The Finale

The finale of our DisneyCaliFam vacation was on Thursday January 19th, which is the birthday of our firstborn, Josh. His birthday was spent in service to the rest of us. He made an early morning run to the Orange County Airport to deliver our Daughter-in-law’s mom and granny for their morning flight back to Spokane, Washington.

The remaining ten of us packed up and cleaned up our VRBO and headed to my sister Vera’s home in Huntington Beach to see what leftovers we had that she might be able to use. She definitely wanted the 18 count package of eggs. Our flight out of Orange county was at 8:40 pm so we had some time to kill. Vera joined us for a trip to Fiesta Grill for our reminiscent Mexican meal. All the years Nick and Vera lived down the road from this great Mexican Joint, we enjoyed walking to get take out to bring back to their place. Nick is with his Savior now in heaven and Vera is in a new home but we cherish the memories.

Back at Vera’s, JJ and Addy were laid down for a nap and the ‘kids’ enjoyed playing UNO.

Vera had a meal in the slow cooker for us for dinner. Our sister Lana would be joining us for dinner.

Up from their naps there was a rainbow to enjoy. JJ was in Lana’s room napping and quietly got up and went about discovering some things like her radio to which he declared “I did not touch any buttons”. When I walked in the room he had a water bottle with the top off and declared to me, “Baba, this water tastes funny.” He also thought the 20# weights were too heavy for him, but the 5# weights were fine. OYE.

When Lana arrived she had animated stories of some events at her new home in Dallas and everyone gave her their full attention.

From bursting water pipes to destructive squirrels, she had everyone’s attention.

Three of our four sisters, Me, Lana and Vera.

Too soon it was time to head to the airport to turn in our trusty 15 passenger van and check in for our flight back to Washington.

Did you know there was a pilot shortage these days?

These two enjoyed meeting the pilot and sitting in the co-pilots chair!

The flight home was non eventful which is the best kind of flight and we made it into Paine Field in Everett at 11:45ish and home in bed at Josh and Laura’s by 1am. We would still have a 5 hour drive to Colville later that day, Friday the 20th. We slept as long as our bodies allowed, got up, packed the car, had some breakfast and got on the road at 9:30am. We were home after a stop in Spokane for gas and a meal in Chewelah. We made it home before dark.

A very meaningful trip for all of us. Thanks for following along.

Sand and Water

After we walked the pier on Monday the 16th we headed down the steps to the sand and on to the shoreline.

Brothers born while we lived in Huntington Beach over 40 years ago in January.

And yes, JJ ended up falling in the water and getting soaked so we stripped him of his wet clothes and wrapped him in some dry coats before hypothermia set in.

Monday afternoon Josh, our trusty 15 passenger Van driver made a trip to the airport to pick up Jamie’s mom and her granny who would spend the next few nights with all of us. We enjoyed soup for dinner. We made a special trip to Rockwell’s Bakery to pick out a cake for Dan’s birthday.

Addy chose the cake. Her daddy bakes the best macarons and Addy spotted this cake and decided it was the one.

Good choice Addy! Happy Birthday Dan. The birthday celebrations keep coming.

Monday Birthday Beach Day

During our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation we spent a few hours at Huntington Beach on Monday January 16th. Some of our Cali family met up with the 10 of us at Fred’s Cantina on Main street for a bite to eat before we braved the high winds on the pier and at the seashore. Two of my sisters and seven nieces and nephews joined our ten for a lively few hours. The Swordfish tacos were delicious!

This guy saves me a seat next to him 90% of the time.

Happy Birthday churros for these two who share their birthday.

Off to the pier with Main Street behind us and Fred’s Cantina on the corner upper floor on the right.

Leaving the pier and heading to the sand and shoreline. That is another photo intensive post that will be coming soon.

Sunday Birthday

Sunday of our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation was Jamie’s birthday. Dan and she had a nice breakfast date alone where Jamie could enjoy one of her favorites without any interruptions from the kiddos.

They brought treats back for us to enjoy from the bakery.

Sunday afternoon my friend Heidi and her husband Ken picked Greg and I up for an evening together at their home. Heidi has been part of my family’s life since the 60’s and we were besties in the 70’s and beyond. I was her Matron of Honor when she and Ken were married in 1978. Our two families spent lots of time together while our children were growing up. She took the photos of our kids here.

Friends for life are the best kind of friends. We had a wonderful evening enjoying dinner and conversation in their beautiful home. While we were away our kids went bowling with a few of the cousins joining them.

The birthday girl was the champion of the night!

Back to the present…we had a dusting of snow on Saturday night that has covered some of the dirty snow. We are now in a cold trend with temps predicted to get done to single digits soon. It’s still winter after-all.

Hoping to catch up with you-all this week.

Crisp to Frozen

California was crisp and we are back to the land of frozen. We arrived home to our winter wonderland safely on Friday the 20th of January. Our ‘DisneyCaliFam’ vacation was full and good. Thank you, LORD, for your goodness to us and our extended family.

Many posts will be coming of our days in Southern California. Where the rain paused for us to enjoy some sunshine in between.

Waving Goodbye…

…to Southern California.

We are leaving the city of Orange and finishing our family vacation in Huntington Beach today, flying out later in the evening.

After rain the first few days we have enjoyed sunshine filled days. Our Tuesday Disneyland day was perfect weather for us, sunshine and cool temps. Sounds like we might be returning home to more snow!

Airport to Our Vacation Rental

This year we are celebrating all the January birthdays in Southern California…in the rain!

On Friday the thirteenth all ten of our family traveled from Everett Paine Field to John Wayne in Santa Ana, California.

Andrew and Katie brought their special carry-ons, Unicorn and Dinosaurs! wink, wink

Our boys…

At John Wayne airport our 15 passenger van was delivered and we loaded all our bags in and hopped in for our short drive to Orange, California. Sadly Addy is behind my big head so we’ll have to try the van selfie again on one of our many rides in it.

We made it to our home away from home after a very long day of traveling with delays and the grands had a few minutes of calming viewing before they were tucked in for the night.

We checked out the supplies at the VRBO and were reassured we’d have enough peelers!

Saturday morning we enjoyed the spa in the rain.

The spa will definitely be a highlight for the grands. We’ll see if Disneyland can surpass it!

Apologies for not visiting. It’s been nonstop fun and busyness living with ten people including our two grands!

All Souls College

During our last few visits to Oxford this has been a college that we were only able to view through these beautiful iron gates. On Tuesday September 20th, 2022, the day after the Queen’s funeral, we were fortunate to get to High street at the right time to see the doors to this college open.

I will copy and paste some of the history of this college and if it further interests you, you can click here to read more.

The ‘College of the souls of all the faithful departed’, commonly called All Souls College, was planned, built, and endowed in the 1430s by Henry Chichele, long-serving Archbishop of Canterbury. It received its foundation charter in 1438 from King Henry VI, co-opted by the Archbishop as the College’s co-founder. Chichele was in his seventies at the time, and this, his third Oxford benefaction, situated right at the University’s heart, was the fruit of careful reflection about what was needed in a new college.

Pass through the gate house and you again see an essentially medieval building. Here lived the Warden (in rooms beside the gatehouse); the forty Fellows, who until the eighteenth century shared sleeping quarters (still indicated by the wider ‘two-lighted’ windows), but had individual studies (the narrower, ‘single-light’ windows); and a number of chaplains, choristers, clerks, and servants. Today the quadrangle still houses Fellows’ bedrooms (now individual) and studies, as well as administrative offices. The Chapel takes up the whole north side of the quadrangle.

All Souls had two functions. The first, common to all colleges, was religious. The Warden and, originally, forty Fellows were to pray in chapel for the souls of the founders, of those who had fallen in the long wars with France (at the time not being prosecuted with much vigour), and of ‘all the faithful departed’. The second function was academic, and in this, then as now, the College was distinctive. Chichele envisaged the medieval equivalent of a graduate college, an institute of advanced study of a very practical kind. With minor exceptions, the College never took in undergraduates. Its Fellows were previously to have studied somewhere else for at least three years and most would already have a BA. Once admitted they were to study or teach for the higher degrees of theology, law (civil and ‘canon’, or Church, law), and medicine – especially theology and law. The Fellows, all in Holy Orders, had to prepare themselves, not for life in the ivory tower, but for service to Church and government. They were, as Chichele himself put it, an ‘unarmed militia’, trained for the unashamedly patriotic task of restoring national prestige and good order in the face of heresy at home and stalemate abroad.

In this view you can see Radcliffe Camera outside the iron gates we first peeked through.

The central accent of the sundial, the design of which is attributed to Christopher Wren, was absent in the eighteenth century. Moved to its present position only in Victorian times, it was placed initially between the south-facing pinnacles of the chapel.

Heading into the chapel.

15th century Fan Vaulting in the vestibule of the chapel.

The baroque Chapel screen, designed by Sir James Thornhill in 1716, and restored and gilded in the late twentieth century. It replaced a screen which was attributed to Christopher Wren.

Most of the antechapel windows contain some fifteenth-century stained glass.

The Chapel still retains its original medieval hammer-beam roof, which together with the gilded wooden angels that adorn the ends of the beams dates from the fifteenth century. The angels owe their current brilliance to a late twentieth century regilding.

