Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Home DIY - Before & After Photos

After over three years of living in our sweet house, we have finally made it to a point where the majority of the desperately needed home fixes have been finished. Woohoo! Of course, there is always, always, always more to be done, but we feel glad to have completed these things -- mostly without professional help, while living in the space with small children, with very little actual diy know-how and on a very tight budget. 

Although we have pretty much replaced or refinished every surface in our home, the rooms that saw the most dramatic changes were the kitchen, livingroom, bathroom and laundry room. 





































Now if you are wondering, "are they moving?" You are correct! Our house is currently under contract and is scheduled to close on August 13th! 





















If you want to see some really lovely professional photos of our home, check them out here.










We hope to spend September and October just catching up with family and friends in the Washington and California areas. Then, on to the start of a new chapter in our family's adventures ... for a long while we have been daydreaming about a life in which we split our time each year between living overseas supporting missionaries and also living closer to our extended families. 

We reached the point early this year where we felt that if we didn't try to do this, we might actually be being disobedient to a call God has placed in our hearts. And so we now prepare to go while waiting to see what He will do. We are thrilled to be planning to return to Guatemala in November where we hope to live for six months before returning to the US to live in closer proximity to family on the west coast while Jason works in a seasonal Forestry role (location TBD!) 

We plan to post updates on our progress toward this dream at our new blog/website:  www.whereontheplanet.org  

We'd love for you to join us there!



Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Having a Happy 4th!

We were happy to find some unused fireworks in our basement from two years ago AND also a large box of poppers/snappers that had apparently fallen off someone's car on the 4th which we rescued and proceeded to enjoy. Mostly, we are happy that it's warm enough to be outside. without layers-upon-layers of clothing.

Red, white & blue waffles of course!














































Wednesday, March 24, 2021

This time last year ...

Like so many others, we have been reflecting on this past year of life and while feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude, we also have hope-filled longing for this next year to be different.

In the middle of March last year I took what felt like a very covert trip to California to see my family. I had saved money from my nannying job to buy a plane ticket and was thrilled at the prospect of going on a trip -- without kids! Then the rumblings of covid started ramping up and it seemed like the trip might be canceled. 

Without knowing what could be next or when I might even be able to see my family again, I used as many precautions as I could and just went. I carried so much angst with me about whether it was the 'right' decision and guilt about possibly transmitting the virus. It was absolutely wonderful to be home, to see family and to be in a place where spring was actually happening. But it was a super weird and terrible time as well. California went into lockdown while I was there and with the multitude of unknowns, it was a visit filled with unease.

My Dad found this in his stash of stuff. Perfect timing :)


Air travel was like nothing I have EVER experienced before. Lists of canceled flights, totally empty planes and airports. A bit creepy.

Ocean views. So so great.







Socially distanced family visiting

An amazing day in Cambria and Morro Bay. The sea air is good for my soul. 







Final morning with my parents. Really hard to say goodbye. 


Monday, January 18, 2021

2020 Family Pictures

We felt very fortunate this fall to be able to hire a photographer from my MOPS group to take some family photos. It seems like the kids grow and change so quickly, we were really happy to have Kristin capture us altogether as we are in this moment. 











Saturday, January 16, 2021

Holiday Reflections -- December

We had a {mostly} joyful Christmas season -- kids are still kids no matter what the day or season and we had some re-setting to do with ours, but otherwise a peaceful season, full of thanksgiving. Rapid City has had unusually warm and dry weather for this time of year and we have been very thankful for what that has meant for us ... with so many indoor options closed, the above freezing temperatures have been a real blessing. 


Getting our tree from the Black Hills National Forest.

Winter Soltice celebration -- tamale dinner, gazing at the aligning planets and the kids get to spend the night sleeping under our tree. 
Warmer days mean we get to hang out with friends! So good for all of us.

Special treats, always.

A beautiful Christmas Eve -- going to church in-person, having special friends, Vanesa & Anne over for dessert and getting our new PJs.

Even Goldie gets a red bow!

Christmas Day activities, so many thoughtful gifts, lots of yummy food and a hike in the snow.

Ringing in the New Year with special friends from Idaho. So thankful. 

Hello 2021 from Mt Rushmore!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Holiday Reflections -- Thanksgiving

We had a lovely holiday season this year...starting out with an amazing road trip to California to be with my family. It was wonderful to be warm and to be where things were still growing (& even blooming!) instead of our cold, drab, brown landscape. We even got to have our Thanksgiving meal outside on my parents patio! And even better, my whole family was able to be there. We got to meet my newest neice and nephew which was really great.

We were given a surprise with really unbelievable gift while we were home -- some long-time, special friends gave us a CAR!!!! It still feels very surreal, but this wonderful, new family car for us sits in our driveway and gets us around the Black Hills very well. So I think it's real! We are calling her Goldie, short for Goldilocks :) 

After that any Christmas gift seemed to pale by comparison; but we were certainly just fine with that! This undeserved gift reminds us over and over how we have been given so many good things that we have done nothing to earn and certainly don't deserve ... similar to God's gift of salvation through Jesus to us. It was a perfect reminder to our family of the reason for the season.

Road trip in a fancy rental car! We even found a bike-pump track in St George to run the kids on :) 

Sunset at the beach! Soooo good to be here!






All family donut gathering at Bonnie's - YUM!







Meeting the newest babies in the family -- Scarlett & Ethan and having LOTS of cousin-time!


Some sweet time for the kids with Nana & Papa -- breakfast & crafts, plus tractor & go-kart rides!


















































Helping out at the farm -- picking apples and raking leaves!

Our all-family lovely outdoor Thanksgiving with my mom's beautifully set table.









Black Friday Lunch -- In-N-Out Burger!!!

Black Friday Shopping @ Goodwill -- my kind of shopping!















More very wonderful beach & tide pool time! 







Most of the family -- we forgot to get everyone together on Thanksgiving Day, so sadly missed
Jeannie's family getting into the photo. 

On our way, in our new car!!! With one last stop before leaving CA. We were so so happy to see
some very dear friends from Idaho who now live in CA. Such a blessing to catch up with them.