Monday, May 30, 2011

Our First Real Memorial Day

For the last 3 or 4 years for Memorial Day Weekend we have been camping with my family.  Wow, I feel so ashamed to say that.  It really has just been a day off work.  Well, this year was different.

Camping didn't quite come together in time.  So we decided to go to this special service put on at one of the larger cemetarys in town.  They had a band that played their music live (under the green tent covers).

With how much our kids love horses, we found the perfect seat!  By the cavalry representatives!  Way cool!

They had a couple speakers, and then they allowed all the organizations participating to come and place their memorial on the statue/memorial.

Here are the boyscouts that came to represent BSA.  Awesome!

They all lined up along this sidewalk and presented their flowers and stated which organization they were from.

They had several lines of gun men as well.  It was very neat to bring the kids to this and talk to them about their relatives that served in different wars.   I teared up several times.  Seeing all those flags and having people stand up to salute and pay tribute to all the men and women who fought and those who died serving our country was really powerful!

The kids got to hear horns and bagpipes.  It was a very nice program.


Later that night we had some friends over to play games and I made Black Forest Cake!  I must say it was divine!  My presentation has some work, but oh did it get devoured!!   I want to go make one right now!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big Boy Time

As soon as we got back from vacation we transitioned Joey into his big boy bed.  It was the perfect time...he'd been out of the norm for 11 days, and he'd been climbing out of his crib regularly.  He did much better at the transition as Abby did. It may have helped that he got to be Daddy's helper converting his crib to a bed!  I love watching the kids "work" with their dad.  Such important moments for both of them!  Now...what to do with a "big boy"???!?!

Buckner Fun

The Buckners are such wonderful friends to us!  They let us come out to Ohio and stay with them in their lovely home with their beautiful family.  We had so much fun!  I so wish we lived closer.  I won't give up hope...maybe someday!  Thanks again Nate & Kellie!  You guys are the best!

This was the end of our vacation.  It was an AWESOME one!  I LOVE going and seeing new places and having adventures all over the place!  And it was a huge treat to get to spend time with family and wonderful friends!  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lake Erie

Ever since I watched 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' every week as a kid, I have always wanted to go and see one of the Great Lakes.  I can now cross that off the list!  And the lighthouses were a bonus!

It was a nice day and good little outing to go check it out.  Nate (our good friend that let us stay at his house w/his awesome family) and Dave walking down the beach.

They had a great little play area for the kids.

The Abinator!

Skippin rocks.


It was a pretty view!  So glad we could go see the not so eeerie Lake Erie.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kirtland, Ohio

Ok, so this post covers 3 different stops in Kirtland....but that's ok.  This was at the John Johnson Farm.  It ended up being quite the painful stop for us.  Joey was asleep and we had to wake him up to take him in.  He would not stop crying and screaming.  Dave ended up taking him outside and missing the entire tour.  This is the first room of the least he got to see the kitchen.  :) Thankfully all stops weren't that bad.  Cool loom huh?

The Kirtland Temple was an interesting visit since it is not owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Beautiful building and interesting facts about it.  However, definitely missing A LOT without the spirit there. 

Their visitor center had some fun dress up clothes Abby and I tried out. :)

Then we were off to the NK Whitney store and the Mill.  It rained a little and boy did those kids LOVE getting to hold umbrellas.  It was almost dangerous how much they loved holding umbrellas! lol

It was simply gorgeous there.  SO very green!  Interesting thing I learned...I asked the older missionary man that serves in the visitor center there why such a beautiful place like Kirtland seemed so under populated?  He leaned forward and said...well, this place was cursed by the Lord.  They persecuted the saints and there was much wickedness there.  Interesting eh?

The mill was so cool!

This wide open field was like free rein for the kids.  They couldn't help but run and frolic in the wide open field.  They started getting pretty far out there, and I couldn't see if there were ditches or streams or I freaked out and had to chase them down.  But no one got hurt.  

Just a gorgeously green place!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Chocolate World or Bust

We had to stop...we just had to!  :)  This is in Hershey Pennsylvania.  Did you know they have a roller coaster park??  It looked fun too! Next time!  lol

They had a little "jurassic park" style ride where they tell you all about how they make their chocolate.  

