Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A book by its cover....

I was having dinner at our favorite fast food place with my girls this evening, when I found myself mentally jamming with the public radio station that was playing thru the speakers in the ceiling. I have no idea which station it was, but it was playing those '80s pop culture type songs that I grew up with. Yeah, those songs that bring back so many memories.....

Junior high had the sounds of Michael Jackson singing about Billie Jean, Boy George and Madonna leading our generation in individual and mature thinking.
Then I moved half way across the United States and was introduced to the likes of AC/DC, OMD, Depesh Mode, and Prince as I started high school and hormones raged.

"boom boom boom let's go back to my room......"
"I want your sex...."
"She was a fast machine....."
"rock you like a hurricane...."

Those songs and more found my head moving in time with the beat and smiling at memories. I could place incidents, friends, and situations with each song I heard. I remembered times when I didn't even know what those songs meant, but sang with the best of them simply because "everyone else was jumping off the bridge too".....and times when I did understand but didn't care.

As I was wading through it all, I looked up and noticed the expression on the face of my 15 year old. Shock maybe, embarassment, confusion......
I couldn't read it. I just know that my face got hot and red, like she could see those memories and read me like a book.

Here is my can opener

I heard on the radio news this morning that city council members (in Finland I believe) have hired a group of clowns to help employees with gaining a different outlook on their jobs and happenings.

hmm.........clowns on the political payroll.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


This morning I walked up to 6 year old Destiny and said, "Hey I have missed something today. Do you know what it is?"
Destiny rolled her little eyes and sighed, "Me right?...'cause that is what everyone has been saying today."
I proclaimed that it was that Destiny Hug that I had been missing since she spends most weekends visiting her father in Washington. With that, I grabbed her and gave her a big one to emphasize my point. I also added, "Of course YOU have been waiting for that hug from ME also and now your day is complete."
Little 6 year old Destiny put her hands on her hips, rolled her eyes, and stated in her most grown up and sarcastic way, "You know it. It was all I could think of ALL day."

I learned something today when going through the Walgreens drive-thru. When the pharmacist walks away fron the window to get the is my cue to actually send the tube of money thru the passage and NOT hold onto it while I have 5 ladies giggling in my car and pretending to order cheeseburgers.

Memory Lane.....remember that time when the station wagon was stuck on a curb and she thought of the wonderful idea of seeing if we should just put it into 4 wheel drive? This would OF COURSE enable each wheel to go in differrent directions and the car would be miraculously unstuck!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

You want fries with that?

Today was the long anticipated day......I got to paint my living room.

Yahoo! Break out the party hats! Call me dorky but hey, it is the little things in life that make me happy.

It all began with "Wow" and I heading to THE STORE for supplies. My colors had been picked out for a week. Of course, I waffled once we got there and re-chose colors...only to end up with my original choices. So, with Bronze Sculpture and Shady Cove paint chips in hand, we looked for our victim...I mean sales associate.

People are so interesting.

The first associate to answer our call was a woman who chose to carry herself quite proficiently...even though paint was not her expertise. Maybe she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can just picture it....Dennis and Lorna are in the break room when the call light goes off for the paint department. Dennis pleads, "Lorna PLEASE get that for me. I just had to mix paint for that new condo development on Foster and I really need 5 minutes off my feet."

That may have been the case, or something else entirely. I just would have liked my paint buying experience so much more if she would have said, "Gosh I can't answer all of your paint questions but I will do the best I can", instead of being the "Maybe If I Talk Condesendingly No One Will Notice I Don't Belong Here" person.

Soon enough, Dennis came out and set everything straight. Oh the questions and decisions to be made with paint buying. Flat, satin, semi-gloss, Dutch Boy or HD....oops can't get that color in HD....2 gallons or 3. It was like ordering that burger "my way" with extra fries and a large orange drink.

Once we were finished and the paint was mixed, Dennis asked if there was anything else he could help us with. "Wow" responded with, "Nope...unless you wanna come back to the house and help us paint."

Without missing a beat or a smile, Dennis proclaimed, "Normally I would jump at the opportunity, but I don't think my wife would appreciate it. Really it sounds like fun but ....yeah she really wouldn't be too happy........yeah."

"Wow" and I walked away and giggled once we were out of earshot. Wasn't that cute? He thought we were picking up on him instead of just being smart mouths. We'll just let him think that so he can go home to his wife and have a story to tell.

It is so much more fun to do a project like this with a friend. We spent the day rolling paint, swapping secrets, and of course becoming tight lipped serious workers whenever family members walked through the room.

Now it's the end of the day, the paint is dry and it's time to put the room back together. Everythig looks clean, fresh, and updated in style while I have a head full of fun memories to look back on.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Churning and Boiling......

My hot red-headed temper is flaring, or is it the portuguese in me?

It is so wrong of Hollywood to portray all of these movies about the hard-luck kid who grew up without chances. They start out in a situation of self-pity and down-and-out-luck when a situation comes along that causes them to toally re-think their life in the short span of an hour and a half. They do a complete turn around, change their character, become grateful, and so humble that they teach those around them a thing or two about perseverance.

