Friday, April 27, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been a week of many lasts:

• My last week of Monday Fun, our weekly co-op. High schoolers still have 3 weeks left, but Duncan and I are DONE! My friends and I always laugh about how ridiculously excited we are to be finished and yet how much we look forward to the next year. Yes, I am already planning my classes for next year, at least in my head.

• The kids' last week of regular class at their performing arts co-op on Tuesdays. They have three rehearsals next week and then their performance. That means I actually will have a few 4-hour stretches sans chidren next week. What shall I do with myself? (Ha!)

• Our last American Heritage Girls and Cub Scout regular meeting of the year. Both have awards ceremonies in a couple of weeks, but the big part is done. And we're done in more ways that one: this was Randy's last year as Cubmaster, since Duncan will be crossing over to Boy Scouts. He's been Cubmaster for a total of 8 years, so this will be a B-I-G change in his life. And I can't even imagine what it will be like to clear out from our house all the boxes, tubs, and plastic sacks full of Cub Scout supplies! WOW! The other big "done" for us is that we will be moving our meeting location for next year. We've been meeting in our former church for nine years, and it is time to move on. No one who is part of either our AHG troop or our Cub Scout pack belongs to that church any more, and it feels awkward and uncomfortable. I can't even express the joy and freedom I felt knowing that I would only have to return to that building one more time—to pack up 9 years' worth of supplies. Here's to new beginnings!

• Our oldest finished classes for his sophomore year at Belmont University this week and is nearly done with finals. We'll head over to Nashville on Sunday to bring a load of his stuff home, and then he'll come home on Monday after his last final. Summer is really here, for him at least!

Next week I'll add my British Literature class to my list of lasts. Today was our second-to-last class, and we are finishing up Watership Down. As part of our discussion I had them work in groups to come up with a list of 10 qualities a good leader should possess, and also a list of classroom rules they think should be implemented. Both of these are based on events in the book, and I was 1)impressed with their list of leadership qualities and 2) amused at their lists of rules. I told them I am going to compile their lists into one for my American Lit class next year. A lot of them are "normal," like be respectful and no cell phone, but here are a few of the ones that cracked me up.
  • Don't dictate the discussion
  • No passing notes
  • No shouting
  • Don't talk unless it's class related
  • Must bring food it if is your birthday
  • Must bring food if it is not your birthday
  • No chewing gum
  • No weapons
  • No inappropriate jokes
  • No gorillas
  • Must not have nasty feet
  • Must drink Sprite
  • No bringing pets to class, real or fake
  • Must enjoy Anthony's stories (Anthony is our class storyteller, and he has some doozies)
  • No random bursts of song in class or random dancing
  • Always wear clothes*
 *Please note: Everyone always wears clothes in my classes; I have no idea why THREE of the groups wrote some version of this on their list of rules!

That's what has been happening around here. The boys are off to Boy Scout camporee this weekend.  I am co-organizing our support group's annual Homeschooling 101 tomorrow morning, but other than that, I'm looking forward to a calm weekend of gardening and enjoying my parents and my girl. We're in the home stretch now—just one month to go until the end of the school year!

And here are a few pretty things brightening our life:

Hope you had a great week!

Linked up at the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First Annual Festival of One Act Plays: A Memory

Twenty-five years ago I wore a lavender sweater with a lace collar and a flowered three-tiered skirt and made my stage debut. I was "She" in the John Guare play "The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year." Chris S. was "He." My friend Randy Landry was the director, and Dave King played the guitar and sang "Moondance" and "I've Just Seen a Face" as he sat on the edge of the stage.

It was the first annual Festival of One Act Plays at our college. I was a junior, and that semester had been a difficult one for me emotionally. That was my "black semester": I was depressed, bitter, careless, hardened. I had always been a pretty happy person, but I was losing myself, trading optimism for cynicism, looking for cold alleyways instead of spacious places.

I cannot say that One Acts altered the direction of my life. I did not go on to have a long and illustrious acting career; in fact, I have never been on stage again. But One Acts marked a change in me.

The evening was warm. The grassy courtyard was filled with students on blankets, wearing shorts and t-shirts, facing the makeshift stage. The air was thick with anticipation and honeysuckle. Everything was exactly right.

