Friday, December 31, 2010

amarillo & the shores family - new year's eve

holidays with the shores family! (they have 4 kids too - you pretty much have to have at least 4 to hang out with us!) yesterday: scott's birthday, now: new year's eve, tomorrow: new year's day - what fun!
the shores are missionaries in thailand and are currently home on furlough. we are so glad that our trip coincided with their furlough so that we could spend time together.
last night i told the kids that their friends wanted to show us "their" science center. kik said, "let's go tomorrow then." and that was already the plan. so today, we headed out into below freezing, windy weather with 8 kids, in search of some indoor fun at the local science spot.
everyone had a blast. again - new exhibits, fun for all!
we had lunch afterward at ruby tequila's - yummy mexican.
ky & lily show each other their missing teeth.
then, while the 2 littlest shores' slept, the rest of us enjoyed the indoor pool at the fantastic hotel the shores' had arranged for us! the kids played hard - swimming for over 2 hours!
we had a short rest then headed over to another families' home for new year's eve celebrating. (they have 6 kids, making it okay for us to hang out with them as well - and also making for extreme fun/chaos for all - actually, the chaos factor was much lower as their kids were 5-17 yrs old and very helpful!) this family served as missionaries in thailand as well up until a couple years ago. they were really fun to hang out with and even let me do a load of laundry. :) ("hi. i'm tara. really nice to meet you all. thanks for having us over for new year's eve. can i do a load of laundry?") they were very gracious and fun to hang out with. :) after hanging out for a while, we had a "talent show", a concert, a conga line, a time of worship, prayer, and a cinnamon roll hug. a truly fabulous time!
when we got back to the hotel, it was 10.45 so we watched the ball drop in new york and went to sleep. (normally we do this at 9pm at home, but we were in the central time zone and this worked out perfectly.)
today's mileage: 0 miles (toward home)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

happy birthday scott! (aka: oklahoma city to amarillo)

to celebrate scott's birthday, we visited science center oklahoma! what a birthday treat! :) and we only drove 278 miles!
this was probably the largest science center we visited. the exhibits were spaciously laid out and there were many unique experiences to try out that we'd not seen anywhere else.
the kids rode in a mercury capsule.
they climbed in a huge tree house.
we tried out riding segways. we got to work together with 4 crane arms independently operated to achieve a goal of picking up a "load" (block) and dropping it off at a designated location - very difficult and very "team" building. we saw a fantastic planetarium show - it was about the star of bethlehem, but went through a scientific process of eliminating other things (comets, meteors, planets, etc) that could have been the explanation of the "star". in the end, they could not scientifically explain (away) what the star of bethlehem was.
the gymnastics hall of fame had video of gymnasts and equipment to try out what you see.
following our science center visit, we drove to amarillo for a highlight of our trip - visiting with our friends, the shores family! we got into town in time to be hosted by their parents for a birthday dinner of prime rib. it was fun to spend time with friends and have yummy food!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aunt George's Home - Muskogee, OK

we had the privilege of visiting my aunt george today. i had not seen her since i was 9 years old. it was so fun to just fall into conversation and be blessed by her. the kids had a blast with her greyhound, chance, and her horses. the weather barely cleared for us to spend time outdoors! it was pooring rain all the way to Muskogee, but again God provided beautiful weather and just what we needed to allow the kids some outdoor time. we heard all sorts of stories about family, life, and the animals. currently, there are 4 horses at the house because 4 are expecting and 1 was "down in the rodeo".
chance, the greyhound, used to race and the kids had a grand time running with him. sy kept calling him "sky" because he looked like one of the whippets that live across the street from us at home, except much bigger!
maggie, was the first horse the kids got to feed.
lucky, the stallion, is kept in back and ky gladly carried the feed bucket to him.
stormy, the palamino, and britches are in the same area, but stormy is quite a powerful horse and commands all the attention!
aunt george tried to put a bridle on britches when ky asked if she could ride, but stormy wouldn't let her near him. it was amazing to watch these animals interact.
the kids played hide-n-seek in a patch of bamboo, checked out the farm equipment they use to collect and bale hay, and just ran around. it was a great afternoon.
aunt george and i were able to talk about family and catch up a little on what everybody is up to. we connect well - she had 4 boys and a girl, was a school teacher until she felt she wasn't allowed to actually teach kids anything anymore, and went to seminary just to better understand God and His Word. she is "70+" and is living like a she's 30 - climbing around fences, working with the animals, chatting, etc. it was a treat to spend time with her and have my family meet her.
the photo of the oklahoma sign is really sad because there was construction, so we were driving on the "wrong side" of the freeway and there was no shoulder to stop. :(

Arkansas to Oklahoma

240 miles - an easy day.
Museum of Discovery, Little Rock, Arkansas. It was a perfect stop because it was pooring rain outside!
Aunt George's home (next post).
bugs... bears... alligator skins... (can you tell ky loves animals?)
knights in chain mail... native american art... grinding corn...
topographical Arkansas map puzzle... grubb kids, old school... finally, jojo matching x-rays of teeth to diagnoses (our Angela would love this museum!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Georgia - Alabama - Mississippi - Tennessee - Arkansas

537 miles - 5 states - 22 degrees (yikes!) - 6 grubbs - 5 jackets - 1 minivan
phew! 5 states in one day! we westerners aren't used to that.
we missed the alabama sign (but i figured i got it going east).
some interesting photos in Tennessee
almost missed the Arkansas sign (there was no notice! we were crossing the mississippi, i was googling our hotel and scott said, "quick camera!" - luckily i'm so handy with our new phones (ha.ha!) that i was somehow able to switch to camera mode and take the sad photo you see here. (there's a story behind every photo)jojo is cold - not mad.intriguing "palace" built in the early 1900's, turned confederate memorabilia showcase/natural history museum - hence the interesting photos
pink palace. snuff. taxidermy. cannon. early automobile. gun. hmmm... kik with a colt revolver and - of course, our free foods of the day: lunch - "book it" pizzas at pizza hut and dinner: kids eat free at ihop