Friday, May 30, 2014

USS Missouri and "Punchbowl" Cemetery

Right after our tour of Pearl Harbor, we headed over to the USS Missouri for a tour. This was my first time to get a close look at a battleship, and it was interesting.
This ship was used for 5 days during the Persian Gulf war, launching Tomahawk missiles.

This ship sustained an attack by a Japanese Kamikaze pilot during the war. The crew gave the pilot a seaside burial with a Japanese flag that they fashioned together with materials on board the ship.
 A couple of photos from inside the ship. It was more spacious that I had imagined it to be, but I bet after weeks on end of being aboard, it wouldn't seem very spacious.  These are two different dining rooms.
 It was upon this ship, that the Instrument of Surrender was signed by Japan, ending WWII. This is a reproduction of the document.

A statue of Admiral Chester W. Nimtiz, who served as commander in chief of the Pacific fleet during WWII.

This is a colorized statue of one of the most famous photographs of the war era.

 We had a quick drive-through tour of The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, or the "Punchbowl" Cemetery.  The grounds were being prepared for the upcoming services for Memorial Day weekend.  The cemetery is built within the Punchbowl crater, hence the nickname.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pearl Harbor

Our first island to visit while in Hawaii was Oahu. We spent one night there so we could tour Pearl Harbor. We had to be ready to meet our guide at our hotel in Honolulu at 5:15 AM. Our guide was a native Hawaiian, named Al. He told us that if we didn't get in line at the gate of Pearl Harbor before 7 AM that it can take a terribly long time to enter. We arrived at the gate at about 6:30, and there were probably already 100 people in line. Pearl Harbor is second most visited US monument ever year. Only the Statue of Liberty receives more visitors. Since we had to leave our hotel before they began serving breakfast, we ate granola bars on the way and I got coffee from the snack shop at Pearl Harbor.

 This is one of the anchors that was being used on the USS Arizona the day it was attacked. You can see from the plaque, that it weighs almost 9 tons. The force of the blast sent this anchor sailing 100 yards away from the ship. That is hard to fathom!
 This is the memorial that is seated above where the Arizona rests. 
 The sunken ship is now teeming with marine life, and  it still leaking oil as you can see below.
The ship had been filled to capacity with oil the night before the attack. The ship burned for two days after the attack because of all the oil. 
 This makes up one of the walls inside the memorial. It lists the names of all those who perished in the attack. So sad.

 The area was beautifully landscaped. Birds of Paradise above and Rubber trees below.
The bridge that you can see in the background of the photo above is the Admiral Clarey Bridge, and it is a pontoon (or floating) drawbridge. There are only a few bridges like this in the world. It takes about 25 minutes to retract the bridge.

President FDR's speech that was given to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was interesting to see this with all of the handwritten editing on it. He labored over his words here.
 The Japanese planes were detected by US radar before the attack began. However, they were mistaken for US B-52's that were due to arrive the same day from California.

We had about 3 hours to spend at Pearl Harbor, and we could have spent more time there. I didn't get to see everything at the museum, but I appreciated what I did have time to see.  They show a film with live footage from that fateful day, and that was well worth the time.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Eva Kate Turns One

Three weeks ago we had the joy of celebrating our daughter's first birthday. We had her party in my hometown of Hot Springs, AR at Lake Catherine state park. The weather was beautiful.

 The party favors were chocolate bars from Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis. They had an image of the St. Louis Arch on them. Yummy!
 My mom and mother-in-law did a great job helping me with the decorations.

My dad did a wonderful job grilling burgers and hotdogs. His burgers are always some of the best I ever eat.
 My Aunt Sandy and Uncle Charles allowed us to use their vintage convertible for Eva Kate's one year photos. Thank you so very much!
 My mom made Eva's tutu & I made her onesie.

I got the cake from Ambrosia Bakery in Hot Springs, and it was fantastic. The did an awesome job with the cake decoration and it taste like homemade cake.

 It was a blessing to have our family there to celebrate with us.

Thank you to my cousin Kenzie for these fabulous photos!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there. I hope you had a great day with people you love. Here's a few throwback pics.
 Mother's Day 2012. Samuel was 3 months old, and he slept through dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. 
 Mother's Day 2013. I don't think there will ever be a Mother's Day that tops this one for me. We had just brought our newborn surprise daughter home from the hospital the day before. You just can't get any better than the gift of a baby! I was over the moon to have her in my arms during church that day. Samuel wore his "big brother" shirt to church, and that's how our news spread at church that day.

This year. I'm honored to be their mom, and forever grateful to the woman who made me a mommy.
 James and the kids gave me flowers, a photo editing program (Adobe Lightroom) that I've been wanting and a "Camera Creatures" photo prop. It slides onto your lens & makes a squeaky sounds to aid in getting a child's or pet's attention.

Happy Mother's day to my mom and mother-in-law. I'm grateful to have both of you in my lives and my children's lives. Thank you for the godly influences you have been to me over the years.

 These women are never far from my mind. They all loved their families with devotion, and they are sorely missed. In the photo above is my mom's sister, Norine, and their mom. In the photo below is my dad's mom holding me. My aunt and my dad's mom were taken from us too soon. Eva Kate is named after these two of her great-grandmothers. I bet these ladies are having a fun visit with each other in heaven today.