Sunday, December 31, 2006

Scenes from the Painted Desert in New Mexico

Cordial Country Church

This morning we attended church at New Life Fellowship, an Assemblies of God church in Fredricksburg, TX. We could tell by the size of the parking lot that it wasn't a very large church but discovered after going in that the hearts of the congregates were very large. They made us feel so welcome! When the service started there were 21 of us and approximately 5 of that number were guests. The pastor had hoped for more of the regulars to be there but alas they didn't come. The worship service was great and all but one of the songs that were sung were familiar to Aaron and me. It was wonderful to worship with folks of "like precious faith."

After lunch at a delightful tea room we toured the Pacific War Museum. The room you enter into first is the George Bush Room--the first George Bush. At one point there is a short video you can watch of him being rescued at sea when his plane was shot down. There were many, many interesting things to see and to read. We could have spent much more time there.

We decided to not stay in Fredricksburg for another night and so now we are in Kerrville.

Good thing I have a book because I have a feeling that football will be the attraction of the evening!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tripping through Texas

After leaving Larisa and family at the Austin airport, and heading back to Nolan's to retrieve our luggage, we departed towards Fredricksburg. A few years ago we had traveled through Johnson City too early to view the boyhood home of President Lyndon B. Johnson and so we wanted to have the opportunity to see it this time. We also went to the visitor center for LBJ and then drove 14 miles out to the LBJ Ranch. A tour bus will take you through the National Park as well as driving past the Texas White House where Lady Bird Johnson still comes for weekends and holidays. She is 94 years old and has had a stroke. She as a former President's wife has Secret Service protection.

We ended our day in Fredricksburg. We pulled into the La Quinta Motel and when we went in to register the clerk said it was $119. I expected Aaron to say that was too much but he said "okay" and signed the register slip. He told me as we left that he didn't hear what the man said. Another reason for him to get a hearing aide.

Dinner at Chili's and now we are in the motel where Aaron is watching a football bowl game. We have located an Assembly of God church to attend tomorrow morning. Then there are some interesting things to see here in town before we head on down the road.

Pictures for you to peruse

Friday, December 29, 2006

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Happy Holiday Happenings

Today was Christmas on Dec. 27. Maryanne prepared a wonderful breakfast after which we received our stockings (hand made by Maryanne) with a myriad of gifts. Nolan got the turkey into the smoker and off we went to the park in Hutto to wear off a little steam for the kids.

After afternoon naps we opened gifts. The coffee table was moved out of the way and then the fun began. Wrapping paper littered the room. Little kids went from gift to gift with abandon. It was chaos but oh so fun. Since Nolan and Maryanne's trash can was full Nolan went to the neighbors who is gone and retrieved his trash can which was soon filled up.

Our friends Rick and Sharon and their son and new wife came for dinner and it was really wonderful. Everyone had a great time of visiting. It was good to have both of our kids and all 4 grandkids together for the holiday.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Celebrating Christ's Coming

Merry Christmas from Hutto, TX. It has rained some more and the wind is blowing. The Austin newspaper reported that there has never been a white Christmas in recordable history and the first one definitely won't be today.

Yesterday in church (Hutto Baptist) the drama team did a presentation of the Old Testament in 20 minutes or less. It was very well done with only 4 people and one of them was the narrator. They ended with the birth of Jesus and left it at a kind of "the rest of the story" moment.

Last night Nolan and Maryanne's friends came over. Their daughter Sophie is Sabina's best friend. Both are age 3 and only 3 days apart. We decorated graham cracker gingerbread houses and ate good food.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The snow in Denver stays mainly on the tarmac

Larisa and Paul and kids were supposed to be on an airplane as I'm writing this. But....Denver has had a little problem with SNOW! Their flight was changed to the day after Christmas and so we will celebrate Christmas here in Texas on the 27th. You know, it isn't the date that is important. It is remembering that Jesus came to earth as a baby, to grow up, and to die for us, to raise from the dead and to be waiting for us in Heaven.

We will be together as a family and that is very wonderful.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Thank goodness for small towns

We whipped along across Texas on a 4 lane road that wasn't a freeway but we only had to slow down as we passed through small towns. We passed fields of cotton and one field that had several camels grazing! Camels in Texas???? We weren't anywhere near a circus or zoo so who knows what the answer to this is. My friend, Barbara, has ostriches and llamas. So perhaps someone has camels for pets.

