Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Our family is counting down the minutes till it is officially the new year, well 3 of us are as Faith and Mercy are sleeping on the couch. 37 minutes to go :)
Looking back at 2013 and all we have done as a family and it is hard to imagine that all of this really happened in the same year!!!!!

The first 4 months were extremely hard and sad because we had to say good-bye to 5 of our precious babies as they went to meet Jesus. My kids still reflect on that time as a very bad time to be at Beautiful Gate and now whenever a child gets ill and needs to go to the hospital, they get scared and ask if the child will die. Learning to trust God and accept His timing has been an area of growth for our whole family in 2013. Those precious babies will not be forgotten and neither will the other 2 who have passed away since we have been in Lesotho.

We have some statistics about our time from June 11 till December 4; We started off by fundraising in Europe and then in the United States and Canada.
Number of countries we visited : 7
Number of country boarders crossed : 11
Plane flights : 11
Number of hours in a plane : 51 (does not include layover time)
Train rides : 2
Boat rides : 2
Number of states visited : 16
Number of church presentations : 8
School presentations : 5
Small groups/ bible studies : 5
Fundraisers : 3
Overnights with other families/ individuals : 18
Hours in a car : Enough to make our family CRAZY!!!!!!!!
Days alone as a family : 10

We arrived back on December 6th and have been relaxing a little and getting back into the swing of Lesotho living. It has been good to be back. We miss our family and friends, but it is good to be here, serving God with our precious staff. May God bless each of you as you look forward to 2014!
Elijah reading the Christmas story to the staff for our Christmas party.

And a big happy birthday tomorrow to our friend Aaron, Lucky did not come for Christmas this year so I am looking for another kid who will be blessed by the soccer ball you gave me for Lucky!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Unexpected Reaction

Thursday took me by surprise. It took us all by surprise and I have been trying to figure out how to describe it in a way that makes sense. Last week I shared about the new care center where our older children will be transferred to if they are not adoptable, or if no families are looking for children in their age range, or with special needs after age 6. It is a fantastic organization and I know in my heart that they will give excellent care and love to our children, but, to be honest, it was torture to let them go.

As a mother/father, when you have a newborn child, you immediately begin to dream about what his/her future may look like. You may think of the fun days where you will teach them to ride a bike or play catch, you may think of those milestones of their first steps or first words. Suddenly you find out that the child has special needs and will not be able to fulfill those dreams and desires of your heart and you have to mourn those. The child is no less special and often, I have heard, the new realities are even better that the dreams. I feel like this analogy is the best I can use to describe the feelings of our staff. I have NEVER seen so many tears or heard so many sobs among our staff, volunteers and even one of the children during our farewell ceremony. Each of us longed for these children to have a family. When a new child comes in, we begin to imagine what it will be like one day when they are reunited with a family member or adopted. It brings us such immeasurable joy on those days, but now we are in the process of mourning those dreams.

It is because we grew up in families and wanted it for these 4 precious kids. It is because for 5 years, one boy watched his friends all be adopted and begged us, "When will it be my turn?" It is because of the several times we rushed to the hospital to save one girl's life, and we longed for her to have a mother's touch because her time on this earth is likely to be short and it has been a hard life. It is because of one boy who fought and fought to live despite years of being malnourished. He is so young and has never known the joys of a real family, only the neglect of a relative. One girl, whose history is unknown, and who has struggled to bond with the staff at Beautiful Gate, and now that she has, she sobbed that she was given away.

It only hurts because we are all comparing our dreams to what we think should be their reality, but God's plan is better than ours. 8 years ago when a sweet little boy was born, God knew that the best place for him to grow up was going to be in care centers in Lesotho, Africa. Maybe he will grow up to be a man who brings great things to this country and needs to stay here so God's will can be done. I cannot do God's job and I cannot worry about this because God's plans are always better than we can imagine.

