Monday, October 23, 2006

Colorado's beautiful skyline.
Mira Gall loves children and spent lots of time with both Aubrey and Auden.
Friday night we stayed on Charlie and Barbara Versaw's potato farm, between Center and Hooper, Colorado. They have milk cows (I think that's the first time I've milked since leaving the farm in B.C. when I was 13), sheep, chickens, pigs, and the whole deal. I got up early with Charlie and did the round of chores. He would stop with every cat and dog that came up to us and give an affectionate scritchle.

Their 15-year-0ld, Luke, was one of the earliest adoptions from our home, back in 1993. They reminded of us getting stopped on the way to the airport, and trying to figure out why the police had pulled us over.

Luke is very musical and played the guitar and trumpet for us. I have a wonderful clip of him playing the Doxology that I'll show at the baby home when we get back. (If I could figure it out, I'd put it on the net somehow so you all could listen.)

Aubrey had a great time going around the different animals with him and learning about them, feeding them.
Thursday night we stayed with Andy and Laura Gall in Grand Forks, Colorado. They adopted both Sam (12) and Mira (9) from the little children's home when they were little. Andy's a dentist, so we remember him checking Deborah's teeth while he was with us in our home.

Sam and Mira are doing so very well, developing confidence and skills that seem almost impossible when you remember them the way they were when they left us.

Sam is in a military phase--at least, their parents hope it's a phase. Everything is guns and battles. From computer games to a trench dug in their back yard. He's a little quiet and reserved, but not lacking in gusto.

Mira is anything but reserved. She met us at the door and fell in immediately with Aubrey. We played a lot of soccer--silly games we made up in their hallway--and talked and laughed late into the night. Well, late for parents anyway.

The kids all took various 'supplies' out onto the back porch and 'camped out' for a while in the cold. And in the morning they took us hiking out in the desertous hills. We had so much fun, it was hard to leave and we were late getting to our next destination.
We drove down through Great Falls, through the lovely (but icy) Rockies, through Idaho, and to Provo, Utah. The prejudice against Utah is that it's ugly, so its beauty is all the more suprising and delightful. The Salt Lake area is incredible, and Deborah's cousin has opposing views of the mountains behind and the lake in front of their home.

We had a free morning on Wednesday, so we drove up Provo Canyon to see a water fall and then on to Sun Dance. I'd have to say that is about the loveliest area I've ever driven through.

Stacie and her husband, Nick, both teach at BYU, so they took us on a tour of the campus. Their children (Samuel, Anna, and Michael) were great associate hosts and made us feel very welcome. Our children had so much fun together; Anna kept saying, 'I wish you guys could live here with us.'

Friday, October 13, 2006

It always feels too early to leave Melfort. We had such a good time there. I got to help my folks paint an appartment. We got to speak in the church on the 8th. And every day was packed with as much family time as our sleeplessness would allow. The cousins all did so well together. We gave them a floor map of Manila with some toy jeepneys, buses and cars so they can drive around our home town and visit our church and favorite places we like to go. It's a little way to share our lives there with loved ones here.

We got to help move some of Donna (my sister) and Alan's things into their new home, which is nearing completion. Alan's been working on it (when he's off from work) for a long, long year and they're ready to be moved in.

We had a bit of a fiasco when we went to leave: the car that we had borrowed in Montana started billowing smoke when I went to fill it up with gas for the trip. We lost that day trying to fix it, and ended up taking my brother, Kevin's car with us. That means that Charity gets to drive with us for a few days, and she'll be taking the car back. We love traveling with family; it's such a good way to spend time together.

We all stopped in at Kevin's house in Regina and spent the night. Now we're in Montana with Deborah's aunt and uncle, Dale and Lanea. We hope to help them do some moving today, as they are also in the course of a protracted move, off of the family farm and onto a smaller ranch, near where Lanea's mother lives.

This Sunday we'll be speaking in Milk River and Sunburst, and then Monday we'll be making our way down to Denver and on with the rest of our trip.


Darren, Deborah, Aubrey, and Auden