Anger and disappointment had been whittled away in those weeks of rehearsals. I had a focus. I was an actor. I got to kiss Chris Sloan, who was actually a pretty good kisser. Life suddenly became…lovely. I stepped outside my comfort zone and found a voice I'd always known was there.

Twenty-five years ago I was a girl with a broken heart and heavy sighs, and then I wore a lavender sweater and a flowing skirt and became "She." For a long time after that play, I wanted to act again. Even now I think sometimes, "I have that in me." I remember how it felt, to become someone else.

I knew the magic of the stage, the act of being and becoming and ultimately returning.

For 25 years now the Festival of One Acts has been happening at my alma mater. Randy Landry and Adam Thornton, two of the first year's 6 directors and two of my closest college friends, have passed away. But in my mind they are there, Adam in his ripped-up jeans, Randy with his funny voice and soft hair. I think they were happy then, too, on those warm evenings in May.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Wrap-Up

It's been such a long time since I last wrapped up our school week. We've had very little "normal" around here in the past month. We  visited New York City for three fabulous days (be sure to check out all 4 posts for trip planning!). That was an amazing trip and incredibly educational!

Our oldest came home for 4 days at Easter.  

We've been hiking and botanizing in the Great Smoky Mountains.

She had her first prom.

And mixed in with all of that, we've attempted to crack the books. The biggest change here is that Randy has taken over algebra with Laurel. She's still doing Teaching Textbooks, but he's her go-to guy for lesson correcting, assignments, and, most importantly, explanations. She's not getting as much math done on a weekly basis, so she'll be doing it until the end of June; however, I feel confident that she's understanding it much better under his tutelage.

And she keeps up with all her other work as well: science, art history, European history. Besides that, Laurel's been furiously reading for my British Lit class, reading Watership Down and working on her Jane Eyre research paper. This semester I assigned a research paper based on their choice of a British Lit novel. About half of the rough drafts have come in from my class. For most of the kids this is their first research paper, and I have been thrilled at their work. Of course now I'll have 20 papers to grade by the first week in May, so what was I thinking, exactly?

Duncan and I have been skipping around between Sonlight 5 (now Core F) and doing other things. We finished reading Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde and moved into The Wolves of Willoughby Chase. Love both these books! But we also had to read Heidi for our literature circle class at co-op. And then I told Duncan about a book contest that our local Children's Hospital is sponsoring: write a book called East Tennessee A to Z and win an iPad. He is all about winning an iPad, so we've put aside nearly everything for the past week to work on this book. This is a huge learning experience for him! Not only is he taxing his brain to find rhyme and rhythm for each letter, but we are learning all kinds of historical and geographical facts about the 16 counties that make up East Tennessee. We're only halfway through, so next week will probably be devoted to that as well.

I am starting to see light at the end of the springtime tunnel. April is always a chaotic month, and the first week of May makes my head spin: 4 total dress rehearsals for two different productions, field day, last British Lit class, two productions to attend, Cub Scout crossover, last day of co-op, used curriculum fair, co-op spring program, and our American Heritage Girls end-of-the-year ceremony—all that within the first 10 days of May.

And then: done. Everything. No co-op classes, no plays, no Scouts or AHG. Just a month to finish quietly all of our school work. Duncan and I will finish up by May 25. Laurel will be done with everything except math and personal finance, and I'm also going to start a more rigorous German program with her. My plan is to do German at home with her over the next year, and then she'll hopefully do dual enrollment for it during her junior year.

In homeschooling-related writing, I've contributed Celebrating National Poetry Month with Hands-On Poetry Projects at the Homeschool Classroom and Top 25 Read-Alouds on Simple Homeschool.

There are two fantastic series going on right now. Check out the 10 Days of… posts from iHomeschool Network. You'll find hundreds of homeschooling activities and advice, recipes, parenting tips, and so much more! And over at Simple Homeschool, it's time for the annual Curriculum Fair. Be sure to check back every couple of days to see the newest post!

And now, it's time for a good Saturday morning housecleaning session. It's been a long time coming!

