Military Monday: White House Spring Garden Tour

I am so blessed to be here in this amazing place, DC!  I mean, I never could have imagined, or would have even thought things would happen to me the way they have.  We were blessed at the end of April with tickets to the White House Spring Garden tour, and in turn I got to bless several sweet families with the opportunity to go.  That’s why I’m here doing this, to give back. It sounds so cliched but its true.  I love volunteering, and I think everyone should do it, and include their kids.  We take ours all the time to events and its so great.  It’s a legacy we are leaving them, and I hope they continue it.  Find a way to get involved.  You can look on Points of Light (great organization) to find out how to get involved in anything you want, whether it’s military or not – there’s my PSA for the day!

The White House gardens are beautiful.  They aren’t big and glamorous or anything, but beautiful none the less.  It’s the history really, that draws you in.  Trees planted by Presidents from years and years ago.  That’s really cool.    We saw a Japanese Maple planted by Frances Folsom Cleveland in 1893 (didn’t snag a picture!! GRRRRR).  There was also the Children’s Garden, by Lady Bird Johnson that we didn’t get to go see.  It’s definitely something you can do with kids.  We’ve been lucky enough to tour the White House and its definitely doable with kids.  However we did the inside tour we didn’t take Phillip.  If you ever get to go to the Easter Egg Roll bring a stroller.  They do allow them and I would bring it, even if you think your kids might not need it!  Bring it.  You can bring strollers to the Garden Tour as well.

 Jacqueline Kennedy Garden 

close up of Kennedy Garden

isn’t that Wisteria gorgeous?!

where all the awesome outdoor speeches happen
Rose Garden area
 The South Lawn Area (I think the Cutlip Maple is on the left here – planted
by George and Laura Bush in 2001)
I’m fairly certain this is the Cedar of Labanon planted by Jimmy Carter in 1978

 lots of vistors, but it wasn’t super overwhelming.

 White House Bee Hives

White House Kitchen Garden (is really big), planted by Michelle Obama with help from local 
community groups and area school children (originally started in 2009)

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ICE! at Gaylord National Harbor

This year the hubby and I took the kids to see ICE! at the National Harbor.  Normally this is a pricey event, but we were able to snag a special deal on LivingSocial.  It was a truly fun event and the kid’s had a blast.  Although I don’t know that it is necessarily worth the full price.  It’s a really hefty price tag for a couple rooms of ice, even if it is truly spectacular to look at.  They do offer a military discount, and Phillip was free!

This year’s theme was Twas the Night Before Christams

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#Rewind365 – A Year Ago Today….


Every Thursday come join us in ‘Rewind 365’!
It can be something you posted on your blog a year ago, a memory, a photo or even a video taken  a year ago!
This is what was going on with me a year ago:
So What Happened With You A Year Ago Today?Join in and “Rewind 365” days and tell us what you were up to A Year Ago Today!
It’s all simple:
1.Your hosts: Mommy Only Has Two Hands, and Rheanna from Cammo Style Love (We will read your posts) 2. Tweet3. Create a Post with a picture, a memory, or even a previous blog post from 1 year ago, make sure you include our button so we have more people joining every week. (You can put this in your side bar if you don’t want to put it in your post.

4. Link your post up on the linky below so we can all check it out. 5. And the most important thing:


  So, the hubby has my laptop…so I was forced to scour my facebook page to discover what I might have been doing a year ago today….

 My guess, based on all the pics was that we may have ventured out to the National Marine Corp Museum!



If you are ever in the Northern VA/DC area I highly recommend you get out and visit it.  They did an absolutely marvelous job putting it together, both inside and out.  The kids were entertained, my husband was in heaven, plus there’s all these adorable (fresh out of boot camp) Marines on special duty there.  They are pretty cute.

 What were you doing a year ago today?
Make sure to come back every Thursday and Link UP!

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We met an astronaut….a bit ago….

