Our Pastor’s Last Sunday

After 13 years of dedicated service to Yakima’s West Valley, Pastor Holland Lewis and his wife, Mary, completed their final Sunday service last Sunday.

Their grand finale included the appearance of their daughters, Crystal, Candace, and Cassandra, along with spouses and children. Crystal sang some solos and some ensembles with her mother and sisters.

As I understand, Pastor Lewis will stay in Yakima and begin a new ministry, of some sort. He hasn’t provided us many details, as I believe the details are uncertain to him, at this time.

Today, marks the first Sunday of our interim pastor, who’s name escapes me at the moment. I’ll find that out next week when we are back in Yakima following our weekend at Coeur d’alene.

I’ll miss Pastor Lewis, greatly. He’s an amazing man and an excellent teacher of the Word. He’s the same person outside of the church walls as he is inside.

So, Why Did We Decide to Move

When our oldest daughter left for college, the realization that Leslie and I would soon be living alone began to hit us. We were living in a 2000+ square foot four bedroom home on a third of an acre. I felt that it was more house than we would need, and way more landscaping than I was interested in caring for.

Three years before we decided to move, I refinanced our house with a variable rate mortgage that would stay level for 3 years before beginning to increase, knowing that we would sell before the interest rate began to climb. I knew that Leslie and Austin and I would be the only ones remaining at home at the end of that time period. Then we could downsize to a smaller home and a smaller property.

By the time we put our house on the market, three years later, I had decided that I was happy where I was. Leslie, on the other hand, wanted to buy land and build a house.

I put the house up at a price that I didn’t think would be acceptable in our market. That way, Leslie would feel that I was going along with her wishes, but in the end, we would stay put.

Seven days later, we were entertaining a full price offer.

We moved in with Mom and Dad while we purchased our property – a full acre – and begin to build a home that was several hundred square feet larger than the one we just sold. I’ll be mowing a lawn that is about 10,000 sq. ft. larger than the entire lot that we sold.

So much for planning to downsize!

Weekend Getaway

Of course, the day after I post a New Years Resolution about posting daily, I find myself traveling and at a location with limited internet availability.

This is my “quickie” attempt to make good on my resolution.

We are at a Worldmark resort for the weekend at Arrow Point, near Coeur d’alene, Idaho. Mom and Dad, my second daughter, Ashley and her boyfriend, Eric, and my son Austin have settled into a 3 bedroom condo.

We are here for R & R, so we have set some rules to be sure that it happens.

Rule 1: No schedules allowed.

Rule 2: Everyone takes turns cooking meals.

Rule 3: Whoever cooks doesn’t have to clean up.

That’s worked pretty well in the past so that one person doesn’t have to feel that they missed out on vacation.

My New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again – the time when we all make promises to ourselves that few of us will ever keep.

I quit making those promises to myself a long time ago for two reasons. First, I’m always so disappointed with myself when I don’t keep the promise. Second, I don’t have a whole lot of things in my life that I want to change.

Here’s someone in my camp on that philosophy.

I’ve never been big on (New Years resolutions), and haven’t really made a list of them for the past couple of years. Far too often, people around me make their customary (New Years resolutions) that they never could keep. To me, (New Years resolutions)…

So, who else is making New Year’s resolutions?

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Now It’s Time For My New Years Resolutions

1. I will write a blog post every day – Recommended by Jack Humphrey.

2. I will unload the dishwasher every morning – I have a hidden agenda on this one.

3. I will live a “more healthy” lifestyle. My doc says I need to take omega-3 tablets and cut down on the sweets. I’ll continue to take the anti-oxidants that have helped me to avoid sickness for the past two years. I’ll walk more and eat more green stuff. That’s enough for starters.

4. I’m gonna put in a killer garden this spring and maintain it throughout the growing season.

I’m sure there are others that I should add here, but really, blogging, sex, and food is what I think about most these days.

