Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hiking in Yosemite....

Yesterday we started the day early and took off with three other families, the Orcutts, the Souza's and the Johnsons, for a hike in Yosemite. We haven't been to Yosemite all summer (how wrong is that!!), so we were thrilled to find an opportunity to go. It was a beautiful day and no matter how many times we have been there, we always find it to be such a peaceful place. Nacoya put it's amazing to think that God created all of this, but still sees and knows us.
Beginning the hikeThe men...The ladies... If I have my pictures right, this is the view from Sentinel Dome. We had not done this hike before. Bob and Ann were our fearless leaders and showed the way. We are so glad they did! We could see so much of the valley (Yosemite valley) from here.
The boys: Jonathan, Trent and ScottThe girls: Jenna, Emily, Jenna and Nacoya
What a view!!
Taking in the scene.... this was Nacoya's first visit to Yosemite.
All the kids hanging out together...a great group of teenagers!
Chow Time!!!We potlucked it, yummy. Unfortunately, the meat bees thought so too, but we swatted them away and made the best of it. Any suggestions on getting rid of those things? It's like they come out of nowhere when the food arrives!
Marcia's yummy we all want the recipe. Pie and cookies for dessert
It was actually Bob's birthday. Happy Birthday, Bob and thanks for spending it with us.
Jen and NacoyaOK, this was pretty amazing. This was at Taft Point. These are called the Fissures, which by definition is a break in a rock. You really don't get a good view of it here, but these are huge granite rocks with breaks in them that you can very carefully look through and see below. Since I'm not good with heights, Bob took this picture for me. We are on top of all this granite rock and looking down 3500 feet! Amazing...
No trip would be complete without Jenna taking a picture of herselfI thought this was sweet, Emily and Steve catching a moment together at Washburn Lookout The view from Washburn. More of the view. If you look closely you can see Vernal Falls at the lower left and Nevada Falls above it and just to the right. (Detour: Cousins, this is the hike we took that one summer that the truck broke down Yosemite) You have to hike by each of those falls on the way to Half Dome, which is just to the left of the falls, from where we were standing.Half DomeCouples/ was a great day and hopefully we will be back up there before too long again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Meet Nacoya...

About a month ago we became aware of a young girl's need for a home. Not quite a year ago she lost her dad to an aneurysm. A year earlier her mom passed away. Needless to say her world has been turned upside down. Since then she has been living with her aunt and uncle in Mariposa, about an hour and half drive from Fresno and they have done an amazing job helping her through such a difficult time. Her uncle commuted to bring her down for school each day last year, but given the cost of gas and the time spent on the road, they felt the need to find a better way to keep her in school here in Fresno, as well as keeping her connected with her church family, which has become so important since losing her dad. To make a long story short, Nacoya spent a couple of days with us during this last month and we all felt she would just fit right in. So, her aunt and I spent some time on the phone working out the details and she moved in yesterday. She will spend Monday - Friday here with us and go back to her aunt and uncle's house on the weekends and holidays. We have all missed having Josh around and one child never replaces another, but it will be nice having another teenager around again. He was right on board with us bringing her in and giving up his room for her. That was a bit hard for me as I went through his things, but he had packed up so much already for when he gets stationed that it just didn't make sense not to open up the room for Nacoya. Josh's stuff - need to figure out where to store it until he needs it! EEK!An empty room - seemed strange looking at it this way.Jen and Nacoya unpacking her things
We went out to get her some new bedding and make it a little more Nacoya-like. We still need to update the valance, but the room definitely has a girl feel now.
More of her room....
All ready for her first day back to school!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Saying Goodbye...

Today was the end of 10 days of leave for Josh. It's been a great 10 days packed full of family and friends. We hated to say goodbye. Unlike in boot camp, this time he can call and email on Sunday's. That will help, but I have to say there was something special about writing letters. Maybe we will still do some of that too. Waking up with Diesel. It was very early - 4:30am to be exact. Arriving at the airport - 5:45am. Checking for his ticket and orders...
He has three bags of gear to take with him when he travels.....and they are heavy too!

A few last pictures

Josh and Ashlie...making the best of it. Fortunately she has school to keep her busy while he's gone.
Off he goes. Two other guys were leaving for Pendleton this morning too....a little misery loves company, isn't that how the saying goes? He texted us later and said they were all just sort of zoned out as they were waiting for the plane. He said it wasn't so hard to leave the first time, but this time was difficult. I don't suspect it gets any easier and yet we know and he knows that he wouldn't have it any other way right now. We are learning to not take for granted time with loved ones, whether near or far!

Cabin Time

Arriving at the CabinJen and the Jeep - We thought we'd give the Jeep a try in the mountains. Dave loved it! This is a great swing. I usually don't get too much time on it because the kids love it so much, but this time I spent lots of time on the swing.
Josh has been looking for a good pull up bar since he got back home. This one was perfect. He of course handled it with no problem.

Dave did great too...Then there was Jen and me...
For all the walking we do, we didn't quite measure up on the pull you see me screaming? I was slipping off...
...And there I go! Josh didn't think I was really falling until he saw me on the ground.So now, off to do something Jen and I are good at...a walk
I forgot my walking shoes so I found these in the cabin....thank you Pat or Kim. I have to say they are pretty wild, but they worked!The other thing we always do at the cabin is BBQ...tonight it was tri-tipSitting down to dinner (I don't know what button I pushed on the camera, but we got a few of these black and whites because of it)
We were trying out the auto-shoot timer on the camera. Kind of a cool color combo from whatever I changed on the camera

These catfish have been in the pond for about as long as we have been going there, at least 7 years. They are huge...must be two feet. This is for the cousins. They are always trying to catch them when they come up with us.
He just came right out of the water for me. We were feeding them left over pancakes...great catfish diet, huh?Waking up on Saturday morningSleepy heads
Last time on the swing before we take off.

This post is a little out of order, but I only had time yesterday for Saturday's party. Friday Dave, Josh, Jen and I headed up to the cabin. We have been staying in Fish Camp at a friend's cabin for quite a few years now. Usually it's been on Labor Day with Tina and Terrell and the cousins. They are in Colorado now and Josh will be gone still, so we decided to head up for a night while he was home - just the four of us. It's a place that holds a lot of memories for our family, and we are so blessed that the Allred family has opened it up to us. Josh's time has been so divided since he's been home with so many people to see, so it was a perfect place for us to go get some family. time.

Me and my better half

J & J

Our Marine

Matt and Trin having fun w/ Joshie and Jenna

Kadence and Keaton

Girl power

Gabe and Josh w/ Grandpa

When they were young

About Me

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Wife of 23 years to David, Mom to Josh - 19, Jenna - 17 and Nacoya - 16. Voice teacher, choir director and church choir member. I love the outdoors... ocean and mountains, my family, friends, pretty flowers, quiet mornings and more than all that, Jesus.