Monday, January 18, 2010
Ben and I drove up north to soak in our three day (MLK Jr. Day) weekend. We spent it at a B&B called The Log House Lodge just a few miles from the entrance to Sequoia Nat'l Park. The couple that owns and works the B&B go to Grace Community Church (where we go) and give 2 nights free to Masters Seminiary students and their families. We had heard about it awhile back from seminary friends that have gone up so we made the 175 mile road trip and experienced it for ourselves. We had a GREAT time! The change in scenery being the mountains near snow was awesome for Alaskans! The hospitality and food Mauriene fixed was out of this world.
We spent Saturday driving up and touring around Three Rivers (a small town boardering the park). They had a cute candy, trinket, ice cream shop right on the river. Later that night as we settled in to the B&B Mauriene set us up with a movie of our choice on their big screen projector TV set up. Ben chose "The Quiet Man" as he is slowly indoctrinating me with John Wayne theology. Next to the Bible my husband quotes more John Wayne movie lines than anyone else I know. Sunday we woke up to an AMAZING breakfast that we devoured before heading out to Sequoia Nat'l Park to see the Sequoia and Red Wood trees. I saw them years ago at a family reunion in CA so I have a vague recollection of them but Ben had never been.
The humorous/frustrating part of our trip was today. We bought a 7 day pass and planned on going yesterday and then again today. This morning those plans changed as we got to the park entrance and were told we had to have chains on our tires or we could be fined. CHAINS?? The park ranger must have been misinformed, it was RAINING outside. We did a double take, "Chains, really?" The ranger joked about our AK plates and not being "prepared." I responded as graciously as possible that we lived in LA where we see rain about 6 days a year. At the same time I was thinking do people in Southern CA even know what chains are? Apparently. The ranger then kindly gave us a brochure that had several places in town (about 10 miles back) where we could rent chains for about $100 a day. The unsanctified part of my flesh ached to go into the park just to smite ridiculous CA rules. We asked a ranger on our way out how high the "fee" was for not having chains and he said it was pretty sizable so we left.
Yet another winter in So Cal story. We can't wait to get back to AK. :) We do think we'll probably go back to the park in the spring when things warm up so we can see more of the park (parts were closed off for the winter) and the Crystal Caves. It IS a beautiful area, well worth the visit! We were tremendously blessed by the generosity and hospitality of the Landry's (B&B) too. Thank you!
Monday, January 11, 2010
Katie Conover a good friend from AK had a two day layover in LA to hang out and catch up this past Friday/Saturday. Katie and I worked together for 5 years in the Mat-Su Borough School District in Alaska. This year she's taking a year leave of absence and traveling around the world . . . literally. She has traveled a lot previously, lived and taught overseas a few years so she has a huge network of friends to visit and stay with. Last semester was primarily spent touring Europe. This semester she's heading back to Australia, New Zealand and all over Asia.
I took Friday off to soak in a couple days of adventure with her. I picked her up and we headed straight to the beach! Yes, all those Alaskans reading this, the beach is perfect in January. We didn't swim but we waded in the waves and layed out in the 70 degree weather. She made Ben and I stir fry that night that was AMAZING! Thanks for making time for a visit friend! Can't wait to see you back in Alaska next fall!
Friday, January 08, 2010
Wednesday night some friends of mine from Columbia International University (CIU) came over for dinner. Ryan and I started at CIU the same semester, fall 2007 and he had just started dating Laura (long distance) at that point. Now they have been married a year and a half and are making plans to head to Indonesia in April 2011 with New Tribes. They are going with a team to work in MK schools as well as with the natives.
Ryan is originally from So Cal so this is his home turf. They are back for the holidays visiting relatives and friends as well as fund raising. It was great to see them again and introduce Ben. It's crazy to think of how much has change in 2 years! What a blessing and small world that paths cross over and over. We hope and pray the best for you Ryan and Laura as you continue to prepare for Indonesia.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
A pre-Christmas run to Costco, the boys "had fun" (maybe made fun) with Dorothy using her electric scooter cart. They do come in handy when you need 'em.
