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.