Sunday, November 30, 2008

Starting the Season Right!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Starting the Season Right! *addendum*

Seriously...This cracks me up! I am challenging everyone who reads my blog to Elf themselves and link to each others....lets see how many we can get elfing this year!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Since we are spending Christmas in Texas, I could not justify spending the day shopping so we headed up to D.C. and went to the newly opened National Museum of American History . This branch of the Smithsonian family has been closed for at least two years for renovations and overhauling and expanding of the exhibits.

They have Julia Child's Kitchen..... Sorry for the flash flare...The Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz, THE Star Spangled Banner (a 3.5 hour line, didn't get to see) Trains, trains, trains and more trains, old cars, and all sorts of transportation from the past. The lines were several hours long to see many of the exhibits so we plan on going back on a weekend when it isn't so crowed...if that is ever possible. What we did see was incredible. The museum is huge.... three stories and at least two city blocks long. Gallery after gallery of Americana at its best. I really felt old when I saw stuff from my childhood, a few short years ago.

Nope the trains are not from my childhood..... I am WAY younger than that!
But because Carson loves trains...we spent the majority of our time there.




Carson rode the El train, from Chicago.
Some really cool old cars.... and I don't know cars, so I am NOT going to guess what this one is. Carson said it was "Doc" from Cars...and I believe Doc was a Hudson....so????
This just reopened last weekend....so needless to say...the place was packed! Fortunately, we walked right in with no lines, however Wayne wasn't so fortunate. He searched for a parking spot for about 35 minutes and met us in the museum....but not before waiting in a line that wrapped around the building and was about two city blocks long. It went pretty fast and he soon joined us. We were literally shoulder to shoulder and butt to butt packed with people in this museum.

I think we are museum junkies.... at least Smithsonian junkies...we have hit almost all of them and a couple of them twice! This one is definitely going to be on the list of we must go back to because we visited two galleries on one wing of one floor...in about 3 hours....way too much to see in one visit.

I Survived!.....

My first Thanksgiving that I had planned, bought, prepared and cooked all by myself. I did not do too bad, if I do say so myself. We bought a huge Turkey (I am convinced that Butterball shoots those turkeys full of steroids or something) it cooked to perfection. Made the dressing...NOT stove top either. Made the cornbread for it on Sunday and had been saving stale homemade bread for a couple of weeks in the freezer. It was really, really good...and all homemade. I baked two pumpkin pies, on Wednesday, along with two apple pies. We had mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, cranberry sauce (unfortunately if it doesn't look like the can...some people in my family won't eat it). I candied some yams, made the gravy and we had french cut green beans. We had a couple of guests join us, and they provided great company and entertainment. We have had turkey the past two days... and I STILL have a ton of turkey left.....I am thinking about freezing the meat in smaller bags for sandwiches...because that is the best part...the leftover turkey sandwiches.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Blessings!

We are so blessed this year in particular, we have our health, home, a wonderful, loving family, friends, both old and new. I wanted to take a couple of minutes and thank God for the many little blessing that I know I take for granted each day. Take time and thank Him for the "little" things in your life...it will really make you appreciate them so much more.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Trains, Trains, and More Trains.... oh and Santa Too!

Yesterday we had plans to got to the model train show here in town. Admission was pretty cheap, so we made an afternoon of it. There were all sorts of trains...tiny models ( I am not a model train aficionado, ask me about Geo Trax... and I can answer you) so I am not sure of the gage of these trains, but I think they were the HO gage.Larger gage and some really big gage trains as well. Carson was fascinated... he has always LOVED trains... and had never seen that many in one place. He was so focused on the trains that I could not get him to look at me for anything! Finally got him to turn around.These photos aren't the greatest quality...was using my little pocket camera, and I am not used to the lag time...so I kept on missing the trains...