Merry Christmas to Our Friends and Family

I wrote this post almost a year ago, but never published it. I went a long time without blogging and am just getting back into the swing of things. I found this in my “incomplete drafts” folder so I decided to publish it, now.

Christmas 2007

Yes, we are late but this year we actually got this sent out. Usually, we procrastinate writing this letter until it’s too late and then simply don’t do it.

For the first time ever, we have a good excuse for being late. We have spent the past several months building and moving into our new house.

Our 2300 Sq. Ft. home sits on one acre in the East Valley area of Yakima. We enjoy our view of the Ahtanum Ridge and the valley below.

We have much work ahead of us to complete several projects – mostly the landscaping, a deck on the rear of the house, and an adjacent garage/shop that Don has dreamed of for many, many years.

We moved into our home just in time for our annual family Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. Joining us were all three of our children, Mom and Dad Wilson, Ted and Debbi and family, Dave and Vickie and family, Dennis and Shenna and family, and Alyssa’s boyfriend, Daniel.

Alyssa is living in Nampa, ID, sharing a house with four of her friends that she met while attending Northwest Nazarene University. She graduated this past May from the nursing program at NNU and is now preparing to get her masters degree so that she can become a school teacher. She spends most of her spare time with Daniel.

Ashley is attending Yakima Valley Community College and working at The Coldstone Creamery. She isn’t clear, yet, as to what her major career emphasis will be, but has plenty of time to decide. She just purchased a Siberian Husky puppy that she has named Kaiyah, who has quickly become a beloved member of our family.

When Austin isn’t working on his “homeschool” work, he’s playing xbox or computer games. Kart racing is out of season, and we’re trying to decide if we should race again next summer or if we should sell the karts and get some dirt bikes to ride around the surrounding hillside. Austin is pictured, here with Ashley’s puppy, Kaiyah.

We wish you all the merriest of Christmas seasons. May God bless you, richly, as you celebrate the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

Don and Leslie Wilson

Alyssa, Ashley, Austin

Now, I’m even late for Christmas 2008, so I think I’ll add those details, now.

Christmas 2008

We celebrated Jesus birth in the traditional manner – by gathering with all our family and eating lots of food. Hey, we prayed before each meal, alright?!

The traditional soup kitchen meal at our home preceded the Christmas Eve celebration at our church. Then we followed up with the opening of gifts. We were joined for the evening by Mom and Dad, Ted and Debbie and thier 3, Vickie and Dave and their 2, Dennis and Shenna and their 3, and finally, Leslie and I and our 3 plus Alyssa’s boyfriend, Casey, Ashley’s boyfriend, Eric, and Eric’s brother Ryan……whew! Soup is all we can afford.

Austin has his driving permit so he’s learning to drive more than just a racing kart. He attends East Valley High School and is active in they youth group at West Valley Church of the Nazarene.

Ashley is attending Central Washington University, my dad’s and my alma mater. It’s nice to have her close enough to see her fairly frequently. I’ve already mentioned her boyfriend, Eric, who is also attending CWU and is an intern at the local CMA Church.

Alyssa works at a child care center in Nampa, while preparing to enter a master’s of education program at Northwest Nazarene University. She is dating Casey who is the Pastor of the Children’s Ministries at Valley Shepard Church of the Nazarene in Meridian, ID.

Leslie still cuts hair, I still collect payments from apple sales, and we both spend the rest of our time working in, on, and around our house. We spent the better part of last year putting in the irrigation and planting our lawn.

As before, we wish you all the merriest of Christmas seasons. May God bless you, richly, as you celebrate the birth of his son, Jesus Christ.

Don and Leslie Wilson
Alyssa, Ashley, Austin

New Pantry Door Rack

pantry-door-rackWe were getting a little cluttered in our pantry and needed to do something about it. This had been on my honey-do list for long enough.

