Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wyoming Sky...and a little on the ground

The last few days have been pretty busy, although I don't know why! Yesterday I enjoyed my freedom again having my car back! What a blessing to be able to leave whenever I want to! Today we stayed home and I felt like I spent most of the day either on the phone or computer sorting out one little hiccup or another in our moving/home buying plans. Fortunately everything is only delayed a day or two, and everything will work out! 

So...after a somewhat tiring and stressful day, I picked up my camera for a bit of mental therapy, and went to take some pictures of the beautiful Wyoming sky...and a little of the "grass" that does grow here. For some reason it reminds me of wheat - although I know that there is not a long enough summer for that to grow well here!

Anyway...I'm gonna keep my words few tonight, and let the pictures speak for themselves. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cleaning Day!

Today as lots of fun - and lots of work! It also started off COLD! I think we had our first freeze last night - not horrible, but somewhere between 30 and 31 degrees. Brrrr....no wonder I woke up freezing with the window open next to me!!!

We actually slept in this morning, and then took the morning to mostly relax. Michael had some online training he had to get done for work, and the girls and I read our books, lounging around on the porch or next to the window - soaking up the sunshine. What a wonderful way to start a Saturday! Then...we headed to the store, got about $75 worth of cleaning supplies, ran a couple of errands - and went to clean our new house! We don't sign and close until next week, but were able to get permission to get in today and do some cleaning. 

It was so much fun being in the house and working together to get it ready! We wiped down every single kitchen cupboard and drawer - usually after vacuuming all the junk up first, then scrubbing the rest! We vacuumed all the floors in the entire house (a slow job with the tiny vacuum we have here!) - and mopped all the hard floors. We cleaned all the toilets super well, and the girls wiped down all the counters, as well as washed all the windows and mirrors (at least as high up as they could reach that is!) We also cleaned out the stove, wiped down several other places, and changed the batteries in the (annoyingly) beeping smoke alarms. All in all - it was quite a feeling of accomplishment!

We realized that this is the first time we have done this prior to moving into a house all on our own. Every other time we have prepared to move into a house, we have had tons of friends and family that have pitched in to help. Oddly enough, that wasn't as sad or lonely as I expected. In fact, there was some small sense of adventure and closeness as a family, tackling the job before us together. Just us against the world, so to speak. And it gave me a new appreciation and realization of how much my girls are growing up - and how much help they are now! My investment in them is paying off! All those years of cleaning up after them, and now they not only can help - but they can help a LOT!!! 

We also enjoyed all the new discoveries of what our new house has! Each new little discovery was so much fun - and I can't wait to be moving in next week and nesting in our new home...

I was so busy cleaning that I didn't think to take any pictures there - but here are a couple pictures of the girls. Amy snuggling with Daddy while he worked - and wanting me to take a picture! And Katie showing her balancing skills on what we call our "portable massage tool" - so great on sore backs and necks! Or...just to balance and play on!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Popsicles...and brain freeze!

I put a new photo up as the blog header! Did you see it! I took it from the window of our rental this morning...I love how the sun rises over the hills here. You can totally see the moment it is about to break over the horizon. In face it was only seconds after I took this photo that it broke free of the mountain and the day began. Something so beautiful about that moment...peaceful and full of anticipation.

Today has been just as beautiful as almost everyday has - sunny and gorgeous, but particularly windy! Michael told me the wind usually comes with a storm, but it doesn't appear that there is any storm brewing, just lots of wind. I love the sound of the wind blowing, although it sounds different blowing across the sage and grass than it did blowing in the trees. This house still creaks pretty much the same though!

One of our first grocery shopping runs involved picking up some popsicles for treats when we are home. They aren't exactly organic or healthy, but they are mostly fruit, so I don't feel too bad about letting them (and me!) enjoy one each day while enjoying the sunshine. They wanted me to take a picture of them enjoying them:

Then...all of a sudden while posing with her mouth full of frozen yumminess...Katie had a sudden attack of brain freeze!!! I was lucky enough to capture it on camera!

Not to be outdone, Amy had to add her own silly faces as well...again captured by the camera for future blackmail!

Notice how Amy's front teeth are growing in quite well? Although I do miss the way she talked when those two front teeth were missing...

We went for another walk last night - and I thought we were all having a great time. But Amy's bedtime prayer included the following: "Thank you for the walk we went on that I didn't like..." Nothing like honesty, huh?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An evening family walk...and some pictures that include me!

Yesterday I had a vehicle for the day, so we decided to enjoy our freedom and head to town for a bit. It was a lot of fun, but I also am finding myself really tired all the time - Michael says it is part of acclimating to the higher altitude - so I was just plain worn out when we got home. We didn't even do much, but we did end up being gone for about 5 hours. Don't know how that happened. So, when Michael suggested an evening walk, I really was feeling too lazy to go - but the girls were really excited, so we went anyway. I'm so glad we did! It was lots of fun! And Michael even happily kept the pace slow for the girls short legs (and my lazy feelings!)

When we got back, I took advantage of the timer feature on my camera, and took a family picture...since everyone told me to include pictures of myself as well as everyone else! Then...we took advantage of the "long arm" shot! Here is one of me and my hubby:

Amy and I:

And Katie and I:

Now...I think I'm gonna go take a nap, or maybe read a book - either way, RELAX! And I'm not being lazy, I'm acclimating! (Or that's what I'm telling myself...)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A restful down day...

After the pace of life these past couple of months, it was actually quite nice to be stranded in a minimally furnished rental with no vehicle, and no to do list! I think it was a much needed and refreshing time to just be lazy and relax! After lunch though, we decided we'd had enough laziness for so beautiful day, and decided to go out for a walk. We didn't go far - or for two long, but had a great time! The weather was just perfect! Here is a picture from the outside of our rental that is home for the next couple of weeks. Really quite nice and comfortable...although I am quite happy to not be buying it considering a few small issues (like mice visitors in the pantry, a hole rotting through the floor in the master bedroom next to the bathroom, some missing roof shingles, etc...)

One of the things I have discovered that I love about Wyoming already is the sky...it is just so BIG, and there is so much of it! I love how you can see literally for MILES - and see the storms or clouds way off on the horizon. And I love the shadows of the clouds on the distant hills...makes this heart happy...

And...there is a little bit of grass around - just not green or soft like in Washington! Almost looks like wheat - but still pretty in a golden sort of way!

Our biggest mistake on our walk was starting off by heading down the road in the downhill direction. This was actually pretty good when we were starting...but then we had to climb back up the hill to get back home. This turned out to be the first time I noticed the lower oxygen levels at our altitude of 7,200 feet. It wasn't that steep a climb at all, and we were taking our time and not hurrying - but I still found myself feeling a bit more out of breath than usual.

They had to strike a pose! I couldn't get a picture of Amy without her hair in her face because of the wind. I love the wind - so I didn't mind at all, but it wasn't so easy to see if you had your hair down! Next time I plan to bring a ponytail holder for myself.

{{{Sigh}}} I love how much they love each other! And I am so blessed with these two girls! I keep telling them that the best part about moving to Wyoming is that I get to take them with me. They always smile when I say that!

And of course, when we got back, for some reason the lock on our door wouldn't work! I had locked the deadbolt using our one and only door key, and when we came back it wouldn't open! The key fit and turned, but it wouldn't do anything. Figures that I had taken my camera instead of my cell phone along...but fortunately we had a couple of windows open - so I sent Amy through the window to let us in! 

Having gotten some fresh air and exercise, I felt a little more invigorated and folded some laundry, did some dishes, and put some more things away. I love how taking a walk makes me more inspired to accomplish things!

And it feels like it has been forever since I have taken time during the day to make a little treat for the girls that requires more than a few moments of effort...so I made them some popcorn to eat while watching a movie! I actually enjoyed it quite a bit too! It truly is the little things...

Michael was able to borrow a work truck for a couple of days - so today I have his truck. I am planning on heading out and having some fun with the freedom today! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Blessed Sunday

Yesterday morning started off with this out the window in our rental - a gorgeous sunrise! Just a few seconds after this, the sun popped over the mountain - and proceeded to fully rise in what I am sure was a matter of a few seconds. Reminded me of a Hawaii a little - how fast the sun rose and set there. It left me marveling at the wild beauty of the Wyoming God created and where we will now call home. (Please ignore the mess under the windows...we are still settling in for a very temporary stay, so clutter is how it's going to be for a bit!)

From here we got ready to head to the early service at Pinedale Bible Church. I was amazed that after attending only one other time, it really felt like home. Not the same home that we had at Day Creek - which will always hold a special place - but home here. I truly wasn't expecting that so quickly. I can tell that the Lord is present, living, and active there - and it is where he has placed us. Amazing - truly! And the girls couldn't say enough about how much fun they had, and how much they loved their new Sunday School. They told us that they spent the entire class on prayer requests - and ended up with 42 request! I have to say that it makes me happy that the kids can focus on prayer for a class - and it kind of reminds me of home as well! When we got to the car after church, it was just in time to receive the sweetest text from a dear friend (thanks Tara!) that said: 

"Praying God blesses you with a closeness to Him that takes the distant feeling from home...and squashes it like a bug! Love you all..."

