Highway 160 Road Trip, Mesa Verde

 

Mesa Verde, Colorado Staycation

Highway 160 Road Trip

Exiting I-25 at Walsenburg Colorado, a long drive westward on Highway 160 leads to a wealth of beauty and interest.  This most certainly includes Mesa Verde, just east of Cortez Colorado.  In June when I planned a road trip with my daughters and exchange student, Grand Canyon became the destination, but Mesa Verde and 4 Corners Monument were definitely stops along the way

Mesa Verde.  So much more than a stop along the way!

Mesa Verde National Park

The site is actually called Mesa Verde National Park, and there are two mesas to explore, Chapin Mesa and Wetherill Mesa.  During our visit we only had time for a stop in the Visitor Center first (which is actually a really good idea), an auto tour of Chapin Mesa and one short “hike” to Spruce House.  Along the auto Mesa Top Loop, there are many sites to pull over and walk in a short distance to see, like the pit house below.  There are great informational signs all around the sites and I particularly enjoyed learning about the people, the Ancestral Pueblo People.  It was very enjoyable to me not to be bombarded with the old earth geology information, but instead information about the people who lived there in the past 6 centuries.

Mesa Verde National Park

auto loop map

Mesa Verde National Park

pit house

Mesa Verde National Park

 

Aloe, Spider Wed

For the nature lovers in the bunch

Mesa Verde National Park

Views

Spruce Tree House

Before or after the Mesa Top Loop, a stop at the museum and short hike down to the Spruce Tree House is a must.  This is the only site, if I understand correctly, that one may tour on his or her own.  There were park rangers at the site.  They were happy to answer questions, and take group photos.

Mesa Verde, Road Trip, Staycation

Mesa Verde National Park

Spruce Tree House

So far, my kids and I have traveled 3 of the four corners of Colorado.  Next summer we are hoping to plan a road trip to the pacific northwest, so maybe we’ll have some photos and things to share about Northwestern Colorado!

with joy,

Michelle

Hold Fast

Hold Fast

 

As the days continue darken in this country, of the free and brave, hold fast dear ones, to your confidence and hope in Christ.  Let’s not fuss nor pick at one another, but instead encourage and strengthen one another.  That is what protects from unbelief and the trickery of sin.

That is what will let the light shine in the darkest of days.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys ~ Colorado Staycation

My Beloved, Builder as he is sometimes known, built a doll house for our youngest a few years ago.  She loves it and has filled so many productive quiet hours designing and decorating the house.  Then after awhile, she saved up the money to purchase another kit.  This one SHE built and now simply asks Daddy Builder for help from time to time.

When our oldest daughter, Nikki, heard about her youngest sister’s passion she sent us info on “must sees” in her old neighborhood …Denver.  Top of the list…The Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.    As we continue our Colorado Staycation activities, I felt we had to make sure to visit this museum while all of my older kids were out of town in June.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Doll houses, miniatures and toys from past generations and loads of information on Native American, European and Asian cultures fill this charming old house just blocks from Denver’s City Park.  Previously known as Pearce-McAllister Cottage, 1880 Gaylord Street, this house is now the home of the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys.  There was just one gentleman staffing the museum when we visited, and he was quite kindly and helpful.  Back in the kitchen area, the Oak and Berries Tea Room is where the lovely Roxanne Rose serves tea to visitors.  You must call ahead for a reservation as the Oak and Berries Tea Room is a very popular spot!  For reservations call Roxanne at 720-351-5123.  We hadn’t called ahead as we were taking a rather relaxed approach to the day, and I didn’t know exactly when we would be at the Museum.  Well, the tea room was hoppin’ busy and it wasn’t until we were about finished with our visit through the museum that Roxanne approached us.  She is a lovely woman and we are looking forward, when time allows, to head back to Denver for another visit to the Museum and for tea!

Colorado Staycation

 

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Looking upstreet at the Somewhere Gazette

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

From when this house was a home

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

When this house was a home, can you see the details?  Love this house!

