Monday, October 31, 2011

Joy's Birthday

The year was 1959. The place was Iquitos, a town located on the Amazon River in Peru. We had traveled from Benjamin Constant, Brazil - also a town along the Amazon River- a couple of days before, for Margie to give birth to Joy there in a hospital.  It was not an easy ordeal.  It started hard and as our friends know, the road has not been an easy one.  Margie's health has never been the best and Joy is mentally disable.  We are extremely aware of the fact that the Lord has been in charge of all details of this episode from the beginning.  Joy's 45 years at Shepherds Home have been the most rewarding and Margie & I are so grateful for the compassionate Christian care she has received there all these years.  As reported previously, we await now the official discharge  notice from Shepherds for Joy.  They are no longer equipped to care for her in her needs as she grows older. Please pray that they and we will have wisdom to know what to do for her future care.  Margie's health is fragile and we don't know if I (Ralph) can leave her and travel to Union Grove, WI  to work on details of her transfer to another facility.  We need God's wisdom and direct help in this.  Thanks for praying.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hard decisions

Our son did more research Online and discovered that the at-home employment he had suggested MAY not be the best deal after all.  We have known since the beginning of these searches, that this whole field is difficult.  Probably today I will make the final decision to either discontinue or delve deeper into it and try it out. I appreciate your prayers with me about this.  Margie had a good night and yesterday she did fairly well as she prepared a light meal for our son and grandson. We look forward to church today and we hope you all do too.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New routine

Several months ago I spent a lot of time looking for home opportunities for employment.  Now I have finally decided on one I hope will be fruitful.  It is going to require much of me and I want to give it a fair try to see if it will work for us as I work in it.  I have much homework to do in preparation for the "launching" of a web site and an attempt to get sales.  Please pray with us about this.  I am not doing this for sheer pleasure (although I do enjoy it) but to help out with extra medical bills etc and to augment our Social Security income - which is very small. Margie had another good night last night.  She did quite a few things around the house yesterday, pacing herself so as not to get overly tired.  Thanks so much for your prayers,

Friday, October 28, 2011

Schedule change

By consensus, the Thursday afternoon prayer meeting was changed to Thursday night.  We were pleased last night with the turn out.  We are hoping more from our church will join this group which meets for usually less than an hour to intercede for the many requests given us each week. Yesterday was a shopping day and although Margie was not able to enter all the stores, she felt up to some of them and we are glad.  We stopped by a friend's house on the way home to help with a computer problem, then we came on home.  It is always good to be home. Do you feel that way too?.  Thanks for praying for Margie.  This whole issue with our daughter's discharge from Shepherds has been very hard on her and we know she will be relieved when a final conclusion has been reached on it. Please help us in prayer about this.  Thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


We will drive into Bellingham today, Lord willing, to get some more supplies, pay our land taxes and get back home.  I will continue my studies for home employment after we get back.  There is MUCH to learn before I can get involved in this adventure.  It is intriguing and exciting but I must take my time and do it right in order for it to WORK for us.  We appreciate your prayer for us about this.  And we are praying much about Joy's placement in the proper place in Wisconsin. We must give this important decision to the Lord for His help.  Margie's health is still fragile and we go from one day to the next not knowing just what symptoms will appear in her never ending series of health issues.  The Lord is good and we value YOUR prayer support so much.  Thank you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wisdom needed

In life there are so many decisions to make.  Yesterday we heard another word from Shepherds regarding Joy's discharge letter which will probably be in the mail tomorrow or the next day.  We hear there are several rest homes in the area of Shepherds and we will make the decision as to where she will go.  We know that much of this decision hinges on the financial policy of the places available.  We know you will be praying with us about these things.  It was particularly hard for Margie as I read the email to her. With her fragile health, these things are hard for her to go through.  Thanks so much for praying.  I spent almost the entire day studying the affiliate marketing electronic books which are part of the package I subscribed to Online.  I too need much wisdom to pursue this avenue of work which in reality could help us considerably with Margie's extra medical expenses not covered by insurance.  Thanks for your interest in prayer.  We appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Adventure

I need much prayer as I launch my new adventure of online business.  I need wisdom to be able to build the business so it will generate sufficient funds to help us in some of our medical and other expenses.  I am excited to get started in it.  I did all the initial transactions yesterday and today I start WORK.    Margie & I were pleased yesterday with a visit from a missionary candidate with the same board we served under in Brazil for 25 years.  Todd Janes will be going to work in Cambodia after his marriage next year.  Margie had a chiropractic treatment yesterday afternoon.  Margie slept well last night for which we are so thankful.  Thanks for praying.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Poor sleep