As I should by now have learned to expect - He did that and more! To some extent, I realize that I haven't struggled at all with homesickness or missing everyone yet. I know that part of that is that this still feels like a vacation in some ways, and a little like we will be going back home soon. I know reality hasn't set in in that sense, but the Lord has been faithful every step of the way - and I have no reason to expect anything different tomorrow, or in the days to come!

Anyway - after church, we headed to Jackson 1 1/2 hours away to have lunch and do a bit of grocery shopping. As soon as we drove into the downtown touristy area, Amy right away noticed the bear statues. We were hungry and made her wait until after lunch, but she begged from the minute she saw them to get a picture with them! As you can tell - she was in love! Bears are her favorite animal at the moment...in case you didn't know! Katie of course had to get a picture too! Here are those - and that building you see in the background of the first one is where we went next - for ice cream cones! SUPER yummy ice cream - all homemade, organic, and natural ingredients. Soooo good! After the pictures is the highlight of the entire day...

After we got back and put our groceries away, we headed over to Sandy Beach park on Fremont Lake, because we had heard at church that morning that they were getting together for the final campfire fellowship of the summer at 7:00. It was WONDERFUL! There is something about campfires that I love anyway - but the fellowship of the small group that showed up was amazing. There was another couple who have very recently gone through a similar move as us, with the wife just able to join her husband. There was another family there that homeschools, and reminded me a lot of the Lohman family! The Pastor's wife was a sweet as can be, and we met someone who lives very near where our new house is. There was even a sweet woman named Bonnie...who passed out the hot dog and smore makings to everyone - how much more could the Lord make us feel at home? We left with a sense of belonging and family - again, AMAZING after only being here for 2 days! I can't helped but be overwhelmed at the way the Lord cares for us - in everything!  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Day in Town (and already saw a moose!)

Today started off by the girls coming to wake us up...before 6 o'clock! I thought with the time change from Pacific to Mountain time, that if anything, they would sleep in. No...it didn't work that way! We told them to go back to bed until 6, then when they knocked on the door we rather groggily requested 5 more minutes. Then, 6 minutes later, they came back, quite proud of how generous they were to give us an entire extra minute! I know someday I will remind them of this when they are ducking under the covers in their teen years and asking for just 5 more minutes...then it will be my turn to laugh! 

Anyway - today started with a little more unpacking and settling in, then we headed to town to run some errands. We started by stopping by our house that should officially be ours in under 2 weeks. It was nice to find it just as nice, or nicer than I remembered - and the girls found it very exciting this time to be looking at it knowing it was ours. They also picked which room they wanted as their bedroom, based on the fact that they would be able to look out their window and see the neighbors horses! That's my girls!

Anyway, then we stopped by the post office to get the keys to our mailbox, and pick up the mail that was waiting for us. They we dropped a truckload of garbage off at the dump - which much to my disbelief cost us an entire dollar! Plus they handed the girls a sucker...definitely a bargain! Next we headed to the Library to get our library cards - but before we made it in the door, we saw this:

Yep! It is real! At first we thought it was a statue - but it was moving! So funny to see it hanging out there in the shade looking quite content!

See that window behind him? The girls were able to go to that window and look right out at him - close enough to touch if the window hadn't been there!

Now that we have fast internet (YAY!!!) I thought I would add a video too...I took it on my cell phone - so sorry for the VERY shaky hand! I was having a hard time holding it steady and using the zoom...I'll have to work on that, or just take my real camera with me next time!

After this we ran to lunch, dropped Michael off at the office for half an hour (and the girls and I got a small tour which was fun!) while we headed to the grocery store for a few more forgotten items. Then we picked Daddy up and grabbed ice cream cones before heading home - the perfect end for such a warm and beautiful day. 

Tomorrow we head to church, and are pondering what to do with the rest of our day. Might make the drive to Jackson and do a little shopping and exploring there. I will most likely be without a vehicle for the first week, since my car that is being shipped here won't arrive until Saturday. Michael might be able to borrow a work vehicle, but if not, I plan to enjoy the down time and hanging around the house while he is at work. Which makes me a little more excited to head to town and go shopping tomorrow, but I also know Michael has to work, so I don't want to wear him out either - so we will see what happens. I also plan on taking some pictures of our temporary home, and sharing a tour of our little house that we have for a couple of weeks at least!

Friday, August 17, 2012

And so it begins!

I promise I will up date this more tomorrow - but thought I would quickly post this picture of the beginning of our story...this is us, our last moments in front of our old house before leaving and embarking on this new adventure...hard to define all of the emotions, but easy to say that it will be sure to be filled with twists and turns, ups and downs, happiness and sadness, excitement and fear - I could go on and on and on, but the result is the same. So we take a deep breath, and embark on a journey to the unknown and whatever things the Lord has in store for us!