Prague Day 3+4

pickled things at farm markets.

Saturday- This morning we leisurely got around and caught the bus to the Jewish Quarter which we had big plans to see. Unfortunately I had forgotten that Judaism celebrates their Shabbat, or Sabbath, on Saturday, and the internet doesn’t keep up with them so therefore everything was closed that we wanted to see. We went to a couple Farmers Markets that we stumbled upon and I love those. Fresh wildflowers, five-gallon pails of saurkrat and anything pickled you could think of, sausages in crispy baguettes eaten with ketchup and mustard, and lots of produce. We found iced coffees and I managed to find a cabbage strudel that the man in front of me recommended. It was saurkrat and goat cheese in a pastry and it was SO good. Then we walked to Prague Castle, the largest ancient castle in the world. It was a bunch of uphill walking with stairs which I obviously enjoyed with my lithe physique. The view from the top was phenomenal, a panorama of all of Prague. The castle grounds are huge so we did some walking around and then headed back into town.

We stopped to see the Lennon Wall since we were close to it. Said to be inspired by John Lennon, it is a wall full of graffiti and political paintings that is continually changing. There were a lot of poems about the Ukraine hung up in front of it, calling for change and peace. We have seen so much support for the Ukraine here. In one of the main squares, there is a huge hand painted mural that says “Back off Putin! Hands off Ukraine!” We decided to go back to Mondieu for lunch then because its such a cool place. We planned our next stop which is basically deciding the next town we want to stop in which will be Vienna, we think. We had supper back at the apartment and have been relaxing. We know some of the bus routes already and a feel for the city so it’s been a huge plus being here for more than a day or two.

Old Jewish cemetery headstones

Sunday- We had a lazy morning deciding what to do for the rest of the day since it was supposed to be hot. We had bought some little cinnamon rolls that we baked for breakfast. There are a couple people staying in the other room beside us now, but we really haven’t seen or heard them. We eventually caught the bus over to the Jewish cemetery, the only burial ground allowed for Jews in Prague from 1439-1787. The tiny yard has around 12,000 headstones. There are approximately 85,000 bodies buried 12 layers deep, and the retaining walls around it are to hold the soil in place that had to be added occasionally for more layers. This cemetery is still intact from WW2 because the Nazis wanted to use it as part of an “extinct race” museum. Afterwards Morgan and I sat on a bench beside the Vltava River and watched the boats and people and Madison went off to paint for awhile. We walked through an old church and then got coffees later on. Madison is making us a picnic supper which we are excited about, Morgan is sleeping, and I just finished listening to Avery preach at Wildwood.

Vlatava River + Prague Castle

It’s been a really tough day, which is why we didn’t do a lot. We simply were just sad. I know you maybe are rolling your eyes. A tough day in Europe, yeah right! But it’s true. I told Morgan I just felt like I needed a good cry over everything and he said he did too so we thought we would schedule one for this evening. The decisions we need to make are ones we would call our Dads for, so today I was just mad. Who do we call now?? Nobody loves you and is quite as invested in you and your life like a Dad is. They are supposed to be here to help with financial and life problems and big decisions. They give you wise opinions with just the right amount of judgment so you know what they would do if it were them. And I am just so sad we don’t have that now. We have lovely people in our lives, but each of those people have their own family and life without the worry of a married schoolteacher couple. So as Morgan and I talked about next year and tried to make more decisions, I just felt so alone. Sometimes we look at each other and say,”Is it true? Dad is really gone??” We can hardly comprehend it. Everywhere there are survey markers that remind us. And we saw on the news that Machu Picchu in Peru was threatened by a fire and we knew Dad would be watching that because he was so enthralled with Peru. But here we are. Please pray for us, and especially Morgan.

Some Notes: 1. There is graffiti everywhere here. You’d think it would make it seem dirty, but it sort of just fits in here. Its rare to see a stretch of wall that doesn’t have some sort of paint on it. 2. There is no air on the buses here, which it seems like I’ve mentioned before. It is around 15* hotter inside the bus than outside, so its like you get to cook alive while also watching the town go by.

Prague Day 1+2

Old Astronomy Clock

Thursday- I woke up early while we were still driving in Germany and it was beautiful with so many green trees and small rolling hills and wheat harvest happening here and there, although wheat harvest here looks alot different than it did in Central Kansas. For one thing, there weren’t two super shiny fixed up trucks sitting prettily facing the main highway. There are just a small combine and a wee truck out here but I guess they still can harvest. We got into Prague around noon and there happened to be a good ole Burger King at the bus station so we ate lunch there. They use czech koruna here for money and some places take euros but the moral of the story is, I had neither when I tried to use the washroom that required 1 euro. We found a little private room with a shared bathroom thats quite cheap. It has orange shag rug and little vintage floral pictures in frames that girls in the states would pay money for because they’re “in” right now. Luckily nobody else is in the other room so its just us. We relaxed at the house this afternoon and caught up on sleep. Morgan walked to a supermarket a couple minutes away and grabbed supper. Ovens here are weird so that took some time but we had $3 pizza and pepsi for supper. Supper of budget champions!

