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Tuesday, December 30, 2008


This year for Christmas, my beloved hubby got me Wii Fit. Unfortunately, due to various events, I haven't had the chance to really try it out until today. And try it out I did.

And lemme tell ya, my thigh muscles will never be the same.

The game has a lot of handy features, including an activity log, a body mass index indicator, and the ability to unlock various exercises and games. It's the perfect work-out option for me because I like to be at home, and I don't like working out in front of people (like at the gym). So now I have the option to work out in the privacy of my own home! Including aerobic exercises, balancing skills, strength building exercises and even some yoga positions.

But one thing I learned from today, is that I'm unbalanced. Every stinking time I did one of the balancing exercises, I would get the lowest ranking and it would proclaim to me that I am "unbalanced".

Well pooey on you, Wii Fit! I'll show you unbalanced!! Just you wait!!

Broken Promise

My my last post I said I would be sharing some Christmas memories each day leading up to Christmas.

Today is December 30th.


Oh well...I'm just trying to get in the spirit, you know, with New Year's resolutions and all that rot...gotta break 'em sometime!! But do forgive me. I'll try not to make empty promises in the future...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Always check the button

With Christmas Eve right around the corner, I can't help but think of a few poignant Christmas memories. I'll try to share some each day as we approach Christmas...

Today's memory is dedicated to my Uncle John. :)

Several years ago, when our church was still meeting at the Marion Community Center, we planned a Christmas Eve service. It included special music, white lights, and a special Christmas message. Included amongst the other musical numbers was "O Holy Night", a solo sung by my Uncle John. He had asked me to play the piano accompaniment for him and had mentioned that he needed the music transposed down a step and a half.

No problem. We had a nifty keyboard that had a nifty transposition button. All I had to do was set it to the right key, and make sure the light was lit before we began playing. Piece of cake.

Or so I thought.

Then our big moment came. We approached the front of the room, with twinkling white lights and our Christmas outfits on. I pushed the transposition button. I played the introduction. And my Uncle John began to sing.

Hm...I thought to myself, I don't remember him singing that high before...

I glanced at the transposition key. That's right, it's on, I thought to myself.

Uncle John continued to sing and we got to the closing line, "Oh ni--ight, div-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine O night, when Christ was born!"

Wow. I didn't know Uncle John had a falsetto voice... I thought to myself.

As we closed the song and walked back to our seats, he leaned towards me and whispered fiercely, "You didn't change the key! It was too high!"

Hm. I knew I had pushed the button. How on earth did that happen?

Afterwards, I went to the keyboard and double-checked -- yes, I had turned on the transposition feature. So how were we off? Then I checked the distance I had the transposition set at. Rather than being a step and a half lower, it was set at a half step higher.

Hehe....that would do it!

So here's to you, Uncle John, and your falsetto voice. I'll never forget that year! And I've never had so many jokes made about me forgetting to "hit the button"! I think I'll forever be paranoid about that button. :) However, he has given me second chances as we've done "O Holy Night" several times since then, and I'm proud to say, they've occured without a hitch. :)

Aw Shucks.

Today our Christmas party at church got cancelled. Which means we can't do the skit our Bible Study has been working on for the past 3 weeks. *sigh* I was so excited about doing it! But now it's delayed....makes me sad....

Meanwhile, the snow continues to pile up and they're predicting wind chills of -40 tomorrow! YIPES!! I'm hoping...and praying...that everyone can make it to church tomorrow...we're supposed to do the children's program then!! Oh well. God has a purpose in this, right?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Welcome to my (Liz's) blog! If you haven't been here before, this is the place I visit occasionally to share bits of news in our life, things on my heart, or funny circumstances that seem to happen to us often! I hope you continue to visit here in the future, as there's always something happening in our lives! This year proved to be an eventful one for both of us, with many "firsts" happening. I went skiing for my first time, and though I was convinced I'd end up with a broken leg or be the guest of honor at my own funeral, I survived and even enjoyed it (somewhat). I'm still deciding on whether or not to try again in 2009.... :) I also had my first bout with pneumonia, and hope to never have it again!

