Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hobbits, licenses and bread.....and a Christmas Letter?

In our home you have to read certain books before you can see the movie version. Stacia has worked hard to finish the Hobbit before it was released.

The result of Stacia's accomplishment was that we all found ourselves at the movie theater bright and early this a.m.  It was a good movie. We still think the books are better. ::wink::  After seeing this one Stacia asked if the Lord of the Rings movies were like this. When we told her pretty much - she responded, "I'm not sure I'll keep reading the Lord of the Rings books."  ::snort::  Seriously they spent a whole, long movie on things that took one or two chapters in the book. LOL 

Other exciting news of the day is that Arielle received her FOR REAL license!!!!

 We're a bit "off" today.....I'm feeling a bit numb. This has been a challenging year for our family. I was trying to write our Christmas letter yesterday morning and couldn't figure out what to leave out and what to put in.....and was telling God  we'd really like less challenges in 2015.....I decided to think about it a bit more and write it today...then heard Mike the Elder has passed away.

Michael has slept, talked with Bre and worked on sermon prep.  The kids have read and played games. Arielle and I cleaned and ran a couple of loads of laundry.

Stacia and I baked bread - two whole wheat oatmeal, one cinnamon, one garlic/herb and one braided garlic herb.....the smells are amazing as I sit here and blog. Stacia formed her first loaves all alone today.....this is serious business!  She actually did her first when she was 3, but she doesn't remember.
This is our second try with this recipe. I used my technique and their ingredients. Two of the loaves rose like I expect. The two with add ins didn't.......I guess I'll have to keep playing with them.

I'm going to have one of my favorite dinners....and then I'm going to sit in the hot tub, look at the stars, sip a cup of tea and remember a conversation I had with Pat yesterday. Before hearing of Mike's death....the take away is that sometimes there are things we really want to do, or things we know we are called to do - those are the things we should quit stalling on..... Really another aspect of the "word" I've been meditating on since the spring...."Live Life Fully...."
The "Christmas" Letter can wait a bit longer.  
Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Still Traveling

Here are a few more glimpses of our traveling wise men. Each day they remind us to worship Jesus. 
We worship Jesus because he became one of us and walked in our shoes! 

We worship Jesus because He saves an accurate perspective of our past (camera bag).
We worship Jesus as He is the entrance to the Kingdom and relationship with Father God.
We worship Jesus as He is always with us (suitcase).

Standing on a stack of vacuum sealed blankets - We love Jesus because He's a soft place to land and He lights our path. 
We love Jesus because He warms our hearts.

I didn't do so good this week after our trip. We had SO MUCH to do...and we entered the door running.....but I remembered this a.m.  A good thing to remember on this day of sadness.

We worship Jesus because He stitches together all the threads of our lives. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Friday, December 19, 2014


The kids joined me at Page Turners (PWOC's Book Club) this morning. We went to a new to us diner in Wheatland.  The owner was very friendly - even though we took two of her tables. We did order meals - which we usually don't.....and I was happy to give her business. I always feel a bit "guilty" keeping a table for drinks.

ANYWAY - four ladies met to discuss A Christmas Carol and five children ate and listened in from time to time.  I enjoyed the discussion. I enjoy any time I can spend with friends and it was fun to make a new friend today too.  I must say that these ladies are sharper than I...but that's o.k. they love me anyway. LOL

Cynthia and I left the book club to go by base and pick up Jerry and Desiree's children and Pat (Desiree's Mom). We had a fun afternoon. We went to see  "Night at the Museum 3" and then we stopped by Brock's Ice Cream Parlor.  The movie was good. I hear the ice cream was good.  I enjoyed meeting and visiting with Pat.

Please continue to pray for Desiree. Remember, she is my local friend who is pregnant and had to have a double mastectomy. Yesterday, they received some of the pathology reports back. It is good that it is not in her lymph nodes. However, she does have Stage 2 cancer. She will not be able to avoid radiation during this pregnancy. She'll see an oncologist in January. She will have radiation after the baby is born. Please continue to pray for this dear family - for Desiree and Baby O especially.

After dropping of the kids, Pat and Cynthia....I checked my phone. Michael had been trying to reach me.

Michael's eldest brother, Mike, has had brain cancer. Yesterday morning he passed away. He is pain free and at peace...we are sad. Please pray for his wife Paula and their daughters.  And since I'm updating on prayer requests - please continue to pray for our grand-nephew Dom, Michael and his brother Earl.

Several have asked about a Mike the Elder and Mike the Younger. They use to be Big Mike and Little Mike until Little Mike grew to be taller than Big Mike.  Michael is the  last child of  his father's second marriage. They had not run out of names by the time he was born...they decided to name him with the names of Earl's other two sons to let them know they are still connected and loved by Earl. So, my Michael carries the names of his brothers.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

School Pictures

Of course we take school pictures. LOL

This is a pretty good one.

PJ's, on the stairs...reading....Little House on the Prairie.....

Yep - this will do for 2014 School picture.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Chocolate Spoons

Shew.  Stacia and I ran all day. We TRIED to find little mangers to give to the women at tomorrow's tea.....but I couldn't find enough. I tried to find an electric hot water pot-but couldn't find anything except electric tea kettles. I can't remember what else we tried to do but nothing worked easily. LOL

Finally, Stacia and I came home to cook for the tea. I had seen some chocolate covered spoons at the store and Stacia and I decided this would be perfect for little take home we dipped spoons in chocolate and coated them in peppermint. We got 67 from one lb of the chocolate.....

