Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fun with Rachel & James

Our kids LOVE to ride on legs - do yours? They had so much fun last night! Rachel & James came over and hosted a "Breakfast for Dinner" Party complete with pajamas! Rachel sent each child an invitation earlier in the week, asking which breakfast foods they would like, and then...
they fixed them ALL: french toast, waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, orange juice, chocolate milk, and more! They also let the kids be "chef's assistants", which the kids LOVED (I think Rachel even let Grant crack the eggs - Mom's not quite that confident). Did I mention that Rachel ran 20 miles earlier in the day? I'm grateful that she can sleep in before church!
Here they are enjoying the fruits of their labors. Part of the "party" was that the kids each got to choose an activity. Clark chose to play "Zingo", James chose to build a train, John and Grant chose... (I don't know what they chose - I"ll get back to you on that one) and...
Faith chose to make a necklace! But, just in Rachel fashion, she went the Second Mile and made not only a beautiful necklace (Faith is wearing it) but a bracelet as well, which will be proudly worn to church this morning!

Thank you, Rachel and James for a lovely evening that the kids will never forget.

Where were Mommy and Daddy during all of this fun?

At the Kennedy Center in downtown DC, enjoying the amazing talent of Itzak Perlman and Pinchas Zucherman. It's an experience I will never forget. To watch Mr. Perlman hobble out on stage, bairly making it to the front, plop down on his chair, drop his crutches to his side, adjust his seat many times and then begin to play the most BEAUTIFUL music you've ever heard was AWE-inspiring. I will not be the same person again. He was a reminder to me of taking what the Lord has given you and not worrying about your challenges along the way. I can't say it eloquently, but his example (and talent) has truly changed my perspective on life.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Soccer and Swimming!

Here's Grant giving some brotherly advice to Clark during a Timeout of Clark's game. Such a precious moment!
On Monday night, we started swimming lessons! First, Clark and John swim, then it's Grant and Faith's turn. Lastly, MOMMY gets to swim. I have never learned how to REALLY swim and I'm excited! The water is freezing cold at this pool, but I guess it will make me want to get MOVING to warm up! So, this is what we'll be doing for FHE for the next 10 weeks!
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Fun, fun, fun.

This picture is in the Rotunda of the US Capitol. We were posing with Grandpa Brigham Young! He is a 5th Great Grandfather to these little boys!
Andrew and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary by going to see Les Miserables at WolfTrap, an outdoor ampitheatre. The quality was incredible and we were in tears many times throughout the show. ON Saturday morning, we took Spencer and Emily on their final adventure of the trip down to Eastern Market in downtown DC. IT was raining SO SO SO hard. Hard to even describe, but we still had a great breakfast in the market and Andrew bought me these beautiful flowers! If you look closely, you can see that the orange and red ones look like brains! Each was so unique and I loved the surprise! Thanks, sweetheart!
First day of school for my little boys! Clark and John are going to a preschool together on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings. They felt like big boys taking their own lunches and adapted immediately to the enrivonment. I have BIG plans for my mornings with NO children for the next few months. Some of my ideas are: practice my violin, get the attic organized for a possible move in the future, read more of the Conference Ensigns and really STUDY my scriptures while I have quiet in the house!

Let me tell you about CLARK and soccer. He was incredible! ON Saturday mornings, he will go to the Ft. Scott Park with all the other 4-year olds in the county (it seemed that way at least) and play soccer! That boy just GOT IT! He understood to run after the ball, get in front of his opponents and kick it into the goal! I have never had so much fun watching soccer in my life!
He can hardly wait to go back next week- more on that later!
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US Capitol Tour

We were so lucky to get a tour of the inside of the Capitol Building. John had his Cinderella Cell PHone and was taking a picture of me! And Clark is just being his cute self.
This is what the inside of the Rotunda looks like. The Rotunda is SO tall that if you took Lady Liberty off her pedestal, she could fit inside! Those little octagons at the top can open up - snipers put their guns through there for important events. The picture of the men around the the bottom of the Rotunda is incredible. Painted with white and shades of brown. It looks like it's 3-D. How'd they do that?
This is a picture of little Grace (Emily & Spencer's daughter) crawling on the floor of the Rotunda. Isn't she darling?
Clark wasn't interested in this picture, but at least we captured everyone else! Thanks, Andrew, for setting this up with Representative Matheson's office.
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National Archives & Bureau of Printing/Engraving

We were lucky enough to have Emily & Spencer here for a whole week, so we tried to fit in everything! Andrew and I had never visited the National Archives, and so we picked up the kids from school on early day and headed downtown to meet up with Em & Spencer. Because it was after Labor Day, there were NO crowds - LUCKY US!
We walked right up into the Rotunda to see the Bill of Rights, Magna Carta (which is 700 years old-am I right?) and the Declaration of Independence. This was the best picture I coud get without a flash - all the others would make you nauseated.
We also visited the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, where they make all the paper money. If I remember correctly, they print about 600 million dollars in money every day! 95% of it is to replace old money, and 5% is NEW money. You weren't allowed to take any pictures, but the kids were fascinated by all the machines and the process that happens to keep our money safe!

