May 30, 2008

Getting away

Click here for some more photos of where we were today (just the first 20 pictures were from today. I can't figure out how to make a new folder to separate them.) We are celebrating our 24th wedding anniversary up in Flagstaff.....NO kids. ....well....we are seeing Hannah twice, but it's not like she came with us. We'll be home tomorrow. *sigh*

May 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Barn with a view

Click the photo to see a larger view.

A few summers ago near Creede, Colorado.
Several people asked, so I am adding the names of the flowers in the foreground. They are wild iris and lupine. Both are wild flowers and grow rampant up in the high mountains. The meadows were FULL of them that day, all clumped under aspen of the most eye-pleasing scenes I've set eyes on.

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to
Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

Bits and pieces of a long weekend

I have nothing specific to write about today, just some odds and ends from the weekend:

My friend Heartsong let me know the answer to my question about where Prince Caspian was filmed. She said, "The movie was filmed in New Zealand (for the mountains, ocean, and water scenes) and in various Eastern European countries (for the forests). I know one of those countries was Slovenia. Gorgeous and unspoiled." Thanks Heartsong!

This weekend the weather was gorgeously, outrageously in the 60's and 70's! Just a week earlier it had hit 111ºF. I had gotten a nasty germ in my nose the end of last week, so I was home most of the long, cool weekend nursing my horrible nose and a congested cough. Still we spent a lot of time sitting out on the patio enjoying the cool respite before the hot settles in. Packing lots of tissues and cough drops, we went to graduation parties and watched National Treasure 2, and of course went to see Prince Caspian. I seemed to gravitate back to my bed a lot. I was so tired! My eyes were only slightly open and not quite focused much of the time and when I tried to talk, I was feeling kind of like Jason Castro when he sang, Tambourine Man and forgot the lyrics. Kinda like, en doot doo doot en wahwah hmmm. yep.

Monday we had some friends over for dinner. We knew them way back in the days when we lived in New Jersey. They have lived in Phoenix for two years and are now moving to Atlanta. In New Jersey, we were young married couples, just beginning to have children. Our now 18 year olds were both within a few weeks of each other. Now we are comfortable middle aged married couples raising teenagers and sending them off one by one out into the world. We're sad to see them go, but it seems like friends are season-ish these days and if you can get two good seasons of having them close to you, you're doing better than average. We will continue our Christmas letter friendship now and keep up with details at least. =)

One last thing. My friend Michele, who runs a blog called, Laundromat wrote a very good article in a local paper where she lives, on what it's like to be known as a 'pastor's wife' (or rather she wrote it about not wanting to be known as the 'pastor's wife'). The title of PW comes with a lot of preconceptions and expectations. And although she (nor I) are ashamed to BE the pastor's wife, we want first of all to be known as a person, able to blend in to a group without people wigging out or playing nice. I thought I'd share it with you and try to further UNstereotype the pastor's wife. We are just people, like you. We're just married to the pastor....who is also just a you. Shocking, I know. ;) The Church Wife.

May 24, 2008

Prince Caspian: movie review

It's just after midnight. We got home an hour ago from seeing the new Narnia move, Prince Caspian. And I am on Sudafed because of a cold making it's way from my sinuses into my chest. My mind is just buzzing away, so here I am typing away. I hope this makes sense in the morning. ;)

First of all, it is a wonderful movie. Charles and I both think we like it better than the first one. It had a lot of fighting scenes in it and a couple of very intense evil scenes. I kept seeing Maggie with her hand over her eyes, but it was not graphic in anything but fighting. The cinematography was SO beautiful....very rich and lush and pure landscapes. I would love to know where they filmed it. I'll have to look it up later.

The costumes were very cool too. Everything was well thought out and lovely. Even down to the fighting armor and mouse accessories. (The mouse being one of my favorite characters in the entire movie. I am a sucker for talking animals, especially if they have little whiskery noses and fuzzy cheeks.) The costumes the people wore were so beautiful, so simple and elegant, yet lots of detail. My favorite costume was the one Prince Caspian wore for almost the whole movie. It was a blousy white shirt with embroidery on it (I used to have one or two like it in the 70's/80's) and his pants! They looked like suede or really more like velour or soft corduroy...hard to describe apparently.....embroidered down the sides, with buttons going up the outer thigh and fitted down the calf. I wish I could wear it! I would feel very swishy in that blouse. Well, nevermind....

Then it had the greatest scenes with the themes of trusting, faith, loyalty, devotion and brotherly love. I was blown away several times by the parallels of the siblings relationship with Aslan and ours with Christ. As I was pondering who the siblings would symbolize, it hit me that they are US. They are simply the sons and daughters of Eve and when their eyes were opened to Narnia and a world unseen by most, their true character developed and the direction and calling on their lives was clear. When Peter in his boyish pride chooses to trust his own instinct instead of following Aslan's way, the consequences were always humbling and painful. So many times the way Christ is showing us to go does not make sense to us right off the bat, so we choose to go by our instinct. But as Aslan was in the movie, Christ is faithful to us (even when we are not to Him). He leads us, lets us make mistakes, humbles us and then we are useable for His purposes.

