Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Nativity Story

Avoid waiting in line for your tickets --- check out Fandango for showings in your area and to buy tickets online.

These theatres will be showing "The Nativity Story" at these theatres in Anchorage, tomorrow. Regal Fireweed 7 Cinemas, Century 16, Regal Dimond Center 9 Cinemas, Regal Totem 8 Theatres, all of these theatres have a wide selecitons of showtimes too. Also showing in Eagle River at Valley River 6 Cinemas, and in the MatSu Valley, hmmm.. not in the Valley yet. Well then! Our poor theatre out here, I think it needs an extreme make-over.

Like the movie "The Passion of Christ", I enjoying watching movie stories from the Bible because it gives me a picture of the area, the way people dressed, and it draws me closer to the Story. I realize not all eyes have been opened to the Truth ...yet, so they may not share my anticipation.

I decided to take the time to type in the nativity story from the Bible, according to Saint Matthew this morning. (Matthew 1:18 - 2:23):

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded t put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, "God with us."

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her first born Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel."

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."

When they heard the king, they departed, and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."

When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead."

Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Oh, gotta scoot, my Grandson's are here!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Abusive or Protective?

On a Sunday when my children were young, Kris was a newborn baby, so this would be about 22 years ago, I had to take Kris to the back of the church because he began to cry and that is just what you have to do when you have a newborn baby.

I had four other children sitting in a row of chairs. Sometimes one of them would glance back when they were misbehaving, as kids will do. That was my cue. I would stop walking Baby Kris then give them my sternest frown and raise my eyebrows as I quietly asked if they wanted one or two. This was the quiet, gentle warning. If that did not work, the next time they informed me that they were misbehaving I would firmly hold up one finger. They all knew that meant one spanking when church was over.

A friend at church, Ken Hughes once walked over to me after the service and commented how he got a kick out of how my kids behaved even though I was at the back of the church with the baby. Every other week I was a single Mom while Doug worked on the North Slope back then. With him being away so much of the time I had to teach these kids to help me out by giving them this system of order.

Later, it became apparent that I was not carrying out the intended spankings because while returning home from Anchorage one day the kids were misbehaving in the back of the van. I calmly turned around, gave the stern look and went back to visiting with Doug who was driving. They cooperated for a short time then they resumed getting noisier and noisier. Soon my driver was becoming irritated. I turned around, made eye contact with the offenders then lifted my hand and showed one finger. By the time we were almost home I had to give two or three fingers to which Marie defiantly said, "You never remember anyway."

I was stunned. Did I hear that right? Did she just say what I thought she said?

Slowly I turned my head and looked at her. I calmly said, "Okay Marie, if I forget to give you your spanking, then you go and get the paddle and bring it to me and remind me. If you don't, then when I remember I will add another spanking, OK?"

That was the beginning of our kids bringing the paddle to us whenever we got home from outings. I never did forget to give out their just rewards after that! "Thanks Marie!!!!" That's what all the kids said to her, and not too kindly I might add. [hehehe]

There is recent news here in Alaska about abusive parents with five adopted children. The children claim to be mistreated and have accused their adoptive parents of abusing them in many ways.

Sherry Kelley denies having been abusive. Sherry and Patrick (her husband) have spent two years in jail. However in the world did this couple end up with these children, and so many?

Why does anyone adopt troubled children if they can't handle it all properly? Where were their hearts in all of this? Did they mean well but lost control? Perhaps I don't understand the whole story and that's why I don't understand why anyone would agree to keep kids that they had to resort to extreme measures to control. Sherry is now facing six additional years, if proven to have been abusive rather than protective in her actions.

I've always thought that when becoming an adoptive family one has to meet very stiff inspections by the State beforehand. Maybe I am wrong, since this is not the first time I've read of adoptive parents abusing their children.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas is Showing Up

Christmas is making a showing around here. I am looking forward to the merry lights beginning to flicker in the neighbors, friends and shopping areas. People that totally go all out and get those lights hung up all over their house and yard are amazing to me. Bravo! That is a lot of work and I for one love to look when you are done.

