Sunday, October 28, 2007

More of our trip

Okay, okay. I know--I've been horribly lazy! Just catching up, I think! Here are some more pictures of our vacation. Absolutely NO chronological order because I'm still lazy!!! Sorry! :)

Noah, Hannah and me between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. This was my favorite! I loved standing there, by the Reflecting Pool-turn one way and you see this massive statue of Lincoln, the other way--the Pencil! I loved it!

The World War II Memorial. This was Lyle's favorite part. It was so awesome walking around, seeing a lot of the "older generation". I know many of them were remembering. Whether they were there, or if they were just remembering it all happening. It got me to thinking, another 15 years or so and there won't be anyone else around to tell the stories. Just what's been passed on. I highly suggest anyone go see this. It put so much into perspective for me. It was truly awesome to see.

The Vietnam War Memorial--The Wall. I couldn't believe all the names. Just horrific.

The US Capitol. We took a guided tour with an Intern from Illinois, working with Representative Hale. It was magnificent. After the tour, we got to sit in on a Session of Congress. Had no idea what was going on (and didn't really care!) but it was pretty neat.

The US Supreme Court, just down the street from the Capitol. We were running late for our 2:00 tour of the Capitol so we didn't get a chance to see the inside. We could have taken the Metro back to see it, but there was so much more to see!

Speaking of the's Hannah and Noah on one of our rides on the Metro. Looks like Hannah is checking out some of the wierdos we saw!!! :)

Our last day in DC, we took a drive to Annapolis, Maryland. This was a beach we stopped at so the kids could play in the Chesapeake Bay again. They had a great time!

The kids outside the National Geographic Museum, just a few blocks from our hotel.

The kids in the National Geo Museum. They had a demonstration of the Critter Cam. The kids got to stand in the bubble and be taped and later see themselves on the screen, superimposed in Antarctica or some other freezing place. It was so funny--Noah was making stupid faces and noises (being a boy!) and Hannah was looking at him like "Would you just SHUT UP?!!??!?!" The girls at work love this picture!

This is the National Archives--where the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are housed. Was awesome to see! I had no idea the documents were so unlegible.

This is part of a very scary bridge we crossed to go to Annapolis, Maryland. THREE MILES LONG! Yes, that was 3 miles! I was a nervous wreck the whole time! Lyle and the kids loved it!!

We saw many 2 story McDonalds in DC. Was pretty neat to see!

The Lincoln Memorial. I loved it! So awesome!

Hannah and Noah in front of Abe.

A dead jellyfish the kids found at that beach by Annapolis, Maryland

The Jefferson Memorial. It looks so beautiful across the water.

One of many tiles at the Holocaust Museum. There were about 18 huge sections of tiles that people had put messages on, mostly about the Holocaust. Was supposed to be about the Holocaust! Someone did one that said "Love the Gays". What on earth does that have to do with the Holocaust?!?!?

Hannah in front of some rocks at the Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian.

I can't remember what building this was, but it's somewhere down by the White House. Just beautiful!

Boats in Annapolis, Maryland. It was gorgeous there!

The kids in front of a mural at the Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian.

Another gorgeous building in DC. I just loved this!

Arlington Cemetery. A wondrous, sad sight to see.
These are just a very small snippet of the pictures we took. If you'd like to see more, you can go to;jsessionid=B34154C065E4DD41F3F2B1AD68EBE223?a=67b0de21b357ce3bc44f&sid=0AZOW7do0ZuGLiY and see a few more, including the pictures of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. I actually have about 600 pictures on my computer. I think there's about 195 on this site. My poor mother was bored to death watching about 450 of them on my TV the day we got back!!! :)
We put shutters on our house yesterday. You know, I've been wanting them for so long, practically dreaming of finally having them on the house. They're up and....I DON'T LIKE THEM!!!! Ugh! I thought white would be best, but I think we needed to add color! However, I chose white because we're putting up porch railing soon, which will be white. I was afraid if we put up burgundy shutters, it'd look stupid with white railing. So...we'll see what it looks like with railing. And maybe they'll look better after they get a little dirty!! :) I'll take a picture soon and you all tell me what they look like.
Better get laundry done and head to bed. We have a long week coming up!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Pictures from the first few days...

