It's been 2006 for over 12 hours in Korea. Rylan is still here for a few days. It has been so good to have him home if only for a little while. Technology allows us to keep "in touch" but that physical touch is so important. Anyhow... we are wrapping up a year that has been so eventful in our household. Kids coming and going. Growing and changing. Going through the things that Har and I did back in the day. It's hard to keep focused sometimes on the fact that God has everything in His control. Not one moment of my fretting, fussing, or trying to do it "myself" changes that fact. I'm tired tonight. I really wish Harlan had another week of vacation to spend with us here at home. This past week has flown by. We are looking forward to some fun stuff in the year ahead. We would like to make a trip to Michigan again if that is possible. We would love to get to Washington D.C. sometime before my sister and her hubby are stationed elsewhere. Most of all I want to be filled with God's wisdom and strength to do my job here. It's not over yet. Seems like I'm just starting in some ways (Gramma-hood you know).
I hope this blog entry finds you all being excited about the year ahead. May God keep us all in his hand.
Congratulations to our daughter Alyssa and her husband Logan. You guys did good! December 17th was the date for the marriage ceremony for Lyssa and Logan. We had a small little gathering and a brunch following. Co-workers of hers provided hair, make-up and photography. Our friends Sherry DeChand and Kim Zywicki provided flowers and food and along with their husbands pretty much took over anything and everything that needed to be done. I owe them enormous thanks. You can plan and put a wedding together in 2 weeks. It just can't be a ceremony and reception for 300. A million thanks also to Jasmine and Megan who were heading up the cleaning crew around here. Ask my kids "I don't delegate well." So having someone like Megan and Joylynn team up was awesome. Logan and his brother Ty made the bread buns for the wedding. They turned out very well. Ty flew here from New Zealand to surprise his folks and was able to be a groomsman. Our Rylan surprised us and flew in from Korea the day before the wedding so he was able to be a groomsman too. It was such a blessing to have Logan's former pastor currently living in Clackamas here to be the officiant. He is a great encourager and believer in forever marriages.
So there is a not so abbreviated account of last weekend. Looking forward celebrating our Lord's Birthday this coming weekend. There is something extremely special about Christmas with little kids around. Have a Merry Merry Christmas!
Here are a couple of pictures of the east end of our "Village". It got set up later than usually this year. But it is up and we do enjoy looking at the lights in the evenings.
We have been having such a great time with Micah and his friend Marnie here. They just fit in with the whole wacky crew. Laugh at all the right times and don't complain when brunch is almost late enough to be considered lunch. They are the perfect house guests.
Our niece Maila is also in Portland spending time with Joylynn and her family. We look forward to having them here for a bridal shower for Alyssa today. In less than a week our little Lyssa Dawn is going to be Mrs. Logan G. Boy time sure flies!
This is such a busy time of the year. Many fun festivities to attend and even more things to do for busy moms. I need to take some time to reflect on the "Reason for the Season". Make His birthday the important one. Though I totally enjoy sharing the same month to celebrate. He has given me great a wonderful gifts. I only want to give back in return.
Stop by sometime over the holidays. Harlan is going to have some time off to spend with the kids and me between Christmas and New Years. We can have coffee ready for you in a jiffy. :o)
I love the book about the three trees. One wanted to grow up and be made into a treasure chest. One wanted to be made into a magnificent sailing ship carrying kings and royalty. The other wanted to just grow and be tall and majestic and point toward God. All three trees ended up getting cut down. The first was made into a crude feed box. The second a fishing boat and the third cut into timbers and left on a pile of other wood. None of them achieved their dreams. One night in a stable the crude feed box found itself being a cradle for a new born baby and realized it was holding the greatest treasure on earth. On a little lake a storm blew up and a small fishing boat experienced a man calming the raging waters with just words. It realized it's passenger was the King of Kings. The timbers were one day ripped from the pile and a man's hands and feet were nailed to them. They felt cruel and ugly. But on Resurrection Day and every day since people look at the cross and see God's sacrifice and redeeming love. The tree indeed points toward God.
My three trees don't have any great spiritual significance. But here are pictures of them anyway. The multicolored light one is our family tree. It has ornaments on it that each of the kids have been collecting each year since they were born. The white lighted one is my dining room tree. It has angels and snowflakes and crystal ornaments on it. The red, white, and blue one is in the den. I try to show support for our military in some way all year long.
I need to finish putting up the rest of the decorations. I'll post a picture of our Christmas Village in my next blog maybe.
Christmas is such a happy time. Especially if you have cute little kids to dress up in goofy outfits. Doesn't Santa's Little Helper look cute though? And how about Grampa Claus and his reindeer? Hopefully by the time Christmas roles around Genevieve will be a little more excited about it. Though I have a feeling this is going to be Wyatt's year. Courtney, Hayden and Cam do their share of spoiling as do the other Auntys. Can't wait for Uncle Rylan to be back home to be able to sit back and observe the antics of this busy, busy boy.
