Ahhhh…the joys of homeownership…

I’m back…it’s been a couple of weeks of ups and downs with final move and adjusting to life with a trailer plus waiting for internet access (which I almost didn’t get but I have it now)…anyway, I guess it’s called welcome to home ownership…


First, the move went smoothly…some great guys from my church (the same one a second time) plus my parents helped load up the heavy furniture and off to storage we went…though I did trail dirty plant water all over the carpet (though was warned) but at least it didn’t rain.  And, it looks like that house is finally selling just in the nick of time (though, I did pray for a buyer a few weeks so guess the prayer worked)…


Second, came moving the cat down to the trailer…yeah, she was shocked at another move especially when the crate kept tipping over with stuff all around her during the more than one-hour trip.  Poor baby…but she’s settling in and enjoys the trailer.  Just need to keep her in due to coyotes and wildlife around the area.  Though she gets excited about the birds, cats, and other wildlife but hiding when things get a bit scary.  Sadly, our neighborhood kitty has disappeared but there are other cats around…


Third…then there were not one but TWO key incidents…the first incident involved coming home after shipping and cleaning up the house…I put my load in the trailer amidst all the boxes, etc.  Then I took the garbage before leaving for an errand…wait!  Where are my keys?  After searching the trailer, van, and even the ground I could not find them…but could they be in the dumpster?  So after not one dive but three dives into the dumpster…I found them buried under stuff…


Then the next incident…I needed to dump the tanks so excited, I found out how to do them and stepped out of my trailer, closing the door to keep kitty in.  While I draining, I discovered I locked all keys inside with kitty howling at me…yes, I met the local locksmith but I do not step out of trailer without at least one set of keys…and, while waiting for the locksmith, I managed to dump wastewater on myself…gross…then I went to the church where other people were losing keys…aye…aye…but God was there to help each of us…


Anyway, through a bunch of small incidents…I now I have internet and even satellite tv…my outdoor stove isn’t working…and then I blew the main breaker while cooking dinner…yes, I’ve almost been ready to give up trailer living until I realize that each time, I called out to God and my daddy, who helped me through each incident…so don’t give up even if life gets a little tough.


It has also helped me be more appreciative of people like my dad, my father-in-law, and even others who have helped me with minor repairs over the years…oh, please learn to handle small repairs on your own before an emergency happens…like now, I need to find out why propane is not going to outdoor stove…


So who do you appreciate?  Whoever it is, tell them thanks because after all:

1 Thess 5:18 ‘In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”


So stay tunedmy dad is on vacation and I must rely on myself to figure things out…but I did drain the tanks and checked the propane on my own while tending to my little garden…and even setting up my patio area and stocking the kitchen…because, despite the funny things that happen, me and kitty are content living in this little trailer as God continues to bless and take care of us.  And, even with these incidents, its nice to sit on my front step after a long day to enjoy my new life as a homeowner…

Stepping Back in the Journey and Forging On

Hi everyone, I think I’m back…

Since it has been a while since I posted a blog, I thought I would give an update and let you know about my next round of blogs, which may be sporadic but I hope to keep them going once I get started again.  So, the last few months have been hectic with hubby in and out of the hospital with everything from strokes, infections, pneumonia, you name it.  Along with that, I was diagnosed with diabetes and so I have been working on controlling that as well as focusing on school and my husband’s health.

Thus, my husband’s care became more than I can handle so our journey has taken a step backwards…for the good.  We packed up our belongings and moved back home to Marysville to be closer for the family support as well as help in caring for my husband.  Praying he lasts a few more years especially with this round of hospital visits.  Even as I write this blog, we had another visit to the hospital due to an infection.

Even with what seems like a setback, we are still forging on with our dreams as we focus on my husband, our “new” home and my master degree.  Yet, even the master degree has taken another journey as I returned to Hope International for various reasons; however, I will be completed about this time next year with four more required classes to take plus two extra…

As for the blog, well, after a few more blogs about this latest path of the journey, I will be writing about a spiritual journey that is creative and fun as I take you, my readers, on a journey that will help all of us develop a deeper relationship with God.

In conclusion, you may be wondering – did we misunderstand God when we went to the Spokane area?  Or even with school?  We still have the dream to someday open up a community style coffee shop; however, we are not sure about the location yet.  Thus, look to the future and know that God is in control and He will help us figure out our next step in the journey.

After all, according to Jeremiah 29:11:  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So have you ever followed through on plans only to have a setback?  How did you overcome these setbacks?

A husband’s perspective

Tonight, once again, we share my husband’s perspective on our new town and how he is adjusting to life in small town America.

Howdy, it’s Dene, Ann’s husband again

We are now mostly unpacked and getting used to Medical Lake and its small town feel.

