On Monday, we left for Girl's Camp. I'm a second year, and our YCLs were Anna, Hailey, Julia and Rebecca. The devotional speaker was really good that night. I had a very fitful sleep, though. Tuesday, Shannon (a first year from my ward) and I made a bunch of cool crafts and went to archery. It was fun. That night, we had a pageant, and since my unit was South Africa, we dressed some people in African clothing, and chose some people for the other categories like talent and language. We all got Tiaras, and then we went on hayrides and ate cookies. On Wednesday, we had skit night. Before that, we were preparing for the skits. I was a missionary. Thursday we had the solo hike and testimony meeting. Afterwards, we had root beer floats. We left on Friday, but it was a really fun week!
On Saturday the 29th, our stake's Relief Society put on a 5k. We got there at 8:00. Then Mom made me go to the bathroom with her. When we got back, the people who where walking had already left, so she made me run with her to catch up. As soon as my Aunt Tricia came by with the run/walkers, I went to run with her. I stayed with her most of the way, but she finished a bit before me. I did beat my Aunt Kim and my sister, though. They had bananas for us afterward. Hot, sweaty, and hard, but fun!
We got up early in the morning, and had hot chocolate for breakfast. (Along with other things.) We left quickly. (Without taking pictures, because Uncle Dick and Aunt Evelyn were in their robes.) I watched a lot of movies. (Including Annie and Prince of Persia.) We stopped for gas a few times. I took a break from watching movies because of a curvy stretch of road. We stopped at a Dairy Queen to get blizzards, then later at a Burger King to eat dinner. We stopped at the Costco near home to get gas. Then we went home and began to unpack. I went to my house to see my family. Elisabeth jumped on me when I walked in, Ben said he missed me because he had to do my jobs, Robert looked like he thought I was crazy, Mom said hi, and Leilani said she was hoping I wouldn't come home. Then they came over to Grandma's, and Ben jumped o Grandpa. Then Elisabeth tried to jump on him, but he braced himself and she bounced off him, landing on her back on the pavement. Luckily, the only thing she hurt was her elbows. We all talked, then we went home. We watched Father of the Bride and went to bed.
When I woke up in the morning, everyone else was already awake. They were upstairs eating. I got up, made my bed, got dressed, brushed my teeth, and got on the computer to do homework. Soon I heard someone upstairs say that Uncle Mike would be arriving in a few minutes, so I began to shut down the computer. Then Grandpa came down to wake me up, but of course I was already awake. We visited with Uncle Mike's family for a while, but I was mostly playing with Alexa and/or Kailyn. Uncle Mike was evidently throwing up the night before, and had bursted a vein or something in his eye. It looked like his eye was bleeding! Then Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Dick started to fix up lunch, so I helped them. I was the bean girl. When we were all ready to eat lunch, (which was taco salad) Uncle Mike sat Alexa down across the table from me because, as he said, he wanted to get "a good blog review." Alexa ended up sitting by me anyway. After lunch they left. Grandma, Grandpa, and I went to see Grandpa's cousin, Lee after deciding to stay another night. They talked for a really long time. Then Grandma and I went inside a fabric store while Grandpa read a book he got from Lee. Grandma got a lot of fabric. After coming back, we all played Five Crowns and I Buy while eating chicken pot pie. It was good. We played until ten-thirty, then went to bed.
We woke up, ate breakfast, and headed out by seven. The first place we stopped was Chimney Rock. That was really neat. Then we went to Register Cliff and some ruts that were taller than me! Then we drove for a really long time. We stopped at Little America to get ice cream. When the guy handed a cone to Grandma, she grabbed and totally crushed the cone, getting ice cream on her and the man's hands. It was pretty funny. After that we drove for a while longer. We got to Uncle Mark's house and visited with them and ate pizza. Then we left for Uncle Dick and Aunt Evelyn's. We chatted for a long while before going to bed.
We woke up late and didn't eat breakfast until after ten. We had french-dip sandwiches with the roast beef we didn't have the day before. After a long while of Grandpa and Anut Clarabeth talking about cameras, we took off. I slept for a long while, then watched National Treasure Two. When I finished, we saw one of the last Pony Express stations. It was really neat. I watched The Parent Trap. By then we were where we were staying. We checked into a Days Inn, and went to Dairy Queen for dinner. Of course we had blizzards! Then we went to the hotel and slept.
