Thursday, November 19, 2009

art lovers

My hubby is taking an art class this semester and he was required to take a free field trip to the Portland Art Museum. Since my kids go to a school where they are home schooled in their art credits, we decided to tag along. Did you know it is free for kids under 18? We had such a great time exploring, studying and laughing at some of the pieces....especially some on the modern floor. is amazing what some people call art. We were thinking we could probably paint a canvas solid orange and sell it for a lot of money! They wouldn't allow any photos inside the buildings so we took some out in the courtyard before the sun set at closing.
Emma of course wanted a picture with the horse, since she has wanted her own horse since she was born!
We laughed about how many times we had seen naked bodies.....naked bodies (men & women) everywhere! One could really get an education there! My hubby and I talked about how much we love our kids ages right now. They are so fun to hang out with and spend time doing "grown up" things with.Afterwards we went to happy hour at our favorite....PF Chang's. My kids were goofing off with the camera and this was my favorite one!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


my brain feels foggy.
can't really complete a thought.
i am feeling pretty blah.

there are many things i have thought about posting about. all the fun summer activities, my little brother's wedding to a wonderful girl, the beauty i have been surrounded by, fun with friends, the first day of 6th & 8th grade....the list could go on. but for some reason i just feel worn out, depleted and uninspired. i feel burdened by other's trials, their prayer requests, their heartaches, their grief. i feel the need to be praying for so many.

would love to run away to a monastery for a few days. to spend time with Him and have some needed time of forced silence to find my thoughts again. maybe i should.....

Saturday, August 29, 2009

prayers needed

Please join me in praying for a sweet couple we know from our Olympia days. Visit their blog at

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

summer days here we come...

I really love summer time! I love lazy days with my kids - not having to have an agenda but being able to move at a slower pace.
We had a good school year this year. Seventh grade wasn't my son's favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but he survived with the help of good friends and is looking forward to eighth grade. My daughter made a school change this year and settled in quite easily. She enjoyed the teachers, the academic challenge and the new friends were a breath of fresh air! I truly am thankful for the school my children attend. As we have had a challenging year financially, our teachers have blessed us so very much! It has ministered to me in more ways than one and made me very thankful God put us where He did for such a time as this.
Emma and a bunch of her girlfriends gathered around after school on our last day to see each other off for the summer.

Here is a shot of Emma with our favorite 5th Grade teachers - they are a great teaching team and both my kids loved them!!

Cody and a few of his friends got together on the last day of school to go swimming at one of the guy's houses. Cody is so great at choosing friends and I really love these boys! He has been friends with a couple of them since they were all in 1st grade.

Both my kids are gone to the middle school summer camp this week and next week they will be helping with the VBS at our church. My little brother gets home next Friday and will be getting married at the end of August. That will most definitely be one of the highlights of our summer!! We are so excited for him and pray for he and his bride-to-be every day.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

being a mom

Since I have been working many days over the last 5 weeks life has been a little hectic. Not to mention the normal crazy that comes this time of year with two in school that have activities. Why is it that every year beginning May 1st the teachers put everything into overdrive?!?! I swear they try to cram in as many projects as possible those last six weeks of school.

Last week I had an ah-ha moment as I was peeling an orange. It was a morning I did not get called to work and I sat down to peel an orange for my kids' lunches. Both my kids are a little picky about the way they like their oranges peeled. They don't like much of the white "stuff" on it. If I don't peel it the way they like they end up either not eating it or spending a good portion of the 15 minute lunch time "cleaning" it more and then leaving other food uneaten. I love to be able to spend the time wanted to care for my kids. I LOVE to be able to have the time to do things the way they love. I am very thankful to have been home these thirteen years and being a mother is what I love to do. It has been such a blessing to be able to really be here instead of rushing off to somewhere else.

As I am typing this I just got called to do a day of special ed at a local high school. Gotta run....

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Honestly, I have pretty much been avoiding this blog. Should I just post happy thoughts or cool events that everyone is interested in? Should I talk about my darling children or my cute hubby who turns 41 tomorrow? Should I post all the cute pictures of my 40th birthday celebration last month? Or talk about how stinking excited I am for my brother's upcoming wedding? (which I am super excited about!!!)

Life has many many blessings and many fun things to celebrate! But right now when I sit quiet and try to type on this computer there are just too many bottled up emotions to get it out in a way no one will judge or think poorly of me. I am a "leader" after all. Was asked to be a leader as soon as I can remember and have never really been anything else. What if I really share the things I struggle with....will I be told I am bitter, will I be told it isn't good to wrestle with those things, will I be told I need to have more faith? Funny thing is....I feel more peace inside than I have ever felt in my life!!! If I never had to be around any people I would be pretty near perfect right now.

