Sunday, December 30, 2007

More on Christmas and a bit of New Year's Day

Anji's sure right: we'd gotten woefully behind with the blog. So behind, in fact, that I just went out to look at it and found out that Anji had posted! 

Bless her "pea-pickin' heart" (as my dear ol' Dad would say).

But that doesn't keep me from feeling guilty (darnit) about not posting, especially knowing that you're all just waiting... no... anticipating... no... desperately counting the minutes... until we post again!

Christmas was weird (but good) like always. No one admits it too often, but Christmas is pretty much the biggest letdown of the entire year. You prepare and you decorate and you purchase and you pray for snow and you send cards, then "POOF!" it's outta there in one day! Maybe that's why there's that traditional song about the 12 days of Christmas. That guy, while completely broke by day 5 (a.k.a., "the day of the golden rings"), was probably thinking "man, Christmas is just too short; how could I make it longer?" I can relate to that guy.

Our family had a good day (even with a curmudgeonly father and gimpy patriarch in tow). We opened gifts in the morning, ate in the afternoon, and wonders of wonders, we finished Jotham's Journey on Christmas Day. For those of you who aren't familiar, Jotham's Journey is an adventure story set around and tied to the true Christmas story (the one about Christ). It's meant to be read each night of the Advent season to prepare our minds and hearts for the Christmas day celebration. For Anji, Emery, Asa, and me it was helpful in doing so. Jack and Sam? Notsomuch. A couple more years and the tradition's impact will grow. The Lord grants us grace for our efforts with our children, no matter how seemingly frustrated we are or distracted they may be.

We attended church here in Cookeville for the first time today with the Cookeville Primitive Baptist Church. It's a small congregation that's focused on the simplicity of the first century church meeting: a cappella singing of traditional hymns, biblical teaching from a pastor/elder, and joyful fellowship. It was funny, but our family of six nearly doubled the meeting size for the day. We were graciously invited to lunch after the service and enjoyed the fellowship with other Christians immensely. Whether we return or not I don't know, but it was refreshing for our spirit to join a meeting again.

The new year is upon us and we're joining some local acquaintances for an evening celebration with their family on the 31st. Snow, as Anji mentioned, is expected to come that night or early on the 1st. We welcome it but we concede to you Washingtonians that snow on New Year's Day doesn't beat your white Christmas! 

We pray that you and your family are richly blessed in body and spirit in 2008! Stay tuned for more Tennessee news!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dreadfully behind!

The sad thing about the following note is that it is to "catch up" since we kind of advertised our blog with the Christmas card/photo/note only to have y'all find it old news. Sorry. Hope we didn't lose anyone!!

Asa turned 5 and we had another intimate family dinner and celebration. He chose spaghetti for dinner. He also was rather persistent about wanting that number 5 candle - it was becoming more and more important the longer we cruised the grocery store.

We had a dusting of snow on December 16th - oh, how lovely. It didn't get much more than the photo can show but it was a delight. It was gone a couple days later as the temperature stayed rather low for a while. We've got snow for New Year's Day in the forecast but we're pretty skeptical. Locals say that the "snow season" is January through March. We've been getting reports back from home about all the snow there - after all that rain. For the first time in a LOOOOONG time it snowed on Christmas Day in the Battle Ground, WA area. And we're not there... bummer. Well, maybe this year the Titans will go to the playoffs and WIN!!! Yeah, I couldn't make that sound sincere even in print, huh?

Kurt's parents came for Christmas. We enjoyed having their company. Jay was a little "gimpy" as he is having issues with his left foot and is on crutches. No matter though. We were in for the festivities anyway as the boys opened packages, we feasted on Christmas ham (that's just a ham eaten on Christmas, you know - I don't cook it any different... ha). Even Lucy was jazzed with her wrapped cookies to open and the fireplace blazing for the after treat nap. We missed everyone at home. The holidays intensify homesickness and our whole family felt it. If you are reading this, know you are loved by us.

My recovery has finally made a turn for the better. I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and panic attacks. The medication has finally started to make a difference. Apparently the gall bladder thing was the "straw that broke the camel's back" and threw me physically into this rather bizarre funk of sorts. It's hard to describe and if I didn't experience it I would not really be able to relate to the condition. I've been blessed with a competent doctor, a supportive husband, and a really huge amount of encouragement from my mother and sister. My family rocks!