We had french toast and fruit for breakfast, then left a roast in a pot to cook while we went sight-seeing. We went to the National World War I Memorial, and went up the tower. The view and skyline were gorgeous. After taking pictures there, we went to this little garden place. It was really pretty there. Grandpa and Aunt Clarabeth were using me as a model. (She's into photography, too.) After going there, we came back to their house and visited. Soon, One of Uncle Jim's daughter-in-laws brought her kids over and everyone talked. The three-year-old, Jaylee, was dragging me around. She was very energetic. While they were there, someone discovered that the pot the roast was in wasn't plugged in. After they left, we skipped dinner, (which was okay since we had lunch at five o'clock) and had strawberry shortcake. Yum!
I woke up woke up when Natalie and Braden were getting ready for school. They got on the bus, and I wanted to sleep some more, but Leah insisted I play ponies instead. After quite a while of that, we started to pack. After we had packed the car, Grandma decided to dye her hair. Aunt Kari helped her, and when she finished, she looked beautiful. (Although Grandma thinks she's a pumpkin head.) After taking some pictures, we left. I slept for a while, but was woken by Grandma asking if I wanted a frostie. Of course I said yes! After eating that, I fell asleep, but when I woke up, I needed to use the restroom. When we stopped for gas, I went. I told Grandma I was thirsty, so she was going to get me a soda, but ended up getting me an icee instead. I slept pretty much until we got to Uncle Jim's house, where we had a delicious dinner and visited for a while before going to bed.
I woke up and the kids had me play legos with them. Natalie and Leah were making afence, and soon Leah was throwing a full-on fit because she didn't want it to have two doors. Really. Anyway, we all got ready for church. The sacrament talks were good, but I was appalled that Braden was playing on an ipad the whole time! It was crazy. Then, when I went to my class, all the boys were playing on their cell phones! The Young Women there are much more social with their leaders than at home. After church we went back to Aunt Kari's house, played, gave Natalie presents, made jewelry, and ate dinner. Natalie and Leah wanted to sleep with me on the floor, but they went to bed before me, so once they were asleep, I just slept on Natalie's bed. Mean, I know, but comfortable!
I woke up to children all around me. (Is it just me or is this familiar?) They were playing with toys this particular time. They had me play some games with them, (they were just as crazy) then we ate breakfast. (Actually I didn't, but they did.) We all got ready for the baptism, Natalie with her dress, everyone else with church clothes. We left for the church after Natalie, her dad, and her grandmother. By the timewe got there, it was almost starting. Grandma gave her talk, then Natalie and her grandmother did the usical number, the baptism was held, and Natalie's grandfather gave a talk. Then they confirmed her, andeveryone was invited to Aunt Kari's. At Aunt Kari's, we had snacks, pizza, and a chocolate fountain. The chocolate strawberries were the best. Most of the kids were playing x-box the whole time. After everyone left, Aunt Kari found a log of poop that had to weigh at least a pound and a half. It was not even in the toilet, it was on the floor. I kid you not. Aunt Kari grabbed it with a plastic bag and put it in the toilet, but it wouldn't flush, so she had to take it outside into the garbage can. Seriously. Then we had a jewelry-making session. pretty soon Aunt Kari's kids went to bed. After eating icecream with the adults, I went to bed too.
I actually slept for quite a while in the morning, for once. Natalie and Braden were at school, so only Leah and Tanner were around. Leah and Tanner were playing outside, so when Aunt Kari went to pick Natalie up from school early, I watched the kids outside. We drew rainbows with chalk. (Apparently Leah likes rainbows.) When Aunt Kari and Natalie got home, the three of us plus Grandma went to join the men in field a ways away. Uncle Jeremy's Mom watched the rest of the kids. In the field we went... shooting! Uncle Jeremy has moving targets, and we tried lots of guns, but the revolver is still my favorite. After shooting, we went to the grocery store. We spent two hours there. Aunt Kari was being S-L-O-W. Then we came and dropped the groceries off. Afterwards we went to Hobby Lobby. (Which also took a while.) When we got home we ate a cold dinner and went to bed. Unfortunately, Leah woke me up in the middle of the night screaming "I want my mommy" for twenty minutes straight.
We got up and went to do the Gettysburg audio tour this morning. There weren't quite as many places to get out and look aroud, so it was shorter than it could have been, but we didn't get out until two o'clock! Basically that's it. We drove for eight hours, stopped at Wendy's for dinner, then when we got to Aunt Kari's, we went to bed. (Actually, we didn't go to bed right away. All the adults were awake including Uncle Jeremy's parents.)
