Monday, July 27, 2015

Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Matthew and I spent last Thursday and Friday in Dayton, visiting Uncle David and Aunt Shylah, and visiting the National Museum of the USAF at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. David works on the base as a chemist, and I have wanted to take Matthew to the museum since David and Shylah moved to Dayton. We finally found a couple of free days, and it definitely takes a couple of days to see everything. So. Many. Planes!

We got to the museum just before lunch, looked around at the exhibit from the early Wright brothers years of aviation, then took a little break to meet David and Shylah for lunch at the museum cafe.
After lunch, we had a little more time to look around before our tour of the presidential planes and research and development exhibit. Matthew stopped to pose in front of the 'Fat Man' atomic bomb from the World War II section of the museum.
The presidential planes are in a hangar apart from the museum hangars, on the active part of the base. To tour the hangar, we had to board a shuttle bus and go out one gate and in another. Since David has base clearance, he was able to drive himself over and meet us there to tour the exhibit.

Matthew on the steps of the SAM 2600, first used by President Kennedy, and last used by President Clinton. A lot of history on that plane!
The plane used by President Truman was called the Independence, after his hometown in Missouri.
David and Matthew thought this looked like some sort of flying saucer.
David joined us back at the main museum for the rest of the afternoon, and they posed in front of the Apollo 15 command module. Matthew asked some questions about the Apollo missions, which prompted us to decide that we would spend the evening watching the movie Apollo 13.

Of course, we had to admire Cayden's room first, which is almost all ready for him. He has lots of books...

and his crib is all ready with his name above. So cute!

We did some shopping, had dinner at Longhorn, dessert at Graeter's, and settled in to watch the movie together. Matthew even stayed awake long enough to see the Apollo 13 crew return safely to earth. He then settled down to sleep on the couch, and this is how I found him the next morning.
Matthew enjoyed his first trip to Bob Evans, with a big ol' plate of chocolate chip pancakes. Yum!
We started our second morning looking at the planes parked outside the museum. This big (huge!) Globemaster aircraft is a transport plane used during the 80s and 90s.
This particular plane also appeared in a couple of the Transformers movies. It can hold a tank!
This Boeing EC-135, introduced in 1968, was known as the 'Droop Snoot', 'Snoopy Nose', or, for those of you old enough to remember him, the 'Jimmy Durante' of the Air Force.
The museum is currently housed in three large hangars, with a fourth one in the process of being built. You can see it to the far left in the photo. Over the winter, the planes from the Presidential and Research and Development hangars will be moved to their new home in the fourth building. That will be an interesting process to watch!
Inside, we started in the Cold War area, where Matthew checked out some of the missiles on display.

From the second floor balcony, we could see across the Cold War exhibit, including the Stealth Bomber and a model of the Space Shuttle which was used for training.
Smile, Matthew!
We met a man who worked at the museum, who was spending his day off there with his two little grandsons. He told us to be sure to check out the Aviation Hall of Fame area, where there were interactive and educational activities to see. Matthew enjoyed trying to fly a plane. I think he only crashed a couple of times. :)
He posed near a picture of Neil Armstrong, who Matthew had the opportunity to meet a few years ago.
There is even a space suit with steps in the back so you can see how you would look if you were all ready to make a flight into space.
Back in the World War II area, Matthew posed in front of a 'Spitfire.'
And another one.
This plane, nicknamed 'Bockscar' is called, 'The Aircraft that Ended WW II.' Bockscar is the plane that dropped the atomic bomb, nicknamed 'Fat Man' on the city of Nagasaki.
Bockscar doesn't get as much recognition as her sister ship, 'The Enola Gay', the plane that dropped the 'Little Boy' bomb on Hiroshima three days earlier, and is sometimes called 'the forgotten plane.' Matthew is reading about the 'Little Boy' bomb in the photo below.
After two days of looking at planes and reading (reading, reading, reading) about planes, we were ready to make a stop at the gift shop and head for home. So many planes, so much history, and a great memory for Granny and Matthew. (And his memory is undoubtedly better than mine, so if you have any questions about planes of the Air Force, just ask Matthew.) Ha!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Continued Showers

Last Saturday, I traveled north to attend another shower for Shylah, at the home of her mother's sister. It was fun to see and visit with Shylah's extended family, many of whom I had only met at their wedding.

The house was decorated top to bottom following an adorable onesie theme.

