Friday, March 25, 2011

Going to Missouri

Don't know how faithful I'll be about blogging during the next month or so.  Rose, my co-worker, and I are leaving on Sunday for Special Meetings in Missouri.  We'll be away until the end of April.  I'm looking forward to good meetings, encouraging visits and a little time with family as an added bonus.  See you around.

My friend, Gwendolyn

 Waving at all the cars as they go by

Mama's keys

Who needs a spoon?  Yogurt is finger food!

Think I'll go for a spin

Too bad there are no doors on this thing

Made it!

Talking to Daddy

A new trick

Look at me!

Night night!

Tomorrow's another day full of possibilities and things to do!

Fruit Pizza

I'm not a big dessert eater, but I could not turn down this fruit pizza.  Delicious!

Lunch with Mom

Well, my posts have gotten a bit out of order, but I guess it doesn't matter.  I left our "sheet project" a little early the other day to meet Mom for lunch in downtown Springfield.  Yeah for reading conferences that are close by me!  The soup at the Feed Store is absolutely delicious.


The sheet project continues - turning fitted sheets into mattress covers for Mt. Sterling convention.  Glad for all the capable ladies that have taken over "my" project.  Here are just a few pictures from one afternoon's work.




I don't sew, but I'm a mean seam ripper!

The piles

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

She came!

In what must have been the shortest weekend on record, Karmen and I managed to accomplish a lot of nothing!  We enjoyed ourselves immensely in the process.  On Friday we met up with Mom downtown Springfield for an hour or two.  A delightful impromptu chat and giggle session!  After pizza at Monical's with Aunt Darlene, we headed to our "home for the night."  Saturday was spent shopping (no major purchases) and playing racquetball with friends at the Y (no major injuries).  Sunday morning was reserved for meeting with lunch afterwards at a Mexican restaurant before Karmen headed back north.  Thanks for the memories, Karmy!  We'll have to do it again sometime.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

She's coming!!!!

Looking forward to a visit from my very favorite sister!  I can hardly wait until Friday!  We've been best friends since she was born, and time together is always greatly anticipated when it's upcoming, enjoyed when it's here, and remembered fondly when it's over.

Mt. Vernon, IA

 Segovia, Spain

 Sevilla, Spain

 Barcelona, Spain

San Francisco, CA

Chicago, IL

Mt. Vernon, IL

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ah! Spring!

Looking forward with much anticipation to this year's spring.  Here are a few peeks into springs past.


I'm ready!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What I Do

Some people have wondered what exactly it is that I do.  That's a good question, and I don't know that I can give a very complete answer, but I'll try.  I am part of a ministry that "operates" like the ministry that we read about in the New Testament.  We go two together and have no home or salary.  We live with the people with whom we are in fellowship.  Typically we are assigned to an area for about a year, and then we move on to the next area.  This year I am in the Springfield area which includes Champaign-Urbana on the eastern edge to several little towns west of Springfield.  We meet in different homes each Sunday morning for our fellowship meeting; there are seven home churches in our area.  Our friends also have regular Bible Studies in different homes every Wednesday night.  In addition to these fellowship meetings, we also have what we call Gospel Meetings, which are usually held in some public facility.  In these meetings, we sing hymns, pray and share messages from the Bible.  At the moment we are having two of these Gospel Meetings each week.  On a day to day basis, we might be doing anything from making a hospital or nursing home visit to attending a school function with some of our friends' children to running errands in town to having a Bible study around the table with a family to writing letters or updating a blog! Lots of possibilities; it's a very interesting life.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Future Worker?

Last night after our Gospel Meeting, Ryker invited me to his meeting.  He had rigged up a "microphone" using a reflex hammer from his doctor kit and a play house.  He told me to sit down.  "I going to speak," he announced.  He got behind the microphone and said, "Tell me the story of Jesus; write on my heart every word.  All done now."  Meeting was over.

We had couple more meetings this morning after breakfast.  In one of them he said, "I going to speak about choo-choo trains."  What a surprise!

Getting geared up
You can see the end of the reflex hammer sticking out of the red handle.  The hammer part is what he speaks into.  I'm not sure what roll the stethoscope plays.  Maybe it's the cord.

Getting closer

Apparently in order to be heard, you have to eat the mic.

All done.  Thanks for coming.


This morning after Ryker was done eating breakfast, Eric and Jen said he could get down and play.  He looked over at me and said, "I can't go without you."  Who could refuse that?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm Sorry, What Was That?

That's the usual response when I introduce myself to people.  Kamela LiaBraaten is a mouthful for most adults, so it's no wonder that kids would struggle.  "K" and "l" aren't the easiest letters for kids to pronounce either.  I get "Kamewa" and somewhat less often "Tamewa."  The last couple of days I've been answering to "Amelyuh."  It almost makes me sad when they learn how to say it correctly!

More goings on at the Spencers'

Quotable Quotes

"Be a good boy and draw a choo choo train."  (Ryker to me)

Kamela: How old are you?
Ryker: (no response)
Kamela: Are you one?
Ryker: No.
Kamela: Are you two?
Ryker: No
Kamela: Are you three?
Ryker: No.  I'm big.

Kamela: Do you think I should go take a shower?
Ryker: Yes!
(I guess I asked for that one.)

Ryker sings "Old McDonald"  All of the animals say "Moo."

Miss Alivia eating her goldfish

The picture doesn't do justice to the wild "do" that was a result of smeared avocados in the hair at lunchtime.

And more trains

Fun and Games and Choo Choo Trains

Lots of fun things are going on here at the Spencers'.  Ryker's "thing" is choo choo trains, so that's what we "do" - draw them, build them, read about them, talk about them, any other possibilities?  Last night Rose told him the story (an abbreviated version) of "The Little Engine that Could."  Now in addition to the usual "chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo," we've added "geek I can" to the things that we say as our trains go along the track.  Now our trains are resting while we have nap time, but I'm sure we'll be back at it before too long.

Ryker is building his train

My train
My passengers look like they might rather be elsewhere!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Almond skinning

Last night Rose decided to skin some almonds to put in biscotti at some later date.  To make this task easier, pour boiling water over your almonds, and let them sit for ten minutes or so.  Then you can sort of squeeze the skin, and the almond pops out.  (Shooting almonds across the room livens things up a bit.)

Hope I get to eat some of the biscotti!

Monday, March 7, 2011

That from There

Before my alarm woke me up this morning, I was in Ecuador.  The details of my brief visit are a little fuzzy, but I was delighted to be back even if it was only in my dreams.  It made me think that a short picture walk down memory lane would be in order.

A few of my young Ecuadorian friends (who are now quite grown up I'm sure)

Whenever I hear pan flute music, this is what I see.

(For your safety, no more than 5 people and no jumping.  Thank you.)
We did cross the bridge.  We did not jump.

At the bottom of the falls

Turtle and butterfly

How many monkeys do you see?

Wanna bite?