Sunday, December 30, 2007

Loathsome Shopping

I walked into Fred Meyer this afternoon with the intention to return/exchange a gift. As I approached the exchange/return line a wierd feeling welled up in the pit of my stomach... I knew it would take longer to stand in line than make my bed and I already loathed the idea of what I had to do next. I had to shop. Never the less, with my store credit in hand I headed to the aisle where I thought I would find a suitable replacement for the thoughtful yet not-quite-right gift. No dice. What I was looking for was in stock but on sale cost much more than I was willing to "spend" as maybe my gifter thought (and rightfully so). So as I walked down the aisle I noticed that said gift was refunded to me at the sale price, an entire ten dollars less than full price. ~ Feeling the sting of a return gone wrong I began to wander. Some of you out there might call it shopping. I call it much worse, but I will remain G rated. ~ After talking on my phone for a short time and looking in the "organize-it" section I headed off to the only section in a store I don't feel the pangs of anxiety sweep over me. Comfortably "wandering" the office supply section I selected some things for a venture I'm set to begin in the next couple of days. Then I went back to the fore-mentioned section only to wander with panic beginning to creep up my back... I must go home with a replacement. ~ Again, no dice. Where the heck would "they" put that thing any way? ... One more time around the section and I found a suitable replacement, all the while cussing the store manager for putting said replacement in such a ridiculous place. ~ Don't they know I hate to shop?~ And so I headed to check out and picked a line I thought would be easily navigated and scarcely populated. I was right on the lack of consumer presence, but I neglected to calculate the lack of intelligence behind the register. Trying to stifle the annoyance eminating from my face I looked around the area not caring really about what I was looking at, just trying to be kind to the poor dear who probably started at her job this morning... it would be sad to think anything else. Sadder even that I had to remind her to wring up said replacement worth $40.00 that I probably could have walked out of the store without paying for.

I hate shopping.

I went home with the needed items, happy most of all that I was able to purchase several things from the office supply section (without guilt) though no post it notes on this trip. ~ Never the less my husband is grateful to have a wife that would rather not shop and my sister is happy to give me tips when I do actually go get a pair of jeans or a shirt or something like that.

For now, I'll just stay right here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Get to Know Ya

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper and bows

2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial... Real trees make my hands break out when I decorate.

3. When do you put up the tree? This year is the first year we've decorated since we moved to Portland. I had Logan in storage before Thanksgiving to get the decorations out. I promise to wait longer next year.

4. When do you take down the tree? Probably the weekend after Christmas this year.

5. Do you like egg-nog? I'm with Kristi - Blek!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Little Pony Castle and Ponies.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep.

8. Hardest person to buy for? I love giving gifts... but that means I have to go shopping...

9. Easiest person to buy for? Again with the shopping...

10. Worst gift you ever received? Perfume.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas: Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney...

12. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Again with the shopping!!

13. Have you ever recycled a present? No.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mom's Turkey Dinner, Mother-in-law's Pican Pie

15. Clear or colored lights on tree? Colored around the trunk, clear around the branches. Try it... it's beautiful.

16. Favorite Christmas song? What Child Is This...

17. Travel or stay home? At home this year.

18. Can you name all of the reindeer? Um...probably...

19. What is on top of your tree? An angel.

20. When do you open presents? One on Christmas Eve, the rest on Christmas... a tradition from both our families we love to do with our boys.

21. Most annoying thing this time of year? Rude people in stores.

22. Favorite ornament theme? No theme

23. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? Turkey Dinner...mmmm... gravy...

24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I wouldn't dare inflict the task of shopping on my behalf upon someone else.

It's probably too late to tag anyone else... but if you want to post please do.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I did it! I read a whole book... the whole thing! Cover to cover... front to back.

I don't know how to paste a picture of the book on my blog. (I'll have to read up on how to do that!) But the book is called, "Total Money Makover" by Dave Ramsey. Not a romantic selection for my first book in ten years but a good on none the less. I won't clog the blog by giving a review of it (yet) but I just had to post this as soon as I got done with it.

Having felt accademically incapable and inadequate for so long this is quite an accomplishment for me. And it's just the beginning.

Now, "YOU on a Diet" by Dr. Oz. Both books are gifts from my mom. What a wonderful woman! She tried to get me to love books when I was young(er). And in her desire to continue to help me on my journey she's given me books that I think (she knows) are helpful to say the very least. ~ She's always known just what I need. ~

So in my triumph, with the camera trained on my close up, and the whole world watching I say, "Thanks Mom!!"

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thank you...

For warm water and soap to wash with... for electricity and heat... for food... for clothing... for clean water... for health... for opportunity for better health... for Logan... for Kevin... for Nolan... for family... for a car to drive... for a little Christmas tree... for Thanksgiving day parades... for my job... for PUMP... for my friends... for the Tucker House Gang and Preschool... for students who knock on our door at all hours of the night... for insurance coverage... for our first Thanksgiving at home... for love...

