Saturday, October 31, 2009

High Winds and High Times in the High Country

Has it been 2 weeks since I updated this blog? How time flies when you are having fun.

Let's see.....we got to Boise just in time for Lizzy's birthday party. If you check out you can see some pictures of Fred and I enjoying the indoor kids playground where the party was held. Everyone had a fun time, kids and adults alike.

We spent about 10 days with Misty and family. The time went way too fast. We had trips to the zoo, a corn maze and, oh yes, and to the Cabela's Store, to see all the stuffed animals too.

Fred and I delayed our leaving by a day because of high winds across southern Idaho. We left Boise on the 28rd. We got as far as Rawlins,WY, on the next evening. Today is Oct 31 and we are still here. I 80 is closed because of high winds and blowing snow. We are seeing clear skies now, but there is still a lot of wind. We are hoping to get back on the road in the next 24 hours.

God has such a sense of humor. I have been saying that we need to spend more time just camping by ourselves. Well, God is giving us that here on a windy hillside in WY. We are in a such a good place. It is a nice campground with full hookups, hot showers, and a laundry room.

Yesterday we put a roast in the cock pot, watched a movie and played some cards (Fred won). I talked to Carrie yesterday and she said they are having high winds in Alasaka too.

Today I think I will get out my sewing machine.

Next week some of my female family members are getting together at a cabin in Colorado Springs for a few days. Glad we will have a this bad weather behind us. It is supposed to be in the 50's next week.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Treatment and Travel

We have been here in the DC area now since last Friday.

First, we spent some time with our friend Sandra. There was a lot of eating, watching bad movies, laughing and along with a few tears. Saturday we even got in on some old fashioned garage cleaning. Sandra said she can do anythings she needs to now that she has conquered the garage. You go girl.

It was a beautiful fall day on Monday when we went to Arlington National Cemetery to visit Skips grave site. We enjoyed the time we got to spend there and I am sure we will find time to stop again.

The Doc appointment went big surprises. Fred's numbers are still rising some but no change in treatment for now.

With all the appointments and tests for this trip done we will be flying back to Portland early tomorrow morning.

Fred and I plan to head for Boise in the next couple of days. Sunday is Lizzy's birthday party and we would like to get there in time for that.

We have already been gone from Alaska more than 2 weeks. How time flies.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Back in the Lower 48

What a great summer we had at home in Alaska!

The past couple of weeks we have been getting the house and yard ready for the winter months. Carrie and Barb will be living at the house this winter. So we feel like everything there will be well cared for.

Fred, Sadie and I flew down to Portland on Tuesday, September 29. Looking at the calendar it is just 1 day later than we left the state last year. This year the trip was so easy that it is hard to even compare with what we did last year. Fred was very involved in our travel. Loading suitcases on the cart and taking care of Sadie. I smiled a lot. It was such a short flight and we left and arrived in the daylight. Last year we could only get seats at night.

Shane and kids were there when we arrived and it was a short drive to their home. It was great fun to watch Fred sitting on the floor with the kids and dog, keeping everyone entertained with all the goodies in his travel vest's many pockets.

After supper I went with Shane to his evening class. It was great for me to listen in on class for a few hours. Soon the body was starting to slow down from the excitement of the day. During break Shane walked me home across campus. I was ready to hit the hay.

Wed. morning, Shane drove us north to Mary and Paul H. where we had stored our camper for the summer. When I walked in the camper it was better than I remembered. Fred says it feels like we are home.....well yes, our second home. We have so many great memories from last winter's travels. We will miss you Carrie.

Yesterday we spent the day settling in. Trying to find things and remember what we had left here. It will be a few days before it all comes together. And then Fred says I will be changing it again anyway. Hum...... probably so.

Today we are headed back to Shane & Kristi's for a week. Oct. 9 we fly back to DC for Fred's Doc appointment. We plan to be back in Portland on Oct 15 and on the road to Boise within a couple of days after that.

Once again we are staggered by how God continues to care for us.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Deck

Here are a few deck photos I took a couple of weeks ago. It was fun to have this all finished for our last few weeks of beautiful summer. Everything is cleared off now and put away for winter. Mom and Dad leave on Tuesday for the winter so I get the honor of shoveling all the snow off the massive space this winter and watching the birds land at the bird feeder.

Happy Sunday!

~ Carrie

Friday, August 14, 2009

The August Rain

I remember when we moved to Alaska, 16 years ago this week. We never saw the sun for the first 2 -3 weeks. Well, here we are today and it is rainy and overcast. We can almost feel fall moving in. Mushrooms are popping up all around the yard and it is time to mow the grass, but it's way too wet. The days are getting shorter, sunset at 10pm and sunrise at 6am.

August 4 we flew to DC. Yes, 3 months has passed since our last Doc appointment. We had body scans plus the usual tests done. Fred continues to do well. His PSA has started to rise slightly. We are keeping an eye on it, but we are most concerned about how he feels. His energy is good and he does not have any nagging pain. He did spend the night in the hospital a couple of weeks ago with heart issues. With some medication adjustments everything is back to normal. He keeps me on my toes.

About the deck. Yesterday, Fred and I were putting a fiberglass ceiling over the basement patio in the rain. It was so funny. We finally figured out that it was best to lay on our back on top of the scaffolding and reach up to screw up the fiberglass. One time I had rain running down through the deck boards above in my face. Fred couldn't figure out what was taking me so long. I said, "It is dripping down my nostril, just give me a minute." We decided that it was better if Fred laid on his back and I did the fetching. It really was comical.

It was raining again this morning and I said I did not want to work in the rain again today. I was wet, cold and stiff when we quit yesterday. He agreed. We have a couple more hours to finish that project. Surely we will have a few hours without rain in the next couple of days.

Tuesday we finished engineering the steps down the side of the deck to the patio. We have not worked on them much for about a month. The biggest reason was that our help moved on to other jobs and family vacations. Brice and I had put in 4 platforms before he left and it has taken us some time to figure out how we were going to put in stairs to connect them. We have had several false starts and had figured out what would not work. Tuesday we figured out what "did" work and got it all laid out in one day.

We have had a great summer. We have had the best weather of any summer since we have lived here in Alaska. What a great summer to build a new deck. Yes, we have been tired and sore a lot but it has been great to be build something together with some great young men. Now we have a beautiful deck that we will enjoy for many years.

Oh yes, we did work in some B&B guests too. We had people from Kansas, Florida, Canada, Minnesota, Oregon, North Dakota and more. I heard tourism was down about 30 percent. I was careful about the guests I took because of all the construction. My goal was for Fred to have a good summer and to meet the B&B expenses. We did that and I am very satisfied.

We plan to spend the winter outside again this year. Like Fred says "We just didn't get to everything that we wanted to." Our estimated date of departure is the last week of September. Looking it up on the calendar the other day, it looks like 6 weeks. I counted it twice and it still seems to be 6 weeks. We plan to move our dog and stuff down to the camper and then fly over to DC for a Doc appointment the first week of October.

Carrie will be living at the house this winter and the teacher that was here last year is coming back too.

Fred and I continue to look forward the future God has laid out for us.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

At home in Alaska

We are having and wonderful summer here in Alaska. It is hard to describe summer here for anyone that has never been here this time of year. Like Carrie wrote on her blog, "Summer in Alaska is akin to a spiritual experience." We cherish everyday, knowing that it will end too soon. It's so lush and green with crazy long day lit hours. All the gardens are showing color now. Fred's peonies are blooming, the bleeding heart is about shoulder high and loaded with blossoms. Everywhere you look something is blooming.

Our goal when we got home was to replace our deck on the south side of the house. Well, we have been home 7 weeks and today we have 2 young men about to screw on the last boards of the deck. We will have only the railing and the ramps left to finish. It is turning out better than I expected.

Carrie has a couple of slide shows on her blog of us working on the deck. Check them out. Her link is to the right on this page. I left my camera in the I have an excuse for Carrie to come and take pictures.

Fred is continuing to do well and keep all the construction on track. He thinks the deck project is a great excuse for more new tools. We go to DC in Aug for another check up.

We did receive sad news a couple weeks ago that our dear friend, Skip, lost his battle with cancer on June 13. We are planning to go to his internment at Arlington in July. Sandra and Skip were so encouraging to us over the past several of years. We often spent a couple of days staying with them when we went back to the DC area for Fred's Doctor appointments. Fred always referred to Skip as his brother and cancer buddy. Their friendship was quick and close. Sandra and I felt like it was a privilege to watch them be together. They had so much in common: their military experience, the books they both read, their love for their families, their faith in Christ and, oh yes, cancer too. We miss him, but there is no more pain for Skip.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

On to Washington State

Mom & Dad with their hands full of fun.

