Monday, June 19, 2017

FotF & Navigators

Focus on the Family has their headquarters in Colorado Springs and also a "welcome center".
The kids got to record a radio show. 
There was an amazing play place for children. If I'd lived nearby when the kids were smaller, I'm sure we would have been here regularly. One yelper wrote something like, "It is a great place to play if you can get past the religious undertones." Haha. 
They even had a wardrobe through which you could enter Narnia!
After a few hours, we headed to the Navigators' castle, Glen Eyrie. Although you can only see the castle in a paid tour or stay, we visited to go to the bookstore.  
Scott has greatly enjoyed some books put out by Navigators so we were excited to see their headquarters.  
The grounds are beautiful and are located right next to Garden of the Gods. 
We then headed over the Rockies for the last time. 
Our first stop part way across was Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. 
I loved their indoor exhibits that really highlighted the scientific method. 
Outside, they had petrified tree stumps - different from the petrified wood we found in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona where all the logs were laying down. 
The youngers got to help the ranger take down the flag as we were there at closing. 
This was the homestead claim at this park. The land was homesteaded by a widow and her 4 children. 

Air Force Academy & Garden of the Gods

The Air Force Academy was not on our itinerary, but we saw it and decided to stop. 
In the visitor center, there is a video to introduce you to the Academy. There are also displays that show the growth of leadership over the four years spent here.
We walked up to the chapel in the middle of the academy grounds. 

We learned a lot about this place that has produced many of our nation's leaders.
Next, we headed to Garden of the Gods.

They had some fun indoor exhibits to talk about the geology and history of the area.

Then we went outside and took a driving tour of the "garden".

After our tour, we had some dinner, and then headed back to the visitor center because they were having an astronomy night. Below is one of the kids looking into a telescope, but it was too dark to get a good picture.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Denver, CO - Capitol #49 - 6/12/17

We have officially completed our tour of all 48 contiguous United States and their capitols as well as the US Capitol in DC! Hooray!
The Capitol was being repaired so there was scaffolding everywhere outside. 
But the inside was beautiful and this lovely gal was taking quinciƱera photos. I felt intrusive every time we passed her. 

This hanging quilt honors women of significance in Colorado's history. Our guide had Ky come up to illustrate one of the ladies on the quilt who, at age 13, was hired to teach a school and decided to teach the adults in the town too. She started one of the first adult education programs. 
Around the edge of the quilt is the beginning of "America the Beautiful" which was written by a woman at the top of Pike's Peak in southern Colorado. 
The Supreme Court has since moved across the street, but this is their historic chamber. 
The house. 
Up in "the attic" there was a small Capitol history museum. 
Above, we got to go out on the balcony around the inner dome. 
There were several plaques pointing toward features the state is famous for - like this one pointing toward pike's peak. 
The senate
There were actual cannonballs as finials on the stairwell banisters. 
We have so enjoyed our tour of all the U.S. Capitols and Colorado did not disappoint as the last one. 

Sunday, Dinosaur Ridge

We enjoyed church this morning. It's always the same... they're super excited to see us come and bummed when they find out we're from out of town. For some reason, we tend to hit churches that have around 50-70 people and like the idea of growing by a family of 6 just dropping in out of nowhere. 
This area was discovered as a freeway was being constructed. There are dinosaur prints and casts and bones. 

That's a footprint. 

Fun to see shale as we've heard about it in Jonathan Park: Battle of the Worldviews. 
More beauty. 

We were looking for a park to have dinner and the one I found was right next to Columbine High. So we visited the memorial there. 
It made me cry to remember and have to share the evils of this world with my older boys. The youngers were playing on the playground nearby and I was happy they didn't have to know yet. Jo handled the news well, but Kik was truly shocked and couldn't understand why.