Monday, December 29, 2008

Vive les Gaggles!.......

Next week the girls will be back in school and I will be able to get back into a blogger routine. It will be so nice. I do miss the visiting.

For now though, we are getting ready to leave town for a few days to attend the second annual Gaggle Conference. Ah....good times.

Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Belated Merry Christmas To You!.....

The snow kept on coming and coming. I know if I was living in a place like Michigan, North Dakota, or Alaska then the snow we had in Portland would be nothing to speak of. But for our area....2 feet was a lot to deal with. It basically shut down the city right before Christmas. Hubby and I ventured out a couple of times in the thick of it to get groceries and fresh air. Silly I know but for some reason being couped up made me really want to have Chinese food. It was so hard to find a place open with all of this snow.

By Christmas Eve the city had gotten control of things enough that we decided that nothing would stop us from being with my folks for Christmas. Our home is at an elevation of something like 400 feet while they are at 1100 feet on the top of one of the larger buttes in the countryside. The snow that we had in the city was nothing compared to what they had. We loaded up the car with presents, groceries, and overnight clothing and our faithful 4x4 got us most of the way there. Putting our belongings on the sled and hiking the rest was easy enough since my dad had shoveled a path for us.

Most of our extended family was unable to get out there but my brother and his wife were able to trek out for a few hours before another layer of snow hit. We had a wonderful evening together making memories, playing cards, and sharing stories. Christmas day began with our traditional Portuguese breakfast of vingadalsh, rice, and eggs and became a snuggle day for the rest of the time we were there.

Here are just a couple of highlights of Christmas for us.
One of the large trees in my parents yard fell under the weight of snow and ice. It landed on the roof over my Nana's bedroom. Praise God that no one was hurt and from what we can tell around all the snow there is no real structural damage aside from one limb poking through the porch eave.

News of all news!
My sister-in-law is going to have a baby!
I am going to be an auntie!

There is much more to tell but for now I must go.
Blessings to you and I hope you had a wonderful and joyous filled Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snow and Uganda But Not Together.......

What was the last thing I wrote about?
Oh yes......Pippin is back now and it is like she never left. She only spent 24 hours in Amsterdam. They didn't do any sight seeing because they were dressed for Africa and not upper hemisphere weather. It ended up that the airlines put them all up in a fancy hotel. By the sound of things, with heated floors and automatic everything, it must have been some kind of super deal between the airlines and the hotel industry with a fancy 5 star atmosphere. It was such a blessing for the whole team. Though they wanted to be home, the comforts of the hotel gave them time to begin the unwinding process after their non-stop schedule.

Once here, our schedule was merciless but joyful. Our oldest daughter and her beau came into town the same evening to spend a few days with us. And surprise! Our oldest boy snuck in the house a day later for some unplanned fun. We spent those days celebrating together, shopping together, going to Christmas parties, and doing a bit of ice skating. With the big storm front that has moved into the NW, it ended up that our girls only had one day of school before their Christmas break began.

For the last week we have had snow and ice blow in and around our area in a display that has been beautiful but quite unusual for our neck of the woods. It has come and gone a bit so that errands can be run and the Portland people can get over their initial shock on actually seeing snow on the valley floor. I personally don't remember seeing weather like this since the winter of 1995 when we first moved back here. Then we were staying at my parents house which is another 500 feet up in elevation. I don't think that the city saw this much then either.

The weather has been so crazy that I had to postpone my coveted birthday time with my mom for a later date. We so look forward to spending our day together and it was a bummer to have to hold off. I will share the details that I have planned .....AFTER......we have our date for who knows when she will pop over here for a quick read. (wink wink Mom I love you)

It is currently a nippy 17 degrees outside, 8 o'clock in the evening, and the snow has been coming in force all day long. My poor hubby, who drives an 18 wheel semi-truck, has been working in it all day long and is trying to make his way home now. We are hoping he is able to get all the way here to the comforts of home before too much longer.
Here is a quick snap shot in my driveway from this evening.

Okay, it is a little after 10pm now. Hubby made it home safe and everyone had some tasty soup for dinner to take away the chills.
In between all of the baking and fun of the holiday season, I have grabbed a few frames from Pippin's videos to share with you. I think technology is so cool that I can take a single frame from a digital video stream and make it into a picture.
I am hoping that in this next week I can coax her away from the snow long enough to create a video journal of her time in Uganda.

While in Uganda, Pippin and her team visited 5 different school villages before the conference began. Here you can see the conditions of the school buildings and surrounding area. They administered medication and food, shared the love of God and made many friends. So many amazing things happened.

Unbeknown to them at the time, one of the villages had a grudge against white people. They had said that God did not love them enough to ever have white people bless them with a visit and bring much needed supplies. Our team showed up with supplies and love for the day and shared over and over again that God thinks of them more times than the stars are in the sky. By the end of their visit, 7 of the villagers asked God to live in their hearts and one man whose hand was severely crippled was completely healed in front of every ones eyes.

Here is Pippin with a group of children that followed her around in another village. They mimicked everything she did. They petted her, took turns holding her hands, pointed out her freckles with amazement, and openly shared their hearts and possessions with her. One little girl got down on her knees in honor to give Pippin an ear of corn. A set of twins chattered eagerly with sparkling eyes and sang songs to her as they picked grass seeds off her skirt to keep her clean. In this picture, the little girl to Pippin's left in the white dress was a tearful joy. She was so determined that Pippin was taken care of that she dragged her finger thru her bowl of rice, dividing it in half and making Pippin eat her share. Pippin tried to pretend to eat and not take her food but the little girl was wise to her and would have none of it. In the little that she had, she felt it an honor to be able to bless Pippin. Even now it brings tears to my eyes.

This little girl has a tourniquet on her right leg. As our team had entered the school compound, this girl had just been found wandering in the bush and had gotten a snake bit on her foot. Though the children are told over and over again to stay close, sometimes it is too hard to keep track of everyone. This little girl was trying so hard to be brave and fight back tears. She has seen too much tragedy in her young life to know the consequences. With Africa having the most venomous snakes in the world she knew that bite victims either die or lose the extremity that was bitten because of fast setting gangrene.
Pastor Moses quickly handed money to the school dean and they whisked her away on a moped to the nearest hospital. Praise God for later the team heard that she was in stable condition.

Here Pippin is helping to pass out lunches to the village school children. It typical fashion, this little girl curtsied as she was given her treats. Usually meals consist of ground corn mixed with water to make a paste. But in honor of the team visiting, each child was able to have fried rice with pieces of meat mixed in. They were thrilled.