So I end this with the words of God Himself:
"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Water Experiment

After 2 1/2 years of boiling and then filtering our drinking water, Bryan and I did a little research back in America to try to make it easier. While we were staying with Bryan's parents, one of their neighbors came over to talk to me about a water filter that he knew a lot about. He works with water treatment and has been recommending this water filter to missionaries and short team volunteer teams in order for them to have safe drinking water on their journeys. I went online and looked into it and it sounded too good to be true. The water filter is good up to one million gallons!!! Yeah, everything else we looked into required filters every 3 to 6 months and the filters were close to $100 each. This filter also gets out 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa/cysts, also a major bonus. The cost of the water filter is $116 (US dollars) and it is small and very easily fits into a suitcase and can be put on the tap or built into a bucket.
We have been experimenting as a family for just over a week and the good news is, we are all doing great. It should have hit within the first 3 days if we were going to get sick so I think we are in the clear. Unfortunately one of our volunteers had a very bad flu bug when we arrived and Bryan has appeared to have picked that up ( started yesterday with the runs, fever, chills and aching all over) but we do not think it is water related at all. I am not sure what we will do with all our new found free time since we are not wasting time boiling water, although I can think of about 68 other ways to distract myself and use that new time (yep, you guessed it we have about 65 kids on campus plus my 3 not to mention staff I'd like to hang out with more)!
I am attaching the link in case anyone else has been looking for a good water filter :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

A New Care Center

While we were on furlough, there were countless times we were asked what happens when you have a child at Beautiful Gate that is over the age of 5. Our answer has been that we do our very best (or should I say our social worker does her very best) to get the children reunified to an appropriate family member or we try to get them adopted either locally or internationally. In a few instances, these options just do not work. Since I have been here, we have only transferred 3 children out of our facility. One to another care center where he had some siblings and two to foster care (which is not really set up well in this country yet). All others we have held onto longer than their 5 years until they have been adopted.
Unfortunately, we have several children who are over the age of 5 and have reasons that they are unable to be cleared for adoption or because of their age (7 and 8) and special needs they have not been matched after several times of being in a matching meeting. It is painful to realize that our care facility cannot provide what these kids need. They need a mother who can care for them, help them with school work and meet their growing emotional needs. Our house mothers are very busy working with all the infants and toddlers in their homes that the needs that our older children have are having to be overlooked, not by choice or lack of caring but by lack of time.
While Bryan and I were away on furlough, plans have been worked out through a local church and a local ministry which has a good relationship with Beautiful Gate and they are opening a care center focused on children 6-18 years old. They are working very hard in trainings and getting their home ready for some children and will be opening officially next week. 4 of our children will be transferring into this new care center. Benno (who took over for us while we were on furlough) has been working with them to help this transition to go very smoothly and has some plans for visitations in the next few days so they can meet their new mother and see their new home.
We are excited to have another wonderful care center that we can trust to give the same quality care to our children. We are sad for them that they will never be adopted into a family of their own, but we trust God that He will help this new mother to be the mother that can meet all their needs physically, emotionally and most importantly spiritually.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Safely home to Lesotho

We made it home to Lesotho late Friday afternoon! Yeah!!! We had some fun adventures as usual to get here. Our first 2 flights were delayed, but thankfully we were able to catch our connections. In Chicago we were told that our (Bryan and I) carry-ons were too big for Lufthansa so we had to do some serious reshuffling so that none of our electronics or other expensive items were in the 2 we needed to check because they refused to gate check them and had them checked all the way to Jo burg and last time that happened we had things stolen from our luggage. We got that sorted and then got to Germany for our 7 hour layover. We did some sleeping and walked around the airport as we waited and then 1 hour before our flight, Bryan took our tickets to the counter to make sure everything was in order and we were told that we would not be allowed to get on our flight to Jo-burg because we did not have a Visa. We have always flown into Maseru before and since we had no proof that we would be driving to Lesotho (despite our Lesotho Visa's) we were not trusted to fly to Jo-burg.
We did not know what to do and so Bryan and I circled up our kids and I prayed about our situation. We did not want to have to purchase tickets to Maseru because it is way to costly for our family of 5, but we did not want to be stuck in Germany either, so we prayed for God to make a way. Immediately after our prayer, Elijah said, "Don't worry we will be on our flight because God says that whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:240." I had to agree with his reasoning and 10 minutes later, Bryan went back to the desk and they worked out a way for us to buy refundable tickets out of Jo-burg in February so we could get into Jo-burg and then all we had to do was cancel the tickets at the Lufthansa counter at the Jo-burg counter (we did all the steps involved so we are praying for no problems in the cancelling and refund of our tickets). Now we know a lot more information in case we ever desire to fly through Jo-burg again and it only applies if you have no flights out within the next 90 days so it does not effect short term teams, volunteers or adoptive families, so now we know :)

