Sunday, October 26, 2008

I love NYC - Part 3

We took the train in to the city on Sunday as well. Ended up at the World Trade Center site. The train went right by where they used to stand and you could see into the hole that was left by the buildings. It got pretty quiet on the train as we passed by and everyone stood to look. It was a sobering way to start the day. St. Paul's Chapel is across the street from the WTC and is where the volunteers and workers were cared for during the recovery period. It is an active church but is also set up for visitors. There are displays around the outside of the sanctuary, honoring those lost and those who volunteered. It was very emotionally overwhelming. So much to take in.

The WTC site

The Lord Mayor of the City of London presented a bronze bell to New Yorkers on the first anniversary of September 11th. Cast by the same foundry as the Liberty Bell and London's Big Ben, it conveys the empathy and solidarity of the people of London with the people of New York after the World Trade Center attacks. It is rung on each anniversary of 9-11.

The Flag of Honor has the names of all who were lost on 9-11

School children from Japan sent peace birds to the volunteers and those who lost loved ones.

This was a banner that was sent from Oklahoma - still hanging.

The front of St. Paul's Chapel - it was beautiful!

On a lighter note, we wanted to go through FAO Schwartz too - just to say that we had, since the prices in that place were pretty high. We walked through just in time to see these 2 employees doing their little song and dance routine on the piano from the movie BIG with Tom Hanks. They were really good and entertaining!

This was the view from Top of the Rock. I had read that this view of NYC was better than the Empire State Building. It was on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The very tippy top of the building had an observatory - cost $18, view priceless! :) It was truly an amazing view of the city.

View of Central Park

View looking down from Top of the Rock -- enough to make someone sick!!

Me on Top of the Rock

The ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center -- I want to go skating next time, maybe at Christmas??

Now you know, with 3 women, someone was going to need the restroom!! We happened upon this building and figured there was no better place than to use the restroom!! Thanks Donald!
It was pretty ritzy inside - complete with a waterfall, cafe, Starbucks, food court, and some high end shops. And that was just the 2 bottom floors. There was a security guard at the elevators where you had to show ID to get up to the top floors. No thanks! Oh yea, the restrooms were pretty nice too!

And NO trip to NYC is complete without having some pizza!!

We had a BLAST together and I would do that again in a heartbeat with Mom and Kari. Abraham and Michael survived just fine but were glad to see Momma back!

I love NY -- Part 2

After we got to our hotel (we stayed in NJ since it was much cheaper) and called the men to make sure the kids were still alive :) Kari and I drug Mom back out to go into the city. By this time it was like 8pm and she was wiped out. But she was a trooper and went along for the ride. Our hotel was within walking, ahem, distance from the train that we needed to take into the city. We had a bit of a debacle with getting there but that is for us to know, and for you to NEVER find out!
We ended up riding the train for free, since the "conductor" was too busy keeping tabs on the drunk guys on the bottom level of the train.
Getting into the city was quite an eye opener. Imagine the 3 of us navigating our way through the subway stops and the train stuff -- Mom and Kari wisely gave ME the map and let me be the map reader. Not sure exactly how wise that was.. but we did get there!!
Seriously, Times Square at night is so FANTASTIC! Better than I could have imagined! I have always wanted to do this. The lights, the people, the hustle and bustle... it would be even better at Christmas!
We didn't get back to the hotel until close to midnight... we were tired and our legs and feet were hurting puppies! We crashed and slept great!

My amazing Mom in the middle of Times Square -- she allowed us to take her out of her comfort zone so that she could have the experience with us. What other mom would do this??

Madagascar is coming again! Yahoo!

I so want to see a Broadway play one of these days.

Our self portrait in Times Square ~~ I love these 2 women! Couldn't imagine my life without them!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Trip of a lifetime!! I love NY!!

Finally the pictures from NYC have arrived! We girls had a fantastic time seeing the sights and just enjoying each other's company. We headed to Jersey City on Saturday morning. Left early because we had 11:15 tickets on the ferry to Liberty and Ellis Island. Mom had bought our tickets online Thursday because there weren't but a few left and there were no monument tickets left - the ones that let you get into the actual Statue. When we got to the Jersey City ferry, Kari just happened to ask the guy about monument tickets and he said he had some he could give us!! We were beside ourselves -- you go Sis!

