Hope you don't mind reading a bit; I haven't posted anything in a little while, so it may be a little longer than normal. But, if you have as much snow and cold as we do, you might just be sitting in a warm house - then maybe this post won't seem so long . . . By the way, there are some really good pictures of the kids at the end of the post - so I hope you'll look at all of it.
We took one of our occasional trips to the Repeat Boutique in Wheaton, IL. As always we came home with a van load of clothes, shoes, books and etc.
The following video is of me making Christmas presents for family and our church people. Tim Kelly shared the idea with me. It is an unglazed tile with stamp and ink.
We had a our Christmas program at church on the 19th of December; an hour of vocal solos, duets, trios, quartets, children's choir, harp, flute, trumpet, and piano (solos and duets). For an assembly of our size, I think that our church is blessed with much ability and willingness.
Our family traveled to Missouri for a one day Christmas get-together on the 23rd of December. We only get all of us together about every 3 years since my sister and her husband are Missionaries in Mexico. The picture is of 4 generations - from my Grandma Deatrick to my younger brother's new born daughter Emma. I won't name every one with the front row, back row, left to right method . . . that would really make this a long post.
21 grandchildren if you are counting (7 of them are mine).
Work is getting done slowly on the garage. I have built the stairs (a new experience for me), finished the upstairs storage room, and just today finished cutting an inch and a half off of the header so that I could get our new van in there.
I will say that cutting a 16 foot frozen 2X12 with a "sawzall" is quite a chore. Believe me, it took much longer than this 20 second video.
Speaking of the new van. We have been looking, waiting, and praying for a newer van with a specific kind of seating for about 4 years - but especially for about the last 4 months.
We found this one and purchased it between Christmas and New Year's day; I bought it in Moline, IL - about a three hour drive. It is unique in that it has no bench seats; it is a 10 passenger van that only has "captain's chairs." The center aisle and individual seats should make traveling much more family friendly.
We had Christmas with Carol's folks (Grandpa and Grandma Bumgardner) and as always enjoyed the day spent with them. I don't know how we managed to miss getting a picture of them, but we can prove their presence by the stockings that they always give to us . . .
The Christmas season was very enjoyable; the kids made a ginger bread house with all of the necessary materials provided by a family in the church. Carol and Kara both enjoyed a birthday on the 10th of January. I went to Camp Joy with a couple of our deacons for a retreat with Dr. Ed Nelson - 87 years old and going strong.
We have had at least 3 feet of snow this season. The "great blizzard" was a little underwhelming in accumulation; 8 and 1/2 inches instead of the "up to 24 inches." However, we discovered that the reason that we didn't get as much as predicted is because the sleet mixed with the snow and compacted it - it was a very heavy and hard snow, especially when it came to shoveling. The following picture is of Joel (at 85 lbs.) standing on one of the drifts up against our church building; the next is in front of one of the snow piles. The other is in front of our house.
In our Christmas letter I wrote of Gardner "shaking violently back and forth." This is a sample.
Finally, we had our family portrait made in December. I'm going to post several of those pictures on here (it is legal; we bought the cd.)
Josiah (this was very interesting; he is normally quite shy, but seemed to love being at the studio and getting his picture taken. He could hardly wait until the others were out of the way so that he could have his turn.)
I know it was long, but I think most people like looking at pictures and there were more pictures than there was writing. "A picture is worth a thousand words."
P.S. It looks like the AIBCI has finally sold the old hospital building - our original church building. Lord willing, it should be sold by the end of February.