Saturday, December 20, 2008


I have been thinking & contemplating so much lately that honestly, I feel overwhelmed a lot. Even though I feel a very strong underlying sense of peace there is so much chaos in this brain of mine. And to be completely honest, some of the things I am thinking about may be too much for this blog.
We have been home a lot since Monday. My kids had 4 snow days this week, Christmas parties were cancelled, dance performances & classes were all cancelled, martial arts graduations were cancelled - all sad but forced down time is good. We have been productive - I finished unpacking a lot of boxes, we hung a lot of things on walls, I painted Cody's closet that comes down from the ceiling & I repainted Emma's bed & dresser to match her new colors in her room.
Cody, his two friends and I did venture out last night to the middle school overnight party - yes, I stayed all night. I did take 2 1-hour naps and then slept 4 hours this morning. They seemed to have a good time but they were all pretty tired this morning.
Curtis & I are praying for direction right now. Several big decisions and not sure what is right in some of the decisions. We want to hear from God. We want to know that we know that we are doing what HE would have us do - not just what we think is best. Waiting on You, Lord!
We are looking forward to a very simple Christmas this year. We only bought a couple of gifts and we are doing things different. "If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got" - so we are approaching it differently. We made a few gifts and are doing a white elephant with Curtis' family. The snow has been a beautiful gift from God to remind me of how simple Christmas truly can be. I read my kids the complete Little House on the Prairie series several years ago and the snow makes me feel like I am living back then. No where I have to be - just being still & enjoying God's creation. Resting & enjoying my family.
Maybe when I can sort through more of my thoughts I will share them with you. Praying that you all enjoy the snow and are safe. Praying for health for sickness. Praying for God's provision for many. Praying for rest as you celebrate Christ's birth.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

things we have been doing

We had a quiet Thanksgiving this year. My brother moved away to Laos this year and wasn't going to be here visiting for the first time in many years. We also started moving out of our apartment on Wednesday and were moving the entire weekend so we took a break and spent a few hours at my parent's house on Thanksgiving day. This is a picture of me and my amazing son who has said several times lately that we do not have enough pictures of just the two of us together - so we thought we had better capture the moment.
These are my incredible parents who bless us constantly. They are such great examples of serving others - they both volunteer at too many places to count and are always ministering to those around them - especially us.
For dessert, my family is not really into pie. I know this is a sin - no pumpkin, no pecan, no pie period! So my mother decided to do something that they would all like instead. She created an ice cream sundae contest. Whoever had the most creative invention would receive a major prize - and it wasn't going to be a lamp in the shape of a leg!

Emma created an ice cream mountain with a chocolate slide on one side - she called it an avalanche - a very innovative idea!
Not sure what my normally very creative husband made - I think he was in a bit of hurry to eat all of that ice cream before it melted.
Cody made a blob head thing out of his - another formidable entry!
However, my creation won - I received a wonderful Starbucks gift card. It was a candy land forest with gummy bears on a chocolate/caramel trail. I thought it was pretty imaginative!
I guess there was evidence that the food was good - the table was beautiful but I forgot to take a picture of it before we ate everything. So here is the evidence of a great Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you Mr. or Mrs. Turkey for giving your life for our feast!
My adorable daughter, Emma (the one on the right) danced with her performing group friends the day after Thanksgiving at the festival of the trees. They were fantastic and amazing as always. I love watching her dance - she comes alive & is so in her element. I love that and honestly, am a little jealous of it at times. God has given her a special talent and she uses it with all of her heart. I am so proud of her!
On Sunday we went bowling with my hubby's family instead of going to church - shhhh...don't tell anyone! We then went to his sister's house for a great dinner.
Last night we took our kids out to dinner with a gift certificate we got for a gift - it was so fun to talk over dinner about heaven and our thoughts about God. We also went to see the tree in downtown Portland but for some mysterious reason it wasn't lit up last night - what the heck?!?! We had a beautiful time anyway, wandering through the relatively quiet city, hanging out with two of our favorite people.
Today my family and I visited with Mrs. Tappan for a half hour or so. Her husband who was 77 died in a tractor accident on May 11th. They had been married for 53 years and they had 5 or 6 kids. They own about 50 acres or so across the field from us and all of their children have homes on the land. The Tappan family believes in God and they will see each other again in heaven. What a great but bittersweet story she shared with us. He would consider himself lucky having died on his tractor - that was how he would have wanted it. What a beautiful testimony of what is really important in life. Thank you Mrs. Tappan for sharing your story with us and thank you God for the simple reminder today of what this life is really about.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fight for Me?

