Thursday, May 5, 2016

The BIG Trip! Part 1

     One month almost to the day from my last post, and we are now in our apartment in Korea. We are still waiting on our household goods, but we are comfortable with the loaner furniture that the Army provides. But, I shall sum up this last month for myself, and anyone who cares to learn. We really enjoyed the extra time with my family and on our next to last day in Kentucky we visited the pedestrian bridge to fulfill Keilah's request. Justus is due some major love when we return stateside, as we weren't able to fit in last trips to IHOP or Skyline.

The new and old bridges at sunset

I just love some good architecture

The kids with their cousin-in-laws? 
Beth is my sister-in-laws sister and she and her two kids joined us for our walk
  We got home that evening and I realized I desperately needed new shoes! So on our last day, we packed in the morning, then headed out to run some errands in the afternoon. I got in the car and it wouldn't start and the steering wheel wouldn't move. Shep had done something to lock it. Fortunately Keilah had the since to google and found the solution to get us on the road. I dropped off the kids to use their Christmas present from my brother-they saw Jungle Book, and I did some errands. Went to a car wash to have the car cleaned and vacuumed, bought new shoes, one more suitcase, and then got the kids and took Asher to use his collection of Toys R Us gift cards to get some new toys for the road. From there we headed to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law one more time and bonus, I got to see our niece Erin who traveled in from Missouri for a conference.
Blessed with the best In-laws EVER!

We headed home to load the car with all our suitcases, and I proceeded to have the worst nights sleep ever. Every time I dosed I had a near panic attack thinking (dreaming?) of everything that could possibly go wrong over the next three days as I traveled half way around the world with four kids. I would wake up thinking of my life verse Philippians 4:4-7 , and our Fort Campbell verse Joshua 1:9, yet my flesh would not cooperate with my heart, so I was up at 5 and made a facebook post about my weary evening. I have a newfound sympathy for anyone who suffers from anxiety. Because suffer I did! We had to be on the road by 9 so that we could get to St. Louis and ship the car. This was a new task for me, we stopped by Scott Air Force Base for lunch and just a little gas to get us to the airport and me to the shipping place. Thank God for a teen driver. She actually drove through all of Indiana to Scott, because my lack of sleep had caught up with me while I was trying to navigate morning rush hour through Louisville. We made it to our hotel and they allowed an early check-in and I headed to the port. 
Inspection time: Thank you Lord
for your many mercies

I need to acknowledge all the saints that prayed for us through the travels. Especially those that saw my facebook post, that I had hesitated in making. Our culture is such that there is pressure to only show strength, and I was a little scared to show my weakness. I am so glad that I did. God reminded me that the Psalms are filled with David calling out and showing his "weakness" and Paul tells us that it is in our weakness that we are strong, because then we allow God in. So I praise God for my weakness and the saints that stood like Aaron lifting Moses' arms. Because their prayers paved a smooth path for our travels.  For example, the "boss" at the shipping yard showed Mercy, that I don't think he oft does, and allowed my car to begin the shipping process even though I was 1 hash tag above a quarter of a tank. He said to leave it running with the A/C on high. By the time I was in to the inspection garage, the young men were telling me that I was above 1/4 and would need to go pay $20 to have the tank pumped. The "boss" said "No, she's fine". The car was turned off, and when it was turned back on. I was exactly 1/4 tank.

Feeling the prayers and much better
after a good night's sleep and getting
past the first step of shipping the car.
My friend Marsha, came and picked me up at the port and drove me back to the airport. It was so nice to see her again. I worked with her husband Scott at a group home for teen girls when we were all young newly weds. I was privileged to attend his ordination and now he's an Air Force Chaplain. (none of us had military service on our radar back then). The kids and I ordered chinese per the sweetest counter clerk's recommendation and headed to our room for the night. I was asleep by 9 and my kids followed soon after. Justus even set his alarm for 7 AM to make sure we were all up and ready for our shuttle to the airport. Other than Shepherd almost leaving his violin behind (it never left his side again) we had no issues at all getting all of our bags checked (8 checked bags, 5 carryons, and 5 personal) and making both our flights. The first flight wasn't full and we all had plenty of space. The second flight, however was full, and was a tight fit. I could see one lady smile with relief as I had Keilah trade her aisle seat next to Asher for Justus' middle seat between strangers. Shepherd was by himself, and wasn't feeling well when the flight began. I asked a flight attendant to check on him and she asked "Is your mom on this flight? A lady was asking about you and I don't want to give information to a stranger." He assured her I was, and that he was feeling better.

When we arrived in Seattle, our friend's father met us at the airport to take part of our luggage to his house to store for the next four days as we visited with his son's family, dear friends from Fort Knox. I was only able to rent a sedan, and there was no way we could fit all our luggage. After sending off half our stuff, we visited the USO for a bit to unwind and allow traffic to die down as it was now 5:00.  I got my rental (they tried to upsell me) and headed to the lot. As we walked in, the lady there asked what I had, then asked if I would like a free upgrade to a minivan. I was floored and about cried. I just kept saying, "Really? Free?
God Bless You" and shook her hand as we picked out a very nice Sienna for the weekend. As we drove out of the lot, I heard her directing a small family to the compact that they had reserved.

We drove to my friend Janelle's without a hitch, no getting lost or missed turns and were welcomed into her beautiful home. The kids all picked up with each other like it hadn't been 3 years since they'd seen each other last. We enjoyed four wonderful days with them and I got to get some visits in with other friends, like Barb Perez from Ft. Eustis days, Becky (Rebekah) Hall Lacy-my best high school
friend whom I hadn't seen in 20+ years, and Rebekah Krause and her awesome sons (also Ft. Eustis) including Abel, whom we hadn't met yet. Once again the kids all picked up as if they'd seen each other a week ago.
Barb, Keilah and I

Becky Hall and I
Hieblets and Krauselets together again!

The Beddall's were amazing hosts, and fed us home cooked meals every night, including a pizza night using their outdoor pizza oven. Justus has decided that we NEED one of those. He and Shep earned their keep by chopping wood for the oven, and Asher helped collect eggs from the chickens. Keilah earned her keep as well by entertaining princess Jenna. I had so much fun visiting with my friends, that I forgot to get pictures with them. The ones I have were because my friends said "Oh, we need a picture". Thank you Janelle and Jonathan for your warm hospitality.

Watching Mr. Jonathan put the pizza in.

1000 degrees of goodness
Sunset in Rochester

Justus just loves when we point out his size :)

Keilah and her new little sister.

The highlight of the weekend, the boys had so much fun.

We walked all over Seattle with the Krause clan as our guides visiting Pike Place Market, walking up to the Space Needle, and then back down to the waterfront through the sculpture garden and then to the Pier where Rebekah had to catch her ferry back home. I love how friends can pick up like no time has passed even when years have.
Homeschoolers gonna homeschool everywhere,
getting a lesson on Parrot anatomy.

Mary Poppins I'm not.

Can't visit Seattle without seeing the gum wall.

dead fish

I didn't expect to see this in Seattle.

Fruit and veggie market

Flower Market

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