Backpacking in Missouri….AGAIN!

Well, Paul went backpacking AGAIN!! Remember the first time he went with Graham? Well, three weeks later, they went again, along with Tyler and Jim.

trying to figure out where to put everything

trying to figure out where to put everything

putting it on with all the weight in it

putting it on with all the weight in it

his pack roughly weighed 30 lbs.

his pack roughly weighed 30 lbs.

We weighed his pack on our scale, but we’re not sure it exactly weighed correctly because the “back weight” was not ON the scale!

They're off at 4:10AM!

They’re off at 4:10AM!

(I went ahead and went to the gym at 4:10AM–because I was up. Surprisingly I was NOT the only one there)!

They were gone 3 days (supposed to be 4, but they decided to come home a day early). They hiked about 18 miles in 3 days. They didn’t travel as far into Missouri as they did last time. They went to Potosi, MO.

outside of Potosi, MO

outside of Potosi, MO

I told Paul to make sure someone actually took his picture (to prove he was on this trip, since last time Graham never took a picture of him)….So, I got one picture! 🙂 Paul was so excited–doesn’t he look handsome!?

my backpacker, looking so handsome!

my backpacker, looking so handsome!

The first day they hiked about 6 miles and then just found a random place to camp. They had to find a  place where the trees were evenly distributed because the other three boys had hammocks, as seen below. You can also the water filtration system they had (it was Jim’s).

Jim's hammock and tent covering, along with the water filtration system

Jim’s hammock and tent covering, along with the water filtration system

DSCF5349

Graham getting water

Monday night it rained and thunderstormed–that’s when Paul discovered our tent leaked a little bit around the door. But, overall, he stayed dry. (They say that’s a 3-person tent, but it looks PRETTY SMALL to me)!! We’re taking it camping this coming weekend, so we’ll just see how comfortable it is with 2 people!

Paul's tent and hanging laundry

Paul’s tent and hanging laundry

our tent

our tent

out of the tent

out of the tent

looking up, from the inside of the tent

looking up, from the inside of the tent

Tuesday morning it was cold and rainy–you can see the boys all bundled up, except for Graham who wore shorts!

It was COLD and rainy!

It was COLD and rainy!

They spent most of Tuesday hiking and then decided they would take a short cut, cutting out 7 miles of the hike.

Jim by one of the creeks they used for a water source

Jim by one of the creeks they used for a water source

They left on Wednesday (the original day was supposed to be Thursday) and got home about 7:30PM that night. All of his stuff stunk–because of sweat and the dampness from the rain!]

But, overall, despite ripped rain pants, a leaky tent, and a thunderstorm, he had a great time and can’t stop talking about going again!

 

Advertisements

A Random Post of Pics

I have several pictures that really don’t “belong” anywhere, so this is just a random blog post of pictures.

For Lent this year I gave up The Coffee Hub. I had been frequenting it too much (spending too much money and eating too much ice cream)!! So, I gave it up.

BUT….wouldn’t you know it!?!! My name was drawn during Lent (for a free scoop of ice cream)!! Why, oh, why, Coffee Hub–why would you do that to me?! But, of course, I had to go. It was justified by the fact that I didn’t pay for it, so it wasn’t my money!

 

my name on The Coffee Hub sign

my name on The Coffee Hub sign

(Surprisingly, there were 3 other “Callie” names who came in that day)!!

And, wouldn’t you know it….Paul’s name showed up during Lent, as well.

Paul's name on The Coffee Hub sign

Paul’s name on The Coffee Hub sign

Earlier in March I went to Bloomington with Shannon, Ember, and Julie to have a “Girl’s Weekend”–sort of. They were all going to the Hearts at Home National Conference (it’s a Christian conference for “Moms”), so I just tagged along to hang out with them in the hotel and go out to eat with them. I did go to the Mom’s Night Out with them, which was fun.

Ember, me, Shannon, and Julie

Ember, me, Shannon, and Julie

me, Shannon, and Julie

me, Shannon, and Julie

The photo booth on Thursday night was actually the fun-nest part!

pictures from the H@H photo booth!

pictures from the H@H photo booth!

The Saturday after my “procedure” we had Ropes Course training. I was so bummed that I was not able to participate (I couldn’t lift more than 5 lbs.). This is the new vertical playground that Jim installed last fall!

climbing up

climbing up

Tom on the top of the Vertical playground

Tom on the top of the Vertical playground

I can’t wait to get back on the course and play! (We’re beginning “busy” season in April, and I’m going to help facilitate on the course this spring and summer).

Last week (exactly a week ago from today, in fact) it snowed! (IN MARCH)! It was more of a sleeting rain/hail than snow, but it was snow nonetheless!

