Wednesday, September 08, 2010

We don't live here anymore

Hi Everybody! I should have informed you LONG ago that we have moved to a different blog in the name of consolidation! We have transferred all our old posts to a new sight - and have since posted lots more family and ministry related stuff. Please tag our new sight - we'd love to be part of of the blog network again!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A word from Tov

This little guy is such a hoot. What's not to love about this face?

Today I decided to confront Tov about a problem I noticed he had with dressing himself, something I believed every four year old should by now have figured out. No matter how many times I reminded him, he failed to put his underwear on the right direction. I should have known that he would have a perfectly good explanation for putting them on backwards time and time again. When he was dressing himself this morning, I discreetly pointed out that he needed to turn his Lightning McQueen undies around...they were again on backwards. He was very indignant with his reply, "But Mommy...then I can't see the pictures!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Favorite Faces

Helicopters and Tribal Evangelism

Our family is so honored to be chosen for this task. This helicopter training is not something we pursued at all and there have been many times that Zach and I have looked at each other and said, "how did this happen?" This wasn't in our original plan but it must be in God's because he has swung the door wide open on this one and made it effortless for us to walk through.

Having a helicopter, complete with pilot, will be such a blessing to the tribal evangelism effort.
There are locations in the Philippines that are extremely difficult to reach, and having a helicopter available will save enormous amounts of time and make it possible for missionaries to live in these remote locations, with their families, and still have a link to the outside world.

We are so excited to be a part of this new plan for the Philippines. Zach is doing really well with the training and enjoying every moment. He took his solo flight a few weeks ago and has completed all his solo night flight hours. His check ride is scheduled for April 14th.

We are all so proud of him!

Back together again

Being separated from Zach stunk. I thought I would enjoy the pining and the waiting by the phone and the mushy emails, but things aren't right when he's gone. I'm not right. Which really makes sense when you think about it. We are one so when we are separated we should feel incomplete, which is exactly how I felt. I know there will be many times in our future when we will have to be apart, and even though it is not something I plan to get used to, I know God will give us the grace to deal with it. The mushy emails will help.

So now we are back in Arizona and it didn't take Zach long to pile us into the borrowed truck (thanks Talbots!) and take us on one of his explores. It was a wonderful day to enjoy being together. We ended up on top of Montezuma's Pass with beautiful views of the Cochise Valley bellow. To top things off, Zach took us all out to eat which is something we haven't been able to enjoy as a family in...well...since we've had kids! Zach and I realized that the moment we'd been waiting for finally arrived. The kids were a delight. They sat, they waited, we chatted, we ordered, they colored quietly, we didn't have to cut up anyone's food in little tiny bits, we didn't have to take multiple trips to the bathroom and we didn't have to make any threats! It felt like a dream.
Miah took this picture of us. Not bad, huh?

Monday, March 16, 2009

What is it about the beach?

I am convinced that heaven will have many beach like qualities. Every time I am there I get this very strange feeling...that I'm at home, that I'm alive, that life is's unexplainable. I feel like a cover girl when I'm on the beach...easy, breezy, beautiful, even if in actuality, I'm a gritty, windblown mess, I can't help but feel beautiful when I'm on the beach. We went to a couple of beaches on the California coast and the weather wasn't particularly nice. The sky was overcast, at times it drizzled and the wind was brisk...but that didn't change anything for me. I know that having the kids with me really adds to the experience. There is nothing like a frolicking child, frantic with excitement to give you a good dose of healthy perspective.

There is much more to this story. The reason I found myself on a beach in California is because the kids and I traveled to Palm Springs to see my Aunt and my Grandma to spend some time with them before traveling to McNeal, Arizona to reunite with Zach. What ended up happening, was my sweet sister Emily AND my sweet sister Katy (who is currently living in Italy) were both able to not only join the kids and I in Palm Springs, but they were able to book tickets on the very same flight, AK to CA. Their seats were right next to ours! My sweet baby sister Susie had responsibilities she could not get out of (We missed you so much Susie!)
The week we had together was such a gift from the Father. While we were there together I realized that I have never really spent quality time with my sisters since we have all become adults. The time we spend together is usually in a mass of people and chaos as is the norm for Miller family gatherings. It was extra special because Emily is about to become a mommy in April and Katy is right behind her, Due in July. With Katy returning to Italy and our family moving to the Philippines within the year, it may not happen again for some time. God arranged a special rondevous just for us. A few days after Emily left to return to Ak, Katy and I borrowed Grandma's car and drove to the coast. Our only purpose was to find a beach and spend the day on it. It was such a blessed day.

(I would have pictures of us sisters together, but I am waiting for them to be sent...hint hint :)

Fixing up the cabin

Almost as soon as Zach rolled in with the truck and trailer and all our stuff, he started "doing his thing," getting the little cabin on Grouse Ridge livable for his family. Matt and Sam lived in and worked on it all winter. They did electrical, plumbing and even sheeted it. Even though there was still lots to do before this family of five could move in, they finished some of the most miserable jobs for us. Zach enjoyed being able to use his construction expertise again although it seems he is always under huge time crunches. Thankfully he does great work under pressure! Poor guy. The backhoe not only sped many otherwise tedious, time consuming jobs, but also became a stress reliever for Zach. He loves operating equipment of all kinds, not just airplanes. We cleared a bunch of trees to open up our view and began stacking up fuel to burn in the wood stove come winter. I love hauling and burning brush so that became one of my favorite summertime pastimes, easily done rain or shine!