In March, to celebrate our 2 year anniversary, Joe and I went to Washington, D.C. for a week-long vacation. Though I had been there when I was younger, it was Joe's first visit, and we had a wonderful time! My cousin, Megan, is stationed as a chaplain's assistant at Arlington Cemetery, so we got a first-rate tour and had the opportunity to spend some quality time with her. (Several of our favorite posts we made while vacationing there can be seen here, here, or here.)

In August, after much prayer and thought, I made the decision to go part-time at the bank in order to pursue teaching piano more actively. But I'm not just teaching piano! I am now offering basic guitar lessons for the first time ever! I simply had too many people ask me if I would teach their children guitar, so I decided to offer basic lessons and see where the Lord leads! So far, I have 3 guitar students and 6 piano students. I have also been asked to accompany for an event at the high school in the spring, which will be another first for me! I am so thankful for the students the Lord has provided and look forward to seeing what He has for me in the future!

Joe has kept himself busy this year by creating some of his
first inventions! One is a coin map book, featuring several pages of maps from various areas of the world. Specific countries feature a coin from that country, embedded into the map. He did a great job and is currently looking for more coins to put into it. Any offers anyone? :) Joe's second invention has been hand-carved, hand-painted Christmas ornaments that hold the presidential dollar coins. So far he has sold over 100 of them! We both brainstorm on different ideas for shapes(snowmen, animals, etc.) and after he's done carving, I help him paint them. They've turned out really great, as you can see from the picture below.

While we're talking about Joe, I should mention that he returned to college this year to pursue his first official college major. Joe is attending Minnesota Southeast Technical School in Winona, MN and pursuing a degree in Electronics. He already had some of his classes out of the way (due to taking college classes while in high school), and his work will pay for the classes as long as he gets a passing grade. He has done well this semester, and will be taking 2 more classes next semester. It can get kind of crazy with working third shift, though, so pray for his alertness as he drives to class!

We continue to live in our little home in Nelson, WI and haven't done much in areas of home improvements this year. That's probably a good thing, though, as we experienced our
first broken furnace and first replacement refrigerator. Thankfully, the Lord provided us with the money we needed to fix and replace both of these items. He is always faithful, isn't He?

Our church remains an important part of our lives, as we continue to help with the youth group and music ministry. Joe created Bible game shows for the
first time this summer, and tried them out on some of our youth. They seem to be a hit and we continue to play them once a month or so. Some include Family Feud, Jeopardy, Pyramid, and Password. As for me, I have jumped into the music ministry even more passionately this year. I am currently compiling a Church Music Survey to poll the talents and opinions of our church. I am also stretching myself by playing guitar more often for Sunday services and creating power point slides for weekly services as well. Joe is such a help to me and I think we've both learned a lot!

Here's a few more random
firsts we encountered in 2008:

  • I began learning how to knit for the first time!
  • We experienced our first mailbox smashing. The funny thing about living in a small town is that everyone and their mother knows that your mailbox was smashed -- almost before you do! For pictures and more information on that story, go to this post.
  • My sister graduated from high school in May (hooray!) and is now living in a group home -- her first experience in living away from home. She's loving it though and we are sooo proud of her!
  • My brother is about to get his driver's license! I just wanted to make sure I warned everyone to stay off the wouldn't want to be involved in his first accident!! :)
  • We are expecting a new nephew! He won't be our first, but it's still an exciting event! We're hoping to meet him in late December or January.
  • Joe was involved in his first hair-raising experience when the grill flared up in his face one summer night. Fortunately, he escaped with only the smell of burning hair for 3 weeks, as most of his facial hair got singed. (Again, to see pictures and read more, go to this post.)
Thank you for taking the time to read our Christmas letter. We hope you enjoyed it and pray that you focus on Christ this Christmas, the only source of true Hope and Joy. God bless!!


Joe & Liz

Sunday, December 14, 2008

For my Dad:

You know what the worst thing about Minnesotan milk-in-a-bag is?

You can't drink it straight out of the jug. :D

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Which would YOU chose?

