Monday, March 30, 2009

Great Deals

Did a little shopping today after school. I was looking for a springy dress to wear on Easter. I found a skirt @ Old Navy that I really like, but I don't really want a skirt. They also had this short yellow dress that would be super cute with white leggings, but it is low cut and that is just not for me. I tried it on with a spaghetti strap shirt but am just not sure how it looks. Anyways, I always check the clearance racks at Old Navy and boy am I glad I did today. I've been thinking I need to throw away my old stretched out sweaters and get some new ones. Well today I found a sweater for 1.42 so I bought a pink one and a yellow one. I also bought a two-toned green sweater. I actually owned it in grey, but threw it away yesterday because it had a hole and was all stretched out at the bottom. This sweater was $6.00 so I got three sweaters for $10. I was so excited. I know I might not wear them until next winter, but who cares what a great deal!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

DC Pictures

I'm home and can finally upload pictures from our trip. It is difficult because we took over 1,000 pictures easily.

Day 1 and Day 2 pictures are up. You can go back to those post if you want to see them. The others will be up soon - hopefully today. I have a ton to do to get ready for tomorrow.

Just keep watching if you want to see all the pictures - okay so not all of them but the highlights. :)

DC Day #10: Home Sweet Home

This post comes to you live from my very own bed here in Arkansas. Man does it feel good to be home. :)

Yesterday morning was another cold and rainy day in DC. We got up and headed over to Ford's Theatre to see the booth that President Lincoln was sitting in when he was shot. It was really neat. Crazy to think that the just let Booth in there with him. President Lincoln okayed it. They had no idea.

We didn't get to go across the street to the Peterson House where President Lincoln died. I was a little disappointed about that but my desire to be home far outweighed by disappointment yesterday.

After Ford's Theatre we went back to the condo to pack, then hopped on a couple of metro trains, a bus, and then finally the plane. The ride home wasn't nearly as bad as the ride there. I think it was because I was exhausted and realized and not worried about the flight in the least. We sat with this really nice older lady that we talked to most of the way home. She was funny. Her name was Hattie. :)

Cary, Sara, & Jackson met us at the airport to drive us home. When we got home I noticed that a pile of clothes that we left in our chair had been folded. We figured Nat did it one day while she had the dogs in the house. Then of course I went outside to love on my babies. They were very excited to have their mommy and daddy home. Unfortunately I had to leave them outside for a little while longer. When I came in from loving on them I noticed our bed at been made. Again I assumed Natalie. Sara said Natalie didn't do it and that we needed to look up in our bedroom. While we were away, Cary, Sara, & Jackson came over and put crown molding up in our bedroom. Brought tears to my eyes when I realized what they had done. I was so excited and grateful. And while Cary worked on that, Sara cleaned. Are they not just the greatest!!!!

After a few minutes to look through mail, we were back in the car and on our way to the bowling alley for our nephew's 16th birthday. Andrew actually bowled two games. I sat and talked. No way did I have the energy to bowl. Of course the first thing we did when we got to the bowling alley was give Jill & Alex a great big hug. There were tears again for Drew and me. We are just so darn excited.

We are excited for Cary & Sara too. I never mentioned that. Jackson is going to be a big brother. :) Super excited. All these babies will be here around Thanksgiving. I can't wait to meet all of them.

Anyways, after bowling we went over to Joy's for tacos and then home. We quickly bathed the dogs and then passed out in our bed.

Now we are getting ready for church. I feel like I haven't been to church in forever. I am so excited this morning. I have definitely missed my church while gone.

Friday, March 27, 2009

DC Day #9

I stand corrected. Our plans for the day never included the Naval Observatory. That is where the VP lives. We went the Naval Academy.

We rented a car and drove through DC. Well Andrew drove, no way was I going to try that. I would have been stressed out. He did very well though, even in those darn circles.

The Naval Academy was very cool. They have a huge swimming pool and by a the end of their 2nd year there (I think)they have to jump, in uniform, off a diving board that is about three stories high - feet first arms crossed over chest. And this my friends, would be when I failed out, if I made it that far.

We got to see them line up in formation for lunch time. That was really cool. The band plays anchors away and those 4,000+ people file into the building and downstairs to the cafeteria very quickly. Once they are all seated the wait staff only has five minutes to get every one's meal served.

After the Naval Academy we made our way to the Kennedy Center. We jumped in on a tour here and got to see a few things including the Opera House. It was gorgeous. Being here made me wish we had gone to the National Symphony Orchestra. We didn't stay here long because if you stayed more than an hour the parking fee was INSANE!!!

So then we went to the zoo - same deal with parking here so we sped through. But I got to see pandas which were so cute. One little guy was eating and he was just slinging that bamboo everywhere. We got to see two elephants, each in their own cage, fighting. One was trying to see hay from the other's cage - pretty funny. We saw a huge hippo eating. Then we went to the monkeys. One gorilla just had a baby girl back in January. She was laying down with the baby all curled up in her arms. All you could see of the baby was an ear, but it was still just too cute. Then we had to leave the zoo. As you can tell it was very hit and miss. We saw some other small animals, but these were just the big things and I literally mean big. :)

After that we went to Union Station to look around and for dinner. Andrew had Chinese (YUCK) and I had a most yummy grilled cheese from Johnny Rockets. I like that place.

