Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What a weekend!

Last week Annie and Dave and their two, Jonathan and Emily, drove down to visit both sets of families. The girls (Becky, Charif, Annie) headed up to Big Bear for a scrapbook weekend and when we got back on Sunday afternoon we had a nice BBQ in oiur backyard so that the family could see Annie and her kids (the last time they were down was in April, so it had been quite a while since the family got to see her. The next time we see her down here may not be until after her new baby is born!). During the BBQ we surprised Bob and Judy with a mini-Grandparent's shower--it was so fun--they got cute books to read to their new grandbaby--some extra diapers to have on hand, and a photo album, among other cute things! After the BBQ we loaded up our family (Fred and Charif and their two, Penny and Daniel, and Annie and her two) and we drove all the way down to San Diego, arriving at a Motel 6 at midnight in Oceanside! That way we wouldn't have to fight traffic the next morning and having to get sleeping kids up too early. After a leisurely breakfast at a Coco's, we drove to Wild Animal Park! What a ball we had! Fred and I had gone down to SD in July and talked about how fun it would be to take the family there, so we planned it when we knew Annie would be down this past weekend. We always miss Isaac and his family when we do family things==but we are so excited about their move to Thorne Bay and Isaac starting his new job this week, and Katie and Sophia getting to know their new town and planning for the new baby's arrival in a month! Annie left this morning at 6:45 and got to Burney at 6:30 this evening. What a long drive for her--I hope she can take it easy now for a few weeks--this was quite a busy weekend!

"Nothing is more important to human happiness than to be part of a fractious, forgiving, warm, tightly knit family." (Marjorie Holmes)

God has been good to our family and we thank Him for the tightly knit and bound together in love unit that we have.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wood, Hay, and Stubble II

Last week, we were shaken from our slumber and out of our complacency by a 4.5 shaker. It was violent and the house shook and windows rattled loudly. Of course it took us back to 13 years ago and the 6.7 Northridge quake. It really scared me, only because of our experience with what a huge quake can do. At first I didn't think anything broke or fell--but oddly enough, as I was cleaning house on Saturday, I kept coming across things that had fallen over that I hadn't even noticed. Nothing broke (although I haven't checked the hutches yet). As with every event in our lives, this quake caused us to immediately assess our priorities, not to mention our "preparedness." How complacent one becomes when things are going well. We are no exception to what is common to most people. We found we had forgotten everything about preparing for a quake!

Then Fred said, "wood, hay, and stubble, honey." After all the work we have been having done on our house to get everything in shape before we can't for one reason or another, and here comes a quake to remind us once again that it can all be gone in a moment. And to remember always what really matters. And as I said in the first "Wood, Hay and Stubble" offering, there's not a blade of new Marathon Sod, not a "celtic wall brick" that can begin to compare with what really matters. At this moment there are six miners trapped in a mine collapse, there is a missing pregnant mother, there is a dear friend wondering if God will supply her needs, another friend's husband dropped dead of a heart attack at age 66...our Alaska kids have just been through a major move to a brand new community, a brand new job lies ahead, and baby is about to be born... and so life is what matters. Fred Jr. is getting ready to go to Uganda to bring hope to a world of hungry kids, and Annie is keeping up with her toddlers while hosting a young woman with no place to go and expecting her third baby...and so life is what really matters.

Before the New Lawn

After the New Lawn - And it's starting to brown because of the 100+ weather--so we're waterin' and we're hopin' but we're thanking God for what really matters.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Enchanted August

On Saturday evening, Penny and I met Holly and William and Rachel, Mandy and Lydia, and Judi and Terri O, all the way out in Santa Clara (past Fillmore close to Ventura) to see the play Enchanted April in a small community theater there. We had such a good time together. Grammy contributed $50 toward our dinner before the play so she could feel like she's had a little part in the fun, and Holly and Judi arranged for the tickets. The play was simply wonderful. It's a story about a group of women in the 20s who decide to spend a month in a villa in Italy. They barely know each other and each has a story of their own and reasons to escape their somewhat dreary lives following the first world war. They find Italy to be truly enchanting and they come to terms with their problems. It was funny, well acted, and a great little theater. The kids that once were all just toddlers are now old enough to sit through a play written for adults and understand it and enjoy it. These pictures tell the tale, and I thought I'd share--turns out to be an Enchanted August as well!

On the way home Penny and I played a practical joke on cousins Cel and Mike. Even though it was almost midnight we stopped by their house and dropped off a chair that I had picked up on the side of the road leaving it on their front porch with a note that said, "lonley chair, heard a welcome here." You see, Cel has a fondness for old chairs and has 14 hiding away in her attic! Penny and I collapsed into bed in a heap of giggles. The first words out of her mouth the next morning were, "has Cel called yet Grandma?" Sure enough, Cel called and knew it had to be me that left the chair. Why would she think such a thing?