Monday, April 29, 2013

Things we do for our kids

A certain little boy in our household loves trains.  And so on Saturday morning, when Brian read an article in the Denver Post that all public transportation was free that day to celebrate the opening of a new light rail line, he asked me if I thought I would be fun to take Greg for a little train ride.  Sure, I said.  We can go downtown and have lunch!

Well, it turns out that tens of thousands of other people had the same idea:

Finally - the front of the line is in sight!

The really funny thing is that there are no train stops anywhere close to our house, and so we actually drove a half-hour so that we could stand in line for an hour to get a 40-minute train ride into downtown Denver.  Oh... the things we do to make our kids happy!

 And here is the line stretching out behind us.

Fortunately, the organizers had done a good job of creating a festive atmosphere.  There was food and live music and all sorts of booths.   All sorts of activities that we could have done... that is, if we weren't paranoid about losing our spot in the line to ride the train!


But the line snaked past one booth where Greg spun a prize wheel and won this little yellow car.  What a blessing!  It kept him occupied and in a good mood the whole day!

Yay!  We finally made it on the train!

As you can see, it was a little bit crowded.  Caleb was in heaven, with such a captive audience to blow raspberries to and babble at.

 We did make it downtown, and walked the 16th street mall.  We had lunch outdoors and people-watched.  Afterwards, Brian ducked into a 7-11 and Greg got his first ever taste of a Slurpee.  He was instantly hooked, which made Brian proud.  (I'm not that much of a Slurpee fan myself.)

The lines to get on the train to go back to the suburbs were mercifully not long at all, although it was still crowded enough that we only snagged one seat between the four of us.  I sat with Caleb on my lap, and Greg pranced around between my legs and those of the family that occupied the other three seats in our section.  Greg, having no fear of strangers and even less concept of personal space, drove his little yellow car all over the legs and arms and head of the young man sitting across from us, and entertained all around with very repetitive renditions of "Jingle Bells" and "The B-I-B-L-E."  Phew!  Was I ever glad to get back to our house!  But it was still a fun day out, and Greg was thrilled by his train ride.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Missouri, Kansas, and home again

We had some fun times on our road trip, but were glad to get home to Colorado yesterday.  There is just something about sleeping in your own bed and slipping back into your normal routine that is so nice!  But here are a few photos of the rest of our travels:

We had a wonderful week with Brian's brother Darin and his wife in Milan, Missouri.  We ended up sharing four times at their church, and Darin and Becky were troopers, sitting through all four presentation and keeping an eye on the boys.

Of course, not all of our time was spent in church.  We had a few memorable outings.  One day we took a trip to Jamesport, a town with a large Amish community.  And after our sightseeing, of course we found a park for the kids (both young and old) to play at.

We visited a bakery that is known for it's cinnamon rolls.

After our time in Milan, we headed towards St. Louis, where we spent a night with some friends from Papua New Guinea who are also on furlough.  

In the car, Greg was brushing up on his jokes from this Sesame Street book.  He was quite a ham, and loved to tell his jokes to groups of complete strangers and get some laughs.

What jokes, you ask?  Well, in the book they are told by Oscar the Grouch.  Here is a sample:

"What did the rotten apple say to the trash can?  Nothing!  Apples can't talk.  Heh heh heh."

Next we stayed with some supporters in Waterloo, Illinois, SE of St. Louis.  They told us that we haven't really been to St. Louis if we hadn't gotten some frozen custard from Ted Drewes.  So the next day we stopped by on our way out of town.  Unfortunately, there was no custard to be had at 10:30 in the morning, but this photo proves that we at least attempted it!  Next time, St. Louis...

Another lunchtime picnic in a park.  I've lost track of how many different parks we visited in the past two weeks!

Proof that I, the photographer, was actually on the trip.

Next, a stop in Lawrence, KS, to see a dear supporter.   Norman is 99 years old, and has been faithfully supporting us since Brian joined Wycliffe.  We always stop by and see him when we are in the area.  Greg enjoyed getting rides around the house on his walker!

Our final stop was in Limon, CO, to see my (Susan's) friend from college, who I hadn't seen since our wedding!  You can just barely see their house in the background.  They are surrounded by a wind farm, which Brian thought was pretty cool.

Caleb: 7 months

These photos were taken a few days late, after we returned from our road trip (the rest of those photos hopefully coming soon).

 This kid can be very noisy when he wants attention!

If you look closely, you might be able to see his first tooth, which just came in this week.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nebraska and Missouri

We are a few days into our road trip, visiting family and supporting churches.  I thought I'd post a few photos of the journey so far.

The boys have done really well in the car so far.  It probably helps that Brian planned out our route so that we never have to drive more than 4-1/2 or 5 hours in one day.  Caleb sleeps a lot.  Greg, unfortunately, almost never sleeps in the car, but he has a little basket of toys to keep him entertained.  And if all else fails, we have the secret weapon of his LeapPad.

The other ingredient to our success is that Brian did a great job of planning play stops along the way.  After about two hours in the car, we stop at a park somewhere along the way, have lunch, and let Greg play for about an hour.  Since we're not in a hurry to get to our destination, this has worked out very well.


Caleb also enjoys getting out of his car seat for some fresh air.

 We stopped in Gothenburg, NE our first night on the road.  We had been telling Greg that on this trip we were going to see Uncle Darin and Aunt Becky.  We stopped to see this original Pony Express station at a park in Gothenburg.  Greg went right up to it and tried the door, which was locked.  He sighed and said "we'll wait until Darin and Becky get home," thinking it was their house!

 We spent two nights with some new friends in Carter Lake, Iowa (near Omaha, NE) where we stopped to share about our ministry with a Wycliffe Associates group.  It was a lovely spot, and Greg begged to go back to "the duck house."

We are now in Milan, MO with Uncle Darin and Aunt Becky.  This morning Greg got to have a tea party with Aunt Becky (drinking chocolate milk "tea").