Monday, December 28, 2009

On Christmas Eve we celebrated Christmas as a family. Jerry cooked omlets for everyone and while he slaved in the kitchen Kyndra impatiently started opening her presents. Uncle Gary quickly became her favorite when he gave her play dough and then spent time playing with her. They were having so much fun and it kept her busy until dinner was ready.
This is the first Christmas Eve we all spent together since Jessica's last year in college. It was so great to be together. The next morning Josh and Jessica left early in the morning to go visit his Mom and the rest of his family. Gary and Cassie went to his parents and Jerry and I just chilled out. That evening Gary and Cassie invited us over to watch a couple of movies and have pizza. We had such a great time and were so thankful to get to spend time with our kids and their families.
We hope you all had a great Christmas and will have a wonderful New Year.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tonight I can't help but think about how very thankful I am for all that God has given us.. I am most thankful for my salvation. To think that Jesus died on the cross for me is such an awesome thing. No one will ever love me as much as God. The next thing I am thankful for is my wonderful husband. We have been married for 31 years and we have had some rough times but since we got saved God has helped us work out a lot of problems we had. We always loved each other. That was never an issue but, we didn't always show it and we didn't always do right by each other. The 3rd thing I am thankful for is our daughters. We are fortunate enough to have 2 beautiful and sweet young ladies. God helped us so much to raise them and we are so very thankful and proud to have them for our daughters. All the rest of our family is a blessing to.

I can't help to continue to be amazed by the blessings God has given us this past year. It took us along time to get out of Oregon but since we left Gods blessings have just been flowing over us. We got a house for next to nothing. We have all new kitchen appliances, most of our bathroom fixtures, all of our flooring, most of our light fixtures, and a variety of other things for the house all for under $5,000.00. Every time we think that God just can't give us anymore another blessing occurs. I have never been so thankful and so awe filled in my life. God has proved himself over and over to us and we are so excited about every step of this journey.

To all of you: We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year. If you haven't asked the Lord into your heart please please don't put it off. It is such an important decision and you just never know how much time you have left. If you need help to know what to do please feel free to contact Jerry or me and we can help you.

We love you all and can't wait for the next step in our lives.

Monday, December 21, 2009

It's final. We are now homeowners. While we have been homeowners before this is the first time that our home is paid for. We are so excited and can't wait to get started on our house. We bought the tile for the kitchen, dining room and bath, and laminate flooring for the living room the other night. We have the carpet for the bed rooms and we have the toilet,sink ,vanity, and Jacuzzi tub for the bathroom. We still have a lot to get but it has been really fun picking out what we want. So far we have gotten really good deals on everything. We have a chandelier for the dinning room and all of the interior doors also. It feels weird to know that we have the key and can go over there anytime we want.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yesterday we went for a drive. We like to do that. Just get in the car and go. It's more fun here because there are so many places we've never been. We find the most interesting things on our trips. Sometimes they are just a few miles. Sometimes they are a few hours. This time we were only gone about a couple of hours and we saw some cute little towns in our area.

While we were driving I was eating some Lifesaver mints. You know the kind that are in individual cellophane wrappers? My favorite ones are the ones that are kind of soft so when you bite them they just fall apart in your mouth. I got thinking about that and wondered what made them soft and all the others hard? They all have the same ingredients. They all came down the same assembly line. They were all handled and packaged and shipped the same way. Why were some soft and most hard. Then I thought people are like that too. Some are hard and some are soft. We are all made of the same ingredients. We all come from the same place. Yet some people are hard and some are soft. I think I'm hard on the outside and soft on the inside. I have had some adversities in my life and I had to be tough to get through them. I grew up in a rough area of town, went to a rough school, had an odd family life. I had to be tough. Yet I learned along time ago that you can't shut everyone out. You still have to let people in so you can love them. The most valuable lesson I have learned from God is forgiveness. It is so hard to forgive people who hurt you. Some don't even want it or care if you give it to them. But for your own sake and sanity you have to forgive them or you become bitter and mean. I have worked the past few years not to be bitter or mean. As people age they think they know everything. They look at young people and only see the mistakes they make. I noticed that if I don't smile some of the lines on my face make me look like I'm scowling. I don't want to walk around scowling all day so I make a special effort to smile.

