Wednesday, July 23, 2014

our commercial!

On June 30 a friend from church, Tim, who works for Midcontinent, asked us to participate in a commercial he was shooting for Outdoor Campus West. He said he needed a big family and ours fit the bill. But it's the second time he's filmed us. The first was our wedding!

It was a lot of fun and turned out great.

clapping Ezra

When Terry and I returned from disConnect, we noticed that Ezra was talking more than he had been. It's so cute - mostly little "oh's" and "uh-oh." But he also learned to clap and say "yay." He's so fun.

movie at the square

Our church took a turn helping some friends run a family movie night downtown at Main Street Square, just like last year. The kids simply had to go since they showed their new favorite, The Lego Movie ("Everything is awesome!"). Terry shared the gospel before the movie. 

Noah with his balloon animal and tattoo. 

raking hay

This was Terry's second year helping his dad do a little hay raking at the ranch and just a day later too - July 5th. He took Noah with him this time and he did good until he threw up. Noah is pretty sensitive to motion sickness so I guess his turn in the Grampa's bailer was too much for him.

July 4, 2014

Last year we mostly celebrated at home for the 4th, but this year we went to the ranch for the day. We brought the slip and slide and the kids had a nice time.

Grace kept wiping out. It was quite entertaining. :)

How long could they stand to stay in the water?

Even Terry's Grandma came up. It was nice when the sun was behind a cloud. 

Shari and Jesse with Grandma. 

After a big yummy dinner, Ezra made a new game of uncovering Terry's pillowed head. 

Around eight o'clock we all headed outside to light some fireworks. I went for the sunset. This is on the hill above Terry's folks house looking north west-ish.




And north up the hill. 

I walked easterly towards the calf field. What pretty bales of hay. 

Looking south on the other side of the house was a large storm with pretty clouds. We were glad it missed us.

Starting with some snakes.  

Ezra needs to learn to walk so he can have more fun outside. It was past the tired baby's bedtime.

Smoke bombs. 


We had some pretty good fireworks, the best of which was the huge one that tipped over and shot Terry in the leg (he was fine, but Noah and Evie were so freaked out that they went inside). The drive home was the best though. Since the area between Rapid and the ranch exit is full of neighborhoods, we could watch everyone else's fireworks from comfort of our van.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Noah at Rainbow

While we were on the disConnect trip, Noah went to Rainbow Bible Ranch for the first time. He's in the center in red.

The only bummer part was that we were gone for the whole thing! So we didn't get to drop him off, pick him up or see his rodeo at the end of the week. But he did say he had a good time. 

It's hard to get details out of him. Perhaps because he's a boy since Evie had lots more to say. About all he said was that he lost his watch and there were leaches in the swimming hole so he didn't want to go in again. 

Both Grampas went to see Noah's rodeo and take some photos. I wanted to make sure someone saw him! For some reason, Evie had a chance to ride a horse with Mr. Larry and then rope a goat. Here you can see the sky darkening. There was a big storm that caused them to have to stop on the way home and wait for the rain to slow down. 

Evie and her goat.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

10 year anniversary date

For our ten year anniversary Terry got a couple sitters and we escaped for about a complete 24 hour period. Boy did that feel strange, driving away from the house just the two of us. But that's how we started!

First we had lunch at the Firehouse downtown, did some walking around, bought an anniversary gift for me (a Camelback - yay!) and saw a movie - X-Men Day of Future Past. 

That night we ate at the Alpine Inn in Hill City and stayed at the Powerhouse Lodge in the Hills, the same place we went after our wedding. The next morning we had a large breakfast at The Colonial House and then went to test drive some pistols at the shooting range.

Terry was much more consistent than me...

...but I did alright too. 

I even got a bullseye! All in all, a very good anniversary. 
Kind of short for a post about ten years right?! More thoughts on what our anniversary means to me in my last post.

