Philadelphia Museum of Art

I’m finally getting around to posting the rest of my week with Katie and we were to Wednesday. That was the famous Philadelphia Museum of Art as shown on the left, here. You may recognize the Rocky steps. All 72 of them. And yes, I walked up them all. Katie pretty much skipped, but she wouldn’t do the “Rocky Pose” at the top of the steps for a photo, even though all the other tourists were doing it. I should have just taken a picture of them since she wouldn’t play along.

Because they’re in the midst of cleaning the outside of the museum the picture I took doesn’t do it justice. It’s quite a beautiful building. The less famous entrance is even prettier. It overlooks the Fairmount Park Water Works on the banks of the Schuylkill River. It’s one of the first things you see as you drive in to Philadelphia from the Northwest and a view I don’t think I’ll ever tire of.

I made my usual pre-art museum speech about the probability of nude paintings and sculptures and the unacceptability of gawking, etc. She just rolled her eyes and said, I know, Mom, with the same tone pre-teens reserve for Duh. We ate lunch in their cafe (way overpriced) and managed to see just about all the exhibits.

I had to laugh because I’m not a big fan of contemporary art, however, she helped me to see it a little bit differently. Apparently her art education at the public school is much better than mine ever was.

We both loved the Armory exhibit. What damsel wouldn’t? I was particularly fond of the Monet hall and she seemed to like the Van Gogh as that was fresh in her mind from school.

Finally, exhausted, we left. This picture is what you see from the Rocky steps as you look into Philadelphia. It was a horribly hot and humid day so the picture isn’t as crisp as I’d like. It’s usually quite pretty, though.

The statue is General Washington and he overlooks the Ben Franklin Parkway which was based on the Champs Elysees in Paris. This portion of the parkway is considered International Avenue because there are flags from every country lining it. The fountain you see at the end of the parkway is Swann Fountain and the beautiful building beyond that is Philadelphia City Hall with a statue of William Penn on the top.

When we got down to street level I had to take a picture of this monstrosity. It had been erected and dedicated the previous weekend. Even the news anchors who reported on it couldn’t keep from making veiled snide comments about the orange steel beams. While I love looking at pretty things and think of myself as an appreciater of fine art, I just don’t get this. But whatever.

One of the interesting things about Philadelphia is their art program. There are numerous statues and fountains peppered throughout the entire city. Apparently when a new company is given a business license they are required to give a certain amount of money to Philadelphia’s art program.

Along the same lines, another thing Philadelphia is famous for is their murals program in an effort to combat graffiti. They’ve done a marvelous job of it, too. There are beautiful murals everywhere. Katie took a picture of this one as we drove around the city after the museum.

Obviously it does not extend to U-Haul trucks.

One of the areas we drove through is Antique Row. What an eclectic area this is. There are 250 year old, million dollar brownstones mixed in with flower shops, antique stores, mom and pop groceries and, of course, art shops. This is a picture of a mosaic museum. They recycled bicycle spokes, bottles, broken glass, broken china and who knows what else. Kinda cool, though, huh?

After leaving Philly we stopped in Ardmore for a late lunch/early dinner at Ruby’s Diner. She ordered a cherry coke and hers came with four cherries! So I ordered a cherry coke and mine only came with two. What’s up with that?

After eating we window shopped a little and then came home. A load of laundry and a quick packing job later we were ready for our New York adventure. More on that later.


While Katie and I were driving/running/walking around getting stuffed with culture and yummy food, Todd and Taylor were having life changing spiritual experiences at the Youth Conference they went to. One of the boys who also attended seemed to click with Taylor. He was a couple years older and his life has been a whole lot harder, but he would seek Taylor out and talk to him about God. We found out Wednesday evening that this boy wanted to be baptized the next day and he wanted Taylor to do it.

When a woman with crazy hormones finds out her 15-year-old son has been this kind of an influence on a 17-year-old boy, there are gonna be tears. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure I would have cried regardless of my hormone status. It was a very proud mama I was and I can’t even begin to imagine the range of emotions Todd went through. He watched all this happen right in front of his eyes.

This would be one of the moments where I praise God for the trials He’s put this family through in the last two years. It grew Taylor in unimaginable ways and this was a glimpse of the resulting fruit.


I’m still doing very well. I’m taking very little in the way of pain medication just because I don’t need it. My doctor called a little while ago to tell me the path report came back clear, which hadn’t even been a concern of mine. But it’s nice to hear it anyway.

It’s now time for my afternoon walk around the first floor. Kitchen, dining room, living room, entry way, kitchen, dining room, etc. I’m amazed walking around in this circle doesn’t make me dizzy.


  1. Rosie on July 6, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Jen, I was tripping right along there smiling and reading about you and Katie and your adventures when I got to the stuff about Taylor. I got tears in my eyes…guess you don’t have to be a proud Mama for that reaction. All I can say is Wow!

  2. Angry Woman on July 6, 2007 at 9:28 pm

    Sounds like a great trip to the museum. I’m dying to go there since I have a thing for really, really big art museums. I still haven’t seen all of the Metropolitan Museum of Art yet and I’ve been going there for years. Looking forward to your report on NYC trip.