For those of you who don't read my parent's blog, check out this post about our Christmas tree hunting adventure over Thanksgiving weekend. Which tree do you think we ended up choosing??

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nice & cozy

Recently I've taken up the hobby of knitting. I don't know what took me so long to try it! What a wonderful way to spend the cold winter months, especially while watching a movie or doing something similar that is just a "waste" of time. Tonight I knitted while watching "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn.


How I love Audrey. :) and knitting just seems to go so well with old movies. However, my knitting is quite horrid at the moment. I keep creating stitches out of nowhere, and though I've finally gotten the knack of doing a few rows without a snarl, I can't seem to keep it quite straight on the edges. Oh well. It's my first time...and it will probably end up being a raggedy scarf by the time I'm done, but it's fun! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008


Yay. At this very moment, my piano is getting tuned. And the one at our church was just tuned. Hallelujah!! Nothing is better than getting everything to sound just right and in tune.

Kinda makes me think of getting my heart to line up with Jesus' heart. Just like a piano tuner has to take his time and repeatedly play a note to see if it lines up with the true tone, so I have to constantly take the time to examine my heart -- my motives and my relationships, and make sure that I am being true to the tone that Jesus sets for me in His Word. It can be a gruelling process...but it's always rewarding and in the end I know that I am a sweet sound to Jesus' ear.

Come Thou fount of every blessing

Tune my heart to sing thy grace.

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise.

Teach me some melodious sonnet,

Sung by flaming tongues above;

Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,

Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Words and music by Robert Robinson and John Wyeth

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hot Hot Hot!!

My husband is too hot to handle. Especially since the grill flared up tonight while making dinner and singed all his facial hair! Yipes!!! Here he is sporting his new "hot" do....

You can't really see the singed hairs, but they're allll over, even the peach fuzz by his eyebrows got it! and his nose hairs!!

the little white flecks are the singed hairs....after it happened Joe rubbed his head and ashy flakes flew everywhere!!

Note: Just in case you are wondering, Joe is NOT a pyromaniac. He was being very cautious while grilling and had tried multiple times to get it to ignite and it just happened to flare up on the last time when he was only slightly leaning over the grill. We are sooo thankful that he wasn't any closer to the flames! God is good!!

...*giggle*....Joe just asked me, "What am I gonna do with my eyebrow hairs??" ....No comment. :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

a date!

Saturday was an all day date for Joe and I...we had a great time. With him working nights and taking two college classes, sometimes it feels like we're just running by each other!

First we did a little shopping at a local craft/home decor sale, but didn't find anything we couldn't live without. Next, we stopped at the Villa Maria, a Catholic retreat center that one of Joe's co-workers had said we should check out sometime because of how beautiful it is.

Isn't it magnificent looking? We got to go inside and look around. They had a beautiful chapel with a gorgeous stained glass rose window. I would have taken a picture but one of the Sisters was nearby, and I didn't want to seem disrespectful. :) We also had the opportunity to see a little bit of the grounds -- spacious and green. Reminded me of the Nunnery in Dubuque - and we also got to see a little room with a lot of the Catholic Icons. Kind of sad to realize that many people really believe that those have power or that they can be prayed to.

Next we went on to do a little more shopping...just roaming around and checking places out. There was an antique shop that had amazing furniture! Joe and I wanted to bring it all home, it was so beautiful!! But we refrained...and held onto our pocketbooks. :)

Joe managed to smile for this one...since he knew it would somehow show up on my blog!! This is at the Subhouse, where we enjoyed scrumptious, fat subs, and shared a bowl of yummy beer cheese soup! Yum!!

See how big the subs were? I could barely fit my mouth around mine!! :)

From there, we went to see a well-known pottery factory, as well as it's pottery museum. In the museum area, there was a collection of quaint little shops (more antiques!), player pianos, and various eateries. Joe even found a coin for his collection that we got for 15% less than the price they wanted! All because I asked if the coin counted in their autumn never hurts to ask! :)

This is us inside the pottery museum/shopping place. We thought it was funny that I was wearing a Smithsonian Institute shirt, and he was wearing a Village Idiot shirt. Except, usually the personalities are the opposite!! :)

Here, Joe re-enacts how his mom used to bring them about the Pottery Museum, demonstrating how the giant pipe turned round and round and round....

