10 October 2017

Twins' Blessings in Alabama

Kent and I flew together to Dothan, Alabama on October 5th--over the Columbus day weekend--to visit Tyler and Rachel's family at Fort Rucker.
It was the first time Kent got to meet the Melody and Christian.
They were just five weeks old, so still pretty little.
The fun of having two babies is that's there more opportunity to hold a baby!
 This is a sweet picture of Andrew cuddling with Christian.

Andrew and Sylvia received their Halloween costumes in the mail while they were there, so they modeled them for us. Andrew is a Ninja Turtle and Sylvia is a My Little Pony.

Andrew even wore his costume as we went on a walk later.
Sylvia's bike had a pole in the back so she could get a push.
Rachel was able to get both babies in to her moby wrap, which I thought was very impressive.
Rachel's parents came in just for Saturday and Sunday to be there for the blessings.
The only time we had a picture of all of us together with the Judds.
The happy family of six!!
I asked Rachel if it would be okay if I made the blessing outfits, and she didn't mind.
The twins are lying on knitted blankets that my mom made, which is pretty special.
In this picture they're lying on the blessing blanket that I knitted before Kiera was born. All the grandchildren have been wrapped in it when they've been blessed.

I love that Sylvia and Andrew wanted to get down and snuggle with their younger siblings.

I forgot to mention in my earlier post about visiting in August was that I gave Tyler and Rachel's kids their family quiet book.
 For the cover I used a sail boat scene I smocked for an outfit for Tyler to wear when he was about two. I'm not sure if he ever even wore it--I don't have any pictures of him in it. I kept the outfit, but took out the smocked piece and was inspired to use it as the Quiet book's cover for Tyler's kids.
 A new page I haven't done for any of the other books was an "I spy" in a helicopter.
The frog with a zipper mouth is also a new page.
In this picture Andrew and Sylvia are working on a craft project that the Judds brought for them.

Kent brought his bag of Granddad tricks, so he and Grandpa Judd shot off some alka-seltzer rockets with Andrew and Sylvia.
Here Sylvia and Andrew are waiting anxiously for the rockets to pop. It's always a kid-pleaser.
                                                                 
Me with Christian and Kent with Melody.
Getting the twins ready in their stroller to go for an outing to the Helicopter Museum on Fort Rucker.
It's a favorite place for Andrew and Sylvia to go with their parents, so we're glad we could go with them, too.
Andrew and Sylvia both loved pretending to fly the helicopters. It was a special weekend with a special family. We're so grateful for our wonderful eternal family!

17 September 2017

Birthday Trip to NYC with Lissa

DAY ONE
Lissa and I planned a trip to New York City over my birthday in September. She flew there from Houston and I took the bus from Virginia, and we met up about noon on a Thursday. Our first stop was to see Grant's tomb, which is on the north western part of Manhattan.
 As you can see, the weather was great!
 This was a mosaic inside the tomb.
                                                This was a mosaic inside the tomb.
I'm not sure why General Grant warranted such a fancy tomb in New York City, but I guess everyone's heard of it because of the old joke, "Who's buried in Grant's tomb?"
Next we made a quick stop into St. Patrick's Cathedral.
 It's very beautiful inside.

 Our last stop of the day was to the Rockefeller Center.
 We thought it would be fun to go to the "top of the rock" to see the views of the city at night.

This photo op represents the famous picture of workers from the 1930's eating their lunch sitting on a beam overlooking the city from dozens of floors up.

That's the Empire State Building in the background.

Here's the view without the glassy glare. 
This is a view out a different side of the building. That tall tower is a fairly new residential building.
I'm putting this picture in because you can see the full moon in the center of the picture.
 This picture was taken later that evening, and we noticed the two beams of light that weren't in our earlier pictures.
Here's the same view without the glass, so the view of the two beams are easier to see. It was a few days before 9/11, so I guess they were commemorating the events of 16 years ago.

DAY TWO
The first thing we did on my birthday was to take the Staten Island Ferry to get some view of the Manhattan skyline and of the Statue of Liberty.
 Here's the Manhattan skyline,
and if you look closely, you'll see the Statue of Liberty behind Lissa.
Here's a better view of it.
 The next thing we did was to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.




 This is about the only one of our many "selfies" that sort of turned out okay!!
We walked all the way to Brooklyn. While we were there we sat in a park and ate our lunch, then took the subway back to Manhattan. 
 The last time I was in NYC the birthplace of Theodore Roosevelt was closed for renovations, so I wanted to see it this time.
 Here are some interior views.
 I thought it was funny that I can be seen in the mirror taking the picture with my phone.
 Of course I posed by the piano.
We had about an hour-long tour of the Roosevelt house.
That night we had dinner at Junior's, which is a famous NYC restaurant. 
 I can tell you that I was disappointed in the food and don't have a clue why the place is so well known. Those onion rings on my plate had so much breading I couldn't taste the onions at all.
 Ever since Lissa heard that Anastasia had been turned into a Broadway play, she wanted to go.
 It was one of her favorite movies when she was young, so we made a plan to go see it together.
It was well done and had the same good music from the animated movie from the nineties.
 After the play was over the actors came out to the street to sign autographs. Here's Lissa with the star who played the lead, Dimitri.
This was the actress who played Anastasia, so it was pretty cool for Lissa to get such a good picture with her.

DAY THREE
 On our way to Central park we stopped in at the New York Public Library.
 The architectural details throughout the building were just amazing.



 In the children's library there was a display of the authentic stuffed animals that inspired the "Winnie the Pooh" books.

That was pretty awesome to see!!
We decided to splurge and take an hour-long carriage ride around Central Park, just like we've seen in movies.
 It probably wasn't worth the money, but at least there was someone to take pictures of both of us together!

 The last stop of the trip was to the "Sprinkles" cupcake shop. It may have been the shop that started the cupcake craze a dozen years ago. It wasn't crowded at all, and we each bought a couple of cupcakes.
I counted it as my birthday cake for my 58th birthday. We packed A LOT into our two and a half days in New York and had a super time!!