Friday, July 06, 2007

Day 21 - Anchorage AK - 5 July

Quote of the Day
: From Zander last night as we stepped out of the airport. “Are we going HOME now?” I thought he meant TX. I explained that we would be in AK for a week and then would fly back to WA and drive for a few days and be home. He listened patiently and then said, “NOT THAT HOUSE - the BIG one with the river (creek) and the play station games (game room).” Sad….we’d not realized how much he missed nor remembered Alaska.

Alaska is magical! Everywhere I look there are trees, mountains, wildlife. It refreshes my soul in a way that is difficult to explain. I have come to love the people and town that we live in in W TX; but my spirit soaks up the natural awe and wonder of AK. Even doing the most mundane things here is refreshing. Shoot even when noticing the Hell’s Angel’s club house outside your rental you have to also notice the trees, mountains and flowers…. ::snort:: Maybe this is why I got so overcommitted when we lived here, it was just rejuvenating to live here. ::snort::

We did business this a.m. It was raining - good time to run those errands. Josiah and I renewed our driver’s licenses. Mike tried to but has to go back tomorrow. We think his new TX address created a problem with his CDL license (new laws). He'll probably lose the CDL until he retires from the USAF. Mike also registered the Camry. Then we went to the PFD office. They said that Stacia can be signed up as an Alaskan - we’ll just need to send them her birth certificate. We’ve hesitated to mail those - but I guess we will. I don’t have it yet. They said when she turns 18 she can file and get the PFD’s for the years that we haven’t filed for her.

We ran up to the base. No need for car passes on THIS base either…..still laughing about how different bases are interpreting the General’s instructions. After getting dinner at BK - a place we used to eat 3 or 4 times a week - we ran over to Matt and Summer’s house and barged in on them. I don’t post photos of minors without the agreement of parents - so no photos. BUT the fellowship was sweet. They are getting ready to move so we barely caught them. We missed Kevin and Carleen and Randy and Joyce by ONE DAY! ::snort::

After we left Matt and Summer’s we headed to the BX. Mike and the boys wanted to buy fishing tags. I let the younger set play in the play area and I updated the blog. THEN we decided to go ahead and eat dinner…..of course we hadn’t realized it was 9:00 p.m. ::snort:: They weren’t too happy to fill our order. I noted Stacia was getting cranky and was shocked when I checked my watch. I need to remember the summer light thing up here. ::snort:: We got home and Mike and the boys asked if we’d mind if they headed to Ship Creek. Off they went. I’m charging the cell phone so I can call more friends in the a.m. I was able to connect here at the apartment and so got our checking balance so that I can pay bills. I am also doing laundry daily….which is better than waiting every 3 days. ::snort::

Well - just like “that” the connection disappeared again….guess I’ll post this tomorrow. ::snort::
Day 18- Spokane, WA - Goodbyes
July 2, 2007

Quote of the Day:
“Christmas…..see you at Christmas!”

I can’t find the entry for this day….but I can remember. This is the day that both Mom and I began to discuss Christmas. Mom has taken some criticism in her life for loving Christmas so much. I’m here to let the secret out….it’s not that mom is terribly commercially minded. It’s the people. I went away to boarding school in 9th grade. Will was in 7th grade and I believe Nate was in 3rd grade. Christmas was Mom’s way of looking ahead in the midst of goodbyes….I get that now. ::snort::

I’ve written before about Goodbyes. This day was filled with beneficial leave takings….and I know in my spirit and mind that they ARE beneficial; but my heart still longs to have all my babies at home. Hiding somewhere in the back of mind, very near the surface of consciousness is the awe of watching ministry flow through their lives and I am content to have them gone. Though rejoicing that Cy is spending another year near us. ::snort::

God so lovingly set several in our paths at conference who had words to say about the depth of love our children have for God. I had been feeling like a bit of a failure in a few parenting areas - though I kept telling myself our goal has always been the heart and that was fine so we were o.k. Having several comment on the hearts of our children was God's way of reminding me that He knows where the academic gaps are and He'll help our young adults fill them if/when it is needed. I'd talked with a friend from my childhood who is homeschooling and she has her children doing the most awesome things in their local support group.....shew...and I had begun to feel like I'd wasted years of academic preparation.....SHE was one who said that God shines so brightly through the children. I always say that it's all the grace of God covering our failures....but my mentor from youth days took me aside and said, "YES - it IS God's grace. BUT you and Mike have done things that set the framework for your children to be "different" (my word)" and basically I should use those opportunities when folks are telling me what "a great parent" I am to share some of the framework....still stressing the grace of God that operates in our lives, our children's lives, and our parenting.

I woke up in tears the morning after convention ended. I’d said many goodbyes to old friends the day before. I was grieving the loss of the twins, like I haven’t in weeks. I’m sure compounded by the fact that I would have to say goodbye to the girls and my parents before the day was over.

I spent the a.m. doing laundry and cleaning the trailer. Mike took the little ones to the playground. Jamin and Jared have kept up their workout routines and spent time enjoying a last run in Washington. I had let it be known far and wide that I was not content to leave WA without seeing the girls again. They had not been at the last night of conference. They'd been at the church setting up for the Master's convention to begin the next day. Nicholas and Dewey (fellow MCers) assured me that there would be a way to see the girls for a last hug before we left....but we weren't sure how or when. Mike thought we'd simply go interupt if we hadn't seen them before Monday afternoon.

The girls called at about noon and had a two hour break in their Master’s Commission conference. They asked us to meet them at the church with a picnic lunch. The church has a field and a bit of trees etc and so we met their and had a picnic. What an awesome way for God to work this small detail out for my mama heart. The time was sweet - and bitter. ::snort:: PHOTO

We called Mom and Dad and spent the rest of the day with them. We went to Manito park again. We were thrilled to see the mama duck with her ducklings IN THE WATER. We went to some gorgeous Japanese gardens. PHOTO We went out for dinner at Pizza Hut. We had leftovers so we put it all in a box, we all signed the box, and we planned to leave our gift at the girls’ car. We knew they were in meetings and we wouldn’t see them, but we imagined their surprise to find a box of pizza with sweet notes on the box for them. Along the way I said it was too bad we didn’t have some soap so w could leave a message on the car’s windows. Mike stopped at Target and I found soap and T.P. The rest is history. We feared that a group of MC students would drive out to the van in the night - but they were too tired. Krista did call and said that when they came out someone said, “Your car - who did your car?” and she KNEW. She thought it hilarious as other students that day had been quizzing her about WHERE she got her mischievous bent as Bre isn’t one for pranks…..Krista told them that Bre is the exception - but they didn’t believe her. After all, Mike is terribly intimidating and serious. Mike and I are seasoned MINISTERS. Her grandparents are retired missionaries. They are now convinced. G’ma and G’pa even signed the window. ::snort:: PHOTOS

Of course, now Arielle and Nolan are wanting to do EVERYONE’S cars as it was so much fun! Mom explained to them that you only do the cars of folks you really love and know that it wouldn’t hurt their feelings. As Mom and Dad walked into the hotel, after our last goodbye of the day, Nolan said, “Let’s do THEIR car!” We didn’t. But maybe we should have. ::snort::

Photos are NOT loading here at the apartment. I'll have to load a bunch of photos the next time we are at the BX.....which we have to go back to because we wanted to eat at Charley's in Bre's memory (her first job) and they were closing last night and wouldn't feed us. ::snort::