Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rapids, a pool and a party

When we were in Arkansas, Staci took us to a place we had never been before, called The Siloam Springs Kayak Park.

It was about a half an hour away from the kids' home.
On wind-y roads.  Arkansas roads are crazy curvy!
Unlike Kansas roads that are straight!  
 We squeezed 3 tubes into the van.

"The $2 million Siloam Springs Whitewater Recreation Park is the city's newest attraction, thanks to help from the Walton Family Foundation. Set up along the Illinois River, the park features family-friendly water, along with a section of engineered river for skilled kayakers and canoers, as well as beginners." 

 Although it is called a kayak park, there are plenty of tubers there too.

One group brought a cooler with a boom box and began to play some country music.
Claire said "That's MY song!"  Hmmm.  I don't think she's ever heard country before....there may have been a little jig happening too.

 Jill laughed at the expression on my face - I was scared for Claire.  But Claire was definitely not scared at all.  She LOVED it!

 There were 3 falls to go down.

You'd try to stop yourself after the 3rd fall so you wouldn't continue on down the river.   The force of the rapids was pretty strong and I almost lost my wedding ring!
There was a little pool to the side that was an absolute blast!
The force of the falls here would propel you around and around.

Josh had to work so was not able to go that day.
He had gone before and had told us about it.

Having devotions with the children before bedtime.
The next day was Claire's actual birthday.
She woke up sick. As in puking sick.

She still wanted to open gifts in the morning.
It gave her some things to do during the day.

The older kids went to the neighbor's pool to play.

By supper time, Claire felt all better.
Enough better to eat Chick-Fil-A and cake!

Happy 4th, Claire!  One we won't forget!

What a fun time we had in Arkansas!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Interrupt this post....

Because life continues....
the blog posts about Turkey will be interrupted.

We celebrated Claire's 4th birthday a little early.
Claire decorated her cake with just a little help from Mommy.
She had her ideas of what her princess castle should look like!


Even Papa got a gift.
His overdue trophy from March Madness.
The Graber bracket trophy to be displayed in a prominent place in the house.
From last year's winner to this year's winner.

We celebrated Claire's birthday early because her daddy and sister were going to 
church camp in Missouri  and would not be there on her real birth date. 

Since they were gone, we decided to make a trip to see the cousins in  Arkansas.

These two decided to dress like twins.

Claire got to have a birthday party there too.
But she woke up sick...throwing up sick.

 She still wanted to open presents though.

By supper time, she was feeling so much better and was ready to eat Chick-Fil-A (her request) and have a party!  We had taken left-over birthday cake down to Arkansas with us.

Have a wonderful 4th year, Claire!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

On the road to Antioch

After a good night's rest, we all loaded onto the bus.
Generally, it was breakfast at 6:30 and load at 7:30 (with variations).
Often we would grab cheese and bread 
off the breakfast buffet for sandwiches for lunch.

Each day began with worship.

 And teaching.

The road to Antioch was beautiful!  To think Paul would have walked these roads that had to be treacherous at times.  I took a lot of pictures of the countryside from the bus.  They didn't always turn out and I missed many shots I wished I could have taken.  But it gives a little insight into the country so here they are!

See the workers?  We saw a lot of workers doing landscaping along the roads.
Like the interesting plants they placed in the median below.

Lots of mosques.  Although the country itself would consider itself secular.  The current president wants it to become more Islamic, but we were told that the majority of people themselves have said they don't want that.

 We saw many farmers selling their crops along the roads.

After a couple of hours, we stopped at this beautiful mountain lakeside.
Jim always insisted that we all sync our bladders.
Al and Linda.  (Linda is Jim's sister, and also my friend Sarah's sister.)
Interesting fact is that Al's mom used to play piano for Linda.
 Look, Linda!  I found your vinyl record from the '70's in my cabinet!

Fish hatchery

There was a restaurant at this rest stop that overlooked the lake. 

After 20 minutes or so, we were on the road again.
 Can you imagine Paul having to walk through these mountain passes?

 Holsteins even in Turkey!

 Every place we'd drive through, we would find men sitting around tables having a cup of Turkish coffee or tea and talking.  Often playing table games too.


Our bus rides were always interesting.  
Fun to get to know the many people who came on this trip.
 Some were quite interesting...