Monday, December 31, 2012

Making the Dream a REALITY

Three years ago we started dreaming a new dream. This week that dream has begun!
We have just booked a 4-month family sabbatical. We are leaving in Jan. 2013 to spend 4 months traveling/working/volunteering in New Zealand, Bali Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. We have spent so much time dreaming, researching and planning and to finally book those flights seems a little surreal. It feels a little scary. O.K., a lot scary at times. There is so much to do. There are so many people to talk to, BeWaxed by Wendy clients, Can West Drywall clients, tenants, banks, teachers, family, friends, government (business and personal taxes), credit card companies, travel agents, health insurance companies, couch surfing hosts and the lists go on….

Some days I feel over whelmed with all there is to do. Some days I think, is this all worth it? Then I have to remind myself how we felt during our last trip. How we have become the family that we are because of the time we spend together and the things we have seen and learnt on these times together. As a family, we all desire this time of travel. But, it sometimes feels hard. It sometimes feels tiring, like the list are to long and the time to plan is to short. But yes, it is worth it! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A journey

As long as we are alive we will keep dreaming and as we keep dreaming we will continue to keep chasing those dreams.

We are on a journey, a journey of trying to live very intentionally. Trying to arrange our lives to reflect what we value the most. Deliberately living a life of purpose and passion.

We look at where we are and plan out where we want our life as a family to go. We are learning where our priorities lay and we are working very hard to establish what is most important for our family.

 This is hard work. But we want to look back at the memories that we have made and say it was all worth it! 

One of our goals is to teach Colton and Miranda how important dreams are. It is normal to dream and more importantly, it is important to know how to work hard to make those dreams come true. They know how to do hard things. We want them to not be afraid of hard work, dreams or the world. Through this hard work, they will achieve tremendous benefits of personal growth and character development.

Four years ago we started on a journey that began with a dream. This dream included hard choices. Choices that brought us to the place of selling our dream home, packing up our lives of 20 years and storing it all in an old shed on a country yard.  This became the start of a two-year journey that brought our family through 11 European countries, 5 SE Asian countries, New Zealand and Australia and 4 southern US states. We also spent 7 months house sitting for 3 different families and squeezed into a one-bedroom apartment for 3 months. All in an effort, to make our dream attainable.

 In all this time of travel we spent 24/7 together as family. In all this time of travel, I spent no more than 10-15 minutes without one of my family members by my side. Some might say this dream would not be for them. But it was a dream that none of us was ready to see stop. The problem with this particular dream was that for us, it came too quickly to an end.

So what to do when the dream you thought would be fulfilled after a certain time frame does not end?  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Spring Grab & Run

Every Spring and Fall, our church puts on an event called the Grab & Run. I love it. It is a free garage sale type event. Local people from the area donate gently used children's and adult clothing. People from all over who find they could use some clothing for their family come over and take what they need. Some people bring a bag and leave with a new batch for their family to use. We put it out for an afternoon, fry up some hot dogs and call it a great time. The whole event is tones of fun. Everything is free.
From the unpacking to the packing up of the leftovers. We have a blast.

We are setting up on April 26th in the evening and would love to take your gently used clothing. If you would like to help, feel free to drop them off at the Exchange, 116 Main st. Altona.

The event takes place on
Friday April 27th 4-6
Saturday April 28th 10-12

Everyone is welcome and it is all FREE!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Make it count!

I found this video on facebook.
        I LOVE it!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fishing at soar

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Soar 2012

We are preparing to spend 10 days in inner-city wpg with around 380 youth during spring break. Be sure to watch the video on the left from last year.

An amazing, exciting and a bit exhausting week! Can't wait!

Last year we spent the week with new comers to Wpg. The women were all from Africa and we shared some cooking recipes with them and had a lot of fun getting to know the women and their children.
This year we are splitting up into 2 groups. One group is going to spend the week with newcomer women cooking. The other group is going to spend the week with newcomer men learning about fishing in Mb.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ballestas Islands

On the south coast of Peru is the Paracas National Reserve, the home to one of the largest sea-lion colonies in the world. Just offshore are the Ballestas Islands. This is were we got to see penguins and thousands of birds. On the island we saw pelicans, cormorants, peruvian boobies, inca terns, sea lions and my favorite PENGUINS!!

