Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!!! 2010 was filled with many blessings for us.. Looking forward to all that 2011 holds. Especially excited about watching this little one grow. Everyone who told me that grandparenthood is THE BEST was right!!!!!

Blessings to you and your family.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


After 39 weeks of great anticipation, our grandson has arrived!!!! Because GB was breech, a C-Section was scheduled for Monday morning, November 8th. All went well and we are so thankful for his safe delivery.

We were waiting at the hospital with the other set of excited grandparents. Tears flowed when the nurse came out to let us know that all was well and that our grandson was absolutely 'beautiful'!!!

I was so excited just knowing that he was finally in the arms of his mommy and daddy!!!

Of course, us grandparents were excited to hold our first grandchild as well!! How we have prayed for this little one!! And now to have him here is such a joy!!!

M's parents have also anticipated this moment and beamed when they held him for the first time.

After I sent a text to K letting her know that the baby had been born, she immediately skipped her next class and hopped in the car to come and meet him.

M's sister B was there waiting as well to meet him for the first time. He is a lucky baby to have 3 very loving Aunts!!! (A & C will be here this Monday to meet him!!)

Steve wanted to give him a complete physical. Reminded me of when our son was born when Steve was in medical school. Poor baby got a complete physical multiple times a day from a dad in training!!

It was neat when Steve's dad came for a visit to get a picture of 4 generations!!!

Proud daddy and grandpas admiring him.

Sweet dreams little one. You are loved.

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Mom, you HAVE to update your blog!!

I have been hearing this for several weeks. Ok, maybe months. I really don't know what has happened to the last 3 months. Blogging just kind of took a back burner. I'm still not sure how often I'll get to it, but I am here today and will try to give a very brief synopsis of where we've been and where we're at and where we're heading!!

The big news it that grandparenthood is now just a few weeks away!! I'm not sure how clear this picture will be, but it is a ultrasound photo of our grandson at 34 weeks. How amazing is that? His chubby little cheeks remind me of R's cheeks when he was a baby. I cannot wait to hold this little one and cover those cheeks with kisses!!!

I did finish the pinwheel blanket I was knitting for him and LOVED how it turned out. The all cotton yarn is so soft and wonderful. I think I need to cast on another. I have a beautiful pink in this yarn that is just begging to be a pinwheel.

We have had a few adventures since I last blogged. The first being our annual trip to Bayfield Wisconsin. We do love that area. This year we rented some mopeds on Madeline Island which was a blast.

But I think the highlight this year was going on a Sea Kayak adventure out on Lake Superior. Steve and I went in a double kayak and did quite well.

The rock formations are amazing and you are able to kayak right up to them and into several of the caves!

We ended up in some pretty close quarters in some of the caves!!! Certainly not for the claustrophobic!!

In August we headed to Minnesota for the wedding of the daughter of one of the Triple R gang! The three of us girls have been friends forever and all married guys whose last name began with R. And the Triple R gang was born. So blessed to have such dear friends!!! Cheryl and I had the honor of reading scripture at the wedding. And we didn't even mess up!!

R& M (expecting grandbaby) and K also came up for the wedding. A & C are now in Colorado, so were unable to make it. It was a beautiful wedding and so wonderful to be able to be there and share in their day.

Labor Day weekend we FINALLY were able to get out to Colorado to visit A & C! Oh how much we have missed them!!!! I have to say I am quite jealous of where they are living. I have always wanted to live in Colorado. At least now we have a really good reason to get there as often as we can!!!!

We took a drive on the highest paved road in North America and saw some beautiful views!!!!
You may notice a new face in the picture! This is YS - our foreign exchange student from Beijing who is living with us for the school year. She is a junior in high school and just a delight. She had only been in the country for 36 hours when we hopped in the car and headed to Denver.

The whole gang!! I do LOVE the mountains!!!

We stopped in Winter Park at one of our favorite pizza places. There was a bit of a wait, but no one seemed to mind. Just so nice to be together.

And the pizza makes it totally worth the wait. YS thought it was very strange that we put honey on the crust. Of course she thinks that many of the things that we eat are strange. There is a BIG difference in food between our two countries. But we will learn. It was hard to leave A&C, but hoping to see them for the upcoming holidays!!

In September the Triple R gang founders spent the weekend at a cabin in northern Minnesota. Another area of great beauty. I have to say, I think I could do this every weekend. It was so great to spend time with such good friends.

Sophie made the 7 hour+ ride with us and has decided she wants to be a cabin dog! She did great in the car; loved boat rides and had a keen sense of how to get back to the right cabin when out on walks. (More than some of us can claim!) She HATED being left behind when Steve and I took a ride on the SeaDoo.

She quickly forgave us of course. There really wasn't room for her on there with us. Plus, at 70 miles per hour I don't think she could have hung on without opposable thumbs!!

Well, that's about it. The last 3 months in a nutshell. I won't make any promises of how often I'll blog, but I will try to not wait so long. Maybe I'll post a few new recipes. Until then, I will at least direct you to an incredible recipe blog that a friend of mine from high school has created. It is a gluten free recipe blog, but any recipe can be made with ingredients that aren't gluten free if you want. Every recipe looks amazing.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, July 09, 2010


No, we did not take Sophie with us to Amsterdam, but I did want to mention before I share more of our trip that Sophie just celebrated her 2nd birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Miss Sophie!!!!

One other exciting piece of news is that R & M had an ultrasound while we were in Africa and discovered that they are having a BOY!!!!! A grandson. Wow. I have now cast on my first knitting project for him - a pinwheel baby blanket in Cotton Supreme. It is a fun, easy pattern and this yarn is so soft and yummy!!! Not sure what I will knit after this.... Any one have a 'favorite' baby item that they have knit?? I am so excited to meet this little one.

Ok, now on to Amsterdam. We decided to take a few days after Africa to unwind and process all that we had experienced before jumping back into everyday life. We had a wonderful couple of days.

Amsterdam is a city that is actually below sea level and is kept dry by a series of dams and canals or something like that. We toured much of the city by boat. This was the canal that was right out front of the bed and breakfast that we stayed in.

The cobbled streets lined with quaint shops were one of my favorite places to explore.

We happened to be there during one of the World Cup games that Holland was playing in. The town was CRAZY.... filled with orange people!!!! And rightfully so..... Holland plays Sunday for the Championship. Cheering with you, Rolf!!!! Hup Hup Holland!!

One thing that is so cool is the number of people who used bicycles as their primary form of transportation. Bikes are every where!! And what is nice is that they have bike lanes along every street, complete with their own traffic lights and road signs. I think that this really contributes to the fact that obesity doesn't seem to be an issue. Very few people own cars. They either bike or walk. I don't think I've ever walked as much in recent months as I did during our days there.

As is true of most of our travels, we experience a new place through the food!!! (What can I say, I like to eat!!) This was one of maybe several gelatto cones that we consumed during our visit...

Poffertjes are tiny pancakes that they COVER with whipped cream; powdered sugar and fresh strawberries. Oh yeah. They were yummy!!!

I was determined to experience their french fries that they cover with mayonaise of some sort instead of the typical ketchup. I went with a curried mayonaise which was pretty good. But I honestly think I would have preferred ketchup. But when in Rome... (or Amsterdam in this case)

Finding quaint cafes to have an early dinner at is always fun as well. The pace is unhurried. You practically have to beg for your check and they look at you quizzically wondering why you want to leave. Relax. Slow down. Enjoy.

The Dutch are very in to their cheese and there are some amazing cheese shops to go into and sample. We brought home a few small rounds which we have been enjoying.

We did take a short day trip to Harleem, Holland, which turned out to be a wonderful, quaint city. I think next time I would opt to stay in Harleem and take day trips to Amsterdam!!! One of the places we visited was the Corrie ten Boom house. It was here that Corrie and her family hid Jews and members of the Underground during the war. We also visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. The horror of war becomes more real when you go to the actual sites of events you have read about for years.

The weather was perfect while we were there. We enjoyed long walks along the canals and in the parks. We stopped and rested and enjoyed reading in the sun; talking through our Africa trip and just being together.

