Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter 2024

We were invited to go to Daniel and Joelle's after church for an Easter Brunch. Joelle is a friend, Bre's lifegroup leader, and Jenni's sister.  After a quick check-in with the Gherkins, it became clear this was a year when we wouldn't all be able to gather.  Carrie and girls are still in FL. KrUke had previous plans. CoRielle are one week into postpartum.  Nolan and Alex were working. We were free to accept the invite. Bre and family, as well as Jamin, would also be there. 

As the week progressed both Joelle and Bre had children get sick. We were now down to Jenni, Jamin and our household. We opted to continue with the plans for a potluck brunch after Church and just move the location.  Since we had attended Friday and Saturday services, we would stay home and prepare for Jamin and Jenni to arrive after their respective services.  We checked in with Nolan and Alex and while they didn't want to eat, they came over when off work and spent the afternoon playing games with us. 

I woke to this!!! Michael had said we were to get 1 - 2 inches of snow. The deck was clear when we went to bed. Kids checking in from JBER, Eagle River and even Palmer were saying 1 - 2 inches of snow. I was pretty sure we had more than 1 - 2 inches of snow. 

The deck was CLEAR Saturday night! 

It IS so much prettier than muddy snow and it covered all the pet and moose waste in the yard once again. It is MUCH easier to deal with chickens on frozen mud and snow rather than muck...all in all I was fine with 7th winter arriving. We've had an Easter storm every year we've lived here.  We weren't going anywhere but I didn't want Jamin or Jenni to get to stuck. I voiced my concerns.  I told them I thought we had more like 4 - 6 inches of snow here. I checked a couple of churches in town, and no one mentioned all the we preceded with plans.

Jamin drove down after camera duty at two services in Eagle River and we discovered - it was more like 10 - 12 inches of snow here. He went out to shovel the walk clear, Michael got up and was at least 12 inches. 

This was bare gravel last night.

It got funnier when Jamin called Jenni to see if she'd like a ride from MAG to our home. I guess he told her the roads were bad. She must have been perplexed as she'd DRIVEN to MAG and the roads were fine. She said the roads were clear, snow was melting to bare ground until about a mile from our street.  By the time she reached our driveway it was clear why Jamin had texted. There was NO WAY her little car was making it down our driveway. Well, it would come down - the question was if either of their cars would make it back UP.  She parked at the top of the street until Michael and Jamin got some space cleared for parking.  We played Frakle, Splurt, and Dominion. 

Alex and I checked out by Dominion, and Allie watched but didn't play.  Neither Monopoly nor Risk were attempted. 

All in all, it was a fun and relaxing day. Millie wasn't happy with the new snow situation...she LOVES to play in the snow...she's not so happy with the little snowballs that get caught in her fur. 

Random March Snippets

 All the random shots and "things" I didn't blog about throughout the month.  ALL photos of grands in this post were taken by sweet mamas. Thanks, gals! 

March 14th and Noah shows he's an Alaskan boy by his excitement at seeing SNOW!!!! It's that time of year - is it really break up or are we due for more snow????

Noah Bear

The above photo shows I'm getting back into some sort of routine...I've gone through my first 50 lb bag of bread flour. Yes, I've tried with whole wheat, and it simply doesn't rise well. I'm going to admit right here...they aren't very pretty but they TASTE good. LOL 

March 18th - snow out the reason I'm thankful for the treadmill over outside walks. Winter - or Alaskan Spring.  It is also nice to avoid the moose and random bear. 

Willow is proving to be a great guard dog! 
Josi and Willow

I FINALLY found a protein drink I can doctor up enough to drink...but it made WAY too much to drink in one sitting (32 oz). I half it and I'm fine...stretches the ingredients out...low carb and 23 g of protein in 16 oz.  1/2 a protein drink, 1/2 C Greek yogurt, 1/2 a cup blueberries, some spinach...

Jared, Larissa and Noah (JaRissa) out campaigning!
I'd want this family as MY state senator! 

Gideon and Jojo 

Bre and kids and Joelle and kids spent a fun Sunday afternoon/evening dying and decorating eggs. Making memories! 

