Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Day Trip Ideas

In a recent post I mentioned taking day trips with your children this summer. A mom replied asking for ideas. With the help of a few friends we came up with some ideas. I've included some links to help you find more information.

Morefield Mine in Amelia, VA

We did this once and it was great fun. Be prepared to get dirty and take a pail to bring your rocks home. Below is some of the basic information.

Address: 13400 Butler’s Rd, Amelia, VA 23002Phone: (804) 561-3399Directions: From Richmond, take U.S. 360 (west) across the Appomattox River into Amelia County. Travel 4.8 miles, turn left onto HWY 628. Travel less than one mile, turn left at the Morefield Gem Mine sign.Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm Admission: $10.00 adults, $7.00 children

I found this write up about the mine on a website.
The best way to experience the mine is to arrive early. You can check in and out all day long. Picnic tables are on the grounds should you decide to stay for lunch. Vending machines are also available for sodas and snacks. (Please note that no alcoholic beverages are permitted.) Remember to dress appropriately for digging and don’t forget to bring a bucket or bag in which to carry your treasures home.

For those looking for a “hands on” activity, Morefield Mine is a great way to get dirty while having good clean fun. You don’t have to be a knowledgeable rock collector to appreciate the shiny Micah or the blue-green hues of the Amazonite but it helps. At the end of the day, be sure and check back at the shop to see how you fared. The owners are happy to help you identify your treasures. If you are lucky, they will register anything exceptional in the logbook. If not, you may end up like us, with a couple of pretty rocks and some great memories. Sure, we can’t retire on it but we did end up with an experience we will never forget.

We have several caverns within a day's drive from us. The link below is for Endless Caverns. A friend recommended this cavern; she said the cavern is a smaller one, but isn't as busy as the larger caverns.

Motts Run Reservoir - I've not been here, but you an rent boats here, picnic and fish. I might have to explore this one with my kids.

The Potomac Nationals are a minor league baseball team. They have $1 nights and other special nights. We have gone to games with friends which really added to the night.

Westmoreland Berry Farm - Berry picking is great fun for kids; they enjoy being outside and eating as many berries as they can.

Maymont is in Richmond and has some wonderful animals. There is a lot of walking at Maymont, so don't forget the stroller. The animals are in natural habitat type areas and there is even a small aquarium.

The C and O canal is near DC. I would like to do this some time with my guys, as we've never been there.

Richmond Children's Museum

Prince William National Park-This is a large area to explore. A great place for a hike. They have camping, but they don't have showers in the restrooms.

Sugar Mt. in Maryland - another great place to hike. This is an easy mountain to hike with young kids and takes about 40 minutes to get to the top.

The Mount Vernon Trail- The trail is paved and runs along the Potomac River. You can park at Mt. Vernon and bike or walk.

Air and Space Museum At Dulles-there are some giant planes that any little kid or adult would enjoy seeing. There is a lot to see here. With little ones, see what you can and leave while everyone is still having fun.

Quantico Marine Museum-This is a great museum. An adult could spend all day here learning the history of the marines, Kids will enjoy skipping all that and seeing the larger exhibits. This place is so close and your kids will like it.

The National Zoo-park at the bottom part of the zoo and work your way up. That way at the end of the day you're walking downhill. Parking is about $12.

Harpers Ferry-A neat old town to visit. Park at the visitors' center and a bus will take you over to the town.

Battlefields-we have tons of these and they are great places to run around.

Free Weekly Movies are offered at the movie theatre. Movies start at 10am and are first come, first serve. Here is the schedule for the theatre in Fredericksburg. I'm sure the Stafford theatre is doing this program, but I don't have the schedule.

