Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all our family and friends!

2010 Christmas Newsletter

2010 School Photos



December 25, 2010
Violet Nadine Wilson Shirley (1920 - 2010)

Violet is the mother of Sunny Lyons Grabenhorst, wife of Stephany's brother, George Grabenhorst

December 8, 2010
George Grabenhorst sworn in as new president of SAR (Salem Association Of Realtors)

George is Stephany's brother

Looking Good!
A remarkable recovery from a remarkable person
Michele is planning to return to work part-time on January 1!

December 28, 2010
Michele has her feeding tube removed!

December 17, 2010
Michele is cancer free!

Her appointment with the oncologist today shows no sign of cancer and she will not have to undergo chemotherapy.

December 12-December 14, 2010
Stephany drives up to visit Michele

Michele is doing amazingly well despite the physical and emotional challenges involved with such a complex surgery and recovery. Her deep faith in Jesus definitely help her cope each day as she heals.

November 30, 2010
Michele continues to heal and recover

In her words, "The biggest issue for me has been trying to control the pain. There has been a lot of pain involved, mainly because this was such a major surgery. The good news is that my digestion and elimination seems to be improving slowly, so I'm a lot more comfortable now than I was before. The other good news is that I'm now able to drink good vegetable juices and have even started on my vegetable smoothies, which I'm tolerating quite well. I'm only able to drink one cup every hour (max), but am only doing a cup every 2 hours or so for now. My new stomach and swallowing tube need time to heal and adjust, so small amounts is the key.

November 16, 2010
Michele is released from the hospital and will continue her recovery at home.

It is going to be a long process because, in her words, "They had to make 2 really deep cuts into my body in order to have access to my stomach, esophagus, and all the connecting tissues. I now have about a 7 inch incision in my abdomen and about a 10 inch incision in my back."

November 8, 2010 Update
Michele surgery is complete
. It took seven hours. The doctors believe the cancer did not spread and that all of it has been removed.  She has a long recovery ahead of her but with her personal courage and strength, her faith in God, and her many friends to support her the outcome seems very good.

November 8, 2010
Stephany's sister, Michele Libin, has been diagnosed with
Esophageal cancer
surgery is scheduled for November 8, 2010.

In her words, "The good news is that the cancer is localized and has not spread beyond a small spot in my esophagus. The not-so-good news is that the surgery is quite major. It will entail a hospital stay of 8-10 days and a recovery period of about 6-8 weeks"

To keep updated on her condition you can visit her CaringBridge website at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/michele777 

November 5, 2010
Ellery is Six!

A fun party was held at Chuckee Cheese to celebrate!

October 19, 2010
Sasha is Two!

Read Sasha's story and how he came to be a member of our family at

October 18, 2010
Rollie Heath (Dennis' brother) is inducted into the Grant High School Hall of Fame in Portland, Oregon.

His biography entry from the 2010 Grant High Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony:

"Roland (Rollie) Heath 1955 Baseball, Basketball. Pitched 3 years for baseball team. All PIL (Portland Interscholastic League) and an undefeated pitching record (5-0) as starter for Grant's undefeated PIL Championship team in league play in 1955. Continued to excel as starting pitcher for the University of Oregon until an arm injury ended his playing days. 31 years teaching and coaching baseball, football, wrestling and girls volleyball at Nestucca High; took many of these teams to state playoffs."

August 29, 2010 to October 5, 2010
Stephany and Dennis head to the Tetons and Omaha to visit the Toomeys and then home via Kansas, Colorado and Nevada.

More Trip Pictures

September 23, 2010
Brooks is Two!

Gram and Pa were there to share his special day!

September 7, 2010
Back To School For Ellery and Sydney
Ellery is in Kindergarten at Lake Grove Elementary and Sydney at Village Montessori Preschool


August 2010
Alan Libin has bought a new house in Tigard!

Summer Camping Adventures
Stephany and Dennis took granddaughters Ellery and Sydney on three camping adventures this summer.

August 24, 2010 to August 27, 2010
Fort Stevens State Park
Along with the usual swimming in the lake, exploring Fort Stevens and playing in the playground, this year the trip included lots of bicycling - especially the day Stephany took the wrong path to get back to the campground!

August 17, 2010 to July 19, 2010
Honeyman State Park
Another fun trip with lots of sunshine, a lake to swim in, a playground and sand dunes to climb.

July 26, 2010 to July 29, 2010
Detroit Lake State Park
With plenty of sunshine, water for swimming, a playground and lots of other kids to play with the girls had a great time!


