Washington DC: Election Week

The week in Washington DC was challenging because it took me out of my comfort zone, was physically exerting, and made me wish my IQ level was much higher.  Jake works in this amazing city every other week, so the girls and I worked it into our school schedules to come out with him. It just happened that the best week for us was election week. I am so glad for the “perfect timing”. Conquering an unfamiliar city with three young girls was daunting and invigorating. The first day the girls and I had a conversation about “getting lost”. They were concerned and nervous. Their past experiences with my navigational skills wasn’t giving them confidence, nor should it have. So I had to think about what I could give them for confidence and said something along the lines of, “I’ve been getting lost since I was Ivy’s age (2) and I’m still here and doing fine. Getting lost isn’t the end of the world. You work through it and make it in the end.” Getting lost has always been incorporated into my traveling methods….or lack of. I’m used to it, but my kids weren’t. Jake does extremely well with finding his way around, and I do hope my kids latch onto this strength of his. Ivy had major meltdowns several times in every day. But it was something to see her confidence grow as she rode the Metro, and did so much walking without a stroller. Ayzia and Eden helped with navigation and felt grown up  when they got to stand on the Metro, opposed to sitting. They were motivated explorers in a new territory. Elementary age is the perfect age to go to the DC! I am not going to go too much into my observations and personal feelings about election week. The Nations’ feelings are still raw and tender with the event being current. My girls haven’t spoken much about their opinions regarding the election and what they witnessed. But hopefully when they are older and can articulate their feelings better, I’d love to know how it shaped them. Within our tight-knit little family, we had both Donald and Hillary supporters. For viewer information it doesn’t matter what family member was with what presidential candidate. But our family had the discussion after we found out who won, that it’s important to always vote for who they feel is the best candidate, regardless of what their parents think. We can still be a family and be friends!  I guess there is one personal experience worth sharing. I got an impression that it was important to express concern and empathy about Hillary and sorry that she didn’t win. (I was sincere, and was able think about their feelings.) Next, I want to mention something, but not sure how to articulate it so  I’m just going to say it; I loved being around the local Americans that were black. Every where I went, there was a black person laughing and in good spirits. I don’t know how this will come across to the viewers reading this, but in the  moments surrounded by black Americans, I was keenly aware of how calm, safe, loved, and “right at home” I felt. The diversity there in creed and color felt good within my soul. We are all one America, God bless our great country!

Waiting For the Metro

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This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him. My judgement was that he was a little deranged, but it turns out, he is legit. Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

This gentleman was our greeting into the zoo. He wanted us to take a picture of him and email it to him.  Super friendly guy. ( Click the picture to be routed to his website)

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Despite the advertising on the packaging, the girls didn’t understand what it was made out of…That was until after the purchase and the cashier informed them, “Now you can write on elephant poo!” Eden’s face was priceless and we left the employee in her apologetic laughter.

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I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. :( The emotional eating was worth it though.

I would have lost weight on this trip from all the walking and carrying of Ivy. However, it was the daily icecream that made me come home heavier than when I left. 😦 The emotional eating was worth it though.

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Good food! Ayzia loved the Thai Dumplings.

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Eden and Ivy had spaghetti, Ayzia had buttered noodles, I had the Alfredo, and Jake had a sea food dish(Lobster, scallop) It was okay, but we have had better.

 

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don't plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

Although I have never drank an alcoholic beverage and I don’t plan to, a liquer cabinet is always pretty.(even with a messy counter top)

 

Family History

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My great grandparents lived here from 1929-1935 while my great grandpa studied law at George Washington University

My great grandparents lived here and started their family from 1929-1935 while my grandpa when to school.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won't be happening any time soon.

This side walk is across the street from their place. The neighborhood is predominantly black people. It was quiet and calm, but run down. I looked up homes in this area on Redfin, to see how much they were selling for? About $600,000 plus. YIKES! Guess my fantasy of buying one for a second home and renting it won’t be happening any time soon.

The building where Jake works

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends McKay's lent us their stroller.

It was super cold and windy. Luckily we had our jackets and our friends, the McKay’s, lent us their stroller.

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My great grandpa Stewart got his law degree at George Washington University

Arlington Cemetery

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World War ll Memorial

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Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran's day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

Lincoln Memorial we saw on Vetran’s day. We heard an amazing man sing the National Anthem.

