Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stagville, NC

April and Valerie

Such a beautiful smile!

Big Hugs

Kaden, handsome little thing!
There were three slave row house

You can still see the thumb prints in the brick

Share Cropper's house

We went down to to Durham to see April and Matt during Easter Weekend. Although we had an awesome trip, being that was a holiday weekend, a lot things were closed. But we did manage to tour Duke University and the Chapel and to historic Stagville and plantation. Once the history buff in me kicked in and I had a great time roaming around the ruins of Stagville. We spent the majority of our time in Horton Grove, the enslaved homes. This is what I learned about the unique row houses:

Constructed between 1851 and 1860, Stagville's two-story, four-room
timber-frame quarters are rare survivors of an unusual form of enslaved
homes. Throughout the South, a typical enslaved house would have been a
one-room, one-story structure. However, the number of individuals housed
in each room at Horton Grove was probably about the same as elsewhere, being
from five to seven individuals.The design of the Horton Grove slave houses
employed brick nogging, which not only provided insulation from the heat and
cold, but also deterred rodent infestation, which could have created health
problems. Family records reveal the design of these buildings was a
deliberate attempt on Paul Cameron's part to provide a healthier living
environment for his slaves. In other words, his architectural investment
protected his human investment.

Matt and April's little boy Kaden is only four months younger than Madelyn so having a playmate along was wonderful! The two played very well together, they even had a slumber party together in Kaden's room--too cute! They really enjoyed just running and chasing each other.

Shades in North Carolina

We took a side trip to Durham North Carolina to see some college friends of mine, April and Matt. While exploring Madelyn thought North Carolina was so cool that she had to wear some shades.

Discovery Museum

Madelyn sitting in a hand carved canoe

Bee exhibit fascinated Madelyn. She stood there just watching the bees for several minutes. Can you spot the Queen Bee? She has a white spot one her back.

Exploring the pirate ship

Discovering air in motion

Around and a around

Blue Ridge Mountains in the rain
Nestled into the downtown strip called the Mall in Charlottesville is a great museums dedicated to toddlers. Madelyn and Ariana had a great time at this hands on museum playing and try out all sorts of new things. Afterwards we played on an antique push and go carousel, had lunch on the Mall and took a scenic drive to Staunton to see Woodrow Wilson's birth place and presidential library.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Stamp Act Engraving

enlisted men's tent

Officer's tent

Commander's tent

Patriot firing a musket

Ready, Aim, Fire!

Bombardier firing a mortar

fetching the water

dried tobacco leaves

tobacco drying house

Old McMadelyn E I E I O

Yorktown monument

Lord Cornwallis Cave during the the Battle of Yorktown

the start of a wine goblet

the kiln behind the men operates at 4, 500 degrees

look at those mischievous grins

Original Jamestown Island location

Gabriella and Mikey

Big Hugs

What a history teachers delight! We made a day trip to Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg and had a fabulous day sightseeing and learning more about our country's revolution. Our day was mostly in Yorktown going through the Victory Center, Battlefield and the town's historical markers. After lunch we headed over to the original Jamestown settlement and got a lesson in glass blowing and tour the settlements marsh island. I am so thankful that there were people who could endure so many difficulties and still succeed as a permanent settlement, that ultimately resulted in a free nation. To wrap up the evening we drove through Williamsburg before heading back to Gordonsville. I guess you could say this trip was "research" for my classroom lesson plans. Once again my history geekness as Michael refers to was in hyper mode and I was loving every minute of being there!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Home Sweet-Monticello

Michael was able to get the house reflection in the stock pond--very cool!

Family Photo '08

Looking down from Mulbery lane into the Gardens

Strolling down Mulberry Lane

Monticello in the Spring

Our Spring beauty admiring God's creation

Madelyn and Mommy on the back steps

Daddy and Madelyn

Lunch at Michie Tavern

Any one who knows me and understands that I am the largest history buff-- borderline geek. And my all time favorite place to visit is Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's house. Every time I and now Michael and Madelyn go to Virginia, we have to make a visit there! This year it happened to fall on St. Patrick's day, hence the green color coordinating, and it was a beautiful crisp spring day. You couldn't have asked for a better to stroll around the mountain top and absorb centuries of history.

I am pretty sure that I had my most proud history teacher mom moment! Because it was spring break, there were some large groups of kids touring the grounds as well, which delayed our house tour very close to lunch time, which never makes for a content toddler. So half into the house tour, I quickly escorted Madelyn out the side entrance. Little frustrated and embarrassed that my kid was acting like this is in T.J's house--she just didn't get the importance of all the pep talks I gave her about coming to Monticello. We get outside and the docent was very nice to us and started talking to Madelyn. The docent asked her if she knew where she was?....(here comes my smile) Madelyn quickly stopped her whining and told the lady "Monticello--Thomas Jefferson's house," She really had been listening!!!!!

As a treat she got to pick out some very cook presidential picture flashcards. We know know the first four presidents! To top off a picture perfect morning we ate lunch at Michie Tavern, where all the food and drink is served as if we were around during the Revolution. We all had a great time eating the fare with our fingers!

Spring Break-Virginia

Hav'n a good time with her aunts

Michael, Nick and Vince, this is wear Michael spent most of his time at the house.

"Tweet, Tweet, Shalom"

Gina, Gabriella and Honey--yes that's a one huge dog!

Madelyn and her aunt Arianna
We took the opportunity to go to see my Dad and family in Virgina for Spring Break. All of us looked forward to have some time away from work and warm Texas weather. Our first day there was quit relaxing and got to spend some time with the kids. Madelyn had a great time running around and playing Arianna, Gabriella and Gina. She became very fascinated with Daneen's parrot Shalom. She would talk to him in his cage, make birdie noise and kept asking to hold Shalom. But Shalom doesn't do well with fingers and Madelyn learned this hard way. But Shalom does like to sit on your shoulder, so once Mommy had the Shalom on my shoulder, Madelyn of course had to try as well. She was a little freaked out at first, but Shalom whistled and Madelyn thought he was a pretty cool bird.