maybe in the future...
Fred took the kids up into several of the open aircraft, like this huge cargo plane. I was happy to sit with the stroller.

(this was on the side of a bomber that drop "Fat Man" bombs during WWII)

After 2 1/2 hours I was pretty much spent.

(one of the last exhibits had characters acting as Men in Black agents trying to "brainwash" us out of remembering that we had seen aliens)

(the Men in Black people were right by the OSI exhibit [the Air Force's version of the FBI- Office of Special Investigation]. They had cool displays of old secret agent-type stuff. Like the triple view of my belly?)

It was an incredible experience. The museum is always a fascinating place to visit, but they really pulled of the "Night at the Museum" theme. We look forward to going again next year, and visiting the museum often until then.

More from Mother's Day

I just got these pictures off of Fred's camera from the walk we took on Mother's Day last Sunday.

Dayton has over a dozen impressive state funded Metro Parks. We decided to check one out that we've driven by several times, the "Island MetroPark". It's a huge park with a river running through it. There are fun play grounds, beautiful picnic areas, and other facilities available for entertaining and getting together. In the summer it has a huge water play area, made up of a system of pipes that spray the kids (or anyone close enough) with water.

Anyone planning on visiting us out here should check out that first link- it's a great site showcasing each amazing park :)

Anyways, here are some pics from our walk...

This looks more like a hostage situation than a helpful big brother... he meant well.

I think the goose won the stare-down

She was running her fingers along the railing

Our angelic toddler.

So many beautiful look-out spots.

The picnic areas looked like little cottages.

Perfect end to the day.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Home from the Hospital and Recovering

Well, we'd finally had it, so yesterday morning we headed to the hospital to put an end to it.

If course, by "it" I'm referring to our cat, Cinders, being in heat.
*Sorry, I couldn't resist*

Several months ago she went into heat for the first time. People had warned us to get her fixed before she got to that point, but no one had ever told us WHY. I'll tell you why...

She would meow and yowl all hours of the day and night. She'd get in, er, obscene poses that the kids thought were funny. But worse than that, she has been peeing, and even sometimes pooping, in random places around the house- like my DOWN COMFORTER! She's lucky I didn't skin her alive.

The last time it happened, when Fred got home I growled, "That cat has 2 options- sterilization or euthanization!"

Of course the second wasn't an option, so we got her scheduled to have her gender removed. Now she has joined the world of other "it's" and we can only hope it will mean the end of excess laundry (and frustration) due to the feline.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Highlights

I must say, I had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Fred had grand plans of an elaborate breakfast, involving the kids in the set-up and everything. Unfortunately, his alarm clock failed him, so we woke up 40 minutes before we needed to be out the door to church! I think it was better that way, so I could have the time to really enjoy his surprises later.

At church I led the Primary in singing, "Mother Dear I Love You So" and "I Often Go Walking". That was officially my first time leading in Sacrament meeting. The kids were so cute and even smiled! In Primary the kids filled out this little questionnaire about their mothers... Gregory's was just too dern cute! He drew a picture of us watering the flowers in our garden...
My favorite lines are:
I Love when my mom: Lets me do the laundry (he must not love me much, because he's only helped out with the laundry a handful of times!)
I know my mom loves me because: she's pretty (My boy will go FAR in life!)

So, I took a nap when we got home from church and woke up to this array on the table!

Fred explained that each plant was from a different family member. From Left to right: Charla, Fred, Kai (because it had lots of buds yet to bloom), Gregory and Leora. We hope to transplant all but the roses into our garden... that will be a new adventure for me.

Fred's stories behind the gifts were priceless.

He took all 3 kids shopping with him last night. When he asked Charla what she wanted to get me, she was insistent that I wanted a candy cane. He couldn't find any for sale, but managed to dig up a few at home (which she gladly ate later today).

Gregory's gift idea was certainly unexpected. He told Fred he thought I'd like to get a can of vegetable soup for Mother's Day. So, as you can see, I got that, too!

Fred managed to get his hands on a scrumptious selection of dangerous chocolates that I have been savoring throughout the day.

Apparently, Leora took it upon herself to taste test my omelet before I was fetched.