I found it interesting to learn that each child carries around some sort of back pack. In each back pack they carry a plastic bowl to eat their meals in. They also carry empty containers. The reason for this is because the village water pump is located at the school. At the end of the school day, the children fill the containers that they have and carry water home to their families. They were thrilled when our team would empty a simple water bottle and give it away for that meant something else that they could carry water in.

Over the past few days I have been looking through the video footage in awe. I find myself crying over everything in front of my eyes. We live in such plenty and yet still complain about so much. The people that Pippin met have so little and yet they are filled with joy and happiness.

I find myself hoping that in a few years maybe I can make a trip like this. I want to love on the children, the people, give much needed supplies, ................and learn from them.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Punchline Failed......

I received a text message from Pippin during the night. Their plane is currently broke down in Amsterdam. The airlines gave them food and hotel vouchers and told them to try again tomorrow. While I am bummed not to be on my way to the airport in a couple of hours to pick her up, I am trying to see things a bit more positive.

*They found a problem with the plane BEFORE it was in the sky.
*She gets another stamp in her passport.
*Maybe the team will use the opportunity to tour a bit of the amazing city and culture.

So, while I can't give you any great details about Uganda yet, I can share on life here.
I haven't done a "Out of the corner of my eye" piece in quite a while and I was encouraged to write about this recent episode that happened. Hopefully you will enjoy.

I love to watch people. It is amazing the things you can see when the time is taken to watch. At times it is inspiring and at other times....humorous beyond belief. Sunday evening was one of those times.

I was at the crowded grocery store picking up a few items for school lunches. In front of me I saw a family of 5 picking out apples to enjoy. There was the mom who was doing the picking, 2 young boys trying to help with the task, and the dad standing behind her with his preschool daughter sitting on the top of his shaved head. This dad had a boisterous voice and a sparkle in his eye. Holding his daughter's hands so she wouldn't fall while balancing her little tush on the top of his head, he laughed and loudly said, "Hey Honey. Look at me. I am a butt-head." Then he made upward eye motions pointing to the fact of his daughter's seat position.

The young brothers giggled and pushed one another around while the mom looked at her husband with disdain. Everyone in the produce department had heard his loud proclamation and had turned to view the spectacle.

Now, I don't know about you, but there have been times in my life when I have tried to deliver a punchline joke and people haven't laughed. During those times, I have been slow to get the concept that it was not funny. Instead I will repeat the punchline thinking that if it is heard again then people will get it.

Apparently that is what the dad experienced because he didn't let go of the joke. Instead his voice became more loud as he jumped and danced down the isle holding his daughter in place. He said, "Her butt is sitting on my head. Get it? Butt-head! I am a butt-head...... I am a butt-head....."

Oh my goodness. The onlookers just looked.....not knowing how to respond. The wife quickly drove her cart down a different isle wanting to put distance between herself and the situation. I personally felt embarrassed for him....and his wife. But at the same time I wanted to laugh at the irony of the whole picture. I could just imagine the thoughts of the onlookers while on the other hand the dad was happy with himself, his joke, and spending time with his daughter.

What do you see out of the corner of your eye?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I've been strong. I've been brave. I've been sure.
I haven't worried and I have done all I could to be supportive as my "Pippin" travels across the world to Uganda. I shed a few tears watching her leave that morning and then have spent the rest of the time truly happy for her new experience.

Now she is boarding a plane to begin her journey home.
She just sent me a text message saying, "Momy could u make it so that no one comes 2 the airport when u get us? I have decided that all I want it my momy."

Now I am crying.

The Saga of Snow Globes...

The first Christmas that we had here in Portland after retiring from the Air Force was in 1995. Unknown to me at the time, amongst the many memories of family visits, fun dinners, celebrations, gift exchanges, and weather watching......a new collection was to be birthed in our home.
My brother-in-law had given us a snow globe. It was a sweet and thoughtful gift. It held a simple nativity scene and when shaken, large snowflakes danced around much to the delight of our young girls.
It was the first snow globe we ever owned.

In 1997, my mom and Nana dropped by for a surprise visit after conquering some serious store shopping. Excitedly they showed us 2 large snow globes that they had purchased for us. One was an intricate nativity scene and the other was a joyous Santa. Fanciful glitter floated around the 2 scenes while Christmas music played from secret compartments underneath and a carousel of detail spun around the outside bottom stands. They had purchased both because they couldn't decide which would bring more delight to our girls.
I thought it was a nice gesture and absently wondered, "wow what am I going to do with 3 snow globes?"

The following year it started getting interesting. Our oldest boy decided we would appreciate his collection of 6 little trinket snow globes....since we already had 3. Then my mother-in-law stopped by with yet another little globe that plays music and holds a picture frame inside. She said that since she noticed we COLLECTED globes, she was sure that this one would make a happy addition.
Then we acquired another from a gift exchange.

Last year, as we unpacked the Christmas decorations, I realized just how many snow globes were in the box. Eleven orbs of sparkling glass looked up at me seeking to be shaken and admired. From big to small, fancy to simple...there they were all saying, "We are your collection!"
I started laughing, for while I had always thought snow globes were an interesting craft and certainly pretty.......I had never felt the need to own any.

Last Christmas, our oldest daughter and her beau were here for a few days to celebrate. As I unwrapped a gift from them........I found..........a silver angelic snow globe looking up at me from the box. Our daughter exclaimed, "Do you like it? I told him we couldn't go wrong with a snow globe because I know you collect them."
I smiled and gave them both a hug of appreciation. It was a pretty globe and a thoughtful gift.

I must admit that last year I made comments and jokes to my husband about the irony of collections and the idea that globes were something I never thought much about or wanted to collect and now everyone has decided that we collect them.

This year though,as I look around at our Christmas decorations, I have found myself shaking the globes.....admiring the globes......enjoying the globes......and wondering if we will have an addition to our collection this year.
Boy am I goofy and fickle.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The World Isn't So Big With Text Messaging......

You are all so good and faithful to me....even when I don't get on the computer all week long. Thank you so much for your prayers, your e-notes, your willingness to 'wear my shoes', and your cheers. Some of you have even added Pippin to your prayer group lists. Wow! Thank you.

