Friday, November 11, 2011


Jordan has been studying WWII and is now moving forward in history. In perfect timing a friend invited us to a tour of China town based off the book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. What a wonderful adventure this turned out to be! The book, although historical fiction, is placed quite accurately in the Internation District in Seattle. We toured several blocks through Chinatown and Japantown, tasting treats and seeing sights that were mentioned throughout the pages of this wonderful novel. This was such a wonderful experience, walking the steps of a story he had just read. The photo above is the group we were with in front of the Panama Hotel, we are planning another visit, since to our surprise, this tour did not include a tour of the hotel, which is a rather important part of the book. I am currently reading the book so when we return, I will be able to enjoy the tour more, we also plan to make this one a family event, since it was only Jordan and I on this particular tour.

We enjoyed a lunch at a fabulous chinese restaurant, toured around Uwajimaya, had the most incredible roll from a chinese bakery and saw many of the sights from the pages of the book, including a tour of an apartment that the main character would have lived in. To close out our day we toured the Wing Luke Museum and then headed up a block to the fortune cookie factory where we purchase, of course, fortune cookies and fresh made noodles as well as some crunchy friend noodles. We have now learned we LOVE fresh made chinese noodles and need a local source, they make an awesome stir fry at lunch and dinner. Can't wait to buy them again!

Grandma Sheilas Birthday!

Happy Birthday! We had a wonderful evening celebrating Grandmas birthday with dinner and presents and a beautiful cake that Atira decorated. Grandma wanted a tortilla press this year, she let us know by adding it to our grocery shopping list while she was here with the kids one day! :) We made her dream come true! Now we are still waiting for an invite to come over and try out some of these wonderful homemade goodies!

Didn't Atira do an amazing job? She really wants to get in to a cake decorating class, I think she would excel, she is very talented and creative.


It was a lovely week for celebrating an 8 day outdoor festival....we were blessed. Here are some pictures of our pretty sukkah.

It was a quiet week, most everyone in our fellowship was celebrating somewhere else. We still enjoyed the week together.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

All in one!

My kids playing at the playground. Why is the biggest one sticking his tongue out at this other kid who is a complete stranger?

Leviticus 23:4 "Say to the Israelites: 'On the first day of the seventh month you are to have a day of rest, a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts
And that's what we did, we had a blast! For several years now we have been heading out to a local park that overlooks the water and praying for clear skies so we can see the new crescent moon as it appears, signifying the start of the 7th month and ushering in the Feast of Trumpets. This year was a wonderful and blessed time. The day began beautiful and clear, but by evening, the clouds started rolling in....many of us were praying for an opening in the clouds so we could witness the renewal of the month, and the Lord blessed us! The clouds were wisps and we were able to sight the new moon! It was wonderful and exciting! We shared the evening with friends dancing and praising God, and of course enjoying some delicious snacks.

Well, it has been too long since my last update...I seem to always be running a bit behind. Atira reminded me that poor blog has been neglected, and it is true. I think that part of the reason is Facebook...which the longer I have been on it the less I like it. I think I like this blog much better, it is such a wonderful collection of stories from our life, a place to come and reminisce about our path.

Atira is very proud of her giant zucchini she is holding. She harvested this one at the farm last week. It has been made into two chocolate zucchini breads already and will probably make 8 more! Our time at the farm this year was wonderful, the nicest people are there and we are blessed to be apart of it.
Atira is learning about ancient Egypt right now, this is her step pyramid she built from legos. Tonight we are having lentil soup that she is making as well, I can't wait to try it.
This is our guard frog. If you drop by, watch out. That's our front door right behind him, he is perched at the very top of our stairs.
Atira with another school project, the Nile river. She built this Nile diorama and planted grass seeds, she then flooded the Nile added a frog and a lady bug and now has incredibly long "papyrus" growing! This too sits by our front can tell we homeschool I think, our education is spilling out of our house!

