Monday, December 3, 2018

2018 Albertson Family Christmas Letter

                                                                                                December 1, 2018
Hello to all our friends and family!  Hasn’t this year flown by?  I have been negligent about writing letters as often as I intended to, especially to all of our Colorado friends.

2018 so far has been busy with lots of visitors.  We never had this many visitors when we lived in Colorado!  We are so blessed to have had 56 overnight guests, 129 different Sunday meal guests,31 different weekday meal guests and 16 who stopped by, but not at a meal time.  On 42 Sundays from January through November, we had guests.

God has helped us with several improvements to our property this year.  We are thankful to get our shed constructed, our master bath remodeled and new flooring, the guest room and bathroom painted, our trees trimmed and two removed, our driveway enlarged, and new flooring in the kitchen, dining room, half bath, entryway and hallway.  Our sons helped in the master bath shower remodel at Christmas last year, and Jeffrey and Lesa came in June to do the floor tiling, new cabinet, lighting and wiring.  Then they came again in November to do the main level flooring project.  We hired the driveway expansion and tree trimming.  All of these are great improvements and we are so thankful to have them done!

We are thankful for Rowen’s job with Budget Blinds and Tailored Living.  He has installed countless blinds, shutters, and closet systems.  Janet has been thankful to take care of a dear elderly friend for almost two years, but that job is ending with this year.  We are trusting God will provide the work He wants her to do next and hopefully nearer to home, so the gasoline is not such a big item in our budget.

Emily and Elizabeth have worked at Chick-fil-A this year—Emily full-time until August when she had a missions trip to Detroit, then started full-time freshman year of college at God’s Bible School and College in Cincinnati.  Since then, she only works Saturdays, and continues to be the “opener” that day.  Elizabeth works one day a week to fit around her college schedule at GBSC, but worked more during part of the summer until she did a 6 week internship (2 weeks with Gospel Publishing Mission in Hobe Sound, Florida and 4 weeks in Taiwan).  Elizabeth plans to graduate in May 2019 with a BA in Integrative Studies with Cognates in Intercultural Studies & World Missions and Children’s Ministry.

Rowen and Janet celebrated 35 years of marriage this October with a trip to Paducah, Kentucky in September.  In October we all traveled to Missouri for Janet’s sister’s wedding and got to see almost all of our primary family, and extended family on Janet’s side.  In July, Janet traveled to Joplin, Missouri to visit her parents and our son and his family.

In 2018, Janet completed four quilts which were scattered to South Dakota, Colorado, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Yet to happen this year:  Janet right cataract removal, Rowen new glasses, Elizabeth and Emily participation in GBSC Christmas performance—Elizabeth in the Christmas choir and Emily in the Christmas orchestra in conjunction with the drama.  We were privileged to have Jeffrey and Lesa here for two weeks in November, so they won’t be coming for Christmas. We are grateful to live close enough to Jason and Karen to expect to see them sometime over the holidays. As far as we know, Randy’s and Tim’s families won’t be able to come.  It will be different not having all our kids together for Christmas.

We are thankful to be as healthy as we are.  Rowen is blessed to have an endocrinologist who gives him free samples of insulin, so we have not had to buy insulin since the first time he saw this doctor in March of 2017!  That is an amazing example of God’s care and provision for us!  We are thankful for the many, many miles we have driven safely.  Both Rowen and Janet have traveled a distance to work and God has been so good to us.  We are thankful for the ways God has helped Elizabeth and Emily in work situations, college stresses, and missions experiences that stretched them and grew their faith and trust in God.  We are thankful for our wonderful church family and the many GBS students we have been able to get acquainted with, and the many friends and family who visited us this year.  We are thankful that our children are all on the right track and serving Jesus.  We are most thankful for Jesus and the salvation He provided for us!

Our prayer for all of our friends and family is that Jesus will be real and near to each one as we face a new year.  May the Christ of Christmas live in our hearts so that every day others will see Jesus in us!

Have a blessed Christmas,
Rowen, Janet, Elizabeth, and Emily Albertson

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Other November news (besides the new floors)

