more scenes from Minneapolis

Just some shots our time in Minnesota. So fun! We are having to deal with an RV issue, though. While our trailer has been sitting for a few days without electricity, we didn’t realize that our refrigerator was no longer getting its energy from the propane tanks. The fridge and freezer weren’t working anymore. After a few days, we went back into the trailer to store a few things, and we thought we smelled something weird. Then Brent opened the freezer door. Oh no! He almost gagged from the overwhelming smell of rotten meat! I can’t even explain it. It’s a smell that I will never forget, even though I wish I could. So of course we’ve done a massive, thorough cleaning. And now we’re using every method possible to get rid of that lingering odor. We’ve almost got it back to normal, thank goodness.

Well, enough of that stuff! Enjoy the snapshots! They have nothing to do with an unplugged fridge unit. It’s just a lot of smiling faces.

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scenes from Minneapolis

During our week in Minnesota we took a break from the trailer and stayed with friends. We’re grateful to the Gahagen and Schultz families for their hospitality. Brent has been back here a few times, but the kids and I haven’t been around these parts since we moved over 6 years ago.

We took one day to relax and explore Lake Calhoun. Then at lunch Brent ate the most Upper Midwest kind of burger I’ve ever seen!

Of course we visited the MOA! Otherwise known as the Mall of America. We told the kiddos months ago that we would go to the MOA amusement park and they had been looking forward to it the entire trip. We went with our friends, the Schultz family. It was so cool for Emma to be reunited with Sophia, her special Minnesota buddy. They both have grown and changed so much!

Being back here made us realize once again how grateful we are for the years we had here. It was a very influential time for our family and God used it to shape and mold us in big ways.

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rolling on the river

Last Sunday after church, we drove over to Stillwater, MN to spend a relaxing afternoon on the St. Croix River. Our friends, Pat and Melissa, were our gracious hosts. The weather was beautiful, the river was beautiful. But, as with the Twins game, the best part is just hanging out and catching up with friends that we haven’t seen for a long time. When I spend a day like this enjoying the sun and the water, it’s easy to forget how super-cold this place gets in the winter!

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take me out to the ballgame

The last time I went to a Major League Baseball game, the Twins were in the playoffs and the stadium where they played was actually a dome with a funny looking roof. That was about eleven years ago! That dome still exists (sorry Vikings). This time, it doesn’t look like the Twins have much of a chance to make the playoffs. But I have to say that the stadium situation has been upgraded in a big, big way. Target Field looks great and creates a fun atmosphere for the game.

Having said that, the truth is that the best part about the evening had nothing to do with baseball. The best part was spending time with friends that we hadn’t seen for a very long time. A summer evening, a baseball game, and good friends; what more could we ask for?

The next morning was full of more happy reunions when we went to a place of special importance to us- Prairie Oak Community Church. All the kids look older, all the men look exactly the same, and the all the women look even younger than before! That almost sounds like something Garrison Keillor would say, which makes sense since we’re in Minnesota. Go Twins!

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more scenes from the road

Here are some more ways we spent our time on the road trip from New England to Minnesota. It’s hard to believe that we only have a few weeks left of our cross-country adventure. Time flies when you’re having fun!

– Cedar Creek Church in Toledo, Ohio

– hours and hours of pool time!

– our favorite way to torture the children: stop at every roadside antique store that we see

– pretending to be Shoeless Joe Jackson at the movie site of Field of Dreams. So cool!

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scenes from the road

We took our time getting to Minnesota. Here are some stops we made along the way.

– a beautiful field of sunflowers in New York. We just had to stop and take pictures.

– skipping rocks in the Delaware River in the Catskills Mountains.

– filling the gas tank.

– our favorite kind of pit stop: the local drive in (or walk up). This place, Pee Wee’s, was celebrating 50 years of business.

Now it’s time to hang out in the central time zone for awhile. We’ve got about two weeks of sabbatical left to go!

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August Bible reading – halftime report

We’re still reading the book of Acts and if you’re reading along with us, you know that there is never a dull moment in the lives of these early Christians. We just keep reading about one adventure after the other. Some adventures, like Philip’s, almost seem too easy. Not that I mind, but it is such a contrast to the paths of some of the others.

Acts has so many lessons for me to learn, but I still think that the greatest lesson comes in chapter 9 when Jesus appears to Saul (and by “appears” I mean he throws Saul to the ground, speaks to him from a great light, and then blinds him). Jesus doesn’t ask Saul why he’s persecuting the church, or why he’s persecuting the followers of Jesus. He asks in verse 4, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

This quote from Jesus reminds me of two important facts that might seem obvious, but I still liked to be reminded of them. First, Jesus cares about the church. It matters to him if we do well or if we’re struggling. We are never overlooked or forgotten. Second, the church belongs to Jesus. In other words, we’re not in charge because Jesus is already in charge. If things ever seem beyond my understanding or abilities, which actually happens a lot, I know that everything is in his hands. I should probably remember this fact when it comes to other things in my life, not just the church.

I’m getting ready to start reading about Paul’s many adventures starting in chapter 12. Like I said, never a dull moment. Happy reading!

scenes from New England

You might be in New England if:

1. Every church in town has a steeple.

2. Your town was established before the country was established.

3. When you really like something, you say it’s “wicked.”

4. You have to pay a toll to drive on EVERY major highway.

5. You would never dream of rooting for any baseball team that us not the Boston Red Sox.

We had a great time in this region. One special bonus was meeting up with the Birch family from Texas. We all just happened to be vacationing at the same time in the same place! And a big thanks to Eastern Nazarene College for the gracious hospitality. But it’s time to keep moving. Next stop: Minnesota!

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the Freedom Trail

I know that we’re not supposed to have favorites, but I must admit that walking the Freedom Trail in Boston has been my favorite thing we’ve done so far on the trip. The trail is actually just a pathway through the city to see a bunch of sites that have to do with the American Revolution. Boston is a beautiful city. The waterfront actually reminded me of Portland, OR. The city has a great mix of the old and the new. It’s pretty cool to see so many places that I’ve only read about before now. And the big bonus is getting to watch my kids get excited about history.

I really enjoyed the accessibility of the Freedom Trail. After going through so much security in Washington, D.C., it was a welcome change to be able to just walk around wherever and whenever we wanted. Our friend from college, Dan Beckwith, joined us for the second half of the trail after he showed how to eat lobster.

While visiting all of these historic sights, I asked the kids if the still wanted to focus on geography for school next year, or did we want to make a change and do early American history instead. Of course their answer was: History! So now I’m trying to figure out how to switch gears for school, but it’s a switch we’re looking forward to making. This is just a sampling of the MANY snapshots I clicked along the trail.

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