Our next stopping place was one of our favorite spots for frisbee golf. It has a beautiful scenic view, as you can see here:

And we even got a glimpse of the Mississippi Queen and heard strains of her caliope music all the way up on the bluff we were on!! You can see her twin smokestacks in this picture if you look intently a little to the right of the middle of the photo:Joe wasn't cooperating in my little photo shoot, so this is the best pic I got of us before engaging in a rousing round of frisbee golf! He won, of course...but just barely...

And last but not least, we got all dolled up and went to Applebees for dinner, and then to the movie Fireproof. (I didn't get any pictures of us all dressed up, unfortunately...) And if you haven't seen Fireproof, I highly recommend it!! It is a must see for any married person, or anyone in a serious relationship, or anyone who thinks they might ever get married, or basically anyone!! AMAZING. To hear more about the movie, go here.

And that concludes our date weekend -- hope it didn't bore you all too much!! :)

Friday, October 3, 2008


This week brought the arrival of TWO (count 'em, 1 - 2!) new guitar students! Praise God!! That brings me up to 6 piano students and 3 guitar for a whopping total of nine students! Yeeuh!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A New Do

As I was talking with a co-worker about yesterdays tragic events involving Mr. Mailbox, I mentioned that the sidewalk ends right at our mailbox. And then that got me thinking about the Shel Silverstein book, "Where The Sidewalk Ends" . I used to LOVE that book as a kid. All the funny poems and limericks. *sigh*

Anywho, the point is....when I mentioned that, it got me thinking that it would be a GREAT title for my blog! Though I liked my original "Lizaveta", I felt it was kind of lacking depth. It seemed a little self-absorbed, if ya know what I mean. :) So...we'll try this for a while, and see if I like it. Besides, the fact that this blog is meant for mundane and profound moments kind of goes along with the idea of a sidewalk ending. Mundane -- it's just a sidewalk, and yet profound -- ending sidewalk implies end of life's journeys, new beginnings, adventurous path, etc.

Any thoughts or comments?

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Mailbox Bashing, when Joe woke up, he discovered that our Mr. Mailbox had been not-so-politely removed from its post. Tsk tsk. Apparently, either a drunk with a baseball bat or a vehicle whose hips were too wide met up with our Mr. Mailbox. Sad day. Here are the remains:

At least Joe was able to go and find a new one and get it all set up today -- he's such a great husband. :) Here is his little sketch of what it looked like when he first saw it:

(The scribble expresses how Mr. Mailbox felt....ANGRY!! :)

I forgot to take a picture of the new sharp looking Mr. Mailbox. Perhaps that will be in my next post...

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a Renaissance Festival in our area with Joe and his family. We had quite the time! It was my first time going to a Renaissance Festival, though I've wanted to attend one since I was in juinor high.

I must say, I think I saw more cleavage than I ever want to see again! But aside from that, we had a jolly good time. :) We even got to see some jousting and a glass blower! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of either of those...silly me.

Joe was checked out a coin booth while we were there, but secretly I think he was just trying to avoid looking at the well-endowed woman in the background!

By far, the best part of everything we did was the food. Yummmmm....fanTAStic! And my father-in-law got it all half-off due to a discount through his work -- nothing's better than delicious food at half the over-priced price!

As you can see, Al reeeeaaally enjoyed his turkey leg! Yum!

Sawyer isn't sure what to think of this turkey leg business!

Did you know we had a princess in our midst? :)

Check it out Dad -- Joe was drumming! On a djembe type thing! Awesome!

Sawyer didn't know what to think about this large tortoise waddling about!

At the petting zoo, we saw a grouchy looking ox.
We think he was grouchy because one of his horns was growing into the middle of his head...ouch!