I "hired "some strapping lads to haul and stack firewood for us. Isaac, Josiah, Ryley and Vince were so enthusiastic about this challange and developing their muscles, it didn't take them lone to construct this very fine pile. They were rewarded for a job well done with bonfire roasted hotdogs and unlimited supply of smores. What more could a boy want!

Fixing up the cabin was a project the whole family was involved in. Helpful or not, we all did our part.

Heeeerrre Moosey, Moosey, Moosey!

I had the wonderful opportunity to go hunting with my honey this past fall. We have been married 10 years and many moose hunts have come and gone but this was my very first. It was unbelievable! Zach's brother Matt flew me out in his super cub and dropped me off on a sandbar next to where Zach had already set up camp. He had been out in the wilderness for several days and needed some he sent for me. We spent the night next to the river, surrounded by giant mountains that looked even more intimidating as the sun set. I remember looking around feeling very small and insignificant. It was hard to sleep...I was way too aware of every sound and I kept hearing strange bumps that I couldn't identify. Finally, I had to wake my dead asleep husband and he told me that the sounds were rocks rolling and bumping together as they were pushed by the river current. Even with this new information I couldn't sleep. He woke up early and we started off. I get giddy just thinking about it. You know that feeling you get when you are silently hiding behind a door, ready and waiting to pounce on the next person to walk by...I had that feeling all day long. It was so fun. We climbed around the mountainside all day. We would stop...listen...pick blueberries...stare at the magnificence that surrounded us...and sometimes drift off. It was sunny and warm and the smell of the air was heavenly. Alaska foliage in the fall is by far one of the best smells and there are so many memories wrapped up in the scent for me. Now there is one more. we are moose hunting, and this is serious business, no fun and games. I'm sure if Zach was able to write his own interpretation he would write more about tracking and strategy, and the difficulty of the hunt. It was hard work but I think we would both agree that there wasn't a person alive we would rather be spending this marvelous day with. We never got our guy. There was evidence all around and we came very close. We spotted two cows and a bull just beyond some trees, but when Zach "glassed" him (I feel so silly using hunting slang) he decided that it was just too hard to tell if he was legal and he didn't want to take the risk. Right after he turned to me and said, "I bet there is a big one around here...but he must be right out of view. They tend to group together..." we heard a two grunt warning call and this monster of a moose stood up and took off like a shot. We tried to find him but never did. Even though we didn't get the prize, I am so glad I was able to experience the exhilaration of the hunt and be enlightened to one of my husbands greatest joys.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vote YES for WES!!

It was so great to be around this summer to show our support for one of the best guys around. We are so proud of Dad/ Bumpa and his efforts to make our community and country a better place. Sometimes it feels like there aren't very many men like him left in this world, people with integrity that will stand up for what is right and good, no matter what the cost. I am so thankful for his example in my children's lives and in my own life.

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's so good to be home

Even though this past summer wasn't one to brag about, with rainy, cold days far outnumbering days of warmth and sunshine, we made the most of the sunny days we had. There is nothing like being away to help you remember how much you love home and all the reasons why. Alaska summer just can't be beat. I missed the mountains, the fresh smell of the air, the familiar greenery and wildlife...even the bugs! Alaska bugs are so friendly compared to Arizona bugs. I won't go as far as to say that I like them but they do rate much higher on the list and their squishability is far superior.

This is a picture of the kids getting a close look at a very friendly bug on one of our Hatcher Pass excursions. Someone had the foresight to bring a magnifying glass...probably Miah.

Grandpa Miller is so inspiring and the best guy to teach my little complacent one the joys of training wheel free bike riding. She enjoyed the lesson, but still doesn't feel the need to take off on her own.

I think this may be the only time the kids licked popsicles in their tank tops all summer. I'm glad I have this picture...some proof that we had at least one sunny day.
Here's to next summer! Hoping for the best...
but again, we'll make the most of what we get.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Halibut Cove

Thank you Father, for the gift of this place.

Three adventurers head for home

I took the littlest two on a quick, 12 hour journey home by air. Zach, Vince and Miah took the scenic route from McNeal, Arizona, up through Nevada, Wyoming and Montana and then zigzagging across Canada, they finally made it Home to Wasilla, Alaska... two weeks later. It was quite a journey and Zach took some amazing pictures. They made some very memorable stops along the way like the Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, Old Faithful, Uncle Dave's Ranch in Cody Wyoming and they were able to see some dear friends, the Spears, at their home in Montana.

It was hard deciding which wildlife photos to post. Zach had so many amazing shots of all kinds of critters close up. Vince made a list of all the animals they spotted from the truck and I remember being amazed at the variety.

Zach was so happy to reconnect with his longtime friend Marc and spend some time with him & his family. Vince and Miah were so happy to get to get cleaned up and sleep in a real bed. Thanks Abby for taking care of my girl and braiding her hair!

I tried to prepare Zach as well as I could for the journey with stockpiles of snacks and easy to prepare meals packed in the little camper fridge. I couldn't help worrying about them...fussing with food it not one of Zach's I imagined they would survive on convenience foods and the occasional drive threw. I love this picture because it proves that my man is capable and that he did fix a meal every now and then but in a very unconventional way. This is what memories are made of.