Island Adventures

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We made it to Whidbey Island last Thursday night and our first adventure took us off the island the next day. We didn’t want to haul too much food across the state, so on Friday we packed up the boys and headed north.

The island connects to the mainland via two bridges suspended high over Deception Pass. I have just a little, tiny fear of heights; actually it’s a big fear, and the thought of crossing those bridges is tough for me. There are two narrow lanes and I swear that if I don’t lean toward the center line, we’ll fall off the edge. Throngs of people stop to admire the view and walk across. I’m not among them. If I lived here year-round I would need desensitization therapy to overcome this – seriously.

At Costco in Burlington, we piled our cart high with lots of yummy food to feed the crew; five days later, I’m wondering if we’ll need to make an additional trip.

The kids will start rolling in for our reunion soon. Noah and Katie will return on Thursday evening. Annarose and Beza will arrive Friday night, we hope. We’re still trying to sort out a ride for them from the Christ in Youth conference in Corvalis. I’m  hoping to find a youth group from the Seattle area that will give them a ride north. If not, we’ll look in to the bus or train; if all else fails, Russ will drive to Portland and pick them up there.

Hannah flies in Saturday morning and Samuel will drive over from Idaho that day. Mimi has a work event in Seattle on Saturday and will join us afterward. We’ll miss Isaiah, who is working in St. Louis, and of course, we’ll miss Kalkidan.

We’re playing on the beach, taking evening walks along the coastline, sailing the catamaran, having campfires, poking around in thrift stores, reading stacks of books, and playing nightly croquet tournaments.

I am so happy here and wish we could settle in for a year – or ten. Surely Russ could find a way to work remotely and I could homeschool the crew. I can dream.

Wherever you are in the world, my friend, I hope you’re having a good week. Thank you for reading, for sharing my life, and for so many prayers.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Tammy
    July 29, 2015

    Ah! It would have been fun to bump into you at the Burlington Costco! Praying for a wonderful time for you and your family!

    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 29, 2015

      That would have been fun 🙂 I always wonder if I'll run into someone I know, either in real life, or through the blog world (and then they become real life friends)!

  2. Ann Z.
    July 29, 2015

    Lisa, you should write about your favorite Costco items!!! I did not discover it until there were just two of us to feed so I can imagine what a lifesaver it is for your large family. Savor your island life while it lasts. It's been a long time since we've summered that way, miss it actually. Reading The Happiness Project following GR's Habits book, which I think I prefer, but they do work interestingly together. Love to you and yours. Ann

  3. Pam H.
    July 29, 2015

    Thank you for taking us along on your vacation. I almost feel like I'm intruding if it weren't for your kindness in sharing your time with us. You bless me more than you can know with your blog. Blessings sent to you and your family. Relax and enjoy…so glad you are having fun.

    PS: I'm terrified of heights…you are in my prayers!!!

  4. Jeri
    July 30, 2015

    Your island sounds wonderful…but I'm in agreement with you about the bridge. I too lean in and flip out if the person driving does not drive on the inside lane. Like it would really make a difference. :o)

  5. Megan
    July 30, 2015

    We are traveling from Seattle to Whidbey Friday morning if we can help!

  6. Laurel
    August 13, 2015

    I LOVE that bridge!


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