Saturday, July 17, 2010

Somewhere in Michigan

Howdy folks

I forgot a huge detail about walking on the old dirt highway- for probably a good 3 or 4 days the part of the highway we were traveling was infested, and I mean INFESTED, with grasshoppers! Sounds harmless right? Well yes OK they were harmless but they were gross! Grasshoppers are cute to look at and maybe even to catch and play with for a minute but these little buggers were EVERYWHERE and every step we look was into another bunch of them. They do a pretty good job of getting out of your way, but every now and then one would jump up and hit you in the ankle. UGHHH! It was such an unsettling sensation and every time it happened I shuttered in disgust and actually yelled out loud a couple of times. I ran into the middle of the street to escape them but they were alllll over the street. That was not fun. It was funny...and I could laugh at it even at the time. But it was nonetheless disturbing and super distracting! I remember that week it really started to warm up, and we were sweating like pigs on the last few shifts of the week just from the sun's heat alone. I also forgot to mention the little diner that Barbara, Mike and I went to on Monday of that week. We passed it while walking and after finishing up our first 7 mile shift of the day we drove back and went to have lunch. I think the funniest reactions we've gotten from people are those when we are traveling in small groups and especially when we go out to eat. When our waitress asked what we were up to and we told her the typical "we're walking across the country for Pro-Life we started in Seattle and we're headed for Washington, D.C." she seemed stunned and in disbelief. She was young and very nice but had a serious sort of character and it was funny to watch her walk away and come back with more and more questions as if waiting for us to say "OK we're only messing with you." It was laughs, but it really is amazing all of the attention we get for just wearing our matching Pro-Life tees into a place. Imagine all of the thousands of people who have seen us walking, the thousands of those who have seen us speak at their parishes, the hundreds who have seen us in local restaurants and checked us out at the grocery stores. When someone finally speaks up and asks us questions it's never a dull conversation, and it just makes me think of all the people who were dying of curiosity at who the heck we were and what on earth we were doing but never approached any of us. At least their wheels are turnin'! That's all I can hope for...that people THINK about it. It's not a lukewarm issue.
So yeah yeah yeah enough about that week. The weekend in Sioux Falls followed those days in BFE. We stayed in Tea, a small town right outside of Sioux Falls at St. Nicholas parish. This was a find-a-spot-on-the-floor kind of weekends, the sort which we hadn't had since Seattle, fortunately. The church was air-conditioned so we were happy. This was the weekend I gave my very first parish talk in Spanish! I offered to give the talk because I had take classes for nine and a half years and only had to read off of a piece of paper with a nice accento. We went to Our Lady of Guadalupe and I spoke twice that day. The first mass was at 7 AM and the priest asked me and Faith to sit right up front, so not only was I still half asleep during the mass but also completely lost- I can understand some Spanish if it's spoken slowly, I can comprehend it in written form, and I can write it fairly well myself. But I think the ultimate test of fluency would be to attend a Spanish mass and be able to talk about the readings, the Gospel, and trickiest of all the homily! I knew what was going on for the most part obviously, especially because we go to mass every single morning. But it was hard to follow nevertheless. At communion time they do it old school style where everyone comes up to kneel and receive the Eucharist. Faith and I had no idea what was going on and when we were supposed to go up- we waited for an usher but apparently there were none. It seemed as though the congregation was lining up back rows to front, but I think it was all just random. We kept looking at each other and around at the other people and then back at each other and then at the altar boys to see if they could help us out. Hahaha we just looked so out of place- lost and confused little English speaking girls in the middle of a Spanish mass. Ay yay yay! That morning Barbara left to get some lunch and to pick up the other group from a church nearby and on her way out of the parking lot some kook sped around the corner and almost hit the Dingy (the minivan, in case you forgot). She had to swerve out of the way and nicked a car parked on the street right outside of the lot. She came inside the church where we were waiting for the next mass wish a distressed look on her face..."I hit a car." "Was it your fault??" " was a parked car." Lol. So we had to deal with that nightmare!

