Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 3 - Colonial Williamsburg

Our family has always liked history and have thought it would be fun to go to Colonial Williamsburg. Last Friday, we were finally able to visit. We weren't disappointed in our time there. There is so much to see that we could have easily spent 2 days there. I picked out just a few of my pictures to share with you.
This is the gateway in front of the capitol building. All the people who work in Williamsburg are wearing authentic costumes. I felt like I was stepping back in time.

This is the Capitol building. We had a really interesting guide in this building who made history come alive for us. I learned a lot more about the reasons for the Revolutionary War than I knew before.

This is the one of four jail cells. Blackbeards pirates were kept in this jail. I found a few rough looking characters to throw in myself!

We had lunch at The Kings Tavern. This was a very busy place during colonial times. It was a favorite of George Washington's.

I had to take a picture of our table, with the pewter serving pieces. The small bowl with the spoon on is the salt and the larger one holds sugar. The menus looked old and the servers were in authentic garb. Lunch was delicious!


We were able to tour the church that has been there since 1715. This church had George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry as some of it's members.

There were lots of beautiful buildings to look at.


If you ever get a chance to visit, I recommend it. We had a great time!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adventures in Driving!

When we planned our trip to Virginia, for Andy's graduation, we decided that as long as we were there, we should plan on a day doing something fun and not come right home. The plan was to spend Friday in Colonial Williamsburg, which is quite close to the army base Andy was stationed at. After graduation, we had to wait for quite a while for them to finish his paperwork. When we left the base we had to drive back to Norfolk Airport to activate a plane ticket. When driving to Norfolk there is a 3 mile long tunnel under the Chesapeake Bay. We had been through it twice already and each time, there was a traffic jam there. Thursday was no exception. Traffic was stopped on the way to Norfolk and moving very slowly when we can back from the airport. By this time it was 4 pm and we were heading to Williamsburg for our hotel for the night. Once we made it through the tunnel, we thought we were home free. Wrong!
We drove through Newport News and on toward Williamsburg. Soon we saw signs for Colonial Williamsburg but our GPS was telling us we still had 25 miles to go, before our exit. I thought that perhaps our hotel was on the other side of the city, so we kept going. Soon we were seeing signs for Richmond. At this point, Bob is saying to me "That hotel better be good, for the distance we're driving". I get the GPS and recheck the address to make sure I put it in right and check the paperwork for the hotel. I was starting to think I clicked the wrong hotel while reserving it online, but everything looked right and the address was Williamsburg. Finally we get to our exit, and start down this street. After about 5 miles, our GPS says "make a legal u-turn when possible". What? We are driving down a busy street and there are no u-turns possible. The GPS repeats these instructions and Bob turns around. We are now heading back in the direction we came in. Shortly before our original exit we are told to turn left. Keep in mind that we passed this street n the way in and could have turned right on it then. As we drive down this street, we see on the GPS that our next turn will be back on the highway we just exited, going in the other direction.
At this point, Bob is getting cranky. He is talking to the GPS, telling it how stupid it is and that it has us driving in circles. I am laughing so hard, tears are running down my face, which isn't helping Bob's mood at all. I told him "You'll think this is funny later - it's a great story"! He didn't agree. Andy is sitting in the back seat, trying to agree with both of us.
Soon we got back on the highway and were told to exit at the signs we had seen some time before for Colonial Williamsburg. The hotel was very near this exit. All in all this little detour added about an hour to our driving.
We used this GPS on our trip last year and had no problems so I don't know what caused it to go crazy on this occasion.
Bob does agree now that it was pretty funny, but he is holding a grudge against Cheri because it was her GPS. Somehow those sisters of mine get the blame for everything!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 2 - Graduation

Thursday was graduation day. The ceremony started at 9 am, so we were there bright and early. After the welcome one of the sergeants that was picked by the class spoke. Then they said they were honoring 2 graduates. The first one was a "distinguished honor graduate" and the second was an "honor graduate". The second one was Andy - he was second in his class. We were really proud to hear that!
Here he is standing in front after being recognized. They tell them to stand straight and be serious.

They had one last formation after the ceremony. Andy is in the middle with the sunglasses on. This was probably the most relaxed formation they have had!

We had to wait for 4 hours while he had all his papers processed, and then he was allowed to take us to the hanger where he worked and studied the Apache helicopters. Bob was able to get in one and Andy had a great time showing us all the different Apache's in this hanger. You should have seen the smiles on both of their faces!

This is Andy with Sgt. Keyes. He was Andy's favorite instructor.

Here is the building he has been living in since September.

The name of his group was the "Gators". This little display of alligators was in the front of the building. There were a few more ceramic alligators in the flowerbed.