Until later, may the peace of Christ reign over you today and always.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Come ye thankful people, come!

It's been quite a while since I, the "fearing man" in the title of this blog, posted up here. Anji's been encouraging me to post, but I've been dragging my virtual feet. But now here I am, back in the blogging saddle, ready to give you all the scoop that you've been anticipating!

Anji is getting better, day-by-day. She's still struggling with her energy level and the leftover pain and effects of the surgery. The good news is that she's been given a pretty clean bill of health as a result of all of the testing she endured. Her heart is good (in more ways than one, my friends) and her big issue now is acid reflux or at least what seems to be symptomatic of acid reflux. The bad news is that she doesn't feel a whole lot better. I guess that's a bit difficult to explain. We anticipated a significant change after the surgery based upon the doctor's feedback, but have yet to see Anji experience it. We continue to covet your prayer for a full recovery.

Our home is coming together slowly but surely. The garage now actually houses both the van and the multitude of boxes that we have yet to unpack. With the weather turning cold, I sometimes pull the van out of the garage and let the boys ride their tricycles and bikes as a diversion from the general hooliganism that ensues when four boys have spent just a bit too much time inside. The house is certainly large enough to accommodate their playtime needs, but the volume level and intensity level often increases to a point where neither Anji nor I can tolerate another moment. We still have very little furniture and no window coverings to speak of, so the reverberation of joyous screaming often becomes difficult to bear.

I have established a home office once again. I reside in the "upper room" (a.k.a., the "bonus room") and for the most part find it a workable situation. The door at the bottom of the stairs does not lock, giving Jack and Asa in particular the feeling that they have free access to come upstairs and play or ask questions or generally disrupt my workday. It is, however, far better than driving into an office where I would only hear the sound of the heating and air conditioning running. Life is good and I am blessed to be able to do what I do how I have chose to do it. My new boss is exceptionally helpful and I am beginning to become busy. For a while, I was stricken by the lack of activity. I know that probably sounds strange to some of you, but having come from a position where telephone calls and emails poured in like Niagara Falls on a daily basis, it is rather shocking to have one or two calls and maybe five or ten emails a day. I'm sure it will change as it always seems to do.

The Lord blessed us for our Thanksgiving holiday and we are looking forward to the upcoming holidays. For those of you who do not know it, today is Saint Nicholas Day. We have taken this holiday and made it a special "kick-off" for our Christmas season. Tonight, Anji will make a Mediterranean meal and I will read a story or two from the great saint's life. His story, while embellished over the years, is one of faithfulness to God and to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Saint Nicholas lost his parents to the plague when he was young, spent his youth under the tutelage of a faithful uncle, became the Bishop of Myra as a young man, provided for the poor and destitute from his own means, and was imprisoned and persecuted severely for his faith by the Roman Empire. Upon his release from prison, he continued his faithful service and even counseled the great Byzantine Emperor Constantine during his reign. With the Christmas season becoming so commercial and selfish, we are joyful to move our focus to one who was, in essence, an example of true religion in practice. We humbly pray that you too might have such a focus during this time of year. Certainly Christmas is not simply about a baby in a manger, but rather about the coming of an all-conquering Savior and glorious King!

All of that said, I wanted to share with you my prayer from Thanksgiving Day. In the past, I've "winged it" when praying, but this year I wanted to purposefully remember certain things as we came before our Lord with thankfulness:
Lord, this year we have been blessed by your gracious hand in ways too numerous to count.
This meal set before us upon the table represents only a small measure of your richness and provision.
We are humbled as a family and as part of this nation which was established under your rule and by your hand.
For your gifts are many and your mercy is great.
Let us never forget that all good things come through you.
Now, as we begin our feast, may your holy spirit come among us and call into remembrance those who have gone before us into glory, those who are fighting for freedom and justice in foreign lands, and those who are waiting upon their return.
We join together in this prayer with your church across our nation and thank you, humbly asking for your continued blessing and guidance in the years ahead.
We thank you for your greatest gift, Jesus, and pray in his holy name.
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." (Psalm 100:4-5)

