Monday, March 9, 2009
We've just finished the most massive road trip that I think I've ever taken, and on top of that, we did it with 2 toddlers! Amazing! It took us 3 weeks to make a full circle of Denver, Dallas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and back to Denver. We stayed one week in Dallas and at least one night in the other spots. Here are the photo explanations and then the highlights.
Tessa and Jack have been through so much transition that Tessa has taken to climbing in bed not only with her security blanket, but with her security brother as well.
Tessa and Jack chilling in their car seats with cool new sunglasses, which I bought after tiring of hearing, "Aaagh! The sun is in my eyes! Make it stop!"
Dusty and the kids in front of the Corn Palace in South Dakota. They've been building this place for over 100 years with corn. The photos of the old buildings look much cooler, but it was still interesting to see the modern version with most of the exterior decorations made of corn cobs and husks. We didn't visit anyone in SD so we were compelled to stop at this roadside attraction to curb the boredom of the plains and plains and plains and plains...
Mount Rushmore! Seeing this monument was a first for all of us. Dusty's dad saw the picture and wondered if we had aligned ourselves intentionally with the Famed Four, but alas, we can take no credit for the wonder that we are.
Jack in the croup tent in the hospital in Rolla, Missouri. This is obviously not a highlight of the trip. He started having raspy breath in Kansas, and when we went to a doctor in MO, we were surprised to get sent to the ER in an ambulance. Poor Jack couldn't even enjoy getting to ride in the ambulance - normally a very cool vehicle in his books. He was admitted to the hospital, stuck with needles, put in the croup tent, and given lots of breathing treatments through a nebulizer (machine that dispenses medicine as a vapor).
After a rough night, we were released the next morning into the snow with some prescriptions. The friends we were visiting, Bob and Sara Bowers, gave us an extra nebulizer (how great is that?) and after a few more rounds, he was on his way back to health and on toward Wisconsin. We're just glad this incident happened in the States and not in Tanzania where I have no idea what we would have done.
On to the top 10 highlights:
10: DVD players attached to the headrests in the back seat!!!
9: The children's museum with the Caldwells in Enid, Oklahoma.
8: Costume night in Kansas - Tessa as a lion, and her buddy Luke Hunsberger as Buzz Lightyear dueling for top dog.
7: Being thankful not to be one of 4 overturned cars in Missouri snow. We're giving God praise that we had clear roads the rest of the way.
6: An amazing turkey dinner with the Philippi family in Wisconsin and turkey sandwiches in the car the next day.
5: Playing on the snow-covered swing set at the Readers' house in MN.
4: Finally seeing Mt. Rushmore on a sunny day with hardly anyone else around.
3: Going on a double date with the Kroekers in WY and hiring actual babysitters for the first time...ever! (Tessa's nearly 4 now.)
2: Tessa and Jack having so many new friends that they forgot all their names and referred to them as "boy," "that girl," or "the children."
1: Getting to spend some great times with friends across the nation who we haven't seen in years.
All told, it was a great trip and extremely worth while. If I remember I'll post the miles once we do the math. We're now in Denver for 3 weeks before heading to Dallas for 2 months and then back to Africa on June 7. We all got sick after Jack, but we're all now recovering from coughs and colds. Best of all, we're just thankful to finally unpack our suitcases and chill out for a bit before the next transition.
Tessa's handling the transition like a champ and enjoying each new place and friend. It's been harder for Jack though and it shows in his behavior. In fact, while we were in Dallas, he told me "I want go home," and I just have no idea what that even means to him! It's amazing that at his verbal stage he was able to form such a sentence with the abstract concept that is "home." It nearly broke my heart. We will all be glad to settle in for good, although that won't happen till late July when we get back to Musoma.
At this point, that's the main reason I'm looking forward to returning to Africa. For now, we're having too much fun in America.
Sorry for the length of this blog - I guess it makes up for months of no postings.