CAM05079

our driveway

CAM05080

backyard

Also, this past Monday Andi came over to play. Ethan had the stomach bug, so I thought it might be a good idea for her to come over and play, just to get her out of the house for a little bit. She had a great time!

dressed in all my scarves, pretending it was a swimsuit!

dressed in all my scarves, pretending it was a swimsuit!

While it snowed/rained and Andi came over to play, Paul was out backpacking again….more of that in another post!

 

On Our Knees

(For the last 6 years this blog has served as my scrapbook–a way for me to remember all that we have done, experienced, remembered, and been through. So, this post is strictly for me). But, you are more than welcome to read it. Beware–it gets personal.

In 2011 Mark Hall (of Casting Crowns) and Matthew West wrote a song called “Courageous.” (It was used in the soundtrack of the movie by the same name).

Here are some of the lyrics:

“….We were made to be courageous,
and we’re taking back the fight.
we were made to be courageous,
and it starts with us tonight.
the only way we’ll ever stand,
is on our knees with lifted hands.
make us courageous…

Now, granted the song was written for men as an encouragement and a charge to be better husbands/fathers, it certainly can be applicable to any and all Christians during a time of need. For husbands/fathers they are called to be warriors: men of God, as God created them to be–to step out, step up, stand up, speak truth, and lead, when necessary–to be more than just a spectator in someone else’s battle.

For people, like me, it’s an encouragement that battles cannot be won alone. In order to fight (and win), we must begin the battle on our knees.

  • We must not be afraid.
  • We must not fear.
  • We must be courageous.

fearTrust me. This past week we spent a lot of time on our knees, figuratively speaking. This past week was surrounded with uncertainty. This past week was stressful and filled with anxiety. But, we were continually bathing in God’s Word:

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.” -Isaiah 26:3
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Corinthians 5:16-18
So that’s what we are trying to do in the waiting. Keep our minds steadfast on Him. Giving thanks in all circumstances.

This past Monday, March 16th, I went in for a mammogram~just a routine one (it’s been two years since I’ve had one). On the mammogram they found a mass in my right breast, about 1/2 inch in diameter (on the top, to the left of the nipple). They immediately did an ultrasound to check it out. 

CAM05063
Because of my sister’s history (Marcy)~she’s has breast cancer twice~they decided that I needed to have a core needle biopsy done. So, they scheduled the biopsy for Thursday.

Those three days were the LONGEST days–they were hard. Uncertainty. Nerves. Anxiety. Encouragement. Peace. 

I experienced it all.

I experienced it all. And yet, I had to be strong. For me. For Paul. For our neighbors (Shannon and Ember took it worse than I did–assuming the worst). So, I remained positive. Paul and I prayed together–praying for God’s will to be done, no matter the circumstances. No matter what the results were, we would take one day at a time, trusting God in every step.

998901_10151646445472863_1119730928_nSo, this is where I sat on Thursday.

CAM05064By myself, I sat. I sat and stared at this sign–never believing, at my age, that I would be at the Susan G. Komen Breast Center. (Although my sister had breast cancer, she didn’t live with us when she had surgery, went through chemotherapy, etc. so I don’t really remember much of it). Therefore, this was my first experience. And it was happening to me.

Going in for a routine mammogram three days before and now here I was, waiting for a core needle to be thrust into my breast 5 times!! This is what happens to OTHER PEOPLE, not to me. My role has always been on the other side (encouraging and praying for other people, bringing comfort to them), and yet here I was, sitting, waiting.

I had the biopsy done Thursday. They took 5 sample tissues from the mass, just to make sure. (Ironically, as much worrying and praying as we did–the whole procedure only took about 45 minutes). 

I made an appt. for 2:30 the next afternoon to get the results. The doctor said they would call, if they had good news. If I didn’t hear from them, then go ahead and come in.

Thursday night and Friday were EXCRUCIATING!! My phone was so heavy. As if I was carrying around the weight of the world. I was just trying to make it through the day. (And convince Shannon that I was NOT going to die)!!

tumblr_mf0mow1hLh1qah2fqo1_500“Everybody Dance Now” is my ringtone. You better believe I wanted to hear that song that morning!!!

About 12:30 my phone rang. While I was sitting at Panera Bread. Eating a Turkey Bravo Sandwich.

The nurse told me. “The results came in early, and I have good news. It was benign–non-cancerous.”

(Let me say that again)….

“It was benign–non-cancerous.”

Praise Jesus!! Praise Jesus!

We trust God. No matter what. We rely on Him. No matter what. We believe in His miracles. No matter what. And we rejoice in His goodness. No matter what.

Although we were fully prepared to trust God, no matter what–those words from the nurse were wonderful words to hear!