You have been wondering how Pippin is doing.
I have received some text messages from her that give me a glimpse of her new world. There is a bit of "boy I could use a mom hug" in between the lines. But mostly there is the incredible-ness of a new world being opened.
She has said things like........
"The children call me 'Madame'"
"I have made so many new friends."
"All the children crowd around and try to hold my hands at the same time."
"We had pizza today but it didn't really taste like pizza."

During the first few days of their tour, they visited a couple of villages, including Hope Village. I was really excited to find that website and informational video. As I watched it, I felt closer and gained understanding. I thought things like, "In a few hours she will be walking on that street or maybe talking with that child." I can't wait to sit with her and hear all the stories and adventures, see the growth and maturity in her eyes that only experience can give.

I have been keeping busy. Aside from one mega headache that made me useless for a couple of days, I have been Christmas shopping and doing all the regular house wife/mom kinds of things. As soon as Pippin gets back from Uganda, our oldest daughter comes into town for a week with her beau and we will be celebrating Christmas early. That means things have to be ready early.

My sweet "Rosie-girl" was so wonderful today. We put up our tree tonight and after I strung the lights she and her girlfriend did all the decorating. I am so grateful.

How is it that at 37 years old I can't balance and multi-task like I did just one year ago? I look back at that ME standing in my kitchen with 4 teens at home, a hubby, 2 dogs, the door, cell phone, and land line all vying for my attention at the same time while bread bakes in the oven and dinner cooks on the stove.......nothing burns....everyone is satisfied, and I wasn't overwhelmed......and I think "Who in the world was THAT woman?"

It makes me laugh. For now the smallest of things jumbles up my brain while days can go by and I cannot account for anything worthwhile being accomplished. I take great joy in the truth of knowing....."and this too shall pass".

(David at Authorblog gave this post an honorable mention in his Post of the Day spot. Thank you David for being so supportive and riding this ride along with me.)

Monday, December 1, 2008


The last few days have been such a whirlwind of things to do. Along with all of Pippin's packing and preparations we had the fun of a few days worth of celebrations. Thursday was Thanksgiving. After jumping up early in the morning to make a double batch of dinner rolls, we headed up to my mom's house for fun with 24 members of the family. There was so much food and we enjoyed every ounce of it. Oh my, even thinking about it now makes my tummy hurt.

How is this for before and after?

Here is hubby and I enjoying our share of turkey and stuffing.

The next evening we spent across town with some 35 members of Hubby's family that were in town for the holiday. Nephews and nieces, aunties and uncles, young and was so good to see everyone and share updates, encouragements, and love.
(sadly I do not have a picture of that evening.)

Saturday evening was spent at a friend's house for the Oregon Civil War Game. It was a hoot to watch the gang yell it out for each tackle and tease one another. Maybe you can see a small bit of the rivalry in the photo below. One of the Beaver fans nabbed the Ducks little stuffed mascot and hung him in a noose around the projector platform. As the winning score proved, it wa a futile attempt at proclaiming victory.

Sunday was church service, family visiting, and then THE PACKING.
It took us a few hours to sort items, roll clothes, and write out directions for the different vitamins and such I wanted her to take along. One 30 lb. suitcase and 2 carry-on bags later she was ready to go.

We had been buzzing for so long with check lists, fundraisers, shopping, and meetings. It felt strange to have it all done and not think of anything else that needed attention. As I tucked Pippin into bed last night we both were thinking that same unspoken thought......"This is the last time for two weeks".

Are you wondering why a 17 year old is getting tucked into bed? It is okay. Really I don't baby my girls. At least I don't THINK I baby them. Pippin has just always reveled in that quiet snuggle time. No matter what the day has been like, even if we have been at whits end with one another......she will jump under the covers and give me that sparkly eyed look while peeking out from her blankets and looking just like she did as a giggly toddler.

As the clocks stopped keeping their time and the earth froze in rotation, we snuggled and didn't say a word as we both thought of the new world door that was opening before her in just a few hours.

Watching her go through the security gate and walking down the airport breezeway for as long as I could this morning, I felt proud. She had a big smile on her face as she took care of her teammates and stepped forward. Yes I had tears rolling down my cheeks and moments when I wanted to yell "Wait! One more hug!" But I know she is entering into an amazing destiny and purpose right now that I can only begin to wrap my brain around.

I know she will be fine. I know she is safe. I am sure the time will go by quickly.
As I write this, she is flying somewhere close to Amsterdam right now and still has another 8 hours of flying to go. It is such an adventure. Oh the stories we will hear when she comes back.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Sunday Roast.....

Yes it really is Saturday. But it's Sunday in Australia and that is where the content of this post takes place.....

When I started blogging (oh my goodness a year and a half ago) it was totally for reasons about myself and everything ME. I never figured on all the perks of meeting people, building relationships, and being able to travel the world through others and with others.
So, you can imagine the flood of emotions that I find myself in this morning to see my interview posted on David's site. I feel the silly giddiness that gets exhibited at the academy award shows. I also feel the modest hot blush building on my cheeks because it is always hard to receive attention.

Once I get Pippin on the plane Monday morning I will come back and share about our long and fun filled weekend. But for now, it would be my honor if you felt like visiting the interview.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Acts of Kindness....

Maybe 3 months ago I spent an evening talking with the youth group about perceptions and how they instinctively happen. It is not that we set out to make a conscious decision to judge people. It is just that with every action and attitude we see someone display it subconsciously gives us a glimpse into their persona. The things they say and don't say; do and don't do; how they choose to wear their anger, frustration, grace, happiness, greed, or tells us something about their character that we aren't even aware of picking up on and cataloging in our mental database.

I was reminded of that today.
Truthfully I don't always think of others. I am human and there are times when I just want to do my things and ignore the world. Those are the days when I feel consumed by my own wants and needs and figure someone else should take a turn at being nice.

But today was different.
I wasn't thinking when I left home with my errands and grocery list that today was the eve of Thanksgiving. The traffic and busy people soon got me to realize it and so I made a conscious decision to be nice and enjoy the day.

At the grocery store I pushed my cart around and smiled making eye contact with each person in the isle. I picked up dropped items for people who had rushed in for those quick things that wouldn't balance right in their arms. I played with small children to persuade them that running errands can be a fun thing to do.

Then I ran into a sweet friend from Romania and her 2 grandsons who are students in my church class. We all hugged and joked for a few minutes about the busyness of the day and then exchanged secrets on the best purchase deals of the week.

After we said goodbye, the gal who had been stocking shelves nearby came up to me and said with an air of awe, "Do you know her well?" I smiled and said yes but it didn't seem like a good enough answer for her as she stood there just staring at me. So I explained that we go to the same church.

