Photos courtesy of Ryan Prouty

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thanksgiving travels

This was our first trip to Alabama! We went to see our friends Harvey and Felicia Johnson and Aaron and Abigail (the dog). I had to mention her because Alayna talked incessantly about seeing her again and counted down the sleeps until our trip! So cute what she remembered! I had to take a picture of this cotton field for two reasons. First, I have never seen a cotton field except for in the movie Roots that we watched in 5th grade. {WARNING: rabbit trail ahead!!} I remember so vividly seeing that movie in 5th grade because of an embarrassing incident while watching it. I am over it now, so I'll share! We were sitting on the floor to watch this movie which took several days. I was sitting near the front and looking pretty sharply up. I was very engrossed in the movie. In one scene, one of the slaves is pregnant and passes out while she is working (why does this always happen in movies and books and never in real life??? Alas, another rabbit trail...). Being so engrossed, I said aloud in a sort of wonder filled voice "She fainted." I was very startled to hear my own voice and all the kids around me burst out laughing! GOODNESS, anyway, back on track, the second reason I took this picture was because it very closely resembled snow on a tilled field, a very common site in Iowa. A little nostalgia, and the only snow like scene I hope to see this year outside of my television screen!

The kids were intrigued by this tunnel that goes underneath the Atlanta airport. Very long, very cool according to them. Ahhh, the little things!

Shortly after our arrival, Alayna's wiggly tooth made its exit. She was very excited! That was her second lost tooth...can this be happening to my baby???
It was great to hang out with the Johnson's. We had traveled to Birmingham area on Wednesday, arriving in time for dinner (nice piping hot chili and Fritos!), and just relaxed the rest of the evening. On Thanksgiving day, we got up early (they are an hour behind us and our bodies woke up at the usual time for school), I went for a run/climb with Aaron and Gabe. Their neighborhood is nestled into the hills, very steep hills and we did some running (mostly down the steep hills) and some climbing and walking. It was a workout! We got all cleaned up and took advantage of the pretty scenery and their brick wall for some family photos. We had a leisurely late morning of everyone preparing their dish and baking in the one (overworked) oven and ate lupper (or would it be sunch) around 4 pm. We had dessert a couple hours later, and then people started disappearing. It was bizarre...until we found this:

I am sorry to say they completely succumbed to the tryptophan comatosis...except the ever-spunky Alayna. Abigail was hanging on by a thread here. Alayna wondered off to watch a movie that no one else wanted to watch and was later joined by Paul and Harvey who were quickly rendered unconscious. We all got a huge kick out of it!
On Black Friday, we slept in a bit and headed to Birmingham to see some sites. We set out for the furnace museum. It was a free attraction. It was also closed. Gates locked up tight:
Okay, Plan B. The good ole Garmin helped us find several other sites nearby. Next was the Dr. Pepper processing plant. The part for the general public was also closed. Next stop, the historic district. This time we were not disappointed. We stumbled upon the oldest church in Birmingham:

It has been added onto (as seen in the background to the right)), but I was loving the bright red doors! Someone in there still has some spunk! At the church, we ran into some locals who informed us that the Governor gave all the state workers the day off and so most things were closed. We approved of that move in spite of our inconveniences! Good for them! Maybe they were out stimulating the economy on Black Friday! Whew, I need to focus, sorry! The church had a really beautiful bell tower:

And beautiful stained glass windows:

Here are the kids with the historical plaque for the Presbyterian Church. I hope you all can read that...

We also were able to find the 16th Street Baptist Church. MLK Jr attended this church, and in 1963, a bomb was set off at the church in an assassination attempt that killed 4 young girls (ages 14-17). The church was rebuilt and is magnificent. It too has bright red doors.

I couldn't begin to fit it into my camera frame.

Everyone patiently posed while I tried though!

These plaques on the two churches sparked a great conversation in the van about cornerstones and who THE true cornerstone is. I am so thankful for my Jesus, the cornerstone of my faith and salvation!

Since there will be no snowball fights, there sparked up a leaf fight in the pile that had collected at the bottom of the church steps! The kids had a blast. Much warmer than a snowball fight and not nearly the gear necessary for snowball making and throwing!

And of course, someone had to be buried in the leaves. Holden took one for the team:

We then ended up a little hungry and found a little hole in the wall hot wing place and took some to go back to the house. Gabe was in heaven! The wings were really good, deep fried and terrible for your arteries.
We got up early for the return trip the next day. Oh, dear friends, it was too short! We could have stayed much longer! We greatly enjoyed the company and hope we can see you again soon!! I did a terrible job of taking pictures. BUT, my consolation is that we spent quality time together. I didn't think to interrupt it by taking pictures! The images are in my heart!

I posted a bunch of updates below, so keep reading if you have a few more minutes!!


2Corinth1:4mom said...

Looks like you had a great time! I love the pictures you did take; they are beautiful!

Rikki said...

It's good to read all the updates on what your family has been up to! I am glad you haven't given up the blog--I still read!! :)

Cindy and company said...

Sounds like a great trip. Happy to hear that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Glad that Gabe was able to find some wings! Thomas still talks about the wings Paul made for Gabe's birthday party. Someday I will have to get that recipe! Take care!

Football & Fried Rice said...

Fun times!!! I love the picture of the men in bed sleeping ;) Where else would they be?? ha!!

AT least you found some greta sights to see & I am sure your tummies were thankful and you got some greta family pictures that you aren't unveiling yet!

Anonymous said...

What fun to read all of the blog clear to the end. Your photos are great and you got some good ones. Very historical to say the least. The first glance at Alayna, Abigail, and the guys sleeping was a surprise to see Paul with a goatee. I must say, it is becoming on him. Especially, in the bandit photo. Looks like everyone had a super time and a great trip. Thank you for all the blogging and updates on you and the kids. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Love, hugs and prayers to all,
G. & G. P.