Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Home sweet home

This sign states "Easy come. Easy go."
That's the day we live in, and when we went flying through Chicago, it felt as if we were home.

After 30 hours of straight thru driving. We really are home!! My steadfast husband drove for 24 hours straight, then crashed for a couple hours on the back seat while his wife braved pulling Vinny down the highway.  So now it's back to the grind.

 I could post many pictures of the grungy things, but the produce is much prettier. This is what I'm doing. Like all week. On top of unpacking and repacking. We plan to camp with our Bethel church family this weekend, so Vinny will have to wait for her deep-clean.

Ahhh, but the memories we now have to cherish. We really did have a great time. We felt the protective hand of God many times. His glorious nature wonderful to behold. Two weeks flew by so fast. Thank you all for traveling with us! 

 Not sure if this blog will ever be posted on again. The young journalist kinda gave up on her writing, although she did such a good job!   Mom feels too busy to continue ~ need to start school soon:)
With love from the Hess'

Saturday, August 18, 2012


One last piece of vacation, before the many hours of driving needed to reach home.
Yellowstone National Park.
Arrived in the late afternoon on Friday, and thought we might just drive thru. But, that didn't happen, we ended up spending the night, and glad that we did.
I guess we'll make up the hours another day :)

West gate entrance

Hot springs

Beautiful scenery

Bubbling pools of water

 Enjoying some ice cream while waiting on Old Faithful.

Thar she blows!!

Setting up camp once more. We found some grilled burgers in the freezer that made a quick supper.

 Ian promptly sat down in the dirt and dumped fist-fulls on his head.
He was quite pleased to be able to explore again.

One dirty boy!

We took an evening stroll down by the lake

On the road early next morning. The sun hadn't quite came up yet. So peaceful.

Sunshine. Jesus, our Son shine.

Crist homestead

We pulled out of Zillah mid-morning on Thursday, glad to have a pit stop to look forward to.
Hearing we were in the area, Sally went to all kinds of effort to contact us, and we decided to add an extra stop. We're so glad we did.

Chad and Sally Crist family

Sally and I go way back. Back to pigtails and denim jumpers. Memories of sleepovers on the trampoline and sunburned faces. Thru the teenage years, learning how to be grown ups. Sally actually had a big positive impact on me during those rough early teen years. (although she probably doesn't know it.) I remember as though it was yesterday. Walking with her as she faithfully delivered newspapers in our hometown of Covington. She was a year older than I, and always had lots of wisdom. I shared some struggles I was having, (mostly self-centered ones) and she truly played a part in opening the eyes of the blind. She offered a fresh outlook, a view that included more than myself, and ultimately one step closer to serving Christ.

saved from another meal-out-of-the-cooler

They fixed a delicious meal for their houseful of company.  Grilled chicken, potato wedges, stir-fried zucchini and green beans. Toasted French-bread and the juiciest melon, topped off with a frozen sherbet/ angel food cake roll. Don and Jackie were in from Ohio, enjoying their yearly trip. Chads mother, Jane Crist was present. And Anthony Brubaker from Pasco had an unexpected layover in his line of work, so he ended up at Chads also.

Our children made some new friendships. Shiloh getting in some more girl time, a treasured treat. They spent much time on their trampoline. Something Sally and I used to do often. The girls kinda looked like mini us's. (is that a word?)

The evening flew by too quickly. When the evening air became chilly, we cozied up in the living room. Tiana played the guitar while all the girls sang a sweet song that had been composed just the night before. Quite impressive! such talent! Then the girls moved to the piano while chad took over the guitar. A musically gifted family indeed, sending up praise to our creator.

The children  moved back outside to catch the last rays of daylight, and then used the night darkness for a good game of beckon, beckon, I've got a beckon! We adults spent the evening fellowshipping, Don sharing with us his timeless stories. We found it hard to pull away to get some sleep. We planned to leave early, having many mile to travel, and once again found it hard to leave.
Thanks for your friendship! Blessings to you and yours ~

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We arrived at Harvey and Lorna's house late Sunday night. We roused the sleeping children long enough to transfer them to large, comfy beds. After sleeping in Vinny for a solid week, it felt grand to be able to stretch out! You could walk around your bed, and get in on any side you wanted! And a bathroom just steps away! What grandeur!

We really wanted to be able to sleep in, but our internal clocks always had us up between 6 and 6:30. What delight to see the cousins! The children quickly bonded, while Lorna fixed us a breakfast fit for kings. Scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, crispy waffles topped with fresh peaches and cold milk to chase it all down. So long campground meals. I conquered our small mountain of laundry, but otherwise lounged the day away. It felt so nice to not have any plans or deadlines.

