Monday, November 26, 2018

2018 Week 47: Thanksgiving Week

Hunting season is underway. These two guys have been diligent and successful in their attempts to replenish their venison supply.

  As weather and time permit, Michael gets out for a trike ride.

Wednesday Mother had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon so I traveled up to spend the day and go with her. The first important task on my list was to stop by the ARTcare studio to pick up some items I had ordered--cards, prints, and originals of Mother's 2018 collection.

The instructor showed us her most recent paintings.

We were delightfully surprised to learn that her pumpkin painting was chosen for the Grace Village Thanksgiving card. It is beautiful with a glossy finish.

I added a small decoration to her room, we visited Aunt Margaret, joined the Bingo game, and then it was time to visit the podiatrist. For now, they will just keep an eye on the lesions on her feet. It did not seem wise to do a biopsy as the healing would be slow and difficult due to poor circulation.

I enjoyed the beautiful sunset on the way home and arrived back in time for pie night, Diane's favorite. After a thanksgiving service at the church, the evening before Thanksgiving Day, there is a dessert and pie fellowship time.

Stephan delivered a turkey ice sculpture to some Thanksgiving celebration.

I also prepared a turkey for the holiday but an edible one. Michael has done most of the cooking lately, but this time I offered to prepare the whole meal. Thankfully I had all of Thursday to work on it as our family celebrated on Friday.

Food and fun flowed abundantly thanks to all the contributions.
We celebrated November birthdays as well. Zion's was that very day.
Diane told a joke: "Why was the broom late?" Stephan got it right away, being the punny guy that he is. What about you, do you know the answer?
Elijah likes to mimic his dad's halfhearted smile. Otherwise he has a difficult time keeping a straight face, as you will notice in the family pics below.

I think the last time the entire family was gathered in one place was Thanksgiving three years ago.
It was definitely time for another family picture.
We like to try three modes: normal, silly, and serious or old-fashioned. Great fun! Do you have a favorite?

Everyone wrote or drew thankful thoughts or words on their paper placemat. I treasure each one--humorous, serious, artistic--each unique and meaningful.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

2018 Week 46: Ice Storm

Our first light snowfall was November 9, then Thursday this week a hard and lingering ice storm.

Sunday was friend Trisha's birthday. In the afternoon she was showered with gifts for her coming baby .

Monday, my friend Petey and I enjoyed  lunch at Payne's. Her Tuna and Walnut Bourriche was so beautifully presented, we both took pictures, simultaneously!

Tuesday, was the anniversary of my brother Lynn's homegoing. I looked back at the album I prepared last year. So many of the photos speak to me of sweet times together. These are only a few from the very early years.

The ice storm halted many activities and plans, even Taylor University cancelled classes till noon.
Our bird friends didn't seem to notice.

Friday we hosted two families from our community. Michael did most of the cooking. My role is to decorate and clean before and after. 

Saturday was a big day away. We had three people to see in Winona Lake--Ashley, Mother, and Malachi.
Michael's great niece's basketball team from Silver Lake College in Wisconsin played Grace at 2:00 P.M. Isn't she cute?

Mother was ever so surprised and pleased to see Michael. He's on his knees here replacing the batteries in her hearing aids. "I don't need them when I'm all alone," she said.

In the dining room Michael entertained the ladies with jokes and I took pictures and sent a selfie to Joene's daughter in Florida.
Can you believe these three widows represent more than 100 years of missionary service.

The final event was the final performance of Peter and the Starcatcher at 7:30 P.M. in Grace's Little Theatre. Malachi played at least a couple of roles--Mack and Hawking Clam.

It was a fun day. And now we look forward to more family togetherness for the Thanksgiving holiday! We are so thankful for each one and how God has been at work in our midst.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

2018 Week 45

Michael's pottery--baby shower raffle prize
Sunday as we walked in to take a seat, our mouths fell open in surprise to see former pastors from many years ago! After the service, the guys told stories of past adventures.

(Lower) Jim Mathis & Newell Cerak
 Like the time on the Florida youth group trip when the bus broke down and they were so grateful for someone who could go under the bus, actually figure out what was wrong and then go and get help, make the Swiss shop owner happy to hear German-spoken and thus get the needed parts.
And the J-term Taylor students they took camping in the snow!

