Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday 11/11

Mr. Naterman and Dr. Armstrong are listening intently with a captivated interest.

Students enjoying Colonial Williamsburg today.

What another FANTASTIC day we've had! This morning we all enjoyed much needed additional sleep. We were able to depart at 8:30 a.m. for Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the U.S. We saw firsthand how primitive these young men's lifestyles truly were. We actually saw a demonstration of how hides were tanned...amazing! Who would have ever thought to put the carcus's brain and water together to use as a preservative? Can you belive it took 8 hours to tan a hide, and if you left for any time whatsoever, you essentially had to start all over? We also saw replicas of the Susan Constant, Discovery, and Godspeed.The cramped quarters on these vessels was fascinating.

We left Jamestown and headed to Colonial Williamsburg where students and parents alike relished a bit of "free" time in Merchant's Square. Students could dine at any of the eateries and then shop at the quaint little stores. Most of our SCS students found their way to the Candy Shoppe where they were amazed at the overwhelming selection of goodies. After a satisfying lunch, we took a tour through the town and saw the Governor's Palace as well as the Capitol. The oppulence of the Palace even now is quite impressive; I can't imagine what it must have been like back then. The Capitol is home to the first legislative body, the House of Burgesses. One of our dads, Steven Davis, thankfully was found innocent of stealing a horse outside a local tavern (thank goodness)! We also ventured in the wig shoppe as well as the apocathery. Some watched the Veteran's Day Parade which marched right through the main street. It was quite surreal to think we were watching a celebration which honors are great heroes in a place where so many great heroes in our country once resided. We enjoyed a homestyle supper at the King's Tavern of turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, and vanilla ice cream. We then went on the "legends" of Williamsburg tour where we heard tales of many of the town's former residents.

We are still having a FANTASTIC time, and the students are representing SCS in a Christian-like manner that has made us proud. Tomorrow morning, we're out the hotel VERY early. We will drive about 2 hours north before stopping at Mt. Vernon, Washington's home. Afterward, we're off to our respective airports for departure. Please continue to pray for our group, and we can't wait to see all of our loved ones back home.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday 11/10

Greetings from GORGEOUS Williamsburg, VA! We left DC this morning after checking out of our hotel. We arrived in Charlottesville a bit earlier than expected; consequently, we decided to use the extra time to take a drive through the first public college in the United States, the University of Virginia. (Did you know it was founded by our third president, Thomas Jefferson, who considered it one of his three most accomplished achievements? The other two things he wanted known as part of his legacy was that he was the writer of the Declaration of Independence and the creator of Virginia's Religious Freedom Act.) We arrived at Michie's Tavern and Museum where we learned a colonial dance and other forms of entertainment in colonial America. We had an absolutely delicious southern meal consisting of fried chicken, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, black-eyed peas, green beans, stewed tomatoes, homemade biscuits, peach cobbler, and the BEST iced-tea ever! We then traveled to Monticello, Jefferson's plantation home. As minister to France, Jefferson loved French architecture, specifically the Pantheon; therefore, it's no surprise he modeled his residence after it. The grounds were breathtaking, especially this time of year with the fall color.

From Charlottesville, we headed another hour or so south to the state's current capital of Richmond. We saw the most INCREDIBLE re-enactment of the meeting of Virginia delegates who argued for and against going to war with Britain for freedom. One of our very own students, Justin King, served as the minister and gave the invocation. At this famous historical structure, St. John's Church, the re-enactment concluded with Mr. Patrick Henry's cry for freedom, "Give me liberty or give me death!" We really felt a part of this rich experience.

After a nourishing dinner at Cracker Barrel, we drove down to Williamsburg where we put up for the evening at Embassy Suites. Thursday's activities are certain to be exciting as we head to Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg. We're having a FANTASTIC time but miss everyone back home. We ask that you continue to pray for us as we prepare for departure on Friday.


Learning the Virginia Reel.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday 11/9

Wow! Okay, listen to of our moms has been wearing a pedometer, and can you believe since we arrived in DC yesterday at noon, we've walked 16 miles? For as fast as the pace has been on this trip, we've had a remarkably "relaxing" time! Today we started off the morning bright and early at 7:00 a.m. We went to the White House for a really picturesque photo op. We then headed to the Supreme Court building. Court was in session so unfortunately, we couldn't go in; however, merely sitting out front and learning about the building from our tour guides, was fascinating. We then headed to the Capitol Building where we learned NUMEROUS things about Congress. (Did you know, for example, that each of the fifty states is allowed two bronze or marble statues of figures of their choosing that represent the state? Texas selected General Sam Houstin and Stephen F. Austin.) After an incredibly interesting tour, we walked over to the Library of Congress where we saw the Gutenberg Bible among many other neat exhibits. After a relaxing lunch, we visited the National Archives where students were mesmerized to see the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. The GORGEOUS autumn weather tempted many to want to play on the lawn on the mall; however, the Smithsonian Air and Space and Natural History museums tempted us more. Did you know that Chuck Yeager refused compensation for flying the Bell X-1? Another test pilot employed by the company explained he would do it but wanted monetary compensation. Yeager said that as a military pilot who served his country, it was his duty and refused to be paid. As a result, we know Yeager's name as the first to break the speed of sound; the other pilot...what was his name? :) Being humble is most definitely a rewarding virtue. The evening concluded with a relaxing, homestyle meal and then tours of the FDR and Jeffersoun memorials. Tomorrow we head south to Virginia where we'll see Michie's Tavern, Monticello, and St. John's Church. We'll put up for the evening in Williamsburg. Please continue to pray for our group and feel free to leave comments on any of the posts -- until tomorrow!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday 11/8

Whew! What an exhausting, yet exhilirating, day we've had today. We arrived at the airport around 6 a.m. We were giddy with anticipation at the promise of the day's events. When we arrived in D.C., we were delighted to feel the wonderful sunshine on our faces and comfortable, yet crisp, autumn air. We couldn't ask for a more lovely day. We saw the gravesights of those who so valiantly gave their lives so that we might be free. The sheer number of graves made us really reflect on what our country has gone through to get to where it is now. Four of our students, Karilyn Brown, Samantha Vernon, Zach Kerr, and Courtney Stack all did a fantastic job at the wreath laying ceremony.
We moved from Arlington to the monuments and memorials. Everyone had one that really stood out to him/her. We had several SCS students and parents who were able to locate names of lost love ones on the Vietnam Memorial; everyone felt a connection.
Tomorrow we're headed to the White House, among other sites, for a packed day of fun and adventure. We hope all our family members and friends are doing well in Texas. God's speed!
JFK's Gravesite -- The Eternal Flame

The Lincoln Memorial

The Faces of Heroes

The official Southwest Christian School Wreath placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Military escort after laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Arlington Cemetery

We are here!

Students begin their military escort to the wreath and the Tomb.

SCS students prepare to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The official Southwest Christian School wreath.