Sunday, December 23, 2007

Botanical gardens

there was a sensitive plant, and when you touched the leaves, the leaves folded. they had a room with miniture buildings of D.C. that was made of plants. it was like a jungle. there was a train set that was in front of the building and that made out of wood.

Austin Ward


Our Second Trip to the Air and Space Museum

This trip we went to the museum with our Grandma and Grandpa Ward and our cousins Sam and Tyler and their parents Barry and Julie. It was alot of fun as we traveled through the musuem and looked at the Air planes and Space tools and the space shuttle and the huge black jet that I can not remember the name of. It was a lot of fun. We each divided into our own groups and took a cell phone with us. Sam, Austin, and Emily were in a group and Tyler,Willy, and Jessica were in a group. The grown ups and Lydia were all in a group together. (Sam, Austin, and Emily were the last group done and everyone was tired and hungry) Emily took a ton of pictures and all were annoyed with her slowness. Over all it was a fun enjoyable experience. (one last side note; Sam and Emily spun as they walked up swirly stairs and had woosy stomaches the rest of the trip.) IT WAS A TON OF FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

EMily WARd

D.C. Lights at the Lds Temple

When we went to the Washington D.C. Temple the lights were amazing.

More then the 400,000 lights were lit. There was a concert in the visitor center from the Salvation Army Band they were fantastic this was they're friday night the 7th of December.

Jessica Ward

Visit to Mount Vernon

We took Grandma and Grandpa to Mt. Vernon on Monday the 3rd of December. The weather was a little cold and windy so there were few other visitors. We had a great time. There will be many blogs of this visit since we had such a nice time and we're giving the kids some blog practice. Mt Vernon was Washington's home that he inherited and built into a wonderful plantation. Take a look at the view from his back porch.

Austin's Baptism

Grandma and Grandpa Ward came from Idaho on November 28th. Austin had his 8th Birthday and he was baptized December 1st at the Centreville Va, Stake center. He looked so grown up and it was very special to have the program for just our group. Austin and Bill reported the water to be very COLD. When they were changing back into street clothes they decided the bishop wasn't joking about the cold water. Willy was our greeter, Grandpa gave the talk about Baptism, Lauril talked about the Holy Ghost, Emily led the music and Grandma and Jessica gave the prayers. Sister Ellsworth and the Bishop gave some brief remarks and we had a very nice evening.

Friday, November 9, 2007

November in Virginia

We have been very busy these last few months. We've been involved in our callings and service projects. We had to replace our main water line from the street because it had a hole in the line. Of the three bids we had we saved $2100 by going with a guy from church. There was a delay to get the job done but it worked out ok. Then just 1 week after that fix we had to replace our water heater. It had leaked out into the basement but only destroyed a bag of pinto beans. Luckily it was covered by the home warranty we bought.

Two weeks ago we went to the Marine Corp Museum in Quantico Virginia. We didn't leave enough time to explore the whole thing so we'll have to go back to get another look at it.

This last Saturday we drove along skyline drive which is THE road to travel to see the Autumn colors. We brought a football with us and had a great day.

Here are a few pictures.

Monday, October 22, 2007

whats up

its October now and the kids have started school Jessica's in high school and Emily's in 8th grade, willy's in 4th grade and recently went to mount Vernon for school Austin's in first grade the kid really love school but the home work has a big effect to our family time. the color changing of the leaves are beautiful got to go bye

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Rather than drive to a far off place to get fireworks of any great quality, we sat in our culdesac and watched fireworks that were just over our house. Very beautiful.

July Vacation Luray Cavern

Wednesday, the fourth of July we went to Luray Caverns. We really loved all the rock formations. The depest below the earth we were was 160'. It was very nice and we have hundreds of pictures to pick through to identify the ones that turned out best. There is an antique car show that is attached to the facility and admission to the caves includes admission into the cars. They are almost all cars from the 1920s and before and all are in mint condition. They were beautiful.

July Vacation Monticello

One Tuesday morning we drove to Charlottesville and visited Monticello, the retirement home of Thomas Jefferson. We sure are learning a lot of history and seeing a lot of beatiful countryside. Pretty cool to visit the home of the author of the declaration of independance on the day before the 231 anniversary of its publication. His home is a marvel in many ways. The tour guide was very informative. It turns out, however, that the teens and youth were a lot less interested in it and the information about how the grounds were maintained and the quarters of the enslaved than the parents. We went to the university of Virginia to see a specific building that he designed. Thomas Jefferson counts his organization, creation and design of the Universtity among the three most important accomplishments of his life. The campus is beautiful and it turns out to be a very prestigious university. They have a medical school, busines school and law school. Tuition is pretty high but when our daughters are ready, we'll be instate tuition eligible and maybe they can get scholarships.

