Saturday, December 30, 2006

Update on Gabriel

Gabriel came home from the hospital yesturday and is doing okay. He does have pneumonia though. They gave Hannah medication that she suppose to give him and he is going back to the doctor for a check up really soon. Praise the Lord that he is home though and can rest and so can Hannah. She did not sleep very well at the hospital and now she has a cold. So thank you for praying and keep praying that he will get completely better! :)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Please Pray!

I just want to let everyone know that little Gabriel is in the hospital. They are not sure what is wrong but he is dehydrated and is not able to keep any food down. He did have the flu a couple weeks ago and aspirated some throw-up which then got stuck in his bronchial tubes and became an infection. They put him on steroids and a nebulizer. Yesterday he slept quite a bit and couldn't eat anything. He had a doctors appointment today and the doctor said that he was very dehydrated and sent him to the hospital. I have not talked to Hannah but she asked her sister to call me since she cannot use her cell phone in the hospital. I plan on going to the hospital tomorrow. He is in the hospital on the army base and Hannah does not have to worry about any hospital bills because he is completely covered! So please pray for sweet little Gabriel! Pray that the doctors will be able to find out what is wrong and be able to treat it quickly. Pray for Hannah for God to give her peace and comfort. Thank you!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


On the evening of Christmas Eve we had a candlelight service at church. We do this every year whether or not Christmas Eve happens to fall on a Sunday. We enjoyed Christmas Hymns and a chalk drawing done by Pastor Mark, which he also does every year. He also spoke about the birth of Christ and why Christ humbled Himself to be a lowly baby so that the world through Him might have salvation through His death and resurrection.

Also around Christmas time a lot of students who have gone off to college come back home for the holidays. My good friend Elizabeth Christensen and her husband came from Moscow, Idaho to be with her parents and siblings. She moved to Idaho to go the the state college there and met Tim who she has now been married to for a year and a half. She is now student teaching elementary school for her final year of college and Tim is studying to be a farmer. I was so happy to see her and I hope to visit her sometime soon. She suggested that Hannah and I take a little road trip over there for a weekend sometime. It is only a five hour drive, and a gorgeous one at that. Right now the passes have lots of snow we will probably try later on closer to spring.

Daisy had slept at my parent's house so she could open the stocking my mom had for her as soon as she woke up. She got up at 6:55am. My mom told her that she couldn't get up before 6am. We didn't have a time restraint when we were kids but we just had to make sure that we did not wake our parents up. I remember when my brother I were that age. He would wake up at 4am, go get our stockings, come into my room and wake me up so we could open our stockings together. We would sit on my bed enjoying the goodies that were inside. Then we would stuff everything back in and try to go back to bed until our parents woke up.

Christmas morning Rue and I got up and brewed a pot of coffee. We packed all the presents that were under our tree into a box and headed over to my parent's. My mom and dad served a breakfast of venison sausage (shot by my brother's best friend Vincent on a hunting expedition), eggs and pancakes. I had meant to bring over a box of satsuma oranges to go along with breakfast but unfortunately I forget them. My mom makes the best pancakes and all she uses is the Krusteaz mix, but they are the best pancakes I have ever tasted! I don't know what she does differently. She says that it has to do with the pan you use and the right amount of heat.

After breakfast we all sat down and Rue read from Luke 2, one of the passages of the birth of Christ. My dad prayed afterwards.

Then came presents. Daisy played Santa Claus and passed out the presents to each person. Whoever wears the Santa Claus hat gets the job. Some of the funniest gifts had to be what my mom gave my dad. He had told her that all he wanted for Christmas was money. The first gift he opened was a can of tomato sauce with a check wrapped around it. Next he opened a box of scallop potatoes with a check placed on top. And lastly he opened a chunk of wood with, of course, a check. I'd say she did a very good job of disguising the money.

I also gave Ben a very dorky gift just for the fun of it. It was a little air pump with long skinny balloons to make balloon animals with. The only problem was the balloons were very cheap and would pop at the slightest touch. So Ben found that he could attach them to the end of the pump, blow them up, and then let them go like a rocket. We got pretty silly and had a good laugh.