This morning Margie is sleeping in because she did not well last night. I will wake her up later on per her request.  She was remarking last night of how wonderful Heaven will be there.  There will no night there. We pray tonight will be better for her.  Yesterday we enjoyed our time at church.  Margie may have lingered a bit too long afterward visiting, because she got pretty tired.  The missionaries were a blessing and Curt Jones gave a wonderful message. Rawlie's family returned to Stanwood earlier. He stayed and had lunch with us then also left after I made a latte for him.  He was doing so research and helped me by giving some suggestions regarding at home opportunities for work.  I will be checking those out today.  We appreciate your prayer about these things, and also Joy's situation and Margie's ongoing health issues.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Yesterday Margie and I went to the 90th birthday celebration of a dear friend.  Her children were here from all parts of the country and a host of friends nearby.  It was a grand time  As mentioned yesterday we were not able to paint due to the constant rain throughout the day.  Our family is here and it was nice having lunch with them yesterday here at our place.  I write this early in the morning, but it appears Margie had a pretty good night.  Please continue your prayers for her regarding the multifaceted health issues she faces almost daily.  Lord willing, we plan on attending church this morning.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

No painting

A friend was coming to paint the high peaks of our house today.  That won't happen because it is raining. Our son and family are here and we had a short visit with Gina and the grandchildren yesterday.  Today Nathan and Rawlie arrive to continue their work on their home projects here. I am continuing mypursuit of at home business but as yet nothing has "gelled". This afternoon we will attend the 90th birthday celebration of a dear friend here in Ferndale.  Margie told me she slept last night but certainly had quite a bit of pain.  I guess this also accompanies the aging process.Thanks for praying for Margie and also Joy's situation at Shepherds. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fresh air

Margie requires plenty of fresh air during the night.  Last night the sliding door was partially closed because the nights have been some cooler.  But last night it was warm and she didn't get much sleep after 3 a.m. So the door was opened more and finally she got a little rest. When I put out the garbage and recycle material this morning, it was raining.  It appears the wet weather is with us now for the winter. Yesterday was our prayer meeting.  We were pleased to have the Jones drop in for prayer.  They are missionaries and it was nice to get an update about their ministry. We decided yesterday to change our Thursday afternoon meeting time to 6:30 in the evening.  Please continue to pray for Joy's transfer to another facility.  We are awaiting word from Shepherds about the next step in the process.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Double medical trip

Margie arranged her two medical appointments to be in the nearby town of Lynden so we went there before lunch and got both of those taken care of.  That saved about 30 miles.  We were glad to be back home. Margie did well last night for which we are thankful.  Today is prayer meeting so we will be attending that, Lord willing at 2.  I am back in the routine search for at home business opportunities.  After much research I discover there are vast numbers of opportunities but the weak link in the chain is ME.  I don't believe I am qualified sufficiently for a lot of them.  I just keep on until one opens up I can investigate more to see how it goes.  Thanks for praying with us about this.  It is much appreciated.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To Town

Yesterday we had many things to do in town.  We left fairly early and spent several hours there, returning home after lunch.  Margie was not up to doing a whole lot but in the mall we walked a little, and that was good for both of us. The weather was beautiful and we know that is coming to an end.  Today the clouds are rolling in.
Margie had a "so so" night last night but did sleep so we are thankful.  Today is filled with medical appointments so we will be on the road again.Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Winding down

The lawn mowing season is coming to an end.  I had been waiting for the grass to get dry and yesterday the strong sunshine and gentle breeze did just that.  So I spent the afternoon behind the lawnmower.  Margie paced herself carefully in her work projects, because the night before she had a poor night, sleeping very little. A church friend brought several wonderful gifts of fresh fruit & vegetables, canned foods and other items to the house while I was mowing the lawn.  What a gracious gift.  It is appreciated. We had planned on shopping yesterday but Margie sleepless night stopped that right away.  Maybe today we can do that.  Please continue to pray also for our daughter Joy's transfer to another facility, when they can find an adequate one.  We thank you for your help in prayer for Joy and Margie.  It means much to us.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Not good

Margie did not sleep well at all last night.  She left a note asking me to let her sleep past 7:30 (her normal wake up time)  We are so sorry she had a bad night. We had planned on doing some necessary shopping today but I don't know if she will be up to it or not.  Yesterday we had a wonderful time at the Missions Conference at our church.  Our good friends Jerry & Donna Layton, missionaries with ABWE for many years in the Philippines, were there.  How good to see them and remember past days and hear of future plans for serving the Lord.
It was good also having our son and grandson here for awhile over the weekend.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Missions Conference