Grandma and I with a statue of Abe Lincoln at Gettysburg.
We went to the Hill Cumorah this morning. We went to the visitor's center and got the tour from a nice sister missionary. She showed us a really good video on family. She also showed us a resource room and a staue like the Christus with a forest backdrop. Then we went up to the hill and saw a monument-type thing up there. It had the first vision on one side, the three witnesses on another, the eight witnesses on yet another, and the inscription on the other. We saw the guywith a lawnmower mowing the lawn. He was literally sideways! Then we went to the Joseph Smith farm and Sacred Grove. The lady who gave us the tour did a nice job. Then we went into the Sacred Grove. It was really peaceful in there, and we could absolutely feel the Spirit. It was beautiful in there, even though there weren't any leaves on the trees. Afterwards, we went to the printing shop where the Book of Mormon was fist printed. After we took the tour, (during which I got a copy of a page in the Book of Mormon) we got dinner in a shop down the street. Then we went to a shop in a hotel where the printing shop people told us this would be. There Grandpa picked out a hand-printed Book of Mormon just like they did the first times. After that we headed for Gettysburg. When we got there we all swam. Well, actually, they sat in the hot tub while I swam in the pool. :)
We got up and went to Plimoth Plantation. We saw a video. Then we walked to the Indian village. The Indian impersonators answered all our questions, including one about their hair. (Apparently they plucked their hair out with clams!) Next we went to the English settlement. The people there acted like they were the people. One was Richard Warren's daughter. (Richard Warren was Grandpa's ancestor.) We went up to the meeting house and the upper level had a bunch of cannons! Then we walked to the visitor's center and went into the play area so Grandma and Grandpa could take pictures of me dressed up. Then we got back in the car to go to Lexington Greene. When we got there, we saw a minuteman statue. In the visitor's center, we saw a wonderful video. There were multiple screens, side scenes, and props! After that we went to Louisa May Alcott's house. Then we went to Concord. We drove by some historic houses. Then we started towards Palmyra, New York.
We woke up and ate some breakfast. (Which had sausage and eggs.) We headed (late) for Boston, Massachusetts. We got there almost an hour after the last church there started, so we went to visit the USS Constitution. It was really neat inside. It looked like it would have looked during the War of 1812. Then we went in the visitor's center and looked at there displays. Then we went down to Plymouth. We saw the Atlantic Ocean and Plymouth Rock. Then we stayed at a hotel with bad internet and bad TV.
We went to breakfast this morning, and there was bacon! It was delicious! After eating, we headed for Philadelphia. We went in the visitor's center, the room with the Constitution, the West Wing, and finally Independence Hall. Then, after begging and begging and begging, I finally convinced Grandma and Grandpa to take a carrige ride. We got to a carrige and climbed in. We started to go, and he was pointing things out, when we came to a red light. He turned around and glanced down. He then said that I didn't look like I was having very much fun. He helped me up onto his bench, and handed me the reigns. I got to drive the carrige almost the whole time! He even stopped to let Grandpa get out and take pictures! When we got back to where we started, he handed me a bear dressed in a graduation outfit and said I graduated horse-and-carrige school! Then he recomended we go to a sandwich shop down the street. He also recomended I get a certain soda in a glass bottle. So, we went to the shop, and got the soda and some philly cheese steak sandwiches. The soda was amazing and tasted just like an orange creamsicle! Really! I love Philadelphia!
We went to Fort McHenry in the morning. It was fun and we learned a lot about Francis Scott Key. I also did the Junior Ranger packet. Their presentation video was really good, though Grandma said it was not as good as the one they had forty years ago. After stopping by the gift shop, we left for Valley Forge. We were in the car for what felt like days, but we got there. It was a lot bigger than I expected! It was a huge battlefield. We took the audio tour. After going to Robert E. Lee's headquarters, (of course, Grandma!) we stayed in a town called King of Prussia. (I know, it's a very strange name.) Our hotel was great!
We got up and, after eating, called a cab. The cab took us to the Arlington National Cemetary. We saw Kennedy's grave, (the eternal flame) the changing of the guard, and Audie Murphy's grave. We also went up to the Custis Lee Mansion. It was really neat. After going to the cemetary, we headed for the capitol. We got in the first tour, and watched a video. Then we got headphones, and listened to our tour guided through those. (Maybe because it was too noisy with all the tours?) The capitol was different than it was last time, they moved the state statues around so that they were not all in the same room. Basically after that, we drove and drove to Fort McHenry, got there just as it closed, and found a hotel to spend the night.
