Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is so much more than what the name implies. Not only is it our most treasured cemetery in the nation, it also has a rich deep history. The Cemetery was born out of betrayal and hurt. It was the home of Robert E. Lee — the General of the Confederate Army. Ulysses S. Grant was the General of the Union Army and friends with Lee before the war. Both high ranking military men that had an opportunity to lead the Union Army. Lee decided to take up arms with the Confederate Army because his state (Virginia) was a confederate state. After the war was lost his property was confiscated by the United States government and turned into a cemetery to disgrace him. Tours of the house are still available, however when I visited the home was under construction and could not be viewed.

The Grounds

Upon arrival at Arlington it is a good idea to pay for tram tickets to see all the grounds and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington Today

Up until recently any solider could be buried at Arlington if they so choose. Today space is limited and their are certain requirements that have to be met in order to be laid to rest here. The day I visited there was a burial taking place and I got to witness a portion of it as the coffin passed by me.

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider is an around the clock special detail military guarded tomb honoring those lost in war with no body recovered. The changing of the guard happens every 30 minutes.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Silence and respect are required while visiting and observing all parts of Arlington. The soldiers will address any unnecessary disturbances. It is best to put cell phones on silence when touring the grounds.

The Big Bus Tour

The only tricky place to get to while visiting DC, was getting to the Cemetery. We decided to purchase a two day ticket with the Big Bus Tour because it went to Arlington. I do not recommend using this form of transportation. It would have been easier and cheaper to use an Uber. The Big Bus Tours simply used the same lines the public transit system used. They do provide a nice prerecorded informational tour and headphones while on the bus, but a part from that it is a waste of money and time.

One of their claims to fame is that a bus comes every 10 minutes. In Georgetown we waited two hours for a bus and most places at least 30 minutes. Often the drivers would tell us their bus was full and to go to another bus in which the information they gave us was bad. There was no air conditioning and my daughter had a mild heat stroke at the end of day two. They also tend to pack as many people as they can on them and do not follow any safety precautions. City transit is air conditioned, faster, safer and more dependable. A complaint was filed and we did get a partial refund.

Until next time ~ Happy Travels!

2018/19 Back to School Layouts with a Sketch!

IMG_3079I know….I know….it is almost the first of a new year and I am just now getting around to documenting my kids first day of school. What can I say? The first day of school this year was hard for me. I have my oldest graduating high school! I left my teaching career to stay home with him and never went back to it. I have enjoyed every single minute I have had with my children. Knowing that my oldest is a senior and towers over me (he is 6’6) has me in emotional turmoil. Needless to say, creating this year’s Back to School layout was hard.

I first came up with the above sketch that I used differently on each layout. Starting with my youngest’s page:

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I have had this paper in my stash for over a decade. It was nice to finally have a reason to use it! Granted it feels like I just picked it out at my LSS (that shut down over 8 years ago) yesterday. Yes, I still remember when I bought the paper! That kiddo in the picture was with me in a stroller the day I got it. He was antsy and kept arching his little back letting out angry grunts to let me know his displeasure. Now he is in junior high….oh how time flies!

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For my daughter’s junior year layout I simply moved the picture over to the center and added a ruler I found in a pack of four at the Dollar store. She is in honors classes and transferred to a new school this year because the one she was going to did not have enough class selections for her.

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I stayed fairly true to the sketch for my senior. The gears are actually buttons I found at Joann’s and I love them. I am so proud of this kid! It was bittersweet as I put this in his school scrapbook — the last page! I remember completing his Kindergarten layout and wondering how on earth I was ever going to fill it up. Would I forget? I used to worry that I would, but I never did. I am so glad I took the time to document each and every year. This will not only serve as a keepsake, but will be pulled out at his Graduation party and probably at his wife’s baby shower when they are having their first son. In the mean time I have looked through that album more in the last month than in the last 12 years.

Just remember that the days are long and the years are short. You may be going through sleepless nights and temper tantrums with your littles. Or perhaps you had your kids close together like I did and you are just trying to get through the day with no one getting hurt. I know it is hard and you may be longing for the time when they are grown and all the fun things you can do again. These days are priceless and you will never ever get them back. Try to enjoy every stage because it will be over before you know it.

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!

Making a Heritage Album the Safe Way

My Mom sent me some photocopies of family pictures that go back almost a 100 years. I actually am relieved that they were copies because I could make a historical album with them and the stories without to much concern to ruining them. A blog post is far to lengthy on the stories behind the pictures and the walk thru so I created a video for you:

I created this album as a project for WeCraft. It is a website for the crafter. Go check it out and poke around 🙂

Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!