Thursday, October 9, 2008


It is on my Bucket List to see a Broadway play in New York City. Now I can officially check it off my list. We left Richmond for New York at 6:00am. That means that I had to be up at 3:30am. We flew Jet Blue. The plane was very small. I must say that it was the scariest plane ride I have taken. The plane made a funny whining noise and lurched and tipped. I was really scared. Ashli just said in her ever calm way, "What can you do about it now. Just relax." (After we got home, she told me she was very scared too but she stayed calm so that I would calm down. Who takes care of who?)
When we arrived at JFK, we were like deer in the headlights. Again, Ashli took control and got us on the right airtrain to the subway station. Then we boarded the E train to 42 street. I had never been on the subway before and I was a little freaked out. It took about 30 minutes to get to 42nd street. There were so many people crowded in that little train. People were standing practically on top of each other and ME. When we finally reached our destination, I could not believe the people. All running and moving in great herds. When we finally got on the street, we had no idea which way to turn. So we started walking, then turned around and walked the other way and then TA DA there was our hotel. Happy Day!!!! It was only 9:30 and check in wasn't untill 4:00pm but we went and asked about putting our bags somewhere. Our room was ready and they checked us in right then. We went to our room and decompressed.
Then we left our bags, got our directions out for the day(The night before we left we went to a website that showed us step by step how to get to our destinations.) and headed for the subway. We were pro's. It wasn't scary anymore because we had a place to go back to. We went downtown to the financial district and it was amazing. The buildings were so tall and close together. We saw the stock exchange.(People looked a bit stunned and there were reporters everywhere.) Our real destination was the Statue of Liberty. We bought a City Pass so we were able to skip ticket lines and get right on the ferry. It was surreal to actually see the Lady. I didn't know that Ellis Island is a totally separate island from Liberty Island where the Statue stands. We could have spent all day at Ellis Island. I have a new understanding for our ancestors as they came through Ellis Island. How scared they must of been, but determined to make a better life for their families.
We walked to Ground Zero and were a little disappointed that they didn't have a memorial or something down there. It was strange to see such a big open space in the middle of such a crowded city. They are working hard on the new buildings.

Then we made our first mistake. We went to a New York Skyride in the Empire State Building. It was so bad. Very lame and a bit nauseating. It was kind of like the Star Wars ride in Disneyland only without the delight of Disneyland.

We then headed for our hotel and got ready for Wicked. I was so excited!!!!

Wicked was wonderful. We absolutley loved it. The stage props and actors were perfect. I would love to see it again . I saw a Broadway Musical!!!

After the show we went down to the Empire State Building to see the lights. Yes we rode the subways at night. It wasn't a bit scary. There were still lots of people out and we stayed with the crowds. I can't even explain the beauty of the city lights from 86 stories up. We took pictures but they didn't turn out very good.

Washington DC

Last time I went to Washington DC, there was a monsoon and the Archive Building and many others were under water. I was very excited to be able to see them. Ashli and I went to the Archive building first and it was amazing. I had no idea how many things are in that building. You can do geneology and look at records from our history. Our timing was great! There were not any crowds and we had no children so we were able to look at history for hours. When we went to see the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence the line was forever long. I don't know where all those people came from. Maybe that is why we had the place to ourselves. So we went and looked at more things and came back. The line was mostly gone. We walked up to the front and then the crowds came back. The line went on and on (behind us of course). The rotunda was dark and cool and there were special lights on the documents to protect them. I got goosebumps when I looked at those words inspired by God. I wish everyone in our country could really read and understand these words.

This is our attempt at a self-portrait

The top picture is outside the Smithsonian Castle. A very nice guy offered to take our picture and then we took his. The next picture is of the World War II memorial at sunset. If you look really hard you can see the Lincoln Memorial in the background. It was a perfect night. Clear sky and warm. We sat by the fountains until it was dark and then we were able to see the monuments by night which was so beautiful. ( Don't worry mom and dad, we were safe. We stayed with crowds and didn't go in any deserted places.)

We spent the first day in the Archive building and the Museum of Natural History. The Natural History museum has a great gem exhibit. We spent a lot of time there and looked at all the sparkles. Why do girls love bling? We got a great little piece of advice in the ocean exhibit.

The next day we went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. It was facinating. However, due to obvious reasons we could not take any pictures. At one point we were standing over 500,000,000 dollars. WOW.