The guys taking a break.

April 26, 2009

What a spectacular drive along the Columbia River. The bright green of spring and trees blooming everywhere. I have never seen so many trees blooming outside of an orchard.

We stopped south of Seattle at my cousins Mary and Paul H for the night. We visited them the week they moved into their house 20 years ago. We laughed about helping them unpack boxes and keeping up with kids. How time flies.

Sunday evening, April 26, we drove into Shane and Kristi's driveway in Lake Stevens, WA. I think Shane wondered if we would ever get to his house. It had been about 6 months since we had seen them in Boise.

We were thrilled to meet Seth, the latest grandchild. He is a big happy boy. He reminds me a lot of Shane when he was a baby. We all agree that he looks a lot like his Grandpa Wayne. Kelli, Daniel and Dakota have all grown so much since last fall.

Shane and Kristi are getting ready to sell their house and move to Portland. Shane will be going to college full time this fall. They are excited about the future, but a little overwhelmed with all that needs to be done before then.

May 4, 2009
Fred and I flew back to DC for another Doctor appointment. All the doctors had big smiles for us. Fred's numbers continue to go down and his energy continues to go up. We do not have to go back for another appointment until August. Can you believe it? We are so blessed.

We fly back to Seattle and spend a few more days with Shane and family before we head home to Alaska.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Boise Stop

Papa and Katie sharing popcorn.

Joe headed for the train depot & keeping up with big sister.

Papa keeping track of everyone.

April 24, 2009

Next we spent some fun in the sun with the Niesen gang. It was a fast week. Fred and Misty put up a picket fence across the back of the yard. Really it was Fred that had his heart set on putting it up and Misty was a good sport about helping him see it to the finish. She was planting garden and flowers while we were there. Spring has sprung.

I felt like we watched spring come all across the country as we drove north. The oranges were blooming in AZ. The cherries orchards were blooming in Utah. In Idaho the trees were blooming too before we left.

The photos above are of us at the open house for the Old Boise Train Depot near their home. The Depot is rented out for wedding and other special events. It was a hot afternoon, but we all had fun.

We praise God that Fred is so much healthier than when we left Boise, the middle of December.

Twin Falls, Idaho

April 16, 2009

We hooked up the camper and headed north on April 14. We have enjoyed our time in AZ and look forward to spending some time there next winter.

The Grand Canyon was our next destination. We opted to bypass the South Rim and check out the North Rim instead. Well... the North Rim is closed until late May. Guess we will have to put that on our list for next year. As we came North most all the State and National Parks were closed. I guess we were too early in the spring for camping.

We stopped to see our daughter-in-law, Kristi's parents in Twin Falls, ID. They offered to take us sight seeing in the Twin Falls area. What a great idea! We lived in Idaho for 15 years before we moved to Alaska, but had never been sightseeing in the Twin Falls area. The Snake River is very high this spring so the falls in the area are quite dramatic. Some are higher than Niagara Falls.

We had a great couple of days with Wayne and Ann seeing the sights, playing some games and sharing some time. We also share 4 of our grandchildren with them.

Thank you for your generous hospitality. Hope we get to do that again.... Maybe in Alaska?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Heading North

April 15, 2009

Can it be that we have been away from Alaska for 6 months? It has been a wonderful time of healing and rest for both Fred and I. We have been so blessed all along the way.

Now we are heading north to spend time with our daughter, Misty and family in Boise and then on to Seattle to spend some time with our son Shane and his family. Shane and Kristi had a little new little son, Seth, while we were in Brazil in Feb. We look forward to meeting him.

On May 6th, Fred has an appointment with his Doc in Bethesda. We are expecting it to be just routine. We should be in and out in a couple of days and then home to Alaska. Not sure what day we will actually get home yet.
Norman & Connie
I just want to let everyone know how well my Uncle Norman and his wife, Connie, took care of us this winter. We parked our camper in their back yard for 4 months, then came and went from there on our other travels. We shared so many sunny days, beautiful evenings and wonderful memories with you this winter. Thank you for your care and generosity.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baby Calves & Blizzards

April 8, 2009

Note I said Blizzardsssss. My folks had a major blizzard for 2 days before we arrived in Rapid City on March 25th and 2 more while we were there. I think we had 4 days with some sunshine while we were at the ranch for 2 weeks. We originally planned to be in SD for 1 week, but I could see that the last thing my family needed to worry about was getting us 100 miles back to the airport that week. So we changed our ticket to the next Wednesday. Then I made sure we headed to town a day early so everyone would be less stressed about the whole thing.

