Saturday, January 30, 2010

Something To Think About Saturday

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fairfax Rocks!

And now......the rest of the story. 

But I sure can't tell it in full because I waited too long to blog about it.  Lesson learned!   :(

On our first day without my hubby (who was doing business), we ventured to the big mall in Fairfax.  It has most of the same stores we can find locally, minus a few (like H&M!), but we had a blast anyway. 

Macie found "her" store and we found some really good sales on denim shorts that she needed.

We don't have any gelato places around our hometown (that I know of), so finding Piccomolo was a treat! We tried a mixture of Chocolate & Snozzle Berry.  So delish. Just look at this cute little cup and spoon!  I noticed that the bowl was sturdy so I kept it. I use it to put little snacks in for Ava. And it's dishwasher safe!

After we walked all over the mall (I think I'm in love with Pottery Barn Kids by the way), we ended up at one of my top 3 places to eat!

I had to eat my fav dish...orange chicken.  I wish... WISH... WISH we had a CF near by!

Macie didn't want anything off of the lunch menu, she wanted a decadent appetizer called Deep Fried Macaroni & Cheese.
Look at this thing!

Here's a peek at the insides. Ooey, gooey goodness! The total calories for this appetizer are over 1700. Ouch! Good thing Macie can afford the calories! She did share a few bites with the rest of us. She didn't even finish it. She brought it back to
the hotel and ate it later. 

The perfect ending to this lunch was a big fat piece of Banana Cream Cheesecake. A person can't go to Cheesecake Factory and not get cheesecake can they?! I was shocked that none of my children wanted a piece for themselves (shocked and happy cuz the prices ain't cheap!). I ate a few bites of this baby and shared the rest with my dh later.

Back at the hotel.....
Shopping is hard work. Zzzzz.

And here is my "rip-off" of the day!  Ever shopped at Fuzziwigs store? Might want to think twice before you do.  Ava was getting a bit fussy, so I thought I'd just grab a small Dum Dum sucker to keep her occupied.  You know what they are...cheap, tiny things that the bank gives to your kids when you go thru the drive-up window.  Well.....
I go to pay for the thing and the lady tells me my total is....get this.....83 cents! Wha?!  For DUM DUM?!  Yes. 83 cents.  I certainly hope Ava enjoyed it *sigh*.

So after we did all that shopping and eating, we took a little rest and went out to dinner with Rick and a business associate. We ate SO much food during this trip!  After eating out every day for lunch and dinner, I was glad to eat the breakfast that was offered at the hotel each morning so that I could get unlimited fruit and yogurt.

During our stay, we were eating our breakfast and noticed breaking news that Senator Edward Kennedy had died. Being in Washington D.C. at the time, we all felt a little more patriotic than usual. It was kind of a sad day. We left the area before he was buried at Arlington though.

Next we headed to Lancaster, PA.  Rick went ahead with a business associate and I drove with the kids. I figured it would be a long drive on unfamiliar expressways, so I wasn't looking forward to it, but it was a snap.  The speed limit was low most of the way, so people weren't driving like crazy zoomers. I was expecting it to be like Chicago or San Diego, but nope, easy peasy.  Plus, it was only a little over 2 hours, not even close to the 4 I had expected.

The first night  in Lancaster, we ate at a family style Amish restaurant.  We shared a table and food with another family. Molly & Ava are pictured.
(Please excuse my lack of photograpy skills. Not everyone can be H.A. ya know!)

Brycen & Macie with their fake smiles! They really hated it when I dug out the camera.

Dinner consisted of fried chicken, home made noodles and brown sauce (this was my favorite!) and lots of other side dishes. We had home made bread with different butters (like apple butter) and spreads.  The idea of family style, is to pass the dishes around, sharing with the other family. There is no menu. We ate what we were served. Just like Mom used to make us do!

Dessert was peach pie, shoo fly pie and cracker pudding.

Ava with her Shoo Fly Pie.  She and I were the only ones who actually liked the pie.  I'm surprised because Rick usually likes most pie! It was sweet (sickeningly). I usually don't like molasses, but this was mild and delicious.

And here was the Cracker Pie.  Made with soda crackers, sweet milk and coconut.  The coconut made me NOT want to try this, but I did.  It would be great without that ingredient. Ick.

Back at the hotel, the kids enjoyed the pool.

All and all, it was a nice trip. I really missed Jillian, but I plan to take her next time we do something as a family.  I understand that she wanted to work and her job was new, but we made memories this summer. And memories with family are important, so next time, she will be joining us.  Before we know it, the kids will be grown up and on their own. I want to make as many memories with them as I can before this happens.

And there you have it. A family vacation slash business trip.  I promise to take more interesting photos next time. I guess I get to busy living the moment that I don't remember to document it good enough. Oh well.

Peace out!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Washington D.C. Trip!

I'm such a dummo!  I totally forgot to blog about our PA/Virginia/Washington D.C. trip.  I started, but failed totally.  I did do a post about Hershey, PA, but that was it!

So.....here are a few highlights of our trip. Again, Jillian had to work at the amusement park, so she wasn't able to join us.  I really felt a bit off kilter without her there.  Someone was missing and it was noticable to all of us. :(   Next time I'm making her skip work and be with us.  Who knows how many trips we will have left with all of us together? Jillian is already almost 17 and soon will be off to college.

