Sunday, March 29, 2009

Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns

I promised a post about when we went to these places, so here it is! Even though I'm really tired and will probably forget a lot of things. On Monday we went to the Grand Canyon and had a lot of fun! We didn't realize it would be so cold, since where we were staying it had been in the 70's all weekend. The kids all had coats, but Caleb and I didn't have anything. We had to resort to paying for overpriced Grand Canyon hoodies and wind breakers. Actually, my hoodie was the only thing overpriced, Caleb got a good deal on his wind breaker.

Noah has been wanting to go to the Grand Canyon for a LONG time. He's been talking about it for months and for the last two weeks has been asking everyday when we were going. I wish I could've gotten a picture of his face when we went to the first lookout, you could tell it was a lot more than he was expecting! He just stood there at the fence looking out, amazed. I asked him if it was better than he expected and he just nodded his head and said "Oh yeah!" which, if you know Noah, is a lot for him to say!

We went to most of the lookouts, walked as much as we could even though it was so cold, and took lots of pictures. Noah, Kayla and Caleb became Jr. Rangers (Caleb really wanted that badge!) and they took a nature hike to complete their assignment. I stayed in the van with Lela, who had fallen asleep. We were going to eat sandwiches at a picnic table overlooking the Canyon but it started snowing once we got all the food out so we decided to eat in the van!

On Tuesday we drove to Carlsbad, NM where we found an open Missions Apartment at Bro. McKinley's church. We were grateful to find it since we had a cancelation in Colorado and had nowhere to go for five days! We thought it would be a 10 hour drive but it ended up being a 14 hours drive! We made it to Carlsbad at 1:30am. Amazingly, I was able to stay awake the entire time and keep Caleb awake for the last four hours of the trip.

On Wednesday we relaxed and on Thursday we went to Carlsbad Caverns. We didn't tell the kids a lot about it, except that we were going into some caves and there might be bats but no bears and no mountain lions! When we got there we sat in on a lecture about bats (gross!) and then got in the elevator to go 750 feet down into the Caverns! The kids were stunned as we rode down, the elevator guide explained how long it took to dig the shaft and you could see the rock passing by as we went down. They didn't say a word the entire 10 seconds it took!

They were warned to use their quiet voices once we got in the cave, but I'm pretty sure they would have been quiet without the warning. Once you get off the elevator it's like you're in a different world. It's dark, quiet, damp and cold. We started walking around and the kids couldn't stop looking around, pointing, and just gaping in awe! It is truly amazing to see the different formations in the rocks. We didn't see any bats since they don't migrate back until late April, but the kids were okay with that! We walked the entire Big Room, which was a mile and a half hike! I was tired and sore halfway through, but I kept going. What else could I do? It was worth it, but my back was sore the rest of the day.

Noah and Kayla also got their Jr. Ranger badges at the Caverns and it was fun to help them fill out their books. Noah had to ask a Ranger questions and he did it bravely! I am so glad we were able to go to the Grand Canyon and Carlsbad Caverns. It was a wonderful oppurtunity to relate what we were seeing with our eyes with stories from the Bible. We talked about how after the waters receeded from the flood, it formed the Grand Canyon and then the Caverns as it continued to go down into the earth. I'm sure that's not the most scientific explanation, but it was neat to see the kids be able to connect what they were seeing with what they knew from the Bible. It's also amazing how other people can be so ignorant of how the Canyon was created. Their own scientific "studies" tells them that every year the water leaves "this much" of a mark on the Canyon wall, yet they insist that it was formed over millions of years. When all they would have to do is count the "this much" marks on the walls and it couldn't be much more than a few thousand years! But they always have their explanations to explain away God! The Caverns wasn't as bad, except explaining how long bats had lived there by studying guano droppings.

This week we will be in Rio Rancho, NM in a Missions Conference and then Sunday Night we will be in Liberal, KS. Then we are going HOME! And will be there most of the time until after I have the baby. We have a few meetings, but we won't be gone for more than a week at a time. Thanks for reading and thanks for praying for us!!

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