Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Muggy, Raining, a Perfect [ly normal DC] Day.

Muggy, Raining, a Perfect [ly normal DC]  Day.
  We were going to leave 1st thing in the morning.  Translation, we left at noon.  Did I say that we were having a hard time adjusting after the trip?    We are going to spend the next few weeks showing  N♡- the sights around DC.  I told her that I could at least show her all the sites that are in the movies.  It makes sense right?  So we started with a picnic by the Jefferson Memorial.  
It is a nice place for a picnic since there is parking there.  And I had the most shocking thing happen to me when parking.   We were circling the [one directional] lot to find a space.  A man walking by said that his space was 4 cars BEHIND me.  Ugh!  So I moved over to the side so he could pull by once he was unparked, but gave up on the spot.   The car behind me, backed up and gave me the spot that was vacant.  I am still in shock.  Who would have thought someone would be THAT NICE!!!! and in D.C. TOO!!!  So thanks to the nice gentleman.  I hope that he had a VERY nice day.  It just goes to show that it's worth it to pray when you park.  I had told N♡-, that the key to parking was to circle once then start praying, it always works.  
just not normally this nicely.
So here is the Dumbo at the Smithsonian, for those of you who were never 3?  
Uhh, so where's the melted ice cream? 
The spilled coke?
the chewed up chewing gum? They always make the ride so much more fun!

Here's proof that N♡- saw Kermit, the camera is not acting right!!!!!
Is it me or does this guy really steal the show?! He looks just like the guy Sam (Bruce Campbell) from Burn Notice to me.
Here's a cop eating watermelon while riding a horse.  Enough said.

In front of the Washington Monument.

Closer to the Monument.
The Jefferson Memorial
Somebody trying to steal my car.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Another one

Today Christopher pulled out his loose tooth.  It was loose the whole trip and I kept praying that I did not have to deal with it while driving across the country.  Thanks for the little blessing in my life!  The picture's a little fuzzy 'cause the camera flash isn't working.  So can you tell where it came out?  It was the 1st tooth on the left of his front teeth. (Left in the photo-his right side).  Barely any space there.  He too will be getting braces soon.  I should have become a doctor.  I spend all my time and $ there.  

Easy Solutions.

Why does everything have to break while Honey is away?    I just bought hair clippers so I could trim the boys hair since the old one was annoying me by only charging for 30 seconds and other parts were broken.  Now the camera is not using the built in flash.  Ughhhh! 
 Of course, I have one solution.    
             " How much is that?"

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I finally took the kids to see the movie Up.  We went with our visiting exchange student N♡-.  Here's our "crazy picture" we took before going to the movie.
Here's another one that was really cute with Keener and N♡-.

I really enjoyed the movie.  It was very sweet and very funny. Am I the only one who cries at movies anymore?  I must be turning into a softy in my old age!  The crotchety old man reminded me of my Papa, and if you're a dog person you'll love the dog collar.  Wouldn't it be great to know what your dog was thinking?  I really enjoyed it and I hope we can take Honey to see it when he gets home.  (Soon, under 50 days!!!)
    The best part is that the kids loved the movie AND they were appreciative and said thank you without prompting.  And amazingly Hell was not frozen and there were no flying pigs... odd....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

An Evening out

Tonight we went with my sister and her family to Annapolis to Anne Arundel Community College  to hear the Baltimore Symphony and watch the "4th of July" Fireworks show.  We ended up not being near enough to hear the symphony, but the kids had fun rolling down the big hill and playing with their cousins.  It was nice to relax and chat.  The fireworks were very nice, a very calm pleasant evening.
   Here is a picture from when we arrived.  The sun quickly set and then the fireworks started.  This is Christopher with our exchange student from Spain, N-♡-.  It is her 1st day with us.
The kids love her.  She is very nice and I am glad that I decided to host another student this year.  We had such a great time last year with P-✩- from France.  It is a nice break for Elizabeth to not be the oldest and the other kids really enjoy having a teenage sibling for a while.  I grew up with exchange students, so I was willing to try it out last year and it was so much fun, thatI thought I'd do it again.  

Muggy, I mean Buggy Saturday

Christopher found this walking around the house.  
It's a baby Preying Mantis.  For some reason we always have a lot of them.   There is a bush that often has the egg sacks in the fall. I'm not really an insect loving sort of person.  I'm more of a "step on it" or "Here's a magazine to kill it with" sort of gal.  But it is a bug that I really like.  Maybe because you can capture it and then feed it other insects.  A very interactive pet. 

