Monday, November 5, 2012

Wondrous Weekend

It was an action packed but fun and satisfying weekend around the Helen household.  As I mentioned in a couple of my gratitudes, after the grey skies that Sandy left behind, the skies broke and it was gorgeously blue and brilliant.  Just so nice to see the sun, even though the temperatures have dropped.

Saturday morning I got up at 5 am because I had my black belt pre-test at 7 am.  While I had gotten a waiver for the run, I still needed to be there on time to cheer on my teammates and of course I eventually had to do the material.  When all was said and done, I passed, with the only recommendation from my sensei being that I work on my self-confidence.  You can see a few photos here.

After the test was over I hurried home to have breakfast and shower because we were hosting Gracie and Jacob this weekend while my sister had a kid-free girls trip.  They were so excited to come over that Gracie called the house almost the minute we walked in to find out how much longer!

We were trying to figure out what we could do with them as we didn't just want to park them in front of the TV for the weekend.  Of course there are always lots of things to do but finding things that don't break the bank is another story.  I looked in the entertainment guide and discovered that the museum literally a mile from my house has free first Saturdays and they had an exhibit about dinosaurs along with an arts and crafts time.  Score!  Once we got there we found out that the museum is always free to residents of my city.  It's probably terrible to admit this but I've never been to this museum before.  After going, I will definitely go back soon!

The Dinotopia exhibit was a series of paintings of dinosaurs and there was a scavenger hunt for the kids to look closely at the paintings to find items.  Gracie really enjoyed that! Once we were finished with that exhibit we looked through the rest of the museum before going to the arts & crafts area.  We were delighted to find an exhibit about our local area's involvement in the War of 1812 as well as a giant doll-house.  It was a very fun 3 hours! (Click on the photos to make them bigger.)

Dinosaur Sand Art & Coloring

Lots of these model boats - the kids loved them

Abigail Hinman, a native of my city, and a Naval Captain's wife who refused to leave her home when the British were trying to burn the city down.

Connecticut's flag in the War of 1812

Actual woman's dress and shoes from the 1800's

A citizenship certificate and an actual coat that was worn in the Battle of Stonington

A tea set hidden from the British!

Showing her Uncle her reading skills

Giant dollhouse with antique dolls

November 5: I am grateful that I get to be an Aunt.  There is something so satisfying about having children in your life who think you're the best and open your eyes to see things that have been there all along.


  1. Fran wants the big doll house! NOW! Sooooooooooooo cool. I used to have one as a child but of course not as big as this one.

    Looks like a great weekend Helen.
    I have to admit that I have never been to the museums in my village either that seem to be fun to visit someday but so far never have.

  2. I LOVE that dollhouse!!! I'm with Fran - we need to make this happen. Where is my money tree?

    What a fun weekend - no wonder the kids love to spend time with you guys! Very, very sweet, all that you do for them. :)

  3. Wow! That IS a big doll house!! Yes, I loved being an aunt. Of course, I am still an aunt, but they have all flown the coop, and no longer think I am the coolest person in the world LOL.

    Yes, you sure did have a great weekend. Isn't it fun to discover something new like that in your own backyard? Thanks for the tour, I really enjoyed it! Maybe I'll even go to my own local museum (that I've never gone to in 25 years of living here...)

  4. I'm going to chime in with everyone here and say I love that giant dollhouse! So nice to find something fun and free and close! The early history of our country is fascinating!

    And of course congratulations on your test! So awesome!


  5. Yes - to the self confidence. You are awesome, so hold your head up high!

  6. That doll house is WONDERFUL!!! Sounds like such a great weekend Helen. Thanks for sharing the fun pics with us!!! (and for the record, I really love the color of the antique shoes!)

  7. You can never go wrong with dinosaurs. My son is still obsessed with them! Now, that is some doll house. Glad you had a fun weekend.

  8. A wonderous weekend indeed Helen. I love a good museum and they are so much fun with young ones in tow who get excited about everything. You and Mr Helen are awesome to take the kids for the weekend.

    Congrats on passing your pre-test!I could use a dose of more self confidence myself but I don't know how to do that! Let me know if you figure that out.

  9. I know it's so crazy how many things I don't take advantage of with Chicago literally in my back door - I am sure there are lots of free/cheap stuff I could find to do.

    I followed you on Facebook over the weekend, glad you had a great weekend - and that you had your Sunday night martini! :D

  10. I love being an Aunt too. I wish my nieces and nephews lived closer. That museum had a lot of fun things in it, as oftentimes those smaller exhibits do. Looks like you all had a great weekend together!