Friday, July 24, 2009

the journey continues


I'm not even sure what to title this entry yet, so I'll leave it blank and maybe something will come to me in a bit. The days have been flying by...up until today. Boy, has the day lasted a seemingly long time! Maybe it's just because I actually accomplished alot that it seems to have been so many hours. It has been a good day, very good, actually...just long.

My bags are packed and my thoughts are already in Alaska...left half my heart there last year (as the saying goes). So thankful to be returning this year and so excited to see what lies ahead for the week.

I was asked an interesting question tonight by a good friend who's trying to figure out the purpose behind mission trips...is really to help others or is it a personal journey? I'm sure there are as many answers to that questions as there are people to ask...for me, it was a personal journey. Didn't really intend for it to be...didn't go selfishly seeking it to be all about me, but in the end I learned more about myself and who God wants me to be than I could have helped anyone there. The people I met actually helped and blessed me more than they could ever know...I hope I expressed that to them while there and since then often enough. If God used me to further His Kingdom or to encourage just one of His children in Anchorage then Praise Him for it! I found a renewed freedom in Christ while in Alaska last summer...that is priceless.

Why did it take a trip to Alaska? I am pretty sure it wasn't "Alaska" per say, but getting me away from the normal routine I was in...out of my comfort zone...and into His presence alone. The alone part of that statement is a key point. He alone is God. He alone is worthy of praise. He alone is mighty to save. He alone is my strength. He alone is to be number one in my life.

My journey didn't end in Alaska...and technically it didn't begin there either, but you get my drift...it has been an endless journey of hills and valleys, turns and detours...with a few stops and bumps along the way this entire last year. And, today it continues still. With God as my compass, the journey is no longer something to be feared or dreaded. If He can get me through this past year, He alone can get me through anything ahead of me!

Alaska...Wow! I can't wait!

Forget-Me-Not

Since it's after midnight now, I can say it's only one more day now until we leave for Anchorage. Found out some more details about our trip these past couple of days...some news is better than none. :) It only makes me all the more ready to be there and getting into the swing of things again. There are alot of people who are wishing that they were coming with us again...my thought is that we'll just have to make plans for next summer. :) Who knows...with God all things are possible, right?!

The boys have been holding up well this week. Maybe they've been too busy to think about me leaving. Partially intentional on my part, partially not...it just worked out that way. I told them that Mama is heading to Alaska to be a missionary and tell people about Jesus. They want to come to Alaska with me someday...and I would love to take them and get them on the mission field at an early age. They'll love it.

Been thinking alot about Alaska's state flower, the "Forget-Me-Not"...here's a little poem that I found written by Esther Birdsall Darling...

"So in thinking for an emblem
For this Empire of the North
We will choose this azure flower
That the golden days bring forth,
For we want men to remember
That Alaska came to stay
Though she slept unknown for ages
And awakened in a day.
So although they say we’re living
In the land that God forgot,
We’ll recall Alaska to them
With our blue Forget-me-not."


There's something charming about that little beauty...something that makes me realize how fitting the name really is for Alaska. As if I could ever forget "Wow '08" Alaska...but the "Forget-Me-Not" is a gentle reminder that always makes me smile and remain sweet and happy while strolling down memory lane.

To the places I visited, the glacier I slid down, the mountains that wowed me, the people I met...I say three little words...

Forget. Me. Not.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

excited...who, me?

I am so ready for Saturday to get here...can't believe it's just 3 sleeps away. If I were sleeping now it'd only be two. :) Just found out tonight, talking to Traci, that we are going to be back at Mountain View Boys & Girls Club. Yay! We have kept in touch somewhat with them over this past year by sending them pictures, cards and notes of encouragement a couple of times.

Although it will be "familiar" territory, it will be a new adventure and I am so looking forward to what God has in store for me...probably more like...in store to teach me. I knew before leaving last year that I was going back again someday...and, I am thankful to be getting the opportunity so soon!!!


God is good...all the time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fernbank Museum & CNN Center

The city of Atlanta used to intimidate me...coming from small town Indiana, the airport alone used to intimidate me. This is changing, however, for the good. The part about Atlanta that I still am not fond of is that you can find yourself in an okay part of town and in just one block that can change rapidly. I don't understand how this happens, but I'm told it's called "transitioning neighborhoods"...whatever you want to call it, I call it unnerving.

Anyway, none of that matters for our trips to the Fernbank Museum and CNN Center. Fernbank has an IMAX theatre...and, truthfully, that's the only reason to spend the time to go there on most occasions. The first IMAX movie that I ever saw was about Lewis and Clark...now, that was awesome. Seen a few since and none are as impressive as that one. However, the movie we saw just last week, "Under the Sea" was really cool. Once again, I found the movie informative, and rather upbeat...unlike two previous ones seen where it was a tongue lashing and a personal endeavor of the producers to get an environmental message out to us in a rather boring and accusational manner. General concept okay, but come on people, be nice already. You catch more flies with honey...

The boys and I enjoyed the trip to Fernbank. The main exhibit was called "A Walk Through Georgia." They reproduced several different areas of our wonderful state and helped you see the natural wonders that each of them has to offer when visited. I was mostly impressed with the Okeefenokee Swamp recreation. They even had you walking on the same type of boardwalk that truly exists at the State Park located in the heart of the "Hokee O' Swamp" (as the boys used to call it after our visit there years ago). Lots of fun memories were talked about in the short walk through this area...the only thing missing from the exhibit were the humongous spiders that one will find there. Maybe they were there and I just didn't look that hard for them not really wanting to relive that memory again. :)

Our favorite part of the acutal museum, however, was the hands-on science room. Lots of experiments for the kids (and us kids at heart) to experience. Bubbles, shadows, vision experiments, and lots of other cool stuff...and, a live animal show with a frog, lizard, and snake.






Just yesterday, then, we took a tour of the CNN Center. It really wasn't anything like I expected other than the newsroom areas. Had no idea there were restaurants and shops inside...the building itself is huge. Was told it used to be an indoor amusement park...that was interesting. The escalator takes you up 8 stories to begin the tour and only after you are on the top they tell you interesting facts about it. It's the largest free standing escalator...meaning there are no support beams under it. I had noticed that it was incredibly long and impressive looking, but to think it was designed in such a way that it supports itself without beams to the floor below is quite an accomplishment. The escalator ride was the boys favorite part and they were disappointed that they could only ride it once.

Being a person who always has a camera hanging from my wrist, you can imagine my disappointment at no photos allowed during the tour, but I totally understood the reasoning and had expected such a rule from the start. Not too much to see outside of the tour really, but we enjoyed the visit. About halfway through the tour, Tim told me, "Mom, this is cool. I thought it was going to be boring, but it's not." I'll take it. :)

Having spent the night camping out in our backyard, we were all a little spent by the end of our visit. I do believe Alex was asleep before we even were through the exit of the parking garage. Tim soon followed suit. We may be done with our attraction visits...there would be two more we could see, but I think we may cut it short and call it "a good time had by all" and be content. Time is short between now and Saturday when I leave for Alaska and we are wanting to go swimming with our neighbor's granddaughter who's visiting and I need to finish packing and getting the house ready for my absence. It won't keep itself going, so I'm going to give it a good polishing before I leave so it won't be so bad off (hopefully) when I return in a week. Positive thinking is something, right?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Days of Summer

These days of summer have been some of the best yet with the boys. We're having so much fun just being our silly selves...no other way to be, really. :) In addition to our Atlanta attractions visits these pictures show some of our other fun adventures...water fights, BMX track, waterslide, and camping in the backyard.

Who knows what we'll do next...



Alex tearing up the BMX track in Peachtree City...


Timmy enjoying the waterslide sprays...
Alex having a splashing good time on the waterslide...
Water fight with Daddy...the boys soon turned on him and he was just as wet as they were by the end. :)




Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GA Aquarium & World of Coke


Having tired of doing the normal things around our area, I asked for "City Pass" tickets for the boys and myself. This gives you entrance into 6 Atlanta attractions for a fraction of the cost of admission to them all individually. (Just google "Atlanta City Pass" and you'll get all the info you could possibly want...maybe other big cities do it, too, who knows). Anyway, today the boys and I adventured out to the GA Aquarium and the World of Coke...considered CNN as well, but that would have been overkill for all 3 of us. What's nice is that you get to go to both places (or all 3 if you choose) with only paying parking once. However, they may say you get into shorter lines, but don't believe them...you have to go to the will call line (GA) or the general ticket line (WOC) still to redeem the actual ticket for admission. It was an okay day for the lines today, thankfully.
We've been to the aquarium before...this was our 4th visit. (Still like Tennessee Aquarium better, but this one's more convenient). :) Our tickets today gave us an extra bonus in that we were able to see the 4D movie starring Deepo and his friends and get a "behind the scenes" tour. Neither of which we have experienced on our previous visits...movie was cute...the tour left something to be desired.

