Sunday, July 31, 2011

County Fair

Quinn showed two rabbits today (Albus - senior buck, and Bambi - senior doe). He scored an "A" rating, but did not place in the top two. Since he won the Showmanship award last year, he was not eligible to participate today, but we thought he did great. Rachel and her friends also approved.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting Ready

Quinn and Mike are in County Fair mode. Here Albus is getting his nails clipped for the show tomorrow.

Take it from a Founder

“(W)ith respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age.”

— Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Madison (1789)

Friday, July 29, 2011


At a favorite resale shop on Wednesday, I spent $12.62. I saved $122.00. I saved $122.00 off the resale prices, mind you. Anyone need a personal shopper? Cuz I'm on a roll . . .

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Quinn saw an allergist on Tuesday. He endured 54 "skin pric ks" dipped in various pollens or food allergens. Guess how many he did not react to? Four. Guess how many times he said mean words? More than four.

The allergist called him an IGG FACTORY. Quinn said, "I'll take that as a compliment."

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Interesting spider sights. The sculpture garden design is obvious, but did anyone point out that Michelle Obama's inauguration gown is covered with white, glittery spiders too? We were surprised to see them while viewing her dress at the Smithsonian. She said it was designed to "convey hope." And how about the election night dress that resembled the markings of a black-widow spider. Is this coincidence? Someone needs to investigate.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Morning at the Beach

While Rachel slept in the hotel, Mike and Quinn enjoyed an early morning at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Highlights included throwing rocks at seagulls and cursing Neptune. I told you it was a male bonding adventure, right? I just tagged along to take pictures and shout directions. Oh yeah - and Quinn has obviously graduated from sand castle building. His sand art now includes sand boob. BTW, the water was cold, as Mike is exclaiming.

A Day at the Beach

Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware. Who knew (besides the Wheeler fam)? After an early afternoon pop-up thunderstorm cleared the locals, we had the entire beach practically to ourselves. Not very many shells to be had, but the kids enjoyed riding the waves and digging for sand crabs. We saw a few dolphins too. These are only a few of the many great photos.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Always Following the Rules

Looking again for the car. Today we found a spot to park for FREE. Yesterday, we parked under the Reagan Building for $12, but wandered around in the basement for a while before a security guard helped us find our way. I suppose they didn't like us in the basement of a closed, empty building at 9:45 pm. The security guard who let us into the building to begin with probably got a demerit.

Changing of the Guard

Touching ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Nevermind the sweating buckets to get there.

Me and W

At the Museum of American History

Rachel's Favs

Rachel enjoyed the National Museum of Art and the Sculpture Garden, where she found a shady spot to text (some more).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Actually . . .

Actually, the Washington Monument is that big. I chickened out when it was time to take the elevator to the top. The kids told me I was wimpy, but I did get to meet a couple from Holland and listen to the stories of their travels.

And BTW - guess who was on the walking tour with us in the morning? None other than the Deputy Chief of Staff for Senator Michele Bachmann! We hit it off and she even offered her business card to me. I might have to give her a call sometime and see if she needs any help with anything in Illinois.

Monuments and Memorials

The Washington Monument ain't so big. The Lincoln Memorial is impressive. The new World War II Memorial is beautiful.

Hikes and Bikes

We wish the bike tour guide had not begun his welcome with this statement: "I'm really smart and I know lots of stuff and I live here and I've grown up here and I went to college here, so if I don't know an answer to your question, I will lie to you without remorse." Realize, I'm paraphrasing, but I couldn't help but question everything he told us the entire three hour tour. In hindsight, I wish we would have just rented the bikes per hour when we first came to town instead of waiting until the evening for the tour.

Center of the Universe

Here we are at the beginning of the day, looking fresh and happy. Our tour guide told us that this stone marks the site originally planned for the Washington Monument. Supposedly, it is the place from which measurements are taken - such as how far the earth is to the moon. That means for a few moments, our family was at the center of the universe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


We made it to DC a few hours ahead of time, so we decided to head into the city for a quick "browsing tour" this evening. Tomorrow will be the long day. Rachel thought the Senate Building looked sort of like the Slytherin symbol.

It's Big

Did you know the Supreme Court Building was quite this immense? Can you see my kids standing in front of it?


I'd say the most confusing and possibly dangerous part of our trip so far happened when we were at a rest stop in West Virginia. Quinn shouted to his sister, "Get out of my way, you REDNECK!"

So many people turned to see if they were blocking my son's path.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Should Listen More

Quinn has been telling us for months that he is allergic to eggs. We told him that he definitely is not allergic to eggs - he eats them all the time for breakfast.

At his school physical, Quinn requested blood testing for the suspected allergen. I sort of rolled my eyes at the physician, but sighed an exasperated consent.

Guess what? The boy has a new high-end food allergy - eggs. We add that to the list of peanut, tree nuts, beans, peas, soy . . . and will be consulting with a new allergist in a couple weeks.

On the upside of the physical, he grew three-and-a-half inches and gained 20 pounds since last year.

VBS Lessons

I'm teaching the large group Bible story lessons at our church's Vacation Bible School. I really enjoy the kids - especially when they say things like this:

"So . . . Jesus was a sack of fries?" (sacrifice!)

"But when did the dinosaurs come?"

"God gave us the 10 Commandments, but the biggest rule in our house is DON'T FREAK OUT THE CAT."

When questions arose regarding the Commandment against adultery I said, "It's like this - once you're married, you get who you get and you don't throw a fit."