Tuesday, July 6, 2010


We got to visit Charlotte to look for a place to live and were there 3.5 days. It took half that time to find a condo and get the rental process started. We spent the rest of the time looking around, attending events, eating and visiting with old and new friends.

Before we left we both had explored the Charlotte area online with parameters of where we wanted to live in mind. First, we found the Vineyard of North Carolina in north Charlotte on the south end of Lake Norman. Did someone say "lake"? We thought, "A condo on the lake? Why not?" That gave a general location to look; we like being close to the church.

Next, we enlisted the services of Bonnie Colberg (the Vineyard pastor's wife) to find a rental house/condo for us while Dave looked at what was available online. When we arrived, Bonnie had several places for us to look at and we decided on one by the end of the first morning. However, when we placed our application, we were told it had just been approved for rental to another applicant. Bummer!! Double bummer!!!

Not to be deterred, we went back and looked at the others we had previewed with Bonnie, located and looked at some Dave had found on Craig's list, and simply drove around the lake area where FOR RENT signs might be found. We even made calls on FOR SALE signs to see if someone would rent to us.

Having gone online to look for bed & breakfasts to stay in, I became enamored with the town of Davidson. It is very similar to Liberty (MO): a college town, lots of history yet progressing well with the new century. Bonnie had found a condo in Davidson but it was on a much smaller cove of the lake that is separated from the larger lake by the freeway. She wasn't sure we would like that. However, we liked the location and, after previewing it,decided this was a much better location and property for us. It is quieter and the condo has 3 bedrooms instead of just 2. That will provide a guest room AND an office for my business! God told me that He had a place better than the one we missed out on, and He surely did!

We explored Davidson all we could: drove around several areas, attended a "concert on the green" Thursday night and walked around the Farmer's Market on Saturday. It is a very charming town and seems very family oriented. We hope it is a great place to have our family visit.

On Saturday afternoon we looked up on the GPS the location of the Vineyard's Servant Evangelism outing and just showed up to help. Everyone was quite welcoming and there was room on the pontoon boat to accompany them. Two boats and 20 of us went to give out cold water bottles to people on the lake. It was lots of fun and, as always, rewarding.

Sunday we attended the Vineyard to worship with our new friends and felt very much "at home". Wherever the family of God is, there is connection and community. It was great! We had met and talked with Susan Weakley, a woman whose family was also "newbies" in the church and she invited us to lunch with her and 2 of her kids. Her husband flies for a living and he was gone on this Sunday, Father's Day, and we were without kids so we merged for lunch and became good friends. They are presently in Latvia picking up their newest child,8.5 yr old Lianna, who is in an orphanage there.

We left the Charlotte airport about 5:30 p.m. which was 1.5 hrs late. However, the pilot broke the speed limit and got us to Atlanta (barely) in time to make our connection to San Francisco. We got home late but were quite pleased with our trip and--eventually--with the outcome (didn't find out that we were approved to rent the condo until Tuesday).

God had already been to Charlotte on our behalf and then placed in our hearts the desire to start the next stage of our life in that region. The church is a growing body with a missionary's heart. We look forward to what He has for us to do here and ask you to join in our prayers for His will to be done in us.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting Ready To Move

So it looks like things are finally coming together. We put 'for sale' signs on the Mercedes and the van last week and a couple that was out walking around the neighborhood called to inquire about it. They will take it to have a mechanic determine how much repairs will cost. The guy said the price was good and we will probably split the cost of repairs.

Since we have to cut back on the volume of "stuff" we take, we're leaving the refrigerator and laundry. Our landlady said she would buy it from us! Praise the Lord! That will help so much. We also need to sell the outdoor furniture and a lot of smaller things so we'll have a garage sale this weekend and a yard sale next weekend if we still need to get rid of more stuff. One thing that is definitely different here in California is that they hold those sales on Sunday also. We can open after church... ;o}

Last weekend we went to Pasadena and got some debt paid off. Wonderful feeling! That will help when I am taking care of Kristi and the boys for several weeks. Am also looking at working as a Virtual Assistant. I hve found 3 websites that should help me find some part-time work at least.