The ferry ride over was chilly but it was so worth it once we got there. Now, all the tour books and stuff say that you can see the islands in 2 - 3 hours... yea right! We hit Liberty Island first - mom had mistakenly bought the audio tour with the tickets but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It was, again, worth the few extra dollars. We toured the Island and then got to go into the bottom part of the Statue. She is an amazingly impressive lady in person. Pictures don't do her justice. Quite imposing. It took us forever to tour all that we wanted to see on the Island. We refused to hurry and just enjoyed our time. The security is nuts-o too! We didn't leave the Island until a little after 3 pm and took the ferry to Ellis Island.

Kari and I

Kari and Mom

Here are some of her stats:
From the top of the base to the top of the torch -- @ 151 feet
From the ground to the top of the torch -- @ 305 feet
Length of her index finger -- 8 feet
The copper that she is made of weighs 31 tons and the steel inside her weights 125 tons!!

She was designed by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, a Frenchman. Lady Liberty was a gift to the US from the French. She was shipped to us in pieces and had to wait to be put together because there wasn't anything to stand her on. Joseph Pulitzer, through the use of his newspaper, helped to motivate the American people to donate to the Pedestal Fund. The pedestal was completed in April of 1886. She was dedicated on October 28, 1886. Part of the poem "The New Collosus" by Emma Lazarus is inscribed on a bronze plaque on the interior of the pedestal.

The steel beams inside Lady Liberty

These 2 are incorrigable -- picking Liberty's nose!!

The girls on the Statue of Liberty - NYC behind us

Ellis Island was pretty cool too. We knew that some of our family members had come through Ellis Island and we were able to check out their names on a Wall of Remembrance. We found the name Mc Andrew, Gluck (mom's side) and Ragan. It was definitely a reality check for me as I read through the placards that described all that the immigrants had to go through just to come to the USA and have the freedoms that we have here. I was struck with the urgency that so many had to flee their living conditions in their countries, praying for a better life in the States. And then they got here and they still had it hard. What perseverance they had. We caught the very last ferry off of Ellis Island to go back to Jersey City at 5:15 pm! We had spent ALL day there! But you know, if that was even all that we had done, it STILL would have been worth it.
(And all I could think about while I was there was that movie Hitch with Will Smith -- he takes Eva Mendes here on a date!)

The entrance to Ellis Island

A hallway in the main part of the building where the immigrants would come -- it looked like a white sterile hospital.

The receiving room -- where the immigrants would have to wait before entering the States.

Examples of the baggage that the immigrants would come with.

The Ragan name on the Wall of Remembrance

View of NYC from Ellis Island -- the Twin Towers were behind and to the left of the two dark buildings in the middle of the picture.

He's EVERYWHERE!! Course Mc Cain was on the other side of the sail!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I have a prayer request for y'all. There is a young guy (Justin) from Michael's work whose wife, Whitney, just had a baby about 3 1/2 weeks ago - Brayden - at 28 weeks, just like our boys. They found a heart murmur about 1 1/2 weeks ago and just this past week the little guy developed NEC (infection in his intestines) and was rushed to Hopkins. They lost him yesterday because of an infection that just kept getting worse.

My heart just breaks for this family. Brayden was their first child - they just got married this past year. So much heartache for such a short time being married. No one should have to bury a child. I can completely sympathize with Whitney, having had the emotions and feelings that she is having right now.

Would you join me in praying for this couple? The coming days will be some of the most difficult emotionally for them. I pray for them the Fathers peace and comfort as we felt in those days after losing Moses.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What a little man!!

So he's not such a little boy any more...
This is my little MAN!! :)
I got his 3 yr. pictures done a bit early but it fit with my days off.
This one is my favorite of the 3.
Attitude? What attitude?? :)

I wasn't sure I'd like all the prints and colors going on but these turned out fairly well I thought!

He did pretty good for the first 1o minutes or so and then it was like all hell broke loose! He took the hat boxes apart and went for the fake acorn and pumpkins! Oh well... such is life with a 3 year old!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

And we're off! Headed to NYC in about 10 minutes and I'm SUPER excited! Will have to take lots of pics and post tomorrow or sometime when I catch up on the sleep that I'm sure to lose!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Heart Chick-fil-A!!!

