{to record a cd}

It's a lovely early spring day here in Iowa.  In the back round I can hear sounds of the skid loader as someone does their chores.......the little kiddos are yelling as they work play outside.  There is soft music floating from another room of the house.  In fact, the house is unusually quiet.  Must be because everyone else is elsewhere.:)  Because it would. NOT. be quiet if we were all around.  

As you may have gathered, I am immensely enjoying being home.  I'd love to do a post with snippets of daily like around here at some point.  For now I've offered to help Chels catch up with posts left-over from the trip.  So, without further rambling........

{S T U D I O   S H O T S}

 Mitchell worked super hard the first few days in studio.  He put in some LONG hours playing  guitar or banjo (or both) on every song but one!  

 Our faithful bass player.  Carson does such a great job as the backbone of our instruments.

 I love watching him play......he's just so relaxed as he thumps out his notes.

 I love having Josh's dobro on quite a few songs!  It adds so much interest and beauty.

 Chels alternated between mandolin and piano.  Of course she did a wonderful job at both!

 What a blessing to play instruments with my siblings!  It was so neat that the rooms had windows so we could see each other.  There were smiles, gestures, and jokes passed through those windows!

 One afternoon in the middle of recording instruments tracks, my dear mother showed up with the. MOST. a m a z i n g. green smoothies ever!!!!  I'm tellin you...they were incredible!  And what a wonderful boost to get us through the afternoon- I think that was the day I didn't eat supper till something like 8pm.

The little people were troopers!  

 Here's our baby.   And her voice is as sweet and little as she is.

 Him I call "my little man".  He IS still little, although I know one day I'll wake up and be his little sister, like has happened twice already.:)(in the case of Josh and Carson)

 Dear Elizabeth sings her heart out!  And she can sing high.

 I love Taylor's grin in this picture.  That's so "Taylor"!  Big grin, bigger heart.

 This is the room where we "spread out" while waiting to record. 

 Mother, Chels, and I recorded two songs together.  I love singing with them!  How grateful I am that my mother encouraged us to sing in the first place.  She used to get out her guitar at family devotions and play as the whole (then much smaller) family sang.  I have wonderful memories of her singing to us at bedtime.  She taught me (by example) to sing while working.....in the shower.....anywhere.  I am so grateful that she was patient when Chelsy and I started experimenting with singing parts.  We belted it out and thought we sounded like pros.  I don't ever remember her trying to set us straight when we were horifically off-tune and singing mostly the wrong notes.  Thank you, mother dear!

 {please excuse the odd reflections caused by taking pictures through glass.  thank you.:}

 Chels relaxing......

 Sing, bro!

 Here are some of the amazing crew we were privileged to work with.  (Justin Kropf and Marti Funderburk)  Thanks to all the folks at Daywind who did so much for us!

 Sometimes we had waiting time in our spots while the others fixed their parts.  Here's Chelsy's collection of "chill time stuff". {love how the water bottle says "chill"!}


 Josh- waiting.

Denver probably wins the prize for hugest grin in the family!  He's our enthusiast and optimist extraordinaire!  

And there you have it!  There is still much work to be done before we hold the finished product in our hands........mixing, photo shoot, graphic design, copyrights, etc.

{posted by Allison}


Washington DC

In between our touring in Virginia & Maryland (two weeks ago) we had three days off and spend them in Washington DC.
We had been there three years ago so even though we went to some of the same places again 
(I could go to the Museum of American History every year and not get bored!) 
we also enjoyed visiting some new museums and taking in new sights.
Things there are just like one big history program and it was so fascinating to learn and drink everything in!
As a family, we went to the
 -Museum of American History 
-Russell Sate Senate Building
-Arlington Cemetery
One day we split up and Dad & Mom & the younger ones went to the
-Museum of Natural History
-Air & Space Museum
-IMAX "To Fly"
and us older ones went to the 
-Crime Museum
(FYI: I wouldn't recommend the Crime Museum; there's a lot of unnecessary and graphic details about all sorts of crimes and overall we didn't feel like it what we learned was helpful or worth our time)
All the other places we visited were fantastic!
The one downside was the hassle of getting our big bus and all of us around the city!
 Tuesday morning/afternoon we spent at the Museum of American History.
The guys spent most of their time in the above section. I loved it too-so fascinating to read and learn more about all the different wars our country has fought in. 
The only frustrating thing was that the Civil War exhibits were extremely bias and wrote everything from the North's point of view, which was aggravating-some of us older ones have studied the Civil War quite a bit and they left out lots of pretty amazing details about the Confederates. 
(btw,we may leave in a northern state but that does NOT make us yankees. just saying. =))
Our musical side was interested in this violin played by a soldier 
A favorite exhibit for the ladies in our family was Julia Child's kitchen/cooking shows area. 
A quote from one of her old cooking shows that we watched 
"Some people think its wrong to use butter, because they think it is so fattening. In those cases I say, 'just use cream'!" =)
love it. =)
Allison, Liz, & Rebecca in front of a replica of Julia's kitchen
The "First Ladies" area was a favorite for Liz. 
Allison & I loved that one when we were at the museum three years ago and we knew we wanted to see it again this time. 
Above, Liz is in front of two dresses worn by first ladies at the inagural ball. The one on the right was worn by Laura Bush.
NOT impressed with the shoe fashion of "back then". "
There was a wall in the museum dedicated to old political captions/cartoon drawings. 
This one was great....just wish it was still true today, but unfortunately the current goverement doesn't view the constitiution as binding as our forefathers did.
Tuesday afternoon we had a meeting scheduled with our Iowa senator, Senator Grassley, at 4pm. 
Dad dropped us all off around 3:20pm several blocks from the senate building and then we walked while he went to try to find a place nearby to park the bus. 
It took him a long time and after he finally found a place he was out of time to walk back and had to catch a taxi. He came flying in at 3:58pm. We were glad he made it!
Above, the younger ones passed the waiting time by studying the list of all the different state senators.
We met with Senator Grassley last time we were in DC so he remembered our rather large tribe and the first question he asked us was if there were any additions since last time. =)
We had a great meeting with him-we are so thankful that our state has a senator that is willing to go against the flow and stand up for conservative values!
Following our meeting w/ Senator Grassley, we traveled a maze of elevators and underground hallways to get to Senator Rand Paul's office.
We didn't have a meeting scheduled with him but Dad wanted to go over and give our thanks for the way he spoke out with his fiery filibuster speech the prior week.
The guys outside of Rand Pauls office
We took some pictures outside of the Russell Senate Office Building
Getting back to the bus was an adventure in itself. 
Thankfully people were very helpful and happy to assist us when we got lost. =)
headed toward the bus... "home" in sight!
there are so many amazing buildings in DC!!
We toured the Arlington Cemetery and watched the changing of the guards' ceremony.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The changing of the guards-the order and respect observed-was so amazing!!
It is incredible how many times our founding fathers and various army generals quoted God in their speeches and various written documents!
This is a great one to end with-I saw this on the side of a building one day as we were driving toward the capitol. You can partially see how large it is-over twice as hight as the street post.