Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Procrastination (A Work in Progress)

Destination: avoidance
Illumination: Phillip
Irritation: bad habits
Elation: task completed
Justification: lots of time
Organization: piles of files

Tuesday, December 23, 2008



Oh, how I love snow! Pretty white flakes, falling from the sky, each unique, beautiful, delicate. Cold and fragile, melting, gone. Stay with me just a little longer!

Slipping and sliding, swerving and curving, driving in circles in an abandoned parking lot. Screams of laughter from my daughters, giggling and loving my life! Snow, Snow, Snow

Gift of God, you make everything beautiful, white and clean like the day you saved me. I love to sit and stare at trees loaded with white frosting, drinking hot cocoa, cuddling under a warm blanket. Snow satisfies my soul!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


I am addicted to Facebook. I really need to limit my time there. Even my kids roll their eyes when I roll my chair up to my desk and start typing.. "Gonna get on Facebook again Mom?" Uh, yeah, I am (and why do I feel guilty about this?)

I love the fact that I can keep in touch with so many people in such an easy way. I am getting to know people from my church that I hardly ever see on Sunday. I am getting to know anew the people I went to high school with over 15 years ago. (That has been really fun. We are finally getting past the competition and now we are on to being adults... with families and jobs and life.)

I do hope though, that I am not forsaking my relationships with others; that is, actual together time with them in favor of Facebook. It does help to meet together with others in the same room, face to face. I met up with my friend Kim whom I really don't see much of anymore and it was just so good to be in her presence. Just her sunny disposition, the sound of her happy voice. It did wonders for my spirit.

I have noticed that I am neglecting a certain important relationship I have. My friendship with Jesus, which should come first, has lately been in last place. The time that I used to spend drinking cocoa and reading my Bible has been replaced with Facebook. And all the cool apps on Facebook... like SuperPets and Typing Test and Speed Racing. Oh, come on, God understands how addictive Speed Racing is, doesn't He? Especially when I am trying to smoke the pastor's kid's car... No, I guess not. In the eternal scheme of things, I don't think it is doing much for my sanctification process. I just hope that God has some good go-carts in heaven. I'll put off Facebook Speed Racing in favor of reading my Bible if He does have go-carts.

Alright, I shouldn't bargain with God. But don't we? Isn't that such a picture of our relationship with God? Maybe only for beginner Christians, but even 7 years after inviting Christ to be my friend, I still try to bargain. I'll pray and be good, if you will bless my finances. I will read my Bible and memorize verses if you will look past the gossiping and judgment I was just involved in. I will serve in our church if... I will put up with annoying people if... If if if... And it goes on.

I long for the days when I have matured to the point where Jesus is the first person I turn to, not my computer, not even my phone. For the days when I love because I am full of God, not myself. When I obey because I love God, and not my own ambitions.

I like to think that even now, God is working this out in me. Already I have seen a change in my relationships in my family. Hopefully soon, God will work out my friend issues (that are about me, not my friends). But I have learned this: Seeking God first is putting everything else in line. No bargains, no ultimatims... just being aware of God through His Holy Spirit and being willing to change my attitude, behavior, and let go of my ambitions has led me to a deeper peace within. It's not a complete peace, yet, but I see that God is working in me. "Being confident in this, that He who began a good work in (me) will carry it on to completion..." Phillippians 1:6

Yes, God, complete the good work that YOU began in me. I am willing. (even if I have to limit my time on Facebook, you are worth it!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's Not Easy Being Me

About two years ago I was diagnosed with a "disorder." The diagnosis was triggered due to the shift work I was dealing with while working at Potlatch. The crazy sleep schedule was too much for me and a close friend noticed things weren't quite right about my thoughts/behaviour. She suspected Bipolar Disorder. (Formerly known as manic depression... ) I went through a questtionnaire with a psychiatrist (a PHD) and he confirmed the Bipolar Disorder. This was very scary to me. I had heard of BP D before, and it always seemed extreme and very negative. I wondered if that meant I was crazy... loony... wacko...

Actually, it was just that they gave me a name for symptoms I had experienced for quite a long time... probably beginning in my teens. It was (after the initial fright of it) kind of comforting to know that there was a name for what I go through, and a possible treatment.

I was assured that I was not crazy; that I am normal, and that my life will go on (and be better than before) with an understanding of the disorder and how it affects me. Basically, I tend to have high energy moods/days followed by low energy depressive moods/days. (Mania / Depression : this is where they got the name manic depression) I take some medications that help my brain not run a thousand miles a minute (sure, I like racing CARS but not racing thoughts!) However, this medication tends to slow me down a little too much, so I take another medication to pick me back up a bit. The combination really works well for me and I feel more "normal" than ever!

I do notice a difference in my behavior and mood if I don't take my medication, and it really isn't a great thing to miss the meds, so I continue them. Many people out there don't understand the need for medication and think that the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies are just out to make money by drugging everyone (I believe that a portion of that is true - companies that try to make a profit are not always altruistic in nature)... however, I believe that my quality of life is greatly improved through medication.

Life with mild Bipolar Disorder isn't as bad as I thought, in fact, the worse part of BP is when people describe someone that is moody or has emotional difficulties as probably being Bipolar... and they mean it in a derogatory way - not in a way meant to want to help or understand them. Since not everyone I talk to knows that I am mildly Bipolar, when they label someone in this way it really bothers me.

Instead of judging people and labeling them in such ways, we all should try to understand each other and seek to help (in loving ways). If you suspect that a friend or loved one may struggle with Bipolar Disorder, please help them by first understanding that it is an affliction - not necessarily a choice to behave in such a manner - and secondly, encourage them to see a doctor or trained mental health counselor / psychiatrist. It may even save their life. (Especially if they are BP and it is severe... sometimes their behavior can put them in dangerous situations.)

Most of all, be kind and loving. Isn't that the essence of the Golden Rule?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ramblings of a Disheartened Friend

I don't have much to say... but I am tired of having my last blog post haunting me, so I am posting something new. (After I posted this, I realized I had a lot to say. Stuff that needed to be said, if for my own revelation.)