We wish you a thankful and joyous season dear friends and family.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving and a Gall Bladder

Thanksgiving was nice for our family. We had Kit (Kurt's brother) and his family and Kurt's parents join us for a themed day of "thankfulness". Kurt had a little history lesson on the day's origin and wrapped it up in thankfulness to a loving and generous God. He read the "Five Kernels of Corn" poem. Then we each had five kernels of corn on our plate and each one was an opportunity to share what we were thankful for. Our meal was wonderful and it was a real treat for us to have the honor of hosting a crowd (Kit's family consists of four youngun's too) with our more spacious accommodations.

On Monday I had a consult with a surgeon regarding my gall bladder situation. Since my MIL stayed behind while my FIL took Kit and his family home, we wanted to get the operation done quickly so Rachel could get back with her husband... after all, it is their 50th wedding anniversary trip!! I'm recovering quickly, I think. Last night was uncomfortable but with the consistent pain meds I was fine. And even now I am feeling like there is a little more range of movement without feeling stabbing pains in the tummy.

If you're up to it leave a comment or two, eh? It seems a little lonely here.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good News/Bad News

A brief update on all the medical issues that I have been experiencing...

My heart stress test on Monday came back good. All is well with the ol' ticker. I am so thankful for that.

My gal bladder test on Tuesday came back not good. Apparently the thing ain't workin'! The test was pretty uneventful until they put the hormone in the IV to make the gall bladder "empty". Yeesh - that was pretty uncomfortable. Good thing was that it subsided fairly quickly but it was a pretty accurate reenactment of the pre-ER moments that I was having. So, the plan is to meet with the surgeon on Monday to discuss the surgery and set up the date.

Beyond all that - we are praying that Thanksgiving will be time of great fellowship for all of our friends and family and that Jesus will be the center piece of each person's thankfulness. I know He is mine.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

My First Baby is Eleven

Yup, he's all that. A handsome, charming guy. Emery turned eleven today. And I can recall nearly every moment of his first breaths, cries (and poop) while at the hospital.

He received his gifts this morning; a Playmobil Pirate set, some comic books, and (yikes) a pocket knife. I have to admit that these are things that his father was quite excited about giving - me? - I was informed that his was what a boy would like so I passively shrugged and continued with my laundry. When he went to open the packages the little brothers were all over him like bees on honey!! The knife was put up shortly after opening and, well, Asa kinda took over the Playmobil after Em moved on to the comics. After that Kurt took the three older boys to Waffle House (per request of Em, of course). Emery said that it was "unique" because the waitresses served the meals from behind the counter. They had a good time. Sam was taking a nap at home while I continued on that laundry chore I mentioned earlier.

Me? Well, I gave him what my mother has indoctrinated in me by fixing him his choice of meal and each ingredient that was mixed in had a stir of grateful love for Emery's presence in my life. We watched the Disney animated movie, Ratatouille, last night and there was a scene where a cynical critic was reviewing the food of this restraunt and when he took the first bite he went into a memory fog. One of him as a child at his kitchen table being served by his mother the same dish. And the crotchety old guy was moved to tears. And there's the opportunity for us mother's - provide those meals that will bring back sweet memories. Of not only the tasty dish but of the care that it was given not only to nourish but to LOVE. "The fruit of her hands..."

I know you are all wondering what the menu was...
Jambalaya (with shrimp - I usually do not include it)
Caesar Salad (with croutons - I usually do not include it)
French Bread
Root Beer (we usually drink water)
Cookie Cake

As you can read; not a picky guy. All the boys really enjoyed the meal and the cookie cake was a hit. Thanks to Walmart. Em picked it out yesterday when we were there but on the drive home he said the one thing that he didn't like about the store bought cookie was that there wasn't any spoon to lick if I were making it at home! That was funny.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Can You Tell A Difference?

Well, here it is. An update on the ol' garage... not too great, eh? Thing is, I can see more floor now but you can't really tell in this photo. The boxes are NOT organized so we still have a free for all trying to find specific things and "ooh, look what I found!!" moments otherwise.