Jordan is now keeping his own blog for schoolwork, I hope you all are enjoying his regular updates. I am hoping to have him add on an email subscription link to it tomorrow...stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We LOVE spending time at the farm! This is our second year helping out with the Bridge church and their harvest for the hungry program. Because of our crazy schedule having daddy home this summer, we did not get as much time out there as we would have liked, but we are doing our best to be there to help bring in the harvest. We have been harvesting green beans, which we have learned make our arms and hands itchy, so we must wear gloves, we have also brought in quite a bit of squash and zuchinni. Sadly, the broccoli and cauliflower didn't do as well and we were late for the potatoes and other yummy things. The Farm donates use of this land to the church, they help plow and seed it and volunteers come and week and harvest (as well as plant). The food goes to the Everett Gospel Mission, the Snohomish Food Bank as well as a few other locations. We are also blessed to glean while we are harvesting, YUM! We have enjoyed some wonderful veggies and are so appreciative!
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Yay for the deck addition!

Whew!! What a blessing, Scott and Jordan found the time to add on to our deck! We have doubled our deckspace and it looks AMAZING! :) We have just finished laying down the first coat of stain and the rails are done being painted. The weather has now turned to more rain in the forecast, so when we get to lay the second coat of stain is anybodies guess. At least for now it is protected and going to stay beautiful until we have some nicer weather to enjoy our new space. Love these guys of mine, so talented and hard working!
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Friday, September 09, 2011

Atira's story

Hi everyone!
It has been a fun and busy summer....sadly, one of the results of that is a neglected blog. We are back into the swing of things for homeschool now and I am hoping to get some regular updates going here again.

Let's begin with Atira's story. She is entering an American Girl story writing contest, and I thought you might enjoy reading her entry.


You wouldn't think two girls who were so different could become good friends, but somehow, it happened. It all started when my Mother wanted me to run to the store for her. My Uncle Louie owns a general store right around the corner, so I decided to just run over to there. " Hey Uncle Louie!" I shouted as I entered the store. "Hey Pumpkin! How are you this morning? " " Great thanks! How about you? " I asked in return. " Oh, OK. Until you came along, and suddenly, it seemed like the sun came out! " I couldn't help but to giggle. " Mellissa, I would like you to meet someone." I turned around and saw that it was my Aunt Mary speaking to me. " Oh! Hi Aunty! OK. " I replied. " Mellissa, this is Cally Reynalds, Cally, this is my neice, Mellissa Marshal." "How do you do?" I asked Cally. " Very fine, thank you. And you?" She asked me back. " Nice, thank you." I studyed her some more, and realized she was black. Which was perfectly fine with me, I was brought up being taught everyone was equal. And I agreed with all of my heart. Which, is alot. "Mellissa?" My Aunt asked me. "Yes, Aunty?" "Would you like to be with Cally this afternoon? I am going to a friends party this afternoon, and I would love to take you two, but I just can't. I am sorry, but would you mind, Mellissa?" " Aunty, have you ever known me to turn you down? Of course I will! I would love to!" "Thank you my dear!" My Aunty replied. " Cally, would you mind?" "Of course not, in fact, I would be most pleasured!" She answered my Aunty. " OK then! I'll see you girls later, Cally, you will be in the BEST of hands!" " Oh, Aunty!" I said, blushing a little. "Come on, Cally. Let's go to my house, shall we? I'll introduce you to my family! I think you'll really like them. They are SO sweet." "Umm... OK! Sorry, that was just a lot to take in! No effense or anything." Cecile answered. " Oh, non taken! My family says I'm way to much of a jabber-walkie. But, I guess, I just, well, love to talk!" " I can relate, normally I am a jabbie-walker also, just, I guess around new people, I am quite shy. " Smilingly, I glanced over at her, she is truly very beautiful I thought to myself. "Well, here we are! Home sweet home. Well, at least for my family.She just smiled. "Dear me! Here we are!" Said Mellissa. "Oh wow! You have a beautiful house, Mel!" Mellissa thanked her. "Mother! I'm home! And I've brought a friend!" "Mellissa ,I'm upstairs." " OK, we will be right up, Mother." "Come along, Cally, and meet my Mother. My Father will be home from work in a little while. In the meantime you can meet some of my other siblings!" Mel took a breath and went on. "Only some of my siblings are home, others are at boarding school until the beginning of spring, come, let's take off our wraps and go see Mother!" " OK!" Replied Cally, her head spinning from what Mel had just said. " Hello Mother." Mel said as she pushed open her Mothers bedroom door. "Hello dear, and who is your friend?" "Oh, sorry! This is Cally, Cally, this is my Mother, Mrs. Marshall, Mother, this is Cally." "Hello Cally, I am very pleased to meet you." Said Mrs. Marshall. "I am very pleased to meet you as well, Mrs. Marshall. "Cally curtsied." Mother, "Mellissa said. "Aunty asked me if I would be pleased to be with Cally this afternoon while she is at- whatever she's at. I never can keep track, anyways, as always when Aunty asks me to do something, I do it. Especially today was I happy to do it, for I am always glad to meet new friends." She said to Cally in particular. "You have a very beautiful home, Mrs. Marshall." "Why, thank you, Cally! That is very kind of you." Cally smiled. "Come Cally, let me show you my room!" "OK." The girls ran up the stairs. "Bang!" Mel through open her door which in turn landed with a crash against the wall. "Whoops! Oh well it does that all the time." Mel said seeing Cally's face. "Well, here we are, Cally!" "Wow, Mel! You have a very beautiful room!" "Thank you, Cally!" Mel's room was pale yellow, with pale green curtains hanging across the two windows, hanging side-by-side. On one wall, she had flowers painted in red purple and pink. She had a day-bed in one corner, with a pale green bed-cover with tiny flowers embroiderd on it. "Mellissa, did your Mother emroider these?" Asked Cally still looking at the bed-cover. "No, my Great-Great-Grandmother did. On my Mom's side." "Oh, thank you." Replied Cally. On the wall opposite her bed, Mel had a desk, and in another corner, a washing table. Looking out the windows was a meadow, and just beyond the meadow was the ocean. You could see sails, dotting the skyline, the sun was just starting to sink behind the ocean, it looked as if it was going into the water. And next to the ocean were houses, with smoke rising from the chimney. "Cally." "Yes?" Questioned Cally. "Will you be my best friend forever? I know we haven't known each other long, but yet it feels like we have known each other for as long as I can remember." "Mel, it feels like that for me too. So yes, of course! Best of friends forever!" They lifted their hands, outstretching their pinkies, linked them together and shook their hands, smiling. Knowing they had met the best of friends anyone could ever ask for.
The End.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Yovel Moments

