We were very excited to have the Canning family come to visit us during winter break. (The Cannings are Jason's sister Shalene and her three children...Alaina (9), Jonny (7) and Cody (5).) They arrived in Baltimore on the day after Christmas and we immediately headed over to one of our favorite places, "Port Discovery."
The kids had a great time exploring the children's museum together and it was a fun way to get reacquainted since we hadn't seem them since our Texas trip in June.
Nolan especially loved the sand table since the cold weather has put a damper on his sand-playing fun lately...
All the kids enjoyed playing in the diner together and making us lots of delicious "food."
Port Discovery did a wonderful job of wearing everyone out. This was our view in the "boy's van" while the girls happily chatted away in the other car!
We spent the day Friday playing (the kids), shopping (the moms), and reading (Jason) which made it a successful day for us all!
On Saturday, we decided to head down to Washington, D.C. to explore some of the Smithsonian Museums. It was a gorgeous, warm winter day and unfortunately everyone else in Maryland/Virginia decided to do the same thing. I have never seem so many people on the National Mall or in the Museum of Natural Science (our favorite Smithsonian) than I saw on that day. This made trying to navigate the museum with six small children a bit of a challenge. We only saw a few things before we decided it was best to escape the insanity...
We walked over to the White House...
(I love living so close to these historical sites!)
And then got a close-up view of the National Tree...
Nolan did his best to break through security, but was unsuccessful in his attempts!
There were also trees from all 50 states and U.S. territories surrounding the National Tree. Here is the "Colorado" tree...
And our little "Maryland" tree...
At this point we decided it was time to head over to the temple to tour the Visitor's Center and see the Christmas lights still on display. Trying to navigate D.C. on any day is challenging, but add in lots of crowds, two vehicles trying to follow each other, and a wonky GPS and it was pretty disastrous. Our GPS kept giving us wrong directions and "recalculating" eventually became a curse word in our van that day. (I think Jason would have thrown it out the window if it wasn't a part of our dashboard!) After driving around D.C. forever and getting nowhere, we decided to scrap the Temple idea and just head on home. We did hit up "Chick-Fil-A" on the drive back though, so the kids thought it was a great adventure!
We spent Sunday going to church and playing lots of games, a perfect way to spend the Sabbath with cousins!
On Monday, we decided to brave the cold and headed to City Park to feed the ducks. We were the only crazy ones there that day, which made the ducks love us even more!
After seeing these pictures, I realize that Nolan probably ended up with more duck food in the hood of his coat than he actually gave the ducks to eat!
Cody even got a goose to eat the food right from his hand!
After the duck food was gone, we played at the playground for about 10 seconds before rushing back to the warm car (although it was a very FUN 10 seconds from the looks on these little faces!)
We ended the evening with a bonfire for FHE and roasting marshmallows. The Cannings left for home the next day and it was sad to see them leave. It sure was fun to create some happy memories together though! And as I have to remind my little Abby frequently (she gets so sad when its time to say goodbye)..."Don't be sad its over, just be glad it happened!"