Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day

Note: This is what we posted on our web site this morning. We want to repeart it here for those who don't look at our daily messages on the web site.
NOSTALGIATechnically this is our last day with Shepherds. They have been good to us beyond measure and even granted a bonus which means I will still be writing some letters.  It is our way of saying in a very small way THANK YOU. Our 11 years as representative have been some of the best of our lives.   To be able to tell folks about this wonderful place and the care given our daughter Joy for 44 years has been a privilege we will never forget.  To Dr. Wm. Amstutz, Dan DeDonato,the Board and all responsible for this opportunity given us, we say thank you, and our interest and prayers will always be with you and the  vital ministry you perform daily for these precious ones with intellectual disabilities.  God bless each one and may He give you the best year in 2011 that Shepherds has ever witnessed is our prayer.
Ralph andMargie Poulson

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Home going

Our son called yesterday morning to inform us that his father-in-law, John Harder passed away. The memorial service will be held Saturday, January 8th at 2 PM at First Baptist Church in Ferndale, WA.  We know you will be praying for the family these days.  Gina has had a tremendous load caring for her mother, who died in June and now her dad.  The business details she has to deal with are almost overwhelming.  Please pray.
This afternoon we have prayer meeting at church and we look forward to that.  Yesterday Margie was able to do some house cleaning for the first time since her illness.  We are pleased, although I am very happy to do it.  I was away helping a family startup a new computer and Margie did it while I was gone.  She's "sneaky" isn't she. She was so happy to be able to do it.  I cleaned the floors for her upon my return home.  Thank you all for praying.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The weatherman forecast snow for this morning and he was right.  It's beautiful.  Margie did not have a real good night but she's OK this morning.  For some reason I wanted to sleep in this morning. That's unusual for me. I am supposed to go down the hill this  morning and help a couple get their new computer up and working.  I'm happy to be able to help them.  Margie and I are glad we went to town yesterday and got the essentials taken care of. With this snow, it may have been difficult to do today. I am trying to zero in on a couple of employment possibilities and hope to get that settled before long.  We appreciate your help in prayer about this.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Sometimes computers decide to stop functioning. That happened just now and I could not publish this blog or our web pages. I will try it now that this blog program finally opened.  Margie had a good night but we are concerned about her morning choking spells.  She had another this morning. We are at a standstill on what is causing them.  We are supposed to go to Bellingham this morning. Tomorrow snow is forecast for part of the county so we want to go today. I am still spending much time on the Internet investigating at-home possibilities for employment. It is a VAST field and requires much study and most certainly Divine direction to know what is right. We thank you for praying for these things.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Countdown: 4 more days

The year went quickly, didn't it?  We were so glad we were able to attend our church service yesterday.  We had a quiet afternoon at home, viewing & listening to a  recorded sermon.  I took several pictures during the service but became unhappy when I edited them.  Editing lowers the resolution of the picture and I went "too far" in the editing and they were not good.  The problem is I deleted the pictures from the SD (Secure Digital) card .
BUT, I have photo recovery software and was able to retrieve all the deleted pictures from the blank SD card.  Oh the marvel of technology. So, one of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:6 "The Lord preserves the simply". I give that verse overload status most of the time. Thank you for praying for us - especially Margie.  She had a good night and we are glad.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

After Christmas greetings

We had a wonderful Christmas day with our family.  We enjoyed an afternoon meal, a nice time of visiting, then left for home.   It took an hour and 10 minutes for the return trip.  It was already dark when we arrived.  We spent the rest of the evening quietly watching some recorded programs.  Today is church and we look forward to that as well.  Margie had a good night for which we are very thankful.  She had a very busy week and it was an answer to prayer she was able to do as much as she did.  We are very thankful.  We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas also.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We hope and pray this day will be very special to each of you.  Yesterday Margie did nobly as she prepared the traditional brunch for our family.  We pitched in to help and alleviate her load somewhat.  The family as usual enjoyed so much the delicious food.  Today, Lord willing, we'll travel south to Stanwood and enjoy our Christmas meal with our family.   Margie has baked two pies and some goodies for the occasion.  Margie and I are so grateful for the measure of health given.  We treasure these times so much to enjoy family and friends.  We have mild weather here, unlike many places so the travel should be easy.  We'll let you know tomorrow how today's events went. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Brunch at Poulsons

