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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Television--My life as an addict

It began in the 50s when I was very young. TV was very, very new and no one I knew had one if they were even available at that time. My grandparents who lived in Portland, Oregon had one of the first TVs--a Dumond. It didn't have a very big screen and everything was in black and white. In my young years my sister Jeanne and I would spend one or two weeks per summer with my grandparents....and the Dumond TV. Oh it was so glorious! Everyday in the Oregonian newspaper there would be a little TV schedule about 5 X 6 inches. Keep in mind that back in the 50s there were only 3-4 channels (if I'm remembering correctly.) When I was in the house that schedule never left my hot little hands. I studied it as though it were a textbook. The most incredible program was the Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello. M..I..C (see you real soon)..K..E..Y.(Why?? Because we love you.) M.O.U.S.E. I'll wager there aren't too many people my age who can't sing that song.

And then there was KOIN Kitchen--a very early cooking show. That probably was the start of my liking to watch cooking shows, even though I'm not particularly fond of cooking. And I loved the way the announcer said: KOIN TV, Channel 6, Portland. There was just this lilt in his voice.

When Dr. Kildare was on the air Jeanne and I went down the street to the neighbors to watch this show every week. I don't think it bothered the neighbors because they let us sit on the floor and watch the show weekly. My mom even bought Dr. Kildare blouses for Jeanne and me. We were SO cool!

And then when I turned 14 dad bought a TV. By then he had remodeled our house so the TV was downstairs. On hot summer days Jeanne and I would be in the basement watching TV wrapped up in blankets because it was so cold downstairs. I think that is when my attachment to "General Hospital" began. An attachment that is now beginning to wane, believe it or not.

Favorite shows were Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Phil Silvers Show, The Real McCoys, Jeopardy, and the soaps. I really didn't like it when NASA shot off a satellite or Apollo, Gemini or Mercury flight because it interrupted my regular television viewing. And then when something political happened like a state funeral that really messed things up. I couldn't understand how adults could like to watch all that stuff. I know I saw the news coverage of man landing on the moon and looking back I realize that is a good memory.

My years in college did interrupt my usual viewing habits but after marriage the watching became epidemic. And when I kids were young I recall with shame how often I put them off about doing something or going somewhere because "I had clothes to fold." That part was true but what I really wanted to do was watch the soaps. Nolan and Larisa....I sincerely apologize.

This past summer in Namibia I didn't have television to watch. I don't really want another summer without ANY TV. But I will say viewing has lessened. I hardly ever watch "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital" now. I guess my addiction has waned somewhat.

Maybe there is hope for this addict.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Big "C"

CANCER....the diagnosis nobody ever wants to hear from his/her doctor. Last May we were given that diagnosis when Aaron's urologist gave him the news that he had prostate cancer. As this is a very slow growing cancer we decided to wait until we returned from Africa for the surgery. What made the wait safe was the hormone injection Aaron got that slowed the growth of the cancer. We arrived home from Botswana on Sept. 12 and on Oct. 12 Aaron underwent surgery in Walla Walla, WA. The surgery took a little longer than expected because of where the prostate was but still things went well. The doctor is pretty certain that the cancer was contained but a biopsy of the lymph nodes will be done this coming week and we'll find out for sure.

Aaron says I'm the best looking nurse he's ever had...but maybe he was looking at me with his glasses off. Hmmmm. Anyway for the next two weeks I'll be doing the lifting, the driving and the fetching. He's worth it! I want a lot more years with him.

We are thankful for the grace of God and His presence in our lives.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Around Otji on a Saturday Morning

As we were driving out to take a picture of a business with an interesting sign we saw walking down the street this group of Herreo ladies dressed in traditional dresses. We stopped and Aaron asked if he could take their picture. When asked where they were going Aaron was told they were going to a parade. He also inquired as to how long it takes to iron one of their dresses and was told one hour. We have seen some beautiful Herreo dresses and it has been a fairly common sight here in Otjiwarongo.

Below you see groups of men. The men on the left were dressed in traditional Herreo stype, military type jacket, hat and walking stick. A man Aaron conversed with told him he had been an officer in the military. The group of men on the right came marching down the street doing an intricate style of step. A man called out a beat to keep them in step. When they saw Aaron with his camera they began to perform maneuvers--turning around, snapping their arms. Oh how I wish we had brought the video camera to have caught this incredible sight.

In the background behind the gentlemen you can see the group of soldiers coming up from behind them. It wasn't long before they passed us.

