Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Goals and Accomplishments

Valentine's Day was quiet, however many greetings were expressed virtually.

I was thrilled to see "Aunt" Margaret's on Facebook. The Grace Village Health Care residents were photographed each with their own message. 
I do miss seeing this dear lady. She will be 100 in May!

He spreads the snow like wool. . . says the Psalmist in 147:16.
What He sent us Monday and throughout the week, looks like marshmallow cream or whipped topping.

The neighbor boys were playing in the snow, called out to me as I trudged up to the mail box and reminded me it was a holiday - President's Day.

The next day, a snow day, they tried out the zip line.

Needless to say, we did not make it to Stephan's for Monday Night Dinner.
There were, however, several meals together with our somewhat snowbound resident students.

Wednesday, we made it over to Leah's. Michael dug out her car from the accumulated snow and ice, while I chatted and admired a tiny little clay sculpture she had made. It's message: 
Peace surrounded by chaos.


Michael also has been having fun designing and printing a variety of parts. It seems that the small 3D printer in his den is always humming, turning out another masterpiece. And he can also control the larger printer at the shop in Matthews remotely. These all are meant to replace some on the robot and improve its performance.

This tiny one is one of his favorites made from a rubber-like material.

Kayla works at the local library Tuesdays and Fridays. On one or both of those days I pick up Rebecca there after school. Here she is pointing to her name bug that marks how far she has come in the reading challenge her mom illustrated so well with a giant sunflower.

Several household members' goals were significantly advanced this week.
Moriah successfully presented her team's senior engineering project on Monday.
Thursday, Kendra's script was chosen for her team's senior film project which she will be directing.
Both have much work ahead: Moriah's class must now seriously write and document, and Kendra's team have to make a film. 

It has become a winter tradition to work on a Wysocki puzzle. One evening this week Michael and I were drawn to the puzzle and made great progress as we listened to music. The fun completion of the week was when Moriah put the final 20 or so pieces into place Saturday.

Thanks to modern technology we were able to watch two online celebrations this week. 
--Frank Dietz' Memorial service, an amazing overview of his extensive leadership role and impact. We were together on the ship Doulos with Frank and Anneli. Their daughter Amy was Leah's best friend. He passed away in January at age 80. HIs last three years were spent caring for his bedridden wife.
--OM Ships 50th Anniversary, The M/V Logos launched February 18, 1971. In January of that year, Michael and I spent a couple weeks on board where he repaired the antiquated electronic equipment on the bridge. 
I was eight months pregnant at the time, so Stephan can claim that he was there as well.

Our comment after viewing the many old friends that we knew in our younger days, was: 
"They're looking old." 

Then we looked in the mirror. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


Michael and I are grateful for the Detamore Trail here in town which allows us to get some fresh air and exercise even on the coldest days of winter. We tried it on Sunday after he plowed it once.

We are grateful for each Monday dinner Stephan prepares for "whosoever will". The group varies from time to time. We are ever faithful. The menu also holds delightful surprises, the fresh bread comes in different shapes and textures. The chai is the most consistent.

Michael added biscotti to his culinary experiments. 

Our bird visitors entertain us daily. A special one came by to peck at the suet--a pileated woodpecker.

Tuesday, Rebecca was here for the Basics Jr. Bible lesson. We had a fun time, but no photos.

An opportunity to make up for that came the next day when Kayla called, "Matt broke his arm. Could you pick up Rebecca from school? I have to go to Parkview Regional Hospital in Fort Wayne."

We decided to do some watercolor painting and try a new technique using a straw to blow and spread color around. Rebecca loves cats so this is what she painted. Do you see a smiling cat?

Kayla sent a photo of Matt after surgery. We are so grateful for medical advances and resources that allowed the two broken bones in his forearm to be put back together. Considering what happened it is amazing he did not lose part of his arm. I don't know if I can describe the accident accurately. He was repairing a forklift, one mast was in place when a second one slammed down on his left forearm.
On my watercolor rainbow parrot, I reflected Matt's wound as a broken wing.

