Tuesday, January 8, 2019

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season....to finally catch up on a million photos, all while backing up my computer and reliving some amazing memories from the past year.  

Hello, beautiful beach near Torrance.
How I miss the sound of your waves and the feel of your sand.

Who knew I'd become such a vocal advocate against Human Trafficking?
Important to raise awareness of such a dastardly practice.

Jen, Hailey, and Austin's backyard was THE 
place to be when the heat soared above 100ยบ. 

Tom and Laurie not only wanted to hear a sermon,
but drove 6 hours from Santa Cruz to Torrance to do so!  YAY!

 Baby BOY!  Visiting the font of his Baptism.
Summer, 2018 - Bethany Lutheran.

Dude.  I know we like water and all,
but get your HEAD out of the TOILET!

Colton's Aunt Laura captured the joy and laughter of this boy.
NOTHING better!

Summer Days call for grilling time with Sarah and Susan.

One of the perks of driving INTO 
Rocky Mountain National Park
at different times of day 
is seeing how quickly the landscape can change.

Near +Art's+ Memorial bench on Bear Lake is a lovely tree
with the carving of a heart.  Just.  Perfect.  

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Ah....Fall in the Park. Glorious.

The Cat Who has Traveled More Miles than Magellan,
making the trek back to Berkeley.  Again.  

Lord, have mercy.  Four years is a LOOOOONG time.

The semester is MUCH more enjoyable when your Spiritual Practice Group takes up Knitting and Crocheting during prayer.  (Not to mention, Kirsi's illustrations are always a hoot!)  

And I thought I had a lot of yarn!

Distance can't keep us apart!
Hallie (and Otto) - Nebraska, Rachel - Colorado
Caitlyn - Uruguay, Brenda - California

"Nothing to see here, folks.  Nothing to see."

"Inside Out" - animated movie by Pixar.
SEE this movie.  FEEL this movie.  DISCUSS this movie.  
It's a great entry point to a conversation about emotions!

Not so sure about those pumpkins, eh, Colton?

Did I score in the Godson department, or what!?!?
Colton + Oliver - two AMAZING blessings!

A surprisingly delightful (and liturgical!) morning at HerChurch in San Francisco.

Because I wasn't busy enough...took up the art of Quilling
for a Spiritual Practice.  Quite calming, actually.

Twist, twist, twist, dab of glue, VOILA!

Cinco has taken a fancy to the swirls as well.

Little Man and his new Drumset.

The cutest Kangaroo in Colorado!

Together again!  

Jules, C, and Brad - such a sweet family!

Thankful to be together, even if it is 
to bury a dear friend from church.  :( 

Dude.  There's a bucket on your head.

"I'm not touching the outlet.  
I'm touching NEAR the outlet."

The shapes that never go out of style.

Baby Boy and his proud Godmama.

Such a drooling, teething, cutie.

Surprise!  Showed up to Grandma Dot's 90th celebration at Hope Reformed Church in Sheboygan, WI.

"You're really here!"

A photo book, full of smiles and memories.  

She honestly thought I had gifted her baby food (for being so old).  In fact, these are favorite jams of hers from Knott's Berry Farm!  

(Apparently, quite HEAVY jams from Knott's Berry Farm - ones that will cause bruises upon being dropped!)

Mom pulled off ANOTHER surprise party at Fountain Park Restaurant.  What joy to be surrounded by a table full of friends at the age of 90!

Back in Berkeley - 
Pammers and I at the Great Thanksgiving at PLTS.

A time to give GREAT thanks to my benefactor,
Rev. Dr. Phyllis Anderson.

Silly, little Oliver - checking in with him before he's about to become a big brother.  Just as cute as ever!

Jen snapped this sweet pic of Hailey and Austin as we were all exchanging e-mails.  Kids + Technology really help relationships to continue.  

UGH.  A sad chapter from my time in Berkeley - the carnage from the fire in Paradise had us all wearing these masks to avoid breathing in the air that contained everything from smoke to poisonous chemicals.  

Our air quality was actually worse than that of Beijing's.

The Camp fire claimed the lives of 86 people.  :( 

Classes were cancelled all over Berkeley.

Trekked across the Bridge to visit St. Mark's Lutheran Church.

Pretty modern Jesus found on the windows.  

Pam and I at her Teaching Parish.

Dude.  The DISHES go in there.

I am CLEARLY the boss in my house.

Welcome Baby Theo!  
Oliver is a big brother, now!

Thanksgiving with these Turkeys!

Baby Boy helping his Papa with the tree.

'Tis the season to be jolly!

Thanks be to God, the skies have finally cleared.

Even Cinco was appreciative of the fact that we could finally open up the windows once again.

Together again - this time for my final Approval Interview at the ELCA Rocky Mountain Synod Offices in Denver. 

Cracking open GIANT crab with Susan and Kirsi.

PASTOR Ben lit a candle the evening before the big day.

Bold and brave in blue.

Happy Birthday, Twinkies!

A cheering Colton with Aunt Bev - I'm officially approved for Ordination in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America!

Baby boy came home with me for the weekend.

A beautiful way to welcome the season on Advent.  

Always crossed, always cute.

LOVED the Jingle Bells.
HATED me talking to "Alexa"

Rach met us for Lunch and a quick tour of Bethany.