I was so glad to get these pictures because I'd been wanting the Herreo style of dress to show you.

A Wimpy Breakfast

A Wimpy breakfast is not a wimpy breakfast. The plate I ordered is the Hashbrown Splashdown.

In the lines below I cannot figure out how it became underlined
and no matter what I did I couldn't change it. I've also had a great deal of trouble getting this accomplished this morning because our dial up internet kept disconnecting so I'd have to start the downloading process of the pictures all over again. Frustrating!

Our waitress Ingrid. When we go into Wimpy for coffee the ladies like to wait on us so Aaron has them call heads or tails with a coin. The "winner" has jumped for joy.

This is Spar, where we do much of
our grocery shopping.

After breakfast we took a drive around town to check out the sights and found some interesting things to take pictures of. I'm going to start another blog to record what we saw.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

House Church in Sam Saat

This is a very common sight in Ombili--small children carrying even smaller children.

Below you see Pastor Brown greeting the young lady who asked him to start a house church in her yard. On the right is Pastor talking with an Herrero lady.

The lady in blue, Siska, takes care of 5 children none of whom are hers. The parents may be away in Windhoek working. Many grandmothers are raising their grandchildren while the parents are away working.
Pastor Brown preaching to people eager to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Children waiting for House Church to start.

As I've reported before Pastor Brown has been building a church in Ombili--outside of Otjiwarongo. One day while passing a small house in San Saat, a young lady dressed in blue asked him and Fredna to come pray for her and her home. Later she asked him if he would be willing to do a house church. He replied with great joy, "I was just waiting for you to ask."

So now on Saturday afternoons he and Fredna pick up a young couple with their 3 little boys, and another couple. Joel and Neddy from Zimbabwe help with the service. Neddy leads the singing and she has a great voice. Billy and Helen go weekly and Billy is a great interpreter for the Pastor. They work together like coffee and cream! It is a joy to listen to Pastor preach and Billy interpret. The residents begin to gather in and before starts.

People bring their own chair--one girl sat on an overturned can, one lady on a block. The children sat on the ground on a blanket.

This was a church service we thoroughly enjoyed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Enchanting Etosha

On July 31 we visited Etosha National Park about 1.5 hours north of Otjiwarongo. Below you'll find pictures of some of the animals we saw there. If you wish to see a bigger picture, just click on it and it will fill the screen. We were gone for 12 hours, including the driving time, and saw elephants, springbok, kudu, oryx, secretary bird, kori buster bird, wildebest (sometimes known as gnu), warthogs, red hartebest, black faced impalas,lions, black backed jackal, ostriches and zebras. The Park is enormous, you can drive all day without seeing everything. It was an incredible day. A wonderful place to visit.

Elephants and babies

Noah's Ark

Sundown at the watering hole

Two wild guys--Aaron and Mark

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sights from Otji

We were able to get a picture of this lady not only carrying something on her head, but also carrying her baby on her back. You see babies being carried this way quite often. Must be comfortable for both mother and baby but when the baby is wrapped up quite well, I think they get a little overheated.
This is Ombili Assembly of God in its yet unfinished state. The children pictured below were playing across from the church. Gaylord and Fredna are having this church built.
Children playing at Ombili Location. They are always happy to wave at a visitor.

This is a cemetery out in the Ombili Location. It is a different way of burying people from what we are accustomed to.

It is winter here in Namibia but you can tell by the way the children are dressed that during the day it gets warm. There is no heat in any of these little houses so I'm sure at night and early morning that they are quite chilly.

What an incredible opportunity for Aaron and I to be in Namibia.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Namibia, Africa

A month ago I wrote that we were getting ready to leave and now we have been in Namibia for 3 weeks. The city we are in is Otijiwarongo. It is a comparatively small city, different than where we were in Botswana. Here there is no mall but lots of stores to choose from. Aaron is becoming known in the hardware/supply type stores. There are only a few restaurant choices and one we like going to is C'est Si Bon. Good prices, generous quantities and quick service.

We are attending Faith Assembly where I have the privilege of playing the piano for the worship service. They sing American songs and I am familiar with almost all of them. There is a guitar player and we work well together.

Aaron and I are keeping busy in our respective jobs on the Bible School campus.

Friday, June 1, 2007

And so it begins....

Friday night, June 1, 2007, I'm tired. I'm trying to leave the house clean so my friend who is coming in occasionally won't think I'm an absolute slob. I believe I will shut the office door. "And when we get behind closed doors....."

