Thursday, April 8, 2010

Helllooooo Spring!

Oh, look , I still have a blog. Haven't been here for so long that perhaps I don't even remember how to use it. But maybe I'll give it a try. Drum up some new followers. Blather on about some of the less boring aspects of my rather mundane life. we go.

Currently have all our kids back in the house. Whitney and Travis put their house on the market and realized that it was easier to keep it clean and staged if they and their dogs weren't living there. It's all working out great. Four dogs can be a circus at times, but since we have no "real" grandchildren, the grandpuppies keep us entertained. Alex sleeps at the house but isn't there much. He's working two jobs and hangs with his pals when he's off, so we pass each other, get a quick update and a hug and life is good.

My mom had a small stroke in early winter, so we finally moved them to The Waterford Assisted Living. Not a move they are thrilled to have made, but a necessary one. They get great care. We had all hoped they would adjust and take part in the activities that are offered there, but instead they tend to stay in their room (except for meals which is a whole 'nother subject) and complain about how bored they are. *sigh* Had hoped for more, but at least they are safe and secure. I guess when you are 86 you get to choose what you will and won't do. I try to get over to see them every couple months.

I'm still working, Keith is still working, which I guess is good these days. It is what it is.

In February we got to go to Maui for ten days with Whitney and Travis and our friends, Gail and Roch. Nothing like a lotta sunshine and warmth in mid winter to make life better. Wish we could do it every year, but this way, it means that much more when we can get there. We saw all the sights, including the whales and got lots of beach time. That's as it should be, right?

I've become an obsessed fan of Celtic Thunder in case you hadn't heard. I am on their Street Team (now officially titled the Washington State Celtic Thunder Fan Club). That's a long story - really the result of requesting information about a show in Spokane. I have made some very fun connections with a lot of great people, including the lads themselves. Their music makes me happy and they are just incredibly nice down-to-earth people who enjoy keeping in contact with their fans. My husband actually started this obsession, so he only has himself to blame. He found them on PBS and took me to my first show in Dec. 08. Since then I have gone to two more shows, purchased all available cds and dvds and become rather busy keeping up with them on Twitter, Facebook, CT website, MySpace...... I got to visit with Ryan and George on their recent visit here for a PBS appearance. I have gotten notes and emails back from them - always very exciting. They're touring the US again this fall and yes I have three shows and one of those with Meet and Greet tickets. :) I am very excited to go to the show in Portland because I get to sit with all my fun Seattle friends that I have met through CT. Keith just indulges a way its payback for the FIVE Smothers Brothers show I have attended with him.

No big plans for the summer except to get some serious sun time of which we have been sorely lacking of late. Maybe a trip to a Mariners game......they're supposed to win the league this year. I've heard THAT before, but still, Safeco Field, garlic fries.....that's good win or lose. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ahhhh - Summer!!!!

I know, I know, I know. I have been a blogging slacker of late. So for my many followers (all 6 of you - haha!) here is your update as to why I have been slacking:
Summer is my FAVORITE time of the year. Summer is also my BUSIEST time of the year because we go places and do things and have company and, and.... So far this summer we have had different family and friends popping in and out and have gone to Seattle and Montana and are headed for the Oregon coast next week. My niece and her family are coming this weekend and I am excited to get to play with them! Our friend Lauren is in town with her kids while her husband is in Iraq so I plan to spend time playing with them as well. Dan and Mishell will be back in Aug. and we need to get down to Eugene to see Keith's mom before summer is over. We have a camping trip planned in Aug. with our friends Gail and Roch, and one in Sept. with sisters and spouses. No wonder summer goes by too fast!!!!

As you can see from my Maui countdown, I spend a lot of time anticipating the fun trip we have planned for Feb. Condo is booked, watching for cheap flights (no such thing), shopping for summer clothes, planning activities and dreaming about sunny beach time! It's so great that by the time winter hits I will have this little escape to look forward to.

Also on the schedule for fall - my awesome husband is taking me to a Celtic Thunder concert in Seattle in November. We'll do an overnighter, take in the concert and likely a few of our favorite Seattle sites. CT is, well, let's just say, my favorite group, and I am very excited to see them live once again. (Went to their show here in Spokane last December.)

