Friday, August 29, 2008
I totally cut and pasted this from my mom's blog. It was too funny not to.
Alright, so Ronnica is technically right. The pension is lifetime- not just to 80 years old. But, McCain is still gonna kick off before Obabma- and it's still funny.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I was born at a very young age. Good thing, too, or I would have missed a lot of my life. As it is, I can remember a whole lot of it, much earlier than a lot of people, I think. Here's my story:
In order to understand the dream that I have lived you have to know that both of my parents came from HIGHLY dysfunctional homes. I have heard that sometime early in their marriage they sat down and talked about what "normal" would be for their family. Because they knew that the abnormal that they had lived was not OK.
By the time I was born, my mom had become a Christian and was exploring churches. Going to church on Sunday Morning has always been a part of my life. I have been blessed to have been wrapped in a cloak of church family for as long as I can remember. And, honestly, I don't remember a point where I became "saved." I only remember always knowing that Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins, and that He was the Messiah, and that because I believed this I was going to Heaven when I died.
When I was about 5 we moved to Washington state. One day at the laundromat we met a new pastor and his wife. That wily guy looked at that passel of kids and saw an opportunity to get the parents to church. He invited us kids to "Back Yard Bible Club" which he had just made up right there on the spot. Pastor Ray and Trudy ended up being my parents best friends. I went to that little country church for about 20 years.
Once Pastor Ray had the kids hooked, he started reeling the parents- more specifically, my dad-in. My dad would get up on Sunday morning, help my mom get us ready for church and then go back to bed. I remember crawling up into my daddy's arms and asking him, "Daddy, will you come to church with us today and learn how to be a Christian?"
I remember clearly the night a few of us kids had gone to the movies. We had called home but no one answered. So we walked. It was all of a mile. In a small town. I thought for sure we would get in trouble, but as we walked through the door the house was so quiet. I realized that it was because Pastor Ray was praying with my dad. He was asking Christ into his life. I think I was about 6.
So, from an early age I had a firm foundation under me.
When I was 12 I went to Lakeside Bible Camp. It wasn't the first time. But this year was special because it was that year, around the late night bonfire, that I told Jesus he could be the Lord of my life and not just my Saviour.
And they lived happily ever after. Right? Not really. I did really stupid young teen age stuff. I did really stupid young adult stuff. But I always knew I was charmed. Blessed.
Not until I was about 30 did I have my real "Shaking." You don't know what the glass is full of until you jostle it and it spills over. Boy, was I jostled. And it hurt.
My husband and I own our own general contracting business. We were wrongfully sued that year. Our church was going through a VERY nasty split. And my extended family was in crisis. Those were 3 of my 4 pillars; Church, family, and finance. At least my marriage was strong. I felt so very forsaken. I cried myself to sleep more nights than I care to count. I worried and paced holes in the floor. I felt so removed from God. So adrift. Battered.
I finally came to the point where I had to decide, "Do I really believe what I say I do, or not? Is my faith real, or have I simply been living the way that I have been told to- because it is 'right?'"
I confided in my good friend Kelly about all of my struggles after a MOPs meeting. She hugged me and prayed with me in the freezing church parking lot. She prayed that God would remind me that I am never alone.
On the drive home that night, a car passed me and I saw, in my rear view mirror by the light ot their headlights, a man sitting in my back seat. I whipped my head around and there was no one there. What?! Another car passed, and again I clearly saw the man- and then he was gone when I looked again. This was only a matter of seconds. I thought I might be going crazy! I examined my situation: I was singing praise (Finally, I had broken through the wall that was keeping me from God) and I wasn't afraid. I realized that at that moment God had chosen to answer Kelly's prayer for me. He had sent an angel to me to remind me that I was not alone. Never. And, that no matter how far away I felt from Him, He was never far from me.
When I was 30 years old I finally decided that I would follow God because he had proven himself to me in my life. Not because I was told to do it. Not because it was "right." But because my Heavenly Father had shown me how much he loved me when I hurt so badly. With in 6 months the lawsuit was dropped, and we had found a new church.
I owe the person that I am today to the foundation that my parents gave to me as a little girl.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Hello, Ladies (and Gentleman).