July Vacation Baltimore

On Monday morning we got up pretty early and went to the Inner Harbor at Baltimore and spent much of the day in the Baltimore aquarium. We also enjoyed the dolphin show. The aquarium was packed but all the kids seemed to like it very much. Besides the sea life they have a large rain forest display and an Australia display. I recommend it very highly. Baltimore has a beautiful skyline and the town is really done up nicely for tourism. We'd brought food with us that we ate in the parking garage. That was a little wierd but not unpleasant. Willy's heart was set on seeing dolphins and he also saw almost all the kinds of sharks he knew about. That was very neat.

July Vacation

What a week we've had. The girls went to Girl's camp last week and had a fantastic time in Prince William forest. Saturday, June 29th we went to Virginia beach and had a great time. It took us longer than we expected to get there but the kids played in the ocean for 4 hours and had a wonderful time letting the ocean waves push them around. Jessica found some hermit crabs and Willy thinks he saw a ray swimming near his feet. The day was beautifu and couldn't have been better. Even though the baby got lathered up with Sunscreen noone else did. We all had pretty red faces and arms for a few days... As you can see we didn't come very prepared for the beach but had a very nice time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Memorial Day Trip

It has been many days since we posted. We've had trouble with our internet and some other issues. For memorial day we went to DC to show the kids the monuments. Since it was also Rolling Thunder Weekend, where thousands of Motorcyclists were in DC it was pretty crowded. We saw the Roosevelt, the Jefferson, Mason, Washington and Lincoln memorials. We also saw the WWII and Korean War monuments. Its about a 5 mile walk all around and the day was muggy. The kids did great even though we weren't able to find them snack foods like we tried to arrange. Emily was our photographer that day so we got a different perspective on that day.

June 2 we went to a train festival in our hometown of manassas which was very cool. There were many different kinds of model trains including several sets made of Legos and one even had a live fish aquarium...

It was also a warm day but there were street vendors at the farmer's market and lots of fund raising food sellers. The boy scouts sold cotton candy and snow cones so we got a few of those. We also had a nice drive but the kids get bored of that pretty fast. We're getting our plans together now for our vacation ideas. Jessica had a friend and her family from school come over and they said Virginia Beach is a nice place to visit for camping. We'll probably try that but it is a couple of hours drive. Its pretty close to Richmond I think which is the capital of the confederacy. There are some nice museums there and NASCAR is pretty close too.

Monday, May 7, 2007

More Beauty--Skyline Drive Front Royal to Thornton Gap

This weekend we went for a long drive along Skyline drive. It intersects with the Appalachian trail which extends from Maine to Georgia. The road is on the top of the ridge of the mountain range and this National Park extends down into North Carolina and Kentuky. One day I'm sure we'll take it all the way south where we'll meet up with the Blue Ridge parkway. We bought a pass to last until May 08 and drove about 60 miles on it. It was just wonderful in spite of the rain. Its hard to imagine how different this place is from where we grew up.
On Saturday night and Sunday we attended stake conference at the Church and Richard G Scott of the Qurom of the 12 Apostles was our guest. It was pretty inspirational and there was a special meeting that the youth attended with him. Jessica and Emily really enjoyed it.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lydia is sure growing!!
Here she is in her birthday dress from Gma Harrison, lying on the grass after church.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Brownie Beach

One other thing Lauril asked me to put on the blog is about our adventure to Brownie Beach. We were told that we could go there to find fossilized shark's teeth. We thought it would be a bust but we hadn't been to Chesapeak bay yet and I really wanted to go. It's in Maryland and about 1.5 hours from our house. We regretted that we didn't budget enough time to have a nice fresh seafood meal as the roads are lined with these little shops that sell seafood and plenty of "the freshest seafood around".

We got there on a day that wasn't extremely warm or blue sky but once we saw what we were looking for we found a few teeth and had a lot of fun. There are folks that sell these things on the internet for $30 to $100 but they are quite a bit larger than the ones we found. Our biggest one is about 3cm but the ones you can buy on the internet are up to 5".
I'm sure we'll go again when the weather is nice and we can wade into the water. Lydia waded anyway which caused some hassle but was a great day


Its been three weeks since we closed on our house and got our stuff moved in. Today we celbrated Lydia's 2nd birthday and she seemed to enjoy herself. In the three weeks we've been in our house there has been a really wild time. We had a Nor'Easter' which provided 48 hours of heavy rain followed by 48 hours of winds up to 50mph. We lost one tree at the ground level and we also had a pretty big branch from another break. We still have to clean up that mess but it won't be difficult. As you also know this last week were the terrible events at Virginia Tech. Blacksburg Virginia is about 250 miles from where we are but a large percentage the college is from our part of the state. The event affects all people everywhere but there seem to be a lot of closer connections with people in this area.
A couple of evenings ago I was looking out the window from our sunroom and saw a cardinal (you know, a bird) and just one moment later a wild rabbit. Its still wierd to get used to having forests throughout the city and the wildlife that goes with it. Of course Austin chased the rabbit away with kindness (here, take this carrot) and i haven't seen it again. We seem to have nice neighbors. The boy next door is Willy's age but we haven't gotten the boys together yet to play. He's in Lacross so he's a busy boy. His dad is also interested in getting the boys together. It could be pretty nice for Willy to have a buddy on the same street. He hasn't had a boy his age to play with in the neighborhood for a long time, maybe ever.
Jessica went with the band to festival yesterday where her band took second place in the division. Every year here they combine festival with a trip to a pretty neat place. Last year they went to Hershey PA and this year they went to Paramounts King's Dominion theme park. Jessica hasn't stopped raving about what a great time she had and how nice the kids and adults in her group were.
We've been very pleased at our kids' ability to adapt to this new place. Its the adults that are having a harder time trying to meet people and make friends. We forget that it does take some time.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

We Did it!!

