Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thought for the day

It's easy to criticize.  It's costlier to help.  What you choose to do depends on what you want to get out of it.

Guess what it is #7 - Answers





(Fruit Pizza)



I will have to try to make the next ones harder!  Good job to my guessers!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thought for the day

Noah didn't lay awake at night worrying about the flood.  He just used his days to build the ark.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Thought for the day

You don't have to be old or sick to die.  You just have to be prepared.

(This thought was shared at the funeral service for a 25-year-old man who recently passed away in Ecuador.  His wife gave birth to their second child while the service was taking place.)

Winter Walking

There's beauty even in brown and barren if you look for it!  

My camera battery went dead before I could get a picture of the 18 deer I encountered on my walk (in town)!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

South Haven

Yesterday, Alice and I rode along with Dave and Bonnie Wilson to Bonnie's sister's home in South Haven, Michigan.  The Dalrymples have a beautiful baby grand piano, and we were looking forward to a little music as well as soup for supper.  As it turned out, there was a car swap going on when we got there, and so we got to see nine other workers as well!  (Dennis Kinnan, Mike Henry, Matt Jensen, Matthias Wells, Joann Ernsthausen, Sharon Carroll, Doris Bloemker, Sue Fantini and Jenny Connelly)  We had a delightful evening.

Alice takes her turn at the piano.

Ladies' Lunch at Hacienda

Can you tell we were having fun?

Jenny shows off her half-eaten red taco.

Co. Pic. Take 2

December 16, 2011

A little better than the last one but too blurry for printed pics.  We'll try again!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Thought for the day

If you resent the detours, you could miss out on the joy of the journey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Quick trip to Missouri

Got word last week that my great-aunt Dorothy passed away in Missouri.  So, after getting permission to make the trip, I headed for Eureka, IL on December 2 after my birthday brunch with friends.  When Mom got out of school, she and I headed for Jacksonville, IL where we spent the night.  Next morning, we met Dad in Pittsfield, where he had been deer hunting.  From there, the three of us traveled to Bland, Missouri.  After driving around the town for awhile trying to figure out where the funeral might be, we made a phone call and discovered that the service was actually being held in Belle, a little town about five miles down the road.  It was a lovely service.  Aunt Dorothy's granddaughter, Angela Price, read a beautiful eulogy that she had written for her grandma.  Rob Eberhardt prayed and spoke, and the congregation sang two hymns.  "Tell Me the Story of Jesus" was sung at the graveside, and Jon Platte had a few words, closing in prayer.  Before heading to the luncheon in Rolla, we made a stop at the old farm where Uncle Louis and Aunt Dorothy used to live when Dad was a teenager.  He has many fond memories of spending time there in the summer.  Of course, it looks quite different now, but here are a few shots of the property.

The old barn

It was wonderful to have a little time with family and friends that we don't see very often.  Thankful to think of a life well lived.  Glad for my memories of Aunt Dorothy.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life Lessons

I decided that in "honor" of my 30th birthday, I would come up with a list of lessons I have learned over the years.  As I began my list, I realized that there are very few lessons that I can put in the category of "have learned" (past tense).  I have concluded that most life lessons are ones that we learn over and over.  They're not accomplishments.  They're things we keep working on and trying to remember and live by.  I didn't know if I would share my list or not, but maybe I will.  It was a profitable exercise for me, and I would encourage you to at least make one in your head even if you don't put it down on paper.  Here's mine - unedited and incomplete, in no particular order.  (There are 30.)

  • So many things really don't matter.
  • Don’t take things personally.
  • The simple words, “I’m thinking about you” can mean a lot.
  • Happiness is a choice.
  • When people talk to you, listen to them.
  • Don’t judge; there are a lot of facts you don’t know.
  • Be patient.
  • Kindness is powerful.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Look for what you can appreciate in people.
  • Worrying is completely unprofitable.
  • Let people know that you appreciate them.
  • Children are amazing teachers.
  • Enjoy today.
  • Trust God.
  • Having God’s approval is all that matters.
  • When you’re full, quit eating.
  • Be flexible.
  • Say, “I’m sorry.”
  • Do all you can do, and then accept it.
  • Be honest.
  • Be gentle.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • God’s timing is perfect.
  • If you want the fruit, you have to be willing to pay the price to get it.
  • Learn from the experiences of others.
  • Respect the sacrifices of others.
  • It’s easy to take for granted things I should be exceedingly thankful for.
  • Consider others.
  • Each day is precious; use it wisely. 


December 2

My 30th birthday was well celebrated!  Here are a few happenings that made the event memorable.

  • An early celebration with family at Thanksgiving time (including my grandma's amazing pound cake)
  • Cards began arriving in the mail, a number of which were exactly the same.  Someone got creative and passed out homemade cards to various friends to sign and send on to me.  Still haven't figured out who was behind that one.
  • A surprise birthday party after Gospel Meeting on Dec. 1  Two cakes had been prepared right under my nose, and I was totally oblivious.  They kindly decorated one of them with candles that keep relighting no matter how much you blow.  I'm surprised anyone wanted to actually eat the cake when I got through!
  • A lovely birthday brunch at Cracker Barrel on the actual day
  • A birthday supper at Outback Steakhouse with my mom  (We were too full to eat the free birthday dessert!)
Alas, I have only one picture of it all!  Who knew I needed to take my camera along to Gospel Meeting?!  Maybe I'll take a picture of my cards later when I get them all together.  

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December!

Hope the month of December is a good one for everyone.  2012 is just around the corner.  Stay warm!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

First Snowfall of 2011

(For me anyway)

Snow fell Nov. 29
Pictures taken Nov. 30

November's Numbers

Miles purposefully traveled: 3391  (Miles traveled while wandering around trying to find our destination 
were not included in this total.)

Beds slept in: 17 (not including random naps)

Memories created: A whole lot!

Guess what it is #6 - Answers




(Cultivated fields on the side of a mountain - a common sight in Ecuador)


(Just to add a little perspective)


(Yes, it is dead!)


First attempt at a co-worker picture

We'll have to try again as I do not fancy seeing this picture on anyone's fridge in the near future.  However, I'll go ahead and share it just in case the "official" one is a long time coming.

Alice Christopher - Kamela LiaBraaten
Nov. 27, 2011
NW Indiana

Back to Indiana

On Saturday night, Karmen brought me back to my field.  She stayed through our Gospel Meeting on Sunday, so I got to enjoy a little more time with her before the lovely holiday weekend was officially over.

One last shot before good-bye

Happy Birthday, Karmy!

To celebrate Karmen's 28th birthday, we met Grandma and Grandpa Rodgers at a hotel in Champaign on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Before parting ways on Saturday, we made many special memories and took a few pictures.  Here's a sampling.


My lovely parents

The only picture we have of Kyle.  He's on the other end of the "line."  We missed you, buddy!

Karmy & her gram

Karmy & her mama

Grandpa & his newfound friend

I'm not sure what Fleece was saying here, but I am sure it was worth hearing!

We got to share the delicious pound cake made by Grandma.  Yum!

Bedtime story

Fleece previews the gift

Karmy & her boppa