Linked up at the Weekly Wrap-Up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Her First Prom

 Prom is like dress-up for big girls. Make up, hair, nails, and a beautiful dress. 


Someday she's going to be in a wedding dress and he's going to be crying his eyes out. I love that man and his little girl.

I liked the prom and other formals when I was in high school. I like the way our homeschool group does it even better. Dates are so optional. Mostly only the juniors and seniors go with dates. We are not freaky about dating; but we did want our girl to have at least one year without a date, just to have fun with her friends without feeling all weird and awkward with a boy.

Her first prom was all about anticipation and pretty things. I liked that. And I love her. I wish for her many, many magical evenings in her future, full of anticipation and pretty things.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Simplify Your Family Life HUGE E-Book Sale!

For the next four days only, Corey from Simple Marriage and Mandi from Life...Your Way have brought together some of the top authors in the family life space with 38 ebooks covering a variety of topics related to family life.

When purchased separately, these ebooks are worth $375, but for four days only, you can purchase the entire collection for just $29! Click here to view more details!

This collection is only available from 9 a.m. on April 16th to 8 a.m. on April 20th. There will be no late sales offered.

When you purchase the Simplify Family Life collection, you get instant access to each of the 38 ebooks listed below for only $29:

Entrepreneurship & Blogging

Blogger Behave by Laura @ 10 Million Miles ($4.99)

How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)

Make Money Blogging by Tara @ Feels Like Home ($4.99)

Tap Into Your Unique Creativity and Self Expression Webinar by Lisa @ WellGrounded Life ($39.00)

Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($4.99)

Your Blogging Business: Tax Talk & Tips from a Bookkeeper Turned Blogger by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)

Food &  Cooking

Get Lean Recipe for Success by Nisha @ Healthy Mom's Kitchen ($37.00)

Got Dinner? by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($4.00)

How To Cook For Yourself: A Complete Beginnerís Guide by Rachael @ Kitchen Courses ($35.00)

Plan It, Don't Panic by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)

Real Food Basics by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($6.95)

Real Food, Real Easy by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Smart Sweets by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)

The Everything Beans Book by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($9.95)


2012 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($9.00)

Clean Start: Your Guide to Natural Home Cleaning by Michelle @ Open Eye Health ($4.95)

Complete Printables Download Pack by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($7.00)

Food on Your Face for Acne & Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ Debtor to Better ($15.00)

My Buttered Life {Summer + Gift Giving Editions} by Renee @ MadeOn Hard Lotion ($10.00)

Not a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)

One Bite at a Time by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)

That Works for Me by Kristen @ We Are THAT Family ($8.00)

Marriage &  Relationships

A Simple Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($4.99)

Buck Naked Marriage by Corey @ Simple Marriage ($2.99)

Entangled by Amy @ Permission to Peruse ($4.99)

The A to Z Guide: 26 Ways in 26 Days to a Happier, Healthier Marriage by The Dating Divas ($9.97)

Minimalism for Families

101 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Laura @ Journey to a Simple Life ($9.95)

321-Stop by Lori @ Loving Simple Living ($9.97)

Inside Out Simplicity by Joshua @ Becoming Minimalist ($11.99)

Simple Ways to Be More with Less by Courtney @ Be More with Less ($9.97)

The Minimalist Momís Guide to Babyís First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($9.95)

Parenting & Kids

4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by the Moms @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids ($7.99)

Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)

Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Mom ($4.99)

Nurturing Creativity by Renee @ FIMBY ($3.00)

Parenting with Positive Guidance by Amanda @ Not Just Cute ($9.00)

Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Impress Your Kids ($6.99)

The Simplify Your Family Life Sale is brought to you in part by Plan to Eat, an online meal planner that makes eating at home simple. Receive an exclusive coupon code on a one-year membership with your purchase!

Just click here to purchase your collection!

The sale ends at 9 a.m. ET on April 20th, and there will be no late sales offered, so don't wait.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tools of the Trade: Grammarly Grammar Checker Review

I was recently asked to review Grammarly Grammar Checker, and let me tell you: this could put me out of business. (If I had a business, that is.) (Yes I know, Grammarly, that is a sentence fragment.)