On Saturday, I made the 10 mile trek to Home Depot to purchase a couple door racks to install. After arriving back at the homestead and preparing to get ‘er done, I found that the included hardware didn’t include the proper fasteners for hollow doors.

That left me with two options – either run back into town for hollow door anchors, or install solid core doors.

Since we needed some other things at Shopko, anyway, we stopped by Lowes for the hollow door anchors.

We had already arranged to meet some friends for dinner Saturday evening, so I had to put off the installation until Sunday afternoon.

I can do most of the fix-it jobs around the house, but what takes a professional 10 minutes will usually take me 2 hours, bloodied knuckles, and some silently muttered language that I’m not very proud of.

This task was no different. In fact, my daughter, Ashley, felt sorry for me and gave me her assistance.

Well, you can see the results in the photo above. Not bad, for me. Functional – that was my purpose.

Kaiyah and Her Block of Ice

When the temperature around our home reached single digits, we had to make it a point to give Kaiyah, our Siberian Husky fresh water several times each day. Usually we just add a layer of fresh water on top of the ice in her bowl until it reaches several inches thick. Then we pound out the ice and start over.

I usually knock the ice out of her bowl somewhere outside her kennel, but a few nights ago, someone left the big block of ice inside her kennel. This block was about 12 inches in diameter and at least 3 inches thick. I’d say it would have to have been at least 5-10 pounds of ice. More on this later.

I got to bed a little late one night. I needed to be up around 4:00 a.m. the next morning, so 11:00 is way to late to settle down at night. I was very tired, so sleep came to me swiftly.

I awoke about 1:30 a.m. to the sound of Kaiyah whining. I was annoyed at being awaken, but chose to ignore her and attempt to get back to sleep.

The whining continued. Around 2:30, I climbed angrily out of bed and began to dress. My wife stopped me and convinced me that going out would only reinforce her whining, as she would know that if she whines long enough, she will get what she wants. It was likely that a coyote was hanging around and Kaiyah just wanted to go play.

Finally, around 3:30, after continued whining, I got up and went to the other end of the house and curled up on a couch to get a brief nap before I had to get up and around.

I overslept and was a little late for work, therefore, I was in a big hurry and wasn’t able to tend to Kaiyah before leaving.

Around 8:00, Leslie called me from home and exclaimed, “You won’t believe what happened to Kaiyah!”

All kinds of horrible thoughts bounced around in my head. I replied, “Oh no, what’s wrong?”

She told me this story….

Leslie walked out the garage door to tend to Kaiyah. Kaiyah sat and looked at Leslie without moving.

That is highly unusual. Kaiyah is pretty high strung and always is on her hind legs, jumping up and down in her kennel when people come around…..but this time, Kaiyah just sat.

Leslie asked, “What’s wrong, Kaiyah.”

Kaiyah sat and looked.

Again, Leslie asked, “What’s wrong, Kaiyah.”

Slowly, Kaiyah began to stand.

It was at that moment, that Leslie saw that the big block of ice was stuck to Kaiyah’s butt. No wonder she was whining all night! Who wouldn’t whine if they had a 10 pound block of ice stuck to their butt.

Leslie slowly helped Kaiyah into the garage and began to pour warm water over the ice to get it to release it’s grip on Kaiyah’s butt hairs.

When it finally fell off, Kaiyah immediately became herself again, and jumped up and down, excitedly asking for food.

Does this make us bad parents?

I’m so sorry – we have no photos.

Thirty-Five Below Zero

The other day, it got down to 3 degrees F, here. At the same time, the wind was gusting at our house up to about 30 mph. I was outside in that for a little while, then hurried back in the house.

We worried about our dog, who lives outside in a kennel next to our house. Siberian Huskies are made for the cold, but how cold can they handle for extended periods of time. A quick internet search revealed that they are good down to -50 or -60 degrees F.

I ran across this wind chill table. According to the table, we reached 30-35 degrees below zero. It felt like it!