Give-a-Way

There is a book give-a-way going on Scroll down to the bottom of the latest blog article to see details.

Friday, July 7, 2017

From the Journal...

It was good to get back to writing here earlier this week in This Living Thing.  As I mentioned there, life will be lived on-call for the foreseeable future... at least until my step-dad gets the "all clear" from the doctor.... if....

None-the less, as I mentioned in Wednesday's post, I have to keep living now and in that, I am super excited for the potential upcoming content here on the blog... stay tuned for a fun announcement in the next couple weeks!

In the mean time, I thought I would share our busy two months just past.  Hubby just switched jobs so he couldn't join us in any of it, we were all bummed.  His new job brings a new schedule and new adjustments to life here... but it's all good and he is excited to be part of a great new (and very busy) team!

 Dad says "hi"!  The nurses in his surgical recovery center were amazing.  He was in the hospital through Easter so I brought small baskets of candy for everyone.  He caught onto the joy of it as he was wheeled to another unit the next day and we still had a large basket full of goodies, he offered all the orderlies and nurses to help themselves! 

I shared a great story of that amazing hallway (on right) in a post about Going Home I put up back in April, you can check out here.  If I'm totally honest, I miss being in Chicago and I miss my step-dad... a lot.  At the same time, I do love my home in Montana too.  It's tough being torn.

I mentioned airports in Wednesday's post... here are just a couple along with my evening view of Seattle as a departed from that lay-over.  Zach (my oldest, who lives there) and I tried to hook up for dinner but his work schedule didn't jive with my flight schedule unfortunately.  Oh, and the middle picture of the Chicago skyline is muted because it was taken through a tinted hospital window.  There was actually lovely blue sky and crisp skyline that day.  I was waiting for dad during one of his procedures and decided to open the blinds in the waiting room to discover this view.  I was super excited and really wished I could have gotten downtown during my stay... but gallivanting the big city was not on the agenda this visit!

I arrived home to only 2 busy weeks left in the kids' school year.  They completed most of their work in my absence but we rounded out the edges upon my return.  I felt very blessed I didn't miss the annual homeschool book sale our association hosts and I was able to get in on a table just in time ("X" marked the spot where my books were... with my lovely assistant Brooke!!)  By the way, if you click on the image it should enlarge... I still have some of these items for sale if anyone is interested, shoot me an email! (I like to price low)

Onto the most exciting point of our summer so far.... #1, God blessed us with a NEW car!  We are so amazed at His awesome provision.  This blessing allowed us to make the trip west to watch Zach graduate from University.  We all packed in, along with Ashley's guitar, and had a grand adventure.

Montana -- Idaho -- Washington (Spokane, Medical Lake, and Seattle) -- Oregon (Portland, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Multinomah Falls) -- Washington -- Montana (via Kalispell)

I have walked, flown and driven more miles in the last 2 months then I think I have in the last 4 years!!! 

He asked me to take this picture!  Total truth. 

We arrived in Seattle ON Zach's 23rd birthday.  It is the first birthday I have gotten to celebrate with him since he left for college.  This pillow was among his gifts... I highly recommend it for those long distance young-adults 'children'!!!

The reason for our visit ♡

I'm so amazed by this young man.  God's provision through his hard work got him through 4 years of Christian University education.  He graduated with a double-major in Business Financing and Economics and he did it Cum Laude while working 2 jobs!  As they lined up around the arena (top left) I super-zoomed with my camera and instantly choked.  I didn't see my young man in that lens, I saw my little boy, ready for kindergarten with his backpack and box of cookies to share, smiling big and ready to learn.... then I blinked.  Don't blink, mamas, it goes too fast.

Top right is his lovely long-time girlfriend whom he met 5 years ago in high school.  She is pre-med and only halfway done with all her hard work!  The day before commencement was a special 'Ivy Cutting ' ceremony outside... they are each holding their cut from this symbolic tradition.

This will be for-reals in a blink!

Post-graduation was a party at a beautiful park on Puget Sound.  Zach's girlfriend has a plethora of family in the area and they hosted the shin-dig.  Ashley brought her guitar and Brooke collected a sampling of Sound water and sand which safely made it back home and now rests on a shelf in her room to commemorate!  By the way, if you are taking a trip somewhere beachy with your crew this summer, this is a fun way to cap a memory!

Zach was excited to show us 'his' city.  We saw a great deal of sites but weather was mostly cold and rainy (big surprise, right?!) and our stay there was relatively short and filled mostly with graduation activity.  We promised Zach we would return, hopefully next summer, for a more thorough tour and relaxed stay!  Bottom left is Pike's Place Market.  We came from Post Alley (top right, gum wall) and just as we were coming up the alley a deluge let out so I had to try and grab a snapshot of the market from under an awning lest I ruin my camera with the precipitation!  (Those are my kiddos in the bottom right, lined up at the railing)

The day after graduation we headed down to a nice little nook we had reserved in Seaside, Oregon.  It was the first time my youngest three had seen the ocean.  Top right is their excited response.  Due to a detour we took to visit and have dinner with friends in Portland, we didn't arrive at the beach until sunset.  Brenden soaked it in joyfully (right)

The next day Zach joined us and I caught some of my favorite pictures of the whole trip.  It was cold and drizzly at times and while all my kids are teens through adult age, you wouldn't have known it the way they hung out (I'm told it's not called "playing" at their age!).  We flew kites, dug in sand (the boys made dug-out seats against a log and Brenden buried himself (bottom right). 

Spending time at the beach reminded me of my dream, from over 20 years ago, to one day move to sandy, ocean-lined shores.  There is just something so exhilarating about the rushing waves and the soft sand beneath your feet. 

As I lamented, I was reminded of the same exhilaration I am blessed with in my relationship with Jesus Christ... and how, every time I step out in faith and do BIG things through Christ who gives me strength, I am able to enjoy that dream in an even more spectacular way

 After a few days in Seaside, we all needed to head home.  Before parting we snapped some shots at the Lewis and Clark statute commemorating the End of the [Oregon] Trail.  A highlight for Brenden and Brooke since we wrapped up our school year studying westward expansion! (He bought that pirate hat at a neat hat shop just down the road from where we took this picture!)

This was exciting for me!  21 years to-the-month.  I told Zach that I was holding him in the old picture I had but I felt he was too big for me to hoist on my hip now!  All 6'plus feet of him!  The wind was gusting so I had to hold my clothes close to me lest they go flying all about!

 We stopped off in Cannon Beach before leaving the coast.  I wanted to show the kids Haystack Rock and the area their dad use to vacation in as a kid (he grew up in Portland)

We also paused in the Columbia River Gorge to swing by Multinomah Falls, upon recommendation of my mother-in-law, and have some soft-serve... she insisted it was the BEST soft-serve anywhere!

Before heading back to south-central Montana we took a 24 hour pause in the northwestern part of the state and visit my mother-in-law.  We hope to head back for a longer visit later this summer. 

Coming up along the western shore of Flathead Lake made my heart twinge again.  This was my view for over 12 years before God called us into ministry work.  I have missed it more than the idea of living at the ocean!  However, I cling to the fact that God called us where we are now for a Purpose and I choose not to waste my time wishing but rather spend my time walking out His plans for me where.I.am.

Bloom where you are planted.

That simple.

So, earmark Faith and Home (faithfulhomeschool.com) because, Lord willing, great things are coming as the site gets more active, post-travel, again!

Wherever you are and wherever you go, whether it is local or long distance, take time to pause and make wonderful memories this summer!  And no matter what, thank God for His best plans for you... even if they aren't what you had in mind!





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