... for Jesus... my comfort... my leader... my hiding place... my provider... my protector... my LORD... my Savior...

Friday, November 16, 2007


For the past year Kevin has been consistent and ethusiastic about proclaiming every Sunday morning that he is four when the "kids five years old or younger" are dismissed to go downstairs during the sermon. Many times I hang my head in embarassment because no matter how many times we tell him that everyone knows he's four, he must prove it by waving four skinny fingers in the air and pronouncing his age to Ike as he turns the corner to go.

Now, Kevin is five. I was shocked into awareness of this day this morning at 5am as I heard my son running through the sea of balloons blown up last night for his special day. ~ Fitting. ~

We spent the morning at the Zoo where we saw bats, snakes, crocodiles and polar bears, ate $20.00 worth of hotdog and chicken salad (that'll get you only two hot dogs and a wilted salad, by the way), escaped the gift shop with one new buddy each, and giggled all the way home. Kevin then got to play all afternoon with his friend Caden and then we had Pizza Schmizza for dinner (loved it).

It was "Do-whatever-Kevin-wants-to-do Day" so I focused on saying "yes" to as much as I possibly could. We pittled around and looked longer at animals than usual, stood at the tidal pool spot so he could get sprayed a couple times, looked around the gift shop longer than usual, and went puddle hopping (I get the cool-mom point for that one). And we watched movies, made cookies, and played computer games together, not to mention the countless board games and legos that got played with today.

We ended it with Kevin in my lap where I remembered out loud for him the day he was born, what that meant to me, and what it was like to meet him. I made up a song for him at his request and talked about each of his birthdays and where we lived at those times.

It has been a full, fun-filled day. I dream of the days when my only focus is on him and Nolan... and I can say yes to requests for more time at any given activity much more than I can now.

This year I look forward to Kevin learning to read, ride a bike without training wheels, spring soccer little-league and his social development. This Sunday I look forward to him excitedly waving his hand to announce, "I'm FIVE!"

Monday, November 12, 2007

On Nolan

My sweet little guy turned three last Friday. For him it was a day of feeling sick and being held a lot. For me it was a day of memories as I held this ill little boy who didn't feel much like celebrating. I thought all the way back to the pregnancy, through his first year, his first steps, his first words and about his little personality. He is a quiet boy who enjoys playing with his cars, by himself, in his space, in his room. It would be easy to compare Nolan to Kevin and be disappointed I guess... maybe because Kevin is so loud and funny and I end up writing a lot about him. Nolan's not quite that way though he has his moments. But he is certainly not a forgotten child.

I think what was profound to think about as he turned three years old in my arms is that he is selective and intentional. That is not to say that I think he is a snobby kid. I think he reserves his affection for those he knows he can trust. And he doesn't just build a tower to King Kong it and build it again. He builds it for someone and enjoys looking at it for a while. He is thoughtful when he is investigating a flower. He is careful to pull the petals off in a particular order that only makes sense to him.

He is selective. He took a few steps at about 12 months and decided he'd rather not. So he didn't walk steadily until he was 18 months. When faced with the option of juice or thirst he prefers the latter. His sleeves must be down. He sleeps on his left side. He doesn't say hello to just anyone. He doesn't talk much to anyone besides "his people" and he snuggles with very few. Elice is blessed in that she was able to hold him while he slept on her several times in our first year at Cascade... a pleasure afforded to me only four times since he was 8 weeks old. ~ But his love is in his smile, in his hugs, his questions and his art. He once spent two hours coloring on a box with markers... every time he made a circle it was the representation of someone he knows and loves. ~ He is thoughtful.

So for those who see him as a quiet clingy child, you can know that he is loud and funny in his own way. And though I don't write as much on him yet I know there will be a time when I can't stop talking about him. ~ It's just so hard to put into words the look on his face when he discovers a ladybug on his flower or the smile when he accomplishes the task of tower building or the excitement in his eyes when he realizes he's drawn a person with a face for the first time. He is not vocal about it... he is intensly silent.

But he is incredible... in a way that is incomparable to his brother. And so I am not disappointed when I think of Nolan and Kevin. They are so pleasantly different. I hope they always take care of eachother, always look up to eachother but never act like eachother. What a shame that would be.

In the next year I look forward to watching him discover the joy of writing and coloring, learning to ride a bike and potty training... all things I know he will do well, in his own time.

My Nolan. His spirit is still as sweet as the day he was born.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Worst Case Scenario

Have you ever been in a tough situation and not known what to do? Well, in any case... any case at all you now have the tool you need to be prepared. ~ I've never played the game before today but there is a game called "Worst Case Scenario". Now, am I a little behind the eight ball on this? Has this game been around for a while? Man, talk about too much information! Well, or maybe it's the right amount...

