July 27, 2008


Gone fishin.........back later in the week.

July 25, 2008

July 2008 Poetic License

The Poetic License carnival will be up at Robin's blog, Pensieve Friday morning. She challenged us this month with a poetic form named after her blog. This is the form:

What is a Pensieve? A titled, five-line poem; each line correlates to one of the five senses--sight, sound, scent, taste, touch--and describes the subject (title). The goal is for the reader to take on the poem as his own, being able to "experience" your subject through your words, by seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling what you described.

So here is my poem for the month. I had a really meaningful time writing it!

The Word of God

Ancient Words in leather binding, crisp, thin pages trimmed in gold....like royalty
Crinkling and whooshing as pages flip by
Brushing my face with the scent of leather and the old pages
I feast on Words sweeter than the honeycomb, satisfying a craving deep within
Working the satin place marker between peaceful fingers, I ponder this Treasure lying across my lap

July 23, 2008

The best laid plans...

Well after all of these camping stories about Colorado, we've changed our plans!

We both looked at the weather forecast for SW Colorado and there were those little weather icons. Black clouds and scary lightening bolts with just piddly looking little fragments of suns trying to peek out from behind them. It didn't take long for us to come up with a change of plans. We are already booked into a beautiful northern California coastal campground. I will tell you more specifically about it when we get back.

But we have been there before and it is a beautiful place! And California coastal camping stories are much different than Colorado mountain camping stories. I'm sure you can't wait. ;)

Colorado Rocky Mountain HIGH

Another camping story from the summer of 2005, near Lake City, Colorado. I'm sorry it's so long. But I just have so many words, I don't know where to put them!

One terrible, nightmarish thing about being in Colorado is the roads. Towns in the mountains usually began as mining settlements, so it was imperative to build roads that went up into the mountains to where the mines were. Some of these roads are still not much more than mule trails, skirting the edges of mountains, 10, 11, 12 thousand feet in elevation, sheer, rocky walls on one side of you, sheer rocky drop offs on the other side. Sheer rocky mountain terror to drive on….for me. Charles has no problem with the roads (if he does, he is a good faker). He zips along hairpin curves and narrow roads while pointing and telling us about various landmarks or telling us the name of that “fourteener”. (for the uninitiated, a 14er is a mountain that is over 14,000 feet in elevation.....they love those high ones in Colorado) Pretty cool to look at, but not when you’re in fear of careening off a cliff as your ‘tour guide’ points them out.

I always say, “Does everyone have their seat belts on?”

Someone is always the wise cracker (don’t know where they get that) and spouts off, “Like that would help if you go over a drop off like that! Hahahahaha”

“Very funny, put your seatbelt on NOW!!!!”

I have terrors about these roads and my kids make fun of me….evil, evil children! I have started closing my eyes when it is really bad. I used to try to mentally drive and guide the car, which just makes me nuts and weird and a great big target for sadistic children. The first time I felt that way was on our honeymoon. We were driving to an old abandoned mine and ghost town and were WAY up in the air on a narrow dirt road that was tilted toward the abyss when we came upon a boulder in the road. There was no choice but to back up (not a fun thing on a windy mountain single lane mule trail) or inch back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, until you had the car turned around. *Terror* I began crying and begging him to abandon the car and walk back with me, but he insisted on bringing the car with us. **men** So I got out of the car and stood there crying and hiding my eyes while he turned it around. Neither of us was in a very amiable mood for a few hours.

Two summers ago we had the privilege of having a 4 wheel drive truck with us on a trip to Colorado. What was I thinking ? Going with my husband to Colorado with a 4 wheel drive vehicle!? I must have been out of my gourd. Anyway, my kids got to see me in ‘terror mode’ as we drove over the “4 wheel drive only, not kidding, turn back NOW you wimpy little city cars” road over the 12,000 foot mountain pass between Silverton and Lake City. Yipes! My kids still talk about it to anyone who will listen. And still, after two years, they think it’s hilariously funny that their mother, the one who birthed them, nurtured them and gave them their sense of humor (whoopsy on that one), was hysterical, having terrors and crying on this road trip. NOT one of my favorite stories, but it makes people entertained, so why not write it down in the permanent record? Besides, if my kids were to tell the story first, they would add many more unpleasant details!

On our way into Lake City the first time this week, I was driving the girls in for showers while Charles was content to stay and fish, fish, fish at the campground. I did not remember that road…...obviously. Nope, didn’t remember the constant downhill steep grade while going around hairpin curves with NO guardrail! Not that a guardrail if going to really help up on a windy road like that, but it’s just nice to have it there, comforting you as if to say, “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you if you go too far over.” So I put it in first gear and went about 15 miles per hour while making some Texan behind me really miffed. I did pull over ASAP to let him by, but not soon enough to nix the miffedness.

