Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Activities

Greetings on this snowy day in Boise.

We had a pretty hectic week before arriving in Boise on Christmas Day. Let me tell you about it.

Dec. 18th found me thinking about my mom. It would have been her 73rd birthday. She has been gone for just over three years. I thought of the things she enjoyed about Christmas...peppermint patties, Christmas lights and watching us girls open our stockings! Santa always made sure that there were four or five gifts in those stockings. I sometimes wonder what our relationship would have been like if she had not gotten cancer. I am thankful though for the hours I was able to spend with her over Labor Day Weekend before she died the end of October.

Dec. 19th I worked at Northwood on the bulletin, the script, the power point presentation (realized Power Point 2007 is not th
at bad of a program; I just needed to be patient with myself as I looked for the necessary tools to do the overheads for Sunday) and continued working on the Christmas Dinner Box list ~ confirming families and reminding them when to pick up their dinner box.

Saturday, Dec. 20th we celebrated 33 years of marriage. You can read my reflections with the previous post. To update, we did go out for lunch at Olive Garden and then ran some errands and decided not to go to the movies but spent the evening at home and enjoying being together and watching Christmas movies.

Sunday, Dec. 21st woke to more snow! We made macaroni & cheese for the potluck at church and then made our way there. There was lots of discussion about do we go ahead with the children's Christmas program? the potluck? It was a a wait and see time. It was finally decided the children would sing the songs they had been practicing and we would have a potluck with the food that was brought. The children did a wonderful job of singing songs from around the world and then a great potluck was had by all. Many kinds of soup, rolls, salads and of course traditional Christmas cookies rounded out t
he meal. It was fun to visit with friends, share a special service with the children's singing and end with a delicious meal.

In the evening Ron and I went the Clemon's Annual Egg Nog party. Great conversation with good friends made for a wonderful way to spend the evening. After leaving the Clemon's we headed to Bellingham airport to pick up Gilda, a friend's mom who was arriving as a Christmas surprise. Well the snow, wind and cold kept the plan from landing and she went back to San Diego. We heard later they were just an hour out of Bellingham when the pilot turned the plane around:(.

Dec. 22nd we awoke to more snow!!!! Ron did a couple of jobs which included getting the pick-up stuck 6 times trying to get to and from the jobs. I picked up Kristen and her daughter Jade and took them to Bellingham for Jade's doctor appointment. She is fine, just had a rash break out due to her cold. On the way back we stopped once again at the airport. Rumors had it that Gilda was actually going to land! She arrived at 12:30 p.m. I drove to Dan & Tina's (Dan didn't know his Mom was coming) and Gilda trekked through the snow to the front door. She knocked and Charlie and Dan opened the door, staring in disbelief at seeing his Mom at the door. Needless to say he was pleasantly surprised! Yeah!! Tina pulled it off!!!

I then picked up Coral (Jade's sister) from day care, took Kristen home and then the girls and I went to lunch at BK and then shopping for Christmas gifts for Kristen. The girls gifts were at school which had been closed on Thursday and Friday due to the frigid cold and snow. Being a mom myself, I knew how important it was to the girls that they have something under the tree. We had a good time and then stopped
and picked up Montana (another young girl from our church). After taking Jade & Coral home, Montana and I went to the church to help pack the Christmas Dinner Boxes. There were many helpers and it didn't take long to get them all packed and ready to hand out on Tuesday. It was fun to be with so many people, working towards a common goal and being with friends.

Dec. 23rd we woke to more snow. Ron took me to the church to work and then he and Dana went to Costco to pick up 200 pumpkin pies for the dinner boxes. There was absolutely no room for anything but the 200 pies, Ron and Dana! Everyone gathered at the church around 1:00 and put the pies in the boxes and got ready to hand out the boxes. I don't know the exact count (the papers are on the desk in the church office just waiting for me to return from Boise) but we did give away 200 Christmas Dinner boxes. The last delivery was made at 10:10 p.m. The day was busy but I would not change a thing; it was lots of fun being together with friends and sharing with those in our community. Ron even got his picture taken by the mayor of Blaine!