10 year anniversary thoughts

June 19th was our ten year anniversary (though we dated for nearly two years before that)! It's just hard to believe, but there have been quite a few changes since that day. Well, perhaps more than just a few...
June 19, 2004 at the Powderhouse Lodge

First we moved into the doublewide trailer near Terry's grandparent's house and really enjoyed living there. We got pregnant with Noah one month after getting married (we were not "ready" for that but it was God's perfect plan and we needed that baby!), Terry was printing t-shirts (anyone have any 2004 Hills Alive shirts? yeah, those are Terry's), I started my second semester of nursing school in the fall and I learned how to cook, with some help from my mom. Here's my first quiche in the trailer. It's one of our kid's favorite meals just like it was mine when I was little.

We only lived in the trailer a few months before we moved up to the "green house," where Terry had spent half of his childhood on the ranch. After another two semesters of nursing school, Noah was born and Terry started work at Black Hills Workshop. A year later I had graduated nursing school, passed my boards, started my first job at the hospital and Terry started a new position with the Workshop working with people with brain injuries. We were also helping with the youth group at church, First E-Free, and Terry was looking for a full time youth pastor position. We visited Gothenburg, Nebraska in the new year of 2007 and by that spring, April, we had moved there. 
Noah watching his favorite movie, Cars, while we moved out of the "green house" on the ranch to move to Gbrug.

To move away from home, family and church was a very difficult choice and time of life, but it was the right decision, one I do not regret now whatsoever. I can only thank God for that move. Those people in Gothenburg took the best care of us and God proved Himself beyond faithful. If only I could remember that! Here's the parsonage we lived in for three years and where we brought Evie home to. I started doing preschool homeschool with Noah here! 

This (below) was our very first trip to Wyoming for Terry's first disConnect trip. Terry carried two year old Noah all the way up Medicine Bow Peak and I was early pregnant with Evie. Terry has learned a great deal about being a youth pastor since he first started, as have I about how to support him.  Many, many, many more trips followed this one and I've learned (?) how to be without my husband. Okay, that's not true. I deal with being without my husband, but I never like it. It's really tough to do what we do. We have both grown a lot but the growing is not over yet. But I would say that he is simply wonderful at what he does. Everyone just seems to love him so easily.

By this time (2010) in Gburg I had started work part time at the clinic and we were about to buy our first house... I had even just had my appendix out days before this photo. Ha!

This house had been the senior pastor's parsonage and we bought it, fixed it up, brought Samuel home there, did Kindergarden for Noah there and had lots of students over. Gosh, we loved that house. It was wonderful. Noah just said, "Man, I miss that house." I miss it too, and all of our Gothenburg friends.

This photo was only weeks before we moved back to Rapid City, where we never thought we'd be again, but God brought us back. Just after we had finally settled, felt truly connected and at home, told students we weren't going anywhere, there we went. I simply don't know how military families do it. Really. How do you root up your entire life and all of your support structure and start over? It's so  incredibly difficult. I don't know how people do it at all without church. And even then, it's so hard. Or perhaps that's just me the introvert.

So we were back the spring of 2012 and moved into my Grampa's house while we searched for a house to buy, readjusting to a new position and life. And now two years later, I'm still adjusting and learning!

We chose the house that was as similar to our Gothenburg place as we could get and there we are today. We brought Ezra home to this house, fixed up the basement and are continuing on with life. More homeschooling (Noah and Evie will be 3rd/4th and 1st graders), more students over, more very slowly getting to know people, but at least we don't have to mow as much as in Gburg. :) 

 My, how our family has grown in ten years! How we have grown in ten years and how much we (I) still have to learn. The learning and trusting and readjusting just never seem to stop. You know, life is just a series of stretching experiences isn't it? I mean, one thing after another, there are always challenges. I am still learning what it means to really trust God to care for me and provide for my needs. Even though we live in a pretty cushy country and have a comfortable way of life, it is still very challenging. But I made the best decision I could in marrying Terry. I often wonder why he picked me. It seems clear to me that HE is the catch, not the other way around. I love that guy. And look what we've done together! I can't wait to see what the next ten years bring.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014 disConnect

After the bike trip in June where Terry was gone and I was a single parent for the week, I was ready to go alone with him on a trip. Well, sort of alone. We traded our kids for other people's kids (ours stayed with behind with Grammas and Grampas). 

