Sunday, September 20, 2009

A day at the farm in Min-a-sooooo-ta (to be said with your best Scandinavian accent)

Here are pictures of our time out at Nelson’s Farm (they are a family from church that have a hobby farm. They invite the church family to come out today and enjoy the farm). We had a wonderful time. And, this year, it was nice and warm out, unlike the freezing cold some years.

Squeeze in everyone!!! Literally!

So cute...yes, both of them.

We love mini donuts!

Follow the yellow brick road...

Josh going into the Big Black Super Scary Hole

Kahla’s natural look...and smell (j/k)

Into the Corn Maze we go...thankfully we didn't get too lost.


"No…really…I am!"

"Faster, Daddy, Faster"

Yes, we are crazy, and that is a sod house.

Love it!

Finally…pumpkins to take home as souvenirs.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crazy Week Before Setting Out to Sea

We got back from our 2 weeks of vacation on Sunday August 30th. David and I were feeling pretty good about things. We had an amazing time with family, we had a wonderful flight, we knew we had a lot to do, but still had a week to work with.

That night Craig and Mora drove up and spent the night with us on their way up to Calgary. It was such a joy to see them again, and for David to get to spend one more night with them. They ended up helping me pack in the morning (bless them a million times) before they kept driving.
For me, it wasn’t until Craig and Mora left on Monday morning that I lost it. I said good bye, shut the door and started to cried. David was at work and there I was in an apartment full of things to do, but I didn’t know where to start. All the emotions from packing up our first home together to knowing that in just over a week I would have to say good bye to David hit me and they hit hard. Thankfully many people have been praying for us and it was those prayers that have been getting us through.

The next week was busy with more packing, getting paper work taken care of, events, picnics, work, duty, going to the ship for meals, more packing, and did I mention we were packing. We actually were able to move out 98% of our belongings to the storage unit in 4 ½ hours from the time we picked up the truck to the time we gave the truck back. God is soooo good. And, thank you to Jonathan and Jesse for all your help with the move.

Our dear friends Heather and Chris let us come over and hang out a there place to use the internet, catch up on football, and watch their amazing boxer Champ while they were down in Seattle. It was nice to walk into a home that actually had plate and cups in the kitchen and hand towels in the bathroom.

Sunday night my dad flew in. He helped us finish the last minute packing, take care of the last minute errands and actually was able to go to the ship with us. It is always so fun to take friends and family on the ship so they can visualize where he will be at.

Tuesday was the big day. (The picture is the morning he deployed.) David had to be by the ship by 0800. We got there early to have plenty of time to say good bye and feel like we weren’t in a rush. Can I just tell you that we felt all of your prayers surrounding us? I had this tremendous sense of peace that was like a thick blanket all over me. David’s job for pulling out was to be inside the skin of the ship ready in case he was needed. A lot of the other officers were dressed in their whites standing by the side rails manning the rails, but he was not. We didn’t expect to see him at all as the ship left but stayed to watch it because I had never seen the ship “set sail” and the process is intriguing.

It was a good thing we stayed. Heather, who used to be an officer on David’s ship (she is the one I referred to above that let us crash at their place), came over from her ship on her way home to be with me and see the ship off. It was great to see her one last time, to get to say good bye, and just to have there with my dad and me. Also, just before the ship was about to start moving I received a phone call from some strange number. It was David calling me from one of the phones on the ship telling me where he was. He was standing just inside one of the doors looking out (he couldn’t go outside because he wasn’t wearing whites) but was able to wave and see us one last time.

Ship preparing to leave.

The guy inside the door with the hardhat on is David.

On their way!

(David has been able to write a couple times already. He is doing well. Like I said in the last blog, he is tired but doing well. He is supposed to call sometime soon. I will try my hardest to give an update as soon as I can. Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them coming. )

As soon as the ship was just far enough away that everyone on the rails went inside my dad and I left to take a couple left over boxes to the storage unit, pack up the car and head out on our road trip back to Minnesota. We had a great trip. We left at 1223 on Tuesday an arrived in Butte, MO around 2200 Mountain Time. We left the next morning at 0640 Mountain Time and arrived at our house at just before 2200 Central Time. We were on the road for 14 hours on Wednesday and I think that we may be spent 30 minutes out of the car. Let me just say that we were a little slap happy and my dad practically kissed the drive way when we pulled in Wednesday night (I do have a picture of him falling of the car, but I will help maintain his dignity and not post that picture). So many memories, moments that only seem funny to us because we had been on the road too long and were tired, picture taken that make us laugh just to look at them, noises that bring us to tears because we remember what happened, it was great.

