Monday, March 30, 2009


When it rains, it pours. And it has been raining here a lot. Every day to be exact. I think the sun is a myth and the mountains are just tall tales that people talk about.

When it rains, it pours job wise too. I now have not one, but two jobs. Both of which work around each other perfectly. I received the offer call today for the job I applied for at our church. I'm filling in for the assistant director of the children's ministry through August as she will be on maternity leave. Training starts on Wednesday. I'm pretty geeked.

So after a long drought of countless applications and interviews, the floodgates have opened wide. Thank you to those who prayed and who gave glowing referrals.

And thank you Jesus for carrying us through the past months of drought and for getting wet with us as we navigate through the flowing waters.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Where does the time go?
You were such a little bundle being born at 7 pounds 1 ounce even with being six days late.
You were a huge trooper going through major surgery at three months old and handled it like a pro.

You flew through toddler hood so fast that before we knew it you were headed off to preschool.
You became a big brother and took your little sister under your wing with such tenderness and love.
You grew to love sports and the outdoors just like your dad.
You thrived in preschool, Kindergarten and 1st grade.

You learned to read, write and do math problems.
You grasped Jesus and gave your life to Him.

Here you are starting year eight.
So grown up. 100% boy.
Sports, your dad, food and friends are your world.
Homework is a nuisance, but you bear it.
You love loud. Loud guitars and loud drums.
Boyhood is slowly disappearing and being replaced by young manhood.
Yet you still give hugs and kisses at night along with I love you's.
Laughter is second nature along with crazy faces and burping.

Happy birthday Sam. I love you and look forward to what year eight brings to your life!

Friday, March 20, 2009

One thing I was looking forward to on our visit in Michigan next month was driving our old mint green Honda. I actually miss driving that old stick shift car.

But, alas, someone else decided to take it out. Out of commission that is.

Rest in peace Sweet Potato.

(no injuries to anyone except the other driver's wallet which had three tickets from the police added to it.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

365 days later

Interesting that exactly one year ago today, I was let go from my job of seven years (due to MI economy) that I thought I would have for years to come. We had planned on me having this job when we moved to Seattle. To continue to stay at home and earn an income.

Funny how things change.

So exactly one year later, to the day, I start a new job. It wouldn't have been my first choice, but beggars can't be choosers and if I'm wanting Jesus' choices to be my choices, it's not my choice anyway. So I stepped out into a very uncomfortable area. Despite the continuous teaching dreams last night, feeling like I was going to throw up this morning and waking up every hour after 3 a.m. afraid the alarm wouldn't go off, it was a good day.

I was called "weird" and "smart" in the same day. Go figure.

But after having a seven year old, I found there's a balance between mother and teacher in talking to 17 six and seven year old kids. Every single conversation of "well he did it first" or "it's not fair" or "you're not the boss of me" I've dealt with often in the walls of my home and could easily put on the mother hat and know how to handle the situation. Also, I think being pushed (thank you Anne) in leading tons of kids on Sunday mornings in music at our old church helped calm my uncomfortableness standing in front of those kids this morning. And a huge part was knowing people were praying (thank you to ALL OF YOU!!!)

I seriously think kids can smell a substitute teacher miles away. It was a constant battle to earn respect and listening ears with only a mere seven hours to do it when they won't see me tomorrow, or maybe ever again. By the end my mind and feet were so ready for 2:45.

There was great support in the other 1st grade teachers and the assistant principal One 1st grade teacher next door came and checked in a couple times and gave some suggestions on how to get the kids to quiet down. She was a huge God-send!!

So tonight I'm going to sit with my favorite man, eat a bowl of ice cream and sleep like a baby thanks to a good day of which I still was able to smile at the end of.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

words from the wise

Me: Sam...I have to tell you that I'm a bit nervous teaching tomorrow. Should I be nervous?

Sam: Nope.

Me: Why?

Sam: Cause God's with you.

Me: Are you sure? Is he with you every day?

Sam: Yup. You should ask him if He's going to be with you.

Me: Do I need to close my eyes?

Sam: Naw.

Me: Do I need to say it out loud?

Sam: If you want to.

Me: (after closing eyes and praying): ok. He's going to be with me.

Sam: See? You don't need to be nervous. And just they're little kids. They won't beat you up.

Me: Thanks Sam.

Sam: Yup. No problem.

7:45 a.m.

Tomorrow starts a new adventure in my life. I will be officially venturing into the working world.

I got the call this afternoon that my teaching services are needed, so tomorrow morning, I report at 7:45 in one of the three 1st grade classrooms.

