Thursday, December 22, 2011

Seattle in December

I do not know any of the people posing, and it is tough to get a picture without people here, although it adds a sense of awe.

Hub cap eye

Actual VW Bug
The road leading up to the Fremont Troll 

I feel as though I have really visited Seattle, now that I have personally had my picture taken with the The Fremont Troll  

Alyssa and Dusty led us on a fine sightseeing jaunt.  It was quite different as they drive a zippy little Scion, opposed to our quad-cab-duely-diesel, which is clearly the wrong vehicle for Seattle. We have apologized to our rear wheels and curbs MANY times while driving in the city in spite of Dave's incredible NASCAR-like driving skills. (Dave: "As long as we're turning left...")

Winter in Seattle is not known for its warm sunny days, but on this day we were able to get a few  photos of Mount Rainier and the Fremont Troll, with the added bonus of having excellent tour guides!  Thanks, kids, for a memorable day.

Mount Rainier rising behind the city.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Crochet Queen - Alyssa

These booties are comfy and warm

Stylish and comfortable

Alyssa loves to crochet and usually gives her stuff away.  When I asked if I could take pictures of her work, she had to find a few items she made for herself.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My Teacher's Teacher

Learning to crochet with my teacher right next to me - Alyssa, not Dexter.
 My daughter writes:    
When Gramma was teaching me to crochet, my goal wasn't to learn how to crochet.  That was secondary.  The real draw of learning to crochet for me was that I got to spend time with Gramma.  Plus, Gramma crocheted, and Gramma was (and continues to be) awesome.  Therefore, it only stood to reason that because Gramma crocheted, crocheting was also awesome. 

At first, I really wasn't into crocheting.  It took awhile for the awesomeness of crocheting to dawn on me.  However, I was fascinated by the stories that Gramma told me while we were working and I adored that she was right there if I ran into a problem.  She helped me navigate all of the loops and confusing strands of the work, and showed me exactly how to use my crochet hook to pull the yarn through it all.  Sometimes she would look at my work with a frown between her eyebrows and an, "Oh dear," on her lips. 

But I knew it was going to be all right because the "oh dear," was always followed by, "Let's see what we can make of this."  She'd take the work from me and, somehow, in her skilled and weathered hands, calloused by pens and crochet hooks, paint brushes and cooking utensils, the "oh dear" I had somehow made righted itself with a tug and gentle explanation.  There was no reprimand or condemnation, just a settling of the work back into my hands and her face close to mine as she quietly corrected my error. 

Gramma taught me more than how to crochet.  She taught me that even if you make a mistake, it's okay.  You pause and consider without condemnation, just observing to "see what we can make of it."  And then you go back and pull out the mistake and continue on with the work.  Even if you don't catch a mistake right away and a single crochet ends up in place of a half-double, it's okay, because it'll all even out in the end and what seems catastrophic at the time isn't if given enough space to breathe.

The first thing I ever crocheted was a bright yellow dishcloth to match the curtains in Gramma's kitchen.  It was lumpy and uneven and didn't look a thing like it did in the book.  But Gramma told me that it was the most beautiful dishcloth she had ever seen, and that often, it doesn't come out looking like it does in the book because no one crochets in exactly the same way.  And that's exactly how it should be because that's how it is; that's how all the stitches fit together in the work.

When I crochet now, twenty years later, I still spend time with Gramma, and if I make a mistake I can still hear her telling me that it's okay, to just "see what we can make of it."  The result is always beautiful and often, in the right Light, it's even better than what I was expecting.
my finished???? whatever it is.

I share this photo because Alyssa is wearing a hat she made.
(Dave: And her Dad is trying to emulate his Mom.)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Preschool Audience

Sometimes you have to stand to get the right shot

Come early for a good seat

Remember when video cameras needed a tripod?
 We are parked in the lot at Shepherd of the Hills and who could miss a chance to see a preschool Christmas Program? Not me.  It was sweet and  highly entertaining to watch the adults as they watch their kids.  

As a parent don't we relish these highlights of parenting? I know that I have my share of blurry, yet memorable photos of my kids in such settings and would not trade it.  I know I did my share of arriving early for a good seat, leaning out into the aisle to get a good photo, and even standing when no one else was to capture just the right angle.  Pride just flies out the window when our children are involved and don't even get me started on baby talk.  
 At the end of the program - the prize!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Field Trip!