You can learn all kinds of things with this game. For instance:

How to avoid being attacked by a shark...

Would you believe that all you have to do is avoid wearing shiny jewelry?
(not to mention: STAY OUT OF THE WATER)

How to eat ants:

Cook them for six minutes to kill their bitter poison and enjoy.

What to do if your TV catches on fire:

Simply unplug it.

Here's one that you better read even before you read the one about the TV...

How to use a fire extinguisher:

Use the P.A.S.S. method: Pull, Aim, Something-I-don't-remember, and Sweep
(I guess I wouldn't pass that test)

I was just amazed at the things you can learn about with this game... as I read some of them off to Kevin as we "played" it today. He got a kick out of hearing what you do to catch a leopard or what to do if you get attacked by an alligator or how to eat worms. But did you know that you can cure hemroids with a particular vegitation concoction in the wild... if you happen to be in the right kind of "wild" when your hemroids flair up... and you can even learn how to treat a rattle snake bite.


I think we'll stick to Candy Land and Uno for now.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Leon Cruse

Leon Cruse is my Grandpa. He'd always been a powerhouse of knowlege when it came to all things cars, vacuums or the Bible. He had a dog when we were younger named Major, a black lab with a leithal tale. He saved the day once when there was a brush fire right outside his garage/shop. He helped raise 8 children. He knew how to laugh, taught me to play soliatre and chess, performed my wedding and was a kind hearted and generous grandfather. He was a preacher. Being on time for him was being there 15 minutes early. He opened the building, made sure the chairs were set up, song books out, and maybe he prayed a little or reviewed his notes one more time. But two Sundays ago he was late... real late. 20 minutes after start time a few of the men went to his house where they found him. He had died while getting ready for church. There were two pizzas on the dryer for him to pick up on his way out (it was potluck Sunday) and his Bible was on the table with his notes inside and his keys on top.

His death was shocking and I still have pockets of sadness in my day. But the thing that is hardest to know how to handle is the feeling of relief. Is that bad? I feel relieved that he is not lonely, he's not in any pain, he's not weary, he's resting peacefully in the arms of Jesus. All of that is really okay with me. And I know it is the comfort that our family finds so helpful when we are personally or collectively in moments of sadness. But somehow I reason with myself that it's too early to feel accepting of his death. I just don't know how to deal with this part of it.

I say that he is my grandpa because he still is. I don't know any other man as my Grandpa Leon. There is no replacement and no stand-in. And I wouldn't have it any other way. ~ Of course trying to put into words what he means to me or all of the experiences we had with him is impossible. Perhaps I'll write about little things I remember from time to time. But my point is that he and my Grandma were instrumental in building our family. "Well, that's obvious," you say? Yes. It is. But they built a family of 10 out of two families with a parent and four kids ranging in age from 2 to 17. In the time that everyone has lived their lives my grandparents have councilled many people, seen many kids and grandkids get married, seen tragic loss, and built a church body from the ground up. They loved eachother so very much. And they loved their family. We are such a family that when Grandma and Grandpa both died I never once heard my mom refer to some of my uncles and an aunt as a "step-sibling". They are her brothers, and her sister... we are family.

I don't know where I'm going with this or how to end it. It just seemed time to post something and this is the most prevelant thing in my mind right now. ~You know, at one time I could say I had four sets of grandparents. They've all passed away now, but their stories are a part of my story. Maybe I'll post about them from time to time.

Please, take some time to tell the people around you what they mean to you. Don't take your family for granted, whatever your family looks like. If they are special to you, you should tell them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


There is ulimited amounts of knowledge out there that is available to anyone who has the patience and time to read. I've recently begun to read again... seriously, just in the past few days... and it is amazing to me how much inofrmation is just waiting for my eyes to pass over it, putting words together to make coherent thoughts that will increase the quality of my life.

For so long I have not picked up another book with the feeling of guilt that grips me and says, "If you aren't reading even the Bible then how do you have time to read this?" And so I haven't read. In addition to that, I have to be so centrally focused on what I am reading that I can't even let the boys play while I read... My fear has been that they would be able to paint their room with pudding before I would even notice that the fridge is oozing purple goo and the bathtub is over flowing with bubbles. But they have recently proven to me that they can at least play for about 10-15 minutes before I have to intervene. (Not bad for an almost 3 and 5 year old.)