Grammarly is so incredibly easy, and students everywhere are going to love it. All you have to do is take your text and copy and paste it to the instant grammar check on Grammarly. So, for example, I ran my last blog post, Off the Beaten Path in the Smokies. Granted, I know it is filled with grammar no-nos. I maintain a chatty voice when writing blog posts, so I expected a harsh critique.

Check it out! Ouch—seriously—a 39 out of 100? "Poor, revision necessary"? That hurts me to the core. There are several different options as to how you would like your text checked: General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative, or Casual. The first check was done with the "general" setting. I tried the next two, using the same text, with the "creative" and then "casual" settings. I was much happier with the results, scoring a 68 out of 100 with only 11 critical writing issues found.

Who am I fooling? It kills me to see the words "weak, revision necessary" on a piece of my writing, even though I know that I break all kinds of grammar rules when I write my blog.

So I decided to correct my blog post and then run it. I did some minor changes, still keeping a chatty voice. This time I improved to a 76%. Not good enough for me. The third time, I made a grade of 87%. On my fourth try, I managed to get my score to a 90% with only three changes needed. Phew!

So then I decided to try a selection from a paper that my son, a college sophomore, wrote for his philosophy class. He received an A on this paper, and his professor strongly encouraged him to submit it to a philosophy journal. I plugged in about 500 words, and gave it a 63%!

What is so awesome about Grammarly is that it does more than point out the errors: it tells you how to correct them with detailed error descriptions and correction advice, and citation suggestions, and even provides vocabulary enhancement tools.

I would love this tool for my students. It doesn't just automatically correct one's writing; it offers suggestions and tells you why something is wrong.  I could see this as especially beneficial to college and high school students who write a lot of papers and are unsure about their writing skills. Running a paper through could make a huge different in a grade and help students actually see how to make their papers better. You can plug in text and use the grammar checker for free, but for detailed information about how to fix it, you'll need to upgrade. You can go by the month, 6-month, or yearly fee, with three different pay scaled depending on your choice of subscription length.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Off the Beaten Path in the Smokies: White Oaks Sinks

Large-flowered Trillium – Trillium grandiflorum

White Oaks Sinks is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is my absolute favorite place for spring wildflowers. You won't find White Oaks Sinks on regular maps, but it's gaining popularity because of people like me who can't keep such a beautiful place to themselves and post all over Facebook and the blogosphere. How obnoxious!

So how do you get to this magical place? From the Townsend Wye, turn right toward Cades Cove. Just past the tunnel you'll see a parking lot for the Schoolhouse Gap Trail (the sign above marks the trail). Take the trail for a little over a mile, and you'll see a narrow but obvious trail on your left that goes downhill a bit. (This isn't the Turkeypen Ridge Trail that you'll pass, by the way. This trail is a little ways past Turkeypen, and not marked.) Take this trail for another mile or so, and you'll find yourself descending into White Oaks Sinks. If you go to the right, you'll eventually come to Rainbow Falls Cave. If you go more straight-ish, you'll come to a cave. Either way, be sure to traverse the whole of the Sinks. It's so well worth it. You can also take the trail behind the cave (to the right of it) and you'll see a lot more wildflowers and come to another cave. Take a look around here: the wildflowers are crazy here!

This year the wildflowers are early in the Smokies. We took this hike on April 1. Last year we went on April 10, and it was gorgeous as well. (We've also done this trail in July, when the whole Sinks is covered in waist-high grass or something. It's hot and not very exciting in the summer there, but at least the Blow Hole cave feels like air-conditioning!) So plan your hike for sometime in the first 10 days of April.

And now, enough talking. Enjoy our hike, and put it on your hiking agenda for next spring!

