Saturday, July 26, 2008

Alaskan Cruise

July 11-20th
Our vacation to Alaska
7/11 early flight from LA to Vancouver
We loved Vancouver. It felt like a big city but it was small enough to see everything in two days on foot. We spent the first day walking the coastal trail and Stanley Park. We recommend our B&B, the Urban Hideaway if you are ever in Vancouver. We loved it!

7/12 Vancouver
We walked and took the ferry to the Granville Public Market. We wished we had found it the day before because of all the yummy food that called to us from the stands. We bought picnic fixings and then headed toward the cruise terminal for an al fresco lunch. Then it was on board the Sapphire Princess, our home for the next week.

7/13 Sailing
We ate delicious food and challenged everyone in Trivia. The DeClercq family, all 9 of us were a Trivia force to be reckoned with.

7/14 Ketchikan
We went on a self-guided walking tour of our least favorite stops on the cruise. It was a little too touristy for our tastes. But it was our first step of Alaskan soil on the cruise.

7/15 Juneau
Mendenhall Glacier and its neighboring waterfall were our first stop. It was beautiful and COLD. We also rode a funicular up the face of the mountain for beautiful views of the Bay.
7/16 Skagway
We took a bus tour across the Canadian border into the Yukon Territory. Around every corner was another breathtaking view. The moutains were covered in snow, the lakes were sparkling, everything shouted God's glory.
7/17 Glacier Bay
We waited breathlessly for the glacier to calve (a big chunk to fall off into the water below with a great boom and splash) but we waited in vain.

7/18 College Fjord
The Alaska we had been hoping for. Glacier after glacier. Snow and ice and mountains everywhere you looked. It was beautiful. We ordered hot cocoa to be delivered to the room and watched the glaciers in style.

7/19-20 Anchorage

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We're leaving on a jet plane...

Laura here:
We received fantastic news this morning: we have reached 89% of our funding... enough to buy plane tickets. We leave San Francisco on Aug 2nd, travel through Munich, to Basel Switzerland, arriving the night of Aug 3rd. We will be starting Orientation first thing Monday morning.

We are so excited/relieved/anxious to have the finality of an actual departure date. A big thank you to everyone who has surrounded this process in prayer from Day 1 and given so very generously. We still have lots to do, but feel like there is a load lifted from our shoulders.

I'm gonna miss BPHS

Adam here- It has now been two weeks since I officially left Buena Park High School and I still feel the loss. As excited as I am about the events of our future, I am going to miss that school. As the regular school year ended, I said good-bye to many of my friends, students, water polo players and all the people around school that I wouldn't see for a while, and I was sad to say goodbye but it didn't feel final yet. It felt final at the end of summer school.

On the last day of summer school, I said all of my last goodbyes to the people still on campus. Many people made me feel very good by offering their warm wishes. But the best part of all was when some of my former students and water polo players/swimmers stopped by to say goodbye. It was an incredibly good feeling knowing that I had actually left a positive mark on those kids, enough that some came to campus just to say goodbye to me. It was a sad, hard thing to walk away from BPHS, I just hope that it will work out for me to return back to work there in the future.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Home Again

Laura says: We are home again, whatever that really means anymore. We have been on vacation to the beautiful state of Alaska (more about that later, after we sort through the nearly 1000 pictures Adam shot).
We moved out of our apartment on the 10th, packed our car full of all that would fit and left for Alaska the next day. We enjoyed our cruise and the relaxation we were able to enjoy. It was a blessing in disguise that we were unable to obsessively check our email all day everyday.
We will leave later today to drive to Arizona for a quick trip. Our main purpose is to get Arizona driver's licenses. Arizona and Germany have reciprocity- if we have an AZ license we won't have to take the driving and written exam in German that we would with a CA license. Seems strange, I know. But the drive to AZ is worth it!
After AZ we will be heading to my parent's house where we will anxiously await the email telling us that we are definitely flying to Germany sometime soon, hopefully Aug 2.
Please pray that we are able to hit the 80% threshold and soon! We have been hovering in the 70's for a few weeks now. Psychologically, it would be a great relief to purchase plane tickets. We believe the Lord is at work in our lives, moving us to Germany to serve at BFA. We are excited about all that lies ahead and are eager to see it start to come to fruition.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I spent 2 1/2 hours this morning getting the car fixed. Yesterday we were driving home from an afternoon of errands... dentist, alterations, frozen yogurt, watch batteries, etc. Adam pushed the button to roll down the window and *BANG* it sounded like someone hit our car with a rock. The window got stuck part way down- no going up, no going down. Just a whirring sound that is telltale bad news when coming from any part in your car.
So 2 1/2 hours, 4 magazines, and $301.29 later, our electric window now goes up and down. Just in time for us to leave it in my parent's driveway for 12 months.
Not like I wanted to spend my morning at home though. We are down to camping chairs, a card table and an air mattress. Not what you would call cozy. But it will do for the next couple of days.
When Adam was bemoaning the fact that he had to go to work this week... summer school (just to give you a glimpse into his days, he spent Thursday watching Princess Bride and October Sky... don't feel too sorry for him) ...I reminded him of the alternative. Suddenly summer school didn't sound so bad! Just one more day til we move out!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Dear God,
Please let Adam and Laura have a safe trip to Germany.

-Abby, age 5

It doesn't get more precious than that!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

the Cloud

I have been reading through the Old Testament this summer. I am not sure how many of you have attempted this and then given up part way through Leviticus... But I made it through and am now into Numbers.
The end of Numbers 9 caught my attention. Starting in verse 15 it tells how the Israelites stayed or went depending on the cloud above the Tabernacle. When it lifted, they went; when it rested, they stayed. Regardless of how long it lifted or rested, they followed.
I have this image in my head of an Israelite waking up every morning and stretching, then immediately popping his head out of his tent to check if the cloud had lifted. Daily searching for God's direction to determine the course of the day- pack up or sleep in.
For us, I have seen the "cloud lift" and lead us to BFA. But there was a long stretch where I desperately wanted the cloud to lift but it stayed firmly resting. I wonder if the Israelites felt that discontent? If they ever looked out of their tent wishing "Please let the cloud lift TODAY!" Or maybe, "I hope the cloud rests another day."
I remember thinking, God, I will go wherever, do whatever you want... just tell me what it is. And now He has spoken, and we are packing up.