"Bottling up both the sweet and tart of life's most precious moments. "

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Days 19-22

So when I last left you we had just finished a day in Denver, I think that was Wednesday…. Well it is Saturday night and I am laying in the comfort of my very own bed. ahhhhh……….. we are home.

The last three days of our trip were mostly spent in our van driving through New Mexico and Arizona. ( 2 states I am in no hurry to move to.) But day 19 was kind of our last day of “play”. We stopped at the Focus on the Family headquarters. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the “Adventures in Odyssey” radio series they make but we love listening to them in our house! They started producing the show in ‘87 and  I remember actually getting episodes of the show on cassette tape in kids meals at Chic-fil-a when I was little. :) We spent a lot of hours listening to episodes on this road trip and so it was fun to visit the “real Odyssey”. They have set up basically a small town with slides, hidden passage ways, an airplane, special rooms, a stage……. and (if you have heard the series you understand more) an ice cream parlor. It is free ( well the ice cream isn’t) and FABULOUS!!! Our kids thought it was incredible and I especially enjoyed the VERY LARGE bookstore!







DSC_0544 After we left Colorado, we scored an amazing deal at a resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The HYATT was so beautiful we even considered staying there an extra day and making and 800 mile drive straight home from there. However good sense took over and we made our way to Sedona, AZ.

Below….. a sleeping shot of the girls. They grew quite accustomed to sleeping together on this trip. :)

DSC_0548 On the balcony at the Hyatt.

DSC_0551 Well after 13 states, 22 days, 12 hotel rooms, 2 KOA’s, 1 lakeside reunion, approximately 75 cups of coffee,  about 150 restroom stops, 2 national parks, 1 very dirty mini-van, and an abundance of memories made…. we are home. What a trip! We will never forget this family adventure. Now it’s….. “back to life, back to reality”. Back to laundry.

Thank you Lord for a safe trip, that exceeded our expectations! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Days 16 – 18……. working our way home!

Well it is day 19 of our adventure…….. I think. While we are still having fun, I would say our feet are starting to drag a bit and we are starting to miss the comforts of home. I have worn the same 9 outfits 3 times each and what is clean and dirty in our suitcases has become somewhat of a grey issue.

The last couple days have been full of activity. Sunday and

Monday were mostly taken up by driving……. through Nebraska.

This cross-country traveler has observed….

One thing is for sure…… our country is not lacking for CORN!!!! I am pretty much convinced that the whole of the country doesn’t grow much else. There has been the occasional soy bean field and sunflower field. So we are set on tofu, sunflower oil, and E85 gasoline.


On Sunday we did spend a couple hours at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. Locals said that it takes second place to San Diego, so we had to see this place that so closely rivals one of our favorite places. We had a fun time but we would still conclude that San Diego is #1!




Monday was another day of driving into Colorado. We stayed at the best hotel so far, (for free I might add) the Westin in Westminster. We got there in the evening and while daddy took the girls for a late night swim and then tucked them into bed, Mommy went to a late night movie all by myself! I think it was the first time I have ever gone to a movie theater solo, and it was wonderful. I saw “Julie and Julia.” I was slightly nauseous, my bladder was full and I was exhausted, but I didn’t care! I sat and loved every minute of my solitude!


The next day….. Tuesday we went into Denver with a stop at Hammond’s Candy Factory. We saw first hand how this old fashioned candy is made and were able sample our fair share of it as well. :)


After some sugary goodness we were onto the Denver Children’s Museum.

This probably qualifies as one of the girls’ favorite stops! Here is a bunch of pictures…. (this should have been it’s own post)

Construction Zone….. ( daddy enjoyed this exhibit more than anyone else)


DSC_0452 Working side by side with the Denver Fire Department….


DSC_0465 Restaurant and Grocery Store…

DSC_0473A trip to the vet….


DSC_0487 Being artistic….

DSC_0492 Wood working…..

DSC_0498 Fishing……

DSC_0516 Day 18 was finished off at a Denver landmark. The Buckhorn Exchange. This place is over 100 years old and has a wonderful history. It is quite the place, with animal heads hanging on every inch of the walls. They serve rattle snake, elk ( which Josh had), buffalo, quail and rocky mountain oysters ( who really knows what that is? I do…….. :) )

DSC_0522 we enjoyed drinking Sarsaparillas out of a boot ( just like the cowboys) and headed back to our hotel for a night of watching home movies ( basically watching the video we have taken of the trip thus far.)

DSC_0521 Well, HELLO!!! that was like 5 posts in one. I will save today for another time. :) Tomorrow we are on the road……. homeward bound.

Day 15…… Austin Minnesota

Last Saturday…… Day 15, we went on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of ……….. well……………. me. :)

Austin, Minnesota.

Here is a picture tour…… this post is mainly for my parents.



Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, where my dad interned.


The house I was brought home to…… (I hope this is the right house).



The hospital I was born in.

Don’t you like the bug splats on the window?



And Austin’s claim to fame….. it is the Spam “capitol” of the world! Home to Hormel.

Pretty special huh?

This one was for you Dad and Mom……. thanks for having me. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Reunion Wrap Up……. What day are we on?

Well it is about 7:30 on Saturday morning and I am sitting in a hotel room in Austin, Minnesota. While the rest of my family sleeps in a little I thought I would blog….

We left the reunion in Mount Carmel yesterday. :( We were sad to say good-bye. We had a great time!

Our last days there were action packed, never lacking for anything to do.

Craft time:









Looking for Pennies in the hay…


On Wednesday night the dress up theme was “70’s”. I didn’t bring costumes but these are the girls bathing suit cover ups….. hey they worked!  Groovy right?

Also that night the kids all put on a mini musical. The little kids (5 and under) sang a song…… “when you walk with the Lord, you don’t get bored!” It was very cute!

DSC_0667 Here is the Berdine Nelson clan. Berdine with her 6 kids and the grandkids that were at the reunion.

DSC_0677 Afternoon activities were a hit! Bekah playing the egg toss, and bobbing for apples….











Swimming in the lake was a favorite. This week Anna proved that she can NOT do without a nap. Each day she fell asleep in a different random spot. One night on a dining chair, a couple times in someone’s arms, and on this particular day she fell asleep while swimming! Here Josh is bringing her into shore.


Canoeing with cousins……

DSC_0719 On Thursday they brought in a very small array of baby animals for the kids to see. Baby goats, bunnies and kittens…..

They were so excited to hold all of them, and somewhat disappointed we couldn’t take any home.



DSC_0726 DSC_0742











Here are the girls on Thursday night, “Twins Night”….

DSC_0747 On the last night, the session was about sharing faith beyond our borders. Someone had coordinated getting flags from all the countries that different members of the family had served in either short term or long term missions in. There were over 40 countries that were represented. It was pretty amazing to see the flags paraded around the chapel as we all sang “For a Thousand Tounges”.


Friday morning….. time to say good-bye to our little cabin, and family. They have a reunion every 4 years. Hard to believe that Bekah and Anna will be 9 and 6 next time!!!!!!!! 


Saying good-bye to the Hoffs til we all get back to California.


What a fabulous time we had. Now onto the rest of our road trip adventure!