Settling in has been pretty smooth, a few bumps and scrapes, no worries though.

The last few nights we survived a dust storm followed by thunder and showers. The wind was so strong it bent the license plate on our van and coated it  in mud.

Ann found a brown bear car wash in a near by town and our van is all clean and pretty again.

The days are quite hot and the traffic is well, no traffic at all.

Have discovered that when you get comfortable and settled in your life, get ready God will put a big idea in your heart.

Don’t waste the big idea, let it grow for a while then move and take action following the Holy Spirit to make it reality, all to bless and glorify God.

Have you moved into a new job, home or business?

If so, listen to that still small voice it takes some constant listening to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.

Just be ready, the loud voices of this world must be silenced be for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit can be heard.

Make sure what you are hearing really is from God, His words will match the Bible and what it says.

Hope my words have encouraged and edified you, God is good, all the time.

We’re still alive…in the country

Well, we made it to Medical Lake and we’ve had a few ups and downs over the last several days…

First, was a week ago when we arrived at our apartment and discovered we lost a few things along the way including an heirloom punchbowl.  Oh well!  Everyone is safe and well.

Second, came the unloading of furniture and trying to fit everything in.  A few cross words as I wanted things a certain way while trying to be grateful for the help from parents and family friends.  We were truly blessed when our fridge and cupboards with a bountiful of goodies while our parents and siblings blessed us with loading and unloading of belonging.

Third, we almost lost the kitty.  She was traumatized already from the move (and being locked in a crate for 3 days) and then I made the mistake of sticking her in the closet – out of the way from the movers.  Some instinct told me to go check on her and I found her barely moving behind a stack of boxes.  She was not getting enough oxygen so we had to quickly move her to another spot in the apartment and soon she was back to her perky self.  Then, for the next several days, she was awake all night wanting attention after sleeping under my bed all day.  Fortunately, she is getting back to her old routine of staying up part of the day and playing (as well as eating).  Yeah!  The cat survived!

This part was just the first day!  The last several days, have been spent organizing things, adjusting to life as sole caregiver to my husband, and waiting for service and deliveries.  Sigh!  Good old fashion small town cable companies are a lot better than national internet and dish providers who do not promise as delivered!  Fortunately, small town cable company was able to have internet (and cable) up and running within 2 hours…

The final blow came as I prepared to update my blogs and focus on schoolwork…I received a phone call about my son and yet I am too far away too help with the need.  When I became prepared to drop all to tend to my son – including dropping a class – the rug was yanked out from under my feet and my wanting to help was dismissed.  All I can do is put my son (and my ex) in God’s hands and pray for the situation.

To ease the stress of the last several days, I went in search of my dad’s property in Eastern Washington less than 2 hours away from our new home.  He bought it when I was a little kid and we’ve barely been there since so I do not remember which wheat field is his.  It has snakes and other wildlife so I do need to be careful – at least we have cell phone service out there!  Once I discover which one is his, I hope to turn it into a place of contemplation along with other places I have yet to explore in the areas surrounding my new town.

Even with life’s ups and downs over the last few days, I have learned that waiting is usually the best method and I do need more patience since life around here is a bit slower than the big cities of western Washington.  Furthermore, though I have struggled in a relationship with my parents, we re-discovered each other and understand each other.  The relationship has improved and I realized how great my parents are.  This has been a good move as we discover what loving in the country is like…different, challenging (few mom and pop placed opened on sundays!) and relaxing as we get to know our neighbors, new town, and adjust to a different climate.

As I face this new adventure, I need to remember as stated in Colossians 3:12-14 (The Message):

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

What ups and downs have you faced in a new journey?  Please feel free to comment…

Stay tuned for more stories of life in the country including discovering that even the neighborhood cats will come when I call…

The Goodbyes and Farewells…

Well, the final few days in this apartment are here.  So much to do and so much to say good bye to.

Last night, as the sun set, I took pictures of the neighborhood surrounding our apartment.  There is the harbor that overlooks Whidbey Island, the marina, several apartment buildings, a high school, and several businesses.  We even said good bye to the people at our local pharmacy and others in the neighborhood who we have done business with.

As we say our good byes, even now, the sun is setting and the view is breathtaking as if to say, Good bye to us and i’ll give you my best.

Yesterday, it was saying our good byes at church.  Some tears were shed as I hugged a few people good bye and realized I will miss that church that has been home for the last few years.  There are people like Cheryl, Cathy, Andy and Tanya, Pastor Craig and his family, Pastor Dennis and Diane (who helped me with school papers) and Rick, the man who hides Dene from me.  there are more but too numerous to name or I just never got their names but they will be missed.

