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Friday, August 11, 2017

The last of the puppies

It's been a crazy fast whirlwind with these puppies.  All at once (or so it seemed) we were again left puppy-less!  Their eager, enthusiastic personalities don't meet me at the door every time I step outside.  I don't have to try to resist picking one up and snuggling it to death.  I gotta admit that it's nice not having everything--including my heels--chewed to pieces, but I do miss their cute little faces.  These 8 puppies have been a fun summer addition!  Here are the final pictures you will ever see of this adorable group... *distant sigh*

Hickory was the largest puppy and one of the happiest. 
While they each definitely had their own personalities, Huckle remained my favorite!
Sysko, formerly energetic and crazy, turned out to be really sweet and calm!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

1880 Town

Several years ago (6, to be exact) we were family road tripping for a friend's wedding in Michigan.  (Another long story, but that is not the point of today's blog.)  On our way through South Dakota we kept passing billboard after billboard about this "1880 Town."  If you've ever driven through the Midwest states, you will remember that the highways are loaded with site-seeing advertisements.  Although it is funny to see advertisements for miles and miles before the destination, my family is proof that this strategy works.  After long hours of driving, the repetitive billboards for 1880 Town convinced Dad to make a stop.  
Tirzah and me in 2011.  (We were just babies back then!)

Getting cold Sarsaparillas at the Saloon is tradition after we did it the first time!
Dad, Mom, Tirzah, and I had so much fun exploring this old fashioned town that it became one of our Midwest highlights.  After visiting in 2011, we have talked about going again sometime to enjoy this place again.  So on our way home from a friend's wedding last month, we finally got our 2nd opportunity to make a stop!
Getting out of the air conditioned car into the 108 degree weather wasn't too exciting, but it was fun to be back at 1880 Town!
Well, it was obviously windy.
I just want to live in this adorable town!
Tirzah has shockingly become a hobbit.  Beware of the effects of 1880 Town.

Trying to do a re-do of our picture in this same wagon 6 years ago.

Us trying to imagine riding the rest of our trip in this wagon.  I still think that would be fun...if there was air conditioning.
This church reminds me of my childhood home church, which is probably why I love it so much.
My 2nd time to see a real camel in real life!  But this one wasn't quite as cute as Humphrey.

Getting our portraits done by the 1880 photographer.  This is how Tirzah and Johannah feel about getting their pictures taken.

I distinctly remembered seeing my name on the metal of one of the train cars in 1880 Town in 2011.  I found it again--it was still there!
If you ever find yourself driving through South Dakota, make a stop at this town!  I would love to go again...but maybe not in the middle of the summer.  1880 Town always makes me wish we could return to the "good ole days."

Friday, July 28, 2017

Home again, home again

All parties must come to an end.  And when this party ended, we had to climb back into the car for hours more of driving.  (I may or may not have wished several times along the way that flying could be an option.)  But there were a couple great advantages about heading home: 1) We were now facing the sunset in the evenings!  Because our house is surrounded by mountains, we rarely get to see the magnificent colors and textures that each sunset casts across the sky.  Each time I see these one-of-a-kind thrills, I am again amazed at the incredible end to another day that is a gift. 2) It's home.  That's hard to beat.  It's always good to get back.  

On the following morning, these clouds gave the sky some personality across those flat plains.
On our way home, we decided to make time for a couple special stops.  These stops were places we'd been to before on previous family road trips, but it is always just as good the second time.
Mount Rushmore was a monument I really wanted to see again, but I didn't think we'd be able to fit it in on this trip because of time constraints.  Someone told me that the faces hadn't changed since I'd seen it the first time 4 years ago, but I couldn't forget that awe I felt the first time I saw Mount Rushmore for myself.  This is one monument (of many) that a postcard just can't satisfy.  As we drove toward Mount Rushmore and saw the faces with such detail and precision still at a distance away, I was again overcome with wonder at this accomplishment.  There's just no short-cut to seeing this in person, and it doesn't get old after the first time!  (Yes, I would even go back a 3rd time.)

Can you imagine carving a rocky cliff into faces that actually look like real people?!

The rays of sun coming down through the clouds couldn't quite be captured in full radiance through a windshield, but here's a valiant effort.
Our final sunset before reaching home was not a bit disappointing.  

On our final day of travel, we made one last spontaneous stop at Snoqualmie Falls.  I had never been there before (at least not to my memory), and it was well-worth the extra time.  The continuous mass of rushing water always reminds me again of the greatness of our God.
Oh, and did I mention in the previous blog that leaving Wisconsin was not complete goodbyes?  After spending time with Johannah again over the wedding weekend, we decided to abduct her back to Washington to spend a few weeks with us.  She makes me pretty good coffee.  What can I say?  :)