I was a complete basket case... they had the trains themselves roped off, but the dealers had some very, very expensive antique engines etc. on the tables. Carson reached over and picked up one, and I about died when I saw the $495.00 price tag on it. I carefully pried it out of his hands, and apologised profusely...The dealers really need to get a clue though... this place was full of kids, an accident waiting to happen. Needless to say we did not spend a lot of time with the vendors.When we first walked in we were all three given a door prize ticket and we weren't there for ten minutes when Carson won a door prize. He won a real nice framed print of Santa and a train at Christmas. We will definitely use it with all our Christmas stuff this year. He was kinda upset that his prize wasn't a real Polar Express Model train....but that just leaves the opportunity for us to consider that for the future if he really shows an interest in doing the models.Right now he is still interested in the TOYS... I don't freak out when he touches these.

Santa was there and I wasn't able to discreetly listen to what he wanted... so I am sure that we will see Santa again soon. I really want to go to Tyson's Corner and see THIS SANTA.
I am 99.99% positive that this was a female Santa... fooled Carson... which is a good thing... cause he is already asking "those" questions.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Program

Last evening was Carson's Kindergarten Program on Thanksgiving. I had the pleasure of attending both performances, one for the school and then the evening event for the parents.

Carson has been practising for weeks, he would recite his poems, and sing his songs wherever we were....the grocery store, a restaurant, the bus stop....anyone, and anywhere. If there was someone within earshot, who he could sucker into listening to him, he would give you the whole run down of every song and poem. He has had them memorized for several weeks so that means that I have them memorized as well. He did such an amazing job and we are so proud of his hard work, but he really wanted his Momo and Papa to hear it. We did video the actual performance, however, I am a bit leary posting videos or pictures of other peoples children without their permission. So we did the next best thing and he repeated all of them for them via my trusty little camera. ****Disclaimer**** If you are not a member of my immediate family or a close friend, you are free to go back to your regular blog reading. This may be a bit on the sugary side for some of you.....just kidding...enjoy! Oh, disregard all the "stuff" on the counters behind the boy, Carson insisted that this was where he had to sing his songs.

video

video

I am sure that we are in for lots of performances in the years to come, and this one wasn't even his first....It was however, the first one HE was excited about and looking forward to.

Oh and a little note...Kindergartners are not known for long performances... this one started at 7 p.m. and the final bow was at 7:09 p.m.

video

He wouldn't sing the cutest song because it wasn't done with the piano...it was done to a soundtrack and he said that he can't do it without the other kids to do the gobbling in echo... I offered...but it wasn't the same.

Side note to Momo and Papa... be prepared... he will have you guys all singing this too when we get there!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas is in the Air!!!

Wayne and I are having a bit of a disagreement over decorating for Christmas. We donated our Christmas tree before the big move and have yet to purchase a new one. So while I do have a small back-up tree, I won't be able to put up my millions of ornaments on this one tree. Here is where we disagree a bit, I plan on doing all my normal decorating, even though we will be spending the holiday in Texas. We fly out on the 21st, but we HAVE to make it exciting for Carson until then. He was already panic stricken this summer when he realized that our house doesn't have a fireplace for Santa to come down. We are going to write Santa a letter and remind him that Carson will be at Momo's and Papa's for Christmas and they have a fireplace. Wayne doesn't think I need to haul out all my Christmas stuff.....whereas, I am wanting more....more, and still more. My favorite time of the year. Just because we wont be here for the last nine days of the month, doesn't mean that the holiday should not be decorated for....right??? I might have to start decorating next week to get as much mileage out of it as possible.

I am also ready for fun stuff to do as a family to kick off the Christmas season. I have been asking around for some of the things that the "locals" do. There is the Christmas Parade, I am assuming it is a lot like the Electric Light Parade in Amarillo, but this one goes through the Historic district of downtown Fredericksburg. A real Victorian era Christmas. We are gonna hit this for sure.

There is a model train show coming up this weekend as well as the second weekend in December that we are planning on attending.