Nasca or Nazca?

Four hours south of Paracas, Peru is a town called Nasca or Nazca. Either way, surrounding this town is an area wrapped in mystery. Some say the aliens did it. Most think the ancient Inca's were the ones to make these huge designs dug into the earth called the Nazca Lines.

These lines were only noticed by a farmer not that many years ago. He happened to notice them when he was up on a nearby hill. He hired a plane to see it from above and found out that there were many of these huge designs all over the area. Some measuring up to 300 meters long.

The plane we took swooped over these pictures showing us all the angles. We all felt a bit nauseous for 35 minutes. We were all happy to feel the ground beneath our feet again when we were done.

Paracas, Peru

Three hours south of Lima, Peru is a small town called Paracas. It feels like a completely different world than where we had just come from in Northern Peru. The Amazon jungle is humid, hot and lush. Paracas is the polar opposite. Dry and desert like is what we now had.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

amazon jungle

The boat motor was loud and the smell of exhaust was strong in the air as we started our four hour boat ride from Iquitos to the very remote jungle lodge on the Amazon river. Not really knowing what we were in for, but knowing this was going to be a very different experience than we have ever had before. We knew that the lodge was an Eco lodge far into the jungle, where we would be able to experience the real amazon. This was going to be great.

 And it is!

We have been in the jungle now for 4 days. We have tried to experience everything that this lodge has to offer. What it doesn't have to offer is a menu of foods to choose from. They cook one food for meals, and that is what we eat. They don't have hot or warm water, but one tap in the shower with river water to wash the sweat off before crawling into our screen enclosure room for the night. No A/C, no T.V. just chirping birds, bugs and other amazon jungle creatures to lull us to sleep at night.

A typical day in the jungle for us has started at 5am. We awaken to people getting ready for the day and once again, the loud jungle creatures that are starting their day. We get dressed, wash the sleep out of our eyes and get into the waiting boat that will take us deep into the river jungle to see if we can spot the early morning creatures that live there.
  Breakfast was prepared for us by the lodge. One day it was peanut butter and jam and star fruit juice, another day it was fried egg, cheese and ham on bread with another fresh tropical fruit to drink.
   As we hiked through the dense primary jungle, we are always on the lookout for something new to see. Some of the creatures we have seen are, poison dart frogs, leaf frogs, Pygmy marmoset, wholly monkey, squirrel monkey, black monkey, 3 toed sloth, jungle tree anaconda, yellow viper snake, jungle rats, tarantula, camen, many, many spiders as big as a mans hand, big bugs, little bugs, swimming spiders and my favorite,  pink river dolphins. The other ways we have been exploring is in canoes. Everywhere we go, there is water.
The amazon region in northern Peru in very different than I was expecting. It is the rainy season now, and everything is under 12 feet of water. Something like 1/2 a millions square miles are partially under water.  So when we first arrived, I was expecting to see mountains, and a very distinct river. But everything is flat and under water. So much so that the huge trees that we pass in the boats, really don't look that big because we are boating up in the canopy instead of down by the base of the trees. All of the buildings are built on stilts and there is very little dry land. Everywhere we go is by boat or canoe. Very odd to spend a week without seeing or walking on much dry land. Though today we boated an hour and a half to hike in the jungle. Felt good to stretch our legs and do some hiking.

Another fun thing we did yesterday was go fishing. I caught a piranha!! We ate it for supper.

It is no wonder why this is one of the 7 natural  wonders of the world.

                                                                       My piranha!!

our room at the lodge

                                                               the view from our room

                                                           a pink dolphin splash

We visited a nearby village. One of the only places with dry land. Very friendly people!!

                                                                     The village kids

                        One of the walkways around the lodge and my jogging path

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Peru people

As we drove from Cusco to Machu Picchu, we stopped at a few places where I was able to get these shots