Sunday, November 30, 2008


We got into the campground late at night and planned on leaving first thing the next morning. It flurried during the day but stopped and wasn’t supposed to snow anymore for a couple days. We were surprised when we woke up to more snow! We had to alter our plans as the roads were sheets of ice. But the girls didn’t mind this one bit since they got to play in the snow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

“Meet Me in St. Louie”

…We felt that since we met our friends in St. Louis that was an appropriate song to sing, although we could barely remember any more than the 5 words of the title! And, there is no bigger icon of St. Louis than the Arch, which I HAD to see. I guess it’s like one would feel about seeing the Space Needle in Seattle or the Empire State Building in New York. Though, I will say this was more unique than going to the top of a tall building. Since the shape is after all an arch, going up the elevator was an experience to be remembered. It was definitely cool. We didn’t have a lot of time after that, but they gave us a tour of some St. Louis sites. One was the ever so famous frozen custard stand, Ted Drewe’s. We unanimously voted frozen custard superior to ice cream. Even though it was cold out, we enjoyed getting colder in order to eat our delicious frozen custard. :-)

Our time with our friends just flew by. Seemed like we blinked and it was over. We said our sad goodbyes. We quote the Apostle Paul when we say of our friends, we “have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.” (Eph 1:16)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Up, up and away!!

In the past several months, K has expressed a growing interest in aviation. Because of the kindness of our mission aviator friend, K and her sisters got to fly high in sky above St. Louis. This was a big event and took a lot of Mr. T’s time for which we are so grateful. He was so good to explain all the flight check list procedures and even let K fly solo (momentarily!)! They all agreed it was the thrill of their lives and K proclaimed that she definitely thought being a pilot was a good career option for her!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father. (James 1:17) Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift. (2 Cor. 9:15)

God gave us a special gift of being with dear friends this Thanksgiving. They just moved from CA to St. Louis in September to attend flight school in preparation for Mission aviation. When their training is complete they plan to join Mission Aviation Fellowship. For more about their exciting journey of faith, click here . This was their first Thanksgiving since moving, and we were far from our family so it was a special blessing for us to be together. Seeing them was another of many things we are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

“Now he belongs to the ages.”

We went to the Land of Lincoln visiting its capital, Springfield, the location of several Lincoln sites. We saw his home, the only home he ever owned, law office, Old State Capitol where he worked, his tomb, and his recently built (2005) presidential library and museum. The museum was top notch. I loved learning more about him and his family, his personality, his trials and triumphs. We think of him as a great success coming from a tiny one room log cabin to the White House. Yet, it was amazing to see just how many failures he had along the way. But he didn’t let that stop him. It was also striking to learn and experience just how much criticism he faced continuously, both on the road to the White House and in it. He was criticized by Northerners and Southerners, Republican and Democrat. Many blamed him for the war and all the lives lost on both sides. When I saw his tomb and its monument it struck me that he surely would be shocked to see how loved, admired and honored he has been in his death.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Am I dreaming or did we travel back in time?

Well, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Therefore, I just had to take a picture just to prove it. In a motor home, one is well aware of gas prices so pardon me if I’ve gotten carried away with excitement. Has it been 10 years since gas was so cheap or does it just feel that way?!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Mighty Mississippi

During the first couple months of our trip, it seemed forever until we traveled East of the Mississippi (a celebrated milestone with loud cheers in the motorhome). It’s been a little over 4 months since then, and we are now back – this time headed west. It’s hard to believe how fast time flies. When we first saw the Mississippi we were far north of here. Now we are much further south in Memphis and camped right along the mighty river. I guess being back here has made me nostalgic and reflective.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I Have a Dream

In Atlanta we saw the home, and even bedroom, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came into the world, and in Memphis we saw the hotel balcony where he departed this world. And, in Birmingham we saw one of the hot seats of the Movement in Alabama. We were so fortunate to meet and talk with an African American who worked closely with Dr. King, participated in peaceful marches and protests, witnessed brutal beatings and bombings, was unjustly imprisoned for peaceably marching, and who’s children were among the first to attend “all white” schools. It was amazing to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and the many long, hard fought battles as well as the unthinkable sufferings of any, black and white, who supported civil rights for African Americans. The movement strategies were based largely on those taught by Ghandi. Though the Civil Rights activists participated in non-violent protests, the opposition was anything but non-violent. It was heart breaking to hear of all the atrocities suffered – and all this 100 years after the Civil War. Change is indeed slow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Long Time, No See

Again, one of my favorite things about our trip is being able to see friends and family along the way. While in Atlanta, we were able to visit longtime Wycliffe missionary friends of ours. Our friendship goes all the way back to our college years (and that’s a long way back, now). They even got engaged in our home (an honor for us)! We also got to see friends of ours that go back to our pre-marriage years. We shared lots of fun memories from those young married years before kids. It was so much fun to see them both and their wonderful families again.

