Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Are You Kidding Me?...

We all know that as the elderly discuss times gone by, they comment at how quickly it all goes. I remember that my Grandmother Davis would occassionally do that as she told us the amazing stories of her life. At 36 years of age, I can feel on any given day that time is whirling past me at an alarming rate and I can lose track of it all together if I am not careful.

But do I really need media and propaganda to encourage that mental process?
My radio station is now playing continuous Christmas music!

It is still October 31st right?


I heard this morning that today is National Knock-Knock-Joke Day. It also happens to be Halloween. Hmmm knock-knock jokes have never been quite my style. I am more of the pun in cheek type of gal. And while getting gobs of candy in my orange plastic bucket was a climactic event to look forward to as a kid, celebrating celtic emotionally unstable goddesses doesn't appeal to the adult days I live in.

Instead, I have something more important to celebrate. Today is my "Rosie's" 14th birthday. As I sit here this morning eating a warm cinnamon roll (a Rosie birthday tradition) and she is sleeping in (another tradition), I find myself thinking back to her entering our lives. Every parent does it. Every mom looks back to those precious babyhood times and thinks of the growing and nuturing that has taken place; the cute smiles, knowing glaces, and times shared. Dads too reel back and forth between memories of that tiny 8 pound creation fitting in the crook of his arm and seeing all too soon into the future of her dating, boys and men giving her a look over (and he knows exactly what they are thinking as he contemplates going to jail to protect her safety).

My Rosie....she has always been a blessing. From the moment she was created, we knew she was strong and had purpose. The small tropical island we lived on at the time made for many issues during my pregnancy. Storm watches, typhoons, and atmospheric pressure created a need for lots of doctor appointments, ultrasounds, and belly shaking to make sure she was alive and thriving. Once she was born, we learned quickly her character style that would make an impression on everyone around her. She adored her older siblings and followed them everywhere, but at the same time wanted to make sure she could prove herself and do things her own way. From the beginning we could see that her mind thought literally, systematically, creatively, and with compassion for all things.

Now at 14 years old, her paintings line our walls. She has learned to generate a cash flow for herself by selling her prints. Her self inspired music vibrates through our home as she creates new beats on her drum and sound combinations on the electric piano. Her clothing even reflects her individual style as she puts outfits together that totally work for her and no one else. At 14 years old, she and I are experiencing that new growth in our relationship that happens as children mature. We are able to discuss things spiritual, political, and personal that happen around us and I find is incredibly exciting.

She looks at the world with excitement and eyes of adventure. As we were shopping last night for birthday outfits she said, "Tomorrow is going to be so cool Mom. With the youth group costume party and everything is like the whole world is celebrating my birthday!"

Though I see her giftings, talents, and abilities are starting to really poke through, I don't know where she will be yet in the next 6 years. I do know though....with motherly pride completely in front of me.....she will put 100% into whatever she does. She will seek God's purpose in her life and will bless everyone around her.

I thank God for the joy and experience of being her Mom.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Orcas Island...

I have said it so many times over the last few years and I will probably say it a million more times in my life... I LOVE having a membership in WorldMark Windham! We would never go on vacations, or even go to cool places without it.
This last weekend was no exception.

Thursday morning, my husband and I loaded up our bags and headed to Orcas Island to celebrate our 18th anniversary. As the ferry pulled away from Anacortez, we watched the water roll out from under us as it carried us away from the hussle and bustle of every day life.

We were amazed at the simple beauty as we drove to our resort getaway. The resort itself was quaint and perfect for us. The individual cottages were set on a hillside so we could each get an eye opening view of the marina. To make it even more amazing, each private deck was all set up with a hot tub! Here is the view I got to see every day and night as I let jet bubbles work out tired muscles.

As we explored the island locale, we ended up at a little wine tasting shop. I never thought to ask this gentleman his name, but he sure made it a fun and enlightening experience for us. Neither my husband nor myself are very versed in the delicate art of wine making and tasting. This man was a wealth of knowledge and easy going comedy as we sampled whites and reds, spiced and sweets, sparkling wines and thick ports.

