Friday, July 31

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   

Inspired by SouleMama.

photo by my dad

Wednesday, July 29

Grandpa at Amber Lake

My dad came to visit!  We weren't sure he'd be able to come up, but he was here over the weekend and we were able to take him up to Amber Lake...what fun!!  One thing you can be sure of...when my dad and I are some place pretty, there are going to be a LOT of pictures.  Apparently I spend a lot of time doing this...



Apparently it's contagious, too!


We had slow, fun days.  The first day was mostly sunny, the second cloudy and cool.  We played on and around the lake, walked, jumped, and enjoyed each other's company.









And lest you think all of our times are as happy as that shot above, I assure you that there were tears every.single.time we had to get out of the water.  Never mind that you're shivering and hiding in the tube from the wind!  I totally understand how you're not cold/hungry/tired!  Ha!  Those moments are just as real...

Our first night, my dad and I took a walk and spotted this fox.  He was so curious, allowing me to step by step get closer to him with my camera.


The second day we did more relaxing, walking, and spent a bit of time on the water.  Dad and I canoed over to see this cabin on the island in the middle of the lake.




My dad has a macro lens that I had fun playing with on walks and around the cabin...





We came home on Monday and my dad left on Tuesday morning.  A quick visit, but lots of fun!  So glad you were able to break away for a few days, Dad!  Hope things weren't too big of a mess when you got home!

Friday, July 24

{this moment}

{this moment} - A weekly ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.   

Inspired by SouleMama.


Thursday, July 23

Camping

The kids and I went camping last month and I never took the time to write about it here!  We went when there were wildfires raging in both Willow (near our beloved South Rolly Campground from last summer) and down on the peninsula.  We had originally planned to camp in Hope, but a friend alerted us that they were having some bear trouble in Hope (the problem has since been solved) so we headed on up the pass a bit.  We checked out Bertha Creek and Granite Creek.  Bertha Creek was a cute little spot and there was a bit of construction happening at Granite Creek so we settled in at Tenderfoot Creek Campground at South Summit Lake.  While I try to avoid being 'connected' while camping it seemed prudent this time, given the weather and our proximity (less than 50 miles) to the fire burning in Moose Pass.  It got a bit smoky and a burn ban went into effect while we were out, but other than that we had no trouble.

Tenderfoot was recently renovated and is a very nice little campground!  It's located on a lake which made it a hit with the girls!





A family that had rented a peddle boat across the lake came over and warned us about being in the water..."It's dangerously cold!" the grandmother kindly warned.  The girls sweetly laughed and explained that we are "from here" and "we're used to it".  She thought we were a bit crazy!

We had a campfire our first night, which turned out to be a good thing since a burn ban went into effect the next day.


We visited Hope the next day.  Hope is such a fun, quiet little town.  They think of Whittier as a big town, which the girls and I got a kick out of!  We ran into some kids that the girls knew from ski lessons, so that was fun!  We rode our bikes all over town and picked out our spot at the Porcupine Campground for the next time we choose to camp there.

smoky Turnagain Arm from what will one day be our campsite 




Scott came and had dinner with us that night.  The girls didn't know he was coming so it was a fun surprise for them!


We headed home the next morning.  Of course, it had sprinkled over night and everything was wet.  We really needed the moisture at that point though, so we didn't complain.  Apparently we had missed the total downpour that happened a few miles north of where we were.  Can't say I was too sad about that!  It was a fun couple of days and I am so glad we took advantage of the hot weather while it lasted!

Tuesday, July 21

From Africa to Alaska

Ok...so she really flew here from Seattle since she's in America for the summer and living in the Tri-Cities near her family, but most of the year she lives in Burundi, a small country in Africa.

Meet my cousin Alex.  She's one of the most mature and inspiring 22 year olds I have ever met.  God planted a dream in her heart at a very young age and she has cradled that dream and seen it come to fruition.  She'll tell you herself that it hasn't always been easy, but she continues to listen and follow His plans for her.  Spend five minutes with her talking about her life in Africa, her fiance there, and her kids at their school and you'll know how deep her love and commitment to them runs.  You can read some of her thoughts about this journey on her blog, Reaching the Ends of the Earth.