1e4e5a19573bab79ead14e9da86522ecThe nurse called it a fibroadenoma. (No cause for concern).

She said I would just need to go back in 6 months to get another ultrasound to just make sure it hasn’t grown. (If it has grown or there is still a concern as to why it’s there, then we’ll take further steps from there). And, no matter what. We will praise Him.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.” Lamentations 3:21-26

11071463_765169608337_6624212482428488160_n

I’m doing fine. The incision bled some Thursday and Friday, but it’s good now. I’ve got some pretty significant bruising around the area, but they said it was completely normal. 
So, here I am. With a scar on my chest. A reminder that I am not invincible. That life comes. And tries to knock you down. But, here I am to say.

 

e0122ca829edc2dfb034cab9b27a31a5I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” -Joshua 1:9 

Matthiessen State Park

This past Saturday it was FINALLY WARM (in the 40’s) so Paul and I headed to Matthiessen State Park. It’s one of our favorite places to go, and we haven’t been since last August, when we were here on vacation.

The weather was PERFECT!! We both agreed that, because of the weather getting warmer, this past weekend was probably the last weekend to be able to see the snow/frozen waterfall.

 

Along the top loop of the park

Along the top loop of the park

from waterfall

frozen waterfall

All the snow in the picture is covering up the ice–normally that is water!!

Beautiful sky with the bridge above it

Beautiful sky with the bridge above it

close up

close up

frozen water along the side of the ravine

frozen water along the side of the ravine

Paul

Paul

selfie in front of the waterfall

selfie in front of the waterfall

After we walked around for a couple of hours we had a picnic lunch!

Lunch break!

Lunch break!

We ended the morning by going to The Root Beer Stand for ice cream!

Yummy Flurries!

Yummy Flurries!

It was a great morning to go hiking!

 

Backpacking in Missouri

About 6 weeks ago Paul got it in his head that he wanted to go backpacking.

Has he ever been backpacking? No.

Has he ever talking about going backpacking? No.

But, he decided he wanted to go. So, working with who he works with (Graham, Jim, and Tyler), they immediately started concoting a plan to go backpacking. They have planned a “Staff” backpacking trip for the third week in March, but first, Paul wanted to go on a little trip, just to see if he liked it. So, Graham and Paul decided to go together.

In March

In Missouri

With 4-6 inches of snow on the ground

In 30 degree weather

Yes, he’s a little C-R-A-Z-Y!

(By the way-it snowed about 4 inches on Sunday, the day before he was going)!!

Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon

So, after borrowing a backpack from a friend at church, he bought a sleeping bag (that is rated at 20 degrees), a couple of “wicking moisture” shirts, about 5 pair of wool socks, and off he went!!

 

Paul trying out his sleeping bag

Paul trying out his sleeping bag

Seeing if all his stuff would fit

Seeing if all his stuff would fit

walking around, making sure he doesn't fall over!

walking around, making sure he doesn’t fall over!

He left at 3:00AM on Monday, March 2nd (so basically the middle of the night) and drove about 7 hours to Emmenence, Missouri.

Here they are, leaving!!

Here they are, leaving!!

Yes, I got up about 2:30AM, with him, just to “see him off!” Then, of course, I was up for the next two hours, just trying to tell my body to go back to sleep! (Luckily, I didn’t have to sub. the next day)!

The pictures below are ones he took, while he was there. It didn’t EXACTLY go as planned, but he LOVED it! And, of course, now he has ordered his own backpack and is ready to go again in a couple of weeks!

This is either the Jacks Fork River or the Current River, I can't remember which one.

This is either the Jacks Fork River or the Current River, I can’t remember which one.

Trailhead

Trailhead

This is either the Jacks Fork River or the Current River, I can't remember which one.

This is either the Jacks Fork River or the Current River, I can’t remember which one.

as they were hiking

as they were hiking

cool looking tree

cool looking tree

Graham through the riverbend

Graham through the riverbend

Graham purifying water

Graham purifying water

Graham setting up his stove

Graham setting up his stove

Paul's little tent amongst all the snow! :)

Paul’s little tent amongst all the snow! 🙂

Graham's hammock

Graham’s hammock

Cafe' on the way home for lunch

Cafe’ on the way home for lunch

I realize most of the pictures are of Graham and not Paul, but Paul is such a guy and wouldn’t ask Graham to take his picture! So, now I have a bunch of pictures of Graham and not Paul. But, nonetheless, they had a good time!

While he was backpacking, I went sledding and played in the snow with all the kids!

Ethan, Andi, and Jeremiah

Ethan, Andi, and Jeremiah

Becca and Jeremiah

Becca and Jeremiah