Friday, July 31, 2015

Lincoln, Korean & MLK

The National Mall has got to be one of the coolest places in the country.
It was a lot of walking in the hot, humid heat of DC, but it's such a rich place.
I think I'm like every other male who has at one time or another wondered - what would it be like to jump in the reflecting pool?
The Lincoln Memorial is so grand.
Looking good!
The Korean Memorial is an impressive place. I love that truth - Freedom is not free.
On this trip, it really hit me how personal the sacrifices of the Korean War veterans were to my life. If they had not sacrificed their lives, my grandparents and parents would have had a very different life. Same with Sandy's family. We would likely not be in America today and God only knows what our situation would have been. The providence of God moves in amazingly complex ways over generations and nations to produce every single life for His glory and our good.
We also saw the newly made MLK Memorial.
There's the Washington Monument again.
May we stand for truth and justice with courage in the face of any adversity.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

World War II Memorial

One of the cool things about not being back to DC in 15 years was being able to see a few new things. The recently made WWII Memorial was quite a profound place.
One section of the memorial honored the Pacific theater of the war.
The other, the Atlantic. It was ringed by pillars and wreaths that represented each state or territory that participated.
In the last 10 years, I have done quite a bit of reading on military history, especially WWII. I have started to really appreciate the sacrifices that were made by that generation to preserve freedom and to save God's people, the Jews, from genocide. It was a moving experience to visit this place.
I'm not sure a 10-year-old boy can understand the depth of this memorial, but I hope that the boys and girl took something to build a foundation for the sacrifice of others that really points to the ultimate sacrifice in Christ.
They did an excellent job in their design and construction of this memorial. Very impressive.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Washington Monument

Everyone knows George Washington had a huge impact on the founding of our nation in several important ways.
And his monument looks fairly simple. But one thing that we never noticed until this trip was that his monument is visible from almost everywhere in DC, symbolizing GW's far reaching shadow and impact on our nation.
Here it's a powerful backdrop while at the WWII Memorial.
And likewise here it is on the other side of the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial. Mom can't ever get no love from a teenage boy.
And here it is at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.
And there it is at the Tidal Basin on the other side of the Jefferson Memorial.
Everywhere you go in DC, the Monument stands as a striking testimony to the sacrifice and leadership that GW gave for our nation.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


We went to a few Smithsonian Museums too. They have quite a few, and all are pretty cool.
The National History Museum has been updated quite a bit since I was last there.
There were some sweet fossils.
And an awesome giant squid. Obviously, Emery didn't care for this one.
Not to mention a big whale. Is there any other kind?
But some things don't ever change. This guy has been here for over 25 years. I have a picture of him from my 8th grade trip.
Emz was also very impressed with all the bling in the museum. The Hope Diamond really got her attention. Poor her future husband...
Did I mention that Emery liked all the jewelry? We've got way too many pictures of her and jewelry!

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Lawson's

One of the best parts of our trip was seeing the Lawson's whom we have known for a long time.
One of the coolest things about knowing the Lawson's has been seeing them be faithful over decades. When we met some 15 years ago, the plan was to finish college, go to the Master's Seminary, and then plant a church in inner city Baltimore. Well, after much trial and tribulation, perseverance and toil, the Lord has blessed their faithfulness and commitment to His Word and His Gospel to see Baltimore Bible Church planted and growing by His grace.
It's hard to believe that Charis was so tiny and that we babysat her way back when. We love you guys! And oh yeah, we went to the White House, but they wouldn't let us take pictures inside.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Ford's Theatre

One of the few non-Colonial period and only Civil War era places we visited was Ford's Theatre.
It was everyone's first time to visit, and it was quite fascinating.
I don't think anyone else would like it as much as this was pretty much it (we didn't have time to visit the museum). I thought the boys and girl would be bored out of their minds as the Ranger simply talked for about 45 minutes. And he had the poor grammar of speaking about the past in the future tense which drove me batty!
But the boys and girl loved learning about history and are used to adults speaking for long periods of time.
It was a tragic tale of the death of our beloved 16th President - the one who saved the nation while fighting to end slavery. It was also surprising to learn that John Wilkes Booth was a very famous actor at the time. He was the Brad Pitt of his day.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Show me the $$

We went on a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing which is a part of the Department of the Treasury.
It's not to be confused the the Mint. They print paper money at this location and in Texas. At the Mint, they make coins. I just found out that there's a Mint here in SF. Who knew?
There were big bills everywhere. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures of the process. But let's just say there were stacks of millions of dollars everywhere. And we even saw a paper jam. They happen everywhere.
We found out that Emery is worth more than $1M!
And Matt is worth more than Emery. He's close to $1.2M.
And Andrew's the most valuable of all! Ha! We were only measuring how many $100 bills would stack up to their height.

The Supreme Court

Next we visited the Supreme Court.
What a place!
It's a very imposing building.
It hasn't changed much in 15 years since the last time I was here.
It's not a bad place to play hide and seek. The most interesting trivia we learned was that there is a basketball court on the floor above the actual courtroom. The justices don't play there so much as the clerks and security personnel, but that would be a cool place to play ball.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Library of Congress

The coolest library in the world is the Library of Congress. Well, I don't know about the whole world, but probably the whole world.
The outside isn't the coolest part though.
Although the outside did have some cool fountains and statues of Poseidon and his amazing friends.
The great hall is spectacular!
From top to bottom the place is a work of art.
Because Andrew loves reading, he was very much looking forward to visiting this library. Unfortunately, most of the books are off limits to the public. However, there was a young adult / children's section where he could actually read a book from the Library of Congress!
Emery did some reading too. Matt, not so much!
The main reading room is the most amazing part. It is topped with the a breathtaking dome and surrounded by stain-glass archways as pictured here with 12 statues of significant figures representing various important subjects (Moses was one that represented religion). I think I could have sat in a chair and marveled at that place for hours.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Capitol

After traveling all around Washington DC, we finally camped out near our nation's capital and spent time visiting the District.
Our first stop was the Capital. Inside the building was absolutely amazing!
We saw the old Supreme Court.
And the old Senate chamber.
And the old House chamber. The House didn't get the respect of having it's area roped off and preserved like the others. Inside were various statues. Each state has 2 statues of famous people from their state.
California's statues were Junipero Serra, and good old Ronald Reagan.
Unfortunately, the Rotunda was having some repairs done. But even despite that, it was stunning.
The murals were stunning.
The paintings were enormous and originals.
We had a great tour and even got to put our feet on the center of Washington DC!
The Capital definitely pumped us up!