As Aaron was preparing to turn off the ice maker he discovered a small leak so he had to travel to Home Depot (I spelled it "Deport" at first,) for a part that will suffice until we return.

The suitcases are ready to be transported out the door tomorrow morning. I hope I'll be ready.

We are so grateful for those who contributed money to our missions venture. May God richly bless those who shared with us.

Tomorrow night we see our son and family. That'll be good.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Suitcase Stuffing

Someone asked me, "How do you pack for 3 months?" I said, "You don't. You pack for one week." Perhaps I should have said for 2 weeks. But the point is that I don't have to take enough clothes to wear for 3 months while we are in Namibia. We'll do the laundry. Did I say "we'll"? I should have said "I'll."

There are many things we don't have to take to Namibia because they can be purchased there. If I run out of clothes or get sick of what I take I'm fairly certain there will be shopping available.

This Saturday morning, June 2, we fly to Austin, TX. We'll be with our son and his family through Wednesday and Thursday morning we leave Austin International at 7:10 a.m. Thus will begin a very long period of time of being on the airplane and in an airport. I'm glad we will have a night to spend in Johannesburg before flying on to Windhoek. That should help us acclimate.

Next stop.....Hutto, Texas.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Splendid Smile

On April 4, 2004 I began my experience with braces for my teeth. In March of that year my husband and I were watching TV when out of the blue he said, "I want you to get braces. You've always talked about how you don't like your bottom teeth." I wasted no time and called an orthodontist the very next day. I started my call with, "I'm 56 years old. Am I too old to get braces?" Fortunately the answer was 'no'. We decided that Invisalign would be the better choice for someone my age. It was the more expensive choice but worked very well for me. Slowly my terribly crooked bottom teeth began to straighten. The top teeth took very little time as they were decent.

So when we were in Botswana last year I realized that one tooth was simply not turning into place. When we returned home the orthodontist put brackets and wires on and that tooth began to move to its rightful position. And six months later he removed them and now I have a splendid smile.

If you don't like your teeth and you think you may be too old for braces...chances are you aren't too old. I am so glad I went through this process.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Prolific Pigeon Poop

Our small church in Umatilla, OR had a cupola or bell tower on top of the roof. It appeared to be rather attractive but actually it had become a home for a couple of dozen pigeons. Oh they were very happy in their nice little home. They cooed and made nests and laid eggs and POOPED!!! The attendees of the church decided it was time to remove the cupola and so Aaron and Pastor Ron and his son James undertook the arduous task. A high lift was rented and the work began on Tuesday, May 8. As they ripped apart the cupola the pigeons hung around. They even stayed on their nests. They could not sense that life as they knew it was about to be over.

On Wednesday Aaron and Pastor Ron scooped the 14 inch high pile of poop into garbage bags--about 27 of them. And then today, May 10, Aaron and I took the bags to the dump. The weight of the poop--EIGHT HUNDRED POUNDS!! Then we hauled 2 pickup loads of the wood to the dump--1120 pounds. There is more for us to finish up tomorrow.

A few pigeons meander forlornly on the roof--desperately seeking their home. Please don't feel sorry for them as they appear to be a nuisance in Umatilla. I'm sure they'll relocate and live to lay another egg.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

In 38 days we'll be on the road again. For some people car trips are long and boring but for Aaron and me they are an enjoyable thing. Aaron enjoys driving for hours and hours with frequent stops!! and I enjoy sitting, sleeping , reading and watching the scenery go by. We listen to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura and Dave Ramsey. We have books on tape. Sometimes we even just have silence. There is nothing wrong with sweet, sweet silence.

We'll drive to Texas where we'll spend a few days with our son and daughter-in-law and 3 gorgeous little granddaughters.

On June 7 we'll lift off the tarmac in Austin, TX heading for Dulles International and then that evening crossing the ocean to Johannesburg, South Africa (where we will spend a night)--final destination Windhoek, Namibia. Ahhhh, I don't look forward to the long hours in the plane but the final destination makes it all worthwhile.

As much as I'm looking forward to our 3 months in Namibia I'm beginning to realize that I'm going to miss my church family. We are a small group but a close-knit bunch.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Amazing Anthem

"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, twas blind, but now I see."

Today Aaron and I went to see the most amazing film, I believe, that I've ever seen: Amazing Grace. I thought the film was about John Newton who penned the famous hymn and he is a part of it; but the real story is about William Wilberforce who fought for many years to have England end the slave trade.

