Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Albertson Family December 23, 2015

Albertson Family Christmas Letter 2015  

Dear Family and Friends, 

We hope that this letter finds each of you closer to God than you were a year ago!  God has been faithful and good to us, far beyond what we deserve.  We are so grateful for this season of the year which reminds us of the reason why Jesus came.  It was a dark world when He came as the Light of the World.  We pray each day that we will shine His light to others. 

We have been privileged to have Elizabeth, 22, home this whole year.  She has been working at Ace Hardware and saving her money for when she goes back to God’s Bible School in August 2016, Lord willing.  She has gotten much experience playing piano for congregational singing at church and teaching part time in the children’s part of the services.  Lately, she has been teaching English language and American culture via video chat to a friend in South Korea who wants to improve on her speaking and understanding.  This summer when the rest of us went on vacation, Elizabeth canned green beans and made homemade catsup.  She enjoyed spending a few November days in Indiana for a friend’s bridal shower.  

Emily, 17, is a senior in high school this year.  She got her braces off in March and also took a trip by herself to California to a youth camp.  She was so thrilled to get to go to the ocean on this trip.  This fall, she got her driver’s license, so now she is able to go by herself wherever she needs to go.  Last week, she took a CPR and First Aid class with other homeschoolers.  She started back into violin lessons in September and has learned 3rd position and vibrato techniques.  She played in a recital last weekend and her teacher says she is progressing very well.  Emily continues to learn sign language; she doesn’t know just how the Lord will use that skill in the future.  She has participated in Bright Lights Bible Studies all this year and enjoys the fellowship with other young ladies.  She has given blood twice and has no difficulty doing that.  She continues to take beautiful photographs, even getting to do two senior photo shoots this year, and has sold her photo cards to loyal repeat customers and to many homeschool parents at the Home School Conference in Denver.   

Jeffrey, 24, graduated from God’s Bible School in May and went to Fargo, North Dakota to Summer Institute of Linguistics for eight weeks this summer.  Since mid-August, he is at home in Iowa where he is housesitting for missionaries in Kenya, and being youth minister at a church nearby.  He is teaching Sunday school and youth meetings, and preaching occasionally for the senior pastor.  He is continuing his courtship with a precious young lady.  He had two online classes to finish his B.A., so those are now complete.  We enjoyed having him home for a week in September. 

Jason, 20, is halfway through his third year at God’s Bible School.  He has enjoyed playing cello in the Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble every year.  This is his second year to also sing in a double quartet for the SWSE services.  In May, the group went to Grand Cayman to have services, teach students, and do volunteer work in a Christian school there.  He has loved all his preaching classes and has gotten many opportunities to preach at a church that uses students regularly.  He is dating a precious young lady at GBS. 

In February, Janet and Emily started working one day a week for our doctors’ family, cleaning house and doing laundry all day.  This keeps us busier, and we have to be more efficient with our school work the other days.   

Janet just finished two twin size quilt tops for dear friends’ little girls.  Only one other quilt was completed this year.  She volunteers for the Historical Society more than she wants to.  She also got to be an early election judge for eight days this fall. 

Rowen continues to work for Carestream as a microscopist for 24 years now.  This month, he has been working 10 hour days and is off on Fridays, (great for the honey-do list).  He also volunteers for the Historical Society.  He successfully completed his sixth driving school student (Emily).  He works hard to keep his blood sugar levels in good limits, but it is not a fun game!  Recently, he had cellulitis and phlebitis in his leg, and we realize how important it is to take better care of his extremities.  He added on to our front flower mound and put in more flowers this spring, and did a lot of the gardening.  

Tim and Brenda are expecting a baby boy in mid-February.  Charissa is 4 and loves to videochat with us, sing us songs, and tell us stories.   

Randy and Joy keep busy with their four:  Quil, 8, Micah, almost 7, Jonathan, 3, and Jewelyn 1½.  We are thankful that we get to see them at least every Sunday and sometimes in the week as well. 
We enjoyed trips to Iowa and Ohio in May, and Kansas and Missouri in August.  We are looking forward to all of our children being home for Christmas and spending time together.  We will enjoy having Jeffrey and Jason’s special friends home for Christmas too! 

We hope that you each have a Christ-filled Christmas and 2016!  Maybe this will be the year when Jesus comes back and we go to be with Him!  Be ready! 

- Rowen, Janet, and family 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Twin twin quilts

In August I agreed to make twin quilts for some little friends of mine.  Then life got really busy, and they moved away.  Since November I have worked on them pretty seriously, and just tonight, finished piecing the second one.  Parts of them are exactly alike, and parts are random.  I think they will be able to chose one and know which one belongs to whom.  Next they will be sent to the quilter.  Hopefully I will get them back in February and be able to finish them.  They have old fashioned looking girls on some blocks and prayers on other blocks.  There are mostly 9-patch blocks, but six special stars on each quilt.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

On December 10th I blogged too many catch-up posts, so to see them all you'll need to click on 'older post' at the bottom of the first page....