Hopefully all your lights will still work once they are hung up. My daughter called to tell me that they worked hard and got their icicle lights hung on their new home then plugged them in; they lit up for a few seconds then they were off. After thinking that all the strands were faulty they did figure out that it was just one little burned out bulb. One little bulb equaled one big dismay.

Little lights, big trees.

Little boys, big trucks.

Little girls, big eyes.

Little packages, big dreams.

Little Babe, big salvation.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Accomplishments in Life

I wanted to share this story from the week Marie and I went to Tony's Grandmother's memorial. She wanted to be cremated, so after the family saw her for the last time her body was taken to the mortuary.

At the memorial, Ashlee quietly cuddled up beside Marie and then said, "Poor Gramma Lela, huh?" Marie said, "Yeah, poor Gramma Lela," then she pulled her closer under her arm. Ashlee was quiet, but kept looking up at Marie like she had more to say, then she said with a solemn, matter-of-fact gaze, "We burned her."

Kim said that it was hard to explain to the kids about cremation. They didn't seem to think that was something that should be done. She said that Ashlee reacted the strongest when she explained what cremation meant. Of course we all know that Lela is not there anymore, the life of her is where life continues. Yet, these hard facts related to death are hard to tell children about.

Lela "Adeline" S. Egbert, 82, (9/5/1924 - 11/13/2006), wanted her remains to be scattered in Santa Maria, California where she spent a lot of her young life. A fact I never knew about Lela was that she was a master seamstress and that she sewed a lot of the costumes for "The Fiddler on the Roof."

Memorial donations were directed by the family to go to the Children's Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center. The Children's Hospital includes the NICU at Providence Hospital where our very first grand baby Alexis Dustene spent the first two weeks of her life, struggling with a collapsed lung.

While I was reading Lela's and others obituaries it made me wonder what mine could say someday. Besides raising five wonderful kids I don't have many accomplishments under my belt to even be mentioned in an obituary and I am curious to see what it would read like. I even considered writing one for myself! I know, it's a depressing thing to think about, but it does have a way of setting my hearts desires aright to consider my own death.

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12

Friday, November 24, 2006

Burp! (excuse me)

Karla's beautiful table setting.

Ashlee's pie statement!

The progressive dinner went well yesterday and we played games until just about midnight. It was fun! Great food and great people always the makings for a very fun day. Ashlee's picture above said it all --for all of us ---when she totally enjoyed the pies I slaved over on Saturday! Karla shared her opinion of the desserts as she taste tested each one. "Melts in your mouth" to "not so sweet that you could not sit down and eat the whole pie if you wanted to" to "I think this one is my favorite...well...let me taste that again"

Kim prepared deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, Calli made bread with cheese and cucumbers, and Karla even brought over some of her family famous ham and cheese dip as we started the afternoon of at Kim and Tony's. (I forgot to take pictures.) Off to the DeLong's we all went for the Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the fixings, prepared by us all. Like we planned, we ended the day out at The Lake.

All afternoon --and like everyone else that was celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the USA, none of us could eat much of anything before we were just too full for another bite.

Here are some cards I purchased while out at the Crafts Festival last week. "Poppy Fields", "Help with the Mukluk", and "Fireweed, Alaskan Summer." They are prints from original watercolors by Marlene Anderson. I thought they were so cute! The fireweed painting is beautiful! I purchased her "Chickadees and Wildroses" notecards last year.

You can see more of her work at her website including limited edition reproductions, more notecards, quilted wall hangings, and even cross stitch patterns! Marlene Anderson

One sad thing... poor Marie is sick. I suspect strep throat, the back of her throat is all white. She will get tested tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Own "Patisserie"?

Mini Cranberry Meringue Pies

Sweet Potato Souffle Pie

Peach Pie
(My daughter bought frozen peaches!)

Nothing like Martha's but you can't say I didn't try!

So Far... So Good!

I have been busy in the kitchen all morning, well only after I got done watching Regis and Kelly. Their show has become a regular thing for me lately! I am even taking notes just in case they call me to participate in their A Go Go Grande!

Anyway, I have made the Mini Cranberry Meringue Pies, well half done, they are in the refrigerator now. Next step is the meringue topping. I started on the Sweet Potato Souffle Pie. Both recipes I found on Martha Stewart's website and I have included links to both recipes. I watched her make the Sweet Potato Pie on NBC's Today Show. First time I am using phyllo dough! I will let you know if the pies pass the family test.

Right now the milk and ginger are seeping. Lots of steps to make a pie but I am having fun. The mini cranberry pies, so far, are beautiful. The red color is festive. Martha used a little butane torch to brown her meringue but I am going the old fashioned route---broiler.

I had hoped to make a fresh peach pie and a fresh plum pie too but it never entered my mind that they would be out of season! I guess to be totally Martha Stewart I should have had them imported from somewhere warm! I will try to make something with frozen peaches instead... not quite Martha Stewart style, but hey... I'm trying!

Yesterday night we were up late setting up the arbor we made for Klint and Calli's wedding at the church. Rachel Parker will be getting married and using the arbor on Friday. It looked really nice set up in the new church. Our church is not a fancy church but was built with the idea of having fun activities in it during the time we are not worshipping. So it kind of looks like a gym in there but with the arbor and the decorations they will be using it is ready for a grand wedding event.

After all the work of hauling the arbor and setting it up we stopped at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the pies I am working on today. SO late at night and still there were so many shoppers. I don't feel rushed at all this year with the dinner, it's going to be fun doing a progressive dinner.

What's been cooking/baking in your kitchen so far? If you have not done any baking yet, you should! There's nothing like the sweet aroma from goodies baking in the oven to get you into the holiday mood!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Sad Fact About That Turkey

I should not even mention this so that we can continue on to our "happy" turkey day but.... the poor birds that are slaughtered each holiday season for us, it is so horrible to read about the abuses that go on in animal slaughter-houses.

I have a sick feeling as I read about all those poor turkeys and other food animals that live a very short and limited life.

Ten billion animals each year are slaughtered in the US.

I remember watching a t.v. show about this and the ugly truth about meat that we eat each day and the horrors that some of these animals live is something we should all be made aware of.

I can't even watch the videos found at this site concerning mistreatment of animals before they finally reach the optimal age of consumption. Factory Farming. The pictures are sobering enough.

I cannot eat veal, I refuse to eat veal!!!!

What is the solution to this topic? Stop eating meat? Don't we need meat to be healthy? Maybe not. Eat fish! I suppose there are abuses even in the fishing/clamming/oyster industries too. Why do people become cruel and abusive when they go into the business of raising meat for sale?

The abuses I have read about go on and on, even in reproducing turkeys! They cultivate such a big-breasted turkey, for us the consumers, that the poor tom turkeys cannot even breed normally! I am ready to give up eating turkey, chicken, beef, poor ducks that are force fed even to become FAT DUCKS?!!

All this information makes me physically sick. I know, I despise myself too ---for bringing this up right at Thanksgiving.

I don't believe that totally abstaining from eating meat is the answer. Eating meat will not end in this world. I, like you, strongly hate the abuses these animals endure waiting to be sent to the slaughterhouse. There are some people that have totally quit eating meat and even adopting animals and birds to save them from slaughter.

Could Mad Cow Disease and Avian Flu actually be judgements for the lack of humane treatment towards our food animals?

I think maybe if we buy turkeys that are normal in size and don't buy those big breasted, juicy turkeys, leave those premium turkeys in the freezers and buy the turkeys grown on natural farms. I am encouraging everyone to have dry turkey meat--it is delicious! Especially dry, tough turkey meat!

I don't want to buy your premium turkeys you premium turkey breeders, you--- turkeys!


This morning when I awakened And saw the sun above, I softly said, "Good morning, Lord, Bless everyone I love."

Right away I thought of you And said a loving prayer, That He would bless you specially, And keep you free from care.

I thought of all the happiness A day could hold in store, I wished it all for you because No one deserves it more.

I felt so warm and good inside, My heart was all aglow. I know! God heard my prayers for you, He hears them all, you know.