What an absolutely incredible movie!! If you attend movies often don't miss this one; if you attend a movie once or twice a year, make this one of them. If you don't attend movies at all be sure to rent it when it comes out on video.

Airline Arrangements Accomplished

Thanks to Robin at Springfield Travel in Springfield, MO.....we have tickets purchased for Namibia. We are going to drive to Austin, TX and fly from there. This gives us the wonderful opportunity to see our son, wife and 3 beautiful granddaughters a couple of more times this year. Nolan will store our van at his place and we are thankful for that.

We were able to arrange our flight so that we can take a side trip to Botswana. We'll fly out of Namibia to JoBurg on Sept. 2, then fly to Gaborone, then back to JoBurg on Sept. 8 where we'll head back to Texas.

God is good...all the time.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Namibia bound

Just this week we learned that our missions trip to Namibia has been approved. For those of you who didn't read in the papers all the time about Brad and Angelina's baby being born in Namibia.......Namibia is in the southern part of Africa. It is just to the left of Botswana where we spent 3 months last summer. The Atlantic Ocean borders Namibia on the west. We are looking forward to working with missionaries Mark and Victoria. We haven't met them yet but know that "all things work together for those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Exiting Economics

Yes, I meant EXITING not EXCITING.

After arriving home and giving myself a couple of days to R and R, I added up our expenses for our grand adventure of traveling across the beautiful USA.

When our children were young and traveling with us Aaron liked to estimate our daily spending at $100. I figured there was no way we could come close to that with the rise in price of gasoline, motels and food. Well, thanks to friends and relatives who graciously allowed us to stay in their homes, and who purchased meals for us our average cost per day was $111. I kept track of gas, food, motel and other. Surprisingly the money spent on motels was our highest item. The money spent on gasoline was the lowest. We filled our van 38 times, with prices ranging from $1.84 to $2.69 (California). Our "other" expenses included gifts, entrance to theme parks, a new tire, etc.

Our total miles traveled was 12,111 and driving hours was 237. That is almost 6 work weeks of 40 hours per week.

Places we visited:
Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, WWII Museum of the Pacific, LBJ Ranch and Birthplace, Gruene Street, McIlhenny Island (Tabasco), Silver Springs, Cyress Gardens, Kennedy Space Center, Epcot, Disney World, Hopswee Plantation, Biltmore Estate, Whitetail Falls, BMW plant, General Tire, and Saguaro Forest.

To borrow from the Amazing Race....2 people, 60 days; 12,111 miles; 13 states. WE LOVED IT!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Oregon, My Oregon

When I was a kid going to school in Oregon we learned the Oregon State Song...Oregon, My Oregon. I always have liked that song.

We are back in Oregon--home. Well not our home in Hermiston yet. Tonight we are with our friend Chuck in Brooks, OR. Tomorrow we'll arrive home.

Nothing exciting happened today except we got to eat dinner with Chuck's parents, Grace and Charles at their retirement center. They are delightful people and we enjoyed our time with them.

I'm ready to go home, unpack, start eating less food, see our Oregon grandkids and daughter and hubby and get ready for Spring.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cruisin' California

Saturday as we approached the end of Arizona we stopped in the small town of Brenda to have a brief visit with my cousin Bev and husband Skip. They live in a nice park full of people escaping from the cold weather up north. Thanks for the lunch, Bev and Skip.

Then we went into California and headed towards Hemet to visit former neighbors Jim and Kelli. We had several hours to visit with them, catch up on old times and learn what is going on now. We hadn't seen them for 9 years and Kelli was nice enough to tell me that I hadn't changed!! How sweet is that.

Today we headed north. Part of the time we were on Highway 395 which if you take it all the way you'll end up in Oregon. But since it is often a 2-lane road I'm glad we eventually got out to Interstate 5.

We traveled just over 600 miles and ended up in Corning, CA. As we were walking outside to walk across the street to dinner the phone rang and it was Larisa. She was delighted to hear we were in Corning because they are out of green olives. For those of you who have never been to Corning they are famous for the Olive Pit--full of green olives of many flavors and stuffings. Ummm good. So of we drove to the Olive Pit to pick up olives for them. Larisa...that'll be $16.57.

And speaking of the phone.... I had some laundry to do and got that going. In a few minutes Aaron said, "Where's your phone?" With dismay I realized that I hadn't removed it from my jeans pocket. I went down to the washer, found my jeans and searched the pockets. No phone. So I felt around the bottom of the washer and I found it--water logged and ruined.

