wizard of oz playground at watkins regional park


we’ve been waiting for this park to re-open since winter.
we’d drive by on our way to or from classes at watkins nature center
and peek at their progress.
i don’t know if it’s been officially opened
since workers were still painting on the yellow brick road during our first visit
along with some other works-in-progress,
but that, nor the heat, stopped my girls from exploring this “wizard of oz”-themed park.




the play area is awesome,
but thankfully there are still lots of places for shade,
and the nearby picnic pavilions remain,
plus there is another flat area suitable for a game of, say, kickball, or the like.

now we’re waiting for the new camping areas to open…

lotus and water lily cultural festival

right on time for spectacular views
of the lotuses and water lilies in full bloom
was the 2015 lotus and water lily cultural festival
at kenilworth aquatic gardens.


there were free hands-on activities, demonstrations, educational workshops, Civil war reenactors, and Asian and African dance performances —
something to tickle everyone’s fancy.
the free face painting was a particular hit with the kids (line be damned!).

this event will be on my calendar next summer inshaAllah,
but the aquatic gardens has other interesting wildlife and art park programs that we may check out before then.

bird’s eye view of the nation’s capital

a chilly, drizzly day in february is the best day
to take a tour of the washington monument.
lines? what lines?
the day was cloudy,
but the clouds were high
and we could see clearly in all four directions
to both maryland and virginia.

washington monument tour inside

we learned all about the washington monument’s history and structure,
including cool facts about what’s on top of the monument,
what’s inside the monument,
and why the stones are two different shades of white.

because we’re curious homeschoolers we can also discuss
why this monument to the first president of the united states
looks like it was copied from ancient egyptian architecture.

washington monument tour

free first-come first-served timed tickets are available
at the washington monument lodge just down the hill,
but if you’re coming on a busy day with little people who have little patience
it may behoove you to make advance reservations for just $1.50 a pop.

later, inshaAllah, i plan to get a different take on this nation’s most notable obelisk.

50 girl scouts on the south lawn

mercyGirl was one of 50 girls
— and one of three from our Troop 3480 Juniors —
to participate in the first Girl Scout Campout at the White House
which included
knot tying next to the FLOTUS,


tent pitching,
making wudu and salat in the White House,
rock climbing,
a tour of the First Lady’s garden,
eating in the State Dining Room,
singing around a lantern “campfire” with a lip-synching President Obama,
a fifty-girl group hug with the POTUS,


star gazing with astronaut Cady Coleman and her NASA friends,
a 3-second hug from the First Lady,
tent camping and funny scary stories,
and an evacuation to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building
due to lightening and thunder
followed by an interview with Inside Edition.

in addition, her daddy completed another revolution around the sun.


good times and memories that will last a lifetime.

kid museum homeschool workshop

kidMuseum400x400i kept reading about kid museum’s programs
on various homeschool email groups,
and was finally able to fit it in our schedule.
WOW! kid museum is a curious kid’s paradise.


radianceGirl built a Raspberry Pi Robot car,
signGirl created her own clay animation movie and,
mercyGirl built an instrument with Makey Makey
and programmed it with Scratch,
while the youngest two went with me upstairs to the local library
conveniently located upstairs in the same building.

every girl enjoyed her workshop,
but wanted to try another girl’s workshop.
we’ll have to go back for their open explore session
where children rotate through activities.

until then, take a peek at signGirl’s clay animation movie: