Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Appointments, Bella Time, Epic Hikes

This post should be labeled, "Wednesday that feels like Monday." πŸ˜‰ We were up and moving early this a.m.  I'm not 100% sure what Michael and the kids were doing. I know it had to do with trip prep.....the boys left tonight to fly to Anchorage for the long-planned "Epic Alaskan Hike" with the three older brothers. 

Mom and I had two appointments, stopped by Safeway to pick up some lunch fixings and then went over to BreZaak's to play with Bella for the afternoon.  Bella and GG (Great Grandma) had a lot of fun playing together. 

Mom had brought her calendar - the idea is we'd make sure we got everything on to it from the various appointments. We discovered Bella LOVES calendars.  Of course, big pages, bright colorful pictures and boxes to write in.
Bella LOVES GG's calendar 

BreZaak got home with just enough time for me to drop Mom off and meet up with Michael and the kids. We headed a couple of hours up the road to get the boys to their flight.

Through security with only one minor incident.....Alex had packed his Gerber in his carry on. The run back through the airport to security and the chance to watch them go through again was sort of exhilarating. 

Alex texted Stacia a photo 

JaRissa's living room has turned into a staging camp. 

We had considered driving up to Alaska this week....but the boys really want to do the AlCan with us.  We really want Nolan's help driving as we'll have two vehicles on the trip - Uchi pulling the trailer and Nimo - loaded to the gills. The hike was planned before the move to AK became apparent.  We are happy to have another week to prep here in Oregon. We are thrilled the boys are getting to enjoy this time and hike with their older brothers.

We are a bit peeved at Parkinson's, which has made it so Michael can't go on the long hike with them.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday that Feels Like Monday

Tuesday and the long weekend is over. I've begun receiving questions and realize we left everyone hanging with the house inspection.  The inspector did a great job and came back (as they always do) with a list of needed repairs. A few were on the big side, and there were many on the small side. We discussed the results of the home inspection with our realtor. We followed his advice and are in discussion with the sellers as to whom will handle which repairs.  

We are going ahead and moving to AK before it's time to close - our thoughts are several. We WANT to be there to close early - we'd like to make it to Krista's COT graduation the end of the month.  IF this house does not close, we'll be nearby to pursue our other two choices - which are still on the market. 

Today - the men continued to work on the trailer. Yes, it's time consuming but they are saving us at least $2500. 

Meanwhile, Mom had an appointment at radiology and then Stacia and I watched Bella so BreZaak could visit with Gideon.

Turkeys as we left campus 
 Gideon's beautiful smile....we continue to pray, watch and wait for Gideon's homecoming! 

Shew - Tuesdays that look and feel like Mondays have got to be  some kind of psychological warfare tool.

Monday, May 29, 2017

We Have a Trailer

Craigslist finally came through and we purchased a used 6 x 10 trailer.  It was delivered to my folks' today and Michael and the boys promptly began working on it. They removed some caulk and re-caulked, they hooked up lights (not sure how it's been used without the lights being hooked up LOL), they discovered brake lines and are working to get the brakes hooked up and working and everything in "ship shape" for the trip.  It doesn't match Uchi but it is "Duck Green." LOL

We plan to leave Oregon the 6th. We have much to do. 

Gideon Meets Aunt and Uncles

Gideon put on a show today. He had his eyes open, was yawning and I believe he even cracked a small smile. He is doing so well. He is down to just the feeding tube. The goal is 48 ml feedings so he can go home.

I think I see a dimple! 
 Today, three special folks got to meet Gideon in person. Yep, the aunt and uncles visited. 

I believe it was love at first sight for all. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Alex Finds a 2017 Penny

Alex became the next to exchange a 2017 penny for a silver dollar! 

I think he may have had a bit of help for Lorri - 2nd cousins (?) are grand! Michael still has a cache of silver dollars waiting for the others to find their 2017 pennies.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A Very Good Day

Great news! We began looking for a used 5x8 trailer to haul a few items we have at Mom's to Alaska with us.  We didn't find any and the time to leave is quickly approaching. Yesterday, we went shopping for a new one.  We have to install electric brakes to go through the Yukon Territory.  The decision was made that 6x10 would pull fine behind the motorhome and the bigger size was o.k. if we had brakes. A new trailer, with brakes installed, would be $4500.

Michael has been hounding Craigslist and buy/sell lists. A new one came up. He drove to Creswell and looked. It's 6x10 AND already has breaks for $1800. WooHoo!

Josiah and Jamin met Biff, from Biff's Home Inspections, at the new house this afternoon. They were our reps during the home inspection. Apparently, we have a prior resident who likes the house too.  We enjoyed the moose that wandered into our yard in Eagle River. No problems at all - though we were late a few times waiting for him to leave our driveway. I expected moose living out in the country - and  found lots of scat when we looked at the house.  I DO want to have a garden. Several of the homes we looked at in the country HAD gardens; we're researching how to keep our garden from becoming Bullwinkle's favorite all-you-can-eat buffet! πŸ˜•πŸ’“πŸ˜

I spent the afternoon with the world's greatest walking partner ever! Bella enjoyed the flowers, the sun, the birds...and she fell asleep and took a nap at the proper time by the time we got back home.

Granna's walking partner
 Gideon is in real cloths and a real crib today. They also gave him his first bottle. He's not very impressed, but he did get 10 ml down via bottle vs. feeding tube. He isn't sucking much, but it drips into his mouth and he swallows. This is progress. Bottom line - he is learning to eat; they continue to try nursing.

 We suspected he'd be into newborn clothes by the time he left NICU;  maybe we'll go get a preemie outfit or two.

We topped the night off with pizza and games at my parents. Nadia and Casper dropped by for a bit. It was good to spend time with family and will be hard to say goodbye again....but there is more family to say hello to in Alaska.

Finally, we are contemplating buying a fridge here and hauling it to Alaska vs paying the higher price in AK. We hate to miss the good sales this weekend and know we'll need a fridge when we arrive.  In our search we found this....a style we're interested in...but check out that brand name!#EditingMatters

Oh - one final last thing πŸ˜‰.....Krista texted and passed her PT test at COT (Commissioned Officer's Training).

We leave for Alaska in 10 days and a wake up.

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.