I told Kurt that as soon as we get the garage under control we can get him a riding mower. It took him nearly two hours to push mow the yard the other night. I suggested to allow Em to do some of the mowing at one point but it started to get dark and Kurt took over nearly at a jog trying to get it all done before complete darkness! Ha ha! He took a bath afterwards (yes, in MY tub) and just to mess with him I sent all the boys in - and yes the tub accomodates fours monkeys and their dad.

P.S. We are missing everyone at home. Not that it's bad here (on the contrary it's quite nice) but "there's no place like home" is true. In a perfect world we could have just had y'all come along. Nah, that's a selfish world... but that's what you mean to us. Isn't is great to be needed?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

New Norms...

Here are my observations of our new community...

~Garbage pickup service is NOT all that common here. Reason being that Putnam County residences pay a garbage tax. There are facilities established in various areas where we are allowed to take household garbage without addtitional fees. Interesting. For this reason alone we are considering getting a small trailer to save $22 per month for the local disposal services. Oh, and recycling is OPTIONAL!! Although we have been so trained in Washington that we feel so guilty/naughty putting the milk jug in the garbage.

~Every location in Cookeville is based on where it lies from the Putnam County Court House. When the pizza joint is checking whether they deliver to our home address, we respond, "About six miles north of the square." It's a hoot.

~Tennessee drivers like to honk (to show irritation - not those happy toots). They also like to drive relatively fast.

~Cookeville is teetering close to idol worship of it's local Tennessee Tech sports teams... football particularly. Don't tell anyone here I said that. They may egg my house.

~Sweet tea is the standard. If you don't want sweet tea, ya have to say so. Me? I LOVE that. Kurt? No.

~Chick-Fil-A (fast food chicken place) is closed on Sundays. They also participate in Operation Christmas Child with Samaritan's Purse. They're giving away FREE chicken sandwiches for each box that you bring in next week. Hmm. Think these folks may have a Christian owner/board?

~There are a TON of banks. Big ones, little ones, credit unions. Good grief. I just wanted one with the word Tennessee in the title. Hence, First National Bank of TENNESSEE. Heh heh.

~There is Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, Dollar General Market. (??)

~The local grocery store, Krogers, takes my Fred Meyer Rewards card. The checkers always look funny at the card.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bubble Tubbin'

Well, this refers to my earlier post of the middle boys in my tub - there's just not too much more to comment on when it's this cute.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wanna Write Us A Letter?? Wanna Call Us??

Hey everyone, we've got a new phone number coming tomorrow and a mailbox in front of the house, so email us and let us know if you want our details. We're a bit shy about posting them up here, for obvious reasons, like Settles stalkers or something like that.

Army/11th State/Kin/ER

Remember the earlier post about whether or not we were in our right minds about our schedule we were keeping? Well, we are pretty sure we spread this butter waaaaaay too thin...

We drove to Augusta, Georgia, where Fort Gordon resides, on Thursday to make a retirement dinner that evening. The reunion with our friends was sweet and we had memories about the military community, ceremony and tradition. Our friend, Command Seargent Major Michael Terry, and his wife, Ginny, were honored for all the years they poured into our Army. The old saying, give back a borrowed item in better condition than when you received it, is how Mike and Ginny exited active Army life. Their finger prints will be all over the great stuff that the Army is doing for it's soldiers and families.

So Friday morning we attended the retirement ceremony at "Signal Tower" and then headed for Kurt's brother's place. Well, almost. I discovered that South Carolina was "just over there" and wanted the state line photo for this trip. We took a little detour into North Augusta (yes, it's in SC - the city kinda spills over the state line there) and got the photo after we ate at Zaxby's chicken joint. We counted that to be the 11th state that we visited since the 13th of this month.

That afternoon we met Kurt's parents (who had the boys) at his brother's house in Griffin, GA. They live just south of Atlanta. We had a nice reunion with Kit and Tracy and their family. Emery was ALL OVER the ATV and Asa and Jack were into the trampoline (yikes, for those who know the Carvers). We had a little birthday bbq for Rachel and then headed for home... least we thought...

