Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wall of Remembrance

"War is horrible, but sitting by while evil persists is worse." ~SGT Gabriel DeRoo

This Memorial Day was a very special one for all of us. It was the first Memorial Day since Gabe was killed in Iraq this last August. Even though I always knew what Memorial Day was for it never had the same effect on me as it did this year.

Early Monday morning, in downtown Seattle, Gabe's name was unveiled along with 27 others who have died in Iraq from Washington State. Of course Hannah and little Gabriel were there and Gabe's twin sisters Charity and Chastity. They had come to visit Hannah and little Gabriel for a week. After the names were unveiled each name was read and a bell was rung after each name.

It was so wonderful to be there and to see Gabe honored in this way. In one interview Hannah said she knew he would be honored to know his name had been put on the wall. After the ceremony was over Hannah took little Gabriel and put a picture of the three of them, with flowers, by the wall. Gabriel had a t-shirt on with a picture of Gabe in Iraq and it said "My Papa, My Hero-KIA in Iraq August 2006.

Hannah spoke to a couple reporters and one woman who was making a documentary. Here is the link to one of the interviews done with Hannah.

Here is video I took of the ceremony. Remember to pause my finetune player located under my previous entries so the audio does not overlap! :)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dannells Family Camping Trip 2007

Once again the Dannells family went camping. We returned to beautiful Lake Wenatchee. My in-laws George and Bonita arrived a day early to save a spot for all of us. They picked two large sites right next to each other and both on the water. There was plenty of space for all of us to spread out and be comfortable.

Ruh did all of the food preparation for our family as he has the past two times we have gone camping. He made kabobs and trout over the fire. One morning we had trout for breakfast which was so delightful.

Bonita set up her little cooking center which looked like it worked wonderfully! She looked so content sitting on a cooler cooking up a storm.

As always Bonita had her video camera ready to shoot at all times. Even is she has to climb on top of a
fallen tree to get the shot she wants!

I think we all really enjoyed the large tree that had fallen down in front of the water. We would often sit and enjoy the sunrise or sunset. At one point Ruh and I were enjoying a nice cuddle moment by ourselves on the log. As soon as we started to kiss Taraz ran down the hill, launched himself off the log and right into the water, in all his clothes! Needless to say we all had a great laugh over that. Megan got it all on camera and I think soon he is going to put the video of the entire trip on his blog. I will make sure to put a link to it here so you all can watch it.

George and Bonita, Taraz and Megan brought their canoes. Ruhiyyih and I went out one afternoon together. Bonnie(Bonita's twin sister) and Frank went in the other canoe. We paddled out to a little lagoon that had lots of reeds, skunk cabbage and lily pads. We enjoyed the sound of the water and the
birds. The view was amazing.

We enjoyed evenings around the campfire. I brought my jar of Postum Bonita introduced me to the first camping trip we took together. I had a nice hot cup every morning and I indulged and had caffeinated coffee in the afternoon for a little pick me up. My sinuses went crazy while we were camping. There was pollen everywhere and I don't think the dust and campfire smoke helped either. Ruh took me to a small grocery store and I bought the only Sudafed they had. Unfortunately it was not non-drowsy so I felt a little loopy when I took it. The mosquitoes got a little persistent and so we were all able to use my new Avon Skin-So-Soft bug spray I bought right before the trip. I really like it! It makes your skin feel soft and it has a really nice smell so you don't feel like you have to shower after you use it.

I love camping so much. Ruh and I are planning on going again this summer and if possible going twice. But I definitely don't want to go alone! There is nothing like camping with family and making lots of great memories!

