Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

Instead of going camping this year, we decided to just invite a couple of friends over for a barbecue. We have the Rosenlunds, Wedigs, and the missionaries over for dinner. Sorry there is no group picture. Clay took a bunch of candid shots -we are all making weird faces. Probably because we were all *melting* in the heat and humidity. Either way, the kids had a great time playing in the sprinklers.

No that is not my baby. This is sweet little Naomi. Though she looks more like she could be my baby than either of my own ever did!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum

After watching the Space_Shuttle_Discovery fly overhead, we had to go and see it up close. We arrived at the Udvar_Hazy museum right at 4:00 pm, when parking is free. The first things we saw were the SR-71 Blackbird and this fun WWII plane. 
 It was pretty cool to see the Space Shuttle Discovery up close. It still has lots of "space dust" all over it. That was Clay's favorite part. The previous shuttle was the Enterprise. It was used for trials and tests in the atmosphere, but never went into space. 
Here's a Pegasus Rocket from Orbital Sciences, that's where Clay works now.

 Rebekah liked the Enola Gay, only because it had a big R on the back of it.
 While we were there we were trying to figure out how they got the space shuttle INSIDE the hanger. It's tail was taller than the hanger doors. We could not figure it out. On our way out, we asked at the information desk. They had this great picture of the hanger doors open. Turns out there is and extra smaller door in the top section that opens just enough for the tail to fit through. Pretty cool.
New info from my dad about the the WWII plane: That "fun" World War II plane was known as the "Flying Tiger"; they had an entire squadron under command of a famous air ace (Claire Lee Chennault) that were famous for their air battles ("dogfights") in the Pacific theater of war as fighter pilots against the Japanese "Zero's".  They were stationed in the South Pacific in recaptured areas like the Polynesian islands, the Philippines, Taiwan, Guam, parts of China, etc.  Early in the war someone painted one with the "Flying Tiger" snarl (instead of the usual "pin-up" starlet) and very soon the entire squadron became painted and recognized by that same snarl.  Those air men were quite proud (justly) of their accomplishments and participation with the "Flying Tigers".  There were a few Hollywood movies made with movie heroes centered on those squadrons (like "Top Gun").

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Preschool Graduation

Rebekah goes to one of the high schools for preschool. They have a great program where the students who take early childhood education can work one on one with the preschool children. They have different student teachers on A days and B days, but this is Rebekah's favorite, Makaely. Next stop, Kindergarten!!
 Rebekah's friend Kevin, the preschool director, Ms. Swinimer.
Friends from preschool, and our carpool group: ?, Emma, Bridgette, Makenzie, Liam, Luke, Landon, Bella, Elaina, ?, ?.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adventures in the Outdoors

Today was a great day! Rebekah wanted to have a picnic. She got out the blanket and laid it out on the deck. Some orange juice, milk, pita chips, string cheese, and apple slices. She had it all ready for when Emma came home from school. What a great kid!
 Here is how our garden is looking right now. Top left: carrots, radishes, zucchinis. Top Right: snap peas, strawberries. Bottom right: cilantro, rosemary, lots of lettuce and spinach. Bottom left: blueberry bush and arugula. 
 When I took off the cover to the grill, I found this little guy. He seems to go back there every week. And every time I take off the cover and find him back I do a quick *gasp* and then call Rebekah out to   *carefully* take him back to the lawn somewhere.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the extraordinary moms out there!

I am taking a few *quiet* moments today to try and catch up with my blog, which has been greatly neglected. I have been extremely busy with a really big project. I will get to that later. Please bear with me as I try to catch up with all that has been "happening" in our lives.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Food Drive

Starting on March 1, I attended a weekly committee meeting to help plan and coordinate the effort of each ward (congregation) in our stake (kind of like a school district). The meetings were long and went very late. There was a great deal of work to accomplish each week before the next meeting. Most of which involved getting and organizing volunteers to canvas different neighborhoods. I was in charge of organizing the effort in my ward (or congregation).

It was called Love Your Neighbor, Feed Your Neighbor. It was a food drive for ALL of Loudoun County. We used Scouting_for_Food as a model.  It was our Stake (group of 12 congregations) that organized the event, but it was truly a multi-faith effort. There was a great article about it in the LeesburgToday and another one in the AshburnPatch.

We had teams go out on May 5 to hang door tags in their assigned routes. Then they returned on May 12 to knock on doors and collect food. The food was then brought back to one of the drop-off locations to be sorted (check for expired or rusty or oozing food). Then we loaded it back into a truck or van to take to the various food banks/pantries throughout Loudoun. I even created an Event page for it on Facebook. I have never done that before but it was a great way for everyone to invite their friends and neighbors to participate.
My kitchen the night before. Boxes filled with food.

Kids with door hangers.
Bishop Anderson
Girls with wagon collecting food.
Signs put up at the church building for drop off.

Food from a route being brought in to be sorted.
We had a great assembly line for sorting food and getting it back into the vans.  I'm at the end with a black hat and purple shirt. We also had a wonderful group of kids from the high school Key Club come to help us sort.
There I am again, in the center, giving directions.
The result of our effort? We collected over 54,000 pounds of food! We also received a $12,000 cash donation that went to Loudoun Interfaith Relief. There is still more food trickling in. Everyone did a great job helping out. One of the pantries, Catholic Charities, said they think they have enough food to last them until the holidays. They feel blessed, and I feel blessed to have been a part of this.

I think most of the time I feel like the "poor are far from us". But they really aren't. While working on this project I learned that there are children at my daughter's elementary school who are living out of their cars. That is right here in our own neighborhood! How can teachers expect these kids to be able to learn when they are worried about food and shelter (bathrooms too!). More than anything I hope that this food drive has brought an awareness to the community. If we are aware of the needs then we can continue to help our and serve our neighbors.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


There's this great little place I know called Nalls_Farm_Market. They have the most beautiful flowers! Great combinations in hanging baskets. Around Mother's day there are baskets EVERYWHERE!! 

I have personally spoken with their supplier. They don't use any halts in their potting mix. What does that mean? When you forget to water it (because you are on vacation) and it dies -not a worry! Just water it and it will come right back to life and be beautiful again in a week or two.  You see, most places (grocery stores, home supply stores) have suppliers that use halts so that the plants stay small for a long time on the shelf. That means they don't grow fast and won't come back to life if you are in the least bit negligent. So this is where I go to get my hanging baskets.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Trip to California

I WISH!!! 
Clay got to go to San Diego on a business trip. I tried to contrive every possible reason and way for me to go too, but I was very unsuccessful. 

After their meetings, Clay and his coworker Keith went out to the beach in La Jolla to look around. 

Ahhh, the beach. Wide open views. Blue skies and bluer water. I miss it. 

Nothing like the east coast were you have to fight for every inch of sand to sit on. Where you share the view with a few thousand other people. Just saying...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hair Cuts

It has been a long time since the girls had their hair cut. They have been asking for a while now. So today was the day! Before and after: