Sunday, March 19, 2017

2017 Week 11: Growing and Aging

In my haste to download photos from my cell phone, I hit delete (so sad) and lost five most recent and favorite pics (so very sad).



Yes, God's love is as multifaceted and His children as diverse as the colors of the rainbow.
Yet each one of us are His unique creation.

Leah received her Christmas gift at last--the results of an Ancestry DNA Ethnicity test.
She is thrilled to know more about her background. Not surprisingly there is a lot of European in her. The Native American percentage was of special interest.



Monday, as soon as I could get myself together after the exhausting robotics weekend away, I went to visit my friend Viola and witnessed a sweet mother  and eldest daughter reunion. Sadly, her youngest daughter passed away last week.


Tuesday I could look out at the bright outdoor scenery while I cleaned and tidied the house all day long. As usual, I needed a deadline to motivate me--the Bible study ladies were coming over Wednesday


I was able to rescue some bent over frozen daffodils for the occasion. They've been much happier indoors.


Thursday evening Jude was dropped off to spend the night. We enjoyed many things together: we read books about fish and sharks and Jonah; watched the squirrels eating bird seed off the ground; played "war" a card game; and had a Crazy Clown sundae at Ivanhoe's. That is one of the cute photos I lost. :-(  And while I slipped away to attend Maggie's funeral, Jude helped watched grandpa start the fire.


Friday I saw this week's SEGway and the article I submitted!


Also, a wonderful video wrap of the event was posted online:  St. Joseph District robotics competition.

Saturday was a big day for both of us. Mike went in earlier than usual for their regular workday and came home later than normal, and was very pleased with the progress on the robot.

I went to my Mother's and met with two area brothers and their wives (that is another photo I deleted, sadly). We gathered to discuss with Mother the opportunity to move to an Assisted Living studio apartment that became available recently. However, she does not feel it is time yet.

I returned in time for the special (lamb burger) and Phil Linehan's art talk at The Bridge Cafe. (I didn't know they were videoing the event!)

Today, Sunday, we gathered to celebrate Stephan's 46th birthday. We hung his Christmas gift just in time for him to admire his handiwork in its perfect location.


Michael put together a wonderful meal while I went in to Marion to pick up Diane.


We surely enjoyed our little ones. Zion and Jude prepared a "joke show" for Stephan, our family comedian. And Rebecca bossed entertained us all.


How comforting to know that though we change, grow old, and die, God's love and faithfulness are ever the same.

Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 Week 10: Full Week

Ha! As soon as I wrote the title for the week, I thought, aren't they all?!
So the old coloring I found, felt very fitting, and once again is proving true--God is faithful!


Monday, after a painful bout of food poisoning (probably some of the leftovers I ate) and hardly any food throughout the day, I felt greatly helped as I taught for four hours.

Tuesday, I decided to go to Mother's as planned. We had a good time and uncovered many more treasured family memories. It was also my "little" brother's birthday.

My lovely mother calling Alan to wish him a happy birthday.
Among the files I found this old photo of Alan. Another birthday, perhaps?


Couldn't resist borrowing a picture of cutiepie as she arrived at Nanna's.


This last week before the first competition, Mike has been working on the robot every day. Thursday was the big day when they had six hours to "unbag" it and restore the 30 lbs. of parts allowed to be kept out for continued improvement and practice. And after that they had to pack the trailer with everything--robot, a whole pit-worth of tools and team accouterments. So, that was a late night.


Meanwhile, I enjoyed Malachi's theater performance, maybe his last with the Delta Troupers. He was Mr. DePinna, a hilarious role, and Lexi was Mrs. Sycamore. It was fun to watch the play together with Stephan, Karen, Sam and Kristie.



Friday noon at Writers' Bloc we critiqued Karen's novel and enjoyed the time with our writer-friends.
Shortly after that it was time to head up to Mishawaka for the St. Joseph District FIRST competition.


Notice the fun spirit gear

Members of the drive team in various roles: waiting in the queue; checking out Spitfire; prepping for alliance selection

We were proud, excited and grateful as we watched our team climb the ranks from 17th to 4th seed. The drivers and Spitfire performed beyond our expectations. Though we were eliminated in quarterfinals, it was a great learning experience. Already improvements to the robot and game strategy are in the works. The next district competition is in two weeks.

In addition, our team won the Engineering Excellence award. And Michael Koch was nominated for the prestigious Woodie Flowers Award, quite an honor in itself!

Finally, our highest privilege and honor is to work with these young people and watch them grow from giggly immature teens into amazing youth and outstanding young engineers.

We were glad to be home again Sunday night after two very long tiring days--Mike on his feet the entire time and me mostly sitting on the hard bleachers for hours.
I must confess that I was worried about all I had to do when I got back and very concerned about my friend Viola whose daughter died unexpectedly while I was away. But am encouraged remembering that God is in control!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

2017 Week 9: The Robot Rules

 Yes, the health and progress of the yet-unnamed robot rules our schedule, Michael's anyway. He often rises early with designs and improvements rumbling around in his head and has gone in to the shop every day this week.

Puzzle I gave Mike for Christmas
So what did I do with all that time? In addition to all the regular stuff: I read the first draft of DIL's novel; went to a poetry festival committee meeting; attended a book launch and a concert; in spare moments put together the puzzle I gave Mike (couldn't resist :-); and ate all the leftovers in the house. But more importantly, I sorted through files and archives, made some interesting discoveries; and determined a course of action for my family-history project.

About the regular weekly stuff:

After class Monday I took a young friend,Trisha, with me to Stephan's meal. We went for a walk to explore the farm and witness the sunset. The chickens had gone to bed already.



We saw the spot where Karen's writing cabin will be located soon.


Wednesday was our biweekly ladies Bible study. It is always a joy to get together with these friends and share.

Almost matching
No tap class. Kayla has been sick.

Thursday, Kayla did go back to work. I got to visit with her a little while and then stay with Rebecca until someone else came to take over the babysitting duties. Always a privilege and joy.

Friday we woke up to a coating of snow which did not take long to disappear.


The snow was there Saturday morning again, and so was Team 1720's trailer for the robot. It had been newly labeled with this year's sponsors in readiness for their first competition, March 11-12.


Then there are the things that happen around the world that affect us.

My BFF in Argentina wrote about the passing of a dear man we knew. In fact I stayed in the home of Dora and Erni Jencquel when I visited Argentina in 2007. (Go here to read about them.)

Almost every day  we read on Facebook about the unresolved Raymond Koh case who was abducted three weeks ago and has not been heard from or about since then. He was a young Malaysian on board the Doulos at the same time we were there in the early '80s.

Among the treasures I came across this week is a letter in my grandfather's handwriting addressed to one his parishioners on his return voyage from Argentina. He had accepted a position as a chaplain of a passenger ship in order to visit our family, even if briefly.



Here we are having a picnic on that trip to the interior.


I have one memory from that short visit--grandpa teaching me about the stars and pointing out the southern cross in the night sky.

What surprises or discoveries will next week bring?