After our Museum stops, we went to the Sculpture Gardens and put our feet in this ENORMOUS fountain! People bring their lunches here and just relax, and that sounded great to us!
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First Day of school 2008!

These kids were excited for their first day of school! ARen't they cute? I can't believe that I have a 3rd grader and a 1st grader! But, they love their teachers and are ready for another great year!
I just love knee socks, but Faith says they won't stay up! What should I do? Sacrifice the look? No way. When we bought the backpacks, about a month before school, that really sparked Faith's interest to go back to school. We tried to fill all the inside pockets with pencils, paper, snack, and even a little toy. But, no doubt, everything had to be pink!
Look at this handsome boy! As I was pulling out school clothes and buying a few new things, I decided that this year we were going to dress Grant in nicer clothes, not the basketball shirt from last season with VERY un-matching shorts ANYMORE! But, when I asked Grant if he'd wear collared shirts to school, he gave me a hard time and thought he was SO funny when he said "Ok...on picture day!" Fridays are casual day - that was our compromise!
Here's Faith on the first morning of school, putting her lunch in the fridge.
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Our visit to George & Martha

We had a GREAT, week-long visit from Andrew's sister Emily, husband Spencer and baby Grace (corner of her stroller is next to John). The kids loved and kissed and carried Grace all over the place and most of the time, she thought they were pretty hilarious! This was our visit to Mount Vernon, George Washington's estate. We have been there many times, but love it every time we go. I have no doubt that George WAshington was preserved through all the battles in order to lead our country to where we are today! An amazing man.
This is John in the kids room, dressed up in the time period clothing. He is just so photogenic, and loves to have his picture taken. Lately, though, he wants to TAKE the picture, which is a bit more of a challenge
Faith talks about this "kids room" all the time because she loves the babies! She immediately ran in, and began dressing the babies, and didn't want to leave. She is wearing a cute dress from the time period. They told us that in that day, they would begin putting corsets on girls at age 2! WHY? I don't think I could do that to my daughter, let alone myself!
This is Martha Washington! Isn't she adorable? Ok...maybe it's not the REAL Martha, but she certainly convinced me! She was adorable, and would sit and stitch as she told us stories about George and her children. If you asked about anything in the future, she would just look puzzled and say she had never heard of that. Probably my favorite part of the day!
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It's been a LONG time!

Everything is going very well in our lives - we just had to redo our whole computer, and took a few weeks to transfer everything back over from the external hard drive. We just now got Picasa loaded again, so we are back in business with the blog! These pictures all came from our adventures in August.

This picture is Johnny going to the potty (something he's doing regularly now - hallelujah!), but for a few days he insisted that he take THIS book in with him to read. The ironic part is that the book is called "How to behave so your child will too!" I wonder if he has any pointers for me, because John certainly knows how to be a challenge these days. He runs FAR away and has no problem with it - but Mommy does! Obedience? Hmmm... when I ask him to organize the shoes (which is his daily job) he either says "I can't!" or "I don't want to" and walks off. Any ideas?

But, in the next minute he has us laughing so hard as his antics and cute little body. He's such a grownup in a 3-year-old, beer-bellied body!
Our friend, Jami, chaperoned this Trampoline Party in our backyard and the kids loved it! They tried it in the spring, and Grant was the only one to last all night, but they ALL survived this time. Jami brought some friends over and they watched a movie beginning around midnight, but by then the kids were ASLEEP! Thanks, Jami, for a great time, and for allowing me to sleep in my own bed!
This is a small water park that's just 10 minutes from our house. We took an afternoon and went with Daddy and had a great time! Grant's favorite part was this dumping bucket. I had to agree. The anticipation of when it will come is so fun! The pressure almost knocks off your swimsuit! Look at Grant's face!
We went hiking over some boulders and near a waterfall up in Maryland with our friends, the Huish's. It was more of a 'hike' than Ithought it would be but Grant sure liked it, and John and I pulled up the back most of the time, holding hands so "mommy wouldn't fall".
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