Birthday Parties...

Ethan had a total of 3 birthday parties, one with my family in UT, a spiderman party with friends and one with the AZ Wilson family:)  he is very loved and blessed, that is for sure!  it is hard to believe he is 7...and a toothless wonder, i might add.  before we went to UT he lost one of his front teeth and when we got back, he lost the other one...so now he has a gaping hole in the front of his mouth...i'll have to get a picture of it, to document...it's quite a sight:)

friends came to the spiderman birthday, and colored in their activity books until everyone arrived, and got spiderman tattoos...

then they each picked a string of yarn and followed it through this giant spiderweb i made to get their spiderman masks

we did a balloon pop, we played a scavenger hunt for spiderman pictures and traded them in for candy, we went to the grassy area across from our house and had a silly string fight...we played pin spidey in the web (like pin the tail on the donkey) and had party food (pizza, chips, watermelon etc) and cupcakes:)

and a fun time was had by all!
they each got these party bags with their names on them...with some fun stuff in them...

spiderman masks

Activity books...

pillowcases i made for them that had their initial on the spider painted on (this pillowcase is ethan's and is a store bought one)

and some spiderman ring pops and pop rocks....

fun times for birthday parties:)

Ethan had a Birthday...Shout HOORAY!!!

after kendall and i had our trip we were home for a little bit and then we went to UT for my niece Dellah's Baptism.  We drove there and decided to stay until the 4th of July, and we drove back on the 4th.  Ethan's birthday was on the 2nd of July.  it was such a treat to be able to celebrate his birthday with my family, he really enjoyed it!
SEVEN years old!!!!! i am having a hard time believing it!!!


 aunt Erin,uncle Gabriel, Theo and Dellah
opening presents, my mom at the end of the table...

another day in UT, my dad and the kids having a cheeto break on the porch!

we went swimming at Dimple Dell (indoor pool with a play structure and slides) on Ethan's birthday, also while we were there we took the kids to Temple Square, visited some museums and visitor centers, went to the new City Creek Mall (which is HUGE and amazing!) and had a great time with family!

thanks family, as always, we love you and miss you!!!  and we had a GREAT time!


Last DC post...PROMISE!

i know, are we done yet?  that's what you're thinking, and yes, this is the last post about our DC trip. Our last day in DC we went to Mt. Vernon (George Washington ancestral home, Arlington Cemetery and the Jefferson Memorial.

Mt. Vernon from the front

Mt. Vernon from the back

turn around, with the house behind you and this is the view..beautiful!

Washington's Tomb

Arlington Cemetery....the thing that surprised me the most about Arlington was how MASSIVE it is.  I mean, you know there are lots of soldier buried there, but it is HUGE! so many graves of brave men and women who died serving our country and protecting our freedoms.  i felt very thankful.

the Kennedy's Graves

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier...we saw the changing of the guard which only happens 2 times a day i believe. that was very cool

Jefferson memorial, from the...back? i'm not sure which side to call it, but there's cute Kendall:)

same side of the Jefferson memorial, just closer

Gigantic statue of Jefferson himself, the thing that was kind of sad about this memorial, that we hadn't seen on any others, was the words on the walls....they must have been made of copper or something because they were turning green and (the other side of the wall, not the one pictured) had lines of oxidized run-off down the wall.  so ribbons of greenish gunk running through the letters of the words.  presumably from weather and moisture, staining the marble/stone that makes up the walls.

another super fun thing we did...this trip is actually an anniversary trip, that we took early.  our anniversary is in December, 10 years woo woo! but in December we will have a very new small person (who happens to be a girl!!! yay!!!) in our house (yahoo:)) so we took the trip early.  i had never ridden in a limo, and kendall always said that for our 10th anniversary, he would take me out in one. well, lo and behold, he surprised me with one while we were on vacation! very fun! funny story though...while the driver was waiting in the turn around at the hotel, she had her door open to get out and another car tried to sneak past the limo, but hit the door, wrenching it back toward the front of the limo! making it so that the door wouldn't close and the limo could not be driven! when we arrived downstairs, a police officer was there with the limo driver, and the driver of the other car... another limo came to pick us up 15 or so minutes later...this time a white one:)  so i actually got TWO limos:)  