Friday- A good sleep. Then walked to the bus, took a tram, and arrived in Old Town Square. Everything here feels set back in time. Maybe the 90’s. Lots of older ladies wear floral dresses with open-toed shoes. We first watched the Prague Astronomical Clock in Old Town Square. Its a beautiful clock from 1410 and is the oldest clock still in operation. It has a dial for the time and hands for the sun and moon positions. On the hour, doors open above the clock and the apostles walk around. It’s unique to say the least. More infošŸ‘‰

Roast duck, cabbage kraft, potato dumplings, bread

We ate lunch and what a meal it was! It was at a little Czech place and we ate outside in the dwindling sunshine. We had roast duck, which is becoming a very common meal here. At home it seems that duck is expensive and somewhat of a delicacy but we have had it several times here and we love it. We also got beef in cream sauce, another common dish here and equally delicious. It started raining after lunch so we got soaked walking through the rain and getting splashed by little cars. We found our way to the Church of Our Lady Victorious where we warmed up and also observed the wax figure of baby Jesus from 1638, said to have become famous by protecting Prague from the ravages of the war and the Plague. Anyways we dried off while we talked to a priest about Vancouver and then walked to a place called Mondieu where we had happy hour with cherry lemonade for a good hour. Then we went walking over the Charles Bridge, a medieval stone bridge from the 15th century. There were people drawing and a little four man band playing jazz when we walked across. We caught the train and stopped at a supermarket on the way home. Grocery shopping here is an experience, mainly because everything is in Czech, German, or Russian, and also since things like butter are in weird packaging. We found a package today that contained a crepe and apple slices. Gingerbread is a big thing here too so we bought some to try out, along with different pastries. We relaxed this evening at our place and had pesto spaghetti for supper. I’m excited because we’ve entered the phase of our trip that we are relaxing and doing lots of strolling up and down the cobblestone streets instead of rushing here and there for the next thing. We are just getting to know the city slowly and leaving tracts here and there as we go.

Some Notes: 1. Shout-out to Halstead Church for supplying us with several hundred tracts for our trip. Since we left directly from Kansas, we got some from church the night we were at Darvin&Diane’s for supper. So Halstead, your name is in London, Paris, and Prague so far! 2. We still haven’t figured out where people do laundry so we have just been using the bathroom sink. 3. The drinking straws here are so little. Like at home you can suck a strawberry through a Sonic straw. Here you can barely get drink through it. Maybe an exaggeration but you get the idea.

Normandy Day 1+2

street market we stopped at-

Tuesday- We left the apartment at 630 and caught trains until we got to a car rental place we had our eye on. With minimal stress we rented a little manual minivan thing and loaded our backpacks. Morgan is driving while we cruise along in the French countryside. Abe is sleeping which he does alot of the day:) Its quite green here with lots of trees on both sides of the road and the occasional roll of hills, much like Michigan. And sometimes Pennsylvania. It’s sunny and warm, truly an ideal day. We’re on an interstate towards the coast and Omaha Beach. The vehicles here are mostly small, electric or eco-friendly cars. No pickups and no older vehicles. The cars have been seen pulling anything from a camper to a boat so they apparently have more guts than it appears. We stopped in an obscure little village just off our route looking for a Cafe and instead found a local market where no one spoke English. It was exactly what we were looking for so we spent half an hour strolling and trying to use expressive hand motions to portray which sandwich we wanted. Morgan got some paella that was so so good and then we were back on the road.

view west towards Omaha Beach from Point du Hoc

The first stop was in a decent sized town called Caen. You can easily find it on a map. We went to a big WW2 museum called Memorial de Caen and spent several hours watching films and reading and going through artifacts. I never cease to be amazed at the senseless loss of life all for the love of power. I left the museum feeling a little blue at humanity. We drove our sweet van over to Omaha Beach after the museum and spent some time walking on the sand at low tide, looking for seashells and remembering the past. The countryside is beautiful here on the coast. Overgrown bushes all over and vintagey brick houses that come right to the road. Small curving one-lane roads wind through the little villages that are full of French country charm that people at home pay HomeGoods for to get the look. Against the old brick houses grow holly hocks and hydrangeas in abundance. Roses spring over gates that hang ajar and jersey cows graze when we reach countryside again. It is idyllic. After the beach exploring, Morgan, Madison, and I drove over to Point du Hoc, a 5 minute drive from the Omaha Beach memorial. Point du Hoc are where the US Rangers took the cliffs and German bunkers step by step in the bloodiest battle of D-Day. We walked out on a gravel path. The sight is preserved simply with a waist high fence around it and small signs. The area we walked along the top of the cliffs was littered with huge craters from the fighting. We explored the bunkers that are left sitting quiet and empty, the rusted barbed wire still strewn along as a last effort of defense, and the cliffs with chunks missing for hundreds of yards. When you look out at the beautiful English channel, its hard to imagine such a lovely place once so full of sadness.

