Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas #1

We want to wish all our family and friends a wonderful Christmas Day! We are so blessed to know the babe who was willing to be born to be our Savior. I read this morning from John 3:16-17 and was impressed again that this indeed the message of the season...God gave so that we might have Life! And that truly calls for rejoicing!

 Merry Christmas to all from us!
 We were able to attend three Christmas services this year. On the 23rd, we went to the Mariners Church.
 On Christmas Eve, after attending our own church service, we drove over to the a neighboring church for their service. The music was awesome, and ended with everybody singing Joy to the World and the Hallelujah Chorus. Awesome!
On Christmas Day, we were invited to our friends for a delicious meal and time together.
It was a joy to meet their children.
We had such a fun time together. We are so blessed! 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Christmas decor expanded

I know, I'm really behind... So I'll just start here and go back (someday) and fill onyhe gaps.
Yesterday, in the midst of putting up Christmas decor here at our house, we received a call from some friends asking if we wanted to join them in touring a special home in Laguna Nigel that is beautifully decorated and open for tours this time of year. Since we needed a break from our tasks, we said "yes!"

While we waited across the street, we enjoyed hot cider and enjoyed the light "show" and music. 
 This was the scene that greeted us as we walked through the front door...
They had the largest display of collector houses I have ever seen. Each room had a different "village," it was amazing!
This display was all about entertainment cute!
A winter wonderland graced the window between the "music room" and the dining room.

This was the dining room; a train was running thru this village. If you look closely, you will see the very tall centerpiece on their table.
Can you imagine stacking all those ornaments into a cube???
The fire place...
Thanks D&L for a fun evening together!
On our way out, we noticed this tree--upside down!
As we left, we were offered mini doughnuts, hot and dusted with sugar! Yummy! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


We went to our son's house for a family get-together to celebrate a couple of birthdays and also to welcome our youngest son and his wife to Cali for a week. The oldest sons always enjoy their times together...
Our oldest grandson is growing up so fast!
And so is our oldest grand-daughter!
Daddy and his "mini-me."
We had a mini-birthday party for this little girl who just turned 4!
Opening her gift...
Enjoying her new princess castle.
...then sharing with her cousin!
We had fun playing together and enjoying the beautiful day.
Fortunately we had this short time together with everyone, because a couple hours later, before J&H arrived, a couple of people in the family got sick with the flu.
After several hours of travel by plane and car, J&H arrived.
We also celebrated our youngest son's 31st birthday (a couple weeks late).
His nephews loved helping him blow out the candles...and help eat that yummy chocolate cake!
That was the way J&H began their week in Cali where they attended a seminar on building eco-friendly sod houses.
Later in the week, they drove to our home and spent the evening with us...

...then early the next morning they drove east to attend the last 15 hours of classes.
Even though the time was short, we were so thankful that J&H took the time to come and visit; and we enjoyed sharing our beautiful weather with them before they flew back to the snow and cold of Montana.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Celebrate new life

 We are so blessed to have new neighbors...and a new associate pastor at our church! In early September, they added twin girls to their family. Several weeks later, the girls were brought to the family of God through holy baptism. 

 As a special treat to the babies, their daddy sang them a song.
 Such a special benediction to his beautiful little girls.
The nieces waited patiently for their time in the service.
Uncle and aunt and their family came from Colorado to join S&S as sponsors for the twins.
Mother and child...
...father and child.

And a special highlight of the day was the arrival of this couple, the pastor and his wife from Seth's home church. They were visiting family in our area and decided to surprise S&S by coming for the baptism of the girls. They are also former colleagues of ours from Africa and the baptismal sponsors of our third son, so it was a delight to have them visit.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Midwest travels

 Jim travels back to the midwest twice a year for church board meetings. It is a business trip, but it also allows him time to spend with family and friends. This always includes time with our special grand nephew and his parents.
 It also gives him a chance to celebrate his little sister's birthday!
 This year also included a visit with some long-time friends from Africa that came to the States to visit their son and his family. Jim had not seen them for 13 years, so there was a lot of catching up! 
 He also stopped by the home where this delightful lady lives. She is a retired missionary from Africa that we have known and loved for so long. Her life and dedication to the Lord God have always inspired us.
 Jim also had a short visit with my folks, and Dad was very alert and even conversant that day!
 A year ago, these dear friends moved back to Iowa. Jim had the privilege of visiting them in their new home on his drive through Iowa to visit our son and his family. What a joy to re-connect with them.
 Then the "crowning jewel" of this trip...seeing our youngest grand-daughter in her new home!
 So fun to see how she loves her daddy!
Even though his trip was quick, Jim was able to see so many places and people. What a blessing to have safe travels and great weather the whole time. We are so blessed!