The poem was truly appreciated. Thanks Sandi in Texas! Have a beautiful day everyone.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Holiday Shopping Thought

Counting them all up on the fingers of my hands
...The fingers of my toes
(Fingers of my toes?)
Big families are fun
But big families
Make Christmas shopping

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good Memories

I enjoyed today very much. Marie, Karla, Calli and I went to Anchorage today to check out the Craft's Emporium being held at the William A. Eagan Civic and Convention Center. Two floors of crafts! Across the street in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, there were four more floors of crafts. It was fun to be together and interesting see all the handworks that have been created in the year since we were last here.

We walked and walked and then I got so hungry! Finally we stopped by Starbucks on Fifth Avenue for coffee and a goodie! Calli and I had a huge, chewy, gingerbread cookie and Marie and Karla had a very good cranberry treat. Not the same, but both had cranberries in them. I had hot chai and it was delicious!

Good memories were made today out Christmas shopping and then even dinner at Garcia's in Eagle River. We missed Kim though, she was not feeling well so she could not come with us.

Tony did a very good job giving the eulogy at his Grandmother's memorial which was held in her brothers vacant home on Friday. Many showed up to honor Lela. Tony shared stories about Lela that made us all laugh. Other friends and family also shared what she meant to them. Afterwards, we all ate together. I know this was a good time for Lela's family and I am glad I was able to go and listen to the good memories others have about her.

You will be missed, Lela.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One More Week

[My Dad, Senafont Shugak and my Mom, Vera during a Thanksgiving meal in Old Harbor.]

One week until Thanksgiving! I will take this time to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving day ---whatever you plan to do or not do and or where ever you plan to be or not be. God bless!

We plan to have a progressive Thanksgiving dinner with the kids. First we will stop over at Tony and Kim's and she will have appetizers. Then we will go to Chris and Karla's where Karla plans to have the main meal prepared. Then after we spend time there we all will end up here at the lake for desserts and table games. Probably after a full afternoon of eating we should play moving around games!

I have been looking at desserts to make and am excited about that. Martha Stewart was on the morning show on NBC and she always has such beautiful food. I thought I would try to make at least one of her beautiful pies.

Some of you will be traveling for TG and I hope you have a safe trip.

One memory I have about TG was the time Dad moved us all up from the village to Anchorage. With ten kids and living in a new place and in a new environment things were lots different. Looking back I have to say that Dad was very adventurous to move his whole family like he did! Even with the complications of a previously broken back, he managed to find a job and keep us fed and warm.

My younger sister Ruth said that when her teacher asked the whole room if everyone would have a turkey for TG she had told her she didn't think that we would have a turkey for "Turkey Day."

It was so cool because we ended up having TWO turkeys and all the fixings for a dinner for twelve show up at our door a few days before Thanksgiving. One from Ruth's class and one from the Church that we attended on Sundays. Without those donations we would not have had a turkey, but we would not have gone hungry either, because Dad worked hard to keep us from that, we just would have eaten something else.

Benevolence during the holiday seasons is such a good thing, not only the holidays but throughout the whole year.

Now living through the years I find that it is indeed more blessed to give...than to receive. Giving with thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


When someone dies -things change. We want things to remain the same but they don't. I remember feeling like we all moved up a notch or two when my Dad died in 1987. We seemed to move up in responsibility or something within our family. Could I could be hearing a spiritual conveyor belt that had us all moving closer to the end... movin' on down the line! [chugga-chugga-chugga]

My daughter Kim and her husband Tony are new to the grieving process with this close death in the family. Closing the book on someones life is hard. Preparation of the eulogy. Things we don't ever want to think about, but someone has to do it in the end.

Who gets what? What did she want you to have? Property left behind is now all up for grabs. One thing Kim mentioned that stands out in my mind when they returned to their Grandmother's home after the hospital. "All her things, they are nothing now. They were so important to her before death. There they were in the house... but they are nothing without her." This is all sad. Our treasures on Earth, after death they become nothing to us, and trouble for others.

There is a teaching that we should not lay up treasures on Earth, we should lay up treasures in Heaven. How do we lay up treasures in Heaven? We can't see them, yet there is a way to put treasures in Heaven. Someday, our treasures will be evident, earthly or heavenly. Where our treasures are, there is our heart. A big reminder to me that I need to learn how to build treasures in Heaven so that my heart longs to be there. This is something good to meditate on.