We were just passing the Atlanta airport when I just got to feeling funny and then my chest got all tight and my hands and feet began to tingle rather fiercely. Kurt pulled over and I got out to walk. I tried to make a fist with my hands and my fingers felt as though they were getting stuck so I kept them in a fist while I kept walking in circles. I thought it was passing when I got back in the car and it started again. Kurt was on the GPS locating a hospital to find one only five minutes away. It was a long five minutes.

After being admitted overnight all the tests came back clear of any cardiac issue. Thank my Lord. They did discover a low potassium level and gave me big horse pills to correct it. I still don't feel quite 100% but just knowing that I am not having a heart attack is keeping my anxiety at bay. I plan on getting hooked up with a local doc to continue some suggested treatment by the Atlanta folks.

So, we're staying particulary quiet here at home. I unpacked one box yesterday and cooked some meals. It felt good to have domestic tasks to accomplish - in my new, beautiful home. I tried to take a bath in my Jacuzzi only to have two visitors who took it over. Asa and Jack were into the bubbles and jets!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Ah... broadband...

What Anji didn't tell you in the earlier post was that we've finally got broadband (and therefore the office set up) at the house. We've been "suffering" with the rather poor, barely tolerable, data connection through our phone. So hopefully we'll be posting a bit more will definitely be putting more pictures up. If you're interested in viewing our Flickr pictures (for family and friends only), let us know and we'll send you an invite.

I am thankful that we've settled in a bit more. Having Dad and Mom here for a few days has been very nice and, of course, very helpful. They helped us get the last item out of the ABF trailer - the piano - and Mom's introduced us to caramel puffed corn - a Tennessee recipe that's absolutely addicting. We might be willing to share it with you if you beg like a whiny baby. Or not...

While we haven't exactly unpacked everything (which seems like we haven't unpacked anything), we are starting to get the basics down: there are toothbrushes and toilet paper in the bathrooms, dishes and utensils in the kitchen, and did I mention BROADBAND?!

Good night all. We'll catch up with you from Georgia or back here at home when the weekend wraps up.

Certifiably Insane?

Yes, I am questioning Kurt and my mental status as I consider the fact the it is nearly ten o'clock in the evening and we have planned to drive a 6+ hour drive to attend a retirement ceremony/dinner at Fort Gordon, GA. And we just got done driving 2600+ miles to get here only a few days ago?!!?!

In all sincerity though, this person that we are honoring is the top NCO in the Army's Signal Corps. He has been in the army for 34 years which is only a new concept being that 20 used to be the max. Mike Terry is a model soldier of integrity and moral leadership and Kurt and I were blessed to have met him and his wife, Ginny, to benefit from their mentorship while we were stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. We even had the opportunity to meet them at the Honolulu airport one year as we passed through on the way from a family reunion while they were stationed there on Oahu.

So, here's where it gets even more complicated... we will be leaving the Boanerges with Kurt's parents in Cookeville who arrived Monday for a visit in the midst of their five month 50th wedding anniversary U.S. trek. On our way back from the retirement thingy we are going to take a short detour and stop in at Kurt's brother's family home outside Atlanta, GA to stay the night where Jay and Rachel will have driven all the boys (and don't forget Lucy) in their little motorhome earlier that day... is this making sense? And then the next day we will take all the boys (and pooch) home to an unpacked house and try to start up again. And Kurt will go to work on Monday. I can't wrap this noggin around all this...

So, as a status report I have decided to use photos of the garage to assist in showing progress on all this unpacking. It ain't pretty, huh? Pray for us... pray HARD!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Home, sweet (and empty), home!

