Sunday, August 25, 2013

what a rack, and other random news

It may seem odd to see this photo.
Eric teaching Lucy how to ride a bike.  She is 8 after all.
But being that she has not really been exposed or had opportunity (because of unsafe and hilly streets in Ecuador) to learn how to ride a bike, it didn't happen any sooner.  Now that we are safely and happily on Evergreen  Ave. and there was a bike available, the time was ripe!  She learned extremely quickly and is now a fine, fine cyclist.
We also had a brief hailstorm last weekend.  I tried to take some shots of the hail bouncing on the trampoline - it was quite entertaining - but it was pretty dark outside and the flash kept glaring off the window.  I was not willing to sacrifice myself by going outside in the middle of it!
On Tuesday I headed to the big city of Winnipeg to do a little shopping.  As I was driving along, I thought you might all want to see some of the more scenic views of where we now live.  It may take your breath away.  Here is from one side of the car.
From the other side:
And out of the front windshield.
I'm sure it is now clear why we moved where we moved.....
My hope was to find a sofa at Costco like the ones we had seen in Fairfield.  No luck.  They sold out of them the week before.  Argh.  I thought we might just finally get a nice sofa.  I did, however, find a snowsuit for Cade.  He loves it, in spite of his look of mild disgust.... that look was more because of me taking a photo.  Even though we have been having some very hot, humid weather, he as ask twice if he could wear it!  Um, no.
And Lucy the Lunatic.
A few days ago we spent a wonderful afternoon and evening at Uncle Weigand and cousin Paul's land.  We've always called it Uncle Weigand's Land and people think we are talking about some amusement park.  Anywho, we LOVE going there and it is always a wonderful time.

After some playing and swimming, it was wiener roasting time for dinner.

Glenda brought these lovelies:
Perogy Platter and Grilled Cheese and Ketchup flavored chips.  Yes, that is correct.  You read that right.  Apparently they also have pizza and cheeseburger flavored.  
I have two words for you:  gross  (yes, I know that is only one.... it is kind of a family joke from the movie "Cheaper by the Dozen").  Canada has always had a lot of weird flavored potato chips and some of them have even found their way to the US, but this?  This is a little over the top.

On our way out we cross paths with an amazing stag.  What a rack on that thing.  Unfortunately it was dusk, in the woods and we only had the point and shoot so the photo was either with the flash - which left the picture black with two glowing eyes - or really blurry.  Bummer, because it really was an amazing deer.
It was also a full moon - another bummer for not having a good camera.  A gorgeous harvest moon - when the moon is large, low and orange.
We felt so blessed to have a great day with family and then finish it off with two incredible doses of God's creation.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Trust in the Lord with all of you heart and do not rely on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

Friday, August 16, 2013

day last.... and we're here

The ever-important tally from yesterday:
And now on to the day at hand....
Have you ever encountered a swam of locust?  Kinda like in the Bible or Little House on the Prairie?  No?  Well, I haven’t either.  But we felt like we have.  We were driving along and all of a sudden bug after bug starting hitting our windshield.  Splat.   Splat, splat.  We could see the bugs coming - black things coming at us, and then splat, it would hit.  It was rather disgusting.
We drove past a cemetery today and Lucy yells “Oh!  Dead People!”  Frightening child.

In Grand Forks, Eric dropped the kids and I off at Perkins for lunch and he headed to a storage place to unload our material possessions.  We finished up (yes, of course the kids had pancakes) and waited outside for a little.  

He came back after about 15 minutes, picked us up, and we headed off to bring the trailer back.  Another 15 minutes or so and we were off again, feeling much lighter in weight but perhaps a tad bit more heavy in heart.  There was a little concern over the up-coming border crossing.

God is so good.  I mean, He always is, but it is particularly wonderful when you clearly see Him work on your behalf.  Crossing the border was quick and easy.  Where are you from?  Where are you going?  Do you have any fire arms, alcohol, tobacco, etc. etc. etc.?  Whose car are you driving?  Do you have any one other than Canadian and American citizens in your vehicle?  Have a great day.....   That was about that.  Off we drove into our new beginning in Manitoba.
 (only one new one today - New Mexico)
It reminds me again that He too will take care of housing, school, jobs and all of that.  We seek Him, love Him, obey Him and trust Him and really, He takes care of everything else.  Everything.

We are here now, at my brother and sister-in-laws.  More prayers answered and more things to watch God work out.  He is faithful.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

day three road tripping

Okay, so this is still really from day two.  Cade and Mia were quite thrilled to once again have a murphy bed to share.

 And daddy was quite thrilled to tuck them in with a little attack.

