Fun Fall Activities

Fun Fall Activities

This week, my mom and I went to Greenbluff, an area with lots of farms nearby, twice. The first time, we got pumpkins and squashes of many beautiful varieties. The second time, we went to pick fall raspberries. Here are some pictures from our fall adventures!

Mom got to do her favorite thing: pick berries. Look how happy she is!
We picked many berries to use in our cereal for months to come .
We saw a pumpkin shot out of this crazy cannon!
Ohh, I hope it wasn’t really mom in there after all!
We went through mom’s first hay maze (yes, fun for adults too, and no, I didn’t let her cheat).
Too much fun!
At this farm the goats have a cool habitat.
One of mom’s other favorite things in life: alpacas. They are pretty cute!
And on our way home, these turkeys were in the road. I think we saw at least 12. Thanksgiving, anyone?

We welcome visitors! Anyone tempted?? :-).

Anticipating America…

Summer camp this week was amazing, and for the first time I have a moment to post the promised blog about what I’m looking forward to about home. During this coming week I also plan to share some great summer camp pictures and hopefully a post about the things I’m sad to leave… things which are starting to invade my brain. Thankfully, over the last few weeks of being really really excited to go home I have noted some of the random things I am really looking forward to about my time in the States. I’ll make some notes about why as well:

I’m looking forward to… BAKING
As I have mentioned previously on here and as any of you who have met me know, I love baking. It is my favorite thing to do to relax and also a way I love to share with others. I haven’t had an oven here, and tools and ingredients have been hard to come by. Once, out of desperation, I steamed a cake on the stove. I can’t wait to get into a fully-stocked kitchen and to pump out some good old favorites! (Get hungry, Mom and Dad!)

I’m looking forward to… driving
Thanks to my amazingly generous friend Tamara, I have been able to drive some here. But I look forward to getting around on my own, not being sooo worried about using gas (maybe 4x more expensive here), and just the lovely roads we have in the States.

I’m looking forward to… seeing my clothes
I know, this is petty. But I do, I look forward to changing out my wardrobe, wearing more than plain long-sleeved shirts and less than attractive pants every day. The wardrobe I’ve had has worked great and suited its purpose… but it’ll be nice to have a little diversity!

I’m looking forward to… seeing some babies
I need to meet a few good friends’ new babies, and see a few who have probably doubled in size since Christmastime. I can’t wait to hold them!

I’m looking forward to… going to TNBS
TNBS stands for Tuesday Night Bible Study… as in the best Bible study I’ve ever been a part of and the group of people I consider my closest church home. I love being intimate enough to be called out on stuff, challenged to go deeper in my walk with Christ, trusted, prayed for, encouraged, and in turn doing the same for others. I know it’ll have changed but I can’t wait anyway!

I’m looking forward to… vacuuming???
Yeah, this one is really random. Although I am very impressed by the Arab cleaning style, I can’t keep up with all the sweeping and mopping. I constantly feel like my house is a mess. So yes, I look forward to vacuuming (or at least being able to)!

I’m looking forward to… Starbucks and Trader Joe’s
This is so embarrassingly American, but these are just a few places I enjoy enough that just going there changes my mood!

I’m looking forward to… Costco with Mom
Related, but I have so many memories from my childhood shopping with my mom and thinking of meals to prepare and parties to plan. Maybe my favorite part was when she’d let me get a huge ice cream for $1. For whatever reason, I still look forward to these trips!

Most of all, I look forward to seeing friends and family and spending time with them. It is my hope that this time in the States will serve to refresh and allow me to refocus before taking the next steps in my journey! I hope also that I can be an encouragement.

Bradford, Day 14

Bradford, Day 14

Hi Friends,

Today ended up being another really good day. I thank God for this great trip!

It was gorgeous outside. I didn’t need to be anywhere until 10 and had already decided to sleep in a little bit, so got up around 8 and had plenty of time to get ready. Bethan, the mom of the family I’m staying with, is a phenomenal hostess, and in the mornings has set the table for me with (and I am not exaggerating) a plate, bowl, knife, spoon, teacup and saucer, pretty wine glass which she uses for everyday drinks with a red napkin in it, 3 types of muesli, a croissant, piece of seeded bread, butter, cut strawberries, yogurt, a small pitcher of milk, orange juice,and  a french-press coffee pot with the grounds in it and ready for me to just add hot water. Seriously, I am pretty sure my breakfast is better than the queen’s!

