Monday, December 29, 2008

Time to Get Moving

Well, I have put the tree and the Christmas decorations away. I have saved out a small plastic shoe box of Christmas ornaments saved out to bring to Mexico. We knew we needed to bring some ornaments but we also knew that it couldn't be a lot. So, we will just have to buy some Christmas lights next year and maybe a few ball ornaments. Now that Christmas is over and there are only three and a half months until our move, it is time to get serious about getting rid of stuff. My mother-in-law has a room in her house that is our storage room. Today, I plan on going over there and beginning to sort through things to get rid of the stuff we don't need to store, which will be a lot. There are the sentimental things that will be put in plastic bins and stored in our shed for us while we are gone but there are some things in that room that have just stayed there for over a year when we moved that I know we don't need. Once I get that room sorted through, it will be time to do the same in our house. Of course there is much that we still need to use while we are living here but there is also a lot that we don't need to use while and will help me focus a lot more if they are gone.

Kristen and Taylor and the kids will be moving into our house while we are in Mexico or at least for the first few years. One of the blessings in that is that they want to use some of our furniture and we will not have to store it. So, we will not have to store our bedroom set, our couch and rocker, or our hutch. There is also white wicker furniture in Erin's room that they will be using for Brooklyn. That saves so much hassle for us and it blesses them. It is so neat to see how the Lord works everything out.

The other thing that begins this week is sending out support letters. For those that don't know, we need to raise our own support for our missionary work in Mexico. If you would like to be on our mailing list, please e-mail me your name and address at and we will send you our support information and our upcoming newsletters.

I will keep you updated on all that is going on as we move closer to our departure date. The reality is that it's coming up very fast and before I know it, we will be saying good-bye to friends and family and learning to live in a new country and a totally different culture. Please pray for us as we continue on our journey.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Christmas Day is Complete

Well, the only thing that could have made today better was to have seen Kristen, Taylor and the grand kids. They surprised us by coming by tonight which just made my Christmas day perfect. Seeing all of our kids and grand kids today was more than I expected. It was wonderful!

All of the boys had overalls on including Victory.

Grandpapa with Dylan and Brooklyn. Brooklyn had on a beautiful dress that Taylor's mom made for her. It was so cute!

Victory is all ready to travel with his cover over his car seat.

Kristen and Taylor

Preston with Erin. Preston has really become fond of his Auntie Erin and goes to her right away whenever he sees her.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

It has been a wonderful day and for those of you in the Fairview/Gresham area, if you looked out your windows, there was an amazing sight of snow falling in huge flakes . It was absolutely beautiful and something that does not happen around here. Having a white Christmas is not something we see. What a wonderful God we serve that would allow us to have see this before we move to Mexico where will not have snow at all. It is absolutely amazing! The kids are yelling that the snow flakes are the size of golf balls.

It looks like so much more snow falling when you are seeing it personally
than it looks like through these pictures.

This is looking over at the freeway that is about 1/10 of a mile away.

This is snow that has piled up on a small shed by the side of our house.

This side of the house is actually sheltered a bit.

Here are snow piles that Jim was shoveling off our awning at our back door.

The pile was 30-36 inches deep. There have been awnings like ours that have collapsed under the weight. We are very glad he noticed it before that happened.

James came over and spent Christmas Eve with us and then spent the night to be here on Christmas morning. The kids are able to open one present on Christmas Eve and they chose to open their presents from James last night. We had a great time playing Erin's new game that she received from him.

I think she likes her the hand she was dealt.

I actual did it. I took a picture that came out by holding the camera out in front of us. I see Kristen do this all the time but mine never come out. This one of me and James did though. Yea!

For my older children whom we have told that we were going light in years past, here is the proof for this year. Half of the presents under there are still to be sent back east. Well, you didn't expect miracles, did you? Like getting our package sent out on time?

James is opening his gift of money to go towards tools. There is one tool that he wants that is quite expensive. We could not get it all for him but we at least helped him get closer to getting it.

Jonathan's big present was a Star Wars Lego AT-TE Walker. He has spent the rest of the day so far trying to put it all together. There are 499 pieces to it.

Erin got a new pink metallic Nintendo DS Lite for Christmas. Other than their big presents, they got socks and a new Bible.

We also did some new movies for the family that we have wanted. Jonathan opened The Hobbit.

Later, Jermaine and Ashely came by to exchange gifts also. Jermaine is home until January 3rd. He will be doing some recruiting duty later.