There was, once upon a time, a grand wedding coordinated by a King. The invited guests were not willing to come ---even after being coaxed. After dealing dreadfully with those self-important guests, the King said, "Go out into the highways, invite all that you see to my feast." So out they went. Many came, the good and the bad. The King walked in to see the guests and when he saw someone without a wedding garment on he went over and He asked him, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" His reply was inadequate, in fact he was speechless.

The King called for His bouncers to tie him up and then carry this person out and throw him into outter darkness. How do we put on a wedding garment so that we are not thrown out of the wedding feast? What is a wedding garment? This is another thing we should meditate on and study to know before death.

I am rambling with these thought provoking stories that are found in the Gospel of Matthew today. Questions that many have asked after Death has stopped by so close to home. -----Home?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hand Walkers

Well, I finally did the big switcheroo on this Blogger. I like it so far!

I wanted to mention today the NOVA program that will be on tonight on PBS! It looks so very interesting. "Family That Walks On All Fours." It will be interesting to see what the thoughts are on this. Click on the picture or this LINK to watch a preview.

I agree with Geneticist Sean Carroll's suggestion that this problem is related to a "very serious defect in their cerebellum, and they are compensating for that balance problem by walking with the aid of their hands." I definitely don't agree that it's due to resurfacing "ancient genes for quadrupedal-ism" that Turkish scientist Uner Tan suggested. Read more about it at PBS. This looks like it will be an interesting program.

Our Grandchildren are working on living without their Great-Gramma Lela, and especially Tony and Kim. They are remembering all the happy, funny stories about Lela. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts of them. AJ, the youngest of them has announced to his Mom and family, "There will be no more crying, everyone will be happy now." Today, Tony received a letter from his Grandfather in Pennsylvania, he wrote to send a picture of his wife, Tony's other Grandmother who also died this year. While looking at the picture Tony sadly said, "I lost both of my Grandmother's in one year." AJ quickly said, "OH WELL!"

How about that, Juneau was shut down due to snowfall!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Marcy said, "Fairbanks is not for woo-ses." I said, "I am a woos!"

My definition for woos is: a pansy. My definition for a pansy is: a woos.

Someone that just can't take much of that below zero cold, that's me. So why do I live in Alaska? I was born here. I was not born up here though I was born in the Southern, balmy, village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Dad used to say, "We found you on the beach, tangled up in the kelp."

This past weekend I decided to tag along with the Alaska Freedom Band up to Fairbanks to take part in the Fairbanks Native Church service. It was a blessing to be with that group of Christian's. Thanks Dave and Marcy for inviting the guys!

Some in the band were talking about having the stomache flu recently and now, we (Doug and I) are exposed to that bug so we have been washing our hands, I have even been limiting my intake of food----just in case I get that horrible bug!

Playing keep away with the flu bugs might be a hopeless cause but I am doing all that I can to make sure those bugs don't feel welcome here!

While we drove home from Fairbanks last night we encountered some snow and had a few scary moments trying to see after those big ol' semi-trucks flew on past us. The snow they blew all around totally obstructed our view and that was too scary. I was so thankful to get out of all that safely! All part of living in Alaska.

My Son-in-law's Grandmother Lela is in intensive care today and I am sad for their whole family. We are praying for you all, Kim and Tony, Lexie, Ashlee and AJ, may God be a comfort and strength to all of you whatever the outcome will be for her.

Kimmie just called me and my Grandchildren's dear Great-Gramma Lela just passed away. She was a kind woman and will be missed a lot by her family, especially by my grandchildren. Please pray for them. Kim and Tony spoke of her as being a strong and stubborn woman. She was a lifelong smoker and finally was able to successfully quit a few years ago but had continuing bad health related to that which just kept zapping her strength in the end.