 The children stayed cool in the pool, taking much needed naps  in the afternoon. Marcus went to work with Harvey for awhile,
 then caught a cat nap himself.      

Harvey lit up the grill for supper and we had another fine feast. Grilled chicken and a basket full of grilled veggies.
 Plus potato wedges done Mother Hess style.
( so Yummy! )

The children really played well together. Here Simeon and Madalyn are playing ball. They came up with many things to do, and our 3 days flew by quickly.

Tuesday found  Lorna and I  painting the bathroom. (Isn't that what you do with 9 children underfoot?) She'd  chosen a cheery yellow color, so we were "happy" to help :) The children spent another day in the pool,  as it was quite hot.We tried to work when our babies were sleeping. Our reward when we were finished was a dip in the pool ourselves.

We all enjoyed more fellowship that evening at U. Jake and A. Renie's home. They threw a pizza party for us, and it was quite delicious. We got a tour of their grand house, so we now have a  mental picture for when we think of them. Tiffany Oyler resides their also, and it was nice to see her too.

Beautiful old house. Lots of character.

yummy pizza!

Just missed the kiss, but I captured the smile:)

Wednesday found the men fly fishing, and the women shopping. The children were divided up between the two activities according to age. I was told later that Dallas almost got swept down river, it being deceptive to its swiftness. He was trying to get a fishing line untangled from a tree, in water over his head, when he got caught by the current, and he started downstream. Marcus tried to keep him calm and instruct him, while shucking necessities, should he have to go in after him. He (Dallas) was able to swim cross current to a large rock close to shore.
 Once more protected by the hand of God.

 We woman found a few bargains at a thrift shop, a fabric store, and a crafting place. Lorna ran into the grocery to get some supplies for our supper company. We enjoyed one more evening with friends from Washington. Lavern and Rachel Mason, and family. And Loren and Cindy Hess, and family,
 honored us with their presence.

Sharing around the table

Loren and Cindy Hess (Marcus 1st cousin)

Celebrated some birthdays with brownies and ice cream

my 12 year old

Lavern and Rachel Mason

Thursday morning found us once again packed up and ready to roll.
Harvey gave us a quick tour on our way out of town. First to his shop, where he runs a small trucking business. Then we swung thru Granger to see the little meeting house where they worship with fellow believers and reach out to the neighboring community.

Then came the time for goodbye hugs and kisses. Surely someone could come with us. Right?

Harvey, Lorna, Brooke, Bailey, Madalyn, and baby Teal Hess

We all made some more precious memories.
God be with you till we meet again.

The girls had fun posing for a picture with their new scarves.

I helped take Baileys 10 year birthday pictures. Here's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Short, sweet weekend

Farewell beautiful Rockies,
thanks for the memories.
You've pointed us to God
with your greatness.
We brought some expectations,
and some plans
You far exceeded them all.
We have a few blisters,
and some aching muscles, 
but gained new minds of appreciation,
and shared memories together,
that no one can take away.
You care for the sparrow, 
 you care more for us.
Thank you

Friday evening.
We arrived at Rod and Nanette Millers in time for supper.
Ate hot dogs and fresh melon,
topped off with a cool drink,
and received a warm welcome from smiling faces.
Ended with a singing in the upper room, 
of their barn.

Wish we could say it was early to bed,
it was surely early to rise.

 Saturday found us at a little school,
in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.
Heard the reading of Isaiah 53
Who hath believed the report? 
He grew up as a tender plant.
There was nothing about his appearance
that we would desire Him.
He was despised and rejected.
He knew all about sorrow and suffering.
He took up our infirmities and
carried our sorrows, 
Yet we considered him stricken of God!
He was wounded and pierced
for our transgressions.
We all like sheep have gone astray.
We have turned our own way.
 The Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
He was led like a lamp to the slaughter.
Yet he opened not his mouth.
He was assigned a grave with the wicked.
Yet, it pleased the Lord to bruise him.
He shall see the travail of his soul,
and be satisfied.
By his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many.
He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore will I give him a portion among the great.
Because he poured out his life unto death.
He bore our sins!
And is yet making intercessions for us with our Father!
Can we praise Him enough???

Enjoyed a weekend of fellowship and worship.
Enjoyed meeting new people.
Thankful our children could make some new friends too.
Glad to see some folks from home,
and get to know them all a little better.
All because of Jesus, we have an everlasting connection.

Thank you to Jeremy and Heidi Wray for a place to park our trusty camper.
For feeding us a warm breakfast and satisfying snacks.
For comfy lounge chairs to prop our feet up and kick back.
A place for Ian to finally be able to roam.
And the rest of the children to run off some energy.
For sweet fellowship, and renewed friendships.
We appreciate your sacrifices.
God Bless you. 

