It's a Wonderful Life…

with the Mace family.

Working our way through the summer-July.

Since I didn’t write anything about our summer, I thought I would get you all caught up.  The last summer post was mid-July, and right after that, N and I left on an Alaskan cruise, an amazing opportunity provided by N’s job.  During this week, the boys stayed with our neighbor and her kids in between our two houses.  I will just say this before trying to describe it to you, If you get a chance to go to Alaska or on an Alaskan cruise, DO IT!  <—— See those words, they are being said loudly and enthusiastically.  GO!  SEE!  ALASKA!  Get it?  Got it?  Good!  Seriously!  Do you get the feeling that I loved it?!  Well you are one smart cookie 🙂  Yes, I did in fact love every view, every sound, every smell, and everything we were able to experience in our limited time on land.  I fell in Love with Alaska!  But I kinda knew I would.  It’s the same way I love WA or MT, their beauty is breathtaking, indescribable, and it worms its way into your heart.  Or maybe that’s just me.  I won’t say much about the cruise because being on the ship wasn’t that exciting, except for the food.  The food was delicious!  Superbly so.  But it’s not that I didn’t like being on the ship, but this wasn’t your typical cruise.  It was taken over by a ministry and ran very differently.  And while it was nice, there wasn’t a lot for me to do except go to the cooking shows everyday and one ventriloquist act that was so hilarious we bought the dvd.  But the food was delicious!  And seeing Alaska was divine!  We went to Juneau, Sitka, and Ketchikan.  I could spend hours describing AK’s beauty, but instead I will show you a few pictures instead.

While it doesn't look like much, you are seeing 22 miles of glacier.

While it doesn’t look like much, you are seeing 22 miles of glacier.

IMG_1174

A view of Juneau.

 

Another sunset view.

Another sunset view.

Margerie glacier calving.

Margerie glacier calving.

A view of Mendenhall Glacier from the road as we headed there.

A view of Mendenhall Glacier from the road as we headed there.

A view of Mendenhall Glacier from the trail.

A view of Mendenhall Glacier from the trail.

A female bald eagle.  They were very abundant in Sitka, AK.

A female bald eagle. They were very abundant in Sitka, AK.

Nate holding a piece of the Mendenhall Glacier.

N holding a piece of the Mendenhall Glacier.

 

As you can tell, we went to see Mendenhall Glacier, which was in Juneau, our first stop.  N and I enjoyed the short hike, going off the beaten path a bit.  We stumbled across a family whose kids were in the water holding pieces of the glacier.  We just had to get in on the fun and do it too.  So we took off our socks, rolled up our pants, and stepped into the deliciously cold water to grab some ice.  We have pictures of each of us standing in the water, but the one above turned out better.  I also stood in the water near the waterfall at this glacier too.  Brrrrrr.  It was refreshing, cold, and not something you want to do for too long.  The bald eagle picture is from Sitka, where we saw so very many of them.  One flew so low near us that we heard the wings flapping.  In Sitka, we went to a park and really got to see lots of wildlife, so most of the pics from there are of animals and plants.  Ketchikan was super touristy, and we weren’t there long enough to go to the outskirts and do what was offered there.  We did see orca whales on the trip, and even a humpback, though only it’s back.  In Glacier Bay, we saw lots of spouting from the whales and sea otters.  We also enjoyed watching the Margerie Glacier calve.  It was incredible to hear, so very loud-sounding.  I was able to capture quite a few pictures of it as there was a lot of activity.  I was told from a woman who worked with the rangers, that it was very rare to have such a clear blue day where all the mountain tops were visible, hence the pic of the glacier 22 miles long.  Apparently even on sunny days, there is usually a fog around the peaks preventing them from being visible.

The sunset in Juneau.

The sunset in Juneau.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.  I have hundreds of them, so I just showed a few that I thought others would find interesting.  I, of course, love all of them.   And I do want to go back again, and hope I am able to.  But if not, I am so very thankful that I got a chance to catch just a small glimpse of the beauty Alaska has to offer.

1 Comment »

Our trip to Portland.

I set up a test page, please comment and let me know if you can view it.  I was able to.

Well, I haven’t blogged in quite a bit.  I know, I know.  I really was going to, but with N traveling for work a bit more, being a single mom zaps me.  The last thing I want to do is write.  But I come with good news!  We now have a bit of a routine established, therefore I will be able to blog in the afternoons when I have a bit more energy.  Yay!

At the end of last month, Sept 29th, to be exact, we headed down to Portland, Or for N’s work.  We spent four full days there and had some fun.  The hotel pool and cable are always a novelty when we travel, so we def spent some time with both of those things.  Plus we went out and did a few things.  We went shopping at Ikea, which is just fun and inspiring.  B got a new desk out of it plus new desk chair, and Gav got a new duvet to cover the old Thomas comforter we have from B’s younger days.  This thing is more than seven years old and still going strong!  We visited a well known and very large book store.  It takes up almost a whole city block and is several floors.  Of course, we couldn’t leave without buying some books for the boys!  We sat in there for a few hours, and would have stayed longer if N didn’t have to go to work, and read books.  It was great just to walk the aisles.  The boys found so many books that they wanted.  The selection was incredibly huge, one has to wonder if they don’t carry almost every book available.  This was bigger than our library here, and to give you an idea of just how big, it was bigger than the Fairfield County Library last time I was there.  We also spent a day around the Columbia River Gorge area just east of Portland.  Beautiful!  We went in search of one waterfall, made a wrong turn, and ended up finding something so much better.  The boys really enjoyed it.  It was cold and damp, but they were troopers, hiking to see the several waterfalls we saw.  The first waterfall we stumbled upon was Wahkeena Falls.  A little farther up, we discovered Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon is 611 ft tall.  It was incredibly tall and really loud.  We walked along the bridge and felt the mist on our faces.  I will post a video I have of this for you to see.  We tried to walk up to the top of the falls, but 3/4 of the way up Gav needed to use the bathroom.  So we turned around and headed down.  The walk was very steep, a constant incline with switchbacks all the way up.  It was a mile long hike, but seemed so much longer when you are constantly heading up.