Then I rode home on the most packed metro train I have ever seen. We were squished in there like sardines - not good for a person like me who is not a fan of crowds. But I survived and we came home and went to straight to bed.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DC Day #8

Well it looks like we are done for the day so I thought I would go ahead and post. I'm glad that you are enjoying reading about my trip, but I must tell you I do this so that I will be able to remember when I get ready to scrap it all. LOL We have done so much that we can barely remember what we did and we most certainly can't remember when we did it. We get our days all mixed up. :)

Today was a rainy day in DC. I went to bed around 5:30 yesterday and didn't wake up until around 10 this morning. Can you tell I was exhausted. It was so nice to sleep in this morning. We only had a couple of things on our list of places to go today so we knew we could take our time.

We finally got up and got ready and walked to the Library of Congress. We went on the 11:30 tour. They don't pay tour guides there but have volunteers. Our volunteer was a 79 year old man who has served in the army and worked in DC for a while. When he retired he got bored, so he now gives tours at the library. He was very informative. I learned so much!! He gave us a history of the library. Congress received $5000 to buy books. Not long after they purchased books, the British came and burned the capitol where the library was originally. They lost all the books. Years later after his presidency Thomas Jefferson was poor and needed money. Yes an ex-president was poor. He had a lot of books on a lot of different subjects and offered to sale them to Congress to restart the library and so he could have money. At first Congress only wanted the law books because they didn't think they need to know about other stuff. Jefferson embarrassed them by telling them that by this point they should know how to make a law. They don't need those books, but they do need books on other subjects so that they will understand the subject on which they are making the law. So Congress bought all Jefferson's books.

The library then was heated by fire places. One day someone had lit a fire and the chimney was stopped up so there another fire. They lost almost all of Jefferson's books. Some were saved, but I don't remember how many.

Many years later they outgrew their room at the capitol and that it is when they built the current building that is the Library of Congress aka The Thomas Jefferson Building.

Something else I learned that I thought was interesting was that the President appoints the head library and they are librarian for life. There has only been like 13 librarians. The current head librarian was appointed in 1987 by President Reagan.

Anyways- the building was gorgeous. I was very disappointed though because the main room I wanted pictures of was the reading room. This is of course in a scene from National Treasure two. Well they won't let you take pictures in that room because it will disturb those studying. :(

But we did get to see the things that President Lincoln had in his pocket the night he was assassinated. That was really cool. He had a pocket knife, two pairs of glasses, a handkerchief, and a Confederate five dollar note.

When we finished exploring the Library we went over to the Museum of American Indians. Andrew had lunch there - more Indian food - but not as good as his meal there the other day. And we finished off that museum.

Then we walked next door, in the rain, to the Air and Space Museum where we spent the rest of the afternoon. This place is just too cool. There is a ton of stuff!! I really enjoyed it and so did Drew. Here we had an afternoon snack. Their cafe is a McDonald's so we shared some nuggets and fries. We hung out in there for awhile because it was raining pretty hard at this point and we didn't have an umbrella. It finally let up a little so we headed home.

Now we're just laying around the condo relaxing. Andrew is napping. I however am not sleepy at all, probably because I slept so long last night. :)

Tomorrow's plans are the Naval Observatory and the National Zoo. Saturday morning we are going to Ford's Theatre and them heading home to Arkansas.

This has been an incredibly tiring but incredibly awesome vacation. I have enjoyed it and am glad to be able to say I've been to DC.

Now if only I could find a scrapbook store so I could get some DC paper.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DC Day #7

Today was not a day for pictures, not that you can see them anyway. We started the day incredibly early - like Andrew made me get up at 5:45. I put on several layers and we went down to wait in line at the Supreme Court. Today they were hearing oral arguments and Andrew wanted to get in line early so we could get tickets to sat in on these arguments. We were number 6 and 7 in line. Around 7:45, they gave us tickets to mark our spot in line and allowed us to leave line to grab breakfast and use the restroom. We went inside the cafeteria there at the Supreme Court and did just that. I'm afraid we couldn't get a picture of this yummy food. We left everything at home because we knew we wouldn't be able to take it in the courtroom. Andrew had a bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich with coffee and I enjoyed a HUGE cinnamon roll with some fruit loops I had brought from the condo and a grape juice. We sat inside for about an hour because it was freezing outside even with all our layers. They took 50 people in today so we were easily accepted. I won't go into the case but basically this guy was being deported because he pleated guilty a LONG time ago. He didn't know he could be deported if he plead guilty so now he is trying to get appeal. Today they were arguing over whether or not he should be able to appeal and where. Things were complicated because this guy used to be in the army. Anyways, I found this pretty cool. I didn't really understand half of what they were saying, but I know it was an experience not many have. And it was pretty cool. Andrew, however, LOVED this. No surprise. This may be his favorite part of the trip. Guess that's why I got up at 5:45 this morning.