We finally closed on our house and moved some of our stuff in! The closing went very smoothly and we were having a Pizza Party in our new sunroom by 7:00 pm. Lauril has been looking at different color combinations that she likes and the interior colors of the house are not really to our taste. Saturday morning (almost all day) we spent painting the family room. We'd found a great deal at a furniture store for some sitting furniture so we laid our cash down and that furniture was delivered on Saturday afternoon.
Our other furniture and stuff will be delivered tomorrow morning. The hard work will be worthwhile...

Saturday, March 24, 2007


We are 6 days from closing on our new home. I can't describe how anxious we are to be moving from this three bedroom apartment. We have been able to tolerate it fairly well but having our stuff in storage has stifled creativity. Lauril took the kids to the park and they flew some $10 kites made of cloth. The kids had such a nice time that there was no fighting at all for 4 days.

Today we went to Fredericksburg. It has Civil War era history and colonial history as well. We'd been a few weeks ago and visited Kenmore plantation which had been owned by George Washington's sister. Today we visited the home of Mary Ball Washington, George's mother. We also visited the Rising Sun Tavern which was run by George's Brother and the Mercer Apothecary and Dr.'s Office. They are all restored to their Revolutionary War Era condition and the people who give the guided tours are dressed in period costumes.

The kids sure loved it and so did the adults. There about 10 neat things to see in town related to both eras. We boutght a passport of prepaid entrance to 9 sites that has no expiration. We expect that it will take at least three more visits.

Afterward, since we were so far south of Manassas, we decided to seek the nearest beach. We ended up at Fairview beach. Unfortunately, the whole beach is "private for residents of Fairview" we finally found a restaurant that was on a pier out into the water which technically made it in Maryland. We didn't go in since we'd packed sandwiches but we felt like we could step onto the beach just outside the place. The kids found all kinds of shells and thought that was pretty cool. To be honest, this beach is not on the Atlantic but on the Potomic near the mouth of Chesapeak bay. Since it was a little overcast we couldn't see to the other side so it felt just like the ocean. It was really a lot of fun.

Monday, March 12, 2007

This is the house we are buying. it is just over 2000 sqft plus 1000 sqft unfinished bsmnt. More info soon.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Its been a wild time...

Friday night, 3-9-7.
We have good news and great news. We accepted an offer on our Nampa Home and the deal should close next week toward the week's end. We are anxious for all the details to fall into place. The better news is that we had our offer accepted on a home here. We'll be posting photos of it in the next few days.

Last Saturday we had several sets of plans that kept getting shuffled and jostled so we could place our offer so ultimately we ended up at the battlefield where the Battle of Manassas or Battle of Bull Run was fought. It was the first battle of the civil war. There is a very nice museum and 5000 acres of preserved land including some restored and original buildings. It was at this battle that Thomas Jackson stood calmly atop his horse and was dubbed Stonewall. The man who gave him the nickname died shortly thereafter but Jackson was not to blame.
Stonewall Jackson died before the end of the war due to complications from gangreen developed after he was accidently shot in the hand by his own men. He lost his hand then his arm then his life.

We'll try to keep more frequent updates. We are still deciding what to go see tomorrow...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

They Cancelled Church--snow day

We just got a call from a lady from the church that today services were cancelled. They shut everything down around everytime there is snow. The weather here is a big topic. They have been talking about today's snowstorm for 5 days...

It is snowing a little heavily now.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Museum of Natural History

Today we went to the Museum of Natural history. It has lots of skelatons and fossils. Everything from Trilobytes, T-Rex, Birds, everything. They have a very very nice setup. We got there quite early but it got crowded pretty quickly.

There was a huge collection of taxidermy animals and some films to highlight certain things they want to emphasize.

The special exhibit they are having for another few weeks is about Orchids and it was extremely beautiful.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Fun day at the Air and Space musuem

Today was a great day. We went to the Air and Space museum. It is a part of the Smithstonian Institution system but not all the way in DC. It is near the Washington DC Dulles airport. We got there at 9:30, it opened at 10:00 and before we knew it, it was 12:30. The time went really fast and we saw a lot of neat stuff: The concord, the BlackBird, Space shuttle Columbia, and some of the very earliest attempts at flight, mostly military planes. Aside from all the walking, it was 100% perfect. I'd highly recommend it to anyone that comes for a visit. The museum is free but parking is $12.

They have IMAX films available and simulators but they have extra cost so we skipped them this time around.