Then it was off to Mount Vernon. It was so beautiful. We wandered around the grounds and took tours and watched movies about George Washington. I learned to really appreciate him a lot more. We could have spent a lot more time there but we had to get home to get ready for our trip to New York

Thanks.....But They're Not My Style

I ordered some jeans for Kyle a few weeks ago. Well, when I got them they were 2 inches too short. I happened to be talking to Ashli right after Kyle tried them on. She said to bring them and she would buy them for Josh. So, when I got here, I told Josh that I had some pants for him and they were on the dresser in my room. He ran up there and came back a few minutes later and said "Thanks, but they are not my style. Sorry but I just don't think I would wear them." WHAT!! They are jeans. And I do not have a bad sense of style. But, whatever. I have had kids long enough to know that if they don't like clothes on first glance, give it up. They won't wear them no matter how much mothers want them to.

Later on, I went up to my room and noticed that the bag with the jeans in them was not opened and partially under my sweater. Hmmmm, I thought, that is strange. How could he know what style they were if he didn't LOOK at them.

I glanced down the dresser and saw these

My khaki capri's that I wore on the plane. I went downstairs and asked Josh if he saw the jeans. He got a funny look on his face and said "What jeans?"

Mystery solved. My khaki capri's are certainly NOT his style but the jeans on the other hand were!!!!

What I think is so sweet is how kindly he told me that he would never in a million years wear those khaki pants. What a sweet kid.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

What did I do today

Michael and I before lift off

Well Ashli came and picked me up in Norfolk last night even though my mom said to leave me there until morning. Thanks mom! Really, she just didn't like the idea of two girls driving on the freeway that late at night alone. When I told her that Philip did the actual driving and Ashli and I did the actual talking, she felt better. We got here at about 1:00am and we went to sleep. Sitting on an airplane all day is sure hard work and can make you very sleepy. At about 7:00 am Virginia time, (5:00am Idaho time) my door opened with a creak and a sweet brown haired girl peeked in to see if I was awake. Being a mom, anytime the door creaks open, my eyes creak open. We hung out and talked a little more (okay, a lot more).

We watched conference and then had to go to the store to provide for their drinking habit. Holy Cow! they drink 8 gallons of milk a week. WOW. Then more conference and a really nice bike ride with some really cute girls

It is such a great neighborhood with neat colonial houses.

I am sad to say that the lightning bugs have all gone away. There are some elusive bugs called cicadas. Man are they noisy. And there are lots of scary noises when it is dark. I wouldn't want to be lost in the woods here. Anyway we are off to Washington DC in the morning. These cute little girls are sleeping on my floor.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thanks Mom

A little while ago Shelby had her feelings crushed by someone she loves. She was so sad. To help her feel better, I arranged to have her best friend come over and hang out with her all day. I didn't let her know beforehand because I wanted to make sure it would all work out before I said anything to her. When I did tell her, she got tears in her eyes and said "Mom, how do you always know just what I need?" Of course I know. She belongs to me. We shared the same heartbeat at one point. Of course I know.
So, in August, I was very sad because I missed my sister. I only have one sister and she moved clear across the country. I talk to her everyday but I miss her. I told my mom that it comes in waves and right now the wave is big. Then off we went to ride our bikes on the greenbelt with the kids. Fast forward to my birthday. She invited our family to her house for dinner. After dinner she handed me an envelope. I opened it and it was an itinerary for a flight to Virginia to spend a week with my sister. She had arranged, with the help of my dad, my sweet husband and my sister, for this wonderful gift. So to my mom, I say, "Mom, how do you always know just what I need?"
Today is the day. My flight leaves at 1:38. I will be in a bed at HER house tonight. I am a bit nervous right now, because I am leaving all my responsibilities here with everything I love. I feel a bit guilty too because tomorrow is Emily's 10th birthday. Happy Birthday little girl!!
I am excited too. We have a great week planned with a trip to NEW YORK CITY to see Wicked. (Thanks for the room at the Marriot Marquis, Philip)

So I would like to say a big THANK YOU to

My husband, for supporting me being on vacation for a week and taking care of everything at home( remember, the hour by hour list and the menu plan is on the refridgerator)
My sister, for playing with me
My brother-in-law for taking care of things at his house so my sister can play with me
My dad for helping my mom
My kids for being flexible this week
and to
My mom, for knowing what I need.