Arlington Cemetery, Virginia.
A marker for the 2,111 unidentified Civil War soldiers buried beneath it.
We awoke and called a cab totake us to the capitol building. He picked us up at ten, and took us right up in front of the capitol. We walked towards the capitol to go on our tour, but the security guard said there were no tours that day because of a ceremony. He said to come back the next day. So, we walked across the street to the Library of Congress. After going through security, we stopped by the bathrooms. They were beautiful! It was all marble, and there were carvings on the walls. Then we took the elevator to the top floor. The building was beautiful! There were paintings, carvingfs, statues, and electronic information touch-screens. A lady standing by the Civil War exhibit gave us "passports" with bar codes on them. She told us to put them in the slot on the touch-screens. We did, and we could add the images to our "collection". That way, we could examine them later online. Then we rode the metro to the stop nearest to Ford's Theater. Since it wasn't yet time for our tour, we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe down the street. They had good food. We walked to Ford's Theater and waited in the tour line. Grandma went inside to get our audio tours, and we went inside the museum. I think it was better with the audio tours, they gave a lot more information than the signs. The museum was really neat, though, and they had the slashed coat the conductor wore, weapons of the conspiritors, and the gun that killed Lincoln! We listened to a ranger talk about Lincoln's death, and saw where he was shot. Then we went across the street to the house where he died. It was pretty grim in there. After the exhibits, there was a spiral staircase going back down. In the middle was a stack of books four feet wide, four feet thick, and two stories high! All the books were about Lincoln. After Ford's Theater, we went back to our hotel and slept.
I woke up again with kids surrounding my bed. Apparently their mother had told them to go into the room quietly and grab their clothing. So, of course, they talked loudly, gathered 'round my bed, and turned a lamp on that was very near my face. After everyone got dressed, we went down to breakfast. Again it was delicious. After going to Grandma and Grandpa's hotel, we left for the tredagar ironworks. We went straight to the front desk. The lady there gave us two new Civil War cards and told us to go to the ranger upstairs. We went to him, and he gave us some book bags that said Civil War National Parks on them. After we explored the museum, Aunt Karileft for home, while we headed for Richmond. There, we went to the museum of the Confederacy, (which was really cool) and to the White House of the Confederacy. Inside the White House, there was a bust of Jefferson Davis. (The president of the Confederacy.) In the bust, andall the paintings of him in his house, he looked exactly like Abraham Lincoln! After going there, we left for Cold Harbor Battlefield. After reading every sign in the whole field, we went in the visitor's center and watched a video. Then we drove to a Days Inn in Arlington. That night we drove into DC so Grandpa could take pictures.
I woke up to Natalie and Braden standing around me, "trying not to wake me up". As soon as my eyes fluttered open, they asked me if I would get up so they could watch TV. (I was sleeping on the couch-bed in front of the TV.) Leah was already awake. Finally, I got up, and got dressed while they watched TV. Soon, Aunt Kari got up. She got her kids dressed, and we headed down to breakfast. It was delicious! We had eggs, sausage patties, waffles, fruit, yogurt, cereal, anything you could want! After breakfast, we stopped by Grandma's hotel and we all left for Williamsburg. We looked in the giftshop and bought our souveniers. After that we went back to the Colonial Gradens and stopped on the way to play with some hoops-and-sticks. Then we went to Jamestown Settlement to try on some armor. After taking pictures, we went to thegift shop to buy the things we didn't on Sunday. After that we went to the Cracker Barrel. The food wasn't that great, as Grandma would be glad to tell you. After eating, we went to Aunt Kari's hotel and swam. Except I was really the only one swimming, since apparently none of her kids know how to swim. They stayed in the hot tub, mostly. Leah had a floatie, she went in the actual pool once or twice. Tanner was being held by his mom. Braden also had a floatie and was having fun with it until his mom took it away and gave it to Tanner. Natalie jumped in the pool a couple of times and canon-balled into the deep end, (which was only five feet deep) but got out right away each time. I seemed to be the only one who was not happy when we finally left. Natalie asked if I would sleep at their motel again. At first I was reluctant, but after she told me I would be sleeping on her actual bed, (no couch-beds please!) and Grandma said that my cousins would really like it, I agreed to stay. That night was much more peaceful.
