August 30, 2008

Schlepping over

The last of the birthday party guests left an hour ago. It is now about 9pm. The girls were really no problem and they had a lot of fun swimming, eating out by the pool and playing Playstation 2 games. They also built a tent with sheets in Maggie's room to sleep under.

At 11pm I sent them to bed. They were talking quietly and sleepily, so I went to bed myself. But before I went to sleep, I started hearing laughing, then squealing and then screaming. So I walked into Maggie's room all serious, and there was Bethany, my 18 year old, on the ground under the tent, being held down and screaming for help. She had sneaked in there and was telling stories with the girls when they turned on her, held her down and had a tickling fest.

I laughed all the way back to bed.

Now I have 3 teenagers coming over after a get together to spend tonight.

Someone please slap me.

August 26, 2008

Slippy cakes make me grumpy

For Maggie's birthday I made a strawberry boxed cake, but replaced pureed strawberries for the liquid. That turned out great. Then I made my 'never has failed me yet' buttercream vanilla frosting. It was not thickening up so I kept adding powdered sugar. I finally just put it in the fridge to see if that would stiffen it up. And put the cake in the freezer to be cool when it was frosted.

After dinner, with my whole family standing around watching me (impatient because the 2 teens had band practice and church meetings so they were waiting for cake) I frosted the cake. It's a 2 layer cake and so I frosted the middle then put the 2nd layer on. It kept sliding over, the frosting was SO liquidy!!! I have no idea why! Finally by the time the cake was all frosted, I was almost having to hold it on constantly so it wouldn't immediately slide off the base. Everyone was cracking up and my hands were all frosted by the time it was all sliced and handed out. It was so very sugary from all the extra sugar I put in, that it made us shudder.

It looked like that song, Someone left the Cake out in the Rain.....except that is not the name of the song, just a line in it. MacArthur Park. Anyway, cake.... slip sliding away ....weird!

I love


Today is Maggie's birthday! She is eleven.

Here is a link to her blog, Doodlebug if you want to leave her a birthday wish!

August 25, 2008

Good medicine

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 17:22 22

I was reading another blog today and the writer was telling about the biggest laugh they've had this week. And I have had several, so I decided to share.

I love to laugh. I laugh a lot, even when I'm not supposed to. An overactive imagination helps when having to wait in a line or do a dull task and often I have to stifle a laugh because I'm all alone and someone might call the funny farm. ;) And just so I know I'm not the only person so easily amused, just look here. nyuck nyuck nyuck

Saturday night my friend Kelly and I went to the movies. We saw Mama Mia. We were laughing so hard, tears were squirting out our eyes and I heard a couple of snorts....I'm not saying who, there was a whole theater of ladies in there. Some of the things we laughed at were not even meant to be funny. heh

Then we had to pick up Kelly's poodle from the groomer on the way home. She had asked the groomer to leave a little Foo Man Choo type of beard on the dog. So we laughed all the way there 'discussin' it and all the possibilities. I'm glad Kelly can actually see when she's in hysterics (she was driving) because my eyes slam shut and squirt out tears. Oh, it was silly.....and cathartic! There is nothing like a good hysterical laughing session to not only clear the mind and anxiety of the day, but it clears your sinuses too. ;) We picked up poor Joey....poor Joe man Choo! Poor silly looking thing! His little beard was 2 inches long, at least. I hope she took a picture.

Sunday I had lunch with my mom, 3 sisters and grown niece. There was another hysterics session. We were there talking from about 2pm until after 6pm.

And then today! Today I was eating lunch by myself. All my lunch buddies have different schedules for lunch than I do this year. So I was reading an Avon catalog when I heard this huge "bbbbbbbbbbppppfffft". It turns out that a substitute teacher who was an our school today had fallen asleep in a chair, his chin on his chest, his chest puffing in and out, snoring his uvula out!!! Everyone who came into the lounge stopped, looked at me, then looked at the man and we all cracked up! I would just lift my eyebrows and send the person into hushed chortles. It was quite unexpected, quite at an unsuspecting person's expense and quite entertaining! Oh, I love rare times like that when things fall together in a great cosmic flubba dubba, goof up or oopsie. ;)

Oh and it turns out laughter is good medicine!! Check out that link!