I continued what we'd started when Terry and Sandy were here--sorting through the family photos, letters, and mementos on the Koch side. Among the various discoveries, I was especially drawn to this treasured document--my mother-in-law's certificate of baptism and what she wrote on the envelope.

Michael spent several days taking down dead trees and cutting wood for the fire. Five of the logs he contributed to Stephan's timber frame house-in-progress.

The pleasant-for-outdoor-work weather held out most of the week. Thursday, Stephan made two trips with truck, trailor and tractor to pick up and transport the logs.

Meanwhile, the art club members were enjoying their weekly hour or two exploring, experimenting with various designs, paints, techniques.
Leah usually draws her own designs. This time she chose one of the patterns available and skillfully used her acrylic paints to add color.

Another member focused on the tonsured baseball centerpiece! Our neighbor's little boys found it in our woods.

 Michael enlarged and photographed the moss. Wow! It's a jungle in there!

After art club, the plastic-covered table was useful for Moriah's design and decorative project. She painted parallel opposite-direction arrows on two t-shirts--partner costumes for the Saturday Broom Ball pick-a-date event.

 A couple weeks ago she wanted to dress up for her volunteer role at the church's Fun Fest on Halloween. I offered my dirndl, which Mike gave me shortly after Stephan was born, i.e. some 47 years ago! However, she could barely breathe in it, so decided it would be difficult to play games with the kids while trying to appear like a German peasant woman!

Another reminder of the passing of time--Samuel, our youngest, turned 40 this week! They celebrated as a family with a meal and a play at Grace College enjoying Malachi's acting role as ........... & ............ Hmmm, I guess we'll find out next Saturday!

Malachi, the lowliest or humblest of them all!

Local craft fairs abound this time of year. Our friend Georgia, also an art club member, displayed her delicately painted shell pendants, beautiful photo-cards and a few pieces of Mike's pottery at the Matthew Marketplace Bazaar.

Nana-Leah, Rebecca and I went to show our support. So many vendor friends and I want to buy from each one! Little cutie gets whatever she admires given to her!

The Three Marketeers

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2018 Week 44: Siblings

Leaves carpet the driveway. Fall is here.

Two brothers and their spouses visited us in the same week!

My brother and sister-in-law flew into Indianapolis on Monday and stopped for a short visit on their way to the Warsaw/Winona Lake area.

Alice and Aldo

Mother enjoyed their daily visits! I love this photo!

Tuesday we were eagerly preparing for Mike's brother Terry's arrival early afternoon. Michael prepared a great meal. Somehow, there are no photos, which proves we were deep in conversation, sharing, catching up, enjoying one another. 
At the end of the day, everyone checked their devices one last time before turning in for the night. 

Wednesdays we go to the Senior Activities Center for a good meal and fun time with community folk. Terry and Sandy were happy to go along, and were great sports to even join in the silly Halloween games.

Kayla brought Rebecca "trick-or-treating" to our house first because we had plans to take Diane out to dinner. She was so excited to see big brother Terry back in Indiana for a visit.

Thursday after a leisurely breakfast as we continued to sort through  many old photos, the brothers still had unanswered questions about their early childhood. So we decided to call their sister in  Wisconsin. We had such a good conversation, for me one of the highlights of the visit. We were able to put together a few more pieces of the life puzzle. We have a better idea when, how, why the brothers ended up living with a different parent.

Photos, questions, and intense phone conversation with Nan

We never did finish the card game begun the night before, but we filled Terry and Sandy's last day with activities. A tour of Taylor University for Terry. Mid afternoon, the obligatory visit to Ivanhoe's to coincide with Aldo and Alice's second brief visit on their return trip to the airport.

In the evening, after Mike left for his regular mentoring duties with the robotics team, the three of us went to see Stephan's ice centerpiece at The Amazing Taste, an annual event at Ball State University.  We also  walked around and tasted foods from many countries.

The last new experience of the day was a tour of Madjax--Team 1720's headquarters. As is his custom, if there is a student available, Mike asks them to explain the robot. Caleb, Moriah's brother, was the "victim" this time and he did a great job. 

Friday we said goodbye, grateful and honored by Terry and Sandy's extended visit.

Several photos of Jude enjoying his late birthday gift, made me happy to know he finally received our present.

Busy buddies

I hope the Comment window is fixed this week, and look forward to hearing from you about your highlight moments.