Friday, July 28, 2017

Photo Friday [193]

Here are two weeks' worth of photos.  Last Friday we were up at 2:30 a.m. to drive to the airport and we spent a long day traveling...  so that's my excuse for missing last week!

Little sister waits poolside for her brothers to finish their last swim lesson of the summer.

Being back in the U.S. lets us join in on family life, which sometimes means helping each other out.  We spent a day as a family with Brian's grandparents doing some work on the roof and gutters.

The kids love visiting with grandparents and great-grandparents.  We are so thankful that they get to make memories together while we are in the States.

We attended and event at Salem's Riverfront Park, and Kate was super excited to get her face painted.

The boys have always refused to have their faces painted, so it was fun to realize that Kate enjoys it.

 We also got to ride the carousel:

Last Friday we were traveling as a family to Orlando, FL to attend a program at the Wycliffe Bible Translators' headquarters there. 

However, we decided to arrive a few days before the scheduled start of the program in order to do something that our boys have been talking about ever since they saw an advertisement for it:  Legoland.  Back in Papua New Guinea, when we asked the kids what things they really wanted to do on furlough, they said 1) spend time with grandparents, and 2) visit Legoland.  And so we arranged to arrive in Orlando a few days early in order to make that dream come true.

It was two very fun days.  Long, tiring, but overall very fun.   Greg was tall enough to ride any of the rides, Caleb could do most, and there was still enough stuff to keep Kate entertained, even though she was too little for a lot of it.

 This is pretty much how we all felt at by the end of the day!

Driving school was the one ride they had seen advertised and the one the especially were looking forward to.  It turned out to be disappointing, but this life-sized Lego mustang was pretty darn impressive!

Miniland was impressive.  You could have spent hours just looking at everything and taking in all the details. 

 For example, this cat lady on the roof of a building waiting for firemen to rescue her.

Caleb loved to go around and push the buttons that made parts of the scenes move - like making the break dancer in red spin on his head. 

 Roller coasters were fun enough for adults but not too intense for the boys.

Greg's favorite spot was where you could build and race your own creations.

The Lego/pirate/waterski show was fun too. 

We alternated "big kid" rides with ones that Kate could enjoy.

 And we kind of wore ourselves out... in a good way.

Our program here at Wycliffe has been very good too.  Brian and I have one set of classes and discussions to attend, and there is a program for all of the missionary kids, where staff walk them through activities to help them process their unique lifestyle and it's advantages and challenges.  It has been really fun to see Greg especially connecting with other MK's whose parents work all over the world.  We are finishing that up this morning, and will be flying back to Oregon on Saturday.

Thanks for visiting!  We will be doing some more traveling in the coming weeks and may not have internet connection for much of that time, but I will update with another photo Friday as soon as I'm able.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Photo Friday [192]

This week has been pretty full.  The boys have been attending a VBS program here in town in the mornings, and then they have swim lessons in the evening.

We picked a lot of berries one evening after dinner at grandma and grandpa's house.  We went to pick blueberries, but came home with some raspberries and boysenberries too.

 Fresh blueberry muffins!  My crazy family isn't as crazy about them as I am, so I had to eat most of them myself...

We have found a lot of little projects to do around the house.  Our bigger project this week has been refinishing the small deck at the back of the house.  We've made good progress.  Now we just need to replace those wobbly stairs and we're ready to stain!

We typically have a printing service print and mail out our newsletters for us, but this time we wanted to include our new prayer card, and so we did it all ourselves.  Man... I am really grateful that we don't have to do this every time!

New prayer cards were mailed a few days ago to everyone who gets a snail mail newsletter.  If you don't get yours this week, or if you only receive electronic updates and would like a prayer card, please email or message us with your address and we'll send you one!

 And we'll finish off with some photos of a cute kid playing in the backyard:


That's all for this week!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Photo Friday [191]

Beach time for the Freys this past holiday weekend!  Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins all cozily crowded into a little cabin at the beach.  The kids were pretty excited to see this side of the Pacific, even though it's much colder than the beach in PNG.

Overlook of the area where we stayed, with the beach and a Christian summer camp on the lake (our nephews were attending camp this week).

"Come and get me, ocean!"

"Ooh!  That's cold!"

Back in his element.  Brian grew up visiting this stretch of beach all the time.  Between Brian and his brothers, I got an earful of stories about their good 'ol days at camp.

We were able to watch fireworks on the beach two different nights.  The first was a laid-back evening at Pacific City on the 1st.

On the fourth of July we went to see the fireworks at Neskowin.  It was perhaps the most intense beach party I've ever been to.  A big crowd, with everyone setting off their own fireworks from all over the crowded beach before the official show begin.  It was fun, but a little disconcerting when the guy behind us was setting off large fireworks that were exploding right over our heads.  (The kids loved it!)

This photo captures just a bit of the fun... and all of the smoke!

The rest of the weekend was spent

combing the beach for sand dollars...

flying kites...

canoeing on the lake... 

campfire with s'mores...

and playing on the beach.


Now we're back home, and the boys jumped straight into the local pool, for their first ever swimming lessons!  We'll only be in town this summer for one entire two-week lesson session, but we're happy that they get at least a little bit of instruction, as it's something that we don't really have access to in PNG.

 Until next week!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Photo Friday [190]

Another two weeks have gone by, and a lot has happened.  It's almost a month now since we left PNG, and yet we've only been at our own furlough home for a week and just finally got the suitcases unpacked and are starting to feel settled!  Here is what we've been up to:

In Colorado, we spent some quality time with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Tea parties and gardening with great-grandma Dee:

Cousin time:

Kate's first movie theater experience with the grandparents and two cousins (Cars 3).

 Riding Fort Collins' trolley.

Greg remembered riding the trolley two years ago, but he was still just a tiny bit excited....

All too soon it was time to leave Colorado.  The house that we are living in during this home assignment is in Turner, Oregon, but most of our personal belongings (including housewares we got as wedding gifts and have seldom used) were stored in Colorado.  So we rented a trailer and loaded it up with a donated sofa and all of our boxes and suitcases, and set out on our first road trip!

The drive on I-70 West over the Rockies was beautiful as always, but also slow because of road construction.

We introduced the kids to traditional road trip games such as seeing how many different license plates we could spot along the way (35).

Along the way we spent two nights in Boise, Idaho with Brian's brother. 

 He took us on a short hike to an overlook of the city.

Then it was time to get to Oregon.  Brian had planned a route that took us on some lesser-traveled highways, which turned out to be very scenic and much more fun than the interstate.

We visited John Day and the Painted Hills.

We stopped at the interpretive center for the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.

Then a fun stop in Shaniko, Oregon's finest ghost town (population 36).  Brian remembered visiting when he was a kid.  There are a few open businesses, but mostly a lot of old buildings and a barn/museum full of antique cars.


 And now we are in Turner, at a house that family and church friends have fixed up wonderfully for us, spending a lot of time and elbow grease to get it ready for our family, for which we are so grateful.  We have been unpacking and settling in, fixing up a few things around the house, and trying to find a new normal.  (Not quite there yet!)

 This week the boys had a fun outing, taking the train from Salem to Seattle.  We are renting a van while we are in the States from Righteous Rides, an organization that provides vehicles for missionaries while they are back in the U.S., but we had to pick the vehicle up in Seattle.  Brian and the boys made a day of it, taking the train up and then driving our van back home.

Caleb has also been working hard at his grandparents' farm, as you can see.

And what is he harvesting?  Fresh Oregon berries, of course!

Until next week...