So June 23 through 27 Terry and I went to Table in the Wilderness camp in Centennial, WY for his disConnect high school trip. This had to have been his sixth or maybe even seventh time doing this and my fourth. What was special though was it was the first time I was able to do everything since I didn't have my kids with me. It was great!

We like this camp/ministry because they make the trip very easy for us. They house us, feed us, provide equipment and trained staff to support us. We're not particularly roughing it. Here's the view from our heated cabin (it was actually too hot the first night though it was in the 40's outside).

Monday we went rock climbing in Vedawoo, WY.  Every single person climbed. It was great.

Since there was another group there with us (from Georgia) and it was crowded, about half of us went for a hike to the top of the rocks they were climbing below. 

A highlight of the trip for Terry and I was hanging out with this guy - Kyle from Gburg, where we were for five years. He was such a great kid, then in high school, and now he's married with his first child and is on staff at Table. I was giving him a hard time since I was entrusting my life to his belaying.

Me climbing. It was an easy one but still scary!

After once I had had enough. But Terry went over to the more difficult course and nailed it. It was like twice as high as the one I did.

Hi Terry.

The following day, Tuesday, we went back to Vedawoo for repelling. This was by far the most challenging thing for the entire group, myself included. But here we are, clueless and happy.

I love his shot. Check out how freaked out and serious everyone is. It was scary.

We were watching the staff guys get the ropes ready for us. This is what we saw. We were like 100 feet up in the sky, waiting to repel off the huge rock. From where Cam is, it looks like a complete drop - you can't see where you're going.

But you can see from the side that there are a couple of lips to get over before you were actually dangling from your rope properly. This was the absolute worst part. Backing up towards a huge drop off....

But once you got over that lip and all you had to do was lower yourself down, it was quite enjoyable. 

Here's the view from the other side of the valley. You can see some kids on top of that rock.  

I did it too. And I was so scared. But I conquered. We all did!

Back at camp we had a downpour and then a beautiful double rainbow.  

The following day, Wednesday, would have been our hike day. However, the mountain was still under this much snow.  

So we went sledding instead!

Ben went down without a sled and it was hilarious. 

Next we drove over the mountains to Saratoga to the natural hot springs.  The last time I had been there, Evie was only 18 months old - go look because she's so adorable. The water that day was extra hot. Here in the "lobster pool," it was nearly 140 degrees. That didn't stop some daredevils (ahem, Kyle and Parker) from going in briefly. Crazies. I was against it.

This next pool was just a shade cooler at like 130 degrees. I like how Kyle photo-bombs Tim and Tyler's shot and looks like he's lazily backstroking through the water instead of feverishly trying to get to the other side so he can get out.  

The next day, Thursday, was our last. It was busy. Canoeing, mountain biking and rock wall climbing. Because the Platte River was far too high and dangerous to canoe (lots and lots of snow and rain this year), we went to a lake. The best part was when all of us came together and Terry ran back and fourth across the boats. We are stronger together.

That afternoon we finally got to go mountain biking. That was the very best part of the trip for me. It was awesome. The only bummer part was Jazmin had a couple wrecks. The first one she broke her chain clean in half and her second she fell on a hill and scraped herself up. 

After dinner we all climbed the rock wall and did the zip line. Oh and got eaten alive by mosquitos. Terry beat me to the top on the harder course.  

That night we had a campfire, told stories, ate smores and said goodbye to our new friends. Syndey and Dana randomly decided these two Georgia boys were their new best friends. However, after Terry took their picture, he discovered with the flash what he couldn't see before - Michael photo-bombing their photo, making this hilarious and freaky face. We laughed so hard.

And Friday we left! On the way down I was like, "It's nice to be away from the kids." On the way back I was ready to be with my kids again and away from the students. But it was a great time.