Apr 12, 2013

Bird's-Eye View of the Week: Spring Half-Break

A delayed wrap-up report....Homeschooling's like that....

A half-break is better than none--for both the student and the teacher!

What dinner for 18 looked like.
Monday, the TEACHER definitely earned a day off after hosting 18 of us for a combo Easter Dinner-Mini Wedding Reception to celebrate the impending nuptials of a fav nephew and his  adorable bride. They had  chosen a family-only ceremony for The Big Day, so this gave us an opp to personally toast them. 

It was sit-down which meant cobbling together a banquet table out of every piece of furniture that had legs, and every piece of fabric that was white, but it was elegant in the end. The most elaborate prep came from the creation of a four-tier  Coconut Cake with Orange Buttercream Filling and Coconut Buttercream Icing.  Basically it tasted like Hawaii, or if you don't get that, a Creamsicle with crumbs.
The bride and groom-to-be's places with veils, bow ties, and Mr. and Mrs. Beanies.

Because I love y'all, I am sharing the recipe from Paula Deen's Easter 2013 magazine, as it will be off the shelves by the time you read this! Click on photo for recipe. Oh, and darling 12 y-o pastry chef, Mei Wei, did much of the cake decorating.
Simply smashing Coconut Cake for the lovebirds!

So how did we spend the rest of the week? We were delighted with a surprise visit by Uncle Robin III and his two boys from NJ. Taking advantage of the flex that homeschooling gives us, we dropped our regular school plans, picked them up at the grandparents' house and Metro-ed it into D.C.  The kids opted for the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum on the National Mall.( So not my fav. There is another branch of the museum in VA that I hear holds more promise; go here.) )

To make the most of it, I scoured the 'net for some prep stuff about flight. I must say that the museum's site was a disappointment (government tax dollars at rest?), but I stumbled upon  "Wunderful Homeschool's " blog who are avid flight studiers.They had many links including one to an activity poster published by none other than the Air and Space Museum. Which was not on the A&S's current website. See what I mean by disappointment?  "Wunderful" pointed us to links for understanding the how's of flight, and another that provided many PDF's for different paper planes. So grateful!
 Except for the pricey IMAX movie "To Fly" (which is really showing its age), the museum was a bust for us. The exhibit room that would have offered hands-on opps for explaining those "How Things Fly" physics contained mostly broken equipment. Ugh! But the biggest problem was it being spring break. DC is notoriously inundated with kids at this time. Not just local families, but schools from across the nation. 

HOMESCHOOL FAMS, take note! Those cherry blossoms are NOT worth the trouble. Visit DC in the FALL!! The weather is lovely--barring a rare hurricane--and the crowds are manageable. 

left and bottom: Berlin Wall at the Newseum; right clockwise from top: view from Newseum roof, solar planetarium and sculpture at Air & Space Museum
 To save the day, we headed to the Newseum, a museum dedicated to, guess what? The price tag is high, but it keeps the crowds in check. The money we spent on a 25-minute IMAX movie at the A&S museum would have more than covered the admission here. Inside were very moving exhibits dedicated to 9/11, complete with the antenna  that stood atop one of the Towers and the front pages from over a hundred newspapers from around the world from that date; another focusing on the end of Communism with a real section of the Berlin Wall; and news artifacts dating back to pre-printing press on every major historical event you can think of.  An exhibit on JFK is about to be unveiled. Your upper-elementary students + will certainly find something worth remembering.  Bonus: one of the best views of the city I've seen!

I figure that's enough school for one spring half-break, don't you?
 If you are planning to come to DC, you might also enjoy our recent visit to the National Gallery of Art.

Got field trip comments? Tell  Mother All About It!

Joining in with Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Hammock Tracks, Friendship Friday, and Homegrown Learners Collage Friday. Thanks for hosting, y'all!



  1. We went to the Air & Space in VA last year and enjoyed it. Years and years ago I went to the one in DC. VA was so much easier.

    1. I really must shoot for the one out by Dulles airport in VA. Guess we'll plan for that for the next time cousins are in town. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Yep! I grew up in D.C. and would agree about the Cherry Blossoms. They are not all that. I have a lovely one in my yard here in N.C. We haven't made it to the newseum yet. Maybe, on our next trip up there we will see it.

    1. The best kept secret is the neighborhood of Kenwood in Bethesda, MD, northwest of the city. It is completely tree-lined in cherries and beautiful homes to boot. The Newseum was worth it. My 12 yo stills talks about it.

  3. Thanks for sharing at Friendship Friday! Seeing that section of wall must have been amazing!

    We went on a field trip to an art museum which was exciting despite The problems we encountered with an employee that was less than kind toward Bethany. We were autism awareness in action!

    1. Inexcusable that an EMPLOYEE should be so unfeeling. What a terrible impression the kids must have for the art world now.
      YEs, seeing and TOUCHING (allowed!) the Wall was moving. If you get to DC, go to the Newseum.

  4. It's funny that you're talking about flight because we are doing a Wright Brothers unit study this week!

    Your table looks lovely. :-)

    I'm so glad you linked with Collage Friday this week!

    1. So late in replying, Mary. I love your site and am including it in a list of fav blogs for a presentation I'm making tomorrow for my homeschool support group. Thanks for hosting Collage Friday!

  5. I just found your blog and am enjoying the visit. I'm your newest follower.

    1. Thanks for taking me up on my "invitation"! I appreciate the follow!


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