One of the things that we are really looking forward is the Santa Train. The VRE, Virginia Railway Express, announced today that it will be having their annual Santa Train. (Info here) From what I understand this is a hour long train ride that you can ride to go see Santa. It is only run one day a year, and everyone tells me we have to get our tickets early as they sell out fast. This will be a wonderful surprise for Carson.....he adores the Polar Express, so this should be a blast.

I would also like to head into D.C. on evening or weekend to see the capital and all the other areas decorated for Christmas. I don't even know if they do it or not, but I would love to see it at night.

Perhaps the most exciting thing we are doing is driving to Baltimore on the 21st and getting on a plane to fly to Amarillo...We are way beyond excited!
So even though Thanksgiving is still more than a week away....I am ready for Christmas!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tagged!

Tag, and I am it! My friend Keri tagged me and mentioned how these are good for jump starting your blog when you seem to be in a blogging rut. I feel like I am in a rut if I don't post something everyday.

Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
*Share 7 random/weird facts about yourself.
*Tag 7 other people and link to them at the end of your blog.
*Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment.

1. I was named Kari Catherine Sanders at birth, but I have been told that I was William Reynolds for a short while. My parents just knew I was going to be a boy. (At least I hope I got this story right)

2. I met my husband on America Online. Now this is not that uncommon nowadays, but nearly 12 years ago, was kinda rare!

3. I have lived with my husband, my mother-in-law, my mom, my dad, five dogs, three cats and a tank full of frogs. This was all under one roof and at the same time for a period of six months while we built our house.

4. I rode in an elevator with John Tesh at the Mirage in Las Vegas. I also met his wife Connie Selleca and their daughter at the Dolphin show at the same hotel.

5. I have lived in Virginia three separate times.

6. I used to keep and breed poison dart frogs.

7. I cannot stand liver...with good reason (Click here).

Ok now for the fun part... I get to TAG seven of my blogging buddies!
so guys start thinking and I call tag to: Tammy, Kari Christie, Kisha,
Dad, Wendy, Holly, and Nicole

Old Times!

Thursday evening, my college roommate Anita, stayed with us on her way to Maryland. We reminisced about all the old times, and I think we both came to the realization that 22 years is WAY too long to go between visits. We stayed up until midnight and tried to put names to all the old friends in the yearbooks, looked at scrapbooks, and talked about our fantastic children. We talked and laughed and had a wonderful time. It bought back sooo many memories. We only had a few hours together...tooo short of course, but it was so good to catch up, and see one another again. I know that when we head to Virginia Beach, we will be touching base again. Thanks Anita for stopping in.... you and your family have a place to stay anytime.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Visitors....Yeah!

A month or so ago I joined Facebook, mainly to touch base with friends in Texas. While that has been wonderful, I also have reconnected with some old high school, and college friends. Old takes on a whole new connotation when you are almost in your mid forties. Anyway, I found my college roomate. Anita and I both moved to campus after our Freshman year, she from home and I from my grandmothers. Neither one of us had lived out from the covering of our parents or guardians before. She had to put up with a lot of crap (this the only word that really fits here, even though I HATE that word). We lived on Kellam Hall, and for the most part I remember us getting along. I tended to be a bit messy at times....I know that at times I drove her crazy. (Wayne...you are NOT allowed to comment!!!) We both had different schedules and friends, but for the most part, had a great year and got along great. To make a long story short, she lives in Virginia Beach now and works for a law firm in Norfolk. They are litigating a case in Rockville, Maryland, and she is coming through here on Thursday, and head on to Rockville on Friday.

We have not seen one another since 1986 the year we graduated. So much has happened in each of our lives since then, we both married and have had children...so much time has past, but I am really looking forward to seeing her and catching up. We were both so young 22 years ago....kinda scary when you really think about how little we really knew then. Anyway....just wanted to share my excitement!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Autumn Splendor! (picture heavy)


I know, I know...by now you guys are probably sick and tired of seeing all my Fall photos. It has to be because it is so new to us. Having lived for the past couple of decades on the vast treeless prairies of Texas, it is so nice to see seasons changing with such vivid color. Today we did not travel far at all, we drove into Falmouth, and explored an old cemetery and church. We walked a path to a park behind the cemetery and just had fun, took pictures, and played.