It was a beautiful drive to cut our trees. No rain. Sunshine. Happy smiling faces in the back seat. The kids even got to haul the family tree out of the field to the van. Alyssa and Harlan tied them down. They are both in stands with water and ready for their trimmins. The guy at the gas station made some wise crack about not waiting long before getting on with the next holiday. He OBVIOUSLY hadn't driven by the Webberley's house BEFORE Thanksgiving. We celebrate the SEASON not the day. So there.
Our boys, Hayden and Cameron have been having fun with a class called Home Life. They have various projects to do such as: cooking, baking, sewing, home maintenance, wood craft, and lots more. So far they have made pizza from scratch, changed the filters on the furnace, and just last night made pumpkin pie from scratch (store bought crust though).
We had a very quiet Thanksgiving this year. Just our kids in residence, Jess, Joylynn and their kids, & Bob and Lita. Smallest group here in years. Now that dinner has been eateh everyone is either downstairs watching football on HDTV or in the den watching Madagascar. I just put the first batch of dishes through the dishwasher. Time to tackle the hand wash and get all the cooled leftovers in the fridge. Tomorrow starts the Christmas shopping and decorating. I think more than sugar plums have been dancing in heads here for some time now. Christmas music has been tuned in on our van radio since Halloween. Somehow seems more appropriate to listen to it this afternoon.
Hope you all found a quiet moment today to reflect on how blessed you all are in so many ways. Happy Holidays to you all!
When Wyatt was this size he lived far away in Montana. We are so fortunate to have the grandbabies close by. The other Montana grandparents were able to come and see Genevieve last week. It was good to see them again. They have 3 grandchildren in Bozeman and 4 here. Jess' brother Luke's boys live in North Portland. I imagine Rich and Jane (Pa and Granny to the younguns) will be making multiple trips per year to see these kids. The great-grandparents back in Michigan and New Jersey sure look forward to pictures. Many have been e-mailed back East already. Isn't technology wonderful? Just think how long the Oregon Trail pioneers families back East had to wait for word from them. Many families didn't hear anything at all. So few photos were taken back then too. We have so much to be thankful for.
We had a quick trip to Goldendale yesterday. Came home today. On the way up we had dinner at a restaurant in The Dalles called Cousins'. We had breakfast there on the way home today. It's a fun homestyle restaurant with a funky country theme. Lots of "critters" on hand for photo ops. See Cam and Hayden with a sheep. The other picture is Harlan with his 94 year old father, Ray Hilman. He just flew home from Canada (unfortunately he was up there for his brothers funeral) but he has been to Hawaii and California also in the past month. He still lives in his own place and when he was home briefly between trips he drove the tractor and turned over the field next to his house to prepare it for winter. Har looks alot like him don't you think?
In case you didn't know Wyatt and Genevieve, your Gramma is a Christmas NUT! Hence the purchase of pictured snowman and dog musical cute thing. Actually Wyatt loves this thing. He has learned to squeeze the hand to make the snowman sing "Jingle Bells" The dog barks along in time to the music. Wyatt will dance to just about any tune. So he was dancing around the living room yesterday hugging his new musical buddies.
Here is a picture of our friends Chris and Robin and their adorable son Ethen. (Sorry Lil Guy I don't have the red eye fix on this computer) Also in the picture is our precious grand-daughter. Robin practically melted when she first took Genevieve into her arms. They look quite natural with two don't you think? Even Chris got to hold the baby. He wasn't quite as affected. Maybe it's a man thing :)
October 31st has been such a fun time for us in the past 6 years or so. Since that crazy, wacko, party-animal of a Children's Pastor happened to land at New Song. Hallelujah Party 2005 didn't disappoint. It was busy with hundreds of little costumed urchins and their parents weaving their way to various rooms to play games and win CANDY! What more do you need? Even many of the adults were thrilled as their game of choice to win that candy was BINGO. Most kids make out much better there than they would walking door to door in the rain. Mother Nature didn't disappoint either. Though the torrential rains eased up for the party we have had a ton of it before and since.
I'm happy to be in November. Yay for pumpkin pie and cozy warm fireplaces and wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen. Only 55 days until Christmas. Can't wait.
Here is a picture of three-quarters of one of the best families I know. We had a Baby Shower for Joylynn today. It was really nice to sit and visit and to introduce Genevieve to friends. She got some nice little outfits and a few other little things. She is still so small. But there is such a lot of sweet wrapped up in that little package. She is following in the footsteps of her big brother in stealing hearts. He is a darling. Joylynn and Jess are very blessed, not only in having wonderful & healthy children, but in their relationship together. We are very proud of the job they are doing with the kids.
My thanks to all those that were able to share tha afternoon with us.
We went for a little outing to the zoo today. It was nice to walk around with Joylynn and her little ones. Cell phones are awesome in some ways. The past few times I've taken the family to the zoo we have been able to split up and go at our own pace. We then phone each other and hook up for snacks or to head home. It was a nice day. Krystle, Courtney, Hayden and Cameron along with Krystle's friend Derek took off and did the zoo while Joylynn and I and the little ones took a more leisurely pace. Such fun.
