Sunday, July 8, 2018

Cabool, MO

We departed from Harrison Arkansas, headed for Cabool, MO.  The drive was only a couple of hours and Mansfield, MO was right on the way.  So with our RV, we ventured to stop at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum.
I am baffled by the recent decision to remove her name from a literary award, but that is off topic here.
We met a couple last week that said the museum and tour of the house was not worth the cost.  That the contents of the house were not original and that the tour was not that great.  So we decided to check out the gift shop.  The onions found 3 books that we did not have. We bought them...
We have been collecting magnets.  After seeing Kenny and Mary's refrigerator filled with all the places they had been, I thought it would be nice to have our memories out all year long.  I quickly gave up my original plan to collect Christmas ornaments (also copied - from Steven Michael and Jennifer).
We walked the grounds and around the outside of the house Laura lived in when she wrote her books.

We arrived at Malai's (Muh-lay) house.  Beautiful!
They have a pond with green grasses and scattered trees as their front yard.

Although, we have never met, they were so inviting!  Everyone became fast friends.  The kiddos were happy to have playmates.  Troy, Malai's husband, was out of town.  They have 11 children and one on the way.
We sat under the covered front porch, got to know each other a bit and enjoyed the breeze.  
The pond was the main attraction for just about everyone.  In the boat, out of the boat, swimming, feeding the resident ducks, fishing, water, water, water. 

Amelia's birthday was Monday, July 2.
Our morning tradition is to flood the birthday person's bed with balloons and "wake them up" singing the "Happy Birthday" song.

Amelia has wanted contacts for a couple of years now.  Last year didn't work out, so I thought it would make a great surprise and gift for her this year.  Getting the contacts in has proven to be easier than getting them out for Amelia.  However, the entire experience has been much more dramatic and traumatic than she or I had anticipated.  (She is getting the hang of it though).

While the onions usually all give gifts to the birthday person, the "Cabool cousins" were also in the spirit of giving gifts.  So kind!

Another part of our family birthday tradition is to go out to dinner.  (Every 4th year, they get to have a party of their choice.)  Thankfully it's not a 4th year for Amelia - she dearly misses her friends.    So, just dinner.
We went to Miller's Grill, just south of Houston, Texas county, Missouri.  Yep.  There is a Houston Texas IN Missouri.  EVERYTHING was delicious!
We are the type of family that shares and tastes food from each others plates.

Amelia decided to color on Scott's child's menu with him.  They had such fun.

Last week, we tried to go to "intro" cliff jumping.  It was a bust.  Well, the Cabool cousins knew of a swimming hole with cliff jumping.  Yay!  Everyone jumped but Amelia.  They had a great time. Another item on our vision board checked off.  

Eric had the day off for Independence Day, so we decided to take a drive and look at a property listing.  It was vacant and vandalized, so we jumped the fence. After checking it out, we decided to go to "Bakersville."  
Bakersville is a pioneer farmstead, open to the public.  It has lots of shops and oldish buildings.  Everyone who works there dresses in pioneer clothing.  They have a restaurant that is 
open only for lunch.  They serve vegan dishes.  They don't necessarily charge.  It is by donation only and all money donated goes to a charity that the owners have chosen to help people in Thailand.
The restaurant was a wonderful experience.  Everything comes directly from the many gardens.  It was delicious!  Although, some onions decided to wait till we got home (to the RV) to eat lunch.  All the shops were so adorable: Period clothing, handmade soap, books, patterns and fabric, bake ware, seeds, herbs and teas.  

In front of the water wheel.

Shops and the restaurant.

The herb and flower garden

One of the main attractions is the heirloom seed shop.

Malai was invited to go to a friend's house for fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.  We were invited too!  Wow!  I don't know where to begin....
I have met quite a few people here that have felt called to be here by God.  Not just people of our faith, but of varying faiths.  Our story is not so unique, but rather the norm around Mountain Grove, MO.
The Whipples have a nice home and generous hearts.  It seemed to be a ward activity rather than a get together.  There were so many many friendly faces.  The fireworks would rival any displays that I have seen. It was an amazing display!                                                   A few people shared their stories of how they ended up in the area.  All felt inspired by God.  The knowledge that others have been on our path, buoys me up.

Turtles are abundant in Missouri, it seems.  Not as pets, but as creatures in nature.  We have passed a few driving down the road.  The first time I saw one, I was surprised, startled, and stumped as to why a turtle would venture to cross a highway.   I even did a double take.
We found this turtle on a not so busy road.  Amelia decided to bring it back with us to show everyone.
The kiddos found a smaller turtle while walking around their property.  Too cute!

We were offered dinner the first two nights we were at their house.  So we reciprocated and offered dinner to them. I think it worked out well.

Malai is a dancer.  Her children are dancers.  She owns a dance studio.  They were on a two week break after performing Cats AND Annie two weeks apart.  I watched parts of the recording for both.  I loved it.  Rather than a recital, Malai puts on shows and individual classes dance the scenes in one cohesive piece. 
We were invited to attend a class, but we were looking at properties and only made it to the older, harder class.  So we watched.  WOW!  I am amazed at just how beautiful the human body can be!

We are in a very Christian part of the country.  Maybe not more than most parts.  But here everyone, of all faiths, freely talks about God in their daily conversations.  Constant praise and acknowledgement.  I love it that people are so comfortable expressing themselves.  There is no asking if I am Christian, or for permission.  No fear of offense.  It just out it comes.  

I am grateful I live in the United States of America.  I am grateful to enjoy the freedoms our founding fathers fought so hard, giving their all, and even ultimate sacrifice for the ideals they believed in, based on Christian principles.  
It saddens me that facebook's algorithm deemed parts of the Declaration of Independence as "hate speech."  Isn't it all just speech, free speech, as in the Constitution?  The small groups screaming the loudest today seem to be so removed from what our country's freedoms really mean, what our country is founded upon.  The agenda is certainly questionable to me.  
I am grateful for the loud voices in defense of our Constitution.  
The promise of Christ's return gives me much peace.

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