If you want to see the tour of Washington state, skip on over to my mom's blog, otherwise:
Welcome to my day in the sun. I was famous once before, so actually, my 15 minutes of fame are over. Read all about one of the six loves of my life today, and then come back tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. And, yes Mom, that was just to bug you.
I thought maybe, just maybe, I should give you the book-flap synopsis of life on the other side of the computer.
- It's really my sister's fault that you like me. She is the one who set up my blog after I sent her an article that I had submitted to our MOPs newsletter. She thinks I want to be just like her. She's right. I copy her all the time. I don't think it bugs her too much anymore.
- It's sort of my fault that you like our mom. I didn't actually set her blog up for her, but I helped her figure it out. And I still know her password- and sometimes I even correct her posts.
- I have one more sister who blogs. Sometimes.
- I am married to Sebastian. We celebrated our 11th anniversary this year.
- We live in the house that God literally handed to us. I still get a little choked up when I drive into the driveway- after 10 years.
- We have 5 kids (You can read about them under the label "And In No Particular Order") ages 11, almost 9, 7 1/2, 6, and 3 3/4. They are the handful in my blog title.
- I am re-embarking into the realm of homeschooling this year. The oldest is going into 7th grade, but the social aspect of middle school is just too vicious for him.
- I have been a Child of God for as long as I can remember, and I thank my parents for the legacy that they have given me. (I feel a post coming on. You'll have to check back now!)
Well, you world travellers, we only serve Coke here- and your options are room temperature or car temperature- so grab a cup of ice and get cozy. I'm so glad you came.
It was waiting for such a special occasion.
This is my love story.
I was a lonely little girl on the brink of becoming a woman. I went to high school in Marietta, GA, so by the time I moved back to Washington where I grew up I no longer had any friends in the area. I began attending the community college nearby and immediately fell in with the BSU (Baptist Student Union) group on campus. I really clicked and I was finally making friends again.
But things never seem to stay the same for long in my life. My parents decided to move to Eastern Washington. At 20 and finally getting into a groove, I really didn't want to go- besides the move was only going to be for a few years until my dad could start his own chiropractic practice- so I stayed. I am the youngest of six kids and I had plenty of other family in the area. I stayed with my oldest sister and her family since they were close to the college and my job. That is until her husband took a job in Oregon, at which point my aunt and I got a house together.
But as I said, I was lonely. I missed my mom terribly. Since I was the only kid at home when we lived in Georgia, she and I were REALLY close. I was paying rent and going to school 20 credit hours- which meant also working 35 hours a week. You know, basically learning how to be a grown up. And alone. Which, as I already mentioned in a previous post, I don't do very well.
I decided to have a BSU New Years Eve Party. It was pretty boring. You know how those good Christian kids are. At about 10:30 someone knocked on the door. Obviously someone I didn't know because I have ALWAYS been a "let yourself right in" person. When I answered the door there was this tall, skinny, Euro guy standing there with a girl I didn't know. He said in his strong European accent, "Uh, hey-lo, I am looook-ingk for Geeeeena. Leeeah eenvited meee." Well, Leah I did know. And I wasn't alone. So I let the strange Euro dude into my house. I didn't know it that night but I had also let him into my life. Forever.
My boring party? Instantly fun. Mr. Euro knew so many funny stories- most of them relating to his mangling of the American language or his tromping on American culture. He really knew how to laugh at himself. That was really appealing to me. And he knew a lot of fun group games. And he was with a girl. Dang.
Shortly after 1 am I said goodbye to my last guests and fell into bed and thought about the night. And the fact that he was with a girl. Dang. What was his name again, anyway?
About 2 weeks later I was going to work at my little chiropractic screening kiosk in the mall when who should walk by but Mr. Euro. He stopped and came to say hello and we both instantly realized that we had met at this very spot at Christmas time. The chiropractor had hired a couple of massage therapists to do seated massage out in the mall kiosk for the Christmas shopping crowd. One of his friends had stopped and gotten a massage and we chatted while she did.