Now I know I said my favorite Lifesavers are the soft ones but, I have determined that my favorite people are the hard ones. They are more interesting and they have better stories to tell. God has blessed them with challenges so they can boast on his grace and mercy. I am a hard one but I am soft in the middle. How about you?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby it's cold outside!

We have been experiencing Illinois cold weather. The other night it got down to 5 degrees. It wouldn't have been so bad but there was 50 mph winds. The propane heater in the motor home was running non stop. Our little space heater was trying to keep up. It wasn't really to bad until in the middle of the night I woke up shivering. The propane furnace had shut its self down. Jerry got up and restarted it. It was only 45 degrees in the motor home. Jerry has found some places in the motor home that didn't have any insulation so he added quite a bit today. The forcast is actually for warmer weather 32 degrees so I'm sure we will be fine.

We have both passed our drivers tests for Illinois. I am such a bad test taker and I was really nervous about the test. What a relief to have that over with.

We are closing on our house on Dec. 21st. Merry Christmas to us. Can't wait to get started. We went to Lowes last night and picked out the tub and sink/vanity/faucet set we want. It will be so much fun to pick everything out and put it all together.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Our new house that God is going to give us.

In Illinois houses are much much cheaper than in Oregon. With that being said we still got a good deal on this house. It was listed at $24,000 several months ago. It is a HUD repo. Our realtor suggested we offer $5,000 so we did. The offer was turned down but they countered at $8,900. We accepted the offer. We are now waiting for the title search to go through so we can set a closing date.

The kitchen is 12 1/2 ft x 11 ft. The window on the end is overlooking the wrap around porch. I have been figuring out different ways to lay it out to add more cabinets. So excited to pick everything out.

The dining room is 13ft 8in x 10ft. The door way leads to the kitchen.

The living room is 12ft x 15 ft. The front door and the window on the right open onto the front porch.

The room we will use for an office is 12 ft x 8 ft 6 in.

The master bedroom is 12ft 4 in x 12ft 2 in.

The bathroom really small. it is only 7 ft x 5 ft 10 in.
We are planning on putting another room upstairs in the attic for guests and a play room for the grand kids. There is plenty of room to expand since the lot is 50 ft x 150ft.

As you can see we will be very busy working on this house once we close. For those of you who weren't there when we bought our house in Oregon it wasn't that much better when we bought it. The main difference is that Jerry isn't working 12 hour days so he can put the time into the house. We are so excited about this project. I will post more pictures when we start working on the house. God has been so good to us and we are so very thankful.

Please pray that all goes well with the title search and we close soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day!

On a day like today how can you not be thankful for all of the wonderful things God has given us.We are forgiven and free and going to heaven when we die. We are healthy and happy. We have everything we need and many, many things we don't. I love Thanksgiving Day because it gives us a time to reflect on how thankful we should be. God has been so very good to us and we are so undeserving.
Today we ate to much, played video games, visited with Josh's Mom and Sister, ate more, visited with Gary and Cassie, ate more, watched TV, and ate more. We simply enjoyed being together and celebrating the bounty God has given us. It is so nice to have this time to remember what the holidays are all about. As we proceed into the Christmas season we need to keep the spirit of thanksgiving in our hearts and remember that there are people this year especially that don't have anything to give. If possible we should help as much as possible.
Here is hoping that you all have a wonderful and meaningful Christmas and a prosperous and healthy New Year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sick Time

Being sick is no fun. I have been down now since Saturday night and I am getting bored. I can't get rid of my fever so I don't want to visit with anyone in case I'm contagious.

I have gotten caught up on a lot of paperwork and organizing. When you are living in a motor home being organized is more important than ever. Space is very limit. There has to be a place for everything and everything has to be in its place. Its good training for moving into a house that is much smaller than the one we lived in.

We need to go get our drivers license changed. We have to take a written test and possibly a driving test. I haven't had to take a driving test since I was 16. Hope I pass.

Last night Cassie had a wonderful baby shower for Jessica. I couldn't go because I'm sick. Cassie made the cutest monkey cakes and a great diaper cake. Jessica got a beautiful double stroller and tons of diapers and everyday items for Kayla. Everyone was so loving and thoughtful.