I have to tell you two stories though. First one…we we still in Montana it was between 0800-0900 in the morning and we had stopped at a rest stop (so nice to stretch). We parked the car next to a pickup truck that look like it had been around the block one too many times. The back was stacked high with piece of wood and equipment of camping, there was a camping grill somehow connected on the front of the truck (yes the front), and the driver just seemed to keep walking around and around doing I am not sure what. We forgot about it and went into use the bathroom. When we came back out I thought it would be the perfect photo moment. I love to take my arm extended out pictures so I thought it would be great to get my dad and me during our road trip. So here is the picture.

Right as I clicked to take the picture out of the corner of his eye my dad saw a clump of hair on the seat in this car. (Let me remind you we are already tired and know we have a really long day ahead of us.) The first thought that jumped into his mind was that this guy was going to pull out an axe and scalp us and we would be a pile of hair to add to the one on the front seat, too. (RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! QUICK GET IN THE CAR!!!) Thankfully it was just a lady sleeping there with messy hair. We got in the car and just laughed. The story was funny at that moment, but it wasn’t until I was looking through the pictures later and saw that I captured the moment on camera that it really became funny. The exact moment he was trying to say cheese at the camera but discovered the clump of hair and fear for his life. I love it! Too much!

The other story (I don’t have a picture for) was in North Dakota. We were stopped at a gas station and I had gone in to buy drinks. My dad stayed at the pump and was cleaning the bugs off of my car (so yummy…I do have a picture of that). While he was cleaning of the windshield an elderly woman around the age of 70 who was on the shorter side driving a white SUV with a handicap sign hanging from the rearview mirror accompanied by an elderly man sitting in the passenger seat who was talking on the phone (yes all those details are important) asked my dad if she could use his squidgy because all of the other ones were falling apart. He said yes, and then continued to say that he would be more than happy to wash it for her as he would be able to reach better (he saw the handicap sign and thought that was the reason the man couldn’t help and thought he would just be nice). She looks at the man (was her husband) and said, “Look what you made a 70 year old cripple have to do?” (She was a awesome.) While he was washing the lady asked if my dad had ever heard of Dale Brown. My dad said no and continued until he finished. He washed it, finished up and walked over to my car about the same time that I finished up buying drinks inside. I sit down in my car, still have the door open and I hear this lady (at this point in time I didn’t know that my dad had washed the windshield for them) waving her hand out her door saying, “yuuwhuu, young man, yuuwhuuu!” (That was enough to send me over the edge busting a gut laughing.) She handed him a business card and said that he had just washed Dale Brown’s windshield, and that anytime my dad was down in Louisiana that he just needed to call the number on the card and he would be seats on the floor right behind the coaches. (I looked him up and for those of you that don’t know who Dale Brown is like my dad and I didn’t…he was a hall of fame basketball coach for Louisiana State University who is now a motivational speaker and apparently pretty well known.)

The moral of the story is that you never know when an act of kindness even in the middle of nowhere North Dakota can mean something special to someone (and they don’t always have to be famous).

Again, that is enough for one entry. Keep praying! We need it.

I cannot believe how time flies by...

I cannot believe how quickly time flies by. My goodness! I have so much to write about, so many pictures to post…so here it goes. I know it is already the middle of September, but I am going back to August which is when all of our family visits and vacation occurred. Before I get too far into this, David is doing well. He has a lot on his plate, is adjusting to a new pace on the ship, is finding himself tired, but is doing well. Please keep lifting him up in your prayers. I know that he appreciates all of them.

August 10 – Craig, Mora, Sara, and Bella drove down from Vernon and spent the night at our place. We had a Hail and Farewell that night (get together for the Officers on the ship to say good bye to those that are leaving and hello to those that are coming) and everyone came along. It was so much fun to show them a little piece of Navy life, give them the opportunity to meet the officers that David is deployed with right now, and they even got to meet the Captain. The best part was that David was able to see all of them before he had to go out and do some training on the ship.