That obviously satisfied her because a vault of statements came forth from her.
"That is wonderful."
"Church is a nice place to be."
"I've been thinking about going to church again."
"Too bad I have to work."
"At least tomorrow will be quiet."
"We used to try and go do the holidays with my husband's folks but it didn't work well."
"So stressful it was."
"Tomorrow we are staying home and not going anywhere no matter what."
"How about you?"
"It sure is crazy here."
"I can't believe all the people."
"You seem great though."

After smiles and conversation we parted and I finished my shopping. But as my husband bagged groceries and I paid for everything, she appeared again with comments and conversation. Again she proclaimed that she was staying home for the holiday and nothing would make her leave home at all.
With a sudden rush of emotion she grabbed me and gave me an endearing hug. She looked at my husband and told him I was a sweet special angel and he had better take good care of me. Hubby agreed as we smiled and walked to the exit.

In the parking lot he leaned over and said, "Who was that and where do you know her from?"
"I have no idea", I replied. "We just started talking in the store today."
He hugged me big and kissed my cheek.

So aside from the idea that this story makes my cheek blush with brings me back to the importance of taking time for people. I don't mean that we have to become best friends for the next 50 years with each person we meet. I do mean that a smile or kind word can mean the world to someone.

I don't know what exactly I did today that impacted this person but I do know that somehow I changed her world for the better and she finished her day with a lighter heart.

It really is easy and infectious to touch others lives. I just wanted to encourage you in that today.

Po-TA-to Po-TAH-to......

As you can imagine, I have been running to and fro with my list of things to accomplish for Pippin's trip. She leaves in just 5 short days. Oh my! The funny thing about my list though is that every time I check off one thing that has been accomplished....I find 3 more things I must add.


Last Sunday I taught in one of the childrens' classes. Oh so very cute!
Imagine the scene......
I sat at the table with all of the boys eating snacks and discussing the important issues on their minds. You know, things like scrapes and puppies and action figures.
Directly in front of me were brothers "I" and "D" ages 6 years and 4 years respectively. These sweet boys are true boys through and through. Both volley through the usual sibling rivalry as they impatiently wait their turns to be heard.

As sure as sure can be, "I"'s favorite bible story came up. He said, "David foughted with Goliath. He foughted him good and hard."
Younger "D", wanting to be heard and to correct his older brother's improper use of grammar jumped out of his chair and almost came across the table. "No, no, no!" he proclaimed. "It is not foughted. It is feated. David FEATED Goliath!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Confessions of A Stalker Parent.....

Not long after school started this year, Pippin came home with confusion in her eyes and an uncomfortable gait in her walk. A new guy friend had asked her to the home coming dance...via cell phone text message. It was the first time she had been asked out and because she viewed him as a "buddy" it really threw her for a loop.

She asked for my advice on what to do. Like any other parent, I pondered how best to answer. Being too protective is over bearing and shows untrustworthiness while not saying anything at all conveys the idea of not caring.

So, I pulled the high card. I told her that while I imagine he was really nervous about asking her......asking for a first date in a text message was really lame and wimpy. I know we live in the 21st century but I personally think that a girl's standards should be set a bit higher than that.

She appreciated my advice as she wrestled a bit longer on a decision...only to find out that he acquired a new girlfriend and chose to take her instead.
Sigh....teen boys...........

Even still with all of that going on, he quietly pursues my girl. (Somebody please slap him for me.) I would really love to meet him to observe how he ticks, but opportunity hasn't risen yet.

A couple of days ago, Pippin was sick and stayed home from school. She enjoyed sleeping in my cozy bed and snuggling up while her body recouped. When she felt better she moved most of her things back to her room for a quiet night.....all things that is except her cell phone which stayed forgotten on my night stand.

At midnight her phone rang with a text message. It took me a few minutes of clearing the fog from my brain and my husband shaking me to realise where the noise was coming from. Like any other involved parent, I looked at the phone, saw that it was HIM.......and so I read the message. "Hey, whatz up? How ya doing?"

I was peeved and irked. I tossed for a few minutes while trying to work through the consequences of the actions I was thinking of taking. Then I did just what I wanted to do. After all, isn't it part of the parent creed to embarrass our kids sometimes and give them THOSE stories to share when they are 30 years old?
I texted him back. I wasn't mean or rude, over bearing or callous. I simply stated, "Hi. This is Pippin's mom. She is sleeping right now....because it is midnight. Why aren't you?" See, nothing wrong with that.

The next morning I told her what I did. She was shocked that he had sent a message that time of night and thought what I had done was funny. Even more funny is that he didn't answer back and when she tried to say hi yesterday it was like he was looking for her secret service body guards that were sure to jump out of the bushes if he made any false moves.

giggle giggle......the joys of parenting.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Official....

It's 37 years old, I am from the "other" generation.

Today was an afternoon for the youth worship band to come over and practice for a couple of hours. After that, we had a monthly youth "chill" time at our place. It was technically supposed to be at someone else's home but all the residents of that home had contracted a nasty 3 day stomach bug. So hubby and I figured that if half the group will be here anyway for the music part, we might as well open it to everyone for the evening and give them all a chance to "hang". We enjoy providing the opportunity and giving the youth something to do.

It was a great evening. I had 21 people in my living room watching Kung Fu Panda. (This picture to the side is a horrid shot for color and lighting but maybe it gives you an idea.) Not everyone is in the picture and more came in the door after I snapped it.

They happily ate through 8 boxes of pizza, drank 5 bottles of soda pop, 2 bags of tangelos, a bowl of pretzels, a plate of cookies, and sour heads candy as they watched the daring courage of a cartoon panda pushing the societal envelope of expectations and dreams.

After that, the board games came out. I don't remember what they played. I only remember timers, noises, and lots of bravado remarks.

While all of that was happening, I found myself at the dinning table with two young men discussing the ins and outs of heavy metal music. All of their talk made my head spin. I remember as a teen that I chose to like or dislike a band because of simple reasons. Could I relate to it? Did I like the beat? Was it a good dance tune? Those were the high priorities for me. These boys were different though. They spoke rather philosophically about how bands choose to further their image by focusing on a key element. For example they will make sure their singer is appealing to the eye, or their electric guitarist has finger speed that no one can match. They talked about something called "comedy death metal" with appreciation. Apparently it is when heavy metal type groups create songs that make fun of something like a popular big name coffee shop or national eatery. They discussed similarities and differences between the groups Nine Inch Nails, Demon Chasers, and Led Zeppelin.

