Aleigha starts out eating by her Dad...then has to come sit on my lap and eat MY food. I remember Jon used to do that. Is this a genetic trait???
Exeter's joined us for a short devotional (prayer, the Christmas story read from Luke. Aleigha put the baby Jesus in the manger this year), and then dessert. I made Cherry Cheese Pie and Shrimp Dip, Lyn and Ken bring wonderful goodies(fudge, peanut brittle, etc.), and Kre made the best Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. No pinata this year. I've forgotton how many years our two families have spent a part of Christmas Eve together. I took a picture with Phil in the group also, but it turned out very blurred.
How is this for a Christmas Eve! Jacob remembered doing this last year and wanted a repeat. Now if all our children and grandchildren were home we could replay that old tradition where the Exeters and the Hartmans go out to the Port area and ride on sleds. Remember???
It's Christmas Eve and our tree wasn't decorated yet. It was standing there all naked. So-o-o Grandpa went over and got Jacob and they docorated the tree. It didn't take long for him to become bored though and wanted to show us how fast he could run from the living room to the dining room. All that energy is totally wasted on little children.
We had our first big snow for this winter last weekend. Actually, we used to have snow like this a lot in the winter. I remember most winters in Northern Idaho had lots of snow too. Wish our Arizona grandchildren were here.
Phil was released from his calling as 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric last Sunday, December 21. He enjoyed so much serving with Bishop Dave Nelson and Bro. Stephen Gwynn. Now he's serving in a new calling with a new companion...ME!!
For those of you who are struggling during these hard economic times...Jacob has an answer to financial embarrassment. He drew this map while visiting me today and I thought it was a "treasure" all by itself. (He drew it in pencil and it was so faint, I traced over it in a darker pen.) It's so much fun to be a Grammie.
Uncle Kirk sent this to us last week and I thought it would be fun to share it. Can you find Phil without looking at the writing at the bottom? Phil can tell some interesting stories about the teacher, Mrs. Arnold. She was apparently the Superintendant of Schools before she taught in Stites and she lived in Grangeville. He heard Mrs. Arnold used to ride her horse to visit the schools in her district which included Stites, Kooskia, Battle Ridge, and up around Grangeville where she lived. Try asking the Superintendant of Schools to do that now!!!
I am so proud of Phil's efforts to learn how to use the computer in the LDS Employment Center. He worked on it Tuesday for several hours and then today for awhile as I was training on the other computer. If you know Phil...you know what a big deal this is. (You know he wouldn't computer train and I wouldn't work in an office part-time again for anyone else but the Lord!!!) (Certainly not for money...you couldn't pay us enough!)
We have been called to serve a part-time Welfare Services Mission in the LDS Employment Resource Center in Moses Lake, Washington. Employment Resource Services helps individuals become career self-reliant through employment, education, and self-employment.
Our service began Monday, December 1, 2008. We will remain at home and travel to Moses Lake several times a week. Our responsibilities include training, teaching and encouraging individuals seeking employment. We offer career work shops, assist with resume preparation and job coaching, interview candidates, and assist individuals to obtain special training for better employment. We also help develop business community contacts.
We request your prayers in our behalf that we will succeed in assisting many people in their need for education and employment during our months of service.
We had a great Thanksgiving Day! Below is a picture of my important guest. The meal turned out well (the pumpkin pie was my favorite). We ate too much, but then we got to take a NAP...which we don't usually get to do on Thanksgiving Day. The last few weeks have been so hectic for us that a quiet holiday was just what we needed this year.
Jon and family are in Pocatello, Idaho for the Thanksgiving weekend visiting Kreanna's family. It was a particularly important family time for them and I know how much that means to Kreanna and her Mother. We were thankful they could share this holiday with each other.
Jacob and Aleigha came to visit Wednesday while Kreanna had the stitches removed from her dental procedure last week. They were playing quite nicely then Jacob decided he was hungry. I asked him what he wanted and with a big grin he said "Papa's bread with butter on it!" He usually asks for mayonnaise, so the butter was a surprise. Of course, when Aleigha sees Jacob doing something, she must have the same thing. Papa's homemade bread is a hit at any time.
Here is Phil's "Service Project" this week for a widow who needed a rail on her back porch in order to descend the steps safely. She uses a walker and was concerned the winter weather would cause her to take a fall. It's very sturdy and she was so pleased with the job. Now I want one for my back steps!!!
Today would have been Amanda's 16th birthday. I have made it a tradition to go to the cemetary and clean the leaves from her memorial stone every year before her birthday. I go down other times during the year also, but there are certain dates I mark in my mind for special visits. I take a bouquet down that Teresa made for her the November after she passed away. I've had to refurbish that bouquet now and then over the years, and add new names around the bottom of the container as new siblings were added to her family. Adding Joshua's name actually completed the circle around the bottom of the vase.