After that we headed over to the Library of Congress for a 12:30 tour only to discover there was no 12:30 tour. So we went to Blanche Lincoln's office to pick up some passes for the Senate Gallery. Then we went on to the capital and sat in on a meeting of the House for about 15 minutes before getting shuffled out of there. Again, we were made to leave our cameras behind so no pictures. This was much like the Supreme Court, cool, but I didn't really understand what was going on.

Then we had a tour of the Capital. We saw a great video at the beginning and then went around in a large group to see the main features of the capitol and to get a little history. I enjoyed the tour, but it would have been much better if we had a louder tour guide. She was very small and very quiet.

After the tour we went in to sat in on the Senate. They allowed us to stay as long as we liked. Drew liked that. This was really cool. We got to witness New Hampshire, South Dakota, and Maryland trying to get an amendment passed so they could vote on it. I only know this because Andrew explained it to me. Once again, not a clue what they were saying. :) Really neat though.

Next we went into the Botanical Gardens. They had some beautiful flowers in there but we didn't stay long. Remember I said we were dressed in layers... and it was EXTREMELY warm in the gardens. I think I would like to go back if we have time.

We ran into the museum of Air and Space to get an idea of how long it would take us in there. We are going to need a while. Daddy, you would love this museum. There are airplanes of all kinds hanging everywhere. It reminded me of Seth's bedroom on Meadow lake when you hung all those models from his ceiling. It was really cool.

We will be going back there when we aren't worn out and when we have more time.

Then again, it was time to come home to the condo and crash.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dc Day #6

This morning we woke up and hike to the National Cathedral. I do mean hiked. We rode the metro as far as it would take us but then still had about a mile left to walk. Most of this mile was on a light uphill sidewalk. We got there a few minutes early so we just wandered around down on the main floor. This place was huge and very ornate. We signed up for the Behind the Scenes Tour. This was a great idea. We literally went behind the scenes. We got to up in towers to look at the stained glass windows up close and personal, we walked on the ceiling, went up in the attic, and out on the roof. It was really awesome to sort of get the history of the cathedral this way. Our tour guide was awesome. She was this little old woman who gave the impression that she had been at the cathedral her whole life. I enjoyed her so much that at the end I asked to have my picture with her for the scrapbook. I know I can't show you this picture but I have to tell you it was the weirdest picture I've ever taken. She stared at me the whole time. She would not look at the camera. I really wonder why so if anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

After the cathedral we hiked back to the metro and rode over to Union Station for some lunch. Andrew had some sort of Asian food that he really enjoyed and I had a delicious cheese burger from an old diner like place called Johnny Rockets.

After lunch we caught a cab to Mount Vernon. I was excited to be here because this was another place that was featured in National Treasure. It was really cool. Learned quite a bit. And while standing in line to get in to the Washington's home, we turned around and there stood a couple wearing razorback jackets. Turned out they were from Cabot, so we talked to them for a while. On our way down to the tombs, we passed maybe the cutest thing I've ever seen. Baby sheep just baaing away. It was such a cute little sound. Then there were two big sheep that kept ramming each other heads. The sound that came from this activity sounded very painful to say the least. Mount Vernon was really neat though. Washington had an awesome home. Oh and he loved color. Most rooms were some shade of blue, but there were a couple of green rooms, and a yellow room. I loved it.

After Mount Vernon, it was back to the condo to crash for the evening.

Monday, March 23, 2009

DC Day #5

Today didn't start off near as early as I expected and boy was I thankful for that. The original plan was to be on the first metro train this morning which left @ 5:32 AM. Thankfully Andrew didn't wake up that early. We got up and left the condo around 8. We went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing first to pick up our tickets. Amazingly they had some left for today. We didn't even need to get up at five for tickets. Then we walked headed over to Federal Triangle to see the White House.

We went into the White House Visitors Center first. It was pretty cool. Told about the history of the White House, Presidential Inaugurations, Parties at the White House, and lots of other things. Then we headed to the actual White House. I must tell you, I was very disappointed. Compared to everything else in this city, the White House stinks. Maybe it was because I couldn't get to it. I could only stand at a distance and look. It was sort of like just seeing it on TV or in a book. Very anti climatic, but at least I can say I've seen it.

After that let down, we went to the Museum of Modern Art. We weren't even in there thirty minutes. I guess we just aren't cultured people. I'm okay with that. Then we went next door to the National Museum of American Indians. This was pretty cool. We watched a thirteen minute video that was awesome. You sit in a round room and in the middle there is a rock looking thing which part of the video is projected onto. They make it look like fire and drums and other things. Around that rock is four post with walls connecting them and white blankets draped over the wall. The main part of the video is projected onto these blankets. The rest of the video is projected on a dome ceiling. VERY COOL!!! Possibly my favorite part of the day.
We ate lunch at this museum. Andrew had the Indian part and I of course had the American part. :) He had a chicken chipotle fired taco thing. It was very colorful and pretty. Do I even need to tell you what I ate? :)

Then it was time to head back to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for our tour. I have never seen so much money in my life. We watched them make around 15 million bucks. It was really neat. Learned quite a bit.