3301 Plank Road Route 3WFredericksburg ,VA 22401540-786-7796
06/17/2008-06/ 18/2008 Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G) Firehouse Dog (PG) 06/24/2008-06/ 25/2008 Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Veggie Tales (G) Evan Almighty(PG) 07/01/2008-07/ 02/2008 Everyone's Hero (G) Bee Movie (PG) 07/08/2008-07/ 09/2008 Arctic Tale (G) Shrek The Third (PG) 07/15/2008-07/ 16/2008 Curious George (G) Hairspray (PG) 07/22/2008-07/ 23/2008 Clifford's Really Big Movie (G) Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG) 07/29/2008-07/ 30/2008 Mr. Bean's Holiday (G) Happy Feet (PG) 08/05/2008-08/ 06/2008 Charlotte's Web (G) Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep (PG) 08/12/2008-08/ 13/2008 Wallace And Gromit (G) Surf's Up (PG)

Baltimore's Inner Harbor-paddleboats are available to rent.

Aquarium in Baltimore- pricey, but fun

Playgrounds- visit different playgrounds in the area. We have pictures of our daughter at different playgrounds in several states. That was her thing when we took a trip out west.

I hope you can find something in this list that will be a fun outing for you and your kids. Start planning now for a summer of memories and don't forget the camera.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Planning For Summer

I've been working on a longer then usual letter to you and I'm almost ready to send it. I actually have sent it to a friend who edits some of my posts. She's the secret ingredient. She's the one that makes them read so smoothly. As soon as she is done I will get it out to you. I think you will enjoy "10 ways to love your husband"

I hope you all had a pleasant Memorial Day weekend. We had 2 BBQs to attend and had a great time visiting at both gatherings. What a great way to start off the summer season.

Speaking of summer, here is a tip. Before summer vacation is here and your school age children are home, make a plan. Decided now and make a list of things you would like to do with the children and as a family. Maybe you want to take some day trips, wade in a few creeks, find some mud for mud pies, pack a picnic lunch or dinner, have friends over for ice cream, or complete a project.

Often summer is over before we know it and we feel like we didn't accomplish anything. Planning out your summer will help keep boredom for the children at bay and allow your family to make some summer time memories.

Blessings until next time,

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Flooding Memories for Mother's Day

What storms we have endured lately! My husband took our son and his friend camping last weekend. They survived one night before heading home with a car full of drenched camping gear. A little rain or a river of water sweeping through the tent didn't stop them from having fun and making a lasting memory. The occasion for this adventure was our son's 15th birthday. He will always remember the camping trip that ended with him and his buddy, freezing cold and wet, sleeping in the car.

While they were away my friend's basement flooded. She picked up the phone and called me. We went to help her sop up the water only to have it flood again on Mother's Day. My friend will always have the memory of a very wet Mother's Day. While she didn't enjoy the experience at all it gave me the opportunity to love on her children. I had her toddler all day on Monday and he was sooooo sweet! He was sweet even when he threw a ball into a planter, breaking the pot and sending the dirt flying. His response to the mishap was "Ut ooo." But then again he says "Ut ooo" a hundred times every day!

Sometimes our lives are like the weather. Some days are bright, sunny and enjoyable, but other days are flooded with doubt, problems, hurts and sorrows. How do we respond to these days? It is easy on the sunny days to bless the Lord, but on the set days it can be very difficult. Sometimes we can't even find the words to pray when things in life get really tough. That's when you do as my friend did. You pick up the phone and call someone. All my friend had to say was "we need help." Asking for help can be difficult. We have to humble ourselves and admit we cant do it alone. But in asking for help or prayers you give someone else a chance to be a blessing. My husband and I were blessed that our friends felt they could call us. We really couldn't do much to stop the water from coming in their basement, but sometimes just asking someone to walk through a difficult time with you makes it so much easier to handle. As much as you may dislike asking for help, usually those who are asked, are blessed to be asked and happy to serve.

Why do we think we have to do it all alone? We don't tell our girlfriends what's happening in our lives, we just trudge on and smile. We need to remember that no one will look down on us for asking for help. in fact most people will jump at the chance to help a friend. Ladies, find someone you trust, share the joys and sorrows of your heart with her. Don't be afraid to ask her to pray for you or stand with you when the basement of your life floods. She will be glad to stand with you. She will uphold you in prayer. She will be blessed that you asked her.

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