Sunday, June 26, 2016

Let's Go Fly a...Plane?

This week we had a rainy day and some friends were planning to visit the Aviation Museum near the Richmond International Airport, so we decided to join them. The museum will actually be closing at the end of the month, and admission is free until it does, so we definitely wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

Notice an extra kid? We brought a friend with us since his mom had a Primary Presidency meeting and the boys were planning on playing together later in the day anyway. Here's our gang in front of the Stars & Stripes airplane.

More cool planes! As you can see, Christine was on Moppysitting duty.

This was a flight simulator in which you had to fly a model airplane using a joystick. The plane was suspended from the ceiling of a wind tunnel. 

Here's a neat area of the museum that teaches kids about the different scientific principles associated with flight.

Even Moppy gets to learn!

More planes!

Moppy up on the museum's overlook. 

This was an airplane you could sit inside and work the rudders.

Whoo, go Moppy! She's got a front-row seat!

Whew, now she's back safe with the pilot.

This is Moppy making a sad face that the U.S. and Japan were once at war with each other. This exhibit was all about World War II.

We are happy that war is over!

After checking out the planes inside, we headed outside (the rain had stopped!) to check out this cool fighter jet in front of the museum.

The kids found an interesting place to perch Moppy.

This is DEFINITELY a front-row seat! Right on the nose of the plane! Hang on, Moppy!

This was the back of the plane. So cool!

Some goofy boys (and Moppy) pretending to be headless.

My favorite shot of the day- hang on, everybody!!

We're bummed that the Virginia Aviation Museum is closing, but we're happy we had the chance to go one time before it did- and so glad we could take Moppy to enjoy it with us!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Moppy Takes a Hike!

We recently found out that in addition to books and dvds our local library has nature backpacks available to check out. Each backpack comes with free admission to a Virginia State Park, which is great for us, because there's one about 15 minutes from our home- Pocahontas State Park!

Here's Moppy checking out all the goodies that came in the backpack: nature guides, scavenger hunts/activity pages, a net, a bug catching container (which didn't quite make it into this photo) and, of course, the magnifying glass.

When we started on our walk, Charlotte wasted no time using the magnifying glass to check out some little black ants making their way up a tree.

Here's Tyson, and he's caught a- wait, that's Moppy! Crazy Tyson. (That's the bug container, by the way.)

Group photo with Dad! He happened to have the day off so he got to join us on our outing.

Here's Christine and Moppy by a BIG tree.

Audrey's giving Moppy a ride in the backpack and checking out the tree guide. She got very good at identifying the different trees we saw along the trail.

The flowering dogwood is the Virginia State Tree and the Virginia State Flower. I'd never noticed what unique bark it had before!

Here's a view of the James River as we crossed over the bridge. There are kayakers and a lady on a paddle board- and she actually had her dog riding on the front!

Dad caught a fish for us to see.

Here's a map showing the different "ecoregions" of the state of Virginia.

We hope you enjoyed taking this little nature walk in Virginia with us- it sure was fun having Moppy along! 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Moppy has arrived! (and she brought treats!)

Saturday afternoon Tyson and I were waiting for the girls and Dad to get home from the Daddy/Daughter campout when we got a package- from Japan! We waited to open it until everyone was home, and when we did we were so excited! There were treats!

We started with these...which I don't know the name for, because it's all in Japanese, but fortunately there were pictures so we knew what to do. It's basically a sour goo (like frosting) and sugar candy crystals. It comes with a little tray and then packets with powder for the goo- you just add water (which is measured with a corner of the tray you break off). Then you dip the little plastic spoon in the sour goo and then in the sugar crystals and then lick it off the spoon.

Here are Audrey and Tyson mixing it up. The girls were still in their swimsuits from the camping trip.

Christine really liked hers! And she was making sure Moppy got snuggled.

Tyson made a face at first, but he kind of liked it in the end.

Here's Charlotte getting hers mixed up.

Audrey wasn't a fan of the sweet & sour candy, but she sure loved these little "pies" (they're almost like mini Toaster Strudel for our American friends). And the poor girl got a sunburn, as you can see on her shoulders. 

We also really loved the cheesecake-filled sticks. I couldn't stop eating those and the pies. And, oddly enough for this chocolate lover, I liked the raspberry pies even more than the chocolate ones! And we tried them both cold and microwaved and I think we all agreed we liked the texture more when they were cold. None of us were big fans of the oval-shaped rice wafers- except for Charlotte! She liked them. Is there something you usually eat with them? They were a little too tangy and salty for my taste, but the flavor might be toned down a bit if we tried eating them with something else. 

Thank you SO much to our Japanese friends for sending us such a delicious taste of Japan along with Moppy! We hope that Tag makes it to you very soon, and we can't wait to have fun with Moppy this summer. We promise to send some American treats back with her so you can have a taste of some of our favorites, just like you did for us. 

(And I realized I didn't get a good photo of Moppy in this post- sorry! But we took her on an adventure today, so stay tuned for photos very soon!)