A couple weeks ago, it was saying good bye to my husband’s medical staff and thanking them for such great care.  They have been supported and we have been blessed by then especially as they work tirelessly to treat my husband’s latest infection.  Do pray that he will grow strong as he struggles with a few medical issues as we prepare to move.  Yet even with these struggles nurses at his local dialysis center continue to monitor his health.  Kudos to medical staff and personal around the world.

Finally, though we had a party about a week ago with friends and family, there will probably be more good byes as we say good bye to those in our apartment, our neighborhood, and more friends and family.  Though we will be back for holidays and long weekends, it will not be the same as we move to a new home.

Yet, we look forward to meeting new people in our new town as we settled in and start a new life.

So who or what would you miss if you were to leave the comforts of your home and move to a new town?  Please feel free to comment.

Move…Moving…Move…A Husband’s Perspective

To get a perspective of  the upcoming move, I’ve asked my husband to write the following blog:

Howdy everyone this is Ann’s husband again.

Oh, the joy of moving.

I bet anyone whom has moved will call it anything but a joy.

Pack it all up and truck it across state.

Then unload everything in our new apartment and start unpacking.

Why during the packing does unexpected sidetracks show up.

Even my health took a down turn; don’t need these problems showing up now.

I am fifty years old and during all those years not one move has ever gone smoothly

So what in your life is not going smoothly?

Then lift up praise to our Lord and Savior

You will find things falling together unexpectedly

Negative stress vs positive thoughts…which one?

Well, countdown is here…for the next ten days we will be busier than ever with the last round of packing, cleaning apartment, saying good byes, contacting utilities and other important people plus school.  Yep, while moving, i’ll be facing the challenge of having internet and still do my schoolwork…God give me strength.

Yeah, things are getting a little stressful especially as hubby faced a minor medical issue this morning.  All us well now but I pray the stress is not getting to him…it will be a big change for him (and me).

Some of the stresses included the following:

1) moving to a new location far far from family (never done that) though we’ll have know some people who are close by.

2) Going to a new church – hope we find a  good bible believing one who is welcoming and will encourage me as I work towards going into ministry.

3) Needing to find a job – to cover some of the expenses even if it’s part time

4) Taking care of Dene while at work and on my own…will be a big change without family nearby.

5) Getting to know new people – i’m shy and tend to avoid some social situations because the shyness can be overwhelming.

6) the move itself especially with our elderly parents driving, loading, and unloading…

Even with these stresses, we are relying on God to help us and looking at the blessings, which include the following:

1) Quiet, peacefulness

2) It’s in Eastern Washington – my most favorite place to visit

3) my dad has property over there that I can finally explore – just need to watch out for rattlesnakes (stay tuned for a blog on this)

4) Montana and Idaho are nearby – more fun places to explore!

5) My grandparents’ old farm turned to county wildlife park is closer – another relaxing and quite place.

6) I’m close to the Columbia river – my most favorite river in the whole wide world…it’s calming and relaxing.  I grew up near it and found it peaceful and beautiful!

7) Traffic is awesome there – rarely any backups!

8) It snows – yes I love snow!

9) blessings of our parents who are helping with the move

10) and the list goes on….

What is the point of these lists?  I was reminded as I read a textbook that negative thoughts should be replaced with positive ones.  The positive will help with conflict and you will be able to see things in a different perspective.

After all, according to Philippians 4:8 (KJV):

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Therefore, in conclusion, look for the positives and replace the negatives.  When you do this, your stress will be relieved and you will have a more positive outlook on life.

As to the answer to the title, I am choosing positive thoughts!

So, what negative thoughts are crowding your mind?  Can you think of anything positive to replace the negative?  Feel free to comment.

Home Sweet Home

Hello, everyone!

An update on our journey.   Well, we went over to the Spokane/Medical Lake last week and viewed three properties. 

The first was a modern day apartment that was bigger than our current apartment but was not very handicap friendly so we had to pass.

The second was a much older charming home; however, we had to walk away before we  even stepped inside.  The steps were too narrow and too high for Dene.  Don’t think I want to lug a wheelchair up those steps.

Finally, we stopped at a middle in the age range apartment that is just about perfect.  It is big and we would be saving money.  The landlord is great and friendly.  We applied and we are just waiting for word that we get the place.  She just needs one more bit of information and we will be approved.  So thanking Jesus that we get in.

This apartment is in Medical Lake, WA, and ironically I had a run in with the police years ago.  I was driving through town and had a tailgater.  Thinking I was going to slow, I sped up a little and next thing I knew, lights were flashing as I was pulled over for speeding.  Ugh!  I paid the ticket after contesting it and went on with life.  I just laugh it off and will never even go one mile over in that little town.