For years Margie has prepared Christmas brunch for our son and his family. Because of Gina's dad's illness and her mother's death in June, we have changed this to Christmas Eve brunch at the Poulsons.   Margie just came into the office as I was writing this to ask me to get the many things from the freezer which will help her make this fabulous breakfast/lunch which we have savored for many years.   Our children love it and of course the grandkids too.. I am thankful Margie is able to do it.  Although not real strong, she earnestly wants to have this traditional meal with our children.  After breakfast will be gift exchange time.  It will be a fun time. Tomorrow we go to Rawlie's house for Christmas.  This will be a first this year for the reason mentioned above. We'll give some more details tomorrow and Sunday about this.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's almost here

Christmas is "around the corner" and excitement is in the air everywhere.  I noticed that the Post Office volume has decreased now that the deadline for deliveries getting to their destinations has passed.  Margie made up plates of Christmas goodies for me to take to two other neighbors of ours.  We received visits from two long time friends bringing us goodies also.  We certainly have to ration the input factor on those. Margie had another choking spell this morning.  These distress us and we cannot find an adequate answer to their cause.  We have tried just about everything.  I made Christmas cards on the computer yesterday.   I thoroughly enjoy this exercise. Our son and granddaughter should arrive tonight and the rest of the family tomorrow for our yearly Christmas brunch, about which we will talk more tomorrow.  Thank you dear ones for your faithful prayers.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pacing oneself during the race

Margie has learned to pace herself carefully so she can accomplish her goals.  She has done well in this and we are glad.  She made cookies, fudge and last week the Christmas Tea Rings.  Most of these are gifts for others. Today she goes to the chiropractor which will hopefully help her especially after her fall last week in our family room. Yesterday I was able to write 53 more letters to churches we visited during our years on the road for Shepherds.  That completes the second batch of such letters, plus numerous e-mails, phone calls and Thank You notes (handwritten) to supporting churches. I have been so blessed to continue my work for Shepherds in this way.  It is all because of their extreme thoughtfulness and kindness to us. I would appreciate prayer for and suggestions about at-home-employment  opportunities. I have researched hundreds of possibilities and as previously stated I need Divine guidance to find the right one.  Thanks for praying

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Getting close

We are always impressed with how fast the days go by.  Here it is almost Christmas.  Margie is making preparations for the "famous" brunch we have here on Christmas.  Only this year it has been moved to Christmas Eve.  She is pacing her self, doing baking when she is stronger and resting as needed. Thus far it has worked out well.  Her fall last week has "encouraged" her to have another chiropractic adjustment this week if the doctor is available. I am attempting to send off many letters for Shepherds today if possible.  And in between, I must keep researching the at home job possibilities because the year is "running out".  Thanks for your prayer support.  Last night I sent out our e-mail Christmas Power Point greeting.  I lament that many will not be able to even open it on their computer, thus I attached 3 different formats, hoping their machines will be compatible for at least one of them.  But we know the end of the story. Some will contact us with the words " I can't open it".