Remember to pause my finetune player located under my previous entries so the audio does not overlap the video! :)

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Preparation for Camping

It's that time of year again! Time for a Dannells Family camping trip. This time last year we were up near the Hood Canal at Lena Creek. Then in September we went to Lake Wenatchee after my brother-in-law Taraz's wedding. We are returning to Lake Wenatchee for this camping trip. My parents-in-law George and Bonita are heading up there bright and early tomorrow morning to save a couple spots for all the family that is coming. This year the list is: Ruh, me and Daisy, George and Bonita, Ruhiyyih, Rahmat, Taraz and Megan, Aunt Bonnie and Uncle Frank, Melanie, Robin and Amber, Laurel and Mehron. And of course we can't forget Buddy, Laurel and Mehron's black lab. My parents will also be heading up for the day on Friday.

Today I spent the day preparing. Ruh pulled all our camping gear out of storage. He also spent the morning preparing all the meat Bonita so wonderfully bought for us for camping. She bought us lots of chicken, brats and whole rainbow trout. Ruh cooked up most of the chicken and put together kabobs that will just have to be reheated over the campfire. I took out all of the cooking utensils and washed them all up. I washed them after we got home last time but I just wanted them to be freshly clean for this camping trip. I went through and pulled out things I knew we would not need and added the things I know we will. I washed out the cooler and put all the food we are taking that does not need to be refrigerated into a big box. All that is left to be done tomorrow is baking cookies, making biscotti, getting some camping gear from my parents and retrieving Ruhiyyih from the airport at 8:30pm. Tomorrow should be nice and calm since Ruh and I got a lot done today. So this will probably be my last post until Memorial Day. There will be lots and pictures and video coming soon! :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

Longing for the Great Outdoors

This is a picture my mom took of Gabriel. He was at church watching all the big kids play outside. Soon he is going to be romping around outside with the rest of them! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Women's Retreat

This past weekend was the annual Camp Gilead Women's Retreat. Camp Gilead is located in the quaint farming community of Carnation, Washington. Sally Helland, Nancy Suko and Mary Riley went up on Friday and spent the night. Hannah DeRoo and I went up on Saturday for the the day. The retreat is a special time for women to get away and spend time with other Christian women and to really focus on the Lord. There were four workshops: Marriage Booster 101 (taught by Nancy Suko), Organization-It's a learned skill, Controlling Your Tongue, Hospitality Ideas for Family, Friends and Others and Growing Women-Reaching Women. There were also three Chapel sessions taught by Carol Parkinson. At Saturday's Chapel Hannah DeRoo shared her testimony about Gabe's death and what the Lord has been doing in her life. I am so blessed to have her as my dearest friend and I can say that she is an amazing example of what it truly means to trust the Lord.

The main speaker, Carol Parkinson, taught during Chapel about our self-worth and where it comes from. Our worth does not come from how we look, how are homes look or how well we do the things we do on a daily basis, but our worth comes from who we are in Christ Jesus.

Hannah left a little early to get home to little Gabriel. I had a really nice time visiting with Sally, Nancy and Mary. Next year I am planning on staying for both days.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

This morning Ruh's parents George and Bonita joined us at church for the annual Mother's Day breakfast the men and children put on for all the mothers. There was lots of sweet rolls and fruit. The little latte stand was also open. During breakfast my mom took "mom and me" pictures. Before breakfast was served everyone gathered in the sanctuary and whoever wanted to could share some special testimonies about their mom. Ruth Rogers spoke for little Gabriel and shared a very touching testimony about Hannah DeRoo (her sister). Gabriel is going to be able to look back and see what an amazing, wonderful mom he has. She has remained strong and steady for him, through her trust in the Lord, without his Papa who is now in Heaven.

I taught Jr. Church during the service. I had a special lesson today about mothers. One little fun activity I did with the kids involved an apron. I had a volunteer come up to the front and put the apron on. Then I would whisper in their ear something moms do
for us everyday and they would have to act it out and the rest of
the kids had to guess what it was. I even had a couple boys volunteer and the kids got a few giggles out of that. :) I also talked about how the Bible teaches we are to honor our father and mother. And even though today is mother's day and we want to make our moms feel extra special we need to honor them the rest of the year as well. For the craft we made little "badges" for the mothers that said "more precious than rubies". We glued little red sequins to them.

