Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

I know I am a couple of days late but we have been busy! Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher arrived about 9:00 on December 23. It was so good to see them safe and sound. They said they had no problems on the roads and for that we are thankful.

Christmas Eve found us going out for lunch; the first place was closed so we ended up at IHOP...what a fun table we had with the whole family together. Christmas Eve night we had a ham dinner and then went to the Birch Bay Bible Community Churches Christmas Eve service and then drove around to see a few Christmas lights. We called it an early night as Ron, Danalyn and Christopher were fighting colds.

Christmas morning we opened gifts and then us older folks and the littlest ones took a nap. We joined back up for a turkey dinner in the evening. We laughed a lot and enjoyed being together as a family.

December 26 Jamie, Suzanne and Opal went to Wendy & Bryce's for the day and Brandon and Danalyn went off for a ride and out to lunch. Grandpa and Max watched football and basketball while Grammy and Max took a much needed nap. In the evening we joined the rest of the Workentin's at Olive Garden for dinner and time together.

As I reflect on the past few days I am thankful for the trip that Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher made from Lewiston to Blaine so that we could all be together for a few days. What a fun time watching the cousin's getting to know each other and Opal and Christopher playing together ~ they chased the ball, played with the play food and chased each other around the trailer. Max built one of his new Lego sets and the adults visited and laughed together. It was the best Christmas gift this mom could ask for.

Now the motor home is quiet, Ron is napping or watching football, not sure which and I am catching up on emails, posts and Facebook.

Wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2010 New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the motor home! Yes, that's right, we got the motor home back this past Thursday. It is running great and the ozoning worked great ~ no smell of fire anywhere. We are parked at Beachwood until the 29th of December.

Charlie Brown is home now ~ thanks Norm, Kristy and family for taking such good care of him. Again thanks, Jim and Mei for your hospitality while the motor home was being repaired.

The Christmas lights are up! and look delightful. They run from the dining room window through the living room around the front of the rig and back down the other side of the living room and into the kitchen! I love sitting in the living room with a cup of hot chocolate looking at the lights. It is wonderful to be back in our home!

We have a couple of busy weeks ahead of us. The Living Nativity at Northwood is this coming Friday, December 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. If you are in the area come out and hear the Christmas story with live animals, singing of Christmas Carols, warm yourself by the campfire and enjoy some Christmas goodies. We celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary on December 20th. We will begin by watching the children's Christmas program followed by a potluck at church. In the evening we will probably go out for a movie and dinner. December 22nd will find us picking up 200 pumpkin pies from Costco for our annual Christmas Dinner Boxes that the community gives out to those in need. We are packing boxes on the 22nd at 4:00 at Northwood and then handing them out on Wednesday, December 23rd from 4 to 7 p.m.

Brandon, Danalyn and the boys are arriving in the evening of December 23rd. We will be together till Sunday, December 27th. We are looking forward to Christmas with the family. Christmas Eve will find our whole family together ~ first time in years ~ celebrating the birth of Jesus and being together as a family. Christmas Day we will celebrate in the morning with everyone and then in the afternoon Jamie, Suzanne and Opal will be going to Wendy and Bryce's for Christmas with her family.

On a sad note, we are remembering Ron's cousin, Gayle and her family as they mourn the loss of her brother, Kevin. He passed away Tuesday morning from a massive heart attack at the young age of 52. Tomorrow, Sunday, December 13th, Ron, Judy, John and Kathy are going to Pasco for services for Kevin. We would appreciate prayer for safe travels for them and for God's comfort for the whole family during this difficult time.

Bye for now, take care and keep warm during these chilly December days. (It is being forecasted that we are to get snow tomorrow and Monday for the Blaine area so I am really glad to be back in our home where my heavy coat was :).

Love, Alice


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Catching Up

What a beautiful cold crisp morning it is. Thought I would just take a few minutes and catch everyone up to what's going on with us.

We spent Thanksgiving in California with my aunt, uncle and cousins in Middletown. We enjoyed lots of good food and great conversation. Our trip to California was uneventful except for one little blip ~ Ron locked the keys in the suburban at the hotel in Corning but again, God was faithful. A woman came out of the hotel just as we realized we had locked our keys inside and she offered to call AAA. They were there within the hour and we were able to continue to dinner. Thanks Kari for helping us out!

We made our regular stops at the Olive Pit and the Jelly Belly Factory and then took the winding road from Napa to Middletown. The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were there. While there Ron was able to help Uncle Don put up a new weather station; Alice couldn't watch as Ron was at the top of the extension ladder. We spent most of our time visiting, relaxing and enjoying being with family.

The morning we left we had a low tire so Ron filled it with air and once again the Lord protected us. We left on Saturday, arriving home late Sunday afternoon and on Monday Ron took the suburban to Les Schwab tires and found out we had made the whole trip home with a nail in the tire. Praising God we did not have a blow out along the way.

We arrived home to find out that our motor home is still not ready for us. Hopefully it will be ready the middle of next week. We are still in our friends condo and Charlie Brown is still visiting Norm and Kristy. Thanks Jim, Mei, Norm & Kristy for your help during this time.

We are getting back into the swing of things ~ Ron is picking up jobs and Alice is once again working at the church. It does feel good to have a routine and schedule once again.

The next two weeks are filled with Christmas activities. Alice is busy helping with the Living Nativity at church. This year it is on December 18 from 6 to 8 pm at the church. If you are in the area please plan on attending. It is a time to hear the Christmas story, listen to Christmas carols and share in some refreshments.

Another activity we will be helping with once again this year is the giving of Christmas Dinner Boxes through our church. The community comes together to fill and distribute 200 Christmas Dinner Boxes to needy families in the local community. We will be handing those out on the 23rd of December.

Also on the 23rd Brandon and Danalyn along with the boys will be arriving from Lewiston to spend the Christmas holiday with us. It will be the first Christmas in years that all three of our families will be together for the Christmas holiday. Ron and I are looking forward to that special time with Jamie and his family and Brandon and his family.

Don't know much else so will close for now. Take care. Love Alice & Ron

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Continuing Saga of Motorhome Living

It seems like life keeps rolling along with another adventure in the saga of the motor home.

Last Tuesday while I was working at Northwood I received a call from Ron to come to Grandview and N. Star Rd as there had been a fire in the motor home. Let me say right off the bat, that no one was injured and for that we are very thankful.

Needless to say I left abruptly from the church and headed towards the motor home. I could not imagine what had happened. I was trying to picture what I would find...the picture of a totally burned out motor home kept coming to mind. When I got to the motor home I found the engine cover off, fire extinguisher foam all around the front of the motor home and Ron on the phone with the insurance claims person. As I stepped into the motor home it reeked of smoke...ugh!