*spoiler warning!*
One of my favorite parts is near the end. The siblings and the prince are kneeling before Aslan. He has just saved their necks in an unexpected way. They have each tried to do things on their own, only to realize where true power and strength lie. They learned they cannot do things in a beneficial way in life without Aslan's help and guidance. Then Aslan tells them "rise before me Kings and Queens of Narnia". So the four siblings rise, leaving the prince there, his head bowed. Then Aslan said, "I said rise." and the prince honestly says, "I am not a king. I'm not ready." then he admits he does not know very much and feels so unworthy of the title. And Aslan says, "That is how I know you ARE ready."

Kings and Queens of Narnia.... or wherever.... we are not to rule the world, but to help it find it's way, be a rescuer of the used to influence your world, to fight for what is Truth, and follow the leading of Christ, whether it makes sense to you or not.

Go see the movie. See if your heart swells at those themes. Notice the little mouse whiskers. Take in the scenery. Imagine me in that blouse and how swishy it would be! And see if you can see yourself in any of those characters and what stage of trusting and following Christ you are in.

May 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Mother's Day flowers

Click to enlarge each photo.

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

Thank you, Hannah!

May 19, 2008


The last time I checked the high temps for today, it had hit 111 degrees. Yes, this is normal weather for Phoenix......for July! Not for mid-May for crying out loud! So far we've been having a cooler than normal spring....having our first triple digit temps on Saturday.

Two days later: 111º

There's just nothing to do about it. Basically you have to just take cover, turn your air conditioner down, stay inside. Which made working at school today kind of hard. The classrooms are air conditioned....very nicely. Each teacher is in control of his/her own thermostat. But then there is this little thing called recess. As an instructional aid, it is my job to help take the second graders out to the playground. Usually this is my favorite time of the day. I get to joke around with the children and they get to run and play and shout! Total release after being made to sit still and be quiet the rest of the day.

But today was going to be no fun a'tall....or so it seemed.

During the morning announcements, our principal made a decree (or is that only kings who can decree stuff?) that there was a heat advisory, so supervising adults were to take care to keep the children from overheating. So...."don't let them run", she said. I wonder if she has ever taken 100 second graders out to the playground and told not to let them run. LOL Think about that. Very.......silly. I lined my 2 classes up after lunch, I sternly told them "Remember, you are not supposed to RUN during recess today. It is VERY HOT so we don't want you to run. And drink extra water." I sent them off for a leisurely walk on the vast playground. I didn't even reach the grass until one very solemn looking boy looked up at me with big blue eyes and asked, "Mrs. L, what happens if we DO run?" I could instantly see the misunderstanding running the gamut through his very serious little mind. He was thinking of passing out, having heart attacks, needing hospitalization or worse yet (!) a shot! I just looked at him and smirked, "I will yell at you.....VERY loudly!"

He laughed and off he went.....walking.

As the other aid and I looked around, she noticed some boys power walking several yards behind some girls who were power walking, hands down to their sides. Then we realized.....the boys were 'chasing' the girls, which is a daily occurrence....but in slow motion today. We laughed ourselves silly.

Obviously the kids did take the warnings seriously....maybe they were having misunderstandings in their little minds too. But when we blew the whistle to come line up, they came quickly, but they were doing the power walk.

Wednesday....the high is supposed to be 79º. This is crazy.

May 18, 2008

The blowout

We did it. Bethany's graduation party was a great success. We had at least a hundred people come through our home Saturday to give congratulations to her, to visit with us and eat a plate of pulled pork and potato salad. Most of the teenagers ended up in the pool or in our garage, playing ping pong. Our whole yard was wet, as well as the patio. I think they had a cannon ball jumping contest or something.

Some of our dear friends from our former town came by. Three different families who have moved to Phoenix and settled in locations all over the valley. It was so fun to see them. My family who live in town were all here. And the rest were church members. I even caught myself saying (out loud) that I should do this again at the holidays, so we could have the church members over. It was either sun exposure and dehydration or I really did enjoy all of this!

Thank you to all who dropped by. We were blessed that you came to visit us in our home and that you honored our daughter's accomplishment.

God bless you, Bethany. We are so proud of you and we know that God has wonderful plans for you. We can't wait to see them start to unfold!

May 13, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Ice Lake, Colorado

My brother in law walking a mountain ridge above tree line at Ice Lake outside Silverton, Colorado.

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***

May 9, 2008

Senior pictures

When my oldest was graduating from high school three years ago, we decided to avoid the huge expense of professional senior pictures. Hannah grabbed her changes of clothing, I grabbed the camera, and we headed out into the woods. Click here to see her picture.

It turned out great, even though my mother wanted a 'professional' one. She's over it by now, so Bethany and I went out the other afternoon and took her senior pictures. Sorry's just what we do! I went to Walmart today and got 40 wallet sized pictures made of it to put in her announcements and spent $5.96. It beats 'professional' prices any day and it turned out pretty cute!