One of my favorite pictures of the day...Laina singing and clapping with Uncle Joe :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A snapshots

Because my posting has been so sparse over the summer, and now we're already into the autumn months, I thought I'd post a brief overview of major events and happenings from this summer. A brief explanation will appear by each photo. :)

My baby sister graduated from high school!
Man...I feel old, but I'm so very proud of her!
Love you Buggeroo!!

Joe had the privilege of being a groomsman in his dear cousin's wedding. As you can see, they had a little too much fun with the bride!

We took our youth group (with my brother in tow) to visit Valley Fair up in the Twin Cities.
We loved our first water ride!
[note how James, on the far left, is completely dry...he wimped out on the ride!!]

We have an annual girls camping weekend with my SIL's and other girls. On this particular night, they were all a little hyper in the pool!
Lookin' lovely, ladies!!

I was blessed by a visit from my dear friend, Charissa early in the summer. She and I tackled a seemingly simple handywoman task, and were left befuddled, exhausted and amazed at how inept we are at assembling products! but we survived it somehow -- I couldn't have done it without you, Triska!! :)

Another annual summer trip is Sonshine Music Fest in Wilmar, MN. Here, you can see the girls demonstrating the actions to our "Taste and See that the Lord is Good" song.
The boys are obviously amazed... ;)

We said goodbye (temporarily) to our dear friend and amazing matchmaker, Corrie, as she left for the Dominican Republic to teach music. We know she'll be an AMAZING teacher, but we sure do miss her!
We love you and are praying for you, Corr!!

This was a sweet bonding moment with my father-in-law, Alibabba, at a youth rally
with our youth group.
How I love him.

Speaking of's amazing mine didn't kill himself while playing with my cousin's Ripstick, here!
Way to go, Dad!

And here, father and son ride in they rock or what?!

There are no words for this picture.
All I can say, is that it was an AMAZING moment with my soul-mate, Meg.
Don't we look hot??

The above picture, later inspired this ----->
moment. Too bad it had to include my belly!

OnLabor Day, I had the privilege and honor of meeting my cousin's newest addition: Teagan!
What a beautiful gift from God...

I also got to go to my first Twins game EVER!!
It was fabulous!
But one of the best parts was witnessing Joe and our little nephews sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" as we waited to enter the stadium.

And this? This my friends, is what happens when you and your husband just "happen" to color-coordinate your clothing for church. Something just makes you go all crazy inside... :)

Follow up...

Well...since my infamous "Launch Day", I have seen a little progress! I've gained 1 guitar student and 1 piano student. Not too shabby. Not super swell, but not too shabby nontheless. We shall see what the future holds....

Thanks for all your support!! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008


I hear a lot of excuses at the bank. You name it and I've probably heard it. But the most common one is, "But I'm not a bad person! I mean.....I'm not bad! I'm a good person!"


Following along that note, today on my igoogle home page, my Wikihow feed had an article entitled "How to Be Good". (You can check it out here if you like. ) What amazes me is that the term "good" is never defined. How can you be "good" if you don't know what that means? And if it really depends on your own code of ethics, then how can you ever know for sure that what you're doing is actually "good" or not? And how can I tell someone else that they are being "bad"?

Fortunately, these thoughts don't keep me awake at night. I have a life manual that defines good and bad for me, and when in doubt, I can ask the One who is the epitome of goodness itself, Jesus Christ, the only perfect One.

"He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Micah 6:8

Monday, August 11, 2008

Launch Day

Hi. Remember me? I used to post on here every once in a while. And then summer happened. :) Anywho, I'm back now...and I'll try to be more vigilant from now on!!

Most of you already know this, but I have started my part-time working hours this week -- yay for me!! It will be so refreshing to have more time at home and to also have more time to fit in piano and guitar students. Yes, you read that right, guitar students. Yikes!! I'm not really sure how I'm going to actually teach guitar, but I'm going to give it my best shot. And expect payment for it. ;) But seriously, I am hoping to gain many more students, specifically piano, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I might be getting more than my fair share of beginning guitarists as well! It should be exciting!!