Ok, so here we go....

Remember, this trip was in August, so it was warm. I like summer, but don't love it. I do, however, love that I was able to spend time with my family even if we were dripping with sweat occassionally!

On our first full day in Fairfax, VA, we traveled a bit east to the Washington D.C. Temple in Kensington, MD.  We were sealed there 20 years ago, and we had not been back since.  It was a special experience seeing it again and it brought back many memories.  It also was super fantastic that we could show the kids where we were married so long ago. It was a beautiful day outside.

<<< Still sad about Jillian missing in this one.

<< Due to remodeling, they had to make the reflection pool smaller, but I didn't notice much of a difference. It's still as beautiful as ever.

<< There was a gorgeous Hubble Space Telescope photography exhibit in one of the rooms of the visitors center. You really had to see it for yourself to appreciate it. I really felt small compared to so many stars a many light years away.

<< Miss Ava. I pretty much cry every time I see the Christus.  How can you not?

<< Brycen at one of the interactive areas of the visitors center.  Push a button and hear the story of Lehi.

<< Molly with a replica of the golden plates.

<< Way up on the wall, there were many scriptures to help individuals & families remember why they are here and what we should be striviving for  eternally.

<< A sister missionary took our photo. I can't help but think there are a few of us missing. Perhaps 2 of them were there in spirit.

<< In the parking lot were many islands of grass. Right in the middle of the lot, surrounded by parking spaces was a sweet fawn!  It wouldn't let us get too close, but again, a reminder of the beauty of nature and what HF has given us.

<< About 20 mins away from the Temple, is Washington D.C. itself.  I have to admit that at first I was very frustrated with this place! It's so hard to navigate, people are everywhere and there is NO parking.  Ok, so yes, there IS parking, but it's usually very far away from where you want to actually be.  Trying to get around this place was taking it's toll. Tempers were flaring and exhaustion was high.  We did find some parking near the Jefferson Memorial (pictured), but it was a long walk to actually get there. I needed the exercise though right?  If it weren't so hot that day, it would've been much better.  The memorial was nice, but truthfully, I could've done without that one.  What might have been nice was the paddle boats seen in the water. It was only $4 a person for a 1/2 hour ride. Why didn't we do it? I don't know.

<< So after awhile of trying to find parking and figuring out where to go, we broke down and looked for a tour bus.  Why didn't we do this to begin with?!  It was heaven!  It didn't cost that much either. We settled on,  A Taste Of DC Tour. Since most of our day was taken up by aimlessly driving around, we were thrilled when we found this quick 2 hour tour. It started at Union Station which was awesome to be in! Huge and sooo many people! Fancy stores, eateries etc too. When the trolley tour started, we were able to drive by many many sights, hear an experienced driver tell us interesting facts (did you know you can't use your cell phone while driving in DC? I'm shocked we didn't get a ticket in the mail from one of the many cameras at the traffic signals!) and stop at the Capitol (pictured from our trolley) and the White House. We had plenty time to visit these places before hopping back on the trolley. It was sooo worth the money for this tour. Next time I will plan better and take a longer tour or maybe even a DC at night time tour.  They even have segway tours! But only for ages 16 and up.

<< Kids at the Capitol. If I'm not mistaken, the veranda above the kids is where President Obama was sworn in.

<< Wish I knew what they were thinking.

<< Throwing pennies & making wishes.  I love those trees in the backround.

<< On the Capitol lawn taking a rest.  It sure was hot that day. Look at that poor lady in the background! Hot & tired I assume.

<< A zoomed in photo of the White House thru the fence. We weren't able to get close at all. A person can't even drive near it. The street is closed off. We had to walk from a different area. Police are all over. Some people were reprimanded for getting off the sidewalk. Security seemed really tight to me. 

<< Not a very appealing view behind Macie, but this is all you get when you visit the White House.  Heck, the squirrels can get closer than we can.  Walking around the entrance gets us closer, but trees block the view, so there is no real good view.

<<  The fence around the White House has this pretty iron finial every few feet. I love it.  I wish it were a better photo so I could cut it out and digiscrap with it as an element. Time to get the Canon fixed!

Well, that does it for our first full day in D.C.  When I get a chance, I'll blog a little bit about our Virgina stay. Fairfax was only about 20 minutes from D.C. to the west.  Lots to do in this area!

I need to remind myself to blog sooner because I've forgotten some things, so this post wasn't as good as it could've been. Next vacation (in April!) will be documented sooner!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Something To Think About Saturday

Sometimes you just have to laugh about it.

Friday, January 1, 2010


A very happy 2010 to you all!

Question of the day:  Will you pronounce it, "two-thousand-ten" or "twenty-ten"???? 

I prefer the long version. Twenty-ten just sounds strange to me. Something to get used to anyway.

I have lots of goals to accomplish this year. But the first thing I plan to tackle is organizing and cleaning my bedroom closet. It's become a dumping ground for everything that doesn't already have a place. I won't even show you a photo of it because it's so embarrassing!  I cleaned off my desk 2 days ago and believe it or not had a full bag of garbage after I was done!

Time to get organized!!

Heaven forbid I die tomorrow and those left behind have to clean up my messes all over! I wish I had  The Container Store nearby. It would really help with the mountians of stuff that I have.

What are your goals for this new year? I wanna know!