Saturday, April 30, 2011

An Unexpected Trip

Last Friday morning, my niece's 35 year old husband passed away very suddenly following surgery. Thirty-five. He left behind not only our niece and her 3 daughters, but 5 children from previous marriages. He was a part of a large, blended family and many people are grieving this very sudden loss. Many people's lives will never be the same.
Life is short, people. Love hard.

We left for Wyoming early Tuesday morning, stopping for one night. Wyoming is beautiful. It makes you feel small and I think we all need to feel small once in awhile. It helps keep things in perspective.
We also did some of this... Uncle D and Aunty C's church had a "Big Toys" night for their AWANA kids, so our three youngest had a chance to run off all of the energy they'd stored up traveling that far in 2 days. Here is Lily with her second- cousin E. Monkey ran straight for 2 hours on all of the inflatables, only stopping to eat when we made him!The funeral was held on Thursday. I was so proud of my niece and how she was able to not only remain standing, but support her children and all of her step-children through such a heart-breaking loss. The grief was tough to watch, but her family and his family are circling the wagons, and she will have plenty of help and support in the days ahead. Please pray for them whenever they come to mind.

Friday morning, we spent a couple of hours with family there and then headed back over the Big Horn mountains. It was a beautiful winter wonderland...even for someone who is pretty sick of winter!

We got snowed on for quite some time on our way back over. On our first trip, it had gone from rain to hail to snow to blue, sunny skies in literally five minutes. It was pretty amazing. I think the Big Horns are quickly becoming one of my favorite places in the world.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Minnesota Sealife Visit

Today we spent the morning at Minnesota Sealife(formerly Underwater Adventures). For those of you who have been here before, not a whole lot has changed with the name, except you now go through "backwards" and of course they have you walk through the very expensive gift shop at the end. This picture was taken in one of the tunnels. This is part of the Jellyfish Kingdom. I think Mango and Monkey could've stood there quite happily for a very long time watching the jellyfish swim.
This stingray pond is now at the beginning. It has a couple of underwater viewing windows that the kids enjoyed.
This was at the end of one of the tunnels. We went through twice and this shark was sitting in that same spot both times.

Monkey Turns Seven!

Monkey's 7th birthday was last week. He was very excited, of course. As the time drew closer for Dad to get home from work, it got harder and harder to wait. He curled up with big brother Random and learned how to text while he was waiting! Here were a couple of our less successful attempts to get pictures with his birthday gifts.

By the time we got the nicer one, I think the back end of every animal in the house had made it into one photo or another. Never a dull moment here!