PostHeaderIcon One of our Little Angels

Can’t believe how little he was.DSCF3425

PostHeaderIcon Christmas Letter 2008

My goodness, I don’t know where to begin. It has been quite a year for the Swain family. The biggest event being, of course, the birth of our precious grandchild, Kelton Jonathan Swain. We have had friends and family (Vik, Earl, Jacque and Jim Dahl to name a few) that tried to tell us that being grandparents was AWESOME. We didn’t believe them until it happened to us, although, Mike was more susceptible to their suggestions than I.

Anyway, not only is Kelton precious beyond measure, he is our little miracle grandson. His safe birth, with a weight of 3lbs 12 oz, his stay in NICU and his growth, since then, have been miracles and blessings all along the way. For more of his story, see www.keltonswain.com. Yes, he has his own website soon to be the website for both he and his brother/sister. Yes, that’s right (drum roll, please) Tiffani and Jonathan are going to have another little one in May (not sooner!!!). We don’t know boy or girl, yet, but . . . really, who cares?

Tiffani’s miraculous recovery from the birthing ordeal was amazing, also. You really have to check out the website. I am going to be nagging Jonathan in the next week or so to get it updated. Tiffani is glowing in pregnancy this time around and seems to be doing much better than the last one. What a little homemaker. We are so proud of her. She is a great mom, too and has already taught Kelton how to sing. I know, that’s hard to believe isn’t it? But I do have a recording of it on my cell phone. Ask me, I’ll play it for you.

Jonathan is doing stupendous. (Jonathan did you notice I used an even bigger word than I used for your brother?). He’s kinda taken on the maintenance of the website of the Stockton Police Officers’ Association and has already earned a great trip, for Tiffani and himself, to Monterey. The really great thing about that trip was that Mike and I got to baby-sit “you know who.” I don’t want to type his name too often or you’ll think this letter is all about him. Jonathan is perpetuating the Mike Swain fathering method, with his own flair. We are so proud of him.

Joshua is doing fabulous. I swear I don’t know what I would do without him. Not only does he keep me company when Mike is working (holidays and work days at church) and playing (Deacon’s meetings and worship practice), he, also, keeps every electronic device in our house up and running. If I had to wire that stuff we would be in candlelight with nothing but a good book (actually, that doesn’t sound too bad). He is really appreciated by his boss and received a VERY NICE bonus last week. He loves the Lord, his job, his family and fishing. I’m not sure in what order, though.

I absolutely love the grandmother thing. My name is Nana, by the way. He is so cute!!! I’m the secretary for the Sparky director at church. The director used to be Michael but he will be stepping down next week. His schedule is changing, again, at work and is going to be a challenge for us. I’m still working at the clinic. It’s been 10 years, now. I don’t like the drive to Redding but the job is good money.

Mike is doing well. He had a pretty serious result from an MRI on his back, recently. He has a herniated disk, some weird structural stuff and some bulging discs. Physical Therapy seems to be working for him so we are happy with that. He has been involved in the Sparky program at church, as the director, is on the worship team and is a Deacon. It keeps him pretty busy. He got the lawn in for the backyard and was so pleased the first time he set Kelton on it.

We took a fabulous vacation this year in Mexico with the Andrews family (that’s Andrews family not Adams family). You’ll have to check out the pictures in the gallery.

Above all else, the most precious thing in mine and Michael’s lives is our relationship with Jesus Christ. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, ask one of us. We’d be happy to share. We are praying that you and your family are blessed this holiday season and that 2009 is a very special year.

Love Donna (Nana) and Mike (Pabar)

PostHeaderIcon March 2008 Update

So much is going on, I don’t know where to begin. I turned 50 in December and my wonderful husband threw me a “surprise” birthday party. I would call it a roast. A number of my friends had a great time giving me a hard time, if you know what I mean. It was very touching to see all of the people who really do care about me, there (I admit it, reluctantly, as I fought the whole party idea for a year and was convinced I had Mike on board) NOT. Right on the heels of my birthday came Michael’s birthday which was spent low key as he is in his “early 50’s” and I was much nicer to him than he to me.

Through January and February Tiffani continued to improve in her pregnancy with the Zofran working very well to control her vomiting. We were pleased with her progress and I was very busy with the invitations, details and planning for the “baby shower of the century”. I thought the baby shower, on February 23rd, was very nice and the kids were blessed with so many wonderful gifts. It was a real joy to do it for her as she is one of those type of people that is so appreciative of everything you do for her.

After the shower we settled down to the waiting until April for our precious grandchild. As many know now, we didn’t have to wait long. Tiffani started experiencing some swelling with her pregnancy and had what we thought was gall bladder problems the week end of the shower. It was, however, eclampsia and Tiffani became very ill. You can read all the details on little Kelton’s own website, KeltonSwain.com. Yes, my grandchild has his own website, thanks to his “techie” Uncle, Josh. Amazing technology today, I swear. Little Kelton was born on 2/28/08, 6 weeks early weighing in at 3 lbs. 12 oz. Jonathan was born at 8 lbs 2 oz. so Kelton was less than half the size of his Dad. He is doing amazingly well and we are looking forward to him coming home very soon (way ahead of schedule, actually).

