Friday, November 30, 2012

Normal Life...

(As Karen so aptly pointed out in her comment on the last post: What is "normal life?" A question, in a large household, that's not so easy to answer ;) . But it's good, and I love it!)

"For food and shelter and for toil,
For all the gifts from sun and soil;
For cares that help us to grow strong,
For thought that guides us toward right from wrong,
For tears that cleanse, and the need to be
Closer in our touch with Thee,
For every care Thy love bestows,
For every joy each glad heart knows,
For all good things we feel or see,
Dear loving God, our thanks to Thee!"
- Solveig Paulson Russel

Sunset

Deborah made a popcorn string! It's very festive. :)

Art in gold and silver

Even dried weed-flowers can be pretty!

It's Mom's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to a very special mother. :) :)

Mom blows out the candles while the relic of a piano lesson rests on the piano near her... ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trip to NE - Coming Home

A unique way to dress up old concrete structures! :)

Rolling...

Cute house, don't you think?

Ben :)

We were passing a slow-moving motor home & its towed vehicle when a sharp-eyed boy noticed the towed vehicle's license plate. ;)

And here's what the motor home said! ;)

Moving landscape

Happily, this "10-50 major," as the lingo goes, was on the other side of the road, so we weren't slowed up much!

A note on the term: "10-50 major" means more-than-minor damage to the vehicles; it may or may not describe the occupants' condition. We pray that no one was hurt in this crash; we don't know.

And I'll close our trip with this picture of Stephen & Ben. :)

Now, on to normal life! :) :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trip to NE - the Wedding!

Here we are at the wedding!

It began with lighting the candles...

Mark's sisters gathering...

Darling Sarah!

Bridesmaids


Some of the groomsmen

Mark was so happy. :)

The whole wedding party

What a smile :)


"May I present to you - Mr. and Mrs. Mark Hutchins!"

Sarah and her husband were in the wedding together - so sweet!  :)

Fall decorations at the reception

The cake!


Here they are!


Conversing...

The guys had a great time visiting. :) We especially enjoyed seeing Stephen H., whom we have missed!

Elizabeth H. & I. Lovely talking with you, Elizabeth! :)

Off they go!


Mr. & Mrs. H. and all their grandchildren!

How blessed they are!

And a memento from Beth's wedding -- my shoes! :) ;)

Trip to NE - A Morning at the Zoo!

The next morning (Saturday), we had only two hours at the Zoo before we had to rush back to our hotel and change clothes for Mark's wedding, but it was well worth it!

The highway systems in Omaha, NE are absolutely convoluted and confusing -- we had to switch from one to the other to get anywhere, even close by! Thankfully we had Dad & Nathaniel -- they're terrific navigators!

Handsome Andrew. I couldn't ask for a better brother.

The Zoo had an enormous indoor rainforest. It was really quite neat!

My apologies for the fuzzy picture (don't you just hate fuzzy photos?), but this softshell turtle was just too weird to miss! It was probably about three feet or more long, and very gelatinous-looking.

A bearded monkey, just for Deborah (who hates beards ;)


Can you spot the baby?

Doesn't it look dead? ;)


Statues outside the aquarium!

It was a cold day -- 29* outside, even with the sun out!

Stephen was captivated by the swimming penguins.

These crabs were "like aliens," Stephen reported, with their exaggeratedly-slow movements.

And this was something Stephen was looking forward to the whole time -- a 50-foot shark tunnel!

Here's a look at it...

These were upside-down jellyfish, which have a symbiotic relationship with algae (which is why they have to be upside down; so the algae gets light).

I could've watched these jellyfish for hours. They were fascinating! Alas, we had just a few minutes before hurrying on. ;)

Yes, these are fish!

Slowly turning a darker purple... this octopus was quite large and (some said) gross. ;)

Stephen decided to pose on all the animal statues! Here he displays a pressed penny. :)



A desert cat -- totally adorable

This unique desert bird was so brightly colored!

Thorny Art

Darling klipspringer

These rock hyrax look like they have an attitude!


We were just in time to see the white tiger being fed! Look at the neat designs on his head!

A photo can't even begin to show how big this toger was. I've never seen one this big before. His head was literally 2' or more across, and his body probably 10' to 11' long. Awesome -- but I hope I never meet one in the wild! :)

Here's a photo to show how cold it was -- a waterfall had frozen!

Deborah joins in the posing on statues...

:)

This shot is for Beth. And do you know what, Beth -- this male gorilla was glaring at us quite aggressively, and after we'd gone on, we heard a "thump" which seemed to hint that he'd slammed into the plexiglass! ;)

Dwarf mongoose cuteness

These peacocks roamed the zoo freely

This one (hoping to be fed, I think) came right up to me!


Mom wanted to show this chameleon to Beth -- it looked like it was trying to match the floor of her house!

A final pose on a tortoise :)

Then off we hastened to dress for the wedding! That post will be next. :)