Summer Walkabouts : Arlington Cemetary

Summer has been busy here.  We’ve had family visiting from other places, gone to visit family ourselves, and had a wedding reception.  Most of that was within one month!  It’s been a great summer!

We took an opportunity when family was visiting to go with them to some of the sights nearby.  One place we visited was Arlington Cemetary.

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The view of Washington, DC from Kennedy’s tomb is spectacular.

We also went to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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And saw the changing of the guard.  It was 95 degrees that day.  Not including the heat index.

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There is someone guarding the tomb 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, rain, sleet, snow or sun.  The qualifications for the assignment are intense and those that receive it, take it very seriously.

 

We didn’t complain about the heat.

 

Photochallenge : Animals

I spend my life surrounded by animals.  With 3 labs, a couple of whom are around 100 lbs.,  it’s difficult not to be.  Dogs everywhere.  And when it starts to warm up for the summer one place you can find Jackson is lying on top of the vent.

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If his tongue is sticking out, then he’s really OUT!

However, if the dogs then go to get up and get up too quickly, turn their head or ….. Whatever it is they do, then their tags will get stuck in the vent. Then they end up wearing the vent like giant bling.

 

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Sometimes they need to be rescued (like Maggie did here).  Others, they figure it out on their own.  We have come home to vents in strange locations.

 

Photochallenge : Early

 

I don’t know about you, but one of our family’s all time favorite foods is the strawberry.

 

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I have waxed poetic about them before. Every year we start a countdown as we watch and wait for our local farms to open their pick your own fields. Last year we added a few little plants of our own and overwintered them. I wasn’t sure how they would do, but early indications are we will have quite a few this year.

 

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If we can keep the dogs from eating them, that is.

 

And the countdown is over.  Pick your own fields are opening up.  Whoo hoo!!  Time to go strawberry picking!

Does Anyone Have a Magic Wand?!?

What I wouldn’t give for a magic wand at the moment.  Ok, ok.  Maybe I wouldn’t give up my children or even pay a whole lot of money, but it sure would make some things easier.  And I’m pretty sure I want them easier.

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Have I mentioned that we’re moving ?  No?  Yep.  We’re headed to the DC area.  It was a surprise to us, too.  It’s a good thing and we’re excited about it.  But there is A LOT to do!!  Hence the reason I’d like a magic wand at the moment.

If I had a magic wand I could wave it and *poof* boxes packed!  A flick of the wrist and *presto* House sold!  Swwwish and *TAAAda* we’ve moved into our new house – with everything unpacked of course.

Of course, knowing me, I’d end up with something much closer to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice with the first wave of the wand.  Brooms and Mops everywhere with my dishes landing in a broken heap!

Oh well…. Nice thought while it lasted.  I guess I’ll stick with the old fashioned method and be patient. *UHn* I’m NOT GOOD at being patient!!!!

New Year, New Word… Just One Word… Any Word..

Instead of picking one or two (or twenty – I need lots of work) goals to focus on for the year a few years ago I started choosing one word.  It worked pretty well.  Every now and then the word would pop into my head (or sometimes I would get smacked with it or beaten with it) as a gentle reminder of what I was trying to achieve.  It never affected just one area.  One little word managed to wind itself into many aspects of my life.  It kept me on my toes looking for opportunities of improvement, until by the end of the year I am a little sad to see that one little word go when it’s time to choose the next one.

But it is time.  Last years word won’t disappear.  It just fades a bit into the background.  It was a great word.  I’m really looking forward to next year’s word now. It’s going to be a great year.

What about you?  Do you set goals or is one word more your style?

What a Crazy Roller Coaster

…. or sometimes I’d like to know what the Lord is up to…. (but I’ll get to that in a moment)

When I last left you the week began on a sad note.  That week only got worse.  I really do try not to be too attached to things.  I promise.  But when I was rear-ended by an E250 van I was SOhappy I was driving a truck.  You’ll never, NEVER get me to drive a small car.  EVER.  Sorry.  And I do love my truck (her name is Maid Marian -crazy I know) and she is now back to being beautiful again – new hitch, bumper fixed, frame straight again (yes it bent the frame).  And I was able to drive her to Girls Camp.

 

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We had an amazing time at Girls Camp this year.  Our theme was “Experience the Change” from Alma 5: 13-14 and we used butterflies as our “Mascot” for the week.  The great part about it was the girls worked hard to do what needed to be done.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go next year because my brother is getting married and I think it will be the same week, but I’ll be there the year after.  I love camp!

Back from camp and we jumped in to adopting a dog.  We found a fabulous rescue organization.  Can I just say if you’re looking at getting a pet, please search your area for a local group that is doing animal rescue.  You may find you get more information than you would adopting from the SPCA about the pet and it has been a great experience for our family.

 

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Maggie is an absolutely wonderful 2 year old chocolate lab and we just love her already.  She has so much personality.   She makes us laugh all the time.   She fits right in with our family – she’s just as crazy as the rest of us!

So what’s with the roller coaster?  All of that is up right?  The truck is fixed, Girls Camp was fantastic, fabulous new family member – where’s the loop -d- loops?

I got a new calling.   Let me tell you having your husband as the Stake President Executive secretary gets interesting when he walks into the living room and tells you “We need to be at church a little early to meet with….” and I KNEW it was for me!  I got cold and clammy.  He asked if it would help if he listed all of the callings that currently needed to be filled?  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!  NO!

But of all of the callings that went through my head in the time I had to think about it I never once thought of the words that were uttered.

Early Morning Seminary Teacher.  I blinked.  Really.

See.  I don’t think about the fact that I’ve been driving my children for Ohhh…. 6 years now.  So it’s habit to be up at that time whether I drive them or not.  I went to seminary when I was High School.  Sure.

But Seminary Teachers know stuff.  I don’t.  What is the Lord thinking?  What is he up to.  Sometimes I just don’t know.  I do love that we’re teaching the Book of Mormon this year – and the Doctrine and Covenants will be next year.  And while there are times I get frustrated with the “kids” (they’re not kids) – They are amazing.  I’ve known most of them since they were Primary age and I’m So proud to see the Men and Women they are growing up to be.

Talk about feeling humbled…..

And sometimes, Old Dogs get tired….

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Sometimes, when an old dog gets tired there are many things they still want to do and just can’t. You can see it in their eyes. Sometimes they try. They get a little beside themselves with excitement and forget for a moment that they’re old. It hurts. Because you remember when they could.

Sometimes, even though the mind is willing, the body says, “I’m done.” Our Old Dog was still happy, her tail wagging when we came down to her to pet her, but her body (at 15 years old) was simply tired and it was time to say good-bye.

I would like to think someone was already there throwing a tennis ball for her to catch – or maybe she finally caught that rabbit she was constantly chasing in her sleep.

She was loved and we know she always knew it.