8/31/17

Summer Vacation 2017


I can't believe the last post I published was in June...before school let out.  I still remember the desperation I felt in March absolutely needing summer break to come, and now here we are, already into the second week of school.  Is it too soon to feel desperation for summer break for 2018?! haha

We had the busiest summer on record.  I think that's why I'm needing a re-do...it was completely and utterly exhausting in the best possible way. I'm going to just make a quick summary, because lets be honest...if you read this blog, you probably look at my Instagram and Facebook posts and have seen the pics already.

From July 1-8 we took a family vacation to Washington D.C., and Williamsburg, VA.  It was absolutely amazing.  The craziest thing happened to us not long after we landed in DC...We happened to make a FB post saying that we were in town, and an old friend who was once our neighbor at Wright-Patt AFB, shot us a message saying that she and her son were singing at the Kennedy Center at an event that President Trump was speaking at, and she had free tickets for us if we could make it!  Ummm...yes we absolutely could make it, and we did, by going on a massive last minute shopping spree, freshening up and getting ready in the dressing room of a JC Penney, and praying we wouldn't get mistaken for thieves.  I just could NOT stomach the idea of getting ready for an event at the Kennedy Center in a 7-11 bathroom, and luckily we didn't have to.  It was such a crazy, wonderful experience, and we could not be more grateful to Leah for her reaching out to us the way she did.


After that amazing event, we then made our way down to Williamsburg, VA to experience the history and visit Jamestown.  We went on a ghost hunting tour that had us traipsing all over Williamsburg and William and Mary College at 11pm, spent an entire day in Williamsburg wandering the town and eating at all the taverns we could fit in, and we watched live demonstrations of musket shootings, toured the old Capitol, the Governor's Mansion, and got to really take a step back in time.  We also did our first "real" family photo session in the historical section of Willamsburg, and it turned out so beautifully.  We used Love Snapped Photography, so if you are ever in Willamsburg and want to document your family vacation there, Melanie is the woman for the job.  Our photos are amazing, and not only do we now have updated family pictures, we have amazing momentos of our time spent there.




We spent a day at Jamestown Settlement learning about the colonists and the Powhatans and their way of life, stayed for the Fourth of July celebrations there on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion, and it was truly something to experience.  I highly recommend doing this at least once in your life.  Hearing the fifes and drums and seeing everyone dressed in colonial clothing made for an amazing experience.


The picture to the right is of the boys in the Powhatan village at Jamestown grinding corn like they did back then.  It definitely counted toward one of Eli's school days since he's homeschooled.  There is no better education than hands-on learning, and I only regret that we can't do more of it.  I'm so grateful for the experiences that we are able to give the kids.

From there we made our way back up to D.C., and had THE BEST TIME.  We miss D.C. so much...I can't even explain how much.  We had such a limited amount of time there, but we were able to get out to the Washington Monument, visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the American History Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the National Archives, see the White House, go by the Treasury Department,  eat at Tortilla Coast (THE best Mexican restaurant in the whole U.S. lol) and eat at our favorite date night spot, Old Ebbit Grill.  We even got to drive past our old apartment building, see the park where the boys used to play, and drive around some of the old familiar streets that still feel like home.


Here is a picture of the boys with the Easter Island statue at the Natural History museum.  I take their photo with this guy EVERY time we visit, and someday I need to compile all the pictures to see how they have grown with every visit.  We are headed back to DC in September, and I figure I'll get another picture of them with it...it's just one of those "must have pictures" I do when we go.  



And then here's a couple pics from the Air and Space Museum...



What was particularly neat is that while we were in Williamsburg, we got to see the musical 1776 on the 4th of July.  Given where we were, and the timing...it couldn't have been more perfect.  Then to head up to D.C. and go to the National Archives where we could see the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, the Constitution...it was just amazing for the kids.  Reading about that stuff from history books from a classroom does absolutely nothing for the majority of kids.  But bringing it to life for them and having them see these documents first hand...it makes me feel that in spite of all my failings as a parent, that I'm able to do something right for my kids. And perhaps the most surprising thing of all is how much my kids loved 1776.  They remembered it...Thomas Jefferson was brought to life for them...so when they saw the documents...read the names...it resonated with them in a more personal way.  And a few weeks after we got home I was very shocked to see them watching 1776 all on their own.  That was a really, really neat moment for me.

I am so very thankful to have a husband who works so hard so that we can give our kids this kind of life...this way of educating them and helping them understand history and develop a love for learning.  Chase is so inquisitive so classroom learning does reach him...but Eli learns differently, and it's these experiences that he soaks up like a sponge and helps him want to keep learning.  I absolutely cannot wait until we can get back to D.C. for another round of "in person history lessons".

This summer was also filled with lots of time with our friends....nights out at Sambuca, card game nights with friends, long term visits from out of town friends, and helping friends get moved up to Dallas from south Texas.  We had visitors more often than we didn't this summer, and we are just so blessed to not only be able to have our evenings filled with swim parties and friends and cookouts, but that we can open our home to friends who need a place to stay whether that means days or weeks.  The kids turned into fish this summer, and I am planning on at least another few swim nights with the crew before we see the end of summer.
 Just because school has started doesn't mean our swimming parties have to end :).  



So this catches me up at least on the family vacations and family time we had this summer...my next post will be about Norman's and my trip to Vegas.  Yep, we actually got away for an entire week by OURSELVES!!!!  :)  Oh how we needed that break, and we wouldn't even really truly realize just how much we would need that time together until now...we have had so much going on with helping friends move and now Hurricane Harvey that I haven't seen Norman much at all, so we are truly thankful for my parents taking the boys and giving us a break.  Okay...time for Eli to get to work on his math, which is online, so I need to turn over my computer to him.

I hope and pray everyone stays safe who is helping out with disaster relief, and I pray for rest for relief workers because I know they are burning the candle at both ends.  Prayers for all those affected as well; I simply cannot imagine.

Ciao friends!

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