Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reason #2 for going to ND...Emma's 1st Birthday

October 28, 2010
Emma Anah McCoy
was born to
Andy and Jane McCoy

One year later, Papa, Nana, Jon, Betsy, Simon, and Mazie joined
Andy and Jane to celebrate
Emma's 1st Birthday

It was a few weeks early but we were all there to celebrate this little fish's birthday. So, Jane, Betsy and I filmed the eating of the cake...She began by just getting a finger into the frosting but it didn't take long for her to...well, they say a picture is worth a 1,000 words....

Man, I wish I would have known I could have this much fun, I would have started WAY earlier on this birthday thing...

It was such an exciting time...and thankfully, we were staying in a hotel where they have..."housekeeping!"
After the cake, Emma enjoyed swimming with her cousins. Pizza party to follow and then it was off to home with Andy and Jane.
This was another event that we are so thankful we didn't miss. What fun to have our whole family there. God has blessed us with so many blessings...a wonderful family is just one of His many blessings.....

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saturday and Sunday in Bismarck

The rest of Saturday was spent with other friends. I went to see a very special student of my and it was really a quick hello. Then Emma and I went to another tea. This one was a tea for ladies that I had worked with. It was fun to see everyone.
The blue house in the middle was the house where we lived. I had planned on going to the house because the people who live there are relatives of some friends.
Friday night, we drove through the flood inhabited areas. The water mark shows how far the water went on the trees and the picture of the porch is one of our dear friends from Bismarck. We spent HOURS in this house when we lived in Bismarck.
As we drove around, Candice and I wondered what we would do. For some, their homes were ruined. Other, had damage but if it is fixed up, would that mean that another flood could come again? After driving by home after home, we decided that we would sit down and cry.
It was the next week that the pastor talked about our worth. Where is our worth? Is it in the things that we own, or is it in what God has given us...peace, love, strength, or any number of His attributes. Things are replaceable, whereas relationships last. The only relationship in my life that could help me through a mess like this was is the love of Jesus Christ.
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Bismarck social life for the Fish and Nana

One of the things that I thought when I went to Bismarck with my little fish* was that there are so many grandparents who can do this anytime. I cried several times when I thought of the privlege I had to take Emma to Bismarck for the weekend.
Many of the ladies got together on Saturday morning. I had been Bible study with most of the ladies and it was so good to see them all.
Emma was a real hit at the party and much like her personality, thought that she really shouldn't shut her eyes because she might just miss something.

There was quite a crew there and for many of them it had been between 4-7 years since I had seen them!
In that amount of time, so many things had happened to this small group of ladies. But no matter what had happened or will happen, this group solidly stands on their faith.

Emma found Emmy Rose, a bear that lives at Kris' house. It was funny because little Emma was shy and very attached to me. That made my heart sing.
It really was a fun time for all of us. Thank you so much for a very fun time with friends.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The quiet words of a child....

