Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Hero's Home

This is post #2 of several tonight as I get caught up.

We traveled to Virginia where we stayed with our long time adoption buddies and it was a real blessing to finally meet each other's families after years of knowing one another via the internet.  How many people would be willing to host 7 other people...for several days?  We know that is not something easily offered, and we are so appreciative of those who have welcomed us into their homes on this trip.  More gracious hosts could never be found.  We have also stayed with the Delille's overnight and are returning for another night tomorrow night. (See the link to their blog on the right)  Add our 5 kids to their 7 kids, and that takes some real bravery!

While visiting in Virginia, we took a day trip to visit the home of our recently discovered hero, Thomas Jefferson.  Monticello was something we were all looking forward to seeing, thanks to the Ken Burns documentary we watched and learned so much from.  Jefferson was a one of a kind man, an enigma in many ways, brilliant and self-educated about so many topics, a confounding contradiction on the topic of slavery, and a lover of knowledge.  How could you not love a man who once said "I cannot live without books." ?  His home is surprisingly not as large as you'd expect, but it was thoughtfully laid out with many conveniences not usually found in homes of the day.

From the moment we pulled into the parking lot, the kids were exclaiming about how beautiful the property was.  Barely out of our car we stumbled upon the Slave Graveyard, and we spent a few minutes there quietly speaking about how there were no headstones and how the lives of the slaves were so difficult, and they passed without notice from this earth.  So much of America was built on the backs of our African American brothers and sisters, and seeing the unmarked grave site provided a moment of reflection the likes of which we have not experienced on this trip other than at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Ready for the tour

A gathering of believers in self-education!! Hahaha!

The famous gardens at Monticello

My SIX children! Ha!

Matthew said this was a beautiful smile of Olesya's, and that I should share it on the blog :-)

The small museum at Monticello was very interesting and interactive

All agreed, one of the top 1 or 2 favorite places we have seen on our trip

Gate to the family cemetary

Beautiful architecture, beautiful gardens.

All the kids bought a little something at the gift shop, and I was really surprised when both Angela and Matthew decided to each select a nice leather bound book of quotes from Thomas Jefferson. We talked about discussing the quotes each day during our Morning Meeting once we get back in the school routine.

The kids are working right beside me on their travel journals.  It has been fun to see what they are recording from their trip, what has meant the most to them, what has "stuck" in their memory banks.  Now, time to work on the next post!

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