That ended day two....
 This morning Cade looked out the window and yelled, “Mom!  Bring your camera.... this is the weirdest bird ever!”  Well, I took a picture but it is certainly not the weirdest bird ever.  Especially after living in Costa Rica and Ecuador.
 Forgot about the tally from yesterday, so we caught it this morning:
 It is national No Bickering Day, as declared by Eric.  It is also have a DQ Blizzard after lunch day, as declared by me.  I’m not sure which is better.....  But I don’t think there could be Blizzard day without no bickering.  Turtle Pecan Crunch for me, Heath for Eric, Double Fudge Cookie Dough for Lucy, Cookie Dough for Mia and Maddy had a Fudge something-or-other (oh... Georgia Mud Fudge).  Cade, who must not be my son, didn’t want one.  What?
Regardless of claiming this to be No Bickering Day, there was a ridiculous amount of bickering.  Somehow it all happened after the blizzards were licked clean.
Well, we got to North Dakota, we are snug in another lovely Ramada Inn, had a little Subway and grocery store food for dinner and now it is lights out.
Praying to cross the border tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

day two of our drive

We decided to make day two a rather long one.  We got up early - 7:00, had yogurt and donuts in the room (breakfast not included in this fine establishment), and were packed up and ready to roll at 7:30.  Oh, scratch that..... Lucy didn’t clean her ears (the piercing) or brush her teeth.  Back in the hotel room, rake through her hair, clean her ears (aka: inflict as much pain as possible upon my last-born) while she brushes her teeth (in between fits of wailing due to knots in her hair and hair in her earrings - both her and, especially, Mia, have had a lot of hair caught in their earrings.  I’ve had to take the earrings out, remove all of the hair wrapped around the posts, clean them up and replace the earring.)  7:40 and we are off.
We headed into Idaho - can’t you see the sign?  I was a little late on the draw....   

And from Idaho into Montana - missed that sign all together.
One of the highlights of today’s drive was listening to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.  At first we were rather pleased with the version, until the main and focal character, Aslan, came on the scene.  Oh the over-dramatics!  Yikes.  They could really have taken it down a few notches.  At least we now have some more fodder for quoting.  Our current favorite: “You had better put your fingers in your ears!”  And we may just start yelling “Silence!” (in extreme dramatics) to each other from now on.
The highlight for me, however, is just simply the drive.  We drove through my favorite part of North America - at least from what I have seen and experienced.  Western Montana - pine covered mountains/hills, crystal clear rippling rivers and creeks with fly-fishermen, rocks and wild grass, Log cabins with their dark green roofs, whole branch triangular fences and little bridges.  The piece de resistance (I’d write it in proper French, but I don’t remember how....) was hearing most of the family singing along to “We will bow, we lay our crowns, at the feet of Jesus....” along with the VBS CD playing while driving through this amazing creation.  

 (above photo contribution from Lucy)

 Apparently we were driving too fast for our little instamatic to handle!
Some day I hope to kayak down one of these rivers.  We stopped at the Corral Bar/Cafe/Hotel for a bathroom break which is apparently the coolest place ever (I never went inside).  Cade suggested that this is where we come and move to after our semester in Steinbach.  We were all a little baffled as we were pretty sure we were all on the same page about staying in Steinbach.  He claims ignorance to that fact - of which I say “pish posh”. 

Yesterday I was commenting about “home”.  I’ve realized that I am doing a lot of grieving right now.  First it was just over Ecuador, but now I realized that it is also over Fairfield.  It really hit this last Sunday at Parkway - our church.  While certainly not perfect, it is a blessed place.... incredible, biblical messages, staff that obviously love and are passionate about Christ, friends/family who are passionate - the youth group as well.... it is overwhelming.  I completely broken down in church.  It was Youth Sunday.  It is an annual event when the youth put on the service.  I was overwhelmed by how amazing the young people are (and have been) from Parkway.  Truly passionate, Christ-seeking people who spur each other on to great things.  So first I was lamenting the fact that we were once again leaving this blessing.  Then they showed a highlight video from the year which included bits of their trip to Ecuador.  I completely lost it at that point.  Double grieving.  I was sobbing.  
Later Maddy and I were talking about it.  It is overwhelming being called away from two places where there has been great influence and growth for our family.  And I don’t feel strong or equipped enough to do this.  But we realized that perhaps God is calling us to be the initiators of some passion (not that Steinbach is passionless....) for Christ and for service.  Perhaps that is our new call to action.  Not to jump on the bandwagon, but to get the wagon going.  That vision could change once we get there and see for ourselves what is happening, but it certainly is food for though.  In the meantime, I am allowing myself the time to grieve about our losses.  There is much in our past to be thankful for.

After a long drive, we are settled in at the Ramada Inn in Bozeman, Montana.  The kids are happily enjoying the 90 ft water slide (somehow Cade managed to remember that they boasted not just a water slide, but a 90 ft  water slide from 2 years ago when we stayed here).  There isn't much of a pool, but the slide is enough and the fact that no one else is here is a bonus!  And they have the best internet of any hotel I've stayed at for a while!