I will miss Lela even though I did not know her much more than seeing her occasionally ---because of the Grandchildren we had in common and we both love. She always accepted our family as her own through Tony and Kim. May God bless all of her remaining family.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Helping Hearts with FBCO's

My family is back home and it's good. I miss them when they are gone, even though silence sometimes is very golden, silence sometimes can grow so loud it drowns out all the happiness it brought right at the beginning and then it just turns into loneliness. Happily so, for my husband likes me to miss him when he goes away. (Picture:Lexie, Ashlee, Calvin, Tucker, AJ & in front Gunner.)

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives or Faith-based and community organizations (FBCO). My knowledge of this program is very vague so I wanted to learn more about it today. I heard it mentioned during the Presidential Press Conference today. I have attended a FBCO conference that was a result of Faith-Based funds to Southcentral Alaska's - Family Wellness Warrior's Initiative.

Faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) have a long tradition of helping Americans in need and together represent an integral part of our nation’s social service network. Yet, all too often, the Federal government has put in place complicated rules and regulations preventing FBCOs from competing for funds on an equal footing with other organizations. President Bush believes that besides being inherently unfair, such an approach can waste tax-payer dollars and cut off the poor from successful programs. Federal funds should be awarded to the most effective organizations—whether public or private, large or small, faith-based or secular—and all must be allowed to compete on a level playing field.

"Beauty for Ashes" - was created, in part, through the heart desire of Linda Ross (who has already publicly shared her own personal struggles) to help other sexually abused women. BFA is a program designed to address the results that domestic violence, rape, spousal abuse, child abuse and other abuses create in the hearts and lives of so many Alaskan people. Hidden abuses that have wounded hearts, causing many to live long lives hiding in the shadows of those hurts. Shadows that have darkened every aspect of life and many times left untreated gets passed down to their own families.

Women and men were helped during these sessions though, sadly so, the power of evil permeates even those missions and organizations that were created to prevent abuse. A reminder to us all, that none of us are ever immune to falling into the enticements of the evil one. He is a crafty adversary and our bodies, so weak.

The FBCO program makes it easier than it has been in the past for not only secular programs but even private and religious organizations to receive government funding in order to run community social services, such as Beauty For Ashes. It is a good thing, President Bush.

Alan and Linda Ross began a similar program in Kodiak designed to help women, men and children to overcome the power of wounded hearts. It has an Alutiiq name (I cannot even pronounce): "Unguwatet Asiyturtut - "Hearts Going Towards Wellness." That is a beautiful name. Read more of it at Alan's blog.

I am watching Alaska According To Marie's blog for pictures from the trip to Kodiak and words about their visit with Alan and Linda Ross and the others at Kodiak Native New Life.

From this end and listening to their stories, "Destination" enjoyed the people, the meetings and the singing!

God bless Kodiak!

A Quote I Found:
Speech may sometimes do harm; but so may silence and a worse harm at that. No insult ever caused so deep a wound as a tenderness expected and withheld; and no spoken indiscretion was ever so bitterly regretted as the word that one did not speak. As read in Apples of Gold, Wings of Silver, Treasures of Silver - Jo Petty

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Statesmen: Producting Moral Character in the Citizenry: Iraq Less Violent than Washington, D.C.

Statesmen: Producting Moral Character in the Citizenry: Iraq Less Violent than Washington, D.C.

Iraq less violent than Washington, D.C.???

This is very a very interesting read and since it is a political day I thought I would post it here for you to see too. It came from my nephew's blog. He is pretty smart in politics, unlike myself.

In Alaska...

It's almost NOON!

Do you know where your VOTE is?

This is my little attempt at encouraging all who would rather remain away from the polls today, to get out and vote. Your vote does count, and if it didn't... your smile will make others happy today and that counts for a lot in my world.

Crossing my fingers and hoping that Sarah Palin is our next Governor!

I guess that is my public endorsement, if anyone cares to know!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


"Your family is such a huge blessing to all of us here in Kodiak."

I found that encouraging message in email this morning, from Alan Ross in Kodiak.

I just had to share this coolness!

If you are reading from Kodiak... you can make it to the evening meeting!

