Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where We Were Today


Because really, how can you be 30 miles away and NOT stop to see it?


We did debate going, wondering if it would be worth it for the youngers. But everyone was excited by the Faces in the Rocks ("Isn't that one guy on the dollar bill?") and the gift shop. Abraham (4) surprised both Ethan and me when he spotted the faces from the van, said, "I gotta find that book!" and then whipped out a tourist brochure from last night's hotel. He quickly turned to a picture of Mount Rushmore in an ad and said, "I knew I saw that before!"


Then back into the van. We made the necessary Wall Drug stop (what's not to love about South Dakota?) and then drove drove drove. Tonight we are packed into a Days Inn room (6 kids, 2 cats, and a dog and if you open your eyes any wider your eyeballs just might fall out, Miss Desk Clerk Nazi), still in South Dakota but closer to Iowa than we were this morning.


AND we passed into Central Time Zone. I say we made progress!



Friday, October 9, 2009

But of course!

We had a beautiful autumn. That whole week was just gorgeous. And then the snow starting falling (which, I guess, is what falls when you don't have any deciduous leaves to fall), and even that was beautiful. It was the kind of snow I LOVE - it's surreal while it descends, looks gorgeous on the trees and lawn, and politely declines to overstay its welcome on the road.


Until today. The day we picked to rent a U-Haul trailer and pack it with all of the large items we are not taking with us but donating to the thrift store (the player piano ::sniff, sniff::, the loveseat, the recliner, a large chair, several desks, several microwave carts, and a myriad of cumbersome items I am forgetting). The day we got the U-Haul trailer here just fine, and then spent the next 2 hours man-handling it (Ethan at the tongue, me at the wheel chocks) around our dangerous, steep, slippery driveway. The day I prayed fervently that I would not be made a widow. The day we checked the weather a little too late only to realize there is no thaw scheduled for the weekend, tonight's temperature will be 8°, tomorrow's high is 29° (warmer than today's 22°), and more snow is coming.




It's very reminiscent of another day - the day we moved in. Granted, the weather is downright tropical compared to that -35° day when I wondered if frozen nose hairs thawed or just broke off, but the general feeling of frustration and prayer for another night where my bed is shared is the same.


We (and this is a very unbalanced "we," I readily admit) did finally finagle the trailer into a spot from which we can easily drive it out, but this means that the walk to the trailer is longer, down a number of steps, and more treacherous.


But it does make for a nice ride.



 Just be ready to slam on the brakes!



That's how we do it in Montana, baby.


If you're in the mood for winter, I have a suggestion: forego the hot chocolate and marshmallows. Just snuggle up with a U-Haul reservation, pull all your large furniture to the front door, and make sure you have your traction boots ready.


Free Autumn Unit Study


Just wanted to point out a link on the sidebar for a new free unit study from The Old Schoolhouse Store and Amanda Bennett:


 Download N Go


Just click on the link, add this to your cart, and you will be able to download it for free.



We love lapbooks -- fun!



Wednesday, October 7, 2009



The children have been sharing a cold and a bad case of dishonesty lately, so we've been dealing with those head-on. The colds have been addressed with warm ginger tea, honey, lemon water, a Costco pack of tissues, and plenty of sleep (early bedtimes means more sleep, right, even if they talk until 10PM?). The dishonesty has been addressed from various angles, all of them including the reminder of how the punishment will hurt much more if you lie in addition to doing something wicked.


I am a little leery of the effectiveness of our efforts. The colds seem to be getting ... drier .... and the lies are definitely subsiding, but...



Just yesterday, Miriam (4) came running excitedly into the kitchen.


"MAMA! MAMA! I took the timer you told us not to touch and I clipped it on my shirt and Lily grabbed it and I grabbed it back and hit her and she said, 'You're so stupid' and I said, 'You're stupid, too!'!!!!! Aren't you so GLAD at us? Aren't you so GLAD we're telling the TRUTH??!!!!"


Thrilled. To. Tears.



Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Longer Short Version


There are some sights I never saw before moving to Montana.


Signs to keep your cows and your camping separate, for one.


Open range cows by the side of the road, for another.



There is no fence encircling these bovines. The only thing separating them from us is a general sense of lethargy and ennui ... on their part.




We are moving back to Virginia for a while.


That is the short version.


The longer short version is that this church in which Ethan has been laboring for ten months no longer has the funds it needs nor the numbers it needs to provide those funds. So, in God's providence and timing, the work has decided to close.


