Friday, August 27, 2021

FRIDAY of Wedding Week


I should make a generic countdown board...but this works! We knew today would be busy. Friends from DC were arriving at our home. Stacia had to do all things frosting. We can help a bit with the baking. She is on her own with the decorating...because she wants it that way. She began making frosting early in the day.....

Her practice ones....this will work. 

Allie helped by keeping Millie out of the frosting. 

Allie also helped ME clean and put out fall decor....or the start of it. I decided TODAY was the day to concede victory to fall.  

Not only did Stacia frost cupcakes...but she had this "naked cake" to finish. She got it this far and waited to be sure she understood Carrie's vision before finishing. 

Debbie arrived. We've been friends since our San Angelo assignment - 16 years ago. She knew Stacia as a 2 week old. Our boys were the youth group at that assignment.  We've visited them twice in  the DC area and I told her last time it was time she came THIS way. Cyri's wedding provided the motivation to do so. 

The posse together again. When we moved from San Angelo to Japan we left Josiah and Jamin behind. The H family adopted them. They had them over for Risk tournaments, holidays, and just to hang out. They were at the hospital when Jared had heart issues. They were there for life events...weddings, graduations, good and bad times.  Jared joined them as soon as he could graduate.  At one point Steve, Jare,d and Jamin shared an apartment. 
Steve, Michal, Jared, Josiah, Jamin 

Debbie helped with PWOC when we were at Goodfellow AFB and Steve was on the Parish Advisory Council - like a deacon/elder board. It does our hearts WELL to have them back in our home after all these years...I can't help but remember deployments, family meals, rattle snakes....friendship that feels like family. 
Enjoying retirement. 

Debbie, Steve, Michael, Me

Meanwhile, Stacia frosts...and has come up with a way to let Livie help....She and Allie can help sprinkle gold flakes and balls on the cupcakes. 

Debbie, Allie and I ran out and bought more frosting supplies and Papa Murphy's pizza.  Let's call it a rehearsal dinner. LOL 

It's taking shape.  I actually think this about the right amount of frosting for eating....

This is a beautiful cake. 

This gal is about to become our granddaughter. We're excited. She fits right in around here. 

Rehearsal in the rain...and it was fine. Carrie, Livie and her parents....

A very happy groom. 

When Carrie and Josiah exchange vows, Josiah will also make some vows to Olivia. He becomes husband and FATHER tomorrow.  Just watching them ghost out the sequence had me in tears - and I wasn't the only one. 

Rehearsal selfie
Cy, Allie, Livie, Stacia, Larissa, Jared, Jamin, Michel, Steve, Debbie,
Steve,Carrie, Pam, Jerry, Michael, De'Etta πŸ“· by Josiah 

Larissa decorated the arch Carrie's brother made. All is ready for tomorrow. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Thursday of Wedding Week

 By the grace of GOD we were not able to see CoRielle last weekend. If we had, we'd all be close contacts and I don't know HOW we'd be able to host a wedding on Saturday. We've all "known" but it's confirmed, covid is running through CoRielle's home. Benny is the only one not sick and proudly proclaims, "My body is strong. I am fighting the bad guy germs." 

Poor guy told his mom today he wants to go to "Baachans - there's no bad guy germs at HER house." 

We are all sad they will be unable to attend this weekend's wedding.  Carrie's brother is also not going to be able to make it. He has come down with hand, foot and mouth disease. Having seen the photos THAT is something I do NOT want to catch. 

On the wedding "to do" list today is making cupcakes.....I bought supplies, and ran out for more supplies, and ran out again for more supplies...but the cupcakes magically appeared. It's fun to listen and watch Stacia and Allie work in the kitchen.  Stacia likes having an assistant. 

The cupcakes are beautiful. By this evening there were 84 cupcakes ready to be frosted...and we are all guarding them from Millie. 