Klint and Kris and one of their biggest fans, Calli, have to come home today for work and school. Doug and Marie get to travel to Port Lions and come home on Tuesday, Lord willing.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


I watched PBS tonight and actually sent in a donation. I enjoyed listening to the inspiring stories that Dr. Wayne W. Dyer shared during his "Inspiration" presentation. He says "change the way that we think, the things that we think about will change." A new way to say "happiness is a choice." Dr. Dyer is a very good speaker and I enjoyed his talk very much.

We can choose to be happy in whatever situation life throws our way and indeed when we have a bright attitude things do go better or they are a lot easier to deal with. Dr. Dyer takes it a step farther and says that when we have the right thoughts, we change how things come to us. He stresses, I guess stresses would not be a good choice of a word, he highly encourages people to draw good things to oneself by expecting good things and not being surprised when good things come our way.

One of his guests was Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust. She has written a book about her struggle to live through that horrible time. 91 days in a small bathroom with seven other women. Her book "Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust" is one I was inspired to read tonight.

Hey! Somebody must be doing something right! Laura Bush got citrine for her 60th birthday. Happy Birthday to our beautiful First Lady!

My youngest brother, Mark. Always loved to have me read to him when he was young. I don't see him very often and we don't really live that far apart. One of the things Dr. Dyer spoke about tonight was the energy we give to those that have been troublesome in our lives by the good words we say about them. There is a tribe in South Africa that brings someone that has such troubles in front of all those that know him and love him and then speak about the good that he has done in life. Nothing negative, nothing to fix... just all positive words. Dyer said these meetings sometimes go on for days before they quit. I have been inspired to be more positive, at least in my own words about others.

I miss his great, humorous laugh. I am thinking good thoughts of you Mark. I love you!

UPDATE! Doug's finger has healed but it is a crooked finger now. Not much use in it, but we are still hoping that it will get stronger with use. Thanks for asking Connie!

UPDATE! The road back here did not get any more attention than the rocks that were dumped on it earlier this year. It still feels like we are driving out over a dry riverbed. City of Houston made a visit out here to shut us up, because nothing ever came from their grandiose talk. At least with the little bit of snow the bumps have been softened!

Grab, Run, Toss

The sun sets, a jet zooms off to a warm, sunny place.

The moon has already been up for a while.

Fluffed up little birds.

Once again I am in awe of these little birds! Each winter I watch them. Birds that stop by my birdfeeder in the summer are managing to keep warm in this awful, deep freeze!

I don't even want to open my door to the cold but my little dog never did learn how to go out and do his business without me tagging along. Every day, out we go, early in the morning, both of us. I ask him sometimes, "When are you going to get big and do this by yourself?" He gives me that comical sideways glance and seems to say, "Come on and stop yer bellyachin'!"

We have a routine going on with him lately. He steals Chevy's bones, dogfood or toys. Marie got Chewy a big bone when I was away and on the Houston/London trip. It was filled with marrow. The bone is too big for Chewy to get the last little bit of marrow out. He can't chomp through the thick bone and his tongue is too short to lick what is left! He can barely keep a grip on it when he carries it around in his mouth. He drops it and it makes a lot of racket hitting the tile floor.

I get tired of picking up that bone and setting it out of the way all day, so I will toss it out and hope that Chevy will crack it open and get that little treat out. Turns out it's too big even for Chevy! So Chewy continues to find it, grab it, and run with it.

Chevy will chew on it a while then get bored with it and leaves it right where we walk Chewy. Chewy finds it and after I have told him "No!" several times, he thinks he is being sneaky when he grabs it and runs lickety-split to the door. Like I won't notice this deviation from the usual trying to get him to come back inside with me and right now! He gives me that sideways glance, grabs the forbidden fruit bone then runs! I let him have his way for a while.

Each time this happens I giggle. He is so funny! So after a few more loud cracks on the tile floor, I toss it out again.

I asked myself what am I thinking I am getting away with when I try to grab at stuff I don't need cluttering up my life or my thoughts? Borrowing from tomorrows troubles. Worries. Fears. Desires for more than I need. Self-pity. Neglecting Bible study.

Over and over. I grab, I run, He picks up and He tosses.

Once again, I grab, I run with it-- I stumble, I pray ---- Lord, help me to resist evil.

