A Birthday Gift

For those of you who don't know, this whole trip was made possible by Hannah Hanson! A couple weeks before my birthday, she absolutely floored me with such a creative and generous gift- 2 round tickets (standby) to anywhere continental US that Southwest flies!! That was the beginning of weeks of, "Where do I go?" "For how long?" "Who do I take?" Many of you know I have a terrible weakness for indecisiveness in some areas, and this was definitely one of them. But alas, after juggling options, it was decided visiting family in Tennessee was the best, and Aimee Marsceau accompanied me.
All that to say a great big THANK YOU to you,
Hannah, for giving me such a wonderful time for my birthday!!

And thank you, Aimee, for joining me!!

Well, I've finally got them up! In fact, maybe overdid it a little... this is probably the longest post in the history of this blog... and that was after turning down hundreds (literally) of other pictures to share, some of which I haven't barely looked at :)!

Why do computer screens do this? Heh?

Chicago: a *bit* crowded. :) This was after God gave me a wonderful divine appointment in the plane-- there weren't two seats together, so Aimee and I sat across from each other. That put me next to a lady with whom I was able to witness to the entire flight! Praise the Lord!

And yet another sign the Lord was controlling our trip-- within 5 minutes of arriving in Chicago, we passed these two Christians on their way from California to Pennsylvania to attend school there. After we passed them a second time there in the Chicago airport, they turned around and said, "Looking for a place to eat?" We spent our 2 hour layover (ended up being less than that, due to boarding early) getting to know them a little bit and sharing fun stories. :)

Getting a glimpse of life at the Beams-- door to door witnessing included (a beautiful day in our South Dakotan opinion! [much in contrast to the feelings of the 60 or so other teens]).

Phone calls home...

Guitar lessons...

John 3:16 in the Burmese language.
But I suppose you knew that, right? ;)

We collated thousands of these Burmese Bibles while we were there. Believe it or not, this is a posed picture-- pretty good actors, wouldn't you agree?

Getting ready to play "Marsceau Yard" at an unearthly hour.

The Beams own around 200 acres of beautiful country, most of which is woods; beautiful even without all the luscious green that is there during warmer months.

Their woods were absolutely packed with treasures... horse apples, Muscadine grapes, black walnuts, Indian money, wild chives, herbs...

rickity tree houses...

...that are even more rickity when you're in them. :)

What do you get when you put 5 girls together for 10 days?


Bus routes, early Sunday morning.

Enthusiastic bus occupants!

Ah, yes, packing... late... very late... I won't show the attempts to STUFF everything back in the suitcases for the ride home :)!

On the way to the airport being waved goodbye by-- yes, you guessed it-- snow in Tennessee! I suppose it was only to be expected that we'd leave behind a bit of South Dakota.

Don't be deceived, we weren't this happy to leave! Thank you, Uncle Randy, Aunt Shirley and the rest, for opening your home and putting your time and hearts into making our visit so very enjoyable and profitable!

On board once again.

Keeping busy. Enjoying my 6th bag of peanuts (I didn't ask for any, honest! I wasn't really the glutton I sound like, they just kept handing them out and I cordially obliged!).

Ah, yes, and about you Southwest persons: how do we say this any plainer than to say, thank you! You were all too fun, kept the trip casual and comfortable!

Leaving Chicago, headed for Omaha.

Pardon the fuzzy picture- it was the coldest day in a decade for SD, about a 80 degree difference for us coming back from TN... I didn't bother resetting the ISO, my hands were too stubborn. :) I know the rest don't have very good quality either, I couldn't take my camera along, but did the best I could with the one I had! Oh, and a disclaimer: obviously, I didn't take all these pictures, the ones where I'm in them were usually by Aimee or a nearby willing someone. :)

Well, that's going to have to be all, lest blogger gets impatient with me! Now, you who've been begging for these pictures- better make it worth it and leave your comments! :) There's just no way I could show you guys all that we did or I learned while gone for those short 10 days, but this will have to do! Blessings!