August 22, 2008

Introducing Lilly of the Valley

Here is a prayer need:

A young woman from our church is taking this first semester of her last year of college off to spend 5 months in Africa! I cannot say where or mention her name. It is a Muslim country. Her code name for now in emails is Lilly of the Valley....very fitting! She will be living in small villages in huts or sometimes a tent and getting to know the local people, befriending them and leading into conversations about Jesus. She and her partner will be telling Bible stories in the villages every day.

The people there are apparently very open to listening and she has already made one friend in a woman there who comes to find LIlly to talk with her more about Jesus and the Bible. Lilly is very excited about this semester and all that God is going to do. She obviously is being filled up with a love for these people. You can tell in every word of her email.

Her prayer needs are simply for the people's hearts to be open and for understanding between the languages. She is having a little bit of language training, but not enough to fully communicate. The missionaries there will be helping do some translating.

Also pray that all the missionaries on this semester team will be healthy and strong to do the task they need to do.

I will update when I get an update. Thanks!

August 21, 2008

Thoughts I've been thinking...

~ If the Olympic decision makers have all the women's volleyball teams wearing skimpy bikinis while they leap, fall, spike and kneel, .........WHY do the men's teams get to wear comfy baggy tank tops and long shorts? (just asking) It seems....sexist at LEAST.

~ If I had fresh apples, I would make an apple crisp. I don't, so I'll bake some apple turnovers from a box.

~ My head is going to fall off if I watch Olympics for very many more evenings.

~ And why.....are some people so sad when they win a silver or bronze medal???????

~ This week flew by! This is a good thing when working with brand new second graders who are learning basic things like sitting still and actually looking at the teacher while she speaks.

~ Hannah called today and wanted one of my recipes to make for friends tonight. We also invented a marinade for her chicken over the made me feel happy. =)

~ I really need to paint my red hutch and the wall behind it.

~ Maggie's friends at lunch have gone from staring blankly at me when I walk by saying hi to them, to laughing (at me)? I'm suspicious.

~ My goals for the weekend are: to do some housecleaning, start the painting, trim the doggie so that she looks more like this,

Rather than this:

August 19, 2008

You never know what a day will bring

The small town of Williams, where we used to live, is very close to the Grand Canyon. So when we heard about the flooding and evacuation of Supai Canyon, we wondered if anyone we knew was down there when it happened. I just saw the report tonight that every person who was reported missing after the dam break and flooding was located and safe. Amazing! This is a very narrow canyon in places and I could just imagine the panic and helpless feeling of being stranded there.

It turns out an old friend of ours was in that canyon when it happened. Joel Masson and a group of friends (they didn't give the friends' names, so I don't know if they were other locals) were camping in Supai Canyon as the dam broke and the river started flooding. An interview with Joel and his amazing pictures from that day are here in the Arizona Daily Sun's online news story.

I'm so glad no one was hurt! When this happened several years ago, a couple and their two year old were swept away and died.

August 18, 2008

Who am I?

For your viewing amazement and encouragement. =) This is a very interesting and cool performance. Thanks BJ!

August 17, 2008

A Civil Forum (amazingly enough)

I missed it!

I was meaning to find it on television last night but got distracted and forgot to. (I do have the links to the videos at the end of this post.)

Last night Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church in California, interviewed both Presidential candidates in his church for an hour each. It wasn't a debate, it wasn't done in a partial way. Both candidates were interviewed in an honest, honoring way and allowed to give their answers without the talking heads butting in and interrupting. Amazing how this never happens. People ask the candidates all sorts of questions, but rarely let them just say things without interruption of their own twist on the ideas. Today I found some links to reports on what happened and how each man answered serious, thoughtful questions. I appreciate Rick Warren so much. He is true to his faith and speaks with respect and honor to people. I really, really appreciate that!

Here is a quote from Warren about the interviews:

"We believe in the separation of church and state, but we do not believe in the separation of faith and politics," Warren said. "I don't happen to agree with everything either of the candidates teach or believe, but they both care deeply about America. They're both patriots and they have very different views on how our nation can be strengthened. We've got to learn to disagree without demonizing each other and we need to restore civility in our civil discourse and that's the goal of the Saddleback Civil Forum."

Read the questions and answers here.

You can watch the interviews on Here is the Obama interview part 1 and there are video clips up to part 5 in the sidebar of that page.

And here is McCain's interview part 1.

