Friday, February 29, 2008

My Space

My Space and no I am not talking about the website, I am talking about my little space that I call my own. Behind this door is my space, where I can go scrapbook and escape from the rest of the household. Courtney was so sweet to make this sign for my door and for the most part, when I am in my space, I am left alone to enjoy my time scrapbooking.
Where the words CREATE, help me do just that. When we were looking for houses last summer, I was also looking for an area that I could call my own, a place where I could sneak away from the ciaos and be in My Space. This area in our large walk in closet does just that. Everything that I already had from my old scrapbooking cabinet fit just perfect on the shelves in this closet. Plus I have space where I can keep the cricut out all the time. My fellow scrapbooking buddies gave me this picture last summer before I moved, so now every time that I sit down to crop, I think about them. It was these four that kept me busy scrapbooking last summer while Phillip was out of town.

Organization is the key in this scrapbooking closet. When we moved I made it a point to organize all that extra memorabilia that I had scattered about, movie tickets, party invitations, special cards, newspaper articles and now I am working very hard to find a home for those things in my scrapbooks so that I can appreciate them a little more. So far I have accomplish a lot but still have a box of things to go through. However I am feeling pretty good about what I have accomplished. Yes, I am one of those people who loves to get rid of unnecessary things, like receipts, junk mail, old papers; it makes me feel good.
My creative space is just the right size, it helps me to stay on top of things by putting things back when I am done with them.

A must in my scrapbooking closet, is a jar of Jelly Belly Jellybeans, which is my all time favorite snack while I am scrapbooking.
The DVD player keeps me company within the four walls. Of course some of my favorite DVD's are Grey's Anatomy, 7th Heaven, Little House on the Prairie and Reba, plus the additional Chick Flicks.
A small bulletin board above my creative space, gives me the perfect spot to put those ideas, memorabilia or extra pictures that I need to find a home for.
Maybe I like my space so much because its just big enough for me and Rascal. Yes, I do allow Rascal to come in, he likes to lie under my table or if I am sitting on the edge of my chair then he likes lie behind me in my chair and usually he leaves me alone, maybe this is his quite space.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 4 in DC

One Million dollars in ten dollar notes
We awoke this morning to our last full day in DC. We took the hotel shuttle to Regan National Airport where we caught the Metro (DC’s subway) and headed into the city. We had a small list of things that we wanted to see before leaving DC. Our first stop was the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which was the one must see thing on Phillip’s list. As some may know, Phillip loves the history of money and has a good collection of unique finds over the years. After taking a 45 minute tour of the facility, we were on our way to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. After visiting Jefferson’s Memorial we headed over to the Washington Monument to pick up our tickets.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

With an hour and a half wait, before our time to go up in the Washington Monument, we decided to walk several blocks to a restaurant called the Potbelly, a little sandwich shop off of Pennsylvania Ave. We were introduced to this little local sandwich shop on Tuesday by Bob our tour guide/bus driver, and we loved it so much that we wanted to visit it one more time before we left. Of course both times that we ate at the Potbelly it was busy, but they knew just how to get a crowd served quickly, faster then any fast food resturant.
After lunch we headed back to the Washington Monument just in time to travel 500 feet up to the observation area. We were able to take some good pictures of the surrounding DC area. I am so glad that we waited until today to go up in the monument because any other day except for Tuesday would have been too cloudy.
At the bottom looking up

Birdseye view of the Capitol from the obsveration area at top of the monument
.......the White House
.........Lincoln Memorial
..........Jefferson Memorial
Courtney takes a picture of the monument from the ground

After the 500 ft ride

This was the kids first time ever on a subway, they both thought that it was neat and after a few trips on and off they were getting the hang of it. While on the subway the kids made a game of seeing who could stand the longest while the tram was moving without holding on.

After the monument, we headed for the National Zoo, which was the one thing on the kid’s must see list. They both wanted to see the Pandas and really did not care about seeing any of the other animals. The youngest panda truly put a show on for the kids, he was playing with his food container and was quite active.

Across from the National Zoo, we enjoyed ice cream at Baskin Robbins,
before heading back outside in the freezing weather.

Today was the day that the kids were able to see a side of street life that they normally do not see and I felt like it was a true eye opener for them. We had a beggar ask us for money, we saw a man eating out of the garbage, and saw several street performers both on the street and down in the subway. We also saw several homeless people sleeping on the streets this week. I don’t think we realize sometime how good we have it. This evening we enjoyed our normal routine of the evening and that was relaxing at the hotel pool. Tomorrow, we start our journey home. They are predicting freezing rain during the night and in the early am, so I am thinking that sleeping in, sounds pretty good.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 2 & Day 3 in DC


I think I am going to need a vacation to recover from this vacation. I have no clue how schools can do and see everything in 2 days. There is so much history in and around the city. Yesterday, we started out by going to the White House, which unless you are or you know someone or you plan way in advance this is as close as you are going to get to the big White house on Pennslyania Ave. However, there is The White House Vistor's Center which has a lot of pictures and a short film about the White House.
Waiting to go in the Capitol
The four of us at the WWII memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.
The Awakening was not a scheduled stop on our tour but since we had some time to spare, our driver drove out to this large sculpture that looks like a man coming out of the ground. I had Phillip take this picture of me b/c the last time I was in DC I had a picture of me taken at this same spot. I can't wait to show it to the kids when we get home. Also, we learned that this week the sculpture is being dug up and move across the river and will not be as easily accessible. In fact in this morning's paper there was a write up on this sculpture that I plan on keeping. I did make it a point to thank our bus driver for going out of his way to take us there.
Another shot in front of the Capitol
We also visited the National Archives, the Natural History Museum and the National Air and Space Museum which could have been an all day tour in itself. We were able to see exhibits such as Dorothy's red shoes, R2D2, Kermit the Frog and much, much more. We went to the WWII Memorial, where I was able to look up Uncle Woodrow and my Uncle King, we also saw Ford's Theatre and the Peterson House, where Lincoln died. Do you see now why I was so tired last night.