Looking at the picture, it is the container on the left. The flowers in the middle are mine and the large container holds a living rose bush (and some artificial roses) from a thoughtful Hispanic family who live next door to us.
We miss her and anticipate how wonderful it will be when we are reunited as a family. She is my darling little girl still.
After dinner today, Jacob and Aleigha decided they wanted a ride on their Dad. I grabbed the camera when I saw this. The children were laughing so hard and I love the look on Jon's face. He is a wonderful, loving Dad.
I thought I had until December 6 to complete the four costumes for our winter ballet performance. Then Ms. Laurie reminded me Wednesday evening, November 5th, that they had to be done for Caberet performances at Ephrata High School. Dress rehearsals were to start on Monday, November 10. The fabric is "squirrely" and terrible to work with. I had ONE finished by Saturday evening and the rest finished on Tuesday night by 5:00pm. Rehearsal was at 6:00 that night, so they all had costumes for the Tuesday and Wednesday practices. Whew!!! The girls wear them over their white tutus. It is for the "Chinese" dance from the Nutcracker Ballet. So if you have been wondering why I haven't been online...now you know.
I need to give Phil some credit here also. I wanted some "sticks" for their hair buns and had one pair I borrowed from one of the girls. Phil got some doweling...and I don't know how he did it, but he made 4 pairs which I painted red and gold. Adding a red flower completed the look. He was our hero!!
Last Friday, October 31st, Phil and I drove to Spokane to visit my sisters. We arrived in time for Mary and I to have lunch with her daughter, Laurie. We went to a fun place near the school where Laurie is employed and I had half a pita sandwich and small Greek salad. It was SO good...but best of all was seeing my niece and sister again. Meanwhile, Jack and Phil went to Cabella's and also to lunch...just doing their own thing.
We stayed overnight with (Aunt) Mary and Jack. They are so very hospitable and go the extra mile to make us comfortable...and feed us delicious meals!!! Katherine (Aunt Ronnie) came to dinner also and it was wonderful to have time with both my sisters. We visited with Aunt Ronnie for a little while Saturday morning, then went to Costco before driving home. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures so all you get is the written word!!
Michael and Christina Harris and sons, Ethan and Evan, stopped to visit with us for awhile Saturday, October 25th, while out on a day trip. We had so much fun! They were hoping to give their sons an "apple picking" experience, but the orchards we knew were closed so they had to settle for a box of apples their Uncle Phil had gleaned earlier. It had been years since we had seen Michael and Christina...and we never had seen their children, so this visit was a special treat. We don't want it to be such a long time between visits ever again!!
We had a lot of activity at our house this week. The hero and heroine of this project was Bro. Steve Gwynn and his wife, Jann.
Steve spear-headed this project and spent so many hours making it happen. Jann may look like she is supervising, but she was the transit operator, ready when needed, and a stalwart support. Actually, I even got to try my hand at the transit when Jann was absent once.
We had many wonderful friends come last Friday for the concrete pour as you can see in the photos...a very long day for Steve.
I learned a lot as an observer and recipient of this great gift. This is VERY hard work and there are many drops of sweat mingled in that concrete. We are so grateful for these brethren who came and served...laughing and joking as they did it!!
Finally! After all these years "The Book" is completed! Following the bulk printing, I still had three double-sided pages to print at home. It took most of one day this week to finish the punching and binding. I purchased envelopes and checked at the post office for the postage costs. They should be ready to ship out later this coming week. This is Mother's "blue box" I found the old letters in.
Phil went out to Pheasant's orchard to glean apples today and took Jacob with him. I love these pictures. Phil had no idea that Jacob was making faces until he saw the results on the computer. You can really see his expressions if you click on the pictures. They certainly tell a story!
Phil started preparing the driveway for the concrete so his "best helper" came to his aid. Grandpa got him his own shovel last winter when he helped shovel snow, so he was using that to help shovel gravel off.
Later Kay Nelson and Bill Coley showed up to help and it was just a little confusing to Jacob. He had to come in to tell me that there were two helpers out there. I said "yes, but you are his BEST helper" and that seemed to reassure him so he went back outside. The big helpers were pretty patient with him. When I took water out for everyone, he had his own little chair to rest on and his own glass of water. It was hot during that part of the day so they were all a little sweaty.
We had a wonderful visit with our nieces from Quesnel, B.C., Canada the weekend of September 27th. Amber and Susan stayed with us Saturday night, went on a day-trip to Leavenworth on Sunday, came back Sunday night and left Monday morning. They are so much fun to visit with and we hope they come back and visit again.