Monday, June 11, 2012

June Newsletter

Editor’s note: Our three families took trips last month which included converging in Colorado for a reunion on Memorial Day weekend with Judith’s extended family in Glenwood Springs and for one evening with Gerald’s extended family in Fort Collins.  Katie’s family flew to see Ray’s side of the family in Washington and then to see Katie’s side of the family in Colorado.  John’s family drove just to Colorado with a few quick stops along the way.  Our family of six drove to San Diego, then to Colorado, and then home.

From Laura, 13 … We saw all of our cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents on both sides.  One part of the trip that I enjoyed was the reunion on Mama’s side.  It was at a lodge a few miles from Glenwood Springs, which is a little town in the Colorado mountains.  There was beautiful scenery -- right outside our condo we could see the beauty of the mountains.  We got to hike up the mountain, climbing 1700 feet!  Going up required many rests, and going down, to quote my cousin, involved “having your toes smashed into the front of your shoes for half an hour.”  It was a really neat climb though.  We also had very pleasant weather, which is hard to imagine when it’s in the nineties here!

From Becca, 15 … One of the things I enjoyed about our trip was seeing how the scenery changed as we drove across several states.  We drove through hilly areas, deserts, canyons, and mountains.  We saw many kinds of mountains, from the green and white Rockies, to the brown mountains in the desert.  We saw many kinds of vegetation, including pine and aspen forests in the mountains, palm trees and tropical plants in San Diego, and tumbleweed and cacti in the desert.

From Seth, 19 … Before we left on our trip, I worked for a week helping a surveying firm gather data for a topographic map.  I was hired by the firm as a rodman, who basically holds a prism pole or a giant ruler on certain points on the earth in order for the instrument man to take laser measurements or elevation readings of those points.  Those measurements are then used to produce a survey of the property.  The survey is usually used for definitional purposes in a real estate transaction or for informational purposes in construction.  Right now I am working for that surveying firm during the day and taking a six-week, surveying-calculations course at a community college during the evening.

From Anna, 22 … Something that I’ve noticed over the last few years in the course of our various travels is the way different cities each have their own unique feel in terms of layout and architecture.  Some cities have residential and commercial areas mixed together, while others have them almost completely separated.  Houston has a lot of open spaces between developed areas, but other cities we’ve been to, such as San Diego, are much more closely packed.  Certain architectural styles tend to predominate in certain areas, as well as certain kinds of plants, which also contribute to a unique feel.  It’s interesting to think about the variety of environmental, historical, and cultural forces that have shaped certain cities.

About John, Megan,and James … (by Judith) The trip to Colorado was the first long road trip for John’s family and they all did well.  The primary purpose was to visit friends and relatives, but they also did a little bit of sightseeing.  Upon their arrival home they celebrated their first year of marriage with some special times together.  They have settled well into their life together in the Lord and find their joy in him.  James is two and a half months old, is filling out nicely, and is becoming more and more engaging with his expressions.

From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and baby-on-the-way (by Katie) We traveled to Washington this past month to see Ray’s family, then went on to Colorado to see my extended family.  Other than getting sick part way through, and having bad experiences with our flights, it was a good trip.  We got to catch up with lots of relatives, and see beautiful parts of the country.  Peter got a bit confused with all the grandmas he encountered, I think!  One of the more memorable moments of our trip was going on a drive up into the mountains in Colorado and encountering a snowstorm.  It was fun to get to see snow falling, even if it did mean it was very cold and windy and the road was closed.  Another fun experience was celebrating Samuel’s first birthday with Ray’s family.  Samuel got most excited about the candle and the wrapping paper.  It’s hard to believe he’s a year old already!

From Judith … Having four people to drive sure makes a difference on a long road trip!  Seth’s driving isn’t scary very often anymore, so we can actually relax and do other things while he’s driving.  Some day when it’s just Gerald and me, we’ll probably be switching every hour (for me) or two (for Gerald) because that’s about how long we last before we get too sleepy.  Perhaps we’ll go back to having the non-driver read aloud an exciting novel to keep the driver awake, something we did routinely years ago.  At any rate, we’re grateful to God for his provision which enables us to visit our loved ones around the country.  We feel much more connected with physical visits then we do with just letters and phone calls.

From Gerald … We enjoyed spending time with so many different people on our vacation, but it also feels good to be home again after more than 4000 miles on the road.  One thing no one else has mentioned is that we were able to spend a few hours at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon on our way from California to Colorado.  It is much different from the South Rim even though the two rims are only ten miles apart as the crow flies.  The North Rim is about 1000 feet higher in elevation and is much more forested than I remember the South Rim.  We were able to do a little bit of hiking and really enjoyed the scenery. 

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