Do you see this child's face? He is an amazing little boy who can teach his Nana so many things. We can build with Legos. He has taken me to "puzzle school" because in his mind, it is just a matter of teaching that will allow me to put a puzzle together. He just doesn't get it that I can't even see the pattern. He has shown me forgiveness. He has given me love. He is considerate, patient, and the neatest little boy a Nana can have. he this way all the time? No, he is a little boy.
Yesterday, he retaught me the power of prayer when life is spinning out of control.
There is one thing that I hate. When I am not in control of a situation. It seems that I am also a bit directionally challenged (my son-in-law would label this another way!) Yesterday, I had a very easy help out Betsy and Jon. Take the truck, meet the bus, help the kids with their room, pick up supper, and come to the hospital...which is 6 minutes away from Boys Town.
Take the truck....check...
Help the kids with their room...I thought it would be fun to try a Mary Poppins/Boxcar children method of cleaning...turned out I am neither...Mary nor any of the Boxcar children...worked on their room, not fabulously successful...
Pick up supper...well, I added pick up flowers and that was easy, go to the grocery store and then on to 158th street (or 152, it was an exit) to pick up the food: Enter problem 1: couldn't find the grocery must have moved because I have been there a ton of times with Betsy. Oh, I decided to go on the search for Baker's Grocery Store. Yah, didn't find it. get the and control began to spin.
It was right about now, I realized my phone wasn't working. I took the battery out...a very Blackberry thing to do...3 times...and couldn't reboot. Only 45 minutes, we were in a reasonable time frame to get to the hospital....BAKERS in the distance...Burger King close...Q'doba...right there. Went to Q'doba first...I am getting ready to pay and Mazie shouts...NANA I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM...took care of that...went back to the cash register and the man said, "hope your night goes better" Better? I had found the flowers, and was on the way with a great meal that Jon would love...better... HMMMMMM what did I look like at THAT point.
Battery out of phone....4 more times....Jane called, couldn't hear her...I could HEAR that I was getting texts but nothing else., food, backpacks for homework in hand...set out for the hospital. Remember...6 minutes away! Went East on Dodge. Took one route...wrong...reboot phone, retrace "steps", reboot phone, wrong route again, reboot phone, 1 hour 30 minutes out...NO PHONE...Betsy and Jon must be worried...SPINNING SPINNING SPINNING...Control GONE! Resorted to my normal response...began to cry...Mazie wanted to see my face to see if I was really crying...Reboot phone....retrace drive...bad section of town...going right toward downtown Omaha...crying!!!
So, at this point, I am OUT of CONTROL because I wasn't IN is 2 hours and 15 minutes out and I was no where near getting to the hospital, my phone...I had decided was gone...Then I saw it...a VERIZON store. I stopped, got the kids out for the 4th time, still crying but trying to resemble a normal person (I don't look that normal when I have been crying for 45+ minutes) and ran into the store. The young man there was going to LET me sign in. I looked at him and burst into tears and said, "I am not from here, I am trying to get to the hospital to let these kids see their mom, their parents must be frantic and I need to call this number (the screen was now frozen on Jon's number)! He started to take the back off the back to which I may have yelled..."I have done that I have to use your phone and call that number. Don't take the battery out.....Do you have a cell phone? Call that number [punching the number on the face of the frozen screen.]
He called. I talked to Jon. In 15 minutes we were at the hospital (and it only too 2.5 hours to go the 6 minute route)
Now while all this drama was going on. Right before the Verizon store. I heard very quiet words coming from the back seat. I realized that this precious little boy was praying. I didn't catch all of the words because this was a prayer, not for his Nana's ears but for his Father's ears. He asked that I would be calm. He asked that I would find the hospital. He asked that God would give me help. It wasn't just a quick little was a heart-felt cry out to the God whom he knew would hear and answer. When the quiet words stopped, there was a pause...and he quietly told his out of control Nana that he had prayed for me.
It should have been what I did. I am the adult. I know the power of prayer. I had placed my trust in things. I had placed my faith in technology.
Simon, my dear sweet grandson placed his trust where I should the hands of the One who had control. When children speak, they sometimes speak the words of God. I love this little boy so much.
Oh, and if he read this...what he would see is that I called him a little boy. He would correct me and say, "Nana, I am not little." And he is right...his faith was way bigger than mine.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

Bismarck or Bust....

One of the things that Jane had asked before I came was if I would ever stay with Emma while she and Andy went camping...3 days before their 3 year anniversary.
Let much thought did that take?
Of course I would love to stay with Emma. But wait...I wouldn't have to take care of Emma in her house so I called a couple of friends in Bismarck and told them I was coming with Emma for a visit, planned some coffees, and a place to stay and...then I asked Jane....
Car all loaded...we were ready to go...
Pick up Emma at her day was spirit day and she had her cheer leading outfit on...
We got to Bismarck and Emma found all kinds of toys to play with....
She loved Grammie Candice and that Kelly guy!!! We had a great time...
But the homecoming...oh, Mom and Dad....we had a great time...but really, I was gone for 3 days...did you miss me as much as I missed you?????????