August 8, 2010
Happy 70th Birthday, Dennis!


Family and friends gathered at Willamette Mission State Park for a picnic
to celebrate Dennis Heath's 70th birthday. A fun time was had by all - especially Dennis!

August 5, 2010 to August 9, 2010
Stephany's sister Michele comes down from Kenmore, Washington for a visit.

July 22, 2010
Enchanted Forest
The Enchanted Forest is as magical as ever!


July 17 2010

Aden's lip gets ripped open by a friend's french bulldog!
Luckily the plastic surgeon was able to fix it up so its good as new.

July 12, 2010 to July 16, 2010
Joseph Stewart State Recreation Area Camping Trip

Joseph Stewart State Recreation Area
is about 40 miles from Crater Lake National Park.


July 8, 2010
Marion County Fair


The fair was a hit with granddaughters Ellery and Sydney as always - especially the fascinating 4-H pig judging! Seriously we take them to the Marion County Fair and the Oregon State Fair every year and Ellery always wants to watch pig judging. Go figure!

Although we brought our own food Pa Dennis can never resist those Elephant Ears!

June 28, 2010
Kim starts a new job as a Chief Administrative Officer at Diane Plant Sciences!

As she describes it: My title is Chief Administrative Officer for Diane Plant Sciences. The corporate office is in France. I will be working with 10 PhD and Master level Chemists. The best way I have found to explain Diane Plant Sciences is: Instead of planting 20,000 carrots to find the one with the best orange color, we cultivate 20,000 carrot cells to find the one with the best color.

June 28, 2010 to July 2, 2010
Tugman State Park Camping Trip

Stephany and Dennis head to the southern Oregon coast for some hiking, kayaking and playing with the dogs in the sand dunes.


June 2, 2010 to June 18, 2010
The Toomey family travels to Belgrade, Serbia to finalize the adoption of their new son and brother, Sasha.
Sasha joins father Jeremy, mother Devon and brothers Heath and Brooks.

Welcome Sasha (Aleksandar)Hunt James Toomey!
Born: October 19, 2008
Adoption: June 11, 2010

Sasha is a congenital quadruple amputee who was placed in a Serbian orphanage at birth.
Devon found his story through the internet and she and Jeremy committed to making him a member of their family.

Devon has been writing a wonderful blog about Sasha and their adoption experience:


June 6, 2010
Heath is Four!

Heath celebrated his birthday in Serbia this year!

June 1,2010 to June 14,2010
Dennis and Stephany head east over the mountains and south to Nevada looking for sun!

Max and Zoey didn't know much about RV life when we started out but at the end of the trip they were pros!

May 23, 2010
Sydney Is Three!

With a wave of her new wand she declared her birthday party on May 29 "magic"!

May 23, 2010
Stephany's sister Michele comes down from Kenmore, Washington for a visit.

April 23 – April 25, 2010
Stephany’s Birthday Campout at South Beach State Park


April 19, 2010
Meet Max!

Max is Stephany's birthday present from Dennis. He is a 16 week old labradoodle. Our current dog Zoey came with us when we got him and she approves!

Max's parents are both labradoodles. His dad is a standard wool coat multi-generational cream labradoodle with Australian lineage and weighs 65 lbs.
His mom is a medium apricot labradoodle from AKC parents and weighs 55 lbs.

Max and his
 dad Woody

Max and his
mom Lucy

March 22 - March 25, 2010
South Beach State Park
Spring Break camping at the Oregon coast with granddaughters Ellery and Sydney


February 15, 2010
Associated Press Article on Dr Marty Hill

Marty is the father of Kim Hill Smith, wife of Aden Smith

February 2, 2010 - February 16, 2010
Devon, Heath and Brooks come to visit!

A fun time was had by all with visits to the beach, OMSI, Family Fun Center, riding the MAX line to the Oregon Children's Museum, swimming and lots of cousin playtime, overnights and family visiting.

January 27, 2010
Sydney starts preschool at Village Montessori

January 26, 2010
Dennis is officially retired!
His position at Willamette Valley Hospice has ended.

Oh but wait! Now he is going to have a "occasional" position where he is on call one weekend a month and fills in for the other spiritual counselors if needed. That was a really short retirement!

January 18, 2010
Good News on the Job Front!

Colin starts a 10 to 12 week job at Jive Software
Jive develops collaborative social software for businesses.

Kim and Aden both start part-time jobs at APEX Laboratory.
Apex is a small environmental laboratory in Tigard, Oregon which specializes in analyzing soil and water samples for a wide variety of environmental contaminates.

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