Saturday, June 25, 2011

Forgot to add one....

Forgot this photo. The kids thought that this was a funny name. I kept hearing giggling next to me when I was reading something else across from where this plane is parked inside. When I got home and was looking for a link about something else, I came across this. Oooo. Maybe it wasn't MY kids giggling. I always find out about these 'haunted' things after I've seen them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mother's day (I'm catching up....)

I had a post started for this the other day, and now it is gone. UGH. So I will try to remember what I had before.

Mike had been asking me what I wanted to do for mother's day. One of my favorite places to go that is relatively close to be able to do in a day, plus constitutes as a road trip, is the Air Force Museum in Dayton. It is such a neat place. The weather was ideal for being able to see things outside too. It really was a perfect day. I was asked by two separate volunteers at the - not busy - museum if I chose the destination for mother's day. I think they were surprised when I said that I actually had. It was really nice since it really wasn't busy.

Below: a photo I found when I loaded the card onto my computer. Matthew had my camera for awhile and was busy taking pictures. He must have taken 100 photos of planes, plus any strange looking mannequins, or some things I simply could not figure out why in the world he would take a picture of them. Apparently it meant something to his little 8 year old mind. This one below made me laugh. Only Matthew would find some random statue and take a picture of it's butt. So I did have to include it in my post here.

We started outdoors and walked around for awhile. I really didn't take too many pictures on this trip because I really was more interested in being a part of the goings on. Plus I was into reading a little more this time. The last time we were here, Matthew was 6. He wore out a little easier, (which meant the "I'm bored, I'm tired, I'm thirsty and all that comes with a smaller child at a place like this.) Plus that meant harder to keep track of. This time he was very into what we were looking at. He would look at something for a long time and read about it. Then look at it some more. I could see his little mind at work.

Also this time around we really concentrated on the WWII stuff. The place is so big, you really cannot see it all in one day. I'd really like to have several days in a row of seeing things.

One thing that was really neat this time around is that Matthew is obsessed with anything about WWII. Especially weapons. He had already known that the museum was home to the Bockscar and was really excited about seeing it. He could tell you all you wanted to know about it and Fat Man before going to the museum. Being able to see him actually looking at this in real life was pretty neat.

I didn't get a photo, but near the plane was a case that had some things from the crew of the plane. One thing in particular was a pair of darkened goggles that had been worn on the flight over Japan. Maybe I think too much when I'm looking at things like that, but I stood there in amazement just thinking of exactly what was witnessed through those very goggles. It's so different than seeing a photo in a history book and feels so humbling.

Below: I don't remember seeing this section at all the last time we were here. I was probably a little odd when I was younger, but I loved Jimmy Stewart. Loved him. I found a display with a story about him during the war, and there was his jacket. I just thought it was SO COOL. It was interesting to read about him, and to looking at the photograph on the left above the jacket....and be able to compare small things like a crease in the leather in the photo to the jacket below.

If you didn't think that my love of Jimmy Stewart was strange....I came around a corner and heard some familiar music. My mom has to know where this is going. A display of Glenn Miller stuff, including one of his trombones. The photo of it below also has a mouthpiece above the one in the instrument. The one above is the one that Jimmy Stewart used in the movie "The Glenn Miller Story" in which he used one of Glenn's trombones. The mouthpiece in the instrument is Glenn's. I still love Glenn Miller. After reading more about him here, I think I love him even more now. It was such an interesting time when he was around, and I always thought what he did with his talents for the troops of that period was neat. It was really nice to see a lot of his memorabilia in a museum instead of lost in a private collection somewhere. Seeing this really touched me, and brought back a lot of my own memories. Honestly Glenn.... (for you mom!) lol.

Below: click on the image to enlarge. This letter was really neat to look at. For historical value, the fact that it still exists, the fact that it was written and signed by GM and mostly that it was typed out on a real typewriter. I kind of laughed trying to explain a 'typewriter' to the kids. Let alone this being the old school type before electric ones. We had a manual typewriter at home when I was a kid, and even though it wasn't as old as the one that typed this letter, I will always remember the sound that it made when you would type with it. - Also, if you read this letter, it is
what became my favorite part of the movie. St. Louis Blues march. I have no idea why those goofy letters come up during that video. Definitely not part of the movie!