We got up and got ready for church this morning. We drove to church, though Joe messed us up and took us the wrong way. (Joe is what Grandma named Grandpa's GPS.) After sitting through sacrament meeting, we went back to our motels to change. Then we proceeded to go to Jamestown Settlement. We walked through some of the galleries there, then went outside to the actual settlement. We took a tour through the Indian village with a nice lady in an Indian costume, then she turned us over to a gentleman in a guard's uniform. He gave us the tour of the fort. Following that, he handed us off to a scruffy man in sailor's garb, and he gave us a tour of the three ships docked at the ports. Then we left Jamestown Settlement without stopping at the gif tshop. (Because it was Sunday.)We drove to Historic Jamestowne. We walked through the remains of churches and forts there. We saw the Pocahontas statue and the John Smith statue. After visiting Historic Jamestowne, we left back to our motels. There was a place across the street from our hotel called Uno's Chicago Grill. We had some wonderful food. It tasted really good. After we finished our food, Uncle Jeremy's family and I headed back to Aunt Kari's hotel, while Grandma and Grandpa went to our hotel. I had to sleep there so I could babysit while Aunt Kari took Uncle Jeremy to the airport in the morning. I changed into my PJs. Then Aunt Kari informed me that I would be sleeping with Leah on couch bed. I'm sure you can see why I was not particularly excited, but she didn't keep me up nearly as much as Natalie and Braden did. No, they didn't mean to keep me up, but they were about as happy that they were sleeping together as I was about sleeping with Leah. They were basically just throwing fits late into the night. Eventually I did fall asleep.
We woke up and drove to Williamsburg right away. After printing our tickets from an electronic machine, we went to the costume rentals. The lady there fitted Leah, Natalie, and I into dresses, sashes, and mob caps. She gave each of the boys a tricorn hat. After paying, we went to the RevQuest (Revolutionary Quest) information desk. The man there gave each of us a red bandanna and an envelope with instructions and clues. We got on the Colonial Williamsburg bus. We stayed on the bus for a few stops, then got off. The first thing we did was walk to the Governor's Palace. We took a tour lead by a lady who was very into character. She did an excellent job! When the tour ended, we walked towards a house just to the right of the palace. A woman was standing there with a red and white ribbon on her. We followed her to the back of the house. She was supposed to be a slave who was also a spy. Her "code name" was 368. (Liberty) We were suppopsedto be keeping the identity of someone named James Armistead Layafette a secret. We stopped multiple other times on this "quest", from tight spaces between buildings, to behind prison doors, to meeting with a British spy. It was actually really fun. We also stopped at multiple places which were on an additional map we got. When we went to five of the places, we got a pin with cows on it. Yes, cows. No, I do not know why. At four'o clock, we went to Shields Tavern for a closing ceremony for the RevQuest. The man gave us coins that said Colonial Williamsburg on one side, and RevQuest: The Lion and The Unicorn on the other. After that we walked to the gardens and looked around. Then we dropped off our costumes and headed out. We ate at Golden Corral. It was just as delicious as last time. We ate everything from chicken to steak to chocolate-dipped strawberries. Yum! After dinner (and dessert) we went back to Williamsburg for our ghost tour. It was a really good tourwith some great information and ghost stories. After riding back to our cars on the bus, we drove to our motels and retired.
We got up, got dressed, and went down to breakfast. Soon afterwards, we drove to Aunt Kari's family's hotel. They got in there car, and we drove for about half an hour to Yorktown. We parked and walked inside. As we explored the re-built town, we took pictures, asked questions, and lost Uncle Jeremy, Leah, and Tanner. So, we went towards the battle encampment through the museum. On our way, we found a room where there was clothing to dress up in, so of course Grandma made us put on the clothing. I put on my clothing quickly , so while Natalie and Braden dressed up, I found an apron without a string, and made a hat out of it. After we took pictures, Leah and Tanner ran in with Uncle Jeremy behind them. He had gone to the battle encampment and not told anyone. Let's just say that Aunt Kari was not happy. Then we actually went down to the battle encampment. We listened to someone tell us about cannons and cannon balls, then she called up Braden, Leah, Natalie, a teenage boy, and me up. She had us stand in a line: Braden on the left, then Leah, me, Natalie, and to the far right, the teenager. We went through the steps that they went through firing a cannon. The teenager gave the commands. It was fun. Then we followed a different lady to the medicine tent and learned about the doctors, patients, and remedies. Afterwards, we learned a bit about the kitchen. Then we walked inside the museum, much to our delight. (For it was scorching hot outside.) The museum was really neat. When we finished looking through the museum, we drove to the Yorktown battle field. While there, we watched a really nice video presentation, got these little "Junior Ranger" booklets, and purchased an audio tour. We worked on the booklets, while visiting an indoor ship replica. It was a cool ship. Then we went on the audio tour. It was good, and there were places to get out, look around, and take pictures at every stop. After the tour, it was dark. We retired after eating left-over pizza from the day before.
