Monday, November 26, 2007

Christian's team?

Here is a recent picture of my grandson, Christian. He looks just like his Daddy, except for the big eyes, which definately came from his Mom. As you can see he is sporting an Iowa State "jersey". That is his Grandma Kate's alma mater. His uncle Branden would like to see him in a Bear's outfit, whereas his uncle Jacob would prefer the San Diego Chargers. But as far as Steve, his Dad, is concerned he should be wearing nothing but Denver Bronco gear!!

This coming Saturday Steve and Christian will meet for the first time. I will be video-taping this exciting event and will post it on my next blog entry. Be watching!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Scuba diving in Costa Rica

"And God said, 'Let the water teem with living creatures....' So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems..." This verse in the book of Genesis takes on real meaning when you stare eyeball to eyeball with a 5 foot white-tipped shark or swim over a sting ray with a wing span of 8 feet! Although the water off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica is cold, a frigid 68 degrees the first day we dove, it is indeed "teeming" with God's creations. Because of the bone-chilling temps I wore three, yes I said THREE, wet suits. For those of you who have never been diving let me give you a little bit of information concerning wet suits. They are made from neoprene, synthetic rubber foam that is filled with thousands of tiny gas bubbles. Once you enter the water a thin layer of water enters your wet suit filling the space between your skin and the inner surface of the wet suit. This layer of water is then warmed to your body temperature and it helps to keep you warm throughout your dive. The optimum word in that last sentence is "helps". I can get cold in 80 degree water when I dive longer than 20 minutes. So I knew I had to add the third suit but then I encountered another problem. You see, since the suits trap air, I'd simply be a big bobber if I didn't actually add weights to my gear in order to sink to the bottom of the ocean floor. More suits equal more weight. I needed 24 pounds of added weight to sink. Once in the water that's poses no difficulty but with a pitching boat, getting either into or out of the stern is a definite test of patience and balance! (I managed with the help of an attentive husband and the helpful boat crew.) It was worth all the effort when I skimmed the ocean's bottom and witnessed an orange seahorse gently swaying with the current and a spotted octopus wrapping its graceful tentacles around an unsuspecting fish among a multitude of other sights. I have marveled at a sunset, been amazed at the brilliance of fire-red fall leaves, and sighed in wonder at the beauty of the mountains, but I've learned, that is only half of God's creation. The rest lies under the water and possesses its own kaleidescope of shapes, colors and swimming creatures. I would challenge each of you to consider scuba diving. Give it a try. You'll never regret it!

Besides enjoying the scuba diving adventures, Hunter and I joined the group riding a "zip-line" through the rain forest canopy. Hunter became a "modern" Tarzan flying upside down from one tree to another!

Less thrilling but equally enjoyable activities were playing cards with friends, feasting on gourmet cuisine, walking hand in hand along a black sand beach, and sitting on volcanic rock beside a cave watching the tide rush in and out and just sharing with one another.

Although Hunter and I live thousands of miles apart right now, God continues to provide us with special times together that bond us with unforgettable memories!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Christmas "Cheer" for Charlie Company

As the holiday season approaches we often begin to think of ways we can help others. This year Rebecca, my daughter and wife of Captain Stephen Thorpe, and Star, wife of Lt. Eric Bradley, are spear-heading a project to provide Christmas "stockings" for the men of Charlie Company. This is a group of approximately 167 infantry soldiers who are stationed in Iraq for 15 months. I am helping by sewing some of the 167 stockings, which will be filled with candy and various other items. We hope these gifts provide a bit of "cheer" on Christmas Day, as these men will be far away from their loved ones.
If you would like to give toward this project please e-mail or post a comment and I will respond with the information. Here is a photo of one of the completed "stockings". Thank-you for your generosity and willingness to remember our servicemen and women. Let us continue to pray for their safety; both physically and spiritually.