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Ozarks-Part 1

As promised, here is Part 1 of our vacation series:

First I would like to say that pre-planning for a road trip is a LIFE-SAVER! I put a little extra effort this year into having a special box of activities ready for the trip and boy am I glad I did. Our little road trippers were awesome(ignoring the little bout of the pukes!). The big hit was personal CDs players and lots of fun CDs from home and audio books from the library which were great for both in the van and in the house on rainy afternoons. We also made use of road trip bingo, magnet dolls and transportation set, coloring books, and our new dry erase boards!
Here’s a peek inside our little blue house! It was newly updated a couple of years ago and it was really well kept and very nice. It was on the north side of the lake and in a quiet little cove, very family friendly. I have to give props to my friend, Heather, yet again, for recommending this place. Much appreciated! T was MOST impressed with the indoor/outdoor pool that he could swim back and forth in. This was put to the test on a rainy afternoon when he did just that and thought it was the coolest thing to swim out in the rain and then back inside! It’s the little things I tell ya!
I swear every year on vacation we are amazed at how much the kids grow and change during that week. Perhaps we are just watching so closely and savoring the moments more? I think T may have literally grown out of his shoes in those 8 days, became even more of a fish and even tackled the monkey bars…all by himself! L surprised us all with her swimming abilities and just seems to be turning into such a big girl now. Although we had to laugh because we must have confused her by saying that so much that she seemed to think that when we came home she would be 3 already, only to find out she still has another week! (As a side note-I started this post last night and this morning before finishing it measured both kids on their doors….since late April they have both grown over an inch!) I am still a little bit surprised that we actually went through with the helicopter ride but I’m glad that we did. I had actually printed off information on it and brought it with me in my stack of potential places to go/things to do but I really wasn’t sure that I could do it and I doubted anyone else would go for it. I casually mentioned it once to M and that was about it. So, on our way back from our visit to the Bagnell Dam we happened to pass the helicopter place and it caught my eye. I mentioned that it was there and M just turned the van in there. We asked the kids and they were all for it. L actually kept saying, “I won’t be scared!” as if to convince herself.

As you can see, these are not scared faces!

Although if you look closely you will notice the GRIP on that seat, but he was all about sitting in the front. I sat in back, took pictures and prayed. His face never changed. I kept tapping him on the shoulder to check to make sure we didn’t have a repeat of the drive down but he was LOVING every minute of it. M admitted once in the van that any longer and HE would have had a problem! 🙂 The kids were begging to go again!

Another great place we visited on a gorgeous afternoon was The National Shrine of Mary, Mother of the Church, “The Mothers’ Shrine.” This is in a town called Laurie, MO which is the closest town to where we stayed. My pictures don’t do justice and it is a very large outdoor chapel where services are held so I could not get the whole scope of it in a few pictures. But it’s there in the mix of the almost 300 pictures I am developing!
There is a 14 foot statue of Mary that rotates constantly overlooking beautiful fountains and gardens. It sits in the center of a natural amphitheatre and on top of a black granite wall that is engraved with the names of mother’s from around the world of all denominations.

This is at the entrance, flags from around the world lead down the drive, and in the back there are stations of the cross as well.
I just love this picture of the kids looking up at her. We were the only ones there that day and it was just a perfectly beautiful day to visit. I always get teary eyed at places like this but M brought me to full-on tears when he and the kids held hands around me and said a special blessing for their mama. That man just gets me.

6 Comments


  1. //

    Beautiful! Looks like a wonderful vacation. How sweet about your hubby blessing you. aaahhh


  2. //

    How wonderful !!!! You are such a great & blessed family.
    we are so proud of you all four of you.
    Our Love Grandma & Grandpa


  3. //

    Thanks for all the pics and the stories. You really had a wonderful memory making trip. It's always nice to take advantage of all the little known side trips along the way. Can't wait to hear the kids tell of all your adventures. Love you all, Grandma A


  4. //

    AWESOME – Thanks again for sharing


  5. //

    This is my favorite kind of blog! I love traveling, talking about traveling and thinking about traveling. God is sooo good!

    You are invited to join my blog at: http://www.heavenlyhumor.blogspot.com

    Laughter is good medicine!


  6. //

    What an awesome little place!! So homey. And I have NEVER seen or heard of an indoor/outdoor pool, in one!! I think it's as cool as T! I'd be swimming in and out and in and out.
    How SWEET about the prayer for you. What agreat trip.

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