Shiloh says," I'll write, but not right now." She's too busy enjoying her cousins

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Highline Trail

Mom post ~

Our last day at Glacier ~ what do we want to experience this final day? Dallas votes for flyfishing, which we plan to do in the afternoon. The weather has been almost perfect. One hazy day, but mostly clear blue skies, and no rain to keep us from an adventure. So many options for trails to hike. In our research stage before we came, we were thinking a challenge sounded like the ticket. Off the beaten trail, something that would take most of a day to accomplish ~ But, my reasoning kicked in once we were actually here. Our shorter 2 mile hikes were more our speed. You start to factor all you need to carry, and WHO you will have to carry should you bite off more than you can chew.
   Our choice rested on a trail called highline ~ rightly earning its name because of its altitude. It is a part of the continental divide that separates the waterways. On one side the water flows toward the Pacific and the other to the Gulf of Mexico. Our itinerary was to hike along until we felt like turning around. Sounds like a real plan to me:) We packed our lunch and left it in our cooler in the van. We'd be back before too long. We loaded one backpack with some essentials. Like water and some snacks, one diaper and a couple wipes, a tripod, and of course the camera, which never actually made it in the bag. Marcus decided to carry Ian, stating that the ergo just didn't fit him quite right. Dallas manned the backpack, Shiloh had a water carrier on her back, and I was left to watch over our 5 and 8 year old. So here we go. 

Words are not enough, and the camera couldn't quite capture it either. The first part of the trail was breathtaking. Literally. Our rock wall path dropped off to hundreds of feet below. But, we were energized, our steps careful and measured. And we just kept walking. Each corner bringing us a new sight. Big horned sheep resting on the hillside, mountain goats on shear rock walls jumping from one ledge to another, nervous little marmots peering through the grasses, and chattering ground squirrels looking for a dropped crumb. 

we started out with smiles
Not to forget the mountains beyond. Snow capped peaks and meadows filled with wildflowers ~ and waterfalls cascading down and down and down. I literally could not look at times. I felt my gut would just come on up. I kept my eyes on my children and the trail ahead, warning constantly of that root, that rock, that loose gravel. Please hold my hand, and by all means keep away from that ledge

But the views were the most spectacular, awe-inspiring, creation of God that I have ever seen. We had been on the path a couple hours, when a park ranger passed us by. We inquired of him our location and he said we'd probably came about 3 mile already. WOW! At that point we knew we'd keep on walking. The map had stated it was 7.6 mile to point a. (the swiss chalet). I wasn't real excited about retracing some of our steps where the path hardly seemed wide enough for two people to pass, so pressing on seamed like a good plan.

We knew they had buses at the other end, waiting to shuttle people back to the parking lot where our van would be waiting for us. Lunch might be late, but we had our snacks, and hopefully enough water. So we pressed on ~ past waterfalls, through pine groves, and up steep switchbacks. After one especially steep climb I wondered at our sanity.

Psalm 104:18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and the rocks for the conies.
Then we started passing people who were headed the opposite way. I thought they must have started at the other end, but after asking some of them, they were simply turning around and retracing the steps to where we had all started. I thought they were crazy. Surely it was closer to just finish the course. We stopped now and then for water and a snack. Energy to keep us going. Ian messed his diaper, so we were thankful for the extra we had stuck in. Nap time was taken in his daddy's arms, and he had snacks and water with the rest of us. He also had his times when he wanted down, but he was hanging in there. A kind lady along the trail insisted we take her bandanna for his tender exposed head. We had put sunblock on him, but hadn't anticipated such a long hike. We thankfully tied it on him.

We stopped for lunch (ie, most of our snack) on an outcrop of rocks and rested our weary feet. The children were being real troopers, needing some encouragement now and then, but mostly holding there own. The afternoon sun was now glaring down on us, causing us to wear our sweatshirts tied around our waist, and we pressed on.

psalm 104:24 O lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou  made them all : the earth is full of thy riches.
Surely, over this next peek, we'd at least see our destination, but no, just more trail, so far into the distance, you couldn't even see where it went. It just kinda disappeared. I'm not sure at what point we learned the truth. Our destination, the swiss chalet, was merely a rest station. It was no ending point. No way out from there, except on your own two legs. Another four mile down the other side. Four steep mile. We really had no concept of how far we'd come, or how far we had yet to go. Our minds said, just keep going, the water was almost gone. We had one chunk of ice that kept slowly melting. The chalet would have water. And a rest room. I was picturing a cool stream for our feet, and water till you could drink no more.

