Sunday, April 23, 2017

Our Daughter Wears Combat Boots...

Cute little boots though
....or she will very soon. Krista has been in Mexico since January. She is working with a ministry she has led several mission trips to assist over the years. Arielle has been down twice.   She knew this would most likely be her last chance to work with them, she will soon be completing her master's degree and plans to enter the Chaplain Corps after she has the degree in hand. She's already ordained, endorsed and working on the experience prerequisites.

She hurt her knee in December. In addition to assisting at the Orphanage, she's been working to rehabilitate her knee, get back to the shape she was in before the injury in preparation for Commissioned Officer's Training, and finish this year of her master's degree with Liberty.  She's hard core determined - we're proud of her and the work she's put in on all fronts in 2017.

Part of her training involves running, dropping and doing pushups, running some more, dropping for sit ups, running some more - you get the idea.  Krista has collected a little training community....

Krista will finish up in Mexico, meet us in Colorado to bury Mom G, and then go to Maxwell AFB for Commissioned Officer's Training (COT). This will be followed by 2 or 3 months in the Chaplain Candidate Program. She will be back in OR to pick up her car the end of July and will drive to Virginia to finish her M. Div in residence.

While we know there are challenges ahead, we know she can do anything God leads her to do....and we're proud of her determined chase after God.

If you'd like to read more about Krista's time in Mexico and keep up with her she blogs at A Walk in the Wild. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

#WYFF - School.....

It's #WYFF - and I'm relieved. 

We spent the day pushing to reach our weekly goals. We are now set to take 3 weeks off and be on track when we return! It's been difficult to stay on track with all of the unexpected happenings this year. We had hoped to be all done by the end of May. We won't be. HOWEVER, we are in our last quarter and I count that as a modern day miracle given all the challenges this year. 

Michael got home this evening. It's nice to be together under one roof. 

More #WYFF (Where's Your Feet Friday) posts can be found at the tab under the blog header.

The Discontent of Gingerbread Man

"Move into the RV with us Gingerbread Man," she said.

"It's an adventure,"  she said.

Then we moved to an RV park....and I spend my days it rains....

....and rains...

 ...and rains!

To think, I could be in Mexico now with Krista.

The winning Girls team of the 2016 Gingerbread Competition is hosting Gingerbread Man this year. He seems a bit discontent with his adventures at this point.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rhythm of the Pacific NW

Nolan offered to take the trash to the dumpster today. The sun was shining....and then it wasn't. It came down in LOUD BUCKETS!

Michael is gone, but his colorful gifts brighten our rainy day. 

We're learning to work with the rhythm of the weather here in the Pacific NW. There were brief moments of beautiful sunshine - and we got out and walked. We should have waited for the break to run the trash up.  We've got lots to do inside to keep us busy....though Alex looks a bit suspect.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Fully "Ours" ....and tidbits

We've switched out plates on Nimo - the Jeep. She is now 100% Gherkin. Very soon we'll be in a state where the plates won't garner extra attention. 😏We are getting excited to get back home.

Still so much to accomplish before we leave - any and all prayers are welcomed. Michael is down south with probate stuff again. He just called to say he'll need extra time down there.

Mom will be half way through her radiation tomorrow.

Krista was in the states and called today.

This is our last week of "double-time" school work before we leave for Colorado - which is not on the way to Alaska.

My RV Pantry

One of these is my RV pantry
The green tub, along with some space under a seat, are my RV pantry. Sure, it's a little sad next to Nadine's pantry....but it works.

I'm often questioned how I carry "enough" groceries in the RV for a family with 3 big kids (18, 15, 12).

I did change my mentality of a once a month big trip, partnered with weekly trips for fresh produce. I now think in terms of a once a week grocery trip. I simply don't have enough freezer, fridge or pantry space for more.

When living in an RV, one does NOT want to carry around a lot of weight in food! Every pound of tomato sauce means a pair of shoes, or book that has to be left behind.

