Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Little Family Outting On President's Day

*Note: I'm very late in posting this, even though I started writing it last month. Just to avoid any confusion.

Rob got today off from work! Woo Hoo! As a chaplain, he doesn't get the same kind of weekend days off as most, and many times, we find him working lots of days in a row without a full day of respite. Still, after our very difficult year where he was working four jobs at one time--and still not making ends meet--we feel so very blessed to have whittled it down to one good job. Thank-you, Lord.

So, we decided to take the family to the USS Lexington, a carrier that is no longer operational and has been converted into a museum. We all loved it. Our intention was to go to the Texas State Aquarium, which is only blocks away from the Lexington, but when we parked the van, and the kids saw the Lexington up close, a 3-to-1 vote changed our plans. And the one nay-sayer had a quick change of heart once we made our way up the massive ramp to the ship's entrance.

The day was WINDY and cold.

We climbed up lots of narrow and steep stairways/ladders as we explored.

On the flight deck, as we tried to keep from being blown overboard by the vicious gusts, we found a cool "Blue Angel." The Blue Angels are coming down here in April for an air show. We can't wait.

The kids and Rob are standing in front of a case of ships flags while Rob explains to the kids how each flag represents a different letter of the alphabet or a different message.

Exploring the men's berths. The sailor's each had a bed, and a small drawer and locker to keep their personal items in. Pack light!

This plane, "The Dauntless" crashed into Lake Michigan and was recently exhumed. It is now being restored on the Lexington.

Seth explores the inside of a missile. You know. It's Seth .

A beautiful stained glass display near the chapel.

Rob may one day be assigned to a carrier. That is not my hope, but if that is where God places him, I'm glad the kids had a chance to see this with him now. It's quite a bit different now that it is a museum, but it gives us an idea.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One Museum Down...Four to Go.

February is museum month here at Fasnacht Academy.

Rob's Dad and step-mom sent the kids some Christmas money...a while ago, considering that it's February...and instead of getting the kids each more toys that they didn't need, we decided that we would look for a membership of sorts for them. We didn't know the area well enough to make a good choice, so we've been hanging on as we research.

One of the memberships that we considered was to the Corpus Christi Botanical Gardens. We were just there, remember? But we considered the number of months here in South Texas where it is unbearable to play outside in the middle of the day, so we ruled it out, even though we greatly enjoyed our visit and will go back.

But, while we were there, we saw this sign:

Oh, we're all about free.

Yesterday, we hit the Museum of Science and History. Loved it. And Seth only broke one display, so it was a good day. We decided to get our yearly membership there. Thanks, Papaw Bob and Grandma Carol!

We parked at the wrong end of the building, but we were so glad we did, because we would have missed this awesome feature: The Watergarden. The kids were all ready to dive in.

It was one of our favorite spots, a feast for the senses as our ears pounded with the sounds of cascading waterfalls, the air was moist and smelled fresh and clean, and of course it was beautiful to behold.

Right inside is a play/learning center. We could have spent all day there, and you can bet that we'll use our membership to come back and play/learn.

Always looking for adventure and drama!

We found lots to do, appropriate and fun for all the kids' developmental ages. I loved watching them glow with the excitement of discovery.

They've got the world at their fingertips. Surely they do.

Another favorite exhibit of the museum featured two replicas of the Pinta and Santa Maria ships, sailed by Spain's infamous adventurer Christopher Columbus. Here's what the museum website says about it:

The ships are reproductions built by Spain to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' voyages to the New World. They took five years to build and cost $6.5 million. The three ships embarked on a tour of the Mediterranean and Atlantic ports of Europe in 1990 and 1991. After a successful tour of 18 United States ports, they arrived at their permanent home in Corpus Christi in 1993. The Pinta and Santa Maria are located at the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. There are no guided tours of the Nina, moored at the Corpus Christi Marina, but can be viewed from the dock.

You can see one of them there in the background, big and black.

Cast of characters: Diego (a little boatswain?), Queen Isabella, King Ferdinand, and Christopher Columbus himself.

And right off the deck of the Pinta, we could look across the bay and see the USS Lexington, large and stately, a stark contrast to Columbus' wooden sailing ships.

Next up for our field trip pleasure, we have, in no particular order, the art museum, the Texas State Aquarium, the Asian Culture Museum and a tour of the USS Lexington we just saw.

February, may be the shortest month of the year, but we're going to cram in as much art, history, science, culture, botany, oceanography, EXPERIENCE as we can! So Field Trip Fridays have just evolved into Field Trip February.

I love homeschooling.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shoot For 2, Put It Through!

Caleb and Gabe are playing basketball this winter with the Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) department and the youth activities center. They were desperate for coaches, so despite our busy schedule, Rob was blessed to be able to coach their team. They love having Dad as coach (on most days!). I'm just happy that they are both on the same team so we only have to go to one game on Saturdays and one practice throughout the week!

They are starting to understand some of the fundamentals of the game, and they both enjoy it greatly. Gabriel is so, so excited whenever anybody of his team scores, just as excited as if he himself shot the winning basket. What an encourager! I'd want him on my team just for that! And Caleb has a smile on his face the ENTIRE game! He loves being part of the action, even if he doesn't get that much ball time.

Neither of them are the superstars of the team. And we're all okay with that. They are learning the meaning of teamwork and following instructions and being aware of the players around them. There's a lot of coordination that goes into playing basketball, and I can already see improvements in that area, too!

I'm having a hard time getting any good action shots. It's a combination of poor lighting and a camera that doesn't handle both poor lighting and action. Maybe I'll try to get some video next Saturday. So far, blogger doesn't like the format in which my camera video tapes, so I'm working out the kinks on that one.

Anyway, I love cheering my little stars from the sidelines. Baseball starts in a few months, and Gabe wants to play. Caleb is still undecided.