Then the older young man told me that when he is ready to relax for the evening he usually will "put on the soothing sounds of Smashing Pumpkins".

Now please rescue me I the only one who sees the instant and problematic irony in the words "soothing sounds" and "smashing pumpkins"?

I pointed it out to him along with my obvious ignorance to the music group and asked if they were indeed soothing or did they demonstrate more of a calling to their name sake. My question made him stop, think, and then admit that he had never thought of the group's name as an actual description. I had humored him with my different look at things.

On another note, thank you so much for your concerns and encouragements with me not being around much and feeling up to par.
I think I am gaining ground. I am still awfully tight and tense but doing my stretches several times a day whenever I feel the head thing come on, sometimes every hour, seems to be making slow improvements. So far I haven't had a relapse of that last 5 day head bender. Everything has a season so I know eventually this will be a thing of the past.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Uganda Updates....

I haven't been around much and I am sorry. I have wanted to write and visit but have been feeling a bit under the weather lately. For a while now, I have had chronic severe headaches and have recently been seeing a physical therapist to try and get things to calm down. My last appointment seemed to aggravate things though and now I am slow. But that is okay. Everything has a season and I will get over this.

I want to share some great and amazing news about Pippin's preparations for her Uganda trip. First and foremost.....she has all of her money that will be needed for the trip expenses! It has been such an amazing thing of faith to walk out. Here were have been believing that she is supposed to go on this trip with a cost factor that we can't even begin to bite into and God kept whispering that everything would be taken care of. On the other side of that has been the other voice that laughs and says, "You are believing in what? Aren't you a fool!" But we have dared to believe anyway.
Last weekend, she was given 3 large donations that made her balance complete. All the donations have been so generous no matter what the size. These are hard economic times that we are living in right now and for anyone to give anything is such an act of generosity. We were most shocked though by my hubby's boss who sent 2 donations. One was a check from the company and one was a personal check.....both being 20 times more than we could have imagined.
I think that speaks on so many levels. It speaks to answered faith and encouragement coming from unexpected places. It also speaks of how the company feels about the work my hubby has done for them over the years. We have been in awe ever since.

As if that was not enough, here is a story that I think will make you smile as much as it did us...

Recently I gave Pippin an old skirt that I had bought some 15 years ago when we were stationed in Okinawa. It is a light cotton gauze material that is flowing and reaches her ankles. She decided it would be perfect to wear in Uganda. The light weight material would really help the 90 degree summer temperatures while the modest covering would give her the freedom to do many different activities during her stay. The only problem is that it is not a current style. So I figured we would go to the big local fabric store and I would create what was needed.

After surfing through a myriad of patterns and materials I realized that now matter what I bought, I would have to make serious adjustments and it would all be pretty spendy. I figured each skirt would run about $30 if I was super careful. Then I would still need to figure out how to make the cute little waist line tassels that she loved so much on the original skirt.
Sigh.......I walked around the store thinking and praying, "Lord I want so much for her to have at least 4 skirts for the trip. I can sew and create my own pattern if necessary but I am not as good as I used to be and this is really going to take time. And the tassels, yikes! You are really going to have to help me with that......"
Then I stopped in my tracks. Right in front of me was a table marked "Manager's Special". It had 6 skirts on it that were beautifully patterned ankle length with light cotton gauze material. They even had the inner skirt lining already in place AND the waist line tassels. Why they were there in a fabric store I have no idea. It is not like they were classroom demonstration products or something because they had manufacture tags on them. Now get this........they were selling for $5 each. I couldn't have even bought a yard of material for that!

As we loaded up with our 4 choices, a sales person walked by and said, "Oh good. I was hoping to get rid of those. I don't even know where they came from."

Would you agree that is pretty amazing?

David at Authorblog award this post with a mention on his Post of the Day. It is an honor.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Real Focus...

I am going to step into a sticky topic here because I simply want to share it......
That topic is ... my church.
Why is that a sticky topic?
Well, because as sure as people are people, everyone has an opinion, a feeling, and an experience.

It has now been a little over 7 years since we helped to start this church and I continue to be amazed and ever so grateful for the blessings involved, the people, the presence, the relationships.

The relationships.....The older I get, the more I learn that relationship is completely what God is all about. The more I learn, the more I see that the symbolism of "church" has gotten so wrapped up in rules, guidelines, steps, classes, structure, and format.....that the heart core and reasoning for church has been side stepped and forgotten. I often find myself picturing God shaking His head and saying, 'No that is not how it should be. Please just listen.'

My Disclaimers:
No my church is not perfect. None are because people are people....completely fail able.
Other churches are great too. Different churches fit different kinds of people.
There is a time and place for long as people listen to God's guidance.

With that being said, I LOVE my church. As we seek God's truth from the bible, we also seek His character, grace, and mercy. Continually we strive to have relationship as the main foundation and for people to find comfort and healing in a non-condemning environment.

Why am I bringing all of this up? Simply because last week I learned fresh that the ripple effects of that sort of environment effects the children too.

I have always encouraged my teachers to focus on relationship. I have always said that there is comfort in having a lesson plan and great things can be accomplished and learned with the structure of a lesson plan....but never be so focused on a check list that the children are forgotten. If things turn upside down in class and nothing gets "taught" but the children go home feeling more secure and confident...then GREAT things happened in class.

Ah...but fighting the security of a check list can be difficult at times. In my last post I talked about being empty for a long time and losing focus. After coming back from that retreat, I felt all of that fall away and when I taught the next day at church I felt a renewed sense of purpose in relationship instead of check lists. Boy am I grateful.

I had 2 new students in class, a brother and sister, ages 6 and 8. The little girl was scared to come into class and hugged her daddy for a long time before relenting to step into the unknown. Instead of opening the class time with the usual structure, I chose to break the class into small groups, I took one group and my teaching partner took the other. We discussed the happenings of the week, favorite foods, and how best to eat chocolate (yes I had the girls group). Then the subject of good things and bad things rolled around and the girls began to share with one another what was on their mind. You know what? Even a 1st grader can offer deep compassion in a relationship. They prayed and hugged each other ......without my prompting.

It was at this point that the little 6 year old really opened up. In words that were much too old for her years she took a deep breath and shared this, "Ok I want to share something with you all and it is bad. I mean really bad and sad. Okay, my parents are getting a divorce and....."
And on she went explaining what was on her heart. When she was finished sharing, the others in the group offered their young encouragement, hugs, and prayers. She looked happier and lighter when it was all said and done.