The next week was fun too. I'm realizing that these blog posts are probably way too lengthy and not too interesting so I'm gonna try to make them short and sweet from now on. I'm going to TRY...
The next week was alright, we walked through a piece of Minnesota and then scooped down into Iowa. The parts we were walking through in Minnesota had miles and miles of wind turbines! It was crazy I'd never seen so many in my life especially not all in one place at a time. We had beautiful weather and nice scenery for the days (or day perhaps) in that state, but once we hit Iowa things changed a bit. Iowa was probably my least favorite of the states we've walked through so far- I actually even forgot that we walked through it until I asked Barbara what we did during the week between Sioux Falls and St. Paul (sorry Iowa). It was so stinky! Literally the whole state smelled of horse poo and...well pretty much horse poo. I was on night shift for the last part of Iowa and during my first walk of the first night Curtis, Margaret and I had a sour encounter with a truck o' cows. The truck drove by and I prepared myself to bask in the breeze that big trucks always provide for a couple seconds after they pass. It passed, and I felt the breeze, but we all felt something a little unexpected slash into our faces! We don't know exactly the details...but we're pretty sure a cow was takin' a leak right as the truck was passing by. It was say the least. The rest of the week went well and as Thursday night approached we were all very excited to hear that Curtis was giving us the last night and day shifts of the week off! We were parked at a really awesome KOA (Kampgrounds of America...yes with a 'K') in Jackson, MN. The family running the place was so incredibly friendly and generous and they were so excited about what we were doing. We got ourselves one of the few cabins in the lot and cooked up some yummy brats (spelling?...the sausage. The really good sausage.) for dinner. Afterward we all suited up and went in the pool! It was so much fun and we made a huge scene for about an hour and a half. We played all sorts of crazy games and I'm pretty sure we were a source of entertainment for the entire campground for as long as our childish pool adventures lasted. We got to hang out around the fire pit and make s'mores that was nice to just chill and not have to worry about walking or speaking a parish or anything the next day.
That weekend was St. Paul and Minneapolis. Walking-wise we were still traveling in Iowa but we drove up Friday afternoon to the twin cities where we had delicious local pizza at this great place in St. Paul. After that we went to the Franciscan Brothers of Peace (I hope that's right...) monastery for a Holy Hour (an hour spent in front of the Blessed Sacrament). There were several other locals there and it was a really great experience to share that time in prayer with them and the brothers. Afterward we were invited for coffee and danishes and got to chat with everybody for a little while. Kate, Amy, Miriam and I left soon after with Sr. Joan from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet at whose convent we were invited to stay for the weekend. The rest of the girls stayed with the Little Sisters of the Poor, and the boys stayed with the Brothers. We had such a nice time at the convent. Sr. Joan was just amazing; she made us feel right at home and introduced us to quite a few of the sisters there. This convent was an "institution", as Sr. Joan would say, which I think meant that there was more than one order living in the building and so breakfast, lunch, and dinner and such daily activities were all on a schedule; during these times we got the chance to meet quite a few of the sisters living there, and that was such a treat for us. They were all so full of joy and life. I didn't know until after we left for the weekend that Sr. Joan was 80 year old! I woud've guessed probably 73, 75 at the most. She was so active and lively and spry I never would've guessed 80. There's something to be said about the health and length of life of religious (sisters I mean). That is definitely something I've noticed on this trip for sure.
We all loved the cities- on Saturday everybody but me and Amy went to the Mall of America. It has a water-park and roller coasters and everything INSIDE. Pretty cool...but I still wasn't interested lol. I took a much needed nap in my own little room in the convent and then Sr. Joan drove us to the church where we were speaking that night. That night and the one before the ladies and I went down to the kitchen and enjoyed ourselves some late night treats : ) ice cream and cookies and the like. We were sad to leave the convent that weekend : ( and I know that if I ever return to the cities I am definitely going to visit Sr. Joan! She rocked. She even called Curtis "Curty" when she was asking him about lunch plans and wanted to get down to the point. We love Sr. Joan!!!!
Sunday was the Fourth of July, and although we were let down with the fireworks, Curtis let us take the night off from walking. That started our new no-Sunday-night-shift-for-night-crew policy, if you will. I think we're on schedule enough, or possibly ahead although Curt won't let on to that, that it isn't necessary to walk Sunday nights. So night crew only had 4 shifts a week! And I benefited from the change two weeks in a row : ) and this week could very possibly make it the third haha. Hopefully not...I need some sunshine. So for the 4th we headed back the the KOA in Jackson and hung out there around the fire again with s'mores and cigars and relaxed for another night. It wasn't the most exciting Fourth of July I've had in my days but nonetheless it was enjoyable for what it was.
Tired now...I'm actually in Ann Arbor (actually, Ypsilanti a town right outside) Michigan and have mass early in the morning. I've been trying to play catch up on the that's why the locations in the titles don't match up with the content of the blog. Oh well! I'm doing my best!