On the 11th David headed out to work and I went down to Camas with Craig, Mora, Sara, and Bella. We spent the week hanging out with family cooking, eating, playing games, eating, finding books, celebrating Grandma Bundy’s Birthday, and did I mention eating. I love to eat. It was a blast!

Sara and Bella came back to Mukilteo with me on Friday so that we could see David when he got home. I felt so bad, here I am trying to host with half our apartment packed up in boxes, the other half completely out of order, no internet, no TV, bare walls…at least we had a couch and an air mattress. Thank you Sara for being such a good sport. We went to the ship and had lunch with David, did some packing, hung out, went for walks and tried to keep entertained with a half packed apartment.

Side note…I love babies, everyone knows that…and a lot of days I would like to have a baby…but it isn’t time yet. However, it was so much fun to see David play with Bella. He started making duck noises at here (the things we do when we are around babies) and she started to laugh. It was so much fun to watch. Although, we didn’t get him to change a diaper and she had a couple really good ones. (Sorry I don’t have a picture for this. I realized after I sent our camera with David that I downloaded our pictures from our camera on to his laptop, which he has.)
Sara and Bella ended up staying at our place in Mukilteo while David and I took off to LA to start our 2 week vacation. We flew down on Virgin (love them) and sat in first class from San Fran to LA (I have a wonderful picture of David sitting in all his glory in his overstuffed first class chair with his blanket spread over his lap and every gadget he could find pulled out so he could play on them. He was eating it up while I tried to pretend that I am used to being in first class so we didn’t completely stick out like sore thumbs. Seriously, we boarded first, so everyone, I mean EVERYONE, was looking at us like “they don’t get out much!” We had fun. Again, that picture is on the camera I don’t have.)
Being back in LA was…weird. I kept telling myself, “you don’t have clinical, you don’t have any case studies to write, you are here on vacation, not for nursing school.” I hadn’t been back since I graduated and really wasn’t sure I wanted to get off the plane once we landed. To my delight, I feel in love with the area that Tim and Susanna are living in. I probably would have loved California way more back when I was attending APU, but I was so busy with scho ol work that I didn’t have time to enjoy the area. It was so relaxing to be with family.
Again, I am so sorry I don’t have more pictures (the ones I have posted are Mora and Susanna’s wonderful work, not mine). I would have David send them to me, but it would block the whole internet system on the ship… so you guys will just have to imagine. We celebrated Toby and Asher’s special days, went hiking, went to the arboretum, swam more than I have in the past year (so much fun), went for walks, watched the boys play soccer...But, I think one of my favorite memories besides being with the boys and hearing them call me “Auntie Kristi” was after the boys went to bed and we “grown ups” (if you can call us that) started to play games and eat desert. We laughed so hard my abs hurt. Night after night, it was so much fun and hysterical. By the way, I just had to put this picture that mom took of Tim and Susanna. Tim’s true side comes out.
Another huge blessing was getting to see one of my best friends who is practically my sister, Lindy. I had not seen her since David and I got married last year. Even though we were only able to hang out over lunch, it was so great to see her.
Our time in California was way too short. I honestly didn’t want to leave. The only thing I found comfort in was that from California we were going to Minnesota to surprise my family. My baby brother who is not so baby like was in on the plan, but my mom, dad, and sister had no clue. David and I knew that it would mean the world to my mom to see David again before he left on deployment (my dad was going to get to see him because we had already planned for him to come out and drive me back to Minnesota after David left).
So David and I flew in to Minneapolis and arrived around 0000, drove out to Litchfield getting there around 0200, slept for a little while then get back in our rental car to drive down to Josh’s college where my whole family was staying. You should have seen the reaction when we walked through the door. They had no clue, none. They thought one of Josh’s other friends was coming over and it was us instead. All my mom could say was “WHAT? You are supposed to be in LA!” Kahla cried, and my dad half cried half laughed at my mom. It was great and so much fun. It is a shame we didn’t have a video camera running in the background. We could have made big buck on “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”
We spent that night with everyone crammed into Josh’s one bedroom apartment and spent the next week in Litchfield just hanging out. I was able to get all my paperwork taken care of to start helping coach volleyball. David had plenty of time to relax and read. And, we all enjoyed just being together.
Ok, I think that is enough for one entry. I will start working on the next one with will have more info about David.