My dear friend shared a scripture with me the other day and I have been mulling it over in my mind. Right before she shared it I had been telling God that I knew how much He loved me, but I wasn't as sure about His continued desire to take care of me. The scripture passage was Exodus 14, specifically verses 13 & 14.

"And Moses said to the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace'."

There are days that is still so hard for me to get my mind around. I don't "stand still" very well. It is something I have to work at doing. To have my mind rest is a struggle. When times get hard, I get busy. I feel I should be doing something, trying for fix things, getting control over things when everything is out of control.

But God is asking me to stand still and let Him fight for me. Will He fight for me? Will He defend me - go to battle for me as Moses sings about in chapter 15? Am I able to step on that dry land and trust that He will hold those walls of water up to rescue me?

Sometimes those enemies are huge! Sometimes the circumstances are too great to handle! Sometimes I want to just run away and give up!

But what He wants for me is to just let go, to rest, to stand still and trust HIM. He is good and His heart towards me is good. Thank you God for your word - that it is so true for today. Thank you that you love us and you fight on our behalf. Thank you for your provision and your care.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Never Too Old I Guess

The other day my kids brought back some old memories of when they were little and loved playing together all the time. It is true that kids can be entertained for hours with a box and never even see the toy inside of it!
They decided to walk around the house in it together - the step was quite a challenge! Not to mention all the cords - don't they know this is still a construction site???They finally ended up in the living room where they made it into a cool fort - it is still there 5 days later! It was so fun for us parents to watch them laughing so hard and acting like little kids again - I sometimes miss those days!
Especially on days like today when I had to take them shopping for pants at the mall - oh, the days when I got to just pick out their clothes myself. Didn't have to discuss why those ones won't work because they are too expensive or not appropriate or not the right size.
As I was having a pity party for myself while waiting outside the dressing room - I saw a young mom with her stroller just picking out clothes for her little son. She looked so peaceful, just strolling along, picking out whatever she liked or could afford. But then he had a messy diaper and she had to stop what she was doing and head to the restroom.
It is a trade off - every season has its joys and struggles! The blessing comes in learning how to be content in every season - being able to say "thank you, God" for this season!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Counting down the days & praying

We spent the whole weekend making a lot of dust...sanding away the old look of the wood floor. Here I am on Saturday saying goodbye the basketball floor for good.
Here it is yesterday after many layers of sanding and putting a natural sealer on it. Our house has smelled of oranges for 4 days now.
The kids have been learning a lot of different trades since we started this project. Grouting is a fun one - spreading all that "mud".
I continue to paint away at the cabinets a little at a time. Finally doing the doors in red.
Tonight we taught the kids to lay tile floor. They are doing the floor of their bathroom. I hope they will appreciate it so much more each morning they stand on it to brush their teeth.
We played christmas music tonight as we worked to get ourselves movitvated to be in this house by Christmas!
I will show you the bathroom when we get it done.

Praying also tonight for my dear friend Ashley, who lost her mother to cancer last night. We love you Shaddys!
Also, praying for our good friends the Delamarters who are celebrating the birth of their sweet baby Kate - can't wait to see her tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Okay, Okay...I have been tagged!

Two of my sweet friends, Mere & Mara, tagged me. So I am gonna take a minute to respond. Here are 7 random facts about myself:

1. I can spread my toes apart like fingers. It is quite a talent - too bad I could not win a scholarship for such a gift!

2. When I was 18 years old my mother let me & my friend Amy leave with backpacks to travel around Europe for 4 weeks. Just made it up as we went along. It was such a cool experience. I love to travel although I haven't gotten to much in my adult life. Getting a map and exploring an unknown place is something I love to do!!!

3. I like preschool. I love the age and kids. A couple of years ago I was a substitute preschool teacher for the year. It was amazingly fun.