Omaha to Fargo...a day early

It has always amazed me at God's timing. It seems that when I have been in Fargo or Omaha, there have been times of that the kids need me to help out...many times medically. Okay, so Jane said...Mom, either it is God's perfect timing that you are there to help us...or you really need to stop coming because someone ends up sick. I tend to think that it is God's perfect timing and allows me to feel that I can help at some times.
This trip, I was planning on going to Fargo on Wednesday and then being there on Thursday.
Jane called Monday...Emma had been banned from day care. She had hand, foot, and mouth disease. She asked if I could come up a day, I contacted the car rental, changed the date and off to ND I went on Tuesday morning after saying good bye to the kids. I had to promise Simon that I would come back!!!
As you can see the traffic was horrible. Okay the traffic wasn't but the trip through South Dakota is NEVER ENDING!!!!!
When I got to Fargo, I got to see the pumpkin patch that Jane, Andy and Emma had tended all summer. It has been a neighborhood project as many who passed the patch remarked about how much the pumpkins had grown and the kids and parents would find NEW pumpkins that had "grown up" over-night.

Although the pumpkin patch was fun to see...this little pumpkin, who has grown up so much since June when I saw her last, was the one that I was after. She was and is so happy. We had a great time bonding the next day. On Thursday, she went to Day Care until Nana picked her up early at 3:00 and Friday morning...she was there for a bit...but we had traveling to do! People to see, places to go...a weekend of fun was planned for this precious bundle of joy.

One day I texted Betsy and said, I know that I should put her in her crib but I just want to hold her. Betsy wrote back...then hold her Mom.
This was one of my favorite position! She is so cuddly!!!
Of the blessings that are in my life, family is one of the biggest ones.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Race Day...OMAHA 10K

Several months ago, my massage therapist encouraged me to sign up for the 10K (which is really 6.2 miles) in Omaha, Nebraska. She mentioned that I would be able to spend time with Bets, Jon, Simon, and Mazie AND do the race. I knew that I would not be able to run so I started training for my WACE which is a Race that you WALK!!! I had a great idea...I called my sister from Billings and challenged her to walk and keep track of our miles and when we met each other, we would really find a place to meet. I thought it sounded like a great idea.

My massage therapist kept me on track...with snarky remarks like: Oh, Mom did 4 miles this morning (NOTE: her mom is 76 years old!!!) So when I finished the race...I logged over 100 miles. I was so excited that I was able to do this...And all of the snarky remarks made by Diane (Massage therapist) was worth was really a great day.

Gramma Betty and Grampa Carl made signs. They tried to find me but didn't get to see the signs until they came to the finish line. I loved it!!! But who wouldn't love much glitter.

To have cheerleaders like this is such an amazing blessing. I loved seeing them and loved their excitement and joy for their mom and dad!!!

Betsy and I took our picture together at the finish line. It really was great...she ran 13.15 miles and it was her first time. She trained and completed the race. She did great! Well done Bets!
Yep, training and completing the race that God has before us...that is what it is all about. Each day we train in little things that God has placed before us...and when we finish...we love hearing...well done from our Heavenly Father!

Here is just one reason I love my son-in-law, Jon! Before the race, during training, he would encourage. He ran with her the entire race. He kept asking...are you okay? He encouraged her and they crossed the line together....How I praise God for this gift to one of my daughters.

(Yep, I have another one that I praise God for too!!!)

I am so glad that Diane pushed me...Her mom and I came across the line together...I am glad that Bets also encouraged me by the consistency that she trained.
As a PS...I think that I will have to "walk all the way to Billings before I can see my sister...but I really don't mind...when I log the miles...I will be so excited to see her!!!
So....what does this mean? Maybe that I would do a 15 K this winter and next spring...Fargo half's a goal,,,,and it will take training...
Thanks Diane, Thanks Katie (Diane's mom), Betsy and Jon, Simon and Mazie (my favorite cheerleaders), Carl and Betty (who made the signs...with all the glitter and tried to get the kids to cheer for me.)...and most of husband who has been supportive and has lived the last 2 weeks at home while I am here....
God is so good to me!

2 weeks have gone fast for me....

Let me catch you up...

I flew into Omaha on September 23. It was great to see Betsy, Jon, Simon and Mazie! We were excited about the upcoming Race. I decided that I would have to call mine a Wace...but I will deal with that later....
Saturday morning, Simon had a football game so Jon, Simon and I set out for the field. We have never had boys so I guess this is what they look like with mouth guards. I liked watching him play. At the end of the game, Jon and Simon (Jon's idea) decided that they were going to ditch me...but I fooled Jon...I caught on...I only had to run a little way to catch them before they were in the car!
Saturday also brought Carl and Betty to Omaha. They were going to be in charge of the kids while we ran/walked the race on Sunday. After we picked up our race packets, we all went over to the hotel where they were staying and waited. While we were waiting, Simon and Mazie fed the fish while Nana watched.