What a whirlwind weekend this was! Our last weekend before Scott heads back to work and we decided to make it a full adventure! We began on Saturday with having my mom over for waffle breakfast, which was wonderful to get to spend some time with her....and we are so thankful to her for taking care of the animals for us this summer, she has made all of our adventures possible and worry free, THANK YOU!! ♥ We then finished loading up the Volvo and hit the road! First stop was in Olympia, which I do not have pictures of to share with you but I would like to share a little about our experience.

We made our way to our friends house, The Rogers, they were having a party to celebrate their youngest son, Tyler's graduation day. However, this graduation party was a little different as the scholar was not able to join he has passed on. Tyler became ill with a brain tumor about 5 years ago and after a year long battle his body had had enough. However, Tyler's wish was that people celebrate his young life and as such, his parents have always honored that wish. His wake was one I will never forget, filled with laughter, great food and a party atmosphere, including balloons. Tyler had also asked his family to continue to help St. Jude hospital in Memphis, TN, where he received incredible care, of course they agreed. This party was not only a celebration of what would have been Tyler's graduation but also a fund raiser to donate to St. Judes. If you would like to learn more about Tyler and his family, as well as support The Tyler J. Rogers Foundation, please click on the link in his name. You can also "like" them on Facebook and support them through getting the word out about this family working to make a great memory of their sons life. On to the party....filled with live music, food, drinks and of course, balloons. The day was beautiful and soon friends filled their home all in celebration of Tyler. Out in front was a smoker, puffing away with all kinds of meats inside to fill the buffet table. Inside the house were gift baskets filled with goodies that would be raffled off to raise more money. You could also buy Jones green soda with special labels made just for Taterfest. It was a lovely afternoon spent celebrating Ty's life, playing games and meeting new folks.