What happened: the diagnosis from Jerry Chambers Chevrolet was that a oil hose burst and the oil on the monifold caught the engine on fire! The fire burned up the speedometer and throttle cables and all the hoses leading to and from the engine including the leveler hoses that run the length of motor home, the master brake cylinder. But I am getting ahead of myself...back to making phone calls...I quickly called Kristy to tell her what happened and to see if she could take Charlie Brown ~ I had no clue what was going to happen or where we would be I just knew if Charlie Brown was being taken care of that would help ~ just what do you do with a dog in the midst of a crisis. Well, Kristy came to the rescue and met me at Fred Meyer's so we could do the dog exchange ~~~~ thanks Kristy and Norm for helping us out in this jam.

Next was a phone call to our insurance agent Jim (if you need insurance he is the best agent to have!) Jim drove out to where the motor home was to help us brainstorm what all needed to be done. Knowing that the motor home was going to be out of commission for at least a little while I asked Jim if he had an open unit in their fourplex ~ yes he did...so my next job was to gather up all the food, the pillows and my med's and go and get our stuff organized. Jim and Ron continued to make phone calls to the adjuster and the tow company. After making arrangements to have the motor home towed to Jerry Chambers Chevrolet and finding a tow truck company that could tow the motor home (it needs the big tow truck like for semi's because of the type that it is) and gathering some clothes together Ron and I made our way back to the condo unit ~ thanking God and Jim that there was an open unit just when we needed it.

Now it is Saturday and this is where everything is...Ron spoke to the adjuster and was told that it would be the middle of next week before we hear if they are going to repair the motor home or total it so we are kinda in limbo for the time being...we have a place to stay ~ the condo in Birch Bay and everyone is okay...we just have to be patient as we await the outcome of their decision.

Our mind wanders as to what we will do...if they fix the motor home it will just mean we are displaced for a couple of weeks...no big deal Alice will continue to work at the church and Ron will work as a plumber...just need to get a few jobs :) and life will go on. BUT if they total the motor home then we have to decide what to do....do we buy another motor home or get a 5th wheel or do we find an apartment/house to rent and put our dreams of traveling and working on the road on hold?????

We are in a space of much prayer as we continue to trust the Lord, knowing that He is in control and just take one day at a time ... believing and trusting that He will open the right doors and guide us in our decision making. We would appreciate your prayers for us as we deal with the insurance adjuster and make decisions as they are needed.

One thing I keep thinking about is the holidays...as you know we have been planning to be in Napa/Middletown for the Thanksgiving holiday with Alice's Aunt Joan and Uncle Don...with everything up in the air about the motor home that decision is now also on hold....once we know what is going to happen with the motor home then we can decide what to do about Thanksgiving...some friends are saying just go as we planned everything else will work out and yet some are saying maybe the timing is just not right and we should stay in the area...Ron says we won't make a decision about Thanksgiving until after we talk to the adjuster later in the week. I keep thinking of the plans that have been made and how everything seems up in the air and not really sure what we should do...I just wish a decision one way or the other would be made but I guess this is where patience comes into the picture and more trusting of the Lord...not making a decision until we have more information...ugh I hate waiting and not knowing.

Well, now that I have rambled on about all the thoughts that have been going through my head the last fews days I will close...stay tuned for the next chapter in the life of Alice and Ron.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back in Blaine

We are back home in Blaine!

Our return trip to Blaine was very uneventful. Weather wise we saw snow, rain, felt lots of wind and sunshine. The motor home ran great except for three small blips.

Friday night the main battery quit working. Fortunately Ron could jump the motor home off the house battery and get the motor home started. Saturday morning we pulled into Les Schwab in Pendleton, found the paperwork on the battery and got help from a young man who identified the problem ~ the battery was not powerful enough to run the motor home and so it wore out. Fortunately for us it was under warranty. So 45 minutes later we were on the road for Portland/Vancouver.

We faced some pretty strong head and side winds all the way from Pendleton to Portland. Then the rain started and it came down in torrants at times. The blip of the day was when we were pulling out of the rest area the motor home acted like it was gasping for air (gas). Ron babied the motor home for about a 1/4 of a mile and then it was fine. We stopped for the night in Rochester just south of Olympia.

This morning we woke up to total fog. We waited until close to 10:00 this morning before leaving to allow the fog time to burn off. Once the fog was gone we had a beautiful sunny day. Our blip for the day was just like Saturday where the motor home acted like it couldn't get gas. After some coaxing the motor home did just fine the rest of the way home.

We are now settled in at Beachwood till the 10th of November when we will move to Thousand Trails till the 20th when we will leave for California. The next trip will be in the suburban - going to California to see my aunt and uncle for Thanksgiving.

Thanks for traveling with us on our vacation and for your thoughts and prayers for us to have safety on the road. As we look back over the past four weeks we see God's hand in protecting us as we traveled along with helpful strangers in just the right place at just the right time. We saw some beautiful scenery, spent lots of time resting and relaxing and just enjoying being together.

Alice




Thursday, October 22, 2009

Can You Spelll FRUSTRATED?

Okay, we got ready to hit the road this morning. First stop Albertson's for some groceries, then onto Costco for more groceries and gas. All was going smoothly.

Now onto the Copper Mine. The motor home started acting up again, acts like it is struggling to get gas. We just looked at each other and sighed.

At the mine we decided to turn around. As we drove out I asked Ron where were we headed. He asked me where did I want to go?

A: Home
R: totally quiet
A: We said if we had any more problems we would head for home.
R: You are right.
R: Let's go back to SLC and rent a car for a couple of days and so some more sightseeing and then head for home on Monday or Tuesday.
A: That sounds okay to me.

So back to KOA we went. They gave us a weekly rate instead of a daily rate since we had already been here for two nights. :) We then set up the motor home and got ourselves situated. We then got online to find a rental car. Avis had the best deal so Ron took the shuttle to the airport to pick up the rental car. I am writing my blog and on Facebook.

So our new revised plan is to go to the Copper Mine tomorrow, to Antelope Island on Saturday, find a church to attend Sunday services and then reorganize our itinerary to head out on Tuesday for Blaine. Not sure of the route yet, we will decide that on Sunday night.

We have already talked and decided to still go to my aunt & uncle's for Thanksgiving...just in the Suburban. Kristy has already said she can take Charlie Brown for us during that time ~ Thanks Kristy ;)!

We may not understand why all the delays but we are trusting the Lord as he leads us on this journey. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as we have traveled this journey (keep praying we aren't back in WA yet).

I will do an update of our new plans and new itinerary before we hit the road on Tuesday headed for Blaine.

Alice

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

On the Road Again!

We are back on the road again! Yeah!!!!

After 3 days in Wells, NV waiting for our scheduled appointment with the mechanic this morning the problem with the motor home was figured out...the fuel filter put in in Missoula was put in backward! Yes, backward! and the rotor needed to be replaced. After putting in a new fuel filter and replacing the rotor, Chris the owner took the motor home for a test drive up some passes and then talked to Ron and adjusted something with the carburator we were back on the road.

We drove from Wells, NV to Salt Lake City with no problems. Chris had said if we had a problem turn around and he would work on it some more but there was no need...yippee!