Little Man in the Chapel where his parents were wed.

Could I be any happier!?

Such a silly and explorative, little one.

Dude.  That's my TOOTH brush, not a HAIR brush!

Little Women turned into 
young ladies...and an enamored Colton.

Wondering just how long he'll sleep during Church....

Back at the Font - crazy to see how much 
he's grown since Summer!

Picked Susan up from her weekend retreat, and met with Jules and Brad for an awesome lunch at Rockyard.

Too sweet.

FaceTiming Tim on his Birthday.

Concluding our semester together 
with a boatload of amazing food and friends.  

What a gift!

No clue who sent this to me, 
but I FA LA LA love it!

Somebody's ready to travel to Wisconsin for Christmas!

Together again...if for only a day.

Little dude, wishing his parents goodnight.

Oh, my heart.  

Such a blessing to be his Aunt B!

"Where is this cow hiding?"

"Oh, THERE!"

Might we all sleep so soundly.

Perhaps he can write my next paper...

My favorite sight in the world.

Time to retire!  After 20 years with Professional Supply in Sheboygan, Mom is DONE getting up at the crack of dawn!

WOOHOO!  Quite the awesome 
send-off from her pals at work.

Mr. Colton's very, first plane ride.

He.  Was.  AWESOME.  

Not too sure what to make of everything
 he found in the living room...so much to take in!

Who knew velcro could be so challenging!?

WHAT?!  Our little, broccoli boy.  

Celebrated Mom's retirement once we were all together.

Awwww.....silent night, holy night.

Open wide!

"How many times must I tell you - 

Per usual, the BOX is the most exciting toy.

Visited his Grandma's former work space, 
enjoying the FLOOR, of course.

Dude.  You are TOO cute.

WHAT.  Colton playing on my old keyboard.
All.  The.  Feels.

"Hold my calls, Marcie.  
I"ll be in my office all afternoon."

Getting used to another new home...
Great-Grandma Dot's!

Showdown:  Pepper and Colton

There we go.  

Didn't want to be put down.

Talk about innocence.

"I'm a little pony, clippety-clop, clippety-clop..."
The musical ditty that will haunt my dreams.

That's right, folks.  
Two MORE jams.  
(Still not baby food.)

Merry Christmas, Tim!

YES!  Another musical instrument.
One, happy Aunt Brenda!

Ah, my heart.

"I'm a little pony...."
GAH!  He loves it.

That one, little finger, exploring Grandma's tree.


Told ya he loves music!

He is the most amusing sleeper,
always face-down, always butt-up.

"What's that?  I love my pajamas, too."

"Super comfortable - great fabric."

A wild day on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Little Man and his Grandma...

....Little Man and his Grandpa.

Little Man....and his New Friend!

Holiday Dinner with Tim at Applebee's.

Such a little love!

What a stud in his hoodies and jeans.

Just hanging out on Tim's shower seat.

Oooh, look...toilet paper within my reach!
This is a GREAT, new toy!

Colton LOVED Sage.
Sage....tolerated Colton.

Dominoes for everyone!

Built a little fort so the dude didn't
 wander too far if he happened to wake up.

How I love these V-Tech 
books for kids - bilingual, too!

Grandpa DOWN!  
Tackle Time with Colton.

Again with the boxes.   Nothing more fun 
than zooming on the kitchen floor!

Little dude loved my CamelBack water bottle.

Baby Pajamas are just so cute.

How this little boy loves music!

We know, Colton.  We don't get it, either.

Church Time with the Fam.

Didn't sleep during CHURCH this time,
but was happy to sleep during lunch.


And he's UP...WAY up!

"Are we checked in for our flight home?"

"Let's take a selfie, Great-Grandma."

Those eyes.

Goodbye to the Grandparents at the airport.

Christmas Eve cards and dominoes.  
I was NOT faring well...

Christmas Day with the cousins, 
National Lampoon Christmas Vacation characters, 
and darling, little girls!

The Rev. Benjamin Hogue,
once again offering the opening prayer, 
LIVE on C-SPAN!  In the Capitol!  
How incredibly important to witness in these days!

Some gorgeous sights up in Snowmass Village.
Subbed for UWEC friend, Paul Dankers, 
during the Sunday services at the Chapel.

Enjoying a beautiful day in Snowmass
with some real characters!

Took a quick field trip over to St. Benedict's Monastery
in Snowmass, including a stop at the
Bookstore, Chapel, and Retreat House.
What an incredible place to be silent before God.

Pretty incredible when you can hang out,
undisturbed, in a warm and welcoming Chapel.
(Including some time with a player piano,
and a rather deflated Santa!)

Such beauty, such love.

With great love comes great sorrow - 
visited a dear friend in the Intensive Care Unit
 back in Denver.  How terribly fragile life is.  :(  
Prayers, dear Joni....prayers.

Bringing sweet Grandma Dot into the 21st century!
Gifted her a Tablet for Christmas,
and she is doing a WONDERFUL job
learning all about the technology at her fingertips.

The three of us under one roof.
What an incredible blessing to bring
Linda and Susan together in Colorado!

Rocky Mountain National Park might have been 
closed due to the stupid, government shut-down,
but you can't keep us from finding beauty!

Looking forward to the many blessings of 2019!

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