Heading for the barn

We completed our 35-day, 3,000 mile road trip on Friday. Whew!

We had SO SO much fun (more posts about that to follow), but we are also pretty happy to be staying put for a bit. We ended our trip at my parents house and get to spend most of this month tucked into their cozy and delightful barn apartment.

We drove about 3,000 miles to get here —

And stayed in seven types of lodging —

We are incredibly grateful to the wonderful friends and family who hosted us and made this beautiful journey possible for our family. Thank you dear hearts!

Starting school on the road

We started school for Luke and Mabel on September 13. Starting on the road meant that Luke and Mabel got to have school with their grandparents! So fun!

Luke started third grade and Mabel first. We did our first day of school tradition of a little tablework, a few photos and then a hike with fall bouquet collecting. It was a beautiful day in Spokane and we decided to explore Riverside State Park (where Jason proposed to me over 15 years ago!).

This is the first time that Jason was able to be present for a first day of school which was really great!

Moscow, Idaho: returning home

When we moved to Moscow (pronounced mahs-coh), Idaho in 2014, I was really unhappy to be there. We’d spent the year before living in the stunning Panajachel, Guatemala and the beautiful Green Mountain State of Vermont for the two years before that, Moscow felt like a bit of a dud. Too big to really be a small town and waaay too small to be an urban area, it was a space that I once labelled “too family friendly.” I remember telling a Vermont friend that I could never imagine that I would ever miss Moscow. Of course, after about two years it had really, really grown on me. By that time we had less than a year to go before Jason would graduate and we would need to move again. All that to say, it was felt like a bit of a homecoming to return to our sweet friends and the lovely town of Moscow for our first few days after leaving our Rapid City home.

Our time there seemed to fly by and we look forward to when we can return. There are a few highlights from our visit below and a kind of “best of” list for Moscow in case you ever get to visit 🙂

Fall was already in starting to show it’s colors. We collected these beauties during a quick stroll through the Arboretum.

One of our favorite haunts, Phillips Farm — we lived walking distance from this farm park during our first year in Idaho. We quickly came to love the easy hiking paths, wild orchards and wooded areas and, not to be left out — the “scat” board with models of more than 15 types of animal scat 🙂

A delicious lunch at Mikey’s Gyros — oh so good!

The most valuable thing for us was betting to spend time with our friends — it was awesome to watch the kids reconnect

And no trip to Moscow should be complete without a visit to the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market — unfortunately it was cold and rainy for our trip, but still delightful to get to go.

A few other fun stops — being chased by giant chickens at the delightful Moscow Food Co-Op and testing out a raft in the amazing showroom at Northwest River Supply.

Rapid City: doing our last favorite things

Last Friday was our final day in Rapid City. We’d hoped to be completely packed and to just enjoy a day of fun. That wasn’t entirely the case, but we still crammed in about as many of our last favorite things as possible.

Earlier in the week, we visited Dinosaur Park with our pastor and his wife. Dinosaur Park is one of the places we visited the most during our four years in Rapid City. Located on a hilltop in the center of town and a free destination, the enormous dinosaur structures with great views of the city quickly became a favorite for the kids and us.

Tally’s Silver Spoon in the historic downdown for a delicious breakfast — my parents treated us to breakfast at Tally’s during their visit shortly after we arrived in Rapid and it has been a special place ever since.

One last trip creek walking at Rushmore Lions Nature Park — we are so thankful to have had such lovely places to play, right in town!

Squeezing in our final packing up! And, we even parked our truck overnight at one of our favorite places — our friends, the Haan’s house! Our very first neighbors and friends in Rapid City.

And the last, last favorite place – Armadillos Ice Cream Shoppe! Our kind neighbor gave us a generous gift card as a going away present and we definitely needed to use it ALL. So we each got our own sundae! Wow, they were delicious end to our Rapid City experience.

Leaving…the Black Hills, our home & our friends

After nearly four years in the Black Hills, we are moving on–with hearts that are both excited and sad. Completely thrilled at what is before us, but heart-broken at the community and home we leave behind us. Three years and eleven months is the absolute longest we have lived anywhere in the past 15 years, so for us it definitely feels like we have put down roots.

Our house sale closed on August 13th and we did our best to enjoy our home until the last. I sure loved that little house that we made into a home.

We were able to stay in Rapid City at a campground cottage for Jason’s last two weeks at work. A lovely space to stay and a great chance to spend just a little more time with all our special friends.

We hit the road very early Saturday morning — Jason with the U-Haul and me with the kids. Not sure who had the tougher drive? We headed West, returning to a previous hometown of ours: Moscow, Idaho.

Guatemala Bound!

We are selling our South Dakota home and moving to Guatemala to support missionaries who are directly caring for the needs of the local population. Eight years ago we had the opportunity to live in Guatemala for a year and quickly fell in love with the people, culture and landscape.

Life and family responsibilities pulled us in a different direction for a while, but we have continued to feel strongly about returning. This year, after much prayer and consideration we have decided to sell our home in South Dakota so that we could move our family back to Guatemala and assist missionaries working in the Lake Atitlan region.

We hope to move there in November 2021 and plan to primarily support our dear friends, the Deeds family, who will also be returning this Fall.

The Deeds family is returning to Guatemala to work with La Casa de la Paz, an organization supporting women/children living in domestic abuse or neglect.

We also hope to volunteer with the two more organizations:

Porch de Salomon (home construction and humanitarian aid to Guatemala’s indigenous population)

Cultiva International (providing garden education & square foot gardening boxes)

Guatemala is located in Central America, immediately south of Mexico and is the location of much of the Mayan civilization. According to the World Bank “Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world with Indigenous and rural populations disproportionately affected. Chronic childhood malnutrition (and stunting) affects 47 % of all children under the age of five, 58 % of indigenous children, and 66 % of children in the lowest income quintile. In 2019, Guatemala ranked 68th in food security out of 113 countries, with only 40 % of Guatemalan families enjoying food security.”

Although we expect to support ourselves off the proceeds from our home sale, we could use help with the transportation costs of getting our family of four to Guatamala. We expect flights, ground transportation and covid testing costs to come to about $3,000 total. If you are interested in partnering with us financially, please visit https://gofund.me/1879a422