Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As if there isn't enough shopping going on for Christmas we like to add a little more. Tonight it was...
 This is one of my favorite activities for this month. I love watching the kids get so excited to buy something for someone else. I love watching them sneak around the store trying to stay out of the way of other family members and I love seeing what they come up with.

Rob had Emily and he got her a Littlest Pet Shop.

 I had Rob and he got a pair of socks, a pack of gum and tootsie rolls.
Taylor had Austin and he got a geyser tube and a Pez dispenser. 
 Austin had Taylor and he got him Mighty Beanz, twizzlers and notecards.
I got socks and gloves from Emily.
It's not much but we love our traditions. Emily asked if we could raise the amount to $10 next year. We'll have to see about that.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's No Rockefeller Plaza

One of our advent activities is to go look at the Capitol Christmas Tree. We tried to do it last year but they were doing construction on the capitol so they decorated an existing evergreen about a block away and called it good. We called it lame. This year we knew they would have a good tree so we packed in the car and headed downtown. We were not disappointed.

Afterward Steph told us about a Christmas thing the Anniversary Inn was having. You can go tour all the rooms, have cookies and hot chocolate and get your picture with Santa for free. We figured we were already down there so why not. The kids loved seeing all the cool themed rooms and getting there picture with Santa, even though "that wasn't the real Santa. We could see his moustache coming out from under his beard." To top it off the great night I got a call a couple days later and we won a free nights stay at the Anniversary Inn! Woohoo!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

John S. Fitch 1926-2010

I found out Saturday, December 4, that my grandpa went home to be with Jesus. He has battled Parkinson's disease for many years and Friday night he told my grandma that he was ready to go home. She said "Then, Honey, you need to go. And I won't be far behind you".

I have so many fond memories of my grandparents. As a child I spent many summer days in Wimer, Oregon with them.
I don't know if there could be a more picturesque couple miles of road than the stretch they lived on. They were about a quarter of a mile from this bridge so we spent lots of time walking to and from this place to drop rocks off the rail into the river and watch the water go by. Just the other side of the bridge on the right was a small ice house where Grandpa would take us to get treats. My favorite was the blue Nehi cream soda. Grandpa always said it looked like battery acid.

We walked the devil out of this road. And we knew all of the neighbors by name. I can remember walking to the creek and every so often we would have to stop so Grandma and Grandpa could talk to someone. Such a sweet place and such sweet memories. I can still vividly remember how their house smelled and how the walk in pantry in the garage smelled. And I can hear the sound of their white Peugot as we drove around town and see grandpa with his driving gloves and straw hat on. It was so familiar. Every afternoon grandpa would lay in the middle of the living room floor and take a power nap. Every day. Every night he would get up and take me to the bathroom so i wouldn't wet the bed. There was as steady stream of classical music that came from Grandpa's office and sometimes grandpa would sit in there with the door closed and crank it up. He loved his composers. There was always a book case full of National Geographic to look through and I always went to the same issue. It had a picture of a small child in a dish tub full of water with a baby monkey on it's back. I loved that picture and some years later they framed it for me and gave it to me as a gift. I still love that picture. My brother, cousin and I had our own metal cups that hung by the sink for brushing our teeth, getting water etc. and we had ice tea breaks every day.

They moved from that house many years ago yet we still sit around and talk about the great times we had there. Unfortunately life moves forward but I am so thankful for the man my Grandpa was and the memories I will always have of him.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter Wonderland

It finally came. It started snowing late Tuesday morning and didn't stop until Wednesday afternoon. The kids got a snow day and we ended up with a little over eight inches of snow!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Blizzard of 2010

I was waiting for it. I was ready. We had been hearing about it on the news for three days. It was coming. I woke up at 3:50 this morning to the sound of sleet pounding against our bedroom window. I got up to look out the front room window and sure enough it was here. The power was out by 5:00a.m. Oh no! Why didn't I charge my cell phone last night? Why haven't we ever bought a propane heater? We do live in Idaho. How are we going to stay warm for the next two days til they restore power to us? Do we all huddle in one room to keep all of our heat together in hopes of surviving below freezing temps? Good thing Rob has backpacking gear so at least we can heat up food. I can't go without food you know. Does this mean no showers? Do the toilets work with no power? Oh man! I've got four boys in the house with me!

I start to doze off thinking that with no power Rob can't get ready for work so I may as well go back to sleep and worry about all that stuff later. Right now I was snuggled under my down comforter. Next thing I know it's 9:30. Taylor is watching TV, my clock is flashing and Rob is gone. What?! But there's a blizzard wailing outside! Or was there...

Well if this is what a blizzard looks like then one definitely blew through here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The game

I guess it's probably time to finish up about our trip right? Geez.