After this, we were pretty tired, so we headed back toward the hotel.  On the way back, B convinced me to take a turn where we were originally supposed to.  There we saw Laurel Falls, which was our intended destination.  What a blessing though to have missed that turn.  We wouldn’t have seen Multnomah Falls otherwise.  We enjoyed Laurel Falls too, and the drive back was much more scenic than the drive there since we took the scenic highway back to the hotel.  When we told N what we had seen, he wanted to go there too, so Friday morning that is exactly what we did to start our mini vacation….

1 Comment »

Pt. 2 of the Journey

The boys making faces in front of the Indiana state map.

These tepee’s are dotted along the highway in South Dakota. The boys are in the middle.

So I am going to back track a little with some pictures here.  We were only able to get ones in Indiana and South Dakota.  We crossed the other states at night.

The boys in front of the South Dakota sign.

A buffalo we saw.

A panoramic view of where we stopped at the Badlands.

I left off the last post with the Badlands.  Once we made it through there, we headed straight to Mount Rushmore.  We actually went in the park and ate dinner before going up close to see Mt. Rushmore.  This was a wonderful experience, not only did we get to see this great national monument, but we met the last living man to have worked on Mt. Rushmore!  I of course bought his book about all the questions he has been asked over the years and the answers to them.  I read some of it to the boys in the car, but not sure how much of it stuck for them.  This was a first for all of us, and while the boys probably don’t realize how cool it is to see, Nate and I definitely did.  We just sat and stared at this amazing feat.  Truly incredible to learn how the carved the rock and how many people it took to do it.

After this, we left and headed toward Montana.  This is one of my favorite states, my very favorite being Washington.  No matter which route you choose, Montana’s landscape changes as you drive through and by the time you reach the western side, it doesn’t appear to be the same state at all.  Between entertaining Nate and the boys, and enjoying the scenery myself, I didn’t think to take any pictures.  If I can find them from past trips, I will add them later.  For now, enjoy the pictures.  I am still learning how to add them.  This might take me awhile, as I am easily frustrated with technology.

Mt. Rushmore

Bjorn in front of Mt. Rushmore.

Mace boys in front of Mt. Rushmore

 

2 Comments »

Our journey West pt. 1

The prairie dog colony we sat and watched. This was just a small area of the colony.

O.k. family, we are going to give the blogging world a try.  I am going to see if this is much easier to keep up on than the newsletters I was doing in 2010.  Last year, was…. not so great as far as keeping everyone up to date.  Besides, so much happens that I don’t remember to tell you and I am hoping I remember to post on here.  We’ll see how it goes, and if it’s a total flop, so be it.

Welcome to the blog about our family.  My goal here is to keep this accurate and updated as much as possible.  Now I know we are not all that exciting for me to be blogging daily, but perhaps twice a week or so.  I already have a few things to share, so let’s get started!

Where to start?  How about our trip out here?  This time we took what we have termed the “southern route” of the northern journey, which if you look at a map you can see what I mean.  The “northern” route is I-94 and goes through North Dakota (hence the northern route) and the” southern ” is I-90 and goes through, you guessed it South Dakota.  Now I-94 merges with I-90 in Montana, and from there it’s a straight shot.  We’ve taken the drive through North Dakota and to be honest, I wanted to go through South Dakota, especially when I found we wouldn’t be too far from Mt. Rushmore.  It wasn’t far off the path and I definitely wanted not only to see it, but to have the boys see it as well.  After giving Nate what I would consider a very convincing argument for going through S.D even though it would take us a bit longer, he said we could.  Though he told me afterward, he didn’t really need that much convincing, he just wanted to hear my argument.  He does this a lot, and finds it quite humorous.  Me, not so much.  Anyway, as we traveled through S.D. we saw on the map that we also weren’t going to be far from the Badlands.  Yep, another stop!

The Badlands were something completely unexpected, though I am not sure what exactly we did expect.  You have to drive through, with lookout points along the way for you to stop at and some trails to walk.  We stopped at the second or third lookout and walked out to it.  It was completely silent where we stood.  I mean, really silent like I have never heard before.  And yes, I do get that hearing silence doesn’t quite make sense, but you could hear the deathly silence.  It was the kind of silence that could drive you mad if you were there alone in this place.  Very eerie.  And we could see the cars driving by and see a couple talking 50 feet from us, yet could not hear a thing.  After we made a stop here, we hit the gift shop and then continued our tour.  It took us two hours to go through, and that included several stops, one that included waiting for traffic to clear because of a fire.  Sadly, someone’s VW Bus caught on fire and was charred so bad that there was not much left of it.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  We also watched prairie dogs at play for about 15 minutes.  Here are some photos.  I am going to extend this trip to several posts.

At the Badlands.

The boys and I at the Badlands.

1 Comment »

Walk By Faith

A walk of faith in Uganda with the White family

Walking In Agape

Walking in agape, having one love, one focus which nothing else compares... The Great I Am, Jesus Christ!

These are the Days...

"But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart." Luke 2:19

quiltznstuff

Stories of my pups, quiltz, bagz and life

Set Apart for the Gospel of Christ

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." ~Romans 1:16