Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monuments and Manhood (D. C. Chronicles)

Time: Friday, April 10, 12:00 p.m.
Location: The Mall and the Monuments
Status: High energy, High Enthusiasm, Low Stress

Monuments are perfect for men...especially young men!

1. Outdoors with lots of green space for frisbee....or football....or wrestling....
2. Lots of places to jump, hide, run and often involve water features where one can get wet.
3. Small (if any) lines, and nobody waits in them anyway.
4. Go at your own pace.
5. See. Check off list. Go.

My boys (and husband) really enjoyed the fresh air and freedom of wandering the beautiful Mall....with the frisbee and football we'd brought in the Blue Bag of course....now this was a good use of their taxes!

Here's a little vignette of Drew..we used to play here a lot when he was little.

He's much better at frisbee now....and much taller...

Of course, there are so many picture opportunities in these places. There's a Bible verse about not exasperating your children... Look at Andrew....

I think I did it.

But there were more pictures in their future...many more...

The Lincoln Memorial was a long time to get to, but worth every step!

A serious pose from the serious guy.

They're thinking, "How many more pictures is she going to take?"

Well, who could resist this?

...or this...I was having some fun with Zach...

...irritating him...and I'm enjoying reliving it all over as I post these!

"Lily! Reveal your source for the flowers! You can't pick the flowers!" (This had been a problem the whole trip....)

..."MMM HHHHMMMM.... source found."

I didn't anticipate that the Vietnam Memorial would be as meaningful to the kids as it was. We were all touched.

We always try to find a "Lindquist" if we can. No relation, but it's a connecting point anyway. I just have to wonder, what sort of man was Virgil Lindquist? He was probably just a little older than my boys. We wonder and are grateful for his service and sacrifice. And I ache for his mother.
I wonder, am I going too fast between humor and sentiment? Can you follow me on this thing? I don't want to appear disrespectful.

Now throughout this trip, Zach was on an independent streak. He'd often try to lose himself in the crowd. Can you find him here?

He really didn't make the best choice for blending in.

Note to self and other Moms: If buying drippy treats, make the kids get treats the same color as they are wearing. Saves stress! Wish I'd taken a picture of Lily wearing her snowcone, but it was too dicey at the time.

The House. I never get tired of this view.

The Man. I never get tired of him either!

And here's The Man with the Book--guidebook that is. This guidebook practically became attached to his body. I did get tired of that.
I have an idea...at the end of the D.C. Chronicles, ...and they will end someday...I will offer a prize for the first person to respond with the correct count of how many times the guidebook is visible in Tim's hand. I'm curious to know myself.

Who's Got the Blue Bag? (D. C. Chronicles)

Time: Friday, April 10, Late afternoon
Location: Downtown D.C., In line to see Declaration of Independence
Status: "Who has the Blue Bag?"

See the Blue Bag between Tim's feet?

Here's a close up. Last known picture.
The Blue Bag was missing! We discovered nobody had it when Tim and the kids returned to Lily and I in the line for the Declaration of Independence, just as we were about to go through security. Instant stress.
SO, as soon as we'd laid eyes on the Declaration and a few other cool documents, Tim took off on a late afternoon chase to find our Blue Bag. He retraced our steps back to the Ford's Theatre where we'd been out of luck trying to get tickets for a tour a couple of hours before. As soon as he inquired after a BLUE BAG, he was taken in the back room for a real shake down. ...A second encounter with "men in black." They had it alright! And they REALLY do not like abandoned bags in Washington D. C....(or strollers.)
They were "holding" another guy back there who admitted to Tim in conspiratorial undertones that he'd done something "stupid."
Tim didn't ask any more questions, but it was NOT clear where Tim would be spending the rest of the day!
However, he talked his way through the situation enough that they let him go with some severe reprimands. This was the second time we almost ended up on the evening news....just curious... is Ford's Theatre TRULY that big of a target?

Arlington Cemetery: A Memorable Stroll (D.C. Chronicles)

So, after our full day of the American History Museum, a "monumental" walk down the mall seeing the Washington Monument, the WWII. Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the White House Big Lawn, a quick "jaunt" to the FBI building, a walk to and failed attempt to see Ford's Theatre, back to the mall for a runthrough of the Art Museum, a long wait and quick peek at the Declaration of Independence and a 9 block chaser by Tim for the "BLUE BAG," we were pretty much done in! One problem...it was only 5:00....we weren't due for dinner in Virginia with friends until 6:30...

Tim: "Let's take the metro and go to Arlington!"

Suzanne: "Arlington...as in Arlington CEMETERY??!!!!"

Tim: "Yeah."

Suzanne: "You're insane!!! Arlington's a half-day thing! It's a ton of walking. We would have 45 minutes at most! That's crazy; can't do it!! NO CAN DO!"

Tim: "Comin'?"

We hopped on the metro with the exhausted kids...who had no idea what they were heading into...and you know...why tell them? Let them enjoy sitting for ten minutes. The metro lets you off about 1/2 mile from the entrance gate, which you realize, once you get to it, is just the entrance to a LONG, UPHILL hike to Kennedy's Grave and the Eternal Flame, which is another long hike from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

You can't appreciate the incline here. Just take my word for it. Tim was afraid Katie was going to go AWOL.