I then walked to the church where my group meets in the morning, which is a really nice 2 mileish walk, which I enjoy. And I got to meet with my team, sing some songs, do some praying, and it was good. We had a productive morning and then went to lunch at a Pakistani restaurant which was absolutely fabulous. We had some kind of fried lamb and vegetable burger of some kind with FRESH naan and sauces and veggies to go with it. We also had some lovely tea. Oh, SO good! I had a great conversation with one of the local pastors during lunch also, which was incredibly encouraging.

The afternoon was spent in preparation for the next few days, when we are going into an elementary school to talk about America. I hope it’ll be fun!

In the late afternoon I got to go around to houses to talk to people about a project the churches have been doing in the neighborhood. I went with a local guy named Ben, and we had a frustrating time for the first hour, finding that it was unclear where we were supposed to go, etc. Eventually, we were about to give up and guessed on a house we thought might be incorrectly recorded. It turns out it was the right place — we were invited into the man’s house and had an absolutely fabulous conversation!

After we finished that project, we went to dinner with our group at a local pub, which was really nice. I decided this was my opportunity to try sticky toffee pudding which I have heard so much about, so I ordered soup for dinner and the pudding for my “pudding” (dessert).

Here’s how I found it (what I thought of it)…

Yeah, that’s pretty much a full-sized plate :-/. SO yummy, though! After I got home, I went for a brief run:-).
Bradford, Day 8

Bradford, Day 8

Today was lovely! I guess it’s apparent that I’ve been having a great time here in the UK…

In the morning, Bob went to take his written driver’s test so he can get a UK license. He passed with flying colors, which is quite a feat, apparently! During that time, Kathryn and I spent some time praying together in their beautiful conservatory and then worked in the garden. It was bright, sunny, and actually quite warm!

After lunch, Bob and Kathryn took me to Bolton Abbey, which is located in the Yorkshire Dales. The whole experience was a feast for my eyes. We got to go through towns that must look very similar to how they looked 300 years ago, which I find pretty cool. And here are some pictures!

Bonus, this is the gnocchi dinner we had last night. It was SO good and was so pretty I had to take a picture of it!


Hi Friends,

I hope you are all well! I am enjoying some backpacker-style travels this last week in Morocco.

Yesterday I did my first solitary travel in North Africa. Praise God, everything went very well! I left Kevin and Keely’s at 8:45 or so to go to the bus agency, and arrived there by 9:30 and successfully purchased my ticket for my 10:00 bus. The bus showed up at about 10:45 and I began the (supposedly) 5 1/2 hour journey. At about 6pm I arrived in Azrou, and was able to find my friend pretty easily (or she found me).

Last night Michelle, Anthony (a friend of Michelle’s through another traveler, who has been traveling for 2 1/2 years), and I went to a resturant and had some tajine — traditional Moroccan food for dinner. It was really good, steamed veggies and meat, with bread and a salad. We took our time and went back to our hotel.

Today we had a leisurely breakfast at a cafe of coffee and pasteries, and then took a walk around town. It has been bad weather today, but is still wonderful to be in the mountains, in this very sweet town. We had an excellent lunch (I’ll post a picture when I can get a computer to accept my card) of chicken and sides… yumm. Meat isn’t always eaten as a main dish here, so it was good to get a solid helping of protein.

This afternoon has been very rainy, and cold. In Marrakesh last weekend I lost my rain jacket, so for the last half-day I have been trying to get warm… to no avail so far (although I think I’ve had 3 or 4 hot drinks). I think we’ll have soup for dinner, and then I think I’ll crawl under the bed covers. Hopefully that’ll work!

Tomorrow the plan is to go to a cedar forrest and see some apes! Then Sunday I think Michelle and I will go to a really pretty town I’ve been wanted to see since being in Morocco. I’ll keep you posted!