On the second trip into town....me driving, (you see how desperate we were for showers that I would do this again?) I was more confident, but I did make the girls change the music we were listening to. It was Relient K singing “We’re going down down down in flames” (I am not embellishing….it really was the song that was on and it was very unnerving!) They changed it to the next song, which was, “We’re gonna have a breakdown”….on to Superchick and Christian girl power songs. I started feeling empowered and even joked with my girls about how driving roads like these can make you feel this almost uncontrollable urge to drive off the edge, because it's going to happen eventually, so why not get it over-with?

I got them good…no laughing this time…just bugging out eyes looking at me in the rear view mirror.

Oh, it was sweet!

July 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: These rock!

Click to enlarge. My sister likes collecting odd looking rocks. This is her latest display in the garden of her cabin....a rock fist, a bulls eye, and a brain.

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

Retelling, remembering, rethinking.

Well I promised a few camping stories, and thankfully I have a few that were blogged already (3 years ago!) so I will make use of a few of those stories. I will regret it though, because some of those stories are full of the irritating or hard part of camping and reading them is making me more leery of going again!

Summer of 2005, somewhere in Colorado.

One day left until we get the cabin, so we drove down closer to Creede. We are staying in 30 Mile Campground, just downstream from the Rio Grande Reservoir, by a rushing stream, tumbling over rocks in a slightly downhill sort of way. (No listening to nose whistles tonight! Charles said it actually is the Rio Grande River, but the dam upstream controls the flow)

We know this because we stayed here in September of 2002, just two spaces down, right beside the river. We were so excited to get a space beside the river…love to hear it, love to play beside it. We set up our tent, fixed dinner and suddenly we realized it was quiet, very quiet. Looking over at the river, we realized it had slowed to a trickle, puddles of water trapped by rocks with 10 inch trout in them! The girls got to touch the fish, but we didn’t eat him…do you need a fishing license to take a fish out of a puddle with your hands? We asked the campground host why the river had slowed down and he told us they were doing some work this side of the reservoir and shut off the flow. I laughed and laughed about that. Never heard of turning off a river! So we slept without the nice roar of the water and next morning packed up to move. Once we were all packed, we realized they had turned the river on again. Our luck! We ended up leaving since we were all packed and we didn’t want to camp by a river we couldn’t count on.

So we arrived today to try out 30 mile campground again and washed each other’s hair with freezing cold well water. We feel much better though and won’t drive people out of public places now when we walk in! My daughter Emma held up a sock out of her duffle bag today after her scrubbing and asked me to smell it and tell her if it was clean, because she couldn’t tell. I told her no, I won’t sniff an iffy-looking sock and besides everything was starting to smell like dirty socks to me. (Did I mention that the cabin has a washer and dryer???)

This campground is much more preferable than our last. The rushing water, other families. Our first campground was a fishing lake and mainly used by retired couples and groups of men who fish. The campground host looked like the Grandfather on Heidi, right down to the Swiss-looking hat, neatly trimmed beard with no mustache, and overalls. He turns on his generator early in the morning, then again in the evening, and plays Swiss mountain music, including yodeling. It makes me want to use V’s instead of W’s and shout from the mountain top, “RICOLAAAAA!”

It also has a nicer outhouse here. I know….nice…outhouse? I am comparatively speaking. This one doesn’t smell too bad if you breathe shallowly, you can’t see the bottom (little scary here, but worth the wondering) and it has two forest service posters on the wall ….one of wild mushroom’s, one big honkin’ one in the middle with lots of little ones that look like they are dancing around it and other types around the edges….and one of wild birds that says, “Thank you for protecting our home.” Nice little birds…and scope for the imagination while ….well…nevermind. ;)

Now back to cooking camping dinners to freeze and reheat out in the wild next week.

July 21, 2008

List? Check!


It takes a huge amount of planning.

And lists....and circles and checkmarks.

Highlighters if you have them handy.

Huge Rubbermaid boxes, ice chests and crates.

Shopping and pre-cooking and freezing.

Did I mention lists?

I keep all my camping lists from years gone by so I won't forget things.

Like a can opener....if you forget the can opener and you may starve.

We know this from experience.

We did not starve (clearly), but we did take a LONG drive to the nearest town to buy one.

I think I'll blog some of our favorite camping stories this week.

July 19, 2008

Ah, summer....