I realize I am not a very positive person. I am very detail-oriented - it's a blessing and a curse - but I often see the negative way before I see the positive. Even though Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (yes, even above Christmas), and I have much to be thankful for, I have a hard time seeing the blessings. I could rattle off a whole bunch of obvious ones (health, home, family, CCS) but to find something positive about something in particular... that is very difficult for me.

I have a hard time seeing the good in people (and in situations). I wasn't always like that. I was Pollyanna... always finding something good in nearly every situation, every person. I have had my heart broken so many times because I saw the good in people who were soooo bad. But I knew inside of them, there was good. I remember being hurt so badly that although I didn't die, I am sure a part of my heart did. The part of my heart that loves freely, that believes, that trusts.

When I accepted Jesus as my Saviour, I thought that my heart would be made whole. Sure, I know that I am not made perfect in an instant... yes, my sins were forgiven and forgotten in the instant that I asked (even before), but my behavior, the awful sin nature that still lurks inside, gets removed ever so slowly over my lifetime as I seek to live according to God's will.

My heart was hurt so badly that I have a hard time loving. Yet, when I do, I DO. I love. I am loyal to those I open my life, my heart to; those that I believe are "safe" people. I long for deep, intimate friendships. Yet I find myself feeling betrayed by those I thought were my friends. I am finding that my "friends" are more like acquaintances, rather than people I can share myself with. It makes me sad. If I show the least bit of instability, a crabby attitude, a misspoken word, there is no one asking if there is something else going on... no one trying to understand... no one offering to pray...

It's this time in my life when I need friendships the most. My life, as some know, is very complicated and difficult. My heart is continually being torn apart by those I try to love. My tanks are dry. Is there no one available to fill them up? I am weary... is there no Aaron to lift my arms in this battle?

I know... the answer is Jesus, right? But I believe that we are created to have relationship with humans too... otherwise God wouldn't have made Eve... God would have been all Adam needed. I am not talking about marriage; I am talking about a friend. God knows we need friends. I need friends.

But I am afraid. Afraid to open my heart to anyone. Afraid that I won't measure up to others' expectations. Afraid that I am not who others think I am and that who I truly am isn't acceptable. Afraid that they don't want to hear about a life that is a daily struggle. (I can't force myself to pretend it is anything other than what it is.) Afraid that they too, are afraid that the messiness of my life may make their own lives messy. (I don't blame them for that...)

Well, got that off my chest. Aaah. That feels better.

At small group the other night, we talked about how we could better relate to others. I was so saddened by my lack of ability to even connect with others that I decided that right now, I am going to focus on Jesus as my friend. He will bring those who are to walk beside me. I need not look for them now. Jesus is to be the focus of my friendship need... And I will rest in Him.

For Jesus, I am thankful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hello? Anyone here? Should there be?

Just checking to see if anyone actually reads this. Not that I check it every day for comments or anything. I didn't even start this blog with the idea that others would read it. It was to be a diary of whatevers for me to able to think about, mull over, contemplate, and get off my chest.

But then I got hooked on writing for an audience. That was never my intention, but my good friend Pride showed up and said "Hey, you should try impressing people... write something interesting." So I tried. I tried to be clever; wise; funny. I forgot that I was writing for the act of expressing.

So, Pride, I am kicking you to the curb. If no one ever reads my blog or comments or gives me a tag or award, that's okay. Stop trying to make me feel guilty or lesser for it! If others don't find bits and pieces of my life a masterpiece in progress, that's ok, because I already know it is. At that point, it becomes a recognition of God's handiwork, not my own. So here's the Tonya Harding moment... knocking Pride in the knees... time to be humbled!

God, I thank you that what you are making of my life is a masterpiece. It may look disjointed and messy to me, but you are doing something amazing. Thanks for reminding me. I know what a screw-up I may seem to the world, but I do my best and you give me an A for effort. All I need to do is live to please you. Give me the courage to do just that!

Aaah.. that feels better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The sweetest baby boy ever and his super fun big brother

Oh how I wish he were mine!! The most beautiful baby boy I have ever laid eyes on...

Introducing my new nephew, Colton James Rowan. He is approximately 6 weeks old in the photo. He is the most beautiful baby boy I have ever seen. Creamy sweet skin you just want to nuzzle.

This is my nephew Tucker Allen; he is Colton's big brother. He's about 3 1/2 in the photo. A ball of energy, this one! And so sweet. He has the cutest expressions. He's like an old man in a little kid body. His voice and the things he says just crack me and his cousin Melanie up... He adores Melanie (and she loves him, and Colton too!)

This is Colton last Saturday. He is now 4 1/2 months old and is such a sweetheart. He laughs and coos and gurgles and raspberries and drools. Boy does he drool! He makes the funniest faces and I just sat holding him and looking at him and adoring him until I realized I needed Melle to hold him so I could take pictures - so that I could look at him long after his momma took him home. Isn't he sweet? I want one I want one I want one... Maybe for Christmas?

Melle's Auntie Sarah is such a sweetheart to bring him and Tucker by for a visit... I love watching her be a mommy now; I remember when she would babysit Melanie for me! And now Melanie is babysitting for her!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great New Read

I am in the middle of reading "The Shack." It's been talked about quite a bit and I finally broke down and bought it. Phil devoured it in less than 2 days and now it's my turn. It seemed slow going at first, but that was because it challenged some of my perceptions of things/people. Now I can hardly put the book down. It really is that good!

I am looking forward to discussing the book with Phil when I am done reading it. If you have read it, please comment me. I would love to find others to discuss it with. What are you getting out of it? How has it challenged you?

Other than that, life is boring here. Just house cleaning and grape juice/jelly making time and me vacuuming up leaves almost every day. Honestly, I love this time of year... the rain, the dark gray clouds, the Hot Cocoa!!! Oh, and I got to hold the most beautiful baby boy I have ever seen... I will post pictures someday. You will want to kiss his precious little cheeks. He's just that sweet!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

No Place Like Home

So I got home early Friday morning. I was so tired. While I was in California, it was go go go until I dropped into bed at the hotel each night.

