Monday, August 31, 2015

Road Trip Tradition

Now that we have a pop-up, we just might do more traveling.
The family that we bought it from used to attend Ridgeline and they are friends of the Chadwicks.
As a family, they put state stickers on the side of the pop-up for every state in which they set up the pop-up and slept for a night.

I thought it would be fun to take a photo at every state sign.
It will be fun to see how the kids change and how tall they get over the years.
Although we have to figure out how to take better photos ...
here are the ones we took on this trip.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Making Memories

We set up the pop-up for the first time on this trip near Steamboat.
It was dark when we arrived and crazy windy.  But the view in the morning was awesome!

Then, we headed for Wyoming.
We wanted to camp in Jackson, but spots were almost as expensive as a hotel.
So, we camped south of there.

What's a stop in Jackson without taking photos by the antler arches?

One of these years, we'll stay in Jackson for more than a couple of hours and really enjoy this quaint town.

YWAM Montana

I love going to Montana.
I have such sweet memories of my time there.
God met me in a powerful way during my SBS.
It's a thin place, a place where the Spirit of God rests.

This year, they are celebrating their 30th Anniversary.
I couldn't imagine not being there.
I was there for the 10th in 1995, as I was on staff.
Steve and I took the Bigs (who were little at the time) in 2005 for the 20th.
And now, the 30th.

The story of the base, and God's provision, is incredible.
He has consistently provided in miraculous ways.
The base continues to grow, thrive, train and send out young adults.
What a gift to be a part of such a monumental event.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Road Trip

Amidst much work ... and weddings ... and remodeling ... and school starting soon ...
this family decided to head to the northwest.
Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska.
Shawnie will join us for part of the trip.

The main reason for the trip is to attend YWAM MT 30th anniversary.
We also get to see Mary Bissell, the Stutzmans, and the Ketchums.
We are also going to Bozeman to see the Tanners and take on the Donor Relations role.

And we get to see ...
Mount Rushmore.
Little House.
Storm Chasers baseball.

Steve found us a pop-up camper, just in time.
We are so excited to have a little home away from home ...
and to not have to set up a tent at every stop along the way!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Newkirk Headaches

Our move to Evergreen has been such a gift.
We love the house, the property, and the business.
There is so much potential and I know our family will thrive here for years to come.

BUT there's been one big damper.
The Newkirks.

Christina, the younger sister, and the estate manager was great to work with through closing.
She did everything she could to help us get the paperwork in place.
She regularly invited us over when she was in town.
She and I became fast friends.

Victoria, the older sister, and director of Evergreen Academy, caused us significant headaches, even attempting to prevent closing.
She and I went head to head, and simply could not connect on any level.

John, the brother, well, he's not worth mentioning.
He is one of those guys who says he will do something then does the opposite.
Like, "Sure, you can have that chainsaw," then the next time we are in the garage, it's gone.

Fast forward to today.
John is removed.

But Christina and Victoria have switched roles.

Victoria and I are getting along fine.
She finished her summer program and asked to continue with EA for another year.
We agreed on a monthly rate.
So, she is going to continue through the 2015-2016 school year.
She's been pleasant.
She's given the kids jobs, like pulling weeds.
She even invited them to join their Spanish class.

Christina, however, has become the thorn in my flesh!
It seems that at every turn, all she wants is more money.
She wants us to pay to use the farm road.
She wants brides to pay to take pictures in the meadow.
Even now, mom and dad will meet with her while we are on vacation to talk about the Terrace.
Certainly she will want more money for that too.

She has been a constant source of frustration.
I have tried to rise above her petty demands.
But those demands have been all consuming.
I just hope and pray that we can find resolution soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2015


The long awaited trip to Elitches finally came.
We were unable to go on the homeschool day
... and grateful, as it was cold and wet.

Then, it was a challenge to make it affordable.
Finally, we figured out that if we buy a season pass, we get 2 free tickets.
Noel and Calvin Davidson came with us.
The weather was great.
The kids were thrilled!

Shiloh had Noel.
Landon had Calvin.
The Littles had each other.
And Aunt Shawn made it all manageable!

Rain closed the park early ...
which meant that we got rain checks ... and can go again before the end of the year!
Lucky kids!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Wedding Season

Wedding season is in full swing.
We bought the business with 32 weddings on the calendar.
Two of the weekends this year have four weddings.
It's a lot.
The learning curve is high.
Some brides are great.
Some are not.
But even more so, it's the MOBs that can make or break an event.

The most challenging thing that has happened so far is having to let Marilyn go.
Marilyn came with the business.
She is in her 60s and was working for Christina.
After a winter sickness got the best of her, she lost much strength and simply couldn't do the job.
Paying Marilyn (and Tammy to help her) became impossible.
I've never had to let anyone go.
Neither has Steve, but he stepped up and talked to her, which didn't go well.

Although we know it's the right thing to do, that doesn't make it easy.
Now, we have to learn fast, as the calendar is full and we have one wedding after the next.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Working Relationships

Moving to Evergreen has been such a gift.
It's incredibly beautiful.
We have a super nice house.
The kids absolutely love it.
The business is fun - and has the potential to be very successful.

With it has come the fine balance of learning to work with family
... both my husband ... and my parents ... and my sister.
It is truly a balance to keep our relationships healthy while building a professional relationship.
Steve is the CEO, head chief.
Mom is the accountant, bookkeeper, and more.
Dad is the legal advisor, building host, and servant.
Shawnie is Little Ms. Everything - helping with the kids, building hosting, and more.

We are learning how to work smarter, not harder.
The many jobs of answering phone calls, tours, booking weddings, overseeing the construction, building hosting events, and building/ grounds maintenance require much planning, organization, and a willingness to be flexible.
It hasn't been easy.
But it is truly a gift.