The Holocaust Museum

Kendall and I both agreed that this was one of our very favorite things we did.  But it was hard to see, hard to read, very powerful.

the outside of the Holocaust Museum

just one display of amazing pictures of people affected by the Holocaust.

there are displays of clothing etc that the prisoners wore...these are shoes...there is a room of shoes.  

this was definitely not uplifting but i very much wanted to see this museum.  we waited in line starting around 8:15 am, to get tickets for the day.  you can reserve them online but they were all out when we went to do that.  so we waited in line, and we got great tickets.  the museum actually opens at 10 and we got tickets for 10:30, and it took probably 3 or so hours to do all the floors and read all the things we wanted to read and see all the pictures and artifacts and short films they had.

The Holocaust has always amazed me...i feel like i can never learn enough about it, there are so many facets to it. and it is a very emotional subject, to be sure.  so many groups of people were targeted by the Nazis, not just Jews, although they were the largest group to be exterminated.  Even the word extermination...we associate that with bugs and vermin, so did the Nazis.  One theme running throughout the exhibits was the idea of how Hitler could get a whole nation to agree to genocide...well in truth, he didn't have to do anything as grand as that.  He just had to get them desensitized to the plight of the Jews (and other groups), just get them to not really care, be enough past feeling, that when they did realize the true scope of what the Nazis had planned, what they were doing, there was nothing they could do to stop it.  

The hardest part for me, besides the sheer numbers of people killed, was the children.  Over 1 million of the people who died were children.  Who could look at a child and have no regard for their innate worth and goodness and not want to save them, help them?  plenty of people did help, you learn about them too, in the museum.  It was an overwhelming experience, but I am so glad we went.  

Another amazing aspect of the build up to what Hitler and his followers called "the final solution" (meaning killing those they viewed as not worthy to reproduce etc.) was how short of a time it took Hitler to gain pretty much absolute power in Germany.  He was appointed as a Chancellor (I believe) and then 6 months later, he had completely obliterated the fragile government they were trying to build back up in Germany and was controlling everything and pushing ahead with his own agenda.  Really amazing and definitely a lesson in how much damage corrupt leaders can do, how much impact they can have.


We Toured the Capitol

we got tickets to tour the capitol through our state representative's office, which we liked a lot, because then we had one of the interns give us a guided tour, and we didn't wander aimlessly.  It was quite a bit longer than we thought, about 3 hours, but really interesting!

capitol building

through a skylight, from underground

tilt your head...apparently when i tried to turn it, it didn't work...commemorative of the cornerstone laid by George Washington

view from the balcony of the capitol. Currently the Mall (large greenspace, reflecting pool etc) are being refurbished, trying to have them done by the time elections are done i believe.

inside the rotunda

LARGE memorial sign erected to the passengers of flight 93

we went to several Smithsonian Museums...it's so great that all of them are free, you just have to go through metal detectors before you go in:)  we went to the National Air and Space Museum

hello random guy in our picture....

we went to the Museum of Natural History

inspiration for Rexy in Night at the Museum

the Hope Diamond
Tucson Meteorite (sign about it above, meteorite below) 

we also went to the American History Museum, which i don't think i got any pictures of...i may have been running out of steam by the time we went there:):)  

we had a bunch of very fun, very full days!
the next day we went to the Holocaust museum...thoughts about that, next time:)


Memorials of DC

We spent our first day in DC walking, walking and walking!!! It was super fun to see things i've only ever heard about or seen in books....

Washington Monument
View of Washington monument from the Lincoln Memorial

World World 2 monument

wall of stars, each star equals 100 dead or missing servicemen, from World War 2

vietnam memorial...wall starts low and is higher than my head in the middle, filled with names

here we are in the wall:)

Lincoln memorial

Mr. Lincoln

the White House. We did not do a tour of the White House because apparently you have to request those tickets 8 months or so in advance.  But we did go to the White House Visitor's Center.