One of the good things about the weather was that we got to see more of my relatives in town. Aunts, uncles and cousins shuttled from one person to the next trying to get us from the airport to the ranch, to and from town, and to and from the airport.

My sister, Beth, ended up being the one that drove us to and from town. I have never felt like I might get stuck in the mud and gravel in the middle of the road in 4 wheel drive before. We were glad that the road was still a little frozen the morning we headed back to Sturgis.

With so much snow and wind, the cattle were feeling the stress, especially the new baby calves. Day after day I saw the cattle with their tails to the wind, heads down and their black backs covered with a heavy white coat of snow. Not only was it hard on the cattle it was hard on the ranchers trying to keep them fed, watered and together. Plus trying to keep all the new babies alive. Dad and his hired men took turns every 3 hours all night keeping watch over the cattle ready to calve.

Fred and I helped trail mothers and calves in before the last 2 storms. The last day we were at the ranch we enjoyed helping trail them back out of the crowded corrals to the pasture. It was great to see the calves kicking up their heels in the sunshine. It is easy to forget how unforgiving those South Dakota winds can be.

It was great to spend so much time with you, Mom and Dad. We appreciate you. Mom thanks for letting us win a game or 2 of "Hand and Foot".

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thanks Carrie

Well, last night we sent Carrie off to Boise with plans to land in Alaska shortly. She has been a great sport spending the winter with her parents and slowing down to our pace. I think she said the other day that we have only driven about 2600 miles this winter. Of course that does not count all the miles we have flown. Thank you, Carrie for all your care this winter. I am sure we will be able to finish up this road trip and see you in Alaska in a couple of months.

Speaking of flying. Fred and I are flying to Rapid City, South Dakota today. They have had a bad blizzard there this week. So guess we will get to see a little cold winter after all. I need to make some phone calls to see who can come and pick us up at the airport. We may be spending the night in town and go out to the ranch in a couple of days, if the roads aren't open yet.

Our days in Arizona are getting short. We have enjoyed our camp site at uncle Normans, where there is still natural dessert with lots of grease wood bushes, iron wood trees, barrel cactus, prickly pear cactus 6-8-10 tall and just as wide. We love the beautiful sunsets, cool nights and warm days. We loved listening to the doves in the morning and evening. We saw tiny little grouse with feathery top nots, zippy road runners, long tailed lizards, birds and scads of goffers or ground squirrles. Did not see any snakes and that was fine by me. Sadie ran around and had the freedom of 3 fenced acrea.

We spent the night here in Pheonix with my sister, Peggy and family last night. This morning we are going to plant some flowers in her yard before I take off at noon to the blizzard in SD. Quite fankly I have been calling winter, summer, all winter. I don't know what I will call summer in Alaska.

Once again be sure and check out Carries pictures.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Such a good winter

Here we are in DC again.........Fred had a Doc appointment today and his PSA continues to go down. His next appointment is in 2 months. The last 6 weeks Fred has had better health than than he has had in the past couple of years.

We have had such a good winter traveling and seeing family and friends. We are not sure when we will be heading home. Someone told me the other day that we could save some things to do for our trip next winter. We will have to see.

I can't hardly believe that we have been back from Brazil for about 10 days. It was a great trip. It took us a couple extra days to get back to AZ because we had a snowstorm in Atlanta on the way through.

Our flight was canceled out of Atalanta, so we took a day and drove over to Birmingham and saw Wade and Annadeidra and kids. While we were in Brazil we were sad to learn that Anna's mother passed away unexpectedly. They were all there for the funeral. It was a very short but good visit.

We fly back to AZ tomorrow afternoon. Then who knows what is next?

Thanks again for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Congratulations Shane and Kristi

It's Wednesday and we are back in town today. That means we have a couple of hours of air conditioning and wireless internet. We appreciate the air conditioning the most. This morning we left the base at 7:30 am for a 30 minute the boat ride, then had an hour drive in the 4 door truck across the city to go to the Zoo. We got a good look at some animals that we hope not to see too close in the jungle; monkeys, jaguars, snakes, tapirs. And some animals we would like to see a little closer; eagles, parrots and turtles. It was starting to get hot by the time we left.