Tim is pushing Katie up the hill.

Just keep pushing.

See...rewarded with beauty!

Here is the flame at the Kennedy grave site.

Do you know why I love this picture? Look at my kids. They are solemn. They are quiet. They are respectfully NOT picking on, poking, pummelling or pinching each other at all!...Granted it took low blood sugar, utter exhaustion and the presence of death, to do it...but it's just good to know it can be.

This was her face when we told her we were now walking further up to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. "We are hiking to his grave and we don't even know who it is?" That was pretty much the consensus until...

... we got there a few minutes before the changing of the guard. It was touching and beautiful. And we could sit.

We sat for quite awhile, as a matter of fact, as the ceremony took place. It isn't short. All the while Tim and I, while appreciating the solemnity and completely thrilled that we'd happened upon it at the right time, were making "whatdowedo"faces at each other because it was CLEAR that if we didn't leave immediately, we would be late for our dinner reservation with friends. And we HATE being late... especially with people we see once a decade.
However, considering the seriousness of the sacrifices represented all around us, being worried about being late seemed somehow trivial.

Yet precisely two seconds after the gun got handed over, I was plunging into the crowd to bodily yank the younger kids out of the front row and drag them out of earshot (it was still silent) in order to inform them that we were now going to run.

"You can't run, Mom. It's a cemetery. You have to show respect."

"You are absolutely right, Zachary. Here's what. We will walk, but we will walk as fast as a slow RUN."

"But we are so hungry."

"Kids, listen up! Make it down this mountain (it felt like a mountain at this point) and you can order WHATEVER YOU WANT AT DINNER! ANYTHING!!!!"

"Seriously? We can get pops? And dessert? And we can order whatever we want off the menu?"


And we did.

I believe it was at this point that, despite the above mentioned bribe, they suggested we just bury them there when they dropped dead. One of the boys actually picked out a nice spot. But that remark quickly brought on the realization of how blessed we truly are to have the freedom and ability and health to have a day such as we'd had, with a fun dinner with friends ahead of us. And all in all, despite our numb legs and light heads, we were all grateful we'd had a chance to see and think about the life sacrifices that have been made on our behalf.

Think Twice Before Picking Up our Tab! (D.C. Chronicles)

Time: 6:45 p.m. Friday, April 10
Location: Cheesecake Factory, Tyson's Corner

As you can see from the other Friday Posts, it was a really LONG DAY! But finally we'd made it to the BEST PART of the whole trip ... getting together at the Cheesecake Factory that night with dear friends from our days of living in the area! Although we'd had the pleasure of seeing two of their three children (center back) when we were there last May, they hadn't seen our kids since maybe 1998?
You will really know these are quality people when you realize that they are smiling EVEN THOUGH (although we do not yet realize this) they've already arranged (prior to our arrival) to pay for our whole HUGE meal! ...the "you can have WHATEVER you want" meal I'd bribed the kids down the hill in Arlington Cementary with! I can only IMAGINE what they were thinking while we were ORDERING AWAY...and at the Cheesecake Factory which we only later realized serves HUMONGOUS portions! Not only did they buy our meal Friday night, but we had half a dinner for Saturday night too (see huge doggy bag by Katie)! So thank you dear friends....and again...I am sorry.

It was wonderful to see them again. I hope they've recovered financially.

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Mutual of Omaha Returns" (D. C. Chronicles

Does anybody else out there remember the "Mutual of Omaha" show when we were kids? It was a weekly nature documentary...but the thing I can't figure out as an adult....is the NAME. ????? Are we talking Omaha, Nebraska here??? Because I've been to Omaha and.......

Writing about this trip is taking longer than taking the trip. Here's my last blog about Thursday.

Time: 2:30 p.m, Thursday April 9
Location: Natural History Museum
Status: Starting to get tired, but loving the first real museum of the trip!

Next up was the Natural History Museum!
Now, to all you initiate parents out there: if you give a boy the camera, you are just asking for some surprises! Timmy took 103 pictures of people's rears at a baseball game once! (I couldn't figure out the next day why there was no space on the disc. ...????)

I was surprised once again when I found that someone had taken about 40 pictures in the Natural History Museum...of animals....lots of animals. I learned from the baseball buttocks episode mentioned above, that you can tell who has taken them by the angle...and subject matter, so I'm guessing either Zach or Andrew took these...don't know which.

Whoever took them, he was interested in:

The Violent


The Absurd.The REALLY Absurd!...
The simply creepy....
The Simply Impressive
The Comical
The REALLY COMICAL! (OK, obviously I took this last one...)

and this one....no boy took
this picture.

A short metro ride and we were in Lafayette Square for a view...
of where Tim used to work...but we forget to take a picture of that so we took a picture of this house instead....it's cool every time I see it, but I especially liked the red white and blue color scheme.
The last family picture of the day...SEE I'm in ONE....I was THERE. We were tired. Another metro ride to Chinatown and the day was done!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Time Out for Fun (D.C. Chronicles)

Hey, remember how I said this WOULD be my favorite picture except that Tim's eyes were closed?

Check out what one of the most resourceful people I know just sent me!!!


It's a keeper!
What a family!
Thanks L.B.