Tensions began to rise as we entered Interstate 35 heading south toward Ft. Worth. The traffic was heavy as it was going home time and we both became a little testy. Making sure you are in the correct lane for the highway you're looking for and that you are NOT in an exit only lane.......and it is dark and you can't see at night all that well......and you get into the exit only lane and need to get out and cars are streaming by and no one seems to want to let you in.....

Ahhh...there is the exit we want and we'll stay at that motel. Wireless in the room and a BBQ restaurant on the other side of the highway. As Aaron often says, "Life is good."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

All things bright and beautiful

Leaving Holbrook this morning we drove several miles out to the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. At a gift shop we visited before entering the park, there were coffee tables made of pieces of petrified woods that cost thousands of dollars--one was $24,000. We didn't buy it! It was a beautiful day for sightseeing but oh so windy! Even though the temperature was in the 50s it was very cold due to wind chill, so when we got out of the van our winter coats were necessary. We didn't go on any of the trails because of the wind.

The huge amounts of petrified wood was awesome to behold. In reading the various information plaques we learned that tons of the wood and other precious natural items had been removed by people in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Fortunately the area was made into a National Park and everything is now protected. There are signs all over that you can not take anything out of the park and when we left the park ranger asked if we had done any collecting. Our answer was a resounding, "no!"

We ate lunch at the restaurant at the site and then traveled into New Mexico. We are staying tonight at Tucumcari.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is it dark in here or is it just the old gentleman?

The motel clerk recommended an Italian restaurant to us and said we'd get 10% off by showing a motel card. So we trekked across Holbrook to the Mesa Italian Restaurant. It had a small dining area, with lowered lighting. Each table had a small flame burning (wick dipped down into oil). Quite romantic, I must say, which is why I'm writing in red I guess. We placed our order and we were eating our salads and bread when the door opened letting in a blast of cool air. It was an old couple (80's) and I presume their daughter. They were seated right next to us and so there was no way that I could help overhearing every word they said.

After they received their menus the old fellow began to complain that he couldn't read the menu. He even asked me if I could see it. I made some polite comments and then we each turned to our own tables. As time progressed he kept complaining that he couldn't see the menu to read it. He complained to an employee who said his server would bring a lamp, which happened in a few minutes. That little lamp brightened up the place considerably and the staff raised the level of lighting in the restaurant. The man continued complaining. He said he had a flashlight in the car and he got the key from his daughter and went out to get it. Upon returning he shined the flashlight onto the menu and continued talking. I got a chuckle when after all the fussing and fuming, he ordered.....a cheeseburger. I have to say that he missed out on some great Italian food.

Our destination today as we traveled across Arizona was the Meteor Crater out of Flagstaff. Aaron has wanted to see it since he heard about it as a boy. It cost us each $15 to get in and it was worth the price. The crater is 4000 feet across and very deep. They had telescopes set up aimed at certain things and one was a 6 foot tall replica of an astronaut and a flag. You absolutely couldn't see it with the naked eye. The wind was blowing very hard---VERY hard. I asked the clerk in the gift shop about the wind and he said it blew that way about 85% of the time. Often even harder than today. One time the wind blew about 180 mph and ripped the roof right off the building.

This meteor crater is where the astronauts train since the landscape in the crater is similar to the moon.

We thought that we'd put in the cord that connects the camera to the computer so that Aaron could download pictures we've taken and I could put one or two on this blog. Evidently the cord is at home. Hopefully we can purchase another.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A long,long drive

On Dec. 13 we left Hermiston at 6:19 a.m. Twelve and a half hours later we pulled into Fairfield, CA. I was able to sleep now and again, but Aaron drove the entire way and it is my sincere hope that he kept awake.

We are here to see my sister, Jeanne and our niece and nephew. It has been 4 years since we've been to California.

Wednesday we spent the day just visiting and hanging out. A no stress day for us.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

On the Chobe River

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Summer in Botswana

When we left Oregon on July 14 summer was well underway but when we arrived in Botswana it was suddenly winter. Winter in Bots is not exactly like winter in Oregon, but we were very glad that we'd taken winter coats along. When we left Bots on Oct. 12 it was spring and the heat was beginning to come on strong. I'm glad we weren't there for summer as it would be almost unbearable.

Arriving back in Oregon on the 14th of October we were thrust into fall and the beginning of cold weather. I often think of this year as "the year without a summer."

Our missionary work there involved helping our missionary friends, Chuck and Janet Wilson. Aaron did carpentry work, building many cupboards and counters; while I cataloged the Bible School library--entering information on all of the books into the computer and making it possible for the students to check out books electronically just like in the states.