After we had him and his belongings all packed up, he took us all around the base. This is the James river which runs alongside the base. It's a pretty river. They didn't show up in this picture, but there is a whole fleet of boats that are stored by the Navy down the river. It was quite a sight.
That's enough for today. Tomorrow I'll tell you of our driving adventures after leaving the base.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our trip - day 1

I have to warn you all that you will have to deal with a few days of pictures - I can't do this in one post! We had a great time, had beautiful weather and lots of fun. Here are the highlights of day one. As many of you know it was my first time flying. We left around 9 in the morning, had one flight change and arrived in Newport News by 1:30 in the afternoon.
This is one of the pictures I took out the window of the plane. The flight was smooth and I was able to enjoy the beauty outside that window. I was really struck by how small we are when you get up in the air. Yet, God watches over and cares for each one of us!
When we arrived at the airport, our luggage was all there. We went to pick up our rental car and found that we had been upgraded. The car we got was brand new, had only 500 miles on it and satellite radio was included. It made it so easy to find music we liked. Since we had the afternoon, we thought we might make a quick trip to Jamestown. That wasn't meant to be. We got on the highway and soon found that it was a parking lot. After inching along for some time, we realized we wouldn't make it in time and decided to take the next exit. As we exited, we saw some huge statues off to our left and decided to see what they were. This place is called the Presidents Park and it has statues of each of our presidents. It also has the plane that was Air Force One when Reagan was president. Each statue has facts about the president listed, but also some quotes from them which were really interesting.

Here is the entry to the park.
Here is the statue of Lincoln. Bob is standing in front of him to show the statue size.

As I mentioned in my post last week, Andy surprised us and showed up at the hotel at night. Here are Bob and Andy, enjoying some time together.
Tomorrow I'll tell you about graduation.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We're Here!

We have arrived in beautiful Newport News Virginia! The weather is great and the flowers are blooming here. I'm doing a quick update using the hotel computer. We took Andy's laptop but can't get in it for some reason, so I can't post any pictures. Our flights went well, smooth and on time. I enjoyed flying and had no problems. My knee has done quite well. I didn't take the crutches, because I just couldn't handle the thought of hauling them with me on airplanes... I'm taking it easy tonight and tomorrow shouldn't involve much walking. I so appreciate your prayers - keep it up!
The best part of the day was tonight when Andy surprised us by showing up at the hotel. He was able to leave the base tonight and doesn't need to be back until 10:00. Of course, that surprise had me in tears - but good ones! Graduation is tomorrow at 9:00. I'll probably cry again! That's it for now - I'm off to spend the evening with my son. :)

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I'm leaving, on a jet plane...

The big day is finally here! Our flight leaves Wednesday morning, a little after 9:00. We will be landing in Virginia shortly after 1pm. You may remember that I have never flown, so I'm looking forward to that. Thursday is Andy's graduation and we will be spending Friday in Colonial Williamsburg. We've always wanted to go there and we thought we better make time for it while we were near it. Saturday we will fly home again.
I do have a prayer request to make. I am having problems with my knee. The knee cap is slipping and feels like it's dislocating. I've had surgery on my other knee for this same problem a few times, but this has always been my "good" knee. I have a brace I'm wearing and have been using crutches, but I'm worried about how things will go in Williamsburg, so I'd appreciate all your prayers.
I don't think I'll have a computer with me, so I won't be able to check your blogs or update mine. I'll check in when we return!

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh what a beautiful morning!

I had to work this past weekend, and although sometimes the weekends are a little quieter than weekdays, I really hate working on Sunday and missing church. When I left Sunday morning, I was wishing it was my weekend off and thinking about what I would be missing in the service that morning. However - when I pulled out onto our road I was greeted with this beautiful sight. I happened to have my camera with me so I stopped to take this picture. Doesn't the beauty of creation just beg for praise to God?

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 57:5

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

More signs of Spring!

We are seeing more signs of Spring here in Michigan! The weather has been nice, our temperature made it to a little over 70 degrees on Friday!The leaves are starting to pop out on our bushes out front.
These little flowers are called Grecian Windflowers. They are grown from bulbs and come up every year. They are quite small but add a nice touch of color.

Here are the daffodils blooming along the side of the yard. They always seem so cheerful and do a great job of announcing that Spring is here!

"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come!"
Song of Solomon 2:12

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

What breed of dog are you?

What dog breed are you? I'm a Golden Retriever! Find out at

I found this fun quiz on Renee's blog. It's a fun one! Click on the box to see what breed you are.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

The recipe I'm sharing with you today isn't technically a slow cooker recipe, but because I do use the Slow Cooker with it and it's a favorite at my house, I'm going to share it. This is my Sloppy Joe recipe. It's really easy, and it makes the best sloppy joes I've had. This is a regular Sunday night supper at our house. It works great for me to make on Saturday, then heat in the crock pot on Sunday afternoon for supper.