As is usually the case, we found ourselves in need of a few items...this led to the girls and I heading across to the next town to visit Walmart. When we lived in San Antonio our family began a rather odd practice, THANK YOU BRENDA! When an airplane flies directly over us we stop at DQ for a blizzard. In San Antonio we racked up an incredible number of blizzards and were still collecting on them after we moved on from TX to AK.....up here it's rare again. HOWEVER, we have a small airport in town used for bush planes, sigh seeing tours, and the forestry service. A few weeks ago a plane flew low, directly over us as we drove into town.  

Tonight, ALLIE remembered and suggested we stop at DQ on our way to Walmart. I'm usually ambivalent about DQ stops as one can't go inside, the drive through line can be long, AND I don't eat sugar these days. BUT I had my A1C drawn yesterday....I splurged. 

Not only did we pick up things needed for the wedding, we picked up LOTS of little things to drop off for Danny and Benny. We also found zinc, which CoRielle couldn't find in our town. We dropped off meds and a couple toys on our way home. 

Tomorrow is frosting day, more visitors arrive, and rehearsal.....we're going to have a wedding! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Wednesday of Wedding Week

Any morning which begins with a blood draw (4 vials) has the potential to be hectic. 

I DID get 20 min workout in before I had to run to the appointment. I consider it a huge win in my fight against the all or nothing mentality. I wrestled to get on the elliptical. I planned to wait until I got home and get a full workout in, but finally decoded to just do what I could NOW. The day went off the rails, one funny "calamity" after another, and I was really proud of that 20 minutes by the end of the day. It was the type of day where you realize you only ate 300 calories all day at 10 p.m. πŸ˜‚

A lot of good things were accomplished. 

The dead appliances moved to the dump.

Stacia and Allie cleaned the downstairs. 

Stacia weeded alongside the front of the house. 

I turned a table full of cucumbers that were "going" into 14 qts and 2 pts of bread and butter pickles. Day 25 of the #everybitcountschallenge 
BTW, I'm liking the camera on the new phone

One of the day's "misfortunes" was the discovery I didn't have sugar or vinegar when I was ready to make pickles. That did turn out for good. The girls and I delivered a van full of boxes to thrift stores. Stacia was able to get all she needs to make frosting and the wedding cupcakes during the run for vinegar. 🧁

Earlier in the day I had fried some stew meat and realized I didn't need it for the soup I was making. Score, I put it in the freezer. Another small contribution to the #everybitcountschallenge.

It's a slow blog day when I post a photo of stew meatπŸ˜‚

While frying the meat, I had the foresight to put some beef into the slow cooker. I try to think ahead on Wednesday nights. After all church happens weekly and the family does like to eat.😏 The girls made veggies, a fruit plate, and Stacia turned the beef into bbq beef sandwiches for dinner. 

I didn't have time to prepare, or eat, dinner by the time dinner arrived. I put the final 2 pints of pickles in the water bath and headed to Gather Bible Study. 

Astute readers can discern Allie is feeling better today. She watched what she ate and did well. The girls didn't go to youth tonight as she hadn't been symptom free for 24 hours and we didn't want to keep the bug moving through church. πŸ˜‚πŸ€ͺ😏

Michael and I participated in a couple of late night discussions, one after the other, and climbed into bed happy and satisfied with the day's accomplishments. 

I am probably happiest about clearing out the downstairs. Things collected over the winter. These are the doors wedding guests will go through to use the restroom should the need arise. 

Not the most inspiring panoramic shot - but it shows the whole room

Boxes for the thrift store filled the space from the right half of the door,  in front of the elliptical to the bike. There was a fridge in front of the treadmill and a mattress leaning in front of all of it. We didn't want to haul them out in the winter, or during break up (spring), and the summer has gone way to fast. πŸ˜‚ Stacia reports this morning (Friday a.m.) it echoes down there again and is creepy. I like creepy and spacious. πŸ˜‚

OH! STEVEN (son) and STEVE AND DEBBIE (parents), friends from our Goodfellow AFB assignment arrived in state for the wedding. Steven is staying with Josiah. Steve and Debbie stayed in Anchorage as they have a tour booked for Thursday. We can't wait to see them. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Tuesday of Wedding Week

It feels like it has been a very long day....appliance moving, soup making, Grandpa's Physical Therapy appointment, food co-op volunteering, yard work, school, men haircuts, canning, dinner, putting loads of produce away....all the things. 

