Monday, May 30, 2011

Nine Years

This weekend David and I celebrated nine years of marriage.  It was a wonderful weekend!  Siri and the boys spent the night at Nana and Papa Collins (Thanks Mom and Dad for babysitting) and she did great.

We went for massages at Zen 3 Bodyworks, which was wonderful.  Then, while on Pickwick Street, we discovered a really neat little grocery store.  It is called Homegrown Food.  Everything they sell is made in the states, and most of it is made locally. We got some really great Apple Butter that was made in Dunnegan, MO by Ozark Country Kitchen.  We also got the best granola I have ever had.  We had the Dark Chocolate Cherry Granolove and is made right here in Springfield, MO.  I love how when you look at the list of ingredients on the back, you know what they all are.  We will definitely be shopping there again.  

The following morning we decided to go mountain bike riding at Little Sac.  Once we got there, we decided to try our hand at Geocaching.  We were using the app on our phone, which gets you in the ballpark of the hidden cache.  On our first one, we started on the wrong side Highway 13, which was unfortunately full of poison ivy. 

The second one was a lot more challenging.  We made it much more difficult that in actually was.  It was located right by the trail, but we took a very off trail approach.  While hunting, we came across a newborn fawn.  He was so cute, just huddle up in the grass.  At first we thought he might be hurt and we should help him.  But then we decided he was just really young and it would be best to just leave him there.

Finally, we stumbled upon the box.  It was hidden really well.

This one said it had a travel bug inside. We didn't find one, unless it happened to look like a broken golf ball.

Turns out Geochaching is a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again. Maybe we can work it into our road trip to Wisconsin this summer. Although we will need to improve some on our hunting skills or it may make for an extra long trip.

Thanks for an amazing nine years David! We have had so many exciting adventures; I can only imagine what the next nine years will hold. I love you!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Volunteering in Joplin

Today two friends (thanks Amy and Piper) and I went to Joplin to volunteer.  We were planning on volunteering in the missing person call center, but when that area was full we ended up out in the neighborhood helping with debris removal.  And I am so glad we did.  I know we have all seen pictures on the news of the devastation, but to see it in person is surreal. 

Here are some pictures from the neighborhood we worked in:

We were not even working in the most heavily damaged area because they are still conducting search and rescue in those areas. So we spent the day with about 20 strangers clearing out the backyard of two homes. We made a lot of progress, but there was still a lot to be done. A lot. It was a bit frustrating that so many of us worked so hard and barely made a dent in the work that needs to be done.

But I have to share, what touched me the most were the volunteers themselves. One traveled from Texas, another from Pennsylvania. We also had folks that had driven in from Oklahoma and Arkansas. They had seen the devastation on the news and wanted to come help. I can't say that if I saw that a tornado had hit Pennsylvania, I would feel compelled to drive there and help out.  I can tell you that I will now. 

There were so many wonderful random acts of kindness today.  A great couple came by and brought sandwiches and water for all.  Another group came by an hour later with cookies and chips.  A truck was driving around offering work gloves to those that didn't have any.

When catastrophes such as these happen, it's easy to search the depths of your spirituality to find a reason as to why this was allowed to occur.  In the past, I've spent so much time trying to figure out God's rationale, and fully knowing that I could never come to know His reasoning, that I lose sight of what's right in front of me.  In this case, I still don't know the "why", but what I do know is that God was felt all over that place today.  I truly feel that God is love.  And despite what might look like a wasteland in pictures, God's presence is unmistakable.

Want to volunteer?  It's easy.  Show up at Missouri Southern State University. There you will fill out a volunteer form and they will give you a wrist band to show you can be in the area.  You will take a bus to the volunteer site, then go with a group leader to a damaged area to work.  The biggest needs today were people that could run chainsaws.  There are a lot of trees that need to be cut down.  Hats off to AmeriCorps for organizing the cleanup volunteer effort.

Danyel Andeson

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Magic Milk

I know this is not a proper update, and I promise to post one soon, but since I have a few minutes I thought I would post some pictures.  Things are good and Siri is doing really well.

The other day her friends Maddax and Tyler gave her a doll that has one of those magic milk bottles. 
When you turn it upside down the milk disappears.  Siri just can't figure out where the milk is going.  She will feed her baby, then try to take a drink herself.  It is so cute! 

Siri loves to do what her big brother's are doing.  She HATED brushing her teeth in Thailand.  Now she can't wait to brush her teeth and tries to do so many times a day.

She loves to dance...

...and she loves cheering on the boys at their soccer games. Go Rockets!  Look for the pigtails at the bottom of the screen.

We had a family outing to Chuck E Cheese over Easter weekend and Siri loved dancing on the stage with her brother and cousin Lilly.  Afterwards, they were all so tired, they were asleep before we got out of the parking lot.

Easter was good.  Siri had fun coloring Easter Eggs and ate way too much candy. 
Speaking of the little tornado, she is awake, so my computer time is up.  :)