Third, there ARE some items which seem to multiply or get pushed to the back and get lost. Some items are difficult to find in obscure grocery stores.  In other words, food does back up and I needed a system to store the few items I keep on hand.  For now, we have spare food under a seat and in a tub. This running list in my bullet journal, helps me KNOW where I have food and what I have on hand when we run across a grocery store.
Running list of food which likes to multiply
Here are a few items I've found harder to find in obscure towns:  SAF Yeast, Whole grain berries, Rapadura, Agave Nectar, specific herb teas I like - I have found most of these things from time to time in our travels.  I also like to keep things like dried apples from the trees in Crescent City and dried bananas on hand. As I'm trying to eliminate sugar these days I don't need a stock of Agave Nectar or Rapadura anyway. πŸ˜•

I've gotten very used to cooking in my tiny kitchen.  I will, however,  be happy to someday have a pantry modeled after Nadine's. πŸ˜‰

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

RVing Moments

That moment when one simultaneously wonders if Uchi will make like Noah's Ark - AND -  remembers Alex has walked up to the bathhouse. 😜

Two years ago, I LOVED the sound of rain on the roof of The Caboose. It reminded me of being a child and listening to rain on our tin roof in Liberia. Living in an RV one lives much closer to nature - even when stationary in a park for medical reasons.  When it storms -  it affects us.....some days the noise is deafening - but none of us have gone stark raving mad as of yet. I still love the rain on the roof of Uchi (the RV).

Note this is one reason *I* brave the small hot water tank and cramped confines to use our very own shower provided by Uchi. I suppose  big space costs! ::snort:: 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Gingerbread Man does the RV Life

The girls were the winning team of the 2016 Gherkin's New Year's Gingerbread Competition. One of the honors of winning this momentous competition is hosting Mr. Gingerbread Man for the year. His exploits will be showcased here throughout the year.

Stacia was the team captain for the girls and Mr. Gingerbread Man hasn't taken advantage of many travel opportunities - he COULD be in Mexico or Alaska - but he's been content to stay in OR and CA at this point.

Gingerbread man is fool-hardy. He thinks he can drive Uchi. 

Most of the time he rides HERE and not behind the wheel  

He has made many trips Grandma and Grandpa's place.

Gingerbread Man helped plant a Cherry Tree in memory of Dad G.

He seems to be so worn out from that exertion that he is content to maintain his perch on the dash of Uchi and stare out the window.  While it makes us unique in the park, it also allows friends to find us quickly - though no one seems to visit us in the park. ::snort:: 

We'll do better at allowing him to participate in "life." Eventually, he'll need to hitch a ride with other team members....he could do boot camp, labor and delivery, glaciers, COT graduation, hikes, oncology just never know where he'll show up.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday 2017

He is RISEN!

We had a 5 stage plan for the day's celebration!

Stage 1 - church with family.

Stage 2 - Prepare Easter dinner and enjoy lunch with Mom and Dad.

I KNEW BreZaak would be busy at church and Bella would be tired and cranky...and pregnant Bre would be tired, but never cranky....they invited us to Stage 4 in lieu of Easter lunch/Dinner.  (Sure enough they didn't make it home until 2 p.m.).   In the midst of discussions with Bre, I somehow got the idea that CoRielle had plans too.

I am glad I realized, while chopping veggies, the discussions had been with Bre.  Arielle hadn't chimed in. They'd also wondered why they hadn't been invited for dinner anywhere. ::snort::  I sent she and Cory a text and told them if they didn't have other plans, we'd love them to join us.  They received it in church and were happy to come after their church service. Arielle was glad we remembered, as she said, "We like to eat too." πŸ˜‚ Will and Sherri were unavailable. Nadia moved on Friday. Mikhail never responded to messages and texts.  That left us 5, Lorri, Mom, Dad and CoRielle. We enjoyed those we could be with and the time together. Mommy fail - in the busy-ness of the day I didn't get the boys or Krista contacted.
Stacia and Gma 

Lorri, Arielle and Cory
Michael gave Yuuki a ham bone. Her diet is very restrictive. We don't give her scraps. She insisted on sitting outside and guarding her bone the rest of the day. Even when we left....Lorri dog sits for us when we go to campus as pets are banned from campus.

Stage 3 - CoRielle invited us over for games. BreZaak met up with us here. 

