Saturday, October 31, 2009

D.C Day 2 (Colonial Williamsburg)

Hey kids! Happy Halloween! Today, we did some fun things for Halloween. No, we didn't dress up, but we did see people dressed in costumes in a place called Colonial Williamsburg. This place we visited is all about the people that lived in America long long ago. There were no cars, no TVs, no phones, and no light bulbs!

Here's mommy on the way down to the subway system called the Metro, here in Washington D.C. We're on our way to rent a car and then drive to Colonial Williamsburg.

We made it to Williamsburg! Here are a bunch of picture from our visit there:

We began outside the governor's castle. This lady was the house cook for the governor. She spent all day in the kitchen cooking. She was getting ready to cook dinner in a pumpkin for Halloween. Check out her huge fireplace! And that black hole on the far left of the picture is the oven she used for baking.
Here's a picture of something the governor would have eaten for dinner - COW TONGUE! Ew! That is a real cow tongue by the way.
That big house behind daddy is where the governor lived. It was a mansion! Everyone else that lived during this time had little tiny houses with dirt floors and only 2 rooms.

Here's a close up of the front gate entrance. That's a lion statue on the left and a unicorn on the right. So fancy!

When we walked into the front door this is what greeted us - weapons! There were hundreds and hundreds of guns and swords all around this entry way and all the way up the walls to the ceiling.

Daddy thought it would be funny to take a picture of the toilets they used. This one was the fanciest we saw all day. All the rest of them were just little pots tucked away underneath the beds.

This guy played a beautiful song for us in the ballroom where they used to hold dances and big parties.
Check out the color they painted the walls - bright green!
Our favorite part of this whole day was out behind the governor's palace. He had gardens and gardens and gardens!

Pretty fences and hedges everywhere...
The back gate and view of the back of the house...

More beautiful vines and trellises - check out the changing colors of the leaves.
After the governor's palace we toured the rest of the town. Here's the spookiest thing we did for Halloween - visit a graveyard.
We saw a parade with drums and fifes! Check out their cool outfits.

Here's an authentic horse and carriage ride...
Saw so many beautiful homes...
This is where they'd chain up the people that didn't pay their taxes to humiliate them in front of the entire town!
Daddy had some corn chowder for lunch at this place.
We watched a reenactment of a guy that almost got tarred and feathered!
Ahhh.... the beautiful fall colors. Aren't they lovely?!
We finished our tour of the town at the House of Burgesses. This was the town capital where they made all kinds of important decisions about how our country would be run.

Our day at Williamsburg ended with this reenactment. The canon fire was so loud!

We drove 2 hours back to our hotel and by the time we got there we were HUNGRY! It was 10 o'clock at night, but we went out for a burger and fries at this local diner. Mmmmm - it was tasty! And then it was time to say goodnight.

Friday, October 30, 2009

D.C. Day 1

Hello cyberland. It has been sometime since I have posted, I'm a little rusty, but here goes. So Jennifer and I are visiting Washington DC for the next couple of days in connection with a school event (my school was given the National Blue Ribbon Award).

We promised the kids that we would be sending them photos over the next few days to keep them updated as to our activities. The next couple of days will be dedicated to keep in touch with the kids by sharing our activities, so it will sound a little scaled down. So Trevor, Logan, Lizzie and Jackson (hi guys!) take a seat because this is day 1 of our trip!

I took this picture from the airplane as the sun was rising- it was soo pretty!

This picture was taken from about 30,000 feet in the air. Man that's high up! Look at those cool clouds.

Here we are in the airplane, we looked tired don't we!

Here's mom on the subway after we landed in Washington DC. The subway is the train that goes underground. The call the subway the metro here.

We finially made it to our hotel. It is in a really cool spot in downtown Washington, just a couple blocks from...

The Whitehouse! That's right, we visited the whitehouse tonight. They wouldn't let us in to say hi to the president, but it was still pretty cool to see it.

Here's mommy and daddy in the front of the Whitehouse (not the best picture I know)

We walked all over the city tonight and saw some really cool things. One place we walked by was the FBI! It was a really big building. That's where they catch all the bad guys.

We also walked right by a famous landmark called the Washington Moument. Man it was tall! Were going to go inside and go all the way to the top in a couple of days.

