November 08, 2012

Goin' to the Zoo!

Lucas had to do a hospital visit in Lansing on Monday, so he asked if the twins and I would like to ride along and go to the zoo while he was at the hospital.  At first I thought, "Go to the zoo?  In November?"  But then I realized the weather had to be better than our last trip, so it would work!  We bundled up, and I brought a blanket for them to snuggle under while they rode in the wagon (which lasted about 15 minutes), but it ended up being no different than playing outside on a chilly day - which we do ALL the time!
The horses were being taken for walks and were incredibly talkative...which brought ALL the llamas out to watch and talk back.
 The naughty little goat kept fighting with the others...until a "peacemaker" goat intervened and kept pushing him away and nuzzling him to calm him down.  It was fascinating to watch!
Aside from 1 giant group of students on a field trip, we had the zoo to ourselves.  After discovering the giant group, we just tweaked our route to avoid them.  It was really fun to feel like we had the whole zoo to ourselves, and the staff was really talkative.  The twins always think it is amazing to talk to the zookeepers/security guards.
Ryan's favorites are the tigers and lions.  Not only were they all exceptionally visible, but they were pretty active.  He was in heaven!

Allie visiting "Tuck."
 They both wanted to check their wingspan - still crows...

Running to meet Daddy.  It is really fun to be walking down a zoo street and look up to see someone you know!
 One of the coolest things we have seen at the zoo - the vets catching one of the bald eagles to give it a checkup!
Nov. 5, We are Thankful For:
Allie & Ryan: Bumble.
This one requires a little explaining.  Because of the passing of Dr. Reist, death has been a popular conversation topic in our house.  A while back our memory verse was John 3:16, and they wanted to know what "eternal life" meant.  So, to try to describe it in terms they understood, I described our life on earth as being like a caterpillar.  Eventually the caterpillar stops being a caterpillar and turns into  butterfly.  I told them that someday our bodies here on earth die, but we don't die, we get better bodies in heaven - like a butterfly.  Theologically shaky, perhaps, but my attempt to explain death and life after in terms a 3 year old understands.  On this particular day we had the visitation for Dr. Reist, which meant the twins were obsessed with his "change" (Ryan is convinced he got beautiful wings).  Unfortunately, caterpillars are Ryan's best friend...and he became obsessed with the impending "change" he was sure Bumble would have to undergo.  Since Dr. Reist was sick, Ryan informed us that Bumble was sick...and would be dying soon.  Ryan and Allie both wanted to express their thanks for this dear (stuffed) friend.  I, of course, had to follow up with another conversation to further clarify the fact that Bumble is not (I promise!) dying...
Me: Friends. We got to spend a wee bit of time with some friends we hadn't seen in a while, and it was delightful!  I'm thankful that God has always provided good friends wherever we have lived.
Nov 6, We are Thankful For:
Allie: Butterflies.  Yes.  This is a continuation of the aforementioned theme.  Thankfully butterflies remind her of not just eternal life, but a better life (I mean, seriously, we get butterfly wings?!)
Ryan: My caterpillars. He's consistent, this one.
Me: Democracy.  I am so thankful that I live in a country where I get to vote!  My opinion is counted.  My voice is heard.  Taking my kids with me to vote is always an exciting thing.  I hope I can instill in them the importance that it holds to me.
My Sister-friend who came to our house to watch the kiddos while we had the funeral.  I appreciate the entire afternoon she gave to us.  Her willingness to be as available as we needed truly ministered to us.
The funeral.  Not only was Dr. Reist's funeral beautiful, but the traditional Requiem Mass was a rich, new experience.  The service, and especially the homily, was incredibly Christ-focused and centered.  And it was a unique opportunity for me to see Lucas is a different pastoral role.  I've seen him on Sundays, I've seen him at weddings, but I had never seen him at a graveside service.  Witnessing a different facet of his ministry made me appreciate him all the more.  Overall, I left both thoughtful and uplifted, and I hope everyone else did as well.
Swim lessons.  It was a stark transition to literally go from the graveside service to swim lessons.  But having something that always produces so much enthusiasm was a nice distraction.  AND, for the first time me friend and I managed to coordinate our kids' swim lessons so that we could hang out during!  Spending time with a dear friend - even time punctuated by "Mommy, did you see?" and clapping for our kids - was the perfect end to the day.


Anonymous said...

looks like you guys had a private day at the ZOO!! Very cool! Glad the twins are understanding the facts of part of our life. Sorry for your loss with Dr. Reist but I'm so happy you had him in your life. He surely will be missed here on earth. Hugs, NANA

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you were able to catch the animals at a good time to see more then sleeping and lazy animals. Its a wonderful feeling to have your child or grandchild run to you when you come. Good picture to keep always. Gigi

Lauren and Jeff said...

Why didn't we get pics of everyone with their arms spread across the wingspan board?! That would have been awesome. #ZOOFAIL

Anonymous said...

Is there anything more beautiful than a child running as fast as they can go to their loved one! Oh, Kim, how OFTEN I think of the many 100's of times you came running as fast as you could with arms outstretched to me!!! One time you, Nic, and Matt saw me a block away and all came running full speed. I braced myself!! All that love charging faster and faster!! Such wonderful memories!!! Hugs, Grandma

Kim said...

Lauren, I was the only adult...and I don't trust the twins yet with my camera :) But next time I go with someone else who can take pictures we will document everyone's wingspan!