After much discussion, web surfing and friend consulting, we have finally decided where to go for our vacation. We will head off in a week up to the Telluride area of Colorado, looking like Ma and Pa Kettle in our truck stuffed with kids, camping gear and towing a 1972 pop up trailer.

Fun fun fun.... =)

July 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Cloudy vision

Frog and duck having a lively discussion while a kitty on the left is doing a double-take.

What do you see? (comment please and tell me)

Click the pic to enlarge.

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

July 15, 2008

How could we have known?

On our California trip, we visited a beach in Santa Barbara. We were all relaxing in the sun or under the big umbrella with our eyes closed, when one of us (I can't remember who) told us all to look quick! It was a little sea lion on the beach several yards from us. He was just walking around and trying to climb on these rocks. I sent Hannah over to take these pictures and she stood back from him a few yards while we all oooooed and awwwwed about it.

I saw his mom's head floating above the water, out in the ocean, watching him. People started gathering around him, making him nervous. He was only a little thing, about 2 or 3 feet long. By the time a drunken woman tried to touch him, he made his way quickly back into the water, swimming along the shore. It was only then that a man came by and told us he had just called animal rescue because the back of the seal looked injured.

Poor sea lion! The woman who scared him heard it and jumped into the ocean, trying to 'catch' him and bring him back. Ummm, yeah....that was really strange to watch. Of course she never caught up to him in the least and ended up coming out of the water to cry on the beach.

We didn't know what to do. Everyone should have just left it alone of course. But I found this video on Cuteoverload.com this morning and have to say, this would never have crossed my mind, but these people seem to know what they are doing. ;) So....next time girls.....we'll send Joann out to 'talk' to the wild animal.

July 12, 2008

PW Retreat ;) 2008

Well the get together was a hit! I flew to California to meet up with a handful of the pastor's wives that I know online. We know each other so well on line, but I had only met one of them in person before Friday afternoon. It was a great time...except that Alida and I liked the spam sushi. Yeah...disturbing to thing about but it wasn't bad! Quite humbling after we had razzed Joann about it so much!

All the ladies were true to their fun personalities on here except for one. (just because she has not shown her true persona to us online yet) We must get the MrsDeacon to post more often. She is a hoot....we must find some way for her to swing her hands around while she 'talks' or types online. heehee

We made it to Phx in time to drop Hannah off at home (she still had a weird stomach and had to do homework too) and Charles , Maggie and I went to a get together with the families of the guys who went to Africa together. It was fun, but I am SO tired now.

The whole trip was just wonderful...being with the pdubs, the food (Tanya and Joann!).

The beach in Santa Barbara (we just know the baby seal has had a happy story to tell of rescue and rejoining his fretting mom someday....... and not a sudden or lingering ending, right?),

The Magic Castle and trying to keep up with Joann leading us up and down stairways, through uneven passageways and talking with Erma, (the dude with a freakish and unchanging smile while bobbing his head to techno music....eh, scary).

Solvang (great coffee and pancakes btw)

Sitting around the 'fire' at night and around Father Rich's office all morning, drinking coffee and laughing our heads off.

And I have to tell you girls that when Alida laughs, everyone laughs. She has such a contagious, unhindered sense of humor (anyone here has seen Stevie Wonder's wife?) and she is a blast to hang out with.

Nadia (she is 5) announcing she was running away from home this morning. lol And Luke's (he is 7) face when I told him I'd never had sushi...I think he felt sorry for me.

Hearing Nomi's work stories. Thank you for doing the dishes each day too Nomi!

Jessica and Alena jamming on the piano and guitar!! You girls make a good team and spar awfully well too. ;)

Hannah and Alida off in a corner talking of Russian authors. (we just all looked at them in awe....lol)

Seeing that even though Joann says she is not a people person, she really is and we just loved having her as our host and our leader (even though she walks FAST). She is the kind of person you could just sit and talk to for hours or sing Amy Grant songs with in a public restroom.

Visiting with Tanya as she drove us to and from the airport. You know, you can cover a LOT of topics while driving 30 minutes to the airport if you both get off on rabbit trails a lot as a rule. lol

Special thanks to Joann and her really great family for hosting this and all pitching in to make a fun, sweet, memorable time for all of us! Alena was kind of explaining it this morning. Their home just exudes a very peaceful attitude. Even though they deal with a gazillion (approximately) emergencies or little distractions per day, neither one of them got ruffled, but smoothly sailed through each event with lots of composure and gracefully handled each thing. (including an ER run with the 5 year old just before we all got there and Father Rich driving across town to get us the right kind of sushi wrapping papers!) It was pretty cool to see! And their kids all take after that too, just easy going and when it was their turn to do something, they just did it with love and no complaining! (that we heard at least!)