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another week

We started another week yesterday attending church.  What a blessing to be there.  Again last night we attended the Christmas Choir. It was well done.  Today we have to make some necessary trips into Bellingham, WA which should not take too much of our time.  I am still employed part time by Shepherds so hope to get more letters written this afternoon also.  Our days are drawing to a close for that ministry.  I am feverishly researching the Internet for future employment opportunities. Many sound good, but others too good to be true and thus the scare of scams is always present.  Thanks for praying about these things with us.  We appreciate it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy day

We are enthusiastically looking forward to attending church today.  Tonight, if Margie is up to it, we will also attend and listen to the Christmas Choir.   We look forward to it.  Yesterday our family dropped in for a visit and brought our lunch and we enjoyed such a good time.  Margie had a good night, so did I and it will be nice to be in church.  We missed last week because Margie was not well.   Just think, next Saturday is Christmas.  What joy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We are puzzled why Margie continues her choking spells. She had two in the last two days.  Previously it was MSG that caused them, but for over 10 years she has controlled it with proper medication from the doctor.  Now it is something else.  She was retested and is taking more medication for things she is allergic to.  So we are baffled with what's happening.  It's harder on Margie, because she NEVER knows when this will happen.  We go everywhere prepared with the emergency treatment she learned years ago and that's about all we can do. Thank you for praying about this.  I am still pursuing the at-home-employment opportunities and have concluded that I am not qualified for many of them and the others that are appealing are sometimes scams. It is obvious we have to have the direction of the Lord in this decision.  Thanks for  remembering us in prayer about this.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday prayer

Yesterday we were pleased Margie was well enough to attend the afternoon prayer meeting at our church.  We always look forward to this.  Each Thursday I review with those present a prayer verse from the Bible and make 3 or more statements about it.  Then I compose a very small poem to remind us of the teaching of the verse. We are please with those who come and always pray more will attend.  Margie had to be on the phone several times due to her doctor's request for a dosage change in her medication. She wanted to clear with the rheumatologist before actually beginning the process. I continue research on at home job opportunities. The possibilities are almost endless if one can discern between the  legitimate and scams.  I have concluded that there are many good choices but my qualifications do not match the requirements. Certainly the Lord has something out there for me, so I can be at home and care for Margie.  This is why we are so indebted to Shepherds for allowing us this privilege during the year.  We will never stop thanking the Lord and Shepherds for this.   Thanks, dear ones, for praying.  We appreciate you more than words can tell.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good adjustment

Margie had an adjustment yesterday with the chiropractor.  It really helped her and we are glad for the relief because of it. We were not able to attend the evening prayer meeting but look forward to this afternoon when we meet at 2 with others for prayer. I am still pursuing possibilities for employment after we terminate our time with Shepherds the end of this month.  We appreciate those who are praying with us about this.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas baking

Margie has for years made Christmas Tea Rings (at least that's what I call them).  They are more delicious than I can describe with words.  This year, due to her illnesses, we were not certain she would be able to make them for our neighbors and our family.  She prayed much about it, took her time, rested between "acts" and accomplished her goal.  We are thankful.   I took one to our neighbors with a card I had made, and he told me they look forward to this every year.  Margie is pleased she was able to do it.   It also is one of the desired food items she serves at her famous Christmas brunch for our family each year.  On another note, thanks for helping us in prayer about future employment for me.  I may have discovered it last night as I researched the field on the Internet.  If the Lord leads us in this, we will be pleased.  We will share more as things develop.  Thanks so much for praying.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Doctor appointment

Yesterday Margie was not sure she'd be able to get to the doctor after her Sunday episode with illness. Fortunately she made the trip ok and the doctor is concerned that some medication may need to be adjusted.  Margie had a blood test done and we await that report. Margie is mustering her strength to make her yearly Christmas tea rings.  She has reduced the amount she normally bakes because she doesn't want to overload herself with too much. We pray she'll have the strength for this today.  She enjoys giving them to neighbors who have been so good to us, plus have enough on hand for our famous yearly Christmas brunch.  This year that brunch will take place on Christmas Eve.   I am still researching job opportunities in the work at home category. If any of you have ideas, I welcome them.  Thanks for praying.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not a good day

