Well we are home from our vacation. Oh it was NICE! It was unhurried, somewhat unplanned or scheduled, and FUN! Even though it was NOT what we had originally planned, it was satisfying for all of us, and God allowed us to have an amazing time! More on that…..
We left Friday morning with Austin praying over our trip, which if you haven’t been blessed to hear this young man pray, you’ve MISSED something! I have said since he was 8, he has incredible conversations with God! WOW, can he PRAY! Then we were on the road to Kansas City, Missouri!
We listened to a CD I made of a lot of the praise songs we sing at church, and I have to say, I thought for sure I’d get voted out on that one because Mike has an overwhelming number of CDs, none of which are music that I like! So I knew for sure, they’d pop that one back out of the cd player and put in another one, but I was nicely surprised and they all enjoyed it! Then I decided to play the CD of one of Brad Fogarty’s sermons that I happen to have on CD. I KNEW there would be no arguing over that, because we ALL love hearing Brad speak! And it was so amazing….if you have not heard this man, let me know, and I’ll make sure you get a copy of what I have. I am telling you, God speaks through him like no other. I am so sad that I didn’t copy all the sermons from Faithweek, but I just ran out of time before we left. But I will be doing that THIS WEEK, so I always have them and can pop them in whenever I want to. (Special thank you to Geoff Martin for giving me the CD. MISS YOU, SON!!)
I have Brad Fogarty’s website on the right of my page. If you EVER have the opportunity to hear him, I’m telling you, FIND THE TIME TO GET THERE. If you happen to live in Oklahoma, he will be at our church in January….but he lives in Georgia with his incredibly sweet wife. And that’s my plug for Brad.
But I think the beginning of the vacation set the tone for the rest of it, if that makes sense. There was hardly any fighting and arguing from the boys, the trip was relatively peaceful, and we all RELAXED and enjoyed each other.
We stopped somewhere just passed of Jasper, MO to eat lunch at Dairy Queen. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to a Dairy Queen, but I suspect I wasn’t even MARRIED when I did, so that’s been quite a few years. LOL And then we were back on the road.
Let me interject just a little bit of my growing up, traveling on the road with MY Dad, history. We learned at a VERY young age NOT to drink anything on our vacations. Driving from OK to OH is a VERY long drive and my Dad simply did NOT make any unscheduled stops. You just had to hold whatever it is you had to do until he designated it as “stopping time”. And those “stopping times” were TIMED, so you had to be IN AND OUT FAST or risk being left behind. And there was NO stopping for “fun” stuff. We drove by many a sign with promises of fun and adventure, only to be passed quickly. And no amount of begging would sway him. I’ve still yet to see the caverns of Missouri….
So that’s my experience with driving on vacations….
So, after our lunch, I sat in the passenger seat with my camera out of it’s bag and on my lap and a look of longing on my face. I have an obsession with old barns and corn fields and long old country roads….and there out my window is lots and lots of them. I wanted to stop so badly I couldn’t STAND it! So when Mike slowed to turn off the highway on an old dusty country road, I’m sure there were tears of joy running down my face! LOL
I have lovingly called my kids “Children of the Corn” for years and here was my opportunity to get their picture in a corn field. OK, yes, it’s weird….but I’m OK with that……
But the stop was WONDERFUL! I was able to get photos IN the cornfield, in an old tree next to the cornfield, on the old country road, and amazingly enough, there were railroad tracks running just RIGHT there! So I was able to stop and get some GREAT shots to my hearts content! I was THRILLED! Sadly, I am still on the hunt for great barns because that was the ONLY thing missing from this stop, but I’m sure I’ll eventually find some around here. I was able to take a photo of one of them on the way HOME, but we were in a hurry coming HOME, so we didn’t get to stop for the shot. I still like it though….
We pulled into Lee’s Summit, MO, which is right outside of Kansas City, and our hotel was GREAT! Indoor pool, hot tub, quiet….all the things you want. And then the toilet broke and because the night desk man (a TOTAL doll by the way, I wish I remembered his name!) couldn’t fix it, we had to change rooms…..to a room twice the size as our original room, WITH a couch to sit on. I loved that night desk man at Holiday Inn Express in Lee’s Summit, MO. (another shameless plug)
But we enjoyed the pool and hot tub that Friday night while Mike rested in the room. And then we went in search of a Walmart for the eye drops I forgot at home. Poor Chandler and his allergies….