Christmas Eve we woke to more snow and feeling like there was too much to do and not enough time to do it all in! We wrapped gifts to take to Boise, delivered the last two Christmas Dinner Boxes, got some great coffee from the Blackberry House (Aaron the peppermint mocha was delicious!), went to the church to get the keys from the pick-up for the storage unit (wanted to have the chains for the suburban in the suburban before getting on the road to Sea Tac), stopped and did 3 loads of laundry, picked up suitcases from the Alesse's (thanks Patrick & Patricia), made a trip to Bellingham to get last minute prescriptions and snacks for in the car and on the plane (found out we don't need to bring our own snacks on Alasaka Air), grabbed a quick lunch. Found out the Christmas Eve communion service was canceled due to the weather (mixed feelings - we so enjoy the service each year but was thankful for the extra time; Margaret is right ~ cancellations are a gift of time), returned home, packed the suitcases and two carry on's + the computer, took Charlie Brown to Lynn & Tanya's (thanks for being the best dog sitters around) and made another trip to the church to print up our itenerary (I had printed it up once but who knows where that copy went!). Waited for the phone call from Jamie that he had made it safely home ~ with all the snow that fell during the day all were concerned that once he got off the freeway he might not make it on the side streets in the Honda Del Sol. We then made one last stop before heading out of Blaine ~ we stopped at the Gibson's to celebrate Christmas Eve sharing scripture, singing some traditional Christmas carols, taking communion and prayer with their family and Sam & Norma Jean Crozier ~~~ it was a special time to reflect on Christ's birth and a wonderful way to begin our Christmas. Thank you Gibson's for allowing us the privilege of being with your family on such a special night!

It was close to 10 p.m. when we began the drive to Seattle. We got about 10 miles down the road and Ron asked "did you turn the hot water heater off?" I said no. As we debated do we turn around or not, we came to Slater Road; Ron got off the freeway, turned around and we drove back to the motor-home. As would happen he had turned off the hot water heater but as we both said "better safe than sorry." Both of us felt relieved that we knew for sure the hot water heater was off. I kept imagining that on our return the hot water tank would have burned out and there would be NO propane ~ a very chilling thought! So we got back on the freeway and made an uneventful trip to Seattle. We arrived in Seattle and were settled into our motel room about 2:00 a.m. I wish I could say we had a great night's sleep BUT we can't; we were both restless and up/down off and on through the night.

Christmas Day we woke up to freezing cold weather and snow falling!!! All we could think about was hoping that our plane would take off and we would get out of the snow! After driving around the airport for almost an hour looking for a parking spot we went to the hourly parking lot (cost John $35 to get the suburban to drive him and Miriam home) and had no problem finding a spot there! We trekked into the airport, found out our flight was delayed 2 hrs, got our boarding passes and checked our luggage. We then made our way to the gate and made ourselves comfortable. We boarded the plane in Seattle 20 minutes after we were supposed to land in Boise, but that was OK, we were just glad that we were finally on our way. We arrived to falling snow in Boise! and more cold weather!! but most of all we were glad to finally see Brandon and know that soon we would see Danalyn, Max and Christopher. We had a delightful dinner at Danalyn's folks and then went back to B &D's place where we opened gifts. It was fun to see the excitement of Max and his enthuisiasm in playing nerf basketball with his Dad, Christopher playing with his new bus and Danalyn taking lots of pictures!

On a side note: due to my bad cold we made plans to be with Jamie, Suzanne and Opal after our return from Boise. We are thankful for Opal and her improving health every day and definitely didn't want to expose her to a cold that could be avoided. Jamie, Suzanne and Opal spent a quiet Chirstmas Eve together and then on Christmas Day spent time with Suzanne's family (they had made the trip from Burlington and Bellingham to Blaine to be with Jamie, Suzanne and Opal). I can't wait to see pictures of Opal's first Christmas and of course be able to spend time with them when we get back.

Ron and I are so blessed to have the children and grandchildren that we have!

Friday, Dec. 26th found me in bed for the whole day ~ my cold has hit full force so I hunkered down in the blankets, reading and sleeping throughout the day. Brandon, Max and Christopher came over to go swimming with Grandpa. In the evening Ron went over to Brandon's place for dinner.