The drive was beautiful, the mountains looked great with the sun and shadows and we arrived safely in Salt Lake City. We saw lots of salt along the side of the road and stopped and viewed the Bonneville Speedway where cars have been clocked as fast as 600 mph ~ Ron thought that would be fun to go that fast.

We drove straight to the KOA (thanks Jamie and Suzanne for the use of your GPS system!) and got checked in and set up. We will be here for two nights...tomorrow we are going to do some sightseeing. There is a free shuttle that takes us right downtown so no need to rent a car. We are going to evaluate our itinerary and make some necessary changes so that we get back on schedule to be in Arizona at Verde Valley (Cottonwood, AZ) Thousand Trails on 11/1 as planned.

We are praising the Lord for a good Christian mechanic - Ron and Chris shared about Christ in their lives as they were doing the test drive - the repairs were made quickly and quite affordably.

Thanks for coming along on our trip and I will do another update at our next stop...not sure where that will be...will figure that out tomorrow night.

Alice and Ron


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Just needed to share...

Just wanted to share how the Lord was with us today in our travels.

We woke up early this morning to get on the road to Crater Lake but first we thought we should check road conditions...good thing we did...Crater Lake Park was CLOSED! We quickly did some thinking and reviewing of the maps and found an alternate route to Winnemucca, NV.

After a quick breakfast we were on the road.

We were eight miles out of a little town called Christmas Valley, OR when we blew an oil hose. Smoke billowed inside and out of the motor home and Ron quickly stopped on the side (as far on the side as he could get). We jumped out hoping the darn thing wasn't on fire. After the smoke cleared Ron looked underneath and there was a puddle of oil dripping out of the motor home. I sat at the kitchen table and just said "Lord, I don't even know how to pray" shortly thereafter a man stopped, looked under the hood, said he knew a good mechanic and got on the phone. He couldn't reach the guy so gave us his number to keep trying (Lesson learned - get the area code when in a different location because we had no way of calling...important thing but once again the Lord came through). About 15 minutes later the man was back to tell us Kenny was on his way (Kenny is the mechanic). Someone else stopped asked what the problem was, told him we were leaking oil bad; he called his wife, she brought us out 10 qts of oil, refused any money for it and left. Kenny showed up about 45 minutes later...crawled under the motor home, saw the hose had blown off ~ it was shot as he put it, and knew exactly what to do...he cut the hose and put it on again (the end had frayed!) Charged us $80 for the call out and repair and we were on our way again. We thanked the Lord for the angels he sent our way and thanked Him for the quick repair. We were back on the road 90 minutes after it all began.

Now for an update on our time in Bend...we spent time reading and playing cards...I skunked Ron twice at cribbage :)...he beat me at war, played backgammon and checkers, watched "Are We Done Yet?" the sequell to "Are We There Yet?", Ron went hot tubbing a couple of times (toooooo cooooollllllldddddd for Alice) and we went on a couple of long walks as well as did a couple loads of laundry ~ the never ending job.

On Wednesday we went to the High Desert Museum...spent almost 3 hours there...beautiful grounds, lots to see and history coming alive...and then we went to the Lava Caves - they were closed but we were able to get out and go for a walk up the Lava Rock path and through the treed area. The rain held off until we were back at our campsite. It actually started to rain AFTER Ron got the lawn chairs put up in the carrier on top of the rig!

Our time in Bend was good and yet it feels good to be back on the road again. Tomorrow we are heading for Winnemucca...if you think of us say a prayer as we have to climb a 6180 ft mountain pass and we all know how the motor home doesn't like to climb those mountain passes.

Well, that's all from here...hope everyone is having a good week. Love to all, Alice and Ron

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday's Thoughts

What a beautiful day here in Bend, Oregon. Another glorious Fall day ~ the air is crisp, cool and clear. The trees are all shades of reds, oranges, golds and greens.

We spent most of last week at Chehalis Thousand Trails. Our time was spent reading and relaxing plus we threw in two good hikes and a couple of walks. The weather was wonderful and gorgeous. No complaints from either of us.

Friday morning found us getting back on the road again. We drove to Maupin, OR and stayed in this delightful city park for the night. It was nestled between the river and a train track...I only heard the train once but Ron said it went through early Saturday morning.

After a short walk in the cool morning air on Saturday we headed down the road to Bend and here we are for another five days. While on the road we stopped at Peter Ogden Rest Area. It had the most beautiful view of the river and gorge. It was a 300' drop down to the bottom. Needless to say we didn't lean too far over the railing to check it out.

We woke to some chilly weather and even had to turn the furnace on to get the chill out of the air. Since we aren't close to any churches we decided to share a scripture with each other. Ron shared from Prov. 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." I shared from Psalm 96:11 "Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it." We then shared how we felt the Lord has been with us during this trip (and the one to Montana). One special thing too is how He brought us different scriptures to share but both focused on praising and trusting the Lord. After awhile we went for a long walk~ admiring the Lord's handiwork: as I mentioned the beautiful Fall colors, the little pond here at the campground and lots of gray squirrles ~ and also did three loads of laundry. Ron is now over at the adult lodge watching football and I am taking some time to write and read. We are planning on going to the High Desert Museum and the Lava Caves on Wednesday. We were going to go tomorrow but the caves are closed on Monday's and Tuesday's. So instead of getting back on the road on Wednesday we will take off Thursday morning and head towards Winnemucca and then to Utah. Instead of staying three days in Salt Lake City we will only stay two.

I don't know much else so will close for now. Hope everyone is having a good day. Don't forget to drop a note to let me know you stopped on by.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On the Road Again

What a beautiful Fall day here in Chehalis. Well we have gotten back on the road again. Yesterday we went to church in the morning, watched a great baptism service and then started our new journey.

This trip we are going to Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California and then back home through Oregon and Washington.

The first leg of this trip found us going to Olympia yesterday. Stopped at Camping World in Fife to get a cover for the air conditioner (the old one blew off on I90 on our way home last Tuesday) ~ they didn't have any so we hope to pick one up somewhere along this trip. We stayed the night in the Olympia rest area. I slept real well, Ron said he was up a lot in the night.

We woke up to a cold, crisp, clear Fall day and drove about 45 minutes to our first campground ~ Chehalis Thousand Trails. We are going to be here till Friday, 10/9 when we head for Bend, OR. We just plan on resting and relaxing here.

Talk to you all again soon.

Love, Alice and Ron

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Back in Blaine, At Least for a Little While

Greetings from chilly Blaine. We were welcomed home with rain, sunshine and chilly weather. Ah to be back in Blaine.

We took the trailer & Explorer to friends (thanks Dan & Tina) to store for the next little while. Saw Jamie and picked up the Suburban so I have wheels for the next few days. Then picked up Ron's truck so he could go work tomorrow (yes we are on vacation but a call came in for a job for tomorrow so, since we are here Ron is going to work:)).