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This wasn't planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a "pick-me-up" in their moral.

This wasn’t planned, but when you have kids that are tired of walking around and come across this. It is a “pick-me-up” in their moral.

Smithsonian Castle

Smithsonian Castle

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I would like to recreate my back yard to have this kind of atmosphere.

I would like to recreate my back yard to have the feel this courtyard’s atmosphere has.

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Writing in their journals while protesters come and go.

Writing in their journals while protesters come and go in front of the White House

The White House

The White House

Natural History Museum

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Ivy wanted to walk through this over and over. Having to leave it behind triggered a 45 minute meltdown and ended with an ice cream sandwich from McDonalds that was outside and around the corner.

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They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy's tatrums and walking around.

They enjoyed experiencing the flight simulators. This was another pick-me-up, having to wait through Ivy’s meltdowns and walking around.

Native Indian Museum

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The architecture is most intriguing. Both Jake and I have architects in our family and love to admire the structures of buildings. This is definitely interesting to reading over.

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I haven’t quite figured out why, but this was my favorite quote. For me, it has something to do with, put in your best work while you are here on earth and having a fight for ‘life’ mentality.

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It was so cute. One of the days we were there, the day Ivy and I got ice cream at Cold Stone. In the elevator on the way back to our room, Ivy and I stood in between a tall, well-suited black man and a sharp looking black women. Ivy lifted her finger towards the woman to offer her a sticker on her finger, “Here you go sissy.” I wasn’t sure if the adults could understand her 2 year old language so I repeated, “Aw, are you calling her sissy?” Ivy claimed, “Yes.” Again she looks up in pure delight toward this woman. I didn’t want the two adults to misunderstand her definition of ‘sissy.’ so I ask Ivy, “Is she your sister?” Ivy says with a big smile, “Yeah!” The woman gladly excepted and the man chuckled under his breath. There was so much to learn and feel in that moment. -Children are certainly God’s blessed-

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HAPPY 16TH ANNIVERSARY: JANUARY 7, 2016

It has been at least 8 years since Jake and I went on a vacation that was just us two. It will be our 16th anniversary this January 7, so our families watched our kiddos during Christmas break while we had an early anniversary celebration.

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La Fayette Cemetery, New Orleans Louisiana

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Jackson Square in French Quarter, New Orleans

 

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Audubon Park is adjacent to the zoo. It had been raining for 2 days almost non-stop. The walk through the park, the vegetation was lush and green.

 

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A little sandwich café near Audubon Park. This was the best pea soup I've ever had. The sandwich had the perfect mixture: soft French bread, condiments and meat. The bean salad to the right was also delicious. Tartine also had reasonable priced menu items.

A little sandwich café near Audubon Park. This was the best pea soup I’ve ever had. The sandwich had the perfect mixture: soft French bread, condiments and meat. The bean salad to the right was also delicious. Tartine also had reasonable priced menu items.

 

I love the style of architecture all throughout the city of New Orleans

I love the style of architecture all throughout the city of New Orleans

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Loyola University, New Orleans

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Bubba Gumps

Bubba Gumps

Broken Yoke. It is hard to find gluten free food in New Orleans, however these GF pancakes were great!

Broken Yoke. It is hard to find gluten free food in New Orleans, however these GF pancakes were great!

Jake had his first Gumbo here and it was delicious. The bake potato was surprisingly spicy and needed plenty of sour cream.

Nola Po Boy Jake had his first Gumbo here and it was delicious. The bake potato was surprisingly spicy and needed plenty of sour cream.

 

The World War ll Museum is huge and a must see attraction if you are here! There is just too much to post from this place, but here are three quotes engraved onto plaques.

The World War ll Museum is huge and a must see attraction if you are here! There is just too much to post from this place, but here are three quotes engraved onto plaques.

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Rocket Fizz Fun store to go in, but we didn't buy any of these overly priced items.

Rocket Fizz
Fun store to go in, but we didn’t buy any of these overly priced items.

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On the rainy days, Jake in I spent most of the day in our World Mark condo binge watching Game of Thrones.

On the rainy days, Jake in I spent most of the day in our World Mark condo binge watching Game of Thrones.