Which brings us to today, Saturday, Dec. 27th - I am still not feeling well so have taken it pretty easy. I have napped twice today and am once again beginning to feel a little human. Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher are coming over to hang out and then we are going out to dinner. Tomorrow or Monday this Gramsdude gets to spend the day with Christopher while the rest of them go play in the snow and go snow shoeing! and snow boarding! I can't imagine Ron on a snow board but we will see. I am sure Danalyn will take lots of pictures and I know Brandon and Max will be sure to share all the details with me upon their return.

I don't know much else so will close out this blog for today. We do want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year! I will make sure to post pictures once Danalyn sends them my way.

Love to you all!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

33 Years of Married Life

Today Ron and I celebrate 33 years of married life. This morning we woke up early (4:28 a.m.) to the wind blowing and the realization that the water pipe to the toilet had frozen! A lot of bustling happened then...moved the little heater into the bathroom, turn the water on in the bathroom and kitchen sinks (the tub was already running as it has been for days), turn the propane furnace up a little more and then prayed that all the heat would thaw the pipe before it breaks. It is not the easiest pipe to see or fix and the thought of it breaking is not good.

Back to bed and snuggling close to get warm once was only 52' in the motor home. As we laid there in each others arm's we began sharing memories of our time together.

-- we met on June 22nd at a little church in Las Vegas...ask me sometime about how it came to be that I was at that church that morning.

-- we were engaged on July 21st...Ron said he was going to Washington state and asked if I wanted to join him. I told him the only way I could go was if we were married; I knew my mom would never let me travel with a guy for a two week vacation! The next day, Ron asked me to marry him and I didn't hesitate for a second.

-- we were married on December 20th...the wedding was supposed to begin at 1:00 but due to my step-dad being late to the house thus making our arrival at the church delayed. The wedding actually began around 1:30. Highlights of our wedding included my favorite teacher from high school making the trip to Las Vegas and having Johnny Cash sing at our wedding.

-- heard the day after our wedding that the restaurant we had shared our wedding dinner at had been bombed about 15 minutes after we left.

-- you know your husband loves you when he gets up at 2:00 a.m. on your wedding night and goes out for Oreo cookies and Dr. Pepper! What a guy???

-- you know your wife loves you when she encourages your singing talents!

-- you know your husband loves you when he doesn't complain too much about his wife putting her freezing cold feet on his warm legs!

-- you know your wife loves you when she holds you close and tells you things will be OK and doesn't get mad about all the teasing that comes her way!

-- years passed, Royce and Jamie were born; we dealt with the first major crisis of our married life, the death of our precious baby boy, Royce. The memory that we share most often about that time was how my mom told us after a trip to the hospital to see Jamie that we had to postpone Royce's funeral from Saturday to Monday as Ron's parents would be arriving on Sunday. Pete had flown from Alaska to Seattle and then the family drove to Las Vegas. Ron was so glad that his Dad was coming to be there with us at such a difficult time.

-- then we moved to Holland. What an experience! We were there for 13 months. Jamie turned one, we met lots of new people and learned about the culture and people of Holland. We remembered the weekly trips that Ron and Jamie used to take to the market on Saturday mornings to buy Mommy a bouquet of flowers! What a delightful treat!

-- we moved back to the states in January 1979. In February of 1980 we welcomed Brandon into our family. We laugh now about Ron having to clean the windshield of the pickup three times due to the snow that kept falling. And the extremes that our son's were born into - it was 110' degrees when Jamie was born at only 3 lbs 12 oz and it was below freezing with lots of snow falling when Brandon was born and weighing in at 9 lbs 13 oz.

-- we reflected on how God has provided for us over the years with work, friends and family to love and support us, resources during very difficult times: Brandon's heart surgery, dealing with a house fire, emergency surgeries too numerous to recount, multiple eye surgeries and the need to have new artificial eyes made. For God's comfort during the passing of grandparents, parents and dear friends.

-- we reflected on the good things: Alice's graduation from community college and WWU, the safe return of Jamie from Iraq, Brandon's graduation from NNU (ten years in the making:), the wonderful addition of a daughter-in-law, Danalyn, a new grandson, Max, and the miracle births of Opal Rae and Christopher Michael.

