Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ryan Family Mountains Trip

We had a great time in Maggie Valley this past week for our annual Ryan family mountains trip! Usually we go during the fourth, but due to scheduling conflicts, we had to push it back... we missed the awesome fireworks, but still enjoyed our time together so much!
Benson's first trip to Ghost Town was a HIT!

Here's our little cowboy in all his splendor!

This is Benson showing off his smile... we've been working on it... "show me your teeth and open your eyes.." because "cheese" wasn't really cutting it for me!

The children were having a good time, I promise..

I like this picture because I just so happened to catch Mr. Tom and Mrs. Lula kissing in the background :)

Riding the chairlift was the HIGHLIGHT of the trip! For the children that is... us adults were a nervous wreck!

Look at the view! (look at those ears! :) )

This doesn't look like we have to be that brave, but this thing swings out over the edge of the mountain! It took GUTS to get on it! At least that's what we told ourselves! :)

Now THIS thing took some REAL guts!

We could actually see our house from ghost town!

Us and some random lady in purple drinking a pepsi. idk...

Here's the can-can girl suggesting that Benjamin looks like her lost love :)

indoor picnic...

sweet cousins

Brittany and Jeremy reading the babies a bedtime story... I mean, how cute is this?!

cutie patootie hannah banana

Mrs. Lula's cousins and all of their family were there on their family vacation and stopped by for a visit! Their crew is even bigger than ours if you can imagine that!

This is sweet little abby with addie grace. Abby was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 23 months and is now 5 years old and continuing to battle cancer. Her care page is abbysmith12 if you'd like to see more of her story and read updates about this sweet family and how the Lord is using them mightily even during such a tough time!

Here's a random pre-mountain pic of Benson with the GALLON of blueberries we picked to take to the mountains. G-G took us to pick berries and I think Benson ATE as many as we PICKED!

Feeding the fish... (or addie grace, depending on how you look at it...)

This could be my favorite pic of the week. What sweet little sisters... :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gallaudet University

As we were leaving Washington, it dawned on me that D.C. is home to Gallaudet Univeristy, named for the founder of the first Deaf school in America. It's a world renowned college for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people as well as a huge resource for interpreter training programs.
The rest of our crew humoured me, and we typed it in the ole GPS and navigated ourselves to the University-- and I must say-- it might have been the HIGHLIGHT of the trip for me!!
There are probably only two or three people who may read this who can appreciate the coolness of getting to visit Gallaudet (I'm guessing Stephabulous, Cara and Joy-- if they get a chance to read it :) )
We only did a brief stop, but I soaked up every minute! I just wish I'd have been able to spend a little more time there! I DID get to ask someone (in sign, of course) where the bookstore was as well as another person where the Restroom was-- big whoop, i know! I would have loved to sit in the little food court area and chatted all day! Maybe next time we go to DC, we can build that into the itinerary! WHAT a cool experience to be a GALLAUDET!!!

Are you Kidding me?! BENSON HALL! Now THAT is a neat serendipity!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. was so much fun! Even though I initially thought that Benson was a little too young to really "appreciate" or "enjoy" this trip-- he really surprised me with his interest in the museums and looking at the capitol and Washington Monument-- I mean, he wasn't like reciting historical facts or anything, but he would point them out, which I thought was pretty good!

This is one for the senior ad/rehearsal dinner slideshow...

Watching the trapeze at the circus captivated him...

Benson's got the best uncles in the world! Since Mr. Tom also works for Farm Bureau, and this is the family trip, Grandmama, Grandaddy, Uncle Jo and Uncle J got to come too! It was like a mini family vacation! Here uncle Jo is being a great sport-- I think he should use this pic as his new Facebook profile pic :) I'm lovin' the green light up glasses!

Benson really enjoyed the "cheesecake lollipops" they had for dessert-- can you tell?

Jamie and Thomas-- so cute :)

Here we are on the water taxi from our resort going to old Alexandria-- a really neat little historic place.

It was windy.

I can't say that benson was exactly "interested" in the TOUR of the inside of the capitol-- but grandaddy entertained him by letting him put stickers on his nose? Oh the things that entertain this boy...

Walking the mall..

This picture captures Benson on the mall quite adequately... he just ran around chasing pigeons and hollering the whole time...

Us in front of Kitty Hawk-- the first air plane-- well, i'm pretty sure the first one crashed, but this is a life-size replica. We bought a book about it for Benson, so of course we had to go back and snap a pic in front of it..

Thomas and Benson, Pilot and Co-Pilot

Ok-- so this is probably my favorite picture ever of these two!

Benson was watching daddy do this cool physics experiment in the air and space museum--

And on the way home, he was OUT...

While the boys played golf, Me, Benson and Mrs. Lula went to the National Museum of Natural History. We got there at around 11 that morning and stayed til six at night! The science teacher in me had to seize every opportunity to expose Benson to all of the neat things in the musuem-- it was awesome! I think we could spend another whole WEEK in there and not see everything!


And he spotted another one hanging from the ceiling...

Tyranasarous Rex!


I snapped this pic and didn't realize til I got home and uploaded the pics to the computer that it looks like this fossils backbone is Benson's mohawk! I've been seeing more and more parents shaving their children's hair into mohawks-- maybe we'll give it a go?! (ha! yeah RIGHT!)

Benson signing "Lizard"

T.Rex head! These things were so huge!

Capt'n Benson at sea

Looking at the elephant in the rotunda.

Elephant leg bone and Benson... he loved this little exhibit-- we couldn't get him off of the steps--- silly thing!

The cafe in the bottom of the Natural History museum was SO GOOD! (Maybe we were just SO HUNGRY?!) Benson really enjoyed his broccoli and for some reason was cracking up with every bite? Delerious maybe?

Bald Eagle

This boy had ice cream on the brain!

Aw mama... more fossils?!

Benson the termite

Inside the Butterfly room... SO COOL!!!

We ate at this amazing restaurant called Maggianos. They have them in most major cities-- I think this is the third one we've eaten at-- I would DEFINTIELY reccomend it to anyone if you ever see one-- just don't eat anything the entire day before you go! We had the perfect spot for the boys to play since it's a full four course meal and took forever!

The monstrous building the the background was our hotel-- The Gaylord

Our last night, Benson slept all the way through dinner in his stroller, just like this...

Fun Times!

And here's the whole group at Arlington Cemetery the day we left...