We have been home for three weeks, but my typing fingers are finally unbandaged from a kitchen fire that I attempted to put out less than 24 hours after our return. It appears that we were not ready to live in civilization. (The fire is out--one carpet ruined--four fingers burned but healing--one Michael will no longer be leaving melting wax on the stove unattended to make candles.)
I thought I would wrap up the blog with a few random stories, quotes, and general observations collected over 10,000 miles and 50 days. (FYI--The diameter of the Earth is 8,000 miles according to Christopher's math book.)
- Upon our return home, I was most excited to see my shoes and clothes-- which seems sick and wrong, but exciting nonetheless. I also actually missed sleeping with the kids in one room. They all slept toether for a few days in the playroom as they transitioned slowly back to separate bedrooms.
- The Redwood Forest was everyone's favorite place. Wow! We felt so small in such a majestic place of towering trees. When we first got there, Matthew bounced out of the car, looked up and around, then asked, "Wow, awesome! Can I pee on one?"
- We were able to hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camp at Bright Angel campground. We arrived after dark, with six headlamps bouncing in the blackness, and had to cross the roaring Colorado River on a two foot wide metal suspended bridge. The next morning we left at 4:30AM to beat the heat of the day. So the boys never SAW the bottom of the canyon. However, they remained in great spirits the whole way out (10 miles straight up)thanks to Andy's motivational stories and songs. At one point I heard the chorus of Aerosmith's "Da, da, Da, da dude looks like a lady!" repeated for at least 10 repetitions. This concert also included EVERY word of the "Edmund Fitzgerald" (by Christopher) and at least three verses of Mellencamp's "Scarecrow."
- A homeschooling highlight (almost) was the morning Matthew announced, "Mom! I just read this really, really, REALLY great proverb." Of course I imagined the wisdom he was being moved by until I read the Proverb...Chapter 18 verse 6. Read it for where Matthew is at spiritually.
- On our last night at Zion we were riding around on the tour bus trying to catch the last glimpses of the park at sunset. Other than the thrill of the giant tarantula and the 35 turkeys roosting in a tree, the boys kept whining about going back to the campsite to "thrash each other." Earlier in the day they had found giant vine things growing near a river. It appears that these were not only beautiful to look at but, when picked, also nature's tool for whacking your brothers. As only a mother of boys can understand, I found myself making up rules for their game of thrashing each other. 1) No hitting in the face. 2) No yelling when you do get hit (probably in the face "by accident" which still does hurt even if someone "didn't mean to do it.") So we rushed back from the beauty of Zion to the campsite so the boys could whack each other with vines.
- We had been encouraging the kids to find proverbs that speak to them to commit to memory. Christopher was so proud to announce that HE had one already memorized. "Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a woman without discretion." Hmmmm.
- This week I actually missed the tent and all piling in there together, so we took it to our annual camping weekend rather than the camper. I guess anything can feel like home if you are all together. I also wore my "trip clothes" which I thought that I would never want to wear again after the four day cycle of wearing them repeatedly.
- God is so good and we are grateful for our time together seeing the beautiful and diverse world that He created. Andy and I both feel renewed and refreshed...and are wondering what the next trip might be....