Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 - week 20

Mother's Day party with the Jones'.  Aunt Suzanne, Karen, Jeremy, Mike, Grandpa and Grandma.

Grandpa, Grandma, Christian and Mike.

Drew and Courtney tend to get into wrestling matches.

Courtney was leaving for DC.  We will miss her so.

Christian was not letting her go.

Christian earned his Arrow of Light.  He has had a great Webelos leader, Brother Tinney.  These boys all earned the award:  Ethan Shaw, Carson and Caden Abilla, Luke Esplin, Adam Ekins, Caleb Nance, Christian.

Mike is the 11 year-old Scout leader, so he welcomed the boys into Boy Scouts.

Grandma Jones came to support Christian.

We put some things he has done and made on display.

I came to see Bev be inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.

Operation Basement Dejunk is in full swing.  We have so. many. toys.  I am sorting them and the kids are choosing the ones to keep and the ones to give away.

Bev is starting the puzzle I brought her from the National Gallery.  It is a Monet water lilies and it will be a hard puzzle to do.

This is a picture I took to send to my sister to see if she wanted these bins.  The girls, and Charlie, jumped in.

Bev's soccer season was wrapping up.

She loves to slide tackle...then she hurts.

This is a blanket I got in high school.  I keep it in the car to use for games.  She was freezing after her game.  We got her wrapped up and went for hot cocoa.

Christian playing goalie for his game.

Jessica and Drew had a dance competition at Taylorsville High School.

I have finally figured out how to get her a "ballet bun."

Her dance team.

Hanging out in the yard, getting warm, making s'mores and doing tricks on the tramp.

I love flowers and I love to buy flowers. I got plants for my porch pots.  I love being in flip flops with a Diet Pepsi by my side and a little dirt under my fingernails.

This week we had a little scare with our sweet Charlie.  He is seriously the sweetest cat I have ever known.  He is normally active and affectionate and social.  Well, all of a sudden, he stopped eating and drinking and began acting lethargic.  He also showed signs of a UTI.  I took him to the vet and they checked his urine. No UTI.  But, it was apparent that he had stopped drinking.  The vet then said that this is normally a sign of depression.  She gave me some ideas for increasing attention and affection with him.  She then asked if anything had changed in his life.  I told her that Christian had recently bought a lizard, and because Charlie would sit on the lizard's cage, we started closing Christian's door. The vet then asked if Christian was Charlie's "person."  I said that he was.  Charlie always slept on Christian's bed, and usually picks him to snuggle.  The vet then sort of looked at me like, "duh!"  I had taken away Charlie's person and he got depressed.  I am not picking some lame lizard over this perfect kitty.  She said if things didn't get better to come back for some kitty prozac.  I went home and got him some new treats and toys. We moved him back into Christian's room and within 2 days, he was back to normal.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

2015 - week 19

I have always loved watching the world from above.  It makes me think about how I have worries and to-do lists, and how focused I usually am on my own life.  When I look down and see all of the houses and think about all of those people with their own worries and lives, it certainly puts mine into perspective.  I always think of the line from Les Mis, "our little lives don't count at all."  

On the bus heading to the hotel, the Park Hyatt in Washington DC.

I was excited to show DC to Mike. I lived there the Summer, Fall and Winter of 1993, over 20 years ago.  I interned for Senator Hatch.  I loved the city and my experience there.  I always say that my best semesters at BYU weren't actually at BYU, but in DC.  I met some of my favorite people, kindred spirits I still consider some of by best friends.  I learned so much about politics, America and myself.

The hotel was within walking distance to George Washington University and Georgetown.  We went down to the harbor several times for dinner.  DC is a beautiful city.

We had dinner at Farmers Fishers and Bakers the first night we were there.

National Archives.  Study the Past statue.

National Archives.  What is past is prologue...

We went with Lee and Rebecca to tour some museums and have lunch in Chinatown.

National Museum of American History houses one of my favorite exhibits--The Star Spangled Banner.  It also has fun things like the red shoes Dorothy wore.

Dinner with Matt and Andrea at Founding Farmers.

Mike loved running in the city at night.  The weather was amazing and there is so much to see.

Getting all geared up at breakfast for our big day on bikes.  The hotel had some we borrowed, but so many people rent bikes through Capitol Bikeshare.  Bikeshare is where you ride to the various monuments, doc the bike and then take it again to the next place.  I loved seeing the city on bikes.

We started the morning riding across Arlington Memorial Bridge.

Arlington is beautiful and sadly, very huge.  The property originally belonged to Confederate General Robert E Lee.  I never knew that a community for freed slaves, Freedman's Village, existed there and that thousands of former slaves are buried there.  Most surprising is that there are approximately 30 burials conducted there every day.

"Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."

We watched the changing of the guard.  Guards stay, come rain or wind or snow. I saw a picture of a guard with about 7 inches of snow on his hat.  

On our way to Iwo Jima, I made us take a wrong turn and we ended up on the highway on our bikes.  It stressed me out and was really uphill.  Mike took these shots of me on the lawn of Iwo Jima.  

