Ran a 5k at the Stone Zoo Saturday evening; it was part road-race, part trail-race, but I managed to beat my own personal 5k record – by 14 seconds. Which doesn’t sound like all that much – it ISN’T all that much – but it’s so nice to see progress, you know?
Sunday morning we were up and out early, took a short drive through Southie to Castle Island.
It was a gloriously beautiful summer day.
We got there a couple of hours before the fort opened for visitors, and scrambled around the island happily until noon. Unfortunately, despite all web resources saying self-guided tours of the fort were available, we were disappointed to be told that visitors had to take a guided tour to gain entrance. I don’t know about you, but the notion of dragging my kids through a 45-minute tour led by a senior citizen was not appealing to Larry and me.
Craft Tuesday this week involved several phases spread out through the course of the day.
Step 1: Glue a bunch of popsicle sticks together to make four squares per kid. Let them loose until the glue is dry.
Step 2: Get a big piece of wax paper and let them color all over it, the darker/heavier the better. While they have at it, shave some broken crayons into little cups or bowls or piles, and once they’re done coloring let them sprinkle the shavings all over the paper.
Step 3: Cover the wax paper with another piece of wax paper, and iron them until the crayons melt (sealing the wax paper together). This is a grown-up job, and be sure to put newspaper under and on top of the wax paper, and maybe a kitchen towel atop it all for good measure. Let them do something else while the paper cools off.
Step 4: Cut the paper into square about the same size as the popsicle squares, and glue them onto each. Let the kids go something else while the glue dries.
Step 4: Once the glue is dry, trim the excess paper from outside the frames. I did this part with an Exacto knife, but maybe you’re better with scissors than I.
Step 5: Use tape to attach the squares together at the corners (if you tape the whole side, it will not fold into a cube. Ask me how I know).
Step 6: Send the kids on a scavenger hunt to find two battery-operated tealights that are still functional.
For last week’s Craft Tuesday, the boys decorated wooden tugboats we bought at the USS Constitution gift shop.
Yesterday we drove down to the Roger Williams Zoo. We were so busy looking at all the animals (it’s one of the largest zoos in New England, if not the largest), we didn’t take many photos. I did manage to get this group shot of Larry taking a group selfie, complete with the giraffes in the background.
Do you know about Free Fun Fridays? Every Friday this summer, various cultural institutions (read: museums and zoos) are offering free admissions; the list changes weekly, so what’s free this week won’t be free next week, etc. (you can see the full list here).
Last Friday afternoon we took a family field trip to the USS Constitution. Now I will regale you with a few facts about the USS Constitution – ready?
It was built here in Boston, a few hundred feet away from where it’s berthed today. It’s the oldest ship in the US Navy – first commissioned in 1797 – and the oldest warship in the world that’s still afloat. It was a superstar in the War of 1812, and the term “Don’t give up the ship!” was coined by a sailor during a battle. It’s nickname is “Old Ironsides” because the sailors saw cannonballs bouncing off her sides.
It’s still commissioned by the US Navy, so we had to go through a military security checkpoint to go aboard. The kids thought that was awesome.
Now, onto the family fun.
On Saturday we took a drive up 128 to Rockport, to our old stomping grounds at Halibut Point. We’ve been going there for many many years, and it never ever disappoints.
This week’s Tuesday craft was suncatchers.
For craft Tuesday, and really whenever painting is involved, I try to set things up outside.
Super colorful. I like how Alistair’s crab is painted very symmetrically, while Larson’s dolphin is very loosey-goosey.
Very much in keeping with their personalities. :)
Spent last week at the Farm.
This was my 36th year. People say “how can you go to the same place every year? Sounds boring.” No way – every year there’s something different, something new.
For instance, I got caught in a rainstorm midway up Gap Mountain – that never happened before. There was a power outage one night, so we ate dinner by candlelight for the first time. Larson was in the magic show! Alistair learned to swim without a floatie! All firsts :)
And in between there was volleyball, egg collecting, cow milking, arts and crafts, and general fun and relaxation for one and all. The boys ran themselves ragged every day – so much so that Larson fell asleep at the dinner table Friday night (another first).
All with the spectacular Mount Monadnock in the background. In 36 years I have never once gotten tired of the view.
Thanks again, East Hill Farm – here’s to another 36 years. At least.