Daily Encouragement for Homeschooling Mothers

Peace

If all goes as planned, we should be docked in Vancouver, British Columbia, before this blog is posted this morning. Since it was less expensive to spend the night here in Vancouver and fly home on Tuesday than to fly home on Monday, we are here for the day. We have in mind two parks we could visit today. One has museums and the other is along the Pacific Ocean. I definitely want to spend some time looking out over the Pacific–maybe most of the day. Pacific means peaceful. After all we have seen and heard and felt of God’s glorious Creation, the idea of sitting quietly beside the largest ocean in the world sounds nice. From Nashville to Anchorage to Denali to Vancouver, we have covered approximately 6,000 miles–and we still aren’t home...

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Gold Rush Days

Today the ship is to dock at Skagway, Alaska. Skagway became a boom town after the Klondike Gold Rush began in 1897. In 1898 construction began on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad. One hundred years later the governments of Canada and the United States created the Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park with U.S. sites in Skagway, Alaska, and Seattle, Washington, plus two locations in Canada. We plan to the visit the historical park in Skagway with its many restored historical buildings and also take a ride on that original narrow guage railroad begun in 1898. The ride begins in Skagway and ends at the nearby border between the U.S. and Canada and is billed as a thrilling ride. Again, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”...

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A State Capitol, A Church, and A Glacier

Today we have a half-day stop in Juneau, the state capital of Alaska. We try to tour state capitol buildings when we have a chance. I don’t remember ever even thinking I would have the chance to visit Alaska’s! Nearby is St. Nicholas Orthodox Church. Russians built settlements in Alaska beginning in 1784. The Russian Orthodox Church sent missionaries to Alaska. St. Nicholas Orthodox Church was established in the late 1800s, especially to serve the Tlingit people.We look forward to visiting St. Nicholas, too. Tongass National Forest, the largest national forest in the United States, covers most of southeast Alaska, including the area around the state capitol. The U.S. Forest Service operates the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center nearby. We plan to go...

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Migrating South

In 1994 our family went on a mission trip to Idaho. We took the opportunity to see many of God’s amazing creations and to visit sites important in American history by taking the long way home. It was our first opportunity to see the Pacific Ocean. I love the story of how salmon migrate to the sea and then work and struggle to migrate back to the place of their birth. Think of all the things God has put together to make that happen year after year, century after century. A highlight of that trip was a stop we made to watch salmon jump upstream as they headed to their home streams. Today our ship is to stop at Icy Strait Point, a new tourist destination operated almost exclusively by native Alaskans from the nearby Tlingit village of Hoonah. We plan to...

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Sailing, Sailing . . .

Today we are to spend the entire day onboard ship. From the port at Whittier, where we left last night at 9:00 p.m. to the port near Hoonah, Alaska, where we are to dock tomorrow morning, is 499 miles. I guess we don’t have time for stops! I’ve never spent a whole day at sea. This will be a first. I grew up hearing the song “Sailing” and it came to mind when I started writing about our plans for today. The chorus begins: “Sailing, sailing over the bounding main . . .” Perhaps many of you are too young to have heard it. I found a YouTube video of a Micky Mouse singalong cartoon with the words printed at the bottom of the screen, if you are curious. In their June 1969 issue of The Lookout, the Seaman’s Church Institute of...

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One Ship, Two Ships

Today is the day Ray and I are to climb aboard the biggest ship we have ever boarded for the first cruise we have ever taken. That isn’t saying a whole lot for us, because we have spent very little time on water. We don’t sail until 9:00 p.m. tonight. When we found out that we could purchase tickets for an afternoon cruise that takes tourists up close to Blackstone Glacier and even see it calve, we decided to take the plunge. (I certainly don’t mean that literally!) I love the portion of Job when God speaks. The book of Job begins with the story of what happened to Job and then for thirty-five chapters, Job complains and his friends offer well-meaning but completely ineffective explanations and advice. In chapter 38, God silences everyone with...

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A Mountain That God Made

Our train leaves the Anchorage Depot this morning at 7:15 a.m. Alaska Time. Today we might see moose, black bear, brown bear, beaver lodges, lots of waterfowl, and possibly even a wolf between Anchorage and Denali! We have one stop along our way in the village of Talkeetna, at the confluence of three rivers where the Dena’ina people once fished and traded. The Dena’ina are a subset of native Athabaskans. The name Talkeetna comes from the Athabaskan word meaning river of plenty. Prospectors came to Talkeetna in the late 1890s when gold was discovered nearby. The village remained a supply town for miners until the 1940s. After that it was home to homesteaders, trappers, a few miners, and the men who built the railroad taking Ray and me there today....

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