Ben has been dying to get back to Alaska and he is planning on going back this next year and hoping to live in Nome this time. I decided to get him a special shirt that says exactly what he feels. "I'd rather be in Alaska"

Daisy received lots of fun stuff but one of her favorites was a Fly Journal. It is an electronic journal that helps give kids ideas to write about. Daisy loves writing and so was very excited. But alas Rue did not know that the special electronic pen that says the ideas was not included with the journal! So yesturday he braved the after Christmas shopping crowd and went to try and find one. But every place he looked were all out and would not be getting anymore in. The next place he plans on looking for one is online. Let's just hope it is not too pricey!

And then of course my hubby gave me what I have been wanting for a while now, a digital camcorder! It records onto mini DVD's and then I can put them into any DVD player and watch them. I can also put them into the computer and edit them. It takes still photos but you can only do one at a time so I think I will stick with my trusty digital camera for those. It is kind of complicated to learn how to operate, but I am getting the basics down and reading the manual. So be looking for new and improved family videos on my blog!! :)

Later on in the day Rue and I headed home so I could start to get ready for Christmas dinner which was to be held at our house. My parents and I bought a honey baked ham. I also made sweet potato casserole, and broccoli. My mom made scallop potatoes, rolls and pumpkin pie. Her rolls are positively magnificant! But just like the pancakes she makes them from store bought frozen dough. And everyone who has had her rolls all say that her's are the best! Maybe my mom just has a special touch that puts something extra delicious into the food she makes. At around 4 pm everyone came over and we enjoyed a yummy Christmas dinner. I used the special Christmas dishes, for the first time, my best friend Hannah bought me right before we got married. But sadly my mom became very sick and had to go home early. We are not sure what it was but she was feeling pretty bad. My brother took her home and then came back. We watched "Pirates of the Carribean 2" while we had dessert. It was a bummer that my mom could not be there to enjoy it with us!

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas together! This is one for the memory books!! :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

"For there is born to you this day, in the City of David, a Savior Who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Dannells Family Gathering

Last week (December 14th-18th) my sister-in-law Ruhiyyih came for a short visit. This was also the weekend that we celebrated George and Bonita's 30th wedding anniversary. We had a family gathering on Thursday the 14th. We enjoyed lots of great food Bonita put together, but most importantly we had a great time visiting with family.

Here some video of the evening!

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Storm of 2006!

Here is just a little taste of the damage done by the storm on December 14th and 15th!

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Lights Are Out!

Just to let everyone know we are without power! I am writing this post to you from my parent's house because they have a wood stove and a generator, but only a small one. So we had to unplug the freezer and then plug the cord into the computer so we could all check our e-mail real quick. Our power went out on Thursday night at 10:30pm and has yet to come back on. There were trees down on lots of powerlines near our house so it may be a while before we have power again. I have taken pictures and some video but I will have to wait to show them to you until I get home to our computer. I also have video of a family get together we had at George and Bonita's on Thursday evening. Ruhiyyih is home for a visit from Washington DC and we had a really fun time with everyone there. So until then... :)

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Last night we celebrated Gabriel's first birthday. Hannah had her family and us over for cake and ice cream. She just bought a new house on this side of the bridge in Gig Harbor so she could be closer to her family and church. We had a great time of visiting and watching Gabriel play and eat a piece of his chocolate birthday cake. His cousin Levi came as well, they are the same age, and they dug in the toy box together and crawled all over the place. They are most likely going to be best buds romping around together as they grow up.

Gabriel's first birthday is something we all wish Gabe could have seen. But we know Gabriel's Papa was very proud of him. God sees little Gabriel and is watching over him and Hannah. Happy birthday Gabriel, we love you tons and tons!! :)

YUM! Chocolate cake! He didn't seem to enjoy the frosting being stuck to his fingers though. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Flathead Valley, Montana

I wanted to share this beautiful picture my mother-in-law Bonita took while she was visiting her sister Bonnie and her family. They live in the Flathead Valley in Montana. She enjoyed afternoon walks through the snow and afterwards enjoyed coffee tucked all cozy into the house you see in the picture. Don't you just want to step into the picture on the screen? It's scenes like this that make me wish a picture could transport me to a different place in the blink of an eye just like in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Crispy Roast Chicken and Potatoes

I absolutely love the magazine Cook's Country. It is from the creators of America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated magazine. They test out different recipes and different ways to make those recipes. They find the results that turn out the best and then share it in the magazine.

