We started our year in Maine, snowmobiling, ice skating on the lake, and sledding on Killer Hill. Remember our FedEx story? If you don't, make sure to check that out - small town living at best:)
My dad had been visiting from Finland, and when it was time to take him to the airport, we took Missy, too! She flew to Finland to do her homeschool studies there, and to take Finnish lessons. Her ticket was for three months.
Mama starts a special project, which hasn't been mentioned in the blog yet.
In February Little Miss learned to ride a snowmobile, all by herself! We also celebrated Chinese New Year, made sugar on snow and enjoyed skiing and snowshoeing. Grandma and Grandpa came up to snowmobile with us. Missy continued her studies in Finland.
In March Little Miss turned eight years old!
No Spring in Maine, yet!
Missy is having a wonderful time in Finland. We miss her so much.
In late March we took a work trip to Nantucket Island.
In April our pace picked up quite a bit. Before leaving Maine we managed to do a bit more
We packed up our crew (minus Missy) and headed west in the Mothership. We stopped at Niagara Falls in New York and Canada, spent a while at the Airstream Factory in Jacksonville, Ohio, and took a field trip to the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. We visited the Creation Museum in Kentucky, and the Jefferson Monticello in Virginia, before spending Easter with my sister's family in Virginia. In Virginia we also took a field trip to the Historic Jamestowne, and on our way back we drove our Mothership on a ferry!
On our way south to Florida we stopped at Fort Clinch State Park, and fell in love with the old fort! (More here and here.) We'll be back, for sure!
We spent May in Florida, and loved being back on the beach. We visited Winter at the Clearwater Aquarium. We took two trips, one to Miami, and later in the month to our favorite homeschool conference in Orlando. The month went by so fast, and soon it was time to be traveling again. Two of our boys got learner's permits to start driving.
We had a whirlwind trip back to New England in the beginning of the month. Missy finally flew back to United States!!! It was so good to be together as a family, again. Our camp in Maine was being rented out most of the summer, so we had a lot of work to do to get everything ready.
Beginning of July we spent a wonderful week on Nantucket Island with the Captain's sister's family, and celebrated the Independence Day with cousins on the 5th (a storm came through on the 4th).
We had to leave the island early - our boys spent a week at Patrick Henry College in Virginia at the Generation Joshua iGovern camp. We dropped them off in the Mothership, and during the week visited our Virginia cousins (Cousin E turned 4!). Together we toured the Luray Caverns.
After Luray, we went on some scary mountain roads - not fun in a 35 foot motorhome. We survived:) We had a nice stop in West Virginia, then pointed the Mothership toward Ohio, again. We had an appointment with the Airstream service department in Jacksonville. I had fun photographing the iconic trailers, click here and here. We also took the Airstream Factory tour (a must!). In Ohio we also took a field trip to the Bicycle Museum (Mr T wrote about that).
Our hope had been to visit South Dakota next, but ended up breaking down right after crossing into Indiana. Instead of South Dakota, we spent almost a week at an RV service center in Richmond. We actually had a great stay there and a visit from dear friends. We took a tour of the Model T Museum as well.
Once we were all done, we had to hurry back to east coast. We had a work week on Nantucket island, but managed to have fun there, too (not too hard, lol).
We also finally finished our school year - high school was tough for our family.
During our travels we got the word the Captain's grandmother, our beloved Nanny, had passed away. We miss her.
From Nantucket we visited grandparents and cousins in southern Maine, spent a few days in New Hampshire with friends, and went back to see family in Maine.
By about middle of the month our renters had left, and we returned to our camp for some R and R. August is great in Maine! We rented a boat one day and did tubing - fun!!
Grandma, Grandpa and our Maine cousins came to visit and pick blueberries with us.
In September we started school again. We had made major changes to our curriculum. Tenth grade and third grade were going to look a lot different. The Captain, Mr A and Mr D started flight school.
We made a new friend, who showed us his homemade potato cannon. What a blast (pun intended:)! Our Maine cousins came for a visit, which was a lot of fun. Friends from New Hampshire came, too.
We also attended Nanny's memorial service in Massachusetts. It was a beautiful celebration of her long life, and we loved seeing family gathered together.
Before we started our travels again, we enjoyed gorgeous fall foliage in New Hampshire and Maine. We first traveled to southern Maine, and then on to spend an amazing weekend on Nantucket with the Captain's family and friends. We even sailed Privateer Lynx - a wonderful experience.
The highlight of our year was our trip out west. From Massachusetts we drove to New York and Pennsylvania, through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to Iowa. We had only stopped to sleep and get gas, but in Iowa we stopped for a half a day shopping trip. Next we drove to South Dakota, and had a great visit to Laura Ingalls Wilder homestead. (Unfortunately I had some technical difficulties with my photos from that visit, and still haven't had a chance to fix them.)
In South Dakota we visited the Badlands and the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. We drove to Wyoming to see the Devils Tower National Monument. In Utah we went to Arches National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, and drove around on crazy roads! And the Captain, Mr A and Mr D saw Moab from an airplane!
(Here's a recap from half-way in Colorado. And a blog post of our Denver visit.)
From Utah we drove to Arizona, saw the Grand Canyon from the northern rim, and saw Indian cliff dwellings. Driving in Arizona and New Mexico was gorgeous! It was time for us to head back to Florida, and we thought we could visit places on our way. However, we broke down in Arkansas, which put us behind our schedule, and we had to push hard to make it to Florida by October 31st. We made it, though!
Mr T helped campaign for Governor Rick Scott with Generation Joshua. He made it on time and had a great experience.
The first part of November we spent in Florida. We had a great time, even though the weather was all over the place - some days we were in shorts, some days in down jackets, brrr!!!
I became a U.S. citizen in November! After being in the United States 21 years..
Our plan had been to spend Thanksgiving in Virginia, and come right back to Florida, but as often with our plans - they changed.
We ended up staying longer in Virginia, and bought tickets to fly to Maine:) We arrived in Maine with the Captain sick. So we didn't linger at Grandma and Grandpa's house, just drove up to our camp. Just in time for a snowstorm (ice, too!), birthdays, an adoption day and Christmas!
What a year. Full of adventures, full of changes. Full of God's grace, full of many stories of His provision and protection. We look forward to 2015 to see what God has in store for our family!
Happy New Year 2015 to all of You!
PS. (See also year 2011, year 2012 and year 2013.)