And when I say top to bottom, I mean top to bottom! Onesies everywhere! So cute.
A special item at the shower, filled with gifts for Baby Cayden, was a cradle that was made for Shylah's brother DJ, who died when he was a baby. It was made by Shylah's grandpa, and will be a cozy place for Cayden to snooze as a newborn. (When he's not changing clothes, that is. Lots of clothes for this little one!)
Nearby was a clever diaper cake following (as did everything at the shower) the blue and green color scheme of Cayden's nursery.
Each guest signed a wooden 'C' as a keepsake for his room.
We enjoyed a yummy buffet lunch of beef, chicken, fruit, salad, and even bow tie pasta salad and bow tie pasta crunchies to further carry through the theme. And aren't the place settings adorable?
Bow tie molded chocolate and rock candy in a jar of green candy made the tables fun and festive.
Shylah's friends Jessica and Kylee came from up north to share the fun.
Shylah with her brother Joe's girlfriend, Kelly, and her brother Austin's wife, Avery.
Mommy-to-be with the baby's grandmas...
and (some of) his great-grandmas. What a lucky and blessed baby!
Shylah's Aunt Mary who (along with Aunt Barb and Grandma) crochets the most beautiful blankets.
Daddy-to-be, David, arrived after the party had ended, to help load their many thoughtful and useful gifts into their two vehicles to take back to their home in Dayton. Just seven weeks until we will welcome little Cayden John to the world. So thankful for the prayers of family and friends, who will continue to shower this little one with love.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Airing Out the Hodgepodge

I'm happy to be joining Joyce for the Wednesday Hodgepodge today. As always, I'm grateful for her thoughtful questions, and I've tried my best to come up with fascinating answers. Ha! It's easy to participate, just answer the questions on your own blog, then link back to Joyce, at From This Side of the Pond.
Now, let's get started with her questions and my answers:

1. Is your home air conditioned? If it's not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.
Yes, our home is air conditioned. We didn't have air conditioning in the house I grew up in, and I remember summer nights with the attic fan running in the upstairs hallway to create a little breeze for our sleeping comfort. Emphasis on little. We moved, when I was in high school, to a house my parents built, that did have air conditioning. I like hot weather, and much prefer being hot to being cold. I do remember being 'too hot', recently on trips to Haiti, and not so recently when I was pregnant with David, living in the little house on Evergreen Street with no air conditioning.

2. What's something in your life right now that falls under the heading 'up in the air'?
I'm planning a quick trip to NYC with some friends, and since we are still working on nailing down the details, there are some things that feel up in the air to me. We'll get it figured out soon though. Hey hey hey hey!

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?
Well, my favorite desserts are rich and creamy, as opposed to light and airy. I guess my best answer would be banana cream pie. Meringue is airy, right?

4. When did you last feel like you were 'floating on air'?
Dancing with my son, Adam, as we celebrated his marriage to Courtney in March.

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead...which have you most recently encountered? Explain.
On Monday, my mom and I took Matthew and his friend Luke to the Newport Aquarium (see #8). On our way in, there were guys setting up Human Hamster Balls in the Riverwalk. When we came out, it was up and running, and just what two 11-year-old boys needed to make their day complete. :)

So to answer the question, the human hamster balls are inflatable vinyl balls that zip up airtight with a human inside, and are then rolled into the pool for some fun.
Matthew tried a few tricks while Luke was getting zipped in.
Then they went at it together.

When time is up, the attendant walks around the edge of the pool, grabs the handle, and drags the ball out of the pool.
He unzips it and lets the little hamster human out. Thankfully, while they are in the pool, the balls remain airtight. Or at least watertight. Lol.

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity...a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?
When I was 20 (many, many years ago) I spent five weeks in the beautiful village of Kirchberg in Tirol in the Austrian alps.
I hiked in the mountains...
 all the way to the snow cap.
Jim and I were recently discussing the possibility of visiting the area together sometime, perhaps in celebration of an upcoming anniversary. It would be fun to go back to some of the places I visited, and to explore new places together. The hills are alive...

If I were to visit the alps this summer, my activity of choice would be a serious walk. Walking in the mountains is beautiful, and I don't really think it's possible to take a gentle walk in the mountains, because, well, mountains.

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered 'cool' when you were growing up?

8. Insert your own random thought here.
As I mentioned in my answer to #5, my mom and I took Matthew and his friend, Luke, to the Newport Aquarium. It was my first visit, and we had fun seeing sharks,
finding Nemo,
and weighing ourselves to discover to which variety of shark our weight would compare.
Well, the boys weighed themselves. Nana and I were not interested in sitting on the scale. Ahem.
A new addition to the Aquarium is the Shark Bridge, which allows visitors to walk right over the tank where the sharks live. It's neato. :)

Nana and the boys near a model of a humpback whale.
Hopefully, it's as much fun for Matthew to go on an outing with his grandma and great-grandma as it is for us to take him. :)
It was a beautiful day on the Ohio River, and a fun day for Nana and Granny with Matthew and Luke.