There is a shortcut that we take home often off of route 1. It cuts back by an old cemetery. There is an old church building facade, but it is only about 6- 8 feet wide. It has a historical marker, I was chasing the boy so I didn't read it. Really unique and fun to explore.Carson trying to peek in the keyhole.Trying the door.
We played in the leaves
Posed for pictures...Carson is a real good poser!Took a hike, and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. I can almost hear the whistling from the Andy Griffith show on this one.More pictures of the boy....My FAVORITE shot of the day!
Thanks for indulging me. :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Indian Summer!

By now you all know that I really love Fall....and it has finally peaked in color here in Fredericksburg. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 70's this afternoon, but it will turn colder over the weekend.

I honestly think the colors are more vivid here than they were up in the mountains. Today as I was coming home from a meeting, I passed a couple of trees that were putting out a spectacular color display. Fortunately I had my little point and shoot camera with me and I pulled over a took a few snapshots.



It won't be too much longer before the leaves all fall off, and the trees will be bare. I really don't like bare trees as much, but will admit that there is a stark beauty in winter and I am looking forward to seeing what that season offers here.

I'm Really Excited...a New Opportunity.

I had to sub yesterday at the school around the corner. It isn't my son's school, but seriously it is about 4 minutes from my house. I enjoy subbing there and try to every chance I get. A couple of weeks ago I subbed in the Autism classroom. There are 5 kindergarten age boys, all with some sort or form of moderate to severe autism. There are a couple that are non verbal, these are the most challenging, but they are incredibly smart, witty, humorous, and so incredible lovable. The others are gifted in ways that would amaze most people, yet they are locked away in a room somewhere in their own body.

Well long story short...the teacher is expecting her first child the first week of January. I was asked yesterday to consider taking her class as a long term sub for her. I really did not even have to think about it... I automatically took it. I am going to have to do some serious cramming on special needs children, but in all honesty... I totally feel a peace about this. I know that there are going to be some things that I wont know how to handle right away. I will have 4 para-professionals in this class as well, so it is not like I am being thrown in a room with these children all by myself and expected to know all and do all. I know that I will be trying to fill big shoes, and that these children develop relationships differently than others.

I am really looking forward to this, and will most likely be asking for prayer covering often, when situations arise when I need more guidance on something. I never in my life imagined that I would enjoy something like this and I am frankly quite afraid that I will get too attached to these little guys.

Carson will have to go into aftercare for about 30-45 minutes after school. My next door neighbor offered to get him off the bus and watch him for me, so that may be answer there.
I am really looking forward to the steady paycheck as well... the county pays their long term subs extremely well....well steady for at least three months. First thing to buy with that first check....my own laptop!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Who is Really in Charge?

I received this, this morning in an e-mail from my dad. I will preface it by saying I do NOT know who wrote it. But it was too good to NOT pass along.


Who is really in charge?

Some of you will be happy and a lot of us will be unhappy but we will still support the winner simply because he will be the president of our nation.

Top 10 predictions no matter who won the election:

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-annointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.

God approves this message!

Amen

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

VOTE....I DID Yeah!

I have voted in every Presidential election since my first one...Ronald Reagan (his first term) can't remember the year...silly I know. Anyway there is something totally liberating knowing that at least I did my part... I have nothing to complain about... I made my voice heard. Please do your part.... and VOTE.

Also please check the previous post for some corrections.... I was mistaken on a few important facts. Thanks!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tomorrow is THE day!

Well guys the past couple of years worth of campaigning comes to an end tomorrow. I can only pray that at this point we have all decided on who we will be voting for. Now I do not want to make this a political discussion to be argued back and forth... that is the main reason I have waited until now to post my feelings on this election and who I will be voting for and why.

