Sequestered Again…

…but for much more wonderful reasons…


On Thursday my husband and I came up to use a friend’s cabin in Forest Lakes, Arizona with another couple.  These first two photos are courtesy of my friend, Julie.

We enjoyed some deep conversation and one of our favorite card games of Nertz.

We have been playing Nertz with some of our best friends since the 70’s and love it! Funny thing, just as I was typing this I decided to look up Nertz rules so you could play the game yourself and I discovered that there’s a National Nertz Association AND that we’ve been playing it incorrectly all along.  Oh well, we’ve had so much fun and the difference is negligible.  We’ll have to try to play the “right” way the next time though.

It started snowing on Friday night just as Andy & Julie were leaving.  We went to bed with some light snowfall and by this morning it didn’t look safe enough to drive out.

We had other friends who were hoping to come up today, but the drive is too dangerous, so it’s just the two of us now.

Forest Lakes Picture Window

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking out at this gorgeous view of the snow gently falling.  An instrumental version of “Christmas Time is Here” just started playing on the iPod (just like the version in A Charlie Brown Christmas).  Even though we’re well into February it feels appropriate somehow.  Snowfall always reminds me of the holidays.  Growing up in Ohio, we always dreamed of a white Christmas.  I continue to long for the confluence of snow and the winter holidays especially now that we live in Phoenix and have to travel to the mountains to enjoy it.

Today the snow fluctuates from a light dusting, to big fluffy flakes, then when the wind kicks up it starts to swirl between the trees.  At times it turns to a slushy rain, then back to snow.  Even though it’s after 2pm, the sky is dark and gray.  We’ve heard that this is just the beginning of the storm that’s supposed to last through tonight and well into tomorrow.  Worst case scenario is over 20 inches of snow in this storm, but because it seems to be wet (for now) it doesn’t seem to be accumulating as quickly as we’d expected.

We had a power outage this morning and for some reason the back up generator didn’t turn on.  We were ready to brave the storm and hit the roads, but while we were weighing our options, packing, etc. the power came back on, so we decided to stay where we’re safe and sound inside the warm, cozy house.

We’re in a neighborhood reached only by dirt roads and we talked to a neighbor who said that they almost slid into a ditch in their truck with snow tires this morning, so we’re not going to take a chance on the drive out and down the Mogollon Rim Highway.  Neither of us have driven much in the snow and our car doesn’t have snow tires or chains so we’ll settle in here.  We were planning to stay until Sunday anyway and we have plenty of food, even if we have to stay for an extra day or so to wait for the snow plows to come around.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy the quiet solitude with my sweetie, open a bottle of wine, light a fire in the fireplace and pray that the power stays on…oh, wait.  We might want to conserve that firewood just in case we do lose power again.Terry reading in Forest Lakes

Terry’s working on finishing the book, Atlas Shrugged.  1069 pages. He’s almost there.

Fortunately we have an ample supply of books, magazines, DVDs, blogs, photo projects and writing utensils so we aren’t lacking for things to do. In fact, it’s kind of nice to be forced to sit still for a while.  Might be fun to plan a snow trip like this every year…

Click to enlarge this pic to get a little bit of an idea of the snowfall.  It changes second by second and the photos really don’t do it justice.  It’s absolutely amazing!  I’m not sure I’ll ever get out of this spot.  It’s like watching a real life snow globe, only much more magical.

2011.02.19 Afternoon Snow

A Quick Stop in Croatia

Sorry that I haven’t had time to post more about our trip to Bosnia.  We’re home and getting re-acclimated to our sleeping schedules and “real” lives.

These are a few shots from our first stop in Podstrana to catch our breath from the long flight.  It’s on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea.

In the meantime, here’s a link with some more photos (but still not the whole trip).  They’re on my Facebook page, but you don’t have to sign up to see them here.

This last photo is from a little town called Omis.  I loved the architecture there!

We did a lot of walking on our trip, which was wonderful.  The weather was great everywhere we went!

