Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wallace Falls

This morning we headed out for a day hike at Blanca Lake but as we continued on our drive, the weather was getting worse. We figured we wouldn’t have much visibility for the beautiful views so decided to do one we’d already done and that was even a little closer. Interestingly enough, it happened to be the first hike Justin and I ever did together, sort of, as a group activity with The Bridge, the young professionals ministry where we met. As usual, Scout was pretty excited to be out prancing around. Without paying much attention when we first started, we accidentally took the Railroad Trail for the first ~2 miles, which was pretty flat and easy going. Once it merged with the woodland trail, we had a easy-moderate climb to the Lower, Middle and Upper Wallace Falls. It rained a little off and on, nothing too bad. We enjoyed a packed lunch at the top and then headed back out. Here is the photo roundup.

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And all tuckered out on the way home!

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Water Project

The Water Project, help bring clean water to Africa

Did you know nearly 1 billion people in the world do not have access to clean water?  Access to clean water affects health, hunger, poverty and education.

Health begins with access to clean water. HIV/AIDS is a disease that just ravages the body’s immune system. How can you live with this disease if the water you drink is so dirty that even the healthiest of people, with intact immune systems, get sick? You cannot treat HIV/AIDS or even manage the symptoms if you do not have access to clean water. Having access to clean water can drop infant mortality rates by 50%. And people cannot work if they are sick. Many of the reasons that un-developed areas of the world remain so is that they are caught in a cycle of poverty that is often the result of very poor health and nutrition.

Relieving hunger in Africa has to begin with access to clean water. It may seem simple, but we forget that without water, food is impossible to grow and difficult to preserve and prepare. It takes huge amounts of water to grow food. Did you know it takes 2400 liters of water to produce a hamburger? 70 liters for an apple? 185 liters for a bag of chips? Water is fundamental to relieving hunger in the developing world

One of the greatest causes of poverty in Africa is the lack of access to clean drinking water.  Access to clean water is the foundation of all development. The lack of water is therefore an often insurmountable obstacle to helping oneself. You can't grow food, you can't build housing, you can't stay healthy, you don't go to school and you can't keep working. Without clean water, poverty is inevitable.

Everyday, women and young girls carry over 20kg of water from sources over 7km from their homes and villages in Kenya. This leaves little time for education which is critical to changing the long term prospects of developing nations. Schools cannot run programs if they cannot provide water to students, faculty and their families. Because so many adults are sick from unclean water, children are often left to manage homes, provide food and look after the sick. With the many additional burdens that a lack of clean water brings, education simply becomes less of a priority. This sets up an unfortunate cycle of poverty as without a proper education, there is little chance of improving one's situation later in life.

Take a few minutes to think about how many times you use water everyday, without even a thought! To take a shower, use the toilet, wash your hands, prepare food, drink! We literally have water at out fingertips and yet nearly 1billion people are without. Please consider making a donation to The Water Project, an organization that funds both the technical assistance and supplies needed for communities to build wells, small dams, rain catchment systems and/or water filters. For as little as $10, you can help provide water for a person for 10 years.  Consider making a donation in someone’s name this Christmas season.

“I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” Matthew 25:35

Click here to be directed to the secure donation site of The Water Project, a non-profit organization that's bringing relief to communities around the world who suffer needlessly from a lack of access to clean water.

Let's make water erupt from the floors of Africa and India .
And give men, women, boys and girls the gift water

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Its wet out there!

Days off usually go better if the dog has been thoroughly exercised so we headed off to the dog park first thing this morning, with me in full body gortex. And it was raining. A lot. Like really a lot. And I think water, whether rain or swimming water, makes this dog crazy. It re-energizes him or something and he goes crazy. Pretty funny to watch.

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This is him telling me to throw the ball.

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Got it!

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The agility!

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Playing in the tall grasses, 2nd only to tennis balls. Wait, 3rd only to tennis balls and swimming.  Who am I kidding, food is first.

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Attempting to shake off after a swim but not very successful when its POURING!

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On the way home.

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Hope everyone is staying warm and dry.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mom Visits Seattle

As many of you know my husband has been in India for the past 11 days. I was fortunate enough to have my mom come visit from Ohio during his leave. We don’t get to see each other very often so this was some special mother daughter time.