Another realization came to me today and is the point of this post. Like I said before I've had this thought that if I'm not taking the time to read the Bible then I don't have time to read for recreational purposes. But just like everything else in my life right now, I questioned that. Why? Why wouldn't I be able to read what I want? So I have this book that is not exquisite or mind bending or romantic in any way. It's about how to get started in Home Schooling... a book that I thought would be helpful and has proven several times over to be just that. But I'll tell ya, it has been a significant wake up call to me... not so much the content of the book but the fact that I really don't read all that well. The point: the thought that I've been having is that if I can learn to read better and read books that I enjoy then my dedication to reading and studying the Bible just might follow suit. The thing that I need to have when I'm reading my Bible is a thought to focus my mind on that applies the scripture that I'm reading to my life. Otherwise it seems to me like I'm reading the same scripture I was reading when I was 8 only now I'm reading it for the 111th time. A Bible that is good for that, I've discovered, is the Time With God Bible. Logan has one that I think I might steal to be able to get into the word daily. I don't think he'll mind.

I'm not a particularly quick reader. It takes me about a minute and a half to read the text on a full 8.5x11 piece of paper. But this new world throws into sharp awareness for me all of the things I have been missing and so I am drawn to it. The trouble I'm having now is paying attention to the things that I have to get done: lesson plans for the boys, actually doing the lessons with the boys, work duties, house work, etc.

Next on my list: Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson - Recommended by Logan

Do you have any recommendations?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

No News

We have been wrapped up in finding our new "normal" now that school is in full swing for everyone. And since I don't have the use of my Mac right now I'll be posting less. But I will be sure to post things on the boys' blog about Kevin's preschool and about our home schooling adventures.

And lately I've felt the need to stimulate my brain. I'm actually going to try my hand at reading... yep reading. It's certainly not my favorite past time. In fact, I would rather do dishes than read, but I feel like I have severely dumbed down since... highschool. So here I go.

I might have a book review to post next... in a few... weeks. :)

Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Only in my world...

When I was in high school we sang a song called, "Everything Happens to Me". Basically it's the narative of someone with really awful luck who gets the brunt of life. And out of all of the things I choose not to remember about highschool, I remember that song, mainly because the choir I sang with dedicated it to me every time we performed it. Seriously, I was always the person who ran square into the monkey bars pole, threw ketsup all over my fellow diners while shaking the ketsup bottle, was six months behind "the style" or got the ticket for expired tabs the day they expired. And life just keeps on comin'.

It's true. I'm singin' a bit of a sad song right now... feelin' a little bit pitiful. But I have good reason.

I dropped my Macbook the other day. Yep, dropped it. All of you Mac users are gaspging and the PC users are laughing. Fair enough. But here's the kick. I took it into the Apple Store down town last night and took it to the Genius Bar (which is real time assistance for all things Mac). After 1.5 hours of watching the Genius take my baby apart, put it back together, plug things in, try different things and with the occasional grimace or puzzled "huh", he nearly cried when he told me that he could not start up my computer... that it is probably the main logic board (or mother board for PC users). That's right. It won't even boot up. This is neither an easy or inexpesive fix. - Maybe he almost cried because he saw the tears in my eyes. Maybe it's because he was very sad at the situation. He litterally said, "This is very rare... and very sad. I'm sorry. There's nothing more I can do for it."

I found myself thinking (and saying once), "All of my files are on there... everything is on there..." - The Genius kept saying he was so very sorry... He was sad for me.

So I'm bummed... really bummed.

But it got me to thinking... What am I supposed to learn from this, Lord? - Don't say it readers, I know what you are thinking, "You are supposed to learn how to keep ahold of things." That's funny but that's not what I'm talking about... What life lesson should I learn here? One about being materialistic? Am I materialistic? About being reliant on technology? About managing time and money well enough to be able to get the repairs done? What's the point here?

Well, what was the point of the lesson when I ran into the pole on the playground, or flung ketsup all over the diner, or got the ticket from the cop? Is there a lesson in it here? Or am I just inflicted with really bad luck?

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Church today at PUMP was different. There were a lot of people absent. In fact there were so many people absent that we didn't have our normal program for the neighborhood kids, no Sunday Bible Class and no lunch. Now, some who belong to PUMP might be asking themselves, "Why is she talking about this? How embarrassing." But hang with me here, there is a point...
Our preacher was out at a big youth rally in our area. Another of our ministers was out on vacation. Other PUMP members were out on their vacations, or sick, or whatever. 
I think I counted 6 adults that are regularly involved in the workings of our Sunday program. That's 6 out of about 20 who are there on a pretty regular basis; teaching, administrating, ministering, serving and preparing so that the kids in our neighborhood and members learn a little more about Jesus each week. So Logan lead worship. I put communion together. Ike left a pre-recorded DVD of his sermon (which I hope makes it to his blog). And that was PUMP this morning. But it was by no means a minimal experience.

 I realized this as I sat in worship singing that I had to focus on keeping a great feeling of anxiety at bay. Introducing myself to others is certainly not one of my strong suits... and this concerns me. I realized that I rely on the "A team" of our PUMP members to do what feels to me like the hard stuff of ministry... meeting people, inviting them into the PUMP family... inviting them to meet Jesus... and it broke my heart. I realized that after 2 years at PUMP I am still drinking a sort of spiritual milk. 


