Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tayler's view of Ellis Island ~ a Photo Essay

As we left Liberty Island, Jeremiah was freezing cold.  So I bundled him up into his moby wrap so I could wear him, and not hold up the forward momentum of our group. 

He took all of about 30 seconds to fall soundly asleep.

We got to Ellis Island, and he was still pretty crashed and when he woke up...  he was crabby and starving. 
So...  I handed over the Nikon ( or as the kids like to call it, the sixth child.) to Tayler and let her explore and shoot pictures....

What follows is an anthology of Ellis Island through the very keen eye of a 15 year old.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

In New York, at the Ground Zero Memorial, they have a display of things that were found in the rubble or left by people in memoriam of their loved ones....
This was in the display.

'nuff said......

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I love mail!

I love mail.

I love it when it isn't a bill.

I adore a card with a hand written address.

Packages make me giddy.

Today I got a package...  It is my first review for TEACH Magazine.  It's a book, and it is so purdy!  it came wrapped up in a bow.  I like bows.

I can't wait to read it all... ( so far I have read two pages....  it is amazing....  it speaks to my soul!)

I can't wait to tell you all about it! ( look for the review around the middle of January )

Don't forget to stop by and see what encouragement you can find to help you today!

The Lovely Lady

After nearly freezing to death outside the Times Square studio of Good Morning America, descending into the warmth of the Subway was as comforting and welcoming as a hug.

We made our way over to Battery Park to catch the ferry that would take us to the lovely green lady.  I do not remember Castle Clinton at all from my first visit to New York when I was 18, so seeing it this time was a fresh new experience.  I really am a history nerd, and being able to touch something that was built in 1812 to keep out the British, well it is just stinkin' cool!  I get all lost in my thoughts, wondering what the walls would say if they could talk.  What if I were able to see images, like videos in my head, of what the building has seen over it's nearly 200 years of existence, by just touching the stones.....  yeah, old stuff geeks me out.

We took over 200 pictures just leading up to, on, and around Liberty Island. (Don't worry, I won't post them all.)   I am very glad to have these little SD cards in cameras now....  I shudder to think of how many rolls of film I would have needed.

We spent at least an hour taking pictures at the base of the statue, and facing the NY skyline.  Our kids were even asked by this group of Japanese tourists to pose in a picture with them.  They told us they were so cute and funny running around that they just wanted to take their picture. 

We tried to go in the statue, and that was when we realized there was a difference in the tickets.  We knew there were specific tickets needed to get in the crown, but there are also specific ones even to get into the Pedestal.  So make sure you buy the right tickets when you go!

We wandered around, gawked at the OCC Liberty bike that is encased in glass, and hit the gift shop.  Soon we were loaded up on the ferry again, and off to Ellis Island.

I wonder what it was like to be an emigrant and see her for the first time.......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom

as I was trying to dig out the avalanche of clothing from the little boys room....  I came across a pair of Hunter's pants that Jeremiah the gum maven left his mark on.  There was this big black blob stuck to the knee of one of the new hole free pants.

I walked to the kitchen and tried ice....  didn't work so good.

Then I was trying to just pick at it...  and I got to thinking how I wished this was silly putty because I could use Rubbing Alcohol and it would just dissolve....

And then I thought, well what do I have to lose by just trying the alcohol... so I used a q-tip and put some on...  it didn't dissolve.  I was getting a little depressed.  I soaked it again..... and headed back to the bathroom to pick at it some more....  it lifted RIGHT OFF!...  it released the sticky from the denim...

Yippie...  pants saved from doom!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Michele

This year is the milestone birthday year for a bunch of us at church....  The first one to fall was Kristen, then Joan, then me, and now, today we have our dear Michele....  At least when we hit the big 4-0 it wasn't alone... we had some friends to drag with us. :)

I treasure my friendship with Michele.  She is wonderful woman with a servant's heart.  A jewel in Christ's crown, bringing Him glory by her service.

In our house she goes by many names....  and her names help describe what she means to each of us.

Evan, and especially Tayler, call her Mrs. Woodsy.  She and her husband Cliff serve in the youth group at church.  They care for, listen to, and pray for these kids that are learning who they are in Christ, and how to live out a life for Him every day.  She is there fixing food for youth events, spending hours cutting little teeny tiny letters out on her Cricut, to decorate the youth room.  Waiting for the last kids to get picked up....  Always ready with a smile and a hug.

Hunter, he calls her Mrs Woods.  Always with a nonchalant head nod.  You see, she is Brandon's mom, and Brandon is nice to Hunter and picks him to be on his airsoft team.  So he nods to communicate his respect to a mom who has such a cool kid.

Jeremiah, he calls her Missuths Woodths.  He always asks her where her dad is.  ( he is confused between Husband and dad sometimes...)  He knows her as a great hugger, story reader, and happy face in the Nursery.  She serves there, hugging and loving on other people's babies so they can be in service.

To me, she is a friend.  A quiet cheerleader in my corner.  I know she prays for me, and those prayers have meant the world to me when you think sometimes you are all alone.  We have laughed together at ladies retreats, we have cried together over hurts, and we have rejoiced together as we have seen God change lives. 

So, Happy Birthday friend.  I hope God allows us to celebrate many more together.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Let it Snow!

