Sunday, December 30, 2007

At the U. S. Capitol....

All of these are at the National Christmas Tree, just outside of the White House. there was a fantastic train running all around the tree, with lots of sections and buildings.

Trey at the WWII Memorial
Ryan outside of the Amphitheater, Arlington National Cemetery
Memorial to the Third Infantry Division, Rock of the Marne
Arlington National Cemetery
View of Washington from Arlington National Cemetery (I think I took this from the John F. Kennedy grave site, looking into Washington DC)
Lego of Iwo Jima, in the gift shop at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.
National Museum of the Marine Corps, near Quantico, VA. We stopped on our way back to SC from DC.
New recruits in formation at the NMMC
the Drill Sergeant Leader with the Drill Instructor...which one of them is made of cardboard???
Future Marine??? He needs to grow into the rucksack....
Part of the WWII Memorial
In front of the Lincoln Memorial
At Arlington National Cemetery
Travis and Dad at Arlington
Changing of the Guard, Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington National Cemetery
At the WWII Memorial

At the Washington Monument

Washington DC Family Trip, December 2007

Travis outside of the Washington Monument.

This is all of us at the WWII Memorial in Washington DC. Ken has been bugging me to get the pix on the blog, so now that I am done writing Christmas cards, creating the family Christmas letter, addressing said Christmas cards, making cute Christmas-y return address labels, and having the kids lick and seal all the cards (AHEM!) I can update the blog with our pix from the vacation.

I was cold but no rain and no snow which we were thankful for. We drove up on a Monday, it took about 7 hours (including bathroom breaks). we stayed in Arlington, VA at the Holiday Inn which was a block from the Metro Station. The boys all loved the Metro, Trey figured it out quickly, and everyone else just got on the train we told them to get on. the kids ate free every time we ate in the cafe in our hotel, which saved us a bunch of $$$$. They had a great breakfast of eggs, bacon or sausage, toast or biscuit, cereal, milk and juice.

Day 1 - We took the Metro in to DC, and went to the National Archives first off. We then discovered the National Mall was right there, so instead of one of the museums, we went to the Washington Monument, the WWII Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War and the Vietnam War Veterans Memorials. After a stop off for coffee and hot chocolate, and then later on some lunch, we walked a bit and then headed back to our hotel.

We thought there was not much in the way of food near our hotel but the second day we looked on the other side of the Metro station and there was a bunch of restaurants, some snack/treat places, fast food, and even a Rite Aid all within the building where the metro was or right near by. The kids were fascinated with the 3 story McDonald's!

DC Restaurant

Here is the web site of a restaurant we found on our last night in DC...technically it is in Arlington, close to where we stayed.

I couldn't believe they actually serve Hatch Green Chili!!!
The food was very good and it looked like we could have been in ABQ, Las Cruces, or Silver City!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas pix

Travis and his new game for his Alphabet School bus. The game is Dora the Explorer, ola amigo! Pajamas were the outfit of the day for all of us!
Trey "helping" Travis put together one of his Lego is a Star Wars something or other...Travis is always getting into the boys' Star Wars Legos, so we got him one of his own this year. He was not interested in putting it together, only in the mini figure that comes in the set and taking it all apart once Trey put it together for him!

Helping Ryan open a gift...

Travis opening a gift...while we were out people would ask him about Santa coming...we don't make a BIG deal about Santa, but Travis definitely knows Christmas means presents and Jesus' birthday!

Catching up from Christmas!

I knew some days it would be an issue for me to update the blog, but then again I have no idea how many of you (or how few of you) are even reading it!

We ended up taking our planned, then cancelled, then quickly rescheduled trip to Washington DC and seeing most of the sights...all within the week before Christmas! We had a good time but were all in bed each night by 9PM, with all the walking we did! thank goodness I start shopping for Christmas in July!!! When we got back on 12/23, everything was wrapped, decorated and done, all we needed to do was stock the fridge, at least to keep us fed for a few days. I did go to Walmart on 12/24 but it was early enough I avoided most of the crowds.

Christmas was really nice, quiet and low key (or about as low key as you can get with three boys in the house, plus their dad!). Lots of snacks around courtesy of gifts from Ken's sister and BIL, and my brother and SIL. Ken spent most of the day installing his new XM satellite radio in his truck and playing around with his new impact wrench, waiting for Home Depot to open on 12/25 so he could get more gadgets to go with the impact wrench.

The boys played with new toys, put together their Legos and Bionicles and pondered how to spend their cash and gift cards!! They are finally comprehending the idea that mom doesn't go shopping anywhere the week between Christmas and New Year's if she can help it!

At this point I am printing out our Christmas letter, to go in the Christmas cards I have not mailed. If you sent us a card this year, yours should be on the way least by the first week of January! LOL!!!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Ryan and Daniel....
Ken, checking out the lay of the land....
yum, cupcake frosting!

ACK! I am the mother of a teenager!!!

