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red, white, and blueberries

what better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to go blueberry picking? well, to be honest, we tried to go picking up in thurmont on july 3rd, but were turned away! apparently, their bushes were all picked out?! so instead, we headed in the total opposite direction, to a new blueberry farm in southwest frederick county.

this time we called frog eye farm before we headed out, and asked if there were enough blueberries to pick (smart, right?)! and the farm’s owner assured us there were enough gigantic blueberries to pick for ages! and boy was he right. some of these blueberries were the largest and juiciest we’d ever seen!

we left grandpa kurt at home to work on the bathroom renovation project, but grandma joined us! she was intent on picking the very best berries, as these are her favorite fruit! jackson was helpful, as always.

it was seriously humid and super buggy, but the kids powered through!

jackson couldn’t stop picking! even on our way back he kept drifting over to what he thought was a good bush to pick (and eat!) some more.

nice berries, dave and marcia!

jackson’s 5th birthday @ school

a few weeks ago, right before jackson’s pre-k school year ended at mvmpcs, we celebrated jackson’s 5th birthday with all of his classmates and teachers. molly made special treats for the celebration, cake pops! they were a hit, especially since they were crazy space cats, awesome aliens and wacky asteroids! molly and dave spent a long evening decorating the pops, but it was totally worth the effort. yay, team!

miss heidi follows a montessori tradition of having the birthday child walk around the “sun” one time for each year of their life. she also shows pictures from each year of their life and shares with the class special moments from each year. jackson loved being the center, literally, of attention!

go take a hike!

as an early father’s day treat, we made a trip in early june to skyline drive and shenandoah national park in virginia and we loved it so much, we reserved another night’s stay in november, so we can see the park in all its fall glory! shenandoah national park is known as the yellowstone of the east, and for good reason. the scenery, the animals (we saw tons of deer, a few turkeys, and even a mama bear and her cubs!), the hospitality, and the amenities were reminiscent of what we saw on our trip to yellowstone back in 2007. and we don’t have to take a long plane ride to enjoy them! we stayed at skyland, the more northern of the two resort areas in the park, built by the civilian conservation corps. awesome history for two buffs like us!

but before we got to the park, we made a stop at one of the many caverns in the region, skyline caverns, for a cool (in more ways than one) tour! the kids liked the caverns, but were a little weirded out when the tour guide turned off the lights!

we made several hikes during our two-day, one-night stay. dave brought the backpack to carry phoebe, but she wanted to RUN! and she did a really good job, too. almost made it the entire way up stony man trail.

what an awesome view at the top of stony man. we all stayed up there a while, eating breakfast and enjoying the cool breezes and incredible sights. oh, and taking lots of pictures.

another trail we enjoyed hiking was “story of the forest,” which a park ranger told us about. the ranger gave us a free illustrated book which gave clues to find interesting points on the trail, such as crazy trees or interesting bridges. jackson got a kick out of the scavenger hunt-like hike!

another thing jackson got a kick out of was carrying his own camera with him, and snapping away at pretty much everything he saw. it paid off with the shot above! check out that great action of a mama deer and her baby. awesome job, j-man!

for more photos of our adventures, click through the images below!

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