Hope to be back on top of posting here soon.

We’re Hoping to go to Bosnia!

Terry and I are excited about a chance to travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina for a short-term mission trip – our first ever! God has provided the opportunity and the availability of time off for us to travel and we are so very thankful.
If we can raise the necessary funds, we’ll go as part of a team from our church, led by Bob and Helen Ryan.  Helen leads Open Door to the World (ODW) an outreach arm of our church, Open Door Fellowship, in Phoenix and her husband Bob is an amazing musician and songwriter.  The Ryans have been working for years with the people and churches of this struggling nation since the war that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990’s.
Open Door to the World, has worked to help bring hope and reconciliation to Bosnia since before the war’s end. Beginning with a long-term assistance program to Bosnian refugees arriving in Phoenix, and working to impact the country with yearly teams to Bosnia itself, ODW has formed long-term relationships in the struggle for peace there.
This year, the Catfish Hunters musical duo (Terry and Bob Ryan) have been invited to perform at various venues in three towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina. What we’ve been asked to do is present songs that speak about forgiveness, hope and reconciliation to this war-scarred country. It’s a badly needed message.
Now here’s the awesome part!
Terry’s part in the team will be to use the musical gifts God has given him to minister in the cities of Mostar, Sarajevo and perhaps one other. For those who haven’t heard him, he’s now playing guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass and harmonica.  Through the Coffee-bar performances, our Team’s prayer is to reach out to the communities as a connecting point between the Christians and their non-believing friends in those cities. They’ll be playing both at churches, to encourage believers, and in secular “Coffee-bar” venues to bring the message of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I hope to use my photography to capture glimpses of the stories of the Bosnian churches, people and ministries and bring them home to those who want to know more about the work God is doing there. We also look forward to opportunities to share Christ and to encourage the hearts of the believers, young churches and our own Open Door Fellowship missionary family there (the Tinlin’s) in practical ways as well.    Along the way I hope to provide written and visual updates, whenever Internet access is available.
We hope to be a blessing to the people of Bosnia. And we believe that doing so in God’s name will be a blessing to us. You can share in that blessing – In prayer as we prepare and while we travel, in financially supporting this work, and by keeping in touch with what we find and experience as it happens, through our regular communications during the trip.
In a nation of several million people and fewer than 2,000 evangelical believers, the churches struggle to meet the needs of their members and to have a significant impact on their cities.
Open Door to the World ministry trips are financed through the fund raising efforts and personal contributions of team members.   Your participation with us is a significant investment in the Bosnian churches and their testimony in the surrounding communities.
And so…
We would welcome any questions you have and will look forward to keeping you abreast of our plans, preparations and travels if you decide to partner with our team.
Bosnia is still filled with strife and ethnic and political division. Without Christ, there is no solution that will bring these divided people together. Your prayers and financial support will give us the opportunity to use the gifts and talents that God has given us to encourage and minister to the people of Bosnia, using the universal message of music to reach across language and ethnic barriers to share the Good News of Jesus Christ!
We’re so excited for the opportunity to use what God has given us. Here are several ways that you can help:
  • Add a comment here or send an email to hannfamily[at] to let us know that you’d like to join our prayer team. We’ll keep you updated all along the way.
  • Terry and I will need to raise a total of $3400 to cover the anticipated expenses for the trip. We’re about half way there! To be a part of blessing the Bosnian churches through our team, you can mail a check made payable to:
Open Door Fellowship
8301 N. 19th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ  85021
Important to Add: BOSNIA in the check memo field
Or go to now and click on the Paypal link to donate online.   It’s very important to Add: BOSNIA in the memo field so they’ll know where it goes.
  • ODW will be hosting a dinner and theater performance fundraiser on April 23rd and 24th. Let us know if you want information about tickets to attend.  Proceeds will help with our trip, as well as others.
  • There will also be a silent auction fund-raiser on that night.  If you’re not able to give monetarily at this time, then maybe there’s a product, craft or service that you’d be interested in donating for the auction.
  • Become a fan of “The Catfish Hunters’ Musical Bridge to Bosnia” on Facebook. You’ll find more information there, have a chance to ask questions about our trip and see what’s happening in preparation.
  • To learn more about the goals of Open Door to the World visit and click on “Outreach”.