New York City

Jake and I took a trip to New York with some friends, Amy and Reagan Clark. We were there a full 3 day with 2 days of travel. It’s a lot to absorb in such a short time. Being in New York made me feel like I was ‘somebody’, because anybody important in the media has been there. It’s a place that connects a person to the world and its temporary residents. New York is not only an attraction for the United States but globally as well. Islamic radicalisms crashed into the twin towers in hopes to achieve their dominance over the world and emit their hate for America. However, the tragedy only made people love New York and America more. Their efforts didn’t drive our nation apart, but brought us together. It’s easy to feel like ‘you’re somebody’ when you are in New York. In fact, I miss that feeling. It’s invigorating, energizing.

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I began each day asking Heavenly Father what lesson he wanted me to learn. These were the spiritual insights:

• How does feeling like a ‘somebody’ turn into pride? Or to put it scripturally, 1 John 2:16. Time square in particular, does a great job infiltrating pride. In the H&M store they have a place upstairs where anyone can dress up and pretend to walk the run-way with a live DJ. Outside, a huge billboard screen magnifies people down below on the walkways. They wait there until they see themselves blown-up in lights. Topless ladies walk the grounds with their chests painted red, white and blue. One lady rubbed her breasts on the person taking a picture with her, another lady was paid by a father to stand with his 4 year old son. The father took a picture of them while the lady bent over and dangled her breasts in the young child’s face. This father passed the perfect opportunity to teach his little-man the proper way of treating a lady and how to give them attention respectfully. There are great men and women, the world just needs more of them. An example would be, on the subway station a father was there with his young son who was playing a difficult piano piece on a keyboard.

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• When you look at the moon, is it the craterous planet seen with a telescope or a smooth surface smiling down at you while lying on the grass? Each bright light of goodness has its opposite dark adverseness. In New York there were people who were loud and rude as well as loud and gracious. Much of my experience depended on a duo perceptiveness; one was positive and the other negative. For example, am I eating breakfast in an untidy ally way outside my hotel or is it a patio revealing the infrastructure of an awesome city? We spent at least 12 hours each of the 3 days trying to see Manhattan. At certain times of the day it felt like being in crazy mayhem. Peace came from good food, and beautiful architecture, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the most success we found was in the Manhattan LDS temple. A serviced church is inside where Sunday meetings are held each week and the public is welcome. LDS temples and churches differ with one another. Anyone is welcome inside a church building as long as it is open., but the sacredness of the temple requires its occupants to live a life without worldly addictions. The inside of the church was similar to all the other ones around the United States in the way it felt, smelt, and looked. This was the only place in Manhattan I felt away from the city without actually leaving.

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• The third spiritual lesson was received by watching people’s choices on how and where they used their talent(s). On a street corner was a group of men in robes, standing side-by-side. The middle man shouted proclamations with vigorous energy. Large in stature and handsome, his voice reached many. He obviously had courage and leadership. However, what stood out was the anger and his offensive words of belittling people’s appearances as they walked by him. The energy this group created left us no better than when we arrived. In an opposite comparison, our last night in Manhattan I saw my first Broadway play, Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison. Fulfilling every measure of my expectations, I was filled with deep gratitude: for all the talent and energy each person put into making this production amazing. I was grateful their fruitful labors steered toward edifying the human spirit. Their performances moved me towards greater light and I was indeed blessed to share this experience with my husband and friends who appreciate uplifting activities. The previous day we visited a firefighter museum by RadioCity. A gentleman there was a retired firefighter and now devotes his time to teaching young children about the work they do. Each day we saw New York police out on the streets keeping their city safe. My experience here has made me a better person and hopefully more kind and gracious to those around me.

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These patches are from fire departments all over the world showing their appreciations for the FDNY. The first one came after 911 and now the store’s walls are covered in these! It’s amazing to see in person.

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NYPD were gracious enough to take a picture with us. Thank you for keeping us safe!

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Jake got Matthew Morrison’s signature on our playbill!

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This was taken after screams for Matthew Morrison and his appearance outside the theatre. (Huishes and Clark’s)

 

M.F.T. Cont. 2015: Attraction Sites and Family Photos

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Fresh flowers at the Grand Wailea complimented its lively energy

Grand Wailea A romantic resort

Grand Wailea
A romantic resort

Grand Wailea's little chapel of love for those who want to get married or renew their vows.

Grand Wailea’s little chapel of love for those who want to get married or renew their vows.

My screaming 17 month old did little to add to the relaxing ambience.

