Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"What's The Haps?"

Edited to say: You're killing me Blogger! What happened to my photos? They were fine when I looked at my blog a minute ago, and now they're gone! Grrr!

Edited again to say: Okay, I spent the time to re-load the missing photos. I probably won't blog again for months.

The title is a Dad-ism for "What's going on?" or "What's been going on?" I check my blog list every day (sometimes more than once a day) to see if anyone has updated, then I get frustrated if no one has. Silly, because I'm one of the worst offenders! This post contains some of the Heaton "haps" dating back to early March. Part of what has kept me from blogging is my extreme lack of photography skills. I'm usually pretty bad, but lately have been worse than usual. I often forget my camera, or if I bring it I only take it out once to take what turn out to be really sub-par pictures. So that's what you get in this post.

The first few photos are from little vacation to Williamsburg, VA that I never wrote about when in happened back in early-mid March. My parents got a great deal on a timeshare trade there for a week following a business trip they took to DC, and treated us to accomodations. My Aunt Klaire got in on the deal and treated my cousin Song and her family. Tyson, and Song's husband Mike, were only able to join then fun for a couple of nights, but we were glad to have them for even that short time. I drove Tyson back to Philly (area) for work and we took the long way, along the coast. I then returned to Williamsburg and enjoyed all the historical attractions with the boys and my parents.

We learned that Sawyer has an indefatigable attention span at museums. He goes through them with same thoroughness and at the same pace as his Papa, which is to say he does not miss a thing and he takes forever! Chasing Beck showed the rest of us just how fatigable we really are. (By the way, Blogger spell-check tells me "fatigable" is not a word, but my printed 6-inch-thick dictionary says otherwise.) We arrived on Saturday and did some exploring of the timeshare property. Sunday involved church and a nice family dinner, followed by games. On Monday we got up early and visited Historic Jamestowne, which is a living history re-creation of the Jamestown Settlement. The pictures below were taken in huts in the "Powhatan Village". Sawyer was a little scared of the animal skins, hence his somewhat worried expression!

The "Edit Image" feature in Blogger Draft allowed me to rotate the picture below, which Blogger had imported sideways even though it was properly oriented in its original version. I'm sure everyone has been wishing for Blogger to have this feature for a long time. So, yeah, it let me rotate the picture, but this is what resulted... (Thanks, Blogger, you're super awesome.)

Anyway, the next few were taken on the ships -- reproductions of the three ships on which the Jamestown settlers made the Atlantic crossing from England. Beck and Sawyer were huge fans of the ships.

In the reproduction fort there were little sets of breastplates and helmets for kids to try on. Isn't my little settler cute? Soon after this picture was taken he was reprimanded by a "cast member" for chasing a rooster around the fort.

We had lunch at the Old Chickahominy House, which is famous for Virginia ham on flat biscuits, then Tyson and I headed North. The route by which we traveled home took us over the very long Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (4.3 miles) and up the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland. We saw some interesting sights. A house on stilts...

A house on even smaller stilts...

An old boat...

A confused GPS. (The bridge has been rebulit in a new location, and since our GPS doesn't have updated maps it thought we were driving through the water.) This was on our way back onto the mainland from Chincoteague, where I really did see a wild horse. But, typical of me, I didn't take a picture of that (or the ocean, or Tyson), and instead took a picture of the GPS...

We ate a nice dinner at a sushi restaurant at Rehoboth Beach, DE, which looks like a lovely beach town we might try to return to with the kids for a little getaway. The next day I spent some kid-free time packing in Souderton, then returned to Williamsburg. The next few days of touring included Jamestown Settlement (the archaeological dig site of the real Jamestown, and my personal favorite of the trip). But of course I took no good pictures there.

At Yorktown Victory Center (another living history interpretation, this time of the Yorktown Battlefield) Sawyer tried on some colonial clothing. I'm not going to subject this picture to the same fate met by the one above. I missed taking any pictures at Colonial Williamsburg, but if was really neat. I especially enjoyed the Folk Art and Decorative Arts museums that are on the premises. The boys brought home cute three-corner hats courtesy of my Mom.

