Thursday, May 25, 2017

Window Shopping

School and laundry - the drumbeat of  this full-timing family. πŸ˜…πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜…

We can see the end of the school year; not so much with the laundry.

Michael fixed the rear brakes and the emergency brake on Nimo (jeep).

We went to the Eugene VA for his last therapy session in Oregon. They are putting notes and referrals in the record for the VA clinics in AK. We have really loved his care team here in Eugene. They assure us the team will be just as good in Alaska.

We went window shopping....these would work well for a workshop for Michael....and outfitted correctly could even be a guest house. Unfortunately, Tuff Shed doesn't have an office in Alaska. 

And...if he has a workshop like the above...something like this would work for Uchi. 

We've been looking for a used trailer - but aren't finding one. This one is 5'x 8'.....the other possibility is 6' x 10'. Yukon Territory requires electrical brakes for even the small trailers (only spot on the trip that does - including other Canadian territories), but we're looking at how much it will cost to install brakes on a trailer....and needing to find one soon.

Michael continued on to look at woodstoves. I went and spent a few hours with Bella so BreZaak could spend time with Gideon. Gideon is doing well. He's down to just a feeding tube. Bella took a bunch of photos, but none of them are clear enough to share.

I finally saw a moment to make it for groceries as we left BreZaak's for the evening. Actually, Michael saw the moment and dragged me kicking and screaming into the grocery store.

Back at Uchi, Michael worked on more Nimo items and I balanced the checkbook and took care of some other business related items.

Krista Update

Can't say much about Krista at this point - but she's begun Commissioned Officer's Training (COT) in Alabama.
Trying it on in Mexico
From talking with Michael and many, many airmen over the years, I know entering the military can be intimidating the first few days - it's a new culture, new language, new way of walking and talking, and for most, a new strident tone one is unused to. We appreciate your prayers on behalf of Krista....and for all our female military friends - you KNOW what she's experiencing - thanks for your prayers with wisdom and clarity on her behalf.

Michael has told her to think of it as a giant game of Quelf! I love that example. Just do the things you are instructed to do, don't let them get in your brain, play the game - you'll crush it.

Krista was sent to sick call this morning. We prayed last night if God wanted her to remain at COT He would heal her in the night. The Dr. cleared her for PT this morning and she will take her fitness test tomorrow.  We know she can exceed the standards - she's trained well. For most, being sent out due to illness would mean a few months delay of COT.  For Krista, it would mean a year's delay in her entering the program as it's combined with her schooling and the Chaplain Candidate program.

As you think of Krista in the next few weeks will you pray for her to quickly adapt to her new culture  and for physical strength as she follows God's leading into a new world?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Whew - Busy Days


Followed by a few hours with Bella. 

Michael and Nolan went to get new tires on Nimo (the Jeep). Alex strapped on the back pack and did some prep for the upcoming Epic Alaskan Hike.

BreZaak reported from the hospital that Gideon was getting an "anti-tan," trying to lose some of his jaundice color.  He is OFF the IV and doing well with his feeding tube.  He still needs to learn to eat. Thanks for your continued prayers. 

We walked over to CoRielle's for dinner. Cory makes a mean fajita. We celebrated Arielle and played Dixit - Stacia has been begging for this over Dominion. LOL 

Countdown to Baby S
183 days 
As we ate, Mark called to say our home inspection is set for Friday. Things are moving ahead. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


The kids jumped right into school this morning and Michael and I went to retrieve Yuuki from Lorri, Mom and Dad. Lorri was dog sitting for us while we were in AK.

Today is Mom's LAST RADIATION DAY!!!!!  What a great day to see! We are thankful to see the end and that Mom will be feeling better in a couple of weeks.
Image result for cancer celebration

Michael and I spent a few hours at BreZaak's so they could go over and see Gideon. We always enjoy Bella time.

The countdown clock was a bit off.....we've reset it to await Baby S now.  

We accepted the seller's counter. Pending any unexpected finds on the home inspection we are buying a home.  We began pricing fridges, washer/dryers and such online.

Arielle turned 20 years old today!!!!! We are so thrilled to see the "lioness of God" this little gal has become.

And of course - Gideon made family news today too! 
Hello, Little Man. 
Gideon opened his eyes and smiled at BreZaak today. He is still breathing well on his own.  He is being weaned off of the IV of sugar water and such and is getting breast milk through a feeding tube. Thanks for your continued prayers on his behalf.

Josiah and Jamin completed their trip to Alaska! 

Cody is happy to see Josiah! 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Best Monday Ever

Jared dropped us off at the airport bright and early. Thanks, once again, for your gracious hospitality, JaRissa. They loaned us their car, fixed us meals, provided a nice room to land in, played games with us, showed us a bit of Alaska and helped us talk through options. We're excited to join you again shortly. 
Strange man spilling into my seat - SECURITY! 

Mark, our realtor, submitted our offer to the seller's realtor "in writing" this morning as we flew out of Anchorage. 

Our GPS flew with us. It seemed a bit confused when we plugged it in in Seattle. 

We still had a drive in front of us, then we'd meet BreZaak at the hospital and get a glimpse of Gideon, and pick up our three kids, finally settling back into Uchi (RV).
Washing up to see Gideon 
No breathing tubes today. He's down to an IV and a feeding tube.  

Gramps and Granna get to meet Gideon face to face 

On the drive from WA to OR, we received the seller's counter offer. If we are reading the "legalese" correctly, it is very close to our offer.

It's good to be back with Uchi (RV). We've become quite used to living in our tiny space and have mixed feelings about committing our budget and selves to one location.  This has to be one of the best Monday's ever. A safe trip back to our three youngest, meeting Gideon and seeing his improvement, and a counter-offer on a home that looks very good - exciting days.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday in Alaska

We all stole away Sunday afternoon to look at one final home which had come available over the weekend. It's a beautiful home - it would be tight with 12 of us in it and it won't allow chickens - but it has possibilities if our current negotiations fall through.