Click the picture to actually read the shirts.

I can't get enough of It is hilarious. They now have T-shirts, although I could never wear one....I'm way too happy. The only person who doesn't think I look happy is the woman who works the afternoon shift at my local Curves. Almost every time I walk in the door, she tells me to cheer up and smile. It makes me want to pinch her, but I just smile and think to myself, "Perhaps I look like this because I am about to pummel myself for the next 30 minutes to old 80's music with a disco beat running through it. Hmmm?"

Thinking of who I could buy a T-shirt for though.....that is pretty entertaining. (in a nice way....usually)

May 7, 2008

Step back and no one gets hurt....

Tonight we came out of church after the closing AWANA session and there was a fire department pick up truck, a police car and a moving van in the parking lot. Someone went to check it out and got the information.

It turns out that down the street, a man was at a gas station and noticed a woman about to get into a moving van and drive away. But she was totally impaired by alcohol or drugs, so he charged over to help her to reconsider.

She would not.

What would you do?

He grabbed her keys, jumped into HER moving truck and drove away, pulling into our church parking lot while he called police! He stole her truck so she wouldn't get on the rode and hurt anyone! Vigilante justice is sometimes a very cool thing. When I drove away, the man had given his report and gone home, the woman was sitting in the back of the police car, and the policeman and fireman were trying to get the moving truck......moved.


What would you do??

May 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Electric daisy

***To see more entries or to join in and do your own, go to Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.***


I got an award! It's nothing astronomical, but to have a friend and fellow blogger award you because they enjoy what you have to say is a great honor. Thank you to Michele, of laundromat. I only wish I could give it back to. She has a truly excellent blog. She is a true and pure observer and conveyor of significance in every day life.

I would like to pass this award on to some excellent bloggers I read:

Hannah, my dear college aged daughter writes about books, politics and humanity at Who I am Becoming.

Charles, my dear husband and also my pastor, writes about the Bible, the church and spiritual things at Veritas.

Megan, a dear friend from our days in New Jersey, blogs about family life with 4 little kids and living in Alaska at Nutmeggmama.

And one of my dear friends from northern Arizona, Sally, at Ash Fork painter who writes about the simple life there in the country, about cows breaking in to their land, her dogs, her family and working on their home that she and her husband Allen built from the ground up.

May 5, 2008

Um, ouch.....

It is hard to write an entry here without coming to what is really on my mind. When something is on your mind day and night for 8 days straight, it's hard to concentrate on anything else.

I'm in pain.

Last Monday I woke up with extreme pain in my lower back and it has gradually gotten a smidgeon better and now taken a turn for the worse again the past 2 days. I have awakened before with back pain, but this time it is unlike anything I've ever experienced. So after missing 3 days now of work and taking countless ibuprofen tablets, I made a doctor's appointment. I expect it will be some kind of disk problem, but it is definitely something. And it is not getting better on it's own.

There is no comfortable position except lying flat on my back. But if I do that for more than 15 minutes, my lower back stiffens and when I get up it feels like a muscle spasm in my right hip and back. When I sit, there is a feeling that my spine is squishing all the nerves in my back between the vertebrae. When I walk around it does not exactly hurt, but the pressure in my back feels like it is becoming a black hole, sucking in all matter, or at least all my muscles into it's extremely tight hold. If I am too mobile, there are shooting pains and strange nerve distress feelings of twinges, twangs and throbs all over my lower body and legs.

And now that I have written about what is on my mind, I probably won't mention it again, but your prayers are so very welcome. Thanks! And I do have a doctor appointment on Wednesday at 3pm.

Side note:

I am addicted to that cat video from my last entry now. I have watched it dozens of times in the past few days. It makes me feel happily sleepy.....and a little cheeky.

May 4, 2008

Nope, nope, nope

If you would promise me a cat would be this entertaining and talk sassy to me like this, I would have one.

But you can't promise me that, can you? (watch this, it's cute!)

I found it over at

May 2, 2008

More ideas on enchilada making

I got a comment from my friend KQ and have to share it because it sounds great! Here are her words:

"Hi. Just making my mark here to say I'm reading you... but now I can't resist commenting about your tortilla trick and enchilada shortcuts - because I have some too! Wanna hear them? (Well, too bad....)

My fastest enchilada shortcut is to take frozen taquitos, put them in a baking dish, cover them with (we could totally be the same person) Las Palmas green, sprinkle with cheese, and bake in the oven. My tortilla shortcut is not only effective for softening them for rolling, but also adds zero calories: I get out my no-stick skillet and heat it up. One at a time, I place a tortilla in the pan, heat it just until soft and pliable, and then slide it out onto the work surface for stuffing/rolling while the next tortilla heats up. It only takes a couple of seconds to heat each one, doesn't get too hot, and - yeah - zero extra calories. (More cheese, please!)"

Thanks KQ.
I love the idea of using taquitos!! I am going to try it soon! Las Palmas is the best green sauce, isn't it? =)