And then Saturday we visited the Kansas City zoo, which is HUGE and should not be done on a HOT day. We ROASTED! But we LOVED it! We rode the tram and the train AND the boat and I was able to meet a sweet on-line friend that I have talked to for over 3 years! We had such a great time! The baboons were by FAR our favorite because for some reason, they did NOT like Chandler and viewed him as a BIG threat and kept attacking the glass wherever he was. He would move, and the male baboon would follow him and attack again. He had this quick, explosive movements and would hit the glass with SUCH a thud, it was a little scary! But again, our favorite thing at the zoo. LOL We’re all a little sick and twisted I guess.
After the zoo we went to eat with Kelly and her beautiful girls at Logan’s and we talked forever! It was just so nice to be able to sit at a restaraunt and talk in PERSON instead of online.
Later that evening we went to Bass Pro at the insistant begging from Austin. And BOTH the boys rock climbed for the FIRST time! Chandler is somewhat of a Spiderman, and we had NO idea! Neither one made it all the way to the top, but they went a lot farther than I ever would have! Again, memories and opportunities for new adventures….very important….
Sunday, we hit Oceans of Fun, and for obvious reasons, I have no pictures of that. The love affair I have with my camera far outweighs any photos of a WATERPARK I’d like to have. But we spent HOURS there! We have discovered that our boys are a little sneaky: they SAY they want to do the lazy river with us, and the first opportunity to hop out where we can’t see, they sneak off to do more exciting things like water slides. Mike and I are not that young anymore, and neither one as skinny as we once were, so things like water slides no longer have the appeal they once did. We still DID them, but not with the gusto the boys attacked them with! And yes, even I braved the LONG walk and miles of STEPS and waited in line to plummet feet first at speeds rivaling air craft down a water slide. And I hated every second of it. Every second. I did NOT enjoy that. But there was lots of laughter from the people waiting for me at the bottom of the pool. People I THOUGHT loved me…..those mean boys….. ;0) The things we do for our children…..and even though I hated every second of the water slides, it was worth it seeing the faces of those evil children. I wouldn’t have changed it for anything, I gave them memories. Of course it was memories of their mother screaming down a waterslide…..but someday when they are old, they will look back together and laugh hysterically. Again…..I’m so glad I didn’t take my camera….. The wave pool was fun, but again, hated by one of us: Brooklyn. I’ve discovered she does NOT enjoy water that goes above her FEET. She did not enjoy ANY aspect of Oceans of Fun. She laughed for a brief few minutes while in the wave pool, as she CLUNG to my shoulders, but the first wave that actually hit her, all laughter ceased. I’m sure she is on the road to an amazing prayer life as well….started by praying for her survival of the wave pool….
After she survived Oceans of Fun, we discovered this INCREDIBLE little restaraunt in Independence, MO, called the Salty Iguana. And we were so happy to find it was NOT a bar! LOL They had the BEST chips and salsa I have ever had in my life! EVER! The food was simply SMASHING! And we only went there because it was NAMED the Salty Iguana. Sometimes on vacation, you lose all sensibilities….this was ours, but it paid off.
We left Monday morning and relistened to our praise CDs and then popped in a little Brad Fogarty and drove home. And again, on the way home, Mike was an absolute GEM and let us stop, JUST because. We stopped in downtown Carthage, MO. It was OLD and simply DIVINE! The buildings were incredible! We even stopped and browsed an Antique store! And their court house was one of the most BEAUTIFUL buildings I’ve ever seen in my entire LIFE! It was MASSIVE! You could see it towering over all the other buildings, and it was centered directly in the middle of downtown on this huge square. And, happily for my huge Civil War buffs, had a Civil War monument in the front of it. Carthage was then saved from being a total BORE to the boys. And by boys, I mean Mike too. LOL
So the trip was wonderful. It was a DIFFERENT trip then originally planned, no Pensacola Florida, beautiful sugar-white beaches, but it was still incredible. We started the trip in prayer, 3 of the 5 of us, packed our Bibles with our things, not realizing we were each doing that. And our hearts were set on sharing Christ along the way. And the opportunity presented itself, and we took it. That’s cool. We made sure to give God the opportunity to use us, even on our vacation, and He was happy to do it. That’s mighty cool. We are a different family now then we were back in June when we set off for Faithweek. We each surrendered ourselves, separately, but we are bonded and set on fulfilling our potential together: as a family. And that’s pretty awesome. I can’t wait to see where God takes us: as a family.
I believe we WILL move mountains.