There are so many expectant mothers in our church right now.  The first one born is Levi Glen Wilson on October 29.  Rowen and Janet went to see them (over into Indiana) on November 3 and took a meal to them.  Levi is a very sweet baby, the most well-behaved one we have seen in a long while!  He joins a precious family whom we love!  
 The brave mother Pam, who endured being over a week overdue and had this 10# baby at home with her brave husband assisting the birth!
On November 4, we had our "adopted" daughter, Danette, and her guy friend Jimmy Garcia over for dinner.  We had already done preliminary preparation for the flooring project, and figured only "family" could handle the mess we had going on.  Danette qualifies as family, since she is in her second year of being adopted into our family.  We had the rectangular table as small as it could go, because of all the other things we knew would be stuffed into the family room in the coming days.
 We took a walk in the afternoon at Pioneer Park.
 Janet and Elizabeth
 It was a crisp fall day.
 Danette took this for us.
 The couples
 We were privileged to have Jeffrey and Lesa with us November 5-16.
On November 9, the local travelling IHC service was at our church Burlington Bible Church.  Our friend, Rowen's Budget Blinds co-worker, freshman Josh Stamper preached in the preservice, which gave two GBS student preachers the opportunity to preach for ten minutes.
 One of the GBS quartets also sang in the preservice.
 On Sunday, November 11, we posed for an annual "Christmas Card" photo.  This time we stood by our church.  It was a COLD day.  We took off our coats to take the picture.
 Our precious daughters
 Jimmy and Danette came for dinner.  We were eating on the new floor for the second time, having finished it late on Saturday night.
 It was a little warmer in the afternoon when Jeffrey and Lesa got their picture made.
 That evening we went to Loveland Wesleyan Chapel in Loveland, Ohio for the GBS choir service.
 On November 13, Lesa's siblings Olivia and Elliot were traveling through 
and stayed the night with us.
 We taught them how to play Ticket to Ride.
On November 16, Jason and Karen came over for supper with us.
After supper, we had a few Christmas gifts.  Jeffrey and Lesa won't be back for Christmas, so we had early Christmas gifts with them.
          Jeffrey and Lesa examining a Turkish trivet I bought at the Creation Museum for them.
 The last four children we were blessed to have in our family...
and the beautiful daughters-in-law added in.
 We are thankful for all of our children, and that some of them got to be together for these days.  Jeffrey and Lesa left the next morning and drove back to Iowa.
On November 18, we had Monte and Connie Stetler and their girls, Abbey and Maddie, and Brian and Lois Harvey over for Sunday dinner and wonderful conversations and fellowship.
On November 19, Natalie Heppner drove here from her college in Ohio and spent the night with us, and then flew home to Colorado the next day to spend Thanksgiving with her family.  Natalie has been a dear friend to our family and especially Emily for several years.  We are so happy to have Natalie in college close by so we can see her sometimes! 
 The girls enjoyed studying together that evening.
Natalie flew back to CVG airport on November 26 
and stayed with us again before heading back to college.
For Thanksgiving Day, we joined with some of our church family and friends to eat together in the Church Fellowship Hall.  There was plenty of food and fellowship.
 Some played Dutch Blitz
 Janet visiting with Marvin and Joyce Cooper and Retha Elger.
 Elizabeth visiting with friends of the Wilson family.
 There was rock painting activity available for the budding artists. 
The adults also played Beyond Balderdash.
We also sang some Thanksgiving hymns and read about the history of the songs. 
On "ThanksFriday," we (Rowen, Janet, and Elizabeth) and Jason and Karen went up to West Carrollton, Ohio to visit Ron and Becky Profitt.
 We are happy that Aunt Becky is doing so much better now after recovering from several surgeries.
Emily was gone all of Thanksgiving break on a trip to Liberty, Kentucky.  She will likely blog about that when she gets time.  She keeps really busy with her college work, but Christmas break is coming!  Keep a watch on her blog:
When Natalie came back on November 26, we also had Seth Stevenson for supper.  He was visiting BBN radio supporters in our area, so we had him come over.  He has been one of our "adopted" sons for many, many years, so it was good to have him "home" again.
 A picture with sweet Natalie that night.
That's about it for November!

New Floor!

First some "before" pictures
 You can't tell from these just how badly we needed new flooring.  There were two layers of linoleum, and every time the refrigerator was pulled out to clean behind or under or to paint, holes were torn in the linoleum.  There were lots of cuts in it.
 We eat in this room most of the time, unless we have more than 8 people.  The carpet was very stained and worn, so we decided to take the carpet out.
 We had already removed the bookshelves from either side of the window before these "before" pictures were taken.
Probably the hardest part was getting the two linoleum layers out! We are so thankful that Jeffrey and Lesa came to do the work for us.  They are diligent and excellent workers!
 We moved everything to the family room during the project and ate meals in there.  It was convenient to reach back to the refrigerator from the table during those days!  
We got a new refrigerator as part of the facelift to the kitchen.
Lesa worked hard getting the old layers and glue off!
Everything in the family room 
 The dining area had to have another subfloor to make it the same level as the kitchen.
This is the start of the tiling.
 The tiles interlocked with one another.
 They would make a section to go all across the room and then add it to the previous row.
 Lesa drew and wrote about our family and a Bible verse on the subfloor 
before they put the tile over it.
 If the tiles are ever removed, there will be a message!
 Emily got to help after school.
We had to rent the tool to make the straight cuts.
 Other cuts were made on the table saw with a special blade.
 Working on the half bath.  We updated the lavatory while we were doing the project.
 We debated covering the register in the hallway, since it doesn't connect in a way to warm or cool the hallway.  But maybe it was somehow needed for return air, so we left it.
 The empty and refloored kitchen
 Gluing the transition from carpet to tiling trim piece.  This is the entryway and coat closet.
 Finishing the carpet edge in the living room late on Saturday night. 
 We were blessed that Rowen could use the Chop Saw from his work to cut the quarter round trim pieces.  It was a big job, but the Chop Saw worked so well for all the 45* angle cuts.
 The hallway out of the kitchen to the front door and entry way.
 Jeffrey installing the new lavatory.  
 There was no side splash available to buy, so Jeffrey created one out of wood, and after it was painted, it looked so wonderful!
 Jeffrey is amazing at details.
Stapling down the turned under carpet edge
 Ready for Sunday! 
 The transition edge and the quarter round looks great!
We got the shelves back in place.
 Half bath back together. 
 Kitchen back together.  (We leave our potato bin open for air for the potatoes.)
 View from the front door to the kitchen.
We have wanted a new floor and refrigerator for two years.  We are so thankful that God helped us to do this, and for Jeffrey and Lesa being such good workers for us!