 

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Stairs to the 2nd floor

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

my favorite display!

Love Love Love the display in the picture above!  Reminds me of my grandmother’s dining room (where her similar sewing machine was) and the fabric store!

Now this doll house, below.  It is made from an 1890 Gun Case.  It is filled with hand carved furniture and hand thrown pots.  The rugs are Navajo and Granada.  This exhibit is on loan to the museum, so isn’t supposed to be there permanently.

Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys

Gun cabinet doll house

 

 

If you find yourself in the area and have a morning or afternoon to visit, this museum is full of delightful displays and is an enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours.

 

 

 

A couple of throwback memories!

A couple of throwback memories!

Lunch and a Little History

This summer has been completely wonderful so far.  While we’ve experience and witnessed some very hard things, I’ve seen a lot of growth and understanding among my daughters, my husband and myself.  We’ve traveled a bit, some of us more than others and I’ve finally been able to mark off a small dream…. my youngest 3 daughters, our exchange student and I visited the Grand Canyon!  But this post is about a place we found on the way to the Grand Canyon.

Arizona Road Trip

Welcome to Arizona and the Navajo Tribal Lands

On the way to the Grand Canyon we stopped in a small Arizona town called Kayenta.  A few miles north of the town, a billboard caught my attention and we decided to stop at the Burger King.  The Burger King?  Yes!

Inside the Burger King in Kayenta, Arizona is a tribute to the Navajo Code Talkers of World War 2.  Just this past year my daughters had learned about the code talkers in history, and I am thrilled to have found this small museum display.  There are glass case and framed art & information all about the part that the Navajo Code Talker played in the second World War.  Many of these men were from this area and the community holds a wealth of information about their opportunity to serve in the US Military, despite the way they have been wronged by our country’s government in the past.

Japanese Flag story

image

While there are glass cases inside the Burger King, just outside, on the other side of the parking lot there was another museum building full of WW2 artifacts, a video and many Navajo historic displays.

image

Kayenta Navajo Code Talkers Museum

Kayenta Navajo Code Talkers Museum

Kayenta Navajo Code Talkers Museum

I was able to find this book at our local library. It is a very gentle introduction to the contribution of the Navajo people in World War 2

Outside that small museum there were also 2 model hogans

Kayenta Navajo Code Talkers Museum

Kayenta Navajo Code Talkers Museum

 

 

We spent about an hour and a half at this place and I want to recommend to you, if you are passing through north eastern Arizona on  Highway 160, stop in at the Burger King for some lunch and a little history.

 

So tell me, have you ever driven through Kayenta?  Visited the Navajo Code Talkers Museum?

 

 

 

Love Cute Earrings? Check this Out

Do you love cute earrings? Oh my.  I do enjoy a pair of pretty or fun earrings! But rarely will I spend the money on anything but simple silver hoops. That is, until I discovered the Fair Trade Friday Earring Club.

In mid-June I was given my first pair of FTF Earrings, I mentioned them here on the blog.   These earrings have quickly become my favorite. They are unique, lightweight and have meaning.

FTF Earring of the Month

Fair Trade Friday Earring of the Month Club

 

A woman named Bipana made these earrings as a means of support for herself and her family.  She is the mother of 2 precious children and a refugee from Bhutan who now lives in Texas.  As a part of the refugee project, Bipana and several other women create handmade items and sell them to provide for some of their basic needs.   Mercy House Kenya has partnered with the refugee project as a means to empower women, through Fair Trade Friday.

Fair Trade Friday

Mercy House exists to engage and empower women around the globe, and to offer them the everlasting hope that comes only through Jesus Christ.  The founder, Kristen Welch found that asking God how He could allow so much human suffering presented her with the hardest opportunity to answer His question of her.  And Mercy House Kenya was started.  My family is inspired by the work of Mercy House Kenya and I am so excited to be able to share how you can join in on the work that is being done and help support women, living in extreme poverty and hardship, earn a living.

