Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet?

This summer is hot. Hot as blazes. It started early and June was a record breaker. There's no hope of a break either. We are on high alert for fire and already our town has lost 28 homes and 4 businesses in a fast and furious wildfire. Things are tinder dry. Gardening is a challenge as nothing is on schedule. We rotor-tilled a good portion of the main garden this morning as we've already harvested most of it and it is time to replant. We do everything early in the morning or late at night. The middle of the day is a bust.
the cabbage patch kid, Isaac.

Today Vanessa took her NCLEX exam, which is the State nursing exam. We'll know the results in a day or two. The test cut off at exactly 75 questions which made her feel better than if it had gone all the way to 265, but there is no way to actually know how she did because it felt hard, hard, hard! But she studied hard and trusted the Lord to bring to her memory all that she had learned.
Vanessa's Nursing Pinning ceremony

Today I found out on facebook that Oscar and Pieter's mom is pregnant. No, nothing has changed. The boys were adopted by their great-grandparents.... She's still doing drugs. She is still going from man to man. That poor baby!!

Lake Wenatchee

Things are good with the other four kiddos and we still have them over every weekend. They like church and they enjoy our Sabbath afternoon adventures.  Their dad now has full custody and there is a certain amount of security for the oldest kids to know there's no going back to chaos. Mom is in jail. She still calls me.

Ancient Lakes

We had a lovely trip to Mt. Rainier. We camped in a forest and enjoyed the mountain both in fog and mists and on a clear and stellar day!

Mt Rainier is gorgeous and the flowers are amazing!!

 Caleb is trying to organize a trip to the peak next summer. We shall see what comes of that.

After we left Rainer and headed for Oregon, though we began to have car trouble. The car stalled in Portland in the middle of the interstate in the middle of rush hour! It would not start until it had cooled for a half hour... We got to the side and it stalled again and again and again ... all evening long as we sought help. It looked very much like we would be sleeping in the camper in the middle of the city as we could not get much help and we could not go anywhere. We actually had permission from Fred Meyer to let us camp in their parking lot. We prayed and the Lord answered in very clear ways. It was quite obvious even to the kids as the events unfolded. Finally, we just prayed that the Lord would start our car and keep us going all the next 90 miles to our destination. We needed to be at the campground for Light Bearer's campmeeting and we were wasting time in Portland. It was a miracle. The car did not stall again that night! We arrived at midnight and set up as quietly as we could and were in bed by at least 1AM.  The meetings were wonderful. We were so blessed by the study of the entire book of Hebrews.

We did get some help with the car and changed some parts and we thought our car was fixed. However, on our trip home we started stalling all over the place again..... And we did what we do and ate.  The first breakdown we ate watermelon. The next breakdown we set up our camp stove and made hotdogs. Each stall took an hour or more to cool the car... We stalled over and over and over as we crept home. It took hours!! The higher the temperature rose the more the suburban stalled. The further North we drove the hotter it got.

It was starting to feel a little rough by midnight....  it was SO HOT!!  and we were making advance by 20 miles at a time. We dragged ourselves into the parking lot of a rest area just before the mountain pass and let the engine cool for a couple hours. Finally, the temps started dropping and the cool mountain air assisted us. We finally rolled into our driveway at 2 am. Little did we know we had started a trend that was getting us to bed later and later....

BUT our troubles seemed to be miniscule in compared to what was happening at home.
not my photo... taken from facebook.

The kids wasted no time getting to work making a fire  buffer around the house as best as they could.

carting off the dry grass.

Our valley is grey with smoke but it does not smell strong and it doesn't bother the lungs. We are at risk all summer long.

Last Friday Steve decided to take Caleb and some of our other young people hiking in  the Enchantments. I decided to join the crew. I shouldn't have. I totally slowed them down. It's quite a hike and it is a good thing we did not take James.

Here's what I wrote directly after.

So stiff and sore! But we saw thirty of these mountain goats on our unbelievable, sort of disastrous, journey. Probably half of them were kids! Number thirty was an old goat asleep on our trail and we had to rudely awaken him to get him to move a couple feet off the path so we could pass. I would not want to come in contact with his horns for sure.

He wasn't the only one we rudely awakened. Some guys sleeping in hammocks had to guide us out of their campsite and back to the trail after we became disoriented.  They were kind fellows, but certainly they were glad to be done with our wanderings around their hammocks. 

Some lessons learned on this hike? Don't take your old mom (me) hiking on hikes longer than 10 miles when there is a LOT of extreme knee exertion. My nephew Isaac at 12 years old is an amazing trooper! Hiked at the front of the pack all day and second on the trail all night without one single word of complaint! When I complimented him on that fact at the end of it all he said, "well, I did complain a couple times!" I had to explain that saying you are tired is not complaining! This kid is incredibly strong and resilient. 

We learned that Brianna can sing All night! She was chipper and never let on that her knees were done many hours ago. Nephew Caleb is as patient and caring as he is strong. He showed unselfishness in giving away his first aid supplies to a woman who sprained her knee terribly, but more than that he stuck by his old aunt through that long dreadful night down the mountain when I could barely move my knees and and my feet were on fire barely crawling along. He even gave me his light. He and I sort of got lost at the end but we made it! Alyssa, bless her heart, was strong and courageous though her knees were so pained she wanted to just crawl off the trail and sleep till morning...she is so sore this today and she might reconsider going any Ford excursions from here on out! Steve and I are proud of these kids. We'll try not to put them in such trying circumstances again.?  We got home at 5:30 AM after collecting the other car and driving home with toothpicks to prop our eyelids open. 

As we crawled in the car at the trail's end and turned on the ignition, the clock said: 3:41 AM. Alyssa said, "HEY!! Do you know what number that is in the hymnal? That is To God Be The Glory!" We sang it with as much enthusiasm as our exhausted bodies could muster. God knows we are grateful!

Are we having fun yet?

(For specs on this loop trail check out : and look under hiking. We hiked up to 7,800 feet .)


Laurel said...

Wow! That is a LOT of adventures!

I LOVE your pictures, and your adventures. How have I never heard of the Enchantments???

Two years ago, we had similar car troubles, while also pulling our camping trailer. It took us 12 hours to get across the state rather than 7, stopping every hour or so for overheating, and driving very slowly. Not fun.

We, too, are experiencing very extraordinary weather on our side of the state. Did you hear that the Rain Forest is actually burning. Quite a phenomenon, actually!

Your pies are BEAUTIFUL!

BLESSINGS to you and your family. You have been on my mind this week, as I am in your "neighborhood" on a little "mommy get-a-way".

lilbets said...

Wow wow wow. Have been eagerly waiting for a post and this was amazing. So good to see awesome photos and to read all the adventures. Assuming the twins behaved!! Hoping the fires dont trouble you

Oldqueen44 said...

So much fun and excitement to be had. Beautiful pictures. Some of them don't even look real. Stay safe.

lilbets said...

Hi I am so curious. Did Vanessa pass her exams