We hope that the Halloween party was fun with grandma and grandpa! We'll talk to everyone soon! Be looking for more pictures tomorrow night!

Monday, October 19, 2009

kids say the darndest things

Jackson had just gotten out of the tub, I wrapped him in a towel, and was carrying him upside down to his room to get dressed.

Me: Jackson, are you upside down?

Jackson: Yes, I Jack-side down!

Me: upside down?

Jackson: Yes, Jack-side down!

Friday, October 9, 2009

kids say the darndest things

Lizzie: Mommy I want to go to Campus Club.

Me: I'm sorry sweetie, you don't get to go to Campus Club. Lizzie, do you know why you don't go to Campus Club?

Lizzie: Why?

Me: Campus Club is a place for kids to go when their mommies and daddies are at work. You don't get to go to Campus club because I don't go to work - I get to stay home with you and take care of you!

Lizzie: Mom (in her sassy teenager voice), you need to go to work so I can go to Campus Club!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"Here we go T-Wolves, here we go!"

Trevor was not the only one excited to be at his first game. Lizzie had a BLAST at the football game and was so sad when it was time to go home. She wasn't the least bit interested in what was going on on the field. It was the cheerleaders in the stands that had her completely drawn in! When we arrived, we moved down the bleachers to our school's cheering section and sat down right behind the cheerleaders. The look on her face was priceless! It was as if she'd just received the best dream gift of her life! The jaw dropped. The eyes about popped out of their sockets. And she slowly sat down as if to gather herself back together. She had no idea this would be the best outing ever!

Check out her stance here: (she's the little girl on the left in white mimicking the ponytailed girls in front of her.)
She was locked into this position the entire game, memorizing every move and every cheer. The girls thought she was the cutest thing and did their best to help her learn the words to the cheers.

Watch out world - we've got a cheerio on our hands! Thank heavens we have a few more years until she can officially join the spirit squad - which I understand is not an inexpensive sport. For now, she'll just have to fulfill her cheering dreams from the sidelines. Go Lizzie! Go!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fifth Grade First Football Experience

As a 5th grader at Trevor's school the sports opportunities open up nice and wide. Last year, as a 4th grader, only Cross Country was available. But now, he can do football in the fall! All of his friends had been talking "football this" and "football that" all summer long so he decided it might be fun if they're all doing it together.

The season has begun and it has been a challenge. It is hot out there during practice and games + all the pads and helmet makes for one miserable experience. And it's been a lot of hard work. Up and down, back and forth, push and shove - these are not Trevor's normal fun activities. He is more of the mellow, hang out, not so physical type of kid. He has been stretched and pulled into this sport and finally he is enjoying himself.

The first surprise of the season came when the coach put Trevor and his best friend/cousin Jacob on the Varsity team. What?! Jeremy and I were so surprised. He just started learning the game - how could he be that good already? We had to clarify that he really was on Varsity and guess what - he is!

Trevor is number 78. He plays on the offensive team as a blocker/lineman (- hopefully that's right. I plead ignorant mom, here. I can never keep all those positions straight!). Jacob is number 85. They stand on the line right next to each other. The coaches have nicknamed them Tank and Clank. Trevor is Clank and Jacob is Tank.

These pictures are from Trevor's first time in uniform on the field at the football carnival where they played 3 separate games - which they won, by the way, every. single. game. UNDEFEATED BABY! You can easily see Trevor by his light green shirt he has on under his jersey - it's hanging out in every shot. He's doing a great job holding 'em off in this one!

Here's a short video from that day. There are 2 plays - the first they make a touchdown and the second shows Trevor doing some awesome blocking.

These boys were so nervous before the game. Those nerves lasted until they had finished and removed their helmets. They had won after all and felt like hot stuff in their uniforms.

Check out the relief/pride on this face. He felt so good after playing in his first game. He did it!
Trevor, we are proud of you for choosing to try something new and sticking with it! You are doing great in your first season of football and know you'll finish it out with all you've got.Way to go Trevor!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Superstar Lizzie!

Lizzie is the "Superstar of the Week" in her kindergarten class this week. She was bouncing off the walls yesterday as we prepared for this special event. As Superstar in K1 you get to:

1. bring in a huge star-shaped poster full of pictures all about yourself,
2. share a something special about you each day of the week, and
3. provide food for snack time each day.