It's hard to believe we haven't posted here since the 17th! Anji made an attempt, but was foiled by Internet or Blogger problems. We are finally in our house, after closing Friday. On Wednesday afternoon, we drove to Branson, MO after staying with our friends in Ava which is about an our to the north. We stayed at the WorldMark resort there, after fighting traffic through town. We didn't see too much of the town, but what we did see, we weren't too impressed with. It reminded me a bit of an Oregon beach town on a warm summer day: rather congested, with lots to catch the eye, but little of substance. Nonetheless, the WorldMark was quite nice and we rested while a storm blew through the area overnight.
On Thursday after breakfast, we left for Cookeville. When the bible describes Jesus turning his face resolutely towards Jerusalem, I can relate. We drove out of Branson on US-160, which threw so many curves our way that Emery and the other boys became quite green around the gills. Fortunately we stopped for lunch and were able to connect with US-60, then I-55 into Memphis. The humidity in the Memphis area was incredible, having been pushed down by the storm to our north in Kentucky. We ran parallel to the storm as we came across I-40, which runs the entire length of Tennessee from west to east. After 12 hours of driving we arrived in Cookeville at 10:00 PM and settled into the Best Western for the night. Sam was, in particular, exhausted, since he was the only one who had to sit all day.
On Friday at 1:00 PM, we signed papers on the house. At 2:30, the ABF (moving and storage company) driver called and said he was ready to deliver and we literally chased him out to the house. We slept in our new home for the first time on Friday night. The three older boys slept on the floor and Sam in his porta-crib. I've been unloading the trailer with Emery's help (and Asa's to a very limited extent) since Friday and then all day yesterday. Our garage is packed full of unopened boxes! Today will be the last day unloading and Anji is starting to fill the cupboards of the kitchen now.
What a blessing it is to have a home such as this one. We are already rattling around a bit in the big living area and have to be considerate of our now moderate means while slowly populating the rooms with accoutrements appropriate to such a beautiful space. At least with the couch and rug in the living room the echo is diminished. Sam loves yelling and hearing his own voice reverberate.
Thank you all for all of your prayers and thoughts as we traveled across the country. We shamelessly ask for them to continue as we settle in. More to come soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Hi there. Kurt here.

We left Salina, KS heading for our friends' home in Ava, MO yesterday. The drive across Kansas was uneventful. In fact, there were moments in time that I thought I could just let go of the wheel and let the car drive itself. The good part was my gas mileage jumped up significantly since the drive was fairly flat. Missouri was much more interesting to drive through because there are actually trees and hills to break up the scenery a bit. We ate from the Best Western continental breakfast fare for our morning meal and didn't stop except one time for gas and a fast-food lunch. What a blessing it was to sit around the table with our friends eating a home-cooked meal in the evening, then fellowshipping with them until late in the night! Christian friends are like a calm place in the storm of change.

New roadkill: Armadillo.

Our house is definitely closing on Friday this week and we've made plans to leave Ava this afternoon for a short drive down to Branson, MO. We'll be staying in the WorldMark resort there for two nights. It will be another welcome respite on this drive to our new home as we'll be able to rest for a full day, then leave extremely early for Cookeville on Friday morning. We'll have the boys all PJ'ed up and the car packed up for the drive. Anji and I will be rubbing the sleep out of our eyes and guzzling Starbucks, but we'll enjoy the adventure! Lucy, our little pooch, is feeling rather dejected at this point because she's not been allowed inside here at our friends' place. To make matters worse, she'll probably have to stay inside the car at the resort. Poor thing, she's got no clue about what's going on.

Next post from Branson.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ahhh, Sweeet Rest

We were so tired last night after a bit of a challenging day and night that we all slept rather soundly in our cheap/ancient accommodations! All three of the boys actually slept in the same queen bed - together. It would only be possible with total exhaustion. Poor Emery was relegated to the middle where both little boys pretty quickly acted like magnets and threw their appendages over his body. No one seemed to mind until Jack woke up the next morning complaining that Em was too close to him! Stinker.

Our drive today was so restful in that we finally stopped climbing and the roads straightened out. It seemed whenever I took over the first couple of days is where the road construction would begin/it would rain/it was dark. Today I only took the wheel for the last 100 miles because Kurt was rested and the roads were simple. Nice.

We had some snow in WY and CO, a little bit of wind in KS but it was great. No DVD marathon today. Em got to watch a movie while the little ones were snoozing.

So far we've seen deer (both alive and dead), possums/racoons (all dead), antelope, coyote, buffalo, wild cows and horses. The "wild" is what Em calls them. Apparently, if they are not in a corral or fenced field of some effect, well, they are wild. I kinda wonder where the owners are too and how they find them when it's time for, uh, finding them?! It is VAST out here!!! I'm such a city girl...