-- we talked about the different adventures we have been on...the move to Holland, buying our first home, doing the things I said I would never do...move to Blaine and live on the farm (all of Anne & Pete's kids lived in the farmhouse along with all six of their grandchildren). The decision to move into our motor home, yes we are beginning our third year on this adventure and still hope to travel around the US working with churches and/or Christian camps.

-- the many blessings of God: healthy children, healthy grandchildren, a wonderful and loving church family, so many friends we can't name them all, a love so special between Ron & I, and most importantly our shared belief in Jesus Christ!

Being married is the best thing that has ever happened to me!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brrrr!!! It's Cold Here's very cold here in Blaine.

I am sitting here in the motor-home looking out the window. There is snow on the ground, the road looks icy, the wind is blowing and if you look real close you will see some beautiful sun rays showing through the clouds. A very cold yet beautiful day!

It's the kind of day that I wish we had a fireplace that I could snuggle up in front of. I even mentioned it to Ron and he said they make small fireplaces for motor-homes. Yeah!!! But then he said we don't have the room. I mentioned we could take the chair out behind the front passenger seat. He said he didn't think so.

I think I will look for a picture of a roaring fire in a fire place as a screeensaver...I can always use my imagination then:)

Well we are heading into two very busy weeks with the upcoming Living Nativity at our church (Friday, 12/19 from 6 to 8 p.m. if you are in the area), then our 33rd wedding anniversary. I keep asking Ron what he is planning and he keeps saying that planning stuff is my job ~ guess we won't be doing much on that day! Then on Sunday, 12/21 we have our children's Christmas program in the morning followed by a potluck. Later that afternoon we are going to our friends' Jerry & Lynda, for their annual Egg Nog party. Then on Monday 12/22 we start packing Christmas Dinner Boxes for 200 families in our community. This is an annual event that our church and community do. On Tuesday, 12/23 we finish packing the boxes and then distributing them to the families. It is capped with celebrating communion with our Northwood Family on Christmas Eve.

Our plans for Christmas are still not wish is to be able to spend some time over the holidays with our 3 beautiful grandchildren. It is hard to believe that Opal will be 10 months old on 12/24 and Christopher 9 months old on 12/24 and then there is Max who is now 10 yrs old!!

Here is a picture of Jamie and Opal. I am waiting to get some new ones on Christmas Day. We do have a praise! Opal is no longer on oxygen during the day, only at night. We are all praising God for his continued healing and working in her body.

Here is a picture of Max and Christopher. We got a quick note from Dananlyn and she said that Christopher is finally gaining weight! Yeah another reason to praise God. He is so good to us! We are hoping to be able to go to Boise the week after Christma
s. Well that's that about all from here. Ron and I are off to another Blaine boys basketball game - Ron runs the clock and I keep the scorebook. Talk to you all soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Thoughts from my time with the Lord this morning.

Once again I was reminded of the importance of spending time in the Lord's Word. Below are my reflections from this morning.

Reflections from my Advent readings:

Mark 11:24 "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Lord, I have sought healing for my headaches in prayer and the prayers of many others. Lord my desire is for my headaches to disappear but Lord maybe that is not your will. Maybe you want me to learn to live with them just as Paul learned to live with and deal with "the thorn in his side." Lord, help me to keep my focus on you not on the pain of these headaches. Help me to turn to you not only each day but each hour of every day, to trust you that I can do the things required of me and to do them with a joyous and loving heart.

Romans 10:17 "So faith comes from what is heard and what is heard come through the words of Christ."

I need to keep my mind filled on God's words to keep the thoughts that Satan puts in my mind at bay. Lately those thoughts have been thoughts of defeat and despair.

~~Keeping a hold of my own faith in God is what gives me my purpose for living - to serve God in all things I do, as a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, family and church family member, and co-worker. As long as I keep my focus on God and his words I won't fall into the traps of Satan.~~

Philipians 4:7

I need to continually seek "the peace that passes all understanding" for God's peace is one of the strengths that God gives me each day.

Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

God is the wisdom, strength, peace and healer in my life. I just need to continually put my faith and belief in Him. Not looking towards others for answers but believing God will give me the answers and reassurances through his word and those who are in my life who also believe in him. I know this sounds like a double message BUT I need to first seek God's counsel and he will guide me through his words, those who believe in him who he sends into my life. Sorry if this does not make sense - he does to me.

