Friday, April 29, 2011

And the winner is...

The random number generator picked number 2, so the winner is Anne, who left the second comment. I've been meaning to get to the post office to mail a baby gift anyway, so maybe this will speed up that process. :) Thanks to those who shared a favorite place—Ginny, I wish we'd had enough time for Williamsburg and Monticello. Natalie, you're insane. And Melissa, Switzerland is one of my favorite places too! I'm going to have to give some thought to my favorite places, I'll put that on my "to blog" list.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Divide and Conquer

The activity overload of May has started to creep into April, and we found ourselves with two kid events tonight. Joey's Raingutter Regatta, and Ainsley's preschool "Spring Sing." On top of that, it was the swim team pizza party, and none of the kids wanted to miss that. At least dinner was covered. So Rob met me in the parking lot at the pool, took Robbie home to work on homework, and Joey to the church for scouts. The flip-flops are a really nice touch in the flag ceremony.

However, Ainsley really wanted Rob to come to her program, since they were drawing a couple of dad's names out of a hat to sing to during one song. Luckily my dad was willing to come cheer on Joey, and even took photos for me.

Meanwhile, I took Ellie with me to Ainsley's program, and it was delightful.

Ainsley is a born performer. Here's a sample, although I was running out of memory space, so I turned off the HD, and it's not high quality. Ainsley is in the back row, 2nd/3rd from the right.

She had a great time.

She was excited to have her Grandma and Great-grandma in the audience too.

We're lucky to live so close to family, and have grandparents who are involved in our lives.

We all made it back to Joey's scout meeting in time for the last few races, treats and awards. Joey won a ribbon for "Most Stickers Used"—you can see most of them on his sail in the photo above. He also had the third fastest boat of the Webelos, although I think those races hinge more on breathing technique than ship construction. Here he is with his half-eaten 3rd-place cookie.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


So, I still have five days of our trip to D.C. to post, but I'm in the midst of some serious spring cleaning, and it may take a few more days. In the meantime, I mentioned that Robbie and I were both reading The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara before we went to Gettysburg. We each had our own copy, since Rob and I each brought one to the marriage (or maybe one of us bought a copy without realizing the other already had it). Either way, we have an extra. And I want to share—it's a great book, even if you're not a civil war buff.

I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner from the comments on Friday at noon. Please leave a comment about a favorite place you've visited.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Years ago we began the tradition of Easter Bunny Saturday, so that Sunday we could focus on the spiritual side of this holiday. This Sunday did not disappoint. We heard Rob's dad speak in church, which is always enlightening and uplifting. Then we had dinner with the Marshes, which was great, even though I forgot to take photos. I did get out my camera for our walk around "Ralph and Judy's Garden." They've really outdone themselves this year. I took 62 photos, but tried to eliminate duplicate poses, silly faces, and photos that only our future orthodontist could love. Here's what's left:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Break in St. George

After a day of unpacking, laundry and repacking, I loaded up all the kids and headed to St. George for the remainder of Spring Break. Luckily we overlapped with the Stringhams, and the kids were excited to play with their cousins.

We were all excited about the warmth and sunshine.

Well, except maybe the boys, who were more interested in playing the Wii.

We had pizza for dinner TWICE, because it was a break for me too.

And, I finally convinced the boys that dodgeball was even more fun in real life than on the Wii.

Rob drove down on Friday night, and on Saturday morning the kids were happy to discover that the Easter Bunny found us as well.

We also had an Egg Hunt in the afternoon.

And at the last minute, Rob's Uncle Grant called to invite us to go swimming. Luckily the kids all got new swimsuits in their baskets.

We had a good time talking to Grant, Wendy and Julie while the kids swam and played water football.

We picked up dinner on our way out of town and arrived home around 10:00 p.m.

Four days was not long enough, but it was a nice preview of summer days coming soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Last Day in Washington D.C.

Day Seven: We made it to the International Spy Museum before opening. After reading the three-star review in The Unofficial Guide to Washington D.C., I went in with low expectations, and only because Robbie really wanted to go. Rob loved the FBI tour he took years ago, and this was the closest thing to that, so I planned on going for their sake, but ended up really enjoying it. It was high-tech, interactive and fascinating. And we loved the gift shop. No photos were allowed inside, so this one photo seems disproportionate, compared with the hours we spent here.

We stopped for lunch at High Country BBQ, which was good.

Then we spent our remaining hours at the National Gallery of Art, which Robbie endured for our sake. We didn't have much time, so we just saw the highlights in the West Building.

Then headed over to the East Building through the underground tunnel.

Even the moving walkway is a work of art, called "Multiverse" by artist Leo Villareal.

I loved the East Building and the modern art there. Here are a few favorites:

We took one last shot on the Mall:

Then stopped by the hotel to pick up our bags. I had tried getting a hotel on for less than $200/night, but was unsuccessful. So it was more than we wanted to spend, but the Capitol Hill Holiday Inn was a great location and a nice room.

Because of the time difference, we were able to leave D.C. at 5:00 p.m. and still arrive home by 7:30 p.m. The kids were excited to see us, even though they had a great time with the Kyles and both sets of grandparents. Souvenirs included Smithsonian "Mood necklaces" and bags for the girls, and personalized dog tags and airplanes for the boys. The boys also got t-shirts and books from the International Spy Museum, and we got a money notepad from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for them to share.

It was truly a fabulous trip, and I loved our opportunity to spend time with just Robbie. But I think one of the benefits of travel is that it helps you appreciate home even more. It's good to be back. I love my family.