Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Long Overdue

For those of you who have been anxiously awaiting some...any news about us your wait is over! I never thought I would say this but I was overjoyed (with tears in my eyes) when I found out that the family we are staying with here in Colorado Springs has DSL.


It took a few days but I have downloaded all of my pictures and have picked a few that you might enjoy. I think I left off in Peoria, IL. After Illinois, we made our way through Indiana and into Kentucky. The only excitement in Indiana was watching a man-hunt unfold along the highway. We did find the below sign in a rest area. I must admit that I am rather terrified of tornados and since this season has been rather active already I was not very excited to be in the middle of "tornado alley" for so much of this trip. Ask anyone we stayed with and they will tell you that tornados were at the foremost of my mind.

So thankful that Indiana is prepared for it's guests.

From our trailer window in Kentucky. We found this little camping spot and loved the sound of the creek so much that we kept the doors and windows open till late into the night. This is the same night that we took a trip to the ER over a half hour away and then decided to not go in. I posted earlier about Brown Sugar having croup. I am happy to announce that she is doing well.

Our next stop was the Creation Museum. Had to take a picture of Martin Luther nailing those 95 theses
The Creation Museum was quite impressive. We absolutely loved the Planetarium where they give you the full scope of the Universe. It is a must see. The rest of the museum was well done and yet I wouldn't necessarily travel across the country just to see it. But, if you are ever in the Kentucky area please stop by and support this museum that not only promotes Creation but a six day Creation (kind of a biblical thought don't ya think?)

They had a replica of the ark that was 1% of the size of the real ark. Amazing!

The gardens at the museum are beautiful and well maintained. I wish this picture showed more than just my family.

They opened up a petting zoo on the day that we attended. Brown Sugar was not too sure about these ponies...

but....Daisy loved the goats.

After Kentucky (which i think is the most beautiful state I have ever driven through) we headed to Tennessee. I am not sure if I posted the story of how we finally found our destination but it was a bit more of an adventure than I would have desired. But, our trusty GPS and some deductive reasoning got us to our destination and we enjoyed a few days with some new friends.

Stacy, this picture is for you. Mrs. Lovett was making motzerella cheese but did not have any cheesecloth so she used a lace scarf instead. We all commented on how feminine it looked

While we were in Tennessee we had many get-togethers. They have an incredible fellowship of believers in this area. We enjoyed ourselves so much and were so welcomed that we ended up staying a couple more days.

The Lovett's kitchen seemed to always be bustling with activity. Sunday night was full of activity with all the families of the church gathering to enjoy more fellowship.

Quite a few birthdays were to be celebrated including Mr. Lovett, Daisy, and I. Another gathering at Mr. Lovett's parent's home where we had...

Red Velvet Cake. Rather southern don't you think?

Cristy, Rachel and I. Two other Patriarch Wives that I had the priviledge to meet. We stayed with Cristy and her family.

Well, the Tennessee gang tried to keep us there longer by ordering an incredibly rain storm. I now know why this area is so green.

Just thought this was kind of funny. Most of the gas prices were between $3.45 and $3.89.

Next stop was Missouri. I actually did not have this historic monument on my agenda but after looking into it I decided that this would be a great homeschool stop. Can you guess where this is?

Hmmmm....this is the view from the top. Whatta think?

O-kay, so this picture gives it all away. Yep, Daisy, Boo, Goose, and Lil' Cowboy went to the top of the 650ft St. Louis Arch. It is actually called the Jefferson Expansion Arch.

Here they are...those wild Davis kids that were courageous enough to make it to the top. Miss M and I stayed down with Brown Sugar because we are deathly afraid of heights and being in close quarters....

like these. This is the "container" elevator that you ride to the top in.

The museum below the arch was incredible with great displays and lots of information.
The kiddos.

The arch is exactly 650 ft tall and 650 ft wide at the bottom. It sways as much as 9 inches in both directions. We were also able to see a National Geographic movie on Lewis and Clark on the giant screen in the museum. We love these kind of excursions...this is what makes homeschooling so much fun.

Brown Sugar and her new friend T. T is a sweet blessing to our family. Eric met her while in Liberia picking up Brown Sugar and Lil' Cowboy. She was so tiny that her leg was the same size as his finger. She had some medical problems which needed to be resolved and we were especially grateful that the Richardson family decided to adopt her. Mrs. Richardson would always end our phone calls by saying that "we hope to meet on this side of heaven". Obviously Eric was not able to meet this family but we were.

