Here’s where we’re currently at:
The Good: It’s Fall!!! Winter is starting to close in on us now, but up until a week or two ago the color, the weather, the activities were all epically beautiful for a solid few months. Fall lasts a really long time up here. It’s the best. Even now (late November) there are still colorful leaves in most directions you look. We’re soaking it up and loving the changing of the seasons! Some other good news: We’re FINALLY finding some sort of balance with school schedules, work, homework and adventure. And we’re meeting fun people and building some solid friendships. It’s getting there! Trying to be patient with how long it takes to start-over.
The Bad: It’s Fall ;) The time change always sucks… especially this far north, it gets dark sooooo early (around 4pm) and will only get darker! And compared to down south, it’s pretty chilly these days (Gary loves it, Courtney and the girls not so much). It’s been raining about 50% of the time. Some weeks it’s incredibly clear and beautiful (but cold) and some weeks it’s dreary, gray and dark… it’s not so much the rain or the gray that gets to us, it’s more of the lack of light.
What We’re Learning: That the issues of this world (and life is general) are messy and extremely complicated: Terrorism, refugees, war, poverty, oppression, political rants, religious views, ill-advised FaceBook posts… these issues are deep and convoluted and many don’t have answers, let alone easy answers. Some days it makes us want to throw up our hands and give up on it all. The more we learn, the more difficult it all seems but the more important it feels to do our part to make a difference. As a family, we feel the need to TRY to do something about it, even if our attempts seem small and insignificant. So we’re learning and discussing and brainstorming how we can help those who need it (locally and globally). We’re very thankful for Courtney’s masters program. The topics, discussions, papers, books and research she is doing is very much on point with the major issues our world is facing today and have led to many excellent conversations about the future. We are eager to help and feel that we’re getting closer to something – someway to engage and help.
So, that’s where we’re at… below you’ll find some of the things we’ve been up to this Fall. First up, we met up with some good friends (Team Miller of Bend, OR) for a weekend away (sans kids). We headed to the east side of the mountains for a super fun Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, WA.
We had such a great time with Conor & Michelle. We ate, we drank, we explored, we conquered… it was a perfect weekend away.
Over the past couple weeks we’ve had both grandmas come down for various trips to help us out. The kiddos are always in heaven when the Grandmas are in town :) We’re thankful to have such awesome and supportive families during this crazy time in our life!
For Halloween the girls dressed up as The Kratt Bros (from a kids show called Wild Kratts).
Piles of leaves and leaf fights!
Gary grew up in Montana hunting and fishing and eating wild game. He once harvested a moose at the age of 12! So now that we live back in the land of plenty (when it comes to natural resources and the outdoors) he was able to get out this Fall and try to fill our freezer with (organic, local, free range, gluten free, fair trade, no GMO, cage free, etc.) meat before the long dark winter. He didn’t have much luck (it was more a season of learning the area), but had an awesome time in the great outdoors with his Dad chasing deer and elk throughout the high mountains of the Cascades.
Mt Rainier (above), we see it often as we drive around our immediate area. It’s actually an active volcano! Below: Poo Poo Point. Where the paragliders take off. We need to do this at some point!
Above: as Joelle gets older, she’s loving staying up later and reading from her top bunk. Below: Apparently you don’t mess with Owls up here, haha. And this is a drawing from Charlotte of an elk riding and dolphin…or somethin’ – amazing! So funny. Thanks for checking in with us! We hope you’re doing well and have a Happy Thanksgiving!