Jeremy, Rob and Josh in our new trailer.
Ever notice how hard it is to get a good picture of everyone - especially kids? ;-(
Happy, happy new year! I hope you all are enjoying the refreshment that a new year brings. Kinda like a clean slate. I really enjoy the new year, and all of the opportunities that it brings, but I dislike making any resolutions. I have done so in the past, but have never held on to any for a long length of time. Then the guilt sets in because I have not followed through. So I try not to make resolutions anymore. But some goals that I have are to be more faithful in trying to teach my kids about the Lord. I've noticed that sometimes I get so busy, that when one of them brings up a question about God, or a Bible passage we've read, or something similar, I'm quick to just throw out an answer so they'll leave me alone to finish what I was doing. I plan to change that. Before Christmas, I also had Rob and Josh memorizing a verse or passage a week for school. They had to copy it so many times each day, and the goal was for them to have it memorized so they could say it in Sunday school. I have had so many people stop me, and tell me how much they love to hear my boys recite their memory verses in Sunday school. But with Christmas, we have slacked off on that as well. I plan to start that again this next school week. And I got frustrated this last year with running behind on making Christmas presents, and not even getting to make everything I had planned, that I'm starting Christmas presents already for next year. Call me crazy if you want, but I have 3 done already!
Sorry - I had to pause to go help my husband fill the bobbin on my sewing machine. Zeke's birthday is Friday (he'll be 4!), and Jeremy and I have decided to make him a hooded towel. I have made many of them for our children, and my nephews and nieces, and they turn out so cute - with big wooden eyes, and whiskers, and all. And the ones that I have made for our kids are many years old, and are missing button eyes, and the towels are faded and ripping apart. So we thought we'd make new ones for all of our little ones this year on their birthdays. But Jeremy's idea was to make it a little different than I usually do. He bought red and yellow towels, and is going to make one that looks like Flash (some super hero, in case you - like me - did not know who that was!). Instead of button eyes, he wants to cut holes out and hem around the circles so that Zeke can see through them. It should turn out pretty cute, and I'll have to post some pictures. Anyways, then we can see if we like how it turned out before we have to make one for Micah next month - he'll be 3. My babies are getting so big!
In signing in tonight to update this blog, I was dragging my feet. I told Jeremy that I couldn't think of that much to be able to update about, but things keep coming to mind. For those of you who didn't know, we lived through our first California earthquake last week. The coast was hit with a 6.5 earthquake on Saturday afternoon. We felt it here, too, but not sure if it was a 6.5 here - we are 45 minutes from the coast. But I was going through material to make some pillow cases for Christmas presents (see above paragraph), and the lights started to flicker. That's not too uncommon out here. The power does go out occasionally - but I could feel the ground moving under my feet. It only seemed to last a few moments. I had a moment of indecision. I didn't know if I should go yell at my children to get under the table, or what to do. But about that time, it stopped. Then I stood wondering if there would be any more movement or not. I honestly didn't think it had been that bad, and didn't know until Sunday at church that it was a 6.5 (and then again when my mom called to let me know on Sunday afternoon!). We even had some friends from The Dalles call to make sure we were okay, because they had heard about it on the news! One of the ladies from our church had been in Eureka (or on her way), but didn't notice it, until she got to one of the grocery stores in town. She got up to the door and was told they were closed. When she asked if they usually closed for the day at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, the person told her that there had just been an earthquake and they had to clean up. We went into town yesterday for Jeremy's day off, and noticed many stores that had boarded up parts of windows and storefronts made of glass that had shattered. I guess many of the grocery stores had big messes to clean up as lots of things fell off the shelves. As far as I know, no one from our church was injured, nor lost any material possessions. I haven't heard about any injuries out on the coast, either. But while I was in Joann's yesterday, I overheard someone telling someone else that the epicenter had been 60 or so miles out in the ocean. But our family is okay, and I don't think that any of the kids noticed we were in an earthquake until we told them afterwards. They noticed the lights flickering, but I don't think they felt the movement.
And we have a praise to share as well: God has provided us with a travel trailer! We have been praying, looking, talking and researching about trailers for over 6 months now. We noticed on our trip here last February that we were not able to stay in hotels anymore. When we stayed in Grants Pass, OR, there was only one hotel that we could stay in that didn't charge us for two rooms. Apparently we have too many kids for that anymore! So we began thinking about and researching trailers. After some extensive research, we decided that what we would need would be one with double bunk beds. But they are hard to find. We checked a few times at a dealer in Eureka, but their comment was if we wanted to be able to go inside and see one, we would probably have to go to Utah - or somewhere that actually stocked trailers with double bunks. We kept checking on Craig's List and online at RV stores for used ones. We finally found a place down in Santa Rosa that had one on their lot. It was a brand new one, but they quoted us the same price that another lot had quoted us for one that was 3 years older. So for the same price, we decided to go with the brand new one. Anyways, we were looking for one that, like I said, had double bunk bed, a wrap around table (for more seating for the kids, and it makes into a larger bed for sleeping), a separate main bedroom with a queen sized bed, and a sofa that pulled out like a hide-a-bed, (that didn't pull down like a futon). The trailer that we found had everything we were looking for. So we drove down to Santa Rosa on the 4th, stayed at the fairgrounds down there with our new trailer that night, and then drove home the next day. Our plan is to take it into town with us on Jeremy's day off, even if only to find a day use area and enjoy family time away from the church. We've discovered that when we stay home on our days off, inevitably we start to get phone calls, and sometimes visits, too - before too long, it's not really a day off. So we go into town, but end up shopping when we don't want to, etc., simply because we have nothing else to do. Then of course, one meal for all of us gets pretty expensive - even if it's Taco Bell. So we plan to use it when we go into town to just hang out together, without having to shop, and to fix our own food. Also, once a month we drive into Redding for our VM fellowships, and it will be nice to take with us there, too, to put the younger ones down for naps during the long day in Redding. We are sure, also, that it will be used for ministry purposes. Some ladies from our church have already talked about maybe using it for going to women's conferences, etc. And several have talked of having a church family camp now that the pastor's available to go! We felt apprehensive at first about owning a brand new trailer, even if we got it for a great deal. But when Jeremy brought this up to one of the board member's wives, she questioned why pastors should feel bad about owning nice things. Jeremy said that we felt bad because we were in ministry. She asked Jeremy whether we thought they should start voting on our shopping lists as well. That was encouraging to hear that they agreed with our decision. We have showed it to many people from the church, and they all love it, and think that we made a wise decision.
Onto different things: Does anyone know what a "blue moon" is? We just found out that it is when we have a full moon twice in one month. They don't happen very often - I think I heard once every 30 years or so. Anyways, we just had one on New Year's Eve. Interesting, isn't it? Well, now you know!
My mom comes in less than 2 weeks! We are all looking forward to her visit! And Jeremy and I are getting excited for the couples getaway in just a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, we took the kids to a homeschool field trip/play day. They rented out Flips for Kids for an hour. It is a children's gymnastic center - including trampolines, beams, rings, etc. There was no formal instruction or anything, the kids just got to play around with whatever they wanted. Our kids had a blast. And last night, in Eureka, Rob and Josh finally got to use some free movie passes they had won at a fishing derby back in June. They went with Jeremy to see Alvin & the Chipmunks 2. They really enjoyed the movie, and also really enjoyed their time with just Dad.
I think that is all the news I can squeeze out of my little brain. If you haven't noticed yet, or read my past blogs, I am posting the Village Missions prayer spotlight on my blog. I post the picture, and the couple's name and location. If you want to read more about them, including some prayer requests, just click on their picture.