Well, we are going to Charlotte on a house-hunting trip June 17-20 and we are both pretty pumped for it. Dave checked the Vineyard website and found out that the wife part of the pastoral team is a Keller Williams realtor. That is the company we worked for as realtors in Kansas City. She is going to take us to see some rentals when we get there. Hope to go see the NASCAR track, eat some North Carolina bar-b-q and look around the city some. We'll come back and load up the truck to leave Modesto on Wed, July 14 and hope to be in KC for the weekend. Then, it will be another 2 days on to Charlotte. Of course, all this depends on whether Kristi carries the twins that long.

Kristi's due date was originally August 17--then they found out that there are twins coming. Therefore, the date has changed to a range--the date the doctors prefer they do not come before, July 6, and the date they will take them by if they get too big, July 20. Hope to be there before then! She wants to have them naturally but...she may end up having a Caesarean. That could be a long and arduous recovery. The big brothers, Ben, who is 3 and Gabe, who is 15 mos., still want and need her attention let alone the new babies, whose names are still be to chosen. We all, including her in-laws, I'm sure, will be stretched thin.

Hope to have some good news on the housing (and maybe the baby) front by the time I post again.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Kristi is mid-way through her 3rd pregnancy and went yesterday to find out what the sex of the baby is so they can plan names. Their blog even had a "guess what the sex of the baby is" on it. Well, the doctor blew everyone out of the water by telling them baby #3 is a boy...and so is baby #4. She is carrying identical twin boys! My mom was a fraternal twin and two of her sisters had fraternal twins so it runs in the Shaw family. However, it always takes one by surprise.

Kristi measures 26 weeks at this 19.5 weeks point. We all should have thought something other than, "It must be a BIG kid!" The doctors will either induce her or take them Caesarean between weeks 34 and 36 which moves the due date from mid-August to mid-July. Guess I'll be leaving California a month earlier than I planned...and possibly earlier if she has to go to bedrest. I hope she doesn't have to for Ben and Gabe's sakes. But I'm willing to go and can get ready.

We recently were looking at family descendants. My mom did a lot of work on the Walkers and Shaws which she documented very well. It has been neglected since a while before she died. Wayne has said he would like to keep it up so that would be good. Kristi is looking at the Cook/Dodd side of her family and found a lot of work already done. It looks like the Cooks came from John Cook who was a resident of Chatham county, North Carolina. Some migrated through Hopkins County, Kentucky, to Boone County, Missouri. There is good documentation on that. I think someone should add the Octive Cook downline to the history. Bob might go talk with Aunt Margaret (Dad Bob's sister)so we don't lose it.

The reason Kristi was looking was to find some possibilities for names for the newest addition. Now she needs 2 names (4 total) to add to Benjamin David and Gabriel Stephen. As long as they aren't Jacob and Esau!

Well, we are gearing up to move again this coming week. Are going to ask the new landlady if we can take some stuff over early so it doesn't get lost. Still have to do the taxes and don't want that misplaced. Think the IRS wouldn't accept that as a reason to postpone turning them in.

Reports are that Mom (Elsie) is doing OK. She still hasn't gotten used to the idea that she has a roommate and sometimes ends up in Helen's clothes or using her stuff. The staff said she was standing in the middle of the hall at 2:00 a.m. with 2 sacks full of stuff saying she was "going home". Now people will believe us!

Life has been more than full this year! On the stress Richter scale we have been at the top and it's only March. As long as it slows down soon, maybe we won't age so quickly.

Well, we're off to do errands, wash the car and generally rest off-and-on today. Pray for us!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Virginia Trip

We got to go to see the boys for their (very close together) birthdays. Gabe turned 1 on March 16, the day I left; Ben will be 3 on April 1.

Dave found a "Lightning McQueen" Power Wheels car here and had to jump through 72 "hoops" to get it on the airplane to take to Ben. However, he did it and it was worth the unveiling hoopla! Ben kept saying over and over, "It's a race car!" and his face was so cute. Matt tried to sit Gabe in it and Ben started to cry and tell Gabe not to eat it! (Gabe is putting everything in his mouth now...) Quite hilarious from our point of view. Gabe got a "Tow-Mater" push/sit-and-ride scooter. It would have been a great photo opp if we could have gotten them to sit still.

I got an eye infection somehow and, by the time I got home, had blossomed a sinus infection too. The foliage was just blooming out there and I'm sure the different plants got to me. Whatever--I'm on meds now so I hope to pull out of it soon. After all, as discussed in the last post, we have to move again in a couple of weeks!

Homeless again...

Well, the condo we found got sold and we got 30 notice. Actually, it was a pending sale when we signed the lease--which was not disclosed to us--and they actually wanted us to move out by March 15. We had just gotten all our stuff over there by March 4! I'm so upset and overwhelmed. We can't unpack any more than we have so we live out of boxes and have to start looking for a place all over again!

Then Dave got the final word that we will move to Maryland August 1. That area is pretty foreign to us so we're not sure where we want to be and where we'll end up. Finding a place to live for the next 4 months is going to be "tricky" I'm afraid. However, God knew it was coming so He must have the next place ready for us. Wish it was a little more obvious. I find this is a great lemonade opportunity!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A New Season

It feels like we have become empty nesters all over again! The role of caregiver to an adult parent is a tenuous situation--giving orders, holding the line for responsibility and/or change and keeping tabs on her/him is so unnatural. Our culture doesn't give enough respect to the elderly but, given the opportunity to have authority over them puts a child under an emotional strain.

We are parents and know the problems all parents experience: pride, disappointment; new life, early death; when to push and when hands-off is best. But we are ill equipped to know when and how to prod a stubborn parent to eat or good to bed when tired. Being stubborn from a child is normal; defiance from a parent, well, could raise the ugly head of revenge in the child. That's a lot of responsibility for anyone to have!

Today Dave's mom was ushered back to Kansas City to join an Alzheimer's Unit of others who need more specialized care than can be given by a child and other family. We dropped Mom and Nancy at the Sacramento airport and left to return home to pack for our move. However, upon encouragement from Nancy, we decided to give our freedom a test. We turned around and went to the IKEA store, IHOP, McDonald's and Home Depot--never giving a thought to going home in case Mom needed us or was acting out with the hired caregiver. I'm afraid I acted selfishly and even childishly; however, the emotional freedom was heady.

I don't understand it but I did experience again that same feeling I did when the last child went to college. My life is my life again! But there is a nagging thought, "Is that true?" And, in truth, I realize that it is just another change. We still have those whose lives we touch everyday. So, because God is in charge of our lives, we desire that our lives will be a conduit for His love to reach more people than just our family. We are not in charge of our lives whether raising children, taking care of elderly parents, or visiting our neighbors.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Found a Home!

Well, the house hunting did turn up something definitely acceptable! We looked at 6 places last weekend and I looked at one during the week. It came down to where I would feel most comfortable for the times I am by myself. That turned out to be a 2 bedroom, 1 1-1/2 bath, 2 story condo in the middle of Modesto. It seems that most of the residents are older so no big partying in the complex. I think there will be a feeling of safety and comfort. It will be a real challenge to pack lots of "stuff" away that I have had, at least, available.

We're going to have to store lots of stuff including some of Mom's furniture. That will definitely be useful and we'll truck it back to the Midwest later in the year. Kelli and Nancy will be here over "President's weekend" helping to sort and pack. It is always easier to pack away or give away someone else's stuff so I'm hoping they will do that for me.

Well, the Lord did come through with a great place to live and, hopefully, give me strength to get it all packed so we can move in the 26th. For some reason, I seem to have difficulty getting the body in gear and, since the mind isn't in gear either, there's nothing to do, right? Oh well, there may be only this move and the last one to the East. Next time, I may pay someone to pack for me ;o} .

If I have the energy, I'll post again after the move...

Shaving with Granddad

Rhapsody of Excitement