Peace and love <3

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicago, IL

Weekend #7, 5 more to go! It's crazy to look at a map and see how far we've come. Sometimes I forget that it's not a normal way to spend the summer...and then I see people's reactions when we explain what we're doing and I remember!
I left off last time in Deadwood, SD (Rapid City weekend). Yes, Deadwood was fantastic- you can't go wrong with a live country concert with tons of locals crowding the streets of an old western town notorious for being the death-place of some crazy poker-playin' cowboy. Another plus was the rectory we hung out in all of Sunday day (Father's Day actually). It was a beautiful and very cozy place in back of St. Patrick's in Lead where we were invited to spend the day lounging on the couch watching TV and to cook and eat a nice dinner. Being there two churches close by, each with it's own rectory, and only one priest between the two, the rectory in Lead was unoccupied and Father offered for us to stay there for the night. The ladies slept out in the RV; we didn't stay inside because we enjoy sleeping in the loft, but more so because Mike was making creepy demonic sounds and pretending to be possessed, and basically he scared the cahoots out of us and made us afraid of the house. We hadn't need to travel far for daily mass that Monday morning because we were conveniently right next door to the parish. I was wiped out from the weekend and didn't feel the need to shower that morning or the night before. Crossroads has an unspoken spoken rule that mandates that any opportunity you get to shower- YOU TAKE IT AND YOU SHOWER. Well...we hadn't yet learned the genius behind this rule until this week. Not only did I not shower that morning, but I didn't shower the next, or the next, or the next. We were not happy campers this week (although I didn't mind not showering all that get used to the grunge look living in VT ;-p just kidding...sort of). After hitting old Highway 31 (or some old highway...and I mean OLD highway), the chances of finding a nice RV park with showers were looking pretty bleak. It was a dirt road for, from what I remember, at least all of Monday. We saw wolf spiders and rattlesnakes along that route...just to give you a mental image of this highway. Scary!! We were literally in the middle of nowhere, so that night and the next we had to park the RV on the side of the road to sleep for the night. Usually we can at LEAST find a Walmart lot to park in, and in these cases we're just happy to have a bathroom close by so we don't complain! But yeah, side of the road on Old Highway 31 in BFE, South Dakota. BFE is what we say when we're literally in the middle of nowhere. And we the middle of nowhere. Both nights turned out to be super stormy, so night shift had to sit out the lightning in the van while us poor squatters on day crew hugged our rosaries and prayed that a tornado didn't come and sweep us up into oblivion. We had NO cell reception, NO internet, NO NOTHIN'! All I could think was...everyone in South Dakota knows of this huge tornado coming through the state and they're all fully prepared for the worst but safe and sound in their homes, thankful for the warning...and then I'd think of our 'Boat', parked like a sitting duck on the side of Old Highway 31 with not a clue in the world of this record breaking tornado funnel headed our way. Waaah! It was all good though we made it through the storms, and night crew actually got to hang out with some pretty cool animals that night once the walking once again commenced. They met a cat which they named Lola, whom I believe they actually met before the storm and kept her in the van with them until they went back out (surely all Brad's idea), and then later they met a dog whom they named Scrunto. Their story went that they said goodbye to Lola and a few hours later they saw an animal in the dark walking towards them. They all got excited that Lola had returned but as it neared they noticed this thing was waaayy bigger than Lola!
So yeah none of us showered that whole week until Friday. For most of us it was at least only since Sunday morning, but for others it was Saturday night...which doesn't seem like that big of a difference but when you start counting the days 5 is a much bigger number than 4. We were pretty stinky and greasy and grumpy because of our stench and grease-bomb-ness (as I said I didn't really have a problem, which is probably more unhealthy a mindset itself than the lack of showers haha). On Wednesday of that week we came to the legendary Faith sign (I think the Northern walk has stopped there every year for the past 6 years and took pictures, so of course we had to do it up). The sign just says FAITH in big white letters and underneath it says '<-- 28 miles'. So we climbed all over the sign and took some fun pictures there. I wish I could post pictures on this blog! Bahhh!
So after a week of taking baby-wipe showers (which is a pretty common form of self-cleansing on Crossroads...or at least is a really popular one with our group lol) we finally got to shower. I don't remember where, but I know it was pretty flippin' awesomeeeee. The morale of the group bumps up a good 5 notches every time we are able to shower after having been deprived for more than 2 or 3 days (which is less common than I was expecting, but not totally rare). The stinky week ended well and we headed for Sioux Falls for the weekend!
But that's another days blog posting...I've gotta get to bed. Mass at 6:30 AM tomorrow followed by a 3 hour drive back to our ending point in Iowa. We're really close to Illinois though! Wooty woot!

