Wednesday, March 31, 2021

All Things Krista

We knew this was a very strong possibility. We saw it coming. We wondered if it would come before Krista moved to JBER and began her first assignment. And then it happened....tonight Luke and Michael had a nice, long talk of what it might look like to be an active duty Air Force spouse - and more....and then it was official on the 30th or 31st of March. 

Let me introduce you to KrUke....a new blog name...Krista + Luke - together...which means, we are pleased to announce Luke and Krista are engaged. They are planning an incredibly fun wedding for July 3rd - yes, of THIS year. We are praying NOW for good weather on the 3rd. 

We all enjoyed ooing and ahing over the's perfect. Krista wanted a simple band. She wanted nothing that could snag on a uniform or get in her way at work....Luke (with a bit of help from Arielle) found the perfect ring. It's a silver band...with recessed diamonds. It's simple and elegant. It's perfect. 

We "happened" to have KrUke over for dinner on Krista's last night at home and so we  celebrated the engagement together.  
Krista makes sure Grandpa understands what happened

Some are asking, "Who is Luke?"  We met Luke's family when we moved up here in 2017. They are dear friends in our life group (before quarantine ended that abruptly). In fact, we had met Luke a couple of times and he'd been to our home for a meal before Krista moved up here.  Krista moved up in 2019 and began working and serving at our local church, as well as serving in the AF Reserves.  When the quarantine hit Pastor divided the "church directory" and we took turns contacting people. Luke responded to Krista's text (the 2nd or 3rd time his name was on her list) by asking her if she'd like to go out for a cup of coffee. I must admit NO ONE responded to MY contacts that way...that was the start of their relationship. We all like Luke - even Millie. 

Krista got busy alerting the Gherkins to this happy occurrence in an already eventful week. The rest of us loaded her car with stuff. She moved onto base the next morning. 

When we were stationed up here I spent a happy winter (or two) at the skills center learning to pour, clean, and glaze ceramics. One thing I made was a pig....come to think of it the pig hat entered our life at the same time. I seem to have been fixated with pigs during the cold winter. ::snort::  ANYWAY - I made this pig and gave it to Michael. He took it to his office and many staff meetings, counseling sessions, and flight line visits began with the pig. LOL Tonight, he passed the pig on to the new Ch. G (who isn't going to be Ch. G for long as it turns out). 

Early on the 1st of April, Krista left our home, drove to JBER, took the Oath of Office and became an Active Duty Air Force Chaplain. 

She sent this photo....there's a new Ch. G in town and the pig is once again at home on a base. One side says "Pig out," and one side says, "Let your moderation be known..." 

Krista had been told she wouldn't qualify to get on the list for "accompanied housing" until 60 days before her wedding. She was to move into unaccompanied enlisted housing which she was happy to do as she couldn't stay at home. By the end of the first day she'd met the "Shirt," First Sgt of the Wing Staff. He had a nice discussion with housing. He explained she was essential and had to live within reporting range due to being duty chaplain. They said they simply didn't have accompanied housing...he kept asking, "What CAN you do for me today?" and they found her an accompanied senior enlisted home. She got the keys and moved in on April 2nd. 

If you are hanging around the medical facilities on base, look up the new med group chaplain, tell her her Mom sent you. She'll think it's funny. They always laugh at the places blog readers have found them. 

I was sad and excited to watch Krista drive away. Yes, I watched her until the car was gone. It's tradition. I'm happy to know Luke will be traveling with her, it makes it a bit easier for this Mom to watch this step. We have loved having Krista here for the past two years. It's been a blessing in many ways. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

2 Week Catch Up

It's time for a big catch up post. We've been busy living life fully present....and that's not left much time to sit and blog. These nights I'm watching an episode on Netflix rather than using my last cognitive energy on a blog post. LOL 

We are totally LOVING the extra light. We are over 13 hours of sunlight. Temps have jumped between -6 and 22* in the mornings when I take Alex to work. The roads go between muddy puddles and snow covered ice. We are close to break up.  We have had a couple of snow storms in the two weeks this post will cover.  We have spent a lot of time on school  -  turning in samples, adding classes, making sure we're on track and work, work, working. 

Benny brought GG a 80th birthday card
Benny and G G 

Michael, Stacia, Allie and I took dinner to a new mom. We fell in love with Jericho James....and totally loved our infant snuggles. 

Soon this will melt. One of these summers we'll make a sidewalk or something out here and be able to shovel it. LOL  For now...we climb over the snow....or use the front door. 

Millie brings me each of her favorite toys every time I begin to cook. 

Michael has spent quite a bit of time hanging things, hiding wires, rearranging pictures...

Grandpa loves calling family and friends

Millie has been here....

