Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Field Trip to Mount Vernon!

"Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the LORD your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish."
Deuteronomy 8:19
Last Saturday night we went to our friends, the Lockwoods, house. We ate grilled pizza and home made ice cream and had lots of fun together. We went on their zip line, looked at their gardens, explored their woods, and watched their chickens play; talking to each other all the time. It was a great night of fellowship!
We also had a wonderful Father's Day. We went up to our Grandparents house in Northern VA to celebrate 2 birthdays, 1 anniversary, and Father's Day!! I'll tell you more about Father's Day later, Lord willing. We stayed overnight at Grandpa/ma's house and had a delicious breakfast Monday morning. Grandma made blueberry muffins, hard-boiled eggs, sausage, toast, and more. Grandma is a REALLY good cook!
We (9 Wassenbergs') left for Mount Vernon after breakfast. Grandma stayed at home with Lydia and Grandpa went to work at the post office. Grandma bought us the tickets to Mount Vernon as a Father's Day gift!
We went to Mount Vernon because we've been studying history and he (George Washington) was one of the people we recently learned about. We're hoping to be able to go to Monticello, Berkely Plantation, Williamsburg, etc. too.

8 Wassenbergs

Mama on the go

By the way, in the pictures she's wearing pants but we have finally convinced her that skirts/dresses are so much better and she now prefers skirts over pants! Yeah!! :-D
Oh - and Daddy likes (prefers) her in skirts too!

Purple Heart Plaque.

I don't know if anyone else knows this (outside the military) but the Purple Heart, that is awarded to those who are wounded fighting for the U.S.A., has the picture of George Washington on it. Click on the picture and it will enlarge making it easier to read why.

Seth by a metallic George Washington.
The sky was absolutely gorgeous, so there will be a couple more landscape pictures!

Caleb inside the museum.
This was one of the windows and it was so pretty, I just had to take a picture!

8 Wassenbergs (I'm taking the pictures) posing by statues of George Washington, his wife, and his two step-children, Jackie and Patsy.
We went and watched a 20-minute movie on George Washington before heading outside to his house. Only once in the entire movie did they mention "divine Providence" (a.k.a God) as the way George Washington suceeded. Most of the time they just said it was "luck" or the "weather conditions" that protected this man from death and gave him victory, when it was only because of Jesus that George Washington was the man that he was.
Here's a true story to illustrate what I just said:
"The account of George Washington at the Battle at the Monongahela was included in student textbooks in America until 1934. during the French and Indian War, George Washington fought alongside of the British General Edward Braddock. On July 9, 1775, the British were on the way to Fort Duquesne, when the French surprised them in an ambush attack.
The British, who were not accustomed to fighting unless in an open field, were being annihilated. Washington rode back and forth across the battle delivering General Braddock's orders. As the battle raged, every other officer on horseback, except Washington, was shot down. Even Gerneral Braddock was killed at which point the troops fled in confusion. After the battle, on July 18, 1775, Washington wrote to his brother, John A. Washington:
'But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probablility or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me!'
Fifteen years later, Washington and Dr. Craik, a close friend of his from his youth, were traveling through those same woods near the Ohio river and Great Kanawha river. They were met by an old Indian chief, who addressed Washington through an interpreter:
'I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far blue mountains.
'I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forests that I first beheld this chief [Washington].
'I called to my young men and said, "Mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe-he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do - himself alone exposed.
'"Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies." Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss - 'twas all in vain, a power mightier far than we, shielded you.
'Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy:
'Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man [pointing at Washington]. and guides his destinies - he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homge to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.'
The famous Indian warrior, who was in that battle, said:
'Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle, and after all could not bring him to the ground!'"
story taken from America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quoatations by William J. Federer
pgs. 636-637
Walking to George Washington's house.
(Look at that sky!)

Mount Vernon!!!!

A huge ash tree.
It doesn't look very big in the pictures but it was HUGE!

Hannah and Josiah
We had a line that we had to wait in before we could get in the house, so we played, waited, and enjoyed the beauty of God's creation.


This is one of my favorite pictures of Weedels.

A magnolia flower.
The scenery at Mount Vernon was beautiful. They had pathways (brick, gravel, and stone) all over the place and the trees and grass was kept very nicely.

A view of the 3rd floor of Mount Vernon's home.
We finally got in to a small house and were instructed to "take no picture, no smoking," etc. and given a little overview of what Mount Vernon was like before the 2 additions that George Washington added.
George Washington received the Mount Vernon estate from his half-brother Lawrence who died when George was 19.
The house had two beautiful aisleways lined with pillars leading to and from the front of the house (connected to 2 other smaller houses). So, I took lots of pictures of the pillars! :)

A pillar and the Potomac River.

More pillars.
We were waiting to get inside the house inside the aisleways where the pillars were so that's why I took pictures!
We finally got inside the mansion and there was a tour guide in every room explaining everything. It was really neat! (I love history) I thought the house wasn't as pretty as Gunston Hall, or the mansion at Maymont in that case, but it was still elegant and beautifully decorated. Most of the walls were in their original state (had not been re-painted) which made it look older. We learned a couple things and enjoyed peeking in all the rooms! Then we went outside along this aisleway:

...and entered a house.
Then we went down the street, looked in the different houses, wandered around, etc. while we made our way to Washington's gravesite.


George Washington is the grave on the right and his wife is on the left. In between their graves on the wall was a sign (see picture) that had John 3:16 inscribed upon. I wonder how long that'll be there...

One of the cows on the estate. They had different animals such as mules, goats, etc. The poor cow was getting eaten alive by flies. I'm sure he wished he had a longer tail!

The Potomac River.
Where we looked out there were bottles and something that looked like oil on the surface, so it wasn't exactly the most beautiful sight to gaze upon! :)

Caleb and 'Siah petting a goat.
One of the things we found out was that George Washington was a huge planner, thinker, inventor, overseer, etc. He created many things to try and help with some of the difficult ways of farming such as seperating the wheat from the chaff. He nutrified the soil with organic compost, rotated his crops, and more. He was a huge entrepreneur. He owned around 8,000 acres (inherited and bought) but the estate is now only around 500. I could go on about his farming but I don't have time to elaborate. :(
George Washington always wanted to be at home but duty called him. When he was unanimously elected president he said (don't take me word-for-word here!) "I feel like a prisoner being led to his execution." Pretty strong, but that tells you how much he just wanted to be a simple citizen. He died of some throat infection that literally made his throat swell up until he suffocated to death because his airways were blocked. Not the best way to die, if you ask me. His wife, Martha, died 2 1/2 years later, and she never again slept on their marriage bed again once george died.

Caleb and Hannah on a bridge in the woods.

Isn't that so beautiful?
(The landscape, I mean)
Jesus gave us a beautiful day to enjoy. It was the perfect temperature with a light breeze to cool you off when you got hot.

I think that one of the only "religious" things about George Washington that we found on the whole estate.
We were really glad to find something about his Christian life.

A zinnia.

Seth, Josiah, Caleb, and Alexis as the "Washington family."

A picture of all 9 Wassenbergs, shot into a mirror, to end a wonderful day!
And, of course, here are some random pictures I've taken recently.
A rainbow on the way home Monday.

Rainbows always make me think of God's promise to Noah when I see them.

Caleb playing his guitar.
(He's getting really good!)

Lydia in Daddy's work shoes.
This morning she had Mama's shoes on.

All for Jesus,
"The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained."
George Washington, 1789, Inaugural Address

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