The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

We are back from our trip and praising God for his provision and protection as we added over 2500 miles to our faithful minivan. Our time together with family was fun and relaxing. But it was our time in the car that was so surprising. Not only were the children happy and content in the car, but we got to drive through some of the most awe-inspiring country I have ever seen. As many of you know, we usually prefer to drive than fly if it is possible. But this trip might have been the death blow for any future flights. We are a driving family from now on!

We began Thursday night with the objective of making it to North Las Vegas. I can still hear the breathless "wows" as our children saw the lights of Las Vegas emerge out of the darkness. We made it to our hotel at 12:30AM and were very disappointed to find that the pool was closed for renovation. So, we headed out early the next morning were all dazzled and stupefied by the amazing vistas and rock formations as we headed into Utah. It was amazing! I was glad I was not driving at this point because I surely would have had difficulty focusing on the road. I think every person should drive through Utah at one point in their lives. It is a testimony to the creativity and power of our Creator God.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. (Psalm 95:3-6)
We spent some time at Zion National Park midday. The children (and their parents) enjoyed some time to stretch their legs and breathe the clean air.

Friday evening we made it to Grand Junction, CO and were thrilled to be so close to our vacation destination. This hotel had a great pool and hot tub, which Gustav and the children enjoyed while I tried to take a shower in the hotel room with Kurt. That could be the subject of it's very own blog post, but later!

Saturday afternoon we finally arrived in the beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs, CO and joined up with Gustav's brother and family. We were joined by Gustav's mom and her husband, Gustav's dad, sister, and her family. Our rental home was beautiful and HUGE! Ten bedrooms, 2 kitchens, 2 living rooms, 2 game rooms, 4 dishwashers, and 2 hot tubs! Yeehaw! It was really nice to be able to spread out. We had a girl's bunk room and a boy's bunk room. Kurt even had his own bedroom! It was lovely!

OK, so I know you're all dying to know why the men are wearing chaps in this picture. I'll get to that.

Gustav's dad has been riding with the Rooftop Riders, a mountain horseback riding club, for many, many years. He had these chaps made for his 2 sons and son-in-law who have all recently been initiated into the club. It was a surprise and they LOVED them! Here's another view:


OK, moving on...

Lillian's eighth birthday was on Wednesday and this was the really super-special God-sent gift for her birthday:

Yep, SNOW! On June 11th! Boy was she (and all of us snow-loving easterners) psyched. It was beautiful and truly a gift from God. And it made Lillian's birthday so special.

The rest of our time was spent playing with cousins (11 cousins under the age of 15!), riding the alpine slide, eating lots of yummy food, and chatting with family. Oh, and let's not forget the music-making! Gustav has his mandolin, Eric his guitar, Kris sings, and I even brought my flute this year. So fun!

We left on Friday morning and managed to be home by 8PM Saturday night. Nicholas stayed on at Camp Pa and returns today at 3:45 PST. He is flying unaccompanied and ha
s a layover in Salt Lake City, so prayers for him would be appreciated!! (Not to mention prayers for this Mommy's heart!)

I'll leave you with a couple peaceful shots of our ride home. Everyone was so tired...there was a lot of this going on:

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