After all that money, we headed to the National Museum of Natural Science. Parts of this were pretty cool. We didn't stay long though because it was all about evolution and quite frankly that is a bunch of garbage. Plus we were really tired. We came home for a nap.

Once it was dark outside, we got ready to go see Iwo Jima - The Marine Memorial. This was one of the most if not the most awesome thing we've seen. It was really cool and awesome at night. I don't think it would have been quite as cool during the day. We got some really awesome night time shots of the memorial and the city lights.

We are back at the condo now and getting ready for bed. Uncle Kevin is here tonight and tomorrow night so we are enjoying visiting with him and getting to say thank you again for letting us stay in this awesome condo.

As for pictures, we finally bought a cable in hopes that I could upload pics using the Internet from the phone. Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be working so still no pictures. :(

That's all for today. Will be back tomorrow for lots of adventures. Tomorrow's plans include the National Zoo, National Cathedral, & Mount Vernon. We are hoping for a National Treasure tour at Mt. Vernon.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

DC Day #4: Life & Death

We slept in this morning in attempt to recuperate from yesterday. It worked to some extent. We knew today was supposed to beautiful and oh my gosh was it!!.

We started with Arlington National Cemetery. As soon as we got there, we found Grace Murray Hopper's grave. This is a woman that my 8th graders just finished researching so they were excited that I was going to be here and visit her grave. From there we went to the tomb of the unknown and watched the changing of the guard. This was very awesome. They did a couple of wreath changes too.

We then walked over to JFK and RFK. Both very cool. I learned that JFK had a son that only lived two days and a daughter that was stillborn. Never knew that before. Then it was off to find Taft's grave. Took a little bit, but we finally found it.

As were standing there honoring all these great Americans whose lives are gone we got The Call!! The call we've been praying for. The call I had hoped of getting while on this trip. The one I dreamed about. While we were honoring death, Jill, Andrew's sister, called to tell us about Life!!!! She and Alex are expecting!!! We jumped and hollered and cried and celebrated. I'm sure people walking around that cemetery thought we were nuts. God is so incredibly good!! And so you get a picture today. One single picture. We want Jill to see just how excited we are.

Sister, we love you and are so incredibly happy for you and Alex. I know you told Drew not to post the news, but I read your blog and am hoping it is okay that I have said all this. :)

After we left Arlington, we headed for lunch. Today we ate a popular place here called Potbelly. They have toasted sandwiches which were amazing.

We went to the Holocaust Museum after lunch. Again celebrating past lives. This was a very somber but good experience. It is very hard to imagine that that sort of treatment is real and was done to innocent people.

Then it was time to do something I had never done before. We rented a paddle boat. Lots of work, but oh my goodness it was fun. And it was just the perfect day to do this. It has been gorgeous outside. We paddled out in the tidal basin and got more great pics of the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument.

We are now back at the condo resting. Our plans are to eat dinner and then go back to Arlington to see the Marine Memorial. Drew says it is cool at night. Then it will be back home because we are going to be in line @ 5:30 tomorrow morning so we can see how money is made.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

DC Day #3

Oh my gosh! I just thought we did a lot of walking yesterday. Today, we definitely walk so much more.

We started our morning by arriving at the Washington Monument to stand in line @ 7 AM for tickets. It was COLD outside!!!! I do not enjoy standing outside in the cold for an hour and half, let me just tell you. At 8, they opened and we got our tickets and then headed to the Smithsonian Institute, AKA The Castle. Here we had a short tour that was very interesting and educational. Learned a lot.

The Washington Monument

This is me. I told you it was cold outside. :)

I found a steam vent to warm up on. It was my best friend for about 5 minutes.

After The Castle we went back to the National Museum of American History and toured the president exhibit. That was pretty cool. Then it was time to head to the Washington Monument. Going up in that was pretty stinkin' awesome. You can see everything from there. I got my first view of the White House while up there.

The castle

Once we were back on the ground, we went back to the American History Museum for lunch. Drew had BBQ and I had of course chicken strips. And I have to tell you so far these rank number one in DC. :) Then we started walking toward to the Lincoln Monument. We stopped at the World War II Memorial which was really cool. Lots of cool fountains. Just a really nice area.

Then we as were were walking by the reflecting pool, I fed some of our pretzels to a duck. That little guy was snappy. After that, we headed to the Vietnam Memorial. That was sobering. Brought tears to my eyes. It was really amazing to see all those names.

From there we went to the Lincoln Memorial. Wow!! Lincoln is huge. I was not expecting him to be that big. From there, we went to the Korean Memorial. Again sobering and cool all at the same time.

We then took the long stroll to the FDR Memorial and on to the Jefferson Memorial. Lots of great pictures! We took 513 pictures today. I will try to narrow those down so I don't overload you with pictures when I get back.