Now we are getting settled into our home again and we have had the chance to listen to some of our staff trilling and shouting in happiness of our return as well as hugging all the staff, hugging and kissing all the children and playing in playgroup yesterday. I missed it so much and it feels so good to be a part of the Beautiful Gate team again. A massive thanks goes out to Benno and Wendy who helped in the day to day running of Beautiful Gate along with Kristen. The 3 of them did so many good things for the staff and kids while we were away and we have come home to find everything in good order. I thank God for volunteers like them who made it possible for us to have a furlough.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Send Off Service

On Sunday night we had a very special "send off" service at Haven CRC our home church. We have had two opportunities to share at church about our experiences in Lesotho and also on furlough and Sunday night was a time to just get together and share a meal. We had a pot luck and I brought along some papa and chakalaka for any brave souls who were willing to try new food (African food). Then Bryan and I were able to share about Beautiful Gardens and about our furlough and to have a time to thank our church family. They have been so supportive over the last 3 years and Bryan and I are so blessed to be a part of such a loving church.

Our pastor shared some verses and then each table shared communion together. It was a great way to spend time together, remembering why we do what we do and remembering God who gives us His strength through His beloved son Jesus who gave up everything for us. When we stop and think about all that Jesus has done for us, it is always a good reminder that what we are doing is nothing compared with what He gave up for us.

We finished off the night by singing my favorite new song Great I AM and then they circled around us, laid hands on us and prayed for us. I thank God for all this love and support from our church family and it was the perfect way to be sent off to do God's work over in Lesotho. We are not worthy of the call we have been given, but God is always there equipping us and giving us His strength.

Today is our final day in America. It is hard to believe how fast the time has gone. I feel sad to leave those I love, but I feel eager to reconnect with our Beautiful Gate staff and kids that I love. Doing mission work is such a strange mix of happy and sad with all the hellos and good-byes but God will keep giving us just what we stand in need of.

Here is a link to the Great I AM song on youtube if anyone wants to listen.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cheerful Givers

I have read the verse in 1 Corinthians 9:7 many times before, it says, "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
But, I have never truly seen it done before in quite the way I saw it done last Friday evening. A fundraiser was put together for the Beautiful Gardens project by a couple of special women, Pam and Mary, at Graafschap CRC church. They had a lot of helpers and put together an evening where we all rode in an airplane to Lesotho, Africa to help build a house for Beautiful Gardens. There were skits, music, exercise, and so much more. To be honest it was so funny at times, I along with a few other people, was literally crying. I could never pull off something like that so I am thankful that God has gifted so many people with the ability to bring laughter and fun to a fundraiser.

Here are a few photos from the evening...
Our beautiful angelic hosts for the evening, aka the top flight attendants who did many funny skits along with organizing the fundraiser. These ladies are so much fun!

Yep, Captain Bryan flew our plane to Africa. He did go a little off script on occasion to show his own good humor.
Apparently I have been living in Africa too long because I have never seen a tummy whistler skit before. I was crying from laughter. I will not disclose who the whistlers were though :)

Elijah got to join his buddies Jesse and Shelby for an in flight exercise routine.

As we closed the night, I reflected on how much joy had been shared throughout the evening. It means so much to me that despite the lighthearted atmosphere of the evening, every person there knew that they were there because of the orphans at Beautiful Gate. The money that they put into their envelopes would be going to be used to help in the care of orphans across the ocean through a building project,  and I got to sit back as people pulled out their checkbooks with smiles on their faces. I saw real cheerful giving and I learned something new about being a cheerful giver that night. Doing God's work is joyful, I should always give with a smile and with gratitude in my heart! Thanks again Graafschap Church. 
The goal was to raise $40,000 so they could build one house, but actually the number they announced at church on Sunday morning was $127,000, enough for 3 houses. You just can't beat God's giving!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What faith can do through an 11 year old!