The third time's the charm, right? This time he asked me if I wanted to walk down to the food court with him and get a pop or something. Did I? Since I was about 10 minutes early I said yes. As we were leaving my boss whispered in my ear that I didn't have to be in for another half hour. We had fun talking over Coke and when he dropped me back off at work, I blurted out, "Do you want to go to a Bible Study with me at the UW BSU?" I had NEVER asked a guy out before....
We went. We had a good time. We ended up at the waterfront afterward, talking until midnight. A few days later I was talking to my mom on the phone. In the bathroom. In my pajamas. Taking off my makeup. Who do you suppose called? Yep, Mr. Euro. He wanted to take me out to dinner. I think I actually hung up on my mom- or forgot she was on the other line. I let him take me out to dinner. And for a drive. Into the mountains. Late at night.
We were finally standing looking at one of the peaks, him standing behind me with his arms around my shoulders. All of a sudden he spun me around and I could tell that he was going to kiss me. He did. On my forehead. And he told me that I was such a blessing to him.
Whoa, hold the phone! This guy that I barely knew had me all alone in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and he kisses my forehead?! And he calls me a blessing?! Be still, my heart. I knew in that moment that this was the man I was going to marry.
That totally freaks him out. It took him a lot longer to get to the same conclusion. After 11 years of marriage it still takes him a lot longer to reach my conclusions. That's actually pretty good for me, because it gives me time to think through my gut reactions and examine if they are really right. (They usually are- but usually is not always.)
I can hardly remember my life without Sebastian. And, God willing, I never have to think about a time when he won't be here. I am more in love with him today than I was 12 1/2 years ago if that is even possible.
I love the lyrics to the song "Longer" by Dan Folgelberg:
Through the years as the fire
starts to mellow
Burning lines in the book of our lives
Though the binding cracks and the
pages start to yellow
I'll be in love with you.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Take my name, Gina (a diminutive form of Regina), for example:
Late Latin name meaning "queen". It was in use as a Christian name from early times, and was borne by a 2nd-century saint.
In a conversation with one of my sisters about this topic, she laughed when she heard the meaning of my name. Why? Because she says it suits me perfectly. I don't know if my parents knew the meaning of my name when they gave it to me or not, but I have heard over and over that it matches up to my personality quite well. (I hope just the good aspects of being a queen, nothing proceeded by "Drama" or "Drag" or the like.)
When I named my own children I picked names that I liked that had meanings I could live with. You know, nothing like Jabez, or Delilia, or Jezabel. What surprises me, it how much each of my children suit their names- or the other way around. Check it out:
From the Hebrew name יִשַׁי (Yishay) which possibly meant "gift". Jesse was the father of King David in the Old Testament.
Jesse was a gift that I didn't deserve. He is a perfect example of how God can take our sin and turn it into something beautiful that we don't deserve.
Means "dog" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this was the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Israel. Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who lived to see the promised land.
Caleb is faithful. He is loyal to a fault. He is a faithful companion and a whole hearted servant. Where Jesse has all the "big ideas," Caleb is the one to see them through.
From the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". It appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.
If Elizabeth ever doubts what I say, I can show her where it comes from in the bible and that is the end of the discussion. If God said it, then it is good enough for Elizabeth.
From the Hebrew name אֲבִיגָיִל ('Avigayil) meaning "my father is joy". In the Old Testament this was the name of Nabal's wife. After Nabal's death she became the wife of King David.
Abigail is the light of her Heavenly Father reflected as joy. She is also the delight of her earthly father.
From the Hebrew name יוֹנָה (Yonah) meaning "dove". This was the name of a prophet swallowed by a fish, as told in the Old Testament Book of Jonah. He emerged from the fish alive three days later.
The holy spirit is shown as a dove in the Bible. Jonah is the gentlest of all my kids, like a dove. There is a funny story about when Jonah was born. I didn't know what sex he was, but had only picked out the name Jonah. I went into labor with him on a Saturday, labored all day and then stopped. After 3 days I went back into labor and Jonah was born. Coincidence?
So, friends, here is my question to you: Do you think that we become our names, or does God guide us to the name that our child is? Tell me what you think.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Sebastian and the big kids headed out for a mountain adventure today. They are off to climb Mt. Adams. This is the first climb he has taken Caleb and Libby on. Jesse Climbed Mt. Baker with him last year. They didn't summit because Jess had no crampons. This year he chose Adams because there is no glacier. I know he is hoping the four of them summit this year.
Which leaves me in bed alone until late Sunday night/ early Monday morning. Sort of.
I told Abby she could sleep with me tonight and tomorrow it will be Jonah's turn....
In the mean time, I made a mental list:
- Hang curtains in the girls' bedroom.
- Hang shelf in kitchen powder room.
- Clean out the Nasty Blue Beast aka the truck
- Pick up trash from the yard.
- Paint red in my kitchen?
- Find a table for my TV.
- Read Blogs.
- Go to church.
- Go to a Princess House party.
- Organize the kids' drawers (Especially Libby's)..
- Clean all 4 bathrooms. *** I didn't get all 4 of these done, but I scrubbed 3 toilets, and 4 sinks, and swept 3 floors. I'll just pretend the other bathroom is clean.
- Fix my two broken drawers.
- Clean my office.
- Do Laundry.
- Read Blogs.
- Give Mirror to Kelly.
- Put all of Sebastian's tools in his office.
- Clean out the garage so my car will fit in again.
Completely clean both kids' bedrooms.
- Sleep a little.
I'll have to let you know how much of this I actually get done. You know, now that I wrote it all down, I'm kinda' committed to at least 1/2 of it. Since Abby is in my bed, I think I will start with the curtains in her fishbowl bedroom.
8/24- Man I'm tired! All the things that are crossed off got done. I also hung the shelf in my laundry room, watched a movie, remembered to feed my kids occasionally, and went to my mom's to help her with some computer stuff. And, through it all, I managed to not neglect my friends on the other end of the modem. Because I am always thinking of you. I'm conscientious like that.
I talked to my husband and he should be home any time now, so I am going to BED, knowing that I will be able to sleep tonight!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
August 19, 2008
Dear WINCO Foods;
The reasons for this letter are 2 fold, and since they are interconnected I will try my best to sort them out for you. Let me begin by saying that I like your prices and I am often willing to drive 25-30 minutes to get to your store for the price savings. I understand that there are certain frills that you do not offer to keep prices down, such as having a courtesy clerk bag my groceries, having a stocker unpack boxes of freight onto the shelves, and accepting credit cards, and I truly do not mind the value that is passed on to me as the customer.
Having said that, though, I was very unhappy with my shopping experience in the Marysville, WA store yesterday, August 18th.
I do not understand why people think that they can carry their dogs into clothing stores, movies, the mall, etc. I chose not to have animals because I find them repulsive. This phenomenon seems to be gaining ground, however. Imagine my surprise yesterday when, in the meat and deli section, I saw a woman with her pug, not in her arms, but following her on a leash. I do believe I stood there with my mouth agape for a full minute, staring at the brazenness of this woman for letting her dog walk in the store. This dog was not marked as a service animal, nor was he wearing any service gear. Isn’t this against every health code in the nation? As I was debating whether or not to say anything to this woman 2 of your meat employees rounded the cooler, looked at the dog and said nothing. NOTHING. Does WINCO not have to follow health codes? I decided I would inquire at customer service about this matter when I checked out. It took me 2 hours to spend $245 in your store. In the course of these 2 hours I saw this woman and her dog in other areas of the store. Surely she was seen by other employees. Why was she not told to take her dog to her car where it BELONGED?
At the check out I allowed my children to pick a candy treat, and consume it while I frantically bagged my groceries. My 3 year old picked Nerds candies, and managed to spill a few on the ground where someone would have to walk and push their cart through the check stand. I have worked in retail and I know that the first rule is to immediately clean any spills so there is less chance of lawsuit through injury. I am also trying to teach my children personal responsibility. I sent my 3 year old to the customer service area directly across from the end of the check stand to ask the employee if she could sweep the candy up for him. Apparently it was an imposition for your service worker who only came after I indicated with my fingers the size and shape of the candy.
As she was sweeping the candies off the floor your employee said rather sourly,
“You kids need to stop walking through this.” This prompted my perceptive and honest 6 year old to ask,
“Why aren’t you very happy?” To which her reply was,
“I am perfectly happy.”
“You don’t look very happy.” Was the response from my child. To which your clerk answered my daughter very curtly,
“Well, I’m sorry you feel that way.”
At this point I decided to say nothing about the dog and resolved to send this letter instead.
As I said, I don’t expect frills when I come to your store, but my shopping experience left me wondering, at what point did cleanliness and courtesy become frills that I am obligated to pay extra for? I do plan to return to your store, but if I continue to observe the same shoddy standards, I will gladly pay more and return to my “frillier” stores in my area.
For those of you in the south, this store is much akin to Cub Foods.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
We got a little bump and GRIND going on in the kitchen.
And this one is here to stay. No more nonsense about needing to detach for a while or about how it needs to be free wheelin'.I am going to sleep tonight with a smile on my face!
Monday, August 11, 2008
But at the end of the week we are going to meet him at the Washington coast. He and the kids are working on hiking the western coast of Washington. This year they are going to do their second leg of the trip. I don't imagine there will be a chance to blog while I am gone, so here is a little eye candy to tide you over.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
I decided you should all have a tour of my "kitchen."
And may I just take a moment to bless the socks off the good people at Green Giant who make the finest in haute cuisine- cooked on only one burner.
Thank you for touring my kitchen.
We are taking orders if you would like one just like mine.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Because in addition to having no kitchen, I also needed no bed.
And no walls.
And no vacuum cleaner.
And no bath tub.
We did have quite an adventure. I ordered pictures to show you, but they may take a couple of weeks to get here.
We left home on Wednesday and camped in Easton, WA. Plan A was to go the the yurt on Friday. But alas, plan A never works for us. We usually don't even have a plan- let alone A and B. Actually, plan A was to go to the coast. The weather had other ideas. We decided to go east. I guess that makes it plan C that we ended up in Leavenworth. We met up with our friends on Thursday and camped at 8 Mile Campground. Except for the pit toilets it was a nice place. The tent sites were sand- better than dust- and the sites were far apart. Our 8 kids were able to play without running through other people's camp sites. We stayed until Sunday before we headed home.
Friday and Saturday we spent rafting. Because we own a purple Aire whitewater raft. Wanna come sometime? We might begin taking reservations for next year if we get enough takers....
Friday we rafted from Leavenworth to Peshastin. We followed the company that Sebastian and I went with in May.
Saturday we started off solo. We went from Peshastin to Cashmere. About 1/2 way there is a dam. There was another company going down from the dam so we shadowed them the rest of the way.
What a BLAST. Our kids groan when we tell them we are taking the raft out. If we do flat water the whine the whole time about how boring it is. There was no whining this time! A lot of holding on tight and "tucking in" as we blasted through some great rapids, but no whining.
A lot of horse play on the still, deep water, but no whining. Some good lunch, many dips in the river to (ahem) pee, but no whining.
I brought home a couple of souvenirs. They are purple. And they hurt. You shouldn't stand in a raft. On the thwart. In shallow water. While drifting toward a large rock.
Our friend, the dad of the other family, was the only other swimmer of the day. He didn't think we were serious when we told him he had to cram his feet into the boat really hard. In his defense, though, I was sitting across from him, and I ended up inside the boat when he fell out the other side. He ended up riding the rapid all the way to the bottom. At least he caught the chicken line and remembered the swimmer's position.
Impressive, really, that we didn't have any kids that ended up as swimmers. This trip was Jesse's first turn at the paddle. When we take just our kids we have to take the rowing frame. I don't like it as well since it is not as responsive in demanding situations as paddles are.
We also spent some time playing mini golf, sleeping on the ground, eating at the world's BEST Italian restaurant, sleeping on the ground, roasting s'mores, sleeping on the ground, and generally enjoying each other's company in a place that most people never see because they are stuck in the tourist HELL that is Leavenworth.
It is good to be home.
Sleeping in my bed.
Next to my bathroom.
That has a shower.
Even if I have no kitchen yet.
I'll have to show you an update soon.