One night my parents and the kids and I ventured far afield to a seafood shack called Captain Chuck-a-Mucks in Rescue, VA, which was quite remote and quite delicious, with a beautiful waterside setting. My kids are good little seafood eaters, and we had all manner of seafood goodness. We took the Jamestown-Surry ferry back to Williamsburg, which may have been the highlight of the trip for Sawyer. He's still talking about "when we drove our car on a boat".

During a few free hours I took the kids to a huge Yankee Candle Company store, where Sawyer got to dip his own dinosaur candle. The place had a lifesize Christmas village with real "snow" that falls every five minutes, and all manner of other attractions.

Skipping forward a little over a month, we were pleased to have a visit from Song, Carmen, Ethan, and Ashlynn. We visited Longwood Gardens but encountered some traffic snags along the way. One thing I've skipped here are the visits from the Heatons and my sisters. I hope to do justice to that in another post. Here are Song and Ashlynn in a treehouse...

A few kids enjoying a fountain...

Cute Ethan...

Our house has a big apple tree out front. See the swing?

Our landlord made it for Sawyer and Beck. It's reversible; Sawyer's name is on one side and Beck's is on the other. So cute!

We went to Virginia on Mother's Day weekend to see Song and Mike and chill with Corbrett and meet his new wife at his wedding celebration gathering. On the way home we went to Longwood Gardens so I could see the Flower Garden Walk while it was in full bloom. My men were unwilling participants in a Mother's Day photo in the Silver Garden, which is mainly full of cacti.

One of Sawyer's pastimes around our home is working on his "tulleckshin" (collection). He likes to gather flowers, leaves, seeds, sticks, etc. and display them. Here he is with one collection...

Another pastime is climbing up and sliding down or running down the cellar-style door to the basement.

We checked out a book called Play With Your Food from the library. These were a couple of our resultant efforts...

Between here goes the unphotographed trip to Utah. Shortly after our return we made a visit to say goodbye to our beloved babysitter Mary, who graduated from high school and is moving to Utah to attend BYU. Her family is actually moving to Utah as well, due to a job change, so we have little chance of seeing her, even on her school breaks. Sawyer wants to "Mewwy Mewy in the temple." He loves her! She is the best babysitter ever. I think she is working at a scout camp this summer. But if anyone in Utah Valley wants her contact info for the fall, let me know.

My mom came out to the east coast on tour with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They had no free time while they were in Philly, but they had a few hours of personal touring time in D.C. so my kids and I made a valiant attempt to meet up with her. After leaving our house at 7:30 in the morning and not making it across the Pennsylvania state line at 10:30 (only about 40 miles away), we gave up and turned around. On a whim I took the kids to the Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia's highly-rated children's museum. The kids had a blast, and completely wore me out. I only took (poorly executed) pictures in the first of the nine exhibit areas (which include several mini-areas each). After that I had to fully dedicate my hands to keeping tabs on my two energetic little boys! You can't tell, but the first two pictures are from the water-play area. I think this was their favorite part - moving rubber duckies and boats and water all over the place.

Sawyer was my date to the Tabernacle Choir's Philadelphia concert at the Mann Center (an outdoor performance venue in Fairmount Park, just up the street from the Please Touch Museum). I enjoyed the concert even more than I expected I would. I guess I thought that as far as the Tab Choir is concerned I had already "seen it", since I've been to many Christmas concerts, Music and the Spoken Word broadcasts, seen conference live many times, and attended other concerts -- or at least "heard it" since I have a pretty good source for CD's. However, the concert included some new brand new pieces and repertoire new to the choir, spanning a wide variety of genres. It was a whole new thing for me!

