A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jam-packed full of fun ...

Wow. We had quite a busy trip visiting my parents on their missions. Some call them senior missionaries. I call them tiring. ;)

The kids LOVED seeing G&G. In fact, I think Austin cooed more to Grandma than he has to anyone before or since the trip. (It's really cute, so I guess you better hurry home Mom so we can hear him do it more!) As you can see, he also had smiles for Grandpa:

Shayla was also loving being with G&G. In fact, they got to see many, many shows. If Shayla is comfortable with you, then you get to see her perform all kinds of shows and songs. This was her "On top of the rock" song/show:

Both ways we were able to stay in Rawlins, WY at Hilary's parents' house. Shayla found the dress-up clothes right away and put on a show for us all:

Anyway, we went all over Omaha and beyond with my parents. These pics are by no means in order, but it's easier this way ...

This was at a wildlife refuge. It was so cool to get close to the animals! I've never been so close to a deer or antelope without them trying to get away. And I'd never seen an albino buffalo:

The elk were funny, because in their attempts to take it easy they almost disappeared from view ... but not quite:

We also went to a big air and space museum. Paul especially enjoyed all the things there. The kids enjoyed the hands-on exhibits:

But nothing for the boys could beat the Anakin Skywalker pod racer on display:

There were a lot of cool things there:

Earlier in the day my parents took us to some Union Pacific engines. These were HUGE! I have no idea how they got them to the top of the hill:

We also went on a walking bridge to walk from Nebraska to Iowa:

The kids loved being in two states at the same time:

And insisted that Austin try it, too:

Downtown in Omaha they have recently put in some really cool statues to honor pioneers. These statues span several blocks. It's really cool:

(Did you see Zachary hiding underneath?)

We also went to a Lewis & Clark site:

We went to a park that has lots of black squirrels. This time we even saw a black squirrel with a brown tail. Who knew?

Sunday we spent at the Church history sites. This is Becca by a wagon at Council Bluffs, Iowa:

Seeing this made me appreciate how precious little the pioneers could bring across the plains. I'm sure there were some bigger wagons, but some really were this small. I still can't fathom the idea of even attempting what they did back then to avoid religious persecution, but I'm so grateful they did!

We also visited the Winter Quarters LDS Temple. My parents have worked hard there both inside and out on their mission:

Inside the trail center visitors' center they had all kinds of things the kids liked, such as time-period costumes:

Brigham Young's cane:

And little wagons with various wood pieces (labeled as different items) they had to try to fit into their wagon:

Here is the outside of the visitors' center:

We also got to visit the Omaha zoo, which was really cool. It was hot and humid, but really fun to visit. Tyler got so hot that he found his map could stick to his forehead:

Pretty girls:

Becca has always loved monkeys. Don't tell her this is an ape behind her:

I was surprised Zachary didn't have nightmares with how many snakes, spiders (tarantulas) and bugs we saw:

There were all kinds of animals and fish there we hadn't seen, including a lot that could have probably eaten Austin in one bite:

The kids loved watching a scuba diver in the tanks. He held up the sea turtle to "kiss" one kid and held up this leopard shark in front of my kids.

The aquarium has a really cool tunnel you walk through to see all the fish, sting rays, sharks, etc. It was REALLY cool:

Here is Tyler checking out one species of shark in the tank. Check out those teeth!!!

Another thing my kids enjoyed was the volleyball court next to my parents' house. They went out to play every night we were there. Now they're asking for us to put one in, and I'm tempted to do it. :) Anyway, when we came home our last night the institute students were using the court. My boys couldn't believe the nerve! Anyway, about 30 minutes after getting home I realized Tyler wasn't anywhere, so I looked out and found him out playing with the institute students (far left):

He's such a social butterfly, especially with sports! Anyone can be playing any game at any park and he'll try to join them! :)

Shayla got to celebrate her birthday with G&G right before we headed home. She got a new princess dress:

A couple of months ago she was on the computer and I found her watching an episode of Lazy Town. I thought she had just happened upon it (which she had to at first), but then I found her watching another one another day. So apparently she found it once and knew how to get back to it. I was laughing, because my dad LOVES Lazy Town. (In fact, we got him a couple of the DVDs for Fathers' day two years ago.) So, about a month ago Nickelodeon pulled the episodes from their site. What?!? Right after she discovered them and fell in love with them? So we ordered a couple of DVDs that are different from the ones my dad has. Needless to say, they'll get their fill of Lazy Town together when he comes home:

I love this pic -- not only does Shayla have a pretty smile, but she is in the car (which she did for 10 hours on her birthday, poor girl!) and has a totally messy face. Yes, she was stuck in the car, but she got Cheetos. Happy day:

Anyway, the drive was as unpleasant as I had anticipated, but it was well worth it to visit my parents and see all of their hard work for the Lord. We love you and can't wait for you to be home next month!


Bruce & Sylvia said...

We love you too, and had a great time with you. It has been fun to have visits while here. We can't wait to get home to have fun more often. See you soon.

Rebecca said...

I think my favorite pic is Austin in two states--so funny! Sounds like mom and dad kept you guys busy; that's their specialty!

Carol said...

Wow! You packed so much into your days there--how long were you there? It's fun to see what all the kidlets are doing in so many pictures--great job documenting and getting good expressions!

becki said...

my old stompin' grounds! LOVE omaha, glad you enjoyed your visit!