I'm not sure when my discouragement came. Maybe when I learned it was going to be an extra 4 miles. and we hadn't even reached point a. yet. Or was it when Marcus and I got separated. Me lagging behind to encourage the little ones. He thought I was just behind him and he kept on trucking. His arms were aching from the weight of Ian, who was happier if you just kept on trucking. I ended up with a 40lb. boy on my back, trying to catch up with my man and my son ~ who happened to be our only source of water. Shiloh's pack had run out long ago. Or it could have been when we finally rounded one more mountain peak, and that swiss chalet was only a speck on the next mountain top, hardly visible with the human eye. So far, far away. What were our options? Just keep on putting one foot in front of the other. We need water, we could only wet our tongues when our ice chunk melted enough.

 Eventually we reach our destination. Folks are constantly commenting on their amazement to see us there. We're amazed too. ~ But more disappointment.....No free water. 3.50 for one little pint.
And it wasn't even cold, not that it really mattered at this point. Everyone was bushed. We didn't even take our shoes off. We had 4 more miles to go in the hot afternoon sun. So we rallied the troops. The last bus pick-up was at 7:00 ~ we really needed to make it in time. And we being a slow moving caravan. We poured our purchases over our little chunk of ice and headed out. A sip to wet your tongue every 45 minutes was our ration. We had some peanut brittle left in our pack, but it didn't even temp us, as it would have made us thirstier. So, down we go. Bear country. This side doesn't have the spectacular views we had seen earlier. We now understood why people had turned around so long ago. 

The forest around us had seen a fire in recent years and only offered us their charred trunks. Not many clicks of the shutter happened anymore. Four mile. Surely it's faster going down than coming up?! Dallas was the hero here. He steadfastly carried his heavy pack all day ~ plus he encouraged  his siblings, putting his arm around them and kept them going, still anticipating fly fishing when we reached the bottom. My husband was the miracle. Carried our just turned one year old. 20 some pounds mind you. He took 2-3 naps (Ian that is) and begged in his own way when you mentioned water. His cheeks were sunburned beneath his little makeshift hat. What a trooper.

Anyone we met ~ our question " how much longer?" It seemed that time had been deceptive all day. "Not much further", and "around the corner" were a looong ways. Plod, plod ~ encourage~ sometimes we even had to be firm. There simply was no choice. Our legs and knees burned with pain. Our toes jarring against the front of our shoes with each step. Shoulders stooped under the weight of our burden. Either physical or mental. The children simply would sit down in the middle of the path at times. I feel like crying. We all think were dying of thirst. The little two even talk about it. I assure them that we'll be fine. I tell them stories of wagon train days and we pretend we're one of them. We try to keep their minds busy, off their pain and thirst.
   And then, alas, ~ Dallas who was always leading the pack, spots the road. "RUN! Here comes a bus!" Oh the energy that burst forth. But, we have a river to cross, another switchback. But, we don't care. The end is in sight. Hopefully another bus will come soon. We just want to sit down.
Step, step, step, down to the road.

have you ever seen anything that looked so good?

 My children deserve medals. At this point I can't stop my tears. It's nearly 5:30.... 9 hours of solid walking. We clamber onto the next bus. It's a pretty quiet ride. Simeon falls promptly asleep. I try to keep my tears silent as I sob my relief. Thank you God. We made it. Everyone is fine. No        injuries besides sunburn, a couple bug bites and thirst. 
                          I guess we ended up with our challenge hike after all.
                                So much for an afternoon of fly fishing.
                                  The sleep of a laboring man is sweep.
                                      Thanks for continued prayers.
          We are looking forward to a weekend of fellowship and communion in Idaho.

 Dear Diary,                                                                                                         8/9/12
    Today we were going to hike a little portion of a six, almost seven mile trail. But, after we went a while, we decided to go a bit more, and more, and more, and ended up going the whole way to the chalet. Over and around hills after hill till we came to the end of our water supply, and we were still half a mile till our destination. What dry mouths we had. We managed to  get to the chalet without dying of thirst,( but barely.) I mean about Isaiah and Simeon. They were the most lag, the thirstiest who thought they would die. But we encouraged them to go on. When we got to the chalet, we thought there might be water, plenty of it. But only water bottles were to be found for a steep price. Then, after we fill up on water we talked to a ranger who said we have four miles down hill. That means 11.8 mile we will have hiked. We hike downhill for two and one half hours, to catch a shuttle back to our van, which was at Logan Pass. We were going to go fishing, but decide not to because of our nine hour hike. Most of us were exhausted, so we headed back to camp. We ate supper, took showers, and went to sleep.
                                                                     Until later,