For those of you that live where it snows, nights like this are a little less amazing.  But, for those who do not, I thought maybe some pictures would be cool.

Last night we got a couple of inches, and the most amazing thing was the sky.  It was 11pm  and it was so bright outside.  After marveling at the fact you could see the red in the neighbors barn, I walked back in to the house to get the camera and snap some pictures.

The first picture is when the flash  inadvertently went off... but it made for a spooky looking picture.  The others were with no flash, just capturing the ambient light in the sky.

Isn't God's creation amazing?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Good Morning!!!..............America.

Here we are, day two, or is it three? it's day two... yes. day two.
What day is it?  Wednesday... I think...
Where am I?...  oh yeah, hotel.... that means New York.

Yeah that is what 4 am feels like when you are operating on about 4 hours of sleep....

We did it tho.... we were down stairs by 5:00 am....
....ok.  I lie......

more like 5:15am...  but with all the kids that were in our room... 5:15 is still impressive.  We speed walked to the subway station. Once there, we tap our feet nervously, waiting, willing, praying the train to Times Square gets here quickly.
It arrives...
We get on, ride, and off in two stops.  Speed walk/ sprint, to the GMA studio.  When we arrive we are efficiently ushered around the corner to one of 2 lines to wait in, by a young woman who does this every day, and who you can tell, has the perfect amount of tact and yet the uncanny ability to detect the slightest amount of B.S.  I got the impression from just looking at her, there isn't much she hasn't already heard....  and probably seen.  We all dutifully went to wait where she instructed us to wait.  Other, more foolish people, attempted to schmooze her, was to no avail.

Any sleepiness that was amongst us was quickly washed away by our heart pumping rush to get there on time, and the fiercely cold wind that was blowing down the Avenues.  No coffee needed that morning.  It wouldn't have helped much to have it to drink either, it would have been a Popsicle in about 5 minutes.

We were close to the door.  There was a red carpet.  There were large TV lights mounted outside, manned by very cold cameramen in full winter gear.  The paparazzi were beginning to arrive, looking disheveled, as if they had just rolled out of bed.  Everyone huddled waiting in groups... The police stood with other cops.  The producers, grips, and GMA security, all milled around the door.  The paparazzi over at the edge of the sidewalk, almost as if they didn't want to be contaminated by the tourists.  In our group, the tourist group, there were girls from Louisville, y'all; cheerleaders that would be walking in the parade the next day.  There were members of the Spinnerettes, the baton twirlers, and a whole host of regular dressed folks, who like us were completely insane to have gotten out of bed so early.

This day was apparently a big deal day at GMA.  It was the morning the winning stars from Dancing with the Stars were coming to the show to do their 'thing'.  I don't watch the show....  either one really, the one I am waiting in the freezing cold pre-dawn hours for, OR the one that everyone was so whooped up about.  I was just trying to stay to the middle of the pack and keep warm.
Soon they started to let people in.  They were setting up for the shot where the stars were going to ride up to the studio in a double decker bus ( insane much? it was soooo cold!)  and walk into the studio to get all TV-i-fied.  Our line started moving.... we were inching in closer to the BIG BLACK DOOR!....  Really, I didn't care if we got on TV....  at this point, I am just hoping we can get inside for a little while to thaw out.

Closer we move....


They start letting our family in.... And wouldn't it just be our luck, they pull the cord to stop the people between Big Daddy and myself.  No self respecting wife is going to leave her husband and head riding 3 year old son out in the cold.... so I looked at the imposing man who was doing his best to impersonate a secret service person....(blue tooth earpiece, so he can communicate with the mother ship, black leather trench coat, know, frightening glare)  " Ummmm, can my husband come too?"  He looked at me quizzically, as if I dared speak to him and question his authority.  He said, " Which one is your husband..."  I found this funny, because the only other persons behind me were a gaggle of women and Jody with a kid on his head.  I pointed him out and the trench coat clad man let him through.  We were IN!

Oh the sweetness of it..........  OH THE BLISS!!!!!!!!

sweet amazing warmth!!!!!!!!!!!

You must admit, we didn't look half bad for it being 6 am...  This guy in the last picture is someone from the show, I have no idea what he does regularly, but on this Wednesday, we was in charge of pop bangs.  It was his job to set off the big poppers that shot out streamers all over the uber famous people we were waiting for.  He let Brandyn, my nephew, and Hunter set one off when the famous people went by.  I would tell you who they were, if I had seen them.  It was a sea of screaming people, streamers and confetti... poppers, and these little bitty heads that ran by for the safety of the elevator and that was it.  Our inside time was over.  We were ushered out to the freezing cold Avenue.... to wait to see if we would be allowed back in to the warm inner sanctum.

We waited.... and waited.... another hour.  The young lady who so tactfully orchestrates the entrance to the inner sanctum.... came by with pictures of the GMA news anchors, in an attempt to soften the blow of standing outside for nearly 3 hours in the cold.  I would have been happier with a Starbucks coffee card.

From here, we paused inside the Starbucks in Times Square, to re-thaw out, and get that coffee and drink it where it was WARM!  The staff inside took pity on our frozen-ness and turned on another heater inside to help us warm up....  After finishing up about half the cup of coffee... we are off again on our next adventure for the day.

The Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
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