Thursday, December 14, 2017

CHRISTmas card

Photo: June 2017, Rocky Mountain National Park

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

CHRISTmas Letter 2017

Merry CHRISTmas from the Grubb family!

This has been quite a year! The end of our amazing around-the-country extravaganza and the beginning of life in a new home in a different part of town with new neighbors, new jobs, new soccer teams, and new homeschool communities. For all of it we are so thankful to the Lord, our Hope and our Deliverer. 

We have had countless opportunities to trust Him and choose to follow Him. We are so thankful that we know our Creator who loves us and wants what is best for us. We are so thankful that although we don't always know what tomorrow may bring, He does know. And whether it's good or bad, our ultimate hope and security is not found in what comes tomorrow, but in the death, life and resurrection of our Savior whose birth and life we celebrate this month!

This world can be scary and confusing. We have had so many opportunities to see crazy things and amazing things this past year. Through it all we rejoice in knowing Who is on the throne and Who ultimately wins. 

Since we've been back in SoCal, we've rented a home in Anaheim. It perfectly suits our needs and is located across the street from our amazing friends who hosted us every time we were in town this past year! We are so blessed to be on this street! We recently put grass in the backyard with Scott's parents' help over the Thanksgiving week doubling our living space!

We've reestablished many old friendships and made lots of new friends in our neighborhood and on Jo's new soccer team and at Ky's new "school" where I, Tara, am tutoring. I am at the same level I tutored before we left - helping students transition from elementary to the junior high years. I had the privilege of tutoring this level with Jo and Kik and now I have Ky in my class!

The older boys have taken up new positions on the soccer fields as referees, so that's a new and fun work environment. They are learning to find the balance in respecting their elders and being the authority on the field that reminds the elders to behave. (:

All the boys have taken up instruments since we've been home and the olders are playing for the youth worship team.

Ky has found a friend in a backyard corral less than a mile from our home. Cowboy is a gentle horse that Ky enjoys visiting everyday.  She is loving all the hands-on horse experience. And Jo is a blessing to the older couple who owns the horse as he mucks the stalls every weekday. "The Ranch" has become a favorite place for all the children. They all get to work and play and it is a blessing to both the older couple and our family. This was another amazing and unexpected gift from the Lord!

Truly, I could not write all the blessings we've experienced this year or this post would go on forever! We are so blessed and thankful! Merry CHRISTmas and may you know our joy of knowing Jesus! 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Where we are now

This is the fantastic house the Lord has provided. It is located on the fabulous Tango Avenue where many amazing families live! In front of the house is a wonderful new car that the Lord has provided. And in front of that is the new adventure of having a new driver in the family. (:

So many new things happening that we are grateful for and yet we are also so thankful for the old parts of our life (pre-trip) we were able to jump back into!

After we hit our 48th state capital, meeting one major goal for the trip, our car decided it had had enough. (Honestly after over 43,000 miles in 13 months, I can't blame it!!!) But, as you can see, it is parked in front of our new home. And you may see us driving around town in it, but don't let that fool you, the car is really done for. It has actually made its expectations clear to us. "Do not ask me to pull a heavy load! And do not drive me over a really high mountain pass! Stick to those two rules and I will be good to you!"

I'm hoping by the end of the year, to finish the last part of our trip on this blog. But for now, we are happy that (although we limped home) we got here. And when we got here, although it was challenging to put life back together and acquire all the things we had sold and make a new house in Anaheim our home, we are almost there. God has provided in amazing ways and we are so blessed that we had the opportunity to take the trip in the first place and then experience his blessing not only all year long but even now as we reestablish ourselves in Southern California.

The Lord has blessed us with a home, beds, a couch, a needed car, new friends, new work (for the boys) and new clients (for scott), etc. These things all came kinda the "regular" way. But he has also blessed us with a HOUSE with a washer and dryer, amazing neighbors, bookshelves, tables, desks, dressers, even a piano, and more and all these were by irregular even "miraculous" ways and it has been so fun to have nothing so that we could be overwhelmed by His goodness as he bestowed so many amazing gifts upon us!