We did not keep this one however.   We let him go.  I'd much rather have him (or her) growing strong and eating all the other insects that do bother me.

MJ You know who I am "Thrilled" to write about!!!!

I just want to say for the record that the male idiot that died does not need all this recognition.  He was a CHILD MOLESTER!  The cops and DA would never take a celebrity to trial without having a good case.  There would be too much bad publicity for them.   It just takes 12 idiots to let him go.  I mean really, is it hard to find 12 idiots?  I think I meet more than that in one day! Who else has no good reason to avoid sitting in a trial.  As much as I believe in the jury system and would be happy to be a juror, most of the people who are jurors are not exactly a jury of my peers. As for Farrah Fawcett, I was never a fan of hers, but am sorry to hear that her death is being overshadowed.
    So away from the tabloid people and onto something important-ME!
I am still fighting with the remote, but I have faith that the "Harmony" will maybe live up to it's name and bring some harmony into my life.   I am hopeful but weary...  I'll let you know if I throw it out the window.  Hmmmm,........Maybe I'll do that with Honey's old computer that is sitting in the trunk of his car to "take" to the dump.  Mind you, it sat in his Saturn trunk for 2 years before sitting in the BMW for 3.  Feel free to email Honey the directions to the dump nearest you.  Maybe he'll pick one soon.     Or maybe... Hmmm.......   I could always send it to him for target practice.  Now there's a GREAT idea!!!!  I think I'll send it tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

a REAL problem

The DVD player is not working because the VCR is stuck on the wrong channel and it's remote has died a long agonizing (for me) death!!!.  Don't you just love electronics?!  I know there is some way to reroute everything, but it's not my department.  I KNOW I could figure this stuff out, but I don't want to.  As I like to say "That's why I have a husband!"  So my solution was to get a universal remote and go from there.  I Went to Radio shack to get a universal remote that was "idiot proof".   The problem is the idiot that sold it to me!!!   The directions are a nightmare.  The only thing I can get to work off of it is the TV, yippee?! not exactly what I wanted.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! (Besides throwing it out the window.  I actually like the VCR, )

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We're home! Now for the 8 loads of laundry and a dog to pick up!  Glad to sleep in my own bed.  Anxiously awaiting the Chiropractor appointment....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Going, Going, .... Home

           The cross country trip is coming to a close soon.  It has been quite an adventure and I have much to add when I am not spending so much of my time driving.  (I will back date everything, but put in a blog saying so.)
         I think the kids learned a lot about this country and it has been an amazing experience to share with them.   The most important thing they learned was to enjoy each day for the adventure that it brought.  Some days were more fun than others (of course), but each day has been interesting in it's own way.  We have seen some of the most beautiful landscape that this country has to offer, and even in this TV generation; they loved seeing the simple beauty of nature.  They found joy in seeing bears and Bald eagles in Yellowstone, the Badlands of the Dakotas, and the wide Mississippi River.   I think I learned to let them make some of the decisions.  They always made good ones too.  They were better at seeing that we need to have a break.  Even today, they were able to see that as we drove around the University of Notre Dame, we did not need to go on a visitor's tour.  Seeing the grotto, the stadium, and "touchdown Jesus" was more than enough.  
          More importantly the trip and Honey's deployment has taught us how to manage without Honey around.  We have learned how to be a team.  This deployment has united us and taught us self reliance.  But of course we will be happy when our star player comes back and gives the second string a welcome bit of relief! 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Honey!  
     Talking about father's is not an easy thing for me.  My own strained relationship with my father make me really appreciate the relationships that Honey has with the children. Honey is so much better at relaxing with the children and just playing with them.  I tend to get wound up in the details of life.  He is no perfect man, but he is one great father.  Honestly, like I'd want a perfect man... what a pain that would be!!!  Until I saw Honey being a father, I don't think I ever appreciated what a relationship with my father could have been like.  The pure love and enjoyment that he gives and receives from being a father is what makes him a truly great father.  He has been just as excited to learn that we were going to have our 1st baby as he was about our 4th.  He loves being a father, just like his parents truly love being grandparents.    They have been so joyful whenever we have told them that we were having another baby.  Unfortunately many people do not react this way.  It is this love of life and creation that they taught their son, that makes him very special. 
       I guess fatherhood's like any job, if you don't love it then you won't always do your best work.  In his case, Honey has excelled and I know that it is paining him to be away from them today.  So Honey, Happy Father's Day!  You are a great one and we all love you very much!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mall of America