~~ With God all things are possible!~~

From "Our Daily Bread" daily devotion for 12/10/08

John 14:1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus)."

Matthew 1:18-25 "The masterpiece of God's creation, marred by turning away from Him, can be restored when we give our heart to Christ."

Jesus was born and came to earth to fulfill God's promises and to repair our sin damaged lives. A life that can be restored by my faith and trust in God the Father, Jesus Christ his son, and following where the Holy Spirit leads.

~~Isn't that what it all boils down to - trusting and believing God and his word, seeking his truths every day and following his plans for me.~~

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thoughts about the Advent and Christmas Season.

I have been busy working at the church today. It is such a busy time of the year.

So much is happening in the next few weeks with our church family and our community. Tomorrow we are decorating the church in the morning, someone is renting the church for the afternoon for a wedding and then we have services on Sunday. Sunday is the 2nd Sunday of Advent. The sermon is titled "Make Every Effort."
The focal passage is one of the liturgical scriptures for this Sunday found in the third chapter of Second Peter, verses 8-15. In our time of preparing to celebrate the first coming of Christ, we should also look forward to the second. Peter calls for us to make every effort to live now in view of his return. And with the lighting of the Advent Wreath it makes for a special service.

And then in two weeks we have the busiest weekend of all:

The Living Nativity is on Friday, 12/19 from 6 - 8 p.m. We are having children of the congregation representing Mary & Joseph, plus the animals, the reading of the Christmas story, along with the music team leading Christmas carols, the bonfire and the hayride with caroling. It is a time for the community come and share in the Christmas story, listen to wonderful Christmas carols, eating lots of homemade goodies and just having a wonderful evening with family and friends. A busy night yet loads of fun. If your in the area we would love to have you come and be a part of this wonderful night.

On December 20th Ron and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary! As of right now I don't think we have any plans - we may need the day to rest between the Living Nativity and services on Sunday. I am thinking it might be fun to just spend the day together, maybe going for a walk along the beach and thinking about the many adventures we have had together over all those years. There's so many that to tell about them now would make this blog probably the longest one in history. I will save the romp down memory lane for another blog.

The children are busy getting ready for their program which will be on the 21st. It is always such a wonderful treat to have them sing and recite scripture and be with family and friends. And of course, the wonderful potluck and fellowship following the service is always a delight.

On the evening of the 21st Ron and I will be going to our friends, Jerry & Lynda's for their annual Christmas gathering. It is a wonderful time to visit and be with friends, catching up with those that we only get to see once or twice a year and just having a relaxing evening among all the other activities.

We are also once again getting ready for the annual Christmas Dinner Boxes - this will be the third year that we will be putting the boxes together and distributing them. It is a fun time with carols playing in the background, lots of people packing the boxes and knowing that many families will have a wonderfully delicious holiday dinner.
We will be putting the boxes together and handing them out on 12/22 & 23. I believe we are doing 200 boxes for families in our community. If you would like to help, give me a call or drop me an email and I can fill you in on the specifics.

We end all the hustle and bustle with the Christmas Eve Communion Service. That is one of my most favorite events of the whole season. I love the intimacy of the group and the ambiance in the sanctuary with the lights from the Christmas tree and around the windows, the candles on the altar and in the foyer. Sitting with friends and recollecting the Christmas story, sharing of scripture, singing of Christmas carols and celebrating communion together.

As I have been writing I have been getting more and more excited about the next few weeks. I know it is a busy time yet keeping the focus on the meaning of Christmas and thinking about being with family and friends in many different venues is exciting.

Well, Ron has gone off to bed after a busy day with two plumbing jobs and then joining a group of men from our church putting the finishing touches on the molding in the foyer and the hallway. I think I will follow him as tomorrow is another busy day. I will be at the church for the advent decorating, finishing up the bulletin, the handouts and I am sure a couple of other things. In the evening the Blaine boys basketball team has a game against Ferndale and since I keep the book that is where you will find us. Wishing you all a good week and a wonderful time during this Advent Season.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Thought I would pass on a few pictures of the grandkids (I need a recent one of Max, hint, hint) so here is Opal at Grandma's. It is hard to believe she is 9 1/2 months. She is rolling from front to back, loves to jump and has the biggest smile. We so enjoy our time with her. Opal, Jamie and Suzanne joined us for Thanksgiving dinner - we were a little tight in the motor home but we enjoyed being together.