Real quick, I’m hopping here today! Obviously MARvelousThursday Favorite Things

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Awhile ago we had probably the coolest thing happen, that I’ve been around for.  A real space shuttle came to town, flew around and landed only miles from our house.  It was one of those amazing historical events that my parents can talk about remembering.  We don’t have many of those (especially positive and fun ones) these days….in fact most of the ones that are earth shattering have been horrific and who wants to fondly remember those things.  So, the Space Shuttle Discovery flew into DC!  It is now retired and has come to rest at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum.  It was quite exciting and my little aspiring Astronaut had to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience.  I took the kids out to the airport to see the Space Airplane and the Shuttle on top.  When it registered to Brian what he was looking at he just got so excited!  It was so amazing to be able to give this experience to my children.  It is really more than I can adequately say in words.

 so excited, so we decided to call my mom

While I was trolling some local mom blogs and news for events in the area I heard about Space Day at the Museum.  I just couldn’t get it together, on my own with three kids, for the opening ceremonies so when I heard about Space Day I thought, well, if I go to sleep, get the double stroller out I should be able to handle it by myself.  So we went to space day and it was amazing.  The absolute highlight of our day was meeting an astronaut who actually flew on Discovery.  We met Stephen Bowen, a Capt in the US Navy.  He is the first Submarine Officer chosen by NASA as a mission specialist and has worked with Endeavor, Atlantis and Discovery.  It was pretty cool.  Brian has his very own Space Shuttle with him, and Mr. Bowen took it and quite adorably explained the part they always get wrong on these.  Being a dad himself he knew just how to engage my son and Brian was just thrilled beyond belief.

 look at my silly kids!
 checking out a real astronaut’s suit and trying on a glove
 did this all on their own and its way too adorable!
 My very very happy son

 Talking with Captain Bowen about the toy shuttle vs. the real ones

 sitting in a Cesna

 Memorial outside with dedications

Caught an awesome picture!
Anyway, like I said this was such an amazing experience for my kids.  I think Brian will remember it, Ami might not when she’s older, but I have these pictures for them to see.  Every day I can’t believe that we are here.  Its so amazing.

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DC/NoVa Adventures – The National Cathedral

One of our first visits to Washington, DC was to the National Cathedral.  When we first moved here we decided that we wouldn’t rush the whole church hunting thing, because “church shopping” is probably one of my least favorite parts about being a military spouse.  So, in order to ease into things we decided to take a tour of some historic churches to both satisfy our unquenchable thirst for all things historical, which we both share, and attend a church on Sundays.  Naturally, our first thought was The National Cathedral.  We actually ended up going there about six or so times.  It was pretty amazing.  The people were wonderful, the staff was great, the sermons were wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed the traditional aspects of it. I would highly recommend attending service there, as well as taking a tour. It is a pretty incredible experience. One of the Pastors that we met while there was a gentleman on Sabbatical from Westminster Abbey.  He had been part of the service when William and Kate got married.  Now I’m sorry, but that is pretty darn cool!

National Cathedral Fun Facts

  • The church has a stained glass window dedicated to the Apollo XI mission.  In the middle of the red circle is a piece of the moon.
  • Woodrow Wilson is buried in the Cathedral, and is one of the only people buried in a tomb and not in a crypt.  He’s actually right in the worship area, which is cool but weird.  Just right there where you can touch it.
  • Each one of these kneeling cushions in some of the historic chapels inside is hand done, each with different themes.  One of the Chapel’s has cushions representing each state.  Each is made by someone in a committee that had to submit various samples and be approved.  There is even one made by the Queen Mother!

One of my favorite parts of the Cathedral is the Children’s Chapel. It has everything you would find a regular chapel, except everything is in miniature form. It even has a real, working organ that is kid-size. So sweet!


Add this to your list of places to visit when you come to DC. Check out their website for the most up-to-date info on service time, tour offerings, and their special tours like after dark and the gargoyles tour!






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