Friday, November 26, 2010

Autumn Update

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.  We had a terrific Thanksgiving dinner with a large group of friends from our church. 

My posting has been pretty light because I haven't had much free time the past few months.  Since September, I have been attending a three-month long school at the Washington Navy Yard.  Most of my classmates are here as geo-bachelors away from their families, so while I haven't had much free time, I am thankful that I live here in the DC area and get to go home to my family every night and spend time with them on the weekends.

I love autumn.  It's my favorite time of year.  I love the trees changing colors.  I love the chill in the air that warns of the approaching winter.  I love the flavors of the seasonal dishes at local restaurants. 

For our anniversary in October, my wife and I had an extraordinary dinner at the Parallel Wine Bistro right here in Ashburn.  They mostly serve small tapas-style dishes, but they have a few normal entrees, too.  I had the pork with apples and cream sauce and it was heavenly. 

In November, I attended the Veteran's Day assembly at my boys' school and then went and had an awesome lunch at Clyde's with my wonderful wife.  I had the potato leek soup and butternut squash ravioli, and they were to-die-for. 

Full House at the Veteran's Day Assembly

We've had a couple of fun outings with the Cub Scouts this fall. 

First, I went with my elder son's Webelos Cub Scout den to visit the Rust Sanctuary in Leesburg, VA.  It was a beautiful park, and Ty, the naturalist who led our excursion around the park, did a superb job of teaching the boys and keeping them involved and engaged in the subject matter. 

Naturalist Ty showing the boys a ginormous earth worm.

We lifted up stumps and identified the critters underneath.

We went for a hike around the property.

Spotted some beautiful (although deadly) mushrooms.

Spent some time by the pond.

If I just stay really still, then 
the people won't see me here.

Next, I went with my younger son's Tiger Cub Scout den to visit the Heritage Farm Museum over at Claude Moore Park in Sterling, VA.
Our guide at the Heritage Farm was also excellent.  She did great with the kids.  In the picture above, she had the boys line up like they were a team of horses, and then she taught them some basic commands that farmers would use to get their horses to move or stop or turn, and she used those terms to lead us around the museum.

Explaining how a plow works.

Milking the cow.

Gathering the eggs.

I enjoyed taking the boys trick-or-treating this year.  It was fun to watch them sort their candy afterwards.
I can't imagine where they got such anal-retentive organizational obsession.  (sarcasm)

It's cool to watch my boys grow and develop their own personalities and interests.  This year, my younger son decided he wanted to take up baseball.  This surprised us to no end because nobody in our family is very athletic or into sports, but I really enjoyed going to watch YB's baseball games on Saturday mornings.

Go Grasshoppers!

My elder son continues to enjoy fencing epee with the Have Blade Will Travel fencing club.  Last weekend I went to watch him fence in a scrimmage at Claude Moore Park.  It had been a while since I had seen him fence, because he normally goes to fencing while I'm still at school.  I could tell he had improved tremendously since the last time I watched him.  His coach says he's doing a great job and will do much better when he grows a little more.

(That's ES on the right.)
Then of course, there are the leaves, leaves, and more leaves.  The past two weekends in a row we have raked leaves, and looking out my window now, you would never have guess we did ANY raking this season.

But I still love autumn.  :-)


Sagey said...

Someday I will get it through your thick head that baseball runs through the blood on my side of the family! ;-)

Hilary said...

Thanks for catching us up on what we've missed. How wonderful for you to be able to go home to family day during your course. That must make your whole family very happy.

Snorting at Sagey's comment. :)

Tabor said...

Sounds like you are living a rich and full life. Happy post holiday greetings.

SamanthaSimons said...

Nice to see a post, can't begin to imagine how busy you are. I'm going to file those restaurants away in my memory. If we end up not getting the orders Andy wants and end up stateside, I'll run MCM in 2012 and will be looking for good eats!

LOVE the mushroom picture, wonderful shot. It's great to see you're still getting quality family time amidst the craziness.

Happy holidays!