When I went to Lesotho for the first time in 2009, my team was lead by my friends Keith and Lori Kroll. They had lived in Lesotho for 5 months with their 3 children a few years before our trip. During that time, their 5 year old daughter was impacted a lot by Beautiful Gate and by Lesotho. She has made an incredible video and tells her story in a way which is honest and real. She is working toward a goal of raising some funds to help build a rental home at Beautiful Gardens as a way of supporting the children and staff of Beautiful Gate. Please take some time to click on this link and watch her video and prayerfully consider your role in helping her reach her goal! Thank you Morgan for showing us all what faith can do and for having faith to move a mountain, or in this case build a house!


I may not have done this right to make the link work, but it does work when I copy and paste it. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

South Carolina and Halloween

Despite our apprehension about another road trip, our trip to south Carolina was a huge success! It was a blast for our kids as they reconnected with their cousins and I also enjoyed some time to get caught up with my sister, brother-in-law and dad again. We went hiking, to the zoo and just spent time playing together at the park and in the backyard with a big pile of leaves and it was wonderful.

The Greenville zoo was celebrating the birthday of their giraffe.
It isn't "fall" unless there is a huge pile of leaves to fall into!
The leaves wore her out :)

I felt a little inspired by the elephants so did a little reenactment in the gift shop.


It was also a highlight to hang out with our friends Tim and Antje as well and to see our kids all get along so well after 3 years of not seeing each other. Tim and Antje peppered us with questions about our time in Lesotho and also invited their bible study group over so we could share with them about Beautiful Gate. It was really good to answer their questions and look back at our journey thus far and it also got us more excited about going back to Lesotho. God is so good and He provided a lot of great connections and conversations during our time in South Carolina!

When we came back, we jumped right into the Halloween activities and Mercy really enjoyed her first "American" Halloween that she could remember (I have pictures to prove other years but she does not remember). We have carved pumpkins, done some face paint, and trick or treated with friends. This coming week is FULL of meetings and speaking engagements for Bryan and I as our time is winding down swiftly here in the states. We leave for Lesotho on December 4th so it is little over a month away.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

On the Road...Again

I'd be telling a flat out lie to say that any of us Geurinks are excited to hit the road again for a road trip, but that is what lies ahead tomorrow. I am already having lack of minivan and DVD player regret, hahaha. I am excited, however, about getting to see my sister, brother-in-law and 3 nieces soon so despite the lack of enthusiasm for the car ride, we are all happy to be seeing more family that we haven't seen for 3 years (wow that is a long time).
We are off through the Great Smokey Mountains to South Carolina and the forecast looks pretty good for the week. It will be good for our kids to get reacquainted with their cousins through some time at playgrounds and hopefully a little hiking too.
At the end of the week, we will get to see our friends Tim and Antje who were in a bible study with us many years ago and who happen to live only about a half hour from my family (how convenient). Bryan and I will have the opportunity to share our testimony with their bible study group and about the ways God's glory has been evident during our time at Beautiful Gate, so prayers for wisdom and God's words would be appreciated. Well, off to finish packing before we hit the road!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some October Highlights

Yep - we are CRAZY!

My mom, dad and brothers spent a week with us so we thought it would be fun to represent our favorite teams for a family picture. Yep, we had them all beat with our Packer gear!

Our kids made some new friends when we went to visit some really good college friends and their 2 super cute kids.
There was a huge bin of corn for the kids to play in and Bryan enjoyed burying our kids. Who needs a beach with sand when there is corn in the autumn.
Can you believe we got all 5 kids looking at the camera!! Miracles never cease. We had such a good time in Chicago.

Our final stop in Chicago included surprising our kids' "big sister" Paige who lived next to us for 8 months in Lesotho. Her sister helped us surprise her as we showed up unannounced at her college dorm (we are so sneaky). That was pretty cool!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Some Days

