Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stay-cation Day Trip #1

Today was the first of our Stay-cation Day Trips.  We were to go to Big Brutus and Fort Scott, but due to the heat, we only took in Big Brutus.  We got a bit of a later start than we had expected because Nate had, had some trouble breathing last night.  He was finally resting well this morning so we hated to wake him until he had made up for some of the sleep he had missed. Plus Jon's physical therapist had come unexpectedly so we used the extra time to get everyone extra clothes, snacks, and other things that might make the trip more enjoyable.

Our group watching the movie.
The kids were so excited to be taking a trip in the bus.  On the way to Big Brutus most everyone stayed awake and enjoyed the views out the big windows.  At Big Brutus, the little kids had minimal interest in the museum, but the older kids enjoyed it.  We all watched the movie about Big Brutus.  It is an impressively large and amazing piece of engineering.  We all got a bit of a laugh when the video referenced people getting married on Big Brutus since our helper for Jon is newly engaged and planning a wedding.  I don't think we will convince her that Big Brutus is the perfect place, but we had fun imagining it!

In the operators seat.
After the museum the kids went out to inspect this big machine for themselves.  Mark asked the very smart question, "What is coal for?" I was so proud of his big boy question and for talking so plainly.  He has had a lot of Speech Therapy and it was great to see him using words! 

After a complete inspection, we went back inside to say our good-byes and the clerk remembered Grace from our visit 6 YEARS AGO!  (This was Grace's pick for our Stay-cation because she enjoyed talking to the volunteering retired miners when we went last time....6 years ago!  Grace STILL loves Big Brutus and I think she would consider getting married on it.)

Lower left edge is Vanessa then Daddy to the
right in black and in front of Daddy is Matt
(the really small blue dot).
Big Brutus facts:
  • largest electric shovel in the world
  • 16 stories tall (160 feet)
  • weight is 11 million pounds
  • boom is 150 feet long
  • shovel capacity 90 cu. yards (up to 150 tons)
  • maximum speed .22 MPH
  • cost $6.5 million (in 1962)
  • required as much electricity to run it as a town of 18,000!
Not so sure about that....
After Big Brutus, we headed to the well air-conditioned Pittsburg, Kansas mall to enjoy a great meal at the original Cafe Del Rio restaurant.  We had not been there in years!  Okay, we hadn't been there in a decade!  Still great Mexican food and still great service!  Since we hadn't planned to need recovery time, we had not called ahead, but Kassandra was our server and handled our group of 14 very efficiently and effectively!  I doubt very many of the servers wanted a sudden table our size with 10 kids!  We appreciated her great attitude and professional skills.  Having a waitress who can anticipate, even the needs of kids, is rare!

Corrine ready to enjoy her meal.
We then headed towards home as the temperature continued to climb.  At one point the rear A/C in the bus started to smell, and we realized that we had frozen up the unit so we opened the window vents for the rest of the trip home and let the A/C unit rest.  Surprisingly the air flow kept the bus very tolerable.  It was not as nice as air conditioned coolness, but it was far from miserable too.

I think we made some good family memories today.  It was so nice to travel together rather than in several cars.  It was even nicer to have every one's wheelchairs.  The bus continues to be a great blessing!

All pictures above, except Big Brutus were taken by Angela Covington.

$100 Diesel
$100 Good eats in great air conditioning
$  60 admission (group prices)
$  13.80 in souvenirs
$273.80 or $19.56 per person


  1. Thank you so much for the nice e-mail to my boss guys, you were all great =) - Kassandra

  2. Kassandra--It was well deserved. You wouldn't believe the # of times that our family gets the ticked off server who "lost" and got to get our BIG table. Your skill and attitude was greatly appreciated!