We hope you’re as excited about this opportunity as we are! Can’t wait to get there and see how God will use us to impact these communities.

Happy Birthday Terry!

to my favorite guy!

Taken at Fish Creek Falls in Colorado last summer.

Our Semi-official Christmas Letter – 2009

Greetings to you, our dear friends and family!
If you have a few minutes, settle into your favorite chair and catch up on our latest news.
As always, God has been good and our year has been full!  Most of you know that we have been empty-nesters now for a few years.  The photo of the whole family was taken at Disneyland for our one weekend all together so far this year.  We’re excited that we’ll be together again for the weekend after Christmas.  Now let’s see what the family has been doing…
Kevin recently spent about 6 months in Afghanistan conducting some top secret missions with the Air Force.  He’s not allowed to tell us what he was doing for at least 50 years.  (Safe bet that we won’t even be around by then, right?)  He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in August and is now working for a strategy and technology consulting firm.   His job is located in Meridian, Mississippi, a somewhat smallish town a few hours from the gulf. Quite different from anywhere he’s lived before.  All we know is that he’s doing curriculum development and training for the military, relating to the equipment that he worked on in Afghanistan.  He’s been there since early October and is still getting acclimated to the job and the terrain.
Amy and her husband, Andrew are living back in Southern California, just a half hour or so from where they grew up (in Santa Clarita).  She was able to transfer with her job from a similar position in Scottsdale.  She’s an editor for press releases, so gets in on the breaking news before any of us hear it, but isn’t allowed to say anything.  She’s also pursuing her dream of being a wedding and portrait photographer and had the privilege of shooting a wedding in Italy, as well as several others this year.  Her hope is to eventually do photography full time, so if you know of anyone who’s looking, please pass her name along.  She’s willing to travel.  Visit to see her work.
Andrew has pretty much landed his dream job!  A few years ago he attended The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences here in Arizona, and then was offered an internship at a recording studio in So Cal.  Since then he has moved to a new studio and has the privilege of working with and learning from a well-known mixing engineer.  He’s worked on albums by Green Day, Dave Matthews band, Hanna Montana and many others.  He also has a chance to do his own free-lance engineering work in his spare time.  He LOVES what he’s doing and is learning so much!