No mater where we turned, there was an amazing view to take in. Here on the left is a view from Vern's Bayside in Eastsound where we ate a couple of times. (Look carefully & you can see the reflection of the ketchup bottle in the lower left corner.) Of course, with my meal including a hand-dipped, old-fashioned, super-thick chocolate milk shake, which view is better?

Though Orcas Island is small in size, there is plenty to do for the nature lover in everyone. We hiked around a handful of waterfalls that simply took my breath away. I love waterfalls and make it a point to visit the ones in our local area. However, I can't ever get as close to them as I did here. This specific one is called Rustic Falls and is located just south of Mt. Constitution.

One of the highlights in our sightseeing adventure was hiking to the top of Mt. Constitution. At just a little over 2,000 feet, it is not the giant type of mountains that we are used to, but the rewards were well worth it. This tower is the old lookout point that was built during the depresssion era.

From our vantage point, we could see the Canadian Cascade Range...

and view the other islands in the Sound. I just couldn't get enough of it.

It was so hard to load up in the car to leave this beautiful place. As our ferry pulled away to bring us back to reality, we vowed that this little out of the way place has to be a "must return" for us.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Directions Are Challenging.....

He sat directly behind me as I drove him home tonight.

"Yeah just go straight through here," he said. "Now turn that way."

"Which way is that way," I asked. "do you mean left?"

"Oh yeah, I do mean left. I am just so bad with all that numbers stuff."

I thought my girls were going to bust a gut as they laughed at the cute mis-use of his wordage.

Pippin exclaimed, "Oh that is so rich and classic! mom you have got to write about this one!"

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Tonight, my brother declared, "I think I should call in sick tomorrow at work. I'll tell them that I am temporarily blind and can't see myself going into work for the day."

Saturday, October 20, 2007


It is Saturday evening and it already feels like a LONG weekend....

By spiritual and original design, man was first created to be in a flawless image. But, temptations came and free will brought about a change to imperfection. That imperfection caused a need for us all to learn (and keep on learning) about unconditional love in relationships. Throughout the pages of history, many have tried to model that unconditional love but only one man succeeded in providing a real and true example.

That is the dilemma I find myself in right now. Relationships can be so very hard and complicated. I believe we all truly desire to exhibit forgiveness and grace, but then that 'centered on self nature' battles away.

I find myself wondering this weekend, why I allow myself in these kinds of relationships? Why do I find myself in places where I must summon up the strength to speak up for myself or to leave all in battered misjudgement? Is it a driving force of acceptance that brings it all around me?
Or is it that I am the one being conditional and need to beg forgiveness?....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Somebody Stop The Puns.....

Last night at a meeting, we were discussing the big upcoming event....a harvest party for the youth group.

He said: Hey, let's do a "bob for ears of corn" area instead of "bob for apples".

I said: Cool! But let's make it like plastic ears instead of ears of corn."

He looked at me with a combination of smile and perplexity until I dropped the punchline.....

Me: That way we can make sure it is a really corny game.

okay let the groans roll.................

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Gears Are Turning...

I have had two major things doing circular cycles (hmmm that is redundant) in my head today. Sometimes old truths can be learned fresh and applied in our lives. Today has been one of those days. Here are 2 truths that I learned fresh on this day.

1) I spoke with a friend this evening that I hadn't had the pleasure of connecting with in a few months. Through our "catching up and re-connecting", I found that his life and the lives of those around him had not been going in the direction I had pictured all this time. The things I had learned were shocking and eye opening and grieved me that I had been so disconnected.
Truth: assumptions almost always mis-guide my perceptions.

2) Yesterday at a monthly leadership meeting, we discussed the guidelines for being an effective team. One point that was highlighted was the importance of being led by joy. We have all heard that we choose our emotions. We choose to be joyful or bitter. No one points a gun to our head and says, "You MUST be joyful/angry now!" It has been a rule that I have tried to live by for so long.....move on from a situation and don't dwell on it. Girl, choose to not let it rule you and be joyful in the moment.

