Category Archives: Holidays & Events


I’m lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where we have been

Lucky to be coming home again

Lucky we’re in love in every way

Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed

Lucky to be coming home someday

June 21, 1997

Lucky Blessed together – fifteen years!

Lyrics: Jason Mraz, “Lucky”

Words from (and for) a PT Veteran

My grandfather served on a PT boat during WWII. A few years ago my mother asked my grandfather to write up some of his stories, and last year she had copies of A PT Sailor’s Story spiral bound for all of us. A few of his concluding words:

Our Squadron 7 was composed of some pretty good men. Their record was 132 sinkings, 3 probable, 111 damaged; fuel and ammo dumps destroyed. Eleven men were killed; 24 were wounded; 1 boat was lost to enemy gunfire. . . . Many are gone now, but there have not been many days since our war time experience that I have not thought of those times.

Generally I would rather not think too much about war and the military, because they are uncomfortable to me. But we can’t forget. My grandfather has not forgotten. And he is proud–I have a fresh memory of him just a few weeks ago telling Aaron about his tattered flag displayed in their home. And we are proud of him. Because of him and others, we have an amazing America for his great-grandkids to grow up in.

Thank you for your service, Papa. (I know you’re reading this, which is pretty awesome!)

Thank you to all who have served, and to their families.

On Her 4th Year of Christmas

AJ was awesome fun at Christmas this year. Four is the best (so far anyway) because she makes this face for every single amazing, wonderful, unbelievable, ohhhhhhh (inhale) my goodness! present:

oh my

She and her almost-three cousin were also great fun together. They have opposite personalities–drama girl wants the next present immediately, thinker boy wants to sit and examine the first one for a while–but know how to come together for a good ol’ fashioned paper leaf throw or horseback Papa ride.

paper leaves

papa horse 2

Could these grandparents be any happier?

Christmas Eve was a nice day with all three of us plus Chatterbox (closed dorm refuge at our house during the holidays) hanging around home. We went to a big local church in the evening and then did our family traditions: AJ gets to open an ornament and new pajamas, and Aaron reads ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.Wetzels Xmas eve 1 new jams 1

AJ Shaylala reading Twas

Christmas morning the cookies were gone (hmm) and the stockings were full. AJ questioned everyone thoroughly as to whether we had heard Santa while we were sleeping. We had a nice breakfast and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus. AJ got a new doll, a tea set, and a Wii game. We all got our stockings filled mostly with sugary delights and toothbrushes and such to counteract them. “Hygiene for the Holidays!”

Then we went over to Aaron’s parents’ house to gather with his brothers and later on aunts and uncles and so on. Traditions have changed in the last few years with the passing of both grandparents, but we seem to be settling into new ones. We do just a few gifts but plenty of food all day, and lots of just hanging out around the table or playing Wii.

AJ and Grandma M Xmas 2010

A girl and her grandma!

It was a long day for AJ but she kept her energy going until the second she was in bed with lights out. The next day we had church and then a big annual Christmas party with friends and she was a champ all through that too. Monday was recovery day! But also get the tree out day, because it was the worst needle-shedder ever. We have a nice cozy new arrangement and oh the SHINY of our new TV which was our gift to ourselves from now to infinity and beyond forever and ever amen. If Aaron gets to watch the Lions win their 4th in a row on it tomorrow he may just about keel over with joy!

We’ve had a very nice New Year’s weekend too, filled with many wonderful friends and foods. I think I am in denial about going back to work 5 days next week and that Aaron leaves for his school intercultural immersion trip/class pre-dawn Wednesday. He will be in Tucson/Mexico for 10 days with a border ministry. But first we have to squeeze in just a bit more family and friends togetherness–and can I squeeze in just a little more of that good food too?

Happy new year!

Where to Begin?

Catch-up post? It’s gotta be bullets, baby.

Meanwhile, in our missing month(s)…

  • Fall semester was busy, busy, busy for Aaron of course. Papers rather than exams this time, but still lots of memorizing for Hebrew and reading for everything. He is still an intern at our church and preached once this fall. We are loving our small group there too. He finished his semester last Friday.
  • We took Chatterbox to see Harry Potter 7.1 and while Aaron may have left depressed, we came home so hyped up on HP that we both chattered all night weekend. Narnia next!
  • We had Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, my grandma, and my aunt. The food and hangout time was good. The Lions were not.
  • That Sunday afternoon I fell down the steps so spectacularly that I flipped/rolled around the corner–and sprained my ankle. It hurt so bad after small group that I went to the ER because I thought I’d broken a bone in my foot. And because it’s not Thanksgiving weekend until somebody goes to the ER. It did rapidly improve so I could drive again by Tuesday, thankfully.
  • We killed a Christmas tree.
  • We got 15 inches of snow in 36 hours. Five miles away they had almost zero. Lake effect is for realz, y’all. I stayed home and watched the snow fall and listened to the Christmas tree dying.
  • AJ had a birthday! FORE–look out, she’s four! Our celebrations were low key, but I did manage a kitty cake, and she scored plenty of gifts. She is all about the girlyness right now; accordingly, the number of sequins and dolls in our house has increased by a factor of ten in the last two weeks.
  • I got my first ever tooth filling–for the record NOT for lack of (near obsessive) teeth brushing but started from a cracked tooth. Considering my history of difficulty staying conscious in the presence of needles…it could have been much worse.
  • Christmas came early! My brother, sister-in-law, and two-going-on-tenured-professor-of-palentology-and-vocabulary nephew visited last weekend. We all gathered at my parents’ house for the time honored traditions of stockings, cookie decorating, too many gifts (mom), too much food (me), trying to teach old people new technology, and family photo fails. It was so nice to just hang out, although I wasn’t feeling great with a cough/cold and it was way too short.
  • We also got to see my cousin from California, finally meet her husband, and share in the miracle of watching the Lions winning a road game. Come to think of it, the last time that happened was the last time I saw my cousin…2007! We’d better get together more often.

That’s it? I know. I was expecting more too.

But you never know what a few days off and a new year will bring. Blog resurrection? Well, maybe a couple photo posts, anyway.

Merry pre-Christmas week!