I love this monument. I remember my first time seeing it being shocked at its size.  It is massive.

We then headed to the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial.

The Korean War Memorial.

Vietnam Memorial.

The Three Servicemen statue at the Vietnam War Memorial.

Then we headed to the Washington Monument.

Me taking another rest.

We then rode to the Jefferson Memorial.

Mike's work awards dinner was that night.  He presented awards and I played photographer for the event.

After dinner we joined some of Mike's coworkers and walked to the Lincoln Monument.  It is amazing at night.  The weather was perfection. We sat on the steps and visited for over an hour.  Every time we came there I thought of Forest Gump.

Next day we took Uber cars, but still did a ton of walking.  We started by heading to the Supreme Court.  A few weeks earlier, arguments had been heard regarding gay marriage.  Court was not in session, but there were still a few protesters.

Two statues flank the steps to the court.  The male statue is the "Authority of Law."

The female statue is the "Contemplation of Justice."

We then got to go to my favorite of all...The National Gallery of Art.  That place is a church to me.

I kept thinking about all of the kids I taught in Meet the Masters.  I hope they all can see some of these paintings for themselves.  They are magical and spiritual to me.


There is simply no way to describe the size of this, so I had Mike stand in front of it.



I grabbed this shot of Mike texting some friends about some of the scary angel pictures.  There are also plenty of breasts in the museum.  This place is not so much like church to him.  He did get a listening device, and learned a few things, but mostly tolerated my enthusiasm.  I love this shot because I caught Whistler's The White girl in the back gallery.

This next exhibit was new to me.  I think it is on loan to the gallery.  It is called "Tell It with Pride."  It depicts one of the first regiments of African American volunteer soldiers during the civil war.

More Monet.  I got this print and had it in my bedroom while in college.



We saw the Capitol, which was being repaired.

The White House.

On our last day, we went to the FDR Memorial.  It is amazing, with so many different parts.  This sculpture is called "The Breadline."

I have the four freedom prints by Norman Rockwell in our home.

On our way from the FDR to MLK memorial, I saw a tiny turtle on the sidewalk. I picked it up and took it to a flowerbed.  It will probably walk back out to the sidewalk.  I was surprised it hadn't been smashed yet.

We walked along the Tidal Basin to the MLK memorial.  DC is gorgeous.

This memorial was completed in 2011, so it was my first time seeing it, and is incredible.  Once again, it is huge.

The 30-foot statue of Martin Luther King looks like it is emerging from two large boulders behind it. All along the sides of the statue are the words to the "I Have a Dream" speech.

We then walked to the World War II Memorial.  It opened in 2004, so I hadn't seen it either.

We happened to be there when an honor flight from Pennsylvania was arriving.  We got to watch the ceremony as the veterans were welcomed by an honor guard.  The National Anthem was sung.  It was probably my favorite part of the trip.  Seeing all of these veterans made me think about Grandpa B, Grandpa Huff and Grandpa Peel.

The sweet girls made us some welcome home signs.  Claudia stayed with the kids.  She deserved her own honor guard for that task.

Saturday, and I decided to catch a few pictures of "A Day in the Life."  We started the day with rain at Bev's game at Kearns.  Katie and Courtney joined us.  They are such sweet girls, and so supportive of our kids.

These three opted to stay in the van and turn their brains to mush on technology.

I left with Drew to get him to his water polo match at Kearns.

Bev joined us, wet and cold from her game.

All of these games make for some long Saturdays for Jessica.

Christian will not wear pants to school, but plays kickball at recess, and insists on sliding.

I was hoping to plant, but there was too much rain.

I had to deliver some things for Primary, so Mike walked around the neighborhood with me.

Freddy gets on the first step, but then needs encouragement.

Mike helped him up the ramp.

I had to hit my regular trifecta: Target, Harmons and Hobby Lobby.  Mike hit Costco.  I parked at Hobby Lobby, got out of my car and then saw this. It freaked me out.

I need to be better at planning.  I end up here way to often.

Sunday was Mother's Day. We usually have a party with my family, but my parents are in Spain and Italy, so we had the day free.  We went to Mike's work for me to hang the new art I got for it.  Then the girls cleaned his plastic mat.  He got them all soda from the break room.

New art for his office.  I picked prints from some previous President's Club trips: New York, DC, Hawaii, Arizona, New Orleans.

We then headed up to see Grandma and Grandpa Peel. I got these cute pics of Drew and Bev listening to Grandpas stories.

For Mother's Day, I got new towels and flowers.

I also got to clean up some pee Freddy left me.  He is starting to have accidents in the house.  Boo.

For dinner, we had my favorite: fish tacos. Bev made the guacamole.

Bev made Charlie his own little plate of food.  He likes human food.

I got two funny cards. This is from Jess.  "Did you know that your as swet as a sucker Not that you are a sucker."

Christian said: "The day is youres.  I hope that you have a great day. I am so happy that you're my mom. You are the best mom ever. You help me when I'm sik.  You make me feel beter when I am hert even thou it happens alot.  You are so callm you never hurt just heal. You never bully."