Inside a WW2 bunker at Point du Hoc

For supper I got a very mediocre Margherita pizza, with melted cheese and missing the basil if that tells you anything. We found a cheap Airbnb 20 minutes down the road so drove there and found ourselves in an old French farmhouse of stone and exposed beams. Hans and Myriam welcomed us with open arms and now we are in the attic room with 5 beds and a church bell that chimes outside our window.

View from our window this morning. This is exactly what all the towns we drive through look like.

Wednesday- This morning we visited with Hans as we breakfasted on marmalade and croissants and French baguettes and coffee. He knows and is personally friends with many veterans from D-Day. 800 veterans have came to stay at their little house BnB so he had lots of stories. There is one old gentleman that was on the first wave at Omaha Beach on D-Day that he is good friends with. Hans recommended a couple places to us so away we went. We stopped at some old bunkers and then the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. On our way out of the area we stopped to see a church steeple that an American paratrooper had landed on, getting caught by his parachute. Here’s an article about it šŸ™‚ We got sausage sandwiches from a little street vendor and ate them on the way back into Paris. We also stopped at a rest area on the way back. See below picture. So you do the hover over the floor toilet, and scuttle out of the stall because when you’re finished it flushes and then water shoots from three sides of the stall and “self-cleans”. If you are still standing there when it starts, you’re legs are toast. Its a process alright.

rest areas in France. Yay.

Morgan dropped us off and went to return the van when we got back to the city. Madison went to the Musee d’Orsay to see some Van Gogh paintings, the guys went walking, and I walked along the Seine and people watched. We all got supper together yet and then bid Levi and Abe farewells and they caught a bus back to London to fly home. We are sitting in a FlixBus waiting to leave Paris, and we are bound for Prague. This double decker bus has wifi and charging ports that work so thats a step up from our last one. Its an overnight bus so we will sleep hopefully and we get into Prague around noon! Ciao.

Paris Day 1-3

Tour de Eiffel

Saturday- After we got into Paris this morning, we meandered over to a little Cafe close to the Eiffel Tower where we had a breakfast of crepes and lattes. Lattes, we discovered, were 7,50 each. Yes. But we did enjoy them. After breaky we split up for awhile. All of us were super tired from minimal sleep on the bus so it looked like a long day. Morgan and I had climbed the Eiffel Tower last time we were here so Madison, Levi, and Abe went this time. Morgan and I found grass and watched people and then lay looking up at the Tower for awhile. I napped and Morgan did Sudoku and then we went for a quick decaf coffee-its way cheaper than regular- and a chocolate croissant at a little place with wicker chairs and a red awning. When the kids came back we walked in the rain over to the Arc de Triomphe. Took the train home to our apartment and got French McDonald’s for lunch on the way back. We got home and all relaxed. We have an apartment a bit outside the city that we found and we can even see the Eiffel Tower although it’s a ways out. Morgan went to the store and bought food for supper and made a delicious meal for us and then we went to bed early.

the picture opposite the Mona Lisa.šŸ˜Œ

Sunday- This morning we slept in for the first time since we left. We took the train into the city mid-morning and went to the Lourve. We spent a delightful few hours wandering the marble halls looking at statues and the Mona Lisa and other tremendous paintings. Along with thousands of other people, I may add. I wish I could portray the immense amount of ground the Lourve covers. It is all white marble inside with wide, high ceilings, well lit halls and lots of stone pillars. We were overwhelmed after a few hours so we went out and got sandwiches from a shop and sat eating in a square close to the Lourve. I overhead an English speaking couple behind me so we chatted with them for awhile. They turned out to be psychologists from Boston which was interesting. We took the bus over to North Dame cathedral later in the afternoon. It looks different without the spire, but beautiful nonetheless. We spent some time watching boats floating down the Seine, mostly tour boats but a few private too. One of the private boats had a hot tub on the deck with an older gentleman sitting in it, sipping champagne!

Top to bottom: smoked salmon, carpaccio, pate in a pastry, and two duck confit for Cafe de Flore supper

For supper we wanted something traditionally French so we went to Cafe de Flore, which is a celebrity haunt we were told. We were served by a little man wearing a bow tie and carrying a white towel over his arm. Morgan and Madison had duck confit, Abe had smoked but raw salmon, Levi had carpaccio, also raw meat, and I had duck pate in a pastry crust, which I was thinking would be like quiche or something. Well. The pate was just a chunk of crust with duck and lard in the middle. It was also served cold. I can safely say I ate most of it but would I get it again? No. But it was fun to try because we don’t usually eat at places where those dishes are an option. We took the train back to the apartment and the guys got pastries and sandwiches to finish their meals for the evening.

