Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Trip West: Part 5

Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork."

If you missed the first parts of our trip, here are some quick links to help you find your way: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

After leaving Copper Island on Friday morning at 7am, we took the boat ride back to Vancouver Island (2.5 hours), drove 1.5 hours to the ferry, took a 2+ hour ferry ride, and then drove 6+ hours to Wayne's parents house (14.5 hour day!!!). It was a LONG day!! I think we pulled into their house around 9:30pm and fell into bed (after starting laundry). On Saturday, after spending the first half of the day with Wayne's family, we drove to Medford, OR. 

****I forgot to post these few pictures from our first time in WA (from Wayne's phone). Above is a picture of us going on a bike ride. It's nice to have family around to watch your kids.****

I thought this sign was hilarious (the second to last rule). We were in Oregon, so maybe it's a problem in that state. I don't normally worry about nudity when I take the kids to a park.

Wayne, Joella, and I were able to sneak a quick trip for blueberries. We snaked on these when we drove north to Canada.

Early Sunday morning, we loaded the car up again. We headed from Oregon into California  through the redwood trees and along the coast. Seeing the redwood trees and the ocean made me homesick for California. I miss being able to take a quick drive to the coast and the redwood trees!!

The girls had a blast talking to Paul Bunyan. The had a man inside talking to people. The girls told him that he was just a man with a microphone inside. He said that he looked everywhere and didn't see anyone. Grace told him, "How can you look anywhere? You are just a statue?" He said, "I'm not a statue, I can turn my head." Grace didn't believe him and he said, "Look up!" The statue was able to move his head and it freaked Grace out. They asked him why Babe couldn't turn his head and he replied, "Because he IS a statue!" Memories...the little ones talk about Paul Bunyan all the time now. They want to return to this spot.

We paid money and drove through a tree. It was pretty amazing!

It's hard to capture the massive size of these trees in the pictures. Below is an illustration of how wide this one tree was...and it was a smaller tree!

The craziest thing happened when we stopped for lunch in Eureka. We walked into Wendy's and I heard my name being called. I looked over and it was my cousin! She just happened to be in town visiting her in-laws. How crazy is that?? It was exciting to see some more family. We really need to plan another family reunion!

Monday we spent the day in Santa Rosa (the town where Wayne grew up, where we met, and where we got married). There are so many memories when you visit back home and see old, familiar places. Some of our favorite things to do when we return home is: visit Yogurt Farms, walk around Spring Lake/Howarth Park, visit Cattlemen's, and visit friends. Because we were in town on a holiday, it made it difficult to see many friends. Hopefully next time we can meet up with people.

After our walk around the park, we took the kids to the playground where we met up with Wayne's sister and her kids. After the long walk and playing on a playground for a few hours, the kids slept like babies.

I was very excited that I got to meet up with my friend Cecile. Her daughter Rachael was one of the girls we loved to have over when we helped out with the youth group.Cecile was also on the mission trip to Mexico when Wayne and I grew closer.

On Tuesday morning, we got up early and headed to San Francisco. I really wanted to see a few things before our flight that afternoon. We drove down Lombard Street, visited the Palace of Fine Arts, walked along Fisherman's Wharf, and rode a cable car. 

Our favorite bread...sourdough. God has been so good to us. We are able to find this bread at our local Costco. Over the past 15 years living in Chicago, it is nice to have a piece of home available to us.

We are finishing the final little tasks to get ready for Piano Man on Monday!! I hope you enjoyed all these pictures from our amazing month out West. I'll be posting some more pictures Monday morning from our past week so that Tuesday I can post pictures from the airport with our host child. We are so excited to have him with us for a month!! Please pray with us that the adjustments (jet lag, different food, etc) go smoothly and that God uses this month not only in Piano Man's life, but in our lives as well. 

**Please don't mention the word "adoption" around him since it may cause confusion. He is here for a "summer camp experience" with an American family. **

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