7.14.2019

Catoctin Skate Park

Michelle heard about this skate park from a friend recently so we decided to go check it out.  It was mighty warm out but we had a great time and will definitely be going back for more action!  The kids did awesome, I was proud of how brave they were trying different rides and obstacles.  No one got hurt today, that's what's most important!



Zach Visits Virginia!

A quick blog to capture a few of the cool things we did while Zach was visiting Virgina from 19 June to 6 July.  We had a great time and I'm pretty sure he was tired out by the time he left.  Looking forward to the next visit.

We started out by working on a communications tower that Zach wanted to build.  He did some research and drew up a rough plan for us to get started with.  We were using the hold saw as we built the top platform in the below picture.

The tower was put on hold when the microwave stopped working.  Zach and I took it apart and tested a few things to include the high voltage diode and capacitor.  Ended up being the magnetron, which was replaced a few days later.


Zach celebrated his 13th birthday while he was here.  Mom and Dad treated us all to a dinner at Benihana and we came home to have birthday cupcakes.

Zach made it rain with the cash he received.

We enjoyed an afternoon at Vanish Brewery where the boys played soccer and dug around while the adults sampled a variety of tasty frosty beverages.  That's Sugarloaf Mountain in the background :)

A few days later, we were at Sugarloaf Mountain for a little hiking and geocaching.  It was a beautiful day, a little warm but we had a great time.  Dad did a great job of making it up the mountain and Zach led the way like a nimble deer.
Eastern Lookout

View to the South from the peak (1,296 feet)

Communications tower was complete and we moved it out of the workroom.  I think we did an awesome job and Zach seemed to enjoy it.  We included 2 stobe lights, the one of top had the option to have a red sleeve on it if Zach wanted a red light.  We secured the tower to plywood and used fishing line to connect 4 guy wires to keep the tower stable and prevent swaying. Fun project from scratch.




Didn't have any pics of Zach here but we all enjoyed a night at Wolf Trap to watch a Beatles cover band called Rain.  It was an excellent show and fun was had by all.

Another fun project that Zach was interested in working on.  He noticed a missing board on the play set in our backyard and ended up finding some scrap wood that was perfect for the repair job.

Measuring the wood to see if it needs to be trimmed.

Zach sanding the wood...

...while Jonathan cut off the old screws from a foot hold.

Shaking the 5-gallon paint bucket.

Zach putting a good coat of paint on.  Kaitlyn and Jonathan were bored with the 1-man job.

We drilled pilot holes before securing the wood with 2.5" wood screws.

Zach did an excellent job and the play set is better off because of it.

We hosted our annual 4th of July party and Zach volunteered for the important role of trampoline management.  He used his watch to ensure kids had 3 minutes of play time before the next group came in.  He made himself at home on the top of the play set where he had a perfect view of the trampoline action.



We took the motorcycle to Beaverdam Reservoir for a little geocaching one afternoon.  Zach loved how much open land there was and made a few comments about how wonderful it was that God made this area so beautiful.

Our first geocache find of the afternoon.

Our second find...the ants made a nest in the container and chewed up the log.

Our third find of the afternoon...we had to do a decent amount of bushwhacking to get to this one.  Zach found a good stick to accompany him and "big boy" took care of spider webs and thorn bushes.



This is from a separate geocache on a different day but we found this small skull in the woods.  I didn't check into what it was but we did bring it out of the woods to get a better look at it.

It was a great visit with plenty of playing, bouncing, working, swimming and fun!

6.17.2019

Father's Day 2019

A quick blog to capture Father's Day weekend 2019.  I woke up on Father's Day with an unexpected headache so I popped a Motrin and planned to take the family on a short hike at Great Falls National Park along the Potomac River.  We were out of the house by 8am and, even though the kids weren't too happy with the plan in the morning, we had a great time.  I felt wiped out after the hike so I spent most of the rest of the day napping or resting.  Enjoy the pics from our hike.

Further below are pics from the trip Mike and I took to Smith Mountain Lake Friday evening to Saturday afternoon.  With his family out of town, it seemed like a good time to get some lake time in on his new toy!








 

Kiki being silly...


 
 

 
 



 



Smith Mountain Lake

The trip down to the lake took us through the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is always a beautiful drive.


Mexican dinner on the water

The hammock setup lake-side, it was a beautiful evening to sleep outside.  The weather was about 60 degrees overnight with a near full moon...perfect.

My view in the morning

Photo credit to Mike

Mike's new toy, the Moomba!

Getting the wake board ready




  
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