Standing on a Corner

Yesterday we passed through Winslow, AZ, but forgot to stop - wanted to see how fine the site really was. Guess we'll have to get it on the way back in August. I have about 5 posts worth of pictures, but as I sat here staring at one from yesterday morning and could not remember where I was I thought I might ought to just post one and then get some sleep. We have really kept a great travel schedule, but I just need a couple more hours of sleep each night if I am going to keep up.

It is fun how quickly the view changes.















Inside and outside of the van. Not the most legal way to travel, but some times it is necessary.














Arizona had a nice welcome center - even got to see an Elvis impersonator.















Aluminum foil jewelry for Zsa Zsa.














I know these pictures out the car window aren't the greatest, but here is another scenery change. From red rock and no trees to all these great evergreens.














I promise to get more up tomorrow. We spent an incredible day in the Grand Canyon today and have a full day planned for tomorrow. We are going to try to hike down into it a bit - but start about 6:00 a.m. to avoid the heat. It is about 105 down there in the heat of the day.

I really want to say more, but I just keep staring at the screen - I am done for the day.

Some images of Day Two

Why I need prescription sunglasses.

























































On the Road

The first day was exceptional. We even left the house within the hour of what we were shooting for. We traveled 500 plus miles (I left my paper in the car.) in about 10 1/2 hours, which is pretty darn good considering we locked our keys in the van once and the battery went dead once. Would you believe we were across the street from a Super Wal-Mart when that happened?! We had several offers to jump us off while we were on the phone with our mechanic trying to figure out the anti-theft mechanism that we were sure was the problem because the AAA guy just had to break in our car. We kindly declined, but turns out it was the battery after all.

Olivia is so busy back there she is blurry. She had several friends give her fun prizes to open along the way and this lap desk is working great!















Olivia took this picture of Joseph. He's not so busy, but he sure has done really well.















OKLAHOMA
Spent the first night in Oklahoma City. Ate at a great steak house/banquet hall (you can imagine it, really). For 12 bucks we got two really good hamburgers and big fries. The kids didn't eat until nearly 8:30 and weren't asleep until close to 10:00, but they never fell apart.















TEXAS
We were in Texas for a minute today. Landscape really started to change (remember, my only time out west has been in the winter in the mountains - Utah, Colorado, Montana - and I flew). We saw a HUGE cattle farm - I am pretty sure you are not supposed to keep that many cattle in that small of a space, but I am not a rancher.















NEW MEXICO
Tonight we are in Albuquerque. We travelled another 500 or so miles, but this time made it in around 6:00. Ate some Tex Mex, hit the pool and now I am quickly blogging so we don't get too far behind - but I really need to be in bed.

Quote of the Day:
Mom: Olivia, who made you?
Olivia: God
Mom: What else did God make?
Olivia: All things.
Mom: Why did God make you and all things?
Olivia: Cuz.

Coming Together

I really couldn't believe everything came together before we left for our trip. We needed a sold car, a house sitter, a dog sitter, two cooperative children, an organized mother, and a father who wasn't intimidated by a little hard, fast labor.
We sold the Explorer and got more for it than we intended. A guy from church agreed to house sit AND dog sit. Olivia and Joseph were steller during all the packing craziness. Mike mowed the grass, renewed his car plates, took Ridley to the vet and packed the car like we were going away for a weekend, not two months. I still have half the third row to move around in. And I only ever wanted to cry, but never did. I wasn't sad or even really all that stressed out. I think we have just been anticipating this for so long, have no idea what the future holds, and I was taken by surprise (I always am) at the Lord's goodness to walk us through this process so gently.
We enjoyed lots of meaningful time with friends and neighbors before we left. (Man, I am too emotional - this is two months, not twenty years!) Here is the girls version of meaningful - the night before we left.

Preoccupied

So, this is what happens when you neglect your children in order to pack for a two month trip. (Sorry about the gross trash - at least he wasn't in that.)

Thank you!!

Thank you everyone for the birthday money. This is what I got - and with money left over for the summer. Since they came in the mail, I have only taken the shoes off to sleep.

In our own backyard

I wasn't the only one getting supper ready tonight. Olivia and I sat on the back step and watched this Robin Redbreast catch this wiggle worm (as Olivia calls them) break it into smaller pieces and carry the whole thing off. The worm was twice as long as you can see in this picture. By the time I got my camera she had already started breaking it up.





























Blow this one up - she is looking right at us! I think Olivia actually took this picture.

Hobbit spotting

Some friends of ours are taking a break from city (and by city I mean the 'hood) living and are staying in a well furnished basement of some friends from church. They have lived and ministered faithfully to the children in their neighborhood for several years and are taking a needed break. With the basement comes the "fwimming" pool (for which you need a "fwimming poop" - that's right, your swimming suit). That's our friend, Carey in the pool. The hobbit is Olivia.




