So what are our plans: Ron is going to work on Thursday, Alice is going to work on Friday and Sunday we are going to church at our home church and then will leave on another trip minus a tow vehicle. Now you may be asking where are you off to? I wish I could answer at this time. Ron has just said we are on a vacation so we are going to go ..........

Right now Ron is figuring what we spent on gas, the gas mileage and other expenses...once that is all figured out we will decide where we are headed. I will keep everyone posted on where we are headed and what our plans are.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sad Change in Plans

It is with sad news that I write this afternoon. Due to the problems with the motor home (the biggy being the motor home cannot pull the trailer with the Explorer on it over the mountain passes) we have had to stop and regroup and make some changes to our plans.

We are currently in Alder, MT and will be leaving here in the morning heading back to Deer Lodge, MT for two nights. We hope to do some sightseeing in Deer Lodge. Tuesday morning we will begin our return trip to Blaine. We plan on going over Highway 90 to Spokane and then head West on Highway 2 to Stevens Pass/Everett and then finish the trek home where we will regroup and decide what to do about our vacation plans. We do know at this time we will not be going to Atlanta as planned.

We are disappointed that we are not able to do the trip as we had planned but we are praising the Lord that with all the motor home problems that we were not involved in any accidents and that we have still had a good time.

We currently don't have cell phone service and are using the WiFi here at the campground. We also want to thank everyone for your prayers as we have traveled thus far.

I will update more in Deer Lodge and as we travel home.

Alice and Ron

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Arriving in Missoula, MT

Greetings from Missoula, MT

How did you end up in Missoula, MT? you are asking??? The journey began on Saturday, Sept 19. We left Beachwood (Birch Bay) at 7:55 p.m. We stopped and got gas at the Grandview station and then for groceries at Winco in Marysville. We then drove, uneventfully to Indian John Rest Area (just east of Snoqualmie Falls). Spent the night there. Got up and drove pretty uneventfully to Lewiston. We noticed that climbing hills seemed to be a challenge. We arrived in Lewiston Sunday afternoon and spent the evening with Brandon and his family. We shared a delightful dinner of a Greek pasta salad along with grilled fish - yummy!

Monday Ron and I slept in and then went on a ride to Clarkston where we checked out Costco, bought some more groceries and then went on a ride around the surrounding area. It was a beautiful day. In the evening Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher came for dinner at the motor home. I made a green salad, BBQ pork sandwiches and macaroni salad.

Tuesday morning we got up early and went over to the kids' house to do laundry before heading back on the road. The motor home was "gasping for air/fuel" so we decided to have it checked out ~ after replacing the fuel filter we were back on the road. We left Lewiston about 1:45 p.m. planning to drive to Missoula for the night. As we climbed the Lolo Mountain Pass the motor home really began acting up ~ like it couldn't get gas. After struggling for about an hour we decided to just pull off the road for the night. It was 6:30 and was going to get dark soon. We hadn't been pulled over for more than 15 minutes when two men showed up wanting to know if everything was okay. They had gotten a call that we had gone over the side ~ fortunately we had not, just quit going!

I made dinner of hamburgers and green salad and by then it was 8:00 p.m. and pitch black outside. With nothing else to do we went to bed. We had to sleep with our feet at the head of the bed due to the level (we were on an uphill slant) but we slept well. Woke up about 6:45 this morning and watched the sun come up over the mountain - it was beautiful.

After a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, Ron got the Explorer off the trailer and we drove to Lolo Pass Summit. Ron called our insurance and they arranged everything for the tow truck to come and get us. After the tow truck arrived we were informed he could not pull the trailer behind the motor home so we left it locked at the gravel pull out. We followed the tow truck with the motor home the 47 miles into Missoula. After a lengthy discussion with the mechanic they ordered the fuel pump for the motor home. It arrived at 5:30, just in time for closing. So we are staying at the car dealers for the night. They graciously let us plug into electricity so the fridge is running on electric power and we have internet so I could get caught up on emails and post to the blog.

The plan for tomorrow is the techs will put in the new fuel pump first thing in the morning. We then drive the motor home back to pick up the trailer. You might be asking why didn't we tow the trailer behind the Explorer - wrong hitch! Once we pick up the trailer we will come back to the car dealer's to pick up the Explorer and put it on the trailer for us to continue our journey.

Some random thoughts - the scripture for today: "I am guiding you in the way of wisdom, and I am leading you on the right path." Prov. 4:11 God's reminder to me that He is the one in control and guiding our path. His path may not be the one or the way I think it should be. Ron also said " God is good, we have had no accidents, we have a safe place to park (two nights in a row) and we are both healthy."

So ends day 4 of our 11 week vacation. Stay tuned for more to come. Alice

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Helpfulness of Strangers

I learned a valuable lesson today about worrying. I have been worried about our upcoming trip and the possibility that something could go wrong and what would I do if something happened to Ron. Many of my friends have been telling me that there would always be someone around to help me. I would tell myself I believe them but then continue worrying.

Well today as I sat drinking my cup of coffee and listening to the wind blow I wondered if I could close the awning by myself or if it would be okay till Ron returned from Everson. As the wind picked up, I decided to go out and hook the awning to the motor home to at least try to keep it from blowing over in the wind especially since the one leg had already blown up towards the motor home. I hooked each leg into the side of the motor home, thinking that went well. As I was standing looking at the awning a couple drove by. The woman rolled down her window and asked if I needed some help with the awning. I politely answered “no” thinking “what the heck am I going to do?” After a quick conversation of “I think it will be okay” along with a note of hesitancy in my voice, the lady and her husband were out of their car. The lady said a couple of times, “it’s no problem us helping you. It’s better to put it up then chance it blowing up and over the motor home. It’s really windy and it’s not supposed to let up.”

We began the task of loosening the metal bars and rolling up the awning. It got stuck two or three times and finally another gentleman came over and talked with the first man. They set right to work, loosening up another bar and locking it into place along side the motor home while the woman and I held onto the ends. All of a sudden one man said, “let it roll” and wha la , it rolled up. The only problem one side was taller than the other. “That’s okay.” said one man as he pulled down on the side railing popping into place.
The woman, said “nice job guys” and to me added “there, now you don’t have to worry about the awning blowing over with the wind coming up as it is” as if she had been reading my mind.

I thanked them all a couple of times and as they each left on their way, I thanked the Lord for sending me help before I even asked for it and for the reminder that I am not alone. You see, God showed me in this little experience that He will always take care of me and that I need not worry about things going wrong on our trip.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Home from Lewiston

It is a beautiful Saturday evening here in Birch Bay. Our time camping with Max and then with Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher in Lewiston was filled with lots of fun activities.

We spent our first night of camping in Leavenworth. We arrived there about 9:00 p.m. after a busy day of working and then getting on the road a little later than we had planned. Max was a trooper though and did a great job as traveler.

Thursday morning we were on the road about 9:30 and arrived at Ponderosa Falls in Cheney, WA about 3:00 p.m. The first thing we found out was that Ron had only made reservations for two nights instead of three. After some talking to the camp register, we found out that we could stay the third night, we would just have to move to a new spot on Saturday ~ not a problem we decided. After setting up camp we all decided it was time to go swimming. It is fun to be in the water with Max, known affectionately as "the fish." Max was in the water so long that his eyes hurt from the chlorine, though that didn't stop him from swimming on Friday or Saturday.

On Friday, Ron and Max decided to ride their bikes to the store (about a mile from the campground) to get a loaf of bread. Well, their two mile trip turned into about 10 miles as they forgot to make a turn and rode about 4 miles out of their way ~ they arrived at a beer distribution plant and Grandpa realized that wasn't any where near where they were supposed to be so they turned around. After finding their way to the store they came back to camp pretty exhausted and hungry. Grandma made a lunch of tuna sandwiches along with some chips. We tried to eat outside but the bees were out numbering us so we retreated into the motor home. In the afternoon Grandpa and Max played a round of minature golf ~ Max came out the winner. In the evening there was another swimming adventure.

Saturday morning we moved to a new spot, just across from where we had been originally. Grandma did some cross-stitching, Max and Grandpa went swimming (again) and just had a pretty relaxing day. Sprinkled in the mix of things was playing the Wii ~ Max beat Grandma at bowling and Grandpa at tennis.

Sunday morning we broke camp and drove to Lewiston ~ it took us about 3 hours. Max kept asking "how soon till we get home" ~ we think he was anxious to see his folks and Christopher. Sunday afternoon we just spent time relaxing and playing with the grandkids and chatting with Brandon and Danalyn.

Monday, Ron took Brandon and Danalyn to work ~ the Explorer had a dead battery so Ron chauferred firrst Brandon then Danalyn to work. We (Max, Ron and I) then went for a ride to Orofino and the surrounding area. We read some highway signs that talked about the story of the Ant and the YellowJacket and other Indian lore. We had a good day of sight-seeing and checking out the area around Lewiston.

Tuesdsay we caught up on the laundry and hung out at the house while Ron ran errands and got a new battery and cables for the Explorer. In the evening we stayed with Christopher while Brandon and Danalyn with with Max to the ice cream social at his new school and where he met his new teacher.

Wednesday was the first day of school for Max and Brandon. While they were at school and Danalyn and Christopher were at work and day care Ron and I went to the Native American Interpretive Center and did some more sight seeing on our own. Wednesday night we all went out to dinner to celebrate the first day of school ~ both Max and Brandon said their day went well and Max even made a new friend, Julian.

Thursday morning we were up and on the road headed for home about 10:00. We arrived in Birch Bay about 7:00 p.m. after a pretty uneventful day of traveling. In our travels, Ron found a scale and weighed the motor home ~ we are 18,000 lbs +! We are going to try to eliminate some things from the motor home before our big trip begins in September. Ron figured out our gas mileage and we averaged 5.5 mpg! He is always happy if we get 5 miles per gallon or more!

Friday we both returned to work and then spent the evening with Jamie, Suzanne, and Opal as well as Wendy, Bryce and Oliver for a hot dog bbq and time around the campfire. It was a nice way to end the week.

Saturday morning found Ron doing one job for a friend and then we ran errands and then relaxed the rest of the day.

Thanks for reading about our trip and what we are busy doing. Hope everyone is well and enjoying each day.

Alice

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Here it is Saturday night and I am enjoying watching Ron and Max play golf on the Wii.

To catch you up on what we have been doing ~ Our trip to Boise/Lewiston went well though we returned one day later than planned. Ron was busy helping Brandon set up beds, the crib, put in an air conditioner and helped to move furniture into place. I got lots of Grammy time with Christopher and Max. Wednesday afternoon found the four of us taking a break and going swimming. Both boys so enjoy the water.

We left Lewiston about 10:00 on Thursday morning and got into Blaine about 7:00. After picking up Charlie Brown and moving the motor home to Beachwood, Ron found himself fixing the trailer lights and then we had a late night dinner of pizza from the C Shop.

Friday, Jamie, Suzanne, Opal and Oliver (Suzanne's nephew) came to visit for the afternoon. Lots of action happened on the Wii and the boys played at the play ground together. All in all it was a good day.

This morning Ron was not feeling well so Max and I went and did a couple of loads of laundry. While doing laundry Max went swimming. Then this afternoon he went swimming again at Beachwood, playing pool volleyball with a group of kids. We then went grocery shopping and had a delightful dinner of fried chicken and seafood salad. Glad to report that Ron was feeling better by the time Max and I got back from swimming.

Our plans for camping have changed a bit as Ron has a couple of days of work to do. We will be going to Quincy, WA on Wednesday and then onto Cheney, WA for Thursday - Sunday. Sunday we will return to Lewiston for four days and then return home on Thursday, August 27.

Well, that's all the news from here so I will close for now. Hope everyone reading this is having a great August!




Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's August Already!

It's August Already! I can't believe I didn't post once during the month of July. Bad me :(

July was a pretty laid back month for us. I was sick with bronchitis for a couple of weeks (maybe that's why I didn't blog). We did go camping with a group from our church, Northwood Alliance, to Newhalem, WA. We experienced thunder/lightening storms, a couple of downpours, enjoyed watching the kidlets play in the rain, went on a couple of good hikes and all around had a great time with friends. We celebrated Ron's 54th birthday having dinner with friends, Tim & Cindy at the Beachhouse restaurant in Birch Bay.

August finds us getting ready for a couple of trips. First one begins this Thursday (8/6). We drive to Boise to help Brandon and Danalyn move to Lewiston. On Friday Ron is taking Max to Roaring Springs, a big water slide park in Boise. Saturday will find everyone loading up the big truck for the move, Sunday we will be driving to Lewiston. Monday we will unload/unpack and help to get them all settled in their new place. I don't know how much help I will be as I plan on getting in lots of grammy time! with Christopher and Max!!!! The reason for the move is that Brandon has accepted a teaching position at Cul De Sac School District teaching high school math. We are planning on returning home on Wednesday 8/12.

We then leave on our second August trip on Sunday, 8/16 - we are going camping with Max for a week before taking him back home to start school. We will be at Grandy Creek for one night, in Newport, WA for 3 days and then Cheney, WA for 3 days. We will return to Blaine just in time for the back to school picnic at Northwood on August 30th. If you are in town, please join us for the church service that morning and then the picnic on the church grounds.

Don't know much else so will close for now. I hope to be a little better about posting to my blog in the days to come.

Take care and hope to hear from you all soon. Alice




Saturday, June 27, 2009

Catching Up

What a beautiful day! The sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. Slept till 9:30 this morning and woke feeling refreshed and ready to start a new day.

First off, thanks Daryl and Krista for letting me know I had the wrong number for Ron in my blog. That has since been corrected. And it was great to see you the other night. I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

I had a little health scare earlier this month but am glad to report that all three biopsies came back benign and my most recent blood tests came back normal. Praise the Lord! The doctors are still trying to figure where the anemia is coming from. I see Dr. Moore on Tuesday for follow up.

