Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Enjoying our first visitors

Last week we had the pleasure of receiving our first visitors - Jason's parents! They'd been able to get in for a few nights at their timeshare locally and took the opportunity to come hang out with us which was great!!

The kids were thrilled that Grandma brought a new ride-on toy for Mabel and an awesome water-play table. Our sweet neighbor girls were also quite excited :)















We spent one morning at Smallwoods Harvest - an awesome fruit stand complex in nearby Peshastin. The kids LOVED the incredible play area that even included a full size tractor!









Down the road from our house is a National Fish Hatchery which in addition to all the cool Salmon, has an abundance of trails to enjoy.






























We headed up to Lake Wenatchee on our final afternoon together. We'd been warned that this time of year, the lake would either be very windy or have very bad mosquitoes if it wasn't windy. The moment we stepped out of our cars the wind was incredibly powerful & chilly. We still had a great time, but we didn't linger. Opting instead to head home for a bowl of soup together :)




Monday, June 12, 2017

Watching Luke's 1st Bike Race

This past weekend, Luke did his very first bike race at the Bike N' Juice race here in Leavenworth. Although he's just getting the hang of his bicycle, it was a ton of fun to watch him (& a bunch of other kiddos) push themselves through the course made especially for them. Every kid got a cookie as they crossed the finish line ... and the juice provided was (of course) Apple Cider pressed from Washington apples :)









Friday, June 9, 2017

Saying "HELLO" to Leavenworth!

We are completely thrilled to be in our new town and new living space. It was such a huge relief to arrive and be DONE with house projects and packing and cleaning. Jason & I still feel a bit dazed with it all, but super excited to be recovering in this gorgeous place!

Our new home is a little 2 bedroom furnished condo about a 15 minute walk from town. Perfect. It doesn't come with a lot of charm or a yard, but we don't have any projects to complete on it AND it has two toilets and a dishwasher - the first we've had in 9 years! Woo-hoo!

Right outside our door = mountains!!

Our summer house:


























The Bavarian-themed downtown area. Super cute & super touristy!































Luke's First Ever Giant Pretzel!!












































And ... the reason we're most excited to live in this place ... the close proximity to AMAZING beauty! We already got out for our first hike - the Icicle Gorge Trail! We might have overextended ourselves (i.e. the kids) on this one. Four miles of a mostly flat trail didn't seem like it would be a problem, but since both kids want to walk now and Mabel's speed is very much stop & go; the hike did drag on to the point we'll remember not to do one quite that long again without being better prepared.  It was a gorgeous hike though and one we'd happily do again.






























And, the reason we're here -- Jason's summer internship!!! He's got one week on the books and enjoying it so far. The kids are especially enjoying the big work truck (provided by his employer) that he drives for work everyday.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Final house projects - Hallway, Kitchen & Basement

In the last two months, Jason & I worked quite frantically to finish/complete our house in preparation for our renters. It was a ton of work and very slow going at times, but it needed to be done and now thank goodness it is!

Our hallway was the first project: after scraping, sanding, priming & painting the hallway we realized why we hadn't done this sooner -- there are FIVE doorways with trim and four doors in this tiny space!! That's a lot of cutting in and detail work. It looks heaps better, but my goodness it was pretty tedious!

Here it is: pre-purchase, then after our move in ... lots of peeling paint :(
























And now ... better we think.






































The kitchen was the next challenge ...

Pre-purchase & then when we moved in ... not in terrible shape on move in but definitely needing some love.


























Mid-project -- our favorite peeling paint & finding out how gross the ceiling really was.























And ... finished!







Our other major project was the basement. We had cleaned it all and tried to update a small part of it before Mabel was born, but the rest ... well, other stuff just took precedent.

Pretty icky place when we moved in....

























And, when we left ...





















We'd been really excited to find an old (probably original) concrete laundry/utility sink in the basement, but it didn't have a stand and is incredibly heavy. We wondered if we should just get rid of it. Luckily, Jason realized he'd been given a work table that he could pop the top off of that was a near perfect fit for the sink. Although it's not plumbed, we thought it was cool to have it in the laundry area as a fixture at least.

As Jason and I were looking through before and after pictures and thinking about all the time, energy and expense that went into this house during our already busy season we did find ourselves feeling a tiny tinge of pride at the transformation. We are incredibly thankful to God for our healthy bodies and healthy kids -- and also thankful for His provision of friends, family and finances -- that made this project even the slightest bit possible. We will not miss all the crazy work, but we will miss our sweet home.


“O Lord our God, as for all this abundance … it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you.”  – I Chronicles 29:16

From start to finish --


























Sunday, June 4, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Moscow

We have officially left Moscow. We made it out Thursday morning after what felt like a completely exhausting whirlwind of final house projects, packing and cleaning; all while still trying to feed, clothe and provide attention to our children. I was really, really, really thankful that Jason wasn't working in the midst of it all!

We did make it to one final Saturday morning Farmer's Market before we left -- our first & last one for the season. We will really miss this part of our summertime Saturday mornings.
























One final photo in front of our home ... leaving it was pretty hard. Although we've always known we would leave and rent it out, actually walking away from it a bit emotional. This was also the first time that Jason & I haven't moved or left a place together which was really strange. With two cars, we knew we'd be driving separately, but I hadn't really processed what that meant - that we'd be embarking on our next journey apart.
























One of my very good friends came to see us off Thursday morning which made leaving feel even more real. When we first moved to Idaho, I'd expressed to a friend that I had a hard time imagining ever missing Moscow once we moved away.  At the time, I was still going through reverse culture shock and grieving leaving our Guatemala life & friends. Even in the midst of that, I still knew that if I made friends, I would most certainly miss Moscow... and that is exactly what happened. I am so thankful for the friends I leave behind in Moscow (many who in the past weeks helped us out by watching our kids and coming to help clean our house).


























Alli and I met through a Women's Bible study a couple years ago and have been doing a weekly babysitting swap for the past year and a half. As a mom to 5 she has had a ton of wisdom and encouragement to share with me and has become an awesome friend who I will miss dearly. It was so so fun to have her and her sweet boys waving goodbye to us as we drove off. The kids will really miss each other as well. A few final shots of them altogether.






Monday, May 29, 2017

Last home-cooked meal

As our move-out day rapidly approaches, we're cutting down on normal life things in order to really focus on what HAS to get done. So, yesterday we had our last homemade meal ... my favorite, a tasty brunch on our front porch. Now ... on to pre-made food from the freezer section :)
























The weather has been much improved the past few days and this little gal has been spendin' a lot of time in the kiddie pool. So cute!
























And, a teaser photo from our vacation to the Olympic Peninsula, celebrating Jason's graduation and our 10-year anniversary. More on that awesome week after we get moved!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Third time's the charm (we hope!)





































Jason completed his last final exam today and officially finished his third college degree. So so proud of him for taking on the challenge of a career change at this point in his life and in our lives. The last three years have not been easy, but it's so awesome to know he now has the potential to work in a career that he actually likes :)










(Special thanks to my friends Rebecca & Sydney who let Jason borrow their graduation gear from previous years so we could take some photos since he decided not to walk at this graduation)