Next we did some walking, shopping, dodging cars, trucks and people. The sidewalks are narrow and very uneven and broken in places. I keep busy just trying to keep track of the person leading and watching that I don't trip on anything. Cindy was great helping us dicker with the shop keepers for the things we bought. Then we walked and sweat all the way to the air conditioned restaurant, where we met up with Fred and Phil for lunch.

The food here is wonderful. Today for lunch I had chicken breast, turkey wrapped in bacon, and pressed cottage cheese barbecued over a flame. I also had a little potato salad, green beans, pickled beets, coleslaw, rice and beans, tiny hard boiled quail eggs and some great tasting salsa. They weighted our plate and we paid by the gram. It was about $6.00, plus the couple of bottles of water that I drank. After about 30 minutes in the restaurant, eating and drinking, I started feeling like I might make it through the rest of the day.

We have fruit here every day. Some we buy and some we pick off trees around the base. The pineapple is sweet and mild and `mango melts in you mouth. This morning for breakfast we had the best papaya I have ever eaten. We have had at least 3 different kinds of banana's, all sweeter and smaller than the US. We have been making fresh juice out of passion fruit, star fruit, koopasu (sp?), lemon, orange, lime and some other fruits I don't remember. Will have to get that from Phil and Cindy before we leave.

Right now Phil, Cindy, Chuck and Laurel are out trying to buy a wireless portable internet modem so that they can have better internet access at their home on the base. That will be so great for them as all they have now is shared dial-up access. We will all be greatfull if they can get it today.

For the next hour or so Carrie, Fred and I are staying here at the mission head quarters in a guest room with air conditioning. Fred is napping. Carrie and I are banging on our computers trying to give all of you something interesting to read.

Congratulations Shane and Kristi! Sunday, February 15, we were blessed with another grandson. Seth Jacob Lambing. We have not talked to be Shane and Kristi yet, but did talk to Fred's Mother Joy and got the news. He was born on Joy's birthday. Please check their blog for the details. Shane and Kristi we love you and are so proud of you and the parents you have become.

Yesterday morning Phil and Cindy took us out on the "launch", the base passenger boat, for a pleasure ride around the local area. It was a beautiful day for it with the sky a little over cast and only one short rain shower. The Amazon is about 3 miles accross to a long series of islands in the middle. When I asked Phil how far it was to the other side from the islands he said that he didn't know because he had never been there. Amazing, he has lived here about 40 years and he has never been all the way across. The river really does divide the country. People travel next to the shore up and down their side of the river.

We traveled up the river toward Manaus and then across and along the islands. On the island side we saw a lot of farming and cattle. It looks much more prosperous than on our side of the river. They say the soil on this side is not as good. It is a lot of clay and sand and does not grow things as well. I saw some black cattle.....they didn't really look like angus, but they were black. I saw a couple of monkeys in a tree next to the river too. The trees had been cleared some for farming and cattle. On our side of the river it is all jungle.

This is the rainy season here. The river has risen at least 3 feet since we arrived about 10 days ago. It will continue to rise until about the middle of June. Then the rains will stop and it will get hot and dry and the river will start to go down. Our seasons revolve around the daylight in Alaska. Here the seasons revolve around the rain and the river. The sun sets about 6pm every evening and rises about 6am every morning all year long.

Our typical day goes like this. Phil starts the generator at 6 or 6:30am, depending on the day. At about 7am we start showing up to enjoy a self serve breakfast of eggs, toast, lots of fruit and/or oatmeal. Actually Cindy says it's a self serve breakfast, but she is usually standing there serving us. Over breakfast everyone decides what they are going to do for the day. Cindy starts some laundry, we have sweaty clothes at the end of every day. If it is sunny we hang the cloths on the big lines out front. If we are not so sure we hang them on the lines under the large roof eaves of the house.

By noon Cindy has made our main meal of the day. This usually includes some kind of fresh home made bread and fresh veggies in a salad, plus a meat and rice or potatoes. Most days she even has some kind of dessert; cookies, pie, shakes, or chocolate bar. We are all ready to take her menues home and use them. We may put together a cookbook of the meals we have eaten here. We can't match the fresh fruit here.

