Every time you feel in God's creatures something pleasing and attractive, do not let your attention be arrested by them alone, but, passing them by, transfer your thought to God and say: "O my God, if Thy creations are so full of beauty, delight and joy, how infinitely more full of beauty, delight and joy art Thou Thyself, Creator of all!
- Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

You can’t get to joy by making everything perfect. You can only get there by seeing in every imperfection all that’s joy.
-Ann Voscamp

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Our Vacation

We had a really great vacation, with no trouble at all. Thank you, God! We had a wonderful visit with my Dad and step Mom, and brothers. We stayed at their house, and Jason and Hannah stayed there too. For the most part, it all went really well. The only negative aspect was the 5+ lbs. I gained eating my step Mom's good food! She's from the Philippines, and food plays a very important role in her culture. If you love her, you'll eat!! So, I did, and now I've got 5 more extra, extra pounds to loose. Too bad what took a week to put on will take so much longer to get off! But it was real good, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Sweet rice, fried rice, rice noodle stir fry...Mmm! We enjoyed wonderful warm weather, and a hike in Crab Orchard Wildlife Refuge. It was great! We heard frogs singing, crickets chirping and birds singing. We saw beautiful vistas, birds building nests, flowers of all kinds, blooming fruit tees, and GREEN! Ahh, it was a treat!

This is one of the "robot/statue thingy's" that we saw at the Westward Expansion Museum at the base of the St. Louis Arch. We spent a day in St. Louis with the whole family. The museum was fun, and these talking, moving statues are cool, but a little creepy. They seem so real sometimes!
Here's something you'll want to know before you visit the Arch! When you go into the building, you go through security just like you would at the airport. You have to empty pockets, remove jackets and belts, jewelry, etc. and put these things along with any bags, cameras, cell name it, into a box, then go through the detectors. Wow! That was a little crazy with all 5 of the kids (my little brother Shane, who is 5, was with us).
After all that, if you want to ride the tram up to the top of the Arch, you have to buy tickets and wait until your turn comes. For us, the wait was 2 hours when we got the tickets. Then if the tram doesn't break down before your turn, you take it to the top about 20 minutes after you get into the first line. If it breaks down, though, you will wait so long that at least a couple of kids will be in tears, and you'll all be crabby and hungry. The adults will be trying to act like they're having fun waiting in line, but one look in those wildly dilated eyes will tell the truth!
It was worth it though, to say we've been up in the Arch now. The view is pretty amazing, as well as the structure itself.

This is what the tram car that you ride in looks like. These are the 5 little crazies that were with us.

Here's the Arch. WOW!
Also in St. Louis is the museum of science and technology, which has an omni-theatre. We watched the Grand Canyon Adventure. WOW! I jumped nearly out of my skin a couple of times, and so did Dani! But by the end, she was just to pooped and fell asleep in my arms. That's one of the sweetest experiences of all! I LOVE it when she falls asleep on my lap! It's so rare, since she's been moving as fast as she can ever since she was born.

This is grandpa playing with his grand kids (and his son, Shane).

Here's the fam at a rest stop on the way down to Dad's. We were in central Illinois somewhere, and it was SPRING! It was 65 degrees, and we were all thrilled, and thinking it was hot! There were crocus blooming, and some other flowers we didn't know. Dan thought maybe Trillium. We thought we were in paradise! There was GREEN! And fruit trees blooming in white, pink and purple. Oh! And I won't ever forget the magnolias! They were so beautiful! All in all, we had a wonderful time!
We also stayed at a water park on the way home (in Owanana, MN at the Holiday Inn). I didn't take any pictures (batteries were dead, and I just didn't have the energy to find any more). It was a blast though, so if you're ever traveling through Owatana, check it out! That's about all I can think of for now!


  1. Thanks for sharing Patty. I really enjoyed hearing about your vacation!!

  2. thank you so much for visiting me at everydaygifts and for your kind comments! i've enjoyed seeing your blog as well. i have an interest in grinding my own grains, but have never taken the plunge. maybe, as i keep reading your blog, you will inspire me to invest in a mill. :o)

    hang in there, spring has got to be here soon! right?! we had snow last night but it has melted already.

    blessings! stacy