Wow this trip is fun! I'm glad it is as long as it is!! We get to do everything we want to AND just hang out with my siblings! So one really fun thing we got to do was go to Asia's Ballet performance. Stacey has a class of about 5 girls that she teaches ballet to. SO CUTE!!! We got to go. It was really good and fun! I helped Stacey make wands for each of the girls... so I felt invested in the performance and I really wanted it to go well! It did! Asia did so good. Better than the other girls. (but don't tell them I said that!) The past week has been a patriotic one! I am really grateful for the USA! Saturday we had the chance to go on a tour of the Capitol Building. It was awesome!!! Jessica and kids and Darryl and Stacey and kids and Israel and I got to go on the tour! Thanks Jessica for booking it! The Capitol building was amazing! There's so much history there! I learned lots! Our tour guide was funny and really knew her stuff! There was beautiful archi- tecture and artwork! We loved it! Sunday was fun! We made Mexican food for dinner. Darryl claims that the food out here is amazing and there are so many different ethnic restaurants to visit, but he has not yet had really good Mexican food! So he requested it! Monday and Tuesday of this week were pretty fun filled (BUSY)! Monday was long and well... long. Actually it was GREAT! I loved it! We drove with the Shepherds up to Baltimore to visit Fort McHenry. It's the fort that Flew the Star Spangled Banner (the Flag) when Francis Scott Key was in the harbor on a British boat and wrote the words to "The Star Spangled Banner". AMAZING! It was a great experi- ence! There you can visit the officer and soldier barracks and the grounds. I helped to take down the flag that they fly there during the day. It was pretty huge and the Park Ranger said that it was only large enough to cover the blue part on the Star Spangled Banner! WOW! That flag was big. I took a picture of the one we took down right before we began folding it. You can get a feel for it's size! Coolest thing.... Israel and I bought a flag and got to fly it at Fort McHenry. AWE- SOME!!! We were so excited to do that! And now we can take it home with us! Israel and the Park ranger flew it and I took pics of it! It made me really feel connected with History! I took some fun pics of Jessica's fam and a few of Darryl's fam. I just thought I'd let you all see them since we failed to get a picture of us all together!!! I wish we had! That evening for FHE we went to a Crab Shack. Darryl thinks Maryland is the only place to eat crab. He was right about that! It was a fun and new experience to rip apart and eat the crab right out of the shell! It was pretty messy but yummy! It's an experience that is worth having once... probably only once! in the future I think we will order crab cakes, They are less work! But it was fun to go to Annapolis and eat crab! We took a few pics by the water there. Tuesday Darryl Stacey, Asia, Callie, Israel and I all went to the most visited place in Washing- ton D.C., Arlington Cemetery. It was a really neat experi- ence. It is a Memorial to ALL Men and Women who have died defending the United States of America. When I was walking around I felt extreme reverence and gratitude for all who have fought for this country. It really is a sacred place! We got to see the changing of the guards at the tomb of the unknown soldier and we walked through looking at the rows and rows of head stones marking the graves of noble men.WOW! If you are ever feeling unpatriotic, Go. Wednesday January and I made Thank you cards! YEAH!!! It was fun to do together and now they have fun thank you cards whenever they need them! January made three and I made two. We got to use fun scissors that are shaped like animals! It has been a really good week! I love visiting my family!!! I'm glad we are vacation- ing here!