Friday, October 23, 2009

Catching Up!

Contrary to all surmisings, our family still exists!

I believe it has been more than 2 months since I wrote on here, so there is a lot to report.

I finished another class; Advanced Studies in the Gospel of John. It was due the middle of September, so I was quite busy for several weeks finishing all of the writing projects and reading.

Grant turned 6 on the 10th of September. For those of you who remember his premature birth and early health problems, we thank the LORD that he is thriving physically and academically. He is in the first grade this year.

Our gardening concluded quite well for the year. We made a couple dozen quarts of salsa, several jars of spiced cucumbers (think spiced apples if you've never seen them - they are either bright red or green and very sweet). We put up 7 quarts of pears and several pints of pear butter from about a bushel of pears a local man gave to us. Carol and the kids canned more than 30 quarts of grape juice from about a bushel of grapes given to us. We also made about a dozen quarts of tomato juice - very good, but a little spicy for the kids. We froze 48 pounds of sweet corn (think 48 bags of frozen corn from your grocery store - we already had about that many of green beans). All of the gardening has been very rewarding this year; praise the LORD for His bounty.

Carol now has braces on for about a year and a half to make room for the implant. Please pray for her, it was easier for her to have them as a teenager; but she is doing well with them, just very cautious. Carol went to a ladies retreat at Camp Assurance the first part of September with her mom.

After I finished my last class, I moved all of my books and desktop computer to storage at the church so that I could finish remodeling the office upstairs. So, I'm only using my old laptop and selected books until I finish the drywall, painting and flooring. I'll post pictures when I finish the work up there.

As a church, we had a difficult beginning to the month. A young (36) husband and father passed away and our church folks were "burden bearers" for the family.

I just returned about 2 hours ago (10/22/2009 @ 3:30 pm) from Texas. A long story - the building that we use for church services is for sale. There where 15 pews here that have never been used in this building. We offered to give them to my brother-in-law, Matt Shields, for use in their new church building in Mexico. They where happy to have them - another man in our church and I left Monday morning at 4:00 am with a 16X8 foot trailer behind my van; due to the size and weight of the trailer as well as the heat (82 on 10/20) of Texas, we could only drive an average of 55 miles an hour. Since Monday morning, we have traveled 2,836 miles at about 55 miles an hour. We had a good time with the Shields and we did stop at the Alamo in San Antonio on the way home.

Carol's parents took turns staying with her and the kids while I was gone; her dad was here on Tuesday and Wednesday and her mom was here Wednesday through Friday.

In two weeks, Carol and I will spend four much needed days at a Pastor and Wife retreat at Camp Joy. My mom and dad will keep the four younger kids and Carol's folks are keeping the two older ones.

Joel and Laura and Grant have all gotten off to a good start in school this year, they are actually several weeks ahead in their work, relative to the past years.

Well, I'll try not to wait so long before another update.