Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pamplin Plantation

After Cold Harbor we drove to the "Pamplin Plantation"-an old preserved plantation including the home, slave quarters, livestock, and uniformed people telling us what it would be like living there in that time.
This sweet lady that talked to us tenderly in retrospect about slaves & how they lived. She made it seem very realistic as we talked in depth about it.

This man is explaining the "musket" to spence & letting him hold it.

Feeding the sheep

Isn't this sweet? They posed themselves.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"It's the end of the world as we know it..."

*1.2 Trillion Dollar Loss in the stock market today!*
Down -777 points! (An all time record in the History of the Earth!!)

~Uh I'm no Economist but isn't that a lot more than the 700 Billion "bailout" that was proposed and rejected? ...And this was just the 1st day. Not that there is a terrific option but c'mon people this is ridiculous! I hate Politics but love our Country! Such a sticky situation! I have a feeling things will be getting a lot worse before they get better! Hold on folks...it's gonna be a long ride. This is going to affect so many more things than I think people even realize!! From groceries to gas (& you think they're bad now), to the ability for anyone to get any kind of loan, it will deeply affect pensions, retirement accounts & your 401K plan. Deep breath audra....

Ok so this kinda does remind me of the pride cycle in the Book Of Mormon, & maybe we do deserve it...a "Recession." I do agree that we are a "have-it-now lazy generation", BUT there will be so many hard working small business owners go under if this does NOT pass. If people can't afford to spend their money, these businesses WILL fail. 

OK Enough of the doom & gloom! I do have to say I'm most definitely looking forward to this weekend's * GENERAL CONFERENCE * to give us hope, remind us of why we're here, and remind us what our eternal goals & mission really is. 

It reminds me of being there in the Conference Center (October '01 after 9/11) and hearing President Hinckley speak of this countries uncertain future.  I'll never forget that crack in his voice as he teared up..he knew it was going to be rough. And now it will be another comforting voice as we listen to our Prophet, President Monson and he gives us counsel.

Happy Birthday Ashlyn!

Happy 15th Birthday Ashlyn!
Goodness my heart skips a beat when I realize how fast time has gone from 
 to this.
 It makes me aware of the time that is quickly passing us by as my own kids grow. Ashlyn has always been such a good girl. I remember when she was 5 and we were engaged, Tim would say to me "Audra if we have kids that are like Ashlyn...I could have 10 of 'em."

Spence & Ashlyn

Ashlyn & Dude

Kaylea & Ashlyn

Daylan & Ashlyn

(Ice Caves in Bellemont 2008)

~Ashlyn has always been a fantastic Aunt and shows genuine interest in the kids. They look up to her and she has set a great example for all of her neices & nephews. Kaylea will often talk about how Ashlyn "taught" her how to play Barbies. A few weeks ago I was looking through pictures and Daylan wanted me to stop at the above picture of Daylan & Ashlyn swimming. Day proceeded to say "Mom, I love Ashlyn... cuz she doesn't wear floaties!" 
Ashlyn is so super talented and many people know her for her singing & acting abilities. The best part though is that she is humble about it. Ashlyn is true to who she is. Ashlyn has also been a great example to her peers. She is honest and stands up for what she believes in. She has many friends but I know a little secret... and this I LOVE! Often times she would rather stay home and be with her family than go out with friends. Sshhh..don't tell. This brings us back to Tim's statement when she was 5!☺

Well Ash we just wanted to let you know how much we love you and hope that you have a WONDERFUL BIRTHDAY!
 ~We Love You~

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Next Stop~"Cold Harbor"

"K guys we're here..Jump Out."
Our next stop was in Vicksburg, Virginia at where the Battle of Cold Harbor took place. *The Battle of Cold Harbor was in 1864 where Union troops were directed by Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant,  is remembered as one of American history's bloodiest, most lopsided battles. Thousands of Union soldiers were slaughtered in a hopeless frontal assault against the fortified troop of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Grant said of the battle in his memoirs "I have always regretted that the last assault at Cold Harbor was ever made. I might say the same thing of the assault of the 22d of May, 1863, at Vicksburg. At Cold Harbor no advantage whatever was gained to compensate for the heavy loss we sustained."