This is a Black Truffle - the price per pound... $199.00.  "Honey, on your way home tonight, please pick up a pound of Black Truffles."  Yeah, right... :)
Dave is not quite sure how we will use this fruit of unknown origin, but he is willing to try.

I have to look this up
My crafting friends would use Renkon for stamping not eating.
I can't pronounce it either, but OO-wa-gee-my-ah is close.

Of course they have a website! Uwajimaya

Friday, December 9, 2011

Alaska Mission for Christ

In the early 90's, we moved to Juneau, Alaska.  The Alaska Mission Committee 
was in its early stages. While we were not involved with the day to day, it was certainly exciting to hear about and pray for the progress of this unusual ministry when we attended the Alaska conferences.  Pastor Chris Reinke, Pastor Ken Schauer and his wife Sandi, were instrumental in creating what has now become the Alaska Mission for Christ.  Hundreds of volunteers travel to Alaska each summer to serve in the small villages of Alaska.  When we first met Rick and Tori, we were excited to learn of their summer ministry as part of the Alaska Mission for Christ.  The Hanson's travel from Everett, Washington, to towns like Hoonah, Angoon, Tenakee, Wrangell, and even Juneau, in their boat "Living Water." They, along with other volunteers lead vacation Bible school, Basketball Camps and Bible studies using their gifts to serve. Rick is contagious as he talks with great animation about their mission work in Alaska.  

So, here we are more than ten years later seeing how big an unusual idea can be.  Please visit the link above to see what is going on with The Alaska Mission for Christ, you might find yourself drawn to Alaska.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Growing up in Wisconsin, led me to believe Holly was a plastic plant you could buy at the craft store for Christmas decorating.  It is a REAL plant.
Holly Tree!

My mother had some of these pretty seeded twigs in her dried arrangements, and again, I thought they were fake, and again, they are real! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hanson Farm

We are parked in the Hansen's driveway for a few weeks.  Rick and Tori offered us a parking spot complete with electric and water.
Our closest neighbor

I am working on winning them over before we leave - food I think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


In the dark it grows freely, but bring it into the light and apply a bit of warmth - it dies.  How like us and our relationship with our Savior, is what I was thinking as I was piling the clothes from our closet. Well, that and, where did all of these clothes come from? Do I really need all of this?

Dave, armed with a blow dryer is sitting in the closet killing off the insidious trail of mold on a dark and stormy night; or morning, it was morning. 

 Dave has more books than we are able to store in the bookcase - anyone who even remotely knows Dave will know this is true!  

He is drying books using the Catalytic heater  - the heater stays! It is able to do two things, heat and dry.

We recently started storing our shoes in boxes making it easier to find an actual "pair," rather than the shoe lottery.  All of our shoes escaped the path of mold. 

In our notes you will find an entry - do not winter in the Northwest.  The people are great, the scenery spectacular, the mold is there just waiting...   

(in a trailer condensation in cold weather is a real problem, you must be ever-vigilant!!!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Random Photos

This is Carol from Faith in Lacey, holding the handmade hats she made for us - thanks, Carol.

If you want to BE Lance Armstrong and win the Tour de France, you need to start young - bike rally day for Trinity preschool in Mt. Vernon.

Dave taking a picture of yet another use for PVC pipe!!!

My name on a sign - of course I took a picture.

Again, my name so of course....

The Music in Pikes Market

we added our own musical conversation - me, Alyssa and Dusty

Harmonica player in the bus tunnel

Like any big city there is music, many kinds, and all of it makes a space in the hustle of the people and slows the pace - for a beat.

Coffee in the Morning

Zion Lutheran School in Lake Stevens, Washington

Dump Stations are located in the Rest Areas of Washington!  I love that.

Trinity Lutheran in Mt. Vernon, Washington

Faith Lutheran Church in Lacey, Washington - no matter view outside the door, inside my coffee cup is always in the same spot.  While the people move through our lives and the locations change, the song of our lives remains the same in each location - Jesus Loves You!