Ever since my first visit to the largest aquarium ever, I've been wondering how they came up with their fish's name, "Deepo". Thought it cute since he's orange and sweet like his counterpart "Nemo"...catchy way to keep a name simple and rhyming with another popular cartoon fish, right? Well, finally today while sitting in the auditorium awaiting the beginning of the movie it hit me. "Deepo" doesn't have anything to do with "Nemo" but has everything to do with the fact that the aquarium was a gift to Atlanta from the co-founder of The Home DEPOT. Quite amused that I finally figured it out, I've been laughing at myself all day about my lightbulb finally glowing with all 100 watts. In the movie itself, a line hits it out of the park...Deepo is asked by his new friend, "This is your home, Deepo?" Quite a tag line for the old Home Depot, wouldn't you say? (The Home Depot is considered a competitor of our business, btw...still shop there on occassion, however).

The thing that excited me the most this trip was the frogs. Haven't ever noticed them before for some reason. They are in a little exhibit in the River Scout area. This one little purple frog looked just like the plastic ones kids play with...in fact, I was questioning his realness until he moved. It was so cool to see all the vivid colors in real life as opposed to just on tv...greens, blues, black and white, purples...They realy are brightly colored! It was something...pictures didn't do them justice, really.


The boys liked the elephant nose fish and the whale sharks. I liked the frogs. Pretty cool all around...and I enjoyed seeing something new among all the things that I remembered from previous visits.

After several hours walking around in circles in the aquarium (if you go there you'll know I'm serious about that), we make our way outside for a short walk to the World of Coke. Now, having been there myself once about 7 years ago, I knew one thing for sure...lots of flavors were just waiting to be tasted. The boys were so excited that they were finally free to drink all the pop they wanted...that's "Coke" to you southerners and "soda" to you others not from the midwest. :) It was nice to see the new "World of Coke"...much brighter and more colorful than I remember the old one being. Cudos to the designer! (We sold alot of rebar for that job, too!)

Entering the museum, the boys had one thing on their minds. Tasting the different flavors of Coke was the only thing they wanted to do. It took every ounce of the patience to sit through the preliminary introductions and such to get to the self guided tour. I can't say we saw all that the World of Coke had to offer, but that's okay. They liked seeing the bottling process so I considered that a successful part of our tour and we went on in to the tasting area.

Watching the boys sipping soda pop from different countries was priceless. Timmy had a pop mustache that made me smile. Alex was all about tasting each and every one of them. We had a good time together. I'm not for sure how many of those flavors had caffeine in them, but for a one time event I guess it didn't really matter. They sure were tasty. I didn't taste as many as the boys did...tried many flavors of Fanta though, because those are usually safe. :) Alex liked getting to the North American stand, however, where his favorites were. The rootbeer had run out of syrup, though, and before I knew it he was sipping straight CO2 which put an awful taste in his mouth of course. I tried to explain it to him...he just went on and tried something else without skipping a beat. They were stuffed with bubbles and bubbles of carbonation by the time we left. One of their favorite things was getting their own bottle of Coke to bring home with them.

Don't know where we'll venture to next...we have 9 days to visit the rest of our attractions. Seems like alot, but it has already been worth it's cost. A day of memories not soon to be forgotten.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Let the countdown begin!


Two weeks from today is the scheduled take-off day to Alaska. It has seemed so far away for so long, it's hard to believe it's finally down to two weeks. It's just after 10 pm right now...so in two weeks, Lord willing, we'll still be in the air getting ready to land in just a little while. So many things going through my mind...excitement and anticipation with a little anxiousness mixed in too. :) This trip is being prayed for, though, and has been for a long time now. This trip isn't for me or even for the people of Alaska...it's for God and His glory. As I think about that, it puts everything into perspective. He>I...and that's all that matters.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yard Sale Day

It was finally Yard Sale Day at our house. This doesn't mean much to many people, but to my Alex it meant alot! He loves yard selling...both hosting and visiting them. He has been wanting a yard sale for months now, but for one reason or another we could never get one in...until today.

