I felt great for Bennington Daze, our town celebration the Saturday after my very last “mean” chemo treatment. (I was feeling really energetic from the steroids they give me with it.) Eric and I had great opportunities to talk with the parents and grandparents at our booth while their kids were doing our make and take crafts, face painting, and temporary tattoos with the Slater Youth Group who came out to help and do VBS for us. (They did an awesome job!) Then on Sunday night after church the Youth Group came and watched our kids to give us a date night! (I think it was our first since Thanksgiving.) Even though I was pretty tired by then, I really enjoyed the opportunity to go out and spend time with my wonderful husband! He is always so good to me, but has definitely had to go above and beyond throughout this cancer battle! I am so thankful God has given me such a wonderful husband who loves me through anything that may come! 🙂
Wow! The Lord really answered the prayers for a very good week of VBS. I only felt really bad on the Tuesday after my chemo treatment, and the youth group from Slater had a couple girls stay and watch my boys so I could rest all day. What a blessing! I was able to connect with a few different moms throughout the week when I was able to go who ended up staying in the parks while their kids were at our VBS. Great opportunities with these families that don’t currently have a church home! Pray for these 5 families as we follow up and invite them to our church. We are also planning a VBS Reunion Picnic in the park at the end of July to invite all these families to come to, as well as our own church families. Pray we can have a good turnout and that our church family will have opportunities to get to know these families as well.
Then after a great Sunday in church, we packed up for our vacation to Colorado! We left Monday morning for the GARB Churches’ National Conference in Denver. The kids traveled really well and we made it in time for the opening evening session Monday night. It was a real blessing for me to have the kids in their own classes and be able to enjoy the preaching and workshops without interruptions! The speakers were excellent, encouraging, and challenging. (You can hear them online here by scrolling down to the expository sermons from Acts.) The theme of the conference this year was church planting, so we were able to participate in a couple of sessions and share some things from our church plant, as well as get some great ideas from other church planters. We are hoping this “exposure” will also help us as we continue to raise our support from churches and individuals so Eric won’t have to work 2 jobs, but can focus entirely on his church ministries. For more information on our ministry of planting churches you can check out our webiste: wilmeth.org.
After the conference we headed out to Colorado Springs for a few days of family time! We stopped to do some shopping at the Castle Rock Outlets, since we had won a couple gifts certificates and gift cards in drawings at the conference, we were able to get $55 worth of clothes and Rocky Mountain Chocolate for free! We then visited the Focus on the Family headquarters where the kids loved the play areas and replica Whit’s End Ice Cream Shop from Adventures in Odessey. Faith and Eric also were tall enough and short enough to go down the awesome 3-story slide they had!
We then found our Drury End hotel that would be “home” for a few days. We loved their pool and hot tub and their free breakfast, dinner, pop, and popcorn every day! Quite a treat for us. Thanks to all who sent me gifts to make this stay possible for us! Best quote from our 4-year old Adam about the hotel pool: “I can stay in here every day until we go to heaven!”
On Saturday, we enjoyed driving through the beautiful Garden of the Gods. So neat to see these awesome rock formations that God has created for us to enjoy! We got out and climbed around on the rocks and took some photos and Eric and the kids went on a short hike. Then we headed to the Ghost Town Museum where we learned about life in the 1800’s in a gold mining town, and even panned for our own gold! Eric found 3 little flecks of gold he got to keep in a small vial. We then headed to the Seven Falls. We all made the trek up the 244 steps to the top, even 2-year old Ethan! So breathtaking! We then had to descend the steps in the rain as a storm came in. A little nerve racking to say the least, but we made it just fine (and they had closed off the steps when we reached the bottom so people couldn’t go up anymore!) We then enjoyed a great dinner at Fargo’s Pizza with great friends who now live in Colorado Springs. It was a great time of fellowship and encouragement for all!
Sunday we drove up to the Summit of Pike’s Peak. So many beautiful lookouts along the way of the awesome mountains! Adam kept singing the song “My God is so Big” whenever he saw mountains on the trip. So neat to see him connecting nature with our Creator God! We got out at the summit to look around and take pictures and as we were finishing up and small snow shower blew in, so we had to run for our van to get out of the cold as Faith is yelling that it is blizzarding! But by the time we got back down the mountain we needed to turn our air conditioning on in the 90-some degree heat. It was really awesome to look back up at the mountains from our hotel and see how far we had driven up to the top of Pike’s Peak that day. We then took the rest of the day to relax and enjoy the pool at the hotel again.
Monday morning we headed for Greeley, CO to see my family. We were able to visit my 96-year old Great-Grandma in her nursing home. (She was still living in her own home until earlier this year when she had a stroke.) Her mind is still quick as a whip though! It was great for all of us to be able to see her again. Faith and Eric hadn’t seen her since her 90th birthday 6 years ago, I think. After that, we hit the Greeley Stampede with my cousin Jo and Brad and some of their family to see the races and the 4th of July fireworks! The boys especially loved the races which included motorcycles, 4-wheelers, dwarf cars, mini sprint cars, and mud truck races. The fireworks show was good with a really great finale too!
I am so thankful that God gave me the strength and good days to enjoy such a great week with my wonderful family. I am so blessed! (It was also nice not to have any doctor’s appointments for 2 whole weeks!) Thanks to all who were keeping me in their thoughts and prayers, and again thanks to those that sent me gifts to be able to enjoy this special time away in the middle of this battle with cancer! God is good, all the time!