Monday, September 28, 2015

P4O # 4

This year was our 4th Passion for Orphans retreat.
I wasn't sure what to expect.
I was excited about our new location ...
Beaver Creek.
The Charter.
Peak weekend for fall colors.

I knew I wanted Jody Landers and Lisa Qualls to come back.
As it turned out, Rebecca Vahle also spoke.
And we had 3 ladies star their story.  Short and sweet, but personal.

I also knew I wanted Megan to lead worship.

I was thankful to have 4 girls on the planning team ...
Bethel. Erin. Celina. Amanda

And Jaynee came again this year.

We only had 42 ladies there.
That was discouraging.
BUT it was perfect.  Absolutely perfect.

With 3 main session speakers, 3 ladies sharing their story, Amanda teaching on attachment ...
and the removal of breakout sessions, which were replaced with discussion groups
and extra free time ...
it was an incredible weekend.
It was the best retreat yet.

So, next year, it will be at the same place, the same weekend, same schedule ...
with different speakers and story tellers.
I'm so very thrilled that God worked through all of our ideas and brought it all together.
It was a special weekend.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Yep.  He's 11!
Being an odd year, we had a simple celebration with our family.
We had a cake party with the Himes and the Stuckys ... even Matt and Adrian came.
(they recently moved back to Denver, so we get to see them more!)

Then, we took him to the Rockies game on Monday night.
Baseball is his all-time favorite.
So, what would a birthday for him be without baseball?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sponsorship coordinators

Back in July, the Mavuno Market board met with the Mavuno Village folks.
Dan and Bethany are in the States for Danae's wedding.
With the MCFM board moving from Bozeman to Denver, there are many changes.
In August, we met with the Ulrichs and Tanners to assume the responsibility of sponsorship coordinators/ donor relations for Mavuno Village.

For quite some time, I have felt strongly that our partnership with the Tanners should become more.
After having visited there in April 2012, I caught their vision and knew that we would work together moving forward.  Exactly how, I wasn't sure.
After Steve's visit in November 2014, he too caught the vision.
His excitement has driven us to the place that we agreed to assume this role.
I felt a bit hesitant, but Steve was adamant.

Our time with the Tanners in Bozeman was ok.  But at the time, Steve started wondering why they had not yet asked him to be on their board of directors.  He had made it clear that he wanted to be on their board if we were to take on this role.
It was in Bozeman that he began to take up an offense.
Now, 3 weeks after being designated this responsibility, Steve is seriously having second thoughts.
He's upset and hurt that they still haven't asked him to be on the board.

The email he sent this morning read,
I have spent much time considering my role with Mavuno.  Not being asked to be on the Board has left me feeling disappointed and a bit less motivated to get involved.  When Lisa and I agreed to take on this responsibility we envisioned involvement on the Board level.  Assuming the situation will remain as it is, I am left with two (although there may be other) conclusions:  1) you all would rather not have me - Steve Stucky - on the MCFM Board...for whatever reason(s)....The only thing that has been communicated to us is how busy we are... 
We appreciate your concern for us, with our move, starting a new business, marital conflict, etc..  We volunteered for this position with a high level of excitement about the opportunity to be more involved at MV.  With all the changes in our lives, it is true that we don't need to add more and yet we will if we believe it is important.  It is also true that doing the donor relations work will consume a great deal of time while membership on the Board would involve a small amount of time.  Therefore, if our time and capacity to do the work is the main concern - and I share that concern - perhaps someone from the Parker contingent would be better suited to handle Donor Relations.  

In light of the fact that we do indeed want to help and the fact that i/we agreed to take on the donor relations, I will reluctantly do so.   One year from now, I and/or we will evaluate our level of involvement and determine whether or not we will continue. 