Then it was back to the condo where we both crashed for a three hour nap. All that walking - whew! My knees and feet have never hurt so bad. We awoke from our nap to a message that Natalie needed us. What in the world had our crazy dogs done? Well let me just tell you. Yesterday when she left she forgot to lock the deadbolt on our backdoor. That door doesn't always close relay good. So sometime after she left, they dogs pushed it open and got to sleep inside last night. LOL! I love those crazy animals. Anyways, the broke into some pill bottles of Andrews, antibiotics and stuff for his sinuses, nothing major. But Nat thought they might have eaten them and was really worried. She found some outside and we are pretty sure she found them all so no worries. Just find it funny that they broke in and slept inside.

After that phone call we went to the coolest Target ever to pick up a few things. Let me warn you now I am amazed by the simplest things here in DC. This target was two stories. I immediately wondered what you would do if you had a shopping cart and needed to go upstairs. Well right there by the people escalator is one for shopping carts. Very cool!!! LOL

Then it was back to the condo and back to bed. It was a great but VERY tiring day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

DC Day #2

Wow!! Did we do some walking today! We slept in this morning. Just too exhausted to get up and moving. We were out of the condo around 11 and headed to the National Museum of American History. We went through about half of that. Saw some really cool stuff. Learned that I am not good at tightening rivets on a plane. It is a good thing I'm not a woman who lives during WWII. LOL! We plan to go back there and finish checking the place out.

We had to leave to make our tour at the National Archives. I felt a little bit like Nicholas Cage in National Treasure, one of my favorite movies. It was really cool to be that close to such important and historical documents like the Declaration & The Bill of Rights.

After the Archives, we went for a walk in search of food. We walked quite a bit here, trying to take in all of our options. Despite my requesting something I can't have back home, we ended up @ Ruby Tuesday. It was quite yummy. While there, I decided that in my DC scrapbook I will need to dedicate a page or two to the chicken strips of DC. LOL!! I will be rating them so that you will know exactly where to go if you are ever wanting strips in DC.

After lunch, I requested a visit into the Museum of Science. I thought this would be really cool and I could get some good pics to take back to school. WRONG!!! Total waste of ten bucks. We were in their 16 minutes. It stunk. Tiny and boring and all about climate change. A whole museum devoted to something that doesn't exist.

So we moved on the National Museum of Portraits. I did not want to go in this one, just sounded boring to me. Turned out to be pretty cool. Got a couple of pics of portraits my kiddos just did research on in science, so I was excited about that. Plus they have this really cool atrium. It was so awesome and warm in there. It wasn't really cold today, but very windy. So this was a break from the wind. I could have sat in there all day.

After the Museum of Portraits we headed back to the Metro. On our walk, we snapped a few pics of the Washington Monument (the big pencil) and the Capital building. We went to this huge grocery store that smelled incredibly nasty. They sell fresh seafood there and oh my gosh did the grocery store stink. If our grocery store smelled like that, Andrew would have to buy all of our groceries because I would never go in there. Disgusting!!! Anyways we took our groceries and rode on the Metro back to the condo.

Speaking of which, just wait until I can post pictures and show you the escalator we ride up when we arrive at the condo stop. This is the largest escalator I have ever seen in my life. Andrew said it was like we are coming out of the core of the Earth. I feel like I'm just going to fall of a cliff when I reach the top. It is huge.

It is looking like I'm not going to get to post pics until I'm home. Our Internet here just can't handle it. But I'm getting lots of good ones. I will even be able to show you pics of the best chicken strips in DC.

I am really enjoying the time with Andrew. He has been such a sweetie today in everything we've done. I do miss my puppies though. I'm going crazy because I have not been able to reach Natalie to see how they are doing. Although, they are dogs so how can they be doing. I know this is a bit crazy, but this is one of those times when I really wish my dogs could talk. I would love to call home and talk to them.

DC Day #1

I survived the plane ride. It definitely gave me a major headache and I don't think I could survive much longer of a flight. Ours was only about 2.5 hours. After safely landed in Baltimore, we jumped on a city bus and rode that for about 45 minutes. Then it was the metro. We switched metros about half way through. The metro takes us to a block and half from the condo - not a bad walk at all.

The condo is really nice. I will post pics of it later. I'm online through Andrew's phone and it is quite slow.

Now we are getting ready for our first full day. We have a scheduled tour for The National Archives @ 1:15 today. Other than that, I'm not sure what we are going to do. Right now I just want food. I wake up hungry!!! About to go searching for a local McDonalds or something. :)

This internet connection is not letting me load pictures. :( Will try again later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DC & Next Year

Getting ready to leave is becoming very stressful. I feel like I have so much that has to be done before Thursday. In fact I should probably be working on that long to do list instead of blogging. Oh well.

I can't believe we leave Thursday. Actually I still can't believe we are actually going. You see Andrew and I tend to be big dreamers and even big talkers. We say we are going to do a lot. Like our camping trip back in October - only took us five years to go camping. So the fact that back in January we said we wanted to go DC and now just two months later, we are going. For us that is pretty amazing.