Tomorrow we'll arrive back home so on Tuesday I can go to the Sprint store and shell out some dollars and get a new phone.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Crossing Cactus Country

Today we traversed Arizona and took a side trip to Saguaro National Park where we saw hundreds of Saguaro cacti, also barrel cactus and just regular run-of-the-mill cacti. It was very interesting. I talked to my 85 year old dad who told me that during his training for the Army in 1942 the recruits were taken through the park. So here we are 65 years later driving the same road. Pretty cool, huh.

I'm going to put some pictures in for your viewing enjoyment.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Giggling Granddaughters

We arrived back at Nolan and Maryanne's home on Feb. 6. And oh we did have fun playing with Sabina and Addison and holding precious little Emmaleese. Sabina likes for me to tell her stories and so I told her fairy tales that I changed to not include a witch or anyone dieing (or is it dying?..never sure about this word.) "Tell me another story" was what I often heard. Addison is a cuddler and she is very active--she can jump with both feet which a lot of 19 month old children cannot do. I counted with her once and she did 24 jumps. Nolan said she once did 40.

We spent Wednesday with them and Aaron and I drove into Austin to have lunch with Nolan who works for Freescale Semiconductor. We had (are you ready for this??) Texas BBQ.

This morning, Thursday, we stayed with the girls while Maryanne went to the doctor and when she returned we headed out. Addison followed to the door saying "shoes, shoes". She wanted to put on her shoes and come with us. I said, "Go find mommy. She's in the bedroom." And off she went. This evening when I talked to Nolan he said that Addi cried at the door.

It is always hard for this grandma to leave my granddaughters in Texas! There oughta be a law that says family members can't live more than 1 day apart!!!

Now for some things I have forgotten to write about:

Continental Tires
Carlene and her boss gave us a tour of the plant. While they don't make the tires there they do make the fabric that goes into tires. Okay. I'll admit that I don't really understand this whole process but the important thing is that they understand it. Anyway, it is like being in a mill where material is made even though I've never been in one. It was very interesting. There were spools of fiber everywhere.

Thomaston Church of God
On Sunday the 4th Aaron and I were privileged to present our ministry to Botswana this past summer. We were thrilled when we were asked to be the Sunday morning speakers. What an honor for Pastor Rigby to give up his pulpit for us...two people he didn't even know. They took an offering for our future mission trip, hopefully to Namibia this coming summer. Thank you very much Thomaston Church of God. We pray God's blessing upon your church.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Leavin' Louisiana

Yesterday we left Georgia fairly early, breezed across Alabama, blew through Mississippi, and eased across Louisiana. We spent the night in Bossier City, near Shreveport, and in just a few miles we'll be back in Texas--land of mighty fine barbecue!! Texas bbq--ummm.

Last night we had dinner with Jon and Chris with baby Emily. Jon is our son-in-law's brother and they have been in Louisiana for nearly 4 years while Jon was in the Air Force. Now that he is leaving the Force he will be an associate pastor at their church. Leaving one Force to join another Force.

And today????? Today we get to see Sabina, Addison and Emmaleese.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Barbecue, Beamers and Bounty

Wouldn't you know that we'd go to another BBQ restaurant? Well, you'd better believe it! This time it was in North Carolina.

Judy and John took us to Spartenburg to the BMW plant where several models of BMWs (Beamers) are made. The tour was a walking one that took about 1 .5 hours. Very interesting. The robots that do much of the work were fascinating to watch. If I could afford it I'd want an SAV (sports activity vehicle) but they start at double what we paid for our first house so I think it isn't in our immediate future. (It took me awhile to talk Aaron into a GPS for the car so I don't think he'd give in for a BMW!!)

So now about the bounty! Glenn Beck does advertisements for Carrabas Italian Grill and since we have none in our neck of the United States I've wanted to eat in one. So after going through BMW we went to the Carrabas. I told a couple of the staff members that I'd heard their restaurant advertised on Glenn Beck's show. Aaron ordered just a salad since he was going to share my meal and he wanted it when the rest of the food came. So the waiter brought out two salads that were supposed to be John and Judy's but he gave one to Aaron. So we made some inquiries and got things straightened out. At the end of the meal the bill was presented and when I looked in the folder I saw the bill said: Balance $0.00. I gave the folder with the credit card to the waiter and he said it was all taken care of. I asked if it was because we'd asked about the salads and he said that the manager can give out a free meal and he'd chosen us. So we got a $43 meal for nothing. Isn't Jesus good!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Beautiful Biltmore

Today we went to Asheville, NC to tour Biltmore House...the largest home in the USA. It is now a tourist place where 1000s visit daily. It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt in the late 1890s and is incredible for what it has in it for the time period it was built. Lots of electric lights--even in the swimming pool which they keep empty. I won't even begin to tell you about the house because you can look it up on the Internet and learn a lot more than I can tell you.

