Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Des Moines Science Center

While we were in the Des Moines area, we were able to use our Happy Hollow memberships to get into the Science Center for FREE!  :)  I LOVE it!

We had a great afternoon and saw a reptile demonstration and a chemistry demonstration of mixing several different kinds of liquids.  Our favorite was the homeade fake snow.  Too cool.  :)

Hannah spent some time building a domino structure, and Zach found the LEGOs ofcourse! :)

Parker had a blast flying paper airplanes with their air compressor launchers, and the ball wall!

The kids also enjoyed pushing their faces, hands, and bodies into this wall of pegs.  Kinda creepy, though! :)

 Here is Zach pretending to be Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Camp-A-Way, Lincoln, NE. Campground Review

While we stayed for a week in Lincoln, Nebraska, we really enjoyed our stay at


Depending on where your site is located in the park, you could be fairly close to your neighbors, or have a really large site.  We had great and friendly neighbors with nice shade and a great site right in the middle of the park.  It was really convienent to the pool, laundry room, and playground. 

The staff was EXCELLENT!  The hand-delivered our mail, and went out of their way for us to make us feel at home. 

For a week's stay is was $230, which is a little pricey for our regular camping, but there were not many other choices, and the ammenities here truly made it worth it.  We were only minutes from downtown Lincoln and all the other attractions we went to during the week.

I would definitely stay here again, and recommend it to any one camping in the area! :)


State #6!!! Iowa!!

As we drove into the beautiful state, we saw dozens and then dozens more of these enormous windmills!

The last few days, we stayed in Des Moines, Ia., and visited the capitol.  Another very interesting and beautiful building.
Notice the gold dome?  Not only is it the largest dome of a capitol building, second to D.C.'s, but it is also made of 23-karat, gold!  The gold leaf is so thin that 250,000 sheets pressed together are only an inch thick!

There were gorgeous pieces of art, and woodwork through out the entire building.
We also got a peak at their House of Representatives and Senate chambers:

We also admired a model of the USS Iowa and the dolls made for every First Lady of Iowa. :)

Walking outside, we noticed several monuments dedicated to our country's soldiers and the wars they fought.  On this Memorial Day holiday weekend, I wanted to thank Todd's Dad, our beloved Papa and friend for his commitment and service to our country.  :)  We love you so much and thank the Lord for you!

I also wanted to thank my Dad, for his service to our country.  You have always stood up for what is right.  I love you and am proud to be your daughter! :)

To ALL of our soldiers serving now or have served, my family thanks you, and we are humbled.  Because of your sacrifice, we are free, and continue to enjoy so much that is unfortunately taken for granted.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lincoln Zoo & New Friends!

Yesterday, we went to the zoo in Lincoln, NE., and let me just tell you....it was FREEZING!  Seriously, we have never gone through a zoo so fast!  Start to finish, an hour, maybe a little more! HA!  Thank goodness it was free with our membership, or I would have been bummed. :)

Here are some of our favorites from our quick trot through:

 This ape kept jumping ONTO the glass and scaring us!  It's funny now.  :)
Inside this building, they had a collection of insects and some of them were OUT of their safe little boxes!  UG!  I was covered with chills the WHOLE time.  It was just yuck...  But the kids liked it a lot!  :)

Hannah is literally holding a HUGE HISSING COCK ROACH!  How she does this, I just don't know!
Emily is holding a silk WORM!  It is so fat and gooey looking!  UG!  BLAH!

Later, that evening we met up with our new friends, The Hecht Family.  The boys had a fun time with their sons, and we went to Backyard Burgers for dinner.  The Hechts are the pastor and his wife and 5 children, with one on the way, from Heartland Bible Church.  It seemed as though our families had known each other for years and just had such a great time.  I am SO thankful that the Lord is providing sweet Christian fellowship as we are traveling across the states.  It is a merciful answer to prayer.  :)

Parker and Jacob are really playing, though it kind of looks like they're not!  Too cute. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lincoln, Nebraska Capitol

Completed in 1932 with a total of $9.8 million, the capitol is absolutely gorgeous.
They had fun running up the stairs, pretending they were "Rocky!"

As we entered the building, it was just breath-taking.  The amount of murals and mosaics in this one building was just awesome.  We found ourselves with our mouths open and eyes wide!  ;)

We had a wonderful tour guide who explained the three branches of office: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial and then showed us the rooms where all of these practices take place.

The supreme court room was completely sound proof, and simply beautiful.  It was not long ago, that in this very room, homeschool laws were protected and upheld for the Nebraska citizens. 
Afterwards, we went to the 14th floor and enjoyed the "Observation Deck," or maybe I should say, the kids enjoyed the observation deck! Ha!

Later that evening, we went to the Lamb's home, a family we met at Heartland Bible Church on Sunday, for dinner and fellowship.  Their older children were SO great with my younger kids.  Their son opened up a huge box of LEGOS and a card game involving ships, and their daughters played "dress-up" with Hannah and Emily!  They were so excited!  Parker had a great time playing with their trains too.  We had a great time getting to know them and learning a little more about the great state of Nebraska.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Morrill Hall Museum, Lincoln, NE

This museum is literally on the campus at Nebraska University, and is also called, "Elephant Hall."
We were able to get into the museum for free with our museum membership, but if not, they have a family rate for only $10!  :)
It is called Elephant Hall because right when you walk in, the first section is FILLED with humongous skeletons of elephants and mammoths!!
They have the world's largest known fossil of a mammoth.  It was quite intimidating. 

There were many skeletons of other living things: man, dog, cat, horse, cow, buffalo, sloth, sheep, bird, even a mouse!
Many dinosaurs and sea creatures to enjoy on the ceiling, walls and even in the floor!

The kids also enjoyed the Discovery section where there were "hands-on" activities, like dino-digging, puzzles, toys, puppets and amazon, life-sized snakes!  The kids LOVED scaring their mom by sneaking up behind me and flopping one around my neck!  UG!  I hate snakes.  Yes, even fake ones.....

Parker's favorite part of the play center was really funny. :)

He stood here sharpening pencils in deep thought for several minutes! :)  You just never know what might entertain!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

State #5!!! Nebraska!

We are really enjoying our stay in Lincoln, NE.  Driving through the state was such a peaceful experience too.  There are SO many farms and small towns, that give it a 'home town' feeling, and we also noticed all the rows and rows of corn just beginning to sprout in a deep, dark soil.  :)

We were truly blessed on Sunday, at Heartland Bible Church, by the sweet fellowship and biblical teaching.  They were so thoughtful, even one of the members of the church set up a personal tour of the local university and stadium!  University of Nebraska is a HUGE football school, let alone the town.  During game days, the stadium is the 3rd largest city in the entire state of Nebraska, if that gives you an idea of HOW much these people support this football program! :)

The campus was not massive, but still pretty spread out in the downtown area of Lincoln.  We did a lot of walking that day, but the weather was just beautiful, so it was enjoyable for all. :)

Nebraska's facilities were really nice and updated, and seem to take care of the campus' needs.
The football facilities were just impressive to say the least!  They also have so much offered to other student athletes, including sports medicine, weight rooms, study halls, lounges and indoor practice fields.  They even had white sand from Minnesota sent in for the volleyball team!

They hit the clydesdale horseshoe on their way out to the field before every game, and take it with them for the away games as well for "luck."

Honestly, the whole experience, whether you play football or not, was really inspiring.  It is a wonderful reminder, that what ever you do, give it your ALL.  As unto the Lord.  For His glory.  :)

Thank you so much Jeff and Erin, for a great tour and experience in Lincoln!