Tuesday nights are family nights at our local Chick-fil-a, so Abraham and I joined Miss Theresa (a friend from work) and Sadie for dinner and the "show" this week. Clown George was there and was a HUGE hit... barely got them to eat before they were entranced by his magic and music. As you can tell from the pictures they were having a BLAST!
We have serious L.O.V.E for Chick-fil-A!!

Clown George singing with the kids. He wore me out with all HIS energy!

Clown George being VERY funny! :)

Sadie was a dancing fool! Of course the pictures were ALL blurry :)

Don't you just love the smile on that face?? Hard to believe he's almost 3!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Kari's Birthday...

So the batteries in my camera weren't working well at all during Kari's birthday celebration. I only got 2 good pictures... and these are it!
Proof that Abraham has Momma's sweet tooth!
When asked what HE wanted for his up coming birthday, he replied "Chocolate Cake!" and nothing else!! Too funny!

G-dad and Abraham enjoying KK's chocolate cake!

G-dad and Mimi double teaming Abraham with kisses!!

Oh, by the way... I didn't get Kari a gift because we (Mom, Kari and I) are going to NYC for a girls weekend! We are going Saturday and Sunday - an OVERNIGHT trip, without the kids or hubbys!! (Our hubbys have graciously offered to watch the kids for the weekend so we can get away for a bit - our men ROCK!) We have N.E.V.E.R done this and we are so stoked about it!! I can't wait. I have been to NYC before but mom and Kari haven't, so this will be an adventure for all of us. We plan on seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island then heading to the city for some time to explore. Kari got this awesome new camera for her bday so I'm expecting to come home with some great shots!


If any of my 5 readers have any suggestions of things to see or do, please let me know!

I love Mc Gruff the Crime Dog!

This past Saturday, the local police department was holding a Safety Fair in one of the parks. They were offering the Kidprint ID cards for free. It is a credit card looking card that has his name, height, weight, eye color, hair color, date of birth and his picture on the front of it. On the back is a scanned image of his thumbprint. The purpose of these cards is if a child goes missing, the card can be shown without the parent having to think on the spot of the critical details. His thumbprint is also on file with the police department.
It started at 10 AM and we got there just a little after. There was already about 15 families in line with their little ones in tow.
Abraham did great - I was a bit worried that he wouldn't sit for the picture but he was a trooper! He did LOVE seeing Mc Gruff and actually wanted his picture taken with the dog - now THERE is a first!!
They had lots of free stuff, a cool playground set up as well as pony rides. It also looked like they were doing car seat checks too.
It was a great opportunity and I'm really glad that we were able to take advantage of it.

Waiting in line - he actually fell down these stairs while we were waiting! Caught himself with his hands so his head didn't hit! Great job Momma... NOT!!!

I am NOT very good at self portraits --- and Abraham is NOT very good at cooperating! So what is new?

Having his picture taken by the Lions Club guys - they were super nice!

Abraham and Mc Gruff - that smile says it all! He was taken with the doggie!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Sis!

There are only a few people who I consider to be my "sister friends". You know, those girlfriends who you can share your heart with and you don't have to be afraid of what they think of you. I have three friends like this. One of those friends really isn't my friend.. I mean she is but she started out as my blood sister!
Today is my sister's birthday. I was feeling a bit nostalgic about it so I dug up some of my favorite pictures of us as kids. These pictures might just get me in trouble with her but, what are friends for right?
We haven't always been the best of friends. There was a time in my life (teen life!) that I wanted nothing to do with her. She was a bother. But as we grew up, I realized what a great thing we had going.
Now, she is not only my sister but my best friend! Other than my hubby, there is no one who knows me better (except maybe my Mom!) and no one who understands me more than Kari. I don't know what I'd do without her. She is often my reality check. We share laughter and sometimes tears too.
So today I thank the Father for her and for her sister friendship in my life.
I love you sis --- Happy 30th B-day!! :)
(And don't worry --- I'll always be older!! That should make you feel better!)
May 1980 - Erinn (4), Kari (1 1/2)

Summer 1980
October 1981 - Erinn (6), Kari (3)

KK with Abraham - December 2005
This was the first time she had ever seen him.

Easter 2007

May 2008 - Kenny Chesney concert

May 2008 -March of Dimes Walk America

The Walk has become "our" thing. This time together is our chance as sisters and women to remember Moses' life and to share our hearts as mommies. I treasure this time with Kari.