She decided she'd like to make a little movie all about Lizzie as one of her items to share with the class. (Thank you cousin Benny for being the Superstar first and giving Lizzie this brilliant inspiration!) Here's what she and daddy came up with. It's very cute and totally Lizzie.

Monday, October 5, 2009

We heart Meatballs!

We've read this book over and over at our house (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi & Ron Barrett) - not because we knew they'd be making a movie out of it, but because it's our FAVORITE story! In fact, it's sitting on the nightstand next to my be right now! This book has been floating around our house for years now and the kids just love the imagination involved. They relish in the thought of food falling from the sky. Clouds of rolling hamburgers and giant doughnuts - who wouldn't love to take a bite out of either of those delicious treats?! The twisty tomato tornado page at the end of the book is their favorite part.

We were so excited when we saw that a movie was going to be coming out based on this book. And when I say "we were excited" I mean, Jeremy and I were excited because we knew the kids would be thrilled to see their favorite book come to life on the big screen.

We took the kids to see this movie last weekend for a fun family outing. All the way there Logan desperately tried to convince us that we would get our own softball size meatball upon entering the theater. He was in the spirit of oversized food already! He had Trevor convinced for a minute or so, but then finally fessed up when daddy pressed him a bit. Sadly no, we wouldn't get that giant meatball, but we would get 3D glasses!

The kids were entertained the entire time - including Jackson. He wore the glasses for the first 3/4 of the show then took them off and preferred to watch the blurry 3D without them. The plot was fine, the characters enjoyable, and the animation was great of course. It was visually fun to watch, but as always, we all decided that we like the book better than the movie. We did love seeing the different scenes from the book make their appearance on the screen and had fun recognizing familiar pictures from the book. They loved that jello mold scene the best.

Overall we give it 4 enormous gummy bears out of 5. It was really good, but not as great as we wanted it to be (our expectations may have been set too high). This movie is great for families young and old. You will love the visual feast!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gettin' silly with Uncle Samuel

Uncle Samuel has gone away to go to school. We were sad to see him go, but excited for the new opportunities that awaited him. We met at McDonald's for a final going away party before he left. Here are some funny shots of the kids saying goodbye - I love the progression of Trevor's face from the first to the last picture.

Here's the best picture of the bunch. It's the best we could do with the attention span of these kids.

We love you, we'll miss you, and hope you have fun at your new school! We wish you all the best Uncle Samuel.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Visiting the LA Temple

Our last bit of the trip down to see Jeremy's sister, Kristen, took us to the LA Temple. We stopped for a short visit after we left the La Brea Tar Pit Museum.

The kids love visiting the temple and hearing all of mommy and daddy's stories from before they were born. "Mommy and Daddy were married in the temple. Not here in LA, but in Oakland." "Matt and Aimee were married in this temple - so were Grandma and Grandpa - and Kristen and Doug! Emma was just a brand new baby when Kristen and Doug were married..." and on and on the stories go.

Logan with Angel Moroni

Looking at this picture makes me wonder where the time has gone. When did these kids grow up?! It seems like yesterday they were all just little babies and now, they are real, grown up people. Except Jackson of course - will he ever grow up? "These are the doors that Matt and Aimee walked out of just after they were married in the temple" (yet another story).

Speaking of Jackson... is that not the cutest - yet mischievous grin? Note the Goo-gah is always in tow...

Jackson so badly wanted to go swimming in this "pool" on the temple grounds. It did look very inviting, but sadly it is just for decoration - no swimming allowed Jackson boy. [Jackson is sitting here with me "helping" type out this post. He just said, "Mommy, I go swimming dat one pool. I go swimming dat one!" I said, "So sorry, not today". He says, "Why, mommy, why?]

Here's a great shot of the "other" Ward Family as we walked around to the front of the temple. It's almost Christmas card worthy.

Just being there on the temple grounds gave each of us a moment to reflect on those things that are most important to us. Our faith and our family. We got our eternal perspectives lined up again (that perspective seems to fall out of sight sometimes with the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life) and were all so grateful for the sealing power that binds us together as a family forever.

We packed a lot of fun into one short weekend and this last stop was the perfect way to end a great trip.