What a summer we had! If you noticed we haven’t posted on here for a while, its because we were happily busy seeing many of you in person. We got back to Quito a couple weeks ago after spending 3 weeks in San Diego, 4 weeks in Bremerton/Seattle, and a week in Washington, D.C. It was a great time reconnecting with family, friends, and supporters, speaking at our church in Seattle and reconnecting with our church in Bremerton, visiting some of our favorite old stomping grounds, and stocking up on American odds and ends to bring back. Here are a few of the many highlights!
We began our summer in San Diego with a surprise party for Doug’s parents’ 50th Anniversary! And it really was a surprise, complete with all 4 siblings and their families arriving from all over and a large crowd of friends and family to help celebrate. Doug and his siblings did a great job of planning it. Such a wonderful occasion to be a part of!
The toasts from each of their kids were touching as they got to express tearful pride and gratitude for their parents. Thank you for your legacy, Bob and Ginny!
We were thrilled that Doug’s younger brother Dustin and his family were able to visit for 10 days from Portland so there was plenty of time for things like brotherly board games, playing on the beach, and just plain enjoying some time together.
Our last night there, we made an Ecuadorian feast! Llapingachos, maduros, ceviche, and all the sides… simple but delicious! It was fun to give them a taste of our current home.
Then it was on to Washington where our days were full and there was never a shortage of people to see, food to eat, and things to do. We loved visiting our old church in Bremerton, speaking at our church in Seattle, and connecting with so many precious people who support us in the work we do in Ecuador. We would have loved a few more days for lounging around the house as well but were so thankful for everyone we were able to connect with and for my mom’s generous hospitality and willingness to go along with whatever the day’s plans were!
We enjoyed a gorgeous Washington summer and made sure to get outside as often as we could. My mom and her friend blessed us with a perfect boat ride through the sound, dinner on the Poulsbo waterfront, and a beautiful sunset on the way back.
My dad took us on a smooth bike ride on the waterfront near Port Angeles where we stopped for lunch before enjoying the views of the mountains and the sound on the way back. Can you tell we love being by the water in Washington?
We were thankful for simple moments as well, like enjoying the Bremerton farmers’ market with family a couple times. It was so fun to show people the yearbook Doug worked so hard on and give them a glimpse of the kids we work with. My dad and grandma made an especially good audience.
While in Seattle we couldn’t miss visiting our old neighborhood, reminiscing, and having a meal at Red Mill Burgers! (Though sadly their shake machine was broken) It was fabulous to spend a little time with my sister Tricia as well.
As a belated anniversary celebration, we used a special gift from my grandma to spend a night on the waterfront in Tacoma where we saw a movie in an awesome old theater and went out to eat at a raw foods restaurant – so cool! Yes, my soup really was cold. We treasured the time to enjoy each other and celebrate three incredible years of marriage.
We also had the joy of attending the wedding of one of Doug’s closest friends while in Tacoma. Sadly, we didn’t get any good photos during the ceremony, but my mom did get a good one of us all dressed up!
My grandparents opened their home to us in Bremerton as well, which holds so many memories for me of the summers I spent there as a kid when we were on home assignment. We even got to enjoy their pool once and a good time around their table. It was hard to say goodbye to people we love so dearly knowing it would be a year or longer before we’d get to see them again.
We took advantage of our proximity in Washington to take a trip down to Oregon to see Doug’s brother and his family again as well as my Uncle Rick, Aunt Kathy, and cousin Garrett in the Portland area. We got to go to one of Garrett’s soccer games, soak in the sights and sounds of a local farmers’ market, enjoy the peace and quiet of my aunt and uncle’s farm, go to our niece’s 2nd birthday party, and even pick up a few things we needed at the outlet mall.
Some of my favorite guys enjoying the sunshine.
There was no shortage of photo opportunities of our adorable niece, Penelope.
So thankful for Dustin, Julie, and Penelope (who was too tired to sit still for a photo) and the time we got to spend with them!
Then it was on to Washington, D.C. where we got to spend some time with my brother JC, his wife Abby, and their adorable 2-year-old, Noah! I can still see his little pleading face looking up at me: “Can we pway twains?” There was plenty of train-playing as well as book-reading and “hoctacopter” (helicopter) flying.
JC took us on an awesome personal tour of the FBI headquarters where he’s currently working, but no photos were allowed! Then JC and Abby surprised us with an evening out, treating us to a delicious Italian dinner and taking us to The Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks where we were impressed by the skill and exactness they demonstrated.
Before we knew it, we were headed back to Quito and gearing up for this new school year. Looking through the photos and remembering our summer, we are so thankful for everyone’s generosity that allowed us to have such great experiences and special times. Thank you to each of you who hosted us, fed us, laughed with us, and prayed for us – you are priceless!
We’ve been working at the school again now for 2 weeks and the students start back tomorrow. Please pray for all the staff as they dive into relationships with the kids again, as we launch a new discipleship program, and as we jump back into the tasks of school life. Stay tuned for an update on the first days of school!
September 1, 2013 United States