I am so excited about Thanksgiving. We haven't got to have one together in forever.

I've been thinking a lot about being thankful. I have never been so thankful for stuff in my life. God has blessed us over and over again. It is so fun to serve God and be part of his ministry. We feel so at home here and welcome.

Monday, November 16, 2009


A beautiful fall day. A friend of mine gave me a little sign that say I LOVE FALL BEST OF ALL and it's true. I love the cooler weather and the crisp clean feel of the air. I love the color of the leaves and the way they fall to the ground. I love the cold nights when you can sit by a fire and eat soup and drink coffee. I love the way the sun looks in the sky. I especially love that this fall I get to be with my family. This will be the first Thanksgiving in 9 years that we all got to be together. I will miss Mom and Jerry's parents but honestly I would rather be with my girls and their husbands.

We just signed an offer on a house for $8900. It has been accepted and we close in about 30 days. I'll be honest with you it needs a lot of work but we are so excited. I can't wait to pick out cabinets and flooring, fixtures and colors. It is a 2 bedroom house with a attic that we will put another room in. It is about 800 sq ft on the main floor. It has a laundry room in the basement. It also has a front porch which I have always wanted. We can't wait to start working on it. I will post pictures as soon as we take some.

Tomorrow night Cassie is having a baby shower for Jessica. We are all so excited about baby Kayla Joy. Kyndra will be a very good big sister.

We went to a place called Restore. It is run by Habitat for Humanity. It is like a Goodwill for contractors. Jessica got 3 light fixtures, a bathroom sink and vanity, a utility sink, bi-fold closet doors,and misc. other items for their home. All for only $183. This will be a great place for us to go when we start working on our house.

Hope you are all enjoying your fall. Stay warm and dry!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You know how when you put something off for a while and get behind and you don't want to start because it will be more work than usual? That's exactly how I feel about my blog right now. I didn't have internet for a while after we arrived and then when we got it I just couldn't bring myself to work on my blog. Well here we go!

We finally got to Canton on Monday Oct 12th. On our way into town we stopped at the gas station close to The Brannan's business and Cassie rushed up to give us hugs. It was so wonderful to put my arms around her and give her a giant hug. Then we went to Josh and Jessica's. Wow! We sure do love all of our kids. Kyndra is the spitting image of Jessica at her age. Not so much in looks but the way she acts.

The next day Jessica had a hair party. Her friend that is a stylist came over and 5 of us got hair cuts and colors. It was so fun and my hair looked great.

The next big event was the Ladies Spectacular at First Baptist. We drove to Karen's house and stayed there. We loved every minute of the Spectacular. It was the best one I ever went to.

Since then our house has sold (yahoo!!!) Jerry was sick for a couple of weeks but is now back to normal. We have been on 2 teen activities and joined the church and the choir. We bought the Wii we promised ourselves and have already spent many evenings playing Wii with our kids.

They have a really nice YMCA here with a pool, hot tub, sauna, climbing wall, cardio room, weight room, 2 gyms, tumbling room and best of all day care. Jessica and I have joined and we have gone together about 4 times so far. Josh and Jess have gone a couple of evenings together. It feels really good to work out and do something positive.

We are currently looking for houses. We want to buy something small and fix it up. I know that God will give us just the right house at just the right time. I can't wait to see what he has in store for us.

I am going to put some pics in from the Apple Orchard activity we went on with the teens. All of the pics are of Kyndra. It was a beautiful chilly day when we went.

Today it is gorgeous. It's supposed to get to 69 degrees and we are going to try to go on a picnic this afternoon.

Life is good and we are loving every minute of it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So close yet so far!

We are in Springfield, IL tonight. 2 hours from our girls. We can hardly wait to see them tomorrow. We wanted so badly to attend church tonight at Calvary but just couldn't make it. We drove 14 hours yesterday and 12 today. It has been a really long 2 days. It was overcast and off and on rainy all through Oklahoma so I don't really know what it looked like. Missouri is beautiful. Full of trees. We ate brunch at a Cracker Barrel today. I ate way to much but it was so good. We saw the cutest thing just as we entered Oklahoma. A man and his little boy (maybe 5 or 6) were out riding their horses to the cattle. The little boy was in a big old cowboy hat and chaps and was riding along just as if he knew what he was doing. It was great.

