Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Monday, May 25, 2015

North to Montana!

Mike and I often do not have the same days off. I have week-enda off while he takes Sunday afternoon and Monday off... if no one needs him.  Well, we both had today off so we took off after church yesterday and headed for a quick trip to Montana. A really quick trip.


I dressed appropriately.

We almost talked ourselves out of going but I am glad we didn't.  We were gone only about 30 hours but we had a great time and saw such beauty!. It does a soul good.

The first part of our drive was wet. It was very wet. In fact, it rained so hard there was hydroplaning. We saw two vehicles that had gone of the road!  I have never seen so much water in Wyoming! All the dry ravines had a lot of watering rushing through them. There were new ponds everywhere! We knew to slow down and had no big problems but it was not an ideal time to go on a pleasure drive.

About the time we entered Montana, the torrential rains were done so we carried on. First, we went to Billings. We enjoyed a little sales-tax-free shipping, explored parts of Billings we'd not seen before and talked. I love when I get that kind of time with my husband. 

We spent the night at a hotel in Billings. I really love staying in hotels. I know some people hate it but I love it. I feel relaxed as the responsibilities of job and home just slide of.  


Our hotel had a pretty indoor waterfall. We don't have one if those at our house! 

This morning we drove West a ways and then headed South to Red Lodge.  I will just show you photos from along the way...


Isn't that a pretty scene? 


The sky was lovely.


The area around Red Lodge was gorgeous. 


Just gorgeous.


I took a zillion photos.


Mike thought I should be in one.


I thought he should be in one as well.


Not one of these photos truly captures the beauty. I wish everyone could experience such a place.


We walked around and enjoyed the smells and sound, especially the meadowlarks singing.


Downtown Red Lodge was busy. Really, we didn't even find a place to park.

This is where technology saved us a lot of trouble. Our daughter, Maria, texted us that our planned route home was blocked by a rock slide and the highway was closed. She saved us hours by warning us ahead of time! 

So, we left Red Lodge and headed back into Wyoming by going into the Big Horn Mountains. It turned out to be my favorite part of the drive! 


We didn't really take that dirt road but I liked the photo anyway.

I will give you a hint regarding the rest of the trip but you will have to wait until tomorrow for it. Here's the hint: Tomorrow's title is "Wildlife, Weather and the Pot of Gold".

For now, here's one last photo from today. I thought I was pretty artsy when I took this one. I think fences are cool. I think mountains are magnificent. I don't mean to brag but I think the combo in awesome! 





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Earthquake Destroys Giada Village In Nepal



This is Patrick, from Vision Beyond Borders. He was already in Nepal when the second big earthquake occurred.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mall Lunch Hits the Big Times


You know how our family has the weird tradition of meeting at the mall once a week or so. We each get what we want to eat and gather for a quick break together in the middle of a work day. It is a quirky tradition but it works for us.

Well, last week we took our mall lunch to the max! Yep, you guessed it! We were at the Mall of America! I went  into exactly one store there, but I had a delightful time.


Maria and the girls enjoyed the merry-go-round.


Cordelia and I rode together on a little kid roller coaster, with Maria and Elise just in front of us. It was a bit too tame for Cordelia.


The ferris wheel made that girl pretty happy.


Maria, Eric and girls on the ferris wheel.



Mike took this artsy photo of the escalator, looking into the amusement park.


Another artsy shot by photographer Mike.


What a wonderland for kids!


This project was made out of legos.  The photo doesn't accurately capture the true size of it but notice the people walking down below.


Later, Cordelia and I rode on that roller coaster that went over the top of most of the amusement park. It was a bit TOO much for her but she handled it well with just a bit of reassurance that the car we rode in would not go flying off the rail.


It was kind of a carefree time.  Nice.



There's Cordelia on the big kid roller coaster with me.



Honestly, everyone was not on their phones throughout the entire lunch!














Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tardy Report

Well, aren't I the tardy one to finish reporting on our trip to Minnesota?

So, we attended a beautiful wedding. Everyone looked so pretty/handsome. 


This in our son, Ben, and our daughter-in-law, Sara.


This is Adam, our nephew, with Ben. I like that photo.

After the wedding we had a bit of time as we made our way across town to where the reception dinner and dance were to be held. It was the perfect opportunity to go by the seminary Mike attended in the 1980's.


We lived on campus there for three years when Maria and Ben were little.  It was fun to be there with them again all grown up. We walked through the woods, a shortcut they both remembered.  

We traipsed  around the campus a bit, enjoying sharing memories. It was fun to learn what snippets the kids remembered. It was also fun to share that with the grandgirls and our children's spouses. They may have been bored but they were all good sports.








Wouldn't it have been weird, back when Maria was a four year old walking that same sidewalk, if we could have seen into the future?  We used to take Ben to a daycare down that sidewalk. We have had a lot of adventures and seen a lot of places since then. The best part is, we have added more people to our family mix since those days.



Elise entertained herself with some spinning and twirling. Two is such a fun age.


The campus was really pretty, complete with cherry blossoms... At least I think they were cherry blossoms.


After a quick, self-guided tour, we were off to a beautiful wedding reception that was in a lovely place on the edge of the Mississippi River. 



We were so happy that we got to spend that happy time with family.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mom

Happy Mother's Day to all the ladies out there. Whether you have had children of your own or not, you have likely "mothered" someone along the way.

Most especially, Happy Mother's Day to my Mom, Grace. Don't you just love her name?. It suits her well.

I am wishing I could be with my Mom today.  I thought I would be with my Mom today. But, this happened. 



It didn't matter that I had already folded all my winter close into my under-the-bed storage container. It still happened.


That is how it looks out my back door at this very moment, May 10. That just seems all wrong. Our lilacs were just starting to bloom!  


Under all that snow is a lawn that needs mowed, weeds that need pulled and new little flowers that should be soaking up the sun. Oh well. It is moisture and we need that.

Anyway, it would not be a gift to my Mom to make her worry if I chose to make that 2 hour drive across an icy Wyoming prairie that is frosted with so much white fluff. I bet it would be a beautiful view, though! 

Anyway, let me tell you a couple things about my Mom.

My Mom raised her children with love that required a lot of sacrifices. She taught us all, by example, how to put other's needs even before our own. She protected us from some harsh realities that she had to face quietly, while showing us only a smile. She protected our childhoods with ferocity. I only recognized this in retrospect but I am so grateful for it.

My Mom also taught us to do things for our own enjoyment. She was already a mother when she discovered she was also an artist. We all watched her study and work and learn and progress with her talent. That set a good example for us as well.

My Mom was my first best friend. Even in high school, she was the one I wanted to come home and talk to after something exciting/sad/funny happened. I really love my Mom. 

My Mom was also the first and maybe most important gift I received from God. Thank you, God, for my Mom.