Meanwhile, during all of the drama of Tiffani’s serious illness (God has been merciful in full measure, saving both of their lives), Michael became a Deacon at our church. It is a real “step of faith” for him. As, I am sure, most Deacons feel, he feels inadequate for the job, which, of course, is perfect because he knows God is his adequacy. I am proud of his decision because I know how much faith it required for him to “step out” of his comfort zone (to use some modern terminology). Please pray for his continued wisdom, discernment and that he is always in God’s will.

Well, I guess that’s a beginning of letting you know how things are going. I am sure few people will be reading this website as most family and friends are totally tuned into KeltonSwain.com but thought I would make sure that this website doesn’t get too far behind.

We are going to Mexico with the Andrews family in June and are really looking forward to the relaxation time.

Wow, what a year so far and it’s only March.

Love to all, Donna

PostHeaderIcon It’s A Boy

Well the verdict is in, the new swain baby is a boy. This unprecedented turn of events has most of the experts stumped. Everything pointed to the baby being a girl, but to defy all odds, the baby is a boy.

Kelton Jonathan Swain !!!!

Kelton Jonathan Sonogram

Jonathan and Tiffani have decided to name the child Kelton Jonathan Swain. I have set up a website for them at www.keltonswain.com. You can see latest news about the upcoming birth, and have a chance to enter “The Contest.”

That is all for now. I am sure my mother will be back soon with another installment of the post, so stay tuned …

PostHeaderIcon Best News of 2007

The best news of 2007 is that Joshua is going to Mexico with us in June of 2008. Just kidding, Jonathan. Thought you would get a kick out of that, or mayby not. Actually, we are very excited to be expecting. OK, you know I am not talking about Mike and I. We are gonna be grandparents next year and couldn’t be more excited. If I have been able to master modern day electronics, there will be a sono picture attached to this article for you to see. I know, sono pictures are only exciting to the parents and grandparents but, too bad, look at it anyway. We don’t know what it is yet, but it is definitely human and we are happy about that.

Bebe Swain !!!!

Bebe Swain Sonogram

Let’s see, we really are going to Mexico in June of 2008. Coincidentally 2 months after the birth of our grandchild. Uh oh, we are back to the grandchild, again.

We have been very busy teaching Sunday school, working as leaders in Awanas, at our church and working on our back yard. The back yard is definitely a challenge.

We had a great time with Vik, Earl, Dan, Sue, Jon, Tif, Blake, Kim, Hunter, Thomas, Shannon, Uri and Joshua at our recent Octoberfest party. It is always fun to have people come to our house. We don’t get to be hosts very often. We had a pumpkin carving contest. Dan Dorsey won it with a fire breathing pumpkin. The, unofficial, cake decorating contest was won by Jonathan with a black spider cake. Hopefully, there are pictures of both with this article. Again, it will require I get them sent to Joshua who maintains my .com. I know, it’s pathetic that I don’t maintain my own website but he is so much better and quicker at it.

Dan & His Winning Pumpkin

Dan - Pumpkin Carving Contest Winner

Jon & His Winning Cake

Jonathan - Cake Contest Winner

Not much else going on. Just waiting for the sono that will tell us whether our grandchild is a boy or a girl. Be looking for our Christmas letter. We will catch you up on everything then.

TTFN

PostHeaderIcon Christmas Letter 2006

So … I’m writing this “Christmas Letter” from Joshua’s laptop. He had to loan it to me because my laptop is broken. I know it’s hard to believe that but I had the laptop back for a whole 2 weeks, having had a new hard drive installed (again) and it stopped working. We have only had the stupid machine for 18 months and are on our 4th repair, 3rd hard-drive (not including the one that it came with). Now one would think that perhaps I have a lemon, but, alas and alack, I do not, until this one (that they are installing now) breaks. Do you sense a slight bit of FRUSTRATION? Don’t be ridiculous, you know what a patient person I am.

Anyway, back to more important stuff. Everything is going well here in windy Red Bluff. I say windy as I had no idea how much the wind blows down here. Of course I didn’t realize that a cattle ranch could smell so much or for such a great distance and that there was so much noise in the country, either. It’s OK, don’t worry, I am getting used to the area. There are some charming reasons for living in the country. As soon as I figure out what those are, I’ll mention them in the newsletter.

The “kids” are doing great. Joshua is still working for DNA in Chico and is our week-end roomie. I think he comes home for our fabulous, funny and entertaining company but his father thinks it might be the home cooking. Either way, we do enjoy having him around. Mike, especially, enjoys him around when he is doing the latest pour (cement borders for the backyard). And then there is the fact that it is always handy to have a computer expert in the house.

Jonathan is still at Stockton Police Department. In January he will be going to the night shift. The bad thing is it is a more “active” shift. The good thing is he will be riding with a partner. In his “spare” time, what little he has, he built a beautiful dining room table. OK, we will admit it, we (his Dad and I) didn’t think there was anyway that man had it in him to build a dining room table but he proved us wrong. His wife, of course, knew he could do it all along. Tiffani is graduating from the Manicurist program at Sac. City College on Friday (12/15) and will be starting the cosmetologist section of her program in January. Who knew? It will be really cool to have a stylist in the house. A little bird told me she is working on some songs for a CD but is prayerfully waiting for funding. I guess those little buggers are expensive to produce.

We did our usual vacation to the Beach house this year and immensely enjoyed the company. It was a great one this year. It is a toss up as to what was better, the beach house or our vacation to Spirit West Coast. SWC is a huge Christian rock concert that goes on for 3 days in Monterey, California. We were with great company, great accommodations and beautiful weather. The music was mind boggling. So much talent in one spot. It was fantastic. We are going again in 2007.

Michael’s brother, Gary, passed away this fall after a battle with cancer. And I do mean battle. He fought it like a warrior. We were so proud of him. We do miss him, terribly but know that we will see him again.

The best news of the whole year is that Mike and I found a church home. We are, now, official members of the North Valley Baptist and New Life Fellowship church of Red Bluff. What a wonderful family of believers that have such a servant’s heart for God’s people. There are no “pew potatoes” in this congregation. I can tell you that. These are people completely dedicated to spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to any who will listen. I guess during this Christmas season, when we think about Christ being born to die for us, it truly is the best news. To know there are so many loving people taking care of the homeless, the children, inmates, widows, the sick, the dying and all that Jesus called us to care for, is the biggest blessing.

We hope and pray that this next year is one that finds you well, happy and serving the Lord. If you’re not serving the Lord or do not know HIM, call me, we’ll chat.

Love Donna and Mike

PostHeaderIcon 30 Years !!!

Mike & Donna Wedding RenewalI know, 30 years is a long time. It seems like yesterday that we were two young kids freshly in love. It is an age-old boring adage that says “time goes by so quickly”. But let me tell you, it’s true. Mike and I celebrated our 30 years of marriage on Sunday, July 2nd with family and friends with a renewal celebration. The surprise party was thrown by our bestest friends, Earl and Vikki Welch. It was perfect, right down to the party favors. Nick Welch did a wonderful renewal ceremony (he’s our favorite Pastor). Tiffani sang my favorite song that I dedicated to Mike a few years ago and did a wonderful job. The food,
weather, company and cake were perfect. We were so surprised. We weren’t surprised, however, that so many people were there to support us and celebrate with us. We have always known that we have an amazing circle of wonderful friends and very loyal family.

Of course, Thank You, would never be sufficient words to say for such a wonderful celebration. Everyone said some wonderful things to us and left us speechless. Now that I have had time to contemplate, however, I have lots of things to say. God has really blessed us with a unique relationship. It really is not so much our doing as much as God’s doing that we have been married so long. That and an amazing passion for each other.

When people ask me why we have been married so long or why we have such great kids, all we can say is “It is God’s work in our lives”.

Thank you, again, so much, to everyone who was there. A special thank you to Vik, Earl and Nick Welch who worked so hard to carry it off. Also, thank you to our 3 kids, who are, despite our best efforts, exceptional human beings.

PostHeaderIcon Family Update 2006

Swain Family PortraitWhere do we begin? It has been some time since we did a newsletter so I will just give you the last year of news. Michael and I now live in Red Bluff. We bought a house in July 2005. It is a nice little 3 bedroom, 2 bath in the middle of, what I like to call, the blankity blank country. It started out without any landscaping in the backyard and still doesn’t have any landscaping in the backyard. We were able to re-do the lousy landscaping job that the contractors did in our front yard. Not a small accomplishment for a year. We just finished getting the underground
sprinkler system in and may call that good for this year. I know, everything slows down as you approach 50. Michael is 16 years, now, at Sierra Pacific. He is a millwright and is fortunate to be on day shift, 10 hour shifts, 4 days a week. This gives him Fri., Sat., and Sunday for the yard work (my idea, not his). Anyway, I imagine he will be at Sierra Pacific for some time to come. I am still at the clinic as the administrative assistant. Although, I quit the front office supervisor position a couple of years ago, I find myself still somewhat involved in that position, as well. The two great things about my job are the pay and the fact that my boss really appreciates the job that I do. Job satisfaction is always important, right?

Here is the spot where I would list all of our hobbies and our references but this is not, after all, a resume.

Joshua is still programming for a small start-up company in Chico. I don’t know what they are “starting up” but he keeps at it. He has resisted all attempts to get him to move to the city for more pay or to get him “hooked up” with a wife. He’s stubborn. I’m not sure where that came from but he does remind me, at times, of his FATHER!!!!!!!

Jonathan is doing great in Stockton. He is a police office for the city, there, and is still alive, so things are good. Tiffani is our joy. She is going back to school to fulfill another dream of hers, cosmetology school. We, of course, want her to be happy but more importantly, we want free hair cuts and color.

Anyway, consider this the Christmas letter that I did not send 6 months ago. I was busy with asthma, the flu and feeling generally miserable. I’m sorta better, now, other than the whining that I do on a daily basis.

Hopefully, if all goes well and Joshua knows as much as he pretends to, you will see, attached to this article, the latest picture of all 5 of us, that Jonathan took with his fancy camera set up.