Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Take Home Country Roads

So much happened since Mid-May! Heather has left Spain to Miami, Orlando, Ashville, North Carolina, Huntington, West Virginia, Indiana, and Ohio. She has been gathering research for her graduate assistant position. She says she has been learning so much and grown spiritual and physically beyond her wild dreams. My heart just soars knowing that this time in her life has been so positive. You always worry about your children no matter what age if they are happy, safe and healthy. :0)

July 18th Heather will come out to see us. I cannot wait! She will be back in time time to help us move, spend sometime with Leah and maybe, just maybe we can squeeze in some camping. In August it is back to Huntington where she will start working on her Master of Sociology full time. She is praying that she will receive a part time graduate assistant position. It will pay for her tuition which is awesome.
So now your up to date!
Next up....the rest of the family news. <3

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time move on...Hello Barcelona!

Heather's time at the Yoga Center has been amazing, She said that she has grown so much spiritually as well as physically. She said it would take some time till she was able to sit back and reflect in her time. Every morning she took walks with Leah to watch the sunrise. Part of the view she had was of Africa. "some day in my life time I will go there".

After her time here is over the girls will be hooking up with a friend from the states that is from Spain. They will travel to Barcelona for a few days and then travel to the border of Spain and France. They had hoped to go to France but Leah's visa will expire and then they will be stranded! They definitely do not want that to happen. Looking forward to seeing more pictures and stories about their adventures.

Heather update

If you are having trouble keeping up with where is Heather, do not feel bad! I too am having trouble! Last month has found her in North Carolina outside of Ashville. She has absolutely loved NC and would love to settle there she thinks. She has worked on a herb farm and stayed with a family that was just setting up their farm. Lots of heavy and hard work. She said it feel so great to be able to know that she has made an impact on this family in the years to come.
Heather and Leah have met up with their friend D that is from Spain. He attends school in the states. They are currently at Dollywood! Heather is hoping to met up with another friend and spending a few days at the beach and then D.C. This should put her in West Virginia by the end of the month. Golly I hope that I have this right!
She will still be traveling but this time she will be gathering research information for her Grad positioned @ Marshall University. But by then she will have an address and phone where I can contact her. I have so missed her companionship. We all have but what an amazing chapter in her life this has been. God has blessed her and those that she has met along the way. If only we should all be so Blessed to serve.
Stay turned for more updates on where's Heather!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Back in the US, back in the US back in the USA!

After a much anticipate return to the States Leah and Heather landed in Miami! The girls spent a few days and were to travel to the keys to work on a salt farm. Poor Leah and Heather received nasty burns to their shoulders. She blistered and was unable to carry her backpack. They were bummed but ended up staying with Heather's Aunt Andrea in Orlando. Andrea nursed Leah and Heather back to travel mode. But not before she spoiled them and they spent days in the pool! Thank you Andrea :0)
Their next stop found them in Ashville, NC. Working on an organic herb farm. Over the river and through the woods rural farm. They had a great time learning to cultivate herbs and attended the Ashville Herb festival.
Western North Carolina Farmer's Market Spring Herb Festival! Check out that 15 year old ginseng plant!

Heather has a little twang in her voice again and said she liked very much the vibes she has gotten while in NC. The girls have a couple of weeks left before Heather needs to be in WV. This summer she has a graduate research position. She will be traveling all over the Appalachia's gathering data. Leah will be heading back to WA soon to go to horse camp followed by getting ready to attend college in Colorado.
No moss grows under these girls feet!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Having the time of our lives!

"Repelling down a cliff face next to a 10th century church, exploring a castle, partying at the discotec, hiking to the top of a waterfall, sunset with the roof down zooming down the highway, having the time of my life.I´ve never felt this way before!"
                                                          Leah's latest facebook post.

It blows my mind that Heather and Leah are on this adventure! I love hearing what they are doing and where they have been. What a magical time for them. Some people must wait their whole life to experience the things these girls have, especially with all of Heather's travel. When Heather suggested a few years ago that she wanted to take a year off between Undergrad and Grad School, I told her, "No go straight through or you might never go on." I am so glad that she did not take my advice! She has learned and experienced so much that a classroom could have never offered. IS that not one of the reasons we home school?

The girls are now on vacation in Barcelona. Both Heather and Leah have friends that live there. The original plan was to head to France next week. But Leah's VISA runs out earlier than planned. So they will be jetting off to Miami next week. Instead of Waldo, it is now Where in the world is Heather?!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where art thou?

