Sunday, August 26, 2012

Andrew's Birthday

Andrew turned 7 on August 18.  He is getting so big and he is such a great little helper.  Any time I am cooking, he pulls up a chair and wants to be involved.  I hope that never changes!  For his birthday he wanted to go to the movies, so we went to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days.  I think he chose that movie because his big brother and sister wanted to see it, but he really did enjoy it. 

Baby vampires?  Nope.  Just helping Mommy bake Andrew's red velvet cake.

All dressed up to go out to dinner
Andrew chose IHOP for our family dinner out
He also had his favorite foods for breakfast (waffles and sausage and smoothies) and lunch (shrimp!)

Andrew's birthday cake
This was a two-layer cake, but the frosting was so runny that you can't even tell.

His favorite gifts were this science kit, Legos, and a Titanic poster
Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Jonathan's Birthday

My baby is 3!  Jonathan's birthday was August 13th.  He has been asking to go to "Pump up!" (aka Pump it Up) for a while now, so we took him on the 14th.  He had a lot of fun!  He loved his cake and all of his presents!  He also loves spending his birthday money; we've already made a trip to Toys R Us and he's chosen some stuffed toys, a train, and a puzzle so far. 
I can't believe how big he is getting!  He weighs 45 pounds and he is 41.5 inches tall--which means he is off the charts.  That's my big boy!
Ready for some yummy cake!

Making a wish!


He loves Mr. Potato Head!

This is a Mickey Mouse chair we bought him.  He loves to sit in it and watch TV. 

Pump it Up!

Happy Birthday, sweet baby!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Washington, DC Trip Part 9

On Thursday we went back to the National Museum of American History.  Michael dropped us off again.  My favorite exhibit was the First Ladies one, where they displayed some of their fancy dresses.  Emily really liked the Star Spangled Banner exhibit, and she even sang while we looked at the actual flag that inspired the song.  We had lunch at the Regan Building for the last time, then took the Metro back to the hotel.  We played in the pool, had dinner, and went to bed early! 

On Friday, Michael took the car again and we took the Metro into the mall to see both National Art Galleries.  I don’t think the kids enjoyed it very much, but it was what I had wanted to see the most and I loved it.  They were pretty good, though.  We went back to the hotel and walked across the street to McDonald’s for a late lunch, then back to the room to pack. 

We were so sad to go home on Saturday.  The drive took forever because there was a lot of traffic in Virginia.  We lost at least two hours just sitting in traffic, and we didn’t get home until 3am.  However, we made it home safely and for that I was very grateful.

Emily with Dorothy's ruby slippers

Sunstone from the Nauvoo temple

Daniel with Kermit the Frog

Emily at the First Ladies exhibit; that dress was Mary Todd Lincoln's

The kids love their tye-dye DC shirts.  Nathaniel chose a more "mature" one with the president's seal.  It was like we were walking around with a neon "WE ARE TOURISTS" sign, but they were so cute in them.  This picture was taken at the Archives Metro station.

This is a relief sculpture of Robert Gould Shaw as he leads the US Civil War's first all-black volunteer company.  I know Nathaniel looks bored in the picture, but he thought this sculpture was really cool.

Lavender Mist by Jackson Pollock

This was the kids' favorite thing about the National Gallery of Art.  Since we had the stroller, it was easier to take the elevator, and this one was the biggest one we've ever seen.  "We could fit our car in here!" they said.

We had so much fun in DC!!!!!!!!

Washington, DC Trip Part 8

On Wednesday Michael dropped us off at the National Building Museum.  We had to pay admission, but it was worth it.  The kids had a blast at the Building Zone and in the Lego Architecture room.  They had more Legos than I had ever seen before in my life.  They also had models of sky scrapers from around the world.  My kids were in heaven!  After the museum, we walked over to Union Station for lunch.  We also got to go to the National Postal Museum.  I had really wanted to see it and I’m glad we got the chance.  After that, we caught the Metro back to the hotel and had dinner there.

I am so glad we found this museum.  After our fun day, I told a number of people with young boys about it.  Here they are in front of a Lego model at the entrance.

This area was called the Building Zone.  They had puzzles, trains, crafts, a playhouse, and blocks.  This was geared toward little ones, but all of the kids had fun.

Here is Andrew playing dress up in the Building Zone.

Lego Mania!
Daniel and his creation

The kids could build whatever they want, and then put it on this big display table. 