We get real hot and sticky in the afternoon, unless it rains. When it rains, it literally pours. It is amazing. You can't here yourself think let alone talk to anyone when the rain is pounding on the tin roof. Everyone starts slowing down about 5pm. We try to get our showers taken and change into clean dry cloths for the evening before supper. We eat a light supper at about 6:30pm and then play games, read or just visit. At 9:30pm the generator is turned off for the night. We all try and be in our rooms by then. Quite often we finish our game by flash light and then head next door.

One night last week Fred and I saw a huge tarantella on the wall just outside of the door to our house. We both jumped. I was going to go back and warn Chuck and Laurel, but Fred said, "No, I'm sure they will find it." It wasn't long and they did. Since then we have found a couple of smaller ones inside the house.

I think that I told you we are staying in a guest house next door. Well we do not have any hot water in our place. The first day I went next door for a shower, but that is kind of a hastle. So I decided I was hot enough that I could handle a cold shower. First let me say the the water here is not as cold as it is at home in Alaska. After the first 10 seconds, the cold shower feels real good. It is kind of like when you first jump in the swimming pool. I have a whole new appreciation for a cool shower after living in the tropics for a couple weeks. Clean fresh dry cloths feel great. It isn't long before you feel yourself and your cloths beginning to wilt, literally.

Sorry this is such a long blog......
Just a reminder, check out Carrie's photo's.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Here We Are In Brazil

The last 24 hours before we left for Brazil was a little crazy. For one thing we found out the we were leaving 24 hours ahead for the original time we were to fly. One of the last things I was going to do was update my blog before I left.........didn't happen with the flight change. So I recommend that you always check Carrie's blog when you check ours. She has more updates than I do.

We arrived in Manaus, Brazil at about 12:30am on Sunday morning Feb. 8. It took us about an hour or so to get through customs and get our luggage. All the luggage was there, with one bag split open. I don't think we lost anything out of it.

Fred and I were the first to get through customs and get through the doorway were we expected to see Phil and Cindy. No one was there that we recognized. We laughed about how we had cut it close picking up people from the airport and maybe they were in the same boat. By the time Carrie, Chuck and Laurel were through the doorway they were smiling and waving. Yes, they were visiting with friends and the time had gotten away from them.

By the time we all loaded up in a 4 door pickup and drove across town another hour and a half had passed. Cindy called ahead on her cell phone for the boat to pick us up at an aviation mission post outside of town. It started raining as we loaded all our luggage on a long narrow boat with a little fiberglass roof that they call a canoe.

Someone pulled the rope on the outboard motor and we were off, down the Amazon river at about 2am with no lights on our boat and an overcast sky. It was amazing how well we could see the trees along the bank as we glided down the dark river. Most of the time we were in a channel between the mainland and an island. We could see the lights of homes scattered along the river. I kept asking myself "Are we really here....?"

Sooner than I expected, we broke out of the channel and there was the massive river that I had expected. The river is so huge that it makes you think that you are on the ocean, except there is no tide. In just a couple of minutes we were at the base and pulling up on shore. We unpacked the canoe in the rain and got all the baggage up to the house and sorted everything out, chatted a little bit and went to bed.

Laurel, Chuck, Fred and I are staying in the guest house right next door to Phil & Cindy's. Carrie is staying with them at their house. Sunday morning no one moved very fast. Fred and I got up just in time to go to the dining hall for lunch. My, did that ever take me back about 40 years, to all the meals I had while living in the dorm at boarding high school, Sunshine Bible Academy.

Monday-- we all moved pretty slow.
Tuesday-- we took a hike on some of the trails in the jungle near the base.
Wednesday-- I started making new curtains for their living room.
Thursday-- I spent time sewing again and Cindy and I had some great laughs playing Hand & Foot Canasta

Carrie has been busy teaching some photography class to the high school kids. Tomorrow she will teach one for adults. I may go to that one.

Fred has been doing a lot of reading and keeping track of the guys and their projects. Yesterday they worked on the launch (big passanger boat) and put it a couple of outdoor electrical plug-ins on their house plus, another outdoor light. Monday they went down river and worked on something. Over all Fred is continuing to improve. He is tolerating the heat better than I expected.

Today we all took the canoe to Manaus. It was great to see the trip in the day light. We went to the open market and did some shopping for fruit, veggies, fish. I am sure Carrie will have some good pictures to share with you from this morning. This afternoon we are at the mission house were we have Wifi and an airconditioned room to work from. It is great to have a hour or so of cool air.