They FINALLY got there and we walked up to a rodeo? exhibit. There were all kinds of fun things to do. Mazie and I got to hold the baby goat.

Not sure why this cowpoke got thrown in the slammer but he was there for quite a while..

Mazie and I took every opportunity for a photo op. It was so much fun spending the day with the family....Then we went home and got up very early on Sunday...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

God in all His Glory

Last night I had read, I had prayed, my eyes were not tired. So I got up and went to our balcony. I looked out and thought I was watching lights from the ground and then, I realized, it was so clear, I was watching the Northern Lights. (This isn't my picture!) I wrapped up in a blanket and went out on the balcony and was again amazed at the wonder of the Father. He is the Father of Light. In creation, there was light before He made the stars, sun, and moon. He is light. For just about an hour, I worshipped Him. I praised Him for the gifts that He has given us. I praised Him for the care He has given our family and friends. I thanked Him for the life that He has give us over the years. I thanked Him for the times that He has so present that I could reach out and touch Him, or crawl into His lap and cry out to Him. He is worthy of the praise and honor that we can give Him. I also praised Him for the times when I didn't feel His presence, when I couldn't seem to connect with Him. I realized that in the chaos of my life during those times, I had to stop and find a quiet place, a place where He could show me His wonder. A place where where my struggling ceases and I rest in Him. There are times when even then, I wonder at His presence. Where is He? Has He abandoned me? Is He really there? Then in a sleepless night, in the quiet of midnight, He shows me His Light. He allows me to feel His presence. And I praise Him.
Father, You are magnificent. I love being called your child. I love the wonder of Your nature. How I praise the marvelous presence in Your creation. You chose to not make this world so commonplace that we can see you in the creation of your world. Father, so many have not seen your light, show them Jesus, show them who you are! thank you for the lack of sleep to make me aware of your presence. How I love and praise you for who you are molding me to be. In your precious name. AMEN

Friday, September 2, 2011

After 5 years...they came back...and we toured again

Kelly and Candice flew into SEATAC on Thursday afternoon. We drove back to Ferndale and from that time on, we had such a great time. We caught up on friends we haven't seen. But our relationship just continues to grow. We ate fresh blueberries, blackberries, and peaches. We sampled the NW Dungeness crab. We saw sights. We laughed, we cried. We prayed. We had a great time and I wanted to celebrate some of the highlights of their trip...there really were so many pictures and memories made...can't wait until they are able to come back. Here goes:
Friday Steve had the day off and we headed to Anacortes to take the ferry for our day long feels like it is 3 week vacation. It seems like whenever we need to have a break that feels longer...we head to San Juan Island. The ferry ride itself is worth the ride...then, we hit island time. Things slow down.
This is Roche of the harbors on the island that happens to have our favorite soup...clam bisque!!!!

A trip for Candice out here would be a loss if she couldn't pick blackberries from the "weeds" that grow everywhere out here....

Meet Mona, the shy camel who didn't want her picture taken...we found her on San Juan Island...we hadn't ever seen her before...

This one is coming into Friday Harbor....RELAXATION...began at that time!!!

I love when God gives us reminders of His care for us. In the same statue garden we found this statue...In His hands. He keeps this world in His hands which should be a reminder to us when the world seems like it is in complete upheaval with tornadoes, flooding, earthquakes, and all of the other disasters that frequent our news...wars and rumors of wars...He is in control!!!

Another view of the harbor...

This is the general store that is right across from the restaurant where we ate...

This is the boat that I have to say is our favorite picture...not the prettiest...but one of the most fun pictures...

Okay when they see this one on my blog, they may never come back which is NOT my intention. This is one of my favorites. We were wandering through a statue garden and found the visor family of statues. Since they won't use this one for their Christmas card, it has to be!!!!


On Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market in Bellingham. It is a cacophony of sound and smells. Flowers and fruit, purses and peppers, singers and wanna-be singers, the Hurdey Gurdey man on his hurdey was a fun day...

