Beta child has hit her first big karate milestone: graduating from a white belt to orange.
Not much story for this one, just some photos that I snuck in when I wasn’t too busy watching.
The newly-promoted students demonstrated their kata – the forms that they learn in class. The higher-level students (quite a few adults, older than me) looked choreographed in their moves – exact and synchronized.
I stayed for the entire ceremony, simply thinking that it would be polite, and found the higher-degree demonstrations to be fascinating. The nunchacku was especially cool – Beta thought so too.
The kids are on April break, I took the week off to be with them, and Meghan is at work. It’s a great time to do something out of the ordinary, especially since it’s a bright sunny day.
I know – something educational! Something cultural! Art!
I brought my little heathens to the deCordova Museum‘s sculpture park. (The main museum is closed while they prepare for the summer exhibits.) It’s a huge outdoor exhibit, so they can run around and get some fresh air while taking in some mind-broadening experiences.
When I take the girls to art museums I coax them to pose like the artistic subjects (when possible – modern art gets a little hard). It makes them focus on the art at hand as well as learn to use their bodies, but best of all they think it’s fun.
This was our first time there, but I think we’re going to get a membership now. I had to drag the kids away and bribe them with lunch at a restaurant.
It’s been a beautiful spring weekend after a stormy March. A trip to Old Sturbridge Village is in order. Its the last day we can bring Butter the dog until autumn.
The Quinebaug River is pretty full after all the storms:
Some of the fields are flooding too. Fortunately the flooded parts aren’t regular exhibits.
Of course, we’re expecting another inch of rain tomorrow night, so this might be even more flooding in a couple of days. Sadly we won’t be around to enjoy the carnage.
We went with our friends Sam and Joanne, and their son. The kids tire each other out quite effectively. I didn’t get a photo of them playing in the dirt.
While there, we accidentally ran into our friends Pat and Kelly. We haven’t seen them since before we moved, so we skipped lunch and caught up instead. Afterwards, when we finally got food, the kids were clearly hungrier than we were but they hadn’t complained while the Pothiers were around – too much fun to notice little things like your stomach gnawing on your backbone.
Alpha and Alpha-Pothier played like it hadn’t been five minutes since the last time they saw each other – they’ve known each other pretty much since birth.
We did get the children to sit still for a couple of seconds to take a group photo. This is the only ‘straight’ photo, the dozen or so others have various rabbit ears and everyone cutting up.
The guys running the museum are fantastic. They clearly like well-behaved kids. The girls were told they could touch everything, get into the bunks, and drive the boat (who, apparently will veer towards dives).
And touch and drive and try out the bunks they did!
According to both Dad and the girls, this is a much better submarine to visit than the USS Nautilus. The guys working the museum agreed. “We don’t talk about that other boat down in Groton. We clearly have the better boat.” We happily spent well over half an hour poking around, trying out bunks, and getting into mischief in the galley. It was just a fantastic day over all.
And we accidentally visited Kittery, Maine. Not many places you can say you accidentally visited a state just by taking the wrong bridge…
When the weather outside is rotten, the logical thing to do is find some indoor activities. Today was such a day so we went to visit AGSS Albacore, an experimental research submarine, in Portsmouth, NH.
The main museum is the submarine, with a nearly-full-access self-guided audio tour. By full-access I mean lying in the bunks, playing with the dive-plane controls, flipping switches, and turning dials. The engine room is completely open (visually, if not physically, since some of the more dangerous bits have barriers).
It was cool because it gave an idea of how the crew lived. Tight quarters everywhere and no wasted space. Fifty guys shared a couple of toilets; I can’t imagine the smell.
The submarine itself was an experiment and was refit several times over its lifetime with enhancements like new propulsion, including an uncommon twin screw design.
The experience is much better than touring the USS Nautilus. The Nautilus is ok if you’ve never seen the inside of a submarine, but everything is off-limits so the tour takes five minutes (or less if you have small children). The guys in the museum office “don’t talk about the Nautilus” and felt quite a bit of pride in the openness of the Albacore vs. the Nautilus. We were in there for nearly three-quarters of an hour, and another half hour in the museum shop (including a video of how the got the submarine to it’s present location).
Another fine day, another fine trail. This time both kids came along. Winter is grudgingly giving way to spring – a couple of days ago the temperature bottomed out at 0° F, today was in the 50’s, and tomorrow will be below freezing again.
Quinn: “Did you take out cash when you deposited that check?” Megh: “Yeah, I wanted some in case you asked if I had any cash.” Quinn: “I ask you if you have cash so I can buy something off-the-books, which I shouldn’t do.” Megh: “I get cash so I can buy things off-the-books, too.”
Alpha, Beta, and I went to Old Sturbridge Village this past weekend to see their Antique Sleigh Rally. Alpha is obsessed with horses so it seemed like a home run in the Dad of the Year game.
Alas, Alpha bored of it in under ten minutes. Even Beta was still having fun when she announced that she wanted to do something else. Wow.
At Beta’s request we made a beeline to the Freeman Farm so we could commune with the sheep and chickens. And there, behind the cooper’s shed, we found my redemption: sledding.
We lived a little on the wild side: both girls tried sledding while standing (pictured) as well as other orientations (backwards, in the lotus position, etc). Alpha was quite proud of herself after her first run while standing, and I was equally proud of her. Don’t tell OSV we did it, though – with no one policing the hill it was much more natural and fun.
Meghan has a job with the LEGO store (yes, they insist on the all-caps spelling). She has started coming home with the big kits, thanks to her employee discount. Featured here are a mobile police kit and a city shop kit.