i was hoping to have written each night about our out west adventure....HA!!! what was i THINKING!! i had forgotten how much WORK it is to take 2 little ones on vacation! I'M TIRED!! i need a vacation from this vacation! actually it has gone quite smoothly so far...it's just logistically moving 9 people in and out of hotel rooms each night, making sure each are dressed with the appropriate child's clothing each day, and handling two little ones who are WAY off schedule! lydia has traveled well so far.....ben on the other hand?!?!?! let's just say dramamine is my best friend!! it doesn't help that he's teething his eye teeth right now as well.
anyway, last saturday was our big push to orange city, IA. i know all the jokes about corn and iowa, but it didn't ready me for the unbelievable beauty to see acres of corn for as far as the eye can see. it was really quite beautiful. the other thing that i didn't know was that iowa has wind farms as well. talk about majestic beauty in those ginormous white arms stretching to the sky circling around and around!
sunday we met up with a wonderful family that we met in guatemala when we were picking up lydia and they were picking up their son. it was so good to see them again and all of our kids hit it off great. we hope to be able to meet up with them again and meet in the middle. (sorry, heather...i tried to upload your picture, but i wouldn't let me!! :(
monday we were up and out early so that we could put in some miles to see the badlands and mount rushmore. the badlands were explained perfectly by our neice "it's like one great big sand castle". the kids just about gave me a heart attack when they went so close to the edge to just about falling off. it was gorgeous in a dry, sandy, brownish sort of way. we got to rapid city and then went to a dinner show at fort hayes (the movie set of dances with wolves). cool set, ok food, horrible kids (greg and i ended up in the van with the younger two before the show ended). the older kids liked it though. after the show we were let out in time to get to mt. rushmore and see the lighting ceremony. i ended up in the van with the 2 little ones (they had finally crashed), but i was able to see rushmore from the van. completely amazing!
tuesday was bear country. very cool to see bears in front of our cars. the elk were huge! we then drove onto devils tower. it just amazes me the things that God has created. i've never seen anything like it. it was incredibly hot and we decided to just drive past it instead of drive up to it. then came the road that never ended....212 from devils tower to billings.....the road that NEVER, EVER ended!! that was a long haul. the only interesting thing was that there are some HUGE bugs in montana!! we nailed them all i think! we ended the day in billings.
wednesday brought us to our home away from home....big sky, montana....the most beautiful place on earth. this morning i woke up before everyone else and sat out on the deck and watched the sun rise. between the cool air, the pine trees for as far as the eye could see, the mountain range growing from deep browns to pale blues, hearing the creek rushing by, the birds waking up, and spending some precious time with my Heavenly Father. it's seth's birthday today. and i'm missing him more today than usual. it's normal i'm sure, but today God spoke to me in psalm 23. i've read and memorized that chapter since i was a little girl, but today the verse that says "He leads me beside quiet waters He restores my soul"
popped out like i had never seen it before. i don't know if it was being next to the creek and listening to it...but it just spoke to me in a way that i've never heard it before. it was if God had ordered everything together this morning for me to read that verse. (doesn't He do that every day?) i felt so reassured that He wanted to restore my soul. heaven knows my soul is in need of some restoring. so seth's birthday is almost done. we ate pistachios (one of his favorites....in fact we found cup fulls of shells in his closet after he died!), looked at his abc book, talked about how much he would have loved it here, and went out for his birthday supper. i so much would rather he be here in person. my heart aches for him at times.....but God IS restoring my soul.....day by day. and today He's doing it in the most beautiful place on earth.