Friday, September 20, 2013

Scenes From the Trip Home

(NOTE: I've been chronicling our summer vacation for several posts now. This is the end of that series.)

Going home is never easy. On the one hand we're all pretty much ready to see our home again and our pets but on the other hand we're leaving behind people we love. Sadness always abounds. But even though the miles ahead are long and tedious I can always things that make me smile.

Fluffy clouds (through dirty car windows)

A sleepy headed girl in a hotel room bed

A surprise pond behind a rest area, filled with fish who we all gathered at the surface

It was a great place to stretch our legs and take a few moments to breathe in the fresh air before getting back in the car to finish our journey.

Taking an impromptu photo shoot on a stairway that leads to a dead end (I have no idea why either), even though the lighting really is too bright

Getting a few smiles of these kiddos that I love so much

So much to be thankful for!

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Ni Hao Yall

Sunday, September 15, 2013

More Zoomin'

Our final day in Oregon...

One last chance to ride the three wheeler.

He decided to ride too this time.

These pictures make me smile. :)

Memories of a summer well spent.

In the Moment with Sarah Halstead

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Owed You a Story

Okay, so back to our trip to the lake, where I believe I owed you a story.

(both pairs of glasses found at the bottom of the lake)

My daughter, oh my daughter. Yep, it's about her again. She makes me laugh and smile and want to pull my hair out all on the same day sometimes, but by golly, I love her so much.

Anyway on this particular day we decided to rent a paddle boat. But since their rules were there could be no more than three to a boat and our little family totals four, we had to rent two paddle boats.

I didn't want to risk ruining my camera by accidentally dropping it in the water or have some other mishap so I left it in the car. So you are stuck with these other pictures instead.

Back to the story... As we paddled away from the shore we worked up a good sweat because that's exercise and you all know that exercise and heat equals sweaty bodies. When we were a ways off Yohn declares he's going to jump in, to which I responded just don't tip the boat over when you climb back in.

Apparently all Bethany heard was "tip the boat over" and started freaking out (she was riding with him). She somehow thought that when he jumped in the action would cause her boat to tip over with her in it, and even though she had a life jacket on, she did not want to take the risk.

Have you ever been to a lake where you can hear the conversations around you even though people are quite a ways away? Ya know, because the water carries the sound across the lake? Yep, Bethany was causing heads to turn on the shore because her protests about her dad jumping in were not quiet.

To say the least at one point she was shrieking, "Daddy! Don't do it! I don't want to tip over! I don't want to drown! You're going to kill me!"

Drama you say? Oh, just a tad.

Unfortunately Elisha and I were laughing so that didn't help matters much. I finally convinced her to climb in our boat while he jumped in, which took about ten minutes of convincing her that yes, her dad and I had to hold the two boats together so she wouldn't fall, and that, yes, we had to do it that way or else she would fall. And no, we couldn't do it her way because she really would fall and PLEASE JUST GET IN THE BOAT!

Finally, after she sat in the back of the boat Elisha and I occupied, her dad went for his much earned swim.... only to find out that he couldn't get back in! This boat really wasn't equipped with a rail or an indent or whatever for a swimmer to climb back on board. Soooo... The only choice we had to was to tow the dumb thing to shore so he could climb back in that way. And since Elisha and I were "driving" it Bethany had to hold the rope to tow it with. 

She thought it was hilariously funny that Daddy could not get back in and told everyone on shore with her loud voice that Daddy could not get back in. She told him it wasn't a good idea, and on and on and on. Once on the shore he got back in and Bethany switched back to the other paddle boat where she made him promise to stay in the boat and never do that again!

In the end, we were all very tired from our little excursion. Can ya tell?

(Oh and since I love Elisha's Wallowa Lake shirt I just have to share. It says "Go ahead and run, Bears love fast food!")

Give me your best shot at Better in Bulk PhotoStory Friday 
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli
Ni Hao Yall


UPDATE: As of today (Wednesday evening) the fire is about 80% contained. We've been warned it can only take a small breeze to get it going again though. People have been allowed back into their homes. No lives were lost and neither were their any "deaths of horses" as Bethany put it. Only one structure caught fire and burned.

Bethany has been checking on this constantly morning and night to see what was going on and what new pictures there were. I'm sure as soon as we are able we'll head up to see the damage.

*    *    *    *    *

Today we watched the sky fill with smoke as a fire started on our favorite mountain. The one nearby where we hike and camp and explore as a family.

This is the view from the overpass, which is walking distance from our house. This is when it had burned 400 acres and had 175 firefighters trying to stop it. It was estimated at 20% contained at the time (about 7 pm).

I just checked the website at 9:30 pm, and it's now at 800 acres with over 250 firefighters battling it. It's already doubled in size and is estimated at 10% contained. People have been evacuated, but thankfully no homes destroyed. 

Please pray, the mountain is really only a stone's throw away. We know people in that area, we know of a ministry in that area, our family loves to visit this area and take our children's friends along for the adventure.

I know it's not much compared to the fires over the summer, especially the one that burned out of control in Colorado. But it's so close to home. We were just up there for a family trip over Labor Day Weekend and it is very, very dry up there. 

When I took these pictures, Bethany wanted to know why I would want a photo of the "horror" as she put it. Yes, she's a little bit worried herself. Although I think she was more worried about the horses, as there are many horse ranches at the foot of the mountain, until I explained to her how the fireman were in danger and people may lose their homes. Then she really began to realize how bad this could be. It wasn't just about our favorite little spot getting "ruined". It was about people. 

Pray for wisdom and safety for the firefighters. Pray for those operating the helicopters. Pray for the people evacuating. Pray for the police officers guiding and directing the people evacuating. Pray for those that open homes and those that minister to the evacuees.

Thank you.