The kids also picked out a card for me, which they drew on. The video is of Gregory explaining that he had written on the envelope in fancy letters because I'm "pretty." Dang, I love that kid!

Going to the Park

Fred took Thursday and Friday off last week so he could help get some last things done with the house, and to make the most of the time we have left with the kids before Kai gets here. It was definitely an eventful weekend!

Here are pictures from our walks to 2 different base housing parks Friday afternoon. The wooden one is in our neighborhood. The other is about a 2 mile walk from our house- definitely worth the trip!

The girls had a blast and we had fun taking all kinds of pictures :)

So, I bought this shirt long before I even got pregnant, on the chance that I might have a baby in Spring someday. I'm sure glad I was right!

I can't get over her grin in this picture!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Biblical Birth Stories

I found this mildly ironic...

In Primary this month I'm teaching the kids the Baptism song (children's hymns p.100, "Jesus came to John the Baptist..."). I figured the Senior Primary probably already knows the song, so I decided to delve more into the meaning of the song.

I wanted to emphasize that John the Baptist and Jesus were not only close friends, but family, so I set out to find the references in the New Testament. That brought me to Luke chapter 1. I read the whole chapter, I think for the first time.

It tells about how John the Baptist's parents, Zacharias and Elisabeth, were blessed to conceive even though they were old and she was barren. It's also the account of the angel visiting Mary to tell her she would bear the Son of God.

Then there were some details I definitely wouldn't have cared about in Seminary or even Institute...

Like that it mentions how many months along both Mary and Elisabeth (cousins) were when they met up and that Mary stayed with her for 3 months. Mary left to go back home when Elisabeth was full-term.

I dunno... I just felt like they became so much more real to me, those great women who gave birth to 2 of the most influential children to ever walk the Earth. Sometimes characters from the scriptures seem superhuman somehow. Being 38+ weeks now and reading about another woman's (Elisabeth) pregnancy was really pretty cool... Also that she DID give birth and wasn't pregnant forever!

In the end, I didn't even get to teach my lesson- our wonderful Elder's Quorum swooped in and ordered all the Sisters to go to Relief Society while they took over Primary. It was SO sweet of them!

Preparing my lesson was also a nice experience to help me remember that just because I may not be attending Gospel Doctrine anymore, I still have opportunities to learn more than the "basics" in Primary.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


We have a unique name for pacifiers in our house: Fiers. If Charla wants one, she'll ask for a "fier". It can be kinda funny when someone is over who doesn't know we're referring to a sedative, not arson.
Last night when we poured into the girls' room for the bedtime routine, there was the funniest thing on Charla's bed: a collection of various play firearms, neatly laid out. I dunno, it just totally cracked me up, seeing little hardcore weapons spread out on a Princess sheet. Fred added the "fier" for the picture. I guess it proves Charla really is an Olsen, fascinated with firearms.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Smart, Brave, Clever Boy

I know this makes 4 posts in one day, but if I don't blog it now, it may never get done...

I'm so proud of my boy! He never ceases to amaze me:

Gregory's really taken to building intricate spaceships with his Lego's and Duplo's. I think introducing him to Star Wars Episode I inspired him. He's made a very close replica's to Anakin's speed racer. It blows me away every time he shows off his inventions, explaining all the details I would miss, like where you tank it up with gas.

We recently bought Boggle. It's one of my favorite games, and we played it at the hospital while I was in labor with my girls. We plan on going natural this time, but if things don't go as planned, we want to have the game along to pass the time.
Gregory insisted that we teach him how to play. I shouldn't have been surprised when he caught right on. SUCH a smart kid! A cute thing he couldn't grasp, though, was that the cube with "Qu" on it meant you had to use both the "Q" and the "U" together. He kept finding words that just needed a "U", like "PURR". Of course, what do I know, right?

Fred hit the jackpot at Good Will when he found a huge box of assorted Capsela pieces. It's a line of versatile building sets no longer in production. Fred says he LOVED them when he was a kid. When I look at them, I get a head ache trying to make sense of them, or even considering where to start. Gregory has a blast inventing different contraptions with Fred, that actually function with batteries.

And what little boy doesn't love jumping off high places? Luckily, he's not the type who has ever needed stitches, but he does love acting out his adventures, which sometimes involve launching himself off various things and "flying".