Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Blessings from Baker City, Oregon

View through a frosted window hole of the Elkhorns
from Ginger's artroom window. 
December 3, 2010

            As I take pen to paper, it appears we have a good chance for a white Christmas!  It’s about 10 degrees outside, we had -7° the day before Thanksgiving, and we have about 6” of snow on the ground.  I went snowshoeing last week and our local ski hill opened yesterday.  Winter is here!
Jed ponders the volleyball score. 
            We are eagerly looking forward to many trips to the Boise airport in the next month as we gather family together for the holidays. 
            Jed is beginning the analysis and writing phase of his doctoral thesis through New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM.  He is filming the moon, when weather permits, to see if he can spot objects striking it.  That will be the research upon which his thesis is based.  He is still teaching labs, but has no more classes to take!  He is very active on a club volleyball team through the college.  His projected finish is May of 2012, and then the search for a professorship at a small college in the Northwest will commence!  
Luke takes off from Boise airport
for a year of YAV service.
            Luke is serving as a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) through the Presbyterian Church.  He is living in Tucson, Arizona, with four other YAVs.  Thank you all for your generosity during his fundraising.  He is working with an organization that helps with home repairs for seniors and low income households (CHRPA).  He is loving it!  He bikes nine miles to work, fixes roofs, digs ditches, jackhammers walls, and does whatever else is required before biking home.  Needless to say, he’s tired when he gets home!  The YAVs have one or two weekend activities and retreats during the month, so he isn’t bored.  Jed and Luke spent Thanksgiving with my mom and Randy’s family before heading to Phoenix for their annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra fix.  Both will be home for Christmas, although Luke will only be here for five days. 
With Grandma Rembold after services for Grandpa.
            You may have noticed that I only mentioned my mom was at Randy’s.  After years of declining health, my dad passed in June.  With the help of hospice, his passing was peaceful.  He has left a huge hole in our hearts that we are trying to fill with great memories.  Mom is doing well.  She is living in their apartment in Albuquerque, with visits from Ran’s family and Jed.  She is set up for email and her address is  We plan on visiting her at spring break and then bringing her to Baker in June and July….when it’s warm! 
            We are excited to have Ginger’s mom with us again at Christmas.  She continues to enjoy her church and little coastal town of Bandon, Oregon. 
Near Hyder, AK
            Ging and I continue to teach, she in middle school art and computers, while I enjoy my third graders.  We are doing our research on retirement options with the idea of maybe this year, but if not, definitely next year.  There are places to visit and volunteer opportunities we want to pursue!  We love our small town of Baker City and its access to God’s creation.  I am out hiking or snowshoeing most weekends, and Ginger is busy with art and church activities.  We try to make a point of running away for one weekend a month to reconnect and explore!  This summer we were on the coast, spent a couple weeks driving to and visiting our “nieces” and friends, the Swansons, in Fairbanks, Alaska, and then traveled back to Greenville for dad’s service. The latter was a beautiful time for family and memories.  In between the trips we squeezed in multiple weddings!  Jed was an attendant in 3 and Luke officiated 2! 
Rev Al's Sermon 12-5-2010
            One art project that has driven Ging all year started as a fluke on a Sunday last spring, when a visual picture of the sermon came to mind.  Now, over 100 drawings later, she is amassing quite a collection of "sermon drawings".  A bible study of Acts spurred a whole series on that book of the Bible.  She's going to do something with them eventually, but in the meantime we'll share the most recent Christmas picture.  
            We are happy! 
            We are reminded, once again, that God came to earth in the form of a tiny baby to bring love and change.    Christmas blessings to all.  Please keep in touch! 
            PS.  It's not Rick's fault the blog is days later than his original takes me awhile to take his writing and put it all into the computer!  :)
Family picture enroute home from coast in June - Ginger's favorite spot on Mt. Hood   (Blog of our travels this past year)    (Luke's Year as a YAV in Tucson)

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