I was so touched and amazed. Over and over it hit me that if I had kept with my check list, she never would have had opportunity to share her heart and find relationships in new surroundings. The other children would have not had opportunity to reach out from themselves and have compassion in action for another.

By the time we pulled the groups back together, there wasn't much time for a lesson, but I think the real lesson had truly already been taught.

Yesterday in church they were visiting again. I saw that little girl smiling and talking with her new friends. She ran up to me and shared what a great day she was having and how glad she was to be back.

Again I felt in awe at the importance of relationship.........the real focus.

(David at Authorblog honored this post with a mention on his post of the day column.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Light As A Feather...

I am spending the day doing all the laundry in the house and catching up on things after having so many activities on our plates.

The retreat was amazing. We were in the high desert region of Oregon staying at a home filled with gracious hospitality. There were 19 of us all together enjoying food, fellowship, teaching, and fond memories.

One of the dear ladies in our church, who happens to be Romanian, came and played chef for us during the 3 day event. Wow! I have never been so spoiled by food before. When I prepare to cook for a large number of people, I think of things like spaghetti, burgers on the grill, instant oatmeal, and deli sandwiches. But not dear Ileana. Before we could barely begin to be hungry from the previous extravagant meal, we could smell the aromas of Chicken Marsala, BBQ Ribs, and Baklava coming up the stairs to our meeting room.

Here is a "quick" dessert she threw together for us. She was so amazing. Even as she was unpacking the kitchen the first night, she whipped up a plum pie from scratch from plums she grabbed out of the yard.

The retreat was a good soul searching time for me. It was a time for me to sort through, label and get rid of things that I have been carrying around in my mind and heart. I feel so much lighter now in perspective and have a renewed focal point for being motivated in the things that I do.

That may make no sense at all and I am sorry for that. I just wanted to be able to make note of it here for my own personal well being.

Blessings to you today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

19 Years Today....

Today is our 19th wedding anniversay.
Tonight we are going out to dinner at one of my favorites and then tomorrow we pack for a few days of relaxation with a church retreat.
"See" you when I get back. Until then, be blessed and enjoy God's creative hugs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

God is so Good and Amazing....

God is so good and amazing!

I never tire of saying that and as long as I have known Him, I still get amazed fresh and new each time He does something.

Some of you have asked for updates on the progress of our preparations for "Pippin's" mission trip to Uganda. Here is how things stand.....

-We have secured round trip tickets for $1599 and that includes the fare and all applicable taxes.
-We are working with a travel clinic that will be dispersing the vaccine medications for a fraction of the regular cost.
-It only took a week and a half to receive her passport in the mail.
-As of today, she has received sponsorships from family and friends for $1400. A couple of those people were even blogger friends! My goodness how overwhelming it was to receive emails from you asking for us to send a sponsor letter to your snail mail. There is so much love, generosity, and compassion in that giving.

Do you see it? Do you see how and why God is so good and amazing?

He is bringing this all together.
Hiccups? way. Have you ever heard of someone getting their passport in 10 days?
The excellent ticket price, the sponsor is all happening because God is whispering and people are listening. We are so humbled at watching it all unfold and we are anxious to see how He will handle the rest of it.

What is left to be done?

The pastors have asked that though pants are more acceptable than they used to be, the girls should wear long skirts or dresses. Since winter is setting in here and current clothing styles can hard to wade through, I will be making 4-5 skirts for her to take on the trip.

Gather the list of items for packing that aren't always thought of. You know things like: bug repellent, sun screen (it is their summer in December and will be 90 degrees in Kampala), extra vitamin boosts, and protein bars. I am sure we will be adding much more to the list before it is all over with. Those are just things on the top of my mind.

Secure funds and reservations for appropriate lodging and daily expenses. We are told that living conditions even in the city are not quite optimal and an appropriate hotel with security will run a little over $100 per night. Pippin and one other girl are going so they will be able to room together and share the cost.

pray for us as we go through all of this preparation. This is all such a big step and we are doing every ounce of it with smiles. But at times the days seem to run into each other. A normal day has school running a majority of the day and Pippin being on the drama tech crew every evening. Then the night has music lessons, worship practice, youth gatherings, and Uganda team meetings. She does much of her homework during her first period class and so far seems to be handling it all well.

I am so excited for her. This trip will affect and shape the rest of her life.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2nd Weekend in October....

I took my dad to the airport on Wednesday morning, dropped the girls off at school, went on my 3 mile walk, and then came home to closed windows and ignored the world.
It was such a good time for my dad to be here. We did talk about things. We cried, hugged, and healed. It was so hard to take him to the airport and to talk to him on the phone now brings more tears to my heart. But that is good.


Praise! My mom had her first cataract surgery on Thursday and she is doing wonderful. It was funny to visit with her yesterday and explore a newly uncovered world with her. It reminded me of so many of those same feelings that I had with my eye surgeries......"wow everything is crisp" and "oh my gosh how did the bathroom get so dirty". Now we are all looking forward to the next surgery, which I hope they schedule soon, so that she can see clearly with no struggling.


In the midst of everything I have been sporting around continual waves of major headaches. It is really getting on my nerves. They hang around for a week at a time slowly building to a non-functioning climax that sends me to bed with the world spinning. I have an appointment on Monday but things have calmed back down and I can do most things without noticing the irritation. Don't know that an appointment would solve anything now.


On to other things......
Last night our oldest daughter came into town from Spokane for the weekend with her boyfriend. We decided that we needed to go downtown to the hockey game because our Portland Winterhawks were playing the Spokane Chiefs. Those who know me well may or may not be surprised to find that mind mannered me absolutely LOVES hockey.

Do I understand it all? Do I know any of the players?....nope.
Do I even follow the game at any time during the season?...definitely no.
But it is the only sport that I get excited about and have a desire to watch. Maybe it is the combination of speed and the thrill of the ice. OR maybe it is the almost guaranteed assurance that there will be a fight during the game. Just being honest here.

I haven't been to a game in years. As a matter of fact the last time I went to a game, we took some dear friends of ours and they had their little baby girl with them (who now is in 2nd or 3rd grade). Sometime during the evening I slipped out of the suite box and rocked her to sleep on my chest while the sporting crowd chanted on for plays that I couldn't see. I was happy though because there is nothing like holding a baby in my arms.

