We are safe and sound in Silverlake, Washington, the doormat of Mount St Helens. Today is one of several relatively clear days, on which you can see the peak from the property of the 7Wonders Museum. We are still settling in, with occasional aftershocks from the main shake of last Saturday. Seismologists have noted that this end of Washington has slightly sank.
Our Wisconsin trip was wonderful. It was about a week full of fellowship, fun, the occasional tick and the occasional severe storm warning. Actually, we arrived on the heels of severe storms in the Madison area, and storms were forecast our first night camping.
Actually, our original departure time was Sunday, and, unlike most of our trips, we went to bed at a decent hour Saturday, with everything packed but the toothbrushes. I mean, that is not our norm. But we were ready. However, we knew the weather for Madison was looking kind of colorful, radar-wise. We decided to see what the forecast was for Sunday night.
So we rose early Sunday morning, all ready for our last meeting with the saints at Emmaus. Like I said, we were ready. But the weather looked pretty firmly unpredictable, leaning towards bad. This was kind of a weird situation, because we had no groceries, no paper products, all clothes packed, you get the picture. The one consolation was we decided to have friends over for lunch afterwards, and the Lord gave us a wonderful going away visit with extended goodbye time.
Monday was still looking iffy, weather-wise, but we figured it was now or never.
So, once we were on the road, we made arrangements with dear friends to use the building our Madison fellowship met in, just in case the weather deteriorated suddenly....
....which it did NOT.
It would have been beautiful out! But, we had a great time in doors anyway...
We were blessed by friends far and near who gathered to chow and chat.
A last-minute surprise pre-birthday for Sarah was quickly converged with much assistance....
The Schaefers family contributed a deluxe dessert they had up their sleeve!
Here she is, mustering up her best surprised look!
Before our departure from St Louis, a neighbor blessed us with a whole case of take out food boxes and bundles of plastic ware and napkins!
Catching up... with ketchup.
Pen pals in person.
Our dear friends in Wisconsin, the Canos, came several hours for the camping trip and were up to weather the storm. They arrived the stormy night before we did, but some special friends of ours in Madison opened their home to their little family at the last minute, praise the Lord! They had a great visit.
Daniel warmed up to all the "strangers" right away.
Our fellowship lasted into the late evening, and as we cleaned up and said goodbye, many people commented on the ominous forecast, and suggested back up plans if a storm descended on our campground. The sky was clear, but the Canos noticed some rain passing them as they drove to the campground. We arrived several hours later, still no rain, but we checked weather frequently.
Even though we were in a severe storm watch, we never got a drop! At about 2 am, we saw this on the weather radar.
(We were in the dry, green dot!)
That day, we had the opposite of rain -- sunshine! So we devised a shade system for our unshaded campsite.
The temperature was nice, though the breeze began to tweak our tarps.
The Kohrts popped in and brought pizza!
The playground was nearly empty.
As is the custom, we had a bit of drizzle the day we packed up to head to the Wisconsin homeschool conference. We had intended to camp until the morning of, but decided it would be less hectic to arrive the day before. And it was!
With a propensity for Ps, the sPeaker imPressed us with Practical Principles. Israel Wayne stated: "If one christian has one dollar, and another has a million dollars, who has more? Answer: Neither -- it all belongs to God!"
Lots of good convos at our table.
The Klein ladies did a session on modesty, aka, looking weird in the eyes of the world.
I don't want to be, I don't want to be a casual Christian
I don't want to live a lukewarm life
I want to light up the night with an everlasting light
I don't want to live a casual christian life.
Dave met a lot of dads this year... it was a good turnout of dads!
Volleyball -- without all the normal broccoli! : ) Miss you Mayos!!
Keeping Kayln in shape for a new little brother or sister! Praise the Lord!
Friends - a happy time of year!
Some of the guys.
Some of the girls.
Please keep off the grass.
Coming up in due time: our sojourn west!