Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Such a busy Summer!

With the exception of August, we were pretty much on the road all summer. To begin, we started in June which saw us to Champaign, IL for summer training with FOCUS.

Summer Training!
June was ushered in by my first solo 4 hour drive to go meet Paul down in Urbana/Champaign, IL at the U of I. It was a challenge keeping Sophia happy for the whole 4 hours, but since we were driving the Scort (our little white escort Paul has had since high school) I could easily reach back and hand her a drink or snack with out being distracted too much from the road! I was excited when we got there to learn that we had a small suit of rooms so Sophia could have her own small room since she doesn't sleep well (meaning she screams all night) when she is in our room. I was so excited to see my friend Kjersti and her little girl Olivia. Kjersti and I met when I was in college at NDSU, and we have enjoyed living only 1 1/2 hours apart way out in Wisconsin. Olivia is only 6 days younger than Sophia, and they have so much fun together! We also took in the FOCUS marriage retreat and learned some valuable things. We have been working on budgeting better since we live on a variable salary, so that can be challenging from month to month, but they also discussed living the family rule. This was taught by Kevin and Lisa Cotter  , and had a lot to do with deciding what mission it is your family is called to and ordering your life around that mission. We have yet to decide on our family mission statement, but we are working on it (update to follow :).

The BIG Move
The next two weeks we frantically packed to get ready for the movers who came June 23rd. We left a few too many things to pack back up into our own cars, but with a lot of pushing and cramming, we got most of it to fit. To my complete relief, they didn't ask me to repaint our little apartment kitchen which I had painted a lovely brick red to offset the complete stark whiteness of the floors, walls, cupboards, and appliances. That would have been a nightmare! We then drove from Madison, WI to Omaha, NE for the night to stay with Paul's friend from college and his family. That is one great thing about being a missionary family, you know so many people across the country and it is so fun to visit them when you are traveling. The next day we completed our trek and pulled into Denver around 4:00pm. We unpacked one of the cars and the valuables and headed to my aunt Carmie's down in Parker, CO for the night.

The really unfortunate part of the whole deal was that the day the moving company loaded up all our stuff in Madison, they called to say that there would be a major delay with our things and that we wouldn't receive our things for at least 2-3 weeks, dependent on whether they could find another truck to take our things. Normally this wouldn't have been such a big deal, but we had planned to be leaving for Glendive, MT on our way to Fargo, ND for 3-4 weeks a few days after our things arrived. So we scrapped our plans, and went to MT right away with Paul's parents for a week since we had no things!

We spent the 4th of July lighting off a few fireworks at Paul's parents, and it was a perfect night! I even got to go shooting with Colette at the newly renovated shooting range they just finished to help test out the air handling system. I love shooting old cowboy/cowgirl pistols, and I even had some good clustering on the targets. I almost got knocked of my feet shooting the .45 though.

Finally, the second week in July we got the call that our things were going to be delivered. Only, we were still in MT, because we were supposed to get a 24 hour notice before our stuff came. It was Thursday evening and our truck was supposed to arrive at 10:00 am the next morning (we are only 9 hours away). I managed to get a hold of the driver who was having some "truck" troubles, and he said that delivering our stuff on Sat. morning instead would take a great deal of stress off as he was having troubles getting there in time. It all worked out in the end, but the looks on our neighbors faces when this HUGE semi pulled into our apartment complex was priceless (it wasn't all ours!).  

The moving truck trying to take the turns to get to our building in Thornton, CO. The movers were great and none of our things were really damaged. SO relieved to have that over with.

On to Fargo!
We then drove back through Glendive, MT on our way to Fargo. While we had no troubles with Sophia or the Hass, we did manage to get stuck behind two huge houses being moved on highway 59 just north of Gillette in Wyoming. Anyone who has traveled Hwy 59 knows that there is nowhere to detour for miles and miles. After dogging these houses for over an hour going 20-40mph (which is like torture to me), we decided to get cute and try to take this really long gravel road to see if we could get past the houses. We had to go 27 miles, the houses had to go 13. Needless to say after almost hitting a herd of cows on the road and driving like crazy on this super winding, back country gravel road we came up on Hwy 59 just as the houses past us. AND, while we were taking our little detour, they had let all of the cars piled up behind them pass. I was furious!!!! It was Paul's idea by the way. We were then stuck behind the houses all the way to Broadus, MT where they finally turned off, and we were in need of gas. I thought we were going to go crazy, but we made it safely.

Once in Fargo, we spent the week meeting with many of Paul's mission partners, old friends and spending time with my parents and siblings. We were even able to make a trip up to seen my grandparents up in Walhalla and Langdon, ND.

We celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, and my parents watched Sophia sleep while we went out for dinner at our favorite little Italian restaurant in Fargo formerly known as Isabella's

Sophia at Great-Grandpa and Grandma Gapp's house.

We picked lots of vegetables and berries at Great-Grandma Sauer's

Mandie, Mom, and the DeMaria's shelling peas

Sophia loved running around chasing the kitties (actually they were chasing her!)

Eating rhubarb

Four generations: Angela Marie, Mandie Marie, Sophia Marie, & Alfreda Marie

Beautiful sunset in Montana

Sitting in her favorite rocking chair at Grandpa Wilburn's on the way back to Denver.

A Little Vacation
For our last excursion of the summer, we two days and went up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park for some mountain sight seeing and hiking. It is such a beautiful little town and we enjoyed exploring.

Walking in downtown Estes Park

Playing by the water

The drive into Estes Park with a view of Rocky Mountain National Park

Hiking to the waterfall!

We made it, even carrying Sophia!

One last little stop by Bear Lake before we headed for home.

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