The following gives a great feel for Heather's present location.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Málaga is a city and a municipality in the Autonomous Community of AndalusiaSpain. With a population of 568,305 in 2009, it is the second most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth largest in Spain. This is the southernmost large city in Europe. It lies on the Costa del Sol (Coast of the Sun) of the Mediterranean Sea, about 100 km (62.14 mi) east of the Strait of Gibraltar and about 130 km (80.78 mi) north of Africa.
Málaga enjoys a subtropical climate. Here are one of the warmest winters in Europe, with average temperatures of 17 °C (62.6 °F) during the day and 7–8 °C (45 - 46 °F) at night in the period from December to February. The summer's season lasts about 8 months, from April to November, although also in remaining 4 months temperatures sometimes reach around 20 °C (68.0 °F).
Málaga's history spans about 2,700 years and is one of the oldest cities in the world. It was founded by the Phoenicians as Malaka about 770 BC, from the 6th century BC in Ancient Carthage, from 218 BC - Roman Republic and later Roman Empire (as latin Malaca), after the fall of the empire of the 800 years under the domination of Arabs (as Mālaqah (مالقة)), from 1487 under the dominion of the Spaniards. The archaeological remains and monuments from the Phoenician, Roman, Arabian and Christian eras convert the historic center into an "Open Museum" displaying its rich history of more than 3,000 years.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Shall we dance?

Just had to share tonight was Emily's 1st school dance! I still cannot believe it, my little baby girl. Yesterday was spent shopping our brains out! Emily was so proud to purchase her dress with the money she earned from her 1st babysitting gig. It was so much fun watching her try on at least a dozen or two dresses. She looked so old. I still think of her as my little Emmie rather than teenage Emily.  Jeff said soon she will be asking for the keys to the car. Bite your tongue.

Emily and Alex are ready to go to the dance!
Emily's girl friend Alex went to the dance. This was Alex's 1st dance as well. Her school does not hold dances so it was extra exciting for her. :0)

Emily wore big ol' clunky shoes with an open toe. It was a hoot watching her try to walk in those shoes. After about an hour of intense practice, she got the hang of it! She just about had a cow when I told her not to bee to worried because most girls take off their shoes after they get there! She asked what was the point? She might as well wear her crocs! :0) I am sure that she will have good dreams tonight but very sore feet!

Alex reported that Emily's shoes made it just passed the door and then they were off! They both had a great time.

Marian styling

Emily and friends.
Note Emily is the only one with NO shoes!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I can see Africa from here!

Four more helpx volunteers have come to Casa Mayor, all women. Two French Canadians and two Dutch. Having a great time and learning loads of skills while growing physically and mentally stronger. Every morning we get up to do yoga at 730 and then walk the dogs to the top of a hill where we can see Africa! 
On Friday, we helped a British neighbor/friend dig a huge ten foot trench between the mountain and her house to keep the rains from coming in. It was so empowering digging and moving literally hundreds of pounds of rock. I was asked to teach the yoga class! I’ve been learning loads here- about good posture, and energy. 

Will be heading to Barcelona within the next week. Hanging out there for 15 days or so, then on to France!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Greeting from Spain!

Casa Mayor
Hi all! I am kickin it here in south Spain. Its amazingly beautiful! We are so high in the mountains you can see Africa on a clear day... which we haven't had the opportunity yet. Global climate change has brought insane weather here and its been cold and raining since we arrived Monday night but still pleasurable. We are staying with two lovely birttish folks- deirdre and bill who caretake a not for profit, not money based retreat center in the Malaga Mountains. Its kind of like what the farm desired to be... a space where artists, thinkers and the like can come and heal and create for very little money. Being well fed as well- just this morning Leah and I split a hardboiled goose egg for breakfast! 
Beautiful Leah

Besides the cold, its amazing here. We are even getting used to the cold- I've fallen in love with going to bed with a hot water bottle! Not sure how long we will be here, learning and living tons. Here is the link to our new home away home.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Joseph's Field trip

Could not resist sharing the like for the ferry ride field trip I recently went on with Joseph's class. It was a great day! click here to visit our school blog.
This was the first field trip I have been able to go on with Joseph's class. After this trip a few weeks later we went the Seattle Aquarium. Uncertain what will be the next adventure! I love his teacher Jennifer. She is only there on Wednesday. She has scheduled several trips this year: the fire station, grocery store and to the police department. All of these are within walking distance.

Because of the extreme budget cuts all field trips must be privately funded. Luckily the PTO allocated $200 to their class. Otherwise they would not have been able to go to the aquarium.
Brackett's Beach besides

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hola from Spain!

This is the beautiful seaside village where Heather has been staying.
The Mtn over looking the sea and village is
the one the girls climbed over the week end.
Heather arrived in Spain safely. Hard to believe that she has been there a little shy of a month. She has been staying with a Swedish family that a horse ranch in Southern Spain over looking the ocean. To hike to the beach is about a mile. The girls in their free time have been hiking and mountain climbing. Some of the work that Heather has doing is tending the garden, cooking and child care. She even learned how to ride a bike!

The following is part of her latest journal entry:
Just wanted to drop a line and let you all know I am happy and healthy. Today, I learned to use a big land tilling machine, went to a village market and got to watch the sunrise. Food and health and life is wonderful. On Sunday, Leah and I will travel to the south of Spain (literally mere miles from Africa) where we will work for a couple of weeks at a yoga and meditation center helping them prepare for their upcoming season doing mainly garden, land and painting work. I am so excited!
Recent mtn. Heather and Leah climbed. Look at the lovely town below.