I will take a bit of blame for this problem but Mrs. Richardson has given me permission to blame the rest of it on her! I really think this was another ploy to get us to stay a few days longer. The grass was much more muddier than she thought and so the trailer and van were stuck.

Then, the trailer and van and their friends 4x4 truck were stuck...

but, thanks to the local tow truck we all got unstuck. What an ordeal.

One of the highlights of this stop was the only World War I museum in all of the United States. It is smack dab in the middle of Kansas City. We were impressed with the tower but the museum below the tower was one of the best I have ever been to. The details and the exhibits could keep you coming back for many more visits. There is just too much information and yet we got a better idea about this sometimes forgotten war that was suppose to end all wars.

Here is the gang in front of the memorial.

One of my favorite pics from this visit.

The view from the top of the tower. This is the Train Station that at one time was a bigger hub than Chicago. The memorial was built in 1922 right after World War I ended so that visitors would see it as they exited the station and be a continual reminder to them.
O-kay, I will admit that driving through Kansas I kept looking out the windows for tornados. Actually, I really did have reason to since there were warning floating all over the state a couple of days before. But, alas, there were none and no adventures to tell about. We did stop at Fort Hays. It is a former military fort out in the middle of nowhere. The buildings were quite fun to walk through and we did learn a bit about life on the prairie. For instance, the forts in Kansas did not have log walls surrounding them as seen in many old movies. Rather they had structures like those above to go to for protection against Indian raids. They found out pretty quickly that the Indians in this region were not hostile at all.


Goose (trying to be serious)


Miss M

Lil' Cowboy (with his big grin)

Brown Sugar

My kiddos got right into helping with the chores at our friend's home. They were all thrilled to learn how to milk a goat.

Tonya, Me, Andie, and Trish. More Patriarch Wives at a church social. We attended Reformation Church in Castle Rock, CO Sunday morning. This is another wonderful church that understands the value of community and fellowshipping with the saints. I have been blessed to be able to visit such strong churches across the U.S.

Brown Sugar at Focus on the Family. We had such fun down in the Adventures in Odyssey section of the complex.

One of the highlights of our trip to Odyssey was the kids being able to record their own episode of Adventures in Odyssey. They all did great! The girls had the spoken parts and the boys were Foley. Foley is the name for the person that does all of the sound effects. Foley is also Lil' Cowboy's African name. Kind of fun!

After Focus on the Family headquarters we were able to get a behind the scenes tour of the Air Force Academy. Maybe one of my boys will want to go here for school. This is the world famous chapel which was much bigger than I had expected.

Mr. Chapa with us all. He took us on a great tour of the main living and learning area of the school. This is not open to visitors but because he teaches here we were priviledged to see quite a bit including the jet propulsion labs. He was full of all sorts of incredibly information about the history of the Air Force, the history of the school, and the science behind flying.

Today we took a tour of the Olympic training center. I did not know that there were three in the country (the other two being in Chula Vista, CA and Lake Placid, NY). The tour was led by Geoff Corrigan who is on the male gymnastic team. He injured his arm recently and will not be able to compete this year. He was full of information about the different sports that train at this facility. Because of the high altitude not all sports can be trained here. They are definately gearing up for Bejing in August. So are we as avid fans of the Olympics. We are not particularly sports fans but we love to watch the Olympics. Maybe because it only comes around every two years!
But, what I really like is the determination that it takes to become a world class athlete. These are not superstars that show up on Sunday afternoon to entertain the masses. These athletes work for four years to become the best in their field. I don't necessarily agree with the idea of giving up everything to devote your life to sports but the lessons learned from their diligence is rather admirable.
Anyway, we are enjoying our stay here in Colorado Springs. This area reminds me so much of Central Oregon where I spent nine years of my life. I love the mountains and the pine trees. Once again we are staying with a wonderful family but this time this family has succeeded in "conning" us into staying a bit longer. It wasn't hard when they told us that the Colorado Homeschool Convention was coming up very soon. And, then to add sugar to the deal they informed me that Voddie Bauchum, Douglas Philips, and the Von Trapp singers (great grandchildren of the famous Von Trapps) will be guests at this conference. Who could resist!


Chris said...

Too bad we didn't have a homeschool convention.

Christy O said...

It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. what a great thing for you all to do. The year my dad died (I was 12 and my brother was 11) we took a trip out west for more than a month with my mother, seeing sights, visiting friends, going to lots of places. It was a wonderful healing time for us all where we were creating a new life. I hope you are all blessed by this time together!

Julo said...

Kentucky IS so beautiful. We spent 4 years there at SBTS and loved it. For our anniversary one year we went to Cumberland Falls State Park, the "Niagara of the South".