Bella and Grandpa
Stage 4 - We all went to the college's cafeteria for Easter Dinner. I was impressed with the menu and quality of the dinner. I had veggies...others had lamb and ham. The cook plans special things for the students and tonight had Easter Eggs hidden around the building. They were stuffed with candy and QUARTERS for laundry. BreZaak and CoRielle both finished with a pile of quarters. Family helps family. πŸ˜‰

Stage 5 - CoRielle invited us back to their place again for more games, house hunting (its become a family past time to check out houses and land in Alaska online), and ice cream.

This was a very full Easter Sunday! Next year in Alaska.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sunny Saturday!

It hasn't rained all day! What unexpected joy! 

Stacia attended a tea party with her cousin Harmony. I enjoyed visiting Will and Sherri. Meanwhile, the boys and Michael put a bunch of stuff in the folks' attic for them, mowed their lawn, and cleaned their garage. This allowed us to put Mom G's in their garage. It can't be driven or sold until after probate is completed. They were still working when Stacia and I got to the house. 

Lorri came to help me shop for Easter's meal components. 😊We finally realized on Saturday, we should consider something a bit more elaborate than Denny's after church this Sunday.  

The effect of the drug mom is taking for cancer and the radiation is cumulative. Mom has been feeling pretty poorly the last couple of days. I knew she'd want to have dinner at her house - she's the queen of big, holiday meals.  I asked her if she'd like me to take over dinner.....this we plan to do. 

With the day's work finished, we ran to the RV for Saturday's traditional Breakfast for Dinner. This is a plan we adopted a year ago when Nolan mentioned how much they love breakfast but hate mornings. πŸ˜€

 Michael scouted out a fire ring in Dad's arsenal of garage things earlier in the day,  and the night screamed for a fire, s'mores and a chapter of Patrick McManus. It was a great day.  
Dad, Alex, Mom, Stacia, Michael, Nolan, Lorri
Have you ever used SQUARE marshmallows? Lorri purchased some for us to use a bit ago and had been saving them until the time arose to use them. Once we figured out the best way to skewer them, they worked well.

What are your Resurrection Sunday traditions?

Second 2017 Penny

Bre was the first to find a 2017 penny and exchange it for a bigger and better coin. She got $5. The rest will get a dollar coin - IF they find a 2017 penny.

Stacia found the second 2017 penny.

She put it in her pocket and kept forgetting to exchange it.

I commented on the shiny coin I found in the laundry last Monday and she quickly claimed it. Michael was out of town. She put it in her pocket to show him when he got home.

Josiah surprised us with a visit, the next day was busy for her (and all of us) and culminated with Bella's birthday bash.

She put her jeans back into the laundry.

She lost the penny again.....a close search and she found it.  She exchanged it quickly - before it got lost again.

Michael enjoyed the story
Love Stacia's expression 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cody has Culture Shock and #WYFF

Jared with Cody and Lassie (foreground)
"Move to Alaska," Cy said. 

"It'll be fun," Cy said. 

Cody - the Horgi (husky/corgi)

Jared writes, "But really. We had so much fun today climbing Mt Baldy!! Can't wait for the rest of the family to make it up here!"

The feeling is mutual. 

 It's #WYFF and I didn't do one thing worthy of a "foot" picture. Today, we took care of admin stuff here at the RV. 

  • Talked with a banker about some things we need to do with the estate
  • Applied for pre-approval for a housing loan
  • Continued to search for a spot with land with  a house on it
  • Checked out leads our realtor sent
  • Finished two more weeks of school - TGIF
  • Said goodbye one last time to Nadia and Casper before they left the area
  • Pizza and a movie tonight at the RV - we're tired. 

*Note Cody is Cy's dog. Cody hopped a plane and arrived in Alaska this week. Jared and Larissa are dog-sitting until Cy arrives in May.  Josiah listed his car today. This thing is going down! 

#WYFF is a hashtag sponsored by Fulltime Families. For more of our #WYFF entries - click the links under the blog header. 

Friday Traditions

Friday!!! Woot. WooHoo.

Friday means the end of a school week. 

This Friday we completed the paperwork for pre-authorization on a home loan. 