Once kids had to go, they just left behind their creation.  Jonny kept walking around and commandeering other kids' Lego buildings and making them his own.  He had no problem climbing right up to find the piece he wanted.

Emily built the Washington Monument.

I think he might have done this one all on his own.

Nathaniel's creation
He worked really hard on it.

If you go to DC and you have young kids, you have to go to the National Building Museum!

Washington, DC Trip Part 7

Sorry for all of the "parts" to our trip.  Blogger tends to freeze up on me if I try to do too many pictures in one post.

On Tuesday, Michael took the car.  He dropped us off at the Library of Congress, and we hung out there for a little bit before we went on our tour of the US Capitol.  The Library of Congress was beautiful.  Everywhere you look, there is marble and beautiful floors and mosaics.  We spent a little time in the children’s area, which the kids all enjoyed. 

We then walked to the Cannon Office Building, where we went to Representative Martha Roby’s office.  They had tried to get us tickets to tour the White House which didn't work out, but we were grateful that they offered us a private tour of the US Capitol.  Two of her interns, John Jacobs and Caroline Madison, took us on the tour.  They were so sweet and so patient with the kids.  The kids were really good.  It was a pretty long tour.  I think we were there for about an hour and a half.  Jonathan fell asleep, of course.  We walked through the underground tunnels to get from Representative Roby’s office to the US Capitol building.  It was a wonderful tour. 

After the tour, we decided to go back to the Library of Congress.  That was a big mistake.  As soon as we got there, Jonathan tripped and fell getting on an elevator and ended up with a fat lip.  We couldn’t find anyone who could give us a cold pack, and finally they sent us through the maze of tunnels to another building with a health office.  He was fine and healed in a couple of days, thankfully.  After that, we took the Metro back to the hotel for dinner and to play in the pool. 

In this picture, the Library of Congress is behind us.  It was a beautiful day!

Here is Jonny playing with a puzzle in the children's area.  He LOVES puzzles.

In front of the Library of Congress

In the US Capitol, each state has two statues.  This is a statue of Brigham Young, for the state of Utah.

This is the statue of Helen Keller, for the state of Alabama.  It is the only one that you are allowed to touch.  Jonathan was snoozing in his stroller again.

Here we are back at Representative Roby's office with our intern tour guides. 

Another amazing day in DC!!!

Washington, DC Trip Part 6

Monday was Andrew’s favorite day.  I surprised him with a trip to the National Geographic Museum to see their Titanic exhibit.  We took the car and Michael took the Metro.  Andrew loved the exhibit!  He is obsessed with everything about Titanic.  He talks about it daily.  After the exhibit, we drove to Georgetown Cupcake, which is featured on the Food Network show DC Cupcakes.  It was a tiny little store with only three tables and it was packed!  We got there at a good time, because by the time we left the line was out the door.  Jonathan slept through the whole thing.  We got him a cupcake for later, but he wasn’t too excited about it once he woke up.  I think he prefers Gigi's.  After that we drove to Chick Fil A for lunch (I had promised Emily we would go there since we missed Dress Up Like a Cow day) and then back to the hotel to do laundry and eat dinner.

This is one of the actual rescue boats they used in the movie Titanic.

 "I'm the king of the world!"  Andrew hasn't seen the movie, but he thought this picture was cool.

Georgetown Cupcake
It was really good, but if I'm being honest the ones we get at Gigi's are just as good.  I really liked the creamy, light frosting.

 This child will sleep through anything.

Georgetown was awesome!  It was fun to see all of the cool shops and restaurants.  If I go back, I would love to spend more time there.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Washington, DC Trip Part 5

On Saturday, we had Michael with us for the day.  Yay!  We all rode the Metro together, and we went to the National Air and Space Museum.  That is Michael's favorite, and he has been there many times.  Between that and the fact that he knows so much about air power history, it was like having our own personal tour guide!  The kids all had a blast.  We spent the day there.  For lunch, we went to the McDonald's in the museum.  Again.  In DC, McDonald's is everywhere!  They did have Boston Market at the museum, but the kids weren't at all interested in that.  While we were there, the inevitable happened--the stroller broke.  That poor stroller has carried every one of my children, and I was pretty amazed it had lasted this long.  Daniel named it Strollie, we said our goodbyes, and we got a new one.  That night for dinner, we all went out to a yummy buffet.  Then, we had to say goodbye to Papa and TJ. :-(  Thank you, Dad, for flying up to be with us, and Debbie for letting him and TJ come!

