Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gospel Meeting tonight

We heard from:

  • I Samuel 3
  • Acts 8
  • Matthew 25

Guess what it is #9







This week's weather

Predicted highs

Tuesday, Jan. 31 - 55°
Wednesday, Feb. 1 - 49°
Thursday, Feb. 2 - 51°
Friday, Feb. 3 - 50°
Saturday, Feb. 4 - 46°


Monday, January 30, 2012


Last night I received a forwarded e-mail from one of the sister workers in the Dominican Republic.  She had gone through Krista's notebook that had been recovered from the bus and typed up some of the thoughts that Krista had written down from the conventions in Canada, the US and the DR that she had attended this fall.  There were a good many thoughts shared, and as I re-read them this morning, I decided to share just a few that especially struck a chord with me.  The first one on the list below was the first thought that Krista had written on the first page of her notebook.  Quite a thing!

The work will go on without us. We want to labor as if we are indispensable and remember that we're not.

Luke 9 - Who was going to be the greatest? Jesus took a little child and changed the picture. Some might have felt discouraged, they could never be the greatest. But yes, (Isaiah 11:6) they could be like a little child.

God unconditionally loves us but He won't unconditionally accept us.

We want words that have heart. He can hear hearts that don't have words but can't hear words that don't have heart.

Jesus lived in the spirit of his baptism. He said no when he was tempted.

What Elisha was to his companion is what gave others confidence in him. He poured water on the hands of Elijah, filling a place of loyalty and humility.

Am I showing the cost of dying or the joy of living?

If He sees us taking one step towards him He comes a mile.

Whatever the Lord asks of me is going to be good for the kingdom. What God wants for his kingdom is going to be good for me.

The mirror is a good friend. It shows us how we are but it doesn't criticize us.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

An update on Karmen's rug

One thing I decided I had enough energy to do on Thursday was work a little on Karmen's "rug."  No, it still looks nothing like a rug, but there's a lot of prep work that goes into getting the fabric strips ready.  So, I had already measured, cut and ironed.  The last step was to cut a hole in each end of every single strip of fabric.  Maybe I should try and count all the strips at some point in this process, so that will sound more impressive!  Anyway, I accomplished the task for the practice rug before I ran out of energy.  That leaves the blue strips for a later time.  Ah, well!  Maybe it will keep me out of trouble another day!

My work station...

complete with fabric strips galore, scissors, my computer, a tissue box and Fleece.

Fleece rests on the completed strips for the practice rug.
And she didn't even help me cut!

A houseful of energy

Alice and I spent last weekend at the Weber residence.  They have three very sweet, very lively children and one who is too little to be very lively yet but not too little to be very sweet.  Here is a "photo documentary" of our Saturday evening together.

Joshua and his cow, Blueberry

Abigail and part of her puppy who has no name

Abby entertaining Alice

Gabriella coloring a beautiful picture

Adorable Bethany

Ella shows off her finished product (and her missing front tooth).

I took all the fabric scraps of any size that I had left over from my rug project, and the two oldest kids had a delightful time creating all kinds of things with the material.  Blueberry became "Super Cow" complete with a cape and mittens/boots.  It was fun to see such creativity in progress.

"What can I do with this?"

We spent a lot of time with this book.

Fleece ponders all the crazy things floating around in outer space.


After having spent most of the last three days in bed, I'm finally "energetic" enough to do a little blog catch-up.  I've filled my garbage can with tissues, nearly emptied the OJ carton, gone through cough drops like they were candy, downed several vile drinks, worn my pajamas for three days and spent a whole lot of time in a horizontal position.

There is one perk to being sick, though.

Thanks for the beautiful flowers, R & E!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guess what it is #8 - Answers







Thought for the day

You can resent correction, or you can be grateful for the chance to change while you have time and opportunity to do so.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Subject to Change

We all know that lists (of any kind) are subject to change.  Plans (of any kind) are subject to change.  For me, this has been (and seemingly will continue to be) a "subject to change" kind of year.  The workers' list for Illiana this year said I would be in southwest Indiana with Gloria E. and Janet N.  I was there a week and then ended up in northwest Indiana with Alice C.  It was a temporary arrangement, so we've been waiting to hear what happens next and when it happens.  Not too long ago, we found out.  Alice and I will head to South Carolina on March 21.  We will be there for their Special Meetings and stay through the spring, through the summer, until our preps here, until their preps there, until ??????  We will have the southeast field, which does include the coast and also a little Spanish meeting!  I don't think I know a single soul in South Carolina, but in a few months, I won't be able to say that anymore.  I'm very thankful for the good days I've had here and look forward to more there.

Life is subject to change.  Am I?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Thought for the day

You can sit around wishing to be different, or you can give yourself to the things that will enable you to be different.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow ice cream

What fun things can you do with snow besides watch it fall and walk in it?  Make snow ice cream, of course!  I called my grandma to get the recipe she uses and got to work.  (Well, not a lot of work.  It's pretty easy.)