We drive to the stadium and Rob and Taylor are going crazy since the Redskins are their favorite team. They were more than excited to get to see FedEx field in person. As we park and are walking to the stadium we notice that there is quite a bit of blue and orange which made us feel a little better as we waded through a sea of 75,000 wearing red and gold. The closer to the stadium we got the more electric it felt. You could just feel the excitement in the air. The stadium is huge so as we were walking around to find the entrance we ran into a booth where you could make your own sign for the game. This is Taylor's.

Rob wanted to go in to look around so we headed that way. Man did i feel small when we actually walked out to the field. Again, the place was enormous!

We quickly found our seats and could not get over how great our seats were. Richie did an awesome job finding them for us!

The energy continued to build and by the time the game was getting ready to start it was crazy.Our guys came out to the cheers of the faithful 15,000 fans that were there and then it was time for VT to take the field. The first three notes of Enter Sandman by Metallica came over the speakers and immediately the entire stadium, minus those of us in blue and orange, were on their feet jumping. I thought the stadium might collapse. Young, old and everyone in between were cheering on their team. Here is a little preview from another of their games... VA Tech Entrance
So the game starts and during our first drive we score. Hallelujah!
Taylor was just a little excited. We all were. There was more whooping and hollering that I have heard in a long time.

 The game ended up being close towards the end but we pulled it out 33-30. It was truly one of them best games I have ever been to and I was so happy to have spent those few days with these people!
On our way to the car, which we ended up sitting in for almost an hour before we could move, we were walking along and Rob said "hey, there's Kyle Wilson". I said "too bad we don't have anything for him to sign" and he said "but we do have a camera". Genius. This just topped off the whole evening...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Arlington and Georgetown

Going to Arlington cemetery isn't just 'something to do' while you are in DC. Going to Arlington is an experience. There are no words for all of the headstones. There are no words for all of the history. There are no words for the sacrifices that become unmistakeably evident when you step on these hallowed grounds.

This is the eternal flame, the burial site of JFK and Jacqueline Kennedy. It sits below Arlington House which could require a whole post of its own, as could the majority of things we saw.

There were many quotes by JFK around the memorial but I was especially drawn to this one.
"In the long history of the world
only a few generations have been granted
the role of defending freedom
in its hour of maximum danger.
I do not shrink from this responsibility,
I welcome it"
Goosebumps! That's what I got reading this quote. We have gone so far in the wrong direction in our country that it makes me long for leaders who believe in our freedom and what maintaining that involves.
The changing of the guards. Although there were hundreds of people standing around watching you could hear a pin drop during the ceremony.

On game day we decided to explore Georgetown. Of course when you visit Georgetown you must also visit Georgetown Cupcake. We got to the shop and Rob said "are you really going to stand in that line to get cupcakes?". I sure am! It ended up being close to half an hour of waiting in the hot sun but those cupcakes were worth every minute.

These were the cupcakes we decided on. They were a little cockeyed from a day of shopping. After we dug in I really wished we would've gone with the full dozen. If you ever have a chance to try these go with the red velvet. It is hands down the best cupcake I have ever had. The frosting was like silk...pure heaven.
Unfortunately in all the shopping we did we didn't have a lot of time to look around the neighborhoods but houses like this were everywhere. I could look at them all day.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Touring the Capital City

I said we were going to squeeze every possible thing in that we could and we spent three days doing just that. People keep asking me what my favorite thing was and, to be honest, I don't think I can pinpoint one thing. I can tell about some of the great stuff we did so here goes.

We saw lots of monuments and it was every bit as cool seeing them in person as I thought it would be. The Washington monument can, literally, be seen from everywhere. I never realized just how tall it was but soon found out when we were walking up to it. It stands just a little over 555 feet tall.

We went to the Smithsonian Museum of American History and it was so interesting. We didn't have nearly enough time to see everything since there were four floors but we did make it to each floor to scan some really cool stuff. This was one of the magnificent things we saw. It's Abraham Lincoln's top hat. I just couldn't get over it. Our 16th president possibly wore that for very important decisions he made. It simply amazes me. They also had, among other artifacts, the suit and dress that he and his wife wore to his inauguration.

Probably my other favorite display(which we weren't allowed to photograph) was The Star-Spangled Banner.Very interesting.
This capsule was at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. Now that's a cool place! It was the capsule that john Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. I don't think I would've had the nerve to be put in a space craft that small and hurled into space.

This is Julia Child's kitchen. Her actual kitchen. Exactly as she left it when she died. It is quite fascinating to see her handwriting on papers on the counter.

By the time we got back around to the white house it was dark. Boo! So this was all we got.

The reflecting pool as you look at the Washington monument from the Lincoln memorial.

Honest Abe

Because Blogger isn't putting my pictures in order this one is down here

World War II Memorial

Here is Christ Church. It is where George Washington, Robert E. Lee and many other prominent Washington figures worshipped. What did they talk about when they were walking into church? What was a typical Sunday like for these families? Fascinating.