Am I mad at them for creating that falsehood or mad at myself for a part of me wanting to believe it to be a small possibility? Is it just that it is hard to swallow lies and manipulation after I have been so transparent and sacrificing or is it pride in not being able to bear failure in anything, telling me the "if only I would have tried this avenue...."?

It is times like these when I want to ignore the idea and importance of grace and just punch and verbally tear apart.
But..........I always choose right. God always makes me flash to wearing a person's shoes before I do damage..................

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fix It

When God fixes a fix to fix you
And you fix that fix
He will fix another fix
To fix the fix that you fixed
To fix you.
By Pastor Joel Hjertstedt

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


On more than one occasion I have received them...those emails that detail the characteristics of what an aquaintance is, what a friend is, a little while friend, and a life-long heart friend. Like I really need that reminder in bold faced type that tells me in black and white what my heart already knows?
Apparently I do though, for it is human nature to take for granted the best things around us.

Those emails do get me to thinking about people in my life, the people I brush up against that add spice and quality...yep even the quirky ones add spice.

I really have had so many supportive people around me over the years. I can recall only a handful (or so) of people that declared war on my person or my shadow. From childhood to adulthood, I have had all of those....aquaintances, little while people, friends, and life longers. They have all been there through different trials and different joys and I thank God for them.

As I look back though, there are two people that I have known the longest (outside of family of course and really they don't count anyway do they).

One I have known since early high school. We have always had that sort of relationship that makes people raise their eyebrows and firgure that they see the future writing on the wall. (Boy did we trick them though.) He was always, and is now, there being in effect my personal cheerleader as I went through boyfriend, heart ache, soul searching, marriage, kids, and stupidity. In high school and young adulthood, I had that disarming smile that never really clued people into my quiet self-absorbtion, but he knew and never gave up on me. Through thick and thin he has been there with a smile and honesty that only a life long friend can have.

The second person, she and I mirrored our growing up years in so many ways yet were in different states and sometimes even countries until 11 years ago when we met. It is amazing how God does did Anne Shirley of Green Gables describe it? A bosom friend and a kindred spirit.
As we have raised our children together, learned about God together, and challenged life together; we have become so innertwined that strangers ask if we are sisters on a regular basis.
Whether we are rescuing each other from the dulldrums of putting away Christmas decorations, painting each others' living rooms, conspiring on the easiest way to get rid of pets without anyone knowing, or drinking the night away with cheap wine and chocolate (all in the name of stupid men) I know we are there for each other and that will not ever change.

I am so grateful to God for giving us the ability to have relationships, friendships.
And to you......I don't say it often enough. I thank you for being my friend.


No to the brussel sprouts.
Now I know........

Growing Up

I married at the age of 18.
Not that age really matters. Everyone said I was mature for my age anyway.
Instantly I had a family that needed me and the picture perfect security that everyone grows up and strives for. I felt like June Cleaver cleaning, cooking, providing a secure, loving, and nuturing home as our children grew.

But now that my youngest girls are ages 15 and 13, I find myself wondering, "Who am I?".
Yes I am a wife, mother, friend, teacher, and all of the other things that daily living entails.
But those things don't define the inner me. God made each of us to have a destiny and purpose that no one else can fill. Life and circumstances will change. My girls will grow up and have families of their own. I won't always be a teacher. In a few short years, I won't have these regular things that consume my days. Life will be different. What will it look like?

No, I am not having a mid-life crisis. I mean, I AM only 36 and remember.... age doesn't really matter.

Also, I do not look so forward on my mental timeline that I forget to cherish each moment that I have in front of my eyes. Each season holds its own special moments and memories and cannot compare to anything else.

Today is just a day where I feel like a 17-18 year old playing house and realizing that one day I must ask myself the question, "Who do I want to be when I grow up?".

Monday, May 21, 2007

National Memo Day

Today is National Memo Day.

Wow.....the excitement is too great.

I wonder how many people ran to the store today to purchase steno books so they could "take a memo". How many waited in expectation....ready for that moment of note joting?

No really, I am the first to stand up and proclaim that I am a list person. I love the thrill of being able to scratch off accomplishments, see that list dwindle down while the cross out marks grow more and more bold.
I just didn't know that it demanded a full day of celebration and honor. Amazing the things I can learn when I look around.

That reminds me...
Jane, take a memo...

The Bats Are Coming

The event that follows is a true story but the names have been changed to protect the innocent.....

It was 2:30am and Tammi had just finished cleaning up the kitchen after the last round of feeding frenzy. Feeding the 50 person youth group at camp was a fun and exciting job, but it sure made for long days. Everyone else was asleep and all the lights were off as Tammi climbed to the upper level of the cabin to her room. She absent-mindedly remembered leaving her room window open to aleveate pressure from the heat of the day. The Oregon coast weather could be stifling at times inspite of the trees surrounding the campground.

Tammi heard the noise only after she had opened her room door. With no light, she couldn't see what was making the noise. She only knew it came from the center of her room.