We were getting ready for church and all of a sudden Margie felt so weak she had to go to bed where she stayed for several hours.  So we didn't make it to church.  It was discouraging for her as she has had such a battle with health.  She said this morning that it appears this is the way it's going to be.  I feel so badly for her.
In a few moments we are supposed to go see her doctor on a regular visit and we pray she will be up to that trip.  Thanks for praying for her about this and her general health.  We appreciate it greatly. We hope tomorrow's blog will be more encouraging.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Job hunting

Margie and I are praying much about our future work.  Our time with Shepherds terminates the end of December and we would like to keep working, if the Lord permits.   I spent a great deal of time yesterday looking at and researching reliable sources of home income possibilities. The reason for this is that this year has taught us the wisdom of my being at home so I can care for Margie.  Shepherds made this possible and we are eternally grateful to them for allowing us this privilege while serving with them. We appreciate your prayer support as we determine just what the Lord will open for us.  Thank you very much.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

An overnight stay

Our son and family arrived last night to attend, as I previously, mentioned, the graduation ceremony of Gina's nephew, Jonathan Oliveira. He has concluded the preliminary requirements for a particular phase of firefighting.  This morning we will do a "Starbucks" and they will return to Stanwood.  Margie "survived" the day after her early morning choking spell. Today I will be investigating some options for work at home opportunities today as we end our present employment the end of this month. We would appreciate pray for this.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another one

This morning Margie had another choking spell.  Fortunately she was able to control it but not without the initial struggle to get her next breath.  This problem is seemingly endless and occurs at unannounced moments.  There is seldom a forewarning.  Occasionally she has had a hint it might happen and medicated and prevented the trauma of the event. Thanks for praying about this.  We always have the medication handy in case she has an attack.  It goes with us everywhere and especially to church. Today our son arrives around supper time and we look forward to this. I continue writing letters to churches for Shepherds.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Another blessing

Yesterday Margie got a good report from her eye doctor.  With her condition, it is ALWAYS great to get an encouraging word.  Margie also longed to be able to bake some cookies for Christmas distribution.  She made some coconut cookies and they really are delicious.  We are happy she could pace herself and get this project done and also attend prayer meeting last night.  Thanks so much for praying for her.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


As reported yesterday we were going to the foot doctor.  What wonderful relief she got there.  She had never been to one before and could not believe how he helped her.  That was a blessing. We received a call from Donn Mogford, the new west coast representative for Shepherds who needed added information on the files I sent him.  Margie helped me by going through our journals to get more specific dates we visited certain churches. As I write this it is raining and blowing very heavily out there.  The lights evened flickered a moment ago.  I pray we can keep our lights.  If not, I will have to go out and prepare our generator for service.  We are happy we have one.  This morning I take Margie to her ophthalmologist for a regular check up.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Foot doctor

Yes, today Margie sees the foot doctor.  We are hoping he can give some relief for her aches. Yesterday Margie was able to put away the ornament boxes used by Monique our granddaughter to decorate our tree. She also gave the table the Christmas theme. She was also able to send some emails.  All this is very special given the heavy week she had preparing for Rawlie's birthday meal.  But we are rejoicing she did not suffer any from it.  She was so pleased to have the strength to get it all done so well. I continued my letter writing for Shepherds.  It won't be long now and our employment will end.  We are asking you to pray as we seek God's will for our future ministry.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A busy Weekend

This was a victory for Margie and a real answer to prayer.  We have missed Rawlie's birthday all the years we have been with Shepherds.  She really wanted to prepare him a meal so paced herself accordingly and was able to accomplish this.  We are grateful.  Not only was it Rawlie's birthday we were celebrating but the day we had it was their 28th wedding anniversary.  It was special to have them here.  Monique helped Margie decorate the tree, in fact she did it all.  I put the lights on and Monique did the rest.  We were blessed to have the young people from our church drop by Saturday evening and put a beautiful Christmas wreath on the front door of our house.  Rawlie and Monique attended services with us yesterday at our church and that was special having them with us.  After a meal of leftovers (from his birthday meal) they left for home.  What a great time we had with them. We treasure this much and even more as we are getting older. Thanks for praying for Margie's health.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An added blessing today.

