Monday, June 29, 2009

Nauvoo, IL

The first week of June, we joined the majority of the Stewart family for a family reunion in Historic Nauvoo, Illinois. Nauvoo the city is a thriving metropolis on the Mississippi River, boasting about 1,000 residents. Historic Nauvoo, on which the entire city's economy is based, is the Mormon version of Colonial Williamsburg (i.e., an historic village reconstructed to bring in family reunions). Suzy, Tennyson and I were just glad to leave the city and visit the fruited plains.

Suzanne and I both have pioneer ancestors who lived in Nauvoo at one point during their trek from the East Coast to the Wasatch Front (Utah). Here is Suzanne in front of the home of Drusilla Hendricks, her great-great-great-great (we think) -grandmother.
We had a lovely trip (thanks mom!). Tennyson especially loved the pool (that's the Mississippi River in the background). The pool was pretty chilly, but he wouldn't let us get out. The first time he jumped in, I grabbed him and brought him up to the surface, and the instant he caught his breath he yelled, "You've gotta be kidding me!" He then proceeded to jump in and out about 6,000 more times. Crazy kid.

We spent most of our time visiting historic sites, such as....

where we took (the obligatory) family pictures.

This is me with my sisters and mom standing in front of our ancestor's headstone. (From left to right: oldest sister Tammie (and I do mean old), Tessa, mom, me, youngest sister Heather; missing is my second youngest sister Holly Anna).

Sister Tammie with her fam.

Sister Tessa with her fam.

Sister Heather with her fam.

And Tennyson took the opportunity to spend some quality time with his ancestors.

We really enjoyed getting back to our roots and slowing down the pace for a while. As you can tell by the delayed post, we haven't been able to maintain that pace since returning to DC. More on that later. Oh well, we now have memories of peace.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

3 Sentence Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Somehow I made it through middle school (and several years of school after that) without ever reading this classic, but my niece Ashley convinced me to pull the trigger, and I'm glad I did. This is a beautiful (if not slightly contrived) story about a young girl growing up in Alabama during the Depression, her swift discovery of the highs and lows of humanity, and why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird (you have to read it to find out). I didn't like the ending at all until I later stumbled upon the oh-so-true one-sentence prologue that I had previously overlooked: "Lawyers, I suppose, were children once."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


As a "Best of Tennyson" precursor blog to our trip to the midwest, this blog goes out to one person and one person only.  Daddy.  We miss you babe!

Tennyson kissing his "sister".
Tennyson kissing "daddy".

Grandma Julie being selfless while her progeny picks their nose.  Typical.
Grandma Julie's progeny showing her their bugger.
Discovering the wheel.
The average pioneer wagon wheel dwarfs Tennyson.
Good midwestern fun.
Tennyson being fearless at the gymnastics place.

What's not to like about foam squares larger than your head?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Fathers & Sons Camp

I recently took Tenny to his first fathers & sons camp at Cedarville State Forest, MD.  He loved the hotdogs and the ice cream (we were camping in style), but his favorite was the campfire.  He spent the vast majority of his time watching and poking the fire, and then that's all he could talk about for days.  It took Tennyson a while to warm up to the idea of sleeping in a tent, without mommy.  After I zipped up the tent door, I saw T's bottom lip quivering.  I asked what was wrong, and he said, "I don't like this tent.  I want mommy."  Luckily, 30 minutes of playing shadow puppets on the tent ceiling did the trick and Tenny fell asleep on my chest.  He's a good little camping buddy.

Tenny was the youngest dude at the camp, but he had some good guys to look up to.

Tenny warmed his buns by the fire in the early morning.

Tennyson appointed himself the official firewood gatherer.

The older boys (Jay, James, & Jamal) showed Tenny how to light a fire with one match (and one can of lighter fluid).

Here is a short video with more pictures of the fun.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Don't blink

(Or you'll spend the rest of the night cleaning.)

Caught red-handed, Tennyson hides behind his eyelids.