Tomorrow is the day we have waited for for over a year. We get to drive up to our daughters house and get out and stay there. I am so excited I don't know if I'll be able to sleep. Tonight we are so close but so far away.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mesa Verde, Colorado to Santa Fe, New Mexico

It's really funny. Today we thought we would have a nice leisurely drive with Jerry's parents between Mesa Verde and Santa Fe. We would take our time and park early. Then we would get together and play games or something. About 30 miles out of Santa Fe I had just gotten up to take a picture out of the side window when... Kabloom. It sounded like a gun shot. We blew the out side tire on the drivers side. As you can see in the pictures it blew the skirting off the side of the motor home when it went. Very fortunately for us no serious damage was done. We were at a spot where we could pull along way off the road and Jerry and his Dad put on the spare and patched things up. It took about an hour and a half to do all the repairs. When we got to Santa Fe we found out that there is a world famous hot air balloon festival going on in Albuquerque. We finally found 2 RV spots for the night and ate dinner. Then we visited for awhile. Tomorrow we are going to go to Old Santa Fe and then get a new tire for the motor home. All in all an eventful day but so worth it. New Mexico is a beautiful place.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Yesterday we spent the day at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. It was so fun to climb down into the Cliff Palace and imagine that we were Indians living there in the years 1200-`1300 AD. The Indians had no written language so much of what we know about them was handed down thru stories and folk lore. A lot is just guess work. What marvels of engineering these people did with just tools made from rocks and determination. It was quite and climb down and up to get to the Palace. Jerry's parents had a little trouble but we all made it and really enjoyed the sights. I will post more pics when I have more time.
Today we went on a train from Darango to Silverton (Colorado) and back. It was a long day since we had to leave our campground at 6:30 am to catch the train and didn't get back until 7:30 pm. I will post pics and write more about this next time we have wifi.
We are so glad that we are able to spend this time with Jerry's parents. We are truly having a great time.
Tomorrow we will all go to Santa Fe, NM. After that we head to Illinois and they head home to Yuma.
Will post more when I am able.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Moving is no fun!

Well if you know me at all you know that we have been really busy packing up to move. They delivered the truck on Thursday and on Friday I worked all day packing up the house. On Saturday a group of really great guys came over and started packing the truck. By Saturday night all of the house stuff was packed in the truck using 18 feet of our 28 foot truck. Jerry started packing his garage stuff and his barn stuff in the truck. Tuesday night around midnight we closed the doors and Jerry reluctantly agreed that we needed another truck. He called the next morning and they delivered another truck when they picked up the first one. We packed Wednesday and Thursday and they picked up the truck Friday morning. We only actually 7 feet of the second truck. We finally got on the road Friday around 4 pm. We got as far as The Dalles and decided to call it a night. We also got an offer on our house and had to find someplace with wi-fi so we could sign some papers and send them back. Saturday we drove to Boise where we spent the night. Today is Sunday and we drove from Boise to Price, Utah. It snowed so hard in the Boise area they had the snow plows out on some of the side streets. Utah is so beautiful. I couldn't really tell if what Idaho looked like, it was snowing to hard. So far we have been blessed from God with a safe and pleasant trip.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Last week I won 4 free tickets to the circus. I called Mom and asked her if she could go with us.

Since there were 4 tickets I asked her if she wanted to bring her friend Florence with us. After church Sunday Mom took us out to lunch and then we picked up Florence and went to the Rose Arena. Outside the entrance there were people protesting the circus. They were using megaphones and talking about how cruel Ringling Bros. is to the elephants and other animal. I wonder if they are pro abortion? Any way we got great seats and the show was amazing. The best part was watching Mom and Florence. Neither had been to the circus since their kids were little and they were enjoying every minute of it. I could hear Florence squeal with excitement during some of the high wire acts and Mom never stopped looking at the rings. I am so very glad we were able to take them with us to the circus. Another memory made.

