I believe this old house used to be a farm. Goats were kept or milked in the basement and the owners lived upstairs. Today the wood for the wood stoves is kept in part of the basement, there is a small guest apartment in the basement, and the next two levels have wood floors, walls, and ceilings. We are not using the loft level which has a sleeping room for additional guests. The second level has an old kitchen, living/dining room, and two bedrooms. This house is just what we needed as get away as a family for a week before the Togo trip. August 30a, 2014

8/24//2014

Today we left the true Swiss Alps and headed to another part of Switzerland where we will be staying in an old house that is owned by a mission that lets missionaries stay for a very economical rate (about $30 per night for our family.) Along the route we stopped in Sion which was the oldest town in Switzerland where we took a trolly tour of the town. August 23, 2014

August 23a, 2014

8/23/2014

Today held fun for everyone. Of course the boys enjoyed time jumping on the trampoline but they also enjoyed the hike and the wild berries along the way.August 22, 2014

August 22a, 2014

8/22/2014

Well after we woke up today we took a short walk to discover the town we landed in under cover of darkness. There is a large gondola that takes off from this town and goes up to smaller villages that are only accessible by trail or by gondola. On our walk the boys discovered this town has a free trampoline set up so that got visited both in the morning and in the evening. They were pretty much the only ones using it and they had a blast. After we had lunch and a couple of boys laid down for their naps, I (with Melissa’s blessing) scooted off to explore the mountains and trails that were calling me. I took the gondola up and found trails back to our little apartment, but along the way were so many amazing sites… August 21a, 2014

August 21b, 2014

August 21c, 2014

August 21d, 2014

8/21/2014

Today was a bit of a marathon. From the time we woke up it was a mad dash to get everything done that was on our plate for this day. We’ve lived in our apartment here at language school for a year and a half and today was the day the school needed us out as new students are beginning to arrive. So, while packing and cleaning has been going on for a few weeks, there was a lot that needed to get done today. To make things a bit more interesting, we are not fly out to Africa until August 31st so that we can coordinate our flight with a fellow missionary family that will be returning and teacher Megan. By all arriving the same time we can help one another and share the ride from Lome to Mango. This means that we are packing most of our luggage for Africa and leaving it at school where we’ll retrieve it the day before our flight to Togo. We are also packing for a short vacation and time at a missionary guest house. Initially we had hoped to leave around 2pm for our first stop (a three night stay in the Swiss Alps), but we didn’t finally pull out of the language school until nearly 6pm. There was a collective sigh of relief as we pulled out of Albertville after a frantic day. We are so grateful for our fellow teammates at language school who seemed to sense how best to help us and pretty much watched the kids for us most of the day so we could do the last-minute packing and cleaning.  We had a three hour drive to our destination for the next three nights. We decided that despite living in the mountains the past year and a half, we wanted to get one more dose of the Swiss Alps so for the next three nights we’ll be staying in the mountain town of Blatten Switzerland and hoping for clear skies for views and hikes. Leaving late and needing to stop to feed the baby meant we didn’t pull into our lodging until nearly 9:30. When we stopped to feed Ezra we spotted this very pink old church…August 20, 2014

8/20/2014

Today after church the Mango, crew from language school stayed after to enjoy pizza together at church with Alain and Katherine Niles who are visiting their parents here in France. Alain and Katherine have been working with the Hospital project in Mango for several years and we will be flying to Togo with them on August 31st. Following our pizza gathering we headed back to Albertville where there was a Medieval Festival underway.August 17, 2014

August 17a, 2014

8/17/2014

Tomorrow Melissa’s mom, sister, and niece leave for home. Their visit has been an encouragement and a big help. They’ve enjoyed visiting while working together to get our apartment packed and ready for our departure, not to mention all the fun they’ve had with the boys. We are so blessed with loving and supportive family!August 16, 2014

August 16a, 2014

 

8/16/2014

As we prepare for our move to Togo we find ourselves taking photos like this one. While their school art projects probably won’t make the move, the photo serves as a reminder of their time in school here.August 15, 2014

8/15/2014

Today was a travel day. Leaving Seattle Monday evening after a mad dash to get last-minute details done, by the time I arrived in France it was Tuesday evening. Melissa and her mom met me at the airport with Eli and Ezra. It’s great to be back with Melissa and the boys and to know the container is done. On the way home from the airport we drove past this memorial for those that fought for the resistance in France during World War II. While we’ve been past it before we haven’t seen it when all the flowers are blooming.August 13, 2014

8/13/2014

Well the truck arrived to haul the container to the Seattle port this morning. Frankly it was a little nerve wracking to hear all the scraping and screeching sounds the container made as it began its journey. Next week this container will begin its long journey to Togo. God willing this container will arrive in Mango, Togo with its hospital equipment and our personal items in late November. Many thanks to the countless number of people and churches that make this move possible. I filled the afternoon with errands I needed to run before my evening flight.August 12, 2014

8/12/2014

Here’s the tail end of the 40′ container packed with equipment and supplies for the Hospital of Hope in Togo and with our household supplies and personal belongings. In the end the contents of this container weighed over 22,000 pounds. That’s 11 ton of boxes, crates, and large items that were moved at least once and in most cases twice primarily by Jim, dad Lofgren, dad, and myself. I guess we’re allowed to be a bit sore and tired.August 11, 2014

8/11/2014

I am so grateful for an incredibly supportive family! Melissa’s dad has always been an encourager and at the same time willing to help in any way he can. This project had him hopping. From arranging and collecting the many donations made to the Hospital of Hope that were to be packed on this container, to shopping and picking up items I didn’t have time to find and throughout the entire packing process dad Lofgren was upbeat and willing to help. August 10, 2014

8/10/2014

My dad was a huge help in packing the container and getting things moving. Despite being very busy and at times hectic, I sure enjoyed the time I got to share with dad during this task.August 8, 2014

8/8/2014

Jim and Mom brought their trailer and set up like old times in the parking lot. They were a HUGE help during my two weeks in the Seattle area. During most of the packing process when mom wasn’t working on a sewing project for the boys or Melissa, she was preparing meals for everyone who was around during meal times. Jim probably moved more boxes and totes than anyone, and they both went on shopping errands and made their vehicle available if I needed to run errands.August 7, 2014

8/7/2014

Kristina and Glen (Melissa’s sister and husband) gave up their day off this week to be a part of the container packing. I loved their willingness to jump in and help in any way needed.August 6, 2014

8/6/2014