Lyle and the kids at the National Museum of the United States Air Force
Saturday, October 6

Lyle and the kids in an airplane at the NMUSAF

Old Bedford, Pennsylvania-original homes and buildings from the 1500's -- 1800's
Sunday, October 7
Lyle eating Crab Legs at Solomons Pier in Solomons, Maryland
Noah inspecting the claws after dad has eaten the meat!
Sunday, October 7
Solomon's Pier, where we ate the night before. We sat in front of the 2nd window from the right on the round part. Wanted to eat on the dock, but anyone under 21 could not be out there after 8:00 pm. We got there at 8:30!
Monday, October 8
Hannah and Lyle walking the dock

My family sittin' on the dock of the Bay. Ha! Ha! Chesapeake Bay, that is!! :-)

Noah was jumping over the waves. His feet are actually off the ground here.
Point Lookout, Maryland
Monday, October 8

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Kids' Favorite Spots

This is the four of us on our last day, getting ready to leave DC. We're in front of the Revolving door, or as the kids liked to call it--the Spinny Door! They had to go through the Spinny door every time we came or went!
Hannah in the Chesapeake Bay. This is the biggest smile she had all week! She loved it.

Noah's favorite spot--the Lego Store!!!! He was checking out a Lego Chess Set. He was seriously considering buying it. Lyle's been teaching him how to play chess.

A Rundown

Famous Sites We Saw…
National Museum of United States Air Force
Old Bedford, Pennsylvania
Chesapeake Bay
White House
US Capitol
Supreme Court
Library of Congress
Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian
Holocaust Museum
Union Station
Air & Space Museum at the Smithsonian
National Archives—Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights
Arlington National Cemetery
Pentagon (guards standing outside with machine guns!)
Lincoln Memorial
Washington Monument
Reflecting Pool
World War II Monument
Vietnam War Memorial—The Wall
Jefferson Memorial
Annapolis, Maryland—boats, boats and more boats!

Things We Saw/Did That We Don’t Normally See/Do in Pana
Starbucks every 2 to 3 blocks
Wade in the cold Chesapeake Bay
Find Jellyfish
Homeless people sleeping on park benches
Watch Congress in Session
Take the Metro
Take a cab
Stay in a Hotel with a revolving door
2 story McDonalds
Stay in a hotel with a living room & kitchen, bedroom & bathroom. 2 TV’s!
Go to a church with almost 20,000 people there
Take a bus to church
See the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains
Eat out every single day

We're home!

Our trip is over. DC is behind us. In some ways, it seemed the trip flew; then again, it was nice and long. Either way, we had a blast! We love DC. It is fantastic there. Absolutely beautiful, clean, the people are nice, just wonderful all the way around. I loved it. Lyle loved it. The kids loved it.

Last time I wrote was Thursday night. Friday we left early and decided to take the car instead of Public Transportation. We drove down to see the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Reflecting Pool, World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial (The Wall) and Jefferson Memorial. This was problably my most favorite part of the trip, other than seeing how happy Hannah was playing in the Bay. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, looking one way and seeing that huge statue of him, then turning and seeing the Pool with the Washington Monument (The Pencil!) behind was AMAZING! Just breathtaking. For some reason, it just hit me emotionally and I just cried looking at it. Of course, I let Lyle think it was my allergies and my eyes were watering! I loved being there!

We then decided to drive to Annapolis, Maryland to check out the Chesapeake Bay again, since the kids loved it so much. Annapolis is gorgeous! We stopped at a beach and let the kids run around, looking for shells and rocks, step into the water. They found a dead jellyfish too! It was great. Annapolis was having a big boat show so it was over-flowing with people! We parked and looked around at the great shops, eateries, the boats....just a neat little town. Okay, it's not to little and it's really not a town. But it was neat!

