Saturday, October 23, 2010

Grotto of the Redemption

We took a weekend and drove to Westbend Iowa to visit the Grotto of the Redemption.
"The Grotto is a composite of nine separate Grottos, each portraying a scene in the life of Christ. It includes the largest collection of precious stones and gems found anywhere in one location. The beautiful artistry has to be seen in order to be appreciated, and the message it inspires is beyond words."
"The Grotto is frequently considered the "Eighth Wonder of the World" and The Iowan magazine has described the Grotto as a "Miracle in Stone"
This was built mostly by Fr. Paul Dobberstein. It was his vision and he lead the construction and collection of rocks. How about that for using an interest and a talent for the glory of God?
"The designed purpose of the Grotto is to tell in silent stone made spiritually eloquent, the story of man's fall and his redemption by Christ, the savior of the world."

There is much symbolism in the way the rocks are displayed.

This scene represents Paradise Lost. Notice the stained glass window. It is lit up on the other side and is of Mary accepting the angel Gabriel's Annunciation. God's promise is fulfilled.
Behind Tom is the Annunciation window. The reverse of Paradise Lost.
The Word became Flesh.

The laying of Jesus in the tomb.
This is carved from one block of marble!
Zachary stopping to smell the flowers

Our Lord's Agony in the Garden

The Nativity surrounded by tons of petrified wood
Jesus' childhood home made of white quartz.
St Joseph is in the other corner with a saw.

Swans and geese on the lake
It was a beautiful weekend! We had dinner at the Wagon Wheel and went swimming in the hotel.

Four years ago we came here with the boys but they didn't remember the grotto. Dominic did remember the waffle iron in the hotel though. lol. That just makes me laugh.
It was a nice little get-away.

Vala's Pumpkin Patch

October 20th, Union Pacific treated us to Vala's Pumpkin Patch. I am so glad this can continue to be a family tradition. Every year there is something new and it has become a yearly event to look forward to. It's just part of the season of fall.
An old horse drawn school bus
Dominic and Xavier on the Tractor ride

Blaise didn't want to ride on the tractor until he was assured it wasn't scary. Those stuffed scare crows can be kinda creepy.
Corn box
duck races
Panning for rocks
...and arrow heads
the guys

How tall next fall?? We'll see. We keep growing in more ways than one!