Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A 65degreeF Christmas

This year, we have a Christmas Tree Forest and a snowman. (I'm pretty sure another snowman has joined the first since I took this photo. Various Christmas decorations appear now and then...depending on who's been going through the tote in the basement!)
(There are 8 trees in our forest!)
We frosted and decorated sugar cookies today. The frosting turned out a bit different than what we used on our Memorial Day cookies earlier this year. The consistency was off and the colors didn't "pull" as well. I also couldn't get the red to be, well, red! I haven't heard complaints from the three people who've tested them so far, so I think we'll be just fine. Most of these will be frozen and taken to the beach where we'll spend Christmas with Dan's parents.
I am really, really liking my new Christmas-y table runner and I'm so glad I went to the extra effort of making mitered corners. I was excited to find not only blue Christmas fabric, but blue Christmas fabric with Snoopy! It works well with my blue and white everyday dishes. (The Christmas china didn't make it out of storage this year.)

This next project is a total copy from Pinterest. Andy's fingerprints make for tall, skinny snowmen! I'm so glad he humored me and helped make this candle holder. Carolyn made one too, and they are my favorite things on the table this year.
Warning -- bad, out-of-focus picture! My camera battery was dying, but I wanted to share what we're giving our church leaders for Christmas again this year. I think this is year #5 that they're getting granola! Apparently homemade granola isn't common around here because it's often treated like the best thing since sliced bread. (My kids don't know what that phrase means...isn't that sad?!)
About three years ago, I asked the wife of one of the deacons if they liked the granola. She said she didn't know because her husband wouldn't let them open it. He said it worked better as a Christmas decoration! So now I give the jar of granola to her, wish her a Merry Christmas, and tell her to EAT the granola!

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Did you ever see such silliness in all your life? My boy made these wiggle eye glasses with scotch tape. He once wore them when we were in the back seat of a taxi in Quito. He "looked" at people passing by and got quite a few shocked expressions! One car that passed us slowed down to pass us again and take another look. Thankfully the taxi drive is a friend from church and the kids' BSF leader. He was a good sport about it.
But, Andy wasn't the only one who had fun with the glasses.
Little sister and two little cousins each had their turn at fun too.
What else do you do on a rainy day in Graham, Washington?

Sunday, November 10, 2013


My baby boy turned 14 last week. Seems like just a few weeks ago he was this size:
And now he's this size:
Here are more pictures for your enjoyment. I hope they give you a small glimpse
of our boy's sense of humor.


Happy Belated Birthday, Andy! We're so, so glad that God made you part of our family.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


by Carolyn
Yesterday I went with my friend to ride horses at El Refugio. They have two horses. The younger one is named Española. She is quite fast so my friend rides her. The older horse is a boy named Dakota. He is a very slow horse so I get to ride him. We rode in the mist on the mountain. Boy, did it get cold!  

We followed a trail that went very high. I had a lot of fun riding Dakota and being outside. Later we rode double on Española. Española galloped fast and because I was in the front, I got pretty squished! It was a good day and, even though my legs are sore today, I hope I can go again next week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dan's take...

Just thinking...
In BSF we are studying the Gospel of Matthew, and we have reached the Sermon on the Mount.
I am continually struck with is how much Jesus justly brings out the demands of God's good and perfect Law. And as I contemplate that good and perfect Law I see myself fall so short of His standards. And then I think about Grace, that undeserved favor of God. And I am so thankful, amazed and thankful that I can call God my God, not because I have followed perfectly the good and holy Law, but because His Grace, through the work of Jesus Christ, qualifies me (yes, even me) for Heaven.

Parque Bicentenario

I took the kids to the new park at the old airport in Quito last week. The park's official name is "Parque Bicentario" but we call it "The Old Airport Park." We had a great time walking around in the sunshine and fresh air. It is a very strange feeling, though, to walk on the old airstrip and stand on the white "X" in the middle of it. We kept an eye out for any stray airplanes, but didn't see any.
 (Note to Uncle Rand from CBR: Please don't land here!)
 Sometimes I have too much fun embarrassing Andy. Did you notice how he's not so short anymore?
 It's a new park with some old trees that are perfect for climbing.
But, the next time I go to the old airport park, I really want one of these
so I can cruise up and down the old airstrip.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

On My Table

About a year ago, I had a creative Lego centerpiece on our table for a number of days.
(We were on a Gilligan's Island kick at the time!) 

Shortly after that, I found this coffee bean and candle idea on Pinterest and copied it.
Today, these science project stalactites were on the table. We've enjoyed watching them grow for more than two weeks and decided that today they needed to go.

Stay tuned to see what appears next on our table!

For more fun family table time ideas, see my friend Sharon's blog.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

La Pampa

by Andy

Recently I have been helping with a ministry in an area called "La Pampa." I usually help with running the songs. I go there almost every Saturday to help out. It lasts from about eight in the morning until noon.

This summer I helped at the Vacation Bible School they had at the same location. A mission team from Washington state came and helped. I was the "Americans' Most Wanted" for translating!

Friday, October 4, 2013


The Jungle
by Carolyn

I have gone to the jungle twice now. In July I was there with a work team from the United States. The team helped build a Sunday school house in Arajuno. I helped set tables and cook in the kitchen. I was working with my old Sunday school teacher.

We got a bird in August and named him Matt. He is a blue parakeet and he really likes to sit on shoulders. Matt likes dad's shoulder the most, because of dad's whiskers. (He pulls them out!)

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Gutless Wonder

I should not have played chicken with the garage door yesterday. Lesson learned.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

New Telescope

by Andy

The Full Moon
Hello, I'm Andy. This is my first blog post. Recently I bought a 6in refractor telescope from a garage sale in the States. It was an adventure getting it back to Ecuador in our carry-on bags! These are some of the pictures I got through it. We have been really enjoying it. Actually I am enjoying it the most. It is fun to look at God's creation in this way. I also have a program that lets me look ahead and see what stars, planets, comets and other things we should be able see.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

1-2-3-4 Guinea Pig!

I just can't find the words to describe this part of our recent trip to Otavalo. I'll let the pictures tell you the story.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

First Broken Bone

by Carolyn

 Hi, my name is Carolyn. I am nine years old. This is my first blog post. I am the only person in my family to break a bone.  I was playing at a friend's house, my friend rolled a barrel, and I tried to stop it from rolling by jumping onto it. NOT smart! I fractured both bones in my right arm.
Thankfully my arm healed well like the doctor thought it would.
Next time I will tell you about my trip to the jungle! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Granola Class

Dan and the kiddos are in the jungle and someone took the memory card out of my camera. Today would have been a great day for pictures since I had a "granola making class" with three Ecuadorian friends. We finished the granola and moved on to chocolate chip cookies. They were so thrilled and obviously not in a hurry to leave, so we also made pizza! Hopefully the gals will be able to handle reading, measuring, and mixing on their own at home.

We had a great 2 months in the US. One big event was the wedding of Dan's niece.  
Dan officiated his niece's wedding.

 Andy (right) and his cousin were ushers and helped out with several other set-up jobs.

  Here I am with my nephew and niece (not the one who got married!).

 Carolyn wore a dress (!) and looked very cute and comfy.

We visited in Iowa and Washington and will share more pictures later. And hopefully someone gets some good pictures of the their jungle trip!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Boy

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A surprise visit...

from a special friend for my 40th birthday!