Stacia and Allie spend a lot of concerted effort getting Millie to settle down around Benny and Arielle. I think she associates them with those rowdy, early play sessions when she was a new pup. 

GG loves the visits from Arielle and the boys

In addition to drop in visits, Arielle has begun to provide a few hours of weekly respite care for Michael and I. We've made it out once he and I TOGETHER and it was great fun.  Stacia stops by for an hour every week after work to watch the boys so Arielle is assured a solitary walk and training time with Kimber. 

We were looking for something in Potter's closet - Benny loves to be given permission to climb under here. Millie followed. She was quite alarmed at the sight in the mirror. She inserted herself between Benny and the mirror and pushed him back with her body and then commenced to bark, and lunge....she never could quite scare that other dog away. 

Game night! My favorite way to date to use up salmon. LOL 
Dominion - Alex, Ed, Ethan, Michael, Nolan 

We chose Dixit...
Allie, Britney, Stacey, Stacia, Jenni

I am happy to report no living room furniture had to be moved to add the second tale to our main table.

Later in the week, these 3 played games while Allie and I worked on some school stuff.  Nolan has finished his second college course. He aced the class - that makes 7 credits earned since Feb 1st. Go, Nolan. 

Bacon salt - who knew? It's a thing. 

I am not sure if Millie is getting tired of snow...I am getting tired of the melty tracks of water she brings in each time she goes out and comes in. 


Krista bought Stacia and Millie a chuck it. Millie loves chasing the ball. Stacia is not thrilled about the snow up to her waist in the back yard so she moved the fun to the driveway. 

Attacking the ball

Oops - it took a bit of time to realize Stacia wanted the ball BACK

She got it. 

It's a joint project to blow dry Millie after her outdoor play time....

Millie still thinks she's a lap dog. 
We allow her on the couch if she's on a blanket...watching Home Before Dark - a really cute show about a 9 year old investigative reporter. 

Danny is always good for a few smiles!

Willow joined the crew....Willow is an 8 week old Golden Retriever who owns Josiah and Crew. They brought her by after picking her up. She handled all the changes in her life admirably. 

The moon was beautiful over our mountain. 

In addition to the glimpses captured with the camera, there were also cosmetic classes hosted by Krista, lots of birthday lunches with Krista, a girls day out, snowstorms, church, lots of one on one meetings with various ones, tea, returning birds, dog rescuing, PFDs filed, taxes and ministerial license renewals still to go.... It's been a full two weeks. 

Friday, March 26, 2021

Girls Day Out

Christmas 2019 - I decided, rather than a bunch of "stuff," I wanted to gift the girls with time...a fun activity we would do together. I gifted them a trip to The Art Cafe and breakfast.

Almost immediately I realized the challenge it would be to get all the girls together...Covid hit along with voluntary lock downs, mandatory lock downs and quarantines. The Art Cafe closed down, their hours are limited now.  Everyone is busy, New babies arrived. Krista will be moving from the valley to JBER next isn't going to get easier. 

Friday morning Michael got up with Grandpa, and the girls, along with Benny and Danny, caught breakfast at Sunrise Grill. They make a great omelet...the girls chose Sunrise over you artsy fartsy options.  Our next stop was The Art Cafe. 

Arielle, Allie, Stacia, Krista, Benny

Our mission - create beautiful glass suncatchers. This involved choosing glass, cutting glass, creativity and patience. The sun light made it hard to catch photos but here are a few I snatched before settling in to my own creation. 

Benny took safety very seriously. I had thought he'd paint the little box in front of him, but it turns out he was more interested in helping mama with her creation. 

 Danny alternated between his carrier and being worn by Arielle. 

"I feel like there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." Vincent vanGogh

I was happy to do this  before this gal goes Active Duty. She's been busy all week making sure she touches base with people before she moves, tying up loose ends...she's made a difference here....and I know she will make a difference at each assignment in the upcoming years.....but...we're going to miss her.  She created a mountain scene on her catcher...Stacia made a flower and the rest of us opted for more abstract expressions. We'll pick them up next week and see what we got. LOL 

A fun bonus - Kayle came in to work on a project....such fun to catch up with her before her upcoming wedding and move. 

It was a practically perfect day. Bre was unable to join us...

Michael, Alex and Nolan grabbed lunch and discussed a chapter in Daniel.  Michael and Alex then zipped over to BreZaak's for some quality time with Bre and the kids....and Lady, their German Shepherd. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The MOOSE....

 The moose are's a fun time of long as they don't have babies in our yard again. LOL 

We haven't seen Rosie yet this season. Maybe one of these are one of her off springs....I would like to see Rosie again and know that she made it through another year.