I will say that we had to climb many, many steps both up and down and my knees were killing me. I saw a lot of older people, and heavy people struggling. Ay yi yi!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Clearly Carolina

We arrived yesterday at Ridge Haven, a beautiful site in the mountains of North Carolina south of Asheville. This is a Presbyterian retreat and conference ground, used by groups that are not all Presbyterian. A group of women is coming in this evening and we will eat our meals with them tonight, tomorrow morning and for lunch and then again on Sunday. We'll earn our meals by helping with the setup. Seems like a fair exchange to me.

Aaron's cousins have purchased land WAY up high on the mountain, accessible by a nice road but very curvy. Our daughter would not like it at all--the road, that is. Eventually they will build a house up there to retire in and they are thinking of a round home so that the view will be available from everywhere. Hopefully we can visit again when they are ensconced on top of the mountain.

As we drove along the roads here in the area I noticed a lot of bottles, etc. thrown along the road side. Evidently throwing out trash is quite common and acceptable here and that is too bad since it is such a beautiful area. JD told us of places where old cars and single wide trailers are left sitting...and sitting...and sitting. Rusting out, falling apart, totally unusable. Anyone who has known me for years will know that I detest littering! Small or large!!!

We'll be here until Monday morning. Away from the stresses of life in the city.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Yes, Virginia, there is a Virginia

I've been gone from the blog for the past few days. We are in Susan, VA...north of Newport News. You may not find Susan on the map as basically Susan is a post office--a very small post office. It is about 100 sq. feet in size and painted yellow. This is where Aaron's brother Philip and his wife pick up their mail on a daily basis.

Phillip and Lydia's house overlooks part of the Chesapeake Bay and it is a beautiful setting. Dusk is settling in as I write and the shadows of the trees on the further shore are reflected in the calm of the water. It is not always this picturesque--they've been affected by hurricanes here. The house is 8.5 feet above sea level and though they've never had water in the house they have had it in the garage.

There are no curtains on the many large windows as there is no one who can see into the house. So don't you be thinking about coming here and going out on the water with your binoculars!!

Yesterday evening Phillip's computer came up with the "blue screen of death". Having had this problem on our laptop I knew this was not a good sign. Today I set the computer to check all kinds of diagnostic things and then had to call support. Sid in New Delhi talked me through some things and I thought we might have to do system restore or pick a date to reset things to but miraculously it corrected itself. I told Sid I'd been praying for this computer. Thank you Jesus for Your help!!

Lydia is feeding us all kinds of wonderful foods. It'll be hard to leave all this comfort!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Mickey, Money, Miasma

Mickey: Today was Magic Kingdom day. Oh my aching feet! But it was a good day despite the heat and the lines. I especially liked "The Hall of Presidents", "Mickey's PhilharMagic" and "Pirates of the Carri bean." Mickey's program was 3-D and you felt air, water and wind. Too cool.

Money: It cost us $281 for our 2 days at Disney. Was it worth it? Yeah. I'm glad we went. Will we do it again? Maybe...if we go to the other two Disney theme parks. By the time the grandkids are old enough to go and should happen to invite us along, I'll probably need to be pushed in a wheelchair or have one of those nifty scooters. Hmmmm.

Miasma: Walking through the clouds of cigarette smoke in the designated smoking areas. Yuck!!

A note from yesterday: During the video presentation about France I forgot to tell you that the music was incredible--Debussy and St. Saen. Ooh la la!

Involved Interaction

If you have a trip for Disney World scheduled don't read this.