It has been hard to watch Steve struggle with this.
The highs and lows have been a bit too extreme for my liking.
I think Steve has a desire to help them and be involved, but his offense has gotten in the way.
I have tried to speak into this, but I fear that my words are unheard.
Meanwhile, we have made a commitment to help with his and must keep our commitment.
It might be that I end up being the one who makes the deposits, but I can't just walk away after saying we would commit to this.
I thought we were on the same page, but I guess not.
I don't know how to pass my vision and passion on to Steve.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Back to School

Shiloh is in Challenge this year!
After 4 years in Foundations and Essentials, we have finally entered Challenge!
Deciding where to be in a CC community was not an easy choice.
After our move to Evergreen in May, I thought it would be best to be in a community close to home.  So, we enrolled in Evergreen.
Then, I was hit with the reality that I wasn't ready to start all over.
Our move to Evergreen was enough of a change.
I didn't want to leave my friends.
The Challenge programs were vastly different.
At the time, Parker had 8 kids enrolled, while Evergreen only had 1, maybe 3.
In Parker, Sally Avery, a dear friend, would be directing, which I knew would be awesome.
In Evergreen, Melissa Hemness, who is a super sweet gal, was directing, but I don't know her.
So, through many tears and much emotion, I made the decision to stay in Parker.

On August 27th, while we were enjoying a day at Mount Rushmore, Challenge A had their first community, "seminar," day.
We got home on the 31st and started school on the 1st.
Shiloh's first day in Challenge was August 3rd.

Landon is in his 5th year of Foundations and 2nd year of Essentials.
If it were up to him, he would be in Challenge too!
But he's not quite old enough ... one more year.

Sawyer is in his 4th year of Foundations.  Next year, I will have him Memory Master.

Little Liberty is in her 3rd year of Foundations and will be our only child to go through it so many times!  She is ready for 1st grade ... but her age will be prohibitive as she gets older, so she's in Kindergarten again!

Sky Stormers

As our trip drew to an end, we had just one more stop to make.

AAA baseball.
The Sky Stormers.

Not only did I marry a baseball fan ... but now my boys have followed suit.
All three boys love baseball.
They talk baseball, play baseball, watch baseball, even sleep baseball.

It was a fun game, well worth going a few miles out of the way!

Then ... we were bound for home ...

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mount Rushmore

What would South Dakota be without a stop at Mount Rushmore?
I must say, Crazy Horse was more impressive.
But it's always fun to see Mount Rushmore.

South Dakota is not only home to Mount Rushmore ... but our next stop
... Little House .......

Little House

Shiloh turned 12 in June.
One of our gifts to her was a promised visit to Little House on the Prairie.

A few years ago, a friend in the Springs had gone ... so it's been somewhere we've wanted to go ever since.  Shiloh loves the books, having read most of them at least once.  She loves the TV shows, having watched almost all of them more than once.

It was an absolute highlight of the trip.
Seeing the vast countryside where the Ingalls homesteaded was incredible.

The wind blows ... constantly.

We took a walking tour.
Although nothing original stands on the land, replicas have been created, and original buildings have been moved on site, to show what schools, stores, and more would have looked like.

In the series, the Ingalls lived in a number of different homes in four different states.

They lived in a shanty, a tiny one room house.

They also lived in a dugout.  It was literally dug out of the side of a hill.

The house in which they lived on this land is no longer here.  A replica was created based on the details in Laura's books.  Wood was costly, so Pa took the wood from their house and used it to build their house in town, when he and Ma moved into De Smet, only 3 miles away, where they lived with Mary.

The Ingalls house in DeSmet
The kids had fun with all the activities.
There were horse drawn wagon rides, along with pony rides.

We took a wagon ride to the school.
This building was moved to the property, but was the original building in which Laura attended first grade.  The kids loved "playing school" and the teacher who educated us did a great job giving the history of school, the structure, and even what Laura might have taken to lunch ... maybe an apple, along with pig fat spread on a slice of bread!

The kids got to make corn cob dolls, just like Laura had.

They also got to make jump ropes.

We walked out, among the corn fields, to an old church that was moved to the property.

The kids loved the barn kittens ... even hoping to smuggle one home with us.

We spent a day in town taking a walking tour of the old buildings.

The old Surveyors' House is where the Ingalls first lived when they moved to DeSmet

This is the first school in DeSmet where Laura and Carrie attended.
That's a long walk to school!

We even visited the cemetery, where Mary, Ma, and Pa, are buried.

It was an incredible two days.  If given a chance, I'd go again.
Until then, we'll read the Little House books.