Here is a picture of Christopher taken a few weeks ago. He is busy eating breakfast while Mommy, Daddy and Max get ready for school and work. Just the night before he got his hair cut! He looks like such a big boy with his new doo!

I don't have any recent pictures of Max but will be sure to post one as soon as it arrives, hint! hint!:)

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree. Its place of honor is in the passenger seat of the motor home. Just the right size for our cozy home. Not much room for presents so I guess I don't have to buy very many:)

Anyway, just wanted to drop in and say hello.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jamie's Car

So you all know that when I had Jamie's car I was hit by a car backing out of the post office. Well...Suzanne took his car to work on Monday. While working there was an overhead page for the owner of a black, Honda Del Sol to come to the customer service counter. Suzanne went to find out what was wrong. A man had backed into it in the parking space!

The car is so darn SMALL, that it is often hard to see that it is in the spot and this guy pulled into it - denting the front end all up!!

So now Jamie has to get the front end and the right rear panel/bumper repaired! He told his Dad that "NO woman will ever drive his car again!"

I feel so bad for Jamie, but then again, we rejoice - no one was injured in either accident and the car can be repaired. It is just a big inconvenience to get it to the shop, get a rental car......

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Alice's Headache Woes

As many of you know I have been dealing with some pretty strong migraines since the middle of September.

I think I went about 2 weeks without a major headache and then this past Sunday, 11/30 I woke around 1:00 a.m. with a horrific headache - definitely a 10 on the pain chart! I tried to go to church and did get Communion set up with the help of Edith - thanks Edith and the bulletins stuffed. By then I thought I was going to get sick! So back home I went.

I spent all of Sunday and most of Monday in the bed or on the couch. I woke this morning with the pain 3/4. I went to the church to get the bulletins ready to mail, went to the post office and came home. By the time I got home the headache was back up to about a 6! I called Fred Meyer and the prescription for 12 pills is ONLY $304.50! Whippee! Yeah! don't know anyone who can afford that type of cost for a prescription that may or may not knock out the headache. So being the resourceful person that I am ~ I searched the internet, found a voucher for 3 free pills (Maxalt) but can't get the darn thing to print!!!! I did get a coupon for $20 off so now I only need $284.50...wonder how long that will take to find.

I think you get the jest of this writing...I have a horrific headache and am feeling frustrated that the drug manufacturers charge so darn much for a medication. How do they expect to sell the medication when it costs almost as much as the moon.

So now I am off to lay down on the couch and pray that my headache goes away. Ron and I have our first basketball game of the season tonight in Blaine. Boys tonight and girls on Saturday.

Talk to you all soon.


Just wanted to let you know I have added a new gadget on my blog. It is to the right of the blogs and called Followers. I think if you say you want to follow this blog you will get notification each time I write a new post - sign-up and let's see if it works.

Quick Update

Greetings on this rare but sunny day in Blaine.

Just thought I would drop a quick note to say we are still here:) Jamie, Suzanne and Opal spent the evening of Thanksgiving with us and we ate the traditional turkey dinner.

How the turkey got cooked...Ron kept saying we could cook a 10-12 lb turkey in our little oven in our motor-home but alas the 12 lb bird we bought was just too big. collaboration with Kathryn Brehmer (she was staying at the Alesse's (The C Shop) along with her brother, sister-in-law and niece, Emma and nephew, Tom) her cooking was done around 3:15 and then our turkey went in. Cooked for 3 hours and was done, so we had a late dinner beginning around 6:30. All the food was delicious, Suzanne brought a cherry chiffon and a black-cherry chiffon and the only mishap was while Ron and I were cleaning up the dishes I realized the oven was still on. I opened it to find some very overcooked sweetpotatoes and very brown marshmallows! I tried to eat them the next day and they were quite discusting:(.

All is well with us and hope the same is true for you.