Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Road to the Hodgepodge

Coming late to the Wednesday Hodgepodge party today. I am still a bit handicapped due to lack of internet. I know, I need to quit whining about it. :) Be sure to hop over and visit Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. For some reason, I couldn't get the Wednesday Hodgepodge button to work today. Probably because of the internet trouble I'm experiencing. Sheesh!

1. February 22nd is National Be Humble Day...what makes you proud? What keeps you humble?
My children make me proud. I am proud to be an American (where at least I know I'm free. Thank you Lee Greenwood). I am proud of my team (Who Dat! Boiler Up!).
I am kept humble when I think of how far I fall, the mistakes I make, and the most wonderful gift of God's amazing grace.

2. Where is the catch-all (aka dumping ground) in your house?
Our dining room table.

3. Do you make it a point to visit State/National Parks when you travel or even in your own hometown? What's your favorite?
We have visited several state parks here in Indiana. Back in my Hanover College days, we were practically next door to Clifty Falls State Park, so we visited there every now and then for a study break. Versailles State Park is also nearby, and I believe Andrew has a scar on his leg from a hike in a rocky creek bed there. McCormack's Creek State Park was the site of my high school band camp. Spring Mill State Park was included in one of our 'Indiana History' vacations. They have a working grist mill, and we purchased corn meal while we were there. We have visited several of the great state parks and historic sites here in our home state of Indiana, but not as many National Parks.

4. How would you define honor?
Nobody can acquire honor by doing what is wrong. ~Thomas Jefferson.

5. Angel's food or Devil's food-which cake do you prefer?
Devil's food for sure! My favorite recipe would be for our traditional chocolate chip upside down cake.

6. What's the most recent road trip you've taken? Where did you go and how many hours did you spend in the car? Do you like to zoom to your destination without stopping or leisurely wind your way there with stops along the way? What is your car snack of choice?
Funny you should ask. I just returned from a road trip yesterday. I headed out on Sunday, with a good friend, to visit one of our Haitian friends who is here in the states due to a very serious illness. We headed west after church, and made the 8 hour, 533 mile drive to Kansas City, Kansas. I-70 is one flat road, all the way from Indiana to Kansas.

I think this cross was somewhere in Illinois.

We crossed a few rivers.

And we headed west right into the setting sun.
We arrived in Kansas City on Sunday night, and spent all day Monday at the hospital. More about that in number 8 below.
After we left the hospital, we headed out to find a place to have dinner. We were craving a good burger, and, well, the margaritas were on special.

It was pouring rain, but we did find some interesting places in the huge shopping complex. This was called Backfire BBQ, complete with the choppers outside.

The parking garage made sure we knew we were in Kansas.

Tuesday morning, we made the long drive home. We went right through downtown St. Louis, and passed by the Gateway Arch.

It is huge, and quite stately standing there by the river. If we had been on a more leisurely trip, we would have stopped to go up in the arch. We have done that with our family.

Crossing the river on the way home.

And just in case you happen to notice you've got a bra problem as you're travelling I-70, Ann's is just around the corner. I am sure you are glad to know that! Nothing worse than a bra problem with 200 miles to go. :)

 The large cross from the return side means we are closer to home.
Since this was not a 'just for pleasure' trip, we didn't make any stops along the way. If I am planning a vacation road trip, I usually research the route and plan our stops. I love visiting historic sites, famous restaurants, and well-known attractions as we travel, but I usually have the stops planned. So we strictly adhere to our leisurely winding route. Ha!
Snacks of choice for this trip? Dark chocolate pretzels and milk chocolate M&Ms. Chocolate is always good.

7. Recent headlines told how a preschool child in NC had their packed lunch from home taken away and a school lunch substituted by a school inspector who deemed the homemade lunch unhealthy. Reportedly the parent was then billed for the school lunch (chicken nugget meal) although an update to the story says the parent was not billed. The inspector was conducting a routine inspection of the classroom-he/she was not there solely to peek in the lunchboxes. The packed lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, an apple juice box, a bag of chips, and a banana. You can read the story here. Your thoughts?
I think it's just silly. The child's lunch sounds perfectly fine to me. I was never a lunch-packer myself... my kids were very mostly happy to eat the school lunches. To me, the thought of packing 5 lunches made be break out in a cold sweat. If I had packed a nice lunch like the one in the story, then been told by the lunch police that it was not acceptable, it might have sent me right over the edge. If a child comes to school without lunch, then he or she should be given one, of course, but I think 'inspecting' the packed lunches is going a bit too far.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Our road trip was to visit our Haitian friend, Sister Carmelle, who is in the US due to a very serious illness. Last week we learned she had been moved into hospice at the hospital in Kansas City.
This picture shows her holding Baby Jude, in November 2009. Jude was killed in the earthquake in January 2010.

This picture shows Sister Carmelle, along with Sister Simone, trying to get Jude to eat his dinner. The photos remind us of happier, healthier times, before the earthquake, and before Sister Carmelle got sick. She and Sister Simone are the spiritual leaders of the community, the mothers to the children in the orphanage, and the mentors to the young Sisters living with them in Fondwa, Haiti.
Won't you please pray for Sister Carmelle, for her family in Haiti, and for all those who love her during this difficult time?
There is a Haitian proverb that says, "Beyond mountains, there are mountains." God bless our friends in Haiti as they climb yet another mountain. May they feel peace. Amen.

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