I am still working at the C Shop one day a week and at Northwood one day a week. HomeConnection is finished for the school year.

Ron is doing fine. Business has picked up some what and for that we are thankful.

We are working on plans for 2 mini-vacations and one big trip. Our first mini-vacation is scheduled for August 6 to 12 when we go to Boise to help Brandon and Danalyn move to Lewiston. The first day in Boise is going to be full of fun and no work. Grandpa Ron is taking Max to Roaring Springs, a great big water park, for the day. Then on Sunday they load up the truck ~ I get Grammy time with Christopher! Monday will find us driving to Lewiston, Tuesday they will unload the truck ~ I get more Grammy time! and Wednesday we drive back to Blaine. We will be bringing Max back with us for a week and a half visit. When we return we will be at Beachwood for a few days.

Our second trip is taking Max camping. Sunday night we will be at Grandy Creek by Concrete and then we head over towards the Newport/Spokane area. I am not sure of the name of the places we will be camping but we will be 3 nights at one park and then 3 nights at another park and then on Sunday we drive back to Lewiston. We will be staying in Lewiston till Thursday when we head back to Blaine.

Our third and biggest trip is taking lots of planning. We leave on the 20th of September and will return to the Blaine/Birch Bay area around the 5th of December. That's right ~ a 2 1/2 month trip. We will be going to Montana, Yellowstone, Rapid City, SD, Fergus Falls, MN to see my Aunt Cathy & Uncle Art, then through the Amish country of Iowa and onto Branson, MO and Nashville, TN. Then onto Hampton, GA to see Ron's Aunt & Uncle, Savannah, GA and then to Milledgeville, GA to see my best friend Merel and her family. Our return trip will take us through Alabama, Arkansas and then on to San Angelo, TX, Tuscon, AZ, Las Vegas, NV and then to Napa, CA to see my other Aunt and Uncle ~ we hope to be there for Thanksgiving (hope that's okay with you Aunt Joan and Uncle Don) and then home via Elma, WA, returning just in time for the holiday festivities with family and friends. And of course, back to work!

I plan on blogging all about our trip and posting pictures both here on the blog and on Facebook. Check us out there!

Well, Ron is off to help a friend move a bed and I want to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Wishing everyone a happy day!

Alice

Monday, May 18, 2009

A New Day

Just thought I would write as I have not written lately.

Update: we are now at NACO/TT here in Birch Bay. Will be here till Thursday when we head up to Grandy Creek, near Concrete for six days of camping, resting and just being together. I know, many of you are laughing as you think we are camping all the time since we live full time in our RV. But camping is different - no appointments, no jobs for Ron, just a time to relax, go for walks, enjoy being together, hopefully the weather will be nice and we can go for a swim, and having campfires to sit around in the evenings.

Last week we house sat for some friends while they visited family in California. It was a delight as I got in some baking, entertained three different evenings, Ron got the new awning up on the motor home, thanks to Kristen and Mike for helping with that project and for Dan being available if we needed him. We watched a couple of beautiful sunsets, and I enjoyed a couple of baths in their jacuzzi tub (once we figured out how to turn it on).

Brandon and Danalyn and the boys are doing well. Their big news is that Brandon got his first teaching position. He will be teaching Math at Cul De Sac K-12 school in Cul De Sac, Idaho. God has just opened up so many doors for them...Danalyn is transferring within the Life Care Center family to a nursing home in Lewiston, Idaho. Lewiston is about 20 miles Southwest of Cul De Sac. They have a day care facility right on-site so they don't have to look for a new daycare. They will be living in East Lewiston. The Lord has provided them with a renter for their home in Boise. Please pray for Max as he changes schools and meets new friends. They will be moving the first/second week of August and we will be going to Boise to help them move.

Jamie, Suzanne and Opal are doing well. Opal is standing and pulling herself up and trying to take a few steps. Jamie continues to work at Fred Meyer. It looks like the house on C Street has sold and so they will be moving to Bellingham to be closer to work. Good for them, sad for us as we won't be able to see them as often.

Something Fun...I took a writing class, Memoirs, at the local community college. It was fun to get to meet a real published author and get critques on some of my stories. I was encouraged to keep writing and sharing what's on my heart. Watch for stories about me and my family in the weeks to come.

I guess that's all from here. Take care and keep in touch when you can.

Alice

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Wonderfully New Day

What a beautiful day I had today!

God is so good and blesses in so many ways. I had lots of things on my schedule to do today and was wondering how it would end.

1. Doctor appointment in Bellingham ~ drove 29 miles to doctor's appointment, got there and it was canceled. No problem, had to drive to Bellingham anyway to go to Costco.

2. Went to Costco ~ in and out in 15 minutes! A new record I am sure.

3. Worked at Northwood ~ did the attendance, answered phone messages, readied the bulletins from Sunday to go out in the mail.

4. Went to the post office and then dropped off a suitcase at a friend's. Thanks Amanda for letting me borrow it.

5. Worked on my story for two hours. Started a class at Whatcom Community College "Memoirs: Where Memory and Story Meet" on Monday nights. This week's homework is "The Day I was Born" and so I did some research on the internet and found out I need to go to my library to try to get information from San Francisco ~ go figure! Guess I will be going there tomorrow afternoon and maybe even Friday morning.

6. Went to a friends to do laundry, shared a delicious meal with her family and another friend and her two young daughters (four of our adopted grand girls). The girls, ages 4, 6, and two 8 yr olds) have decided that if I am their Grammy then they must be cousins!

And came home to spend the rest of the evening with Ron. God blessed in so many ways: a sunny spring day, appointment canceled gave me free time to write, and lots of time visiting with friends and playing with grandkids given to us by the Lord! Who could ask for more...

Wishing all who read a blessed day!

Alice

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pictures from Christopher's 1st birthday




Here are some pictures from Christopher's 1st Birthday. Sorry they are a little foggy ~ it is definitely not easy keeping him from moving!

Max made the basketball cake for Christopher and he had lots of fun eating and playing in it.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Good afternoon on this beautiful sunny day. A few months back I wrote an email to many of my friends and family members asking some hard and difficult questions. I wanted to catch up on where I am today.

God is faithful and has truly blessed me with friends and family who love and care for and about me. I still struggle with depression issues but none like a few months ago. Among the dark and hard days are days filled with sunshine and joy. Depression is not fun in any way ~ like the commercial on television says "depression hurts everyone." I can honestly say that when I am depressed, it not only hurts me but causes pain for those who surround me. I think the depression I have found myself in since mid-December is finally lifting. Days are easier to get through and looking forward to new things is exciting.