Monday- Madison and I stayed home today. I’m still fighting some bug which we now discovered was maybe covid and we had a good sleep while the guys went exploring in a big park thing. I did a couple loads of laundry and cleaned up the apartment and wrote on my blog so it was quite a relaxing day and we loved it. The guys came back mid-afternoon and Morgan made delicious spaghetti and garlic toast for supper. Tomorrow we are leaving our apartment for the last time and going to try to find our way to Normandy. We went there with Ja last time we were here but it was off season so it was a whole different procedure than it will be this time.

On another note, Dad Kevin has been gone a month. One whole month. I think of it every time I write that I have to clarify which Dad it is. We are in Europe but we miss the family. Morgan and Dad always had this thing that whenever they would be traveling without the other, if they saw survey markers when they were out walking they would send a picture to the other. We often would stop in weird places so Morgan could send Dad a picture of one. We think of it lots now while we are walking down the streets of Paris or London and see one along the dirty sidewalk. So we are happy and sad. Also, please continue to pray for us as we make decisions for school next year.ā™”

Some notes: 1. There are no bugs here. Like I saw a gnat today for the first time since we’ve been in Paris. Its weird. 2. Morgan got a haircut from a Ghana man down the street. It looks really good.

London, Day 2.

Word on the Water book barge

Friday- This morning Mr. Gary’s took Dot to the airport so they were gone when I woke up. We each got our own breaky at the house, plain toast for me since I’m not over whatever this bug is. We left the cozy flat with hopes we will return on the way home since we fly out of London then as well. The subway was clanky and noisy as usual and everyone had earbuds in which is a common trend here. Not necessarily more than anywhere else probably, but it seems like it. I’m always amazed at how many stories underground we go to ride the tube. We spend a long time on some of the escalators that bring us up from way deep down.

Our first stop was to a little boat on the Regent Canal. Mrs. Dot had recommended it to Morgan so he surprised me by taking me there because I do love a good bookstore and this one was on the water! Unfortunately the internet was incorrect and the bookstore aptly named “Word on the Water”, was closed so we spent time looking at the other houseboats on the canal instead. They can stay in one spot in the canal for 2 weeks with their boats before they have to move to a different location. Its a romantic thought- to live on a canal in a houseboat full of books and plants, floating along with Morgan. We may have to put it on our bucket list.

Tower Bridge on our river cruise

After some more tube riding, we made it to Westminster pier and got tickets for a one-way Thames River cruise. I loved it. We had a good tour guy, which always makes the difference, and he gave lots of facts while we floated along. The Thames is quite brown although they say it’s fairly clean for being an industrial river. It was windy so that was a nice change from the heat. We saw the Prospect of Whitby, the oldest riverside tavern , along the River Thames, and built in 1520. It was a place of questionable characters and later, a judge in the 1700s had a gallows and noose hung over the river where pirates and sea rovers would be hung until they died by hanging, or drowned from the rising tide, whichever came first. The tide is highest at the London Bridge and rises 22 feet so the boat tours plan their trips accordingly. We also went under the Tower Bridge which I thought was stunning.

We ended our river ride at Greenwich where we walked up to the Royal Observatory. Here we paid to go into the Observatory to look at different old telescopes and also to stand on the Prime Meridian Line of the World! We all stood with one foot in the Western Hemisphere and the other in the Eastern. Morgan and I were quite sad here. Dad Kevin was always so enthused about our travels and being there at the Prime Meridian was just what he would have loved. His entire life basically resolved around degrees so we looked in the gift shop and quietly cried together because there was no need to buy him a little keepsake this time like we usually do.

Westminster Abbey

For lunch we had steak&ale pie and mash, which is what they call mashed potatoes. We walked through a street market and then caught a bus back to Westminster Abbey. We had a tip from John Ensz that we should attend Evensong there so we queued and actually went into Westminster Abbey. Like where royals go and their weddings happen and people like Charles Dickens and Sir Isaac Newton are buried! It was the most beautiful church building with lots of stone and a quiet hush even though there were lots of people. We were seated in the “sanctuary” but Morgans keen ears heard they had room to sit by the choir so away we went led by one of the ministers or whatever their title would be. We went walking in front of several hundred people down the main aisle to benches beside the choir. Everyone had to rise or be seated as told by the paper in front of us with the order of the service. Also in special attendance was the High Commissioner of Mozambique and his attendants who we got to watch because their special chairs were across the aisle from us. The High Commissioner also read some Bible verses as one of the items in the service. It lasted around an hour and ohhh my but the choir. Heavenly music. Boys ranging from 10 maybe? To men in their 60s probably. Around 30 total just singing the most beautiful songs with a vocal range that would make you cry. It was the best thing I’ve seen so far. Morgan went and met the High Commissioner of Mozambique afterwards and then we walked to a little Italian place called Satori.