Dead appliances collected & ready to move out

Some produce

Chowder - don't think it worked well 

We were thrilled for a break in the weather. We got the main areas of the yard mowed...not the whole thing but at least the area where the ceremony and food will be. If we get more breaks we'll get more done. LOL 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Busy Week - Slow Start

 This is going to be a fantastically busy week! We have a long list of things to get done. SATURDAY Josiah and Carrie will get married OUTSIDE in our yard. We started mowing...and it began raining. It is predicted to be clear on Saturday - but we need it clear on Thursday or Friday morning so we can mow before set up.  ANYWAY much of our list of things to do needs to happen OUTSIDE and it is RAINING.....

With two girls writing copious essays, Michael is keeping busy inside. He's our resident editor. I gave up. I am really good at saying, "I like that," or "You could make that point stronger by rewording it." HE bleeds red ink...and has for years...but for those who are properly trained by the red ink reap great benefits. 

I had HOPED to make a run to the thrift store, event store, and grocery store...the trips didn't happen. School DID get done. Workouts happened. Meals were served. Grandpa and Allie were cared for.  That's all I could do for the day. LOL 

Allie is feeling under the weather. Prayers for HER and that her illness doesn't spread are greatly appreciated. Did I mention we will have a houseful on Saturday? 

Jared arrived Sunday afternoon. Larissa couldn't get off until Friday. The boys' friends and family friends will fly in Wednesday. Life is full and good and blessed around here. 

I put Jared to work shaking cream in a jar  - no I am NOT making butter. I am making sugar free ice cream.  Five minutes can seem like a long time. LOL 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Starting Down the Path of Home Education

 Remember our "Box Day"?  These lovelies had their very own Sonlight Box Day....

Bella - staring Kindergarten         πŸ“· by Bre

Bella's excitement is GREAT as she begins Kindergarten and Gideon is beginning Pre-school.  When I was over last week Bella gleefully showed me the cabinet which hosts all her school things. She told me we must NEVER take the child proof lock off without asking Mama. ::snort::  It is FULL of wonderful supplies and adventures about to happen. 

Gideon  - Pre-school 4            πŸ“· by Bre

How fun is it that Bre has chosen Sonlight as the backbone of her curriculum?  We used Sonlight when it was first getting started,  used various other things, and are back with Sonlight now (along with various other things). 
Gideon, Bella, Bre and Jojo, Annie         πŸ“· from Bre

It's kinda mind blowing to think WE are using Sonlight's AP courses at the same time THEY are using Sonlight Pre-K and K. 

Of course Bre WAS doing things with them last year as well, but this is her first year "officially" schooling...Second generation homeschooling - but then I think maybe THIRD...because there were a couple of years on the mission field I was homeschooled (though we didn't CALL it that) before I went to boarding school. 

Danny & Benny (Pre-4) πŸ“· by Arielle

Benny, 4, is working on pre-school as well. They incorporate unit studies and lots of real life outdoors activities into their learning.  They are focusing on colors, numbers, shapes, letters, animals, habitats and anything else that catches their interest. Recently, Benny has added all things penguin to his dinosaur fascination.  We can always tell what their focus is by the random comments Benny shares as he drops by to hang out. 

Benny is pretty impressed with lines 
πŸ“· by Arielle

"You're a pretty good girl, Baachan." 

 "Is it nice to call xyz an Elephant?" 

Ah, learning how to be polite and use your words to encourage others. Got it. 

 "Baachan do you have PENQUINS here? Let's play the penguin game." 

"I love you to the planet and stars and universe Baachan." 

πŸ“· by Arielle

As the girls begin down the path of home educating with their little ones, I can't help but think back on our path. These years were fun, hard, long and not quite long enough, tedious at times, filled with excitement at other times, but always these years brought adventure and connection to our family.  And - they learned! We are in our 33rd year...and I'm thinking when Stacia graduates and I'm no longer needed as a home educator...I can be the visiting teacher, or substitute as needed,  for years to come! 

You all make us proud! 

