Monday, December 27, 2010

Family fun

After a quiet Christmas, after a good night sleep, and after a leisurely morning, we shared a family meal with Rick, Amy and Preston.
Kids will always be kids. Kids will always find a way to express themselves. Kids will be creative. Kids will always play with their food.
No, not 11 year old Preston, but his dad. Before downing a full meal, the artist in Rick just couldn't help itself. It also made for a light hearted meal and set the mood for many laughs.
Richard was blessed this Christmas by all our children. There seemed to be a general theme in the gifts each of them presented. He received colored pens, sketch and drawing paper, cartoon books of several kinds and even a collection of cartoon pages from the Sunday papers. All most welcome and appreciated. Supplies that will stimulate his imagination and allow him to create his own cartoons for many months to come.
We also received many intimate gifts related to family, beauty and comfort. Thank you Lord for all the love and caring that fills our hearts with joy and warms the soul. Thank you for family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fun with Family

Amy M with their two babies.

Grandpa is getting tired. Bridget's three young ones are good kids, but very active.

Brigdet loves dogs and they love her too.

Rick and Juergen are looking at something.

Hanna bought a new hat with part of her prize money. She took 1st place in an essay contest. It was a good essay and well presented too. Congratulations Hannah.

Alki Beach in West Seattle

Juergen with space needle in background.

Alki Beach looking across Eliot Bay toward Seattle.

Seattle ferry as seen from Alki Beach.

Downtown Seattle across bay.

Sako Field from across Eliot Bay.

On the ferry

View from the Fontlaroy shore south of the vacation house.
Area of the vacation house as viewed from the water.

Juergen on deck of ferry headed to Vashon Island.

Wheel house of ferry.

Boarding the ferry.

Seattle retreat

Logs for the fire. A cozy wooded setting overlooking Puget Sound.

The landlord lives on the upper story.

The view from the bank of windows in the living room.

We spent time with family in the spacious dining area. We indulged on steak, baked potato, green salad, and apple pie.

The cabin-like setting was very relaxing. Next post, on the ferry.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Home again, home again ---

Home again, home again, jiggity jog. What an intense 3 days we had. It was so nice to spend time with family in Seattle, especially Juergen, We had not seen him in almost 2 years.

Juergen was teaching all week at a conference in Vancouver BC. He slipped down to Seattle on his way home to Germany. Richard and I drove up to see him and to touch base with Rick, his family and with our grandchildren and great great grandchildren in the area. The time was short and visiting all too brief. But we made the best of what we had.

Amy rented a vacation house overlooking Puget Sound for Richard, Juergen and I. It was a great location, quiet and secluded. It had a modern cabin feel to it. All the amenities but also a wood burning fireplace and wide windows with a view. Rick, his Amy and Preston came for dinner. On Friday Juergen, Richard and I rode the ferry to Vashon Island before we went to Rick's house in Renton for a late lunch on Saturday. Our grandson Chis, our granddaughter Bridget and her 3 kids were also there. Chris and Bridget had not seen their uncle Juergen in many years. We all had a nice visit and a wonderful Mexican lunch together. Back at the rental, we had dinner utilizing leftovers from Friday. We watched a movie before going to bed. I have pictures, but it will take a few days to post them.

On Sunday we had a BIG American breakfast at Denny's before dropping Juergen at the airport. It was hard to say good by, but then it always is. It took about 6 hours to drive home. The rain was torrential nearly all the way. But PTL we made it without any problems.

Richard has a week of medical appointments starting this morning. He sees his primary physician and his nutritionist today, has physical therapy on Tues. and Thurs., and sees his hematologist on Wednesday. He had lab work on Thursday last week in prep for these appointments. His hematologist mailed some results that were waiting when we got home. His while count and a couple other areas of concern are normal. But his red count, hematacrits, and platelets are low. They are not low enough to get another infusion though. I'm not sure where the iron count is at this point. But I do know he has been very tired. I will ask his doctor today.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It will come together

Richard and I talked to our son-in-law very briefly this morning. He is due to fly out to Canada tonight. We are supposed to meet him in Seattle on Friday and spend the weekend together. That's the plan. We did manage to get his flight number and arrival time. Now if any of us knew exactly where we are to go after that, it would sure be nice.

Yes, I really do understand and empathise with our over whelmed daughter. There are a bunch of kids to look after and not all of them are well. She is stressed out with harsh reality. A daughter that can't sleep. Two pre-teen boys that are climbing the walls. A second daughter trying to study for her comprehensive exams and a young daughter having difficulties with her social life. Life is REALLY hard right now and she is facing 10 days without a shoulder to lean on or to spell her for a 5 minutes break. These next 10 days will leave her needing a vacation. One where she has no defined responsibilities. One where she can actually sleep in. She has asked for grace. I am also praying for patience, courage, and an inner peace. She will need all these while her help mate is away.

But I need a physical address so that I can plot directions to wherever it is we are going. No, I don't actually need it today. I will however need it no later than Thursday. We have to pack the car Thursday evening so we can be on the road by 7:30 am on Friday. Why so early? We have to pick our son-in-law up at SEATAC at around 1:00. It is a 4 hour non-stop drive in good weather. But there is no good weather in the NW right now and there is no telling what the traffic will be like. We will be going through Portland during morning rush hour on a Friday, just 2 weeks before Christmas.

We may not know how, why, when, or where things will come together. But I know from experience that "IT" will all come together on both sides of the pond. Amy and the kids will live through their ordeal and we will have a great time. The tables have been reversed more times that I can count. It always comes together. We can all take comfort in knowing who has it all in His hands.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Blessings Great and Small

Each day my husband and I begin our day with bible study and devotions. This has not always been so. In years gone by we usually prayed individually and I would red the word to him only on rare occasions. Richard is not a reader. He does better with audio. But we started our current routine a few years back, after I retired and it is a good one. It begins our day on the same page. Oh God has always been with each of us, being with Him together is more productive though. I have certainly noticed less tension between us. Blessing #1.

We are blessed. I ran into someone at the Grocery Outlet yesterday who looked familiar, but I couldn't quite place. She evidently had the same impression, but found me again in another section of the store to ask if I was who she thought, I am. We had a wonderful chat about were we had worked together some 30 years earlier and about many other topics. Blessing #2.

Around 4:30 last evening our son called from Washington. You could hear in his voice that something was terribly wrong. He haltingly told us that his 11 year old son had been missing since right after school. Many people were already involved in the search and the police had been called. Our grandson was dressed lightly and it was now getting dark. The temperature was dropping and it was pouring down rain. He had been despondent for several days and had received some poor grades at school. Our son was desperate. We prayed. When he got off the phone, I called and e-mailed asking others to pray, as well. A couple hours later Preston was found. Praise God he is OK. Blessing #3.

These are but a sampling of God's presence in our lives. There would be no time for anything else, should I attempt to write all His blessings down, even those for a single day. I praise Him for His love, His guidance, and His hand upon all aspects of my life. Another day begins. Make God a part of your day today.