So, our oldest, our first born, our BABY has now turned 13!!!!! Really, it is not all that bad, it's not like he turned into a creepy monster on his birthday, lol!!!
Thursday was the big day, Ken had to work and I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for that morning, so none of that could be helped.
The boys spent the morning at a friends house, which I guess beats having to do a full day of schoolwork! I tried to go to the PX, since I was alone, but that was a HUGE day (the day before basic training graduation) plus Christmas shoppers, PLUS lunch time made for one craaaaazy PX!!
We also had swimming that afternoon, so after swimming we picked up some pizzas for dinner and than had cake and ice cream and presents at home.
Today was the BIG party...Trey and his friends played paintball. We had a total of 8, including Ken and another dad. A good time was had by all, except Travis who could not understand why HE couldn't play paintball. We had more pizza for lunch and took cupcakes and sodas for everyone out to the paintball area. Everyone has some good stories to share now about paintball, and a few welts on their bodies to show for it!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Presents, cake, fun, oh my!

more birthday pix

Birthday Pictures

Pictures from Travis' day at the museum...

Happy Birthday Travis!!

Today we celebrated Travis' 4th birthday!!

I took the boys to the Children's Museum in Columbia...EdVenture. I t is very hands on and we all had a good time. they have so much to see and do, it is hard to remember everything we did! they have a HUGE replica of a 10 year old boy, Eddie, you can crawl in and around...sort of like a McDonald's playland, but you can see all the organs inside the body.

They have a kid sized grocery store, a fire truck with kid sized uniforms to put on, a building/construction area with mega blocks, a West African themed area, with a jungle; a tv studio, a music room, oh my, there was so much to see and do!!! Of course, the kids favorite part was ordering MCDonald's for order thru a phone, and they can see you on a place your order, the receipt comes out of the machine, you pay the cashier at the counter and in about 5 minutes they deliver your food from the McDonald's across the street. I asked the delivery guy if the made him walk, and he told me they use a scooter.

Ken got home from work about the same time we did from the museum. Travis had his birthday nap and then we got pizza for dinner and had cake and ice cream and presents!!

A good time was had by all and now we get ready for Thanksgiving. Just the 5 of us, a quiet but pleasant day is planned. Ken is ready for a day off and I think the kids are ready for a day or two off of school! Not that they did much school work today anyway! LOL!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Well, our vay-cay for next week to DC had to be canceled, due to leave not getting approved. Kind of a bummer but it is ok. We knew it could happen.

Trey is going out this weekend to a CAP event, Rocketry Weekend and they are sleeping outdoors! BBBBRRRRRRR!!! Another cadet in his squadron has offered the use of a tent and Dad has given him a very good sleeping bag to use, so he should be warm. They are working on their Rocketry Badge, they will build and launch 2 non-solid fule rockets and 3 solid fuel model rockets. They will also take three written tests thru the weekend, so he has been studying Module 4 in his CAP book (which is all about rockets!). Will post pictures if they become available.

Now I have to figure out what to do for Travis' birthday (next week) and Trey's birthday the week after...we are thinking paintball, for a bunch of 12 and 13 year old boys, but have not yet been able to contact the person in charge...we play phone tag a lot. Why did I have kids right before and right after a major holiday????

Ken is doing well with his drill sergeant leader certification but it is wearing him thin. It will all be over soon and he can start instructing new drill sergeant candidates soon...I think they get their first batch in January. And he is scheduled to go to ANCOC in March, which I know he is looking forward to. It will be a nice break for him!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007


Here is a quiz I heisted from some one else's blog (thanks Jill!)

Mine was Rome...interesting....

Bought Ken a new laptop this weekend...kind of spur of the moment, but I had been looking at prices for awhile...he needsa new one to go to ANCOC in March, but with his new job, he said he "REALLY" needed it, as all those Army forms were so slow to load on his former laptop.

His new job is a Drill Sergeant Leader....which means he will be teaching soldiers how to be drill sergeants, instead of being a drill sergeant to privates, like he has been for the past year. Which also means we will be in South Carolina for 2 more years instead of one.

Kind of a bummer, but it could be a lot worse. We are trusting God, since He knows WAAAY more than we do, lol!!!

Travis has been in his big boy bed since his crib was recalled a few months ago...but he likes to get out of the bed and sleep on the floor...I took this picture of him the other day while he was taking anap. He was crashed out so hard that he didn't stir when I opened the door either time or even when the flash went off!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day to all who have served or are currently serving

Happy Veteran's Day, Happy Birthday USMC!!!

To all who have served and to those that are serving now, please accept my deep thanks for you service to our country.

It can be a tough row to hoe, and I had no idea till I married into it!!

To the families of those that serve...spouses, parents, children; a deep thanks to you as well.

I had the privilege of speaking to a retired Marine in Walmart today...he gave Travis a little salute which I proudly watched Travis return...then he giggled! Very cute!!

We took a tour of Historic Columbia...we walked the Horseshoe of The University of South Carolina (part of the original campus before the Civil War...or the War of Northern Aggression, depending on where you originate from!); we saw one of the oldest churches in Columbia and then went on to the State House. They have stars marking the outside walls where Sherman sent cannonballs into the State House, hoping to destroy it. Very interesting! the last picture is the geographic center of South Carolina, conveniently located near the State House. The kids had fun standing on it and proclaiming that all of SC revolved around them, if only for that brief moment!