The reredos of the Chapel dates from c. 1447. Its niches contain statues of saints, bishops, and monarchs, arranged in rows on either side of a Crucifixion scene, just above the altar, and a Last Judgement, high up under the roof. The original statues, destroyed in the sixteenth century Reformation, were not replaced with the present Gothic imitations until the nineteenth century. 

reredos: A screen or a decorated part of the wall behind an altar in a church, especially when the altar does not stand free, but against the wall; an altarpiece.

Each school and chapel we were able to visit was unique and we enjoyed seeing the differences. We were not able to view the dining hall at All Souls because it was closed to the public during our visit.

Forward to January 2023. I’m finishing this post on Saturday morning in Orange, California. We are safely tucked into our home away from home for the next several days. Our travel by car on Thursday went well after Dear’s follow-up appointment. His follow-up was good for those of you who were wondering. Our flight on Friday evening, after a delay, was non-eventful and enjoyable with a serendipitous seating next to a couple who has the same doctor we had when we lived on the west side of the Cascades. We had a lively and long conversation connecting the dots. Later today we are having a small family reunion with three or four of my siblings and several nieces and nephews.

Auntie Lolo got this selfie of us at the airport before checking in. Our sons are missing from the photo since they were parking the vehicles after we unloaded ALL our luggage, etc.

Sorry, We’re Closed…

Earlier on Tuesday the 20th of September we tried to visit Brasenose College but it was closed. We journeyed along Brasenose Lane (below) to see if we could visit Jesus College or Exeter College on Turl street.

Jesus College was only open to tour groups who had made appointments in advance. So to us this college was also closed. It was fun to put my foot on this sign above. 1974 is a special year for us. The year we were married.

Exeter college was also closed to us so we ventured on Broad Street to Holywell St. and took photos of this interesting building.

We kept going along Holywell to St. Cross Rd. and spent some time at the Holywell Cemetery. (that post will come later) After the cemetery we visited Magdalen College and that post is complete.

We left Magdalen college the way we came in and walked along Merton street past Logic Lane stopping to add to our history on this lane.

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Onward on Merton, disappointed that Merton College was closed to visitors.

It looked so inviting.

This relief, made in 1465, showing St. John the Baptist in the wilderness with the college founder Walter de Merton, with assorted plants and animals, including unicorn, sheep and rabbits in burrows below.

On to Magpie passing the Chapel of Merton, turning right to the High.

When we reached High Street we had another view of University Church of St. Mary the Virgin ahead of us and looking to the right we were happy to see that All Souls College was open and receiving visitors!

All Souls would be a sweet finale to a long day of walking and being denied access to several beautiful colleges, sigh. All Souls deserves a post of it’s own, coming soon. We had lots to take in even though we only had access to two of the five colleges we tried to visit. Throw in a cemetery with some famous folk and it was a good full day.

Back to the present: 

We had a safe trip, although harrowing, from home to Sacred Heart in Spokane for Greg’s follow-up at the Stroke Center. We had to travel in the dark, with fog and rain and it was hard to see the lines in the road. When you are traveling a 2 lane highway this becomes even harder. We were so happy when dawn came. After the appointment, the rest of our trip went well. We are safe and sound at our destination.

Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis

On Tuesday September 20th we had plans to try to visit several colleges but at the end of the day we were only able to get into two of the colleges, Magdalen and All Souls College. This post will cover some of Magdalen College and C.S. Lewis’s history there.

We were at the Holywell Cemetery before we made our way to Magdalen along Longwall St. and we noticed this sundial. The dial is formed from metal lines and characters attached to the south facing stone wall of the Grove Auditorium. Upright hour numerals are VII – XII – VI, and hour and half-hour lines run each to their own unmarked circular arc around the gnomon root. The gnomon is a thin un-supported rod springing from a small disc on the wall. Above the dial is ‘M M’ for both Mary Magdalen and the year 2000. On with our journey to the entrance to Magdalen college on High St.

We entered to St. John’s Court through the Porter’s Lodge. This beautiful gate is beside Porter’s Lodge. We are now in St. John’s Court.

We picked up a brochure called C.S. Lewis At Magdalen from the Porter’s desk. I will be quoting from the brochure in this post. Thank you to Magdalen College.

We were sad to hear the chapel was closed to visitors because of the restoration of the organ.

In 2014 Dear and I ware able to view the chapel and that post is here.

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) as a student at University College down the road from Magdalen College. In 1925 he was called to Magdalen to be considered for a teaching post of English Language and Literature. He was chosen and elected a Fellow at 500 pounds a year, plus accommodation, meals, and pension.

