Saturday, December 31, 2016

Farewell, 2016

This was a year marked by loss and change. We are still reeling from the unexpected passing of my father-in-law in August.

This photo represents some key events in 2016. We said good-bye to our golden retriever in January, and adopted a sweet labradoodle mix puppy in June. In October we moved back into the home we built, after four years renting our friend's smaller house.

Pictured: Sitting on the hardwood floor with our puppy, who is a great comfort to my husband.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27 ESV

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Puppy Love

It's time to wrap up the Christmas season. And think about the new year. Ready or not.

Pictured: Christmas puppy and our youngest

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Christmas Fir Tree Love

My husband decorated his Father's Day gift in honor of Christmas. He bought a beautiful small Korean fir tree with his gift certificate. It looks great in our front yard with lights and ornaments. Works for us!

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. John 12:46 ESV

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Add One Stocking

We don't follow many set traditions for what happens when. But we typically have stockings for each family member to open Christmas morning. It was fun to add one this year and surprise my daughter's boyfriend.

Pictured: In front of the cozy (internet) yule log.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"  Luke 2:12-14 ESV

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Not Too Cold

We were not too cold to have frozen yogurt. (Are we ever?) Great way to top an errand run to Olympia tonight.

Pictured: The two of us, taken by our youngest.

and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, 1 Thessalonians 3:12 ESV

Monday, December 26, 2016

Steamed Up

We don't mind washing dishes by hand, but it gets old real fast. Plus it's not efficient when you pay for water. Hence the desperate purchase of a used dishwasher online. My husband spent hours uninstalling and installing only to find out it had a small leak and the heating element didn't work. But thanks to contributions from our daughter, our son, his girlfriend, and her family we have a brand new dishwasher up and running!
Merry Christmas to us!

Pictured: Steamed up after the first load in our new dishwasher.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 ESV

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Portrait of Christmas 2016

What are the highlights from this year's Christmas? Faith and family. We kept it simple and stayed close to home. With fond memories of Christmases past.

Pictured: We attended Christmas Eve service with all four kids plus two. You can listen to the sermons from Christmas Eve and Christmas on our church website:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 ESV

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Seahawk Christmas Eve Love

The carolers stopped by on their way home from the Seahawks game. My parents attended their first game as guests of one of the coaches. A once-in-a-lifetime experience! A friend drove them and they all had a great time. Minus the loss at the end.

Pictured: Our four with the grandparents tonight.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV

Friday, December 23, 2016

Dish Doctor

Is there a doctor in the house? A dish doctor? Yes there is. My handy husband uninstalled and installed a dishwasher. Actually two, if you count the dud we bought used online. But that's another story.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Gone but not Forgotten

I wanted to call my father-in-law to ask a car question. But I can't, of course. My son played pickleball with his grandpa's old pals today. And missed him. That's how it's going to be. Gone, but not forgotten. We've only just begun to miss him.

Pictured: Checking out my daughter's new car last year.

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 ESV

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Ready for Christmas?

The woman at the grocery store asked if I was ready for Christmas. I'm not, but I'm not worried about it. She told me that her Christmas is not stressful. She doesn't have to worry about getting things done because all her people are gone. She is all alone. That is so sad!

I'm glad I have people to feed and shop for. I asked if she had plans to attend church on Christmas Eve or Christmas, and a friend has invited her.

Pictured: A fun memory in downtown Seattle, from 2013,

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. Proverbs 14:4 ESV

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Puppy Christmas Love

Our puppy's Christmas present came a few days early. She doesn't need her cone any more. Now that she is healed from surgery, we can start her walks and puppy training classes again.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds." And it was so. Genesis 1:24 ESV

Monday, December 19, 2016

Simple and Beautiful

We like to keep things simple. Our tree is so beautiful with only lights that we will keep it that way. It's also easier for the puppy to "leave it!"

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12  ESV

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Tree Love

I don't think we have ever had this kind of Christmas tree before. The family picked out a beautiful Arizona Alpine Fir. With frosted blue needles.  Love it!

 And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9 ESV

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Mud Bay Coffee Meeting

My ride showed up just in time. To take a picture of my friends that were able to come to a coffee meeting. Glad my husband and I had appointments at the same time and could carpool to Olympia. Works for us!

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Friday, December 16, 2016

Coffee in the Morning

Have family in town? Let's get coffee in the morning. Works for us!

Pictured: My youngest took this photo of five of us.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Don Juan's Mexican Kitchen Love

I wanted to try out the new Mexican restaurant in Olympia. My son and his girlfriend were happy to join me. I was impressed with the freshness of the ingredients, good flavors, and great service. I will have to take my husband there for a special date!