I'll blog about the tea when I get some photos. 

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Chapel Staff Christmas Party

Yes, Monday was an awesome day.  However, the day was capped off with the 2014 Chapel Staff Christmas Party.  Ed, a friend of Father L's, always has a huge spread of food out....and Father's home is  the most festive I've seen in a long time. 

More than the food and the decorations, however, it's the warm and welcoming spirits which gathered and made this evening one of my all-time favorite staff parties.  I've posted lots of photos on the chapel's facebook are a few of the more family oriented ones.
Nolan and Zander think about getting into the spirit
Stephanie and her "ugly" sweater - which I'm not convinced is ugly....and Elise (I believe)
 Serving with these ladies is a special blessing indeed
Me, Jaimie (Cath RE), Cynthia (Prot RE/Parish Coordinator) Paulette (Cath Coordinator)

Stacia said, "Father L needs to gain some weight before being Santa next year."  LOL  Here is Father Santa with Elf 1 - Ch. T and Elf 2 - Ch. C

They even talked Zander into grabbing a gift
Why hello Sweetie (Clara, I believe) we are going to miss these two!
I exchanged some bubbles for the tea set with Megan
Nolan and Daniel
 One of the fun points of the night was the "mystery gift"  exchange - complete with steals and such.

Nolan traded this salmon with Joe for an equally impressive box of Belgian chocolates (which  no one has seen since we entered our home.)
Stacia was able to keep this ceramic nutcracker. This makes her happy.
Michael had some wifi headphones but Zander stole them (3rd steal - Score they came home - but again he's the only one benefitting from them) and Michael eventually ended up with a new air popper.
This gal stole some binoculars - which I stole on the third time and brought home.

The funniest gift of the night may have been this one. Paulette eats very healthy works at a health food store.....she was happy when one of the kids stole these from her, I think. 
Daniel and his Almond Rocca

Arielle refused to play in the dirty santa shenanigans. She brought home nothing.

Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...

Awesome Day

Stacia has composed, and loudly sings, a song about this day. "This has been an awesome, awesome, AWESOME day....."

Just what has brought out her latent "Disney Musical" gene?

The day began like any other....until Stacia came screaming into my bedroom, with a blood-soaked paper towel in her mouth and blood streaming out around the corners. She HATES blood. She tends to panic and we've been working on it.....What in the WORLD?

"Mom, I need you to pull my tooth. It won't come out."

I checked. Yep, over half of it was loose. It wouldn't come out and needed to be pulled.

Here's my deep, dark mommy secret.  I've had nine children and I have NEVER been able to bring myself to pull one of the kids' teeth.

I called for Arielle. She seems to have inherited my squeamishness. Nolan was still in bed. I was entertaining the idea of driving to base and getting Michael or one of the Chapel staff to help...... Then I had a brilliant idea.

"Zander, can YOU pull Stacia's tooth?"

"I've never thought about it. I suppose I could."  He seems a bit too happy about this situation.
This is staged. Are you kidding me? I was out in the hall way plugging my ears and cringing - with Arielle.  Zander's the hero. See the empty spot.....

It rained all day. I'm learning it's best to stay home when it is raining heavy in CA. It's not that I can't drive in the rain, I AM from Oregon after's that you can't trust the other drivers.  BUT Arielle had a driving test today, I needed to buy some things for the Christmas Tea......

The driving instructor was to show up at 0900, do a brush up hour with Arielle, and then take her to the DMV where she would take the test in HIS car at 1000. At 0915 he wasn't here. I called. They'd forgotten. He finally arrived at 0956. They went to the DMV and he wrangled a new appointment time - which kept changing. Arielle ended up driving around with the instructor for 2 1/2 hours.

Stacia and I went to Target and bought stocking stuffers and pretty plates and napkins for "the Tea." We arrived at the DMV just as Arielle was leaving for her test. It's key to know that the driving examiner was new to her job. Scott, owner of the car Arielle was testing in, sat and talked with me as they drove. He told her not to take out her anger at the missed appointment on his student.  Scott there at the back in, Arielle in the car.....

The first thing she did was fail to stop or signal as she left the parking lane. Um....Scott freaked out.

"That's an automatic fail. I warned her about that. She's a great driver. WHY is she doing this?"

"She's rattled, her appointment was scheduled for 3 1/2 hours ago."

"She doesn't SEEM rattled."

Yes, she DID pass!
I could tell she was when we saw her. We gave her a thumbs up before she left and prayed. It seems Scott had told her just before she got in the car that if she failed, she'd have to wait until April before there was another open appointment. Um....way to rile her up. ::snort::  There is a new state law here that will allow illegal aliens in CA to apply for driver's licenses. It goes into affect 1 Jan and the DMV appointments are full....there are also many new computers so one can take the test in Spanish.

They didn't turn back and so we hoped for the best. She only missed 4 points. She did great once she got out of the DMV parking lot and settled in to driving.

I was thinking this a.m. that I got my license and got into an accident the same was raining....she was tired....she suggested I drive. I did. This is rear bumper of my van....after being smashed into while at a stop sign.....just a bit of damage.

This is the front of her car after smashing into me....she said she was going 15 mph.  

I felt so sorry for her. The police came and we exchanged info. We shall see what happens. I was glad I was driving. It was deja vu.

We finally made it home at 3:30 p.m. and I had 2 hours to make some Lentil/Mushroom/spinach hot pockets and a salad before we headed for the 2014 Chapel Staff Christmas Party - that's another post.
Choosing Joy!
©2014 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...