"Bear"ly Made it!!

The Bible tells us we are to give thanks in everything. I had really been trying to find a reason to be thankful for my sprained ankle. Well, The Lord has shown me some really good reasons to be thankful!!!

Let's start with some background. Last year, we had a "bear" of a year (pun intended)! It started with me walking on our road, alone. I had a car come up beside me and the people inside said they saw me walking alone and wanted to warn me that they had just seen a bear where I had just been walking. At which point, I decided two miles was enough for the day! Then we had a bear run out in front of us on the highway in northern California, hitting our van around 2:40 a.m. Later on in the trip, we had a black bear cross our path while we were driving, in brood daylight. This time it was far enough away, we were in no danger of hitting it. When we got back, we found we had a couple of bears hanging out in our neighborhood. Our neighbors had seen them in their yards early in the mornings. My husband found a rather large pile left from a bear just outside of his study door, and on a Wednesday night, we pulled up in our driveway after Bible study and saw a bear run into the woods behind our house. Now, you may be thinking, well you live in the country...expect it! And we do. We live on propery that backs up to the Bremerton City watershed, where it is said that the highest population of cougars in the whole state is located. It also has a large number of bears and bobcats. We use caution and now we have a dog.

Monday, Samuel was outside and spotted a bobcat down the road by the entrance to the watershed property. He said it paused, looked down the road to where Sam was, and ran off into the woods. Yesterday, we found out that Monday evening, while we were out, our neighbor had a most exciting thing happen. He was in his garden when he heard something in the bushes (not sure if it was the bushes that are between our property and theirs). He went on up to his house and got his 357 and went back down to his garden. A bear then rushed at him, stopping about five feet in front of him and got up on it's hind legs. He shot the bear in the chest and killed it. The game guys came and took the carcass away. Now, if it were Craig, he would have insisted on making a rug out of it!! ;-)

Now, I say, I am SOOOOOOOO thankful I have a sprained ankle! I am not out on our road by myself with the cougars and bobcats and bears....oh my! Maybe I should get a holster to carry a gun.......or maybe I should just get a treadmill!!

Oh What a Day!

My day started out great! I got up at 7 a.m. along with the rest of my family. The children were getting their breakfast and I got my jogging clothes on. Zeke was sleeping so I decided to bring Winston with me for my jog. I have been taking Zeke in the jogging stroller as of late, but Winston needs his time too! So, with leash in hand and i-pod on, we were off! I usually walk only on the cement to get to the road, but because I had Winston (who was more than a little excited) we took an alternate route: via the grass and gravel. No sooner had I stepped onto the grass when I fell, hearing a snap and feeling horrible pain shooting through my ankle!

I was on my hands and knees, with a dog licking my face and crying out for help. "Someone help me! Craig! Craig!" I realized that no one could hear me and they wouldn't miss me for about an hour, so..."Winston! Go get the boys! Winston! Go get help!"     Okay, it works on the "Lassie" show! It was worth a try! He just wagged his tail and then ran off toward the neighbors where their dog was waiting to play. So I hobbled my way up to the house. The pain was intense! The swelling proceeded. Craig took me to the doctor's office where I had x-rays. Praise the Lord it isn't broken! Just a really bad sprain! Well, of course the two medical supply stores we were sent to didn't have both the splint and crutches on hand. Since we had just one prescription, with both items on it, we decided to wait and find a place with both.

So, what would YOU do if you had only one good foot,were in tons of pain, and needed to put the other up, and ice it? Well, I convinced Craig to take me with him to Seattle to get the errands done that he had intended on doing earlier in the morning. We got on the ferry and went on to the Apple Store where we had  a missionary's Mac computer that was fixed and waiting, along with our new 4 G i-phones that were reserved for us! Now, remember, I can NOT walk and this is i-phone DAY...the phones came out on this day and the lines were super long! We planned on "hopping" to a park bench where I would sit and wait while Craig stood in line...approx. line waiting time:  2 hours as least! God is sooo good! We found a parking space available right next to the line and.......a security man was there and saw my ankle. He asked if I wanted a wheelchair! How awesome is that?! So, I got to stay in line with my husband and do so in "comfort".