          Today we went to the Mall of America.  It doesn't look that big from the outside.  Mostly because you only see one side of it at a time.  What really gets you at first is the size of the parking lot.  I realized very quickly that I needed to concentrate on where I was parking so that I could find my car a few hours later.   
          Christopher was SO excited.   He wanted to walk s l o w l y into the the mall to savor every moment.  Normally, trying to get this boy to walk slowly is challenge!   We then started to look for the stores that we wished to see.  The mall is enormous and no picture could really describe it, not that I took my camera.  I was too concerned about loosing the kids and I wanted to be concentrating on them. 
          For Elizabeth, we went to the American Girl Store first (because we found it first).  It was really neat to see all of the doll stuff in one place.  Since we are going to the American Girl Outlet in Oshkosh WI, we did not buy anything.   We then went to the Lego Store.  Christopher loved it, and of course we got some Legos.  I guess you can never really have too many Legos?!! I enjoyed seeing the kids having such a great time.   We stopped by the Apple store to ask a question,  Gap to get a pair of shoes for the diva and get a few pairs of pants that fit my skinny Minny Elizabeth, (that I don't have to alter, yeah!) and then onto the theme park.  There isa theme park inside the mall.  We luckily got to the mall late in the afternoon, so we were able to buy those ticket  1/2 price.  The kids had a lot of fun riding all the rides.  Elizabeth, Christopher and Rolo were able to ride most of the rides without me, so that made it easier.  I could let them ride on one, then take Keener to one her size.  We spent the rest of the night riding all the rides.  The lines were incredibly short, which made it a lot more fun.  I am glad we went, because the smiles were worth it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thoughts on America

We are halfway through our journey across America.  We start the return voyage in a few days.  It has been amazing and beautiful and really makes me appreciate the creativeness of God.  The journey has been crazy but fun and I am glad that I decided to take the kids to see America while Honey defends it.  People have been amazingly supportive of Honey.  I have had many people say thank you for Honey defending our country and thanking me for supporting him on the homefront.    I am happy to do it.  It may not be easy on a daily basis, but I think freedom is worth the sacrifices that the kids and I must make.  We will of course be happy to have Honey home again, but in the meantime, I am happy to be doing my own part to keep our country great.

And still More Yellowstone Pictures

Wildlife and natural wonder Photos 
I mean natural wildlife, not the ones I'm related to!!!

Steam vents and Geyser Pool
Buffalo and Buffalo calf

Raven & White Pelican
Mud Volcano and Steam vents

More Yellowstone Pictures

Yellowstone Day One

I have to say that Yellowstone is amazing.  Natural Beauty and Wildlife abound.  The only problem is that you stop driving every 1/4 mile to look at something new and different around the bend.  It is sort of a pain to keep buckling in Keener.  Here are some of the photos.  The pictures can never describe the sounds or the smells that come with the scenery.  Everything from bird calls and water rushing to bubbling geysers that smell of sulfer.  Definitely a place you should try to see in your life.  
  Yes that is snow, we drove through flurries yesterday too.  
Amazing, .... Snow in June!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

tell me how you really feel.

We were passing through a quaint little town in Missouri today and I said to Elizabeth, 
"Hey look at that building, I bet it's the funeral home,  'cause it's the prettiest building in town."  She replied, "So's that Church.  .... the only two places in town you don't want to be!"  
My little angel in the making....

Monday, June 8, 2009

St. Louis High Adventures

See the High Adventures for the Day
While in St. Louis, we had to see the Arch.  Apparently this is really called the Jefferson Expansion Museum.  I’d been there before, but the details of the name had never stuck in my head.  It took us a while to go up all the stairs from the Mississippi River to the monument, but we had a great time once we went in and rode the elevator to the top.  What a fabulous view!  There really was a game going on in the stadium.
Bear with me as I make my first attempt at Flickr.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Louisville Slugger

The Entrance to the Museum.  The Biggest Bat in the World

Today we went to the Louisville Slugger Museum.  The kids loved it.  I thought it was very interesting to see how the bats were made.  The museum and factory did a good job of not boring the kids with too many details and giving them many opportunities to touch things and explore.  Here are the photo's from the day.  My only mistake was going on a Sunday when the factory was closed.  We got to walk through it, but not see it in action.  
Outside the Museum, where's Keener?