Fresh snow

2 eggs 
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (half & half or cream)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all together...

...for a delicious bowl of snow cream!

The happy eaters

How about a fresh chocolate chip cookie to go with it?


Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

The view from the porch

Can you see the snow coming down?  
Lots 'n lots of tiny little flakes


Down the road

Footprints in the snow



During my visit to Ecuador in 2006, I met a young lady who was on her way to the Dominican Republic to labor in the Gospel.  Her name was Krista Slawinski, and she was from Alberta, Canada.  At that time, she didn't have much Spanish yet, so I was asked to translate for her in the two meetings she would have a part in at the Special Meetings in Quito.  Before each of those meetings, we found a quiet spot to sit, and she would tell me a few of the things she intended to share in the meeting so I would be prepared with vocabulary and such.  I was impressed by her quiet and sweet spirit.  It struck me that she was only a few years older than I, and it was amazing to me that she was already on her way to a foreign country to labor. However, I didn't doubt her dedication to her calling.  Despite facing a future filled with unknowns, she was filled with a quiet peace and joy.

I have a few funny memories of that translation experience.  The workers sat up on a little stage in the meeting room.  Before the first meeting in which I was to translate for Krista, it was suggested that I sit up on stage with the workers.  I wasn't a worker, and the thought pretty much horrified me!  However, all you can really do is agree, so I did.  I sat up on the stage next to Krista.  Right before the meeting started, she leaned over and whispered to me, "There's only one microphone, so I'll stand to the side, and you can stand in front of the mic."  Again, I was completely horrified.  She was the worker, the one with the message.  I was just the lowly translator.  But again, the only thing I could do was agree.  When she got up to speak, I followed her.  She stood to the side of the microphone, and I took my place in front of it.  Before we got started, LeRoy L., the overseer of Ecuador, came over with one of the testimony mics. Long story a little shorter - Krista used the regular microphone, and LeRoy held the testimony mic for me the entire time!  There was also one word that Krista used several times that I didn't know and couldn't seem to keep in my head.  Each time she would say it, I would look over at LeRoy and he would help me out.  To this day, I still remember that word very well.  It was quite an experience!

After I returned home from Ecuador, I thought off and on about writing to Krista.  However, I didn't have an address for her in the Dominican Republic, nor did I have a workers' list from Alberta.  As time went by, I would think of her now and again and be reminded of her sweet spirit and think about how much I was influenced by her and it during our brief time together.  I put her name on my list of people to write.  More time went by, and it got to the point where I thought, "It's probably silly to write anyway.  I'm sure she wouldn't remember me."  Still, I kept her name on the list.  This year, I saw her name on a speaking list for Blackwater, Missouri convention and thought, "We're so close in miles.  I'd love to see her again.  Maybe it will work out one of these days.  Who knows where our paths might cross again?"  I heard that she told everyone at that convention, "Read your Bible.  It's a gold mine."

Three days ago, Alice and I were sitting around the supper table with a couple of our friends, and the lady of the home asked if we had heard about the bus accident in the Dominican Republic.  No, we hadn't heard.  "There was a sister worker killed," she said.  "She was from Canada."  She went and got her computer that contained the e-mail message about the accident as I sat and tried to think about who it could have been.  She came back to the table, found the message and said, "Her name was Krista Slawinski."  "No," I thought.  "Not Krista."  I could see her face in my mind, and she was so alive.

Since then, more details have come through e-mail.  Krista was riding a 28-passenger express bus from Bani to Santo Domingo.  It was raining, and the bus stopped about 5 km from Santo Domingo.  While they were stopped, a cement truck rear ended the bus.  The truck and the bus both slid down an embankment.  Krista was sitting in the second to last row and was the last to be rescued.  She was taken to the hospital, but her injuries were too severe for them to be able to help her.

Krista is gone from us.  Our paths will never cross again here.  I will never get to write her a letter.  However, her gentle spirit and influence will linger on in the hearts of many, including my own.  "She gave her heart and soul to this land's people - to all people, to us!" wrote one of her fellow-laborers in the Dominican Republic.  I can picture that!

This is the only picture I have of Krista from our time in Ecuador.  She is on the far right.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011-2012 Co-Worker Pictures

Kamela LiaBraaten          Alice Christopher

Rug progress

Fleece takes a rest on the almost completed strips that have been cut from various fabric remnants.

More strips nearly ready to go

The pile still waiting to be ironed
(It might seem funny to iron pieces for a "rag rug," but it makes them much easier to work with.)

As I iron, I try to remove all the threads on the sides of the strips as well (or at least the biggest ones).

It's been a bit tedious so far, and I still don't have anything that looks like a rug.  However, the rest of the process is much more enjoyable.  Glad to have this part out of the way for a while!  I hope that soon I will have some pictures of an actual rug in progress.