Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

This morning as I was standing at the sink, I was thinking about our Thanksgiving. The washing machine and drier in the next room were humming, stuffed with sheets and towels, dishrags and dish towels. (You know, there really is a wonderful smell of clean clothes drying. )

I was thinking of all the things I have to be thankful for after the Thanksgiving weekend.

I am thankful for piles of dishes that needed to be washed the evidence of family and friends with strong bodies and healthy appetites.

I am thankful for those who were willing to give up the comfort of their own beds to stay with us. I love to see sleepy faces emerge from bedrooms and fresh clean shining faces coming out from the showers to eat breakfast together.

I am thankful for full bedrooms,
mattresses on the floor, portable cribs with napping babies, warm quilts and soft pillows.

I am thankful for old friends, new friends. Favorite foods. Leftovers.

I am thankful for the sounds of laughter, Bible discussions, teasing, catching up and prayer.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Our Cats

Hi Therese D. ( from Oakland)
These are for you!

How do they keep their white feet so white??

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Young Adult Conference

We had a great time!! Last weekend was ICHE's Young Adult conference. There were so many fun things that went on, so many new faces and so many friends that had come for years.

Jeff Lewis, Timothy Botts & Ken

We began the day with singing and the beauty of God's word. Timothy Botts the well known calligrapher came and did our theme verse as he led us in devotions and testimony. It was so encouraging and amazing. He is truly gifted by the Lord. Timothy shared from all the twists and turns in his life, (starting even at 6 yrs old) how the Lord had orchestrated each and led him along God's path for his life.

This is a bit dark but if you select it you can see his amazing artistry. He explained how his art is intended to display what he thinks the scripture means. He chooses his colors and fonts to express those meanings. Notice the compass as the underlying image in yellow.

This was our theme verse:
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Psalm 16:11 (New Living Translation)

We had more sessions throughout the day featuring Tim Boyer. Unfortunately the pictures I took turned out very grainy so I don't have any to put up.

After a goofy introduction session, we had lunch. Everyone brought their own.
By now we were starting to get to know each other.

Scavenger Hunt
We needed to move around a bit so after another session, we had an "in church" scavenger hunt. There were 60 things on the list that your team could try to find, or accomplish. We only had a short time so the competition was to get as many as you could.

Afterwards we girls separated off and had a class in flower arranging demonstrated by Becca and Martha Johnson. I Loved it.

They put together 4 arrangements. Watching them work was like watching a different kind of artist. We learned so many things to help us on our own. They also gave us a handout of helpful tips and ideas.

Becca used these beautiful and unusual flowering cabbages!
April was one of the winners of the arrangements. She won and got first pick!

Becca's second arrangement.

Martha's second arrangement. Yes it's done in a pumpkin!
Gretchen won this one and gave it to me!! I am enjoying it so much.

After the split session we had a delicious catered lasagna dinner, games and fellowship.

Some folks chose to play volleyball . . . . .
others watched.

Melissa brought the quilt top that she and her girls made while the men were away at the Father/Son camp. I had wanted to see it. Isn't it beautiful? I love the colors they choose. What do you think Emily? She's a pro now. I hope to see more quilts come from her creative hands.

Even us old folks made new friends and were encouraged to stay in the race. I left the conference thinking how beautiful and varied the Body of Christ is.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Beaver Dam

I love to spend a week each year at the family cabin in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

We have such a wonderful time and there are some things that we do each year.
1. Vacuum up thousands of Japanese Beetles! =)
2. Visit Nancy's Notions sewing store.
3. Go shopping at the Antique Mall downtown.
4. Lay around. Nap when needed.
5. Play hours of games.
6. Canoe, or paddle-boat.
7. Sing, read aloud and generally enjoy being together.

This year Ken and Matthew headed out to Devil's Lake for a day of hiking. To get there they had to take a ferry. How fun. Can you believe it? This is the second ferry this year!

This ferry went across the river on a cable.

Devil's Lake
There are actually some great spots for rock climbing here. Ken and Matthew hiked up to this spot. Rock climbing is more up Nate's alley. You must have equipment to do that safely.

There is plenty of wildlife at the cabin --- as witnessed here. "wink"

In addition there are toads, snakes, deer, muskrats, opossums, and our personal favorite the fragrant skunks.

One year the boys decided to live trap a muskrat. Well we caught a pole cat
(skunk) instead.

We think they got that nick name because you should hold that cat on the end of a
long pole.

The poor thing couldn't get it's tail up to spray us from the trap. But no one wanted to be the one to let it out.

We hope to have many more adventures at the cabin. Now maybe starting with another generation!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Father & Son Camp

Does this picture look familiar? Each year all the fathers and sons are gathered at this place for a picture. Here is this year's picture, 500+ fathers and sons!

Can you find Matthew in this one?

He and Ken along with the other men in our fellowship headed down to Oakland for the weekend. Since Walnut Point State Park Campground was full, they all camped in Kyle and Gretchen's yard. {Big downer, Nate wasn't able to go!}

Staying at Kyle & Gretchen is like staying at the Hilton. Kyle made them his famous biscuits and gravy. Yum.
The Path to the Shooting Range

Everything was so well organized and supervised!
Kyle and Matthew spent most of Friday here.

Gretchen and baby headed out to the rifle range.

Here they had guns to shoot as well as bows and arrows.

GREAT shooting Matthew!!

Kyle and Gretchen

Teddy Roosevelt visited the men and brought his special kind of encouragement.

Sergeant Jeff Streucker
Task Force Ranger

He's written his testimony in a book titled The Road to Unafraid.
It's the story of the incident in Mogadishu, Somalia made famous
by the book and movie Black Hawk Down.
Jeff is presently a U.S. Army Chaplain.

There were so many things for the men to do, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, paintball, games and competitions, clay pigeons and of course eating. =) (There is one other crowd pleaser I didn't list because I don't know if it's an official category, fire building and burning things "wink")

The weather was perfect and the scenery stunningly beautiful. Do I need to say that everyone had a great time??