I know I have a choice to make... Yoda coined the phrase but Jesus said it first, "Do or do not, there is no try." 

So, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So I thought I had a meeting with the President (of Cascade) today so I was gearing up for it... because I've never had a "real job" before this one (since caring for 20 preschoolers at any given time isn't a real job)... where there are meetings and reports and hoo-dee-doo as those who have never had a real job call it... a certain propriety as it is in the business world... and I had my excel sheet all pretty and my outfit picked out (because you don't wear jeans and a t-shirt to the president's office, right?) and I was ready. Then my phone rings. It's Becca who is calling to say that my information doesn't match up. Look at my watch... ONE hour until the meeting. My "apple"+F key comes in handy, I fix the problem and we're back in business. Still planning to WOW the President with my spreadsheet... I'd found a babysitter (thank you Elice), I was getting ready and my email dings...

*ding* (sorry no real sound)

It's from my boss who says that I don't have to go to "the meeting". Insert self dialog:

What? No meeting? What about my spreadsheet? What about my outfit? That means I don't get to go to the President's office... bummer. ..... Who's going to take my spreadsheet?

And after all of that build up, a colleague of mine took all of the spread sheets and the meeting lasted about an hour. Done deal. 

I understand that all of my information was in order. At least I can put that minute bit of experience under my "real world" belt.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

TAG're it!
I've been's the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (If you don’t have a blog, email me)

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight Random Facts/Habits about me:

1. I am a 5th generation Christian.
2. I desire to have a family of 8 or 10. (We will have to adopt)
3. My husband once talked about leaving me over my (OCD) cleaning habits.
4. I fight an overwhelming urge to SCOWER my bathroom EVERY day.
5. I do not like to read and have never enjoyed the library (much to my mother's dismay who tried hard to instill a habit of reading in us... it worked on my sister).
6. I do not like doing dishes.
7. I have never had a major broken bone.
8. "Fiance" is the one word in the American English language that I detest.

TAG: Logan (now you have to post), Kenli, Suzy, Kaelea, Charity, Mom, Janie, Elisha.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Has it really been that long since I posted last? Wow! 

Welp, the following statements are mostly true... 
The freshmen are moved in. 
Returning students will arrive tomorrow. 
We are done with the busiest part of the year.
And we are ready for the year.  
Everyone that lives in our apartment is weary but healthy. 

I am glad that I have the kids I have. Kevin provides a bit of comic relief at just the right moments and Nolan is always full of snuggles.

We're in the home stretch!!!

Monday, August 6, 2007


This post has been edited for content because I was really irritated yesterday and said some things on this post that were "ugly". No one was at fault and the help I had was GREAT. 

God, forgive me for my quick and rude tongue. I do not intend to offend others. Please help me to be sweet in speach, slow to anger, and patient in waiting on your provision.

So I spent the day today painting in our dorm for the "all hands on deck" work day on campus. I thought it would be a good idea to be helpful so at 9am off I went, with boys in tow, to join the work party. After hanging some mirrors with the hot new facilities director (my husband) I headed off to my dorm to paint. - After going to Rodda to get paint for said job I began to paint and noticed that it didn't quite match. Insert internal dialogue:

What does this can say? "Popcorn" (and a bunch of numbers)

What does that can say? "Popcorn" (and a bunch of numbers)

Oh, that's okay. It'll probably blend as it dries.

I continued to paint. I painted, Kevin "painted", Nolan painted... his face. I washed Nolan and set him to the task of identifying shapes on Blue's Clues. I painted. I fed the boys. I fed me. I painted, and painted and painted and found myself painting alone because everyone was missing their ties and skirts and decisions.

And then the hot facilities guy came in and said, "Those don't match" which point I decided he was just the facilities guy.

Five hours into the job I am irritated, hot, tired, and thinking of all of the other things I could have been doing today to get ready for the year. Who cares about the blinkin' walls anyway?

Apparently the "bunch of numbers" matter. 

Imagine that.

P.S. The facilities guy surprised me with a date. - He's hot.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Carol Loy Cruse

My Gramma passed away at the end of July. It's taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this significant event but I've decided to write a little bit about her. Read it if you like. She was a magnificent mother, a loving grandmother, and dedicated wife. 


I was so excited! I knew this guy was the one and I couldn't wait to introduce him to my family. He was in college to become a preacher, his dad was a preacher and I knew that would impress my family. We hadn't been together very long, but I was pretty sure I could marry him and live a happy life. So the next time I went to my Gramma and Grandpa's house I told them about him. He's so handsome, he's in school to be a preacher, he's so... And then she asked, "Can you live without him?"

"Huh?" I responded, bewildered.

"Can you live without him?"