And then, we were on the road! Headed south to Portland (again!). We made it down to our friends, the Hobsons, fellowship just after it had all wrapped up. Bummer! We had a nice dinner out with them filled with good food and lots of laughter. We then made our way into some unkown and uncharted parts of Camas (I say this since our GPS on Scott's phone would not locate where we were, so it must be unknown, right?) where we slept in a camper out in the front of her moms house. (Does that mean we went camping this weekend too? Sure, when the kids are grown I will tell them that, they will think we were really adventurous!!) In the morning we awoke to the most hospitable people on the planet! We had the great pleasure of meeting Marilees mom and twin sister who were INCREDIBLE people!! They were so gracious in letting us into their home to shower and get ready for the day. Then we were treated to the most amazing breakfast ever! Hank was cooking up delicious waffles and pancakes, there was berry syrup, pear syrup, whip cream, chicken sausages, a frittata, scrambled eggs, greek yogurt, strawberries and coffee!WOW! That was like three breakfasts all served at once! I told them if they continue to feed us this way, we will for sure come back, so next time plop out some boxes of cold cereal and curdled milk, or we may never leave!! We also enjoyed incredible conversation, as they introduced us to three great men, their husbands, and one son all now with the Lord. It was a pleasure meeting them as well as their loved ones who are now gone, all I can say, is this family is just incredible and they have given our family such a blessing by letting us into their home and getting to know them just a bit. I look forward to the next time the Lord brings us together.

We then hit the road, Marilee driving the girls in her convertible, which was a super fun time and the boys following behind as we made our way to the Park for the Yovel (Jubilee) celebration. By the time we got there the sun was starting to peek out from behind the clouds and the day was warming up. We were excited to meet up with some folks we have not seen for a while as well as spending time with our fellowship family.

This is our good buddy Hank, can you see why we like him? He is always an adventure. I didn't eat any of these particular cherries, but the ones I did try were so delicious! (Oh, he has cherries in his cheeks too.....he really is a goofball)

Atira liked this statue...notice he is holding a bouquet of flowers....

Shelly and Atira, our sweet sister Yah has blessed us with. We are SO thankful she was there celebrating with us! She always makes our adventures filled with laughter and joy.

Dancing!! Oh, it was wonderful to be out there praising our Abba under a beautiful blue and sunny sky! Ted Pearce was there in concert, the day was filled with His presence, it was such a memorable time.

My girly had her face painted and then boogied over and found these baby kittens. Awwww.

Some of our fellowship family. We are so thankful to spend the time with the Hobson's Shelly and Joel, it was a memorable weekend and a great blessing. Abba be praised for all He has done for us!
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Monday, July 25, 2011

American Girl Moments

Near the entrance Atira sat down for a photo of her and Nikki to remember their special day at American Girl.

WOW!! What an incredible day! To begin to tell the tale of this most amazing, fun filled day, I must first back up a month ago, to Atira's 11th birthday.

Atira wanted nothing more than to have her birthday party at the new American Girl store opening up in a nearby city, however it was not planned to be opened until mid July...much too late for her party. Thankfully, her creative grandparents came up with the idea of giving her a lunch date and moola to spend at the store when it finally did open, which thrilled her to her toes! The plans were in process. We jumped on the internet and made our reservations, for 4, a birthday girl, two grandmas and one mommy and now we just had to count down the days!

Atira made the time go by faster by sending out a joke a day to her friends and some family, we enjoyed our conference and camp and then finally...oh finally, the day was here! After a night of waking up three times because she thought it was morning, she finally arrived at the day we were going to American Girl!

Per her request, both the grandmas and the mommy were dressed up for this festive occasion. We headed out an hour early, just in case.....we did not want to miss our reservations or be stressed if there was traffic. As it turned out, we flew down! We were also immediately blessed with an incredible parking spot! We made our way in, Atira and I were holding hands, I could just feel her excitement building, it was such a fun moment. Finally, there we stood...right in front of "AG"!

One of her first stops, the book department! Not THE first stop...just one of them!

We entered and I turned to watch her take it all in. It was precious. She stood there, staring around her at the array of books and dolls and pretty colors, she finally achieved a dream of hers, to go to an American Girl store. We briefly looked through the classic dolls section, then bee lined over to the books (that's my girl!). Then we decided to leave grandma at the books and make a dash to the back of the store and return to grandma so we could get a quick overview of everything there. Oh, what fun...and I should mention, that "dash" turned into a very sidetracked little jaunt.