Blue Phlox – Phlox divaricata

Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis

cute little fiddleheads

Wild geranium

Little Brown Jug – Hexastylis arifolia

Showy Orchis – Galearis spectabilis

Shooting Star – Dodecatheon meadia

Woodland Stonecrop – Sedum ternatum

some kind of ragwort

Yellow Trillium – Trillium luteum

List of wildflowers spotted:
Yellow Trillium – Trillium luteum
Catesby’s Trillium – Trillium catesbaei
Large-flowered Trillium – Trillium grandiflorum
Wild Columbine – Aquilegia canadensis
Shooting Star – Dodecatheon meadia
Blue Phlox – Phlox divaricata
Showy Orchis – Galearis spectabilis
Foamflower – Tiarella cordifolia
Bishop’s Cap – Mitella diphylla
Woodland Stonecrop – Sedum ternatum
Rue Anemone – Thalictrum thalictroides
Long-spurred Violet – Viola rostrata
Wild Ginger – Asarum canadense
Little Brown Jug – Hexastylis arifolia
Blue Cohosh – Caulophyllum thalictroides
Mayapple – Podophyllum peltatum
Spring Beauty – Claytonia virgina
Carolina Vetch – Vicia caroliniana
Pussytoes – Antennaria solitaria

Monday, April 9, 2012

On the Menu

We've tried a couple of tasty new recipes around here lately.
Best Burgers Ever: These were really incredibly delicious. I'm not great at grilling burgers and these did burn a little when the sauce dripped, but YUM.
Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta: This was extraordinary. I grilled a couple of chicken breasts to add to it, and we ate it al fresco at this little table. It was pure delight!

I'm trying to get back into creative meal planning. We have fallen back into the same old meals time after time, and I'm ready for some variation. Pinterest is, of course, an amazing resource for food ideas.

This week we'll be trying:
Tuscan White Beans with Spinach, Shrimp and Feta
Foccacia Sandwich with Roasted Veggies
Grilled Chicken Pitas

Besides that, we'll just have a big fat salad with grilled chicken. We have a faculty awards banquet to go to tonight and another night or two that will involve a thoughtless dinner (i.e., pizza or pasta), so that's it for this week.

What amazing recipes have you tried lately?

Linked up with Menu Plan Monday

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Three Beautiful Things

1. Easter break. Jesse is home from college for 4 days, we took a break from school, and we are in celebratory mode. Lovely.

2. Café table. This was my Great-Aunt Flossie's little table. She passed away 15 years ago at age 104, and yet here is this little table of hers still. One night this week we ate a simple dinner of pasta with asparagus and goat cheese here, with the candle lit and the flowers bursting. We were under our carport, but I swear it felt like someplace special. Oh. It was someplace special.

 3. Low country boil. We celebrated Jesse's 19th birthday a week or so late with a low country boil: shrimp, mussels, corn on the cob, sausage, red potatoes, and onions all cooked together in a big pot, poured out on the table, and served with a side of fried okra. Perfection.

What beautiful things are in your world today?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Our Top 25 Read-Alouds (ages 5-12)

We started reading to our firstborn the day we brought him home. Over the years we have read hundreds of books to our three children, from board books to great classics. Reading aloud comes in two forms in our family: as part of school (we have used Sonlight’s literature-based program for the  majority of our years) and before bed.
Beginning at about age 5 with each of our kids, we moved from a diet of picture books and short easy readers to serious chapter books. Don’t worry about your child not “getting” a book that is “meant” for older kids. They will. …

Below is a list of our Top 25 favorite family read-alouds. They are in no particular order, except that I listed a few series at the end. Why did these books make the list when dozens of others didn’t quite qualify? These are the books the kids remember with almost a tender fondness and sometimes almost awe. These were books we lived in, the ones that do, indeed, seem like part of our family.

{Come on over to Simple Homeschool to read more about our Top 25 Read-Alouds!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

New York City Family Style: Activities—the Metropolitan Museum of Art

We did the Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island Ferry, 9/11 Memorial, and Top of the Rock in one long day; and we did Central Park and Times Square in a few short hours.

But the Metropolitan Museum of Art got a whole day of its own.

I have wanted to go to the Met since I was about 10 years old and read From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler for the first time. I could hardly imagine anything more delightful than living in a museum (except, perhaps, living on the prairie with Laura Ingalls).

The Met was everything I'd imagined and much, much more. I have been to some amazing art museums, including the Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence; but somehow the Met touched me at a deeper level. Could be my age and experience, could be because it's been a lifelong dream. Let's just say it was spectacular.