*BTW I will be proud of ALL the grands...some will home educate, some will not. All are amazing in my eyes. LOL 

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Spectacular Saturday

Stacia, Allie, Me, Krista 

I had a spectacular day with the girls at Victory Bible Camp.  It all began when Krista received an email from the PWOC President at JBER. She must have been reading through old files and came upon my bio. One item in my ministry bio is that I "stood up" the PWOC at Elmendorf in 2002. Elmendorf is now  1/2 of JBER (Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson).  They were having a fall kick off event and invited me to attend as a thank you for that investment in their group.  

The nostalgia began when we drove up. Ah - that logo - planet P-WOC.  How old-fashioned I thought it was - and the NAME  at our first base.  Now, I love that logo and all it calls to mind. I thought of the faces of the dear women who had given the old logo a facelift.... I thought of the boards I've worked with, the work on the regional and international boards...all the women. 


We learned at our very first assignment we weren't responsible for what came before or after our time at a location. We were called to be obedient and faithful in our season.... moving as often as we did in the Air Force, we  didn't often get to SEE the results of seeds invested in hear of groups that fall apart, groups that survive, and sometimes you just hear nothing. 

Today, I sat in a room full of women. I knew none of them. I was told there has been a strong PWOC from that small beginning back in 2002. I was thanked for investing in what they are doing now.  It was humbling. It moves me to tears. All the times one wonders - "Is this really making a difference?" 

I got to see some of what God has produced over the years from that simple seed planted 19 years ago.  

I caught a bigger vision of what God was up to when he called us into the nomad life of  the  Air Force Chaplaincy. 

Victory Bible Camp brought back memories....we had several retreats up there in our years at Elmendorf. Krista attended several Club Beyond retreats there. Allie had lots of memories from Victory too.  It's always been beautiful - it was exciting to see all the changes made since we were there in 2005. 

I did a thing....I remember riding a horse at Diamond Bar X in Montana. I may have ridden again at Victory on one of our PWOC retreats - but I don't remember  clearly. LOL In any event - horses frighten me. HOWEVER - I told Stacia I would go riding if she would....and Allie and Krista wanted to ride.  The thing is I've gained weight in the last year, my feet hurt all the time, I NEEDED to do something hard...and next I'll do something a bit harder...building resiliency. 

Krista (on horse) Allie, Stacia and Carol in background

Pardner - the red - mine - I spent a lot of time
 trying to get his head UP

I planned to take photos - but this is the only one I got on the trail. LOL I was busy trying to keep Pardner moving at a walk - not a trot. LOL  I cannot BELIEVE this is the only photo I got of Stacia riding her first horse. She was a pro. 

Krista was slower than the girls to get off her horse so I got a photo. 

Though I've gained 25 of the 50 lbs I lost back...I am sharing this photo. I can do hard, scary things...still. 

BTW my KNEES were killing me. I don't remember THAT from riding at Diamond Bar X.  And this morning (writing on Sunday) I'm moving a bit funny. LOL  Michael says I AM 25 years older....

After the horse ride we walked around and enjoyed the views....


Matanuska Glacier - when we lived here before we would go explore the glacier during free time at retreats.  I hear you have to pay now and it's not near the fun. 

Carol, the gal in the middle, is  a wing chaplain on the Elmendorf side (I am quite sure I butchered the title but you get the gist). She and Krista met at our home and we drove up to Victory together. It was fun to spend time with her. 
Stacia, Carol, Krista 

Check out the FREE t-shirts we received - above. There are some perks to being part of a military faith community....with salaries and building paid for all those offerings go straight to ministry.... I spent quite a bit of time checking out the 5 studies they are offering (free again) to the ladies this year. 

Of course we enjoyed spending time with the Chaplain.

The glacier

These poor young ladies. I got the time wrong and thought we were leaving at 9:30. Krista and Carol showed up at the house at 8:20. They woke up to Krista pounding on their door and yelling at them to get going. LOL It was a dry shampoo kind of day and they were off...without a single complaint. 

Stacia and Allie are champs!

Yes, fall is coming....strangely, we have more yellow leaves here than they did up in the higher elevation.