The funny thing is that over time, some people have "counseled" me and said I am not being truthful to myself when I do that. Instead I must embrace hurt and pain for what it is and live in it for a bit. That has always felt uncomfortable to a bad shoe. Why stop time and wallow in ick?

Instead of walking through that thought though, silly me, I would over-analyze myself. Am I fake? Why do I want to be happy? Am I not emotionally stable because I rob myself of holding onto junk? (I know, it is insane the conversations I get into in my head)
Truth: Don't let other people set my joy thermostat.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chose Not To Be Alone.....

* please note that you might have to refresh this page a time or two to get the video to load completely. Don't be frustrated though. It is well worth the extra few seconds.

I have watched this video 6 times now and I still can't get over how it grips my heart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

What Feelings They Are....

This is a picture of Jonathan Michael.
He is the new baby boy of our 19 year old foster son. He is so beautiful and at 6 days old, he already has the exact expressions of his father.

I was able to hold him, Jonathan, for a couple of hours on Sunday. I saw, felt, and thought so many things while I sat there staring into his sweet sleeping face.

My feelings are all over the place. We had opportunity to be in the young father's life for a time....and yet not be a lifetime parent. We had a window to speak wisdom and destiny into being but not a lifetime of cousel and relationship.

What is in store for this innocent little child? God knows and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Another Point for the Winning Team....

It has been quite an interesting weekend to say the least. I could itemize all of the trauma and drama of the weekend, but that would be boring for anyone who happens to stumble across this blog. Not knowing the people makes the stories have only minimal meaning. I could write all the suspence and tension down for my own well being. After all, I started this blog to make it a place to collect my own thoughts and not be swayed by trying to please anyone else.

But no. Why make it a point to remember all of the junk? Instead, let's go for a "dance in the rain" (as my blog caption suggests) and look at the outcomes of catastrophes.

* My step-daughter and her serious boyfriend came down for the weekend to visit. Being a step-mom has always been emotionally hard for me....hard to explain...hard to do. I do it all with a smile and the best of intentions and heart, but inside I am a wreck. Why? I could spend hours trying to analyze why I am such a way, but I wouldn't solve anything. After all, I have been trying to figure that book out for 18 years now. It seems though that these last several visits have been getting easier and easier on me. We are communicating and making progress. Progress that is breaking through my tension and barriers. They just spent the last two hours looking at homes to buy down the road from us so that they could move here next spring.

* My "Rosie-girl" has recently set her heart on wanting to learn to play the drums. Doing all of the research has been hard...figuring out what is good, what is cost effective, how much debt it will set us back....ugh. However, this weekend a friend said, "hey, I heard about your dilema and want to help. I have one of these taking up space in my garage and it is bugging me. How about if you store it for me at your place for as long as you want so I don't have to rent a storage facility?" (okay, I really don't think it is that specific model....but you get the idea)

*Lately I have had a desire to get a new bed.....a top quality bed that would help me with back issues and sleeping issues. Again....dollar signs float through my head. I didn't even dare bring it up to my husband for fear of the cost. Just a few days ago, I received contact from a friend who said, "Hey I have one of these that is two years old and I want to give it to you." After it was all set up in our room last night, I had the best sleep I can recall in quite a long time......several months ago at least.

*And most importantly of all.....the vehicle that my step-daughter and her boyfriend drove down here in....was totaled yesterday along with the other car involved. By miracle only....everyone walked away completely unharmed.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A Song By Any Other Name......

Sometimes I get a song stuck in my head. For example, having pina coladas in the rain was all I could think about for a good week after reading this post.

