Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Washington DC

Our mini vacay to Washington DC was a success.  The weather was perfect, neither hot nor humid, I didn't think that was possible for DC.

Many highlights:  meeting up with my childhood friend, Jenn, and her two boys; touring the Air & Space Museum, The Museum on Natural History, the Museum of American History; visiting Georgetown and Sprinkles and Georgetown Cupcakes; meeting up with my high school friend Cara, and her husband; visiting Mount Vernon and endless amounts of walking throughout the National Mall.  (My girls were slightly disappointed to discover that the Mall was not a shopping mall.)

Obligatory stop at the White House.  (Or as near to it as one can get.)  It was kinda sunny.

The littlest Lad in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  Our camera battery died just after taking this picture.

This picture just says it all.  You must click to enlarge in order to fully appreciate it.

On the way out of DC we got lost (or temporarily misplaced, as my father would say) and we were driving through ghetto after ghetto in an attempt to work our way north and east.

I witnessed a shooting.

It was about 4:30PM and we were sitting in the car at a red light.  We were in a ghetto but it didn't seem to be a dangerous area.  There were families on the sidewalk and there was a park on our left.  As we were waiting for the light to turn green, we heard a loud POP! POP! POP! sound, which I instinctively knew was the sound of gunshots.  (My experience with guns is limited to TV and the movies but there was something distinct about that sound that made me snap to attention.) I turned to my left, (I was in the passenger seat) and looked up into the park (there was a tall retaining wall surrounding the park) and I saw a kid, maybe 14 or 15, pointing a gun (it was silver with a square nose) over top of us (many feet above us) and aiming across the street.  It was crazy -- happening so fast, so much to process -- yet almost seemed like slow motion. Then a split second later, he turned and started to run parallel to our car. Just then the light turned green and I said to my husband, "We NEED to GET out of here NOW!!!"  As we started to drive, I was watching people on the street react. Mothers grabbing their kids and yanking them into doorways, a family with a toddler on the dad's shoulders quickly ducked and tried to run at the same time. Further down the block people were craning their necks back towards the shooting trying to see what was going on. 

A day in the life in the inner city, I suppose.  

No thank you, I'll take suburbia any day of the week.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tyler Arboretum

We spent the morning at the arboretum with friends.  We had a GREAT time, so much fun, (and so hot and humid!)  We packed a picnic lunch and headed home afterwards because our Littlest Lad was worn out after such a busy morning.

The Whole Gang

Lots of cool treehouses for exploring


Cute little gnome home

Inside the gnome home

The Littlest Lad was in motion the whole time and I had to keep pretty close tabs on him.  The older kids ran off to explore so most of the pictures on my camera were of this little guy.  He took off his shoes soon after we arrived and explored barefoot.  (Although I think he is wearing shoes in the pic below.)

Three Billy Goats Gruff Bridge

I wish I could build one of these mushroom trees as a focal point in my yard.
This treehouse was by far the favorite of all the kids.

Last but not least, we stopped by the pond, which was the highlight for our oldest Lad.  He loves nature and science and was very energized by all the pond life.  

(Frog photo taken by one of the kids, not sure which one.)
We're off to Washington DC for a few days, pics to follow.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The boys requested "dorsal fins" today when they got their haircuts.  (Who knew they were dorsal fins?  Is saying fins not enough?  Apparently not.  Because they are definitely dorsal fins.  Or so I'm told.)  Lad#2 looks like a tough guy with the scabs on his face and his spiked hair.

In trying to work on my photography skills, I snapped some action shots last night and am including one of the oldest Lass jumping on the trampoline (no cast!) because it fits with the theme of hair.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Camp Langan

Friday was our first official day of summer vacation and we are off to a great start!  So far we're on schedule (see pic), but it's only Day 2, but still, we're on schedule!

I worked with the kids ahead of time to come up with a workable schedule for our daily summertime routine.  Being the organized person that I am, I wanted to assign time frames to all the activities but the kids were NOT interested in keeping a schedule that tight.  So we compromised . . . and so far, so good.

We have lots of exciting plans this summer after two years of not doing much of anything (due to the Littlest Langan being added to the clan).  But now that he's 2 and completely mobile, we are off and running and we're all pretty excited about it.

A few things happening this week at Camp Langan:
Inverbrook Farm, haircuts, visit with friends, a Philadelphia Union soccer game, a Cub Scout swim party, Tyler Arboretum and Washington DC!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Photo Challenge Week #2

This week's photo challenge was to create a photo for Dad for Father's Day.  I opted to capture some photos of Dad on Father's Day instead.

We kicked-off the day by giving Dad his gifts during breakfast.  Note:  this photo is terrible, blurry, but so funny because it captures a moment . . . The moment my husband realizes that his Father's Day gift from the kids is a pair of Batman underpants.  Why?  Because he's the one who goes after all the bats that get into our house.

His other gift is a gift certificate to Zipline New York, the longest zipline in North America.

My husband spent the afternoon putting together our new patio furniture and had a little help from our Middle Lad, who loves to help his daddy.

We finished the day with a Bobbie that we enjoyed on our new patio furniture.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Photo Challenge

Life in Langanland has been busy, so many things happening, so little time to blog!

I'm participating in a 12 Weeks of Summer Photo Challenge to try and learn more about my camera and hopefully become a better photographer in the process.  Here are a few pics from Challenge #1.

A Trip to the Park, June 2011.

We saw something really cool on the way to the park:  a raccoon!  Right in the middle of the Boro!  The boys were enthralled and it resulted in a mini science lesson as they noted that it was an herbivore, possibly an omnivore; it was female; it was a female that was nursing baby raccoons.  They just couldn't understand why a nocturnal animal was out foraging for food in daylight.  We learned the answer when we got home and googled some info on raccoons.  Kinda funny how passing a raccoon in a zoo would elicit no conversation but passing one in an urban setting was the highlight of their day.