So tomorrow is my second big launch day. Earlier in the summer I went about putting up flyers EVERYWHERE that held my newly created business cards and placed ads in the weekly paper. (Click on the picture to see an enlarged version.) Now I'm about to have my second launch day. I'm going to replenish all my business cards and flyers, as well as talk to the music teachers at the local schools and give my business card to local churches. I'm praying that the Lord blesses my efforts and provides me with a collection of students to pour my heart into. :)

I'll keep ya posted!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Grandma's neclace

Yikes! It's been over a month since I've been on here! Forgive me....I'll try to do better, it's just that things have gotten terribly busy around here!

Anywho, I wanted to share a lovely picture of my husband's grandma, sporting the beautiful neclace that my Grandma BJ made espeicially for her! (Clicking on the image will enlarge it) It matched her outfit perfectly for the wedding we had last weekend, and she was sooo proud of it! Way to go, Grandma(s)!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

boys will be boys...

Sometimes owies become precious I love these boys....

(see the Curious George sticker peeking out from his shirt? :)

what a rough day!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

a breath of fresh air

Recently, my handsome hubby and I went to a Casting Crowns concert. It was incredible!! We didn't know the two opening bands very well (Leeland and John Waller) but Casting Crowns made up for it.

I think the reason I enjoyed it so much was because it wasn't fakey -- the lead singer, Mark Hall, is authentic. He shared with us about how he struggles with dyslexia and ADD and even forgetting the words to the songs he wrote himself! He was honest about his shortcomings, and praising God for choosing to work through him.

Not only are they very talented musically, but they also write solid lyrics -- choruses that focus on Christ as our purpose in life and the motivation behind all that we say and do. I never feel like I have to "translate" their lyrics because they were being poetic and vague. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. I like that.

One of the coolest things of the night, though, was when all the forband members came out to pray the audience. They spoke of how they had spent time earlier that afternoon praying over the seats in the auditorium, trusting that the Lord would work in people's hearts that night. They each took a seat on stage, and proceeded to pray, one by one, very specifically, for the audience. One focused on praying for all of the men, that they would be godly leaders in their homes and communities. Another prayed for all the married couples, another for any mothers or mothers-to-be, another for anyone struggling with addiction and finally one concerning all of the ministries represented in that room. It was so precious. I didn't expect to be prayed for and ministered to so intimately that night. What a blessing....

After praying for each of those things, Mark Hall then presented the need each person has for Jesus. He prayed for those who may not know Him intimately and that they would see their need for a Savior. It isn't often that bands take the time to present salvation to their audience, though I wish it was a facet of every Christian concert.

I left that night feeling refreshed -- like I had really worshipped the Lord and fellowshipped with like believers, even though the only other person I knew in the room was Joe! How refreshing...praise the Lord!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

just a little update...

In my last post, I mentioned that I had received a flower and sweet note unexpectedly from my husband on Monday. Well, something's gotten into him, because I have received a fresh red rose and an accompanying sweet note every day since then. I think I'm getting spoiled!!

Last week, he brought me chocolates and a card to work. For no apparent reason.

I think he loves me. ;)

It has been such wonderful timing, because every day something has happened at work to make me feel like a failure. And I slept through my alarm today. Again. So the encouragement has been very timely, and I love him so much for it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

a little something

Some days the Lord encourages you in little, unexpected ways. Like today, for instance. I had finished my day at work yesterday in an irritable mood, due to a conniving customer that had really irked me. And then this morning, I had the privilege (sarcasm intended) of being totally chewed out by a disgruntled customer. And I only called to get their change of address.


However, the Lord used my sweet husband to lift me up. Last night, for no apparent reason (by that I mean birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.) there was a single red rose with a simple little note waiting for me when I got home. And then today, on my lunch break, I arrived home to yet another red rose and another sweet note, telling me why He appreciates me and loves me.

It's amazing what such a simple little act of love can do to melt away the tension and stress I was dealing with related to work.

And also, a great opportunity for me to remember to be an encouragement to others, as well as to pray for those who really just IRK me. I think I need some help on that last point, but I'm a work in progress, and the Lord is faithful. He is, after all, the God of second chances!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Sum Up

10 Things to Remember when Visiting Washington, DC:

1. Walking a mile uphill always seems longer than going down.

2. Avoid pulling your metro ticket out of the machine when it jams, otherwise you will rip it in half! However, this results in many interesting conversations with the metro guards!

