A Special Visit: The White House

Visiting The White House was an extraordinary moment in time!!!

Both Christopher and I wanted the children to visit The White House while President Barack Obama was still in office. This moment may not exist again in our lifetime. We needed them to understand that anything is possible with hard work, courage, determination and perseverance.

President Obama is a man of great integrity, dignity, and unbending principle. He is also an amazing leader. He’s always conducted himself with great pride , courage, restraint and showed tremendous love for his country. We wanted Jordan and Alexandra to see the face of hope and possibility.  President Obama represents that and so much more.

Pictures to come……


PIZZA DISASTER……Part 2 | Lost in Translation!

(click on photos to enlarge)

We did not do a lot of sightseeing yesterday because we dedicated that day to catch up on work. Christopher had several work deadlines to meet. Jordan has math, spelling, and summer reading assignments that we’ve neglected for the past three days. Janel has a lot of work (biology, Spanish, summer reading, college stuff, etc.) to finish for her senior year at Oak Knoll School. Alexandra was working on her alphabet. I supervised everyone to make sure the work was getting done. You and I both know they would rather be outside seeing more of Rome. However, in the Chapman household, the motto is, “Work hard play even harder”. By the way, the baby next to Alex is Maddie. She travels everywhere with us. I have the same Maddie twin waiting at home just in case she’s accidentally left in a cab, airplane, crushed underneath two tires while on a ski trip… You never know what could happen to Maddie. None of you better ever mention any of this to Alex!!!!!

IMG_2782 IMG_2789 IMG_2788 IMG_2784

We did go out much later in the evening. Jordan was not too thrilled with the schedule. As soon as he was done, outside started calling his name. He and Christopher went out briefly to get lunch. We stopped working by 5 p.m. to get ready for our evening adventure. Everybody looked adorable including Maddie.

IMG_2791 IMG_2792 IMG_2793 IMG_6916 IMG_6914 IMG_6913 IMG_6912 IMG_6921

Things were going really well until I told Jordan he had to button up his shirt. He wanted to be like Michael Jackson and leave the shirt wide open to show off his undershirt. Who does those things? Where does he come up with this ideas? Of course that was not working for Christopher and me. We vetoed the idea. CRISIS!!!!!! He lost his mind. From then on, things went down hill.

He was in a a foul mood. He was pouting.  He refused to take pictures. He no longer wanted to walk anywhere. He was acting like a spoiled little child. (Basically acting like Christopher when he was that age and had to have things his way. Well……I can’t say  Jordan was acting like  me. I was the perfect little angel at that age. I’m serious! I did what I was told. You just have to take my word for it!!!!!!)

IMG_6902 IMG_6909 IMG_6901 IMG_6896

Everyone wanted to eat, but we preferred to look around the neighborhood first.


But then, Alex followed suit with Jordan and started complaining about food. So we decided to abandon the walk and just go to dinner. We passed several pizzerias along the way. At each one, Jordan said, “This pizza place looks good to me!” Janel and I said no way. We were looking too pretty and wanted a nice restaurant. Now my Mama is not going to be happy reading that her Grandchildren have been living on pizza. But, let’s all remind my mother that in the NJ school district, pizza is now considered “healthy food”. So as far as I’m concerned,  the picky little boy is eating healthy. No, I will not say that to my Mama’s face, just on the blog. To continue…….we found this nice restaurant with outside seating.

IMG_2960 IMG_2808 IMG_2802

The first food ordered was the boy’s pizza. Christopher said to the waiter, “Can we get a Margherita pizza with cheese?” The waiter asked, “What kind of cheese? Mozzarella or ricotta?” Christopher answered, “Mozzarella cheese.” Then we ordered for ourselves. Alex was going to eat pizza with Jordan. We waited for over 25 minutes. When the food finally arrived, the waiters placed the main course on table before going back for the appetizers. Now, I’m no food critic or expert, but I had been hoping that the appetizers would curb our hunger until the main course.

With all of that said, we all (especially Jordan) realized that there was one dish missing and a ball of mozzarella on lettuce was in its place.


We assumed that the pizza was on its way. The waiter then asked if everything was okay. We all looked at each other. Christopher then asked the waiter for the pizza. The waiter: “WHAT PIZZA?! We do not serve pizza; this is not pizzeria! This is ristorante!!!” He seemed quite insulted. We looked at each other again, thinking, “What’s his point? A restaurant is a restaurant! This is Italy! Pizza and pasta everywhere, no?!” and, more importantly, “What do we do NOW?!” Jordan had no food. He had been waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) for his pizza since lunch (granted that his lunch had been pizza as well), and after we finally chose a restaurant with the perfect setting, there was NO PIZZA! We didn’t know what to do. For a minute or two, we wondered whether to get up and leave or just eat our food (which admittedly looked pretty good).


What kind of parents were we?! Dilemmas, dilemmas, dilemmas… We also didn’t want to be considered ‘rude Americans’ by our host. So we (minus Jordan) indulged ourselves. We attempted everything: we tried to bribe the boy with bruschetta, pasta, water, lettuce, you name it…but he wasn’t having it. On the other hand, Alex was having a blast going with the flow and trying new things. She had decided that her hunger was too great and wanted to taste something from everyone’s plate. So she ate well.

IMG_2832 IMG_1617 IMG_1616 IMG_1614 IMG_2812  IMG_2823

Unfortunately this was not the case for Jordan. We did, however, give him permission to play games on our iPhones at the table, which we never would have done at dinner. The circumstances were just too overwhelming to stick to the status quo.

IMG_2825 IMG_2827 IMG_2829

We tried to eat as quickly as possible, and we even left Christopher at the table to pay the bill so we could rush and order a pizza down the block (they know us pretty well over there by now). No time for dessert! Jordan had to eat. This is what happens when you don’t understand the language.