Alex and her fiance Etienne run Bujumbura Bright Beginnings School (BBS), a preschool in Kabezi, Burundi which is a village just outside the capital city of Bujumbura.  Alex and Etienne work through the organization Youth With a Mission (specifically YWAM Burundi) to run their school.  Burundi is a country that few have heard of.  It's the second poorest country in the world, where most families live on less than $1.25 each day.  For many of the kids at BBS, their meal at school is the only meal they get during the day.  Preschool aged kiddos are actually expected to find their own food through foraging, fishing, and catching small birds.  Burundi was still recovering from a 12 year civil war (1993-2005) when they were thrown into turmoil once again this spring by a president seeking an unlawful third term.  It's a very tough place to be--a place that needs people like Alex and Etienne to show God's love.  A place that needs our prayer and support.

Alex came to America this summer to tell people about BBS, visit family and friends, and avoid being in Bujumbura during this time of upheaval and violence.  Do a quick Google search of 'Burundi News' and you'll see it's not a safe place right now.  Alex isn't letting that get her down, even though it means she's half a world away from her fiance!  She's using this time to teach people about Burundi and its people.  We invited her to come to Whittier to teach us and our small fishing community about a very different small fishing community on the other side of the globe.  I am so very glad she accepted!

Alex had been to Alaska as a young girl, but she seemed to enjoy visiting as a young lady as well!  We took her on all sorts of Alaskan adventures.  We visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center...


...we went beachcombing at low tide...



...to the Iditarod Headquarters up in Wasilla...



...we drank hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day and celebrated National Ice Cream Day on a sunny day...


...we got her hooked on salmon spread and jumping in the cold water...


...we went hiking, adventuring, and exploring...


....we got to Skype with Etienne back in Rwanda (he's left Burundi for a bit as well)...


We had a great time, and we sure hope you enjoyed your time in Alaska, Alex!  Thank you so much for coming and sharing your love for Africa with us.  You've planted a seed in our hearts and in the hearts of many of  our Whittier friends as well.  You're in our prayers...

************************************

Our family sponsors this beautiful smile at BBS...


There are still kiddos who need a sponsor for the upcoming school year.  Despite the political upheaval, BBS is prayerfully planning for the fall.  For $25 you can provide a meal and a Christ-centered preschool experience for one of these adorable loves.  I wish I could find her 'before' picture...her smile wasn't nearly so bright before BBS started loving on her!  You can also choose to support Alex.  She doesn't earn an income at the preschool, so she relies on support from people like us to meet her needs while she works with her team to provide a safe school experience for 40 kids.  I hope you'll pray for the school, staff, and students.  God is clearly at work in this place!

Monday, July 13

Grandma was here!

We had such a fun week with my mom last week!  On the way home from the airport we visited the conservation center.  It was nice and sunny and we didn't want to waste it! They had fed the bears some fish near the bear boardwalk, so we got a nice, close view of them.



The resident black bears are always a bit more shy than the brown bears.  The next morning the tide and the weather cooperated for a great time of beach exploring!  The beach is a little different each year.  This year we found lots of sea stars, anemones, urchins, crabs, and some sort of eel-like little critters.






Mostly what we did was have fun just being together.  Lots of hours spent chatting, playing games, cooking, touring Whittier and showing off our beautiful home town.  We popped out one (mostly) sunny afternoon to ride the tram at Alyeska.


Our final big activity was taking a glacier cruise out of Whittier.  We crossed our fingers, hoped for decent weather, and got very lucky!  Pardon my dirty lens.  I would take the time to edit these photos, but given my infrequent blog posts lately, who knows how long that would put off this post!






It was a great boat ride and it's hard to beat the view!  Thanks so much for coming up, Mom!  We had so much fun sharing our week with you!