It took me a minute but I answered, "Sure... I guess I could... yeah, I could live without him." I was more shocked at my answer now than the question she'd asked.

"Then he's not the one, Sweet heart. Don't settle."

I thought I would just give it a chance. Maybe he was the one... we'd only been together for a while. Maybe I just wasn't really in love yet. When I fell in love with him, then I'd know.

When she hugged me when I left she said, "You'll be fine."

Three weeks later we broke up. I was a little bit sad, but I knew he wasn't the one. She knew that before I did.


When we were "little" my sister, brother and I would go to Gramma's to spend time. We probably went for a weekend at a time, I don't remember, but I remember sleeping over. She would take us to "The Red Apple" grocery store where we would all get one scoop of candy from the bulk section. Charity got gum drops, Joel got gummie bears and I got lemon drops... every time. It was a fun little tradition. - Several years after that I went to visit her and sitting on the table was a bag of lemon drops... probably from The Red Apple... just for me.


There were a lot of little things that Gramma did for us and with us that have shaped who we are... all of us. My mom and her siblings, their spouses, children and grandchildren have all been shaped by the woman that my Gramma was. Her fingerprints are on all of us whether she taught us manners, how to craft, how to cook or how to sing. She taught us by example and she showed us who Jesus is in all of it. Any time you visited her and Grandpa you were fed, advised and sent off with a kiss and a wave. Whether you were a wrestler, a roper, a singer, a farm hand, a truck driver, a mom, a welder, a mechanic, a business person or a student, she was your biggest fan. And you knew it.


My aunt Janie said that when she went to visit Gramma in the nursing home and asked if she knew who she was, Gramma simply replied, "Mine." She knew she had family around her. She knew who she belonged to. She lived her life in love with God and dedicated to her family and it showed.

I'd like to imagine that when she met Jesus face to face and asked if He knew who she was, He replied, "Mine."

I would like to read all of this at her memorial on Saturday - but I don't think I could get through it. I can hardly see the screen as it is right now. I don't cry for her. She is with Jesus. No diabetes, no confusion, no pain, no tears. I suppose I cry for Kevin and Nolan who will not know her as I did... for Grandpa who sleeps alone... for my mom who feels so blue. I cry for what she means to me that I can't express in words. 

Sunday, July 29, 2007


There is currently a car sale for a company that I don't even know because I'm stuck on the idiocy of the name of the event.

The Big Duh Sales Event

Someone ran out of good ideas.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Raw Emotions

Why do we talk about people after they die? Why don't we talk about them when they are still around, so they know how much they are cherished? Or... why don't we talk about them when they are still around so that they know they need to change... to give their lives to Christ and abide in His forgiveness?

On the one hand my husband is in Ellensburg to go to a memorial service for a man who was beaten to death. He was involved in awful things that lead to the beating but no one deserves to be murdered, no matter what they are involved in. But what if we had had a "memorial service" for him 3, 5 or 8 years ago... when he was there to witness it? Would he have changed? If you think to yourself that he was probably too far gone, why do you think that? What if he saw his mother crying? How about his son? Or his daughter? Would it change you? - And what's the big idea about doing it after a person has passed? They can't change themselves at that point. I just don't think that's very nice.

On the other hand my grandma is not well. She is in a nursing home near the U.S./Canadian border... "one of the best in the country". They take good care of her, and yet her body is failing. She's lived a long life, full of joy and hardship and victory. She is a faithful woman of God who shaped her family, her children and her grandchildren to be believers and followers of Jesus. And when she passes away we will be sad that she's gone but we'll all rest in the hope of the resurrection; that she will be in the arms of Jesus and that she is at peace. And then we'll talk about how much we all love her and tons of us will tell stories of when we were younger and the experiences we had with her. We'll cry. We'll laugh. We'll all be together ... but not until after she dies.

I have never been satisfied with this notion. It really doesn't make any sense to me at all. So I have been intentional about telling loved ones how I feel about them... maybe to the point where they think, "All right, I get it already, you love me. Thank you. Point taken." But I did tell Gramma that I loved her... a lot. And several times I've told her that I am so proud to be one of hers (and Grandpas), that I am grateful for their faithfulness to each other, for being foundational members of our family, for being truthful with me, and for being so dedicated to our family. I just hope I'm not the only one. - Does she know that she is so cherished? Does she know that she shaped my mother who shaped me? Does she know that her marriage was an example? Does she feel appreciated?

I don't know what to do with how I feel right now. This is consuming my mind and while it is not a trivial thing to think on, I have pressing issues that need attention in the very near future. I could really use some wise council.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Busy times

The busy season is upon us. So I am writing this post to let all of my (5) faithful readers know that it might be a while before I sit down to blog again. I'm pretty sure we'll have 4 or 5 "OFF" days between now and August 27th... and I think those will be Sundays... mostly.

Please, please, no tears.

I shall return.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's Here!!!

