April started off on the 1st with Darren's 37th birthday. It was a Sunday, and we went to church, where they were coincidentally celebrating their 50th anniversary as a congregation. So, lots to celebrate starting off the month.
Easter was the next week, and along with that theme, a mom from our homeschool group hosted an egg hunt playgroup. The kids had a great time searching all over their property for plastic eggs filled with goodies.
On the 13th, Flo attended a safety class at Children's Village in Hagerstown. My friend took Flo for me, as Joe wasn't old enough yet, and certainly wouldn't have the attention span needed for a four hour class. Flo, however, quite enjoyed herself and learned some valuable information about how to react in an emergency, or even better, how to prevent one.
For our anniversary weekend this year, we decided to forego any romantic plans, and take the kids up to Ontario to visit their cousins. It was a brief visit, but we enjoyed walking around in the trendy downtown area of Kingston and seeing Darren's sister's new home, as they moved to a larger place last August. We had great weather up and back, and took our time driving both ways. We let the kids out a lot to run at rest stops, and stopped at a natural foods store in Syracuse, New York, as well, so the eight hour trip didn't seem that long. Even though it was brief, I think it's important to have the kids connect with their extended family occasionally and also to visit Canada.
On the 24th, we went with our homeschooling group to Rosehill Manor Museum in Frederick, Maryland. It's a hands-on museum for children with numerous buildings, including a manor house, carriage museum, farm museum, ice house, blacksmith shop, log cabin, and display areas show how crafts people worked. The kids got a guided tour through all the buildings and some demonstrations of life during eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The tour was led by costumed museum volunteer who is trained in both educational, historical, and age appropriate information. I spent most of the time wrangling Joe and trying to keep him from being disruptive. But Flo had a great time and learned a little bit about history.
Two days later, on the 26th, it was "Take Your Child to Work Day." So, Flo got to experience the joy of getting up at 4am with Daddy and doing the two hour commute to DC. She, of course, slept on the bus and the metro. She got to spend the morning doing crafts with the children of Darren's co-workers, and by the time I went into DC with Joe to pick her up, she was worn out. Darren took off a few hours early, so we could go eat at Java Green and drive home before the traffic got too bad. So, it was a nice day.
Friday is our usual playgroup, and for the last one of the month, we decided to meet, once again, downtown at Discovery Station Museum. There was a school group there doing a field trip for part of the time, so it was busier, but we had fun and it was a good rainy day alternative to meeting at the park, which was our original plan. Afterwards, we walked the couple blocks to the public library and checked out a few books and DVD's for the week.
On the 28th, we checked out the grand opening of My Organic Market in Frederick. Along with lots of fun food samples, the kids got to learn a little bit about environmental issues and plant their own seed pots, which Flo and Joe are now eagerly watering everyday and watching to grow.
Finally, the month ended with Darren and Flo heading down to Rockville to see a concert featuring a favorite Canadian folk group, Tanglefoot. It has become somewhat of a tradition for Flo and Darren to go once a year to see this group. They went for the first time in West Hartford, Connecticut, when Flo was four, and have gone the past two years down here in Maryland. They got home late, and went right to bed, but they both said it was worth the hour plus drive.
Aside from these numerous events, we continued with piano and skating lessons for Flo. She also attended a couple art classes at a local craft store. Both Flo and Joe continue with their gym classes at The Little Gym until early June.
We are still focusing on reading comprehension with Flo, as well as, building those basic math skills. This month's joint reading endeavor is the first in the series of the Harry Potter books. We're making slow progress through it because we've been so busy, that by the time we read at night, we're both tired, and Flo generally falls asleep a few pages in. But, we'll keep at it, and watch the movie again when we're done!