We sat here by these lamps and the choir.

We took our last train over to Victoria Station and boarded our FlixBus that would take us to Paris overnight. We were asked for our vaccine cards for the first time since we left home when we boarded this bus. Unfortunately it seemed one little man didn’t have his and wasn’t allowed to board but he fought the driver and they were both yelling and we happened to be in seats near the front so we watched as they wrestled and the ticket people outside called security, although that’s a loose word for the man that came ambling slowly over. Anyways after more yelling and a man coming onto the bus and talking the crazy man down, we were on the way. We drove to Dover (just like in the Scarlet Pimpernel which is the best book!:) and boarded a ferry to Calais, France. After an hour ferry ride from 3 to 4 ish in the morning, we drove off towards Paris and arrived in the city around 8. I will continue Paris tomorrow. Cheerio mates!


First of all, we had a wonderful weekend at Skyler&Ann’s lovely wedding. We got to be with Mom,Madison, and Dillon&Renae and Max a whole bunch and we loved every second. We also got to be with Grandma Jul and Max&Rose and that was just so good as well.

Wednesday- I’m laying in bed looking at the slats of Morgans bunk above me listening to people snore. We flew from San Francisco into London this afternoon. We had good flights and floated in over patchwork greens and brick houses. We spent a couple hours at McDonald’s because Levi and Abe flew 4 hours after us. So we took a taxi and ate lunch. McDonald’s here has lots of different things like mozzarella sticks and crispy Italiano sandwiches and tiramisu or caramel mcflurrys. It’s a treat. We rode a red, double decker bus back to the airport to meet the guys and then we all caught the London Underground, otherwise known as the Tube, over to our hostel. We are staying in a huge room with bunk beds everywhere that have burnt orange privacy curtains around them. We went to a Greek place down the road for supper and then I went to the hostel. The rest went out and about for a while longer but I unfortunately came down with food poisoning so I went to bed.

our Swiss Cottage hostel

Thursday- We had breakfast at the hostel this morning. The buffet had fresh yogurt, granola, and toast with tomatoes, cheese, and meat. This is always a common breakfast when we’ve traveled in Europe and we sometimes skip lunch and have an early supper if we have one of these breakfasts. We left the hostel and took the tube to Buckingham Palace where we watched the changing of the guard. It was a long process with lots of men in red and a noisy band. Abe was sure he saw Prince Charles and Camilla but none of the rest of us were convinced.

The Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci

Then we walked to Trafalgar Square and went to the National Gallery. A lot of museums here are free, as was this one. We spent awhile looking at Rembrandt, da Vinci, and Raphael. It was delightful, partly because it had a/c, and we left with full brains. We found a place called Poppies where we ate fish and chips for lunch. It was delicious, although not ideal for my food poisoning position which has been a problem all day.

Harry Potter’s iconic Platform 9Ā¾

After lunch we took the train to Kings Cross Station, which if you have read Harry Potter, will know its an important stop. In the HP books, Platform 9Ā¾ is iconic so we stopped and saw it and went to the Harry Potter shop. Abe, Madison, and I all geeked out for awhile. The kids got coffee in the Station and we caught a train over to the mission house. Gary&Bonnie Barkman are the tract people and welcomed us into their darling flat for supper and night. They are so cool. I teach their grandson Lucas in Enderby so I have heard lots about them and finally get to meet them! We had a fun evening relaxing and chatting and singing. Mrs. Dot Unruh from Idaho has also been visiting them and after a little passport mixup, she ended up staying another night so we have been honored to get to know her also!

Some assorted notes: 1. London has been quite clean in comparison with San Francisco, for example. 2. There isn’t a/c anywhere here and they’re in a “heat wave”. 3. There are police everywhere. 4. London is full of green & trees.

life worthwhile.