God Bless : )

Sunday, July 4, 2010

St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while! I haven't had much access to the internet over the past couple of weeks. Let's see where did I leave off....we were in Ashland, MT last time I blogged. Man, I've already been through all of South Dakota since then!
Soon after Ashland we crossed into South Dakota by way of Highway 212. Our first weekend there was so much fun. We stayed with some really great host families in Rapid City who were so exited to hang out and talk with us about our adventures. The family that fed us all weekend was just the best- we had Indian tacos again the first night and yummy kielbasa and doggies the next. They had a nice house with a sweet pool table, which I was pretty psyched about and took full advantage of : ) We ate and hung out in their backyard, where Chad, the dad (amazing guy who is very knowledgeable about JP2's Theology of the Body and actually gave me a copy of the book!), showed us a game his family plays that consists of simply throwing a small ax at a tree stump that's been turned on it's side (with the flat face of the stump facing the thrower) and lifted up onto a little pedestal.
On Saturday we got to go see Mt. Rushmore! Wooty woot! That was a real treat for us because we often don't get to really explore the cities in which we stay on the weekends. It was very cool to see such a national treasure, although it wasn't quite impressive as I was expecting. It was a little smaller, and Roosevelt's face was kind of receding into a grove because of years of re-constructive surgery on his face : p It was still a cool experience though and the grounds around the mountain were beautiful and nice to walk around in. That night we had to go into the towns of Deadwood and Lead because there were no parishes for us to speak at in Rapid City. Deadwood was so cool! Many of you may know the story of Wild Bill Hickock? I didn't....but apparently he was a pretty notorious guy back in the Old West who was shot and killed in Deadwood during a game of poker. We had mass in Lead (only about a 5 minute drive away) and another in Deadwood; after the last mass we went down the street into town and there was a big concert going on. There was a cool country band and people lining the streets...they had chairs set up everywhere and people were dancing and singing and just having a blast. We joined in the festivities for a bit but had to head back to Rapid City shortly after. We all loved Deadwood!
I have to go now but I'll try to get online this week to finish catching up on all of the fun times we've had since then. We were in Sioux Falls last weekend and are in the Twin Cities now, but heading out soon to get ready to walk tonight! That's right....I'm on night shift this week. It's about time though I was on day for 3 weeks in a row. I've got some really attractive tan lines to show off : )