The time we have spent here has been invaluable on so many levels. We have grown as a couple and as a family (and not just literally). We have LOVED Montana and her many, many mountains and the way the seasons change them. We have met a small yet powerful group of people that has impacted our lives tremendously.


But it's time to move on.


Truth be told, we're not sure exactly where we're going. For the meantime, we're heading back east. The hospital system there is much friendlier for birthing twins.  The hospital here does not allow VBACs and will not admit you if you go into labor before 35 weeks. My first set of twins ended up being a C-section, and they came at 33 weeks. In the event that we do have premature babies and have to split time between the children at home and the children in the hospital, there is a large support group to help us in Virginia.


And in the intervening time, Ethan is again going through the "candidating" process with various churches with vacant pulpits.


So here we go again. It's honestly exciting, although not easy to leave newly forged friendships here. But we know Who holds the future, and we feel our time here has been very profitable for our family and our spiritual walk. Now it is time to move on. We're packing boxes, throwing away bags and bags and bags of trash, and restocking the thrift store shelves.


We've finished with the boys' and girls' rooms. They are sleeping on their mattresses on the floor with a suitcase each of clothes. Nothing else, save a hamper, is in their rooms.


And they love it. The boys emphatically explained to me this morning that they sleep SO MUCH BETTER this way. And when I told the girls to "clean your room," they pulled their covers up and were done.


(Last week. Our welcome back to Montana, after traveling home from Oregon.)



Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ocean Breezes

The Oregon Coast needs no introduction.






Strong sunshine and stronger breezes roughhouse on the shore. We join in the fun, unsure of the rules but engaging wholeheartedly nonetheless.










We play until the wind wins, and our toes curl their surrender.



Fresh seafood and fresh clothing refresh. And so does the evening's excursion.





Is it any wonder that Jesus often withdrew to the sea?




Friday, October 2, 2009

On the road again...

I almost don't know where to start. With the update? And then: the short version or the long one?


The short one, I think.


  • We are moving.

Far. Far back to the place from whence we came. In 18 days. For an undetermined amount of time. But this is getting to sound like the long version, so I'll stop there, unless anyone asks. I don't mind telling, it's just ... wordy.


  • Last week, we took a trip to Oregon.

It was an extended "business"/vacation trip, as Ethan's presbytery meeting was in Corvallis. Our first two nights were spent in our camper at the fairgrounds just outside of Corvallis.


Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.  ~Jack Handey


I was easily grumpified. The bathrooms were too far. The camping was in little more than a parking spot. The neighbor dogs were unfriendly and noisy. The Internet was spotty (I know, I know...). Because of the check-out time, we would have to have everything packed and pulled out before Ethan's morning presbytery meeting.


But the children looked beyond ... or perhaps deeper, closer. When all I could see was a sign warning not to disturb the fragile oak roots, when all I could hear was the sound of acorns being plunked unceremoniously and LOUDLY on the roof of our camper by a pesky squirrel or the persistent wind, the children found TREASURES.






(Do oak leaves shoved in a watergun count as treasures? You betcha.)


I struggled with a fifteen-month old during his father's ETERNAL shower and then raced off to oh-so-quickly take mine (ahem...don't ask my husband's take on this). When I came back, this is what I saw:




Confirming, once again, that Papa is Just. So. Cool. and Mama is ... NOT.


I was irritated with myself. I always enjoy the journey more than the destination. Why is this? Why do I insist on being upset at the amount of laundry to do, even on "vacation," by the mental prowess it takes to figure out how to do normal things like take showers and take kids to the bathroom and brush teeth at a campground? Why can't I just RELAX?


Methinks, quite honestly, it is that pesky sinful nature grasping at *some* legitimate reason to complain. "I'm pregnant...with twins...I have to crawl over kids to get into bed...I have to find my way out at 3 AM to walk forever away to the am I supposed to do anything and watch a wandering 15-mo. old (and 2-yr. old and 4 yr. old and 4 yr. old and...). Yes, this scenario is quite wretched. I should surely be upset."


BUT. By the end of our short 2 1/2 day stay, even I was relaxing and finding wonder.



It was in the river...




in the trees...




in the colorful leaves...



in the way tendrils frame too-old-for-this "sucker summer" faces (as Miriam calls it when her twin sucks his thumb - "sucker thumber" is what she's going for)...



I even found it in the campground, when I allowed myself to look.






1-2-3-4-5-6-counting-the-dog...Who's missing? Oh, yeah...



And then, post-presbytery-meeting, we headed for the coast.


But THAT will have to wait for another post. Because this short update is getting suspiciously long.




Related Posts with Thumbnails
Protected by Copyscape Duplicate Content Detection Tool