Natalie and Leah woke me up at about five minutes to seven. They got out some wooden magnent dolls, and we played with those for about two minutes before they changed their minds on what to play. After putting the dolls away, we played ponies. That lasted a bit longer, but was filled mostly with Natalie's pony going shopping, then handing out brushes to all the other ponies. As soon as Natalie and Leah tired of that, Natalie got out a pack of cards andwe played War. It was fun, but she played it differently than I do, so I was little confused. Then Braden wanted to play, and War doesn't really work with more than two people,so we soon quit that and played Uno. Natalie told Leah that she couldn't be on her team, Leah had to be on mine. She wanted to hold the cards, and she wouldn't listen to me when I advised her on which cards to put down, so mostly I was just observing the other kids play. Leah won, though. A little bit after that, the adults got up, and we all ate breakfast. After a bit more packingfrom Aunt Kari's family, we all got in our cars and left for Williamsburg. We drove for a few hours, and while we drove, I watched That Thing You Do. After it was over, Uncle Jeremy, who we were following, pulled off the freeway unexpectedly. He stopped at a hot dog place which apparently they had been to before. The hot dogs were actually pretty good, for a random, dirty, roadside resturaunt. After eating there, we drove for a boring seven more hours. There's really not much else to tell. We checked into our hotels that night.
Wow! I can't believe we've already been gone a week! We woke up late, so we hurried to the lobby for breakfast. It was a normal, regular, everyday, run of the mill, average hotel breakfast. We got in the car and did the same thing we've been doing for days now: drive. I'm getting pretty sick of driving. And I don't mean carsick. We stopped in St. Louis, Missouri to go up the Gateway Arch. I had to practically force Grandpa to go with me, but he really enjoyed taking pictures and was glad he went afterwards. The shuttles that took us to the top were as I remember them: tiny. We knew Grandma would get claustrophobic, then get scared of the heights, so she didn't go with us. It was pretty much how I remembered it at the top,but I had forgotten that the side walls actually slant outward. So far, in fact, that if I leanedover very far, I could sees both bases of the Arch! We had fun in the museum taking pictures. Then we went back to the car. Finally, we arrived in Kentucky! (Well, actually we were already in Kentucky. What I mean is that we arrived in the town in Kentucky where my Aunt Kari lives.) Aunt Kari gave the package Grandma ordered offamazon: amovie. It wasnot just a movie, but a graet movie: That Thing You Do. We ate dinner there. (It was sort of like fried chicken, I guess, but it was, somehow, thinner. Oh, also there was ham in the middle. It was pretty good, though.) I also got to see my cousins who I haven't seen in about two years. Natalie is eight. She's getting baptized later in our trip. That's actually why we came here in the first place. Natalie is in second grade, but is so tall, she could be in the fourth grade. Braden is six. He's diffinitely plumper than he was when I saw him last. Leah is four, and very cute. She is a mystery, though, like most four-year-olds. Tanner is two, he is also cute, and very rowdy. But what can you expect from a toddler boy? After dinner, Natalie dragged me to her room. She insisted we play Barbies. So, we did. She was some sort of pregnant mother who wouldn't let her husband touch the babies for a month, gave Cinderella's fairy godmother a large stick to kill her older children with, and called the police saying her doctor was trying to kill her babies by feeding them. Believe me, it got weirder from there. As soon as Braden came in the room, Natalie quickly threw all the Barbies in the box so we could play ponies. That game lasted about two minutes, though, because it was their bedtime. I left the room, got in my PJs, then went back to their room to go to bed. Of course Natalie and Leah wanted to sleep on the floor with me. That night was a very long night. Leah refused to let us turn off the lights, and threatened to tell on us. When she realized we didn't care, she abandoned that tactic. Instead she ran into the bathroom, grabbed a brush and a comb, and promptly began hitting us with them. I believe it was sometime around then that Natalie went downstairs to tell on Leah. When she came back up, she said to Leah, "Daddy says that if we tattle one more time, Emily will have to leave the room." (I love the kids, but at that point, moving rooms would have been fine with me.) Leah began threaten to "peepee and poopoo" on us if we didn't leave the light on. At some point during this, I was asleep. I wish I had stayed that way, but I didn't. I woke up to Lea threatening to tell again, this time having an audience who cared. I'm pretty sure she did that seven times before she actually told her Dad. He told her to sleep in her bed, and the night was pretty quiet from there.