Then we moved over to the POW camp part of the museum. I stood here for a very long time looking at the things in the case. It's so easy to forget what people have gone through for you to have the life that you are used to now. When I would look at these items and wonder what the person was like that carved a small piece of wood into a box, or made a working clock or stove out of the little bits of metal they would collect from tin cans, etc. The things that they would do to pass the time or survive. It's another humbling part of the museum. I can't find the words to explain how it feels to be looking at something like what they have displayed here.

My favorite in the case was this small journal made out of cigarette package wrappers. I would look at it and wonder about the person the handwriting belonged to. What was his story.

Below: funny carvings. I also loved the box that was made out of scrap tin and woven together.

I thought I had gotten a picture, but there was a small collection of molds made from hand carved wood. They would take tin and pound it into the mold so that they could make wings like the pins they had on their uniforms. The designs were so tiny and intricate. You can actually see one of them in the bottom left of the 2nd photo down from this one.

This is another part that I think is interesting when we go, and I have a photo from the last time we were there. I'd like to find it and compare to the one below to see how it has changed in two years. It appears that there are a lot more cups turned upside down then I remember from before. Here is an article, but obviously outdated since the case has been moved to this museum in Dayton. I hate to think of the amount of people from this era that the world is losing every day.

Below: Apollo 15 Command Module Endeavour.

We really didn't get to spend too much time outside the WWII hangar because we did end up going to see an IMAX movie about space that we had to be at, at a certain time. By the time the movie was over, it was getting close to time for the museum to close. We did get to see this below. Hopefully next time we will be able to spend some more time in some different areas. I would like to go back and see the space stuff. There is so much to see, from so many different eras.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Today we....

I really don't have any creative titles for my posts anymore. Hey, it's summer. As silly as it seems to blog about everyday, non exciting things.....I spent some time going back to past years on my blog the other day. It's interesting to see what was so 'everyday' back then, compared to now. That is the stuff that is the most fun for me to remember anyway. What a normal day was like for us.

This morning I worked. I was up early to get ready (well, early for what has become a habit of sleeping in until 9 or so.) I had to go in at 8:30. I was up late talking to Mike on IM. It was 4:30 am his time. He couldn't sleep and as I was checking my email I heard the IM chime on my computer. I never expect to hear from him at that time. He wasn't feeling well and had a fever. He couldn't sleep. He was going into the doctor as soon as they opened in the morning. So before I leave for work I get a message from him that he's back from the doctor and he has malaria. He has one more week before he comes home, and he's on bed rest at his hotel all the way in Africa right now. :(

I talked to him after I got off of work. He still wasn't feeling well, but he's armed with a lot of medication.

The weather outside is beautiful today. I decided I was going to look for something to do outside. Especially since I had already worked and didn't care if I got dirty. I started to mow the lawn, but Trevor came out and asked if he could learn how to mow. He took over. At one point when I thought the hill was getting tough for him I asked him if he wanted me to do a little bit for him. With all this confidence in his voice, like he's been mowing lawns forever he says, "Nah....I'm good. I've got it." I have to say, for his first time doing an entire yard, he did a great job.

Then while I was at it, I vacuumed out my car. It's happy now. I'm happy. I like a clean car! I even bought it a new air freshener when Matthew and I went to the store afterwards. (My sister's favorite Kroger. It's not the same without her.)

I had some other photos from yesterday and even a bunch that I want to catch up on from Mother's Day, but blogger is being picky today and only let me post a couple. Even these two took several attempts and a long wait. I hope to get the others on later tonight.

Tonight we are making homemade pizza and then settling down to watch America's Got Talent.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Today we...

Today we slept in. I love that about summer vacation.

