Thursday, November 30, 2006

Crazy Weather!!

What is going on here?!? Yesterday at 5:00pm I left work and it was a balmy 70-degrees. Short sleeve shirts, raking leaves, and just enjoying the last vestiges of Fall.

24-and-a-few hours later as I write this the temp is down to below freezing, it's been raining and sleeting all day, there's a half-inch or more of ice on everything, and I just heard thunder and saw a flash of lightning! The weather forecasters are still saying we'll have 3-6" of snow overnight on top of all this and the high tomorrow and for the weekend might not get back up to the freezing point (that's 32-degrees).

People in the St. Louis area thought it was bad this Summer when a more than three-quarters of a million people lost power in the heat. Now imagine losing your power when it's bitter cold outside. It's happening to some neighborhoods tonight and if the rain/sleet doesn't stop it'll get worse by morning.

Why do we live here? Sometimes I wonder. Summers are hot and humid. Winter is usually cold but with little snow to enjoy it. Spring is wet and goes from cold to cool to warm to hot in about a week. Fall is beautiful but doesn't last long. Did I mention the tornadoes? And the floods? Or that we're living on one of the largest earthquake fault lines in the world?

But hey, this is the Midwest. If you don't like the weather just wait an hour. Or a day. Or a week. Then it'll be something else and this winter storm will be forgotten ... maybe.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving in KC

Talk about something to be thankful for! We were blessed to have Kim and Doug host our family Thanksgiving at their house this year. Not only did we get to spend the holiday with them and their kids, Will and Ella, but Kristy and Cam and their 7-week-old, Ruthie, came from Florida. And we were all joined by Greg's mom and dad, and his brother Michael and his fiance Mandy, who drove down from Michigan.

Since we don't all get together like this very often, there were several still and video cameras at work all weekend. And of course with beautiful weather to enjoy we just had to arrange to take a family photo in the backyard.

~ Did you know you can click on the photo for a larger image? ~

Kim and Doug made sure we were well fed, and the Thanksgiving table was just beautiful! The three grandkids kept us entertained and feeling quite loved with all the hugs and cooing and smiles and such. Will is a very energetic 19-month-old little boy who just wanted to be with everyone and be into everything. It was so much fun to have him come wake us up each morning. Gabriella is much bigger than most 5-month-old babies -- and so cute -- and she just loved all the attention. And Baby Ruth, being the youngest, was of course just spoiled by everyone and loved being held. Even at this age, the pics of Ruth and Ella together show the family resemblance.

Everyone enjoyed getting caught up with family, sharing some laughs, watching and playing some football (yes, some of us are getting older and suffered some minor injuries), eating much too much, talking about wedding plans with Mike and Mandy, starting Christmas early with family we won't see at the end of December, and celebrating Doug's birthday just a few days early. Greg even managed to let go of the keys so some of the family could take his sporty orange G6 coupe for a drive. Surprisingly, we managed to avoid the shopping craze and rush of the crowds. or maybe not so surprising with the little ones to take care of and the older ones sleeping in!

It was hard to say good-bye and head home, but we were all very blessed to have this time together. Now we're busy planning how we can visit the grandkids again soon before they grow up and change without us there to enjoy them!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mexico Mission Trip 2006

This year it was just Greg who spent 6 days in Arizona and Mexico to help build a small home for a family in Puerto Penasco. Sleeping in a tent on the desert sand and working all day in the sun was hard work but also a lot of fun. Three of us from our church were connected with a team from Omaha to get this simple two-room, stucco house up and ready for the family in just two-and-a-half days. There are more details about the house and construction from last year's trip on our family website.

Greg also visited a chidlren's home this year, and it's both sad to see the plight of the kids and their families but also amazing how happy they are. Our church was able to offer a cash donation this year to help the kids with supplies, clothes, and toys. And it was fun to see the kids of the American families jump right in and have fun playing with the Mexican kids for an hour or so. Seems that kids are kids no matter where you go. Climbing on playground equipment, playing soccer, jumping rope, or trying to keep up a hula-hoop is just fun even if you don't speak the same language. The adults can learn something from the kids.

Overall, the Mesa church sent about 290 volunteers this year to build 8 single homes, a double home, and add an addition to a church. We were reminded that this is serious business and not all fun and games when one man fell from a roof to a concrete slab and now has serious head, neck, and back injuries. And another family was hurt when they were involved in an accident with a large truck while driving home on the highway. We're praying that God will heal and provide for all of these people and their families.

Next year? Of course I'm going again next year. And I'll take as many of you with me as I can so that maybe we'll have our own full team of 14-18 new and experienced volunteers.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Great October - Part II

A few days after getting back from Florida it was off to Kansas to see our other grandkids, Will and Ella.

William is the best, most energetic, and fun 18-month old grandson there is! Grandpa had a lot of fun chasing him around and playing hide-and-seek with Will. He even tried to hide in our suitcase!

Gabriella is just as beautiful as Will is handsome, but she is much quieter and loves to just be held and cuddled. Which we may not be able to do too much longer if she keeps growing as fast as she has these first 4 months! What a doll!!

She obviously loves her friend the bear, but not as much as she loves her Grandma holding her and tickling her.

Click on Our Family Website link or Kansas Grandkids link over there to the right >>> for more about Will, Ella, and their parents.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Great October - Part I

Well of course we have to start with news about our kids and grandkids. October 3 we rushed to Florida for the birth of our third granchild: Ruth Kristine Greenhaw. What a cutie!

How great it was to have two weeks to visit with the newest addition to our growing family. We spent time with the kids and Baby Ruth, but also got to visit with Kitty's parents, and even grabbed a 4-day cruise out to Nassau.

Makes us anxious for retirement so we can spend more time traveling to visit and sight-see.

Click the Florida Granddaughter link to the right for the latest on Ruthie and her parents, or Our Family Website for more news and photos.