In hindsight, this picture wasn't the best idea.  Here we are waiting for the museum to open.

 "Where are we going next, Jonny?"

Nathaniel in front of one Amelia Earhart's planes

Emily at the Air and Space Museum

TJ and the kids at the Air and Space Museum

The kids in front of the Wright Flyer
This is the best picture I could get.  Seriously. 
At first we thought this couldn't be the original because the fabric was pristine.  Then we learned that it is the original, they just replaced the fabric for display.

On Sunday, we went to church in Alexandria.  Their meeting time is 11:30am, and we didn't quite know what to do with ourselves with all of that time in the morning.  I did make sure everyone filled their bellies at breakfast.  It sure made me grateful that we have church at 9am.  Anyway, it was a really nice ward and we are glad we got to go.  After church, we ate the lunch that I had packed and we went to Arlington Cemetery.  It was so much bigger than I expected.  Every direction, there were graves as far as the eye could see.  We were still in our church clothes and we got a lot of stares while we were walking around.  We wanted to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so we had quite a hike to get there.  It was so quiet and peaceful, and made us feel so grateful for those who serve our country. 

Washington, DC Trip Part 4

On Friday, my Uncle Mike and Aunt Anje drove down for the day.  We took the Metro to Foggy Bottom and walked to the Lincoln Memorial.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had an elevator to the top where the statue sits.  We did a lot of walking that day.  We also walked to the Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, and the Washington Monument.  Daniel was so cute, and he pretty much attached himself to Aunt Anje.  He still mentions her when we talk about our trip and says he misses her.  We had lunch at the Regan building--again!--where we ate at the food court and had ice cream.  After lunch, we went to the National Museum of American History.  Then we took the Metro back to the hotel and had to say our goodbyes to Mike and Anje.  That evening, we played at the pool and ordered pizza for dinner.

Lincoln Memorial

Daniel and his buddy, Aunt Anje

Andrew just had to have his picture taken in front of the vacuum cleaner!

One of Daniel's favorite things--trains!

Back at the hotel
From left to right: TJ, Emily, Jonathan, Andrew, Daniel, Aunt Anje, Uncle Mike, Nathaniel, and Christine; Dad was taking the picture

It was a wonderful, but exhausting, day!  Thanks for coming down to spend the day with us, Mike and Anje!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Washington, DC Trip, Part 3

To make our trip even better, my dad and nephew came to Washington, DC to spend a few days with us.  They got there late Wednesday night and stayed in the hotel right next door.  While they were here, we rode the Metro around town and Michael took the van to do his research.  On Thursday, we went to the National Archives (the one in the mall, not the one Michael went to in College Park) and the Museum of Natural History.  At the National Archives we were excited to see the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.  In the rotunda where you view these documents, it is pretty quiet as everyone is walking around reading the information and looking at the documents.  Jonathan decided to use that time to find his echo.  He kept yelling and I tried to get him to stop but he wouldn't, and finally a guard came over and said "Shhh" to him.  I was so embarrassed.  All of the people waiting for their turn were staring at us and chuckling.  Jonny was quiet for a short moment, then he started yelling again.  Luckily, I had seen everything, so I walked out of the rotunda with him while everyone else finished looking.  After our obligatory trip to the gift shop, we walked over to the Regan building for lunch.  Next, we went to the Museum of Natural History.  Actually, we had gone there before lunch but when we saw their prices and realized that we would be spending a small fortune on sandwiches that the kids may or may not eat, we decided it was worth the walk.  The Museum of Natural History was really cool.  Nathaniel was most excited about the Titanaboa exhibit.  After the museum, we took the Metro back.  We had to take a hotel shuttle to and from the Metro station, but it ended up being pretty convenient and much easier than driving downtown. 

Here are Papa and Emily by a map at the mall.  Emily was always carrying her map around and knew exactly where we were, where we were going, and what Metro station we needed. 

National Archives
My nephew TJ is the one in the blue shirt next to Nathaniel



Jonny was a pretty good trooper.  He had a hard time around naptime, but in general he was a good little boy.  Most days, he would just fall asleep in his stroller for an hour or so in the afternoon.

Case in point: while I took this picture of the kids being silly, Jonathan was napping peacefully in his stroller

Andrew, striking a pose