Friday, June 27, 2014

one month ago

One month ago today we arrived back in our home country.
It's been a month of good things - of reasons to give thanks!

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; 
His love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34
We've basked in the loveliness of the Northwest,
especially as we traipse through local trails.
We've treasured time with our families,
celebrating birthdays, early and late
(above, 5 family members share the candles on one cake!)
and catching up with one another.
There's nothing like family!
We love you all, and are deeply grateful for this time with you.

“There is no doubt that it is around the family 
and the home 
that all the greatest virtues, 
the most dominating virtues of human society,
 are created, strengthened and maintained.”
― Winston Churchill

Friday, June 20, 2014

18 x's 2

Yesterday we celebrated Amy and Elise's 18th birthday.

 After a yummy breakfast Mark whisked them off 
to the DMV where they each obtained a driver's permit.  
Such an easy process once you're 18.

 Then the rest of us met up to hike down to the base of Snoqualmie Falls,
a majestic spot here in the Northwest.
together with Barbara's sister and nephew at the falls

 God gave us the gift of gorgeous sunshine,
and precious time with loved ones as we hiked,
picnicked together at the top,
and  later shared a delicious birthday dinner and cake.
(Thank you, Judy, for all your love to make it such a special day!)
We thank God for His gift to us of Amy and Elise.
You two have blessed our lives in countless ways.
We're delighted in each of you, 
and so thankful for every day of every year we've had with you!
The Lord bless and keep you in all the days ahead...
It was also the anniversary of the day Mark asked me to marry him...
21 years ago!
Yes, Mark - I'd say YES all over again!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

yes, we're here!

Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It'll be spring soon and the orchards will be in blossom, and the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And the whistle in the summer barley in the Lower fields. And eating the first of the strawberries with cream. 
Do you remember the taste of strawberries?

It's been over two weeks now since we landed in Seattle
and tasted strawberries again.
Jet lag, a tough trip, sickness, and exhausted minds and bodies from all that went before
left us very thankful for the loving welcome of family and for time to rest and be quiet.

Mark and his sister on a hike at Wallace Falls
Amy pulls out her watercolors
We've enjoyed time outdoors in some beautiful Seattle sunshine
breathing deeply of the cool, dry air.

Mark found and bought a car which we plan to drive cross-country in coming weeks
while Elise and Amy are studying a drivers manual in anticipation of learning to drive.

We've made intrepid forays into American grocery stores, 
stocked with more food options than seems believable.

Mark and Michael doing minor repairs to our 'new' Taurus
 Amy and Elise (below) flew to the east coast days after landing here,
where sweet friends cared for them,
(THANK YOU, G family!!)

and took them to the Student Orientation and Registration session
at the university they will attend this fall.
(They were gone just 5 days, and are back in Seattle again with us now!)

Thanks for the photo of Amy and Elise at Orientation, MEG! 
And Michael's been enjoying good cousin-time.
They've done some r/c building together, and went for a maiden flight this afternoon.

 Now that we've had time to rest, and to acclimatize back into American culture,
we're looking forward to spending time with more family and friends here in the NW.  

For any of you in the area who would like to get together, let's do it soon!