As I wrote in my blog from a few days ago ~~~ I spent nine days in Boise with Brandon and his family. Got in lots of Grammy time and left feeling physically exhausted ~ who would ever guess that a one year old could wear out a 50 year old. Had a blast with Max ~ saw "Monsters vs Aliens" in 3D - try to explain to a 10 year old why you can't see 3D even with the special glasses on . What fun to be taken out to lunch by a 10 year old with his own money. All in all it was a great time and I am glad I was given the gift of visiting them to celebrate Christopher's 1st birthday. We also can report that the eating/swallowing problems that Christopher seemed to be dealing with have passed and for that we are thankful for answered prayer.

God has been faithful and steady even on the dark and dreary days ~ we had to say an early goodbye this past week to little Emerald Trulock-Workentin, Jamie & Suzanne's newest baby. Emerald was born at 19 weeks 4 days weighing 6 oz and 7" long. We were sorry to say hello and goodbye at the same time but are thankful that Suzanne is recuperating from major health issues due to complications of her pregnancy. God surrounded us (and them) with friends who showered us with encouragement and love during some difficult days. We are thankful for the doctor's and hospital staff who have and are treating Suzanne.

We celebrate God's blessings in the ongoing good health reports that we get regarding Opal. This week Ron and I had the priviledge of taking Opal in for her most recent swallow test and received the good news that she no longer needs to have thickener added to her formula, juice or water. She is swallowing correctly and no longer chokes on regular formula and juices. We are proud to say Opal now weighs over 17 lbs.

As I mentioned earlier some days are harder than others but I have come to realize that each person faces struggles and joys and I just need to learn how to accept and deal with the difficult times just as I rejoice over the celebrations and day to day joys. I thank you all for your love and support and most of all your friendship. God has richly blessed me with having each of you in my life and for that I am thankful.

I hope and pray that each of you also know the love and care of our precious Lord Jesus. He is the reason for the season!

Love, Alice




Friday, April 3, 2009

Time in Boise

I spent nine days in Boise with Brandon, Danalyn, Max and Christopher. The reason for the trip was to be with them to celebrate Christopher's 1st Birthday. It is hard to believe that he is one already.

I spent the week watching the kids during the mornings while Danalyn worked and Brandon slept after working at Fed Ex each weekday. I was reminded of how much work a little one can be...diapers to be changed, cereal to be fed to, naps to allow Grammy to rest and then time to play Boggle with Max, watch the soaps, watched Hannah Montana, Zack & Cody, Witches of Wizardly Way or something like that...played a few games on Wii - this Grammy is too old to keep up with a 10 yr old who is constantly on the move and then add into the mix a one year old who just learned how to walk and takes after big brother's love for sports...tossed balls, chased balls, and listened and played every musical toy in the house and oh yes, changing a diaper or two :).

It was fun to watch Christopher celebrate his birthday twice. The first on his birthday (3/24) we had a birthday dinner of meat loaf, mashed potatoes w/gravy and green beans and of course, birthday cake. Christopher didn't seem to know what to do with the cake. All that would change by Friday when we did the family celebration - we were joined by Danalyn's parents, sister and her family including cousins Jayden and Colton. Max and Grammy had made a basketball cake for Christopher and the room was decorated in all sorts of sport stuff. Well, Christopher enjoyed that specail birthday cake and wore it from head to toe. He scored big time by getting two basketball hoops - one was a musical one that he enjoyed as people cheered each and every time a basket was made, the second one is a two foot high hoop that will grow with him up to 5 ft. Not sure who had more fun with that one : Christopher, Daddy or Max!

The weekend ended on a much quieter note. Daddy, Mommy and Christopher went to Lewiston for three days so Grammy and Max had some special one on one time. We went to the movies and saw "Monsters vs Aliens" in 3D - hard to explain to Max how come Grammy can't see 3D but it was still a good movie. On Sunday Grammy was treated to lunch at Chuck-a-rama by Max and then we spent the afternoon watching basketball. Go UNC!!!! And then we made a sneak trip to Fred Meyers and got some yummy Reeses peanut butter cups along with chips and cheese sauce - as we say Grammy LOVES Max and we had so much fun. Monday morning was kinda chaotic as Max got ready to go to school and I was busy preparing for the trip home.

It was a wonderful time in Boise but as usual it was good to get home.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ramblings

It's a cold but beautiful day here in Blaine. The sun is shining but it is only 27' outside, brrrr....

We are thanking the Lord for two jobs today and one job tomorrow for Ron. It has been almost 3 weeks since he last worked.

I have been recuperating from toe surgery. Saw the doctor yesterday for a follow-up visit. It looked a little inflamed so onto antibiotics I go...better safe than sorry. Now I hope to get back to work at the church and the C Shop.

Ron surprised me with a trip to Boise to be able to celebrate Christopher's 1st birthday. It is hard to believe that he is almost one! Heard last week that he has started to take his first steps. Watch out now people, we thought he moved fast crawling...will we be able to keep up with him now as he walks/runs. I am so looking forward to this trip to Boise. I will be there for nine days! The only prayer request is that I not get sick while there...and of course safety for travel.

I don't know much else so will close. Just wanted to write something to let everyone know we are still alive and kicking in this cold and chilly land.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pictures from Opal's 1st Birthday

Opal playing with the alphabet drum that she got from Aunt Nancy and Cousin Oliver


Opal sitting in front of Grandma Wendy. Grammy Alice is taking the picture ~ we were playing bounce the balloon.


Opal's My Little Pony Birthday Cupcakes (what a cool idea, order a cupcake cake and then you don't need forks, plates - great idea Suzanne!) Opal sitting in her new chair and Grammy Alice giving Opal a bottle.

Isn't our little precious Opal just beautiful! We thank God for this little miracle. Opal weighed 16 lbs 11 oz on her first birthday!! No more feeding tubes or O2 tubes ~

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Today, February 24, 2009!

Today is Opal's 1st birthday. Her party is this evening. I will post pictures after we get home. I have been thinking about her and the last year. She has definitely come a long way. She started out at 1 lb 15 oz and 13 1/2" long. She now weighs, I think, close to or over 15 lbs. She is no longer dependent on O2 or her feeding tube. She loves to stand and has the biggest grin. She is definitely a joy in our lives.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Celebrate Winter

"Celebrate Winter" that was the title of my devotion this morning. My first thought was to celebrate the beauty of winter: the snow, the crisp morning air, and the evergreens that stand so tall here in Washington. My thoughts couldn't be farther from what the writer of the devotion had in mind.

First I turned to the scripture that goes along with the title, Psalm 42. The first thing I noticed was a note I had written on July 16, 2004 - from Charles, so many times when I am struggling and once again today as Jamie returns to Iraq and JC's funeral. I immediately found myself back to that day. Feeling sad and anxious about Jamie going back to war. I had struggled so much in the previous months he was there, worry of would he return (he did on 3/11/05) and feelings of sadness about the loss of a dear friend and a friendship that had suffered over the previous two years (mine and Julie's, JC's daughter ~ another story in itself). I remember praying for Julie that day and my decision to stay away from the funeral out of respect for Julie. I heard later she had wondered if I would be there...

