30 May 2017

Memorial Day at Arlington Cemetery

It's been eight years since we've been interested in attending the Memorial Day service at Arlington Cemetery, but this year we were in town and decided we wanted to go. 
We didn't hit any traffic on our way up to DC and had no problem parking in the public lot at the cemetery. The crowds were loaded onto buses to go up to the amphitheater where the President would be speaking.
Every headstone on the cemetery had an American flag placed next to it, which is always touching to see.
Here's a closer view.
A picture of the program that was given out to those attending. Everyone had to go through security, but people were orderly and patient, which you'd expect from Republicans.

We were pleasantly surprised at how close our seats were considering we didn't get there super early.
We saw several people who are part of Pres. Trump's cabinet, such as Ben Carson.
And also Vice President Pence.
President Trump kept his speech apolitical and honored those who gave their lives in service to our country. He did a good job.
It's always thrilling to see all the American flags, listen to one of the armed forces bands play patriotic music, and feel such love and regard for our country.
After the service we found the grave of John Glenn, who had been buried at Arlington Cemetery just a few months before.
It was neat to see the grave of a true American hero who was humble enough that he didn't want a special marker or headstone on his grave, but one like every other fallen service member. We had a wonderful Memorial Day.

26 May 2017

The Rest of May

Here's what we did during the rest of May.
Kent requested a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, which I made with several thin layers of cake. 
It was yummy!
Kent celebrated his 61st birthday on May 3rd. We invited two other couples over to have cake with us.
The Carson Nature Preserve had not one, but two bird nests on our front porch this year. I took this picture out the window next to the front door, of the little finch sitting on her eggs.
I couldn't believe that ittybitty bird laid five eggs in that little tiny nest.

This is the front view of the wreath where the bird built her nest.
I had a basket of pink tulips on my front door, and a different bird built her nest in that decoration. This is a picture of the baby birds in that nest. While it may seem sweet to have baby birds on your porch, let me assure you that the amount of bird doo they left behind wasn't very pleasant!
Jenny Oaks Baker and her four children put on a concert at the DC Temple Visitor's Center. It was a delightful evening, and my friend, Nancy, from my Bible study group, and her husband attended with us. 
Speaking of my Bible study group, we spent one morning in May visiting George Washington's grist mill.
It was recreated on the spot where George Washington had built his.
This is a picture of the inner workings.
Here's a picture of our group who toured the grist mill.
I hosted a Garden Party for my Bible Study friends, but one wasn't able to attend.
I made some organza flowers to put on the little vases, then filled them with flowers from our yard.
I usually put fabric under the deck to cover up the boards, but since there was a chance of rain I used plastic tablecloths from the Dollar Tree instead.
It worked very well and looked just fine.
Here's a picture of the place settings.
I made some homemade freezer jam for each guest.
I put the lavender organza flowers on the jars, too. We had a lovely time and it didn't rain after all!

22 May 2017

Visit to the Carson Family in Montana

Since I was on that side of the country, after my weekend in Utah I flew up to Great Falls, Montana, and spent a week with the Carson family there. I hadn't seen them since summer time, so my visit was overdue. 
I was pretty pleased when Alexa let me hold her and was even smiling! She's a real mommy's girl and doesn't give her smiles away very easily.
The weather was pretty nice and we went out to one of the nearby playgrounds almost every day.
I love this picture of Krystal with all the kids; she's such a good mother.
Alexa watching big sister Makayla color.
She also likes to play the piano, and not always with her toes!
I wanted to get some updated pictures of the kids. This is the one I ended up making a print of, even though Alexa wasn't smiling.
I didn't get too many pictures before Alexa was done and wanted her mommy.
Here are Daniel and Adam in their photo shoot.
Here's a cute picture of Daniel and Adam in their photo shoot.
With two boys it naturally didn't take long before their pose looked like this:
One place we went to as a family while I was there was the "First People's Buffalo Jump" state park.
Here's Adam inside a tipi at the visitor's center.
 Alexa checking out the fossils in the sand in the drawer.
This site outside of Great Falls is where they've found thousands of buffalo bones, so they know it's a place where the native tribes stampeded the buffalo to the cliff so they'd fall off. The buffalo would then be harvested for food and their skins.

The information at the visitor's center said that archaeologists believe the native population used this buffalo jump for a thousand years before Lewis and Clark passed through the area.
The Carson family at a reconstructed tipi. If the background you can see the bluff that was used to drive the buffalo over.
Me inside the tipi with the kids.
I liked this sweet picture of Daniel and Makayla. They're getting so big!
I don't have too many pictures of Garrett so I thought I'd add this picture of him.
Daniel is in kindergarten and we would walk to the school to pick him up every day.
Here's stylish Makayla on our way to pick up Daniel.
Another good reason for going to Montana was to be there to celebrate Alexa's first birthday.
The siblings were at the party but didn't make it into the photos!
I wanted to have photographic evidence that I was there.
Krystal made a gorgeous and yummy cake, which can be seen in the photos above before it was sliced. I wanted to show the inside of the cake, too, which had chocolate and pink cherry chip layers.
Alexa (and the rest of us) gave it the stamp of approval!!
One day while I was in Great Falls I went out to lunch with my old friends, Katrina and Maridee Swensen, though of course they have different married last names. It was fun to see them. I've known them since 1972, when our fathers were assigned to Grand Forks Air Force base in North Dakota. I wanted to put in some old photos from the 1970's of these two ladies, but I couldn't find any.

It was really neat to see so many of my old friends in May, both in Provo and in Great Falls.

As usual, I had a fun time visiting the grandchildren and the time went by much too quickly! May was a good month to visit since the weather was nice and sunny, as you can see from the photos.