The only thing that would have made this Christmas day better was to be able to have Kristen, Taylor and the kids here. We did celebrate with them the other night which was wonderful. I had mentioned to Jim about maybe going over to see them, and then the snow started. It kind of changed my mind. We are glad to have been able to spend part of the Christmas season with all of our children. God is so good to bless us with such a wonderful family. That is the best gift here on earth that we could ask for. We are so blessed.

For Unto You Is Born This Day...

For unto us is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on
his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Luke 2:1-20
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register. 4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The Shepherds and the Angels 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

What a wonderful gift that was given to us. The best gift of all. I pray that today, you would find joy in the fact that our Savior humbled himself and came to earth as a child with the purpose of giving his life for us so we could have fellowship with God and glorify Him. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

¡Feliz Navidad!
a nuestra familia y
nuestros amigos.

Merry Christmas!
to our family and
our friends.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas with the Bradleys

The weather has really made things difficult. One thing that it affected was our Christmas with Kristen, Taylor and the grandkids. They were supposed to come over tomorrow but again we are expecting more snow and freezing rain. It is not due to be above freezing so since the grandkids have been sick and the weather has been poor, we went over to their house tonight and brought pizza and we opened presents with them. I was the first time Jim had seen Victory and he is six weeks old tomorrow. (Funny thing is, Victory still hasn't reached his due date which was December 30.)

Jonathan & Dylan


Preston & Erin


Gail and Preston

The Bradley Family

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22

Jim made it home this morning about 12:45AM. He and Jermaine drove from San Jose to make it home which is good because this morning they still had not opened up the Portland airport. They would still be stuck in San Jose if they had not driven home with more snow on the way. They were also able to give a ride to two members of the military who were on their way back to the northwest, Airman Veronica is now with her uncle in Lake Oswego while Marine David is trying to make it to his parents in Seattle but we got him to family members who live in Wood Village. They had great travel and were surprised how clear it was of snow until they got close to Portland. We are glad to have them back home for the holidays. Jim was really concerned of not making it home from San Jose until after Christmas, so this is a true blessing.

Here are some more pictures. Some of them are the same and that is not to be redundant but instead to be able to compare to past days.

Out out backdoor, the piles have grown.

This is looking up at the road where there should be some guard rails. They are gone though in the drifts of snow.

Jim had to put chains on the rental car to bring it back. The neighbor offered to help which was a very big help!

Snow drifts around the car.

There should be a road here but it seems to be gone.

More snow drifts.

This is a neighbors house. The drifts on to of the box are amazing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures of the Snow

Our front door and porch.

Our front door from outside.

The snow drifts are almost up to the window.

My roses are not happy.

Looking out our back door.

Snow drifts out our back door.

Our car is completely covered in ice.

The Weatherman Was Finally Right

...and it is really messing things up. Yesterday the weatherman predicted 6-10 inches of snow with freezing rain following. Well, last night became a blizzard in the Portland area, with 30-50 mph wind gusts and visibility of only a mile or less. Although it was neat to see, it was very cold and I was out at the tree lot from 12-6PM. We closed down at 6PM due to the weather. The funny thing is that when the storm hit yesterday, it was still fall. Winter officially starts today.

Here in Fairview, we received 8 inches of snow according to the weatherman this morning. We are now have freezing rain and there are freeways closed from Troutdale to The Dalles, about a 70 mile stretch of highway. Chains are required for all travel on the freeways and for all travel around town. RIght now, it is 18 degrees in Fairview.

This has affected us also with Jim's flight home last night being cancelled. Right now, his flight is delayed to take off this morning and possibly will not happen today. It was scheduled to take off at 8:45 and was delayed to 9AM and now is delayed to 10AM. We are praying that he gets home today. The longer it is delayed, the harder it will be to get home as more and more flights are full. He talked about renting a car and driving home. Please pray he gets home. Jermaine also is stuck at the airport waiting to get home. He was due in yesterday afternoon and his flight got cancelled also. He was in Las Vegas and this morning he is flying to San Jose because of the delays in weather. If that happens, Jim and Jermaine may be able to visit for a while. Maybe they could even get on the same flight home. Jim had talked about renting a car to get home and driving up the coast. I just heard that one of the routes from the coast to Portland is closed also. So, getting home is going to be interesting. We just want them home by Christmas.

When the sun rises, I will try to get some more pictures to show you. For now, I am going to go and get a cup of coffee and settle in for the day. Hmmm...good thing I did most of my Christmas shopping. Sounds like a good day to do my Christmas baking.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Snowing Again

Who would have thought waking up to rain and 37 degrees at 7:30 in the morning, would result in snow like this by 10:00 in the morning? It is absolutely beautiful!