We got up and went to the kitchen, where there was supposed to be a sit-down breakfast, but apparently the cook called in sick. We had to "scavenge" our food out of the kitchen. We drove for hours until we got to Lincoln, Nebraska. After testing me on the capitals of all the states we've been to, Grandma grabbed her camera and we got out to take pictures. Then we decided to go inside. It was really pretty in there, with lots of mosiacs. We saw the Nebraska unicameral legislative branch in session there. The elavator was half the size of a normal one, and Grandma could barely sqeeze through the door!
After seeing the capitol building, we drove in the car for a while. Somewhere on the east end of Nebraska, we stopped at a seemingly normal street, but it had a parking lot on the side. Oh, and also, there were statues of bison all down the sidewalk. They seemed to be running away. What were they running away from? A wagon train! There were rows and rows of statues of wagons, there passengers being very detailed. It was all so lifelike. There was a captain, a trader, dogs, people riding in wagons, people pushing wagons, walking alongside them, and oxen, mules, and horses pulling wagons. There could have been a real wagon train there. I think the artist must have spent a lot of time (and money) working on that huge project. We drove a while longer, then stayed at a Day's Inn.
We got up late this morning. We all had some breakfast, then completely repacked the car. (I couldn't find anything all day!) After visiting a minute with Uncle Dick and Aunt Evelyn, we left. I asked Grandma if I could watch a movie, since we wouldn't be stopping fof a while. At first she said no, but then Grandpa talked her into letting mewatch Enchanted. I had to stop it in the middle, though, because I was getting car-sick. I probably wouldn't have, except that it was snowing and hailing, and Grandma was jerking and sliding all over the place. Soon, though, I was able to finish the movie. A little while after that, we stopped at Little America and got fifty-cent ice cream cones. The ice cream was stacked twice as tall asa regular cone, and the ice cream was really good. The car had icicles hanging off the bottom! A bit after that, we stopped at the Lincoln Monument which is in a rest area in Nebraska. It was taller than I remember it being. There was ice and snow everywhere, and we were slipping and sliding all over the place! When Grandpa took our picture by the statue, I could barely keep my eyes open, because there was ice being blown into them. We got some gas after that, and Grandma figured we had two and a half hours left of the car ride. So, she let me watch Miss Congeniality. Two and a half hours later, Grandma said we still had an hour and a half to go, so I watched Monsters Inc. When we got to the city we had reservations in, it took us a full fifteen minutes to find the Howard Johnson's we were staying at. Their sign wasn't lit up.
I woke up to the sound of Grandpa's phone vibrating, and rattling the dresser across the room from me. Conference started soon after that. We all watched and, at some point, we all changed into church clothes. As soon as the session ended, we packed up the car, said our good-byes to the kids, then dropped them off at their grandma's house on our way to Aunt Doretta's house. We parked in front of her house, then we all walked towards the "tracks". (Sort of the above-ground version of a subway. They had very nice seats.) When we got to the Conference Center, we walked through some metal detectors, stopped at the bathrooms, then walked to our seats. I guess someone in back home must know a guy, because our seats were right in the middle ofthe plaza. (Which I hear is the best place to sit.) We also saw our stake president's three childres, "the little Hawse girl" as Grandma calls her, and the lady who played Caroline Grant in the play we did last summer, because their seats were next to ours. The session was great, but my favorite part was actually before Conference started. All twenty-two hundred people in the room stood up, and the prophet and First Presidency walked in. You could just feel the spirit. (I think there's more spirit in that room than there is inour homes at any point in Conference.) When conference was over, we saw a couple called the Walkers, who apparently used to live near us. (Their son died in a car accident.) Wetook the tracks back to were we got on, then walked the rest of the way towards Aunt Doretta's house. After that, we stopped at the capitol building for pictures, and headed back to Uncle Dick and Aunt Evelyn's. We had another delicious home-cooked meal, and then we played Five Crowns until midnight.
We didn't only watch baseball and graduation videos last night. We watched quite a few other ones, too. One was from Enchanted Forest. One was of aunt Kim's twelfth birthday. You gave her coloring pages you printed off the internet. One was from some Easter. You had quite the attitude while Grandpa was trying to put you on video. One video was one you were sending to your grandparents. You said that you hated Aunt Kim and that she was forcing you to hold her just to get on camera. You also said that Santa Claus took you home from school in his sled. You were quite the smart aleck.