Now we are home and pressing on. We have a quiet rest of the summer and hope to get some things done around the house.

And dreaming of Africa.....

Until Next Time....

Monday, July 05, 2010

Jos, Nigeria... (Part 3)

In this final post on our trip to Nigeria I want to share what really made this trip so special, and that is the people and the relationships that we developed with them during our time there. Not only with the other members of our team, but with the many Nigerians that we worked alongside. This has been the hardest post to write.. having to confine what I feel to words and keeping it short when there is so much to write. Suffice it to say this just barely scratches the surface.....

Our team was composed mostly of doctors from around the world. I was one of the few non-medical team members. I was kind of hoping for a honorary medical degree after sitting through the many talks on the diabetic foot; advances in breast surgery; mesh hernia repair etc... I think my inability to look at the pictures automatically disqualified me!

This doctor with Steve was one of the main planners of the CME conference and used to be the Dean of JUTH. He and his wife (an opthamologist) now run their own hospital in Jos and are starting up a teaching hospital in a town several hours from Jos as well. He was very open about the many challenges they face in both situations.

His son is a computer software genius and was at the conference as one of the IT guys. He and Steve bonded despite the fact that he is not a MAC guy. (He does have an IPhone which did carry some points!!)

Keith and Carol were the leaders of our team. They had lived in Nigeria for 20+ years as Keith worked as a doctor and worked with and mentored medical students. Many of those students are now doctors in positions of great influence and are mentoring the next generation of medical students. For Keith and Carol, going to Nigeria is going home to family. This woman is the daughter of a couple they had in Bible study when they first moved to Africa. How exciting to be working along side the next generation!

Esther is a lawyer who has taken time off of work to raise their daughter. Her husband is a surgeon who was part of the team putting on the conference. She is currently learning how to sew clothes for herself and her family and explained to me the process of choosing fabrics; patterns etc.. as well as demonstrating how to secure a little one onto your back. She even made a few wraps for me to bring home for M to use with our grandbaby.

I had the privilege of babysitting Esther's little one during some of the retreat. What a precious little girl.

Bash and Esther reminded me so much of Steve and I years and years ago with 2 little boys and a third one on the way.

Steve and Zack - the head of The Navigators in Nigeria. How exciting to meet him and hear more about the Navigator Ministry in Nigeria

One thing that struck me is the names of many of the people. They are rich in meaning.
Here is a young man named Godsend with his wife and son.

Carol and Comfort. Comfort is one of the physicians who works at the HIV clinic I spoke of in the previous post.

Blessed. That is his name. Very fitting.

And then there were the Steves. Lot of them. Here are just 4 of the 6 or 7 that were a part of the week. My Steve pretty much stopped responding to his name because it was said so often.

Bart and Rolf were two of the docs on the team. Bart is an endocrinologist from Mayo Clinic in Rochester and Rolf is a pediatric gastroenterologist from Holland. So enjoyed getting to know both of them. Rolf kept us all cheering for The Netherlands in 'football'. Hup Hup Holland!!

Curt and Linda are both surgeons from North Dakota. They had lived for the Congo for many years and had stories that were absolutely amazing. What a gift to spend time with these two. Well, with everybody.

I wish I could list every body on the team; at the conference and at the retreat, but that would be too difficult so I will end here, holding this precious little girl with Carol and Brenda (a nurse from Texas). Note the mammoth mango in Carol's hand. Yum!! I am already looking forward to our next opportunity to go to Nigeria.

Oh, I wanted to also introduce you to someone I have 'met' since my return from Nigeria. Sandi commented on my first Nigeria post and I have since learned that her daughter lives in Jos and has an incredible ministry working with HIV/Aids victims. Check out Mary Beth's blog here. Turns out that some of the items I purchased (and can be found here) to bring home were made by the women that Mary Beth has taught to sew. Next time we go to Nigeria we will meet in person. I'm looking forward to that.

Next post I will share about the few days we spend in Amsterdam on our way back to the states. Hup Hup Holland!!!

Until Next Time....