We prepared for our visit to the Met in a few different ways. Of course I read From the Mixed-up Files to Duncan (Laurel had already read it). We also watched the movie, which was entertaining in its own 70s kind of way. Duncan, who is in 5th/6th grade, has taken art classes for a few years and had experienced many of the artists whose works are displayed in the Met, so there was a wonderful familiarity there for him. Laurel, who is a freshman, is three-fourths of the way through a year-long art appreciation class at our co-op. Their primary textbook is Short Lessons in Art History: Artists and Their Work. She has studied so many of the artists. One of the requirements in the class is that they bring in 4-5 paintings by that week's featured artists, so it was really awesome for her to say, "I chose that painting for my class!" several times in the museum.

We've also read lots of picture books about artists. Some of our favorites are:
I'd like to check out the Anholt's Artists series, which includes Picasso and the Girl with a Ponytail and van Gogh and the Sunflowers, among many other titles. We have plenty of photos from our trip to look back on and say, "Hey! We saw that painting!"

I also did a lot of research on the Met's website. (One important discovery is that the Met is closed on Mondays!) I recorded the locations of the artwork that we absolutely MUST see and took that important piece of paper with me. We also planned our general tour. We knew what we absolutely must see and what we could do without seeing, and that worked out perfectly.

At the Met
We arrived around 10 a.m. Everything I read indicated that the crowds and lines would be terrible, but we did not wait at all. Cost: $25 adults, $12 students, and free for 12 and under, so we paid a total of $62. We did eat our meal in the cafeteria, which was about double what we had hoped to pay. The kids enjoyed eating there and the food was fine, but we felt pretty ripped off. If we do this again, we would choose the American Wing Café, which is pricier but in a sunny spot with nice views, rather than the Cafeteria, which is in the basement.

Once at the Met, we decided to go to the Egyptian wing first because we knew Duncan would be instantly hooked. He was.

We got a good dose of sphinxes, mummies, hieroglyphics, and jewelry before heading off to the European masters. 
 On our way up to the masters on the second floor, we stopped to see lots of sculptures. Duncan couldn't believe we were actually seeing The Thinker!

And then, the masters. Oh, rooms and rooms of Monet, Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Matisse, Cézanne, Seurat, and so many more! I was in perfect heaven. I was actually overcome with tears to be in the presence of these masterpieces that I have read about most of my life. We spent a huge amount of time in these rooms. Again, I am so happy that Duncan and Laurel have had such a fantastic exposure to artists in their co-op classes for many years now. (Thank you, thank you to Jennifer for her fabulous art classes!) And what an absolutely perfect way to enrich Laurel's year of art history!

I remember Laurel saying here, "I printed off van Gogh's shoes for art class!"

 Eventually, we were sated and Duncan was ready to move on. For an 11-year-old, he was remarkably patient and even quite interested in the masters. But we had promised Arms and Armor next, and did he ever love this section! It was about this time that he asked for the camera, and I have probably 50 images or more of weapons, armor, masks, etc. that he took.

Our last stop was the Modern and Contemporary Art section. We all needed to see some Picasso and were well rewarded.

This is also the section where Duncan loudly exclaimed: "That looks like something a little kid would paint!" Yep. I believe the painting below was the culprit.

I took over 150 photos in the museum, so it's very hard for me to leave you with just these few. But I shall resist. (Yes, you can take photos as long as you don't use a flash.) Actually, I didn't take 150 photos. Around the Arms and Armor section, Duncan took over the camera. It turned out to be a fantastic thing, because he was so interested in taking pictures of every single thing that he forgot to say he was tired or ask if it was time to go. I don't think he asked that even once!

After about five hours at the museum, we'd had enough. We were really tired of walking and standing, so we headed back through Central Park to the subway and then back to our hotel. That evening we had another fantastic meal in "our neighborhood," and our NYC trip came to a close.

Two and a half days, seven hot spots: I think we did a fantastic job of seeing New York City, family style!

Want to see what all we did in NYC? Check out these others posts:
NYC: Lodging, Transportation, and Food
Central Park and Times Square
Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, Staten Island Ferry, Top of the Rock