  3. Eileen on July 6, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    What a wonderful trip to the museum you and Katie had. I have never been there. We have taken the girls to Washington DC and NYC Museums and they love them. They could just spend all day there. I will have to check this one out. The pictures your took are so wonderful!!! Although, I doubt I could have gotten any of my girls to do the Rocky pose too!! So glad you are feeling better and the report from the doctor was good. Keep taking good care of yourself. Looking forward to hearing about NYC. Thanks for your kind comment, it means a lot. XOXO

  4. Tara Marie on July 7, 2007 at 12:24 am

    It sounds like you and Katie had a wonderful day 🙂 But this left me a little concerned “…I know, Mom, with the same tone pre-teens reserve for Duh.” My 5 year old has started using “Duh” and I was positive he was too young? Maybe not?I’m glad Rosie teared up too, I’m not alone–Taylor sounds like an amazing young man.

  5. Burg on July 7, 2007 at 12:26 am

    I’d have totally done the Rocky thing, but I usually do that in front of the doors at Wal-Mart too, so it isn’t that far out of the ordinary for me..

  6. Jen on July 7, 2007 at 1:16 am

    Bless Taylor! What a fantastic thing for a Mom! Your cup runneth over my friend!Glad to hear you are doing well. Hope the anethesia is all you had hoped it would be! LOL Gracious – you deserved any extra dose just for having to lay eyes on that orange thing at the museum! 🙂 Hugs to you!!!

  7. D.O.M. Dan on July 7, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Reading your post made me feel like I was at the museum with you. Great pic of the bank of the river.I know exactly the DUH tone you’re describing. My 13-year-old uses it all the time with his OH, and I DON’T KNOW.I don’t get that steel frame artwork either. The murals and the mosaic I liked.When you talked about lunch I thought for sure you would have gone for a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.Heartwarming to read about your son’s influence.

  8. Jenster on July 7, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    Rosie – It was pretty moving, huh? Only slightly more than how I was moved when I saw him put his dirty socks on the kitchen counter! LOLAmy – It’s a great museum. Beautiful stuff outside and inside. We probably flew through too fast, but we enjoyed ourselves. Let me know if you decide to come this way!Eileen – Philadelphia has a ton of great things to do besides this museum. If you’re ever going to make your way here with the girls (or without) just email me and I’ll give you all kinds of touristy help. Heck, I’ll even buy you gals a cheese steak! :o)Tara – “Preteen” technically means anyone who is not yet a teenager. So a 5-year-old counts. LOLBurg – I want to go places with you! You sound fun. :o)Jen – The anesthesia was nice. Coming out of the anesthesia – not so nice. I think I know how a baby feels when it’s born. All comfy and snoozing and then BAM! Harsh lights, loud noises, cold, etc.Dan – We usually do get a cheesesteak when we go into Philly because, well, we’re in Philly. lol

  9. Trish on July 7, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    Gosh…I feel like I’ve just been to Phily and back. Thanks for the tour 🙂

  10. Kris on July 7, 2007 at 2:37 pm

    I have never been to Philly it sounds really neat. Glad that you had a good time.That is awesome about Taylor. What a great experience for him. That is so cool.

  11. Jenster on July 7, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Trish – the only thing missing is the cheesesteak. lolKris – If you ever make it to Philly let me know. I’d make a great tour guide!

  12. Mailyn on July 7, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    I’m not a fan of contemp art as well.Great to hear that you are doing better! ^__^

  13. Arkansas Songbird on July 7, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    Beautiful pictures of the Philadelphia sights! And what a blessing you received through your son! I’m so glad you understood my reference to the smell of rain in Arkansas. I’ve lived in Louisiana, Colorado, Virgina and Maryland, but the rain in Arkansas smells the best!

  14. Gretchen on July 8, 2007 at 11:46 am

    I agree completely re: the orange monstrosity! Especially in a historical city like Philly. It just doesn’t fit. What a blessing to see your son bear the Fruit of the Spirit. Those moments give the strength and gratitude to move forward on your hard days, I’m sure. Great post. Great pictures. So glad I stopped by. Now…off to church. It’s my turn to help out. (((hugs)))gretchen

  15. Anonymous on July 8, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Jen,This is Tammy that was on the Romantic times website. I hope I’m doing this correctly. I was just thinking of you. So you just had surgery on Wednesday? and you are already writing people back and on the message boards? I feel so ashamed of myself. It was PMS day for me Wednesday and I cried all day because my husband had to work. And then there you are? I suffer from hypothyroidism and between being tired and the depression it brings on at times I get down then I see all you have gone through and how you help people. That is so admirable. I am already moved by what little I have read on your blog.It still amazes me how “yes internet can be a bad thing” but I have meet some fine people. You will go to a thyroid board or a romantic times board and then in this big country you will come in contact with wonderful and GOOD people.You have touched my heart today. I just wanted to say that and I will be praying for a fast recovery.I think it said you live in PA. Is this near Blue Bell? I have a friend that lives there.Thank you again for the book information. I must have been lead to look for that book.My email is if you want to write me back. I don’t know how you would write back on this. Prayers and great thoughts, Tammy

  16. Monnik on July 8, 2007 at 2:06 pm

    It sounds like your trip was awesome. I love the photo of the mural with the U-Haul and the graffiti. It’s just one of those ‘picture stories’ things. Very good work!That’s so cool about Taylor. You have a great family – and he’s obviously a great young man. Kudos to you and Todd.

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