4. When I get upset I like to clean/organize. Purging is a passion!! My kids will definitely need some counseling over how much stuff I have made them get rid of. At least when I die they will not be able to say I was a pack rat (their father however, may make up for it!)

5. I am a rule follower by nature. God has had to really work on me in this area - teaching to let go and loosen up.

6. Even though I was bit through my lip by a dog as a young girl & I have never really liked dogs, I love my dog! He loves me unconditionally and is excited to see me all the time - even if I just ran to the garage for a second. He has brought us a lot of joy this year during many trials.

7. I really do not enjoy to cook. I love to eat! Especially when someone else makes the food. But cooking is just not something I am passionate about. It is fun to make stuff that my family likes to eat. But it seems like a lot of work to then have it gone in moments.

There I finally did it! Sorry it took me awhile girls. I know you will probably not like this...but, I am not planning to tag 7 more people. I am going to be super naughty and break the rules. Aren't you proud of me?!?!? God must be really doing a good job on healing me of that obsession.

I am now giving in to the pressure and tagging my children. So Cody & Emma, you are tagged!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coming along...

The cabinets are slowly but surely moving along. I decided to go ahead with the red color. I painted them inside with a muslin color. The doors aren't done yet, but all the drawers are. We are trying out a few different back splashes to see what we like with the tile.
We got a screaming deal on tile counter tops and since we know how to lay tile that is what we went with. Tonight will be my final coat on the posts for the eating bar. Then it is on to grout and cabinet doors.
Curtis is sanding all this week to get our basketball flooring ready. It is starting to look so good.
We have to go over it three times before it is ready to seal. The first time over it is the hardest because it was finished flooring when we bought it. All those green, red and yellow sections are a challenge to sand.
Curtis is working so hard. Last night he was up until 2:30 am. Tonight he has already been at it for a few hours. I think I will stick to the painting even though I'm sooo sick of it. Would you want to be bent over like that for 7 hours at a stretch - no thanks!!
Good job, honey!
I will show some more photos this weekend - pray for smooth sailing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

let's pray for a miracle!

Please pray for Tricia tonight. She received bad news today regarding her health. Check out her blog at This family has been through way more than a family should have to endure. Pray also for her husband Nate and baby Gwenyth.

changes & cabinets

To think that this is what the house downstairs looked like only last year. Man this family has gotten a lot done!
We put in heated concrete floors in the kitchen that we then stained. I think they will look pretty good in the end. This is the corner where the kitchen is now.
These are the cabinets our friends, the Morrells, gave to us. They were in great shape for as old as they are. Thanks Morrells. Thanks Dad & Mark for helping us move them home. Thanks to the Dillon's home group for sanding and prepping them for us. Thanks Mark for helping us install them last week. Wow - we have had a lot of help on this kitchen!
Here is what they look like currently since I have primed them. Tonight we will start painting them inside and out. You will have to see a finished picture later....
This is all the doors and drawers laying all over the living room as they are being primed. Notice we still have flooring like a basketball floor...that was put off until next week. Kitchen was a priority to get moving on.
My hubby has trimmed out a great post and built some cool cubbies for books and games that I am excited about. I am looking forward to this breakfast bar too.
We got enough free cabinets that we put in a built in desk across from the kitchen. You will have to stay tuned to see the cabinets painted. This was the hardest decision in a while! I could not make up my mind. Dark brown or deep red???? I finally made my decision today and the paint starts tonight! I hope I like it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

time for playing

Yesterday our baby turned one! We started the morning with a bone, peanut butter and a candle while singing to our favorite furry friend! We thank God for this bundle of joy - who loves us unconditionally and is always excited to see us (even if we just walked out of the room for a minute or two!)
I am not sure about this photo! Who the heck are these kids? They did about 6 different shots being very strange. They had gone roller skating the night before and were having a restful Sunday morning. Maybe we need to do a little more of this relaxin thing!
As we headed out to the pumpkin patch Sunday afternoon I found this on the wall. Hello!! Excuse me, but spiders like this are not allowed on the wall of the house. If I find something like this on the inside of the house, I am outta here! Yuck!
When the kids were little we always went to pomeroy house for pumpkins, but then school field trips always took us to Bizi Farms. So this year we returned to one of my favorite spots to hunt for pumpkins. It was a beautiful day!!

