Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Washington Monument

We did it! We got there early enough to get tickets and finally ride up the Washington Monument. There are two elevators that run up and down the entire monument, you used to be able to walk up stairs that circled up to the top but those are no longer open to the public. Apparently too many people were sneaking in chisels and taking home parts of the stones as momentos.

See where the line is and the stones change color? Construction of the monument stopped due to lack of funding and internal turbulance during the civil war. It sat as a stump for 30 years until they fundraised the money to finish it.

This is a "live cast" of Washington himself (done while he was alive.) It sits at the bottom of the memorial and "is actually what he looked like".

So then we zoomed up 500 feet to the top, and got to look out these little windows (notice the small red lights above the windows? The kids were fascinated by those.)
I gave Shayna the camera and she wanted to show you what the flashing lights look like from the inside.

That was about when I remembered I was afraid of heights, so Shayna was the official photographer for the rest of the trip. Check it out!

the White House to the north.

The Jefferson Memorial to the south

The Capitol to the east (kinda foggy that direction)

and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

When we got back down to the ground, the kids said "that was the coolest thing! That was ssooooooo fun!!"

Here's what mom said.

Monday, July 30, 2007

metro, party time

All right, just in case you were worried that we weren't having any fun out here! I'll leave it at that!!

Kids Camp

As many of you know know. The boys attended a camp on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the first 5 weeks we were here. Last Friday they had a big show to culminate everything they had been doing. The preformed a dance and signed a song. The camp includes a huge range of kids both hearing and deaf. Almost all the counselors were deaf so the boys really grew in their signing skills.

Here is cheesball Jo before his big Pajama performance. He was great and smiled through the whole thing. Very cute. Unfortunatley I videoed the dance and have not been able to figure out how to upload it to this site yet. Check back soon.

Here is JJ prior to his performance of the Michael Jackson song "Thriller". He did great and the dance was very fun to watch.

The rest of these pics are of the older groups performances. The girl in the Pink hat and shirt was the dance teacher. She was only 15 but she was great and the kids had a blast and did a great job with the performances. It was amazing how much she was able to get them to do.

Each day the boys had sign language class, swimming twice, gametime, dance and discovery. Discovery was different each day. One day they painted rocks another they learned about butterflies and one day they made bird feeders. Overall, they loved the camp but were very tired at the end of each day. We figure it was so tiring due to the difficulty in try to communicate all day long in sign language.

Time for dinner now. Will try to add more to the blog later tonight. The Mariners have a late game.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Air and Space Museum

This is me and Sergei at the air and space museum.We're playing a game,were you fly a plane.

Ahhhhhhhh, catch up

Hello friends, Happy Saturday. Today we are having a relaxing "stay at home" day... Its our last weekend in DC and we want to try to go up the Washington Monument tmw, but today, we are choosing to chill. Last night we all went out to Mexican food with the class, took the metro and all... it was a blast. It's a totally different thing, taking the metro... we haven't done it much since we have the van, but I love it. It makes you connect with the community in a totally different way. When we were coming back last night, we were practically the only group on it, and the kids were using the handrails as monkey bars. It may sound like bad parenting, but after the kids experienced the New York metro (where it was so incredibly crowded you could hardly breathe... and more people just kept coming in...), you're kinda like- why not? There aren't really any rules on the metro. I'll upload the pics later and you'll see what I mean. (a classmate has them now)

Meanwhile, I would like to take this moment of rest to thank all of you who have made our time here amazing in some sort of way... by reading and staying in touch, by praying, by doing a myriad of things, by helping shape us into who we are. It is impossible to blog everything, you know, but here are a few more odds and ends moments that mean the world. Hugs!!

RJ's favorite park has also become one of ours!

Our new friend Jim (from Boston), and the sweet baseball connection he's made with ALL the men of our family.

Thanks for the package, Caversons!! The cookies were yummy too and Piper, Shayna loved the drawing! It was as good as Christmas!

To my kids, who have made the most of every moment out here and bless me beyond belief.

Here is my class!! We' laugh, we cry, we stretch and we grow... I love 'em all and can't wait for three more summers!! Now, it's JJ's turn!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What a ride!!

Hello all!! well, it's been such a ride out here for us we are starting to forget what Seattle looks like.... SK is starting to wonder how she left her room, and is also wondering about school in the fall. We must be getting close. I'm in the two week portion of the "cultural diversity" part of my program, and it is a challenging, soul searching redeeming and freeing kind of thing. Its not so much academic as it is total honesty and willing to grow, and already I am feeling the emotional toll of it (though it is good.)
My professor commented on my eternal vocabulary assignment and said "I noticed it started to get rather brief towards the end" So I went ahead and told him the story of me finishing it on the way to Niagara Falls, the laptop battery, etc... He laughed and said "man you guys are all over the place!"
Speaking of rides, we had another cool one driving back this weekend. We did this diagonal route across upstate New York and through Pennsylvania, kind of a back road route the whole way for lack of a north/south interstate. It made for interesting driving, going thru tons of little towns... One time we pulled off the road and almost ran into an oncoming horse and buggy, with two riders in full Amish gear. I didn't know Amish people would get so mad so easily, I mean it was dark and they didn't have any headlights. Honestly, I was very intrigued and would love to spend more time out here, and learn a little more from the Amish people. It's on the list for next year.
So on the way back we encountered a few very cool things. One of them is the Home of the Little League World Series... in Williamsport, PA. Something for the boys to dream about, for sure! (Lisa I thought for awhile this is where Anthony played, but that was in Cooperstown.) Very inspirational spot!

As we were leaving Jo kinda had an accident right there in the stands, so even if we don't make it there for baseball, at least we already left a mark!

Another fun little diversion was earlier in the drive at Corning, NY. We saw a fountain and just had to go for it.

I love catching those moments of reckless abandon. Wish I had more of them. It's doing the DC rain thing again this afternoon and I think the kids are out there again... we certainly have hung on to our love of water!! Til soon! Hugs -C
P.S. Isn't Shayna getting tall?!

Monday, July 23, 2007

My sentiments exactly

Driving across the country...?

Thousands of dollars in gas

Camping at Jellystone?

$39 dollars a night (Canadian)

Ttip to Toronto and game tickets?

69 more miles, $8.00 cheap seats

Getting to see our Mariner moose on foreign land?

Not bad.

Getting on TV?


(Not to mention all the booty Greg told you about!! Oh, and the fact that they lost? Kind of a bummer. The fact that they've been losing ever since? We don't wanna think about it)

(What is that you're holding Greg?)

Nighty night folks thanks for tuning in!!

Welcome to Canada

I shouldn't tell you about the last assignment I had to turn in... it was so long I'd rather block it out. Let's just say it was even longer than the laptop battery, and you know the one thing we forgot to pack on this weekend trip was the charger... and it was even longer than the two computer reservation times I had to finagle at the Niagara Falls library.. longer than SK reading a book at my feet and long enough to keep us this side of the border til noon. Fortuneately, me and the thumb drive have become close friends and at last!! We are done and heading over the border!!

We camped at Jellystone- definately the way to go, as Niagara is a little like Vegas.

The falls are right at the Canadian American border.. with part on the American side and part on the Canadian. (We're so good at sharing). We opted out of all the tourist "ride through the mist" boatrides, as the view from the land was incredible enough for us firstimers.

The falls create a mist so thick if the sun is right, there's always a rainbow. Thats the first thing we all noticed.

We went back at night to catch the fireworks. It was an amazing trip!!