Then we went to the library. It's funny how the kids each have certain things that they look for when we go there. Trevor didn't have much luck this time as most of the books he likes to read are really popular books in a series of some sort. So he usually has to put his name down to have something put on hold for him when it comes back in.

Megan found some books on cartooning and anime, and a how to book on computer graphics.

Matthew found a funny mixture of things. He loves 'comic books' but they aren't flimsy comic books about super heroes like you would think. They are always in a section called "graphic novels" and are stories that are drawn in traditional comic books. He found a cool one on Pearl Harbor and then some goofy ones about Lunch Ladies and things like that. He also picked up a few picture books on WW2 and the Lusitania. He is just like a little Mike. He still likes to spend time watching the military channel. Every now and then something will record and I'm like, "WTH? Who did that?" It may have a weird title or something, but it's usually some military thing he has recorded. He even recorded Kelly's Heroes....yeah, with Clint Eastwood and Telly Savalas! He wants to watch it with me, but has watched it already. He can't learn enough about WW2 right now.

Then we stopped at a nursery and bought a few plants, some potting soil and some mulch. I am hoping to get those in the ground in the next few days. I started a bit of a project near the front door in an area that was full of weeds. Photos soon...I promise. I wanted to get the front looking nice before I took any photos.

Then we came home and made some homemade minestrone soup.

And totally random, but these things popped up when I was looking through garden stuff trying to get ideas on some plant placement in my front yard:

If these are not the cutest things...... I swear I want that little one because seeing it sitting in a bowl of water, with little flowers coming out of it's can that not make you totally happy?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Today we....

As I was working out in the front yard today, and Trevor was sitting on the steps watching the turtles roam....he said, "We have been out of school for one week today." It is strange, I look forward to the first part of summer vacation. I love having the kids home, and there is so much promise and potential of "what should we do?" feels longer than one week too. Mostly, and this is a good thing so I am not complaining, but the kids have been pretty busy. Lots of social stuff going on and me driving them back and forth to places. I sometimes wonder if my new neighbors wonder why I come and go so much. So one week down, and I think everybody is pretty happy.

Today we went to Rabbit Hash. Oh and how I WISH I had thought of charging my good camera battery. The weather was perfect today, and the lighting was ideal. I did get a few photos with my phone, which is good in a pinch but not really great about photo quality.- But now I have plans to go back (maybe next week) and take some more photos. It is so pretty around there right now. I don't know what it is about the place, it is just cool. There are flowers everywhere. It has become somewhat of a tradition to drive there a few times during the summer. Even in the dead of winter one of us will say, "I wish we could drive to Rabbit Hash. I wonder what it looks like with snow." It's our summer thing.

We did our usual. Picked out some sodas from the store, sat near the river and pet the german shepherd that followed Trevor around the entire time, looked around at the "old things and antiques" and took the long way home through all of the tall trees and farms. It was a nice, simple day.

(Looking at this photo....that line of sun in the grass in the back is the only sun the yard gets during dinner time. All of the rest of the yard is shaded from the big trees around us. The neighbor's tree actually creates a canopy over our entire deck.)

I made chicken enchiladas and we ate out on the deck with both umbrellas up. It makes it feel like a party. :) While we were eating I got a call from Mike in Africa. That was a nice surprise.

Photo thanks to Trevor.
I mentioned the turtles. They were so happy out in the yard today. There are plenty of things for them to eat. One likes to see how far he can make it up the hill before somebody goes out to retrieve him and bring him back. He's always been an escape artist. I don't know where he thinks he is going or even why. He has it pretty darn good at our house. Jet....she's funny. You wouldn't think they have much in the way of personalities, but they do. She likes to stay close. I had to keep stopping my yard work because she likes to climb on my foot and stand there. I move her and she comes back. Or sometimes she'll find a spot in some long grass and hunker down and stick her head in the air. They are pretty cool.

Finally, tonight was so pretty. After dropping Megan off at a friend's house, I took Piper for a walk while the boys played Legos at home. I saw the season's first fireflies. An official sign of summer.