Good to be Home

We left the other side of the mountains for our 5 plus hour drive Monday at 3:15 am because sadly we both woke up earlier and couldn’t get back to sleep. We are recuperating and trying to get our internal clocks back in sync with the West Coast. It’s not easy. My head feels like stone. When the creative side of my brain starts working again I’ll start on my posts from Oxford and beyond. Thank you for your visits and following along on our trip.

Our Colville kids stopped by for a short visit and it was so good to get hugs from our grands.

On the highway home we spotted Fall colors and changing leaves. Soon those leaves will be falling. Hope all is well in your corners. Praying for those of you who have storms coming your way and for our friends on Prince Edward Island that their power will be restored soon!

Sneak Peek to Blenheim

Today Thursday the 22nd of September and the first day of Autumn we walked our feet off. After our hotel breakfast at 7am we walked to a free entrance to Blenheim Palace grounds only to find out the paths we wanted to take were closed and restricted because of work being done with dredging in the lake. We walked around the restricted paths and found our way to the Harry Potter Tree which I will post about later. Back to town and showers and lunch and then back to Blenheim grounds for a ticket to tour the grounds. On Friday we are heading back to Oxford for our last night in the United Kingdom.

Miles Apart…

…but close in our hearts.

The month of November and part of October our families were split apart by work responsibilities and other circumstances. Auntie Lolo flew over to be with Jamie while their hubbies were in Arizona on separate assignments. Our grands love it when Auntie Lolo comes to help their mommy.

Everyone made the most of their circumstances.

It’s always better together.

We love it when Auntie Lolo comes to visit, too.

While our sons were in Arizona in different parts of the state they managed to drive the distance and get together for some much needed R & R together.

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.”

Psalm 133

These two with their work responsibilities keeping us apart are with us in spirit. Here they are at a marathon Lord of the Rings viewing party playing the part with their hair and attire.

Did I ever mention our daughter knows and writes Elvish. It’s a skill that will take her far in life be fun to pull out at the right times in life like a Lord of the Rings party or at the grave of J.R.R. Tolkien in 2004…Katie would not let us leave Oxford till we found Tolkien’s grave. This was no small feat! Here we are at Wolvercote Cemetery in North Oxford at the graveside where he and his wife are buried. His son is buried here, also.  Katie left a note in Elvish, (yes, she learned to write and speak Tolkien’s Elvish).

EDITH MARY TOLKIEN
LUTHIEN
1889 – 1971
JOHN RONALD
REUEL TOLKIEN
BEREN
1892 – 1973

This Thanksgiving our Westside kids will stay on the westside. Our eastside kids will be at our house for Thanksgiving along with my sister and her hubby and Jamie’s mom, also known as Granny to our Grands. Nine at the table giving thanks for all that we have been given and all the love we share.

Enjoying the Light Hodgepodge

1. Three things you’re grateful for this first week of November? 

*The two Bible studies I’m in. One on Mondays in the book of 2 Timothy and a ladies Bible Study on Thursdays in 1st and 2nd Kings on Trusting God. Both are real good and I’m thankful for the teachers and the content of the studies.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

2 Kings: 18:5-7 “He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the LORD commanded Moses. And the LORD was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered.

*Dear painted our storage closet and that involved emptying it out and then organizing things better when we put the stuff back in.  We were able to transfer stuff to my garage instead of keeping it in the house. Neat and tidy for now! Here’s a peek in the door. I’ll show more photos at another time.

*Thankful that we can trust in God especially while the world is going down the wrong path.

2. Is Daylight Savings Time a thing where you live? Do you think we should continue setting the clocks forward and back? Why or why not? If you could add an extra hour to your day would you want it added morning-noon-night? Do you think it likely you’d be more productive or more likely that you’d just waste more time? 
Yes, the manipulation of the clocks is a thing here. I think we should leave well enough alone. It just messes with our internal clocks. Given the choice I’d take an extra hour in the morning. I am more productive in the morning for sure. I’m more productive when in a pinch so the extra time would probably be easier to waste.
~
3. Who is  your favorite author? Your favorite book by your favorite author? 
I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one. I have different favorites in different genres.
In the world of fiction: George MacDonald ~ Sir Gibbie
Fiction: Elizabeth Goudge ~ The Dean’s Watch
and Historical Fiction: Stephen Lawhead ~ Byzantium
In the world of fantasy: J.R.R. Tolkien ~ Lord of the Rings (3 volumes) and C.S. Lewis: Narnia Series
Christian Authors: Devotionals: Any by Charles H. Spurgeon, Doctrinal books: by John MacArthur ~ The Gospel According to Jesus and by Alistair Begg ~ Pathway to Freedom
~
4. It’s National Sandwich Day…will you celebrate? How often do you eat a sandwich? What’s your favorite? 

