Good Evening Everyone,
Just a quick update. We have just concluded a long weekend pass and will be finishing up our final preparations before we ship. Our departure date has been moved up from 2 October to 1 October. I think the unit is ready to go and get this mission started.
We had a long weekend pass over the last few days. Many of our soldiers families flew in for a visit. Karen and I decided not to have her and Karis fly in for a visit. We had a hard enough time saying good by when we left Atterbury and so we didn't want to have to go through that again.
It was nice to be able to have a few days to relax before we go. Washington State is beautiful. I have vacationed in this area in the past but each time I visit the Pacific Northwest, I am even more amazed at Our Lord's sense of style. I took a couple of guys to Mt. Rainier today, where we spent the afternoon hiking and laughing. The weather was perfect and the mountain was calm. I will attach a few pictures of our visit. Yesterday, we went to Seattle and explored the city. We visited the very first Starbucks which was like a trip to the holy land for some of the guys. We walked the wharf and then went up in the Space Needle. The city is really growing. There has been so much new construction since Karen and I visited here in 2005. I am not sure why so many people move out here as the prices for everything is almost prohibitive, but people keep coming. I can see the appeal of the Pacific Northwest however, as the scenery is magnificent. The land is covered in green and the Forest are full of wildlife. The air is crisp and clean and the weather has been great. We have been very pleased with the weather as we did not have one day of training interrupted by rain.
As I drove through the wooded area at the base of Mt. Rainier, I couldn't help but be uplifted by God's awesome power to create. As the Jews were leaving Egypt, the Lord provided them with Manna from the sky. Today, I thought about that and realized that God is still providing us with our needs. The logging companies were out today harvesting and then replanting trees so that we could have furniture, and homes, and paper. The apple orchards that we passed were emptied and standing ready for next seasons growth. This seasons fruit had been plucked and shipped to our tables, and the dam that held back the melting ice water from the mountain was converting hydro power into electricity. God is still supplying our needs and for some silly reason, I was completely amazed at his grace and kindness to us.
A couple of days ago, I called home and Karen was telling me how she ran into a mother who has three children and all of them play a musical instrument. She proceeded to tell Karen that each child plays three different instruments and that they each practice each instrument for an hour each night. Well, as many of you know, Karis plays violin and piano, so when she heard Karen tell the lady that it might be a good idea if Karis played each of her instruments for an hour each night, Karis nearly went into a panic. She called me and asked me if I could talk to mommy and tell her to stop talking to these crazy ladies. :o) I guess Karis has other plans for her time. She generally practices her instruments for as long as it takes for her to go through her assigned songs twice. So, as you can imagine she can play any Mozart piece in 2 minutes flat. Sometimes being a parent makes me laugh out loud.
Well, I will close this letter for now with a final note. We will be leaving here in a couple of days and we will be in Kuwait for up to ten days. I am not sure if the officer quarters or if the unit that we will be staying with will have Internet access, so I maybe out of touch for ten days or so. But when we arrive at Anaconda, we will have access, so I will update this blog then. Until then, I pray that God will bless you with a repentant heart and a peaceful Spirit.