Lord willing, we will go to our church this morning and enjoy the second Sunday of the Missions Conference. Jerry & Donna Layton will be there.  We have known them for years.  Jerry started a fantastic ministry in the Philippines years ago using creation science as a tool to reach thousands for Christ.  We will be happy to hear the update today. Yesterday our son and grandson came to work on one of their rental homes.  We invited them for lunch and Margie fixed a delicious one for them.  They appreciated it greatly.  We were so pleased that Margie could do this.  I had a phone conference about a home business I was researching in the afternoon.  It doesn't sound as if it will be a good fit at this time.  Please pray that I will find something adequate to supplement our income and help with the medical issues.  And please remember Joy's situation at Shepherds and her need to transfer to another facility.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Finally in the afternoon the sun came out pretty strong and the air temperature warmed and I went out and finished the main painting on the house.  Now all I have left are the touch up jobs here and there and the "peaks" of the house which will be done for me by someone else.  Margie had her hair done in the morning.  She is not able to keep her arms up to do this, therefore the beauty shop.  It only takes less than 1/2 hour.  Then in the afternoon the chiropractor called with a cancellation she she was able to go for an adjustment.  I took her there in between brush strokes. We finished the day well and Margie did quite a bit of walking, suggested by the doctor to try to keep her muscles toned up, etc.  Margie had another good night and we are glad.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Blow up

We are thanking the Lord Margie was not harmed yesterday when she pressure cooked some things. To start the cooling down process, before she even got started, the cooker exploded and plastered the curtains, walls and everything else.  BUT the steam did not go onto her face.   She was OK.   It entailed quite a clean up project but she finally got that done.  Now the curtains are being washed.  I was outside trying to get the front and east side of the house painted because the sun came out and it was pretty good weather.  Fortunately I now have only about 8 ft (wide) and the height of the walls, plus the eaves to paint, to complete the main painting on the house.  There is some touch up work that will have to wait for more sunshine or even summer to complete but the house looks good and is protected against the elements for the winter.  We are concerned about our daughter Joy's situation and know you are praying for the proper place where she will be transferred to.  We are awaiting word as to what they want us to do in this process.  Thanks for praying for this and Margie's health. We appreciate it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


We never cease to be amazed at how fast time flies.  Of course we know it really passes always at the same rate, but as we age, it "appears" to go faster.  We are encouraged with Margie's improvement.  She still has to take things quite easy and not overdo in anything.  We needed to shop yesterday but she was not able to get out and go into the stores.  She did manage to do a little shopping in two of them but mostly stayed in the car while I
shopped. I had some computer "glitches" which I was trying to iron out also and will continue on those today.  We are grateful for a good rest last night. If the weather warms up a bit today I may be able to get out and paint the 9 boards left at the front of the house and then move to the east side and try to get some of it painted before the next predicted rain arrives.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another attempt

I am trying again to examine the possibilities for work at home.  I only do this because my first desire is to serve the Lord.  But Margie is our priority and her well being is our immediate goal.  We knew that when the Shepherds ministry ended, it would be hard for us to find a satisfactory ministry because we cannot travel.  Churches without pastors perhaps could have used our services but for now we are content to be here and do whatever we can to serve the Lord.  Margie feels badly that medical expenses drain the resources, but I assure her that as far as I am concerned, that makes no difference.  I am so grateful that during the summer I could paint houses.  Now I am searching other possibilities for added income. We appreciate your prayers for us about this matter. Margie had a good night last night.  It is raining and wind is forecast for this afternoon.  This is Washington and things are green because of the rain.  We are used to it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

More of the same

Yes, we are talking about RAIN.  I guess I waited too long to paint our own house. I have one side that may not get done, because of the wet weather.  But I will keep trying to get a few boards coated when the temperature and dry weather permit it.  Margie had a good night and yesterday did quite well as she worked at several projects. Our son was here doing his office work from our house at his laptop.  It was nice having him here and he enjoys his mother's cooking and his dad's coffee lattes.  He left in late afternoon for his home in Stanwood.  His family went home the same day they arrived from their vacation, after the nice meal Margie prepared for them. We appreciate your continued prayers for Shepherds as they work with us concerning Joy's placement in another facility somewhere.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Early trip

This morning I checked in with the auto repair shop about servicing our car.  They loaned me a courtesy car.  Our son met me at Starbucks and we enjoyed a time of fellowship and nourishment.  Yesterday I met he and his family at the airport and it is surely nice to have them home safely.  Margie prepared a nice meal for them which they deeply appreciated.  Gina and the children returned home Sunday afternoon.  Rawlie is still here and will go home this evening. Margie had a good night.  It is raining today so I can't paint.  There are plenty of other things to do.  I am again investigating some possibilities for home business, to help us augment Margie's medical bills. Please pray with us about this.  We appreciate it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PM arrival

Lord willing, I will meet our son and his family at the airport mid afternoon.  They are coming from L.A. where they have been for a week.  We (mostly Margie) are preparing a simple meal for them. Margie and I will be in church this morning if all goes well.  It is the start of our Missions Conference.  We look forward to it. Margie had a good night.  Yesterday for her was good also.  She worked around the house a bit.  She dusted most of the rooms before I vacuumed.  She rested occasionally to conserve her energy.  Please continue your prayers regarding Joy's placement in a different facility.  We know Shepherds is working on this to help us and we appreciate it greatly.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


