Saturday, August 4, 2012

Wichita Fever

For our family, the idea of a good vacation is a weekend spent in Wichita at Grandma and Grandma Power's house. We go every summer! No, that isn't a typo, that's exactly what it is to Zechariah, Grandma and Grandma Power's house.

My dad has always been known as Papa. To him, there is no such thing as a Grandpa, only a Papa. He can't hear the difference. So when we visit Titus' grandparents, it's always going to see Grandma and Grandma Power. What's really funny, he calls Grandma Power that too. He thinks it's her name; talk about a mouthful. Granddad Power is "that man." He hasn't quite figured out what to call him yet.

We started our visit off by touring the Great Plains Nature Center. This is a free attraction that houses some very nice "stuffed" animals, along with a few live ones. It also has beautiful nature trails. I am always up for a good hike. The day was rather hot, but we were blessed with a very light mist of rain. I wouldn't even call it rain. It was just enough to cool us down, but didn't get anyone wet.

I know we are in the midst of a drought, but it often doesn't reach home for me. This was a very sobering walk through the trails as the water has all dried up. The bridges are no longer necessary; the water is long gone.

On our second day we visited the Indian Center. This was very educational for the children, and fascinating to me. I like to think of myself as resourceful, but I'm nothing compared to the Indians. They wasted nothing! Take the buffalo, every part was eaten or used to make things.

They made: Headdresses, saddles, pillows, ropes, fly brushes, whips, moccasins, boots, rattles, clothing, cups, spoons, ladles, and weapons. The list goes on and on. This is so impressive to me!

We never visit Wichita without stopping by Riverside Park to eat a picnic lunch and let the kids play in the fountains. This time Ariel was very fortunate to find a flock of geese to feed.

All of Wichita's attractions are great, but the real purpose in our visit is always to see Grandma & Granddad Power. They are such wonderful people. I hold them in the greatest esteem. They love God with all their hearts and have had years of following in Jesus' footsteps. I pray that someday Titus and I will grow up to be just like them.

After we put the kids to bed, we get Titus' grandparent's attention all to ourselves. It's such a wonderful time of catching up on what's been going on for the past year of our lives. God is always so good to us, and we love to share what He is doing in us. You won't find a more attentive audience anywhere else. Titus feels right at home, and often serenades us all with his songs. When he's not singing, he strums softly to make beautiful peace filled background music. These evening talks are decidedly the highlight of our weekends spent in Wichita. I look forward to these few hours all year long. I will actually find myself making a mental note during the year anticipating the moments when I get to share what happened with Grandma and Granddad Power.

I have never lived close to my own grandparents, so I don't have a very deep relationship with them. Grandma and Granddad Power are so close to me that I feel as if I could claim them as my own. I love them so much.

All three kids love to visit with Kitty and Whiskers, Grandma and Granddad's cats. Gabe is very allergic to cats and can stay away for the first day, maybe part of the second day. By the end of the trip his eyes are so itchy he can hardly see out of them. When the second day hits, he starts to think the cats aren't so bad, and begins to pet and play with them. This is when you can really see the allergy kick in. He continually sneezes, and his eyes change from a normal color to bloodshot red. Poor guy!

Whiskers is the nice kitty that Ariel and Zech hold like a baby. This cat is amazing and puts up with practically anything!

Every year we take a family photo before we leave for church, and every year we take a photo with Titus' grandparents before we leave for home. It's a tradition! I love to see how much the kids change from year to year. (Does anyone else think it's weird how much I resemble a giant in this photo?)

God is so good! And it's weekends like these that we see how extraordinary life can be with Him.

in the beautiful land of life.
-Albert Einstein

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