We left around 9:00 Saturday morning with a destination of Louisville, Kentucky. Whew! Long driving! We ended up spending 13 hours on the road! Well, take a few hours out for stopping in Charlottsville, VA for shopping and lunch, then dinner in Kentucky. We finally arrived at our not-so-wonderful hotel around 10:00 and crashed. Sort of. The rooms were freezing cold and the pillows were terrible. Didn't sleep too well that night. Sunday we met up with Wayne and Greta Meece and went to church at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville. Man! I've never seen anything like that before! The church has anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 in regular attendance. One Saturday evening service and 2 Sunday morning services. The church was great. We really liked it a lot. After church was over, we all went to Texas Roadhouse for lunch. Had a fantastic time visiting with Wayne and Greta. They are just marvelous people! Around 1:30 we hit the road towards Pana. We gained an hour thanfully, since Louisville is in Central time! Got home at 5:19 pm last night. We drove approximately 2,020 miles in 9 days! I got my oil changed on October 3rd. It's about time to do it again!!! :)

All in all, it was a great trip. The only negatives were that I lost my glasses (yes, my $250 glasses!), I was scared to death riding and driving in the mountains, the unsavorable hotel room our last night and my flat iron pooped out on me in DC! But it was truly a great week. Sooooo glad we could do it! Much thanks to parents and grandparents for giving us some cash to spend and for babysitting Jinx and the guitars!

I'll be posting some pictures soon. I just need to get some rest! Glad to be in my own bed...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Me feet are STILL tired!

It's Thursday now. Tomorrow is our last full day in DC. So sad! We LOVE it here! The city is absolutely wonderful! I really don't want to leave. Lyle is seriously saying we should stay. (you all know how he is!) I can admit though, I'm not looking too forward to heading west. I am getting a little tired of hotel living though. Oh wait--they clean our rooms for us, make our beds, clean our shower and toilet, give us clean towels....they cook our breakfast and supper AND clean the dishes! What more could I ask for?!?!?!? Nah, couldn't do this too often!

I didn't post last night--was too tired! We had a great Wednesday. We took the Metro bright and early to the Smithsonian, spent a lot of time in the Castle and the Museum of Natural History. We had to eat lunch at the Museum Cafe. Oh boy, that just put Lyle in a bad mood! We spent $33 on a small amount of food that wasn't even very good. Hannah went to the Rocks and Minerals Store and went crazy! That girl loves Geology! She found stuff to spend money on! Thankfully, grandparents gave her cash! We then trekked down to the Holocaust Museum. That was an experience. We enjoyed the exhibition, except for the movie that blames Christians for all the bad things that have happened to the Jews. Again, Lyle was ready to blow a fuse! Anyway, Hannah found Anne Frank's Diary to purchase. She was very excited. She's already read several pages of it. We hopped the Metro, did a few exchanges and went to Union Station. That was neat to see. However, I suggest if you ever go to a place like that, DO NOT DO IT AT RUSH HOUR!!!!! Man, oh man! We almost got trampled! We've rode the Metro at rush hour too. It's wild! We did some shopping at Union Station and ate dinner. Fantastic sandwiches at a Gelato Shop! We still stink from them! :)

Today we went to the National Geographic Museum, just a few blocks away from our hotel. Their gift shop it so freaking cool! Totally Lyle's place!! Expensive though. The kids found more stuff to buy! Lyle was kind of let down, thinking he'd get to talk to actual National Geo Photographers or something. I told him he was nuts to think that in the first place. We went back to the Smithsonian to see the Air & Space Museum. Lyle and Noah really enjoyed that. (I've had enough Air & Space junk to last me the next ten years!) We had to eat lunch there--a Smithsonian McDonalds. What would cost us $15.00 in Pana or Shelbyville cost us $26.00 here! Alert--Lyle blowing a fuse again! We then walked to the National Archives. This is where the original documents of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are kept! That was totally awesome to see! No flash photography so our pics didn't turn out too well. :( But it was an awesome experience for us and the kids. After that, we went to Arlington Cemetery, saw thousands of gravesites and the graves of John F. Kennedy and family. We came back here to the hotel for dinner--lasagna. I did a few loads of laundry and visited with a lady from Texas while in the laundry room. ER is on tonight so I'm waiting for that to come on!