Monday, June 19, 2017

FotF & Navigators

Focus on the Family has their headquarters in Colorado Springs and also a "welcome center".
The kids got to record a radio show. 
There was an amazing play place for children. If I'd lived nearby when the kids were smaller, I'm sure we would have been here regularly. One yelper wrote something like, "It is a great place to play if you can get past the religious undertones." Haha. 
They even had a wardrobe through which you could enter Narnia!
After a few hours, we headed to the Navigators' castle, Glen Eyrie. Although you can only see the castle in a paid tour or stay, we visited to go to the bookstore.  
Scott has greatly enjoyed some books put out by Navigators so we were excited to see their headquarters.  
The grounds are beautiful and are located right next to Garden of the Gods. 
We then headed over the Rockies for the last time. 
Our first stop part way across was Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. 
I loved their indoor exhibits that really highlighted the scientific method. 
Outside, they had petrified tree stumps - different from the petrified wood we found in Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona where all the logs were laying down. 
The youngers got to help the ranger take down the flag as we were there at closing. 
This was the homestead claim at this park. The land was homesteaded by a widow and her 4 children. 

Air Force Academy & Garden of the Gods

The Air Force Academy was not on our itinerary, but we saw it and decided to stop. 
In the visitor center, there is a video to introduce you to the Academy. There are also displays that show the growth of leadership over the four years spent here.
We walked up to the chapel in the middle of the academy grounds. 

We learned a lot about this place that has produced many of our nation's leaders.
Next, we headed to Garden of the Gods.

They had some fun indoor exhibits to talk about the geology and history of the area.

Then we went outside and took a driving tour of the "garden".

After our tour, we had some dinner, and then headed back to the visitor center because they were having an astronomy night. Below is one of the kids looking into a telescope, but it was too dark to get a good picture.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Denver, CO - Capitol #49 - 6/12/17

We have officially completed our tour of all 48 contiguous United States and their capitols as well as the US Capitol in DC! Hooray!
The Capitol was being repaired so there was scaffolding everywhere outside. 
But the inside was beautiful and this lovely gal was taking quinciƱera photos. I felt intrusive every time we passed her. 

This hanging quilt honors women of significance in Colorado's history. Our guide had Ky come up to illustrate one of the ladies on the quilt who, at age 13, was hired to teach a school and decided to teach the adults in the town too. She started one of the first adult education programs. 
Around the edge of the quilt is the beginning of "America the Beautiful" which was written by a woman at the top of Pike's Peak in southern Colorado. 
The Supreme Court has since moved across the street, but this is their historic chamber. 
The house. 
Up in "the attic" there was a small Capitol history museum. 
Above, we got to go out on the balcony around the inner dome. 
There were several plaques pointing toward features the state is famous for - like this one pointing toward pike's peak. 
The senate
There were actual cannonballs as finials on the stairwell banisters. 
We have so enjoyed our tour of all the U.S. Capitols and Colorado did not disappoint as the last one. 

Sunday, Dinosaur Ridge

We enjoyed church this morning. It's always the same... they're super excited to see us come and bummed when they find out we're from out of town. For some reason, we tend to hit churches that have around 50-70 people and like the idea of growing by a family of 6 just dropping in out of nowhere. 
This area was discovered as a freeway was being constructed. There are dinosaur prints and casts and bones. 

That's a footprint. 

Fun to see shale as we've heard about it in Jonathan Park: Battle of the Worldviews. 
More beauty. 

We were looking for a park to have dinner and the one I found was right next to Columbine High. So we visited the memorial there. 
It made me cry to remember and have to share the evils of this world with my older boys. The youngers were playing on the playground nearby and I was happy they didn't have to know yet. Jo handled the news well, but Kik was truly shocked and couldn't understand why.