Our weekend started early with Brian taking Friday off of work so that we could go to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. Being the ultra-Dutch people that we are, we got Reagan's ticket free and our tickets half-price. Madison was free already. So with our good deal, we were extra motivated to enjoy the day! It was absolutely gorgeous weather. We didn't need coats or jackets, but jeans were still comfortable.
The girls LOVED the zoo! Reagan was very excited to see all the different animals and learn about some new ones. She wanted very much to just run through the whole zoo, but we tried to slow her down as much as possible. Madison also loved seeing the animals. She would point and squeak/squeal every time she saw one. Judging by the huge smile on her face she had a great day too.
Probably the highlight of our trip was the Tiger. Or should I say Tigers. We were all very contentedly watching the Tiger roaming outside when right next to us in a dimly lit glass cage another Tiger pounced on the glass that Brian was leaning against. We all jumped. And then I took a bunch of pictures that now sort of creep me out.
This one specifically:
We made it through the whole zoo in less than 2 hours, but it was just in time for a picnic lunch. Again, the perfect weather was just glorious and we had fun just sitting there eating and discussing our favorite parts of the zoo.
After a stop at Lowes to check out some new kitchen sinks and faucets (we have a small remodel happening in the future), we headed home. For some odd reason, no one took a nap. Brian watched the girls so I could watch a movie for a while. Then we all got back in the car and went out for supper at the Pizza Ranch. It was very good and I ate WAY too much. When we got home we wanted to go on a walk but Reagan insisted we just play outside. So we tossed around the frisbee, played catch, colored with chalk, and chased Madison down the street.
Saturday morning I had my worship small group meeting. We had a very very good discussion even though we were freezing in the strangely frigid upper level of the coffee shop. When I got home Brian went off to the farm to help with anything and everything. While he was gone I took the girls to a scrapbook store in town and would you believe they were perfectly behaved and did not touch anything. Reagan only wanted to help me count sheets of paper. Candy was distributed upon arriving home to reward them for their awesomeness. After some good afternoon quiet time/nap time, we walked to the park and enjoyed the last of the day's sunshine. Brian got home soon after and we ended our night with some football watching/listening. Go Hawks!
Sunday morning we celebrated World Communion Sunday. I planned this service so I had a pretty good idea of what was coming. But I was just speechless when it was all said and done. It was amazing. Just amazing. The music was powerful, the sermon was challenging, the communion was touching. Probably my most favorite service ever at Faith. I was so blessed just to be there. And it wasn't because I planned it that I loved it. It was so beyond me to be able to put anything together like this. Only the Spirit of the Living God could have pulled off what He did that Sunday morning. We also celebrated Staff Appreciation Sunday and I was/am reminded of what a tremendous blessing our pastors and support staff are to our church.
Now, the only downside of my whole weekend was Sunday afternoon where I apparently landed the world's worst but quickest cold. Judging by the way Brian looked at me, it was not a pretty sight. But after a Sunday afternoon nap I felt quite a bit better.
So I had this really fantastic weekend. So great that the "emotional high" is continuing right on through my Monday. We might go to the park later today, but for now we are content to just snuggle in the puddles of sunshine on the living room floor, reading books, laughing, and listening to the radio. Life is good. God is better.