Now, we are interested in that little town after all these years.  It was peaceful and quiet.  On our last day there, we took some donuts and had breakfast on the beach.  It was hard to leave; however, duties back here called us away. 

We head back this week to explore and get to know the area that we hope to call home sweet home in just little over two weeks. 

We are praying that the right doors will open up for this apartment, a new job for me, and even the right caretaker for Dene. 

 We are  hoping to find the right church and if not, we can always plant one as God opens doors and provides. 

Finally, it was a great trip and we look forward to moving in a couple of weeks.

So, does anyone know of any good churches in the Spokane area? 

Family tears…and more

Just little over five weeks until we make the big move…

We’ve almost finished “blessing” people with the extras or stuff that we really do not want to bring down to Nevada with us.  Yeah, there’s a few more things but that will be given away during the last bit of packing.

In the midst of the packing, we realize that we will be saying good bye to family and friends in five weeks and may be on our own this Christmas as we scrape and settle in.  We do have some family close by but one, like a sister, lives in Arizona.

This weekend, I am going to a family reunion with my mom’s side of the family called the Wallace – Burkett – and whatever last name links you as being related to the Wallace – Burkett name – Reunion.  There will be camping, potlucks, fun, and hopefully a trick or two played on or by one of my favorite cousins.  Told them if they hear what sounds like a bear or big foot, it’s probably snoring from an unnamed person…

At the end of the weekend, we must say good-bye to these people with the understanding that it may be at least another year or two.  Some like my elderly aunts and uncles, I wonder, if I’ll ever see them again this side of heaven.

Just as we are saying good-bye to family and friends who will miss us, we have family and friends that are a bit concerned about this move.  I see their point especially since my husband has health issues; however, we are being called to Nevada and feel that his health would improve some with the warmer climate.

Some act as if they don’t care if we move and won’t take the opportunity to say goodbye or spend time with us in our final weeks.  All we can think is that they are trying to be brave and not show their emotions at the thought of us leaving.

At the same time, we are reminded that Abraham and even Jesus himself met some resistance from family as they answered their calling.

Yet, Jesus does call us to love Him more than our parents, brothers, and sisters and yet, we still love them and will miss them.

Yes, this attitude hurts especially when we have our own neighbors – people we’ve known only a few months – come up and say how we will be missed.  Yes, the rumor that we are moving is spreading quite quickly in this small “community” called our apartment building.

Even with this attitude from family, we will continue to pray for them and make sure we’re right with them as we make the move.  After all, you only have one set of family members and each of them are important.

As you prepare for a journey, are you getting resistance?  How do you handle it?  We plan to patiently answer their concerns, pray for them, and assure them that at least it’s not Africa or some other far corner of the world…

Please say that again, Lord

So, this week, i’m in the middle of a final for my class…yes, time flies by as i’m wrapping up my Casting Vision class.  Therefore, my husband will be making the contributions to the posts.  He is blind and has a simple way of writing yet he is a great communicator (some of the time : ), at least from the viewpoint of a married wife).  Anyway, hope you all have a great week as we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July.

Today we need your help and your thoughts since this will be a relaxed blogging week).


Howdy everyone out there in Ann’s blog.

This is Ann’s husband, Dene and I will be writing the blog for today.

What do you do when the brakes seem to get slammed on your current move to Las Vegas; you take a deep breath probably a whole bunch of deep breaths.  And get on your knees asking Jesus “OK LORD Jesus what is your voice and what is Satan’s interference”

Then be quiet and listen for that still small voice, sometimes the voice comes in the early morning stillness, and the answer usually doesn’t make too much sense.

Why does it not make sense because GOD’s ways are not are ways. (Isaiah 55: 8-9)

But through JESUS HE has made a way.

So if the answer comes out loud and pushy, it is likely Satan or one of his fallen angels.

So Ann and I are trying to be still and quiet listening and waiting.

But Lord we need the right answer pretty soon since are current lease is up August 31, I take another deep breath and try to still my mind

Ann and I have come up with three locations:

  1. Bitterroot valley mt
  2. Reno NV
  3. Las Vegas NV

so what do you think

should we go for one, two or three?

Three will have better employment options for ANN.

Two will let our body’s adjust to the heat (and Lake Tahoe sounds beautiful esp in winter)

One has the wonderful ranches but it gets very cold

Have you ever had this problem, trying to figure out what Jesus is trying to tell you?

At least try this, get on your knees and ask him? What next or where too next JESUS.

Thanks for listening to me… Dene Cole(the Praying Man)

Stay tuned….The Praying Man will be coming out with his own blog, talking about what it takes to get GOD’s full attention through prayer


My PS – even though this class will be ending, my blog continues as I prepare to start a new class called the Spiritual Journey of Henri Nouwen. so stay tuned.