Tomorrow we plan to see the Washington Memorial and Reflection Pool, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. Those are the things I most want to see. I just love seeing the beautiful structures in this city. It is gorgeous! I can't wait to have some pictures printed out. Of course, it's nothing like seeing it all in person. I'm sooooooo glad we have been able to do this!

Hope you're all having a great week. More later....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

My feet are sooooooo tired!

Oh my. My legs and feet are so worn out! We did A TON of walking today. Had our tour at the White House earlier in the day. It was great. Saw the famous Red Room, Green Room and Blue Room! It was just unbelievable to know that I was in the White House just one floor under the President!!!! No, we didn't even get a glimpse of George! :( After that, we did a lot of walking and looking, got so tired that we took a cab. OH! $11.00 for a very short trip! Won't do that again!

For lunch we went to a downtown Subway. I'm sure I will never get my Subway order as quick as I did today! Man, they know how to work it! I gave my order, along with Hannah's and Noah's, Lyle gave his and we were done in litterally 60 seconds or less! Can't get your sub like that in Pana or Shelbyville!

We then took the Metro to the Capitol for our tour. (My first time on the Metro!) The Capitol is beautiful. We got to sit in on a Session too! Actually saw two Illinois Senators or Representatives or something like that get up and speak about....something, saw them vote on it and pass it. I had no idea what was going on but it was still cool! We also got to see the Supreme Court from the outside. It was massive and awesome!

We'll be seeing the Holocaust Museum and Smithsonian tomorrow. Or at least part of the Smithsonian! It is so huge I'm not sure we'll get to see it all!

So sad to hear while I'm gone that Dee Sinclair passed away. She is Becky Wafford's mom. We go to church with them both. Also, my friend Brenda's sister, Pam, passed away. I'm utterly shocked by that. Pam was only 35. Don't know what happened there. But in GREAT news, Wayne Meece is CANCER FREE!!!!!!! Hip! Hip! Hooray!

I better go spend some time with the kids. I believe they're in the bedroom watching TV. There's a TV in the bedroom here AND a TV in the living room! It's nice when Lyle wants to watch Discovery and they want to watch Nick!

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, October 8, 2007

We're in DC!

We made it! Ah, driving is so scary here, but we finally made it to DC. This hotel is so nice! We totally do not belong in this place. This is how the "other half" live! It was nice to unpack, hang things up and know that I don't have to pack and unpack every night like I have since Friday.

Sunday we were going through Pennsylvania and stopped in Old Bedford for a tour. It was neat to see the 1500's through 1800's homes. Also got to see a Covered Bridge. Pennsylvania is really beautiful. Rolling hills, mountains, neat looking homes...just beautiful. Problem is, PA people do not know how to drive! Ah, it was crazy. And there was supposed road work going on all over the place (but no road work!) and the speed limit was 55 mph. We lost so much time from that.

Got to McLean, Virginia around 4:00 and took Noah to the Lego Store. Ahhhhhh--he was in heaven! I can't wait to post those pictures! He loved it.

Made it to Solomons, Maryland around 7:45 last night, got checked in at the Holiday Inn (waterfront!) and went to Solomons Pier for dinner. Yikes! $76 meal for crab legs, shrimp, etc...but it was pretty good. It's a neat little restaurant right on the water. I mean, ON the water! Only bad thing was the drunks all around us!! :)

This morning we took the kids to the Chesapeake Bay to see "real" water. They loved it! Okay, we all loved it! I'd never seen anything other than rivers and lakes. It was awesome. I love seeing the never-ending water, the sailboats, the seagulls. Just beautiful! We stopped and walked along the shore and the kids found a beach area. Quickly, the shoes came off! Hannah started with just her feet and ended up wading pretty far out getting drenched! We had to find dry clothes for them both! Boy, that water was COLD!

We arrived here in DC around 3:45 and paid $20 for valet parking! We were so tired and worn out from driving that we didn't care! Found out it's $20 A DAY for parking so we will probably find the free parking close by. This hotel serves free breakfast and dinner every weekday so we got free dinner tonight. They say it's a light meal...goulash, vegetables, salad, rolls, drinks. That's no light meal to me! Sounds great every night!