Matt was admitted overnight, so Rebecca spent another afternoon and evening with us. She loves to play Splendor and is quite good for a six-year-old! Here she is pondering her next move. 

I was absorbed all week with memories I came across from the year 2000--a diary, letters, and photos.
The three grandchildren we had at the time: Kayla (Rebecca's mom), Malachi (to be married in May!), and Skye (a Daddy himself now!).

I spent a lot of time writing a reflective summary of that difficult and eventful year.

A surprise on Friday as I perused the March/April issue of the Good Old Days magazine. On page 52 the photo I submitted a long time ago! Some months ago, I received a letter to let me know when it would be published, I could not remember what I had sent! 

I am grateful for all the memories, both good and bad, because they remind us of God's faithfulness!  

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Winter Joys

Snow set in this week and serious cold temperatures.

Even so, Sunday afternoon we bundled up and hiked the Upland trail in 26 degree weather. 
It was challenging due to built up icy footprints. Later in the week Michael took the ATV and plowed a more even path.

That was our 51st wedding anniversary! It was a quiet day as we had already had a special getaway earlier in the week.
A couple days ago, I came across a summary written years ago that can be so helpful to explain our love story.  

I like to have a reminder of what we look like each year. Photo credits go to our resident students. Do you have a favorite? 

That evening the girls arrived back from their short break between J-term and Spring semester, and treated us to homemade pizza and tapioca pudding for our special day.

Sadly, I wasn't up early enough to get a "First Day of the Semester" photo of our two seniors, nor did I remember to get a photo memory of Monday Night Dinner. Moriah was able to join us this time.

Tuesday, however, I did record a few of the fun moments with Rebecca. We had hoped to build a "snow-girl" but the conditions were not right. Instead we enjoyed a tromp through the woods and drawing in the snow.

Wednesday, February 3, I came across photos of my recently-widowed friend's wedding. I forwarded the memories to her before noticing the date--it was what would have been their 31st anniversary!

Thursday, February 4, was Leah's 48th birthday. We went out to lunch, and I forgot to take a picture, again! Perhaps that is indicative of our good time with no thought to interrupt it with a camera. 

Leah's dear friend Amy from Doulos days, posted a sweet memory. I love the expressions on their faces. The occasion was Trevor and Manoli's wedding (from Australia and Spain respectively). Leah is wearing the flower girl outfit I made.

Our family has had many and varied adventures, indeed!

And Michael has played many different roles over the years. Here is one of the latest--performing surgery on Kendra's foot, ha! Actually just puncturing a blister to ease the discomfort as she runs and prepares for a marathon. He also draws from his own marathon experiences to coach her. (BTW, the drama was faked. She is a film major after all!) 

Saturday's highlight was the annual birthday shopping trip with grandson Elijah (16). I enjoyed it all the more because he drove. 

It was great fun to visit with the rest of the family and have a tour of the house to see the many changes and improvements.
Jude was eager to show off his latest Tinker Crate Water Fountain. Amazing!
And I met the pets, Charlie and Todd!

Here's what Stephan was up to this week--an ice carving demo for an Amish Market in Ohio.

What do you enjoy about Winter Wonderland?

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

End of Month One 2021

The bouquet Michael brought home midweek is lasting longer than I expected. Not so this first month of 2021!

The last week in January started with Sunday services - always uplifting; a challenging afternoon hike through the woods; and an evening of cooking and baking. The girls took turns working with Michael to make their specialties or join in his inventions.

Kendra's "Cambodian Ramen Noodles" and her family specialty "Forgotten Cookies"

Michael and Moriah's "Berries and Pudding" pies

The robotics program is in full swing, though very different from other years--fewer students, reduced meeting times, same robot undergoing improvements, and no official FIRST events. The few faithful students seem to be learning and enjoying the experience.