I wrote out a post awhile back. Deleted it. Started again and again. Tried posting cute pictures. It felt meaningless. So here is my latest attempt at a post and it may be a little raw in some parts. But it is where I am at. I feel secure that God is in charge but terrified at the same time. I know He will care for me and love me even if I end up homeless and sleeping in my car. I know His heart towards me is good and that He is giving me many gifts (they just aren't earthly gifts)!

Hmmmm...what a crazy couple of years this has been. And while there are moments I wish calgon would take me away, I wouldn't really trade this trial for anything.

God has blessed me tremendously with so many wonderful life lessons in trust and waiting. God has proven over and over that He is more interested in my character than my comfort. I am following God in this crazy adventure and learning every day to follow man less.

I spent many years of my life hearing "what you need to do is". (And no, mom & dad I am not referring to you). Who really says what I need to do? Does God always call us to do the thing that makes the most "sense"? Sense to who - the world? I wonder about that crazy Noah who God asked to build an ark? Bet his friends thought he was insane! Wasn't another guy to march around a city for 7 days? What the heck kind of common sense was that! And what about the guy that was to leave his boat and become a "fisher of men". I am sure no one thought he was crazy!!

Why do we humans always feel the need to give each other advice? Why do we Christians think we know what everyone else should be doing? I am sure that I am the only one who has thought many times...."what is he doing? she can't afford those clothes? shouldn't he take the job no matter what if he needs one? why is she doing that with her kid - doesn't she know how to parent?"

I am soooo tired of the judgement in myself and around me! If someone decides to have way more kids than I would, that is between them and God. If someone decides to buy expensive clothes with gift cards, that is between her and God. If someone decides not to take a job even though they need a job, that is between them and God. Is buying those clothes a sin? Is having too many kids a sin? And what is too many kids anyway? Obviously there are moral issues that God does call us to take a stand on. But God clearly says in his word "Judge not, lest you be judged".

I want to NOT judge the way I have in the past and I would never have learned this in such a powerful way but during this financial trial we have been going trough. According to the world and what common sense would say a lot of things in our life right now would make NO sense. We are following God and holding on to words we know HE has given us. He has repeatedly given us words from people we respect that all match other words He has given us. And while many may judge our decisions we believe we are following Him on a crazy adventure - a scary and exciting adventure.

One of my struggles is worrying about what others will think of us. Boy, God must really want me to lay that down because it keeps coming to the surface in huge ways. Every where I turn is another opportunity to let it go and not worry what others think. The only one that it truly matters what He thinks of me, is GOD. And I am sure that I am sure that God is pleased with me. While I still have sin and many issues to work through...God is so into ME. He loves me and sees me with all this junk. Isn't that what the whole message of Easter is really about? He died for each of us...
each of us as we are...
screwed up...
heaven or hell bound!
So I choose to thank you Lord for this season - even when I want to scream at You. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to stretch, experience deep pain, continue to grow in letting go of myself, learning hard lessons, learning to be content & peaceful in all circumstances, loving me as only a heavenly Father can!

Both Curtis and I feel that we are sitting here waiting for our life to begin. We are sitting on the edge of something and I feel peace that I have never felt. Can't wait to see what You are up to God! As much as we want to be in control and plan it out, You are asking us to trust You. It is a daily process of trusting...taking deep breaths...getting quiet with You...pulling ourselves out of the pit sometimes...crying tears of joy as Your provision comes through. Thank You God for loving us enough to build our faith & character. May we be able to keep swimming, waiting on You and riding the waves ahead.

Friday, March 6, 2009

virtual open house

When we moved downstairs into the remodeled house in November we had every intention of hosting an open house in January. But with money being tight we haven't been able to do that. So...I decided to post some pictures of the mostly finished project so you could see it as it is now. Maybe some day we will have that open house.
The living room is part of the original house - built in the 30s. It has very low ceilings and I really didn't think I would like this room. But is is so cozy in the evenings. I am working on a mosaic tile project on the floor in front of the fireplace. Here is a picture of the fireplace that was bright red. I will put another picture of the mosaic when I get that done.
This is the opposite wall in the living room that has my grandma's piano she gave me.
The front door is in the living room but we barely seem to use it. Most everyone comes in the back door through the laundry room.
Our coffee table in this room used to be Curtis' grandparents dining room table. The legs were chopped down and it was made into a coffee table many years ago.
Here is a wall in our dining room. The dining room is a walk-through to the kitchen. Not my favorite but it works.
Our kitchen is really functional. We got these cabinets for free and they were a perfect fit! God totally took care of it!
They turned out great but painting them was a big project that I do not want to do again for a long time!
The kitchen and family room is the new part of the house. It has concrete floors and high ceilings. It is where we spend most of our time.
This is the spiral staircase I showed a long time ago. It is in the corner of the family room and leads to a TV room upstairs.
I thought I would show you the finished closet in Cody's room that Curtis and Cody designed and built themselves. It turned out pretty cool. Here is what the closet looks like lowered to the floor....
And this is what it looks like raised up into the ceiling....
I guess that is pretty cool when you are a thirteen year old boy. This closet makes mom a little nervous - I don't want anyone standing under it at all!