I am never good at remembering titles or even all of the words to a song. But boy I can do well at keeping one or two lines of a chorus circling through my head for days at a time. Other people I know do very well at recalling songs. My pina colada friend seems to always end his posts with some whitty song passage or verse of poetry. How does he do it?
My brother was a dj for quite a number of years at Skybar in Destin, Florida. He is fantastic at playing Name That Tune. He is versed in every genre known...and knows them well. I am envious.

Me, I am plagued with having a small snippet go through my mind for days on end...usually with the words botched up. Currently, can you guess what is in my head after reading this post?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Alisa and Asami.....

Last spring when we decided to be a short term host home for Japanese students that would be visiting Pippin's school, we didn't know what the experience would be like. Though our home is small, we asked for 2 girls to be placed with us in hopes that having someone familiar in our home would help them to adjust.
We prepared as best as we could....cleaned the house, pumped up the air mattresses, stocked the kitchen with extra food, and tried to brush up on the little Japanese that we know. Still, questions nagged at me. Would we provide a good experience for them? Would the food I make be pleasing to them? Would they like us? Would I be able to comfort them when they miss home and family? Would we bridge the barrier of being acquaintances and become friends?
Finally the day came when we would meet "our girls". We prepared welcome signs (Rosie wrote "youkoso" in Hiragana which means "Welcome! Nice to see you."), and we bought balloons and tied them to little stuffed animals. With gifts in hand, we walked into the school ready for a new adventure. As soon as I met Alisa and Asami, I knew I had worried for nothing. As they introduced themselves to us with english phrases that they had been practicing all day, I realized that they must have been having much of the same worries that I had.
Now a week has gone by and I must take them to the airport tomorrow. As I look back over this week, I find that it has been quite an educational experience. We had a great time introducing our girls to life in America. We visited the horses at the barn and played games around the dining room table. We explored the different falls along the old highway and crafted memory bracelets at my mom's house. We walked every inch of the mall, ate at the local pizza buffet, and ventured through the wonders of the supermarket. We even learned to joke with each other as we tried to wrap our brains around the language barrier and trip over words.
Even more than all of the fun experiences I just mentioned, it has been a heart experience for us all. Both Alisa and Asami have been so courageous to go on this adventure across the ocean and we feel honored to have played a part in their memories. After only a week, I feel such a loss that they are leaving. Their smiles, sincerity, and compassion have blessed me. Yesterday I finally asked them if it would be okay for me to hug them. Alisa and Asami both blessed my heart with claps and big smiles as they jumped on each side of me in a sandwich hug full of giggles.
Tonight, we had a farewell dinner at the school and the 27 students all shared with their host families some Japanese culture. We were able to look at childrens books, play games, we learned to write some hiragana and katakana, and did origami. The students closed the evening by singing to us a song in Japanese. Yes, I cried. I couldn't help feeling a bit like a proud mom as I stood up and took pictures.
As they head back to Japan, their families, and their futures, I pray that in some way, this trip will always bring smiles to their faces as they look back on it all. I know it will always hold a spot in my heart for me.

What's In a Name.....

I heard on the radio this morning that today is "Name Your Car Day". Hmmm..... it doesn't sound like nearly as much fun as taking down notes .

At one point in our lives, we owned a huge red suburban that the kids called Big Red. My husband used to own a red firebird that he would affectionately call KIT as he talked into the imaginary watch on his arm.

I know a family that named their minivan the Slipstream in honor of this tv sci-fi show. And if you look around here, you will find this friend of mine refers to his family minivan as the TeamGo van.

My current car has no name. Actually, the car manufacturing company named it a Ford Explorer, but we haven't given it a welcome to the family name of any kind. Should I name it? Would it perform better because of a sense of belonging?

Have you named your mode of transportation?

Monday, October 1, 2007

I Haven't Found It Yet....

Nope, I haven't found my brain yet.

This morning I went to make my cup of Tazo Refresh tea. I opened my tea bag and placed it in my cup. Then I opened my single pink sugar packet......poured the sugar in the trash and placed the pink wrapper in my cup.

I hope this isn't an indication of what is to come today......