These two are just the cutest! 
Lucy and Trudy 

We're so glad these girls have been able to visit family in FL...soak up some sun on maternity leave. We are also glad they'll be home soon. 
Live, Josi and Carrie

As for the grieving... how in the world can such deep sadness exist with such incredible joy? I don't understand the depths of the human heart. March has been full, once again, of such sweet, sweet moments of joy...but it would be deceptive to pretend there does not continue to be intense moments of pain. The quote below is one I referred too often this month. 

All the Adorable Easter Photos

We spent this Easter Sunday at home. We DID celebrate Easter and we DID attend both a Good Friday and an Easter service. Our church suspected we'd be very full - and we were. There were over 3300 people who attended the seven services (Five on Sunday and Two on Satuday). The Sunday services were predicted to be very full, and Pastor Brian asked those who regularly attend on Sunday to come on Saturday. We did.  This helped with the space issues so others could attend Easter Sunday...104 decisions for Jesus and 69 baptisms. Every number is a story! Imagine it!!! Imagine the celebration in heaven! I know they must have had a big party in heaven and our boy was right there in the middle to celebrate! Imagine...if this is one church in Alaska, how the angels must have been rejoicing as believers around the world celebrated Jesus' victory over death and sin, and the pathway to relationship with God Jesus created that day.  It was o.k. to go on Saturday instead of Sunday. 

The following are fun pictures the girls texted to me of their celebrations....Enjoy. You're welcome! LOL

Bre and Izaak's Gang! Note they all have their OWN color of egg to find! Genius! 
Bella, Gideon, Annie, Jojo, Trudy

This is Olivia's first Easter. This photo is included as this year - Josi wore Olivia's first Easter Dress. 


Jojo (Josiah)




Noah celebrated his second Easter with Jared and Larissa! Check out his super handsome spring cut. 

For Sweet Carrie, more than any of us, this year looked different. What a difference a year can make! 
Easter 2023 - Oliva, Josiah and Carrie

Easter 2024 - Livie, Carrie & Josi

I will write a post about our Easter Sunday - but I thought I'd get all these fun photos posted Easter. 

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Easter Prep

Yesterday we attended a powerful Good Friday Service. Another one of those charges one will consider for weeks to come. Good stuff. 

Today, Cory and the boys met me at a local church which was putting on a FUN event. Group publishes the curriculum... an interactive celebration of Jesus.  Bre and the kids were going to meet us there too, but a couple of hers have a bug. 

We entered and were giving brief instructions and a couple of puzzle pieces. 

In each room a parent reads the Easter story to the kids, they complete a craft, and earn a puzzle piece or two. We received special 3D glasses, felt empty grave cloths and smelled a decaying tomb, navigated a "giant rock" through a maze, made necklaces, butterflies that fly, heard the Easter Story from a teacher, and so much more. This was a great event. I hope they do it again next year. Kudos to the youth and kids from Lazy Mountain Bible Church who helped man all the stations. 

Charles caught on camera! LOL 

Serious crafting

Working the rock through the maze

Cory, Danny, Benny, Charles, Bachan

If there's one thing this year has taught me it's how fleeting time together can be. I intend to make as many memories as possible with these kids and never knows when things will change. 

BreZaak may have a bug at their house but that didn't stop the kids and BreAnne from making Resurrection Rolls. It's fun to see this tradition live on at Bre's house. 

Annie, Gideon, Bella, Jojo

Carrie sent this shot's is Josiah's dimple, eyes...maybe even a bit of his smile? I can't wait to get these girls home again. Bachan needs some hugs. 
Josi Faith

Pastor Brian had asked regular attenders of church to consider attending one of the two Saturday night Easter services. There are seven services this year. Friday the overflow was open and tonight when we went back for the Easter service it was full again... people have made decisions for Jesus, baptisms,'s been an awesome Easter already. Pastor assured us it will be o.k. to stay home Sunday and celebrate on Saturday. I don't believe I have EVER stayed home on an Easter Sunday in all of my 60 years. I plan to be prayerful of the services going on, rest, and prep for brunch with our bunch and Jenni and Jamin. 