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 ESV

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Four Years Ago

I remember when we had to leave the house. To find wireless internet. Back when we moved to our last home. Hard to believe that was four years ago.

Pictured: Coffee and internet dates. Work for us!

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Life Group Christmas Dinner 2016

I have been looking forward to this all year. Our life group hosts put on a nice Christmas dinner. No need to bring anything. Good food and fellowship. I love our little group, now with a couple more added since last year.

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, Acts 2:46 ESV

Monday, December 12, 2016

Gungor Acoustic Christmas Tour

My friend had two extra tickets for tonight's Gungor concert. Works for us! I have never seen such mad guitar skills. It was an intimate Christmas event with two talented musicians.

Pictured: Waiting for the concert to start.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Luke 2:10 ESV

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Harbor Lights

I like how we look back and celebrate what God has done. Tonight was the second annual Harbor Lights. With good food, sharing photos and memories, and awards. I love our church family!

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Romans 12:4-5 ESV

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Settling In

It was about this time, four years ago, that we loaded up and moved across town. I loved the little house with the apple orchard, With our good friends next door. And our first time raising chickens.

But now that we are back in the home we built, I am settling in. Slowly getting things organized and put away. Little by little.

Pictured: The moving van, four years ago. Hope we don't need another one any time soon!

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11 ESV

Friday, December 09, 2016

Snow Cone Puppy

Too bad our puppy can't enjoy the snow. No running around until she recovers from surgery. She is subdued but gaining strength.

He gives snow like wool; he scatters frost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow. Psalm 147:16-18 ESV

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Ready to Party

We were ready to haul across the Evergreen State College campus. We had chips, salsa, bottles of water, and almost 50 filled Christmas stockings. Others in our church Life Group had the rest of dinner.

A nice young woman offered to carry bags while my husband parked the car. I gave her one of the stockings and when her plans changed, she came to the Christmas party! It was a fun event with over 40 students.

For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Through it All

I'm not sure where thirty-one years went. From the first Christmas together as a married couple, house-sitting gigs, juggling night shift for him and teaching half-time for me, then the first baby. Seminary. Pregnant with our second son. Packing and moving overseas to be dorm parents in Taiwan. The birth of our son in a Chinese hospital, with 12 older sisters in our care. Returning to the States with two young sons, pregnant with our older daughter.

The first of many unemployment and under-employment challenges. Recurring health challenges for me, later diagnosed as M.S. Built our first home with the Self-Help Building Program. Pregnant with our book-end baby girl. Another Master's degree for my husband. Raising four children with three high school/community college graduations in four years. Mostly stable health for me, with relapses every couple years. More jobs and side jobs on my husband's resume. Changed our address four years ago and changed it back recently.

But through it all, God's overwhelming grace and provision. Happy and blessed 31st anniversary to us!

Pictured: Happy to be together, thirty-one years and counting!

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 89:1

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Party Before the Party

Sometimes you need a work party before the party. Our Life Group stayed after church and filled 40 stockings for a Christmas party at Evergreen State College. And chopped veggies in preparation for the meal we were taking.

Pictured: Potluck lunch before the work party.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV

Monday, December 05, 2016

Snow Puppy

What is this cold white stuff covering the ground? Fun to eat and run around in. Hello first snow!

Pictured: Can you find our white puppy?

"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11 ESV

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Holiday Concert Appreciation

Our daughter told us about the holiday concert featuring a community orchestra conducted by her professor in her music appreciation class.

The incredibly talented South Puget Sound Community Orchestra included students and community members. I can see why every single seat was filled. What a great performance!

With thanks to my husband for driving us on a rainy night.

Pictured: A quick photo while the orchestra warmed up.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:13-14 ESV

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Prepare for Christmas

We are starting small with our preparation for Christmas. First up, the beautiful wreath my husband picked out. Lights come next.

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 ESV

Friday, December 02, 2016

Puppy Class Love

Please excuse the barking in the pet store. Our puppy gets very excited in class, which takes place in the middle of the store. Puppy training is going well. Just takes patience and consistency.

Pictured: We love our dog trainer and our puppy adores her too.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Light up the Kitchen

You never know what you might find at the Habitat ReStore. It's a great source for building supplies, home improvement projects, appliances, and more. This weekend my husband and I walked in at the exact time track lights were put on the shelf. With all lights on sale. Perfect for our kitchen!

Pictured: My husband installed track lights over our kitchen counter for $15, plus the light bulbs.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV