Browsing the blog archives for December, 2011.

Out with the old, in with the new


2011 was a year of:


Embracing new relationships while saying goodbye to a dear friend.


Saying goodbye to our dear mother.


Getting used to our new neighborhood and occasional scenes like this, amongst many other things.



Visiting dear friends in Georgia.


About ourselves, our God, and relationships

Blessed to be able to spend a week learning from Crabb.


Doing Hard Things

Not only had people to walk with us in the hard, but have an increasing awareness that God is in the hard.

And the triumphant feeling of having accomplished hard.

Looking ahead

to the new and what God has for us in 2012.

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Adventures in Texas {part 3}


Joe organized a hayride one Sunday night.  Lots of family fun.  We traveled across many back country road.  It ended up being a rather long, cold ride till we were done, but we had fun singing songs and talking.

Love the Texas 'scape.

This is the part where it got cold.

The eskimo look going on in Texas.

Jolynn and I had a cake/brownie pop making day with the nieces and cousins.  It ended up being a rather long tedious project, but we had some fun in the process.

Gathered around the Christmas dinner table.

First time I helped with the traditional Christmas program. Felt like I should after harrasing the neice. :(

The night before we left, we took one more walk across the pasture to visit this dear woman. This was the first day that she was out of her bed since August.

We were so blessed to have this time in Texas.  We had so many wonderful times spent with family and were also able to spend time with a number of other friends that a week long visit doesn’t usually leave space for.  It was kinda hard leaving knowing that it might be a year (unlike the four trips this past year) till we see the lovely land and faces of Texas.

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Texas without Mom


I had a dream the other night that we were still in Texas and I was cleaning out the fridge and organizing the house and getting it ready for mom to come back.  And in my dream I realized that mom wasn’t coming back.  And I wasn’t sure anymore, what I was getting the house ready for.

We missed her.  Duane, especially much in the first moments.  But I rather quickly felt very comfortable in her kitchen – running her kitchen.  I think it’s actually to her credit.  She always welcomed me in her kitchen and wanted me to feel very at home there.

We miss her, so. We weren't done with her yet. We wanted her to see us "grow-up". We wanted her to be a part of that.

Sometimes I'm jolted with the permanancy of this loss. Some losses can be recovered. This one will not here on this earth.

We adjusted to the new normal fairly quickly there.  But it was the “first” moments.  The wedding and knowing how much mom would have loved everything – the flowers, the dress.  She would have been smiling and laughing and hugging and enjoying.  I missed that.

And then there was the family christmas night.  Last year she was busy serving.  This year she’s dancing with the trinity.  And as happy as we are for her, we’re still sad for us.

The empty chairs next to dad where mom and grandma sat for the christmas program, were stark reminders that so much has changed.  The one sister and the young nephew occupying those two chairs somehow made it less glaring.  Yes, there was something shockingly different this year, but as the family reshuffles and holds onto each other, we move on in this different.  And we celebrate and enjoy one another.  And our hearts hurt, but our hearts are happy, as well.

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Adventures in Texas {part 2}


Only happened a couple times, but the evenings spent singing were fun.  Glad we made room for the guitar.

The crazy one there, that’s my husband.

A night out with friends.  Was fun discussing many things and getting some “lived-life-longer” perspective.

We went out early one Saturday morning to “help” our friends load cattle.  It was fun to be part of such an event.  There’s excitement in the air as family (and friends – us) gather for some hot cofffee and burritos before heading out to the cold.  It’s a family affair, cause it takes a lot of people.  Doesn’t take long to get one truck loaded, but you don’t want to be drastically out-numbered by the cattle.

I’m pretending that this isn’t a blurry bad picture, but actually an artistic edited picture to show you the early-ness of the event.  And I think it speaks cold also.

Here we are, embracing a bit of Texas culture. I think I could actually see myself being a farmer's wife after all. Not dairy or pigs, though. Something about cattle. . .

Croutching down so as not to intimidate the cattle.

We're the by-standers. No cattle prods for us.

When dad took his unexpected trip to Belize, we had the opportunity to try out the cattle farmer thing – on a very low-scale of course.  We had to feed and and give them water every evening.  And I insisted I help Duane.  Was kinda fun.  Now fixing barbed wire fence?  Count me out.

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A Day in the Life


{For my friends and family back home and. . .  just for fun.}

6:45 alarm goes/I shut it up
6:50 second alarm goes off.  I hit snooze.  I never hit snooze.  Today I hit snooze.
6:55 third alarm – I drag myself out of bed and get ready to meet the day.
7:15 dash downstairs and inhale some cereal before heading out the door.
7:25 arrive in town at Duane’s dad’s store.  Help check in order, go to bank, etc.
9: 30 head across the street to the cefco for some pumkin cappuccinos for myeself and the hardworking husband at home.
9:45 arrive home.  Bless husband with cappuccino.  Enjoy my own.
10:00 make lists, catch up on email/blogs.
11:15 husband joins me downstairs for an early lunch.
12:00 spend some time on the treadmill trying to burn up what I just ate.
1:00 clean house, laundry.
4:00 walk over to Lois and visit for a bit.
4:30 back home water plants, finish laundry.
5:45 help Duane feed the cattle, change and get ready for dinner invitation.
6:30 Arrive at Wade and Clara Miller’s for a wonderful meal and a delighful evening.
10:00 back home, crawling into bed.  (for once we make it to bed on time).

This is by no means a typical day.  Don’t know that I have a typical day here.  Daune’s a bit more consistent.  He sits in his little office upstairs every day from 7:00 to 4:00, then he goes to the store till 5:30. We’re enjoying the blessing of these non-typical days.

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The Uncle I never Met

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

The Unplanned Changed the Plans

All of these could be titles to this post, so I chose not to title this post.

After my last post, I was thinking about how light-hearted and fun the post felt compared to some of my posts in the last half year.

It kinda gave me the same feeling I had last week at a concert hearing one of my most favored songs Praise You in This Storm. The song that previously often brought tears to my eyes, brought me much happiness as I realized that the storm wasn’t as big anymore.

The realities of the last 7 months haven’t changed, but the stormy feelings were less severe.  The fact that I’ve been able to compose more light-hearted writings, testified to the same fact.

The storm isn’t as severe.

BUT. . .

Light-hearted gave way to the serious around 2:30 the next morning.

We had only just heard less then 12 hours before that he was being transferred to a bigger hospital because it was serious.

Death claimed him early that morning.

And I’m reminded once again how death has such an impact on life.  Dad never planned to take a trip to Belize while we were here.  But a few hours later he was on a plane bound for that very place.

Decisions had to be made, plans changed.  Death has left its mark.

To our Uncles and Aunts and cousins in Belize – You’re in our prayers.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his names sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil.
For thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff,
They comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
Thou annointest my head with oil.
My cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

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Adventures in Texas


After an impulsive drive through the night, my brother and I arrived in town early afternoon aprox. 12 hours ahead of schedule.  After another drive through the night the next night, I was reunited with Duane at Dallas airport.  Much sleeping happened late into the day that first Saturday we were here.

I managed to arrive in time to participate in the celebratory bridal shower of my dear niece, Carla.

The Bride-to-be with friends

The BTB's stash of gifts

The BTB and her bridesmaids

The BTB and her "young" Aunts

Duane set up his office that first Saturday and was all ready to go Monday morning.  Yes, he has three computer screens.  Yes, we made room to haul them all along.  Yes, we will have to make room for them when we pack our car to go home.   And, Yes, we won’t talk about how many shoes the wife brought.  :)   They take up less space though, I promise.

Since Conrad was around, we headed to town for the afternoon along with some of the nephews, a niece, and a brother and sis-in-law.  We ate at this awesome bbq joint that I hope to visit again before we depart.  And, yes, these guys are stuffing themselves with pounds of brisket.

Intently staring at the ducks I belive, who were enjoying their feast of corn tortillas that we had showered upon them.

And then there was the bridge where we entertained ourselves (and the relaxing gentelmen on nearby benches).  We’ll blame our behavior on the brother and the nephews.

They look innocent enough, don't they?

Then the attempt at a group picture:

The sister chews out the brother for counting his money at a time like this.

The sis-in-law adds her words of admonition.

Lendalls had it. And I'm just going crazy by now. If it wasn't for my husband holding me back. . .

Yep, we pretty much lost it. Especially the niece there.

Crazy group, fun memories.

Last stop, the Dr Pepper museum.

And thus end this first installment of the crazy adventures in Texas.

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