My new computer arrived yesterday. It's been quite an ordeal to learn. I feel a bit overwhelmed. But I am excited and VERY fortunate to know a couple Mac users who have shown me around.

I am impressed with the way you can open and close programs, the efficiency of internet use and capabilities, the ability to keep track of the blogs I read without surfing for hours, the professional quality documents it creates, the seamless calander program, and the fact that I can go wireless whereever I am. But the thing that sold me on it... the thing that made up my mind about spending ungodly amounts of money and learning a new operating system... digital stickie notes. Did you catch that? DIGITAL STICKIE NOTES!!!! (I know!!)

Thank you Allan for setting me up with some very "elegant" programs and short cuts. Thank you Jessi for the Office:mac download. And thank you Logan for being a gentleman and letting the lady get her mac first.

I would insert a picture of a macbook but I don't know how to do that yet.... but I have a GREAT program for it!!!

So now I'm off to bed. This has been a busy day.

Good night Safari. Good night Finder. Good night Pages. Good night John boy.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking when I was excited about today because everything I thought I was getting into today was NOTHING like I expected. It was better.

I remember a time when my brother and sister and I were much younger. We lived in West Seattle and went to Alki beach (when it was safe to do so) and we played in the water. My sister and I would go out far enough and stand facing the shore so that the waves would wash over us as they came in. We never lost our footing but we could feel the rush of water come up around our shoulders and sometimes around our heads. - That rush of coolness surrounding me... that's what it was like at PUMP today. There was such a "joyful noise" that it just swirled around me...

I have never been made breathless by music before today.

THEN there was the camp we sang at. That just ROCKED. From the parking lot at Cascade to setting up to mic checks to SANGIN' to dinner at Red Robin and all the laughs in between... Thank you AFA, Cherrone, Jason and Ike. What a ride. - THIS is what we moved to Portland for.

Now, off to bed. I have to meet Mac tomorrow.

On Singing

Singing has always been a part of my life. It just has. Sunday morning, Wednesday night (when I went to a church with a schedule like that), choir in school, choir in college, various singing groups that practiced in the bathroom in Sanders Hall (you know who you are!), at PUMP which is different than any other "church" experience I've had. - And now I get to sing with a group of people called enterPraise as well. Someone calls or emails the group leader, he sends out an email to all singers, they respond and based on the response, Jason takes that group and they go sing at said event. It is an incredible experience for a singer to stand up next to people they haven't talked to or seen much of and put out an incredible praise time.

Why am I writing about this? Because it's such a GOD thing... Oh sure we all have songs in common that we think and sing on from time to time. We all are pretty well rehearsed as quarterly rehearsals go. And we all are people who have been known to sing a few songs well on occassion. But the amazing part is the sound that streams out of the speakers when we start singing "I will call upon the LORD" or "Behold HE comes..." God is just amazing in the way that He brings it all together... because HE does. And every member of the group would probably agree with me. - It's pretty much amazing. And there are a few that are musical geniuses who (as my good friend Steve would say) throw down every time they sing and somehow put our music in a song along side a secular song and it works... well.

Today is one such day of the putting a group together and singing off the cuff. We are going to a camp to kick it off right and I AM STOKED!!! Not only do I get to sing today (twice) but I get to sing with my very good friend Amy and a few other people who have also been known to sing a tune from time to time.

It's gonna be SWEET!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To Mac or not to Mac?

I finally did it, and though buyer's remorse is slowly creeping in I am truly happy with my purchase. I ordered a Macbook today. It will be smaller, lighter, more efficient and able to last longer than 36 months without major defects or the blue screen of death.

The down side: I get to learn a new system in the middle of one of the busiest times of the year for our profession.

The up side: My sister, who works for Microsoft, will not disown me. And I know now that it's not "Macintosh" it's "Apple"... and all of the customer service reps speak perfect North American English.

Oh, and I ordered a new printer that does everything except toast bread.

Monday, July 9, 2007


Fasting is a spiritual discipline that I have never found the strength to begin. It doesn't seem to me to be optional as far as Jesus is concerned ("When you fast..."). But I have had it in my mind that when you fast you don't eat. That has never been a good idea for me, being hypo-glycemic and prone to headaches. But in discussion with my husband about it he made the comment," You don't have to fast from food... you can fast from whatever gets in the way of a better relationship with God or what hinders you from keeping the 'flesh' in check."

My first thought was, "How could I be so naive?" But my naivety is in direct proportion to my spiritual maturity. That, I think, is why God puts people in our lives to guide us through it (older teaching younger etc. etc.) and encourage us on to a more mature relationship with Christ. For that I am grateful.

I am not sure what my first fast will be from or when I'll do it. And I won't write about it. That's not the point. I just wanted to write about something that is relevant to me at this moment.