Her scream was followed by laughter as she realized a small 3 inch coastal bat had found shelter in her room while looking for his evening meal.

The noise brought Thomas running up the stairs with a broom, ready to protect the women of the camp at any cost. He told Tammi to stay out in the hallway while he boldly went into the room to capture the fiend. That was when Tammi figured she had better close the door so the bat couldn't get into the rafters of the cabin.

Big mistake.....Thomas had no light to see by and wasn't quite as fearless as he originally portrayed himself to be. He tripped and stumbled around the room and beat against the door yelling to be let out before the mighty and ferocious bat sucked out all of his blood.

As Thomas clutched his knees and took huge gasps of air on the safe side, Tammi held her sides in laughter. It is amazing what being over tired can do to a person's humor. Hurt only in pride, Thomas trudged down the stairs determined to wake the other men of the camp and rid the cabin of the intruder once and for all.

It didn't take long before 3 men, with that fierce warrior look in their eyes, came marching up the stairs brandishing fighting weapons in hand. One had a plastic laundry basket. The second had a bar stool and was carrying it like a lion tamer. The third man, more calm in stature for he had seen the middle east wars with his own eyes, held a coffe cup in one hand and his pocket with the other.

The three charged into the dark room and once again Tammi closed the door so as not to let out the fierce and wild monster. What was heard on the other side was not pretty in any way.
"Ow! Watch it!"
"Hey that is MY foot!"
"Where did he go?"
"I don't know but I just felt something on my neck!"
"That was me you idiot!"
"Where is the door?"

The mighty fighting men, while sounding like a Three Stooges movie but ready to protect the camp to their deaths, had driven away the wild beast.
The poor little bat had been so scared in that room all alone. However, when it heard all of those alarming and scary noises coming from the other side of the room, it remembered where the open window was and was ever so grateful to fly to safety.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


  • Hiking to a summit
  • Kayaking
  • Learn French
  • Parasailing
  • Piano
  • Photography
  • Backing up a trailer with skill
  • Hot air balloning

Some big, some small, but all worth it.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


"Whatever floats his boat I guess."
This came from my 13 year old as we were driving to geography class. She then explained to me that she had seen a guy who appeared to be cutting his grass....with a chainsaw. As comical as that mental picture is in my mind, I wonder, was he in actuality working on a tree stump that was out of the eye view of my daughter, or was he in fact a few marbles shy of a full bag and running on a bowl of frosted flakes?

Perspectives...God made us to be so individual, from the complexities of DNA to the ability to have individual thought. That thought and perspective governs our days good and bad however we choose. It affects us in every way possible.

Is the light barely yellow or practicaly red?

Is the flower wilting away or showing one more day of beauty and splendor?

Either way, it is a choice that we make.

My foster son is a prime example of that choice. Raised in severe hardship and having poor role models that were and still are given to addictions on a continual basis, he has a choice to make. He has a world of opportunities that lay at his feet begging to be picked up and used. And yet, the familiar is such a draw and pull.
He can choose to break the cycle and not wear the neon sign around his neck that screams helpless victim.
What will he choose?

Perspectives and choices....they go hand in hand. You can't have one without the other.

So today, I choose to be thankful for breath. I choose to have the perspective that each moment has purpose and meaning.
I choose.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Shaken Not Stirred

The nearly impossible question this morning was:
"1 out of 5 men dream of being this man. Who is he?"

Without even blinking my eyes, I said James Bond.
The answer was George Clooney.
I had to laugh. Who were these men that wanted to have grey hair and be a friend of Brad Pitt?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

And So It Begins

I have often thought of doing something like this....keeping a journal or something to that effect. However much I think on it though, I talk myself out of it.
"Will I say something I will regret later?"
"Will someone I know read this and be shocked?"

For now at least, I think it doesn't matter. My daughters have encouraged me to just step out and give it a try and stop thinking so much.

Whether I do this for two weeks or 40 years, I can add this to my list of accomplishments.
So here I begin.

The stone of knowledge that I have learned today:
You know the old saying that states if you put a frog in cool water and slowly turn up the heat, he won't know that he is being cooked? The same holds true for frogs in lights. How crushed I was today to find that I killed my daughter's frog, affectionately named Luke Skywalker.

It all began as a science experiement....catching a tadpole and watching the miracle transformation that God engineered. The process was so amazingly fast! We sat in awe as each day brought on great changes for young Skywalker. Last night, his tail went away and we awoke to find a fully developed frog in our bowl. He was so cute! We took his picture and everything.
The day turned to tragedy though, when I turned the warming lamp on just like every other day of his tadpole life. There sat Luke on his rock, soaking up the warmth but not having anywhere to hide when he got warm enough in his little bowl home. When I checked on him a mere hour later, he fell over like a statue.....

Oh how guilty I felt. One daughter proclaimed, "Mom it is okay. Get a grip. He was just a science experiment." My other daughter hugged me and quietly went in her room to cry at the loss.
Yes, he was HER experiment.

Parenting is fun.