Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cheering for our Marathon Man

Jason has been interested in doing a trail marathon for some time. So in March when I saw an advertisement for one here in the Black Hills I encouraged him to sign up if he was interested. The timing wasn't great for marathon training given the l-o-n-g winter, moving into our latest project house, our 10-day trip West and also hosting visitors ... but, it was the right run for Jason so he signed up.

Last Sunday he got to run through 26.2 miles of Black Hills beauty while the kids & I had a lot of fun stopping every few miles to cheer for him along the way! Definitely a different experience than the last marathon he ran (in China!)

So proud of this guy for even considering a marathon and for doing it!










































































Monday, June 4, 2018

Finding Springtime Fun in the Black Hills

After my parents returned to California last week the house felt very quiet (& a bit lonely). Not to mention, the dishes are not getting done nearly as quickly :)

We had a really fun visit with them and were overwhelmed by their gererousity in working on house projects with us as well as taking our family out to eat a number of times, purchasing some needed home improvement items and buying groceries for us. They also babysat so Jason & I could go on our first kid-free date in over a year (we got to celebrate our 11 year anniversary on the actual day!)

My parents perfectly timed their visit for the start of Springtime here in Rapid City (in the middle of MAY!) and we all got to enjoy the beauty of the season.

Even with my Mom's walking boot we did quite a bit of exploring in the region: visiting the DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish on opening day, stopping at the geographic 'Center of the Nation', wandering the beautiful grounds at the 'Chapel in the Hills', checking out some awesome aircraft at the Air & Space Museum and picnicing at the beautiful Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.









































































































































Sunday, May 27, 2018

Putting my parents to work

Although my parents are here on "vacation," they have been keeping very busy. 

My Dad doesn't like to sit still for too long, so I'd been keeping a list of random fix-it type things for him to work on during their visit ... just in case :) Lucky for us, most of that list has now been completed. My Dad has been great! Installing a new light fixture, putting up blinds, creating closet shelving and a host of other random things.

Meanwhile, my Mom (even while needing to wear a walking boot at all times) has done a bunch of cooking and the washing up after every.single.meal; along with creating a rhubarb/strawberry pie masterpiece with the kids & making a batch of my most favorite potato salad. She also bought us some nice plants and put her landscaping consultant hat on; giving us a great start to our patio area. Hurray!

Both of them have taken turns playing and reading to the kids as well. A very full "vacation." We've been so glad to have had them here to help as well as make fun memories together.



















































































Having a break from all that work and enjoying a treat at Jerry's Donuts!



















Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Enjoying our first S. Dakota lake day ---- with my parents!

My parents arrived last week ... after their flight was delayed overnight (ugh) in Denver. Their arrival brought with it our first actual warm weather. After allowing them to recover for a bit, it seemed right to head to the lake and enjoy some SUNSHINE (finally)!!!!

I picked Sheridan Lake to try out for our first lake/beach day ... it was the closest lake with a sand beach to our house. The beach was fairly small, but seeing as we were the only ones there it was perfect :)


Mabel "helping" Papa at the airport.

Recovering from travel with our lilacs which were in full bloom and smelling a-mazing!




Thursday, May 17, 2018

Having VISITORS!!!

Woo-hoo! We are excited to now have space to easily host friends & family overnight. Our basement has two bedrooms and a bathroom which has been super nice to have available. One of Jason's work colleagues spent the night last month while attending a conference, but we got to have our first "real" visitors over the weekend -- our Nebraska friends, the Deeds Family.

It was a really special time, especially since they will be moving to a different part of the country this July. We are so thankful to have had a chance to live near this precious family for the past eight months.
We all fit around the table in our "eat in" kitchen

















Jason & Will got a run in together -- 


Mabel LOVES baby Simeon - who is two years younger than her but nearly the same size!




Monday, May 14, 2018

Out West

We've been back for a week now from our grand adventure West and are starting to feel somewhat back to normal. We had a great time with Jason's family and then saw sooooo many of our Moscow friends. It was really awesome!

All went pretty smoothly outside of the fact that Luke, Mabel & Jason all had a rotating 24-hr flu :( (with Luke's starting 2 hours into our 14 hour drive out -- it made for a memorable car ride for sure!)


























One of the first things we enjoyed on our road trip was seeing "real" mountains again ... we were in awe of our views of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, then the Bear Tooth, Rockies and Bitterroots in Montana. What a sight!



Our first destination was Coeur d'Alene -- spending a night with friends, then heading to lakeside condos for two days which Jason's parents had generously provided for the whole family. We were super happy to be back at this gorgeous lake and enjoying family time together!























































































Next we headed to Spokane with Jason's family for a couple days, visiting my favorite Manito Park and a new playground, Discovery Park, then getting to spend time watching one of his his nieces practice gymnastics.






























































Next, it was time to catch up with our community in Moscow. Our friends here made us feel incredibly welcome, important and missed. It was a good reminder of what community can look like and an encouragement to keep working on good community here in Rapid City. What a blessing it was to see these amazing people.

























































Lina, Riley, Kajsa, Luke, Cassius & Mabel


My Bible study group, celebrating April's 42nd birthday -- with Alli & myself not far behind!

























With the Moore kids -- Casper, Malcom, Luke, Everly, Briar & Mabel


















































At the Fountain's house -- having our final dinner in Moscow, with the Fountain clan racing the subaru as we left :)




























Felt super happy to get to attend the first Moscow Farmer's Market of the season -- one of our favorite places!



























One final beach date on our way back East -- spending time with family & friends in Coeur d'Alene
































Last views of the mountains as we head East and home