25 July 2007

At the Upchurch's in Louisville, KY

We remembered that the Upchurches were stranded in Louisville, KY from seminary and thought we'd give them a call and see if we could visit them. We were very excited to see them and their new addition to their family. So we drove about 3.5 hrs southwest into Kentucky and crashed on their floor, ate their food, played their Wii, used their pool, and just made a complete nuisance of ourselves. Unfortunately, we don't have any pictures of this so we will deny that it ever happened.

On Saturday we went to this cool pick-it-yourself farm called Joe Huber Family Farm and Restaurant about 40 minutes from the Upchurch's in Indiana. We did get pictures of this and so we cannot deny that it happened. We picked grapes and blueberries but unfortunately did not allot enough time for blackberries and rasberries. Here are the pictures:

Upchurch baby (Zach) with a random family.

Upchurch baby (Zach) with a random kids.

Micah and Rebekkah being 'fruity'

Hoxworth veggies

Nicole and the Upchurches

Micah riding the horse

Rebekkah riding the rooster

Hoxworths at the farm

Rebekkah feeding Z. We think she will make a fanstastic babysitter someday. And hopefully, she doesn't break any of their limbs in the process ;-)

Nicole and Jodee reading the last Harry Potter book together. It only took Nicole about two days to read it!

Hoxworths and Upchurches on our bed (i.e., their couch)

Tired kids on the way home

17 July 2007

A Day at Mount Vernon

The day we checked out from our hotel in DC after touring the Capitol building, we drove 16 miles to the Washington's farm in Mount Vernon. A visit to Mount Vernon includes a tour of the farm as it would have been in Washington's time and their home. Also on the property is Washington's tomb among several others. There are also several museums and an educational center that were very cool. The Donald W. Reynolds Education Center was by far the most interesting part of the day (except for seeing the house).

Rebekkah and Micah with the Washingtons.

Rebekkah and Micah in the Washington's front lawn.

Doug and the kids hangin' out on the Washington's back porch looking out over the Potomac.

The kids checking out the Washington's farm.

Freakishly real looking life-size wax figures/models of George Washington at Valley Forge and the first ever inauguration.

13 July 2007

DC Pictures

Doug and the kids at the National Archives.

The kids entertaining themselves with our electronic gadgets at the National Gallery of Art.

Picture of Lincoln Memorial from the top of the Washington Monument.

Doug and the kids at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Doug and the kids in the front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Nicole and the kids inside the Lincoln Memorial

Doug and the kids in front of the National Archives.

Nicole and the kids in front of the National Archives.

Nicole and the kids in front of the Jefferson Memorial.

Nicole and the kids inside the Capitol Building.

The kids inside the Capitol Building.

The kids outside the Capitol Building.

Nicole and the kids outside the Capitol Building.

The kids inside the hotel.

Nicole inside the hotel.

10 July 2007

A DC 4th

We spent our 4th of July in the nation's capitol and it was amazing. We went to a parade in the morning. Nicole loved it, but the kids and I thought it was just like any other parade. Nicole and I (mostly Nicole) had an interesting conversation with some college students from England who were impressed at how our nation was so united around its identity as a nation. They mentioned that the only thing that they had that united them was football (i.e., soccer to us yanks). I had never thought of how other countries view our patriotism. I just assumed that all countries were patriotic and this does not seem to be the case.

After being stuck in the National Museum of Natural History because of a tornado warning we made our way to the national mall (which really isn't a mall as we would refer to it, i.e., as a shopping center) for the fireworks show. We sat in the grass between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in front of the reflecting pool. Rebekkah made a friend from Michigan and they played as we waited for the show. Micah played with an annoying little girl who kept screaming as they chased eachother around playing tag.

I (Doug) have not historically been very patriotic, but man the experience was indescribable. I got choked up more than a few times as the patriotic music played in our ears with the memorials and fireworks in our eyes. The booms of the fireworks were so deep that you could feel it in your core. I was very thankful for our freedoms and extremely proud of our heritage as a nation. Here are some pictures:

09 July 2007

Life in Waverly

After traveling six days to get to Ohio living in a hotel we once again checked in to a hotel to live for the next three weeks. So we lived in the same hotel room for a full month and we're glad to be out. It was fun and adventurous while it lasted, but it was time to have our own room and space. It was an interesting lesson on our culture of how we need to have our own space. I thought about how other cultures in the past and even today had to always share the same space. I truly do not know how people did it but I guess if that was all that we knew, we wouldn't know any different and we'd just deal with it. But we don't have to live this way and so we don't. It was a good time of reflection and we learned from it, but I don't think I want to do it all that often. Anyway, here are some pictures of our hotel as we moved out. Unfortunately we did not get pictures of us in it and the way it looked with all of our stuff in it. Perhaps you can imagine it (just add clothes, food, toys, bags, etc.)...

Finally, after a month, we got out of a hotel room and into our own rented quarters. It is a furnished townhome with two bedrooms, 2.5 bath, kitchen/dining area, laundry room, and living room. It was interesting to go from a 5 bedroom, 4000+ sq ft home to a hotel room and then to this. Staying a month in a hotel made us feel like we have all sorts of room in the townhome. Plus we don't really have much stuff--mainly just our clothes, books, and some small electronics.

The whole process of getting the place was quite humorous. I'm not sure if it was because it is an extremely small town or if it was all the drugs our landlord did when he was younger. Anyway, after several townhomes were finally vacated, we finally got to meet with the landlord and look at the units. After discussing what we needed for furnishings and having him write it down over the phone I gave him a list that we wrote down. Right after giving it to him he could not find it and said it was no problem because he remembered everything. I was not confident that he really did.

After hanging around for about a half an hour while he talked about whatever with me and others hanging around (tenants and future tenants) I told Nicole and the kids to get lunch while I took care of everything. About an hour later, we finally made it over to his office. A half an hour later after hearing about his views on politics and debt we got to talking business. He gave me the key and instructions on how to get in and then said that I should be set. Mind you this was before I signed any contract or gave him any money. So I said, "shouldn't we sign a contract and I give you some money." To which he responded, "Oh yeah." So he pulled out some standard contract, crossed out some stuff and filled in some blanks and we signed it. And I did not know for sure what I was going to pay until this point (the price was fine as far as I could tell from what everything else around costed). I gave him a check and then left. I'm not from the big city or anything, but this was all very different from what I'm used to. Perhaps this is just the way business works in the back wood--maybe it's just because the guy is really laid back. It's hard to tell. Anyway, here are some pictures of the place...