Being with Mom was different than other times. God really blessed me with a lot of compassion and grace and patience... well, the patience was running out but I called home and Emily prayed with me and the patience tank was filled up again. I loved being able to bless mom. I cleaned her house, did laundry, and made a bunch of dinners to put in her freezer for later.

Her injuries were, well, I really don't know. I never saw the doctor. And though he came to check on Mom a couple of times, she doesn't even know the extent of her injuries. When I got to the hospital on Sunday evening, she had all these rods sticking out of her arm. 11 of them I think, or 13? Anyway, after her surgery on Monday, they took all the rods out. She has pins in her elbow, but we don't know how many. She can bend her elbow, and is even encouraged to do so, but it's freaky to do so, knowing that you have all this metal inside holding you together. The hand on the arm that was broken - wait that's not right, we found out that her other elbow is also has a fracture! So let me put it this way, on the arm with the most damage, her hand has swollen up like a water balloon. It's scary really. I was joking that we could prick it with a pin and let the pressure out but mom said she thinks it would blow out if we did, so we threw that idea out. Mom is in good spirits despite the pain and the inconvenience.

All I know is that she is off work for 4 months. 4 months!! Sheesh, what is she going to do? I wish she could come stay with us for some of the time. But I am so thankful that I was able to come down and help her out. I think it helped our relationship. It felt good to honor her, and I am hoping that she is beginning to see that she is a very valuable, loved, and special person to many.

I also got to know a wonderful young woman named Shelly who was mom's hospital roommate. She was in after having surgery for Diverticulitis and was in quite a bit of pain. The hospital staff were not very responsive to either Mom or Shelly and it was frustrating to see these women go without necessary things like water and food. I offered to help Shelly when I heard her moaning in pain one evening and that began a quick friendship. Every morning I would come, saying "good morning, ladies" and Shelly would say, "where have you been?" I loved visiting with her and mom. Shelly has been through a lot in her life, but is going to church and trying to live a life that reflects her values. I am proud of her and so blessed by getting to know her. We exchanged contact information and I intend to keep in contact with this wonderful woman.

I also got to visit with my grandparents who live approximately an hour from the airport. I drove up there on the day I left and we had a short but sweet visit. I just love my grandpa and grandma and we have recently been reconciled after a long period of not talking (my fault). So good to see them and be at their house. It is a very special place to me.

But the best place? HOME! I smiled when I saw my van in the parking lot at the Spokane Airport. Surprised I missed it, because I really really liked the cute rental car I had. But seeing the van was like knowing I'm home. I got home late and slept in the next day, so I didn't actually see my girls until the afternoon, but I was so glad to see them, and I think they were just as happy to see me. Phil did a wonderful job as Dad and as he filled-in for me. Thanks to Stephanie Elliott and Kim Weber for getting my kids home from school and to dance class. I know that helped Phil so much. And it put my mind at ease too!

I still haven't gotten back into routine, but I will by Monday morning... the schedule doesn't give me much choice! Right now, I am just enjoying being home.

PS Thanks to all who asked about Mom. She has no idea the amount of people asking about and praying for her. It would blow her away if she knew. Keep up the prayers. She still needs them!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Our Party of 5 is not feeling like a party right now

Just to let you know, I will be absent from Blogland for a while. Mom had a crash with her bicycle last Thursday. It just happened to be her birthday and she was out riding her bike when along came a vehicular death machine (car) who cut her off, forcing her to slam on brakes, which of course, caused her to end-o. She ended up with (I think) multiple compound fractures to her left arm. (Whatever all that means) All I know is that she said that "when (she) came to" people were all around and her arm was dangling like a noodle from her elbow. She also said that the bones were sticking out of her skin. Gross (but I have always wanted to see that)

Anyway, she had surgery on Friday and is having another on Monday. I really felt like I needed to be there. I used some frequent flyer miles we have been hoarding and I am flying out Sunday afternoon. I am busy trying to get life all tied up pretty for Phil this week while I am gone, and it is hard because I have been gone to scrap retreat all weekend. I came home early so I could get scheduling and laundry taken care of. Of all weeks, this is an extremely hectic one, so I am going to call around on Monday and cancel (almost) all of our appointments.

One appointment not cancelled is for Melanie at the orthodontist's... She is finally getting her braces off, and to tell the truth (though it isn't Tuesday) I am sad that I won't be there. For me, it's a milestone. Like walking. You coax and steady and encourage your little one to walk and all of a sudden the kid is running laps around your kitchen island laughing because...well because she can. Anyway, this is a milestone in the same way: I coaxed, encouraged, bribed, threatened and forced Melle to wear her rubber bands, to brush her teeth, to wear her rubber bands and FINALLY I am, I mean Melle is, getting the reward - braces off on Tuesday! Yay!!

But coming home on Thursday and seeing those braces off will be like picking up your kid from daycare and having the 19 year old "teacher" tell you that your precious daughter took her first steps today while you were at work. Ugh... Kind of sad.

Anyway, I will not be blogging, no Facebooking, nothing for a while. I plan on being back in less than a week, but I have no idea what the treatment is like for Mom's injury, so I need to know in order to help get her life in some order before I go. It really is hard when you have few people in your area to help you in times like this. There are some places/people I will be contacting to try to help her out while I am there.

For those of you who pray, please do. Mom needs it and so do I. I have been feeling quite down lately and while this is a diversion from the daily grind, this "depression" is wearing me down. I have family and friends who also have family members battling cancer, mental health problems, and a close friend who had a close call with some health issues too. My man will definitely need prayer now that he has to shuttle the kids around to different places at different times. I know it will be hard for him, and my girls too. Finally, I am afraid of how Melle is going to take me being gone and my mom being in the hospital. Melle used to be quite attached to "grammee" and to have her injured and her own mom not here to comfort her fears will be difficult. So pray for my family if you will, I would certainly appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday Truth

Some people have Friday Facts, others have Thursday Thirteen. I have decided to go with Tuesday Truth (because it's Tuesday and I really don't know what to write about and don't have a nifty day-related post). So here goes:

Scrapbook retreats freak me out. I never know what to bring, what to do, how to do it, where to put it, etc. I get paralyzed just sitting there looking at photos... what paper should I use, what kind of layout works with the photos I have, where are we, who are these people, etc.