I woke up really early this morning, so I got up, got dressed, and made my bed. Then I preceded to read until nine forty-eight. I hurriedly ate breakfast with Grandpa, then we all gathered in the TV room for General Conference. We all really liked Sister Dalton's talk. After the first session was over, we packed up our stuff and headed for Uncle Mark and Aunt Shauna's house. We arrived during the opening song. Uncle Mark and Jackson came out to greet us as soon as we got there. We watched Conference. Aunt Shauna's Mom came over and everyone talked to her for a while. Then we went to Golden Corral for dinner. It was the best! We had steak and chicken, fruit and jello rolls and breadsticks, and we even had a chocolate fountain for dessert! We had chocolate-dipped strawberries, cake, and fruit! I also had a bowl of ice cream with hot caramel and hot fudge! Then, Uncle Mark and Grandpa went to the priesthood session of conference, and Aunt Shauna, Grandma, the kids and I went to Hobby Lobby. Mostly Grandma and Aunt Shauna shopped, while I walked Jackson and Olivia (who are both under five) around the store. It was fun, and both of them are so cute! The men and us got back about the same time, and we all went inside. Soon, Jackson wanted me to watch him practice hitting a baseball, so I went outside. I was the outfielder/catcher, and Jackson did pretty well. He hit a couple of balls into the road! After that, he and I played Mario Kart until he went to bed. Then we watched some home videos of Uncle Mark playing baseball from the third to the eighth grade. One of them showed Uncle Mark's coach, smoking marijuana during a game! I slept on the couch.
We got up and left Motel 6 quickly in the morning. We had a drive of about two hours ahead of us, so I decided I wanted to watch another movie. After convincing Grandma and Grandpa that I would not throw up again, I watched a Disney movie. Soon, we arrived at Uncle Dick and Aunt Evelyn's house in Utah. Cousin Teria and her husband Jed. It was really fun to see them, since I'd never met them before. (At least that I can remember.) The adults talked for a while, and I just entertained myself on the couch. When it was time for Grandma's appointment with Diane, her hairdresser, we all left but Aunt Evelyn. Teria and Jed went to visit Jed's mother, and Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Dick and I went to Grandma's appointment. Grandma had Diane not only cut my bangs like they agreed, but trimmed the rest of my hair too. Then Grandpa, Uncle Dick and I left Grandma to her appointment. We took Uncle Dick's car to Gossner's (a food store) and shopped. We got a couple of cheese dips, some cheese curds, and some licorice ice cream for Grandma. After we bought the food, Grandpa bought him and me some ice cream. He got banana nut and chocolate cherry, and I got chocolate cherry and chocolate sundae. Then we left for Aunt Evelyn's. When we got there, Aunt Evelyn gave me a book to read, House on the Hill. I really like it so far. Grandma and Teria and Jed got back at the same time, so we all had dinner together. It was a delicious homemade dinner from Evelyn, with pies and angel food cake for dessert. The adults had a half-hour long discussion/fight about whether or not the "bad" son from The Prodigal Son* really repented or not. Finally, we played Mexican Train. When Teria and Jed left a long while later, the other adults talked for a while while I read my book. Soon, we went to bed. (Except I didn't actually go to bed right away, I had to read a chapter of my book first.) It was my first time since I was about four sleeping in a room by myself. It was great! (No offense, Liz.) I was kind of cold, though.
*A father, in response to his demands, gives the younger of his two sons his inheritance before the father dies. The younger son, after wasting his fortune (the word 'prodigal' means 'wastefully extravagant'), goes hungry during a famine. He then repents and returns home, where the father holds a feast to celebrate his return. The older son refuses to participate, stating that in all the time the son has worked for the father, he did not even give him a goat to celebrate with his friends. His father reminds the older son that everything the father has is the older son's, but that they should still celebrate the return of the younger son as he has come back to them. It is the third and final part of a cycle on redemption, following the Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Parable of the Lost Coin.
We left around nine o'clock Thursday morning. I slept for a while in the car, off and on again. I got pretty bored, so I decided to watch a movie. The minute it was over, I grabbed a plastic bag, and promptly threw up. I slept a bit after that. We got to Boise around seven o'clock, then drove a few more hours. We stayed at a terrible Motel 6 whose TV didn't work, and it didn't even have an alarm clock! Basically, what I'm saying is: never stay at a Motel 6!