I am still a little nervous about flying, but I've just been trying to give it to God and not worry about it. I'm still trying to decide if I should get something for motion sickness or not.

I'm also a little bummed about having to leave my puppies behind. I'm going to miss them. Thankfully we have a great friend who is going to stop by every day and check on them. She said she would even take some pics for me and post them on facebook.

Other than that, I am super excited about our trip. This will be the first trip for Andrew and I alone since our honeymoon. I'm ready to spend time alone with my hubby. And I am fully prepared to learn more about our country's history. Uncle Kevin sent us a few pictures of his condo today and it looks great. We can't thank him enough for letting us use his condo.

And on a different note, I finally had the opportunity to talk to my principal today about what I would be teaching next year. As of right now, I am on the schedule to teach four section of 7th grade science and two sections of 7th grade history. I am stoked!!! It is not my favorite history (it is ancient civilization), but hey it is history. I am already looking at my frameworks and forming ideas on things I can do.

I also talked to her about a program that I inherited when I started teaching there last year. It is called Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs. Basically it is to get kids involved in fishing and even to teach them how. I have yet to do anything with this because I just don't know anything about fishing. Sorry Daddy, I know you tried. :) When I found out that one of our coaches was going to be teaching 8th grade history, I was hoping that I could put this HOFNOD off on him, or at least get him to help me. Well it turns out, he wants to start a fishing team and do something called Project Wet. He wants to do HOFNOD. I am super excited about that too!!!

You Make My Day

Chelsey was sweet enough to think of me for the Make My Day award. I was really touched by it.

I would like to pass the award on to Kathie. Kathie's blog are always what I need to hear or read. :) She has an amazing ability to take an everyday story out of her life and apply God's word. Kathie, you make my day. I love reading your blog!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Good Bye Old Friend

We finally sold it. The piano that is. Andrew put it in the paper for today, tomorrow, & Tuesday. A lady called him this afternoon when we got home from church. She had been looking for one for her two young daughters. Apparently the ones she could afford all were sold before she got to them. Her, her mother-in-law, and the two girls came out this afternoon to look at it. They bought it. They are such sweet people and the two little girls were just as cute as they could be. The oldest one's name was even very similar to mine. It was Alana with a long a. I feel good about it going to them. I think they will really enjoy it. But I'm also a little sad that it is leaving us. Oh well, it is going to a good home. Andrew will be delivering it to them on Tuesday morning so I have a little more time to get some playing in.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A small scare

Liam Bailey just scared me half to death. He and Liberty were fighting on the bed like they always do when all of a sudden he shrilled and came hobbling over to me. He wouldn't put any weight on his front left leg. He had it pulled up really close to him and he was crying. I immediately picked him and was ready to go to the vet. I called Drew and while talking to Drew, I sat Liam down and after a few minutes he would put a little weight on that leg. Now he is curled up beside me with his head under my arm sleeping. I think he is going to be okay, but boy did it scare me. I have a feeling when I have human kids, I'm going to be one of those moms that freaks out over everything. :)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Simple Life Day #9

From the Heart

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38

When Frieda heard a horse and buggy rumble into the yard, she was working on the ever-present weeds that were sprouting between two rows of beans. She straightened, rubbed the kinks from her back, and looked toward the drive. She was glad to see her neighbor, Wilma, step down from her buggy. It had been awhile since they'd taken the time to visit. Besides, Frieda had been pulling weeds for several hours and needed a break, so she welcomed the interruption. She left the garden and motioned Wilma over to the porch. "Can you sit awhile?"
Wilma nodded and took a seat on the porch swing. "When I pulled into the yard I noticed you were busy in the garden. How's everything going?"
Frieda sat beside her. "Real fine. Looks like we'll have plenty of everything this year. The garden is producing nicely."
Wilma stared at her hands, clasped tightly in her lap. "Wish I could say the same for our struggling garden."
"Things aren't growing so well?"
Wilma shook her head. "That's one of the reasons I dropped by. I was hoping you might have enough corn to share a few ears."
Frieda smiled. "I have more than enough. In fact, I'd be happy to give you some green beans and beets, too."
Tears welled up in Wilma's brown eyes. "You've made me feel blessed by your willingness to share."
"I'm more than willing to give to others our of the abundance God has given me." Frieda reached for her neighbor's hand. "While you're here, would you care for a cup of tea and some freshly baked biscuits?"
"Jah, I'd like that."
Like Frieda, we should never feel that sharing what God has given us with our friends is a burden or a duty. It should be a joy. After all, Acts 20:35 reminds us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When we see that someone else has a need, we should be willing to help out. Yet when we have a need, we should never be too proud to ask our friends or family for help, either. Both the giver and the receiver are blessed when we share.
Great joy comes in giving to other from the bounty God has given, and He is pleased when we demonstrate such love to our friends and neighbors.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: While seeking happiness for others, we unconsciously find it for ourselves.