I looked back at the messages Morgan and I had sent each other from our classrooms on May 26. They were about end of year gifts and field trips. We were on our way home from school early that day because we needed to go to the Enderby bank. That’s where we were when Jalen called us with the news Dad wasn’t breathing. We immediately drove up to Lance&Tasha’s with desperate prayers in our hearts. We had only been there for 15 minutes or so when we found out Dad was gone. Actually gone. Everything was a blur for awhile. The first thing Morgan and I did together is sat out on Lance’s deck. It was sunny with blue sky and puffy clouds. We couldn’t believe it. Our only Dad was gone. We had none left. Our children won’t have a Papa whenever we have Christmas or go visit family. For some reason, that is what really hit me. It still does. Dad Kevin was the Dad I had to replace my own. He was all I had left. And now Morgan had to go through the same darkness. I could hardly bear it. Soon so many of our dear people were at Lance’s with us, just helping with anything they could. Before we left that evening we had tickets, covid test appointments, substitute teachers, banana bread, and so much love. We flew into San Francisco the next day, which was supposed to have been Morgan’s field trip day. Levi picked us up and it all became more real to us. Due to different situations with the funeral home, the funeral wasn’t held until Monday, June 6th. Mom and Madison both came out which was so amazing. Morgan and I listened to memories and hugged lots of people over the course of 10 days.

Thursday after the funeral Morgan and I flew back to Enderby so we could be back in our classrooms for the 1/2 day on Friday. The program was Friday evening and we sang with our dear kiddos and hugged more people and ate popcorn. Morgan graduated his first ever Grade 9s and I was so proud. Saturday was PlayDay. Morgan’s class won the softball game vs. the Dads for the first time in 8 years. They said they were going to win it for Mr. Bronson and his Dad. Tears. We were so happy we had decided to go back for the weekend. It was an extreme high after 10 days of extreme lows. I told Morgan when we were in the Tim Horton’s drive through that if we got the wrong drinks, I felt like I would just weep because I couldn’t deal with anything anymore. haha. We went to Marshall&Janelle for coffee and talks Saturday evening. Sunday morning Lance&Tasha made crepes for breaky and we sat outside on the deck. A full circle. It was nice to make a good memory there again. We had lunch at Uncle Orlans with Kendall&Nicole and Rosemary before we left. A happy time out in the sun on the deck. Then we drove until we got to Othello Sunday evening where we had nachos and night at Tony&Tara.

Now we are in California. Today we fly to Skyler&Ann’s wedding in Durham. I get to be with my dear family and see some lovely people get married. Morgan and I even get to serve Bride’s Table. Wow. It’s like we’re young things in the youth again. We wedding the weekend away, and get to spend Monday with my family yet before we all leave. Tuesday Morgan, Madison, and I fly back to San Francisco. We don’t even leave the airport before it’s time to fly across the water to London. Yes. We are still going to wedding and Europe. It seemed dumb to cancel with Madison and Abe and Levi all riding on our shirt tails with us. Plus we think it will be good to be doing something we love with people we love. I plan to blog, hopefully every day, while we are in Europe. Last night we made more in depth plans with Levi and Abe while we ate pretzels and cheese Kandis had made.

Thank you so much. Each of you who reached out to me/Morgan during these times. We just had literally hundreds of messages and read through them all together while we drove. You all mean so much to us.

teacher appreciation week

i am a teacher. doors slam. feet cross the front door mud grates. voices. discussions of lunch food, hockey teams, and singing make up the din of pre-bell clamor. gloves grabbed from lockers, hasty good mornings to Ms. Bronson, and a handful of flowers end up on my desk while i get a brief five-minute reprieve until the bell beeps. we sing. do verse search. read devotion books. then math. problems and problems. yes you will have to know this. no you may not skip the story problems. bathrooms aren’t for use before school, they’re during math class. numbers flee brains. sympathy and consolation because a cat had kittens and two died and it was their best cat. shoulder squeezes. back to speed drills. pencils get chewed until recess. injuries one and two of the day will maybe happen at first recess. the gravel isn’t good for soccer. the ball gloves don’t always catch accurately. skinned knees are my specialty. i pick out sand and gravel and anoint with salves and creams. we discuss band-aid sizes. then its into class and i listen to reading and teach how to know if it’s “then” or “than”. jiggling knees signal lunch and recess are overdue. at lunch i get to see first hand what some students bring. i am the “warmer-upper” for the forgotten hot tray lunches. a cold corn dog usually comes to me on a thin styrofoam plate. sometimes pizza still in tinfoil. sit by someone you haven’t sat by yet this week, i say. don’t talk with food in your mouth. yes, this is the third day this week Mr. Bronson and i are eating meatloaf for lunch. recess two brings another injury, usually. fists in the air for home-run cheers. gloves thrown to the grass for less wind resistance in runs after missed grounders. blue sky and kids cheering. i promise ice cream if they hit a magpie with a pop fly. dust billows from slides into home. story hour. blessed quietness. some giggles because the goat butted someone in the story. then more language. diagrams and adverbs and transition words. spelling words aloud and then used in sentences. the library is frequented. the pencil sharpener is busy grinding. chairs squeak. sighs as fresh spring air comes in the smudged window. last recess where there probably won’t be an injury. an argument rather. it’s been a long day and tempers rise. we have an office chat. we all want to be friends deep down so we have to give and take. hugs. more soccer. ms. bronson when i am grown up i want to live in the wild so i can hear God better. okay please watch the ball and yes you could probably hear Him more clearly there. then science and insects. head, thorax, abdomen. the pines sway outside my window. no bear is nesting in them, sadly. forgotten news needs to be shared. right now. in science class. their dirt bike is fixed and they got to ride it last night. would i like to watch them ride sometime. yes after you get back to wasp nests and katydids. jobs last. desks are straightened and water bottles drained. boards erased. trash bags emptied. reminders of tests tomorrow and missing books and hot lunch. hugs or handshakes as they leave for the day. i am a teacher.