I completely forgot to tell you about one event we were in...Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. In this you have the people from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids as characters. Professor S. is going to receive an award for Inventor of the Year. The little kid puts his mouse in a machine that duplicates things and so 999 pet mice are duplicated. Everyone in the audience begins to scream because you feel the mice hitting your legs. Freaky! (Aaron says it was puffs of air but it sure felt real.) The professor intends to show how he shrinks his luggage for trips BUT the machine gets out of his control and the audience is "shrunk". The floor or seat started bouncing and suddenly the characters on the giant screen become giant. Every time one of the characters walks across the screen your chair moves. At one point a snake head comes out toward you and I have to admit I closed my eyes on that one. It was a very fun experience.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Enchanting, exciting Epcot

This morning we made the decision to leave the motel we were in last night as we were quite unhappy with some of the accoutrement's. We drove down the road a bit and found another Days Inn that announced on the marquis that they had a shuttle to Disney World. Hurray! We pulled in and signed up for a room, grabbed some breakfast at Denny's and caught the shuttle at 9:00.

Destination: Epcot. First stop, Spaceship Earth, inside the large "golf" ball that tells you that you are at Epcot. A pleasant slow ride through the eras of communication. Then it was off to Test Track which I didn't know was going to go very fast and not in a straight line. But I survived and it was fun.

We walked around to the World Showcase where we visited the exhibits of several countries. Both China and Canada have the 360* theaters....very fun to watch. The American exhibit had The American Adventure, an animatronic wonderland featuring Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. It gave a history of the USA in 30 minutes. Makes this citizen of the US proud.

We did several more rides including one that takes you where the Disney people are growing plants--both fruit and vegetables-- underground hydroponically. Food grown there provides for some of the restaurants in the Kingdom. They are working on food stuffs that can be grown without soil and in harsh conditions around the world.

By 8:00 p.m. we were beginning to wear down and after Aaron did one last ride (one I was chicken to do) we headed to the area via monorail where we would catch the bus. We checked in to the motel and found that the room we have now is much better than last night's. Yawn! I think it is time to hit the sack.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Spectacular Space Science

I thought about that title off and on throughout the day. (I try to use alliteration in case you hadn't noticed.)

Today we were at Kennedy Space Center. You have to drive way out on Highway 1-A and Highway 1. We had purchased tickets at our motel and it was a good thing because entry at the gate was $59 and we had paid about $35 each. Phew!

Well let me tell you that KSC is an awesome experience. We saw 2 IMAX movies--one about the International Space Station and the other about the moon called Magnificent Desolation. And...they were in 3-D. Then we boarded a bus to go out to where things take place when there is a space shuttle launch. We saw the crawler ( top speed of 1 mph) that takes 8-9 hours to take the Shuttle to the launch site. The trip starts at midnight. We also saw the building where the shuttle is worked on and prepared with the fuel tanks for flight.

We saw other film presentations about the moon landing (wonderful), etc. We also were in the actual room that the ground crew kept tabs on the Apollo flights. And there was an entire Apollo rocket you walked around and under. It is HUGE.

We thoroughly enjoyed our day learning more about space and what space travel has done for the world. Did you know that a NASA employee has invented a child's car seat that will activate your key if you accidentally walk off forgetting to take your child out of the car seat? It's not just about floating around the earth.

We are enjoying walking around without needing a coat or sweater. Ahhh, Florida.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Highways and Bi-ways

Remember "I Dream of Jeannie"...the program about the genie in the bottle in the home of the astronaut? I used to watch it all the time and I remember that it took place in Cocoa Beach. So guess where we are? That's right! Cocoa Beach, Florida. It is a town full of motels, restaurants, and tourists. It just happens to be right on the Atlantic Ocean so that helps with its popularity.

Last night (Thursday) we were in the Naples area where we stayed with the son of Aaron's second cousin, his wife and kids. We had a great time with them. They treated us to Italian food from Carrabas and it was wonderful. A favorite radio personality of mine, Glenn Beck, does advertisements for them but since there are none located in Oregon I had never eaten their food. If we have further opportunity to eat at a Carrabas
I hope we can take advantage of it.

Tomorrow we visit Cape Canaveral which is just a few miles from Cocoa Beach. What a blast! (pun intended)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Flittin' through Florida

On January 8 we arrived in Gainesville, Florida at the home of Arnold and Joy, friends we met in Botswana. Tuesday evening we gathered around the television and watched the Florida Gators defeat the Ohio Buckeyes. Yes, even I watched the game. You see....Gainesville is the home of Florida State University, home of the Gators. Neither Arnold or Joy expected the Gators to do well. In fact, they were pretty sure they'd lose although they hoped for the best. Well for any of you who watched the game or read the paper or listened to sports on TV, you know that the Gators whupped the Buckeyes. We were watching the game til about midnight.