The picture Jerry took makes me look like I'm about 400 lbs. While I'm not 400 lbs there were some people in front of us who must have been at least 400 lbs. I felt so sorry for them because I'm pretty sure they didn't fit in the seats very well and it was hard for them to move around in the aisles. The worst part is that they were pretty young 25-30 years old.

In a world where how you look is very important it's hard to be overweight. I have been pretty lucky that most people have known me skinny and fat. Most of the time when we see a really fat person we don't think "Oh that poor person" We almost always think "What a lazy slob". People are fat for lots of reasons. Of course the main reason is that we eat to much and don't exercise enough. But having been 105 lbs and then weighing 2x's as much I don't really eat any more now than I did when I was 105.

I need to work on having more compassion for people. Jerry and I saw a lady dressed in business type clothes holding a sign saying she needed money for gas. Across the street we saw a man dressed more like a bum playing a guitar. Jerry said," Should we give her some money?" I said, "No." We have all been burned by beggars and scam artists. We have given money to guy for gas and the next week across town ran into the same guy with the same line. I know that Jesus wanted us to help those who need help but how do we know who really needs help and who's just pretending. Do we help everyone so that we don't ignore those who need help. Wouldn't that encourage the cheaters? I would appreciate hearing your opinion on this. We have both been struggling with this issue for years and now with the economy more people are in need.

Hope you all have a great day and remember YOUR NEVER TO OLD TO ENJOY THE CIRCUS!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ribs again?

Wyatt is a really messy eater!
We still had 20lbs of ribs left so we decided to have one last bar-b-que before we move. We invited our quading friends and families. It was so fun to have everyone together again.
Juliane and Jade had fun swinging one the lawn swing. Frank and Alice ate lots of ribs and still had time to smile. Steve,Taylor, Wyatt, Isaac, Liz, and Emily all sat in the house and played with the candle on the table. Ginger, Matt and Johnny all sat outside with us and enjoy the sun breaks that we had.

As it cooled down we built a fire in the fire pit and truly enjoyed the sunset and the fellowship.

We will miss these good friends so much. They have stood by us when others chose not to and remained our friends. I am so thankful that God gave them all to us.
I can't take many more of these good-byes. Good thing we are leaving soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Funny thing happens when you are going to move away from someplace you have always lived. You start thinking "This is the last time we'll see this", "This is the last time we'll eat here", "This is the last time we'll go here". We were both raised in Portland, Oregon and never really went anywhere else. We moved into the country when the girls were really little and have lived in our house for 24 years. My husband always says, "There's Oregon, Washington, Idaho and the east coast." We have never lived more than 2 hours from the mountains, the ocean, or the desert. Jerry's spent every week-end camping on the river and water skiing. I spent many week-ends fishing with my Dad on the Willamette and camping at many lakes in Oregon. We raised our girls doing the same types of things. We have always loved camping and exploring with our family. We can't wait to start exploring the mid-west.
Last night we went to the tractor pulls in Sublimity, Oregon.
Now I know they have truck pulls Illinois but I doubt we will be sitting with the parents of one of the monster truck drivers as he made his first home town appearance. How exciting to watch their faces and reactions as he drove his truck over many cars and did wheelies across the arena.
There are many people and places in Oregon that we will miss. There is some sadness in leaving. But there is much excitement as we look forward to exploring new places and camping in new areas and just spending time with our children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Saturday Les, Bev, Christi, and Oma came over for ribs and prawns. We had a great meal and lots of fun visiting.

Monday evening The Holemans came over for Bar-B-Que ribs. We had a great time visiting with them and getting to know Julia. She is eating her first corn on the cob in the picture. She is sure a good little thing.

The closer it gets to the time we leave the sweeter these visits are getting. Knowing you will not see these people for a long time gives you a different perspective on your visits. While we can't wait to move we will miss some people very much. Sunday was our last Children's church. It was fun but sad. We will miss all of the kids.

Our prayers are still with one of our former teens. Sheridan was in a bad car accident. His neck and back were broken. He was life flighted to OHSU. His lung has collapsed and he has been on a ventilator since the accident. They want to wean him off the ventilator asap. Many prayers are being sent his way for his full recovery. It is unknown at this time if he will ever walk but, if I know Sheridan he will. He is shown in the picture with his little brother Craig Daniel.