My dad and John McCain served together in the same squadron on the Enterprise during the Vietnam war. Both were carrier pilots. My father was fortunate enough to never have been shot down, John McCain on the other hand was shot down and suffered for five agonizing long years in the Hanoi Hilton. The following I received in a email from my Dad about McCain and it details the qualifications and experience he has based on his military career and how that will prepare him to lead our country. None of the following was written by me or my father... I'm just passing it along.

OOOOPPPS... from my DAD... I was mistaken... here is the real story.
In your latest post, you have me and John McCain as squadron mates on Enterprise . I knew him casually, he was in VA-65 on Saratoga , I was in VA-85 on FORRESTAL. That was in the early 60’s, probably 1960 or 61. I appreciate your trying to make more than I am, I was just another pilot in the cold war, and happy to make it out alive.


Love DAD

"In all modesty, I can personally verify that the author is correct in his analysis of what the true experience of every naval carrier pilot has always been. When you talk about having visibility, every take off and landing from a carrier is witnessed by several hundred of pairs of eyes. And when on that sombre occasion, a naval carrier pilot fails to return from his mission, an immediate and enduring personal loss is deeply felt by the four or five thousand members of the carrier's crew, and air group. And so it was when John failed to return that day so long ago. But he had met the continuing test of every naval carrier pilot, and went on to meet an even greater test."

This appeared in the New York Times

What is there in the experience of a naval carrier pilot that would help prepare a person to be president? Beneath the derring-do that is part of the successful aviator's image are many fine qualities - some natural, some learned.Above all, you must be true to yourself. Delusional people rarely survive the harsh demands of carrier flying. You cannot cheat your way through a carrier landing, or ignore the reality of a dark night and a pitching deck.You must be absolutely committed to a cause greater than yourself, because your life is what you wager each time you take off on a mission. And you must be a team player. Many other team members are needed to operate both the ship and your aircraft, and you need to provide leadership.A carrier pilot must also learn to accept criticism of his or her own performance, from both peers and overseers. The landing signal officer on an aircraft carrier administers a public debriefing and critique of every landing, and a grade is assigned to every pass the pilot makes at the deck. These grades and the pilot's performance ranking are displayed publicly for all to praise or ridicule. The psychological pressure of this culture is the whetstone that successful carrier pilots use to sharpen their skills, and the grinder that drives some from the profession.The Navy considers its pilots to be officers first and aviators second. Most carrier pilots lead divisions of perhaps 20 sailors who perform the various tasks of squadron administration and aircraft maintenance, so they must learn to balance the pressures of flying, at times as flight leaders, with the demands of full time squadron leadership. And this is just during peacetime. In times of combat, the pressures are increased exponentially. So what do we have that could enhance a presidential resume.? Honesty, integrity, courage, commitment, love of country, leadership, capacity for self-criticism, ability to multitask and grace under pressure. These are great qualities indeed for anyone who aspires to become the leader of the free world.-

STEPHEN R. GRAY, the author of "Rampant Raider: An A-4 Skyhawk Pilot in Vietnam "

Now is this reason enough for me to base my vote on this man? In many instances it is, however I recently read something to the effect that as a Christian, we are neither Democrats or Republicans...we are Christians and we are called to use the Bible as the source of what we believe. We should look to the examples in the Bible and base our decisions upon that. Not on whether the party that is elected will bring about financial benefits, tax cuts etc.... but what does the Bible say about the topics at hand. For me it all boils down to ONE issue...abortion!

I have my beautiful, charismatic, creative, exuberant son, because his birth mother loved him enough to NOT have an abortion. I thank God for her each and every day.

The simple fact is that Obama sees nothing wrong with abortion. Nothing. He actually believes that if a child is born alive after an abortion, it should just be left alone to die. Sickening....absolutely sickening. I am going to add some links, that I saw on a friends blog all about the stance that these two men have on abortion. Thanks Melissa!! Click on colored links below.

Interesting A fellow bloggers opinions on Christianity and Obama

Obama's views on Abortion

McCain's view on Abortion

Thanks for reading... and PLEASE PLEASE don't forget to vote!!!