These were too pretty NOT to take a picture of them....

Later that night we went to the Bellingham Bay Harbor Cruise with all the crab you could eat!!!
On Sunday, after church, we went to Bellingham Bay by Boulevard Park. It was low tide and we knew we would find all sorts of treasures awaiting us....
We found these guys just hanging onto the rocks until the water came back in...
Purple starfish...when we moved out here, I had never seen a live starfish. I was surprised that the first one I saw was orange. Thinking that this was their "normal" color, I was doubly surprised when we found purple and red...another gift from our Father. He has no desire to have us look at what He has created and say...oh another one of those. He delights in our delight of His creation...and on Sunday...we delighted.

We were not miles away. Steve picked this one up for a photo op...they are dry and rough...not at all slimy...

Clustered together, red and purple...
We turned over rocks and saw little crabs...lots of them. They were pretty hard to catch with the camera...
(Okay, this one posed because Kelly found him...on his really breathing)
The rock formations that are by the ocean are amazing to me. As I look at His creation, I do have to say, I stand in awe so many times.
When we came to the bay, I wanted you to see what you would see if you weren't looking. God has special surprises for each day of our lives but we need to be willing to stop and look for the gifts that He has for us on a daily basis!
We had breakfast at our house (crab cake Benedict...mmmmm) and headed for Mt. Baker. We couldn't go to artist point because the road was never opened this spring due to 35 feet of snow... but we didn't want to miss more of God's creation on Sunday off we went to the mountain...
I think that I have more pictures of moss (even more than otters...see Monday activities) than anything else! I love the moss that grows on the old growth forests. Okay, I do love the trees in all seasons. I was having some difficulty with all of the fall color that we saw...seems like our summer has gone so fast...

The color came out along the babbling brook. We stopped at the camp ground on our way up to the peak. The red was so pretty against the blue back drop of the creek...
Another one of my fascinations out here are the waterfalls. The power always stops me and I can stand and look at them forever and wonder at the power of our God. This summer so many places have seen the power of God's hand in nature; for many it has not been an easy thing to see and experience with the floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and all of the disasters that people are facing.

This is Mt. Shuksan which is the backdrop for Picture Lake. This lake has the most awesome reflection of the surroundings. As believers, we need to be a reflection of His love to the world around us. He is powerful and awesome and He is our God!

Picture Lake. I know that you will see more than this picture in later blogs. Love it...
On Monday Steve had to work so Candice, Kelly and I went to the Vancouver Aquarium...amazing sights. This jelly fish and his friends put on quite a show. In looking at the various kinds of ... Jelly fish, fish, animals, and plant life...we were reminded of the uniqueness of God and His amazing creation.
I had explained on the way UP to the aquarium that my FAVORITE animal is the sea otter. I love watching them, love taking pictures, and just love standing by their inhabitant. SO?????? Why did I get grief from Candice and Kelly when they realized that I had taken 44 pictures of the little can only realize that they like to pick on me!!!!
Hannah was also fun to watch. She was throwing something up in the air and catching it...for quite a while...I have lots of pictures of her too...just not 44! I finally asked a zoo worker what was going on...Hannah likes to play with her food. She will throw it up for quite a while before she eats it. You see in the animal kingdom, even the dolphins like to play with their food. Think of this the next time you hear yourself say...don't play with your food. Maybe that is just the way God meant it to be!
Balooga whales were pretty amazing too. Not as many pictures but so much fun.
The highlight of the aquarium? The 4D movie that we experienced. 3D with water squirting us, snakes poking us in the back (ask Candice about this one), and chairs vibrating as a group of crabs went running across the screen!
Tuesday and the day the Gartners returned home....

Tuesday...The Gartners left...we had a great time but we had a couple more stops before they said good bye and went home to see their little monkeys whom they missed so much! We went to the Space Needle and went to the top. If you look can see it was pretty foggy but the view was still pretty amazing!!
What a blessing God has given us when family and friends come to see us. We loved reconnecting with them and had a blast!!!! We look forward to the next time they come. They already see other places where they would be able to spend more time....and by then...we will discover new places to take them. Love the friendships that God has given us.