Alex had so much fun. My mother-in-law and I had this sale together at my house, so not only did we have a yard sale, his Nana was here all day long, too. This made for two happy little boys.

Try as they might, they were not able to convince me to sell them their own toys back to them. :) They did not like having to part with them, but in order to purchase more the old ones had to go first. This concept was understood to a point, but both of them were able to convince a grandparent to purchase an item of their choosing to keep for them at their house. I am okay with this as long as it's out of our house. Gone is gone no matter where it has gone to in my book. :)

Overall, we had a very successful day. One never knows who's going to come looking and what they are willing to buy. Items that I never dreamt I'd be seeing bought were the first to go. This cracks me up everytime it happens. The saying goes, though, one man's trash is another man's treasure. It must be true.

Items were sold...others were donated and the best part about that is someone was willing to come and pick those items up for me. Yay! All in all, a good day. Made the boys happy, spent a day with my in-laws and made some money for my trip to Alaska...being a stay at home mom, I can now say I worked to pay for part of my trip's cost. Ready to relax...

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blackberry cake, anyone?

I asked myself this afternoon, "Did Betty Crocker ever have a day like this?" I picked more blackberries today and thought to myself that a blackberry cake would be a nice change. So, I made a few phone calls, browsed a few cookbooks, and scanned the internet looking for a recipe that looked good. Looking back now, I wish I would have just frozen these berries for another day like I had with the second batch I picked. (A note to add here..."Betty Crocker" is just a name chosen, not an actual lady. Sad, but true.)
It's actually rather comical, my afternoon baking session...I wish I had an excuse of interruptions or not feeling well or anything, but I don't. I picked two recipes to try - one from a cookbook and one from the internet. I had four heaping cups of berries, so I had enough for both in case I liked one better than the other. Free berries, so why not try something new, right?
Everything was going well with the internet "Blackberry Coffee Cake" recipe until...I second guessed myself on the type of pan to bake it in. The recipe called for a "tube pan". This to me is an angel food cake pan...and this was even confirmed as I scouted the internet on my options. I hesitated so many times before pouring my batter into the angel food cake pan (which happens to be two pieces) as opposed to a bundt pan (one piece tube pan). Yeah, the batter stayed in the pan for about two minutes and then proceeded to ooze out into the oven and burn on the bottom of the oven. Thankfully, the smoke alarm didn't go off. The smell was atrocious and so unnecessary if I would not have second guessed my first instinct on the bundt pan. So, I grabbed the angel food pan's oozing mess out of the oven and looked for a place to sit it until I could get the oven cleaned and the batter into my bundt pan. I decided to sit it on top of the bundt pan since the batter was headed there next anyway. Great idea until I realized too late that I was supposed to have sprayed the bundt pan with Pam before the batter went in so it wouldn't stick. It only got better from here...
Finally, the cake batter was in the bundt pan...not as neat and pretty as the first time, but in and contained. Getting the cake out would be faced after the baking was finished...if I could get it out anyway. Meanwhile, I had started on my second cake, "A Berry Cake" while the first cake was trying to escape it's baking pan. Had all the ingredients in and realized that this recipe was apparently mistyped for there were no liquids listed aside from an egg and the crushed berries. Hardly enough liquid to make a cake batter consistency...more like playdough consistency. So, having been baking for years now I go out on a limb and add pretty typical ingredients to make it more batter like...oil and milk. Got it to what seemed normal and poured this batter into a prepared cake pan complete with Pam and said a prayer that it would set up like a cake. Along the way, I tasted the batter...and one thought came to mind...nutmeg. Nutmeg and I have this history and it was almost repeated again this time around. Let me just say, a little nutmeg goes a long, long way. Love it, but it has a lot of punch in a little pinch. In the oven it went...nutmeg, prayer and all.
The two cakes were finally sitting side by side in the still smoking/smelling oven and all I could do is chuckle at my last hour's adventure. It was sure going to be a surprise to see what ended up coming out of the oven in the end. Both ended up being done at the same time amazingly enough. The blackberry coffee cake looked good...the berry cake looked like cake at least.
It took about three tries, but the coffee cake finally came out of the un-Pam-ed bundt pan with only minor damages. The berry cake looked good...smelled and tasted like nutmeg. Aside from having the seeds in it no one would ever know there were blackberries in it.
Needless to say, it was not a typical Betty Crocker baking day for me...nothing seemed to go right but I did end up with two cakes that are edible and with ice cream they will be even better.
Next time, I'll stick with my cobbler recipe.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Quiet Days