What great memories you're making for your family!

Laurie said...

Thank you so much for taking us along on your wonderful adventure in our beautiful country. I was born in California, spent all 60 years of my life here in So. Ca. and have not seen any other states. But hey, California is a big state. I am so happy for this time you have spent with the kids and the wonderful fellowship you have experienced along the way. What great memories you are storing up in your hearts. I just know in my heart that you make Eric so proud.
Praying for continued safe travels. Oh and the pictures of being stuck in the grass were CLASSIC. Gotta have some unpredictable fun along the way:)

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Mountain Mama said...

Awesome!! So much fun. So many memories.
Bummer that you are not coming back this way. If things change, let me know. You are welcome here any time!
sweet blessings to you,

Kenj said...

Hey! Where did Miss P's hair go? Very cute, P!

Love the photo of Brown Sugar and T. What a fantastic thing to see her so healthy.

howiesgal said...

I LOVE Daisy's hair!!! Miss you all but glad to hear you are having such fun and making great memories!

Vanderpolclan said...

I love the picture of Brown Sugar at Adventures in Odessey. I am glad you are all having such a good time together. What a blessing to attend godly churches on the way!

Cindy in Canada

Heather said...


Thank you for sharing your pictures. I have been praying for you and wondering how your trip was going. I too am horrified of tornadoes. I prayed quite often on our trip to presbytery and back that we would not see one. ;o) We also stopped at the arch in St. Louis and loved it too.

I love Daisy's haircut, very cute!!

Thanks for all of your encouragement with Seth.

Love, Heather

Elissa said...

OH, how fun, looks like y'all are having a ball! Now seeing the pictures of up in the arch, I wished I had gone up when we visited :D Tell Daisy her haircut is adorable on her!!

godlover said...

Heather, what a wonderful post!! And so many pictures!!! Loved them all. You all look really great. Having fun can be so therapeutic and cleansing to the soul. So many memories!!! This is a trip of a lifetime. You must have spent hours and hours (days?) figuring out your itinerary, making contacts, etc. It's nice that your schedule is fluid enough for you to be able to do pretty much as you please, an extra day here and there along the way. Continuing to pray for your health and safety on your trip.

Calaveras County CA

holynickel said...

You were in my back yard over here at the Arch. You know I have grown up in this area and only went up in the thing once...and I was 21 at that.

I really need to take the kids there.

Thanks for sharing all your fun.

Mama2fiveblessings said...

What amazing photos!! I've been following your blog for a while now and it sounds like this trip has been amazing for your family. Our family was in Colorado last week and we got a chance to visit Focus on the Family too so it was fun to see your photos. Praying that the rest of your trip is a blessing.

felmleyfam said...

so great to hear an update and see the pictures. thank you for sharing. loved the part about Foley! Praying for you and yours.

Jean said...

So glad you made it through Kansas without any tornado warnings. It was pretty scary, for me, not my guys, they were looking for them. We are so glad to be home in good ole California. Looking forward to having you all back with us.

Love & Blessings, Jean

Matthew said...

I loved the pictures of KC, MO. Those brought back some great memories. The train station is so gorgeous, but what is little known is that one of the best BBQ restaurants in Kansas City is tucked away behind the station. It's only known to the locals. I must have spent 15 minutes watching that fountain. I didn't know that there is only 1 WWI memorial in the country. We drove past it, but if we had known it was, we would have definitely made time to see it. If it wasn't a sin I would be envious of your trip.
Still praying,
P.S We still want to bring dinner over sometime and do some catching up. :-)

homeskoolmom5883 said...

Next time you come through you have to come on a Monday so you can extend your visit here too-- without missing the fellowship of a wonderful church. Obviously the camper in the mud didn't work, well we have a whole year to think up something else...hehe.
Funny, I was terrified of tornados when we moved here, but you get used to it.
All of the children thought Goose "trying to be serious" in Hays was funny.
If we could have that line up at a homeschool conference we'd stay too :) We have had the priviledge of having Doug Philips and Voddie Bauchum, but havent' heard the Von Trapps--what great fun!

BelovedPeace said...

Cute hair cut Daisy!!! :OD
Love ya!
Amy :O)

Martha A. said...

You got to meet so many PW's! It sounds like you are having a great trip able to see so many things. I have thought about moving to MO because I loved the history there! I have a relative in Kansas City, MO and we drove around and took a look when we bought our van there.

I think the Von Trapp grandchildren actually live here alot of the time and though I have not met them or I don't think I have, my friends have. I like their music! Have fun!