A Weekend Away…

A weekend away is a good thing. Seeing different skies, breathing in new air, sleeping (or not) in different beds. With the exception of Lily and Emmy’s way-too-early wake-ups, going to visit my Dad in Iowa is always fun. Grandpa is always standing by the door as we pull into the driveway, looking for his granddaughters, eager to see them.

Despite the rain this weekend, we still were able to get out and about Des Moines. Ed insists on getting good BBQ anytime we are in Des Moines, since we don’t have a good BBQ place in our neck of the woods. So far, our favorite place is a place called Jethro’s. Yum!

Ed also loves driving up to Saylorville Lake to look at the dam and see the spillway. As Lily and I were standing at the top of the dam, two huge turkey vultures flew past us and we saw their red heads quite clearly. Lily was so excited since she’s learned about turkey vultures on the PBS show “Fetch!”

I captured a shot of this soaring turkey vulture  in Sept., 2009.

During this trip to Des Moines, Ed was determined to take the girls to Blank Park Zoo. It was very rainy on Saturday, but on Sunday afternoon we had clear skies. My cousin bought lettuce for Lily and Emmy to feed the giraffes; Lily loved it, but Emmy hid behind me. That super long tongue is a little intimidating, don’t you think? Lily wanted to know why their tongues are purple, and the zoo worker explained that in Africa, when giraffes are feeding off of tall, tall trees, they don’t want their tongues to get sunburned.

Why are giraffes’ tongues purple? Sunscreen!

The zoo also had an amazing exhibit about dinosaurs. These dinosaurs might not have been real, as we explained to Emmy before we went in, but they could still move and ROAR!

Watch out for that T-Rex, Lily!

Emmy spent the rest of the afternoon “chomping” people with her new dino-chomper.

A weekend away…moments to spend with our girls, time away from work and school, a chance to relax and forget about some of the challenges we’ve left at home.

Oh, and if you didn’t notice…a weekend away is a chance for Ed to finally get his way!

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Help Joplin

Usually on Thursdays, I write about a simple moment that is a part of the bigger picture, a meme sponsored by the beautiful ladies of Bigger Picture Blogs. One of those wonderful bloggers, Sarah, lives in Joplin, Missouri, which less than a week ago was hit by a major tornado. The photos on her blog, This Heavenly Life, tells all.

The other members of Bigger Picture Blogs are holding an action to help Joplin through this devastating time. The auction is taking place right now…Thursday, May 26 and Friday, May 27. UPDATE: The auction has been extended to 9:00 a.m. (CDT) Saturday, May 28! Every hour another wonderful item is up for auction, and all you have to do is leave a comment to bid on the item of your choice. All the items have been donated by generous sponsors, and all the proceeds will go directly to the Salvation Army’s Joplin Relief. You can even make a donation without bidding on an item.

Please visit Bigger Picture Blogs now, and give Help for Joplin. Thank you so much!

 *Update from Bigger Picture Blogs:

A preliminary calculation has shown that the auction raised more than $1600! We know that each and every dollar raised will be put to the good use of helping families in Joplin recover from the devastation of the May 22, 2011 tornado.

Thank you to everyone who participated! 🙂


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