We feel the chill in the air, the furnace is on and during the night an extra blanket feels good.  I don't know how this will affect our house painting project, but I know that already it has slowed down considerably.  Margie had a good night and yesterday ironed the clothes and fixed our lunch and did other things around the house. She rests between "jobs" to maintain her strength level.  We are happy she has the strength to do what she does.  For the first time in a LONG time she drove our car to the repair shop. She followed behind while I led her in our son's car which we happen to have while they are away on vacation.  It worked out OK. We had a delightful phone visit with Dan DiDonato, V. P, Development, Shepherds Ministries. who was in Bellevue, WA on business for the home. Our son and his family will arrive Sunday.  I will meet them at the airport (locally) in their van.   Thanks so much for your prayer support.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Repair shop

Today is the day our car goes to the repair shop.  During Margie's long illness I have not had the car serviced like we did before.  Now we hope to get this done.  We also want the mechanics to determine if our 96 Olds will be suitable enough to carry us through our sunset years or we should think of getting another one.  Today we hope to get this evaluation.  It is rainy today so no painting.  There are plenty of other things to do however.  Yesterday we attended prayer meeting in the afternoon at our church.  Last night Margie did OK at sleeping so we are thankful. Thanks for your prayers,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's Thursday

We both had good nights and the main thing on our list today is afternoon prayer meeting at our church.  We look forward to it.  Yesterday we attended the grave side service for a friend and had to leave early to get Margie to her physical therapy session about 15 miles from Ferndale. I did some grocery shopping while she was in therapy.  I may have to wait awhile to get the house finished, because the weatherman predicts cooler, rainier days ahead.  Please continue your prayers for Joy's placement in another facility.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Running out

Time is running out for us to get the outside painting done.  Yesterday I was able to almost complete the front of the house.  Now it's just the east side.  When I get that and some of the trim work done, I will be finished with my part of it.  The "peaks" of the house will be painted by a friend from church.  Margie had a pretty good day and was able to attend the ladies missionary meeting at church.  I ran off to town to buy more paint for the house. I had already used up 5 gallons and needed one more gallon. Last night Margie slept fairly well, having to take some pain medication however because of the discomfort.  Thanks for your prayers for her and for Joy's relocation process at Shepherds.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

An appointment

Margie had one more treatment with the chiropractor in Lynden.  We were using this doctor because the one Margie usually goes to in Ferndale was on vacation.   We are glad now we won't have to travel 30 miles round trip for further treatments.  I was not able to do more painting because of the rain.  Today I am not real sure I can because of the temperature. Margie just awakened and told me she had a pretty good night.  She almost always has to calm down some of her aches and pains with topical medication during the night.  But she did pretty well and we are thankful.  Lord willing she will be attending the ladies missionary meeting at our church at 1 pm.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Joy's present situation is weighing heavily on Margie.  Yesterday she was depressed and tearful about the uncertainty of it all.  She desires so much to trust the Lord, and is trying, but her physical condition which has complicated in the last several weeks, seems to aggravate things more. We appreciate your praying about this. I will be in contact with Shepherds today relative to these matters. I took Rawlie and his family to the airport yesterday morning and they had a safe trip to L.A.  Margie and I attended our church and appreciated being able to be there.  Thanks for praying and please remember Margie's special needs at this time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


I awakened early to take our son and his family to the airport for the start of their mini vacation.  It is quite early as I write this but all indications are that Margie had a good night.  We plan on attending the service at our church this morning.  Yesterday our family came in and we enjoyed their visit.  I also mowed the lawn.  It rained a little during the process but not bad at all.  We pray you all have a great day as you fellowship with others at church and enjoy the day of rest perhaps at home.  Thanks for your prayers for us and for Joy's placement in a facility after her discharge from Shepherds.(Later: I was wrong. Margie DID NOT have a good night. I feel badly about this.  Her hip was giving her much discomfort)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

At Last

We are so thankful that at last Margie had a good night.  For many days she has not been doing well and so we are grateful for this more normal night of rest. Yesterday she ironed the clothes and went through many recipes culling scores of them out because she knows that the "heavy" days of cooking are history now.  I continued painting and was able to get the front side of the house over half done.  The eaves along the living room picture window are very hard to get to but we managed and now that's over.  I believe the rest of the house will be a "breeze".  I decided to take a vacation from painting today.  I am going to help a friend set up a computer and if the weather cooperates, I may mow the lawn.  Our son and his family arrive this afternoon.  They leave tomorrow for vacation in California. Please pray with us they will have a safe and enjoyable time.