Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Newsletter

From Laura, 14 … I have had some new opportunities recently for my piano-playing.  The most “major” thing I’ve done is to play hymns during our Communion at church.  I have learned a lot from this, but my greatest aspiration would be to play during a wedding.  Who knows what occasions may arise!  Last week I wrote a persuasive essay for English, with its subject being why it is beneficial to play the piano.  I suppose that demonstrates some of what I’ve been thinking about lately!

From Becca, 17 … The four of us kept house for almost two weeks last month while our parents were gone.  We did things like drive to church with the windows open and get our hair all messed up.  We didn’t always have our meals on time and we were really slaphappy sometimes.  John and Megan and the Wades each had us over for dinner, which helped to break up the time and keep us from being lonely.  We had fun, but were really glad when they came home again.     

From Seth, 20 … I'm studying for midterms and reading Isaiah.  Studying for midterms is crazy and time-consuming, but the subjects are interesting.  The end of Isaiah is a great picture of our God who forgives and restores sinners.
 
From Anna, 23 … I've been thinking recently about the great privilege that it is to know God.  As Jeremiah 9 says, "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord..."  Riches, wisdom, and strength are all temporal things that we will someday lose.  None of them can gain us favor with God, and none of them can help us to avoid His judgment.  They cannot compare with the eternal privilege of knowing God-- a knowledge that can only come about in so far as God graciously grants it to us.

From John, Megan,James, and Ezra (due Nov.) … (by Megan) We like to keep life interesting and definitely succeeded in August!
 
To keep a long story short, John had appendicitis.  We first thought it was a bug of some sort similar to what James and I had a few weeks prior.  We went to our family doctor, who encouraged us to go in to the ER.  That afternoon he had his partially ruptured appendix taken out.  We praise God we caught it before any infection set in.  John was in the hospital for 24 hours and was able to finish recovering at home.  He couldn't lift anything heavier than 10lbs. for four weeks!  We praise God that he is fully recovered and back to normal daily life again.

The pregnancy is going well, and we are all eager to have Ezra Michael Pedersen in our arms!  Only a month and a half left to go until the due date!
 
From Ray, Katie, Peter, Samuel, and Andrew (by Katie) We went on a little family vacation to Galveston in September, which we all really enjoyed.  The boys loved the beach, although Samuel preferred to just play in the sand.  Andrew was particularly delighted.  He loved the sand, the water, the mud, the waves, the wind, the seaweed, his hat, the toys...everything.  He toddled around grinning and exclaiming all afternoon.  We also spent time at the hotel pool, and went to the train museum, the Rainforest Cafe, and on a ferry ride.  We were wiped out when we got home, but it was a fun time together.

From Gerald and Judith … Since the last newsletter, we two have been on an Alaskan cruise!  Over a year ago we initiated the trip with Gerald’s mom because we knew how much she would love to do a trip with us and Gerald’s sister and her husband, plus we wanted to see Alaska.  Gerald’s sister and her husband got “on board” with the plan, and excitement was building over the months as we fine-tuned our itinerary.  Then, very sadly, Gerald’s mom died in May.  We all chose to go on with the trip, but her absence from the planning and the trip itself was certainly felt.

It truly was a wonderful experience!  Alaska is a wonderland of God’s amazing creation.  We saw grizzly bears, moose, caribou, red fox, dall sheep, eagles, sea lions, orcas, humpback whales, and salmon.  It was very exciting to see them all in the wild!  We saw glaciers, ice fields, icebergs, waterfalls, fjords, and snow-capped mountains.  We had the delight of seeing glacier calving.  There was one really large section that was particularly impressive when it broke off into the ocean.

We had the great fun of many different modes of transportation: airplane, bus, train, ship, catamaran, helicopter, covered wagon, and river paddleboat.  We enjoyed tasty food, a skilled classical music trio, a tour of the ship’s galley, and an ice-carving demonstration.  When we had time on our hands, we explored every part of the ship that wasn’t closed off to passengers.  One quaint little activity we enjoyed was 4:00 tea time when we were seated at large round tables with other passengers and tea and goodies were served.

For those of you who might be interested, our path was as follows:  We first flew to Fairbanks.  The next day we took a riverboat cruise.  Then we took a bus to Denali National Park where we rode on a covered wagon, toured the park by bus, traveled to Talkeetna, and had our flight around the Mt. McKinley area cancelled due to poor weather.  Next we rode a train to Whittier (near Anchorage) and got on the ship.  We viewed Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay.  In Skagway we visited a friend from 40 years ago, toured the town, flew in a helicopter, took a hike in the Tongass National Forest, and rode the White Pass & Yukon Railway back to town.  In Juneau we went whale watching, enjoyed a salmon bake, and visited Mendenhall Glacier.  In Ketchikan we visited Misty Fjords.  From there we had one more day at sea before arriving in Vancouver to catch our flight to Houston.
 
All in all, it was an unforgettable trip!  We don’t expect to ever be in Alaska again, so we tried to soak in as much as we could.  We’ll put some of our photos on the blog, but they don’t really do justice to what we saw.
 
With love from the Pedersen clan

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