Sometimes it's best just to have quiet days at home. I have had a couple of those yesterday and today...not much happening other than a little cleaning and alot of playing going on. I guess alot is on my mind so it really doesn't seem so quiet, but when one asks what we did during the day I realize that it really wasn't much after all.
Yesterday I went into the boys room to organize the toys again. I don't understand little boys and their need to scatter things from here to there and back again. (Maybe it's not just little boys, but more of a personality trait found in some and not in others...I wouldn't know about little girls).
I lost myself in my thoughts as I sorted, boxed up, and marked toys for the yard sale coming up Friday. It's so funny how the boys don't touch a toy for months, but as soon as I even think about selling it at the yard sale it becomes a favorite again. That lasts for a moment and then I pick it up from the floor again and place it back in the yard sale pile. It happens to bother me alot to have toys mixed together that don't belong together, so I bought two storage units for their toys to keep them organized better awhile back. It works as long as the boys remember to put things back where they belong. I think they have selective memory...it follows right along with selective hearing. :)
I wish things in life were so easily sorted through. But, having a few days to think has done me some good. I have taken a break from sorting toys for the moment, but there's more to do so I'd best get back to it. Although it is a struggle at times to figure out little boys' ways, I am ever so thankful for every minute of my life with them in it! They are indeed my sunshine.
Time to lose myself in a mass of toys...and try to make sense of all that's on my mind these days.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 4th Weekend...Happy Independence Day, America!

Over the weekend of July 4th, we spent the weekend in the North GA mountains...specifically in Helen, GA to go tubing down the Chattahoochee River. Scott first took me to the mountains right after I moved to GA in 2001...the drive up there is about 2 hours from where we live, but the closer we get to the mountains, the more it reminds me of my IN home with all the farms, gardens, and rolling hills. I love to visit the area for a home away from home experience.

We've been tubing almost every year since we met. One year it was too dry to even attempt to go. We've taken both the boys since they were little tykes...Alex was only around 8 months old when he went tubing for the first time. He fell asleep on my shoulder about halfway down the river and was the talk of the town as we floated through Helen. That next summer was the year we missed tubing...so Tim was just over a year when he went down for the first time. Ever since then we've been taking an annual trip to Helen for tubing and going to Hansel & Gretel's candy kitchen. They make peanut brittle that tastes just like ours that we used to make in Grandma's kitchen. It's so good! Everything I've ever had there is good...and I'm not a fudge person but even their fudge is better than most...epecially their Pumpkin Pie fudge they make in the fall.

That's enough of an introduction...on to our weekend. We spent Friday doing some errands and eating lunch at Fat Matt's Rib Shack in Atlanta...it's second only to Cafe Pig for their bbq and brunswick stew, if you ask me. Didn't even think about eating anything the rest of the day. We made it to Helen (after many hours if you ask the boys) and went for a hike after checking into our hotel. We have camped before...we've rented cabins before...but the hotel was within walking distance of what we were going to be doing most of Saturday so we went with that this time around. The cabin rental is the best way to experience Helen, really. Unicoi State Park is a nice place to camp, though, too.

Hiking goal: making it to the waterfall on Raven Cliffs trail. Didn't quite make it but we were ever so close. After 2 and 1/4 miles in we had to turn around or suffer the consequences of overtired boys. That last 1/4 mile would have been too much...it just gives us a goal for next time, whenever that happens to be. There are alot of waterfalls along the way, so we enjoyed what we saw and experienced on our hike. The boys were so good...and especially happy to turn around and head back for the truck. :)

Hiking done, we took the boys to the hotel's pool before grabbing some Mexican for dinner. Scott's the only one who ate...I was still stuffed from lunch and the boys had pb&j before we left the room. We turned in kind of early due to the next day's adventures on the Hooch and at the waterpark.

We were on the river by about 9:20 or so...first ones on the bus to pick up our tubes. We knew the river would be busy later and so we headed out early, and busy doesn't even really describe how busy the river was later! It was so fun floating down the river with the boys. I have alot of fun watching the other people going down around us...I can usually pick out those who've never been tubing before just by the way they are handling themselves and the whole tubing experience. We had a blast as usual...and even went down again for the short route later on in the afternoon after some time at the waterpark.