We drove by and showed JaRissa the home we are in process of submitting an offer for....and then stopped and took advantage of our free burger at Red Robin. πŸ˜‰

We picked up some goodies to bring back to family, played games and packed. We also heard updates on Gideon.

By the end of the day he was breathing on his own! This is GREAT progress. They are saying he will be in the NICU for 1 - 2 weeks.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sightseeing with JaRissa

Saturday morning and we'd seen all the houses we planned to see. JaRissa was off work. We headed out for a drive along the Turnagain arm, up to Beluga Point and Bird's Creek.  We enjoyed the drive, the conversation and de-stressing after the busy week.
Beluga Point
Not sure of the  mountain names taken from Beluga Point
Love this girl! Larissa and me.

Complements of Larissa
Walking along Bird Creek
I'm sorta smitten with this man too! 

JaRissa - our ADVON (military term -  Advanced Liaison)

Lots of texts for a retiree! LOL  I think he was communicating with Mark, realtor

Gideon Arrives

About 0100 we received a phone call from Bre. From the sound of her voice and the symptoms she was describing I knew she was in labor and suspected she was in or nearing transition. This was five weeks early and there had been no warning signs or expectations that Gideon would arrive early.

Gideon had his own plans and joined us TODAY. Bre nearly had him in the car, but arrived at the hospital, one push, and here he is.

He's really quite big for his age - 5 lbs and 4 oz and 18 inches long. He's having a bit of trouble with breathing, but other than that is doing well.

We are praising God that Gideon arrived safely and that he is doing so well.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Our Alaskan Home - Part 2

If you want to read Part 1 - Click here. Most photos are from the Internet and were taken by Alaska Virtual Digital Photos - as marked on the photos. 

Before we begin, or conclude if you read Part 1, if you're moving to the Anchorage/Valley area and need a realtor, we highly recommend Mark Mandigo and his team at Mandigo Manor Home Team - Office 907-223-8422.

Day 4 - Friday  found us driving up the  Hwy once again. We met Mark and went into two homes. The first one was lovely, but we really wanted chickens and we didn't want a lot of covenants.

We looked at the last house. It is a bit out of the city, is big enough to fit us all now, doesn't have a garage, garden spots, green house or hut tubs..... At this point we had narrowed our possibilities to three. The home we were about to look at, one that was nice but more money and one that we liked, but wasn't on the market.  This was the least expensive home; given we didn't know the price of the one that wasn't on the market.

If you know us, you know much of our ministry dreams revolve around hospitality. You know we've been living in 350 SF or less for the past two years.  You know our dreams have not panned out - we aren't missionaries in Japan, we aren't traveling around the US - we've been medically stranded by both our health and the health of others.

You may also remember we embraced the minimalist lifestyle, in order to move to Japan. We stored enough to furnish a SMALL HOME when we returned from Japan in 10 - 15 years and gave the rest away. We put our remaining household goods into storage and found out Michael had Parkinsons the next day. This changed our missionary plans.

Imagine our shock when this house fell into place. It's HUGE....we won't build a lot of guest houses and such - but we'll have plenty of room for guests INSIDE.  We have plans to give it a bit more "curb appeal" and we can build our own garden beds, garage and greenhouse. We are already researching wood stoves and such. The family moving out aren't leaving as many things as others were we're in the process of determining what will take priority to do or buy now. LOL

Yes - we made an offer, they countered, we accepted. Unless something unexpected shows on the inspection or appraisal, we will be closing on this home and moving into it well before the kids arrive with their families. It is nearly 6,000 SF, has six bedrooms - and two bonus rooms, it has several "living areas," a HUGE dining room, nearly 2 acres, safe stairs, and a fenced area for kids and pets.

We were all a bit stunned at the size of the entry - must have had institutional use
@ some point - we had looked at a nursing home previously - this is nicer. 

Entry way 
Living Room, Family Room or Game Room 
Bdr 1 with 1/2 bath
Kitchen - fridge goes....
We had been given a table that once sat in Hospitality House in Misawa, Japan. I did not want to get rid of the table and it is in storage. In each house we visited, I wondered if the table and china hutch would fit....not a problem here.....envisioning game nights and dinners....Through the door in the far wall is 2 rooms with an separate entrance to the house. 
Dining Room 
Bonus Room 1 
Looking through bonus room 1 to bonus room 2
Going up the stairs there is a big living area on the left - with a view and a balcony
Family room, Game room, Living room....
 This nook is to the right at the top of the stairs. Down the hall are 3 bedrooms, a laundry room and a couple of bathrooms. 

Bdr 2 
 There is a full bath and a 1/2 bath on each floor - I don't know why. 
Bdr 3 

Bdr 4

Nook at the top of the stairs - I hadn't noted the 3rd floor

Bdr 5 - third floor - 1/2 bath outside the door

Bdr 6 - Master Bedroom
 Photo doesn't do the view justice

Master bath - overwhelming considering the step up from an RV bathroom

Double Vanities 
 The kids say this is big enough to be another room - from an RV closet shared by 5 to THIS
Walk Through Closet
 And lots of moose poop outside....I suggested a cottage business making earrings....

We don't know WHY this is the only house that opened up - but it is. We spent the weekend praying about it. Monday, as we flew out of Alaska, Mark submitted our offer to the sellers. Monday, as we drove down to Oregon, we received a counter offer. Today, 23 May, we accepted the counter offer. Unless something shows up on the inspection or appraisal to stop the process....this will be the home we welcome the kids and their families too when they make their way to Alaska.