So, last night was fun. Somehow we ended up in the section where I think all the hockey parents sat. I would guess they were so because of their participation /anger level. What was really humorous to me was the lack of people everywhere else. The picture below will show you all the empty seats around the stadium.

But we had a ton of fun. Since our daughter and her boyfriend are from Spokane, we had our own team rivalry banter going back and forth amongst ourselves. Here is a picture of hubby and I with his classic "goofy face pose".

This is our girl with her boyfriend. See their happy faces? That is because Spokane won 6 - 2. And yes there were 3 fights all in the 3rd period of the game.
(see how bad I am at sports. I had to sit here and think of what to call it...a inning....nope it is a period.)

And those enthusiastic hockey parents were embarrassing by the end of the evening. They were so sore about losing that they yelled out names and directions to the referees. Then one proclaimed loudly as we walked by that "Spokane Sucks!"
Our daughter looked him in the eyes with a smile and said, "Oh that is not nice to say. We are from Spokane."
He stumbled ever so slightly in speech and followed back just as loudly as before with, "But we LOVE that they spend their money in Portland!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008


My dad is spending the weekend with my brother so I thought I would grab a minute and sit with you. I know you have wondered every now and again about our time together. I really had no idea just how emotionally drained I would be with this visit. It has all been very good. We are slowly learning one another and getting more comfortable as each day passes. We talk about small things and every day things. We haven't talked at all about the past and I don't know right now just how important that is. Maybe we will one day be able to talk about the past once we have a present together.....or maybe it will never be talked about. Right now I am just trying to soak in every moment I have with him.

I take Dad to the airport early on Wednesday morning. I can't believe that 2 weeks has gone by so quickly. A part of me knows that I will need to give myself room to adjust to him NOT being here and growing from that. But then schedules mercilessly do not stop for our household and more company will be here within a 36 hour window.

Of all the adventures, here are a few quick pictures of the past two weeks that I would like to share with you.

This is Dad with my 2 girls at the end of the Lewis and Clark Trail in Seaside, Oregon.
He loves coffee and knows how much they both love a good white chocolate mocha
so he is sure to buy them each one whenever he sees opportunity to do so.
Around here in the know that means quite often.

Here is my (little) brother and I posing for a quick hug in Seaside, Oregon.

He always spoils me with his lavish hugs of attention.

When family gets is always involved.
Dad graciously took us all out to Red Lobster one night for every one's favorite yummies.

Here is Dad and I at Bridal Veil Falls in the Columbia River Gorge.
It is one of my favorite places to sit.

Hubby and I were able to load up and take everyone to Long Beach, Washington
for a few days of rest and splendor. Here is the sunrise that greeted me on my
early morning walk before cooking up pancakes and bacon for everyone.

I can't decide which sunrise picture I like more.
I was out walking and thinking about all of the new emotions and thoughts
in my head when the sun rose and bathed everything in glory.
I couldn't help but think how appropriate and symbolic a view it was
considering all of the newness I am experiencing.

The glow, the patterns of tide in the sand...silly me I didn't even think
of taking my camera on the beach at 6:30 in the morning....
but I had my phone so I clicked away while the scene changed minute by minute.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He Is Really Here....

I got up this morning expecting to do my normal things.....take the girls to school, walk, clean a little. Today was my dad's arrival flight from San Antonio. I had been preparing for it all along. I had been telling people he was coming. I bought certain foods that I knew would make him smile and even signed up with a gourmet coffee by mail thing so that he could have the best while visiting.

But even with all of those things surrounding my thoughts, today didn't seem real. Thoughts kept going through my head questioning why I was doing things.

* "Why am I scrubbing the bathroom even though I did it two days ago? Oh yeah. My dad is coming in today."
* "Why do I keep looking at the clock like I have to be somewhere? Oh yeah. My dad is coming in today."
* "Why do I keep checking to make sure the bedroom is just so? Oh yeah. It is because my dad is coming in today."

It didn't hit me completely even as I drove around the airport 4 times trying to figure out the signage with all of the construction. It wasn't until I stood in the terminal and looked into each face that walked by that I realized dad is coming in today.

The minutes went by and I fought back the panic that said "What if I missed him? What if he walked by while I was looking at the arrival screen? What if....What if...What if.....?"

Then he was there with his signature walk and sporting a new 'handle bar' addition to his moustache. I hugged him and couldn't let go.

We visited with my brother over coffee at the local diner and then came home for left over spaghetti and conversation.

It has been a bit awkward. We are both nervous.
It was quiet tonight and everyone else was in bed but the two of us. Then of his own doing, he swung the conversation around to our relationship. He said, "I have so many regrets and there are so many things that I wish I could undo with not being there for you for so many years. I can't fix the past. All I can do is hope to make up for things now."

How many times I have played out a conversation like this in my head. How many responses I have written over the years in my mind. But now.......I couldn't speak. I couldn't say yes or no, you are right or I forgive you, the past is is past and we are moving forward........................

I couldn't even move.

We hugged goodnight and again couldn't let go for a long time.
Will I even sleep tonight?

(I am humbly honored that David at Authorblog awarded this post as Post of the Day.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"How are you doing?"

"How are you doing?"

I have heard that question a lot this week and I have answered it truthfully each time. That can be harder than you think. It is all too easy to say, "I am fine" or "Good" and not give it time to sink in and be real. I tend to use those pat answers because I don't want to "burden anyone with my woes". But this week I decided that people wouldn't ask unless they really wanted to know.
Of course I am careful to keep my answers short and not give the listener more than they bargained for.

That makes me smile. It reminds me of being on the flip side. Being on the long listening end of a story after I ask the question, "How are you?" happens to me a lot. I enjoy it. I like letting people know that someone cares and many times it is obvious that I am the only one who has asked them in quite a while. My husband laughs because invariably I will get into a conversation with the person at the check out register about their day, their limp, sprained wrist, bad attitude, recent car accident.....or a myriad of other stories. He has stopped asking me, "where do you know them from?" because the answer is usually the fact that I just met them in that 5 minute time frame. You name it and I have heard it. I once even had someone confess to me that she had cracked her ribs while ....being intimate.

I am told I just have one of those faces that say it is okay to spill your life and I will listen.

Many times someone will stop me in a store and ask where something is as if I work there. Do I explain that I am a shopper too? No. You can shake your head but I usually figure out where the item or place is and help them find it.

I have no idea where I am going with this or why I started sharing it.
I actually sat down to say that it has been a busy weekend.

My dad flies in on Tuesday ...........