Joanna's graduation

On Tuesday evening we celebrated with Joanna her successful completion of high school!
 Emily and Joanna
 Joanna and her two sisters, Joy and Ranae
 Joanna's Aunt Ruth made this beautiful cake for her.  Two of her cousins were there too.
 It was good to see Ranae again and to meet Derrick.
 Joanna opened gifts after we ate.  She got this beautiful journal...
 a new scrapbook, ( S doesn't signify anything.  She can change it out for another letter.)
 an HP laptop computer, (The rabbit picture is one she took when she was at our house.  The rabbit lives around our yard.)
 a cozy, soft blanket and body pillow,
 and a few other things...It was so good to have such a wonderful milestone to celebrate with Joanna.  We are trusting that God will lead her into the future He has in mind for her.

Rebekah's visit (continued)

One of Emily's favorite things to do is go up on our roof and take sunset pictures.  So after we drug Rebekah all over Greeley Thursday, shopping, it was too late to drive west to get the sunset.  So onto the roof went Emily and Rebekah to get this sunset picture! 
 Rebekah didn't enjoy the rooftop experience as much as Emily does, but she was a good sport!
 That evening, we went to a dinner theater production that our cousin Tiffany Desmond as in.  Her grandparents, Deane and Carolyn Hulett were out from Missouri for the drama, and ate with us at our table.  Tiffany was an older lady in the play, so her hair looked kinda like mine (Janet's).  :)
 The play was The Foreigner.  Tiffany was Betty and she ran a bed and breakfast in Georgia in the 1990s.  Her brother, Frog, brought a guest who did not want to talk to anyone, so Frog told Betty that he was a foreigner and did not understand or speak English, and it was classified information where he was from.  Because Betty had never been out of her state or county, she was thrilled to have a real, live foreigner staying at her lodge.
 Of course, the "foreigner" Charlie (on the couch) understood every word people said, but they didn't know he did, so it made a very funny evening.
 The young man on the left below (Ellridge) was mentally challenged, but he undertook to teach Charlie to talk and read English, with astonishing success--so much so that his beautiful sister pictured above, decided to share the family inheritance with him, which made her boyfriend, also pictured above, very angry, since he contrived to make Ellridge look dumb all the time.  The boyfriend wanted all the money for the KKK, of which he was secretly a member.  Charlie and Ellridge come up with a plan to defeat the KKK's desire to steal Betty's lodge as well as all the money.  It was very funny and the kids did an excellent job of acting.  The pictures below, Charlie is imitating everything Ellridge did, which gave E the idea of teaching him.
 We also got in a few rounds of Dutch Blitz and ping pong with Rebekah while she was here.  The time went 'way too fast, but it was all good.  We loved having her visit.

A visit from Rebekah

A month or so ago, Rebekah Owens, (niece) called to ask about some items for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.  Her church donates over 50 shoeboxes to the ministry, which is part of Samaritan's Purse, giving Christmas gifts to children in poor countries who would otherwise not receive any gifts.
I mentioned that we would be volunteering at the Denver Processing Center on December 2, and would she like to come do it with us?  She "happened" to have that week off work (ICU nurse), so she made arrangements and flew out on December 1-4.  Rebekah had not been out to Colorado since 2008 (Tim and Brenda's wedding), even though she regularly goes to exotic places like Brazil on missions trips, so we felt SO SPECIAL that she would come and spend time with us!  We had a great time with her!  Emily played her violin with Rebekah several times
 and Elizabeth and Rebekah played dueling pianos, practicing up on their Christmas carols.
 On Wednesday, December 2, we made our way to Denver where the Processing Center is set up in an accessible warehouse, every year a slightly different location.
 We planned our arrival to be one hour early so we could eat lunch before beginning our four-hour (1-5pm) volunteer shift.  These lovely ladies occupied one side of the break table.  So happy Joanna could join us, and that Elizabeth was off work so she could come.
 On the other side of the table, we balanced out the lovely ladies.  Rowen took a vacation day for the occasion because he loves helping/volunteering/serving others.
This board represented the shoe boxes that had already been processed through the Denver facility through December 1. 
 The big sign that reminded us where we were in case we forgot!  :)
 The processing floor.
 New to us this year was this prayer wall.  There were many pictures of children to pray for.  When you chose someone to pray for, you wrote a prayer on the back and pinned it back up with the prayer showing.  The goal is to have all those children, representing many needy children, prayed for before the boxes are all processed.
   Emily writing her prayer. 
 After we wrote our prayers, we went to the training area where a staff person explained all the jobs.
 This was our group in the training area.  There were others trained at the same time, and one of us took their pictures.  :)
 Elizabeth taped boxes shut after they were inspected.  Rowen put boxes into cartons for shipping.
 Joanna scanned bar codes on shoe box labels and the shipping cartons.
 Rebekah inspected shoe boxes for inappropriate items like liquids, breakables, chocolates.
 Janet looked through boxes for money/checks/envelopes for shipping donations.
 Elizabeth using the tape machine.
 Emily taping boxes
 There was a seemingly unlimited supply of more boxes to look through!
 Each carton was designated Girl or Boy, and three different age groups.  There needed to be at least 15 boxes in a carton.
 Rebekah tried her hand at taping.
 Joanna took a turn at taping.
 We posed in front of the beautiful Christmas tree when we were finished with our shift.
 After fighting "rush hour" traffic, we made it to Randy and Joy's house for supper.
       After that, reading books and visiting happened.  Jonathan and Jewelyn had never met Rebekah before this trip, but they warmed up to her right away!
 The front of Randy's house decorated for Christmas 
 The front of the church
 The sign on the corner of the church lot that Randy made.