Friday, July 13, 2018

MBA - Darhan Basketball Camp

Though we were not able to be there this July, Darhan hosted 7 coaches from the North Ridge Basketball Academy for about 60 campers of various ages.


Coach Seth challenges campers with skills and character


Thanks to Pastors Baggie and Baggie for their help to Coach Mark with translation


This was an important step toward the vision of a Mongolian Basketball Academy that will sustainably produce better basketball players and teams, better Mongolian citizens by training in character and faith, and fruit that lasts in followers of Jesus Christ.


Big thanks to our friend and colleague Ryan for his leadership in hosting and organizing the event.  "The foundation of team is faith and trust"


We're Staying Another Year


In case you didn't hear, we plan to stay another year in America before our return to Mongolia in July of 2019.  If you want to receive our news by email, you can sign up using the form on the right.

Great American Day

“Small Town USA” came over the country station at the exact time and day I was feeling it.  I was in Ellensburg, WA a town of about 10,000.  With no AC on a day that was to reach 91 degrees, I was on the way to get it looked at.  Even though the shop estimated $1000 or more bucks to fix it I was happy with the windows down on the way back to a smaller yet Roslyn, WA.

I-90 whisked us up to Cle-Elum in less than 25 minutes.  Then it’s just a couple miles up to where we’re staying in this National Historic Place. Roslyn, built as a coal mining town on the dryer east side of the cascade mountains, is very close the wet western-Washington and is cooler because it’s 2,200 feet above sea level.  We’re staying in the house of a friend from church while they travel to other areas of the Northwest.  We can sit on their porch and watch the traffic of Highway 903, and hear the dump trucks, RVs, and diesel pickups roar around the corner and up and down the hill.  This morning the first construction rig rattled by just before 6am.  Men who evidently live in cabins or camped out on the Cle Elum River or Lake appear to be heading down to work.  An RV owner might go into town for a latte at ‘Maggie’s Pantry’.

That’s right next to the famous ‘Village Pizza’, which appears in the opening credits of the hit TV series from the 1990s Northern Exposure.  ‘Roslyn CafĂ©’ also appears with the moose who leads you on a tour through a fictitious Alaska town that was filmed here.  We hear their food is good too.  But we enjoyed our ‘village’ and peperoni pizzas across the street outside at Roslyn Park, which sits to the famous ‘Brick’ tavern containing a nice lawn where a building once stood.

Vacationers and tourists from Seattle and other towns around the county and country come for the pizza, food, drink, cooler mountain air.  Relics of the coal mining and television past mingle with the odd passerby making it unclear who is local and who is not from around here.

The people are nice, but not too nice.  Tourism has not eroded a Northern feel of no-nonsense service at the pizzeria and general store.  The candy shop boasts bon-bons made on site, but also has classic candy choices from America’s Big Candy factories.  Smarties for 50 cents.

Clara sang “God Bless America” from the stage in Roslyn Park.  Her brother and parents were the only ones who heard it because we were the only ones still in the park at 8pm.  She stopped once though to say, “someone’s coming”.  A couple walked past on the sidewalk from the direction of The Brick and got in their car and drove away.  Though it was mostly to empty tables and chairs and scattered beanbags we threw on a warm lawn, it may have been her first solo public performance.  Josiah was supposed to be singing back up, but sat in front of her in a chair that was meant to represent her microphone stand. 

From my perspective in Small Town USA, it’s a great day in America.  I wish us all many more.

Great Summer Beginnings

With a great rest at Rest Haven on Camano Island

Maggie and Lydia with the agates they found on the beach below


Josiah and Levi fishing on Puget Sound's Elger Bay


Maggie helping her dad set the crab pots


Ben caught a nice flounder just before sunset


The sky is painted a pretty pink to cap a great day


Johanna turned 13 on July 4th!  Her mom made her this cake.


We celebrated with 25 or more loved ones on the deck of Uncle Jake and Aunt Christina


It was also the birthday party for her Grandpa Joe


And for this great country, God Bless America

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tour of the Great Northwest Coast

Renee's folks came to visit from Ohio for two weeks...
Above is our first sunset over the Columbia river on the way to the Oregon Coast.
 Here are views of the "Sea Lion Caves" attraction there.


 Our rented RV slept all nine of us and carried us to places like Sunset Bay, OR

 A couple more shots of the Oregon Coast...

 And here we are standing among the Giants of Redwood National Park


It took all nine of us to hug the tree above - circumference about 50 feet.
 The RV wouldn't fit through this tree so the kids drove their bikes through.
 Can you see the story the rings of this tree tell?  It's about 600 years long.
 Snow and gentle deer are two treasures discovered in Olympic National Park in WA.
 These mountains stand around 5-7,000 feet.
We took a Washington State Ferry ride back toward the mainland via Whidbey Island
 It's great to see God's creation AND great to get home and rest from vacation!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Walla Walla Family History Day Trip

Here is Johanna on the Columbia River where the fort and mouth of the Walla Walla once were.



The Frenchtown Schoolhouse is now a winery. But 75 years ago, this grandpa was a 1st grader there.

There is still displayed inside a picture of Bergevin students who attended in 1961.


Josiah sits in one of the old school desks.  He will go into 1st grade next year in Ellensburg.


Can you tell what the winery name (written on his white hat) means in French? 


The following history is publically displayed at the 'Historic Frenchtown Site' about 5 miles east.


This is a picture of Josiah's Grandpa Joe's Grandpa Joe when he was a baby in 1884.


Our Grandma Maggie always implored us kids to "get your history".  I think we did this weekend.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

Josiah poses with cousin Charlotte after Robin Hood performance in Kirkland.

Mt. Ranier looms over Lake Washington from Sheridan Beach Club


A bike ride for Jeremy with brother Jake from Everett to Snohomish...


and back...


Cousins canoeing in the canal on Camano Island




History Museum Field Trip

Here is Johanna with her friend Grace from Ellensburg Christian School
at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma for Field Trip.



Friday, May 18, 2018

Track and Field Day for Ellensburg Christian

Johanna tries her hand at javelin throwing...


and running the 400 relay...


passing the baton...


their team got the victory and six seconds off the school record!


Mother's Day Picnic On the Teannaway







This is the Flying Horseshoe Ranch where Mom grew up.  Her dad Jimmy made this wagon-wheel gate in the 1950s.  That would be Josiah's great-grandpa.