Thursday, March 27, 2014

Littlest Man is Two!!

Happy birthday my littlest man! He's a full two years old and we just can't believe he's been with us this long! He might be little but he is filled with more personality than all of us combined! Once he knows you and is comfortable, he has a way of wrapping you around his little finger, as if the darling little glasses and pensive gazes weren't enough to draw you in!

Most of the celebration happened in Washington, but we did manage a small cupcake party with friends at the preschool and then one at home. I love how he really digs into his cupcake.

He's the sweetest little guy! He totally puckers up to give me a kiss nowadays. He may be little in body, but he's big in spirit! We're so grateful to have him in our life. Happy birthday my little man!

The Grande Finale

Sunday, our day of rest included some much needed recent pictures of the family. Da has a talent with the camera that actually helped inspire kent and I to get our DSLR years ago. He has the added experience with editing programs and I have often thought how I would love to get into that and add a little extra to my pics. La sigh... When I have more time, right?!?

It was freezing out, only in the 30's so we took pictures for a five minutes and this is what we got! My personal favorite is of the kidlets, it's just so them!

Abbey was so sweet to take the time to buy a mango mousse cake to celebrate Eli's birthday. It was a good thing too since his actual birthday was the day after we got home and I was so busy getting life back in order we almost forgot to do anything. Keila and cayleigh made decorations, a card and a crown that survived all of three minutes!

The kids made their final farewell that evening as they had an early schedule the next day. Isaac was on the verge of tears at bedtime and nearly all morning the next day. Even keila, not one to become super attached was withdrawn and quiet. Good byes are so hard for children, especially when time passes "like FOR-EVER!" As Isaac would say!

The following morning was devoted to my enjoyment. Kent wanted me to have some part of the trip that was new and exciting for me so we headed out to the national cathedral. It's was beautiful! It's a cross between the old and new world, the gothic cathedrals of Europe and dotted with stain glass often themed with the history of our young country. One of the windows pictured below contains a rock brought back from the moon. Given that the structure has no metal beams to secure it there was some damage during the 2012 earthquake, hence the netting to keep tourists safe from possible debris. But even without the colored lights falling to the floor it was amazing and beautiful to seesee bits of American treasures scattered through the building. Quotes from famous historical figures, quarters embedded into the flooring representing each state, homages to famous presidents, etc.

Kent and I are determined to go back again without the kids to enjoy high tea and further explore the gardens and enjoy the view from the top. One day .....

Though filled with surprises, we really did have a lot of fun, enough so that Isaac says we have to start saving up to go again next year! Then again with awesome friends, good food and fun places to go he might be on to something!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Blossom-less Festivities

Te last weekend with the Zhaos was spent enjoying the first of many festivities of the Cherry Blossom Festival. The weather had been crazy on our trip, with temperatures ranging from the high 60s down to the low 30s especially given the snow and the humidity that we knew there would be no blossoms for us to see, but we were so glad our last weekend together was so beautiful. We began our day back at the National Building Museum for the Cherry blossom festivities.

Kids enjoyed making tea houses, cherry blossom necklaces, crafts and all sorts of performances. Their last one was a group called Nen Daiko which showed the art of expression through drumming. Their performance was impressive and there was something about the thrumming rhythms that feed your own life pulse for a captivating performance.

Afterwards we went across the street to enjoy some snacks. The place turned out to be the national memorial for fallen law enforcement officers. Just a few weeks before we had attended a fundraiser for Officer Raetz unit to be able to come and see his name carved along the wall. It was neat to see it and be able to tell our friends back home. I loved the sculptures of lions, lionesses and their young placed on all four corners of the monument.

Afterwards Da and Kent took the kids to the park to play while Abbey (with very little assistance from me) cooked dinner.

Everyone was exhausted from the day! While there were a million and one pictures to sort through from 2DSLR cameras, you can tell the time was worth it - so much fun was captured!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DC Sights with Baba

Since kent had never been to DC before, he took the kiddos to see the sights. The first day was their favorite, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Isaac was in heaven in the gems sections, it was after all the ultimate rock collection.

Keila loved, Loved, LOVED seeing the butterfly garden. Apparently the experience freaked Isaac out a little. Keila has always loved living things, the more delicate and cute, the more she loves them. This was heaven!

The following day was more for Kent as took them to see the monuments.

Looking at the pictures, the teacher in me is dying to go back and tell them of the symbolism and circumstances of some of those quotes. I want them to understand not just the facts, but the feelings too. It's then that history literally comes alive! La sigh .... Another time!