1. Being close enough to make memories with grandblessings. 
2. Worship. 
3. Jenni.

Note: Bre and Carrie took the photos of their kids today. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

"I Call Her Princess"

You've heard, no doubt, a new little one has been born to CoRielle. I was out and about with the boys. We were talking about the new baby. Charles and Danny were telling me her name...and Benny popped up with, "I call her Princess!"

Indeed!  It seems as fitting a name as any other!  

Note all photos are from Arielle. Charles moves so quickly it's hard to capture him! 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

It Must Be Thursday

Dinner...conversation...Hot Chocolate, Tea...and two episodes of All Creatures Great and Small...It must be Thursday. Jenni didn't have to work tomorrow morning, so she spent the night in Spare Oom...Otherwise known as the Jenni Room. LOL 

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Another Day in Court

I have spent an hour looking for the "right" photo to start this post - something just right. I took a photo in court which I think is quite artistic, doesn't show anyone's face, the light is good - but there is a concern one is not supposed to take photos in court.  Oops - there weren't any signs. 

In the end - THIS is who the day was about. Taking steps closer to some sort of earthly justice for Josiah. I know without a doubt there is, and will be, ultimate justice. 

We were not surprised when discovery was not declared complete today.  We knew it was highly unlikely all the evidence would be gathered. Everyone is working hard to get all the pieces in place, no one wants a mistake, or miss a technicality which could cause trouble later on. 

Sitting in the courtroom is like having a Band-Aid ripped off a wound which is just starting to heal...a tender scab - far from a is taking steps to get life on track again and....RIPPPPP.... 

 No, I did not make a scene in court. Yes, I winced and teared up...It all feels so be sitting in court hearing our SON discussed in the same breath as medical examiners and trial dates. I do believe everyone had much the same reaction.

These early court dates are like a cattle call. Many are given the same window of time; we all show up; they call one case after another and do the lawyerly thing...the judge is always gracious and asks which case we are here for and moves us to the front of the line.  This helps to clear the limited seating for everyone else.  He always thanks us for attending. Our DA was in court today and is taking the lead going forward. She asked to talk to us after court and discussed the process of the case going forward. We were able to ask questions and get a sense of how she sees things moving along.  It was a good day. No big surprises, discovery continued to May 1st... it is always just a bit ouchy. 

Please note, we are going to be extra-careful; we are not prohibited from talking about facts of the case online, but we are going to simply err on the side of caution and not discuss facts of the case or guesses as to what may or may not happen etc. We do not want any of our words to come back and be used against justice for Josiah in court. 

Before we drove to Anchorage, we stopped at Bre's and dropped Dad off to spend the day with her and the kids. He was excited the kids wanted a play date with him. Bre said they had a good day. I know HE had a blast and was ready for bed when he got home. LOL 

Annie was waiting for Pretty Princess to be played...and Jojo was quite impressed with GG's beard. 

Jojo, GG and Annie

Nolan and Alex live next door to BreZaak which made it convenient to bring them along for the drive to Anchorage - which we did. 

After court we grabbed a meal with everyone who was there, and then we branched off and visited Costco's new Business Center store. It was the most convenient for us, and we can get much of what we needed...unfortunately quite a few items I wanted were NOT at the business center.... I'll be looking for a chance to zip to Anchorage again for the rest of the items on the shopping list. We'll go to one of the "regular" Costcos. 

I'll leave you with these sweet photos - because this day was about taking steps towards justice for Josiah, Carrie, Livie and Josi.  We're so proud of Carrie for taking this trip with the girls - I know it means much to her family in FL for her and the girls to visit. 

Can you think of a more fitting commentary than Josi's to end the day? 

1. Dad had a great day with Bre and children. He also had dinner with them so when Michael and I got home we could simply relax. 

2. The DA took quite a bit of time to talk with us today. 

3. Spending the day with Nolan and Alex, Jamin, Jared and Krista is a treat - regardless of how we spent it. 

4. We can begin to see discovery being complete and moving on to another phase.