My screaming 17 month old did little to add to the relaxing ambience.

Lavender Farm Maui, HI

Lavender Farm
Maui, HI

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For restrooms there were portable outhouses and wash area, located behind the buildings.

For restrooms there were portable outhouses and wash area, located behind the buildings.

My 17 month old and 8 year both enjoying a little play house.

My 17 month old and 8 year both enjoying a little play house.

I'm not sure if the fresh fruit on the property was for pubic picking.

I’m not sure if the fresh fruit on the property was for pubic picking.

 

The road to Hana. I'd recommend listening to a cd about the history of this place.

The road to Hana.
I’d recommend listening to a cd about the history of this place.

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Our rental was perfect for this trip and performed well on this particular drive.

Our rental was perfect for this trip and performed well on this particular drive.

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FYI: This is an extremely narrow road that twists and turns. My 17 month old got car sit on the way back home.

FYI: This is an extremely narrow road that twists and turns. My 17 month old got car sit on the way back home.

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A gentleman was out with his birds asking for a 20$ donation for his bird sanctuary. We could get a picture with them if we wanted. The photos are priceless and the money went to a good cause.

A gentleman was out with his birds asking for a 20$ donation for his bird sanctuary. We could get a picture with them if we wanted. The photos are priceless and the money went to a good cause.

 

Banyan Tree Maui, HI

Banyan Tree
Maui, HI

Banyan Tree Maui, HI

Banyan Tree
Maui, HI

Banyan Tree Maui, HI

Banyan Tree
Maui, HI

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala Dormant Volcanoe

Haleakala Dormant Volcanoe

The summit was 10$ to enter. The days we were there, it would have been best to get here early like before 9am. Otherwise the clouds cover the views.

The summit was 10$ to enter. The days we were there, it would have been best to get here early like before 9am. Otherwise the clouds cover the views.

Ioa Valley State Park

Ioa Valley State Park

Ioa Valley State Park

Ioa Valley State Park

Whalers Village Shopping Center

Whalers Village Shopping Center

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Lahaina Jodo Mission

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Lahaina Jodo Mission

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Maui Family Trip 2015: Cemeteries and Churches

Ka'ahumanu Church Maui, Hi

Ka’ahumanu Church
Maui, Hi

Makawoa Union Church

Makawoa Union Church

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Roman Catholic Church

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Roman Catholic Church Maui, HI

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Wailuku Church Maui, HI

Wailuku Union Church
Maui, HI

Japanese Cemetery Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery across from Hanakaoo Beach Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery
Lahaina, HI

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Makawoa Cemetery

Makawoa Cemetery This was the most unique one we have been to. When comparing how peaceful it is, Jake ranks it the best.

Makawoa Cemetery
This was the most unique one we have been to. When comparing how peaceful it is, Jake ranks it the best.

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Maui Veteran Cemetery

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Cheery Children’s Collection for June 2014

The Three Musicians: A Children's Book Inspired by Pablo Picasso

 

The Frazzle Family Finds a Way

 

Bug and Bear

 

In New York

 

Birdie's Big-Girl Hair

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase No Slurping, No Burping!: A Tale of Table Manners

 

Please, Louise

 

Love Monster

 

Prickly Rose

 

Why Do I Sing?: Animal Songs of the Pacific Northwest

 

Because I Stubbed My Toe

 

Maple

 

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Elephantantrum!

I came close in making a top 5 favorite, but couldn’t compromise. So here are my top 6 out of the 15!

In no special order:

  • Please, Louise

    Because I am working with Eden not being impressionable towards the scary and dreary. This story shows how books can help.

  • The Frazzle Family

    Because I can relate to being frazzled and forgetting. Plus, our household loves to sing about anything we might be doing that day.

  • In New York

    Because I loved the Illustrations. Then I loved how it was educating. Lastly, It made me want to visit New York even more…with my kids!

  • No Slurping, No Burping!

    Because I have seen it’s positive effects on my girls when we are eating. Aaannd, if I have to have another reason; I liked that it was the kids helping the adult.

  • Prickly Rose

    Because it shows how girls can be adventurous. Because it was about sisters.

  • Scarlatti’s Cat

    Because I learned something new. Because it was a story about a cat, and I’m not allowed to have a cat(thanks to husband’s request).

Scarlatti Harpsichord Solo: The Cat’s Fugue