We don’t eat sandwiches regularly anymore. The last sandwich I had was a turkey sandwich. I love a good Salami sandwich and a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, too.

5. Have you started your Christmas shopping? If so when did you start? If not when will you start? Do you give more or fewer gifts than you did five years ago? 

We bought some small things on our trip across the U.S.A. in September. In October we bought a couple more gifts. We give more gifts now than 5 years ago because we have two grandchildren now!

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Fun times in October!

Our grandkids and our daughters-in-law enjoying all the sunshine they can get. We all love it when Auntie Lolo comes to visit. These are all photos that she took.

Trick or Treat Hodgepodge

 

If it’s Wednesday it must be time for Hodgepodge. Click over to Joyce’s blog to join in the fun.

1. Is Halloween a big deal in your neighborhood?

We live out in the country with homes far apart. We do not get trick or treaters. There are some homes decorated for Halloween. Our kids come by all dressed up which is fun. Our church puts on a Fall Fest Trunk or Treat that our grands will go to this year. Last year because it was the only thing happening in town and we had over a thousand people show up. That’s a lot for a town of 5000.

Was it something you celebrated as a child?

Yes we went around our neighborhood with pillow cases for bags. It seemed like the whole neighborhood was out and most houses gave out candy. We enjoyed sorting our candy when we got home. Our father would accompany us.

With your own children?

Yes, we enjoyed Trick or Treating with our kids and seeing all our neighbors.

Do you like candy corn? 

Not particularly.

2. Are you a scaredy cat? About what? 

I’m a scaredy cat about driving in snow or icy conditions.

3. Last time you were somewhere that should have been busy but felt like a ‘ghost town’? 

Nothing rings a bell.

4. Do you like chili and if so how do you like it?

Funny you should mention it but I made a pot of turkey chili Tuesday.

Beans or no beans?

Yes, we like to add black beans and a can of Pinto Chili Beans

Meat or no meat?

Yes, meat.

Beef or chicken?

Beef, chicken or ground turkey

Spice or no spice?

Yes, jalapenos and chili and cumin.

Favorite toppings? 

5. Would you describe yourself as a night owl? What time of night qualifies? What are you doing while everyone else is asleep? Do you then ‘sleep in’? Define ‘sleeping in’. 

Not a night owl.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Our son Josh was able to fly down to our nephew-in-law’s father’s memorial service last week. These are some of our nieces, nephews and our son together at the memorial. We couldn’t attend but were glad that Josh could be there in person to represent our family and to support Lenny and his family as they grieve.

Love each other, stay together.

Corn Maze 2021

We interrupt the recap of our Land That We Love Tour to record the real time happenings this past weekend. This year the annual trip to the Corn Maze was modified as was our annual hunting weekend. Addy took over for Katie’s job of getting everyone through the maze. Katie and Baba were not able to join the maze fun this year.

Laura was in Colville and took beautiful photos of this annual event.

Our beautiful daughters-in-law.

We took a quick trip to the western side of the Cascade mountain range and missed out on the Corn Maze this year. It was a strange year with interruptions to our annual hunting weekend and family festivities.

We enjoyed dinner on Friday evening with our son on the West side of the Cascades.

On Saturday evening we enjoyed Laura’s homecoming from Colville with a Thai meal delivered to their door and time also with our daughter and son-in-law. We left early Sunday morning from Bothell to return to Colville. The winds were forceful and scary going over Snoqualmie Pass early on Sunday Morning. When we were on the east side of the Cascades we decided to get off the freeway and enjoy some breakfast in Ellensburg.

We tried The Wild Huckleberry in historic downtown Ellensburg. Delicious. We’ll stop by on future trips.

We would like to explore the town of Ellensburg more fully in good walking weather sometime in the future. After Ellensburg our trip the rest of the way home was calm and easy with light rain and light wind.

We have a busy week ahead. Hope you all have a good one!

At the Break of Day…

We left McPherson, Kansas heading north on our Land That We Love Tour on Friday before dawn and then we turned West heading for Colorado. The majority of our drive was heading west today.

We saw the sunrise through the rear window of our car and the rear view mirrors.

Some Kansas views speeding by at 75 miles per hour.

We found some color in Colorado.

We ended our travel day in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

We are so thankful for another safe day on the road.

On the road we listened to a couple of sermons from 1 Peter chapter 3 today and then listened to a book on CD by Louise Penny.

