Two Days Filled With Love…

Celebrating a new beautiful beginning and celebrating a lifelong time of loving and caring pretty much sums up our whirlwind trip to Southern California.

My heart is full and my heart is heavy…

MomAfter the beautiful wedding on Saturday we packed up and headed to my mom and pop’s apartment for a short visit before our flight home. We had a wonderful time around my mom’s hospital bed where she shared her favorite verses from the Bible with us with some added words of counsel. She was able to walk into the living area for a while to eat and watch the video of the wedding of grandson Caleb and sweet Marie that was recorded with my sister’s IPad during the wedding ceremony.  By this point she had to go back to her bed and rest. Dear, Josh, Laura, Katie and I said our goodbyes knowing this would be the last time we would see her alive.  Heavy…

Life…just like this post is always mixed with Joy and Sorrow…isn’t it?

Now that I am home I will be able to go through all the photos from the weekend and share with you in depth the beautiful wedding we were able to enjoy.  Here’s a little tease…

IMGP0831Before I go here is one of passages my mom shared with us when we were around her bed yesterday…

Jude 20, 21 (NASB)

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.

Jude 1:20 (The Message)

20-21 But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!

It was so good to walk into our home last night to the smell of new floors. I’m looking forward to catching up on what you have been up to here in bloggy land.

Seattle’s All a Buzz!

You could literally feel the excitement coming from people as Laura and I walked into the Century Link Stadium on Saturday night. There was to be a “huge announcement” before the game and they asked everyone to make sure and be in their seats at 7:15. We complied because we heard rumors and wanted to see if what we heard would be true and it was…

Clint Dempsey

Clint Dempsey is now a Seattle Sounder!

“Dempsey, the captain of U.S. national team who was purchased from Tottenham of the English Premier League, joins a Seattle team that is getting healthier, hungrier and hotter.”

“Going into the season, I thought I was going to be at Tottenham,” Dempsey said, “but MLS and the Seattle Sounders, they moved mountains to get me here. I am excited to be back in America.”

OK…I realize not all my bloggy friends are Soccer fans and some of you won’t even recognize his name but this is a huge development for the Sounders team and it was so much fun to witness and especially hear the excitement on Saturday night when Dempsey peeled off his hoody and revealed his new Sounders jersey.

In case you are wondering why it was just Laura and I walking into the stadium, Josh is at Lakeside Bible Camp directing the junior high camp for this week. Laura was busily texting him with the news that the Clint Dempsey signing rumors were true. Josh was very excited about two of his favorite things on Saturday…Soccer and Lakeside Bible Camp.

Home front news:

My mom has decided to go off oxygen and morphine so as of Sunday the oxygen has been removed from my parents apartment. My brother served my mom and pop communion on Sunday evening and several of us were able to google hangout to be part of the evening at the apartment. We sang together and prayed together. My mom is still very alert and she continues to make us laugh with her down to earth comments. The dialogues between her and my pop are priceless. Our nephew Caleb is getting married this coming Saturday in Gaviota, California so mom and pop in their words are “putting off dying till after the wedding” they call the wedding a detour from dying. We have enough material from our dear parents to make a mini-series. mom with niece Melissa on Sunday. My mom said “I like this gadget”.

From the eternal to the mundane…our floors are now ready to receive their new padding and carpeting. What interesting room landscapes we are living with for a couple days. 2 queen mattress sets are stacked where our dining table usually sits. Fun times! Even with this configuration we enjoyed a wonderful Copper River Salmon meal last night with my sister and her hubby. Before their softball game Lana asked if she could drop off all the supplies for dinner so Dear and I could cook it for the 4 of us while they fulfilled their team duties. Little sisters can make those kinds of requests. I did reply to her “what do you think I am, a Mennonite?” She replied, “yes, I heard you were adopted in.” So there you have it. And because our garage is full of our other furniture which made our barbecue impossible to retrieve I cooked the salmon on the deck in an electric skillet…if that’s not a Mennonite alternative cooking method I don’t know what is!? We had salmon, black rice, broiled asparagus-zucchini and a cucumber heirloom tomato salad. Delicious. Chunky Monkey Ice Cream for dessert.

How was your weekend?

A Little Glimpse…

…and once the baseboards are all done and the carpeting is in I’ll make a proper post of the before and afters…

Floors installed 016

We are happy with the varied light, medium and darker hickory. It has character which we enjoy. The baseboard installing and finishing is taking a back seat to emptying out the rooms that are going to be re-carpeted. Dear is removing the old carpet and padding and dumping it in the back of the pickup for a trip to the Transfer Station.

I talk to my mom and pop everyday. My mom is showing some very typical signs of failing that seasoned Hospice caregivers affirm. She is starting to see people who have gone before her. She had a dream she was sitting around and having a meal with them. She has more periods of disorientation. She still has her humor and cracks us all up with some of her comebacks. One of my sister-in-laws is Mexican/American and after she told my mom that her son Tony was having cravings right along with his pregnant wife my mom raised her hands and said “Aye Dios Mio”! That’s a first for her! Last night my mom coached my brother Steve as he made a birthday meal for my sister Lana at my mom and pop’s apartment. She chose the dishes to make and was pleased with Steve’s expertise in the kitchen. He even made a chocolate mousse for dessert. Lana enjoyed her birthday dinner and then was on board for being the extra care giver last night and through the day today. I’m so thankful for my brothers and sisters and how they are pulling together and taking turns to be with my mom and pop every night. What a blessing for my parents and for them, too!

Someone needs to coach me into making a meal in my own kitchen. That has gone by the wayside. What have you been enjoying from your kitchen these last few days of July?

It Is Well with My Soul


It Is Well with My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin—not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so—it is well with my soul.

This was one of the songs my family sang in my mom’s hospital room the last couple days. We sang Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Trust and Obey, Bless Thou the Lord, He Lives and a couple songs in Russian, too. My mom had many ups and downs over the course of her time. The following photos show some of those ups and downs. Tonight she is home in her and my pop’s apartment on Hospice Care.

mom praisingThese photos were taken while singing It is Well with My Soul and praying over my mom.

mom watermelon

The next day my nephew Tim brought this cut up watermelon for us all to share in the hospital room and my mother really brightened up when she saw it.

mom episode

My father is always at my mom’s side. This was another down episode my mom had. She could go from alert and cheery to very difficult periods.

mom blessing

She rallied again and was so intent on my father praying a blessing on Caleb and Marie who will be getting married on August 10th. She wanted my Pop to bless them in Russian and then she spent quite a good chunk of time giving Caleb and Marie some advice and counsel. She told them that they have to forgive each other among other things.

After I left for the airport and my family was waiting for my mom to be discharged my sister shared the following:

Yesterday as we were waiting for mom’s release process we were singing hymns and people were stopping by to listen. We then received a request to sing for a patient. After we sang and prayed with one patient, a nurse asked if we could sing for yet another patient! It was such a wonderful experience to be able to minister to others in their time of need!

I am home again and thankful that I could make a quick trip to Southern California to see my mom and pop and be with them through these hard days. My siblings and I were able to talk through some decisions we have to make soon and talk with my parents about their wishes and resolving to honor those wishes. We had wonderful times of fellowship in my mom’s hospital room praying, singing, reading, laughing, sharing with family and friends. At one point we had 19 of us crammed into her small hospital room. After that the staff moved my mom to a much larger room so we could have more space. The staff at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton were wonderful and they offered us some great hospitality even when we were clogging their halls!

Now we wait on God’s timing for my mom’s life.

Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate you all…