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


New things seem to always be different than from what we imagine they will be like.

I am now into the 3rd week of the girls going to school and me having a lump of time on my hands. I had imagined that I would stand in my house alone, evaluate my day and choices, and then choose something constructive or adventurous to do with my time.

That hasn't happened yet.
Instead I get to the end of my alone time and find I have done nothing at all. The mindless TV has been my companion. All of the house cleaning that I never had time to do before and figured I would attack with zeal......nothing. If it wasn't for the joy of my dad flying in from Texas next week I don't think I would even want to scrub the bathrooms.

I know I am in a transition. This mindless numb feeling will shake off.
I did have a glimmer during my walk yesterday. (hey I am up to 5 miles now)
Instead of rhythmically stepping with an a mind full of emptiness, I did notice a few things and began to compose slivers of thoughts in my head about my walk.

I noticed the smell of fall in the air. I enjoyed the sun in the sky doing it's job, warming the earth and air from a crisp 53 degrees to 74 degrees in a matter of 80 minutes. I recognized that there are many different types of people using the trails along side of me. I saw moms with running strollers, business men biking to work with their suits on, seriously dedicated exercisers, and casual walkers with their Starbucks mocha cup in hand. Cottontails hopped in and out of the trail while morning birds called out their tributes. I even saw a doe with her fawn having breakfast under a tree.

God is good, life continues, and even this season will pass for me. Before I know it, I will be back in a groove and being productive.

Monday, September 8, 2008

And the World Gets Bigger.....

It didn't take long at all. The girls are starting to bounce out of the trauma of all things high school and get into a routine. Their alternating daily schedule of A/B days seems more complicated than college but they are doing it and starting to come home with goofy stories. How it blesses my heart and brings tears to my eyes when I drop them off in the morning and they walk towards the academic building side by side giggling....sometimes with arms draped over each others shoulders.
I know that they will be just fine.

At the same time I was getting them ready for this new part of growing up, God was asking me to let go even more. Let me explain....

Our church has been working with another church in Kampala,Uganda for the past few years and they have recently asked for us to send a short term missions group their way in December. Pippin has always thought it would be an incredible experience to participate with a missions outreach and has told me for a good 5 years now that Africa is the place that really calls to her heart.

You can imagine the things that hit me as I thought it all through. I wrestled with vague pieces of information that I had heard on the news about Africa.....violence, disease, and malnutrition to name a few. I knew for a fact that things can happen anywhere. The girls can get hurt jumping on the trampoline in our backyard much less be halfway around the world. I can't protect them from everything. My life long job has been to equip them. But the other voice in my head was laughing at me, telling me I was a fool to entertain the idea of sending my young 17 year old naive girl into THAT. I fought panic for quite a while.

Then, through a series of amazing circumstances, the pastor of the Kampala church was in town and we were able to get together for a meeting. He answered many questions for me about the area and what the team will be encountering.
Civil unrest? Absolutely not. That is much further north.
Wild and fierce animals? No, there will be no safari side trips.

The clincher for me was when a friend prayed with me for guidance and peace about the whole idea. She shared with me a picture that came into her mind while we were praying. It was a picture of a beautiful little bird in a nest looking out at the world around. This little bird, always respectful and attentive, flapped her wings and said, "How about now Mama? Am I ready to try and fly now?"

That picture was not shared as a tool of manipulation. (It is okay if you believe different than I do.) For me, I believe that God can speak to us in visions and that vision went right through to my heart. Instantly I wanted to cry out, "What more do you want from me? I have done everything you asked. I schooled them like you wanted. Now I am sending them to school and trusting You to care for them even though there will be times when I know they will be hurt and uncomfortable because it is part of growing. How much more do you want me to let go?!"

As soon as I thought it, I knew the answer. He can't guide them if I don't fully let go. He can't protect them and shape them if I don't take my hand off of the steering wheel.

So, my Pippin is signed up to go on the missions trip to Uganda for 2 weeks in December. Now that I have let go, I am actually excited for her. She is going to learn and see so much. It will be a life altering experience.

The next few months will be a lot of preparation as she gets a handle on school and works ahead in her studies. There are lots of things to think about with supplies to be packed and clothes to be made. Paying for the trip will be a daunting task since we have nothing extra to play with. Pippin and I are working up a sponsorship letter to send out to family and friends and we know that if God wants this then He will provide the means.

Kampala, Uganda, Africa......I never would have thought it part of our happenings.

I am so excited!

David at Authorblog recommended this post for Post of the Day. How it blesses me when I sit here at the keyboard to bear my heart and others are blessed by my ramblings.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Touring Thru a Portion of the Columbia Gorge......

One of the many things the girls and I did while I was away from blog land was take our visiting Hawaiian friends on a tour of the old scenic highway in the Columbia Gorge. It was definitely a day of giggles, sighs of awe, and adventure.

As I pulled down into my mom's driveway to pick up our guests,
my Rosie girl said, "Hey Mom look at those sun flowers.
They look like Mickey Mouse!"

Our first look-around was at the scenic Vista House.
Locals around here affectionately call it Crown Point.
This photo is a shot looking east.
The Columbia River is the state boundary line with Washington
on the left and Oregon on the right.

Our first waterfall hike was one of my personal favorites
called La Tourelle Falls.
There is my group headed towards the sound of falling water.

Amazing isn't it?
I pointed out various features to our friends concerning the moss, falls, and
the geology of the basalt rock while my girls hiked all around the water area
looking for treasures.

Indeed a treasure was found. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Pippin took pity on this little guy. She found him close to the water and decided
that he was so chilled by the water that he didn't even have the energy
to hop away when she got close.
So, into her warm hands he went until his temperature perked up and
she set him free in some warm moss.

Our next stop was a short mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls, another of my personal favorites.
This is the bridge one must cross at the bottom of the hike to get to the falls area.

Here is the lower portion of Bridal Veil Falls.
See that speck of a person sitting on the left side of that big rock? That is my Pippin.
Every time we go out to this area, my girls love to climb all over the rocks
and soak in the beauty.

I couldn't resit putting up a couple of pictures of our dear friends.
Left to right is Lilly, myself, and Mary. These wonderful ladies are precious sisters
and always full of so much infectious joy.
Mary first became a part of our family years ago when she and my mom
met and attended school together in Japan.
We are so grateful to have them in our lives.

Our last waterfall of the day was to visit Multnomah Falls. We shot some pictures, gasped and awed and the splendor, and then sat down for well deserved ice cream cones.