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Somewhere in MT

We've been so blessed this week with such generous host families inviting us into their homes. Sunday night, as I've mentioned in the last blog, we stayed with Curt's friend Kelti in Billings. Monday and Tuesday night we stayed with Maria, another one of Curt's friends from High School, and her lovely family in Hardin (I think that's where we were at least...). Maria walked the Northern Walk last summer and she joined us on Monday for a shift during the day. Her family has an amazingly beautiful home that is decorated with Native American pictures and all kinds of other Indian themed things. The walls are covered in wood panels, but a gorgeous wood that I've never seen before. It is very light colored with brown spots and is so smooth to touch! The wood used for the hand rails going up the stairs and the railings on the second floor looked like big tree branches, and they had other arrangements of these branches throughout the house. (I wish I could post pictures on this blog page to show what I mean because I'm really not giving this house the compliments it is due. I'll get pictures up online somewhere hopefully soon and then post a link so that you can all look at them!) The first night we had Indian tacos for dinner- which are basically fried dough (although more bread-y than any fried dough I've had, and much tastier) with regular taco toppings on top. You eat it by cutting it up and eating it with a fork. I would definitely recommend trying the fried dough as a substitute for hard shells. The second night we had elk and buffalo! The elk was offered in the form of steak and burgers. The burger was pretty tasty but the steak was delicious! It was marinated in soy sauce, which in my opinion could turn cow poop into a yummy meal, and it cooked medium rare- just how I like it! We asked if elk was easy to find in Montana (like if you could go find it in a grocery store or a butcher shop), and we were told that if you wanted to eat elk you pretty much have to go out and kill one or get some meat from a friend who hunts them. The buffalo was prepared in jerky form- like little bits of beef jerky, only buffalo. That was pretty tasty also, but I preferred the elk.

Last night we were invited by Fr Paschel of St. Labre's parish (and school) to stay the night in the rectory (I think that's what it's called...the place where the priest lives), which is in Ashland, MT located on the Indian reservation. He had a very nice little home a short distance from the parish, and there we cooked pizzas, ate ice cream, watched movies, and chatted with Father. The parish itself was unlike any I'd ever seen. The outside was shaped like a tee-pee (again, wish I could post pictures here!!) and the inside had stained glass panels located at very specific spots so that at different times of the day (sunrise, noon, sunset, etc) the light would shine through and illuminate different things inside the church, i.e. the tabernacle or the altar. Ribbons are very sacred to the Indians so much of the church was decorated with ones of different color, thickness, and length. The floors were simply made of gravel (you know, like those portions of sidewalks and roads, and often driveways, that are made of gravel and gray cement) and had no kneelers. If you wanted to kneel on a cushion you had to grab one from the back of the church. I personally like it when there aren't any kneelers (plus I got used to not having any at school!) because it is a reminder of the sufferings Christ took upon himself in his Passion. And the part of the mass during which we kneel is that which allows us to share in that Passion on the altar. Staying with Fr. Paschel was a real treat and we were sorry to leave Ashland and St. Labre's parish this morning.
Tonight we're somewhere near Broadus staying with a family of 6- 2 young boys and 4 girls, one is a baby. This is the first time we've stayed with a couple that has children! It's fun for us to be around kids (even though we're tired) and they are so excited to have 12 new people in their house!
I didn't walk today because I hurt my foot yesterday trying to stretch out the muscles around my shins. Something funky happened when I tucked my foot under to feel a stretch, and since then it's been a little swollen and really stiff. It feels much better today than yesterday, and icing it helps a lot...hopefully I'll be good to go by tomorrow, and, if not, at least by this weekend! Having an injured foot makes it difficult to walk across the country ; )
Well I've got to run off to bed, even though I slept most of the afternoon away today. Hugs and kisses and prayers and blessings!

