Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The View from Our Window

Timmy is here... sick with stomach flu - his grandmother has it also. We are trying to get well for Christmas. We were rocking in the sun room, and this is what I spotted out the window... we've seen one mature bald eagle flying around here a few times, but to see TWO mature bald eagles sitting in the trees below our house is amazing! One turned and looked right at me!!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Season’s Greetings!

We can sum up this past year in two words… “OH BABY!” We added three new babies to our family in 2009:

• Timothy Michael was born May 13th to Debbie’s niece, Jasmine.
• Owen Nicholas became Debbie’s newest cousin – born to Natalie, Darrell and Olivia Norton on June 23rd.
• Kelsey Lynn Robus became the newest addition to Greg’s side of the house on November 23rd… she was born to Greg’s nephew, John, and Leslie Robus in St. Louis.

All three babies are healthy and well and pure delights.

Jasmine is attending college at ASU-Heber Springs and working as a Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA) at one of our nursing homes. So while she is attending classes and working, we help with Timothy! He is at our house at least two afternoons a week, and sometimes overnight. We never dreamed that at this stage of our lives we would have all of the baby trappings – crib, high chair, car seat, playpen, stroller, and more… but we are having so much fun! We don’t see as much of Owen, because his family is so busy, and of course, we have yet to meet Kelsey Lynn in person – but we hope to meet her very soon!

Other than that, the weather was probably the big story of the year. We had two major ice storms in January and February. Then in the spring - and again in the fall, we had flooding. We were fortunate that we made it through all weather phenomena unscathed, but other family members and friends were not so lucky.

We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary in August. It seems like those years just flew by, and we are quite sure we have not changed since 1974… well, almost! Debbie’s grandmother, Polly, celebrated her 97th birthday in November and continues to live alone in her own home, for which we are thankful.

Greg’s mother, Elaine, traveled to Iowa in July to celebrate the 100th birthday of her Aunt Vivian Setterberg. About a month later, Aunt Vivian passed away. Shortly after that, Elaine’s brother, Donnie, succumbed to leukemia. So it has been a year of loss for her. However, she is doing well, and she has taken on a new “avocation” – dog sitting. She has about six families for whom she dog-sits when they travel, and she really enjoys her four-legged charges.

Greg still delivers meals on wheels, and Debbie is still writing daily devotionals, maintaining blogs, and writing for a website called We still go to auctions and garage sales and sell a few things on Etsy and eBay. We are grateful for good health and this “transition” time in our lives that enables us to help with the babies and the senior citizens!

As always, we are grateful for the gift of Jesus Christ, because without Him, nothing else would matter. In this season of remembrance, focus on Jesus. Make Him the star of your Christmas, and everything else will fall into place. We pray that each of you will be healthy and well this holiday and in the coming year!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Greg & Debbie

Timothy Michael

Owen Nicholas

Kelsey Lynn

Friday, December 04, 2009

Roaring - and Rare - Sight

Because of all of the heavy rainfall we had in 2009, including spring AND fall floods, Greers Ferry Lake is being drawn down to normal level. This is happening now, when crops are hopefully "in" - and before more rains occur. So yesterday morning at 8:00, the horn blew at the dam, and two gates were opened. This morning around 10:15, the roar increased, and we looked up and FOUR gates were open!

The gates have been opened for a few minutes about three times since we moved to the bluff, but never for very long. However, these are scheduled to be open - to some extent - for as much as a month, according to some information. The Corps of Engineers closely monitors the lake level, and the officials have a goal in mind for a suitable lake level, so they will know how long it will take to attain that. Several swim/launching/camping areas are presently under water, so I'm thinking it might take several weeks, at least, to drain down that much water. Meanwhile, I noticed on Facebook that several who live along the river are mighty unhappy and not excited about potential flooding in their direction - or at least an increase in the water level.

At any rate, it's made for some exciting photos on our end. This morning we went down to the power house and took some up closer and over to the JFK overlook for a few. Greg even shot some video. Greg's mother, Elaine, went with us. There are still two gates to go - will they open, too?!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving on the Bluff

We had a beautiful, crisp fall day for Thanksgiving this year. There were nine at our table, plus Timothy, who played in his Exersaucer and playpen while we ate. We had all the usual delicious dishes - roast turkey breast, cornbread dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes (with marshmallows, of course!), green beans, seven layer pea salad, cranberry chutney, hot rolls, rice and green chiles casserole, deviled eggs, and of course, desserts - pumpkin and pecan pies and Italian cream cake - YUM! Did I mention we were stuffed?! And in four weeks, we'll do it all again!

Over the weekend, the house went from being filled with autumn/harvest colors to a Christmas wonderland! Mom and Greg helped me... and Timothy was around to provide sideline entertainment and diversion! But it's all done... bring on the snow and Santa!!!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mam-ma Polly!

My grandmother will be 97 years old on November 5th. We all gathered at the hospital cafeteria today for a celebratory lunch. Everyone was there... my mom and Lee, my sister Suzanne and her husband Mike, Jasmine, Timothy and Joseph, and Greg and me. Mam-ma had a good time, lunch was tasty, and she even saw some old dear friends who came by to wish her a Happy Birthday. (As always, click on any length to see larger photo!)