Terry is thankful to have survived a round of layoffs at American Funds and has been enjoying some special assignments in his job that keep him from getting bored.  He also loves the 10 minute commute!  During his free time he has been playing music a lot!  Just this month, in addition to the time he plays at church on Sundays, he played in a band for a Christmas concert for 2 nights, then with a different band at a CD release party at a coffeehouse the next weekend, and this weekend he played with a friend at the local Borders Bookstore.  He already has a few gigs scheduled in January as well. I’m so glad that he has the time and opportunities to express his gifts and talents in this way.  It’s what he loves to do more than most anything.
As for me, I’m working 4 days a week for Uhlmann Family Offices .  I enjoy a lot of variety in my position.  Parts of my days are spent assisting the non-profit organizations that share office space with us.  I have the chance to do a little bit of everything…event coordination, basic graphic design, photography, help with mailings, blog posts, website updates, and even a bit of bookkeeping.   I really love my job and my schedule!  My Fridays are precious to me because I have a chance to spend time with my mom and take her shopping, to doctor appts, lunch, the movies or whatever we decide to do together.  My sisters come along sometimes as well.  It gives me the chance to make up for some of the time that we lived in So Cal.  I love having that extra day to get things done either with family, friends or at home.   Speaking of extra time, I now have the time and energy to pursue hobbies like photography, blogging, crafting and hopefully sewing soon (when I get my machine).
Terry and I also were blessed with some fun travel this year.  We went to Steamboat Springs, CO for a week in the summer.  Kevin and two of our dear friends were able to join us too.  We had gorgeous weather and spent a lot of time outdoors.  In September we spent a long weekend enjoying Antelope Canyon and the north rim of the Grand Canyon with a couple of other great friends. The next weekend we drove to L.A. to go to Disneyland with Amy, Andrew and Kevin.  We had a blast!
In early November we spent a week with Terry’s dad and wife, Ginny in North Carolina.  We were treated to some amazing Fall colors and other gorgeous scenery there.  It was wonderful to have the chance to spend some extended time with them.
So what’s on the horizon for 2010?  You’ll have to ask the kids about their plans, but I’m hoping to travel to Fort Myers, Florida with my mom and sisters in February.  At 86, my mom still loves to travel, as long as one of us comes along with her.  We’re looking forward to visiting her half sister, Alice there.
In May, Terry and I are hoping to travel to Bosnia with a few people from our church.  Open Door Fellowship has had ongoing relationships assisting several churches there since their war and unrest in the 90’s.  Terry and two other guys are planning to go and play music at several churches and coffeehouses.  The men who lead worship at these churches are often the pastors who end up doing everything on Sundays.  The guys will be able to give these pastors some rest from that portion of the morning and will give the congregation a treat by having some different music and musicians.  They’ll also play at local coffeehouses to begin to make connections between the churches and the community they serve.  I will be going along to help with whatever I can and document as much as possible with photos.  They haven’t had anyone go with them to Bosnia for the purpose of capturing the images of the people and places and I hope to be able to bring home visuals that will help them spread the word about the work they do there and the needs that are evident.  We will be raising money for the trip in the coming months, which will be a first for us.
We’d love to keep in touch thru-out the year and hear updates from you anytime. We’re all on Facebook  (except Terry), so look us up there.
We trust that you have a blessed new year, filled with the love of family and friends.  We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in the coming year!
I’ll leave you with a photo that we took of the family just this week.  Amy made the beards and mustaches as stocking stuffers for all of us.  Fun stuff, huh?
Love from all,
Nancy (and Terry)

Happy Birthday to me – Early Birthday Presents

I haven’t posted in detail about it yet, but Saturday we had a get together at our house for Andrew’s birthday and the 4th of July. Since my birthday is this week too, a few people brought over gifts early.

Now being from a large family, I never expect gifts for my birthday, especially nothing elaborate. And since last year for my 50th, Terry and the kids went all out, I am definitely not expecting anything big. With that said, it’s always nice to get treated special, no matter what the occasion.

Amy & Andrew brought me these gorgeous beach glass wine charms. Based on the packaging, I’m assuming they ordered them thru Seashaped on Etsy. You know what wine charms are, right? They’re supposed to be used to tell which glass belongs to which person. Unfortunately, I don’t think these will ever make it on a glass. They’re just too pretty! Here’s what I’m thinking. I’ll make each one into a necklace, or maybe I’ll make a couple of them into (non-matching) earrings. Wouldn’t that be awesome? Now I just need to find someone to show me how or help me do it.

My mom also gave me a sweet card and some spending money, which is ALWAYS fun!

My dear friend, Sharon gave me these lovely blue drink stem glasses that can be used for anything – wine, dessert parfaits or even water! They’ll match the gorgeous blue glass pitcher that she gave me last year. She also topped it off with the yellow and green summery dish towels. She knows I love them!

What a fun day. Tonight Terry will take me out for dinner wherever I want to go. Seafood, of course!

If you have some time to kill, visit the Facebook Group called Hand in Hand (Phoenix, AZ). It’s a collection of friends that experienced the old days of the Hand in Hand Christan evangelistic ministry in the late 70’s. Terry and I were both in bands back then. There are some pretty funny pics there.

Our friend, Bernie Rolfe has also created a website with lots of history and even quite a few recordings from that season of life. There are photos there too.

Terry’s band was Glory Road, and the band I was in was called Shira.