So...there are some of the pictures. I will show more later. You can come by any time you want and see it in person. While this house is definitely not our dream house that we left behind 2 years ago, it is still our home. We miss our old house and our old yard. I drive past it about 5 days a week taking the kids to school and it is sad to not live there anymore. It was our dream home and this one has many things about it that we would not choose - especially it's location. But God has us here for a reason and we look forward to seeing what He has in store for us. We are grateful to have a home.

Monday, March 2, 2009

simple things

It really is the simple things in life that can put a smile on my face. This bowl is one of them. Our family owned a beach house at Rockaway for several generations and had to sell it several years back. This bowl is from the kitchen of that beach house. It has been filled with many a meal and many that I remember as a kid. My grandmother served a lot of sliced peaches for breakfast with a spoonful or two of sugar sprinkled over them - they were always delicious. We would pile way too many people into a very small cabin and around a fairly small table (a table I have here in my house - maybe I will show you that later).
This bowl is now cracked and chipped - but holds many memories of fun times in a fun place!
I am glad I have it and will treasure it always! I will enjoy the simple treasure that it is!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

love day

Yesterday was Love day. We used to have a lot of fun with holidays but for the last two years has been a bit of a challenge. We had all of our stuff in storage and we lived in a 700 square foot apartment. There wasn't much room for non-essentials. But now that we have moved into the downstairs house and unpacked everything it has become much easier to play again.
For many years we got the Papa Murphy's heart shaped pizza for valentines dinner with the kids and then after they were in bed we would have the yummy grown up dinner. But now that they are older we all get to eat a great dinner together!
We had steak, garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus for dinner. Then for dessert we had pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream. It was fabulous!!
Our kids spent a couple hours on Saturday making us some great cards. Emma made a card that opened into a flower - so fun!
Cody made a cool box that had two sides for me and two for Dad. It was filled inside with candy and notes. Our kids are pretty creative - they get it from their Dad!
After dinner we took some time for dancing to my favorite - Frank Sinatra. We had a lot of fun laughing at each other and goofing off.
I love this picture of my kids - even though they have their fighting moments it is so fun to watch the way that they love each other. I had to tear up a bit watching them dance - it was so sweet.
Then Emma got a whole song with her daddy. What is it about little girls and their daddy? She was wrapped around him the whole song. All I have to say....she better not dance that way with her boyfriend?!?! I know she probably won't...her daddy will make sure of that!
It was a great day. My hubby made me a bunch of little paper hearts with love notes and taped them all over the place yesterday morning. Some on the microwave, my computer monitor, the bathroom mirror, the washing machine and then one on my pillow last night.
I love celebrating my love for my family!

Friday, February 13, 2009

picture tag

Julie asked to see my sixth picture in my sixth photo me see....
I believe that is from Easter 2006. We hosted an annual Easter egg hunt at our house for many years. 2006 was the year that Sadie, Ande, Brian and Cody were in charge of it. They did the invites, planned everything, stuffed and hid all 550 eggs. They did a great job. The kids were so little and there are a bunch of kids that I do not know - they came with friends. Fun memories.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

thank you

Someone blessed our family with a very generous anonymous gift today. I have no idea who it is from but if you read this blog...thank you! It was very helpful to us!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Noah's Day

It is the anniversary of the day we delivered our son, Noah. It was February 10, 1997. He would have been turning 12 years old this year and would have been our middle child. Each year is another milestone to recognize God's faithfulness to our family.
Thank you God for taking such good care of our boy since we didn't get to here on earth!

Monday, February 9, 2009

can't help but sing along!

Cody shared this video with us from a retreat he went to this weekend. It is so catchy that we can't stop singing it!

Monday, February 2, 2009

looking back over the year

Wow - I began this blog a little over a year ago. I started it at a time when I needed a distraction and I needed some simple joy in my life. This has been a difficult year to say the least!! I have had many seasons of trial in my past, but this season takes the prize. There have been many days that I thought for sure I had reached my limit and still God would ask me to take more. But God is so good to me. He takes such good care of my heart.

