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

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This past week, some dear friends gave us a wonderful vacation. They sent us to Branson to their time share.
It was beautiful and so very restful and refreshing!! They knew we needed it! The pool was very, very relaxing!!

Branson feels very "touristy". So much traffic. Cars from Maryland, Ontario, Ohio, Virginia..... They come from all over! We aren't so much into "touristy". Which is why we really like the Marriot Willow Ridge lodge where we stayed. It felt very quite secluded.

We went to see friends from long time past, Jerry and Jeannie Giles (parents to Marshal and grandparents to Danny, Ryan and Casey). We used to be in the young family Sunday School class together even before Mindy and Tyler were born. They now live just outside of Branson. Out in the boonies! They have such a quaint home, filled with antiques. They have redone the home and still in process of redos. And making a guest house too (it used to be a donkey shed and also a pig house...all redone and you would never know!)

Jeannie is very good at gardening. It looks like something out of a magazine. Jerry would laugh because he said that she picked pictures from magazines and told him "This is what I want" and he would fix it for her.
We went to Florentina's Italian restaurant for pizza. Wonderful!! 2 hours of catching up and laughing together. Jerry and Jeannie used to live in Zaire and we went to visit them there many years ago when our kids were just little.

We did take in 2 shows while in Branson. They came recommended.
Noah - they wouldn't let us take pictures inside. We did the behind the stage thing before the show started. Got to go up on the stage to see all those props and also some animals. If I had ever had a real job (besides being a mom who stayed home with the kids), I would have loved to have been someone who makes props for plays. I did some prop making for school and some plays at church, but wouldn't it be awesome to make props like these that are 45 feet high??!

and we also went to see S I X. Six brothers who sing not only harmonies, but can make percussion noises, instruments and also that sound that you hear when you go to the movies right before the movie starts. They gave a tribute to their mother (who died of cancer at age 52) which was precious. They were so funny too! Just really amazing!! The place is a sell out almost every night.

We also went on the Branson scenic railway that goes into Arkansas.

These were vintage trains from the 50's and 60's that the city has purchased. We rode in the dome so we could see.

Here we are entering a tunnel. It doesn't quite look safe - almost like we are going into some mine shaft or something!

After 4 wonderful days, we started our trip home. We decided to make a stop here, at the Sandstone Gardens in Joplin. We have been by this place tons of times (since it is on the way to see the kids in Arkansas) but we had never stopped. WOW!! Very worth the stop!! Doesn't it look like some European estate or something? I thought it was a garden nursery, but although they do sell statuaries for your garden, it is more like a huge decorating store. Like Kirklands on steroids! There is even a bistro to eat at. I told Al it is a very girly place that my Bible study would love to go to! Just a little far to drive though.
And since we weren't in any big hurry to get home, we decided to take an adventure and take a different way home. We took the historic Route 66 through the southern end of Kansas.

We passed pecan orchards, gently rolling plains, lazy towns, pastures with cattle, many wild flowers. Most of the area was not tilled for farming. The ground is too rocky. Went through the southern part of the Flint Hills.
I have no idea what this building used to be. I could guess.

We could see thunderheads in the distance. Jill phoned to tell us that it was thundering and that storms were coming into Newton. And sure enough, before we got home, we ran through some mighty heavy rain.

Well, the Bible says "Refresh others, and you yourself will be refreshed." So, dear friends, I hope He returns the favor to you. Thank you for your very generous gift to us!! We have been refreshed!!


Kris Reed said...

I am sooooooo glad you went and better yet, that you turned the "off" button on!

Amy said...

I remember seeing that building on our way home from Eureka Springs! I thought the same thing... "What a neat building... I wonder what it used to be... Oh... I bet I know." :)

Momma H said...

Welcome home, Debby. Missed you at Bible Study Wednesday, but we prayed for you to be able to rest and rejuvenate. Glad you had the opportunity to get away.

Rich and Carolyn Dewey said...

Just what you needed!! We've never done that train. Looks very fun! Would also like to do the Route 66.

Was GREAT to see you refreshed today! Look forward to seeing you at Bible study!