This is Dan.














He "fwam" hard.














Joseph flipped out when Carey went off the diving board and never recovered. Olivia sat on the steps the whole time and I never got my hair wet - which, according to Mike, is not actually swimming. But I had fun and isn't he cute in his "fwimmin'" trunks?

The whole crew

Minus the photographer (me) and Andrew and Josiah who were at a basketball camp I think.

Chevy to the Levee

Only it was a Honda and the levee was not dry.
The Arch (and Lewis and Clarke) - the river is down to the left (you can't see it yet)















Some pals from church we ran into. Olivia could not have been happier. Every time we pass a water fountain, she begs and I say we have her water bottle in the car. By the end of this little activity she was actually sitting on top of the water fountain.














The next two pictures are down the hill from the Arch - the first tier of stairs is underwater, as is the road.




























That is the Metro bridge to the left over the water. You are seeing the top of a stop sign and a trash can under the horizontal walkway - blow up the picture.

Dog Sitting

Olivia took her job literally. (We kept pal, Annika's dog over last weekend.)

Clickin'

Have you ever had one of those days when everything just seems to be going right? This means that NONE of the following have happened:

1. You stick your finger in to check a diaper and find out, yep! it's poopy.
2. You fill the washing machine with HOT water, soap and dirty diapers but forget to close the lid and it never washes.
3. Nobody wants what you are serving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. (Mike is always agreeable actually.)
4. You fumble a sippy cup and throw milk ALL over the kitchen.
5. You pick up a HOT cup of baby food, burn your finger and throw spinach ALL over the kitchen.
6. You finally get one kid down to sleep and as soon as #2 falls asleep #1 wakes up.
7. Somebody important comes over at 1:00 pm and you are still in your pajamas.

There are many more such happenings that make you feel like someone is really orchestrating a sabatoge against you. For the first few months of Joseph's life I really thought it was my children. All of this can happen in one day?! Without some intential force behind it?! I just pictured Olivia breezing past Joe's baby bed giving him a fist bump.

Thank the Lord, today was NOT one of those days. But with equal amazement that all of this too could happen in the same day, I present to you a day in which:
1. Both children slept through the night.
2. Joseph took two naps - the first early enough that
3. I got to exercise
4. His second nap was at the same time as Olivia so that
5. I got to take a shower and
6. Mulch the flower beds and
7. Complete a conversation on the phone with my mother
8. We ran two errands and made it home before anyone fell apart.
9. We ate lunch before anyone fell apart.
10. Olivia broke into spontaneous prayer for "girls and boys and the girls at my garden sale (yard sale on Saturday)" in the car while we were running errands.
11. All of our meals were moderately nutritious and everyone ate.
12. I walked into the kitchen to find Olivia singing Jesus Loves Me - into a beater (I think we watched a little too much American Idol this Spring.)
13. I got to read a bit of Scripture and Olivia and I got to paint a little.
14. Joseph was in a good mood all day - until the end where, I am sad to say his day just wasn't clickin'. First, Olivia clocked him in the nose with a ball. Then he shut his finger in the cupboard.
Finally, Ridley plowed him chasing after a toy. Poor kid. He was glad to go to bed.
15. A nice day ending walk on the expanded river front (the MS river is flooding - pictures to come) with a great breeze. The dog even went and not once did I curse because of her. And we ran into some friends who floated us a loan for parking because we forgot to bring cash.

Anyway, those are a lot of words about things that probably really only mean something to me. But they are a good reminder that clickin' or not, there is a Force that orders my days.
"You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways." Ps. 139

The Making Of

























































That's my girl!

Doesn't matter where they are playing Bluegrass, Rocky Top is always in the repetoire. And I think Olivia may have a little orange in her blood.

video

"Boogas" at Purina

We went to Purina Farms yesterday for the Bluegrass Festival - a little Father's Day outing. Olivia digs boogas.














Ridley came too - her first trip out there.




























Me and O. and some possessed looking sheep.

Jazz in the Garden
















The Olivia's















Shorty

Joseph has a thing for helicopters. This is a spotting.










































Favorites

This is one of our favorites right here and one of the reasons why we love our neighborhood so much - Ms. Jackie. She and her husband have been in their house (just next door to ours) for over 25 years. They keep an immaculate backyard - incentive for us. You can tell the seasons by their yard - when the patio furniture goes to the basement we know we will be seeing a bit less of each other for a few months. When it comes back out, it is time for grilling and sitting and chatting. Olivia loves Jackie and Warren, but she has only recently taken the initiative to go over to their yard. Tonight, I watched through my kitchen window as Jackie lovingly moved back and forth from back steps to patio chairs about 10 times - just because Olivia was trying out all the seating options - I guess to see where her spot will be when she visits.