It was finally July, the month we have been so looking forward too! We were going HOME!! To our Dolce, our stuff, and our village that loved us so well the short time we were in Alaska. But first, we had to squeeze out every bit of fun Cincinnati had to offer!
Unlce Mike came to visit. We visited the USAF museum, spent the 4th of July at a Red’s game, and he helped us move to our second to last place to stay in Cincinnati. The Reds game was the highlight for sure! We got to go into the media booth and have ice cream with Marty Brennaman, the Reds legendary broadcaster! Thank you Dragonfly! He was so kind to our children even taking the time to wipe ice cream off of LJ’s face. LJ couldn’t hang long enough for fireworks so I took him home while Joshua, Mike, and Emmaleigh stayed then walked home after the game!
I reached out to some friends from Homestead, FL with family in Cincinnati because we had acquired SO MUCH STUFF while spending the summer there about the need for more luggage. My friend Erin’s mom showed up. In a way that only God can provide.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothingMatthew 6:25
We were given SO much luggae, probably close to 30 bags. The thing about luggage is you really don’t get rid of it until it is practically broken. People had donated perfectly wonderful suitcases, and I know they had to replace them after they gave them to us. It was such a blessing. Once we figured out what we need to use to get all of our things home, we were able to donated most of the rest.
After we settled in our new place in the heart of the city (read pretty sketchy area) we left for a few nights to visit the East’s in Pennsylvania. This amazing trip is just another example of the vastness of the community God has placed in our lives. The East’s were actually grandparents of Joshua’s supervisor in Anchorage, they knew our story and wanted to meet us! We attended a prayer service for the healing of LJ and our sweet little kiddos “collected” more grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. East were some of the most hospitable people I have ever spent time with and we really enjoyed meeting them!
We came back to Cincy to enjoy Bark N Bash at the Bengals stadium where I got to speak with the beautiful Mindi Huber and LJ and Joshua got to kick footballs with Kevin Huber! They are definitely a power couple that loves Bengal football, their city, and of course all the FUR babies! Emmaleigh was somewhere running around paining volunteers faces with tiger stripes!
We checked into our final house in Cincinnati, right on the corner of Washington park! It was a very neat house and we got to enjoy the city by riding the streetcars many times! Grannie came to visit our last week in Cincinnati too!
One of our last weekends in Ohio we spent with the Wolf’s. God had been so gracious by allowing a family we were already close with to be so close to us when we really had no one. We hung by a pond and had a blast kyaking! LJ loved the sand, wasn’t really a fan of the water, but really enjoyed being in the Kyak!
The last night in Cincinnati felt like Christmas Eve, only instead of presents under a tree, it was suitcases in a mini van. SEVENTEEN SUITCASES to be exact. Because we were on military orders, we each were allowed 5 checked bags free, again, thank God because i could not even imagine what that would have cost.
We came home to an awesome “Welcome Home” sign, were reunited with our Dolce, and our neighbors!! It felt so nice to be home and we were there for the last bit of the Alaskan summer! It was weird to see our house without snow. Cooking out of pots and pans, toys everywhere, and trips to the mail box are just some of the simple things I missed the most!!
It felt so good to be home after 130 days away. It was like a family deployment. We were away from all of our possessions and comforts, but at least we had all of us together for a change. Joshua had not been to work in 130 days, I still can’t believe that in 2007 God worked the Air Force into our life plan for this very situation. He knew our child would need to be under expensive medical treatment and temporarily relocated. Because of Joshua’s supervision and decision to join the Air Force we were able to do the full 130 days together and all of LJ’s medical expenses are paid in full. Not to mention most of our lodging and a rental mini van for 130 days…we know that is not normal for most families battling childhood cancer. We still are unsure of why we have been so well taken care of, God’s plan for our family is mighty and it was just getting started when we arrived back in Anchorage.