Some days, I walk through the trees and look at the beautiful fall colors and I think of how deeply I missed that when I was in Lesotho. Some days, I look west in the evening and I think of the magnificent sunsets that were a part of my daily life in Lesotho.
Some days, my heart is filled with such unexplainable joy when I see my kids experiencing things which are part of the normal everyday lives of their American friends, but they relish it with such an innocent delight that it takes my breath away. Some days, I think of the late night conversations I had with my kids about a child in the hospital or a recent death of a BG kid and I remember my heart being filled with such a deep satisfaction that my kids really understand God even on our darkest days in Lesotho, even on days where I was tempted to doubt.
Some days I think 5 years is enough for our family to serve in Lesotho, but then I think 5 years is no where near enough time. But today, I am not worried. I am not stressed. I know whose I am. I know that God will show us the way, He will guide our path and our steps because He is close to us and He cares about us. He will prepare the way for the next leader when the time is right and He will be faithful.
Since being home I have discovered a new song which is my new favorite. The Great I Am by Phillips, Craig and Dean. It is a perfect reminder of who God is and that He is in control. He knows my future and I do not need to worry or be afraid because I am being lead by the Great I AM!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Writer's Block

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know what to write about! I have sat here for 3 nights in a row and just don't know what to write about. I have so much on my mind, yet nothing that I can really put into words. We have done some amazing things like celebrating our churches 50th anniversary, and I have had a lot of mental struggles that I am working through. Some are just dumb things like trying to figure out why it bothers me when I feel like I have deprived my kids of certain things and the next minute I am beaming with joy over some incredible insight they showed from an experience at Beautiful Gate. So I guess I am just in a pensive state right now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Saying Good-bye long distance

Wow, so many changes are taking place at Beautiful Gate while we are away. Some have been great, some have been extremely difficult and some leave us feeling like we are missing a little closure by not being there. Benno and Wendy are doing a great job at Beautiful Gate and I thank God that He brought them there to fill in for us while we have been away. I got an email from Wendy about one of the kids who will be leaving soon and I got an email from Kristen (our volunteer in the BG office who is Bryan's right hand helper) about 5 kids who will be leaving in the next 2 weeks. It is good that there are a few kids leaving real soon as our numbers have just bounced to 74 today!

With these kids leaving it has caused me to reflect on a few of them and on how bittersweet it is that I will not likely see them again. In those kids are my "soccer buddy" who was deathly afraid of white people when he first arrived, oh how he screamed and hid from me whenever he saw me near him. It took about 2 weeks before he warmed up and became my buddy. His smile lights up a room. My "cuddler" is also being adopted. She would run to my side and hug me whenever she had the chance. I looked for her in play group because I knew she would give me her best smile and hug and then we could run off and play together. My "singer," I will miss my little singer. He is the brightest kid I have ever met in my life and he can sing and clap to the beat and though he is young, he has been doing it for years. I thank God that I have a little recording of his little voice because I will miss his singing and his amazing chubby cheeks.

The last little guy is a miracle, and today I got to write him a farewell letter. It was hard not to tear up as I recall how special and how miraculous his life is. So many nights I was on my knees in prayer for this little kid, praying that God would heal him and now the Lord has provided him a family of his own. It leaves me feeling awestruck by the goodness and faithfulness of our God. I am sad that I will not get to say good-bye in person, but it is only a tiny sadness that is overcome with the joy that God has not left these children as fatherless or motherless. He has given them the very thing they stand in NEED of, a family who will love them. Until we meet again my precious Beautiful Gate friends.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to the swing of things...

It took a little while to rest up and wait for my headaches to subside after all our travels. I have been taking it easy for the last week and a half which I think helped the headaches to go away. The kids started school last Monday and they were a little less than thrilled to start school only 2 days after returning from their travels, but they have adjusted this week and school has been going very well.

We also spent some time relaxing by the river and watching the guys do some fishing. It was a good way to spend some down time after the traveling. We still have so many people we want to see and not near enough weekends to squeeze it in so I hope that we will be able to manage our time well in the next 2 1/2 months!

We did have a day where we were missing Lesotho so I made a traditional Basotho meal in order to help us feel closer to our friends there. It turned out pretty good, yeah!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

We are home in Michigan

We have arrived safely home to Michigan. Our last leg in the journey was pretty exciting so I thought I would share our final highlights. We spent the night in Green Bay, Wisconsin so in the morning we took our kids to see the Packer's stadium. I have been a fan of the Packers for a long time and it was fun to see how excited my kids got when I told them we were going to see the stadium.