Do you fast? Maybe that's too personal of a question. God seems to want us to keep that to ourselves. But in the realm of guidance on the subject... do you have any?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bragging about the boys

I've decided to write about the boys on a separate blog. Check out "See Also" to the left and read about them there if you'd like.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Fire Works

As we drove home from Life Group last night, while talking about watching fireworks on TV Kevin saw some fireworks burst in the air and squeeled with great joy. Then he got quiet which meant that he fell asleep or was thinking about something. A few minutes later he said, "Dad... why is it called 'works'?"

What a thinker.

Stumped and giving me the "okay, know-it-all, chime in here" look he replied with the standard Dad-doesn't-really-know response, "I guess we'll have to find out."

So my question to you, Why is it called fire "works"?

Monday, July 2, 2007

To Slide Or Not To Slide

A great milestone has been reached. After months of contemplation and asking permission (always granted) Kevin finally did it. There is a really tall play structure at the school yard near our house which has a very straight and very slick slide attached to it. You know what I'm talking about; the metal, burn-your-legs-if-you-have-shorts-on kind of slide. Like I said, he's been contemplating the slide for months... every time asking for permission which I give him. Some times he would stand on the platform a couple feet back and look at it. Some times he would go up to the edge and look down the slide... and even once before today he sat down at the top and then scooted back and went the other way. But today he must have been feeling like a bit more of a super hero, or maybe it was because he'd warmed up to it just enough but he went down. The first time it looked like he was going to pee his pants. He zoomed off the end, ran a little bit to slow down the momentum and then just looked at me while he tried to catch his breath... And then it happened; the smile of accomplishment.

After that he went down a few more times, each time with the question, "Did you see me Mom? Did you see me?"

That's my boy!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Vacation Bible School

When I was much younger I was part of a VBS kind of by default. My brother was injured when he fell down some stairs and so we went to stay with some friends who happened to be in the middle of their VBS while my mom and dad took care of him. I don't remember much except going from station to station and that the lessons had to do with the fruits of the spirit. I don't remember having a good time. I remember being worried about my brother. But the friends (the parents) were very kind to my sister and I and our friends whose names I don't remember were nice to us. I am sure my memories would be happier if I wasn't worried about my brother at that time so I don't fault the VBS people. They worked hard and welcomed my sister and I very lovingly. - Fast forward to the week we've all just finished. Most of the people who read this blog experienced PUMP VBS with me and so you will understand it when I say that it was exhaustingly fulfilling. But there's something about working together to teach consentrated lessons to children for five days that causes one to wonder... why are we doing this? I really have struggled on this question. Will the kids remember thier time with us? Will they remember having a good time? What is going on in their lives at home that might cause them to think of this time in a negative way? And equally in a postive way? Are we serving any significant purpose in their lives or are we "doing VBS" for the sake of doing it?

Now let me back up for just a second. There was a group of incredible people who came from Houston Texas to do this for us and with us. They worked very hard to provide this time for us and I don't want to discount their efforts in any way. They are all cherished friends of PUMP. All I am saying is that my experiences, being my only real reference point, are what caused me to ponder our VBS week last week. Is it really worth pre gluing little Jonahs together and staying up until midnight or later to prepare for 20 hours of bible stories and activities? If it is, is it worth it or necessary to do this kind of thing ALL of the time or at the very least for our Sunday bible classes? We are talking about major prep with props, costumes, painted back drops, intricate art projects, and snacks to go along, not to mention the puppet shows, the songs, the T-shirts and transportation for kids who need it.

I certainly don't have the answers to all of these questions. But my point is this; I hope that in all of our efforts the kids like Demarje and Aunika walk away knowing that there are people who love them and more that GOD loves them. And I hope that if it means that we can reach our kids better that we would be committed to props, costumes, practices, intricate art projects and songs for the long haul. And even more than that, I hope that we are committed to think ahead to the day when those kids are not interested in plays, snacks and gluing things together anymore... that we are prepared to teach them about the love of Jesus and his call to them to be disciples.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

New Thoughts

I've realized that my life is patterned. There are particular things that I do on a regular basis; daily, weekly etc. There are people I interact with and people that I miss. There are places that I go, food that I eat and shows that I watch... or not. I decide each day to do these things though it seems to me that not all of those things are enjoyable. - And so I find myself in a redundant and painful circle of thought that has been reoccuring for several years. This is not a daily thing but more of a life pattern. I decide that I'm not happy with myself or my habbits and so I set out to change. "Day one" I say to myself... I think I have counted that about 23 times in my journals over the last 4 years.

Any way, I didn't like my other blog. It was too self centered, and was begun in a time of life when I was very wounded. My wounds have healed and I am able to think outside the proverbial box that I sit in every day. Oddly enough this is the space in which I am able to find the strength and guidance to move forward in Christ and life.

It's nice to be here.

Excuse me while I roll up my sleves...