PS we should be in South Dakota by tomorrow night...woo hoo!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Billings, MT

Ok scratch some of the info from that last blog...we were on 12 until shortly after Shawmut, where we turned onto Highway 3. From there we will take Highway 3 into Billings and then hop back on I-90 for a short distance. Then we'll get on 212 and walk that into South Dakota hopefully by the end of this week! Montana has been nice... but I'm ready for a new state! I haven't had many opportunities to see the "Big Sky" out here because of the rainy/cloudy weather we've had these past two weeks while I've been on night shift. There was one night last week that was stunningly beautiful though; the sky was clear and the stars seemed infinite. I don't mean to be a downer...but there was still some light pollution on the horizon so they didn't appear so low to the ground. The night I'm waiting for is one that is so dark and so clear that, once your eyes leave the horizon, everywhere you turn your head you see stars until the sky meets the ground and you're looking at the earth again. I was told that western Montana would be flat...but that South Dakota would be even flatter. I hope that's true because I won't leave these flatlands until I see those stars from horizon to horizon!
This weekend we stayed in Billings- the largest city in Montana (which really doesn't say much, but it actually is a rather good size...about 126,000 people. Much bigger than Burlington!). The group split up this weekend and was hosted by four different families. I stayed with Margaret, Kate, Faith, and Barbara at Diane's house. Diane is a wonderfully generous woman who fed us delicious dinner and breakfast all weekend and opened up her beautiful condo for us where she allowed us to sleep, do laundry, and relax our bodies and our minds. : ) Thank you Diane for your welcoming hospitality! We all thoroughly enjoyed our stay at your home. Thank you for sharing with us not only your home but also your thoughts and experiences. We are pleased to have gotten to know you as much as we did in such a short time.
The rest of the walkers were split up and stayed at their respective host homes, and we were all shipped off to different parishes last night and this morning for mass. We had six different churches to go to this weekend! We normally go to 4 (give or take one) per weekend, so this was a busy one for us. I had the honor of attending mass at St. Patrick's Co-Cathedral twice, once Saturday night and once this evening for 5:00 mass. Beautiful church and mass. We had a fun experience on Saturday while we were praying outside of Planned Parenthood...which sounds bizarre but bare with me! As we were praying our first set of mysteries I saw a little girl walking down the sidewalk in our direction with a basket of brownies in her hand. All of a sudden Brad ran our from the line and hugged her and picked her up! I had no idea what was going on at first but soon learned that the girl was his little sister! Their sister Emily and their parents drove two days out from Sacramento, CA to meet them for the day and night. It was such an exciting surprise for everyone and obviously such a treat for Brad and Barb.
I'm on day shift this week! Woot hoo! Night shift was cool but I'm excited to walk in sunlight for the first time in two weeks. I'm exhausted so I'm gonna head off to bed. I apologize again for the disorganization of my blog. I'm tired!
Let me know if you have any questions so I can have something specific to write about!
Love you all and hope all is well :o)
God Bless

BTW Dave Bathon was here for the weekend. He's one of the guys that works behind the scenes to set up weekend mass locations and times and host family houses and allllll of that fun stuff. Thanks for all you do Dave! On a more personal note...Dave was the one who was at the booth at the FOCUS National Conference that I attended this past Christmas Break. I learned about Crossroads by talking to him and right off the bat I told him "I'm in!" He knew I was being sincere and he gave me a free Crossroads Pro-Life tee right then! If he hadn't been at Conference I probably would never have learned about Crossroads and I wouldn't be here right now. So thanks for being there Dave!