The next item on the agenda was taking my brother across the Mackinac bridge as neither he nor our kids have been across the bridge. They thought it was pretty cool and had a lively conversation about why the lake has one name on one side of the bridge and another on the other when there is nothing separating the lakes :)
And the final stop was a very very special one for my kids. A few years ago, my sister-in-law Kristin unknowingly got Elijah addicted to a series of books by Jonathan Rand, the Michigan Chillers books. She mailed 2 books to us in Lesotho and within 3 hours, Elijah had read both of the books. I was shocked that a boy could read that fast and after that he begged her and his grandmother to ship him books for his birthday and Christmas. Bryan and I were going to be driving right by Chillermania which is his store in Indian River and it was late in the day so we figured we would just get a picture of him outside the building, but we saw a car in the parking lot and the door to the store was unlocked. My kids walked inside and found that Jonathan Rand and his wife had stopped by the store to pick something up (it was not actually open). They were kind enough to let my kids buy a few books and he autographed the books and even offered to let me take a picture with him and my kids. To say that my kids were excited would be a bit of an understatement!!! As we were leaving, Mr. Rand also handed my kids a free CD of some ghost stories for the rest of their journey. I was super thrilled for my kids!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Almost home

I want to write something eloquent and beautiful to describe the journey our family has been on since August 2nd, but words fail me. SO many friendships renewed, new friendships formed, and experiences that will NEVER be forgotten. My children have so many highlights that I cannot even begin to narrow it down. Each city and each family we stayed with has blessed us and enriched our lives by sharing theirs with us. I thank God that He could orchestrate all of our divine appointments, give us strength to share how He is working through us, give us the strength to share our hearts about Beautiful Gate, keep us all in pretty good health as we traveled from place to place, bless our children with experiences that few children their age have been blessed with, and so much more. Thank you so much to all of you who have opened your homes and hearts to us. Thank you for the many meals, tours and heartfelt conversations.

With the chance to share and answer questions, came the million dollar question, over and over again. "Will you be coming home after your 5 year commitment is up, or will you extend your stay?" Time and again we have felt a tug in our heart one way or the other. To come home and be with the ones we love and have missed so terribly...how we yearn for it. However, being with the precious children and staff that have carved themselves in our hearts and who we love and truly feel humbled by and called to serve...how we yearn for it. So we cannot in any way answer the question of what we will do yet because we are seeking the Lord so if you would like to help, please pray for us to hear from God and that we will do His will, not our own, not our family's and not Beautiful Gate's.

We are slowly making our way back to Michigan and hope to be there either Saturday or Sunday this week.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

More Colorado fun

On Wednesday, our new friend Michelle set up a few opportunities for Bryan and I to share the story of Beautiful Gate. Both of the meetings went well and we had a little extra time to meet for lunch with Michelle and her friend, April. Michelle wanted to make sure the rest of our road trip went well so she had a "few" goodies to share :)

I'd say that Mercy liked some of her gifts :) Thanks Michelle and Dave.

Thursday and Friday were relaxing days. We stayed home and enjoyed some outdoor backyard fun and then had a nice dinner and a smore fire with Sara's parents.

Today, we went to Estes Park and it was an amazing day. We saw a lot of wildlife as well as beautiful mountains, streams, lakes and waterfalls. Lots of driving, but it was worthwhile to enjoy God's creation once again :) I think the kids and I are really enjoying the freedom to not be in a "compound" but to walk, run and play all over the place and not worry about fences or being in by dark, etc.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Colorado Fun with the Willetts

We left our cabin and met our friends Zach, Sara and Elly in Breckenridge for an additional 2 nights in the mountains. I can honestly say that the mountains could never get old for this family! Wow, God's amazing creativity is so apparent in Colorado and no offense to MI, but we think that Colorado is by far the most beautiful state we have been in as a family!

I'd say cooling off in the pool, but that would be a lie because we were at a pool heated by some hot springs! I would love to come back on a cool day and relax in the hot pool :)

Sara and Elly enjoying the warmth. It is the perfect pool for little kids because they will not get cold in this pool.

Enjoying a ride in the cable cars. 

A view from the cable car up to the top of one of the Breckenridge peaks.  

On our way home, Sara took us over a mountain instead of through the tunnel so I got to give my girls a little lesson on the continental divide.

What a view!