Psalm 42 is filled with questions regarding despair and hope. So many reminders that God is with me whenever, wherever and however I am doing.

...as the dear pants...so my soul pants
...my tears have been my food...men question "where is your God"
...these things I remember...how I shouted with joy and thanksgiving
...why am I downcast...put your hope in God
...deep calls to deep...when I read this I think of being overwhelmed, in so deep not even sure how to get out
...by day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me...
...I call unto God who is my Rock "why have you forgotten me?" and He replies "I am here my child"
...put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God!

words of reminder that God is with me, even in my greatest despair and hardest struggles. Never forget Alice, that God loves you and will never ever leave you! Thank you Lord for this strong reminder on this chilly morning.

So now as I think of "celebrating winter" I think of celebrating the dark days of depression (not wanting to be in those days but acknowledging they are a part of me), that even though some days are so difficult for me I can remember and remind myself that God is with me every step of the way and He will never leave me. Though I stumble and fall, He will pick me up again and again. Though my mind wanders to places of major despair he replaces those thoughts with memories of my dear children and delightful grandchildren - reasons to live and celebrate each and every day.

So I close with a thank you to the Lord this morning: thank you for the reminder that you are always near, that your love will never leave me and all I have to do is call on your name and you will be beside me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A Rainy Morning

It is a cold and wet rainy morning here in Blaine. I don't think I am complaining just commenting. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day.

I have not posted a lot lately, not sure what to write. So thought today I would just drop in, add a couple pictures of the kiddo's, and say hello.

When we were in Las Vegas last fall after my sister's death, we were able to go to the cemetery where Royce is buried. Here is a picture of his marker. Sometimes it is hard to believe that he has been gone for over 31 years. Sometimes I wonder what he would be like had he lived but then I remember that he had many health complications and life would not have been easy for him.

In reflecting about Royce, I am reminded how blessed I am to have Jamie and Brandon here with us. Jamie is doing we
ll. Busy working at Fred Meyer's in the electronics department and helping Suzanne in raising Opal. Opal is almost a year old. She has been the trooper and is growing stronger every day. She is now off of all the oxygen and is trying hard to walk. Here are a couple of pictures of her from earlier. I will get lots of pictures on her birthday to share.


The above picture was taken around Thanksgiving. Because I was so sick with a bad cold at Christmas time we were not able to spend any time with Jamie, Suzanne or Opal.


Here is a picture of Max and Christopher taken at Christmas time when we were in Boise. I hope to get more pictures from Danalyn & Brandon that I can share with all of you.




Well, I guess this is all for today. I will write more later. Hope everyone has a good day.




Sunday, January 25, 2009

Reflections

I woke this morning thinking about my cousin, John Johnson. I heard from my aunt that John had passed away at the young age of 45 in early January.

Memories of times spent together as we were growing up flowed through my mind. Playing a game of jumping over the heater vent that was between the kitchen and the living room in the house on West Park. Going swimming in their pool ~ I was quite impressed that they had their own swimming pool! I remember having picnic's at Grandma & Grandpa Johnson's place - it was like a huge park in the middle of town. I am sure if I were to go back to Grandpa Johnson's place I would find it to be just a large lot with lots of trees surrounding the house.

When I married, I lost contact except via the mail and later email and phone calls between my aunt and her family. I would think of them often and wonder what John, along with his sisters Lee Ann and Bonnie were doing. Then Ron and I reconnected with my aunt in the 90's. Many things had changed, my aunt was remarried. Uncle Don is a sweet and loving man, he reminds me of a big teddy bear. They now live on 1500 acres in Lake County, CA. They have a real cool place: it has the main hunting lodge (that sleeps a lot), the caretaker's quarters (where my Aunt Joan and Uncle Don live), and then the cottage which is a two bedroom comfy place to stay (the bed is the most comfy I have ever slept on). Lee Ann, a teacher, has a daughter, Marcy and Bonnie & Kent have three little girls and also live in Lake County and John was living in Winnemuca, NV, and Chris lives in the Bay Area, she is Uncle Don's daughter from a previous marriage.

We were able to see the whole family except for John at Thanksgiving 2005. That Thanksgiving I also reconnected with my mom's Uncle Jimmy & Aunt Barbara. We were sorry John could not make it for the holidays. Yet, it was good to reconnect with so many family members.

Then last week I got an email from my Aunt Joan saying that John had passed away. I feel for my aunt ~ it is not right for a parent to have to bury a child, no matter how old the child is. Since then I have thought about John a lot. I feel sad that as a part of my family I didn't really know him. I wonder what kind of conversations we might have had with each other. I wonder if we each did things in our lives that the other would be proud of. I wonder what he liked to do for fun? If he liked movies or more physical stuff. All my wondering will not give me any answers.

Now I just wonder he if is with the Lord ~ I believe he is as I believe God is a Fair and Just God and will honor the prayers of those who cry out to him during his life time. What I hope to learn from this is to reconnect with family, and friends who are like family for we never know what our lives will bring.

Alice

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just a note to catch up...

Here it is past the middle of January and I have not written since the 27th of December. In just four short weeks lots has been happening here in Blaine.

First we returned from Boise on January 1st. When we signed in at Boise airport we were asked if we wanted to volunteer to get bumped ~ Ron and I looked at each other and said "let's go for it!" So for giving up our seats on a 3:00 departing flight we were put on the 4:30 departure flight, each of us received a $200 voucher for future travels. Ron immediately starts thinking of Disneyland or Denver or ???? but I immediately think "yeah, we can go to Boise again!" We arrived in Seattle at 6:30, had to wait for the 9:00 shuttle from the airport to Ferndale and arrived home about midnight to more snow and super cold weather.

We jumped right back into our daily life: Ron working or trying to work (with so much snow and ice there were places he could not get his truck into) and me working at the church and making plans to return to work at the C Shop.

But then I hit a glitch. My depression started spiraling down and the decision was made that I would check back into St. Joseph Hospital to address the deep depression I was in. I was in the hospital from January 12th to the 17th. Since being discharged I have been taking things slowly and trying to come up with some tangible things I can do to keep from going down the trail of depression. I would appreciate your prayers as I work on this and Ron supports me during this time. I thank the Lord for a loving husband, great kids, daughter-in-law's, grandchildren and church family for all their support these last weeks and in the weeks to come.

I want to share about an upcoming event BUT oops, it's a surprise for someone who reads this blog so I had better keep quiet. I will tell you all about it in a later blog. Keep tuned!

Well, we are off to a Blaine boys basketball game against Sehome so I will close for now. Just wanted to let you know how we are doing.

Hope this wintry month you are able to keep warm and not have to deal with too much more snow ~ at least those of us in the Pacific Northwest.

Love, Alice


God's Perfect Timing ~ Always

I am always amazed how the Lord puts things in my path  to remind me over and over that He is in control ALL the TIME!! This mornin...