I must say, the Apple Store employees know how to keep their customers happy! They came around giving out free bottles of water, free ice cream, free Starbucks coffee, candy, and even sunscreen! We waited, and we got our phones!!! Yay! I now have my own new, i-phone 4 G...not a Hand-me-down! By the time we left, i-phones in hand, my ankle was so very swollen and so very sore! Was it worth it? Of course! I survived, I got to spend the day unexpectadly with my husband, and I got my new phone! It was quite an adventure, one like I've never had before! And thanks to a dear family from church, I have crutches to use on loan. Craig was also able to get me a splint from the store, and now I am back in business. Okay, I am on the couch with my foot up, but I can at least get to the bathroom by myself!! What a day! Next task: teach my dog to "go-get-help!"


We had a conference this last weekend at our church and we needed tons of cookies for refreshments. I made some Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and Anna made gluten free peanut butter cookies. Naomi made up a batch of Monster cookies. As you can see by the pictures, Monster cookies must get their name from the Monster size batch that it makes!!! They are so yummy!!  You will need:

4 cups white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups margarine (we use butter)
3 pounds peanut butter
12 beaten eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon light corn syrup
18 cups oatmeal
8 teaspoons baking soda
1 pound chocolate chips
1 pound M&M plain candies

Cream sugars, butter, peanut butter. Add eggs, vanilla, and corn syrup. Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Drop on greased cookie sheet with small ice cream scoop (or smaller spoon, if preferred)
Flatten with fork. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes....do not overbake!
Yield: 20 dozen!!!!  Caution: DO NOT DOUBLE this recipe unless you plan to bake cookies for 2 days straight!!!  Enjoy!

More surprises!

So, as you know, Naomi and I did some projects while Craig and Anna were in Africa. What we didn't tell them was that we had a few more surprises for when they came home. While I was painting the bathroom, Naomi sanded and painted the furniture in their room.  We also purchased a couple of new pictures to hang in there, as well as a couple of organization tools and new decorative pillows for the beds. We forgot to take before pictures, but the furniture was a light pine on the beds and oak on the dresser and night stand. I also got some pictures and wall sconses hung in my room with a newly painted frame for our wedding picture. I think all in all, Anna and Craig were happily surprised. Craig did know of Anna's surprise and we chuckled when he told me that Anna had just been saying how she wished that Naomi and mom would paint their furniture too! (This was a project we had decided to do a year and a half ago!)

Welcome Home!

I am so very happy to have my beloved husband, Craig, and my sweet daughter, Anna, back home from their mission trip to Uganda, Africa!! I know this was a life changing trip for both of them. What a blessing to hear of their adventures and to see the maturing that took place in my daughter! I am so glad that the Lord placed this vision in my husband's heart! Welcome back!!!

A time to remember.....

What better place to go when daddy is away than....Astoria! Our trip proved to be a great distraction from the constant thought of missing daddy and Anna! We enjoyed visiting with many cousins, aunties, uncles, grandpas, and grandma. It started out with rain and cool wind, we even experienced a storm, but eventually we got warmth and sunshine.......a great recipe for trips to the beach, the Astor Column, battery Russel, the jetty, and Seaside! We kept busy and enjoyed our time immensely! Here are a few photos for you all to enjoy..........

We'll Be Back Soon!

For the duration of my husband's trip to Africa, we have chosen to stay with family in Astoria. My Sister and brother in law have graciously allowed us to "intrude" in their home.  We are trying to spread our time evenly between the families. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins...we are spending days with each. We brought Winston with us and he is behaving like a champ! He travels well, for which I am pleased!!

We have gone to the Astor column, the jetty at the ocean, and even drove past our very first house that we owned! A drive down memory lane took us to the Dairy Maid ice cream shop in Warrenton where we all had chocolate/vanilla swirl cones. We still have several more days here in Astoria, ending with a birthday party for my dad, "papa", who is turning 60!!

We are checking off the days in my planner until Dad and Anna get back. We are anxious to see them again as we miss them terribly!! We are praising the Lord for their opportunity to be in Africa and also for them to be able to spend some "daddy/daughter" time in London. The airlines have been a bit difficult and schedules and flights have been changed and then changed again! We are now back to the normal arrival for which we are thankful!! At first, they were rescheduled to leave a few days later, then, a different route would bring them home a day early, but with a shorter layover for daddy and Anna, and not in London.  Instead, they were redirected to Brussels, Belgium! Well, through prayer, they are now back to going to London (yay!!) and getting home on the same flight as in the beginning!! Though, I am selfishly sad to not get them back a day early, I am happy for them to get their time in London!! God answered prayer (my own included) and for this I am thrilled!! God rewarded Anna's good spirit she had at the change in plans. God truly loves His children and delights to give great gifts as they serve and honor Him!!

Well, for now, I am saying good bye. We will return soon!