Cold Harbor was a fairly brief stop as we hiked into the woods.
(taken by spence)

 (taken by daylan)...we may have a photographer on our hands 

As the kids collected more acorns, rocks and leaves, we got a sense of what really happened here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

4th Stop~ Fredericksburg

~So after we visited Mt. Vernon, we were off to Fredericksburg. Funny Story: We got a little lost in the town and pulled up to a KFC to grab some lunch. As we got our food we asked the lady -who only spoke spanish & fast food English- "Which way do we go to get to the Battlefield?"...She looked confused and then said to us ..."We only have forks!" Tim didn't understand what she had said and so I had to calmly pat his shoulder & without laughing say.."She only has forks." We both held in our chuckles and quickly drove away. We then laughed so hard tears were coming out. Even our kids were dying with laughter. Ok so maybe you had to be there but so, so funny.

~Oh I almost forgot to document our other funny trip moment. So we are driving in D.C. trying to find a flippin' parking spot on ANY street within a mile or two of the WHITE HOUSE. (notice we had no up close photos of it.) We think we finally are gonna get lucky and then suddenly we're on one of those round-abouts! All you have to do is THINK Chevy Chase Vacation! We went round and around and then around again. By the 3rd time around I was laughing so hard I couldn't speak and again.. tears. Finally we figured out that we needed to get in the far right lane in order to get out of it. 

....Ok so now moving on to more serious things.  Now we are back to Civil War stuff and are in a graveyard at the Battlefield in Fredericksburg. Tim is telling us the story of "Marye's Heights" as we see see more gravesites.

Warning: below picture is authentic & graphic
*Photo of Sunken Road & Stone Wall after the Battle 1862*
The Confederate Army had built this Stone Wall and they hid behind it waiting for the Union soldiers to come. As you can imagine it was a brutal battle.
*Photo of the same EXACT spot today 2008*

Kaylea & Daylan collecting rocks along the Sunken Road for grandma, grandpa, cousins. They insisted that so many people needed these special rocks.
contemplating the series of events
"Mom-look at the caterpillars!" Daylan said

This memorial is entitled "Angel of Marye's Heights." It depicts the story of a Confederate soldier who feels so bad for the Union soldiers dying in the field beyond the Stone Wall, that he runs out and gives them water from his canteen. A touching story that you can feel the emotion of there in the field. The monument states: "At the risk of his life, this American soldier of sublime compassion brought water to his wounded foes at Fredericksburg. The fighting men on both sides of the line called him The Angel of Marye's Heights."
This was our 3rd day.

And then about an hour after this sweet site of Daylan.....
~We had arrived at our new hotel for the night and Daylan tripped over a bag as he tried to get out of the SUV. I had my hands full of bags and saw it all happening in slow motion helplessly just feet away. He fell flat on his face and hit his head on the curb we were parked next to. This is a picture of him about an hour afterwards. It was the hugest goose egg ever when it first swelled up. I thought Tim was gonna pass out. We were quite the scene in the hotel lobby. Day was fine after his bath and some orange soda pop.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Worldwide Girls Nite Saturday...comin?

~Join Me & Millions of Women around the World tomorrow as we watch & listen to The General Relief Society's Broadcast. A beautiful meeting full of music, speakers and even a chance to hear our Latter Day Prophet. 
What would the Lord say to us as women of the world today?...we'll find out tomorrow through our Prophet, President Monson and those others speaking.

Click here to find out details of tomorrows meeting.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

3rd Stop~Mt. Vernon

George & Martha Washington & their 2 Grandchildren which they adored. Daylan made a quick friend with this little statue boy. He even gave him a big hug. 

~The day we went to Mount Vernon, the weather was absolutely beautiful! Here's some insight to what we saw & learned. George Washington obtained this home from his 1/2 brother Lawrence upon his death. It began as a small humble home and as he became more well off, he added onto it. George Washington married Martha Custis in 1759  and became father to her two children. In 1775  he became General of the Continental Army and the war raged on against England for 6 more years ending in 1781. At the age of 57 he was elected President in 1789 and was so for 8 years. This only gave him 2 years in his final version of his "mansion home" at Mt. Vernon before his death at age 67 in 1799 from a throat infection. We were able to see the room he died in but were not allowed to take pictures inside the home. 