We have felt very appreciated this Teacher Appreciation Week and I got inspired to write this. We have been spoiled with a grocery gift card, flowers, a mug, coffee and donuts, and lunches from Teresa and Sarah Jane. Its been so fun. We’ve been going through a dry spell:)

Wichita tacos.

As for life, we spent Easter break in Montezuma which is where everyone chooses to go on school holidays right? ha. We picked up Madison in Wichita and drove to Southwest KS where we attended the wedding of Harry&Cheyenne at Homeland, and spent some time with Grandma Jul and Bruce&Sidra’s family. And I just loved spending time with Madiā™” Sunday afternoon we went over to Shelby&Heidi’s new place and got the tour. It is lovely and I want their fireplace. And you guys, we found the best taco place called Taqueria El Fogon while we were hanging out in Wichita waiting to fly out. We hadn’t had tacos like them since we left California last July and they were gooood. The place is nothing for looks and their sign is written in peeling, black electrical tape but please go there. It was quite a short Easter trip but we are very glad we could go!

spring in BC

Now we are in May. Like it is almost the end of school and Morgan and I don’t know where the year has gone. The weather is springy and bears are coming out of hiding. Morgan and I went driving Sunday afternoon after lunch at Boston Pizza. Bighorn sheep were out in abundance and eagles in their nests. It was nice to have some relaxing time away. We had a busy weekend with the Youth Singspiration that was held here in Enderby over the weekend, and we weren’t even that involved. We got to help serve brunch Saturday morning with some other couples which was fun, and we stayed a couple hours longer so Morgan could play ball and I could talk to Mitchell and Chad. I love old friends. It was fun to catch up with people, some I hadn’t seen for a lonnng time. Even a couple girls I taught Bible School with in Warman, Saskatchewan, years ago. This week we are doing CTBS tests at school so I have had some free time. I’ve been working on things for next year because our summer is quite busy. We are starting to work on finding program ideas here at school as well. Our program is June 10 so we are still a month out unlike you States people! Next week we are taking the bus in for her checkup so she’s road ready by June 10. We are planning on leaving straight from our Play Day and heading towards California!

So life is continuing here and wherever you are too. People are living through great things and terrible things and yet God is still with us and we still have time to love people. Thank you for being in my life. xo cheyenne linn

spring break.

Horse Trailer Tacos in Vancouver

We had spring break the 18th-25th of March and decided to drive down to Vancouver. We spent a couple days there, wandering the sidewalks and looking out coffee shop windows spattered with raindrops at the blur of cars and people. I liked Vancouver in the rain. It made me want to sit in a coffee shop nook and read while I sipped an ever-hot, refilling latte. We found a taco place in a horse trailer which was really cute. One afternoon we went to the Museum of Art which I wasn’t particularly impressed with but it was interesting I guess. I’m super excited about going back to the Louvre in Paris. Also did I mention we are going to Europe this summer? I can’t remember. More on that later. It was nice to be back where seagulls and boats and the ocean existed in smells and sounds around us. I love our mountains and the bald eagles constantly on cruise in the thermals by our bus, but there is something about the ocean that hits differently. We got the idea to look up Savarios since they’re doing tract work in the city and ended up meeting them and Lyle&Agatha(visiting from Manitoba) for supper. Then we went back to their place and spent a fun evening discussing everything we could think of. We drove home Thursday on the Sea to Sky Highway through Whistler. All in all, a relaxing spring break.

Friday evening we had a school fundraiser, the Route 97 Diner. Our kids all dressed in the cutest polka dot, black, red, and white outfits. The boys wore white and red paper hats and the girls had black and white checked aprons some of the oldest class girls had made. Our tables had red and white checked tablecloths on them with assorted Coca-Cola decor scattered around. The oldest class had made striped awnings for the food and drink areas, and red plastic baskets of cheeseburger, chips,potato salad or coleslaw, and a pickle were served by the students. For dessert we had ice cream sundaes. It was such a fun evening. Lots of people dressed up to attend and it was really cool seeing what everyone came up with from the 1950’s! The money donated is going to work on our softball diamond and playground.