We are blessed to have our son Rawlie and his daughter who stayed overnight with us so they could attend church with us.  What a joy that will be this morning. Yesterday Margie prepared one of Rawlie's favorite meals - Swiss steak- so we will come home after church and have leftovers before they have to return to Stanwood.  Gina and Benny had to return home yesterday, otherwise they would be with us for church and lunch.   It's cold and the north wind is blowing but it's not severe like in many parts of the country.  We are rejoicing that Margie made it through the day yesterday so well.   We  helped as much as we could, but only she knows how to turn out a meal like that.  Margie was delighted that Monique could decorate our Christmas tree.  She did such a good job of it.  In the evening, she read to to us from one of her favorite book.  She does amazingly well, putting voice inflections and animation into her reading which is remarkable we think, because of her age.  But I guess we are biased, aren't we.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Birthday celebration

A few days delayed but just as important, is the celebration of our son's birthday today.  Rawlie was born  in Sao Paulo Brazil so I guess you can say he is also Brazilian. He and his family will be with us for lunch today.  Margie has paced herself well, and I have done several things also to help her accomplish this much desired event.  For the past years we have always been gone on his birthday so this is very special for us to be able to help him celebrate.  An email received last night announced the death of former missionary and pastor, Nathaniel Mictchell.  Margie and I were temporarily living in their home until her trip to the hospital where Rawlie was born.  Nat Mitchell was indeed a great man. Esther, his wife presently lives in Reno.  So this is a big day at the Poulsons.  We trust you all have a good day also.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A great moment

As reported yesterday, Shepherds made contact with us via Skype.  It was a special time, being able to see the place where we have assembled with fellow representatives and others from the staff through the years.  To see and speak with them was a privilege.  What a great tool Skype is.  I speak regularly with my brothers, one in Singapore and the other in Anchorage.  Just this moment as I write, our good friend Siang, who lives with and cares for my brother and his wife in Singapore Skyped us from Jerusalem.  She has taken my brother's place and conducts the biblical tours to Israel now.  This is her first time to do it alone.  Before she has had the capable help of Ernest, my brother, who has been conducting these special trips for years.  In fact, many years back, Margie & I were privileged to accompany them.  We will never forget that experience. Siang reports that there has been a major fire on Mt Carmel and 15,000 people have been evacuated from the area.  In the process 50 have been killed, 40 of whom were firemen.  What a sad story.  I'm sure you will pray about this tragic event and all of its ramifications.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Skype day

Shepherds has schedule a Skype session this morning.   We are looking forward to that and hope the electronics all function so it can happen.  Those who read our web pages know that this week is full of meetings for the church representatives and field men.  We always looked forward to those.  This year Margie was not up to making the trip so we cancelled our plane reservation.  We called our son last night on his birthday and Margie is working the best she can to have a meal for him and his family this Saturday.  In fact Margie may enlist the help of our granddaughter Monique to help decorate the Christmas tree.  We'll update you on this as things happen.
Margie's health is improving slowly.  We know it's a long journey and appreciate so much your love, prayers and understanding throughout this year.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A few more days

We are pleased to have 30 more days to write letters of thanks to supporting churches of Shepherds.We wrote several yesterday and have a whole list for today.These 11 years with Shepherds have been such a blessing to us.  We will never forget them.This week at Shepherds is important because the Church representatives and Field men meet for instruction, information and updates concerning the ministry of Shepherds.  It is only the second time we have not been able to attend.  As mentioned earlier, we cancelled our flight to Shepherds because Margie is not able to fly.  We are asking all to help us in prayer as we seek God's will for our next "assignment".  We have no plans for retirement.  Thanks for your faithful prayer ministry on our behalf.   We appreciate it greatly.