Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Luke during tree
New Nativity Quilt
JOY to the WORLD!  

      It is December 6 (well, it was when Rick started the letter!) and it is COLD!!!  After a low of -6°F, we grabbed Luke and headed for the mountains to cut our trees yesterday.  It’s beginning to look like Christmas with snow on the ground and a chill in the air!
Luke 'on the job' during a summer
work retreat at Westminster Woods
        As you may have noted above, Luke is back in Baker City!  He returned in May to take the Youth Director position at our church.  He is considering seminary with an emphasis in youth work and decided to gain a little experience first.  All parties seem to be pleased with the first six months.  His girlfriend, Kady, moved here in September and is working at DHS until March when she leaves for Indonesia with the Peace Corps.  Sure is fun having them in town. 
A quick Jed visit always
results in table tennis!
        Jed is working on finishing his doctoral thesis with a spring graduation date.  New Mexico Tech had an opening and asked him to teach an Intro to Mechanics class this fall.  So he added three lectures plus lab and recitation supervision of 70 students to his schedule.  He has incorporated his wit into the recitation problems he prepares and is enjoying himself.  He still is looking ahead to a professor position at a small college.  We await his Christmas visit as well as a visit from our exchange son, Jack, who is still studying in Denver, CO.
        We will travel to Portland to bring Grandma Mac to Baker City for the holidays.  She just turned 94 and still loves and beach and her church in Bandon, Oregon.  Grandma R was here for two months this summer, plus we saw her during our spring and fall trips.  Albuquerque continues to treat her well. 
Rick will tell you that 'mud' is
NOT his favorite job!
Tucson wasn't ALL work - this
was taken from our campsite!
   Our spring trip started with two weeks working in Tucson at the CHRPA organization Luke worked for during his YAV year.  It does community home repairs, so we put on metal roofs, installed air conditioners, and did a ton of plumbing repairs.  It tended to be dirty but humbling work as most jobs were to help very low income and/or disabled folks.  We then traveled to Hobbs, NM, for a two week Habitat for Humanity build.  There we installed fencing, insulation, sheetrock, and mud.  
     After Hobbs and since we were only four miles from the Texas border, it was time to visit San Antonio!  We had a fabulous time with our hosts Jim and Denise Schneider, Pastor Katy’s parents.  We also visited Port Aransas on the Gulf (near Corpus Christi) and Big Bend National Park. 
Habitat work with Team Bovais
in Coatsville, PA!
In the White Mts. of NH
 Our fall trip took on a different character.  Ginger had been promised a New England fall foliage trip, so off we went!  We traveled 9000 miles in the smaller tent trailer (better mileage!)  We fit in a week of Care-a-Vanner Habitat work in Mankato, MN, and a couple days in Coatsville, PA, with our good friend Don Bovais. But the rest of the trip was exploring, hiking, biking, and visiting friends and family and reveling in fall colors ALL THE WAY!  You can check out Ginger’s blog at for all the details.  We had a terrific time and so enjoyed all of you who hosted us!  THANK YOU!  We arrived home in mid-November just in time to get leaves raked, chimney cleaned, and cars ready for winter.  Rick even fit in a quick trip to Fairbanks, Alaska, to help Ginger’s brother with his preparations to move to Washington state, but was back in time for turkey! 
Elkhorn Mt. mural 
On top of an Elkhorn peak
        We stayed home for the summer!  Time to hit the trails hiking, climb some peaks, and enjoy time with friends and family.  Ginger also took some time to paint a mural on the back deck so we have mountain views 24/7 now!!  
        We are thoroughly enjoying this thing called RETIREMENT and look forward to continuing on the same path for the immediate future.  We already have three Habitat builds on the schedule for 2014!  We know we are blessed and we both try to make a habit of thanking God often while paying it forward whenever or wherever we can! 
        We pray that all of you have a blessed Christmas and new year to come.  Stay in touch and come visit Baker City (we might stay home to welcome you!) 

1704 Broadway Street                                                                              
Baker City, OR 97814
Rick 503-560-3269
Ginger  541-656-9622
(Please note: we discontinued our land line last January so these are our ONLY current phone numbers!)
And one last picture....we had a friend (Chuck Staten) take a 'family portrait' last December:
Yes, my hand is resting on the snow!  Brrr!
Luke, Jed, Ginger, Jack, Rick
December 27, 2013

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