I have learned that I really am as strong as I thought I was and that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. I learned that I am okay with having to watch my children suffer. I am truly okay with letting go of all this world has to offer.

I have learned that I had a lot of false belief regarding how the world works and how the institution of the church works. I have been disappointed and learned that there is no rescue other than from our God. The church is much larger than those four walls I attend each week and there is much (sometimes more) encouragement to be found outside of those walls than within them. Thank you God for blessing me through Your church!

I have learned that there are times to share your heart and times to protect it in a healthy way. That we people really do say the stupidest things sometimes. I have learned to accept those hurtful things and not allow them to damage my relationships but to press on assuming the best. Most of those hurtful comments really are not the issue, it is more my interpretation that is the issue.

I have learned to not judge. Being judged hurts. I will never look at people the same - when I see that girl with the new jeans who I know cannot afford them - I will never assume. She may have gotten them for free or bought them with a gift card she got for Christmas. How quick we are to judge one another when we do not have the whole story.

This year has pushed all the limits in my relationship with my husband. The stress and pressure can put a damper on the romance and love that you KNOW you have for one another. But when you are struggling with things like failure, hopelessness and sometimes desperation it can build a rather big wall between you. We spent this past weekend tearing down that wall - thank you Lord for the freedom that brings to us!

But God is bigger than all the stress, failure, fear, worry, doubt, disappointment and disillusionment that this world can bring. Thank you God for the gifts YOU gave - the painful, stretching - the offering of more of Yourself and less of the world! Thank You God for Your faithfulness to me - little old childish, selfish, scared and sometimes coming undone me. Me - Your warrior princess, Your trusting, beautiful, glorious creation, Your wanted trusted friend who is choosing to live in true contentment!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

pray for cora

please be praying for this sweet girl, Cora. follow her story on her parent's blog.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday, January 2, 2009

this boy is becoming a man

13 years ago we had a pretty great New Year's Eve Party! We spent the day in the hospital delivering our first child, Dakota (Cody). Our 8 pound gift from heaven arrived at 8:34 that night and life was never the same!

Cody was such a fun & giggling toddler-preschooler. He spent a lot of time riding on his horse, whom he lovingly named "bob".

Cody had a strong love affair with all heavy equipment. It was the main thing he talked about - forklifts, excavators, backhoes, dump trucks. He had shirts, books, movies, birthday parties all about construction equipment. Every time we were in the car he would point out any piece of equipment we would come across and he knew them all by name.

From the day she was born Cody has been a great big brother. He was so excited for us to have a baby and he even picked out the name Emma when I was pregnant. I love this picture because it shows how gentle and patient he has always been with his little sister. Lots of little kids love Cody and I look forward to seeing him with his own kids some day.
From the time Cody was a little boy he has been on a lot of job sites. He got his own work gloves and tool bag with real tools when he was 3. He knows more about building a building than most adults. He can tell you about trusses, perlins, girts, foundations, roofing, etc. and he has gotten to do a lot of work himself. I love that he knows how to paint, lay tile, install hardwood, use lots of different kinds of power tools, etc. Cody is a very hard worker and was even voted "hardest worker" when he went on a recent youth group mission trip. I love that he doesn't mind getting dirty and figuring stuff out.
Speaking of building....Cody has spent more hours building Lego's than you can imagine. He builds them the way they are supposed to go but he also loves to make his own creations. If you could earn money building Lego's, Cody would be a millionaire. Maybe he will be an architect when he grows up.
One of the coolest things about my son is that while he may seem reserved in public, he can be such a crazy man at home. He loves to have fun and he has one of the greatest laughs I have ever heard.
Cody is an incredible student and loves to learn. A couple of years ago he got to dissect a squid - he dove right in and loved all the learning that went right with it!
Cody spends hours reading - he can read a novel in about 5 days. It is a weird thing to have to tell your child to stop reading because he reads too much but we do have to do that sometimes.
He did his 6Th grade science project on bridges. He built 6 types of bridges out of Popsicle sticks. It is a perfect example of how hard he works at school. He goes to an accelerated program and even gets straight A's. We are so proud of him and how hard he works!
He is a very loyal friend. The friends that God has given him are all great boys - the kind you want your daughter to marry. Cody chooses friends very carefully and he commits to them. When I was looking back at all of his birthday party pictures, it is so many of the same boys year after year.
I look forward to the teenage years with this wise, brave, strong, determined man. The things he thinks about and ponders are deep (sometimes deeper than my mind goes). God has a hold of him and I know He will not let him go. I am so proud to be his mom and to have the opportunity to be a part of his life. Happy birthday Cody - may this be a year of new experiences, continued faith building, blessings in relationships and fun along the way! Thanks for being the best son I could dream of! I love you!