3. When wanting to go to a lower level, don't attempt to go down an up escalator.

4. Always read the side of your shuttle bus before boarding to avoid going to the wrong place.

5. If you've been proven to be bad at directions, don't assume you're right when traveling from point A to point B.

6. Giving a twenty cent tip to a cab driver is not acceptable.

7. Never carry two cups of coffee while walking down the street on a windy day. Unless you have a plastic bib on to absorb the splatter!

8. Don't bother taking your leftovers from a restaurant back to your hotel with you when you have no fridge and are leaving on a plane the next day.

9. When the sign says "no flash photography" it's best to not then take a picture directly in front of the security guard.

10. Always check the time before getting up to take a shower, lest you find yourself showering at 1 AM!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Our last full day...

This morning we left our hotel bright and early in order to get in line for tickets to tour the Capitol....and nearly blew away frozen solid! Though the temps were in the upper 40s to 50s, we had 20mph winds that were COLD. And we didn't bring our jackets. Silly us. But we survived, and while we waited in line, we made friends with the lady in front of us, named Anita. She was super nice and visiting from Texas with some friends, though she was the only one planning on touring the Capitol. We chatted about all of the DC attractions that were our favorites, our jobs, where we're from, and the cool museums and tourist attractions that were in her area. We ended up getting the same tour time, and so we were able to talk more then, and she even gave us her address and phone number in case we ever need a place to stay in Texas! Good ole southern friendliness to the tee. :) Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of her, so if we ever do visit her in Texas, which is pretty unlikely, I wouldn't remember what she looked like anyway. But it makes a good story!

As I said, we visited the Capitol today, and it was awesome! Once the sun came out, it helped warm us up and it made for a kodak moment. Check out this picture I took -- it looks like a postcard!

After the Capitol, we went to the Holocaust museum (which is incredible, but also quite depressing) and then swung back around to the National Archives for a second look. Tomorrow it's back home we go -- assuming we don't get stuck in a snow storm!

Below are a few more sights from our day:

Hmm...does this statue have a thinking twin, or is it just me? :)

Thanks to Anita, we got a picture of us together in front of the Capitol! yay!

For those of you who don't know, this is a glimpse of the
Capitol's rotunda...beautiful....

Another note to Lucas: this fountain was running....
...but no coins were in the bottom. Sorry!
The brownish colors are dead leaves....too bad for you! :)

Do you see a resemblance? This is one of my great ancestors,
Samuel Adams!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Moo-lah & Megan

As you can see here, today we visited Joe's long anticipated place: the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, or in other words, the place where the money is made!! We had to get in line first thing this morning, and due to God's providence, we received the last two guaranteed tour tickets. God is awesome, isn't He? Anywho, we had a great time, received one of the brand new five dollar bills as change (as shown below) and even found out that Joe is worth $1,700,900.00!!

After marveling over the money (marvel is Joe's word for the week here... :), we headed out to Washington's National Cathedral, the place where President Woodrow Wilson is buried, as well as the site for performances of choirs and organ recitals. It was amazingly awesome...we even got to hear the beginning notes of an organ demonstration, but couldn't stay for all of it, unfortunately. Let me share a few of our favorite views:

<--The Majestic Washington National Cathedral Amazing.

<----Beautiful archway

<----Check out the gorgeous stained glass rose window! After marveling :) at the Cathedral, we headed over to Arlington Cemetary, where my cousin Megan works as a chaplain's assistant. It was great to see her in uniform and we even got a chance to observe her working at a funeral! (she's the one on the left) She arranged for her supervisor, Sgt. Shayne Hyde, to give us a personalized tour of Arlington. It worked out great since it had started raining in the afternoon and the ground was very soggy. This way we were able to stay warm and dry in a nice van. Thanks Megan!!

Doesn't she look sharp?

This is Megan and her supervisor, Sgt. Hyde....
he was funny :)