And yet, I am counting the hours until I get to go. And I know how the first 2 hours will (probably) go: Bring everything to the scrap room. Get organized. Drink lots of Diet Pepsi. Get photos out. Stare at them. Chat and chat some more. Go to the bathroom. Stroll by the snack table. Sit down and stare at photos and (inwardly) curse myself for the total lack of creativity in my person. Push papers around, dig through magazine pages and curse myself again for not scrapping like the real pros do...

I love scrap retreats.

Why? No husband to share bed with. No house to clean. No food to cook. No schedule to keep. Just me, my friends, and photos of my family which I will soon be missing (and calling on my cell phone the second I have one measly bar of service)...

I will get pages done. They will look fantastic - and not anything like the magazines - and that's ok!

37 hours until we hit the road! Woo hoo!

PS I won't be checking anyone's blog or Facebook the entire time. I might go insane because I am addicted. And that's the Tuesday Truth.

Friday, October 10, 2008

A week from now and...

In less than a week I will be at scrapbooking retreat... I am sooo looking forward to this!! So, in anticipation and with the hope that I won't be using up half my time trying to decide what layout to use and what photo and what paper and what embellishments, etc. (which is what always happens!) I am looking for layout sketch ideas for 2, 3, 4 photos per 12x12 page. If any of you happen to have ideas or know of good websites for layouts (I don't want to hunt too much - leave that to the men... I am more of a gatherer than hunter!) Please comment me with good sites or ideas you have. Thanks. I am looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend with some productivity and not a lot of wasted, frustrated time!

Also, the weekend after our kid's school is having their annual Cow Plop. If you don't know what that is (and that's only because I haven't bugged you about buying a ticket or two) then let me explain: People buy a ticket which is then given a number on a grid. The grid is marked by a survey team in a pasture. The cow is let into the pasture. When the cow "plops" they mark the location of the plop and if it is on your area of the grid you WIN MONEY! You can win $200, $500, and $1000!!!! Tickets are $4 each or 6 for $20. Really a good return on investment if you win, and still a good investment as the money goes to fund our wonderful school. Besides all that, there is an traditional kids' harvest carnival with fun games (fish pond, cake walk, etc), concessions (chili, hot cocoa, bake sale, etc) and lots of time to gather with friends and family! If you haven't come before, please make it a part of your weekend (Oct 25, 12 - 3 pm). It's a great family activity and has become a tradition for many. Our family looks forward to it each year. It all happens across from Walker Field on 4th Street in Lewiston Orchards. If you are interested in tickets, please comment me or call.

Finally, on the same weekend as Cow Plop, our church is hosting a "SCRAFT" weekend which is from 6 pm to 10 pm Friday the 24th and 8 am to 8 pm Saturday the 25th. SCRAFT is a combination of Scrap + Craft = SCRAFT... So whether you scrapbook, make cards, knit, crochet, quilt, needlework, etc... if it's a craft bring whatever you are working on or a project you need to start to River City Church and join some fun ladies for crafting and conversation. No cost, just bring a snack to share if you can.

Hmmm. I know there is much more going on, but those are what I am excited about right now. Of course, I also have Bunco that week and I think Scrapbook group sometime in the same period... I will be busy!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It's Frustrating

The man has been home for 73 hours and has been at work for 18 of them... That is, he got home late Friday night (but you already knew that right? Been keeping up on the blog, right?) Anyway, he got home late Friday night, slept as well as he could for having to readjust to Pacific time and then was called in to work at about 11 am on Saturday. He was there for 6 hours. Thankfully he got most of Sunday off. Today he went in to work as usual at 8 am but he still is not home and it is now 10:30 pm!!!

Sometimes I want to call up someone at his place of employment (doesn't matter who, because it won't make a bit of difference) and just yell and tell them to give him a freaking break. The man deserves some rest and time off but NO... they just keep dragging him back in. Now, I know there are plenty of other people being drug in as well, but goodness, let the guy catch his breath!

Thankfully, the man is better able to deal with this than I am. It makes my eye twitch to think about it. Poor guy was just telling me about all of the things he has been juggling, just trying to keep the balls in the air. I think his arms are getting tired. (I try to help keep his arms up like Aaron did with Moses, but it's hard to help carry burdens that are not within your realm of understanding or ability). One thing is this: He'll keep doing the best he can. And I admire him because he never complains. (I do it for him.)

So do me a favor, okay? Just pray that this week that my man would get some rest and God would give him a vision for his future... what to focus on, new perspective, God's will for his life. Sometimes we can get so weary from juggling that we forget why we are juggling in the first place.

I can't juggle well unless it is homework, dance, school, church, volunteering, SRGC, etc. Ok, I guess I can juggle too. I just wish I could take on some of his stuff... it's frustrating not knowing how to help, other than what I am already doing. I wish I could do more. It's frustrating.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

He's Home and He's All Mine!

My man is home. What a relief. Although I did worry that he had a new woman. (Not that I don't trust him, but...) Do you ever do this:

Man is coming into airport and sees you and gives a wave. He does NOT come over and plant a good one on ya, while squeezing your bod and finish by whispering sweet nothings. Since that did not meet your hopeful expectations, your mind goes crazy with stupid thoughts like, "he has a new woman" or "I must look terribly fat in these capris" or "I bet his new woman doesn't look terribly fat in her capris."

When my man goes on these trips to conferences many miles away, he comes home pooped. I mean so pooped he barely knows his name or where he is or anything. The fact that he gave me a wave as he walked in the airport should be my cue to praise him for even recognizing and remembering that he has a wife! But no, I am caught up in some romantic reunion in my brain and so when he doesn't sweep me into his arms, my thoughts go crazy!

No, the man doesn't have anyone else. Just me and my silly thoughts. And he loves me anyway. Even after I ask him "do you have another?" "do I look fat in these capris?"
He just laughs at my ridiculousness and hugs me. That's better... I am satisfied that I am his one and only. I'll give him a day for recuperating, but then he better start sweeping. (Me into his arms that is, since I already cleaned house for his arrival!)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Missing My Man

Oh how I miss this guy... (This photo brings to mind a thousand thoughts... and a smile to my face!) Phil has been in Washington DC for 5 days now and I miss him. We've been doing ok, the girls and I, but there is something about him being so far away that I am really uncomfortable with. I don't know how wives/husbands who have spouses overseas in the military can do it. The idea that something could go wrong here or there and neither of us can be there to take care of it.

What is kind of funny to me is that I was a single mom for over 9 years. I handled things myself. I maintained the house, the chores, the etc. I still do a lot of that now, but the one thing I don't like that I somehow "handled just fine," is the night. I don't like being home alone without my man to protect us. Even the girls are just a little bit insecure... so I guess there is something in that belief that women desire security. When your security flies three thousand miles away, you get just a bit jittery!

But I see a blessing in all of this, and this is why: I remember again how much I really need to rely on God. He truly is my real security, my only hope, my faithful protector, provider, and comfort. He alone is constantly with me. It makes me sad that I forget that, as I look to my husband to fulfill my needs. As I learned at Family Camp this summer, "Thank you Jesus: for my husband, and my kids, and my home. Thank you Jesus, for this opportunity, to give you the praise for, all you have done." (You have to sing it to really get it!) Oh yes, and "Thank You Jesus, for my man now, won't you please bring him, safely home?"

One last thing: we are in a "40 Days" campaign at church, this one focusing on generosity. At small group we agreed to focus on our blessings this week. To think of them, and even to write them down in a journal/notebook. So I am thankful for the chance to recognize that I am blessed in having a wonderfully devoted husband. And a wonderfully devoted God too! (And a thousand other things I am not going to make you read about, which is a blessing for you! haha)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


I need help. My blog is boring; I need a new background. And I need to find out how you all add photos of your family members on the side so that the photo isn't so small... see the one of my man? The photo is so small and squished. How can I make the photo size larger?

Please help.

I want my blog to be cool and fun and (insert word that describes something really great!)


Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have been absent from the bloggosphere for awhile. Did you notice? We had vacations and back to school and now I am in the back to regular routine mode. I kind of like structure (aka control freak). I haven't scheduled our dinners for the month yet, but its on the list.

The problem is, a lot of things are on the list. A few months ago I lost my motivation and I still can't find it. Has this happened to you? How did you get your moto back?

Please help. I am cranky without it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Husband/Wife Chart

Ok, so I am reading on someone's blog about something, darn I can't even remember how I got to this, but anyway, I found these charts for husbands and wives. I printed out the one for wives and gave it to Phil to score me... We were cracking up as he was reading the criteria aloud. He shredded the test before I could see my score, the NERD!!! SO then I took the husband test...

I would suggest that you try it out, but only if your marriage is healthy and can stand a little teasing. Otherwise, it could be an argument instigator, and we wouldn't want that would we?!?! (unless Aunt Flo was in town, then you can look up all the argument instigators you want...)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What Dawn Means

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
(Anal is as anal does)

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
(Best NO, perfectionist? Terribly)

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
(Not confident, it's all show..)

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very charming... dangerously so. You have the potential to break a lot of hearts.

You know what you want, how to get it, and that you will get it
(hopefully someday).

You have the power to rule the world. Let's hope you're a benevolent dictator!
(Only it's the power of the Holy Spirit!!)

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
(But I still manage to stick my foot in my mouth!)

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
(So true!!)

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
(Yeah, so? You still like me though, don't you? I saw that look on your face... )

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shameless Diva

So I am 34 today. My husband left for work without saying Happy Birthday. If any of you know me that well, it's a felony in my book. My birthday is the day that no matter what the age, I will act like a 5 year old and tell just about everyone what day it is. Yes, shameless diva I am. 364 days of the year I am not the princess. Today I am. Just don't worship me, it's against the rules.

So far I have had a good day. I will post again later when the day is over (don't want to jinx myself).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hey Y'all

Howdy. Been awhile. Summer is in full swing at our house and we are sooo busy. And yet, I seem to find ways to avoid all the things I need to be doing. Admit it, you do it too! And who can blame us? With such gorgeous weather (although a little too hot lately) why stay inside and clean bathrooms? Though if I don't mop the floor in the kitchen soon, I am afraid I might walk in and find my husband or one of the girls stuck permanently to one of a few sticky spots I have noticed lately...

Life's been so busy lately! Oh, I said that already didn't I? I will list our many activities cause there have been so many...

Phil is hard at work on our basement remodel. God help me learn to trust the man... I am forever trying to "suggest" that he hire someone to do certain things. But he is working so hard and it has been turning out just fine. We finally got our building permit from the city and so he is happy as a clam (sidenote: why are clams so happy?) and has been going gung-ho (what does that mean anyway?). What I mean is that now that we have permission from the local authorities, Phil has been busy cutting up the concrete in our basement. First, part of the floor was cut so that we (haha) can install plumbing for the new bathroom. So here is where it really gets interesting: The saw is gas powered with a garden hose attached. GAS POWERED means EXHAUST. Phil's got the one window downstairs wide open and the door at the top of the stairs open and yet the basement is filling up with exhaust. It is pouring out of the window and I am standing outside the window trying to watch and breathing it all in and getting so high and so sick, and yet he is STILL IN THERE cutting up the stupid floor!!! So I turn on the a/c fan trying to add some fresher air to the mix and all that does is suck it back into the rest of the house... Needless to say, Phil and I were up until 3 am because we were so sick. We just laid there that night... I think our brains were keeping us awake so we could keep breathing... or else lights out forever! Thankfully we were able to get some fresh air circulating about then and cleared out the house. Only to have Phil, fresh from a good night's rest (not) start cutting on the foundation wall so we can put in an egress window. Fortunately, I had brains enough to go to Hahn rental where I got a huge ventilator fan that sucked the exhaust right out of there. Phil has more cutting to do but this will take place outside. Unfortunately for him, it is supposed to be 100+ degrees today and that side of the house is a dry barren wasteland. Ugh...

I have been keeping busy with kids and volunteering. The kids crave structure so I try to find a way to provide some. Every year before school is out I think up ways to keep them fairly occupied but allow some freedom. Every year once school is out I scrap it all and we end up doing close to nothing but getting on each other's nerves. Thankfully, some other moms have gotten a routine going where we go to a park every Wed morning. This is working well and gives us a base activity to work around. I have also found some fun things to do on other days (kids matinee movie, aquatic center, bike rides, crafts, etc).

I was able to squeeze in to a scrap retreat upriver and had a great time. It was a different mix of women than I am used to (my regular scrap divas were not there with me) and it made for interesting dynamics. The cabins we stayed in are cute and the lodge was spacious (I wasn't there the day the a/c quit, haha). I really liked that the retreat center is a place that has been dedicated to the Lord and that there were signs/posters/knick knacks to remind you of such. No alchohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs are allowed and I felt comforted by that. I have had issues with drinking in the past and it is a horrible temptation for me, so while I understand others can indulge, I cannot really even be around it. I felt safe because I knew it wasn't anywhere around us. Jamie was there and had a great mix of tunes for us to listen to. She can be our DJ anytime! I was able to get some layouts done even though I forgot certain things (which my sweet hubby brought to Asotin or drove all the way out to me). No pressure, no overwhelming need to make my layouts a certain way (although I was informed that hot pink is not a good background color unless you want to use it as a way to reflect moonlight in order to find your way to your cabin at 3 am - thanks for the idea!) I also learned about Special Ice (if I was smart enough, I could link to Jamie's blog where you can read all about it) In short, I had a lot of laughter-infused fun! Kristi, let's do it again!

I have been keeping up with volunteering and such as well, but that will be another blog entry. I absolutely must find other ways to avoid what I really should be doing. Oh snap, I think someone is stuck to the kitchen floor. It was inevitable. Better get the mop...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Little Bit Sad

I am sad. A friend of mine, Andrea, is moving tomorrow to Missoula Montana. She is part of a team that is planting a church there. I am excited for them, but it makes me sad to see her go.

Another friend, Jamie, had a close friend pass away suddenly. It was her dog, and she blogged about him often. Though I never had the pleasure of visiting with him, I felt like I knew him through her posts. It always hurts to have a friend pass on. It reminds me of the many times I have lost my doggie friends. So I am thinking of Jamie tonight as well.

Other than that, I am a little sad because I thought I had been doing better with my eating habits and exercise and so I went ahead and weighed myself. YIKES. I really did think I had lost a pound or two, literally. NOPE I gained a few. It makes me very discouraged. Will I be chubby forever? I know it is affecting my health but I can't seem to break through. This is one of those times when I just want to give up (and go eat a Snickers bar).

What do you do when you are discouraged? I have tried "willpower" (aka "trying harder") and Weight Watchers. Neither are things I can stick with. Any ideas are welcomed... :o)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What Color Blue?

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.

You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Night to Remember

So my oldest girls had their first ballet recital last night. I was so proud because they are both 12 years old and this is their first year of dance. No, I am not the "good mom" who puts her kids in dance shoes as they pop out of the womb. The idea just never occurred to me. Had I thought of it though, I might have considered it. (BTW: they are not twins, one is the blessing of marriage (stepdaughter), and one is a biological blessing (my baby).)

Anyway, Emily and Melanie were put in Ballet 3 this year even though they hadn't taken dance. It was a challenge for them and they performed beautifully. Unfortunately, their names were left out of the program! Mistakes happen and this is just another opportunity to show grace. But the being the mama bear that I am, I am having a hard time with it. My girls were dissapointed, but got over it pretty quick. On the other hand, every time I think of it, I get upset. Their first recital... Which brings me back to reality. It was about the girls, their chance to show what they have learned. I must say, I was so proud to see both of them up there, smiling and having a great time! The entire performance was amazing! The teachers are so gifted and they share their ability with our kids. All of us are so blessed to have such gifted teachers and a dance school that strives to promote worship and love for God above all else. Shelleigh Beeson is the school director. She was Em and Melle's teacher for 5th grade last year at Cornerstone Christian School. We adore Mrs. Beeson. (Her husband is pretty entertaining too. You should see him bust a move!)

Thanks go out to Patty Offt who did the girls' hair for us. Patty is our regular hairdresser, however, she had a skiing accident in March and is not really able to do hair regularly right now. She was able, thankfully, to put the girls' hair in quick buns while I did their makeup. WOW. I don't think we should be encouraging the wearing of makeup for a long time, if ever. My girls are beautiful, but makeup makes them stunning. At least I think so. Seriously, we will need to keep a bat or a shotgun by the door to scare off all the boys who will come calling!

Melle's close friends from school also came to watch and Emily's mom and her friend also came to congratulate her at the end. I intend to buy the DVD so we can all relive this night to remember! (Photos to be added later.)

I am proud of you ladies! It will be hard to top this performance next year, but I am sure you will be able to do it. You both are stars in my eyes and keep me looking up! I love you both very much.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I Got In Trouble

I guess I haven't been posting regularly enough. I didn't think anyone was actually reading what I was writing! So in a way, I am glad you all have been keeping up on my silly little blog. And, to tell the truth, I have been reading some other blogs and these people are so entertaining that I thought my life too boring to write about.

But hey, aren't we all sort of boring? That's why some of us scrapbook isn't it? Because putting photos in a photo album just doesn't tell a story. Sure, the photos are nice to look at, but really, there is nothing to draw you in. No story; no explanation of what in the heck is going on here; no pretty embellishment to distract you from the inevitable lame photo that makes you think "and why did they take this picture?" But sometimes life is boring, sometimes interesting and other times a little overwhelming. (Like too many embellishments or way crazy paper in a scrapbook! Or too many parenthetical statements in a blog. Sorry - there are more!)

Lately my life has been busy. Boring, but busy. OK some of it has been interesting and overwhelming (but in a good way).

Like the birthday party I threw for this boy I know. He was turning 40 and had never had a birthday party in his life. No dinosaur cakes, no boy-themed party favors for him (mean mom...) Anyway, my darling husband was turning 40 and I decided to throw him a party. I am a social person and he is learning to be social. (He's an engineer... he gets social when people call in the middle of the night asking some random question about the moisture content of pulp or why in the heck isn't their printer printing?) (By the way, if your printer isn't printing, check the cord. It might be loose or unplugged. I hear that there are little gnomes that run around unplugging people's printers around 2 and 3 am - well, it seems to happen at Potlatch fairly regularly anyway. That's why Phil makes the big bucks. Someone needs to be able to figure these things out!)

So I get the engineer to invite all of his "friends." He invites people from work, and I invited some random people from our church - about 5 days before the party! Turns out, we had 32 people over!! This is only the second time I have ever invited more than 2 people over at the same time. (Except for Pampered Chef parties, I invite 40 people two weeks early but only 5 come.) So here I am just freaking out because all of these people are showing up and I am wondering: Where are they parking? Is Phil talking to them; welcoming them? I worry because I am in the kitchen trying to make hamburger patties out of 6.5 pounds of meat and simultaneously mixing up a pasta salad and a green salad. (Don't worry, I washed my hands a lot!)

Also I am thinking about how lame our landscape looks in our backyard. I bought a bunch of pony packs of pansies but didn't have time to plant them so we just dropped them in pots. No dirt, just plopped them in there, then placed the pots here and there. I know, no one noticed... "They were all there just to visit us." Whatever. Half of the people were women. They noticed. Oh well.

Anyway, I finally was released from kitchen duty only to move to the great outdoors where I got to slave away at the BBQ, cooking steak, hot dogs, and hamburgers. It wasn't that bad and this is why: I have a secret. I am actually really shy. Having that many people over and I only knew 12 of them (5 were my own family)! When I get around people I get so nervous and I start trying to be funny but it usually ends up that I say something I shouldn't. (Note to self: just shush!)

Case in point (sidenote): Today was our girls' ballet rehearsal. The photographer was Ange Movius. I have never formally met this woman and she doesn't know who I am. She goes to my church. (Actually, most people at my church have no idea who I am) She has a blog that I have read off and on which is linked to from other friends' blogs. So I go up to her and to try to make conversation with her, I say "Hi, I read your blog sometimes." I can't describe her reaction. I think she was trying to remember the 1-800 number for people who blurt weird things out and may need professional help. Anyway, she said something about how interesting it is that people you don't even know read your blog and know all this stuff about you. Basically: You're weirding me out lady, go away. I noticed that any of the times that I came around after that she wouldn't make eye contact. I don't blame her. Why didn't I just say: "Hi, I recognize you from River City Church. I have been going there awhile. My name is Dawn." I didn't say that because apparently my foot thinks it belongs in my mouth.

So, back to the party. I am kind of avoiding all of these people (whom I have invited to my house) by hanging out at the BBQ. Finally I decide I need to go say hello to everyone and welcome them as a good hostess would do. I am thinking in the back of my mind that Phil probably has only spoken to one person the entire time because he too is probably trying to avoid this mass of people who have infiltrated our backyard (again, by invitation). Nope. The guy is a social butterfly! Talking to people, moving about from cluster to cluster, sitting down with them. He is doing this! As I realize this, Phil is introducing me to someone and their wife. I kid you not, I still don't remember their names. I just stand there nodding and smiling and thinking "What are we talking about! Who are these people? Were they invited or were they just walking down the street?" (Note to self: name tags a must for multi-tasking mamas who haven't had a Diet Pepsi or chocolate - or both - in more than 4 hours) Anyway, I mingle, I offer drinks and food. I am getting this down! And I like it! Of course, I seem to be able to handle it as long as I stay busy replenishing the ever-dwindling food supply (teenage boys grow up to be middle age boys... and they still eat as if they are growing.) I never really had a conversation with anyone other than "Here, let me get some more hamburgers for you. Would you like some cake? No, you can't have three pieces of cake. Because I said so. What was your name again?"

Half the people left after we sang Happy Birthday and Phil blew out his candles. Luckily the people who stayed were ones I had met before so I could remember their names (well most of their names). We visited as the night turned chilly and then slowly they all began to leave. As we cleaned up for the night, Phil turned to me with the biggest smile on his face and said "Thank you for the party and all the hard work." That was worth it to me! I was ready to invite them all back the next day!

Actually, as we get the yard landscaped and the house fixed up a bit, I would like to have people over more often. I will learn to be a hostess by practice. I need to just invite people I already know. That way I won't have to try so hard to remember their names and I will actually be able to join in conversation!

How about a July Bunco party? The bunco group I am a part of takes a hiatus from June through August. But that is too long for some of us. I know it makes it harder to get together due to vacations and such, but I would love to host an evening Bunco out in our backyard. Sounds fun, doesn't it? Oooh, how about a couples' bunco night. Just once, so the guys can see what it is we do on those nights we leave them at home! And if you can't be a couple (my friend's hubby is overseas), then bring your best bud. Oooh, how about a BFF night? Nope, too easy to get someone's feelings hurt if they aren't invited. Anyway, I would love to host a Backyard Bunco night sometime this summer if I can get some interest going.

Have I convinced you that my life has been boring the past few weeks? No, well let me add to the dullness:

A few weeks ago, we went to a newsboys concert. Never heard of them? You are missing out. This is a group of men who play pop-rock in a Christian way. They give glory to God and are not ashamed! My family have been fans for a long time so we made sure to bring our kids this time. (Phil and I saw them last year) What really intrigues me about this band is the clever songwriting. They speak about things that you just wouldn't think of and find a way to praise God through it. They crack me up and inspire me. And the best thing is that they are a group that both my kids and I can enjoy together. My girls surely don't roll their eyes when I put these cd's in.

More dullness:

I survived my very first Bloomsday with a few of my buddies. Here's a thought: Have you ever tried to find a needle in a haystack? Have you ever really thought about what that means? Try to picture it. I have a story like that.

I also have a story about surviving the "tell me how much lint your belly button produces in an average year and the total belly button lint production for all years since your birth" type questionnaire I recently have had to fill out (5 times in various forms).

I won't post these stories now. This post is already way too long and violates my "just a minute" rule. I have been typing for a looong time now. Catch me on another day. And I promise to post within 36 hours or else my printer will become unplugged and my parentheses buttons on my keyboard will jam and I will come down with a horrible case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Hope I made you smile. Have a great day. I am going to sleep now. But not here, because drooling on your keyboard is bad adjka;fjeiaoroeiwahfena,jakala. Nope, I am going to bed to steal the covers from my husband and then blame it on him in the morning. Ah hahahahahhaha!

So there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bunco Night and a Tired Mind rambles

The ladies were in fine form tonight! From discussions about post-baby weight to scrapping to blogging, we had a lot of fun. The discussion about blogging got me thinking that I need to blog more (I only wish I had more to say!) and I need to be checking out all these other blogs.

I checked out Andrea Moser's blog and I love her family photos! It will be exciting to read more about the big move to Montana to establish our new church there.

I also checked out Jamie's blog and have been reading it for the past hour or so. It is now 2:45 am! But her writing style is hilarious. Just like she is in person. I really enjoy her. At first she was intimidating, but I realize now that the whole Bunco group seemed pretty exclusive when I first came. However, they are seeming to accept me now and I am having more fun each week.

This week Jamie and I hosted. She brought the prizes and the candy. She learned her lesson that at Bunco night, the candy in demand is chocolate. Read about it in her blog here: http://jamieandtnt.blogspot.com/2008/04/my-sex-deprived-bunco-girls.html . Warning: her blog is addictive and prone to late night cackling.

I am getting to know the ladies and I am sad that we only have one more Bunco night next month and then we take the summer off. Don't they know that the summer is when I need a break most? Having the kids all day long for weeks at a time and you cut my social outing? Are you trying to make me crazy?

I really should go to bed now. I have to be up in 4 hours to take the kids to school. Thank goodness they are self-sufficient. No, I don't make them breakfast or make their lunches or get out the clothes for them. I sleep in until 5 minutes before they need to leave for school. Then I throw on a hat and shoes and a jacket over my jammies and off we go. Usually the man takes the kids to school but he is in Spokane at an annual equipment auction with his brother so it's my turn to take the kids. Maybe I will even go to the gym! Ha... like that's gonna happen! Oh wait, I have a half a Snickers bar in the car. I can eat that for breakfast and then go work off the calories at the gym! Yes!

Alright, I am off to fold the last load of laundry before it gets all wrinkled and I have to throw a wet towel in to steam the wrinkles out only to forget to unload the darn thing again later and start the whole stupid process again. Which is why I am folding clothes at 3 am. Because I already started this dumb process.

I am tired. Can you tell? Sweet dreams and happy folding!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The next day

Busy again today. Helped Amber move some stuff into her new apartment. She isn't moving in until next week, when she will actually start living there. Me, I would be sleeping on the floor the first night, just cause it's so exciting!

Speaking of sleeping, my eyes are burning cause I am so tired. But I don't want to go to bed. I am like a kid whose naptime has come but refuses, thinking she is going to miss out on something fun while she is sleeping. Silly kid, you are missing out by staying awake! You will be wishing you took more naps when you get to be an adult!

So I think I will go to bed now. At least I got the bathrooms cleaned today. Well mostly, I still have the floors to do. But I am making progress!

We shall see how I do in the days ahead.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Too Busy Tuesday

Ahhh. I am sitting at my desk and relishing the quiet I hear. I have been busy today running around town with my BFF Amber, buying furniture for her new apartment. It is small, but cute. I remember how fun and exciting it was to move into a new place and begin the process of making it "home." I am enjoying sharing the excitement with her.

I didn't get a darn thing done around the house today, but I did manage to get myself to the gym and get a half-hearted workout in. I have been really lethargic lately (if you came to my house you would see what I mean). I have piles of stuff to get done in the office, but I just haven't. Why? Simply put, I don't want to. I have a good book I have been reading but I will probably finish it tonight. That means I will have no excuse but to get started on the "piles" but I am sure I can think of something else to focus on!

I don't really have the inspiration to post today either. I think I am done now. So, until another day, enjoy life!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Been A While

I have thought about posting, but haven't, obviously. I should be folding laundry which is in the dryer for the second time to steam out the wrinkles because I didn't fold it soon enough the first time. Actually, I have about a hundred (not exaggerating!) other things to do but I have been nearly addicted to the Internet, just not to blogging...

Anyway, the husband is away visiting with his brothers and I miss him. His girls and my girl are surprisingly getting along well today. It is always hard when his girls come home from a visit with Mom. Somehow, by God's grace, they assimilated back into life at home really well. I was worried because Phil wasn't going to be home that they would be somewhat irritated that they have to hang with me alone, but so far so good.

I have been working out but not as much as when I began a little over a month ago. My weight has been going up because I eat more thinking I have "earned" it by working out. I need to stop eating so much. Valentine's has really hurt me this year. I just have no willpower! CANDY is my weakness. And I seem to have surrounded myself with it, and cupcakes too. At least I ate something healthy today: pizza! Hahaha (Hey it's healthy when you compare it to candy!)

It's late and someone is up and about (freaks me out when I don't hear them get up but I hear them stumping around about the house!). I need to go fold clothes so I don't have to run them through the dryer for another half hour (causing me to stay up, play solitaire and eat more candy).

In the words of the great philosopher Tigger: TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)