Friday means pizza and a movie or game night. 

We tossed around options, we were all tired; we voted to get pizza locally rather than driving into town and to watch a movie (Forbidden Planet) here at Uchi.

Coburg Pizza - I'm going to miss this place. THIS is a perfectly wonderful vegetarian, no-cheese, calzone. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Cory made sure we knew today was the Honors Assembly at New Hope Christian College. We planned to be there by 10:15.

We were sitting with Josiah, looking at  a piece of real estate which seems to meet our needs and desires, when he said, "Aren't you going to the Honor's Assembly?" It was 10:15.  I put on makeup and off we raced across town.  We arrived in PLENTY of time to hear the pretty speeches and watch the academic honors and scholarships be awarded.

Mom's oncology physical therapist (now there's a mouthful) has been telling me we have "poppy kids." It's a term I've not heard before, she assures me it's good and means they are bright. She's convinced I'm brilliant - though I always share how the kids have far surpassed my educational achievement. I taught them to learn independently, provided materials, and they learned far more than I ever learned (i.e. I never had Chemistry or Calculus).

We're proud of CoRielle any day of the year - but today others acknowledged their greatness too. In each class two Honor pins are awarded. Silver and Gold pins. I can't remember the gpa required for each - but it's high. At the end of her Sophomore year, Arielle earned the GOLD pin - top GPA in her class.  You KNOW she hated parading to the platform....but we were there to take a picture so she had no out. πŸ˜‹ We were happy Cory told us about the event, Arielle told us "No big deal, you don't need to come."  Way to go, Baby Girl. It's not easy to maintain your grades, work, volunteer at your church,  AND be a newlywed! You are amazing!
Arielle & Will 

In addition to academic honors, scholarships for next year were awarded. Cory and Arielle were each awarded a scholarship for the fall semester!
There they are - on the left!
We're proud of the man and woman of God you two are. We're proud of your hard work in college and of the way you volunteer at your church.

Mostly, we just love you to the moon!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bella is One Year Old

Warning - this post features 30 pictures! BUT it's down from 128!

Bella is one year old on the 12th of April. We celebrated early as Bre has AWANA on Wed. nights. The original plan was a family BBQ at BreZaak's apartment, but the weather is fickle around here. We moved to Putters Family Entertainment Center. 
Bella & Aunt Arielle

Bella & 3rd Cousin Lorri 
 I suspect they were discussing something Alaska related. It was fun having Cy down for this event! 
Bre, Cy, Izaak, Michael 
 Mom and I drove over from radiation and a doctor visit. 

Mom, Bre, Izaak 
 Bella is a tease! There's no way around it. If  she KNOWS you'd like to hold her, she plays with you. I kept offering her to Cy and she kept shaking her head no. I moved down the row of her admirers and she kept turning back to hug me and shaking her head, "no."  She cracked us up when she shook her head yes, then no, to Alex. I eventually gave her to Josiah. She thought that was great fun!
Every girl needs an Uncle Cy
 Uncle Alex is poking her ear and she thinks it's Cy
 A girl and her uncles
Izaak's dad and Dakota (Bella's brother)
 The K family - minus Will

Baby D 2 was evident as well! 
7 months pregnant
 CoRielle came over after work
This little one is blessed with a family who adores her
 Bre had baked cupcakes - some dairy free. Bella was intrigued by the flame on the cupcake! As with many one year olds, Bella has never had sugar before. If she thinks the fire is amazing - wait till she tries the sugar.

It's hard to see her expression - but Bre had just placed the lit candle on top of the cupcake on her tray. She is giving Izaak a look that says, "WHAT is up with MOM?"

Not sure what it is - but everyone is watching it and I'm near enough to explore it...


Oh, Dad - this is good! 
 She kept watching Izaak and "talking" to him as she tried new bits of it. 

A sticky High Five

Mom, where's the wipes?

She loved her presents. This is a marked change from Christmas. Next year is going to be fun. LOL 

Snow suit from us for Alaska

Great Grandma and Grandpa with Bella
 I told you she was a tease - blowing Raspberries at Emma

Bella and Dakota