Friday, November 14, 2008

11/14/08 Space Shuttle Endeavor

From a distance, we witnessed the last ever night launch of a space shuttle. In 2010 NASA will begin a new space program and the shuttles will be no more. This was the last scheduled night launch and we were able to watch it from Orlando. Even from about 50 miles away, before we could even see the shuttle, the sky lit up so brightly, it looked like the sun was rising. Since the picture is a bit blurry, I will point out the key feature…the bright orange ball of fire in the lower right is the shuttle before the rockets were dropped. :-) It was so cool to see it after being at Kennedy Space Center, seeing the shuttle on the launch pad and experiencing a shuttle launch simulator. We could almost feel the thrill the astronauts must have been feeling.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Disney, the Final Chapter

I have a number of what I call “crazy dreams.” (Perhaps that is no surprise to some of you)! Two of them are traveling to Europe with my children and going on an African Safari. Where else but the “happiest place on earth” could I do both of these without even leaving the country? Well, the Safari ride in Disney’s Animal Kingdom I’m sure doesn’t even come close to the real thing – but it’s the closest I’ll ever get to it and it’s a good second choice. Same goes for the wide array of foreign countries we were able to visit at Epcot. We all enjoyed this and the many other delights of Walt Disney World Florida.

Early in our trip we made a deal with the kids that we’d stop at Disney World as both a reward for the 3 oldest memorizing the whole book of James and in lieu of birthday parties for all 4 of them. They loved that deal when we agreed to it and even more so now that they’ve been here!

We never thought we’d be here with all the kids and probably never will again, so we will definitely cherish the memories we have of the fun family times we’ve had here together.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Waterfull Time!

This is one of few places in the country we could find ourselves hot and muggy this time of year. We are so thankful for the fun pool and splash park where we are staying. It’s given the kids a “waterfull” time and helped us keep cool when it’s been in the 80’s with high humidity.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

11/9/08 Blue Angels and more

We were fortunate in our timing. Today we were able to attend the Kennedy Space Center annual air show. It was astounding. We marveled at the skill it takes to fly like that. The highlight of the show was the Blue Angels. We’ve never seen them perform in person. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be to fly as they do. And, obviously one mistake could cost lives. If you ever have an opportunity to see them perform, I highly recommend it. In fact, we’d see them again in a heart beat.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

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Friday, November 7, 2008

11/7/08 The “Happiest Place on Earth”

Disney claims it’s the happiest place on earth. Even though I say that being in the center of God’s will is the happiest place on earth, I will concur that Disney World is certainly loads of fun!!! This will shock many of my Disney-loving fellow Southern Californians, but the last time my kids were at Disneyland, RR was 1 year old and she’s 6 now!! Well, some would claim that we are seriously overdue for some Disney adventures. I can now say that we’ve officially made up for lost time. We’ve just about killed ourselves with fun. :-) We’ve spent as much as 13 hours a day in each of the 4 major Disney Theme Parks here. It has been a lot of fun and I feel exceedingly thankful for the opportunity we have to enjoy this with our kiddies, but we are taking a little Disney break before we head back for some more. While some people claim you can never have too much fun, I’d beg to differ. :-)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

11/4/08 The Right Stuff

The Kennedy Space Center is amazing. I highly recommend it if you are ever in the area. My two favorite highlights were riding the Space Shuttle Launch Simulator and meeting an astronaut. Apparently, many Space Shuttle astronauts have tested the simulator and say it’s like the real thing. It’s certainly the closest I’ll ever get to feeling the thrill of a shuttle launch. It was definitely cool. We also heard astronaut John Blaha share his personal stories, got to meet him and ask questions. It was fascinating. He was in space for 4 ½ months. After landing back on earth he had to be in a wheel chair (as they all do). Being in space that long has many strange effects on the body once they are back to earth. It takes 6-12 months for the body to get back to normal again! Hmmm…sounds a lot like having a baby. :-)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Manatees in the wild!

I can’t believe we could watch Manatees in the wild like you’d watch ducks in a pond. No Sea World needed here. They winter in an area called Blue Springs where the springs create warmer water for the Manatees. We loved watching these gentle giants, including many babies, in their natural setting.