Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Be Creative - Summer Reading Program 2009

I'm keeping busy with work, and this summer has been going good, for the most part! We've been busy with the Summer Reading Program and getting kids and teens to sign up. If the kids read 10 hours, marking off their game-board, then they get a prize! The half-way prize is a Smencil - a gourmet smelling pencil. Those are really popular. The end prize is a new book. Well, some are newly bought and the rest are nice looking donation books. That was a bit frustrating to me, to re-gift books that were donated to us - but they are in good condition and hopefully the kids will never know! This is a change from last year, they used to give out little prizes from the Oriental Trading company and the kids loved those. Since the city of Chesapeake is trying to save money, and be "green", they chose to give a book as the final prize. That's great - but I had hoped we would have a slew of new books that were new off the market - not donated copies of The Babysitter's Club. Oh well, whatever is left over won't be wasted.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer in D.C.

Pictures from my weekends in D.C.!

The National Mall

In June I was invited to a wedding, at the D.C. Temple, of a friend from my mission, Nica Conde. I was excited that I could actually go! Her wedding was on Friday and I decided to make a weekend of the trip and do some sight-seeing in D.C. on Saturday. Her wedding was so nice and I even got to see some old friends from my mission - that was really neat.
The reception was in Arlington, Virginia - so before the reception I went to the Arlington National Cemetery. The rows of white headstones were humbling - as was seeing the tomb of the unknown soldier. I also walked over to see the Kennedy's headstones. Saturday I went to the National Mall. I parked my car and took the Metro subway downtown. I hoped to see the national sites, and maybe some of the Smithsonian museums. Too bad they are all so far apart from each other! I sure did do a lot of walking! I actually had shin-splints for a few days afterwards.
Anyway, I saw the Washington Monument, then walked over the Lincoln Memorial - stopping at the Vietnam and WWII memorials on the way. I really liked the Lincoln Memorial - and it was also surreal looking at the statue that I've seen in so many pictures and movies. Martin Luther King stood there with his rally and spoke that famous speech. I wanted to spend more time contemplating all these things - but there were so many people there that it was too crowded to linger. I started walking back towards the capitol and almost made it - but my legs just gave out! I didn't think my legs would be able to get me back when I finally got there. So, I turned back and decided to quickly look through a couple of the museums.
I went to the Air & Space Museum and saw the Wright Brother's airplane, and one of the Apollo capsules that went to the moon. I next went over the Natural History museum and saw the Hope diamond! It's actually smaller than I expected - but it was sure beautiful! By this time I was exhausted, so I got back on the Metro back to my car. That was a great weekend - and I look forward to more opportunities to visit our nation's capital!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Frank & George

I've had a few opportunities to do some traveling this month and it's been fun. I had the chance to go to a Frank Lloyd Wright designed house, the Pope-Leighey House. That was really neat - it's just wood and concrete and lots of unique windows. I guess he really liked the natural light in the home - and natural elements. The wooden walls weren't painted, just stained to show the grain of the wood. He even designed the furniture - it was pretty neat. I was impressed.

In the same town is Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. That was really amazing and surreal. The house was very grand, with some original pieces of furniture. A few of the rooms were painted green because Washington believed, as others in his time, that this showed prosperity. While waiting to go to different rooms there were tour guides sharing facts and stories about the Washington's. When George Washington died, his wife closed up their master room and moved her belongings to another room. She couldn't sleep in that room anymore. The grounds of Mount Vernon were quite extensive and unfortunately I didn't have the time to see them all, but that just means I'll have to go back! There was this neat museum by the front gate and it had some neat exhibits about Washington - including some wax figures of Washington at different ages of his life. It was cool.