Michael has spent many hours at the shop preparing, making parts, repairing equipment, and assisting Moriah. The J-term senior project class required her to put in 40 hours a week. Her experience and skills were best utilized welding sections of the huge structure they are building. She spent many hours and days in the cold building adjacent to the PhyXTGears shop.

Rebecca was here one afternoon and I experimented on her to learn how to use the very clever turtle hair piece Michael made me for Christmas. (Some of you may know that I have a turtle collection.)

BTW, how do you like this hair piece? 😊
We were invited to dinner Wednesday evening, and I could not resist this photo opportunity as I looked across at our hostess.

Nor could I miss this one the next day, when I dropped in on my lovely consuegra (co-in law) for a quick visit. She is still recovering from knee surgery.

The third hike of the week was on the way to our anniversary getaway. The Kokowanee trail on the Salamonie river is a very interesting one.

What you see down in the middle is a frozen waterfall. The path was often littered with frozen crystals.

We looked out our hotel room and noticed that the geese were not deterred by the icy conditions. We, on the other hand, chose the hot tub over sitting out on the balcony.

One more important family note for the week: Elijah turned 16 on Wednesday, January 27, and earned his driver's license!

Looking back, I am tempted to think that not much was accomplished in that first month.
Looking forward, I am encouraged by the promise, "I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths." So, I choose to trust God for what lies ahead.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

New Week, New Beginnings

A favorite photo surfaced this week, especially because of the caption: "It's a wonderful day to break ground." Stephan and Karen's loooong-awaited building project has begun!

Another long process also began this week. Leah was pronounced cancer free last week and began taking a very strong medication this Monday. It is a long term treatment meant to prevent recurrence by 25%. She and Jimmy had a teaching session with the oncologist to learn how to handle it. Leah's notes explain how the drug works.

Monday also marked another beginning. My dearest Argentine friend's husband passed away. I love the photo I received of Aldo holding a friend's granddaughter and his beautiful smile. I wrote about my friend Mirtha here. Her grief became almost unbearable by the fact that she was not allowed to see him the last ten days when he was hospitalized. Unable to communicate directly with my friend was heavy for me.

A bright spot for me was to share Tuesday afternoon with my own greatgranddaughter. Rebecca and I watched the Basics Jr. video telling the story of Jesus' interaction with a woman who was unloved and hated, and His offer of living water to quench her soul thirst and continually satisfy her longings. Amazing love! We tried to make a well, a jug, and people out of Play-Doh.

Michael found yet another place for us to hike--the Wilderness Park in Hartford City. We explored it Wednesday afternoon.

We were ready and hungry for Kendra's promised treat--a Cambodian meal, coconut curry over rice. Yum!

Michael still likes to ride his bike if time and weather allow. Thursday afternoon was one of those opportunities. I was interested to notice from the jersey he wore, that we had done the Hilly Hundred event in Southern Indiana back in 2001, probably the first of several.

If I really wanted to know, I could consult our many Meemaw Moments books to find out the total number. Years ago I replaced the annual albums with hard copies of my blog. This week the 2019 and 2020 volumes arrived. I had missed ordering one last year, so jumped at the opportunity of an almost two for one deal early in January.

Saturday morning, I volunteered at Helping Hand. I always come away with a few special finds. Among other things I found two pairs of shoes for this little guy, a great excuse to stop by for a visit.
We had fun banging on the overturned hamper like a drum. And he walked to me and smiled a whole lot. An added bonus was as I was kneeling on the floor and Ruff the big dog sat next to me and gently put his paw on my shoulder!

The day ended with a painting event for the "We Live In The Same House" group, as our chat line is called. It was a Taylor Coffee and Canvas deal that the girls picked up for our evening entertainment as a "family." 

We followed a tutorial, supposedly for beginners, with varied results. A very enjoyable experience.
Notice the fun and serious expressions. 

And that was the end of January full-week # 3.