I would never suggest who you should vote for, but this interview really helped me to understand more about each man.

August 12, 2008

Quirktitude appreciation day

Here is a fun thing bloggers do to, FOR...each other. heehee They find one of these little questionaires of embarrassing stuff about yourself. Someone tags you and then you must do the 'meme' and follow the rules! All in fun, and I got tagged yesterday by Shasher, a fellow pastor's wife and friend. Her quirks are very interesting! Mine are unspectacular (kinda like the tweens' television show 'Unfabulous'), but here we go....

The Rules!
1. Link the person(s) who tagged me
2. Mention the rules on my blog
3. Tell about six unspectacular quirks of mine
4. Tag six fellow blogger's by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

As for six fellow bloggers, I will let you decide if you want to join in. Let me know if you do this! (Taylor)

1. I animate things. Anything. When I was in grade school I remember raising my desk lid and pretending my pencils were a family and they had an elaborate life there in my desk. Stuffed animals are my favorite thing to animate, as I've talked about before. Each stuffed animal has it's own personality and voice. And I can't help just happens. I can also tell you what is going on in an animal's mind, narrating them (usually out loud and much to the irritation of my kids) as I watch them.

2. I like to rhyme. My sister once told me that people with certain kinds of psychosis do this. It had me worried for about 15 minutes. Then I started blabbering on about how psychosis is a diagnosis which is quite precocious for someone who doesn't know this. eh heh

3. I like things to match. It used to drive me crazy if my underwear that matched a certain outfit wasn't ready to wear with the outfit. While that may be too much information for some of you, it is true.....and it is there you go. That was in my teens though, and now it usually translates to my home. It is very unsettling to me to have my red hutch in beside the cobalt blues and apple greens in my kitchen/eating area. I must paint it.....soon!

4. When Hannah and I are together, we sometimes start to talk in short and fast quips like on Gilmore Girls. It's so exciting when we get into a long run of quick quips and say funny things. I get so excited that I usually jump up and say, "We did it!" which usually breaks the quiptitude of the moment.

5. I mimic sounds and people. It is not making fun, although it IS fun. I just do it to describe someone, especially my kids at school. When Bethany started working with kids I had the previous year at an after school care, I could describe the kids and their voices or the way they talked or moved when they talked so that she instantly knew who I was talking about.

6. I like words and learning new ones. I like to use new words or invent them. Free Rice is a fun game with interesting words. AND it helps donate free rice to hungry people. I always play to 1,000 grains. If I go over 1,000 by mistake, I play to 2,000. I'm not a perfectionist by any means, I just really like symmetry.

August 11, 2008

Giving it a rest

A friend told me something surprising the other day. "You look so rested!" she said. I was kind of surprised. I didn't realize I was looking unrested. But I definitely felt unrested. Before our camping trip, I was not getting enough own fault from not being disciplined with my sleep habits.

And usually camping trips are not restful for me at all. Like other wives who camp with their families, I usually felt the stress of having to pack, then prepare three meals each day while camping, taking care of child issues (not so much now for me as ours are getting older) and then keeping everything organized, dry and somewhat edible after sitting in an ice chest for days. I didn't feel that way this time though. And I had really been wondering what it was that made me enjoy this trip more than in the past.

As my friend and I talked about it, she said it was hard for her to rest when they go on camping trips because they go in groups with friends and there is always noise: 4-wheelers, people talking, music. I realized that's what it was for me. We love to go camping with other families, and the girls and I love to get out of the campground and go into the towns we're near and window shop or go to a cool coffee place or ice cream shop. But this year we went alone, just our immediate family. And we never left the campground except for one morning when we went to another beach 8 miles away to beach comb. So there was no stress of coming and going, fun as it is to do that. And there were no other families to talk with during the day. A lot of the time we sat in our camp, reading the books we brought or going for walks or hikes, and we sat a lot at the beach, just watching the waves, the birds and some sea otters.

I think the restfulness was from the lack of stimulation. No information constantly being driven into our minds from internet, television, radio or daily interaction with strangers and friends. We rested our minds and hearts. At night the creek lulled us to sleep, so we slept very soundly. During the day, although we enjoy visiting with our kids and each other, we mostly spent our time together silently enjoying nature, our light reading novels and just relaxing.