Missing her so much but knowing that she is having an amazing adventure is great! I look forward to hearing more from her. Seeing an occasional picture or two. Will continue to update her journey. Please hold in prayer for safe travels, remain healthy, and enjoying her adventure to the fullest!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When one leaves the nest.

On Thursday a new chapter begins in Heather's life. After living with us almost a year she will spread her wings and fly to Spain. She is so excited! If you had told her this time last month that she would living in Spain she would have thought you had lost your brains! Two weeks ago she would have thought you were crazy~ but in less than 48 hours she will be going to the Southern Coast of Spain.

Her girlfriend Leah left a month ago to be part of a work exchange. Several weeks later the offer arose to join her. Leah is working on a horse ranch. She is living in a villa that over looks the sea. Her host family is a single Swedish mom and her 2 children.

Two weeks later they will move to another farm for a month. In between each move they will have a week to explore Spain. They are hoping to visit Portugal, France and maybe Germany. This will certainly be a whirl wind few months!

At the end of May, Heather will be state side. Her next journey will find her traveling around Appalachia. She has a graduate assistance position work withing her mentor in Sociology. I do not quite understand what she will be doing other than having an amazing time~!

Keep her in your thoughts to be safe, healthy and happy. Maybe occasionally she will end post a few pictures!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Christmas 2010

Every Christmas Eve the kids receive
new jammies.
It was a wonderful feeling not having to go to the airport this year at Christmas. I can hug Heather all I want and not freak out that she will be gone in X amount of days. But I did get a bit of excitement surge thinking back on how totally wonderful it felt counting down the days till she was here. :0)

Christmas could not have been any more wonderful. We are healthy, have food in the kitchen, a beautiful place to call home, and we were all together. There are things we still greatly miss: spending time with Grandma; spending the week after Christmas at the family farm, cutting our tree down in the woods; attending First Presbyterian Church's Christmas Eve children's services and spending time with their Godparents.

Tree shopping is serious stuff!
This year was different. It was not as hectic, hurried, or anything of the sort. We did a little a baking nothing like we use to do. We spent quiet time with one another. Rather exchanging a bunch of gifts, we drew names. Each person make a thoughtful present or deed for whose name they drew. we all enjoyed this greatly. Sarah Elizabeth made a Santa coat for Joseph. She sewed all the around the cuffs and up the  zipper with cotton balls. It is darling! He sleeps in it and wears it constantly with his Santa hat, gloves and boots everywhere! He makes people smile when they see him. :0)
Exchanging gift of  love with one another will definitely be a new tradition with our family.
Even naked,
the grand fir is lovely.

We attended the Christmas Eve service at Bethesda Lutheran. It was a small gathering and very simple. Just the pace we had hoped for. How I love Pastor Malcolm! Dinner was wonderful. Afterwards the girls baked cookies for Santa while continuing another Christmas tradition...watching 24 hours of a Christmas Story! Before bedtime the children made sleeping arrangements. They always sleep in the same room.  I guess to make sure no one peeks! After the younger ones are tucked in the wrapping party begins. This year we could not put presents under the tree because of our 2 trouble making little boy kitties. With our luck the kittens will have had everything unwrapped and played with! Actually Emily thought it was really neat to wake up with all the presents put out. She asked if we could do this again next year.  If your counting that is 3 new traditions!

Christmas day was wonderful. Some napped, some watched new movies or read books they received as a gift. I cooked our first gluten free casein free Christmas dinner. It was wonderful. We had been invited out to our new homeschooling friends, The Smyers', for an evening of games as well as enjoying each others friendship but it did not happen. Too much Christmas excitement for Joseph. A major meltdown with the mere thought of leaving Scooby Do to fight the Black Lagoon creature alone pushed him over the top! Santa gave him the movie. I lost track how many times he watched that DVD that day. Obviously way too many!

The week after Christmas was a huge blessing. The tone of the week was laid back. I got some snuggle time with the younger children reading by the fire. Jeff and I snuck out and shared a glorious lunch of gluten and cheese pizza! The kids went to the beach. I was allowed naps, time to read or write. It was like we were on vacation. (Even then I still get stuck with the dishes.)

For New Years Eve a very welcoming invitation was extended by the Smyers' to go Lake Union and watch the fireworks. We had a fabulous view of the Space Needle complete with no parking issues and a bathroom! We zipped in and out of Lake Union with no traffic. Unheard of in Seattle. How about that on a NYE? Moored beside the pier were multi-million dollar yachts. We were all in awe of the size, furnishings, and everything else. Shoot, some of the dingies were larger than our condo!

We were freezing while we waited for the show to begin. It was very interesting listening of the excitement welling up all around us as people began to start the count down. Prior to the count down it had been fairly quiet. The moment the first rocket shot off so did the cheers. It was such a festive environment! We greatly enjoyed the view of the fireworks. The boat parade marching past us through out the evening was pretty darn cool too. Over all it was a great way to kick off 2010.

New years day we all swore off making resolutions. Instead trying to make a difference as often as we can to keep our family healthy, peaceful, and remind each of them how deeply they are loved. I think this is a keeper.

Blessing of health and happiness to you and your family~blair