Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Still alive and in Hill City, SD

Sorry for the long delay in our travel updates! I realize that some of you are reading and keeping up with us, and I so appreciate your prayers and responses. I also am regretting the lack of updates as I know we are having experiences and creating memories and, in that sense, the blog is somewhat selfish, in that it is my way of documenting our experiences that we can return to the memories over and over again.

We were at my Grandparents this weekend and I find that I'm severely lacking in patience, in particular when it comes to a dial up internet connection... I was not really able to clear time to do any updates, nor did I really want to wait for the 5 minutes for each page to load.... And then, Monday was our longest day of driving, and after a few confusing country roads near Mt. Rushmore we arrived at our KOA cabin shortly after 10:30 pm, which was just late enough to get beds made and kids to bed.

Regardless of the little delay in communication, we have been having a WONDERFUL trip.

Friday started out windy in Cheyenne. We made a stop in Ogalala, NE for a picnic lunch at a park and a quick walk through NE's Boot Hill Cemetary. There is a woman and her child who died during childbirth that were burried there, and when she was exhumed several decades later to be moved to the new cememtary, the women had been petrified and no one is sure why. There is also the standard fare of your typical early Western cemetary including those who died in gun battles, knife fights as a result of a card game gone bad and victims of the tragic side of pioneer life.

After lunch, we pressed in hard to getting across the second half of Nebraska, anxious to be off the road for a few days and extremely excited to spend the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. Slowed by a loss of an hour as we crossed from Mountain to Central Time, we had no idea what was waiting for us in Lincoln.... MY DAD! As we walked in to the house on South Gate Blvd, we exchanged hugs with Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Sarah, and I thought I saw a tall figure pass by the dinning room table... much too tall to be anyone other than Grandpa, who I happened to be hugging at he moment, and out comes Dad. What a treat!?

It was fun to catch up, but I think my favorite part of the weekend was seeing Great Grandparents enamoured and in awe of the little creatures that bear their likenesses and heritage. My youngest two children have not yet met my Grandparents and my oldest two may have been too young to remember previous get togethers with that part of their family.

Grandpa introduced Noah to the pool table in the basement, and it such a thrill for him, he was always looking for someone to play with him. Within 12 hours of arriving he had also befriended Samantha, Grandma's 9 year old neighbor. The two spent much of the weekend together, and much of that time was on the swingset. Hannah and Zak were content to follow Noah and Samantha as much as possible. Zak amazed Grandma with his prolific and frequent speech. And Maggy showed everyone how much she can communicate, although she rarely says complete words.

Liz and I enjoyed getting to see Dad... I'm still a little floored that he took the trip AND that he surprised us. We also used nap times to teach our favorite card and dice games - Golf, and 10,000. By the time we left, Aunt Sara said "I need to find me some good dice."

We visited the Veterans' Memorial in Lincoln. Grandpa was very involved in the estabishment and care of the memorials and gardens, and had been involved in the maintenance until recenty he chose to step back in consideration of his health. I was very impressed with the beauty, complexity and throughness of the memorials. There was also a very large and elaborate playground in the park that the kids quite enjoyed. The next day we took in the Lincoln Childrens' Zoo. And no, there were no children in cages... I was hoping to see that too ;-) And I was impressed to see that our Oregon Zoo membership provided us with admission! It was a nice zoo, the kids really enjoyed it, especially the train. My favorites were the Red Panda (an adorable racoon like animal with big paws), and the Wallaby (one Walaby mamma let us have a sneek peak at her baby as he popped out of her pouch!)

You'll all be happy to hear that my face has quickly healed and other than two small scratches, is almost unnoticeable. I am sorry to have posted that a little, but like I said, my motive is to create a log of memories for myself, as much, if not more than sharing it with others. So thank you for the prayers, and sorry if I worried you any. A few people have asked if the fall could have hurt the babies and, although the urgent care doc didn't do an ultrasound, I am fairly certain that the fall was gentle and slow enough to have not jarred the kids anywhere near as much as it did my nose... which quicky healed.

We are at the end of a full day in the amazing Black Hills of South Dakota. I'm looking forward to sharing those memories as well, but am pretty beat, so I'll have to pick those up in another post.

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