Sloppy Joe
2 pound hamburger, browned and drained
1/2 cup chopped onion, optional

4 tablespoons corn starch
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons vinegar

1 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup catsup

2 tablespoons mustard

Put browned hamburg and onions in bowl (I use my slow cooker crock) and microwave on high until hot. Add cornstarch, salt and sugar and stir together. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Microwave on high for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens. This recipe reheats well, so may be refrigerated for later use or just place on low in slow cooker to keep warm.

For more slow cooker recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Six word Memoir Meme

I was tagged by Karen for this meme.

The Rules:
1. Write your own Six-Word Memoir.

2. Po
st it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.

4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.

5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

It was hard to come up with something and limit it to six words, but this is what I came up with.

God's in control, I'm at peace.
I must admit that I have to remind myself of that at times, when I start stressing about things, but it is such a comfort to know that God is in control. Because He has a reason for things that happen, although I may not always understand, I can rest in his care.

That's mine. I'm not going to follow all the rules, because I'm not tagging anyone else, but feel free to play along if you want to!

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Still a mess!

Last week I showed you this mess I had from taking wallpaper down in my Kitchen and Dining area. I thought I would give you an update and tell you things are messier than ever! Bob had today off so he tackled moving some of the cabinets.
Here you see the contents of a couple of them stacked on the table.

This area has had one cabinet removed and moved to make room for a dishwasher. Can you believe I've never had one? We don't have a very big kitchen, but with some prodding from my sister Cheri and some creative thinking by Bob, we figured out how to have a dishwasher and not lose any cabinet space. We're really happy with how things look space wise - this opens up the kitchen and makes it look bigger. However - what a mess! There is drywall dust and sawdust all over. I cleaned the top of my stove off only to have it looking dusty as ever an hour later. The floor has pieces of flooring scraped off and the counter top has cuts through it. I'm afraid it'll be awhile before it's done, but it will be worth it! I'll give you more updates as we work.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

National Library Week

I saw a listing of different days and weeks that are observed and noticed that this week is National Library Week. I was thinking about what a role libraries have played in my life. My family didn't get a television until I was in fifth grade. This meant that as kids, we spent a lot of time playing outdoors, but we also spent a lot of time reading. We had a very small library that was close to us and my Mom took us there regularly. There were 4 kids in our family and we would take a big cardboard box with us to haul our books back home in. I remember my Mom sitting at a table, for quite some time, filling out all those cards by hand, with the name of the books we were taking out. We would have to count our books so we knew how many had to come back. We always took part in the summer reading program and got to go to special outings and won prizes because of the books we read. We also had a library in our church and we took out books from it every week. I'm sure that all those opportunities when I was young helped to increase my love of reading. When my kids were young, I took them to the library too. They each had their own tote bag and I made them count their books, just like I used to, so we didn't lose any. They all like to read too, so I guess that strategy worked. We are so lucky to have libraries available to us, with a selection of books ready for reading!

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blog Readability Test

Here's a little test for your blog. All you have to do is enter your blog address and it will tell you what level of education is needed for people to read your blog. I thought my blog was easy reading but this says you need to be college or post grad to read it. Click below and let me know what level your blog is at!

blog readability test

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Slow Cooking Thursday

Todays recipe is one I really like but don't make often because Bob doesn't like the broccoli. He'll eat this, but it loses something when you pick the broccoli out! I must admit that I don't like plain broccoli either, but somehow it's okay in a recipe like this.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
1 pound boneless, skinless breast halves
2 - 9 ounce jars sweet and sour sauce
1 - 16 ounce package frozen loose pack broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts

hot cooked rice
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. In a 4 quart slow cooker combine chicken, sweet and sour sauce and frozen vegetables. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. Serve over rice and sprinkle with almonds.
If you want to check out more slow cooker recipes, visit Sandra at Diary of a SAHM.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Confused guy

It seems to me that people are using bad language more all the time. It bothers me to hear people swearing, and I thought this was an interesting little video about using God's name in vain. The message isn't really direct, but it makes an interesting point. Watch it and let me know what you think.

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Monday, April 7, 2008

First flowers of Spring!

Here are the first flowers that are blooming in our yard. This is a little fence section that is near our driveway. These little crocuses are so cheerful and such a happy sign of Spring. This picture was taken in the afternoon so they aren't open are far as they are earlier in the day, but they still make me happy to see them!
This is a small picture of the front lawn. Do you think we have some work ahead of us? Our whole front yard looks like this. We have 7 oak trees in the front yard so we always have a lot of acorns but this year there are quite a few more than normal. There is an old thought that says if there are lots of acorns falling, it will be a bad winter. I guess this winter proved that saying right!

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