Babe and them
How many bats will this tree be?

That's one big glove!

The Bats the kids are holding are from this display case.  Not being a big baseball fan, the only name that I recognized was Micki Mantle.  I think Elizabeth is holding his bat.  Pretty cool to get to hold a real pro bat.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


It's nice to see smiles on their faces.  I am glad that they are having a nice time.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The rest of the Story

The fire trucks at 2:00 am were not the entire story apparently. At 10:00 in the morning, the power went out to the whole house. I called Virginia Power (I have learned from my sister to call first because it makes a difference in priority level.) and the automatic voice said that the problem had already been reported but thanks anyway. About 10 minutes later I get a call back and apparently the computer voice was wrong, they had no reports for my area. Since my neighbors across the street and beside me both had their power out as well, they sent a truck immediately. Yeah!
It turns out that a fuse blew on the transformer that serves my immediate neighbors and I. My neighbor across the street heard the same pop that I heard last night when the house dimmed and I smelled smoke. After repairing the fuse outside and restoring power, the gentleman from the power company investigated the lines in the house. He was able to get my outlet working (Yeah! something for FREE!!!). People can be so nice!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Too Bad the Surge Protector worked....

           Yes, it really is 2:41 in the morning and here I am writing to you.  I am still trying to leave on my trip, but tonight I had company.  I would say they were uninvited, but I did call 9-1-1 to get them!  So I guess I would say they were not anticipated company.  
          About an hour ago, I  heard a pop, smelled smoke and the whole house dimmed for about 30 seconds.  I jumped up ran to the garage where the circuit breakers are located passing the laundry room on my way.  The dryer was making an odd noise (I now know that it was just moving on a sporadic pulse due to the current).  I reacted by turning it off and yanking out the plug.  Next I checked the breakers and was about to check the house when I said to myself "Hey moron, they made the fire department quick to call for a reason!"  So, while talking to the 911 operator I smelled a little more smoke, but could not see anything after checking out all the rooms and the attic.  A few minutes later two trucks arrived and I was very grateful to see them.  I felt like an idiot since there was nothing obviously burning.  I hate to bring out the Calvary if it is nothing, but I feared that there might be something burning in the walls.  They did a good check of the walls and wires with some sort of heat detector that I had never seen before.  Thanks to Fairfax County for giving them the $ to buy something so useful.  It is nice to see my taxes not being wasted for a change.  They ended up finding that an outlet blew and is now non-operational.  Most likely from a power surge &/or faulty wiring.  The only thing plugged into the outlet was the surge protector (that had the TV, VCR, DVD players, and Satellite.).  So Honey, I am sorry to report that the surge protector worked and unfortunately so does your TV etc. (no replacement to buy boo hoo).   At least it is nice to know that the surge protector works. $25 bucks well spent!
          Ahh, the adventures that I am having while you are gone.  I am starting to wonder if I am a magnet for odd events?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Adventure Begins.

I'm getting ready for my cross country adventure.  It seems like things always come up to delay me (this time it was yet another bought of the stomach flu!!!), but both the kids and I are anxious to go and "see America"  We will post pictures of what we see on the way.  Hopefully it is not the inside of a mechanic's shop...., a hospital Emergency Room..., or any other place that we seem to normally visit before or during a trip.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

Plumbing Again.

I had the plumber return, except this time it was scheduled (a lot cheaper that way).  I needed the kids bathroom vanity replaced because the doors were literally falling off of it.  So  I had him look at the other 2 plumbing projects I needed done and do them to get them checked them off my list. (A wobbly toilet and replacing a broken faucet).      He was here longer than originally scheduled, but I am glad to get those things done.
         I am finding that people are amazingly nice about Honey being gone.  The plumber called his boss to get $ taken off the bill since Honey is over in Afghanistan.  I really appreciated that he did that just to be nice.  I have had many people do similar things like this and I am truly amazed at the generosity of people.  It makes me feel that despite the fact that Honey is in a country at War, people are inherently kind.  What a wonderful world.