Thursday, July 7, 2011

Transitions

Many miles have been covered and much has been done and said since we last posted here.  As I described in detail several weeks ago, our foray into the world of retail sales from the confines of our garage went very well.  Our "stuff quotient" was seriously diminished and we came away from those crazy days with enough money raised to cover much of the expense of moving.  Mission accomplished.

The following weekend was our church's annual camp-out at Camp Harmattan, located just west of Olds, AB.  We decided that we should attend this year, as in previous years different commitments have always kept us from being able to be there.  It was a good weekend, although the rain did make things a little bit interesting.  We are tenters.  The forecast was a little bit vague for the weekend when we headed out and the first evening was quit nice.  We made the decision that for the first night we would not tarp up our tent and hope that any rain would hold off until the next day.  Oops.  It rained steadily for the majority of the night and our tent fly got it's first real test.  Thankfully, it passed with "fly-ing" colours.  We woke up the next morning dry and warm.  We did get our tarps up right away that morning and they did a great job of keeping us dry for the next 2 days.  In between dashes from one tarped up campsite to another we did have the opportunity to visit with many different people in our church family.  Our schedule since Christmas has kept us away from our church for many weekends and it was great to be able to share with friends from our home town and spend some time with them.  We will miss being a part of Mt Olive Church and the people there.

3 Hills - Spokane
We returned to Three Hills that Sunday evening a little bit damp and quite tired, but the next morning we began preparing for the next big trip that we were taking.  Two days later on Wednesday we pulled out of Three Hills with our van loaded up again and passports in hand as we made our way west through the mountains and then south to Spokane, WA.  One of Karen's cousins was getting married and we figured that this would be the last time that we would be able to see many of them for what will probably be many years.  We arrived there on Thursday afternoon and after initial greetings we pitched in to help with a couple of last minute type wedding preparations.  Friday was spent in much the same way, with some great visiting and time spent with friends and relatives along the way.  Saturday was the wedding and it went very well.  After a late evening for our kids, we woke up early on Sunday morning and headed back up to the true north strong and free.  After a long day and some spectacular scenery as well as some great behavior from our kids we pulled back into Three Hills that evening.

3 Hills - Ft McMurray
That was Sunday evening.  On Tuesday morning we packed up our van again and hit the road.  This time we took a northerly heading out of Three Hills and late that afternoon we pulled into Ft McMurray, AB.  We were there to see Dave, a friend of mine from Bible School who I hadn't seen in several years, and to also meet his wife for the first time.  We had a chance to share about MAF with several of their friends that evening and then spent a couple of days having some good times with Dave and Jen.  It was a great time to reconnect with an old friend, make a new friend, and be able to share with several other people also.  That Friday morning we once again filled up our van and this time took a southerly heading back to Three Hills.  We have been very grateful over our travels for the works produced by the Focus on the Family radio theater, particularly the Chronicles of Narnia and several different story disks based out of their Adventures in Odessy.  They make the miles fly by for our kids.  Not for me, however.  I try hard not to think of flying those same miles as we travel.  I know that the flight from Ft McMurray to Three Hills should take about 2 1/2 hours, but I try hard not to think of such things as we make our way down the road.

3 Hills - Rycroft
We got home to Three Hills that Friday afternoon and the next day we began preparing for our move to Rycroft.  After several busy days of packing up our household, my parents arrived on Wednesday afternoon with a covered trailer and we packed all of our boxes and belongings into it.  They pulled up at 3:45pm, and 3 1/2 hours later we pulled out of Three Hills for the last time, fully packed and with the house clean.  We spent that night at my uncle and aunts place in Didsbury (thanks Ivan & Lue) and then turned north for Rycroft.  To say that we were disappointed and disheartened when we opened the door to our place in Rycroft would be a bit of an understatement.  The wall of cigarette smoke smell that hit us when we walked through the door put quite a damper on our mood.  Our renter had always assured us that he only smoked outside, but the cigarette burns that we found on the carpet and linoleum told us a different tale.  We opened every window and got to work cleaning.  After steam cleaning the carpet three times it finally became useable again (we had thought that we may have to get all new carpet) and after a good cleaning of the linoleum we felt ok taking our shoes off at the door again.  We will still have to paint all of the walls and probably also most of the ceiling as well, but it was more and more encouraging to us to see how much difference a good cleaning made.  Under all the dirt and grime our place was still in decent shape.  It'll be the smell that will be the most difficult to eliminate, but we can work on that over time.

I know that I'm getting a little wordy here, but there's been a lot to report on in the past weeks.  Now that we are settled into our home and our phone and internet are working (another story and answer to prayer) we finally feel ready to continue with our support raising.  Although our move has taken up much of the last two weeks, God has been faithful and has been working in people's lives and they have been responding to Him.  Our support continues to increase (see thermometers to the right) and we are getting closer and closer to our goal.  Praise be to God!

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