In a recent issue I came across an article written to help answer a reader's question: "I love the idea of roasting a chicken together with potatoes, but how do you get the chicken really crispy while keeping the potatoes from getting really greasy?"

In the Test Kitchen they found a way to roast a whole chicken without the breast meat overcooking. Preheating the oven to 475 degrees they placed the chicken on its side with one wing facing up on a rack over a roasting pan and roasted it for 15 minutes. Then they turned the chicken to its other side and roasted it for another 15 minutes. Then for the last 20 minutes or so they turned the chicken so the legs were on top and finished roasting. This caused the breast meat to come out perfectly and the skin to turn out crispy. But for the chicken to come out extra crispy one of the chefs decided to poke holes all over the uncooked chicken then make a mixture of salt and cornstarch. This was then rubbed all over the chicken evenly. Then the chicken was roasted in the exact same way as before. The cornstarch caused the fat under the skin to render and created an extra-crispy coating and the meat was moist and tender.

Instead of just throwing the potatoes in the bottom of the roasting pan they tried a different method. They lined the roasting pan with foil and for the first two-fifteen minute sessions of cooking they allowed the juices from the chicken to fall into the foil. Then they pulled out the chicken and pulled out the foil and then added the potatoes to the pan. This made it so the potatoes didn't get all soggy and greasy from the chicken fat.

I decided to try this recipe. I have only roasted one whole chicken since we have been married and I really wanted to continue practicing. The chicken came out so crispy and the meat was so moist and tender. Even the breast meat was so juicy. The potatoes were so scrumptious. I thought I would need to add seasoning to them even though the recipe did not call for it. They did not need any extra seasoning. I also included some steamed broccoli to add a nice healthy vegetable to the meal. I can tell you this meal was an A+ with my little family! Here is the recipe!

Crispy Roast Chicken
and Potatoes

Serves 4

If you have it, a nonstick roasting pan works best here. If using a chicken larger than 4 pounds, the oven time will need to be lengthened slightly.

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), giblets discarded, skin patted dry with paper towels
2 pounds small red potatoes , scrubbed and halved
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Line roasting pan with foil, letting foil come up sides of pan. Adjust oven rack to middle position (8 to 10 inches from broiler element), place roasting pan on rack, and heat oven to 475 degrees. Coat V-rack with cooking spray.

2. Combine cornstarch and 2 teaspoons salt in small bowl. Use skewer to poke holes all over chicken skin. Rub cornstarch mixture evenly over chicken.

3. Remove roasting pan from oven. Place chicken, wing side up, in V-rack, then place V-rack in roasting pan . Roast chicken 15 minutes. Remove roasting pan from oven and, using wad of paper towels, flip chicken so that other wing is facing up. Roast 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile toss potatoes, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Remove roasting pan from oven and, with potholder, carefully transfer V-rack with chicken to rimmed baking sheet. Gather up foil by its corners, capturing any fat and juices, and discard. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, in roasting pan. Using wad of paper towels, flip chicken breast side up in V-rack. Place V-rack back in roasting pan and roast chicken until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 degrees, about 20 minutes.

5. Using wad of paper towels, remove chicken from V-rack and pour juices from cavity into roasting pan with potatoes. Place chicken on angel-food-cake pan insert or empty soda can to rest upright for 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss potatoes in chicken juices , return to oven, and cook until well browned and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with potatoes.

*I didn't have a V-rack so I just used a regular one and it worked just fine. The chicken stayed on it's side without any help. :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Music Night

What could be more wonderful than going to a Christmas music program at church during the holidays!? Last night at our church we had a Christmas music program. The choir sang, the women's ensemble sang, the Men Singer's sang, the kid's choir performed, the choir and the kid's choir sang together and there were solos and duets. Chris Roger's played a piano piece that was absolutely gorgeous. And of course the congregation joined in and sang Christmas hymns. The lights were kept nice and low to create holiday embiance.