Finally, her other grandma arrived, hugs all around, let the fun begin! We had about 15 minutes to spend before our reservations, so we enjoyed some browsing time together. Then it was time for lunch. Good thing too as Atira was only able to eat half an apple for breakfast, she was so excited, by this time however, she was really hungry and needed some fuel for the upcoming events!

Lunch, was....well, overall wonderful. We had an incredibly dingy waitress, who made far too many mistakes. Thankfully, true to American Girls high customer service standards, they came through and helped make our event memorable and fun. After several errors on the waitress' part, we were offered 50% off of our bill and a certificate offering us lunch on another visit, for ALL FOUR OF US! WOO HOO!!!! We were all overjoyed and thankful....especially for the opportunity to come back another time all together!

Since this event was in celebration of her birthday we opted for the birthday package, of course! Atira is here wearing her crown and sipping on her strawberry lemonade.

And here is Nikki wearing her birthday crown, also sipping on her strawberry lemonade! ;0) Oh, and notice the nifty chair that hooks to the table for the doll!!

The birthday girls! Oh, and Atira also had a sticker she wore through the story saying it's her birthday, which of course had the employees giving her lots of happy birthdays as we shopped around.

Her appetizer, yummy fruit kabobs with fruity yogurt dipping sauce, yummy!

Nikki's lunch, Atira couldn't let her girl go hungry you know! So she made this bitty burger out of her big one and even cut off pieces of fruit to share with her. I don't believe I saw her share any fries though...hmmm.....

And since it was her birthday, of course there was singing and clapping and these incredibly darling little ice cream cones!! I am going to have to figure out how recreate these little babies at home. What you do not see pictured is those little glass cups are half filled with sugar sprinkles that the cones are held up in, Atira would eat a bit of ice cream, then dip, eat, dip, eat dip. You get the idea, right? She was fully loaded with sugar by the time we left the table.

So, of course we had to capture the incredible features throughout the ENTIRE if you happen to have to go potty while shopping, and you need to take your dolly with you....well, they offer doll hooks to place your doll on, in each stall! They have thought of everything here! Cracked me up.

Lunch is over, LETS SHOP!

We made our way to the back of the store, after all we wanted to tackle this place logically, right? At the very back is! Atira opted to have her dolls hair done as well as have her ears pierced, seriously, she had her ears pierced. This lovely young lady was incredible! She chatted with Atira about her dolls, books, and we even found out she was also home schooled! What a sweet young lady, it was a pleasure to get to meet her. She also gave us tips on taking care of the dolls hair ourselves. Now, check this out:

They place these mirrors above the stylists so you can see what is going on with the back of your dolls hair while you are on the front! ACK! :)

This photo is nothing more than evidence of my shoe fetish...ridiculous. Also, incredibly cute! This is the little shoe department! I just loved it, little shoe boxes all lined up, and shoes on display, come on, that is really cute, right?

Oh, the final moments....the decision had to be made, which dolly was coming home to be apart of our family? Atira and Nikki looking at the potential girls....and finally, she broke. My little princess, started crying. She couldn't decide, it was just too much. :*( I was holding her and talking to her and then...Grandma Sheila stepped in and offered to give her one doll early as a Hanukkah gift, that grandma! Atira was practically overwhelmed by this as well, two dollies, each from one of her grandmas?! TOO MUCH!! Little sweety, she was so thankful and excited all at once. What a tender and grateful heart she has.

So, in the end, Atira had a wonderful day, as well as this mommy and the grandmas. It was one filled with memories, laughs and tears. The best kind of day. Atira came home with two dolls a few new outfits and some accessories, but more than that she had a special day with some of her favorite people celebrating her precious life given to her by a God who loves her.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

God designed moments

Our fabulous group of friend at the Love for Israel conference getting a shot with Brad Scott. Notice the beautiful hand painted mural of horses behind us. The theme of this years conference is "Discerning the Times".
Jordan is in the black shirt and hat on the center right and Atira is in the pink shirt just to his left. This is during the Aviad Cohen song We Delight. The dance leaders invited all of the youth up to dance together to this fun song!
Another shot from a bit further back of the kids dancing. There were over 400 people in attendance at the conference this year....way more than we expected with todays economy! What a blessing!