Mike and Nala (Karly's new puppy)
all the stockings were hung on the window sill with care . . .
Tim and Dorothy Christmas night
Dorothy and Tim gave me Settlers of Catan for Christmas, woohoo!!
Ben, Grandma, and Dorothy at Red Robin
Monday, January 04, 2010
I was met by Santa in the driveway when I got to Spokane, Ben's dad dresses up every year as Santa . . . he fits the bill so well people all over hire him to come to their homes, orphanages etc. for kids
Santa & Payton (Tina's grandaughter)
Mike gave Ben one of his bows for Christmas, Ben can't wait to use it in AK
Our first Christmas together :)
The Mosier kids at Bob and Tina's house Christmas morning
Aunt Lori, Aunt Wendy, Dorothy (Ben's mom), and Grandma Laura
Family at grandma's apartment on Christmas day
Ben and I got to spend two weeks together with his family in Spokane, WA. Our time was filled with family and friends and many memories. Ben left a week before me (his semester ended and hunting season was still open:) and enjoyed some guy time with his dad and brother out at his cabin. His brother and a friend both got deer but Ben did not much to his chagrin. He had a great time though just hanging out and bonding.
I got in the evening of a big Christmas party (friends and family) at his dad's house. We spent most of our first week with his dad and Tina and then most of the second week with his mom and Tim. I got to meet all of Tina and Tim's adult children and grandchildren this trip which was a blessing. They are a lot of fun! We had many late night game nights together.
We also got to visit some friends one in particular Clide an older gentleman Ben used to work for that is in his 80s and is dying of stomach cancer. We were blessed to visit and pray with him as it may be the last time Ben will see him. Clide is anxious to go home and meet the Lord.
Ben's mom suffered a rare and rather random injuring two days before I got there. She tore a muscle attached to her Achilles heal while bowling and had to get around with a big detachable cast while we were there. We loved our time with her and enjoyed laying low watching movies, playing games (yes we are a game playing kind of couple) and eating lots of holiday sweets.
Another highlight for me was an afternoon out shooting clay pigeons and targets with Ben, his brother Mike, sister Karly, neice Charli, and dad.
Between work, finishing up an online class and traveling over the holidays I have gotten a little behind in the blogging realm. So much has happened I want to recap some and share with all of you.
On December 18th my dad turned the big 6-0. Yep, he's sixty and soaking it in! He now qualifies for senior benefits one of the biggies being free AK fishing licenses the rest of his life. What more could a man ask for? Ben and I would have loved to have made a quick trip up to AK to celebrate but it just didn't work so we celebrated from CA. One of the "gifts" I sent him was a scrapbook thing that had "60Memories with My Dad." It was really neat to pull together as I reflected over the past 31 years of my life with my dad. I thought I shared a few with you . . .
MEMORIES WITH MY DAD
* Leading me in the believer's prayer in my bedroom in ND November 1984
* Hiking Crow Pass with the Skvorks and Bairs
* Fishing for blue gills together in a little inflatable raft in ND (elementary school)
* Memorizing the 50 states and capitals together in 4th grade
* Reading Keys for Kids every morning over breakfast in ND
* Hearing him preach again for the first time in five years at WBC
* Having him fix my hair in pony tails when mom was out of town, braiding was too complicated
* Teaching me multiplication tables with soup crackers at the kitchen table
* Making Mickey Mouse and letter "A" (Anita) pancakes for breakfast, mmmmm!
* Letting me eat brownies and pie for breakfast (mom was not overly impressed but I was!)
* Bringing flowers to my office at Larson Elementary to cheer me up
* Sharing a heart and passion for people who do not know the Lord
* Friendly family running competitions :)
* Deep sea fishing together in Kodiak where I caught my first two halibut
* Praying with me as a child and an adult, I love praying together
* Walking me down the aile this past June
You ARE the Papa Bear and I love you very much! Thanks for the memories!