Mercy House Kenya

You can watch a video about Kristen Welch’s journey here.

Now, you don’t have to travel to Kenya, or someplace far away to make a difference in this world.  But you can partner with Mercy House Kenya and take an opportunity to purchase beautiful handmade items, which are fairly traded, from women artisans.  When you make a purchase through Fair Trade Friday or the Earring of the Month Club, you will receive beautiful items that you can keep and use, or give as gifts.  The women who make these items will receive fair compensation and continued opportunities to make and sell their fares.  I gave considerable thought to the idea of joining the earring of the month club and adding it to our monthly budget.  I am not sure I can do this every month, but I have made a short term commitment to the earring of the month club.  I can hardly wait to see what arrives in my mailbox later this month!

I hope that you will consider checking out the site and the next time you need to purchase a gift, to consider purchasing one of  the lovely and unique items offered by Fair Trade Friday.

Sponsorship Saturday, Road Trip!

For this Sponsorship Saturday post I am excited to share that in June we were blessed by the opportunity to take a trip to the Grand Canyon.  What started out as a plan to take another trip with my youngest daughter while her teen sisters were away at the IFCA Youth Convention, turned into an exciting opportunity to wait and take all the girls to Mesa Verde and the Grand Canyon.  I was so excited about this trip, as I’ve wanted to see the Grand Canyon for as long as I can remember.  Life has not ever had me anywhere near that part of the United States, until now.  After playing with google maps for several days, I decided that if we were going to make the trek to Mesa Verde, we might as well push on into Arizona.

Mesa Verde

Grand Canyon

Funny thing about all this planning, the kids seemed most excited to go to 4 Corners!

4 Corners

We had a great time, and as I continue to process all that we experienced, and all that I saw and heard, I’ve decided to do some processing by writing.  Over the next while I’ll be writing a small series of letters to our Compassion sponsored children about the geography, people and wildlife of the area we traveled through.

In this post I’m including the first letter, about the Grand Canyon.  With this letter I included a postcard from the Grand Canyon and a coloring page for each child.

 

July 3, 2015

Dear Mireille,

Greetings in the name of Jesus. It is a joy to have this opportunity to write a letter to you. I hope that you and your family are healthy and strong, and full of the joy of the Lord.

History and geography are two subjects I enjoy a great deal and I am always looking for opportunities to learn more about places and the people who live there. I want to tell you about a beautiful place that I went to this summer, and about the people who used to live there.

In June I had the opportunity to travel to the Grand Canyon in Arizona with my 3 youngest children and our foreign exchange student, Lea. Lea is from France and is staying in our home this summer. We traveled across southern Colorado and northern Arizona to get to the Grand Canyon. It certainly is grand! The Grand Canyon is 5280 feet deep, 1.6 kilometers! I was amazed, standing on the edge of the rim, and seeing all the colors of the canyon walls. The colors are red, pink, white, green and gray.

The Colorado River runs through the bottom of the Grand Canyon, it is 2,334 kilometers long and is a major water source for several states.

Rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and elk live in the area. We were able to see a Mother Elk with her young calf during our visit. The calf was young and still had its spots.

The people who originally lived in the Grand Canyon are called the Ancestral Puebloan. They were builders with stone, and lived mostly in the lower areas of the canyon near the water. These people were farmers, masonry architects, makers of pottery and baskets. These people also lived in Colorado and New Mexico. Now the people who live in the area of the Grand Canyon include people of the Navajo and Hopi Native American tribes.

With this letter I am including a post card that I purchased for you. It has a little more information.

I hope this letter has been interesting to you. Please write to me and tell me about the places in your home country or region that you find interesting.

With much love for you.

Michelle

I hope that this letter might inspire you to write your sponsored children today.  If you would like more information on sponsoring a child through Compassion International, visit their site here.  You can read a little on why our family sponsors children here.