Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Spontaneous, Flexible, Responsive . . .

. . . these are not words that normally describe our family. I would say we're about as maneuverable as an aircraft carrier! But yesterday we were amazingly flexible and spontaneous.

It started around lunchtime, when I decided to sign up to make a meal for our pastor's wife. Our homeschool co-op is making meals for 2 weeks, and no one had signed up, so I jumped right on that! A little before 2:00 (1:47 to be exact), I was puttering around the kitchen, thinking that I should just start making the meal right then, so I could deliver it early for a change, and not be rushing around in the afternoon/evening. At that moment, Nathan came thundering up the stairs from the basement. "MOM, I HAVE A DENTIST APPOINTMENT AT 2:00!!!" Oh yes--the second orthodontic consult. The one that I had gotten an automatic reminder call for on Sunday night, and the one that I had then filled out all the paperwork for, but never thought about one tiny bit all day on Monday! Oops! Well, now my afternoon is filled! We literally leaped into the van and rushed off to the appointment, which fortunately was about 10 minutes away. Whew! Once again I was tremendously thankful to have older boys--I could leave everyone else at home with Luke, including Micah, who I had just put down for a nap. Otherwise, I don't think we could even have found shoes for everyone and gotten out the door in 10 minutes, much less actually arrive anywhere!

So . . . we made it there, had a good appointment (topic for another post!), and came back home so I could put the meal together. Then Bob called. He had a TDY to Quantico Tuesday, and it's a real pain to get down there from here, so he was going to spend Monday night in the TLF. They had given him a 2 room suite with 2 double beds and a pull-out sofa--did we want to go to Quantico that night with him? Yes! I have wanted to go to the Marine Corps Museum since it opened a few years ago, but I've never made the trek down there with the kids. Now we'd already be down there!

Bob delivered the meal and took both boys to football practice while I packed up stuff for everyone for the night. He picked the boys up, we loaded up the big van and the minivan, and we left about 9:15 to drive south. We didn't get in until 10:30, so the kids weren't in bed until 11:00, which made for some crabby girls today, but oh well.

The girls did sleep in a little bit, and once I nursed Micah (a second time, since he was up at 5:15, grrrr), we were ready to go eat around 8:30. I decided to run out to the van to get a stroller for him to sit in , and when I passed the breakfast area, a guy was wiping down the counter and putting the last bagels in a box! Not to worry--I had been afraid there wouldn't be any breakfast at all, so I had packed a cooler with milk, along with cereal, oatmeal, and hard-boiled eggs. So we just ate in the room. Whew! The paper in the room said breakfast was until 9:00, but clearly it was over . . . that's the military way, LOL. As we went out to the van, I eagerly looked forward to the day when we could take a simple overnight trip without requiring a luggage cart to get our suitcase, 2 pack-n-plays, 2 sleeping bags, 4 pillows, toiletries bag, cooler, grocery sack of food, and other random items out to the van!

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is an impressive building that you can see from I-95. We've driven by it several times at night, when it is all lit up. The spires and metal actually reminded us all a little bit of the USAFA Chapel, but it is supposed to invoke the image of the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, with the angle of the pole.
There is an atrium filled with tons of light right when you walk in.

In the atrium were some cut-outs of previous Marine uniforms that you could stand behind. Here Caleb is modeling a uniform from Revolutionary War times. Quite dashing!

The museum was set up really well, with lots of galleries, and many interactive scenes, dioramas, videos, and so on. It was really moving to hear the interviews with Marines, such as from World War II, that were playing. We made it all the way through the World War II gallery, but we didn't get to the "Cold War" gallery, and I believe there might have been another gallery or 2 that we missed. It was really a big place--bigger than it looks on the outside. There were a few interesting-looking movies that were playing in theater-like rooms, but we didn't watch any of those. Faith was being a real stinker, and I knew she wouldn't sit happily through a movie. I had to carry her pretty much the whole time, and I wished I had put Micah in the Ergo and her in the stroller! Of course, then she would have wanted to be out, because what she REALLY wanted was to be contrary, LOL.

The kidi did sit through several of the short little films showing around the exhibits. The one below had several news clips from World War II, as well as some cartoon commercials for war bonds (seeing Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck was what drew them in!).

I would like to go back to see the rest of the exhibits. It is always moving and humbling to spend time contemplating the tremendous price people have paid for our freedom. We are especially proud of Bob's brother Dennis, who was active duty Marine, and now is in the Army reserve!

1 comment:

Tonya said...

Good for you for being spontaneous and flexible! I'm glad you had a good time!