A small portion of the sermon we heard on 1 Peter 3:13-17 by John MacArthur in 2013;

“I can’t tell you precisely what’s going to come in the future against us, but it’s going to come and it’s going to escalate. For how long? I don’t know. And in what forms? I’m not sure. Persecution is going to come against you as an individual, if it doesn’t already come, because you’re an outspoken Christian. Here you are in the world, an alien and a stranger, and your task is not just to survive, your task is not somehow to defeat the enemy, your task is to win the enemy to your side. You do that by keeping your behavior honest and excellent. You do that by being a shining light in the world so that men can see your good works and glorify your father in heaven. You do that by proclaiming the gospel and loving your persecutors and showing kindness to them. You do that by doing good, having a passion for goodness, being willing to suffer, focusing on Christ, looking to eternal glory and keeping your conscience pure.”

On the road in Kansas…

On Saturday we travel from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Billings, Montana.

The Blue Heron

On our Land That We Love Tour we stayed at a beautiful home on Hickory Lake in North Carolina while we attended wedding festivities. There were 10 of us in this home. One morning we enjoyed watching this blue heron.

On Sunday after 4 full days in this home we packed up our car again and had to use our Tetras skills to get it all to fit. We headed west on Interstate 40 through the Appalachians in North Carolina and along the Smokey Mountains into Tennessee and all the way to Jackson for the night.

Dear needed coffee along the way and we stopped at a local favorite restaurant called Aubrey’s and it was a good experience.

On the road again we traveled through some incredible thunderstorms and downpours that slowed us way down because of no visibility. Several accidents had the freeway backed up for miles. Most of the accidents were on I-40 going east which was fortunate for us. We were so happy to finally get to clear skies and dry roads. We thanked God for bringing us safely to our destination.

As I typed this on Sunday evening our kids were in the air headed home to Washington State.

Today Monday we drive 534 miles to Dallas, Texas. That should take us close to 8 hours.

Hope all is well with all of you dear friends!

Montana Land That We Love Tour

Our day one destination for ‘Land That We Love Tour’ was Helena, Montana. Helena is the state capital of the state of Montana. We stopped at the Capitol building and were able to walk about inside and out.

On a gentle slope surrounded by 10 acres of spacious lawns and other state buildings, Montana’s Capitol looks north over the beautiful Prickly Pear Valley. The building is constructed of sandstone and granite. A statue depicting Liberty sits atop the copper dome. A walk through the Capitol will allow you to view many beautiful paintings, including Charles M. Russell’s magnificent historical depiction of “Lewis and Clark Meeting Indians at Ross’ Hole” on September 5, 1805. The main section of the Capitol was completed in 1902. The two wings were completed in 1912.

Dedicated on July 4 1905, the Thomas Meagher Statue stands tall at the front of the Montana State Capitol Building, the largest and most distinctive sculpture on the grounds of the capitol campus.

More on Thomas Meagher’s interesting life can be read here.

The state Capitol building was opened for use on the Fourth of July, 1902. The story of the Capitol building really begins at the top, with the “Goddess of Liberty,” as she has been known for 100 years. It’s the statue that stands on the copper dome outside.

After our visit to the Capitol we had a meal in town and then found The Cathedral of St. Helena. I’ll share more from the inside of the beautiful Capitol building and St. Helena Cathedral later.

We traveled through Washington, Idaho and into Montana on Tuesday September 21st.

During much of our 5+ hour drive Tuesday we listened to sermons on 1 Peter by John MacArthur (Grace to You). We didn’t get past verse 2 after 3 sermons. That is what you call expository teaching. Tomorrow Wednesday we’ll be listening to these verses exposited.

1 Peter 1:1-5

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

Today is Wednesday September 22nd and the first official day of Autumn/Fall. We will be traveling further on today.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Family Photo Shoot

We were gifted a professional photo shoot of our family from our kids Christmas of 2019. We were going to try to schedule the shoot in the Spring but then COVID19 struck and it didn’t work. We finally got a date on the books during our annual Family Hunting Weekend in October. What we didn’t count on was snow on that weekend and temperatures in the 20’s!

I think we did a great job at not looking like we were freezing! This was the photo we sent with our Christmas card and letter this year.

Gramps, Addyson, Baba, and Jaymison.

Oh how we love these two little grands!

Our firstborn son and his love.

Our second born son and his love.

Their beloved family.

 

Our youngest and our only daughter and her love.

The original three who married three exceptional human beings that we love dearly.

God has been good to us despite ourselves! We are grateful and thankful to Him.