The traditional ceremony for the induction of Fellows at Magdalen is unchanged from Lewis’s time. Kneeling on a red cushion before the President in the presence of other Fellows and asked, in Latin, will you uphold the statutes of the College? They reply, Do fidem (I give my faith or I so promise) The President pronounces them admitted to the Fellowship, shakes their hand and wishes them joy. The new Fellow is then greeted by the other Fellows, one by one, who also wish him joy.

Lewis’s relationship with Magdalen would last a lifetime.

In this photo you can see the Great Bell Tower at Magdalen. Every May 1st at dawn the choir welcomes the morning in song up in the tower to crowds on the streets below. Click here to read and see more.

The 15th Century Cloisters construction commenced in 1474 which makes this medieval square of stone among the oldest parts of Magdalen.

We left the main grounds to get to Addison’s Walk along the Holywell Mill Stream.

Addison’s Walk in April of 2004 ~ Our daughter and her dad

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We were sad to find out on our 2022 Addison’s walk that this tree met it’s demise and is no longer on the path.

On this visit we walked further along to this second stone bridge to see this memorial tablet presented to the College by the Oxford University C.S. Lewis Society, to mark the centenary of Lewis’s birth, November 29, 1898. So this tablet has been here since 1998. I copied the poem below so you would be able to read it since the tablet has weathered over the last 25 years.

What the Bird Said Early in the Year

I heard in Addison’s Walk a bird sing clear
This year the summer will come true. This year. This year.

Winds will not strip the blossom from the apple trees
This year nor want of rain destroy the peas

This year time’s nature will no more defeat you
Nor all the promised moments in their passing cheat you.

This time they will not lead you round and back
To Autumn one year older by the well worn track.

This year, this year, as all these flowers foretell,
We shall escape the circle and undo the spell.

Often deceived, yet open once again your heart.
Quick quick, quick, quick – the gates are drawn apart.

C.S. Lewis

We walked back following the stream to where it meets up with the The River Cherwell at Magdalen Bridge. This is where you can rent a punt.

On our way back to the New Building Lawns we spotted the herd of fallow deer.

Lewis’s college rooms were in New Buildings. The buildings you see below. He enjoyed the views from his windows where he could see the College’s herd of fallow deer.

“It was in these rooms in New Buildings, several years after he became a Fellow, that Lewis moved steadily, through a long personal and philosophical struggle, towards belief in God. He had been an Atheist for the better part of twenty years. But he became convinced that reasonable argument itself is dependent on a God, whose existence he felt driven, reluctantly, to concede.”

“An important turning point was a late-night conversation at Magdalen with his friends Hugo Dyson and J.R.R. Tolkien. After dinner, the three men withdrew to Addison’s Walk, (see photos of Addison’s walk above) continuing in conversation and further in the night in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings until three in the morning. They talked about myth and reality and the idea that Christianity, while similar to great pagan myths that Lewis found powerful and attractive, was a myth with a unique difference, because of it’s claim to be historically authentic–a claim Lewis was soon to accept.”

“The close friendship between Lewis and Tolkien was partly based on sharing and discussing the books they were writing, and these exchanges came to include other Christian friends and writers, a literary circle to be known as the Inklings. Typically meeting in Lewis’s rooms in New Buildings on Thursday nights and in the ‘Eagle and Child’ pub on Tuesday mornings, the group flourished in the 1930’s and 40’s. The Inklings read, discussed, and criticized passages from many books still in the making, among them Tolkien’s, The Lord of the Rings. Lewis so admired this book that many years later, he would nominate Tolkien for the Nobel Prize for Literature.”

As we waited for the Dining Hall to be open to viewing, we stepped into the Old Kitchen Bar to find a refreshment but no one was around. We did spot the framed photos above of the filming of Shadowlands at Magdalen college. Shadowlands is a story based on the real life story of C.S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Anyone have a copy of the DVD we could borrow?

We couldn’t walk into the dining room but we had a small cordoned off section to stand in and look and take photographs.

Edward Butler, (1686-1745) President Magdalen College University of Oxford (1722-1745)

We exited the college and made our way to Merton Street where more adventures would follow.

Back to the present on this Wednesday January 11th of 2023, we’ve had some snow melting slowly here and more bare ground showing. Some very thick fog the last few days that makes driving a challenge. Today I’ll be joining some other gals at church for our weekly prayer meeting. How can I pray for you? There’s a link at the top of my blog where you can find my email address. We are getting ready for another adventure with our whole family. Our January family trip that will cover all our January family birthdays, too. Because of this I will again be slow in visiting and keeping up with your blogs. Thursday Dear has a follow-up with the Stroke clinic in Spokane.

Like C.S. Lewis, I do hope you will concede and accept the truth of the historical Jesus, who died for your sins and is risen from the dead and reigning with all authority at the right hand of God! Repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you, too, will be saved.