06 August, 2010

one crazy summer...part 1

I was informed today {thanks Jamie and Lindsey !} that it's been quite some time since I updated my blog. So, this one's for all of you who have been clicking over to my little blog and sadly leave without a glimpse into our world!

It's been one crazy summer in the McDaniel home! How many of you remember that movie....One Crazy Summer? I loved that movie! Cracked up every time I watched it, although I'd probably think it was totally stupid now! Anyway, back to our summer.

We left for a short vacay the day the kids got out of school, but after Eli had a ball game that evening. Crazy I tell ya! We meet our great friends, the Garinger's, in Colorado Springs. Our trip out there was not the drive-thru-the-night-while-the-kids-sleep drive we'd hoped for. Instead, we had to take shelter around midnight at a total dive motel in Russell, KS, to avoid driving directly into a severe storm a few hours ahead of us that was spawning tornadoes left and right. Thankfully, the storm had died down quite a bit by the time it hit Russell and we were able head out around 3:30am. We made it to CO sometime before noon....I was too tired to notice the time. We were able to spend some time just as a family one of the days. We visited Focus on the Family {totally recommend}, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo {totally recommend}, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun {totally recommend}, had dinner at an awesome Mexican place in Old Colorado City {totally recommend}, and ended our evening with a sunset stroll through Garden of the God {totally recommend}. We had a great time!!! Our time with the Garinger's was fabulous too! The kids played in the little mountain stream behind our cabin and had a blast playing Twister. The big people got relax on the mountain-shadowed back porch after the kids went to bed and play a rousing game of Mad Gab....which was super funny! The dads took the 3 bigger kids up to Pike's Peak and hiking through Garden of the Gods. The kids had a blast and are still talking about it! One evening we went into Manitou Springs to the Penny Arcades and had a blast! Our families just blend together so well...Eli thinks we should all buy one big house and live together!

When we left the Springs, our family headed to southern CO for Great Sands National Park. I was not thrilled about going b/c of the distance and had started feeling better {can you say altitude sickness?} after leaving CO Springs only to find that we were rising in elevation again and I felt like poo. Then we got there and it was amazing! It's these massive sand dunes nestled at the foot a some mountains in the middle of nowhere! There was a "stream" of melt off running at the base of the dunes from the nearby snow-capped mountain and the water was freezing!!! I gave Rich a lot of grief on the LONG ride there, but in the end, I'm glad we went.
From there, we headed back home via a short, but relaxing stop at some friends in Rolla, KS. They are such an exceptional family and we love them dearly. Rich S. is on the liver transplant list, but by his actions and spirit you'd never guess he's as sick as he truly is. Sara, his wife, is just an inspiration to me! She carries herself with a grace and gentleness that astounds me considering the medical crisis they're in. Their reliance on God is certainly something to be sought after. I also adore their kiddos. Zach is a handsome young man with a tender heart for God. Kenna, oh Kenna....I just love that girl! She loves Jesus and her family and has developed a love for photography that tickles me.
Welp, that pretty much sums up the last week of May! Be watching for part 2 of One Crazy Summer soon....I promise not to wait so long! ;)
Here are a few pix from our trip....blogger is apparently not happy with the number of pictures I'm trying to post, so I'll stop here and add more another time.