Here is the Kid's Choir. Noah sang "O, Holy Night".

Chris Rogers playing his piano solo.

I sang "Mary's Song".

The Women's Ensemble

Paul and Kendra

Cyn and Mary Grace

The Men Singers

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come, Thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel's Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the Thou art:
Dear Desire of ev'ry nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever-
Now Thy gracious Kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all suffucient merit
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

--Charles Wesley

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pen Pulpit


Philippians 1:6
June 25th, 2000

Salvation to many consists of just one or two features: “You must be born again” or “Redeemed, Reconciled.” However, the work of salvation is much more complex and involved than just these features. Philippians 1:6 is one of the most comprehensive verses in the Bible depicting the whole scope of God’s marvelous salvation package:

For I am confident of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the Day of Christ Jesus.

Note several outstanding facts evident in this statement:

1. There is a good work begun - perpetuated and completed in the believer’s life.

2. One person is involved in all three features - “He.”

3. The confidence this produces in the life.

4. The truths of verse 6 melt down out of verses 3, 4, & 5. Paul thanked God for the believers. He prayed for them in view of something he observed in their lives, namely their continual participation in the things of God - “from the first day until now.” This gave Paul a strong confidence of a divine work taking place in their midst as seen in verse 6 - a good work, started, continued and ultimately completed in the lives of this flock. He doesn’t say good works (although that is true) but a good work. This is the work of salvation. Salvation has a beginning, it continues, and it has a completion point - just like physical life. Physical life consists not just in being born. That is where it begins. Then there is the whole growth process that takes a lifetime.

The beginning of this good work of salvation consists of regeneration, justification, reconciliation, etc. This puts us in the family and gives us a position before a Holy God. It also gives God a base of operation. We are not to remain babies all of our lives. We are to move on from there. He begins this initial work but He also continues the work. This we call progressive sanctification - a lifetime of work by the Holy Spirit. He takes us from one degree of glory to another degree of glory to yet another as we stay centered in the Word. He takes us through one experience of growth after another. This is one of the truths alluded to by our Lord in Matthew 16:18, “I will build my church.” He builds His church by adding members to the body and then building up the body spiritually through the Word (cf. II Cor. 3:18).

This building up will continue until He comes for us, until the Day of Christ Jesus. Paul said to the Roman believers in Romans 13:14, “our salvation is nearer than when we believed.” He is pointing to the final phase.

Next week we will see how this will build confidence into our lives.

It is exciting to see how God is building His church here in Long Beach. How I thank Him for those being baptized this morning as well as those being welcomed into our fellowship. May God mightily bless and use you in His service.

Love to you all.

--Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2006

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Our Christmas Tree

As you can see my cat found her new comfy place under the tree. :) But soon she will have to find a new place because in that spot will be presents. We got a fake Christmas tree this year and boy is it so much easier to take care of than a live tree. And it will be so nice when the holidays are over to just put all the ornaments away, fold it up lights and all, and put it back in it's box. I would have liked to have gotten a much bigger one but the big ones were almost $100! I looked all over for a cheaper big one but the cheapest was about $80. So I decided to stick to the small one. I think it's pretty cute! :)

Here are some of my favorite ornaments on the tree. I am still building up my ornament stash since we have only been married a couple years. My mom gave me som
e of the old ones from when I was growing up.

This is one I bought last year. I bought a couple of them and gave one to Hannah and Gabe for Christmas.

My sister-in-law Ruhiyyih gave us this one our first Christmas being married. The couple inside actually move in a circle.

Here is one from Christmases past. We had this one hanging on our tree for as long as I can remember.
Here is another one from the past. I decided she should have the place of honor on the top of the tree.

Pinochio was given to me by my Grandparents when I was in elementary school.

This is my Gardening Chick. My Aunt Karin bought this one for me two summers ago while we were in Mammoth. They had a cute little Christmas store that was open year round.

And last but not least are the two rocking horses. Here is the blue one and it is a little hard to see. There is also a brown one. We had these since I can remember. I loved when these ones were pulled out of the the shoebox and hung on the tree. One belonged to me and one belonged to my brother. We have since forgotten whose is whose. I think the brown one was mine but I could be wrong. I hope my children will be able to grow up with these and ornaments yet to be bought hanging on the tree every year for Christmas. And then I can pass some of them down to my children when they are married. :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Earthen Vessel One Year Anniversary!

