Archive for September, 2007
It's been over a month since I started my MBA program with the University of Idaho. I never thought I'd be working full time while attending graduate school, so it's been interesting to see how my lifestyle has had to adjust to these demands on my time.
The first thing I'll say is that I haven't seen a lot of my garden for the last month. Granted, autumn is descending and there isn't as much to do outside, but most nights I am putting in at least two or three hours of study, leaving little time for puttering around the yard. My wall project (started last autumn) hasn't moved an inch since June, and it looks doubtful that I'll have much time for it before the ground freezes this year. Choir also started up in September, so now two of my nights each week are spent rehearsing. Luckily, soccer is over (until after Thanksgiving) and I've been able to dedicate some weekend hours to catching up on homework.
One of my strategies for dealing with the increased insanity is to pare down scheduled events to their bare minimum attendance. For instance, last night we had an orientation for some local exchange students (including Nadine), so I dropped by and visited with the group for about half an hour, then went home and hit the books. It's amazing how much you can get done if you don't stay for the whole activity. That's what my life is like right now: bite-sized pieces of activities that used to take up whole evenings.
September 22nd, 2007
Last weekend we drove down to Utah for the funeral of my sister in law, Kim. She was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. She and my brother Matthew have been living at her parent's house with their two small children. The funeral was a very draining experience, but as the weekend wore on I gained a measure of peace about the situation. It's hard to see my brother go through this, and difficult to know what I can do to help him.
All of my immediate family and many friends of the family attended the funeral in Kim's home town. It was amazing to see the entire church filled with her relatives and others who knew her.
Below are some photos that Kayla took during the trip. Click here to see all the photos.
September 19th, 2007
We're hosting an exchange student this year: Nadine from Germany. She arrived early in August and has been a great addition to our family. It's always a little unnerving to invite someone to live in your home for a year that you don't know, other than from a student profile. But so far we've had a lot of great experiences with the exchange students that have stayed with us (Nadine is the third). She's been enjoying the summer and is ready to start her first day of American high school tomorrow.
September 3rd, 2007
We just returned from a four-day vacation to Glacier National Park. We left Wednesday morning and drove three hours east to the park which is located near Kalispell, Montana. There weren't too many people when we arrived so we had the pick of a campsite. We stayed at Fish Creek Campground on the northwestern corner of Lake McDonald, about a three mile drive from the park entrance. Our tent was just a very short walk from the beach and we spent a lot of time swimming (frigid!) and kayaking.
The climate in the park is very similar to the area where we live, and we had sunny skies every day. Friday night after it got dark we had a huge thunderstorm. Luckily it passed quickly and the inside of our tent only got partially wet. The kids slept right through the thunder and lightning.
The park was amazing. It covers a huge area and in four days we only saw a small part of it. We did manage two day hikes, one over Logan Pass to Hidden Lake, the other to Avalanche Lake. My favorite was Avalanche... you hike up a very shady and beautiful cedar-lined creek, then come out into this incredible alpine lake with five or six waterfalls cascading down into the valley from glaciers and lakes further up. Both hikes were under four miles and perfect for the kids. We saw mountain goats, a herd of bighorn sheep, and two black bears which went swimming not far from our picnic spot at Avalanche.
Glacier has initiated a shuttle service now to avoid congestion on the one road that winds through the middle of the park. We had fairly good luck with catching buses and I'm glad I didn't try to drive to Logan Pass (very steep, virtually no barrier between the road and a thousand-foot drop to the bottom... perfect for height-fearing people like me).
Even though it was her first camping trip, Nadine had a great time. She claims that camping reminds her how lucky she is to sleep in a bed and have daily showers.
Click on the slide show below or click here to view our photos from the trip.
September 3rd, 2007