FOOD FOR THE BODY: Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg, unbeaten
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Add milk, then egg. Blend well. Roll out the dough and cut, or drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Very good with sausage gravy.

For me, the giving part comes fairly easy. It's the asking for help that doesn't come so easy. It doesn't matter if it is advice or a material item, I find it hard to ask others for help. I don't want to admit my own incompetence, I guess.

Something that really struck me in this was the fact that when Frieda gave not only the corn, but also green beans and beets, tears came to Wilma's eyes. She was truly grateful for what she was being given. She felt it was truly a blessing. Do we feel that way about the smaller things? I'm not sure I always do. It is easy to be that grateful when someone does something BIG for you. It's not as easy for me when the gesture is smaller. The size of the gesture shouldn't matter though. It's that old saying - it's the thought that counts.

I am going to try to watch for opportunities to give to others with what God has given me. And if I have the opportunity to be on the receiving end, I'm am going to try and truly be grateful. I pray you will do the same.

I could watch all day....

Yesterday, Andrew and I had nursery duty at church. This was a first for us. I have been on the rotation before, but something always happens. So today was the first time we had it.
At the beginning of church, Andrew stayed in the worship area to help in the sound booth during music. Sara and I had five kiddos back in the nursery. One little girl doesn't do well with leaving her mom. She began crying as soon as her mom left. Sara picked her up and got her settled down. Well then, Jackson needed his mom. Sara picked him up and had him on one knee and the little girl on the other knee. Well, this did not set well with the little girl. I took her next and got her settled back down. After a few more minutes of general play time, Sara took the two "big kids" over to their room for their lesson and craft. These two big kids happen to be the big sisters of that sweet little girl. This set her into tears again.
So there I am trying to settle her down, when Andrew walks in. This little girl took one look at him, climbed out of my arms and headed straight to Andrew. She immediately buried her little head in his chest. She stayed with him the entire time. By the end of our time in the nursery, Andrew had her down out of his lap and playing.
It was so sweet. I must admit I find the sight of my husband playing with a kid pretty stinkin' hot. :) It is definitely my most favorite thing to watch.

Is this not the sweetest thing ever!!!!

Jackson Luke givin' that sweet grin of his.

Kandace joined us toward the end. Isn't this one beautiful girl!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Praying Constantly

I just wanted to ask you to be in prayer for Jill and Alex and their babies. Those precious little babies held out for a day 5 transfer. So tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM, the doctors will places two (I think) of these sweet babies back inside their mommy. I really believe that these are the eggs that God is going to use to bless them with a baby. So tomorrow morning while you are getting ready for church if you would take a minute to pray for them, I know Jill and Alex would be very appreciative.

And one other thing. Like many people in our country right now, my Daddy is being laid off. He will get to work until the 23rd. My mom works, but Daddy is the bigger source of income in their house. He also provides the insurance. Things just aren't looking so great for them. Please keep them in your prayers. We know that God can provide for them and we trust that he will.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Hodgepodge of Thoughts

1. Found out today that we are not going to be able to tour the Pentagon while in DC. A little bummed about that. The White House has still gotten back with our representative. They are pretty busy right so we are stilling waiting to hear on this one. Praying it all gets worked out and we get to tour the White House.

2. Andrew's appointment to have his three wisdom teeth removed is all set for the 17the of April. This is testing week for me at school - Benchmark YUCK! I talked to our testing coordinator and she has worked it out for someone else to give my group the test that day so I can be with Andrew. He of course thinks it is ridiculous for me to take off work even part of the day since there ARE others who could take him. But I need to be with him. It's my job! And I need to be there for myself. Besides, I want him to be by my side if or when this happens to me. Shoot, that boy will be lucky if I let him work at all that week. :)

3. My student J, is gone. He left today with no warning. He is in a place where they can properly care for him. I'm a little sad and we are going to miss him, but I know he is far better off.

4. Pray for Jill & Alex. I've shared their story briefly before. If you aren't familiar you can visit their blog. They did retrieval the other day and currently have four fertilized eggs growing and dividing. We are praying the keep dividing and that transfer back to their Mommy will be Sunday. If they do not keep dividing transfer will be Friday. Please keep Jill, Alex, and their four little babies in your prayers. We are believing that this is their time. God will answer their prayers.

5. And last random thought: FOR SALE!! I have some scrapbook toys that I have for sale on ebay. I have a cricut expressions with one cartridge, cutting mat, and markers. . I also have a sizzix with capital letters, lowercase letters, punctuations, and numbers. If you or anyone you know is interested, check them out on ebay.


Sizzix Machine|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Uppercase Set|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Lowercase Set|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Number Set|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Punctuation & Symbol Set|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

15 Days & Counting

Only 15 days until I am forced my sweet husband to board a plane. And I do mean forced. I'm very nervous and a bit terrified about this whole flying things. I have barely shared this fear with my husband and he think I'm irrational and crazy. He flys like it is no big deal. I'm scared though. I'm just thankful for two things about this flight. 1. I get to sit beside my husband (apparently if we went with any other airline, this wouldn't be possible) and 2. It is one flight. No stopping and having to board another plane. I just don't think I could handle that.