This is a picture of the children of the conference being covered by their fathers tallits (prayer shawls) as the men pray blessings and protection over them. I love this moment, so beautiful, and such a beautiful picture of what our Heavenly Father does for us.

On to the story....

WoW! I recently posted on facebook that life is incredibly exciting, especially when God is in charge. This statement is so incredibly true. Each year our family anticipates a Hebraic Roots conference called Love for Israel. We have attended the conference since the first one 6 years ago. Each year has been more of a blessing to us as we grow learn and meet more and more incredible people, many of which we have become quite close with. This year with Scott's layoff our big goal was to be able to afford the conference, without using credit cards, which, with God in charge is not a difficult desire! We sold our Wii gaming system on ebay making enough money for the conference, lodging and gas! So, we registered and were ready to go!

In the meantime there was another event being planned, a camp called Youth for Yeshua, which began on the heels of the conference. We had known about it, wanted our kids to go, but that was definitely not in the budget, so we dismissed the whole idea. A few days before we were leaving for conference Atira received an email from a good friend of ours, AJ AKA Mrs. Noah, encouraging us to register the kids for conference that there were two scholarships available and we should use them!! Scott and I agreed and the decision was made, we were off to Canby Grove Camp after our conference for several more days of teachings and fun! YAY!

What an incredible week this has been. Our time at conference was incredible. We enjoyed the company of some amazing friends bunking in with us, Tim & Jen and of course Jeff & Patti ran the childrens program and our friend Terri made the journey down with us as well. The weekend was filled with laughter and tears, moments of awe and precious, tender time in the presence of our Abba. The list of speakers was top notch, we heard from Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, he runs a congregation of 700 down in Tacoma, WA. We also enjoyed the teachings from Bill Cloud of Shoreshim ministries. Bill travels the globe teaching the Hebraic Roots of our faith. Finally, my favorite speaker as well as Jordans, we had the opportunity to hear Brad Scott of Wildbranch Ministries. To see Jordans face when he comes out of a session with Brad teaching is priceless. His face is practically glowing, grinning from ear to ear and thoroughly charged and excited ready to rehash all that he just learned! I wish I had a camera to share that beaming joy, thankfully it is imprinted in my memory banks, I will always treasure it!

We moved on to Canby Grove Christian camp on Monday morning, we love that place. Beautiful 80 acres with cabins on one side and a lodge overlooking the river on the other. There is a pool and fields to play, canoeing available as well. The kids had a wonderful schedule. They started their mornings off with worship dancing led by our friends the Calderons. Then came the main reason we were there, Brad Scott...again! He was the main speaker and that was our biggest motivation in attending. The afternoons were filled with a variety of options from art classes to a tallit (prayer shawl) making class, canoeing, capture the flag and swimming. The kids had a blast! In between times we enjoyed amazing meals by the kosher chef employed by the camp (which was such a blessing to us!) eating the most delectable meals...we were truly spoiled! Scott and I enjoyed quiet time taking walks together around the camp and visiting with new friends and old.

One of the amazing things about this, if Scott was not laid off we would not have qualified to take the kids on scholarship to the camp, nor would we have had the money to do it or the time because he would have been working. We really felt that God had this schedule all planned out for us and we are abundantly blessed!

During our time at the camp we enjoyed some time with Brad Scott and we have asked him to come on board and help us to mentor Jordan in his Hebrew and biblical studies. As Jordan has grown we have seen that he has a dynamic view of both the language and the Word and we want to encourage and nourish this gift. Brad was more than happy to help us, giving us book titles for Jordan to begin reading as well as a few authors as well. Jordan will also further his Hebrew studies using Brad's Breisheet study guide, which we will begin this fall. We will stay in contact with Brad, especially Jordan who can contact him with questions and when he wants to discuss concepts he has been covering. We are really excited about this and look forward to seeing where the Lord takes this in the future!

The kids at Canby with Brad Scott

So there sums up our incredible week, all planned by the hand of God. We could never have made this happen on our own, and it was truly incredible and memorable. Scott and I were given precious time with our children, away from television, computers and telephones. We played, laughed and studied together as a family. Truthfully, we didn't want to come home, but it was time. We are so thankful for this week and truthfully happy to be home again. We are more aware of how incredibly and unpredictable life can be, especially when you leave God in charge and listen to His leading.