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Friday, November 03, 2006

Frosty Days

frosty twigFrozen Summer. Ashlee's Frosty the SnowmanAshlee's Frosty the SnowMan's Face
Little Calvin said "hi" while he walked down the sidewalk and past this snowman; it is just his size.

A poem I just read:

A traveler crossed a frozen stream
In trembling fear one day;
Later a teamster drove across,
And whistled all the way.

Great faith and little faith alike
Were granted safe convoy;
One had the pangs of needless fear,
The other all the joy.

I have a few quiet days here, but I am going to noisy them up with the vacuum for a while! Have a great day all those that stopped by to read what I had to say today.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Costumes & Dinner

Here is a slideshow of our Grandchildren's costumes.

Every year Kim has created awesome costumes. She even sews! (Without a sewing machine too!) Karla's boys costumes were cool fun to see too.

Great job dressing up the kids, Girls, I loved seeing them and appreciated all your hard work.

I am so busy today. I decided to have the bunch up to the Lake for dinner. I asked my daughters to bring salad or carrot sticks/celery sticks.

I found a delicious blog yesterday while trying to find a crowd-size recipe for pumpkin pie. Our Patisserie. I have so much fresh pumpkin from the jack-o-lantern to use up. I found a recipe there and I already put a link to their blog on my list of Blogs that I Visit. I just made the whipped topping for their recipe named My Favorite Pumpkin Pie. Take a peek and drool. I made two pans of it today and also a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

I just made the dough for pizza and have to chop and slice the toppings and the mozzerella cheese is already grated. I will serve root beer floats too. Klint and Calli are bringing the ice cream and Kris got the root beer. Seems like a lot of work... but Doug is worth it!

It will be a fun evening. Most everything is done, 'cept maybe I should sweep the floor...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


It was a very good year.

1952 was a leap year.

In January Algeria had a sudden heavy snowfall. Algeria is in Africa and I was not aware that they even get snowfall. Must get it in the mountains.

February 6, 1952, three queens mourning the death of King George VI. Queen Elizabeth then became the reigning Queen in Britain.

Also in February, Florida got hit with their earliest recorded tropical storm on the 2nd, it was also the earliest formation of a tropical storm on record.

March 4, 1952 ---Ronald Reagan married Nancy Davis in a simple wedding ceremony near Los Angeles. William and Ardis Holden their only witnesses. Great website of Reagan information. United States Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan on the 20th.

April 23, there was a nuclear test done in the Nevada desert. A lot of stuff going on with peace treaties and diplomatic relations formed with Japan, not only with USA but China and West Germany.

May 3, Joseph O. Fletcher and William P. Benedict land a plane at the geographic North Pole, both of them U.S. lieutenant colonels.

June 5, Remains of a viking ship is found near Boston Massachusetts also on the 15th "The Diary of Anne Franks" was published.

July 19 - August 3, Summer Olympic Games are held in Helsinki. UFO's!! July 19 - July 26, Washington D.C. "buzzed" by several UFOs tracked on multiple radars. Jets were scrambled on several occasions and objects took evasive action only to return after the jets left the area. Read more about that interesting story. On the 21st a 7.5 earthquake at Tehachapi, California.

August 11, Jordanian King Talal is forced to resign due to mental illness, his son Hussein of Jordan becomes King.

September 2, first open heart surgery perfomed at the University of Minnesota by two doctors - Lillehei and Lewis. Thick smog in London, England on the 4th caused 4,000 fatalities!

October 8, three train crash killed 110 in Harrow, England.

November 1st the first hydrogen bomb "Mike" is successfully detonated in the Marshall Islands.

November 2, the first son of John and Jan VanWingerden was born. He was the little guy that had his first breaths of air on this day in 1952. He was born to change my life until I die. 1952 was so much a very good year for me! Happy Birthday Doug, I love you.

December 4, another killer smog descends on London, The Great Smog of 1952. This lasted until December 9 and caused or advanced the death of thousands. This began these modern enviromental movements: Clean Air Acts of 1956 and of 1968, also the City of London Act of 1954.

Most all of the above dated information was found using