For those of you who followed the puppy saga - all of Sydney and Taz's babies found homes. Three of them are with people we know so we get to watch them grow up. They are so adorable, but rather glad I am not house breaking and training one right now. Syd and Taz are old and mellow like their owners so I'm thinking, why start over?

Well, wouldn't want to overwhelm anyone with my exciting life, so I will save the rest for another post. Hope you're all enjoying summer as much as I am!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Strange World of the Internet

I am struck lately by our obsession with all things internet. Now, mind you, I am not preaching here. I have fallen victim to overuse at times myself. And I tell myself that if I were not cruisin' the net while watching t.v., I'd just be watching t.v. which I can't stand to do without something else going on. For some it's just an outright addiction. And as I peruse blogs, Facebook, websites, etc., etc., I am feeling just a little creeped out by this whole "putting your life out there for all the world to read." I have a blog and at times, I probably say more than I should or than anyone would really want to know. But there are people who literally put every intimate thought on an internet page that any stranger can read. And people who "chat" with other people who have the same interests, but will never ever meet. Why do we do that?!

My theory is this: part of the reason is that we long for connectivity and we have become so independent and disconnected with people that we are satisfied with internet "friends". Never actually "talk" to them, just watch and maybe message them. It's easy to put a completely different personna out there and hide behind our computers. Another theory: we use it as an escape from what we really need to be doing or from the stresses of every day life. It's an avoidance technique. Neither of these reasons is really that healthy.

I'm NOT saying it's all bad for sure. I have reconnected with childhood friends, stayed in touch with people I would not have in any other format, allowed it to become my "letter writing" for family and close friends. It has helped me to get to know people I already know better and to find out we have things in common that draw us together. But it still strikes me as a little weird. Do I really need to know every detail of what's going on in the world and in the lives of people I don't know? What is it about the human condition that we are so compellingly drawn to all things internet? Are we that bored with our real lives?

Do you have sites you visit or people you chat with that no one knows you have? And why is that? Do you spend hours reading blogs of people you will never meet? What is it you are afraid you are missing out on? Do you not have enough real live relationships in your life? What is it about your past that you can't move on from?

Again, a disclaimer here: I ask this because I have found myself searching to see if I can learn what happened to people from my past. Some of them it would be fun to see again, but I probably never will and many I wouldn't care to. I have looked for people who share my interests - do I not have enough people around me that share my interests? I have sought out information about people whose lives are train wrecks - celebrity or otherwise. And thus, my curiosity about our human curiosity.... something to ponder.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I haven't blogged much lately because I am too busy enjoying my favorite time of the year. We have been having awesome summer weather! I love wearing shorts or skirts and flip flops. No bundling. No goosebumps. No snow. No bad roads. Beautiful loooonnng sunny days! I love summer!!!! I know it's not officially summer yet, but we have had enough temps in the 80's to make it feel like summer is here to stay.

It makes my day to have just a half hour or 45 minutes to sit out on the deck in the mid morning with iced tea and my MP3 for tunes. It totally energizes me. It makes me have a very upbeat positive outlook to meet the challenges of the day. I think, I pray, I rest. It makes me grateful.

I know, I know....I should feel that way every day. But something about summer just makes it easier for me. And I'm hoping for a long, hot one!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

"Outside the Walls"

I have to admit that I am still a little in awe of the "success" of Timberview's "Outside the Walls" project yesterday. Over 300 people turned out to do service projects in the community in Jesus' name. I haven't heard all the stories yet, but I want to share about my experience.

Our team volunteered at our nearby high school -Mt. Spokane where our kids attended (and graduated she added proudly!). Our hope was to be able to reside, paint, and build a new door for an athletic shed much in need of repair. With the help of donations from our local lumber store, Ziggy's (thank you very much, Dean and Vern), several guys on our team did the carpentry work and then others painted (two coats!) all siding and trim (navy blue and maroon - school colors, of course). We had enough people to also scour the entire property for trash and also a team that did weeding under the bleachers (not the most pleasant job, but done with great enthusiasm!). Three guys also did an entire cleanup up of the baseball dugouts and improved the walkways, as well as hauling off the collected trash and some other no longer needed items. Our whole team was awesome and I think everyone loved the experience. One student from our church youth group came BY HIMSELF (no support from friends or family and he didn't know any of us) and jumped in and worked so hard side by side with the team. Keith and Travis both talked to him and I was told he is a senior at the school and just wanted to get involved with the project and just wanted to give back!!! As Pastor Glenn would say, "HOW COOL IS THAT!?"

One of the most rewarding parts, of course, was when the Mt. Spokane baseball coach arrived with his team for a game. He was amazed and so grateful. He wanted a list of names so he could thank each team member individually. He has gotten parent volunteers at times, but NEVER a church group willing to give up a Sunday. Impressed doesn't describe his reaction.

I think "Outside the Walls" spoke volumes about the heart of Timberview. I think it said WAY more than Pastor Glenn could ever say on a Sunday. It put us out there with folks who might never be exposed to church life any other way. It said we are about putting our faith into action. Can't wait to hear about the ripple effects of this unconventional ministry!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Reading

So earlier this year, I was silly enough to make a top ten list for 2010. On that list, I mentioned that I wanted to read one book a month. Well, here we are, first of June and I have read three. Now if you count Bible books, I'm in good shape. But that's not the reading I was talking about. I think it's very easy these days to depend on electronic media to enlighten and entertain us. I still think it's important and enjoyable to actually sit down with a hard copy and read. Thus, my commitment to make more time to do it.

My current read is "Cast of Characters" by Max Lucado. Max is one of my favorite wordsmiths - puts spiritual things into down to earth words that still point toward heaven. This is a great read because it is broken into short chapters about different Bible characters. I can read a chapter or two in a very short amount of time and will likely be able to get through the whole book without forgetting the plot while I take too long a break between reading experiences.

I was especially captivated by his chapter on Matthew. The tax collector. The shady character that was considered a pariah in his society. The one that hung out with roughians. The one whose friends Jesus wanted to meet, so told Matthew to throw a party for them. The one to whom Jesus said, "Follow me" and he followed.

Max says it better than I could, so forgive the lengthy quote. But it's a good one!

"Quite a story. Matthew goes from double dealer to disciple. He throws a party that makes the religious right uptight, but Jesus proud..... What do we do with it? That depends on which side of the tax collector's table you find yourself. You and I are Matthew. Don't give me that look. There's enough hustler in the best of us to qualify for Matthew's table. Maybe you've never taken taxes, but you've taken liberty with the truth, taken credit that wasn't yours, taken advantage of the weak. You and me? Matthew. If you're still at the table, you receive an invitaion. "Follow me." So what if you've got a rube reputation? So did Matthew. You may end up writing your own gospel. If you've left the table, you receive a clarification. You don't have to be weird to follow Jesus. You don't have to stop liking your friends to follow Him. Just the opposite. A few introductions would be nice. Do you know how to grill a steak?"

"Sometime ago I was asked to play a game of golf. The foursome included two preachers, a church leader and a 'Matthew, B.C.' The thought of four hours with three Christians, two of whom were pulpiteers , did not appeal to him. I'm happy to report that he proclaimed the experience painless. On the ninth hole he turned to one of us and said, 'I'm glad you guys are normal.' I think he meant this: 'I'm glad you didn't get in my face or club me with a King James driver. Thanks for laughing at my jokes and telling a few yourself. Thanks for being normal.' We didn't lower our standards. We were nice. Normal and nice."

"Discipleship is sometimes defined by being normal. A woman in a small Arkansas community was a single mom with a frail baby. Her neighbor would stop by every few days and keep the child so she could shop. After some weeks her neighbor shared more - she shared her faith. The friends of the young mother objected. 'Don't you know what those people teach?' 'Here is what I know,' she told them. 'They held my baby.'

Normal and nice. Sinners and saints in the same room. I know how to grill a steak. I know how to hold babies. I think Jesus would like that answer.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sydney's Babies are Growing Up

The babies aren't so much babies anymore. Five weeks, running everywhere, chewing on anything, getting into all kinds of mischief.....but SOOOO adorable. I spend way too much time playing with them - on the premise, of course, that they need to be socialized for their new owners. In a week or so, the ad will go in the paper and around 7-8 wks. hopefully they will all be gone. Quick - before I get attached. My mantra: "They grow up to be dogs; big, hairy, dirty dogs....."