Wow! I can't believe it has been a year since I started blogging! When I wrote my first post I had no idea I would enjoy blogging as much as I have. I have enjoyed sharing recipes, books I'm reading and the happenings in my life. I also have enjoyed reading other's blogs, commenting and having them read mine and commenting as well. I have been printing out all of my posts and putting them in a three-ring binder. I now have a whole years worth so it's time to buy a new binder.

This past year has been very emotional. Little Gabriel Glenn DeRoo II was born on December 14th. I had the blessing of being there when he was born and holding him when he was only a few minutes old. I saw how happy Hannah was and how proud his Papa Gabe was of him. In July my Grampa had a heart attack while on a cruise to Alaska. He died the next day in a hospital here in Seattle. I spent the night there with my Gramma and my Aunt waiting for him to be taken home to the Lord which happened the next morning. Then a month later SGT Gabe DeRoo was killed in action in Iraq. As soon as my best friend Hannah called me and told me I was on a plane ride home a few hours later from LA where I was for my Grampa's funeral. The next two weeks after that were the toughest of my life. But in the midst of the ups and downs God is sovereign and in control. He has a purpose and a plan in all the circumstances of life. He deserves all the glory for bringing me through another year of life and allowing me to know His Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have grown so much closer to the Lord this year and I am so looking forward to what this next year will bring whether good or difficult because God uses all things for good!

Thank you to all my faithful readers and to those who leave comments! I have so enjoyed reading your blogs and reading the comments you have left on mine. Here's to another year of blogging! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Young Adult White Elephant Christmas Party

Last Saturday we had our young adult Christmas party at the Riley's home on base at Fort Lewis. We had a white elephant gift exchange. My brother Ben's gift had to have been the most hilarious gift given. It was a puzzle but you will have to watch the video to find out what kind of puzzle! We had lots of great food, eggnog, apple cider and dessert. We also sang Christmas carols while Ben played the guitar and Deborah played the piano.

Here is the video!

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pen Pulpit


August 13th, 2000

Psalm 27:13, 14

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.

At this point it would seem that David looked back over his life and recalled the hundreds of times God had come through the darkness and discouragement of life to bolster the life of His faithful servant. This being a fact he could count on, David applied that to the reality of what he was going through. This gave him hope and encouragement. He said, “If I didn’t have the reality of what God has done in the past, I would lose heart in the present - for God is faithful. God’s goodness prevails at all times.” Then David challenges his readers, “Let your heart take courage. “

This is something all of us can use. We all face discouragement of one kind or another. But like David, analyze your past experience. Hasn’t God always come through? That ought to be fuel for your faith. If He rescued you then, why do you think He won’t now? Of course He will! However, He may not do it at once. Sometimes He has a way of waiting. So we need to learn to wait on the Lord. He does all things in His time. This strengthens our faith.

Paul knew the waiting principle. He prayed on three occasions for the “thorn” to be removed from his life. God said, “No! My strength is sufficient for you.” In this case God didn’t remove the trial, but He inserted His strength into Paul’s life so that the apostle was able to learn from the experience.

At any rate Christian, whether God chooses to delay His action or insert His strength to overcome your weakness, waiting on Him is the best and wisest thing you can do. What are you going through today? Take courage. God will strengthen your heart one way or another.

God bless.

Love to you all.

-Pastor Charles Covington 1933-2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Just a Silly Post!

This is a post mainly for my Southerin California family, but today I was driving down 6th Ave and there was a Carl's Jr.!! All my life I have never seen the fast food place, Carl's Jr., any place but California. Whenever I would see one it would remind me that I was on vacation and in California. Such a joyful feeling. Now there is one here! I have to say I am disappointed and happy all at the same time. I kind of want Carl's Jr. to stay that fast food place that I only see when I am on vacation, but when I see it it will remind me of my family and the Sunday's after church spent eating lunch there in Whittier, California. And if I ever eat there I will be thinking of my wonderful family wishing they were all there with me! :)