Tuesday Arnold and Joy took us south to Silver Springs--an adventure theme park. It is winter, though it isn't all that cold, so attendance was quite low. It was like having the place to yourself. We enjoyed walking around the park, taking the boat rides and just takin' it easy. Silver Springs is where Sea Hunt was filmed many years ago. Also some Tarzan movies were filmed there.

Aaron and I left Gainesville this morning heading to the south with Cypress Garden as our destination. We had originally planned to go to Busch Gardens but the entry fee is $85 PER PERSON!! Cypress Garden was less than half that amount. Again there was low numbers there--I'd say around 200 people--so it was definitely a stressless day. All right, I know that "stressless" isn't a real word, but it works for me.

One thing we noticed at both parks was the number of senior citizens working. Today we talked to a fellow who said that he works there because it gets him out of the house and gives him some exercise. They pay minimum wage so jobs wouldn't be a big draw to very many people. For the Seniors it supplements their incomes.

Tonight we are staying in Winter Haven, Florida.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Travelin' On

It is never easy to leave our family in Texas because we live over 2000 miles away!! You don't just go for the weekend.

We had the wonderful privilege of taking care of Sabina and Addison while mom and dad were at the hospital with the baby. The girls are just so much fun! They are both very loving and Addison loves to run up to you and hug your leg. Sabina loves to be read to. I read 3 Sandra Boynton books several times!! She also loves to hear Bible stories.

On Saturday she asked me to tell her a story instead of reading one so I told her the story of Boogie and The Three Dinosaurs . The story was amazingly like Goldilocks and The Three Bears. She loved the story.

Since Nolan, Maryanne and Emmaleese came home a day early we left Hutto on Saturday afternoon and made it to Brenham, TX where we spent the night. Today (Sunday) we drove out of Texas and into Louisiana. We drove toward New Orleans and even from Interstate 10 we were able to observe a lot of damage from Hurricane Katrina. Many, many, many destroyed apartment buildings, businesses and homes. It was pretty astonishing to see it in person, not just on TV. We passed the Superdome and it is in use again for concerts, etc. We talked about what it must have been like to clean up after the thousands of people left it following Katrina.

Tonight we are in Gulfport, Mississippi which also saw much damage from Katrina. An employee at the motel recommended we eat at The Blowfly Inn. It was close to the motel but we had difficultly finding it because it is currently located in the Holiday Inn due to having been damaged in the storm. The restaurant is being rebuilt. The waitress told us that there had been several very nice homes on the water that were completely destroyed. I think tomorrow morning we are going to drive the 7 miles to the coast to see what is left.

No, I don't think the hurricane was President Bush's fault.

Grandma and Emmaleese

Emmaleese Hope

Born on January 4, 6' 14", 18.25 inches. Cuter than any bug you ever saw!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Greetings from Gruene

Okay, so we thought that Gruene (Green), TX was an actual city and couldn't believe that we were unable to locate it on our map!! We were heading south towards San Antonio when we stopped at a WalMart for a little break. While waiting to pay for our purchases a family walked by and I approached them and asked what town we were in...not the first time I haven't known exactly where we were. The lady said we were in Schertz. I asked about Gruene and was told that it is actually part of New Braunfels where we had just been. So back onto the freeway we went to head north. We decided we wanted to see the Schlitterbahn, the world's largest water park (hey, we ARE in Texas where everything is bigger and better) and it was while following the signs towards that spot that we saw the sign for Gruene. The sign said that Historic Gruene Street was towards the left, only it wasn't. After some local help we arrived where we spent a little money and decided to stay at Gruene Mansion Inn. And now we are staying a second night, for half price. We are staying in a quaint room called the Corn Crib.

So if you are ever in Central Texas come to Gruene Street (hopefully you can find it easier than we did) and enjoy yourself.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Make a change in 2007

After I work on my blog I often read other peoples' blogs by clicking on "next blog". Last night I read a young man's blog who may live in another country--couldn't tell for sure. In it he shared his faith in Jesus Christ. And I would like to do the same. I accepted Jesus as my Saviour 50 years ago when I was 8 years old. No, I haven't lived a perfect life but I always have had Jesus as a central part of my life. When I do wrong I ask for Jesus to forgive me and He always does.

Now you have the same opportunity. You can ask Jesus into your life in 2007 if you haven't already done so. All you have to do is acknowledge that you have sinned (done something wrong) and ask Him to forgive you.

Then find a good Bible-believing Church to get involved in. We are Assembly of God but there are many fine churches.