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Monday, July 10, 2017

Amazing Race Part 3


At this point in the race the kids were excited. Like I said in the last post they really got into the license plate game and then they all wanted to help navigate. They would either find the cities in their kids atlas and help us get there that way or they would hold our phones that had directions plugged in and read the next move out loud. The interpretations of the directions and way we were supposed to go were pretty dagum funny. Little Man would say "Dad, make a loopty loop.....NOW!" Ribbit would say "we are still 6 polka dot (meaning point) 5 miles away! Luckily Goober and I were able to help navigate as well so we hardly ever missed a turn!

The next answer to our clue took us to the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial in OK City. It was beautiful and quite moving. The first thing you see as you walk up are all of the momentos and signs still on the fences. There are pictures of victims and letters and key chains, flowers, wreaths, any little item that meant something to one of the victims. We looked through that long walkway and saw several people who were crying or standing in silence. We were able to talk to the kids about anger and self control and how one person's actions could hurt a whole lot of people for a long time.
Beautiful statue of Jesus Weeping

The Field of Empty Chairs

We read about each victim.

We were also very moved by the statue across the street. It was of Jesus weeping with his back turned to where the building was. It was a reminder that Jesus weeps over his children and was just as hurt over the decisions made that day as we were. As we walked into the memorial we saw two black walls with #'s on them. The first said 9:01-the time that the bomb went off and the other 9:02, the time that healing began. They are separated by a shallow black wading pool. The kids had to count the chair sculptures in the large field beside the memorial to get their next clue. Each metal chair sculpture represented a person who lost their life that day....with the smaller chairs representing the children. They counted, very respectfully I may add, and told their #'s to the security guard who then gave them their next clue. The #'s were 168 chairs and 19 small ones.
The kids were very respectful and interested in the momentos on the fence.

Ribbit looking at the second memorial.

It began to look like it may rain at that point but we pushed onward to our next pit stop-Palo Duro Canyon at the northern part of Texas. We were amazed by the canyon, which literally appears out of nowhere in the very flat landscape of Texas. It was a beautiful sight to see as we drove down into the canyon at sunset. We wound around canyon walls with boulders and rocks barely hanging on and couldn't wait to set up camp! We had a great spot and immediately cooked dinner. We were on our way to the bathroom when we saw our first FRIGHTENING ANIMAL...I spotted a TARANTULA in the grass...like as big as my hand. It was fuzzzzzzyyyy and way to close to our campsite. We all ran back to the tent and put our shoes in the car and in the tent in case that thing decided to make a home in our shoes!

Then we all 5 cuddled on the two camping mattresses that Adam and I used and played the question game. I asked "If you could eat ice cream with anyone in the world who would it be? Little Man immediately said "President Donald Trump" and we all busted out laughing. Then someone asked "If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?" Little Man said "CC and Papa's", Ribbit said " here because I want to get married in this canyon". Goober said " Dubai!!"
Some late night tent reading. Love my little readers!

 My brave kiddos, sound asleep in the van!

We all fell asleep very easily but around 11 we begin to feel the tent move and could hear thunder and see lightening. Adam and I lay very still for a few minutes as the tent began to be whipped from side to side and all of sudden I saw Adam grab a corner of the tent that had come loose from the ground and was capsizing down on us. A split second later I heard him say "GO, RUN". We grabbed 3 terrified kids, all of their blankets and threw them in the van as lightning flashed all around, rain poured and the wind whipped everything around, including our tent. It completely capsized before we could get Ribbit to even think about stirring so I literally grabbed her and threw her in the van. Keep in mind we had kinda unpacked at this point so the kids were stepping on everything and Adam was grasping for everything he could to keep the tent down. I had run into the van on the driver side but climbed over to the passenger side as Adam came running, holding our cell phones, lanterns and all of the library books the kids had taken into the tent to read. We assured the kids that we were okay in the van and hunkered down for the night. All three kids thought it was a light show for the next 3 hours and I must admit I have never seen lightning like that. Surprisingly we all slept that night and in the morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise in the canyon.
Our collapsed tent the next morning.
Little Man crawled up and cuddled me for a long while, dozing off and on. As we all scrambled out of the van we found out that one of the poles of our tent was broken and that we had left a library book in the tent that was now ruined. However, we were safe and HUNGRY---so we got started on campsite pancakes!!!!!

Trying to take a family picture with the canyon in the background..hehe.

A Beautiful windy and cold morning after the storm!!!

Our sweet little spot!

Any day that starts with hot chocolate is a good day!!!

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