The waterpark has 4 waterslides -2 curvy tunnels and two straight open slides - and a lazy river. Alex and I got our money's worth out of the park, let me assure you. He just couldn't get enough of the whole experience...and I enjoyed every minute right along with him. They offer an all day pass for both tubing and waterpark...so we could come and go as we wanted. It made it very convenient so we could go to the hotel across the street and eat or rest or whatever and then go for more fun. There were what we called double decker tubes where two people could ride together. Alex and I did the tunnels together several times and then floated on the river together too. He liked being in the front seat of the double decker tube. All in all it was a great time in the water (don't tell my doctor that I went swimming with my ears not healed yet..I did my best at keeping my head out of the water, though).

On Sunday we left the hotel early and made our way up Trey Mountain Road which literally takes you up a mountain. Ear popping, hairpin turns, hundreds of feet drop offs to your right kind of road. It is so neat! The magnolia trees were in full bloom and just beautiful on the mountain. Lots of wildflowers and wild blackberry bushes, too, along the way. Going up the mountain there was no rain, but once we started back down the other side one could tell it had rained on that side. The boys want to go and camp at one of the campsites established on little clearings along the roadside sometime. It would be fun to do it someday. There are a couple of waterfalls along Trey Mountain road that are neat to see...and then once you get onto Indian Gap Road a creek crosses over the road and you have to drive through it to continue on your journey. The water was about 8 inches at the deepest part in the road. We had no problem crossing it in the truck. The boys and Scott got out and walked around in it and played with the rocks and such. Too cold for me!
From there we went on to Hiawassee, GA. The views were spectacular along the way. My favorite pic is this one with the field below the mountains. So much to take in with the mountains, rivers, lakes...absolutely spectacular to see. Kind of makes me long for Alaska even more. We ate at this mom and pop restaurant in Hiawassee for lunch. It was delicious food for an incredible low price. After lunch, we found a park with a beach that was located in the middle of the mountains. Beautiful views from anywhere in the playground or on the beach. We all had fun playing around there and the boys went swimming again. After drying them off one last time, we loaded up and headed south for home. It was a good weekend to say the least.



A good time was had by all.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Another day in paradise...

Alex just cracks me up sometimes...today we're going through some stuff for our up and coming yard sale and he comes across something of his in the "sale pile". Without hesitation, while holding his re-found treasure, he quips, "This is a crime scene here." Who else but my firstborn son would consider it a crime scene when he found out that I put something of his in the yard sale items???
It was a nice interruption in an otherwise ugh! kind of day for me. I haven't been feeling well since Sunday...my ears have been bothering me again due to my sinuses. This is usually a winter thing for me so it took me by surprise to be feeling so off in the middle of the summer. I ended up going to the doctor today (one of my least favorite things to do), but I can't be having ear problems with a flight to Alaska coming up in a few weeks. I'm now on an antibiotic and prescription decongestant...but whatever it takes at this point to get my ears ready for flight - and get me less on edge around those whom I love the most.
Sorry, my boys, for being a little short on patience these past few days...forgive me for I do not mean to be so snappy at you. I love you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1st...only 24 more sleeps until Alaska

The coutndown has begun...24 "sleeps"and I'll be on a plane to Anchorage, AK. I am in shock that the year has gone by so fast. Part of me is wondering what I was thinking, wanting to return...it will be so different than last year. Then again, different isn't a bad thing, just different.

In many ways, my life was changed in Alaska. God got my attention and it's a lesson I won't soon forget. He wants to be number one in my life...second place just won't do. This past year has meant alot to me as I have learned to lean on my Rock through some tough times. The only problem with having an extraordinary encounter with God is returning to the ordinary life that awaits you off the mountain top. God is Lord of both, however...and gives grace sufficient to endure.

A lot of memories came from my first trip to the great state of moose, bear, and glaciers. My return to Alaska will not be like the first...but then again, I am a different person this second time around too. It's going to be okay...God's got it all under control. I am excited to see what lies ahead in Alaska this summer, knowing it will be what God has worked together for good for His children. Nothing can take away from Wow! '08 and what those 10 days mean to me even still to this day...but that doesn't mean my work in Alaska is over. Looking ahead for what adventure awaits on the other side of the mountain...