It was so good to really rest. The Bible talks a lot about resting....a Sabbath rest each week even. And it's this kind of getting away from routine stimulation and stress that the Sabbath rest is all about. I wonder if it is even possible in this this pace of life...with teenagers who want to go, go, go.

It woud be good to try though. It is really going to be needed after this first week back at school for us. I think I'll try. I will report back later. It may not be on Sunday (busy day for a pastor's family). But I will make some time for this.

Psalm 19:23 The fear of the LORD leads to life:
Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Psalm 62:1 My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

August 7, 2008

Limekiln camping trip 2008

I wrote this while I was on vacation, in a very relaxed, wonderful place. SO glad I did that. I've been promising a report on our vacation and since have been struggling with a horrible ache in the back of my head. I don't know if it's the stress of coming back to stinky laundry mountains (someone please tell me how I can teach my kids NOT to put wet, dirty clothing or towels in the dirty clothes bag while camping!) and getting back to school things sorted out and planning the food for a big baby shower. Or it could be the heat or the lack of air quality here....I dunno, but my head sure hurts!

As far as camping goes, we have had just about as perfect a trip as we've ever had. The only thing that would have completed the trip would have been if our oldest daughter, Hannah, had been able to come with us. She has not been at her current job long enough to take a week off....bummer.

The last minute decision (4 days before leaving) to go to California instead of Colorado (rain rain rain) turned out to be a great choice! We are at Limekiln State Park campground in northern California, the southernmost part of Big Sur. (there were no forest fires in this area but it did close during the fires) This is an area where huge mountains come down into the ocean and the rocks at the bottom make for crashing waves and beautiful scope for the imagination (as Anne says). Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) is a ribbon of highway cut into the edges of the mountains. It is an awesome drive with the mountains on one side and crashing ocean on the other.

At the place where two of these mountains come into the ocean, there is a wide crevice with a beach of coarse sand and huge rocks. PCH goes right over the beach on a bridge and if you are just driving the highway, you will miss this place if you aren't paying attention. As the crevice narrows and meanders back between mountains, the atmosphere darkens, the air cools by 20 degrees and you find yourself in a green leafy, moss covered tree roots and rocks, soft mulchy floored redwood forest. There are twelve campsites at the beach area and about 30 other sites that border the lovely fresh water creek that rushes through the redwoods from a tall waterfall a quarter of a mile in and makes it's way under three wooden bridges, then past the ocean campsites, across the beach and merges into the ocean. And it's as lovely as it sounds.

Our campsite is right on the creek in a spot where direct sunlight only teases us, the camp robbers (stellar jays) spy on us and conspire to swoop in the moment we leave to scavenge for food, and the crystal clear creek water gives a constant background lullyby. We sit here and read or play games or stare at the water and get soooo sleepy....very relaxing. But we get so cold in the middle of the day, that we wrap blankets around our shoulder and are almost out of propane canisters from heating so much water for tea. We try to move our camp chairs to tiny spots of sunlight that moves quickly through the camp around noon. Finally we head to the beach to warm up. The ranger here told us the temperatures at the beach are actually a full twenty degrees warmer than in the forest, about a two minute walk away. We shed our jackets down to sleeveless shirts and kick off our shoes and socks and soak up some warmth and stick our feet in the cold waves. There is a big bolder on the beach that will fit our whole family to sit and read or watch the ocean swells break into waves and splash up on the rocks. (we have to move when the tide comes in)

The pictures from our hike to the waterfall.

August 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: It's a memory, now back to life

Click to enlarge.

We're back to work and school next week. Being home from vacation makes you a little melancholy when it was a good one.

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

Just for fun...

Okay, this is too cute not to steal from Linda at Second Cup of Coffee. You have to watch it long enough to see the dancing! It makes me want to go out and buy some Paul Simon CD's. He's got such weird, great lyrics!

I promise, vacation posts ARE coming Mom!

August 4, 2008

Vacation slides....waterfall hike

These are pictures from our hike to the waterfall IN the Limekiln State Park campground. The pictures can't do it justice because you cannot feel the cool air or the soft, plush ground, you cannot smell the moss and dampness and you cannot hear the sound of the stream flowing along each step of the way. It was amazingly beautiful.

If you want to see one of the pictures larger or just by itself, click on it.

August 1, 2008

Home now

After 13 hours of driving today, we are home, details to follow....