Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Our first-born, Jeff, was born 45 years ago today! How can that be!

Our precious son is:
* Awesome Man of God
* Faithful husband to Caroline
* Loving father to Cole, Jordyn, Lauren, Katelyn and Allison
* Admired and loved brother to Jeremy and Brett
* Fun uncle to Moira, Audrey, Isabel, Maeve, and Maddie
* Passionate history teacher to high school students
* Respected colleague
* Wise leader of a life group
* Giver of time to youth prison ministry
 * Loved dearly by his parents

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man." - Proverbs 3:1-4

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Last Views of Christmas

Jeff, Caroline and their family began their Christmas season volunteering at the distribution center for the Children's Hunger Fund where they helped distribute 40,000 Beanie Babies to needy children.

Christmas Eve - After Christmas Eve service at church, Jeremy, Renee and Maddie hosted Jeff, Caroline, and family.

I think Maddie likes the 75 piece fruit, veggie, and assorted foods to go with her kitchen set.

A sleepy Christmas morning at the Jeff Dewey house!

An excited little girl has a new desk set.

Christmas morning at the Brett Dewey house.

Christmas Day dinner at our house.

Isabel completes our dinner by reading the book she wrote. Six chapters, very Tolkien-like. Such a creative, very expressive little miss!

Counting our many blessings with healthy and happy families!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sights of Christmas

Some Dewey Christmas sights...

Great fun watching Moira, Audrey, Isabel, and Maeve decorate their Christmas tree! They have a lovely tradition of writing a description of each new ornament along with Christmas memories, which are packed away at the end of Christmas season and then the next year they read them as they hang their ornaments.

This was Maddie's first year to hang her special ornaments from Grandma and Papa.

Maddie's visit to Santa.

Lots of cookie baking in our house! Two large cookie boxes flew to California, much to the delight of children and grandchildren there!

This was the first year that Maddie could really enjoy "Grandma's box". I also made gingerbread boys and girls this year because one of her favorite books is the "Gingerbread Man", a little Golden Book that I had saved and gave to her as a baby gift. It cost 39 cents, back "in the day".

Children's Christmas program at Hope Mennonite Church. Isabel sang her solo with the voice of an angel! So pure and sweet. I cried!

Audrey was Mary.

Grandparents' Day with Maeve at her school. Cookies, a craft, and a fun little program.

The girls spent the night and then decorated their Christmas cookies the next morning. How many times did I sweep the floor??? Too many to count. I think sprinkles were falling from the sky. It was all great fun.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2012

November in California - #5 - The End!

What a blessing to share Thanksgiving with our California kids. Jeff and Caroline have a wonderful ministry on Thanksgiving and Easter where they invite other families to join them - families who do not family in the area and who would otherwise be alone. Jeremy and Renee hosted her family. Since this day was also Maddie's second birthday, we went there later for dessert.

 Love time with Cole!

The men of Thanksgiving Day! No photos of the women. Guess we were too busy socializing or preparing food! :)

Father Daughter.


Tables stretched from dining room into the living room. We were 22 in all!  Jeff asked his Dad to share some thoughts, which he did on family and community.

Jeff read scripture and prayed.

And then the food line began. It was truly a "groaning table". Caroline did a wonderful job of planning the menu. Everyone brought LOTS of really flavorful and yummy food. There was so much left that everyone took home another meal for their family!

Mother Son.

Princess for the Day. Maddie had a great birthday celebration. She loved her little cupcake so much that she ate two of them!

Daddy helped her open her presents. She loved her little doctor's kit!

We left for home the next day. The first night we had arranged a meeting place in Utah to visit Rich's brother, Bob. What a lovely, sweet overnight visit with much conversation on what God is doing in our lives.

We met friends Carey and Nancy and Sally and Milford in Denver. They were spending the night at The Brown Palace Hotel in downtown Denver and we were able to join them there. It was beautifully decorated for Christmas, as you can tell from the hotel atrium. We had a lovely dinner with them at Sullivan's in downtown Denver!

The next morning we met for breakfast at the hotel. Lovely! These two couples are long-time friends, whom we met on our trip to Thailand in 2004. We always enjoy our visits with Carey and Nancy and it was great to reconnect with Milford and Sally.

As we were finishing our morning breakfast the hotel was setting up for the Sunday morning brunch. It is reported to be fabulous. Isn't this ice sculpture a gorgeous backdrop for the seafood station? You should have seen the desserts!!!

We completed our night with a stay with Carey and Nancy at their Ft. Collins home. We have such a great time playing Contract Gin, going for breakfast at Lucille's and eating dinner out. Conversation is abundant! They are dear friends, indeed!

After four weeks and 3672 miles we arrived safely home, just in time to start the Christmas season.

The day after we returned, I saw the girls getting off the school bus. I knocked on the window and they came running.

"You were gone so long!". "We missed you!" So sweet to get such precious hugs and love on our return!

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful trip with our dear family and friends. Thank you for your safety and protection! We are most blessed!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

November in California - #4

A lovely tradition at Oaks Christian School is "Grandparents Day". We've been blessed to attend three of these since moving from California. It's a lovely morning with a continental breakfast followed by a choral and instrumental program; one program for the high school, then we toured with high school grandchild and then repeated for the middle school. So this year we were able to visit and meet some of Lauren's freshman teachers and Katelyn's middle school teachers. It was wonderful!

It was a lovely, although a little hazy, day. The mountains in the background frame our sorely missed Conejo Valley!

 Lauren's algebra teacher - Miss Newcomb, a family friend. It was so nice to receive her really big hug!

Lauren and her English teacher, Mrs. Goeser.

Mrs. Smith is Lauren's honors biology teacher. Lo had just explained to us how the mitochondrial cell works. Sorry to say, I need another explanation - and - I had to look up the spelling!

The beautiful new student store.

It is really fun is to meet the kids' friends. Sweet girls!

A school visit is not complete without popping in to Jeff's classroom, where we were warmly welcomed. I love the quotes Jeff has on his walls. The one behind him says, "Don't populate a seat .. INHABIT THE ROOM".

Off to middle school to meet Katelyn's teachers. Mrs. Armstrong, Art.

This was a fun project depicting the student's family. Mom, Dad, little sister Allison holding the cat, Jordyn, Lauren. brother Cole on the right. Katelyn is second from right, doing the handstand. That's our girl! And the family dog in the front. Loved the colors and techniques.

History teacher Mr. Wolfson.

Katelyn and her Bible teacher, Miss Turner.

A visit to OCS and you'll quickly notice something very important, just how much the teachers love their students. Awesome!!

Another lovely day at OCS then to In 'n Out for lunch and home to make pumpkin pies. The next day was Thanksgiving!