Well we are trying to figure out how to upload some photos for you so as soon as my incredibly geeky, er, insanely intelligent husband gets his hands on this we will probably be really bloggin'!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Adventure Begins, uh, Began?

This is Anji. We were a little slow in getting our first post because we had a hard time figuring out Best Western's wireless access. So, here I am in a cheap Laramie, WY hotel with great access and attempting to catch up.

We left Saturday morning a little after eight. Emery said that it was "soccer weather" since it was cold and foggy. I just thought it was a typical northwest fall day... and yes, soccer is a part of that season in this family, huh?

We made it to a really smelly place called Jerome in Utah around 10pm that night. I'm serious, it stunk! When we were driving out in the morning we discovered a MASS amount of dairy cows up the road. The wind must have been just right because we couldn't open up the stuffy hotel room because the odor would fill the room! It was kinda funny (and reminiscent of Dee Creek Farm...for those in the know...).

So today, we made it mostly across WY and I am a little embarrassed to admit that we plugged in 10 hours of Tom & Jerry cartoons to "numb" the boys into silence since neither Kurt or myself got any rest to speak of Saturday night. Asa was up half a dozen times and Sam wound up sleeping on my chest and eventually between Kurt and I. And, yes, the DVD Drug did it's job. However, we were able to interact with them at scenic moments since the controls were at our fingertips. They would give us an enthusiastic, "That's cool!!", which I think was just a way to get back to the movie quicker.

We stopped and visited Fort Bridger today. It was interesting. Kurt says that boys love forts so we have to try to see the ones that we come across. All they really wanted was the candy sticks in the gift shop. They got to run FREEEEEEE  for a little while too which Kurt would calculate to determine how soon they would konk... he was wrong. Tom & Jerry proved our heros after that brief romp. They did enjoy the candy sticks though.

That's all from me. I'll let Kurt chime in and comment on my comments now...

Okay, Anji is dead-on except the part about the Best Western wireless - it stunk just like the cows down the road! I've traveled a bit and never, except in Jerome, UT, come across cruddy wireless service like that in a hotel claiming high-speed Internet. The Travelodge, while 100 years old or so, has decent and secure wireless, not to mention that it's located directly between a donut shop and a coffee shop. Huge score for breakfast on Monday!

We're exhausted and a little (okay, a lot) strung out emotionally, given the massive changes underway. We love everyone we just left. We're excited to move into a new house. We wish we didn't have a house payment! But then, who doesn't? Yes, it's all fun picking out houses and countertops and landscaping until that first payment is due, eh? And there's this whole other thing going on in the background about my job change. Oh, you hadn't heard? Yeah, we're not moving just for the fun of it.

So, back to the trip. The Honda Odyssey is most excellent, with a few very minor exceptions which are primarily centered around lack of iPod integration. Shame on Honda, shame, shame! Bad Honda, etc. Why should any 2007 vehicle not have an iPod dock or at least an auxiliary input?! C'mon...somebody out there ought to be coming alongside me in my geeky outrage! Other than that, eh, not too shabby of a car. Drives like it's on rails, even towing our little U-Haul trailer, has (almost) every amenity known to man, minus a bathroom (but more on that later). It's gooooood.

The drive has been beautiful and at some points almost shocking. There are places across Wyoming and Utah where the vista is so expansive your eyes cannot take it all in. As you crest hill after hill you see farther than you ever thought you could while earthbound. It is amazing. And here's the more amazing part: that's the world after the fall. I am simply spellbound by the idea that what we've seen in that past days is only a smidgen of the real thing. Wow. God's got something waiting for the redeemed that's going to blow our socks off!

We are planning a slower pace tomorrow, but will apply the following lessons to our journey and the journeys yet unplanned: 1. Never eat from the buffet at a truckstop (or, if you prefer, never eat at a truckstop), especially with four rather rummy children. 2. Never underestimate the cunning nature of a Dachshund left to her own devices in a car containing a food source, no matter how well hidden. 3. Always check out the hotel room prior to signing the agreement. Perhaps tomorrow I will tell the tales behind these and other lessons gathered in our short time on the road.

Goodnight friends,


Monday, October 8, 2007