We started our visit with a weekend trip to the family cabin on Lake Wenatchee.  It was a great time to relax and enjoy some of the fall landscape as leaves were changing and the sun was shining. We headed into Leavenworth to check out this quaint Bavarian village and found ourselves in the midst of Oktoberfest. Good times! 

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Monday was an errand day and Tuesday we headed into Seattle to enjoy some of the things the city has to offer. She has been here several times before so we didn’t need to do the special touristy stuff, but did check out some shopping, the waterfront and Pike Place Market.

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Wednesday we caught the Victoria Clipper and made our way up to Victoria, BC to enjoy the Butchart Gardens and high tea at The Empress. We couldn’t have been blessed with better weather for this fall visit (Thanks God!). Here is the photo highlight.

The Victoria Clipper

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The Butchart Gardens

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The Sunken Garden

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Ross Fountain

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The Empress Hotel

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Parliament Building

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Sunset on the way back to Seattle

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Thanks for a very nice visit Mom!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Rodeo

I have wanted to go to a rodeo for a really long time. I have mixed feelings regarding the treatment of the animals, but wanted to see the bulls, the blood, the dust, and the mud. Garth Brooks anyone?

So Justin and I headed out to the good old Puyallup Fair this weekend for the “Justin Boots Pro-Rodeo.” The program gave a nice description of each event so I was able to understand exactly what they were doing, what would get somebody disqualified or a penalty, and how to earn style points. The bullriding is typically the highlight of a rodeo, but I have to say I liked the Team Roping Event the most. Each partner has to be quite skilled at their portion of the event and I was never really able to figure out how the 2nd guy ropes the hind legs of that steer.  Pretty cool!

The funniest part had to be the Mutton Bustin’. This is wear 5 and 6 year old children latch on to a sheep and try to ride for 6 seconds. So very cute and funny!!!

Its was a little challenging to get good pictures from our seats, but here are a few.

The Justin Boots Playoffs Rodeo

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Bareback Bronco Riding

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Steer Wrestling

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Team Roping

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Tie Down (The horses used for this are pretty smart!)

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We of course had to indulge ourselves with some delicious fair food, but this name? Seriously? Krusty Pup?

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

There will be camping. . . sort of!

We’d been planning on rounding out our summer adventures with a nice relaxing weekend of camping. We had planned on returning to Nason Creek campsite in the Wenatchee Forest. We had camped there last year and found it to be a pretty good site. Unfortunately, the campsite next to us was being occupied by a huge extended group of Mexicans who were playing their mariachi music way too loud for 9:30. The longer we stayed, the more people came and the louder it got. Not relaxing. We actually packed up and drove the whole way back home.

Saturday morning we re-evaluated the weekend and headed back to Lake Wenatchee where we set up camp on the deck of the family cabin. It had rained Friday night so we needed to dry out the tent.  Scout was pretty excited to be OUTSIDE and ON A LAKE. He could hardly contain himself. We spent a good 4-5 hours on the beach that afternoon playing with this dog. It was also the maiden voyage of his new life jacket.

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He gets so obsessed with the ball that he’ll practically drown himself. He can’t stay out of the water and he’ll get so tired swimming and fetching balls he starts swallowing water as he swims around. We wanted him to stay safe while having fun and swimming and the jacket definitely did this.

Here are my guys swimming.

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Check out this video of “doggie paddling”

Here is our lovely fire so we could have some S’mores.

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And some of the beautiful scenery.

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I forgot to mention that it poured rain on and off for most of the weekend. And it was only “sort of camping” because we had all our food with the rest of the family, inside. Thanks Dad and Lea!

A few more photos to finish up.

Man and dog

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Doesn’t it look like a Super Hero Cape?

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This is how he looks while he waits for his Masters to throw it, again.

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It cracks me up when he does this. He digs around in the sand, or water, or whatever, like he’s trying to pick it up, or make it bounce up. I call it “puppy hands.”

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And finally, after a total of about 7 hours of swimming, he rests. With his babies and toys.

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Hope you had a great Labor Day Weekend!