Monday, December 2, 2013

A Happy Thanksgiving

By Greg:

We had a great Thanksgiving.  Our daughter Katie and her husband Dan, and kids, Marlee, Sam and Lizzie came from Ohio for a visit.  They used to live in Colorado so they are Broncos fans.  The Chiefs are in a sort of rivalry with Denver, and I warned Dan to not be too obnoxious, but still he had to do a little "in your face" move while he was here.  Another son-in-law, Clint, is a Chief's fan, so it may have been directed toward him.  I told Dan he was on his own if he did anything wild while downtown!

I previously wrote about the wreck of the Saluda near Lexington.  Now I want to tell about another wreck, this time it was a river boat named the Arabia.

In September of 1856 this big side-wheeler was heading up-river to Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Remember that at this time this was a big staging area for Mormons traveling west.  This was the year before the "Johnston's Army" and the "Utah War".  The boat was loaded to the hilt with cargo and people. 

The crazy thing about this old river is that it literally changes course with each season, and high water times in a season.  Well, this boat hooked a snag and went down.  It sunk with all its cargo, but the people survived.  Very quickly the sunken ship was covered in mud and it sat there, under many feet of dirt for over a hundred years. This is part of the recovered hull.

Well, later  the river took a different course and the wreck ended up high and dry under a big cornfield.  Some men decided to find it and uncover it and soon they recovered its cargo. Of course, everything was encrusted in mud, but most things were well preserved.  The men worked very hard and then they did not know what to do with all their findings.  They decided to keep the collection together. Hence there is a big museum in Kansas City with all the stuff they recovered.  It is amazing.  It was like a Walmart of the 19th century.  Most of the stuff is still good.  They found lots of dishes, guns, hammers and axes, cloth, shoes, pickles, hats, gloves, nails, and on and on.  We thought is was truly amazing! They found a box of printer's type that was suppose to go to the Mormon newspaper in Council Bluffs.

Here in these cabinets are the things that they found.

Lots and lots of tools, buttons, pins, name it, they found it!

If you come to KC, put this on you list of things to see.

Also in Kansas City is the National World War I memorial.  It is claimed that more Jackson County boys died in that war than any other county in America.  So they built this monument and museum.  We will go inside when we have more time, but it was amazing to see from the outside, and we saw a great view of the City.

We will say more about this monument in future blogs, after we have gone inside.

Missouri seems to make lots of claims, and who am I to question them.  After all, they are the "show-me" state.  One of their claims is that Kansas City has the most fountains than any city.  Well, we have not seen all of them, but this one was pretty, and frozen:

By Debi:

We had such a great time with Katie, Dan, and their children, Marlee, Sam and Lizzie.
After we went to the museum for the Arabia we went to the downtown area called the Crown Plaza.
They had it all decorated for Christmas and the Tree Lighting was that night.  They had everything all ready.

There in the Plaza are a lot of things that are fun for the family. There is LEGOLAND and a great Aquarium and also the Hallmark Headquarters with a visitor center and museum.  We went to LEGOLAND and had a great time.  There were a couple of rides and then some really fun play areas for the kids to build their own creations. One area you could build your own race car and they had a great track to test it on.  They also had a fun LEGOLAND 3D movie that lasted about 10 minutes.

There is a very unique restaurant in the Crown Plaza Mall.  It is called Fritz's.
It is a hamburger restaurant but everyone orders their food on the phone from their booth and then when the food is ready it is brought out by a little train engine.  We had so much fun watching the trains bringing out the food that we really didn't care how long it took for our order. Each time a train came out everyone watched with excitement to see where the food would be delivered and we all cheered for everyone when they received their order.  It was a great way to wait for the food.

We had such so much fun with the Dannehl family and we wished they didn't have to go back to Ohio.  The drive is about 12 hours and it was a hard trip.  But we appreciate their willingness to come and be with us over the Thanksgiving weekend.  Now that the turkey is gone and the pumpkin pie is polished off we are getting ready for Christmas.  We even put up a little tree that we had in our apartment closet with the help of Katie and the kids.  In Africa we didn't have any decorations so this seems very cozy to have a tree.  The tree down town is taller than the buildings around it. It is so amazing that year after year they find a tree to bring to their Crown Plaza Christmas celebration.

We hope you are in the Christmas Spirit and thinking of ways to serve others.  Greg and I have thought of some ways to help missionaries have a wonderful Christmas and that has made us excited to be here on this mission and to be able to feel the love of our Savior.

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