Sawyer did great, considering he is only three years old. Clapping might have been his favorite part - after the spirituals and solos (including some dancing) by Alex Boye. As much as we all love the choir's most well-known pieces ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic", "Come, Come, Ye Saints", and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again"), I know they must all be sick of them! Still, it was a treat to hear these live. Again, they aren't all that often performed at concerts in Utah. "Come, Come Ye Saints", particulary, was touching for me. The choir just sounded beautiful and sang with emotion, and as trite as it sounds, the Spirit was very strong. This tour was quite a grueling effort for the choir. I hope they know how much we out here in the "mission field" appreciate it!

After the concert we were able to meet up with my mom for a half-hour visit in the parking lot. What a treat to see Grammy! Sawyer and I had also gone down to the foot of the stage at intermission, where we were able to catch her attention with our huge waves, and she was able to return to us an extremely subtle one. It was important to me for Sawyer to understand that Grammy was singing to us. He was so proud of her, and I think she was pretty proud to show him off to a few of her choir friends, too.

On June 25th we made the summer's first trip to the shore (that's what they call the beach over here), in celebration of our friend Bruce's birthday. This is where my photography skills really UN-shine. Here's all I got...

Again, I had to spend much more time keeping kids from drowning, than photographing them. Also, I absolutely love the ocean, so I spent to much time too wet and/or sandy to touch my camera. The kids love the beach, too. Sawyer made up a song, "I love the sand. I love the sand. I love the sand. It makes me so happyyyyyyyyy! I love the water. I love the water. I love the water. It makes me so happyyyyyyyyyy!" Beck wasn't as wnamored with the water as he has been on other trips, but he LOVED the sand. He would actually lie down in it and roll around in it adoringly...like a dog in something stinky! It was hilarious. We were in Seaside Park, which is a nice, low-key beach area just south of Seaside Heights, which is famous for being where much of MTV's "Jersey Shores" was originally filmed. We took a walk up the boardwalk and saw many a Situation and Snooki. Many, many, many. Wow, quite the place!

There was a huge highlight of Seaside Heights, though. Pizza from Maruca Tomato Pies. I make it a point to suss out any foodie must-visits before I go anywhere (I usually use chowhound.com to get started in the right direction). I would return to Seaside Heights just to eat this pizza again! The crust is so crisp and delicious, the sauce just right, and the toppings don't overpower the delicious crust. Now I'll be on a hunt to find something similar here in the Philly area. We have about at least one pizzeria on every block here, so I've hesitated to try to identify a "good" place, but now I have a reference point for asking on Chowhound, so maybe I'll give it a go. Must have more of this crust!

Okay, that brings us up just about to the 4th of July weekend, which I'll cover in another post. It was a fun-packed weekend, during which I took only two pictures. :-( I'm lame!


  1. Going for long periods without blogging and then logging one marathon post must be a genetic trait that we share. But I made it through the whole post and thoroughly enjoyed the ride! I have the opposite problem from you; I take way TOO MANY photos. My iPhoto is embarrassing. There are, like, three identical carbon copies of each image (taken in such quick succession that there is no discernible difference between them). Pictures of other people's kids. Pictures of food. Pictures of the yard when it looks bad. Pictures of the yard when it looks good. PIctures, pictures, pictures. I hoard pictures (and soup tureens...and teapots...at silverplate servingware). Sigh.

    Anyway, I wished SOOOO much that you were here for the 4th of July. There's probably awesome stuff to see where you live...but we had so much fun! Grilled chicken, corn on the cob, watermelon (your favorite, I know...but it's a 4th of July staple), slaw, strawberry rhubarb pie, fresh peach pie. Then a little fireworks show in the driveway. Sawyer and Beck would have loved it! Okay, now this comment is far too long. Sorry. :)

  2. I like Sawyer's song. I'll have to sing it the next time we go to the beach.

  3. I saw Maruca on Man V. Food last week. I am jealous of you and your tomato pie tasting self!

  4. Grandmom says: What a lovely report of your fun doings. I don't know how you do it all. Just keeping up with two active boys (and being pregnant) is full-time work.

    We so loved your visit here, though you were so sick. Glad that you are doing better now!