Well, I better sign off and go get some laundry done. Hmmmm......I go on vacation and still have to mess with that stuff!! :( We see the White House tomorrow so I'll probably have more to tell then! Love y'all!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Pillows, water and mirrors...

What is it with Holiday Inn's new pillows? Oh. My. Gosh. It's like you're floating on a freaking cloud! I love em! I don't normally like fluffy pillows but these rock! LOVE EM! Want one! And the beds are so comfortable. These nights have been great.

Yesterday I was taking a shower. Maybe I'm just used to my not-so-soft water, or maybe Holiday Inn has REALLY soft water! I couldn't get the soap or shampoo gone!!!! It's nuts.

Then there was the mirror. The lighting is soooo horribly bad that when you look at yourself you see EVERY SINGLE flaw in your complexion. And let me tell ya, mine ain't pretty! Ah! I didn't realize it was so bad!! :O I like my lights better at home!! They lie to me, I guess!

Well, we're being heathens today and skipping church. Got to sleep in a little and we won't be getting to the hotel super late like we have the past two nights. Can't take that anymore. We'll head down into Virginia today and take Noah to the illustrious Lego Shop! He's sooo excited! Then on into Maryland. We'll be staying in a hotel right on the Chesapeake Bay! We are finding lobster tonight, baby! :)

Oh, about the Air Force Museum--it was nice. Lyle and the kids really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it the first few hours and I will only enjoy it once! They want to go back, with Mark. I think I'll find a mall! But it was awesome. And the kids got to see an Imax show about fighter pilots. That was neat.

Okay, time for a shower and to get going. Hope you are all having a great weekend. More soon....and hopefully some pictures!

p.s. the kids have to sleep together and they HATE it!! hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2007


Here we are, in Scotdale, Pennsylvania. Man, what it took to get here! The day started well. We got out at a good time, got to Dayton, Ohio to the National Museum of the US Air Force. We had intended to spend a "few hours" there. Ha! We got there shortly after 11:00 and didn't leave until almost 5:00!!!! We then had a 4 1/2 hour drive to this hotel. We took a few wrong turns, got lost...come to find out, the lady that got us this reservation said it was for Mt Pleasant, but it was Scotdale! Aaaggghhhh!!!! What a night. Plus, this area is full of hills, twists and turns. Lyle's driving drove me nuts! My legs were cramping from being so tense!

Anyway, here we are. This is night #2 in a hotel and both have been nice. We have been searching the area for a church to attend tomorrow but are finding we may be skipping this week. It's a bunch of weirdo places!!! Maybe we'll just pull up a church service on TV! :)

It's mega late and I need some sleep! Will try to add a little tomorrow night....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Getting Ready

I sit here around 6:00 Friday morning. Just 12 hours before we are to leave for vacation. I am having a terrible time trying to sleep! Too excited I guess. And there's so much to do.

Last night, I had parent-teacher conferences with the kids' teachers that lasted until about 7:15. Then off to take Lyle's babies (the guitars!) to stay at Mark and Linda's while we're gone, then to take Hannah's baby (Jinx the cat) to my mom and dad's to stay. It was after 9:30 before we got home and I still hadn't begun to pack! It was after 1:00 when I got to bed and then I woke up around 5:15--could NOT get back to sleep! So here I am.

The weather was looking like it was going to be great in DC for the days we were going to be there. Now, I'm not so sure. It looks like it's gonna suck! AaaagggghhhhH!!!!!!! Is it wrong for me to pray for good weather?!?!? :)

I hope you all have a great weekend and a good week! I will be posting a ton of pictures I'm sure in about 10 days!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The new glasses and the new haircut!

Okay, you've all seen what Noah's long hair has looked like. He has been wanting it cut here lately and I hated to cut all that nice hair off! So I gave him a trim last night. People at school told him today he looked like a girl! Aahhh!!!! Well, it did kind of look like a rounded girl cut....

He got new glasses today. He put those on with his new glasses and I thought "The hair has to go! He looks gay!" So we got out the clippers.




He loves his new look! He is definitely made for short hair. If we can just control those cow-licks! On the glasses front--he loves being able to see clearly! Just like me!