I was out of town for the weekend. It was a very nice relaxing Ladies Retreat. But I missed my Genevieve and Wyatt! I also missed my Cherise and Lita ;O( But someone did take a picture of Lita with Genevieve. So here is is. I need to catch that little cutie with her eyes open more often. Here is one the day that they came home from the hospital.
I think this picture is adorable. I also believe that an 18 month spacing between children is pretty much a minimum. We had the following spacing between our 8 FYI : 25 months, 19 months, 19 months, 16 months, 59 months (yes almost 5 years), 30 months, and 48 months. Sixteen was a little too short but the 19 month spacings were great. The hardest the 5 and 4 year gaps. Just so far out of the swing of things baby wise. It's like learning all over again.
We are surely enjoying getting into the swing of things with this Grandparent thing. Both of these little cuties are soooooo precious. Wyatt has been with us for 3 days and has been visiting his baby at the hospital. So cute. Hope he still likes her when they get home :o)
I told Rylan that I wouldn't update until after Joylynn had her baby, but it's been so long since I posted. Our lives are needing to be very flexible but ordered. School is going to be a long learning curve for me. I have been way too much of a free agent in recent years. Time to be making responsible decisions and being accountable to a schedule. I'm trying to convince myself that this is a good thing. The kids too are slowly adjusting to this more regimented life. In the mean time. It's great partnering with Harlan in this endeavor. He is spending a lot of time with the kids and their studies. I was hoping to put a new baby picture in this post but I'll put a picture of Wyatt "The Big Brother" instead.
Well we wait no more for curriculum. It arrived yesterday and the day before. The kids are excited. My brain feels like it's going to explode. There is a lot of stuff that needs to be done ahead of time. We had no ahead of time. So we jumped in with both feet. So far so good. We have had to communicate with the teachers a couple of times. Courtney's teacher lives in West Linn. He will probably be able to come over sometime a couple of months from now. The boys' teacher is in Scio. We may be assigned a different one before all is said and done. Oregon Connections Academy was hoping to have between 500-700 students. They had only 300 some and then they did a news story and newspaper story on it. They now have over 1100 students and are scrambling to get more teachers. I nice problem to have. Anyway. We are an official Connections Academy family and proud of it. Notice the difference between last year's (ghetto homeschool) and this year's pictures.
We wait. For curriculum for our first year of Public School for Courtney, Hayden and Cameron.
We wait. For Jess and Joylynn to have their baby. Actually only Joylynn is having the baby. But it should be within the next month.
We wait. For direction for the year ahead. I'd like to get some more fellowship time in. Adam, Start that home group we could visit and see if we like it.
We wait. For any kind of news from the army as to where and when Logan will be deployed again. Wedding plans have to be pretty flexible at this point. So far they are still a go for June 3rd, 2006.
There are a whole lot of things that we can be doing while waiting though. Given the motivation and financial resources that is. The kids are starting to want me to decorate for Fall. Christmas stuff is in the stores already!
It sure is weird having only 3 kids at home that are needing direction. The other two of them are only needing guidance and encouragement. Seasons are changing. I need to embrace and welcome the change.
Hope your birthday is extra special. You have been a "source of joy" in our lives for the past 23 years. Now that you are a wife and mom we can see even more what a wonderful woman you are. We are looking forward to sharing the day you bring that second little grandbaby into the world and making memories with your family for years to come. We love you LPSM! Mom and Dad
I have been driving a great deal lately. Up and down the Columbia River Gorge. To Spokane and back to Walla Walla and back twice. I think I'd like to slow down a little here. We need to get into school mode. Routines, bedtimes, schedules. Never thought I'd be looking forward to any of those but I am. I'm looking forward to more rain too. Yay for FALL!
Weddings. We rarely get invited to weddings. This summer has been an exception. We have been invited to 9! Each one we've attended has been unique but very lovely. It has given us many new ideas for future events that we will be directly involved with.
Thank you Stacey & Josh, Christy & Justin, Tiffany & Jeff, Karyn & Brandon (all pictured) along with Brooke & Jason, Eric & Kisha. It's been fun being a part of your day. We look forward to celebrating with Lita & Bob, Katie & Brad, and Kristel & Brent.
The younger 3 children and I are heading to Spokane for a wedding tomorrow. "Home Fries" is going to add a few miles to it's odometer but I enjoy the drive up there.
Haydenwill be celebrating his birthday on Wednesday. I'm including a few pictures of him taken in the past couple of monts. A self photo, a "Good Uncle" photo and a freaky photo from his trip to the lagoon. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYDEN! It's been a fun 11 years.
We are hoping to be back in the area in order to take him out to lunch. He has been talking about going to Olive Garden for months and months. I'll have to double check with him to see if that is still where he wants to go. I know if I asked Cam he'd like The Old Spaghetti Factory. Either that or his new fav Taco Del Mar.