After church Ruh's parents, my parents and Ruh and I went to the Hot Iron Mongolian Grill. We chit chatted and talked a little about the upcoming annual Dannells family camping trip. We are heading back to Lake Wenatchee where we were for the last camping trip after Taraz and Megan's wedding this last September. But this time Taraz and Megan won't be on their honeymoon so they will get to join us! Ruh and Bonita talked a little about food preparation and Bonita told us she is going to buy all the meat for us this year. She knows how much Ruh really enjoys doing the cooking when we are camping. I am so thankful for the mother-in-law the Lord has blessed me with.

I am so thankful for the wonderful mother the Lord has given me! She is the perfect example of a calm and quiet spirit which is truly beautiful and pleasing to the Lord. I really hope and pray that I develop the patient, calm and quiet spirit she has. Thanks for being such an amazing mom! I love you lots and lots!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Military Spouse Appreciation Day

"In 1984 President Reagan proclaimed the Friday before Mother's Day of each year to be Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It is your day to stand up and be honored.

For the times you've stood and watched a ship sail from the harbor, an aircraft disappear into the clouds, or a truck convoy pull out of sight, not sure when they would return, we thank you.

For the countless household moves you've made from a place you know to one that's strange and different -- often by yourself -- we thank you.

For the families you've held together, for the anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays you've celebrated alone, we thank you.

For the hand you've extended to another military spouse when the need was there, truly creating a military family, we thank you.

For the spirit and strength you've shown when your service member has gone into harm's way, we thank you.

For the pride you've displayed while serving as an ambassador of the military spouse to the rest of the world, we thank you.

Far too frequently, the sacrifices and dedication of the military spouse have gone unnoticed and unappreciated. In our nation's recent history, thousands of service members have been placed in harm's way as they stood watch as freedom's guardian. You too have stood watch at home, facing challenges alone. You have waved flags and held banners high to express your support. You have kept the candles burning on the home front as a reminder of our deployed military.

You have made difficult sacrifices of your own, and have called upon your inner reserves to nurture family life so your service member can focus on the business at hand.

Even in times of relaxed alert status for our military, you have stood ready and alert for the slightest of signs, perhaps overlooked or ignored by your civilian counterparts, signaling a potential change in the status of our military forces. As a military spouse, you have willingly packed up and relocated countless times, and may have been separated from your own parents and siblings for several years at a time.

Quite often, you have been placed in an unfamiliar ethnic or cultural setting, or a remote location. You have met this challenge with confidence and pride, making your nation proud of you. By the same token, you have extended your hand and hospitality to visitors to our country.

A country cannot count itself strong by its armed services alone, but must also depend on its civilians. With military wives and husbands setting a superior example through devotion, courage, and commitment, we are a nation of strength.

Military spouses … stand tall, stand proud … we salute you, you are truly our unsung heroes."

~Source Unknown

Ben back to Alaska

My big brother Ben left for Alaska this morning. He is heading back up there to work at a resort for the summer and then he plans on moving back to Fairbanks where he will work for a friend doing flooring. I am going to miss him but I know he loves Alaska so that makes me happy that he is going back. I love you Ben! :)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

A couple days ago I got news from my Aunt Karin that her best friend's son fell at work off of an 8 foot ladder, hit his head and is now in critical condition at a hospital in Riverside California. His name is Kevin and he and I were friends when I was in high school. They have him in a drug induced coma to make sure there is very little stimulation as possible to his swelling brain. There are also skull fractures. His wife and family are not even allowed to touch him or talk to him as this might cause stimulation. The can't even do an MRI yet to see if perhaps he had an aneurysm and that is what caused him to fall. No one actually saw him fall so they don't know if he passed out and fell or just took a wrong step. Please be praying for his wife Sarah and for his parents Everett and Tammi. Please be praying the Lord will heal his brain and he will be able to recover. The Lord is good and He is watching over all of them!