On to D.C.

Next we went to D.C.  D.C.  was a whirlwind.  There is SO MUCH to see there.  Let me repeat:  THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE IN D.C.  If you ever get the chance, go.  If you don’t, make a chance, then go.  It was wonderful.

Anyways, we arrived at our hotel on a Saturday night.  We were staying about 45 minutes outside of D.C., in Herndon, Virginia.  (Yay!  We were now in my home state!  For those of you who don’t know, I was born in VA.)  The next day (Sunday) we went to church, then we went in to D.C. “to see what we could see.”  We ended up walking around a good bit, then we went to The Smithsonian Museum of American History.  Mom and I went to the First Lady’s dresses exhibit.  So many gorgeous dresses!  The boys and Meiling went to the American President’s display while we were looking at the dresses.  Dad didn’t want to go through the First Ladies’ Dresses exhibit again.  (He had accompanied Mom through that exhibit years ago when they lived in VA.)  We took a break to get some refreshments, and then Dad, Drake, Noah, and I went back to the American History Museum, and Mom and Meiling went to the Smithsonian Castle.  Meiling wasn’t really enjoying the exhibits.  🙂 

The next day we spent walking around D.C., visiting several monuments and memorials, The Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space, and Bureau of Engraving and Printing.  Lots of walking.  I’m not sure if I had a favorite part from Monday.  It was all pretty great.

On Sunday we got Thai food from a restaurant a few minutes down the road from our hotel.  It was great!  We ate there twice.  Their fried rice, garlic chicken – I need to learn to cook like that.  Oh. My.  Mmm….it was SO good.  And so very different from Chinese, which is really amazing.  It looks similar, and Thailand is so close to China.  But it’s totally different.  In a totally delicious way.

Anyways.  Now for the photos.  I split D.C.  into two posts, because there is so much to cover.

_MG_9001

Going into D.C. – Drake, being Drake

_MG_9018

The Capital

_MG_9027

 

_MG_9042

(Ha ha.)

_MG_9008

The Jefferson Memorial

_MG_9036

Washington Monument

_MG_9049

The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (I think)

_MG_9104

 

_MG_9123

The Smithsonian Castle

_MG_9117

The Capital

_MG_9080

One of the inscriptions on the front of The Smithsonian Museum of American History

_MG_9086

This exhibit was great!  I could have spent longer in there.  When I saw there was a food exhibit, I HAD to go see it!

_MG_9126

 

_MG_9139

Monday – the George Mason Monument

_MG_9145

 

_MG_9190

The Washington Monument – I LOVED photographing it.  And I took lots of photos of it.  So you’ll have to bear with me.

_MG_9194

The following photos:  The Jefferson Memorial

_MG_9205

 

_MG_9220

 

_MG_9210

 

_MG_9208

Meiling gave me a dandelion…

_MG_9209

…and I wore it in my hair for awhile.

_MG_9251

 

_MG_9282

At the Air and Space Museum

_MG_9287

(Read the caption in the photo)  Somebody has WAY more patience than I do.

_MG_9291

*Epic*

_MG_9298

Meimei…

_MG_9299

…and Noah

_MG_9301

Oh look!  The Washington Monument!

_MG_9309

The World War II Memorial, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background

_MG_9314

 

_MG_9321

On the Pacific side – I got a foot in my picture. 

_MG_9334

This has to be my second favorite photo that I took of the Washington Monument.

_MG_9337

Resting before going to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing – I’m not totally sure what’s happening in this photo

_MG_9338

Drake, being his normal self

_MG_9341

There!  A smile

_MG_9348

Pigeon

_MG_9375

We went out to Red Hot and Blue for dinner on Monday.  It was pretty good.

_MG_9355

Next time…

Welcome, Spring!

I am excited to participate in Just Live It’s “Bloggers Like Us” challenge for this month.  I have wanted to for awhile, and when I saw this challenge, I knew I could take part!

One of the things that always says “Spring” to me is the new life.  The chicks and ducklings up at the feed store.  Our friend’s new baby goats.  And for us, the kittens.

Our cat has had a litter of kittens just about every year since we’ve had her.  Seeing those little kittens tells me that Spring is right around the corner.  Oh, the joys of new life!

_MG_8318

 

_MG_8301

 

_MG_8306

 

_MG_8414

 

_MG_8417

 

_MG_8418

 

_MG_8421

Kitchen Herbs

This past Saturday we went to a very cute farm-themed baby shower.  For favors and place cards they used little flower pots and buckets filled with goodies.  Now that I had a flower pot, I needed to plant something in it.

So I started thinking.  A flower would be nice, but you can’t eat it.  The flower’s purpose would be just to look pretty.  Not that there is anything bad about that.  I just usually like to plant plants that produce something that we use.

When we were starting seeds for our garden, I decided that I would try to grow some cilantro and parsley, since we use those herbs often and a whole bunch from the store can be too much.  It would be so nice to have some cilantro here in the kitchen, since that doesn’t do all too well out in the heat.  I started some thyme seeds in a bag a few weeks ago and the little plantlets needed to be planted.  I decided to plant cilantro in two of the pots and thyme in the third.

I really wanted to get them planted today, but it was already getting late.  While I was making cookies, I decided it was the perfect time to plant.  The recipe has you mix the butter, eggs, and sugar together for 30 seconds, then let the mixture sit for 3 minutes, and you have to repeat this process for a total of 3 times (this makes for a most delicious dough).  During those three minutes, I would hurry outside to work on my plants.  I had to work on them some more after the cookies were done, but it didn’t take all that long and I was very satisfied with the result.

_MG_8858

My inspiration

_MG_8872

Filled with dirt

_MG_8878

My cute watering can – it was found in a thrift store

_MG_8884

All planted, except the top one – I still need to put a cilantro seed in it

_MG_8891

Extra thyme plantlets that I need to do something with.  I’m not sure what that something is.