Other than the whole flying thing, I am super excited about DC. We still don't have confirmations on our tours of the White House or Pentagon. Hopefully we will get those within the week. I am looking forward to being a tourist for a week. I hope my camera is prepared because it is about to get the biggest workout of its life. :) Our list of things to see is forever long and I want bore you with it. Just know that if it is in DC, there is a VERY good chance that is on our list. :)

If any of you has ever been to DC and have a great restaurant to recommend, please do. Just know it must have chicken strips or cheese burgers on the menu. I eat like a kid. :)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Simple Life Day #8

One Body

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:12

As Leah stepped into the yard, carrying a platter of ham, she was greeted by the sight of more than one hundred English and Amish friends and neighbors who had come to help build her husband's barn. Everyone had been assigned a job. Henry Zook, the man with the longest beard and the most knowledge of barn raisings, stood near the construction site, telling some of the men what they should do. There were men and boys scattered around the yard,cutting wood into proper sizes and hauling it to the location of the new building. More men stood on the crossbeams, working together in an orderly fashion, as the trusses for the barn roof came together.
"Looks like there will be plenty to eat for the noon meal," Leah's friend, Becky, said, as she placed a jug of iced tea on the table.
Leah pulled her attention away from the workers and nodded, "Jah, and so many of the women in our community have come to help serve the food." She glanced around the yard, where several women rushed around, setting out platters of ham, chicken, and roast beef, as well as a variety of salads, breads, cut-up vegetables, and relishes. There was plenty of coffee, tea, and lemonade, and for dessert there were several kinds of pies, cakes, and cookies.
"Looks like things are going well on Sam's new barn," Becky said, nodding toward the rising structure on the other side of the yard. "Those hard-working men have it half built already."
"It's amazing how much can be done when we all work together," Leah said with a smile. "Makes me glad for the help of all our friends. We are certainly one body today."
There is strength in unity, for people working together can do many things that people alone can't do. But in order for that to happen, we need to be close to one another and share life together so we can strengthen each other. This applies to the home, as well as the church.
"For the body is not one member, but many," the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:14. Each one in the body is important, and each one has a job to do. With Christ as the head of the body, and everyone working together, we can get a lot done to further His kingdom.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Many hands make work seem lighter, especially if they are proficiently skilled hands.

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup lard or shortening
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sour milk

1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lard or shortening

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Grease a 9x12 - inch pan. Combine first six ingredients, then pour into pan. Blend ingredients for crumb mixture, then sprinkle over top. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Okay before I can even comment on the devotional - sour milk??? Yuck. And who ever knew there was a shoofly pie AND shoofly cake????

I just feel like this particular devotional is a reinforcement of what Cary has been saying since the very beginning of Journey. We all have a job. Every single one of us and we don't all have the same job. We can't all be preachers. At Journey right now, we are starting a children's ministry. It is so very exciting. I am teaching our older kids for the month of April. I am so excited about that. But, Andrew and I have nursery duty this coming Sunday. I know he isn't crazy about this, but he is doing his part. I am looking forward to it. Not only will I get to spend time loving on our Journey kids (and boy do we have some sweet ones), but I get to spend time watching my hubby love on Journey kids. And that is always a sexy trait to see in my husband. :)

Are you doing something in your church? If you aren't, something is going undone. I don't care how big your church is, you still have a job. It might be something as easy as being the encourager. Maybe you are the only person to welcome that guest or to ask how a member is doing. That seems so simple, but it makes such a huge different. If you haven't been doing something, start now. If you aren't sure what you should do in your church, then do these two things: 1. Pray about it. Ask God what it is you are supposed to be doing. And 2. Talk to your pastor. He sees areas where things need to be done that we might not see.

The Unknown

I am so excited. I recently learned that I will not being teaching 8th grade science next year. This thrills me to death. I love 8th graders, I don't love 8th grade science. It is erosion and soil types and just dirt, dirt, dirt. It is so incredibly boring. There will be approximately 90 7th graders next year. This means that one of two things will happen. I will only teach 7th grade science giving me six classes of about 15 kids. This would be wonderful. Or the other option is 4 classes of 7th grade science and then 2 classes of a subject other than science. Honestly, either one of these options is exciting to me. I haven't had a chance to talk to my principal to see what she is thinking. I can't wait to find out what my future holds.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thank you Aunt Jill

It has taken us a week, but we finally get to say thank you. Mom wouldn't leave us alone with her computer long enough to do this before today. She is off getting ready to take her nightly bath so we don't have long. We are so glad our cousin, Diesel is big and those Corky bones were too small for him. They are so yummy. Mommy will only let us have them for a few minutes at a time. She is afraid we will get sick. At least they last longer this way. Mommy snapped a few pictures of us eating the bones. She is always doing that - taking pictures of us. Anyways, we just wanted to say thank you Aunt Jill and Uncle Alex. We love our Corky bones.

Liberty & Liam