Spring break is OVER. Spring break is OVER. I'm just going to repeat it a few times so that I believe it. I think I'm still mentally taking a break from stuff (like decent bedtimes, regular housework, and blogging). Now, I'm back though with LOTS to catch everyone up on.
For spring break this year, James and I decided to escape the regular routines and familiar sights of our life and escape to someplace far away to gain a rejuvenating and fresh perspective on things. So, we packed up our car, dropped off Titus with his uncles and grandparents, and drove to Fairbanks. Okay, okay. So maybe we didn't have the money or time (nor wanted to brave the airports) to really go somewhere more exotic, but from how much God blessed our few days 358 miles further north of Anchorage, we know it was just what he wanted for us.
Friday, March 7th, with a cooler packed with croissants, chicken salad (the best I've made thus far), pears, Amish cheese, summer sausage, water crackers, Pepperidge Farm mint cookies, and Henry Weinhart’s root beer, we set off on our journey. I love road trips. Maybe it's getting James all to myself, maybe it's listening to music or books on tape while watching the ever changing view, maybe it's the comfort of curling up with a pillow and blanket while the moving car puts me to sleep, or maybe it's the deep heart-to-heart conversations that come out of rolling for hours down the road with no end in sight (very soon anyway), but they are becoming one of my favorite modes of long distance transportation. In fact, I hardly need a destination, but thankfully we did have one, and a little after 10 'o clock we pulled into Fairbanks.
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Alright, I won’t give you the hour-by-hour itinerary. Sufficed to say, we had a lovely weekend in Fairbanks. The Mitchells (A homesteading family of 9) gave us a place to stay, several delicious meals, lots of good advice, plenty of hugs and good conversation, and an offer of a home in Fairbanks should God send us there. The Boswells (a home schooling preacher’s family of 8) left beautiful gifts in our cabin (roses, chocolates, and sparkling cider), invited us into their gorgeous home, made us feel welcome and encouraged, and offered to let us stay in an apartment in their beautiful basement apartment should God send us to Fairbanks! We got hugs and “Welcome Homes” from the Tolls, a sweet card in the mail and a classy picture from Willhelm Austen, warm winter clothing on loan from the McEwens, an invitation to a family birthday party with invigorating, uplifting conversation on our Christian walk with the Young’s (Happy Birthday, Angela!), not nearly enough time with the Sarauers, countless invitations to come to the May 2-4 lectureship (sorry Stickels—we’re going to a graduation that weekend), and love and blessings overflowing.
We also got to keep our cabin warm using a wood stove, hold a 6 week old black pug puppy named Rosie (she nestled into my hair and fell asleep), go to the Fairbanks Ice Park (with a church group) to see amazing ice sculptures lit up with colored lights (we didn’t even freeze), have three adorable shadows in bonnets (named Phoebe, Grace, and Rachel), get involved in a snowball war (James did anyway. It drew real blood and broke a pair of glasses), watch Ben Mitchell do the Sunday night announcements without his glasses (*squint*, *wide eyes*, *squint*), play “name the country’s capital” with the Mitchell boys (we girls didn’t do so great with African countries), and drive home on Monday feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and thankful for the wonderful people that rallied around us to give us genuine love and appreciation. It truly felt like a “hug” from God.
The rest of Spring break flew by. James worked and used his free time to catch up on his studies. Tuesday I went shopping on the military post with Mom (we got some good deals). I used most of the week to spring clean the kitchen and bathroom cupboards. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Isaac and Adam stayed with us while Dad and Mom took a few days to celebrate their 28th anniversary in Anchorage. Thursday they slept over on our living room floor in sleeping bags with Titus. It was a new experience to wake up to a little boy standing by the bed saying, “I’m hungry. Can you fix breakfast?” We had a fun three days together.
Now Spring break has been over for a week. The intensity and stress of the final five weeks of school is enormous for James. Thankfully, we’re in the home stretch now. Any prayers on our behalf would be appreciated though. I’ll keep you posted on the updates of our busy spring ahead of us!