_MG_8908

A gooey chocolate chip cookie (yes, that is chocolate smeared on the counter, and no, I didn’t lick it off)

The Creek

Next to our home runs a private road.  Part of it has gravel, but the majority of it is just a mix of rocks, dirt, and plants.  The trees grow over it, so most of the way is shaded.  The wildflowers are blooming next to it.  After about a ten or fifteen minute walk down this road, you reach the creek.

When you first reach the creek, you walk out under the open sky into full sun.  On the right the creek is shallow and shaded with tall trees arching over it, giving the water underneath a dappled look.  On the left there are lots of rocks, with the creek getting narrower and deeper, with trees hanging over it from the farther bank.

We walked down to the creek this past Sunday.  I took my camera (surprise, surprise).  We also brought our black lab Shadow, who loves to swim.  Noah and Meiling played fetch with her, and Dad threw the ball occasionally.  I took pictures of the whole thing.

Here are some of the photos.  I was quite unhappy as there were all these lovely wildflowers and I hadn’t brought my macro lens, since I was trying to reduce baggage. 🙂

_MG_8156

 

_MG_8166

The road to the creek

_MG_8172

This looks fairytale-like to me

_MG_8188

To the right

_MG_8194

I love water, ripples…

_MG_8197

…and sun sparkles!

_MG_8206

 

_MG_8211

Throwing the ball for the dog

_MG_8222

Playing in the water

_MG_8239

I found this plant interesting

_MG_8256

Sloshin’ around

_MG_8272

To the left

_MG_8293

When you get wet, you have to shake all that water off.

_MG_8294

Sometimes your lips look weird.

_MG_8295

But it always feels good

_MG_8296

Oh yeah

_MG_8303

Noah

_MG_8308

This is going to be a new tradition – a lens cap picture wherever I go

_MG_8350

More dog shaking off pictures – sorry, they’re just so fun

_MG_8351

That feels good.

_MG_8355

Just lovin’ those yellow boots

_MG_8393

Foot pictures…also very fun

_MG_8395

 

_MG_8407

Flowers without a macro lens

_MG_8424

I like how this one turned out

_MG_8443

Where we took a little stroll – an even older road

So what did you do for Resurrection Sunday?  We didn’t do a whole lot.  Since some of us have been sick, we stayed home from church so not to infect everyone.  Nothing to fancy – we went to the creek, read Bible, played badminton, and had dinner.  Do you have a Resurrection Sunday tradition?

Happy Friday!

~Allison

Spring, Books, Scarf

It was a beautiful day yesterday.  The sun was shining, the sky was very blue, and everything was so very green.  What a perfect day for pictures!  I finally did my ironing the other day, so I had one of my favorite shirts that was all ready to wear.  Something about it and the faded denim skirt I chose made me want to take pictures.  So I headed out and had a blast.  Just to warn you, this will probably be a long post with lots of pictures.

I took my scarf with me as well as a few old books.  If you are curious, the books in the photos are “The Five Little Peppers Grown Up” and “Pilgrim and Pluck: Dogs of the Mayflower.”  They are both very good.

Don’t say you weren’t warned!

_MG_7447

I love how these pictures with the scarf turned out with the scarf “frozen.”

_MG_7448

_MG_7460

This is my favorite with the scarf

_MG_7492

I don’t know why I like this one so much, but I do

_MG_7587

Walking and reading

_MG_7609

This rock is great for pictures

_MG_7781

The grass is so green

_MG_7800

_MG_7829

Still walking and reading

_MG_7921

RUN!!

_MG_7973

This part of an old fence looks so…country 🙂
Right after I took that picture, I found a bunch of moss.  It was so soft and springy that I was walking all over it with my bare feet and jumping on it.  While I was jumping on it, I said rather loudly “It’s so soft and springy-y-y!” I noticed not too much later that our neighbor was out not too far from where I was (within hearing distance).  Oops.

_MG_8006

Reading

_MG_8013

Love this one too 🙂

Miscellaneous

There have been a few things recently that have been getting me excited.  As none of them are long enough for there own post, I am going to post them all together.  How does that sound?  O.K.?

Well, last week we purchased half of a grass fed cow.  Our friends had an extra half, and they offered it to us.  I am so glad that we got some grass fed meat.  There were a lot of steaks and roasts.  Now I have to read Tender Grassfed Meat, which my mom bought awhile ago, and we’ll be all ready to go!  We also got some more lard, so I can make some more pies.  Mmmmm!

Some friends of ours dropped off our herb order from Mountain Rose Herbs this week!  So far, I have already made more Echinacea tincture and Elderberry syrup.  This should help us feel better, because Mom, Dad, and I have all been sick.  I am getting better, but my parents are still feeling pretty yucky.  I also purchased some essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs, and was very pleased to find out that they are therapeutic grade oils!  And plus, it is always fun to get more smelly oils.  🙂

You know that book I have posted about several times, titled Jam it, Pickle it, Cure it?  Well, the author wrote another one, titled Can it, Bottle it, Smoke it!  I AM SO EXCITED!  That didn’t convey all the excitement.  I AM SO SO VERY EXCITED!!!!!!  O.K., that was better.  I am hoping to get it here soon.

A bunch of our trees bloomed!  So did the tulips!  And the azalea bush!  And the rosebush did, too!  Since I have been sick, I have been unable to take many pictures, but I am hoping to get some today.

Well, I think that is all for now.  Thanks for listening to my ramblings.  It was good to get all that pent-up excitement out.  (I’ve used forms of the word excitement lots in this post, haven’t I?)

_MG_6796

A tulip that bloomed

_MG_6837

It was raining ever so lightly while I was taking pictures.  The sun was out, too!