We have been happy to get a little company the last month. Morgans parents came in March and spent Thursday-Tuesday here. We had some invitations to Randys, Trevors, and Lances if I remember rightšŸ¤” Casper&Janalee came from Carrot River over last weekend and spent it around here. We went for coffee Saturday morning and had supper with them at Uncle Orlans Saturday evening along with Rosemary, and Titus&Vicki and co. It was great fun to catch up with Janalee again from my Hesston days.

We gave our answers back to Enderby and I’m happy to say we are both going to be teaching there again with our dears Rosemary and Natalie. We are so happy. Morgan will have Grades 8&9 and I will have 3,4&5 which means I get to keep all of my super cool kids:) School is just cruising along. Colds have came through and Morgan and I finally caught them after holding them off since October. Pretty good I guess. We have Easter break next week so we are flying out to Kansas and meeting Madison to visit Grandma Jul and for Harry&Cheyenne’s wedding in western. The end of the month we are in charge of a brunch for a singspiration the youth are having here so that will be busy too.

The weather is warming up and it’s getting all beautifully green and the students just want to be outside all the time and I’m right there with them. Morgan has the shower finished at the bus and we hung a clothesline up so we are getting settled in it seems. The nights are quite cool and the steam from the shower rises into the night sky and I listen to the coyotes howling on our hill and Morgan laughing at something in the bus and I’m pretty happy. Last night the northern lights were flickering a little and it was lovely.

time flies.

Muddy freezing dripping British Columbia. The weathers been moody. Like we don’t need coats anymore, but now we need coats and toques and gloves because it’s so cold again.. Our snow pile at school is slowly getting smaller, although there is still quite a lot. We have had the most glorious sunshine days and the sunsets are getting downright ridiculous with their beauty.

January went by so quickly. You don’t even know what we did at Christmas because it’s been so long since I’ve written. To sum it up, we drove down to Mackay, ID, where my sister Madison teaches and met my family there. We had such a happy time together with Mark&Rhoda and Uncle Mike’s. We brought Mom back with us and she has been staying here with us ever since! Our school started January 10, a week late because of government restrictions but it worked out well for us because we got to spend the week with Mom. Our aide broke her leg right before school restarted so Mom got to fill in for her at school most of the month and that was so fun having her around helping out. She helped my class and I with art on Fridays, and made a Navajo taco lunch for my class on the Navajo Day we had one day. We have gone thrifting and shopping a few times and had Or at least it feels like it anyway. We have also been invited out a lot. I’m happy Mom got to be with our friends and was actually able to get to know them more than just seeing them once on a Sunday morning. We took mom to the airport in Kelowna on the 14th so Morgan and I took the afternoon off. I just do not like being apart from my family, and I guess we didn’t get Mom persuaded to stay here with us:) I will probably be very sad for awhile so my email is if you want to supply me with Starbucks treats to make me feel better. haha.

In an effort to stave off lonesomeness since its February and Mom isn’t around, we are working in the bus every evening so we can move back into it in a week or two. I am doing a deep clean before we move in, wiping out the drawers and washing the dishes and that kind of thing. After living in it for a year and road tripping and then sitting for winter, it needs some TLC. We had a little leak on one wall this winter so we may need to do some touch-up painting as well. We are so excited to start bus life again! Uncle Orlins came back a couple days ago, and the guys are going to work on getting gravel to our bus spot so we can move it down by the shop.

all the coffee shops. and avocado toasts.

We went to Pincher Monday and Tuesday for in-service so that was a fun getaway. We drove through Cherryville where we have a baby congregation, then got to take the ferry across Upper Arrow Lake, into Nakusp and down into Nelson where we spent night. We found good Mexican food and coffee shops and it was lovely. We spent a night at Scott&Mary and the other night at Justin&Lindsey’s. Got to spend a supper with Sheldon&Loralie and another with Jerry&Wendy and Craigs. Kelly&Jo brought hot lunch for us at school so we feel we got caught up with a few people at least. So fun to see my old students all grown up sort of and in Scott’s class now.

This morning Morgan took me out to House of Armstrong for coffee which was delicious. I watched some eagles for awhile outside in the sunshine so I guess I’ve turned into an old lady bird watcher. No regrets. There are a lot of bald eagles around here and they are just beautiful. We also saw a couple coyotes this morning which caused an argument because they are so pretty and should not be hunted but Morgan has been influenced by Landon and Clark (some of his students) and has actually gone coyote hunting with them so that doesn’t make me angry, just very disappointed. Haha. Anyways Morgan went with friends this afternoon and I am in Vernon. I went to the library for awhile and got a coffee while I listened to my book. I am enjoying this little alone time. Also, I have some books I’m trying to finish reading, so stay tuned for a book suggestion list I’m working on. Have a lovely weekend friends.ā™”