"No estate in United America is more pleasantly situated than this."~George Washington

 They surely loved their home & beautiful property. One thing I learned was that back in that day, anyone traveling by could just knock on someones door and ask to stay the night. Being that this was a "mansion home", the Washington's were hosts to Hundreds of guests in their 5 guest rooms...many times strangers. This made me think about how different we are these days and how often we don't hardly even speak to our next door neighbors just yards away. A view into the front yard
Land as far as you can see

George & Martha Washington's backyard.
They had a great view of the Potomac River.

part of the "side yard"

I believe the Mt. Vernon was up to an unbelievable 8000 acres but about 200 acres have been preserved for us to all see of their estate. Did you know that Pres. Washington, many of his slaves (of which were over 200) & about 25 family members were buried on his property in their very own family graveyard & burial grounds.

Spence & Kaylea meeting "Mrs. Martha Washington."She told us many stories including that her wedding shoes were the color of kaylea's lavender shirt & that she also loved spending time with her Grandchildren and caring for them.

Dude feeding sheep on the Plantation.

This is a cool thing inside the visitor's center there. It's one of those reversed figures that the eyes follow you as you walk back and forth. The kids got a kick out of it.
So we did our trip a little backwards studying Abe Lincoln first, George Washington second, but we did learn that Lincoln's hero was Washington. Spencer is really getting to know his Presidents.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economy In Crisis!

"could be the worst since the Great Depression"!!

Note to Self: 

Don't Watch the News cuz you'll get freaked out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2nd Stop~Washington D.C.

We drove to D.C. from Gettysburg and started our day with what else but a Hot Dog stand!
(notice the Capital Building in the background) We had only half a day and the evening in D.C. so we tried to make the most of it while we were there.    
We first walked over to the Air & Space Museum.
Here the kids are touching a piece of rock actually from the MOON!
Inside the museum there were hanging planes, parts of old utilized 
space craft and all you ever wanted to know about "flying."

Tim tried to get a shot of us with the capital in the back...uh good try hon.

Next stop: The Natural History Museum (Daylan kept calling it "Night of The Museum"...like the Movie..he thought he was really IN the movie.)
The kids got a kick out of this Beehive that was actually in the walls of the museum. It had a tunnel for the BEES to travel in & out of. Daylan didn't want to leave until "all the bees got out otay.." He thought they were stuck in there.

Daylan has LOVED chasing the squirrels that we've encountered this last week.
We walked the long journey to the Washington Monument which we had tickets for. I was excited to go up to the top of the monument since this was one thing I'd never done in D.C.
~waiting to go up to the top~
We have learned a lot about the George Washington while here & now even Dude can point him out & try to say his name.

Spencer & Kaylea looking out the windows at the spectacular view from the top of the Washington Monument.
zoomed in on The White House

Every time we saw the Capital Building that day, Spencer would start singing "I'm just a bill- yea I'm only a bill & I'm sitting here on Capital Hill..." from School House Rock.
We took another lengthly but beautiful walk to the Veteran's Memorial
(we fed ducks & squirrels along the way.)

Spence wearing his U.S.A army shirt as we honor those who have served our country. 
These photos hopefully give you an sense of the reverent feeling that is here at the Memorial.
I love this one of my little guy. He is truly an old soul who has more wisdom than most adults.

Kaylea's famous smile with the Washington Monument behind her.

Spencer wouldn't let us leave D.C. without seeing the Lincoln Memorial. (he saw it in 2004 but it obviously meant much more this time.) He had since seen the statue on T.V shows and having had learned more about Abraham Lincoln that week, he was anxious to visit Mr. President.

"He's got the whole world in his hands..." (the old hold-your-hand-up trick)
The kids did pretty well that day considering all the walking we did & as you can see by the smiles on their face I think they enjoyed it....and hopefully learned a little too.