OK bedtime!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

White Sulfer Springs

I realized today that the route we're walking is a little different than the one listed on the Crossroads website ( The site is accurate through Washington until Missoula, MT. A little past Missoula, where we were walking at the end of last week, we switched over to highway 12. We'll stay on 12 until we hit 87- which I'm assuming we'll take down into Billings (where we'll stay next weekend). After Billings we'll get on 212 and stay on that until South Dakota. I'm not sure what we'll do after that but I'll keep you posted!!
I much prefer walking on highways to the interstate (I think this is the general consensus) for a few reasons. For one, I like walking through towns and seeing their little shops and restaurants and houses and things of the sort. It's definitely more fun during the day to walk through these places, but at night it helps the miles seem a little shorter and the time seem to pass a little faster. Plus, it's nice to see the different 'personalities' of the places we walk through. I also like that the support vehicle has more flexibility in reaching the walkers if there is a problem, i.e. it starts raining or someone really needs a jacket or water. Another big one is bathroom accessibility!! All in all it's just nice to get off the interstate for at least a little while :-)
Well I'm on night shift again this week so I have to wrap it up. We're going to pray evening prayer now and then head out to where day shift left off. We're going to try and get a lot of miles in tonight because we have tomorrow off! Curt says we're doing really well so he's giving us a day (and a night!) of some good old R&R.
We're parked at a motel for the night and inside are 2 hot spring pools! My group went in for a little while before dinner was reeeally nice : ) : ) The sulfer in the water made the air around the pools reek of rotten eggs...but it was worth going in! The first pool was nice and warm and that's where we lounged for a while. The second pool was a little smaller but much hotter- it must have been at least 105 degrees! It felt really nice to sit in there...just for a minute though! I think tomorrow we'll go back in the springs for a little while and then try and find something else to do for fun. We were hoping a couple weeks ago to get far enough ahead to go to Yellow Stone Park for the weekend, but that plan fell through and Brad and I came up with the brilliant idea of going to a zoo! Maybe we'll find one close enough to drive to tomorrow : ) (I doubt it though...I think the closest is Zoo Montana in Billings).
OK I have to get going! We walked through Helena last night and day shift walked through Townsend today, so we're picking up a little outside of there tonight. Keep us in your prayers! Love yas!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Great Falls

I gotta make this one quick because we're heading out soon to go pray at an abortion clinic. We're in Great Falls right now at Curt's dad's house. We are staying at a host family's house about 20 minutes away, so we left from here after dinner last night and came back over this morning for a delicious french toast, sausage, and yummy eggs breakfast.
The place we're staying is home to a very nice Baptist family and is located right on the Missouri River. Their names are Bonnie and Mike Mitchell and they have three boys who are apparently all into hunting! In their living room is mounted the head of en elk- it's incredibly huge with antlers that are at least 2 and a half feet in length. In another room there is a stuffed mountain lion (!!!!) on a rock display thingy on the wall. They are both so scary and I hope I don't see either of them while walking, especially at night! Bonnie works for an organization that helps women in pregnancy crisis situations (I believe it's called LifeWay but I have to double check tonight). She shared with us an amazing story about a girl who was faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The girl had called a few months back and set up an appointment for what she thought would be an abortion, but she never showed up on the set date. She called about a week ago and the people at LifeWay had her come in yesterday. Again, she thought she was coming in for an abortion. While at LifeWay she was given facts about what her baby looked like and how it could function at the stage it was at. She was twenty weeks along, which is just 3 weeks shy of point at which a baby can live outside the womb. I have to leave but I will wrap up with saying that the girl ended up calling her boyfriend (who was outside in the car with their 4 year old daughter) and telling him that she couldn't go through with it. She was the 47th woman who came through LifeWay and changed her mind about an abortion (they've only been open for 4 and a half years!).
Bonnie also had models that were the exact size and weight of babies at 12, 20, 24, and 30 weeks. It was incredibly moving to hold them, and it's wild that with all of the technology now-a-days people still think that a fetus at 12 weeks looks like an "alien" or a "fish". It looks like a new-born baby...only smaller.
OK I need a nap! Love all of yas :)