Point A to Point Z

Just trying to make my way…

The Gateway Arch March 23, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 2:35 pm

St. Louis, MO marked the starting point for many pioneers who headed west. That land held the promise of a future and a place to call home.


On our visit to St. Louis, we stopped to see the arch AND the Museum of Westward Expansion which is located under it.


As you can see in the picture below, our road trip covered a lot of the same territory as those westward explorers.  (Don’t mind J’s face… he was “hangry”)


I wish I had a picture of it, but the walls were covered with pictures of the different terrain that spans our beautiful country along with descriptions from Lewis & Clark’s journals.  Oh wait… I guess we do have pictures of it… all the pictures from our road trip!  Cuz we were THERE! 🙂


J: “If I had to travel in this, I would just sit on the box in there.”


B really wanted a picture with this sod house


Can you imagine someone just saying “Go! Explore! Go find out about this stuff, come back, and tell us about it!”  My heart races when I think about it!  Yeah, I want to know what’s over there too!  Let’s go find out!

One of my favorite things about this whole trip has been seeing the little known sites and odd names. Husband & I wondered: What’s the story behind Emigrants Gulch?  What’s the Vore Buffalo Jump? What’s the difference between a basin and a watershed?  Why was this named the French Broad River? (Our initial thought was “who was the french female?” Lol…) Are those rocks flint or slate?  With our smart phones in hand, husband and I took our friends Google and Wikipedia and we explored!  SO MUCH information, just at our fingertips!  We also grabbed books along the way that explained the geological formations that we saw in Utah and a copy of Lewis & Clark’s journals.  We found out about stuff!

You know those people who we learned about in school?  That’s what they did!  They wondered, they explored, they found out about stuff and they told others.  I don’t want to just teach my kids about these people… I want my kids to BE those people.

The best way I can think of to help our kids be those people is to show them… to keep learning and exploring.


St. Louis marked a starting point for us too as this was our last sight-seeing stop before our next duty station, Ft. Bragg.  True, we were stationed at Bragg before, but just the fact that the boys are older will make it such a different experience.

And I am SO excited!


Please enjoy these very touristy photos of our family at the arch.

Here are the kids doing some much-needed  jumping and running before the rest of our drive.

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Husband & I (Photo by J)


Husband laughing at me trying to take a picture of us and the arch…


Aloha for now!


I want to go back to Coe again… March 20, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 2:46 am


The other day, Husband and I took the boys to our alma mater.  I’d been back since a bunch of changes were made, but Husband hadn’t.  It was fun to see his face.  We didn’t have such cool lounge areas and wi-fi across the campus


Holy moly.  I walked around and saw these college students…I can’t possibly look 9-13 years older than them can I?!?!  One of our college friends works in the Admissions office… as a counselor… We have kids now.  “Weren’t we JUST hanging out in the dorms together?”

I found this cute post on Pinterest today: What It’s Like To Be In College (as told by our favorite Disney characters)

I have NO idea how I didn’t get pictures taken with any of the PEOPLE we went to visit, but here are our pictures… in case some fellow Kohawks want to see a few campus updates.

This is upper Gage….

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We had lunch with Chaplain Kristin in The Pub… it has booths and couches and such…


We visited Prof. Nordman & Prof. Buckaloo in Hickock.  No changes here unless you count the new faculty.


And Nassif House holds the Admissions Office.  Husband & I were campus tour guides back in the day.  A couple staff members knew us from the time we started dating.


And of course, I stopped in the bookstore to grab some new gear.


(They have some cute new women’s shirts… I didn’t find as much for the guys tho.)

For my fellow Kohawks: I want to go back to Coe again, the college of the west, back to Voorhees hall once more, the chapel, and the old bookstore; I want to go back to Coe again, the college of the west; I wanna go back, I’ve gotta go back to Coe again. At old Coe College in Cedar Rapids, we sling-a-da-ink and push-da-pen along… At old Coe College in Cedar Rapids, we sling-a-da-ink and push-da-pen aloooooong!

And now it’s stuck in your head.  You’re welcome.


A few of our favorite things March 17, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 4:37 am

Baby cousins:
There’s something special about a sibling’s kids. You know your sibling like noone else does. And here are little copies of them running around being all cute… Plus they help me get my baby fix.





We traded in the old one for an 8 speed transmission, upgraded features, more interior space for the second leg of our trip…
And, to quote a friend, “Mmmmmmm… Hemi.”




Husband went to a gun show and I went to the malls. He bought his dream rifle and a sweet scope while I scored some awesome accessories for mainland spring weather.



St. Patrick’s day:
Husband and I got engaged 9 years ago today! No, he didn’t know it was St. Patrick’s day, but it works–makes it hard to forget the date!


Thanks for reading and following along in our adventures!

Now this mama is gonna try get over this cold and go back to bed. Have a beautiful Sunday!


Guns March 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 10:51 pm



My kids play with (pretend) guns.
I allow it, I encourage it…
Because I’m not afraid of it.

Husband has grown up hunting, he’s in the army, and he plays video games… So not much chance of hiding the existence of guns in this household. But the main thing is, husband KNOWS guns and continues to research guns. He taught me about guns and I feel safe and confident in his ability to teach our kids.

So yeah. Our kids play with guns. And they shoot things in their pretend play. Deer, moose, bears, and bad guys.

Part of teaching our kids about guns is helping them realize that there is a bad and evil, ugly and dirty, nasty-ness out there. And when it comes after you or someone you love, you fight against it.

Part of teaching our kids about the icky-ness of the world is trying to teach them ways to not be a part of it:
use words first.
its ok to be mad, but we don’t hurt someone just because we’re angry.
love anyway.

I suppose if everyone taught/believed these things we wouldn’t need guns. But too many people have learned to use actions first, to hurt because they’ve been hurt, to hold grudges, and that hatred is ok.

There are so many related points I could try to make about society or life or whatever, but here’s my summary for today:

My kids playing with guns aren’t trying to offend you.
Not everyone can/should handle a gun.
Guns aren’t the enemy. (And in general, people aren’t either.)


At home in Iowa March 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 11:10 am

We didn’t really see any sights post-Rushmore. We basically just pushed to get to Iowa. And now we’re here! Feeling somewhat rested, but I think I slowed down enough for a cold to catch up to me. So happy to be with family. It’s 45 degrees and the boys are playing with their cousin in the muddy snow. Just a t-shirt under their coats and having a blast!






Mt. Rushmore! March 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 7:38 pm




I don’t even know what to say… It’s pretty cool to read about these monuments and see pictures, but its something else to be able to see and experience it in person… To admire the amazing craftsmanship… to read about the lives of the great minds who helped mold our nation… To see and remember where we’ve been… To realize where we are now…



To the lodge

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dee @ 7:18 pm

Ah… So where were we?
We stopped in Craig, Colorado.


The next day we drove… And we drove and we drove and we drove.


We headed north into Wyoming again until we crossed over into South Dakota. I found a great livingsocial deal for a lodge about an hour away from Mt. Rushmore!







I could get used to seeing this every morning… this amazing canyon area with rocky cliffs and pine trees and a creek running past… **sigh** There was actually another lodging area called “A little piece of heaven.” 🙂