I made tons of memories and inside jokes with some great friends this weekend. Thank you to my dear husband for letting me go, even though he just got back from Africa himself. And thanks to my Hannah for going with me, spending her 21st birthday with all of MY friends (who are now hers too) and being so adventurous and fun yourownself!

July 10, 2008

Gone fishin....

I"m heading out this afternoon to meet up with some friends for a few days together in California. Hannah is coming with me and we plan to have a blast!

July 8, 2008

Africa pictures!

Charles just wrote a couple of new entries on his blog, Veritas about his trip to Africa with pictures! Really precious pictures. Please go see it. =) That is him in the river, baptizing a string of people who walked from town to the river after a service.

July 7, 2008

Wiki wiki

Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
Psalm 86:11

This is the theme for our Vacation Bible School which started today.

Our motto:

Know the Truth!
Speak the Truth!
Live the Truth!

Wouldn't it be fantastic if these words became reality in the lives of this rising generation? Please pray for our VBS as well as thousands of others that are being held all over the world.


July 4, 2008


Happy Fourth of July to my American friends! I think these thoughts on independence are pretty generic though, so they apply to us all, Yanks, Aussies, Canooks, etc. eh? Grab a burger, corn on the cob and homemade ice cream and ponder these:

The greatest gifts you can give your children
are the roots of responsibility
and the wings of independence.
~Denis Waitley~

It's easy to be independent when you've got money.
But to be independent when you haven't got a thing
-- that's the Lord's test.
~Mahalia Jackson~

There's always free cheese in the mouse traps,
but the mice there ain't happy.

"God who gave us life gave us liberty.
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure
when we have removed their only firm basis,
a conviction in the minds of the people
that these liberties are of the Gift of God?"
~Thomas Jefferson, 1781~

"I do not believe in a fate
that will fall on us no matter what we do.
I do believe in a fate
that will fall on us if we do nothing. ...
Let us renew our determination, our courage, and our strength.
And let us renew our faith and our hope."
~Ronald Reagan~

“Independence? That's middle class blasphemy.
We are all dependent on one another,
every soul of us on earth.”
~George Bernard Shaw ~

July 3, 2008

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

All the weary travelers are home safe and sound. I was about to leave to pick up Charles from the airport when Beth called and asked for a ride home.

All panicky, "NO, I can't. Oh man, I have to leave to get Dad in a few minutes! You'll have to find a ride!"

"Uh, okay, just askin." (since they've been gone all week to youth camp and were only home a few hours each weekend for the entire summer!)

Ugh, the feeling torn thing.....*points at myself*

We had to wait over an hour for the mission team to come out of customs, etc. Finally we spotted 5 very scruffy and weary looking men shuffling down the gang plank (okay it's not a gang plank, but I think it sounds more interesting) We had just watched as the plane passengers from Mexico City walk through with sombreros, shorts and cotton shirts, one carrying a macrame hammock chair under her arm, and then there was a distinctly different group who started to walk in from the London flight. The contrast was humorous as well groomed, dressed up, more proper fish n chips crowd came out.

And then there were our scruffies. We got them home as soon as we could. We had to hike through the parking garage because I got confused and went to the west lot when we should have been in the east lot. Charles tried to eat some dinner, even though he has long-time-in-airplanes-stomach, he tried to check his email, but finally gave up and is breathing deeply, head on his pillow now. He was going to try to stay up until 9pm, but didn't make it.

So now I will sneak in to spend some time with my sunburned, chapped lipped, and junk fooded out teens and ask them about how surf camp in San Diego was. They are staring with zombie eyes at the television, trying to finish the first season of Gilmore Girls.

July 1, 2008

Lions and tigers and chairs, oh my!

The mission team is spending their last day in Africa today. After a day of rest and hunting with our missionary there, today they are in Johannesburg, South Africa. And they are going on an official safari! I am so excited for them. I do not think there will be another new post on Charles' blog until he gets home unless the hotel there has a computer and he thinks to use it.

I'm thinking he will too incredibly, stupendously, outrageously excited about the safari to use the computer.

As for me, Cheryl and I have been spray painting my dining room chairs. They were dark red, so the paint specialist at Walmart strongly suggested an undercoat of primer. We figured that one can of primer would do at least two chairs. Nope. It barely did one chair! So we got two chairs primed with three cans of primer. I did, however, decided pretty firmly on what color to use. More on that later and perhaps a photograph.

I'm off to Walmart.