Curtis wanted to give the kids a little love squeeze while we waited for the hay ride. Notice there is no line? It was fabulous!!!

The four of us sat at the back for the best view (according to our kids).
After they dropped us off at the pumpkin patch, Emma found one she liked right away! She likes the small cute round ones that are easy to carve and carry!
Cody on the other hand searched the entire field for the big one he wanted. He & Curtis make quite a masterpiece so it has to be just so. We tried to keep up with Cody but he was long gone!
Luckily, we brought along our muscles so we could get it back to the wagon...
We continued the hayride down pumpkin lane which is beautiful. It has several cool old barns and about 80 pumpkin characters along the route.
The ride is about a mile and the pumpkin folks were fun to see.
This is my ideal place for a pumpkin patch - nestled in the hills - I wanted to stay all day!
After the hay ride, we met a very friendly goat and some other animals at the barn.

One of these days when we can finish our outside fence, we want to get a couple goats.
We ended our trip by watching this rooster sleep on one foot on top of a stump. What is he thinking? Doesn't he know how dangerous that is?

Thank you God for fall and your creation. We are so blessed to live in the northwest!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Faithful God

"My faithful God, help me to call this to mind and therefore always have hope: because of Your great love, I am not consumed, for Your compassions never fail. They are new toward me every morning; great is Your faithfulness. I will say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him." (Lamentations 3:22-24)
The main thing I have learned over this last year of uncertainty is that my God is faithful. It has almost been a year since we stopped getting regular paychecks. A year since our life drastically changed. And though there have been many many months where it on paper it can make no sense how we lived, God has been faithful. He has provided when we needed Him to. He has made a way for us to survive during this time.
He has provided more than just for our earthly needs. He has provided comfort when no comfort could be found. He has provided calm in the midst of many storms. He has provided rest when no rest could be found. He has provided hard lessons that have sometimes hurt. He has provided testing that always brought us back around to Him.
And while I have sometimes cried out for this season to end, it has been bittersweet. It has taught me that He is faithful. It has taught me that His heart toward me is good. It has forced me to know that His compassion's never fail. It has taught me to hope in Him alone.
I don't know when or even if this season will end for our family. The world is so uncertain for many - and thankfully this world is not really our home. Our time here is temporary. Thankfully there is more than we can see.
Enough contemplating...better get to work. I am "the subs" for this remodel project. We are refinishing some old cabinets some family friends gave us. They fit perfectly for our space. I am priming them tonight and then painting them this weekend. Can't decide if I should paint them chocolate brown like my fireplace or a deep rich reddish color. Hmm..have to decide by the morning. Maybe it will come to me while I work tonight!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Productive Day!

Today we were blessed by a home group from our church that came to help out for the morning. They installed shelving, started all the sanding of the kitchen cabinets, sanded windows for trim to be installed, and did a lot of painting.
Here is a group shot of them after the lunch they provided. It was so nice to have so much help. We got a lot done in the hours they were here and it definitely boosted our spirits!

Most of the interior wall painting is now complete. Here is a photo with the fireplace I started a month or so ago. We still have to do the tile in front of it. Right now it is the storage spot for our musical inspiration while we work!
This is Cody's room. He did two walls lime and two white. The contraption made of wood is actually a closet that comes down out of the ceiling with a remote. I am told this is pretty cool. We still have to paint it but it is close to being done.
Notice the window trim got installed today also. Andrew came over after the other crew left to help out for awhile.
Emma's paint and window trim was completed today also. The pink and tan looks really great together - but the basketball flooring has got to go! It should be a beautiful maple floor after this next week.
Our bedroom has a color I am liking more all the time. It has a bluish-green color on a couple walls and then the tan on the other two. Our floor is a stained heated concrete floor that I hope I will like.
It was so nice to get so much done in one day. It has been a slow but steady process and we are thinking we will meet our goal of Thanksgiving. Thank you to all the people who have blessed us so much this week. You have lifted our spirits more than you can imagine!!