We started this morning at Mount Vernon. After touring the manison, gardens, and grounds, we walk down to the tomb where President and Mrs Washington was laid to rest. While at Mt Vernon, we able to speak with several reinactors (sp?) who spoke about the times when Washington was alive. The newest exhibit at Mt Vernon was the education museum, where we were able to see more archives from the period, even Washington's false teeth. They also had a theatre that told about the Revoluntary war, with seats that move when the cannons went off and had snow that fell on you during the winter months. It was cool and really interesting to the kids. Oh and my favorite at Mt Vernon was the Presidental China exhibit which displayed a sample of the different patterns choosen by the President and First Lady's over the years.

President and Mrs. Washington's tomb

After spending the morning at Mt Vernon, we headed back to Union Station for lunch before heading to Iwo Jima. As you can see in our pictures taken at Mt Vernon the weather was a little chilly but clear and sunny. Well, by the time that we reached Union Station, snow was starting to fall.

Iwo Jima, which I am hoping that we can revisit this memorial again tomorrow night by moonlight.

After leaving Iwo Jima, we headed to Arlington Cemetery, to visit the Kennedy gravesites and to see the changing of the Guard at the tomb of the unknowns. By this time it was freezing and the snow was falling much harder. Which was neat because it goes to show you that no matter what condition the weather is, the tombs are still guarded.
After spending over an hour at Arlington Cemetery, we headed back in town to see Lincoln, Vietnam and Korean's memorials. By this time there was snow everywhere. The next picture was taken at Lincoln's memorial, in the back ground you can barely see the Washington Monument due to the heavy snow.
We also spent some time touring Old Alexandria, which is full of charming houses and buildings that are full of history. We observed the new Air Force Memorial and the Navy Memorial, drove down Embassy Row and saw several federal buildings. We have had an awesome time and we were pleased with our tours. Yesterday there was us and one other family on the tour bus and today there was a total of 14 on our tour bus, it was almost like our own personal tour. The drivers were also well informity.

Tomorrow is our last full day here in DC
and believe it or not we still have a list of things that we hope to see. So I am off to bed!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Too Tired to Blog, HB JONAH

What an awesome day we had in DC!!! I will soon share some of our travel highlights but for right know I am exhausted and ready to go to bed. But before I go to bed I wanted to share with everyone that as of 6:51 this evening. by wonderful son is now 12 years old.
Jonah's received his birthday present on January 19th (one month early), since we knew that we would be out of town for his actually birthday. We did take him out for supper tonight to Red Lobster (his favorite) which is a tradition we do on each others birthday and this afternoon we bought Jonah this hat that he has wanted for some time now. I thought that I would share these pictures of the kids that I took this evening after we ate. The kids were acting silly and actually posed for both pictures. I thought it was to funny. Oh by the way these sweatshirts actually came several weeks but it has been to hot for them to wear them. I think it is neat that they do not mind wearing them.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 1 in Washington DC

This morning on our way to DC, we stopped at the rest area in Virginia for a photo shot of the kids with the Virginia state sign. Of course I got my picture but let me tell you that this was the ultimate kid friendly rest area that I had ever seen. All my life I have loved to travel and if you travel by car a lot with kids, then you know that you are always looking for some type of play area so that the kids can run some energy out. Well, this rest area had a play area/jungle gym for kids and while my kids were close to being to old for it , they still enjoyed a few minutes of play before getting back on the road.
Thanks Virginia for thinking of our kids!

It was also at this rest area that Phillip found a brouchure on a scrapbook store in Fredricksburg and of course, being the wonderful husband that he is, told me about it and even stopped when I insisted that we did not have too. I am glad we did though, it was an awesome store. Everything was organized nicely and easy to find. I spent a little money but not too much. I did find some really cute travel paper and poka dot paper, I could not resist!

Jonah wants YOU!! While at Union Station Jonah found several different "Uncle Sam's" Hat and tried a few on for size. When he put this one on he pointed his finger just like those posters of Uncle Sam.

We ate at Johnny Rockets tonight at Union Station. I had forgotton how large Union Station was' three floors full of shops, restuarants and even a movie theater.

Right after we left Union Station, we headed to the Mall, no not the shopping mall but the where Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the National World War II Memorial is. It is suggested that you see these monuments both at night and during the day. We had no sooner found a parking place and both kids spoke up saying "is there a bathroom close by." Now let me tell you this, I had no clue where a bathroom was, we had just put $$ in the parking meter and there was not a gas station or a food place around. So we crashed in on a party at the Organizations of Americas. No one spoke english and everyone was dressed nice. Here we stood in jeans and totally stood out like a sore thumb. But the doorman was nice and allowed us to used there bathrooms, lucky for us they were near the front door.

My picture of the day, possibly the trip. I have no clue how it happened, I was not even trying to take this photo. I simply rolled down my window, Phillip was driving kinda slow and I did have my camera set on night time and as I snapped the picture a tree got in my way of the Washington Monument. Cool Picture, don't you think, I could probably never do this again.
I am sure that there is somebody out there who knows just how this picture happened.

Lincoln Memorial at night is just breathtaking and with today being President's Day around the bottom of Lincoln's stature were wreaths of flowers and roses laid on the steps. Well I guess, I need to call it a day. We have an early morning tomorrow, starting when my alarm goes off at 6 a.m., we need to be heading into the city by 7 a.m. for a 9 hour tour.