It was cute and silly and informational.  

The best part was they gave you chocolate when you got off.  (they also dumped you in the biggest Hershey chocolate store you've ever seen...but that wasn't a surprise. :)

Washington DC Temple

On our roady between DC and Ohio we stopped at the DC Temple.  Such gorgeous grounds.  And temple is just huge and majestic!

Abby & Joey...such posers! :)  They had a wonderful visitors center there... a replica of inside a home that was really cool!

Isn't it glorious?  I am so grateful for these amazing edifices where we can be sealed to our families for all eternity.  Just being near the temple we could feel a wonderful peace.  I am grateful they are all over the country (and world) for us to find solace and guidance.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The End of One Loooooong Day

Tidal Basin...we walked around this basin to see the FDR Memorial and then as you'll see further down, the Jefferson Memorial.  It was gorgeous to see the final moments of day light reflected in the basin!

There's Jefferson Mon....we walked clear over to it.  I think this one was prettier on the outside than inside.

I love the reflections in the water.

The Jefferson Monument.  We were too tired to stick around and read and learn much.  But it was neat to see.

After our last monument it was really pretty late at night.  We had not had dinner yet and we were exhausted and famished!  Nothing was open that late.  Nothing. We asked around...and everyone said unless we drove out of town, we were out of luck.  We were desparate and unsure what to do. We were pretty far from a metro station, and really far from our hotel...and on foot...WITH 2 sleeping kids.  It was dark but we just followed our map and headed toward the closest metro station.  I'll tell you what...I had not prayed so hard in a long long time!  We weren't in the safest part of town, and an unfamiliar town at that.  I was so grateful to have my big buff Dave with me. :)  

Then, we magically came upon the following site...

It looked like a huge Fish Black Market!  But it was the only place awake in all down town DC! :)  We walked along hoping and praying for a stand with COOKED fish or food of any sort!  Finally, the very last window we saw... 
this!!   It was literally a window that started at shin height.  But they were selling cooked food out of that window.  I could have shouted for joy! We stood there a little nervous for a while, looking at their menus.  Then a bunch of people came over and started ordering food one of which was a police man or 2 with some friends of theirs.   When he highly recommended it and ordered himself, we felt like we were safe to do the same.  We got our food just in time...we were their last order.  They were trying to close!  It was seriously a miracle we found them!  So on we went walking.  I would've had us stop to eat, but I was nervous we wouldn't be able to make the last metro and have to walk miles in the dark to get home.  

We did make it home, but it was NOT easy.  We hit dead ends and got a little lost.  Then had to jay walk big scary streets and have a group of cops (off duty) help us get the kids across.  It was crazy.  But we did get home and ate and dropped dead.  What an amazing and wonderful and fun day!  Let's just say, we slept hard that night!

Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial

We had no idea...but this Memorial was our favorite!  It was awesome!

There were 4 or 5 "rooms" that were symbolic to FDR's years of service.  I love when water and earth and things are used symbolically.  I think there was so much beauty in it.  

We actually caught the ranger's tour right as it was was awesome to learn about each of the statues and what they represented. (Both kids were asleep by then, so we could actually listen! Dave was a champion to carry sleeping Abby on his back for hours!!) And even though I know it was only the good stuff they presented and talked about in the really sparked my interest and desire to learn more about him and his wife.  

Eleanor sounds like an amazing woman with many attributes to emulate as well! (and there was our ranger/tour guide)


We finally made it up to the famous Lincoln Memorial.  


I loved the ceiling and pillars.  They were gorgeous!

Huge quotes and speeches etched into the stone walls.   

It was super crowded and a hundred steep, sharp steps just behind I ended up taking the kids down some steps and distracting them. 

We sat and sang songs while Dave had a chance to walk around and take some good pictures.  I think in this picture we are doing a "moo-moo here and a moo-moo there"  :).  
Here's the view from the top of the Lincoln Monument.  Unfortunately the pond was empty and being worked on.  Usually you can see the Washington monument with the Capitol bldg behind it.  It was still a neat site.