The heat has not been as bad as I expected. This is the cool time of the year here. We have rain every day at least once and when it rains it downpours. The rainwater pours down the slope of the base to the river. We watch the the river rise more every day. We have seen a lot of awsome lightning storms and cloud formations.

One other little interesting note. The jungle is not quiet, especially at night. When it starts to get dark at night the real noise begins with toads and frogs crocking and some other animal making noises that sound like someone running a stick over notches on another hollow pipe. I can't remember all the sounds, but it is sooo noisy. In the day time we have loud birds and rubber nuts that explode and bang on the tin roof and sound like gun shots. We are right on the Amazon, which is like living right next to a busy highway with all kinds of boats: house boats, fishing boats, one man canoes, huge fuel barges, boats halling cattle from the interior, giant container ships, fast passenger ferries, slow passenger canoes, even a Princess Cruse Ship.

Today is day number 7. That means we have 14 days to go.

Thanks for everyone's prayers and support on this adventure.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ten Days and counting

Here we are back in the DC area again for Fred's Doc appointment. He is doing so well...his psa is still dropping and we like that. Please pray that this treatment continues to work for him.

I can't believe that I haven't written since the first week of Jan. The day after I wrote we left Kansas and headed toward Texas to visit friends and family. We spent about a week in Texas. Barbara L came and spent a couple days with us at Fort Richardson State Park. Fred's cousin, Bill & Linda came and spent a day with us there too. We drove across Texas and up into New Mexico' to the Carlsbad Caverns. We enjoyed seeing those awesome underground caverns.

Then we were off to El Paso, Tx, where we spent a couple days with Marty H and family. Marty lived with us for 3 years when we lived in Idaho Falls, ID. That was a few years ago. We enjoyed getting to know his wife and little girls better.

Our next destination was the Pheniox area. I have lots of aunts and uncles wintering in the area. Plus my sister, Peggy and her family live there. We are parked at my Uncle Norman's place. He has put in 5 full RV hookups in his back yard. We have enjoyed a week there visiting with George & Sharon, Jean and Chuck, Dale & Marie, Peggy & Warren and Ryan. We share our evening meal together and spend a couple of hours together telling stories and laughing. We are having such a wonderful time.

10 days until we fly to Brazil. How the time flies?? Hard to believe that we have been gone from Alaska 4 months this week. God has certainly blessed us all along the way. Thanks again for all your prayers and words of encouragement.

For more pictures and a different perspective check out Carrie's Blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christmas in Kansas

Is it January 7 already? What a great Christmas Season we have had. We have been here in Kansas for about 3 weeks now. I suggest that you go on Carrie's blog to see some her pictures.

We have had a good time of rest and renewal these past weeks here in Kansas. We have been parked on Fred's sister, Sandy & her husbands farm outside of El Dorado. We enjoyed the Christmas holiday surrounded by their daughters & husbands. Most days we came into town and spent part of the day with Fred's mother. We shared a lot of great food and lots of fun "Hand & Foot Canasta", Upwords, and Domino games. Carrie stayed in town with Mom and cousin Julie, who was here on school break from New Tribes.

So many family and friends have come by to see us. Let's see, we saw Cousin Kathy, Terry & Connie Hinnen, Joyce, Dan Lambing, Mike Lambing, Tom Lambing & family, Harry Kennedy, Kirk & Gaytha Bolton, Bill & Alene Bolton, Joel & Angela Ketcham and family.

We also spent some time with my sister, Laila and family in Wichita. Oh yes, we also saw 3 of my (Marie's) old high school classmates; David & Liz Maude and Rita Fae, plus her husband Ken. We had a lot of good laughs about the days gone by.

Tomorrow we are pulling out and heading toward Dallas, Texas for the weekend and then on to El Passo and Phoenix for some warm weather. We have a lot more friends and family to see along the way.

Yesterday we purchased our tickets to fly to Brazil to see Fred's sister, Cindy and her husband Phil. We are flying out on Feb 8 and back on March 1. Fred has wanted to do this for 30 years, so there is no time like the present.

Fred Update-- He continues to get stronger. He has an appointment in DC the end of January. We had blood work done again this week.

We continue to move forward expecting good things. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.