It has been exactly 10 years since I've been in the classroom. What a young pup I was back then during student teaching! And that makes me feel really old knowing college was 10 years ago.

I think subbing is one of the harder professions. At least the 1st day. You go in blind. You are by yourself. With 20 six and seven year olds. For eight hours.

Can they smell fear at that young of an age? :)

Actually, I'm not nervous at all. Sam said he'd show me the ropes as he's "worked the school for almost a year now".

Holy Hallelujah! I need to pack myself a lunch AND figure out what to wear other than jeans and a sweatshirt!


Today two close friends are in mourning.
One for her father-in-law who passed away quickly last night.
Another for her four year old baby girl who after years of cancer, passed away early this morning.
So many aching hearts today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Orange Day to all!

You better believe I got pinched a lot for not wearing green on St. Patrick's Day growing up, but when your Irish blood runs orange, one needs to bear the itchy pincers out there.

Even at an Irish Festival, you really stand out in orange among hundreds of greenery. And yes, you get the frowning eye or two. Thankfully no one pinched any of us. :)

I hope someday to take our kids to Northern Ireland and show them where their Papa grew up. To see the country that is a small part of them. To hear the amazing accents, taste the biscuits and array of crisps, see the hillsides dotted with sheep, and meet cousin upon cousin.

They have been taught young to love scones (and say it the correct, I mean, Irish way), enjoy fish and chips with vinegar (Sam drenches his fries with vinegar any chance he gets), eat salt and vinegar potato chips, and wear orange proudly on St. Patrick's Day. Maybe next we could throw dulse or mutton into the mixture.

So happy corned beef and cabbage day and wear your orange proudly!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Saying No

As I sit here typing this, I'm listening to the rain pitter patter on the roof and blended into that sound is the meowing of two adorable kitties. Outside. These are/were the neighbors kitties that I've been feeding for almost a month now and they have become attached to us already. I open the back door when it's feeding time and yell, "Kitty, kitty, kitty!" and both come running. It's the most sweetest thing.

I have a very soft spot in my heart for kitties. I only had one growing up for a year and a half. Sally. I received her as a birthday present for my 13th birthday. I was on cloud nine! My own pet and a CAT! I had wanted a cat for years and years, but it never came to fruition until the magic 13th year. She was a full grown tiger kitty and was my best and only friend when we moved away after 8th grade. I would take her on walks outside on her leash, clean her litter box, give her warm milk and her food and love on her. I would even sneak her into my bed, but she always ended up going down to the basement to sleep up in the ceiling. Soon after 9th grade started (still knowing no one), my mom and I were on our way to school one day when I saw a cat on the side of the road that had been hit by a car. "How sad!" I thought. What I didn't know was that it was my cat. My mom told me when I got home from school that day. She said that Sally got out somehow and was hit early in the morning. My lonely heart was broken into itty bitty pieces. I vowed not to cry in front of my mom and went upstairs and bawled my eyes out.

So, I'm having a hard time saying no to bringing these two adorable cats in our home and loving on them. Drying them off and giving them a warm place to sleep instead of the box with towels I put out for them. Tonight I opened the door to feed one and in it came, through the laundry room and down the hall before I could blink. I had to run after it, picked it up and the closer I got to the door, I found out the hard way that it had claws. The poor thing knew it was going back outside.

And they both spotted Max (the one pet we do have) and had their eyes glued to him. He would have no chance what-so-ever.

So...I'm avoiding going into the other room so I don't have to see both of them all soggy, looking in at me with those big eyes begging for me to let them in. Just once. It wouldn't hurt anyone. Right?

TNP Review

I received another item to review in the mail for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Skeeter and the Mystery of the Lost Mosquito Treasure is a DVD which is part of a series called Hermie and Friends by Max Lucado.

Cute video about how we are each designed uniquely by God. Skeeter was born with a crooked stinger and felt like he wasn't good enough compared to his brother who was a great known explorer. They work together to find a symbol left by their father and Skeeter in turn finds out that his brother can't fly. They end up finding the symbol and a letter from their father about how he loved them each so much no matter that Skeeter had a crooked stinger and his brother couldn't fly.

My kids enjoyed it and it also led to great discussion about how God created them uniquely instead of the same. Some side topics that we took from the video included: allowing others to help, not being self absorbed and explaining that the kids are loved no matter what.

Though my kids did pick up on the trickery Max Lucado used on Hermie the Caterpillar at the end and pointed out that Max lied to Hermie (which was true). Took some time to explain that one.

Overall, good video.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A "quick" update

So much has happened in the past weeks that a short synopsis is in order.

We've taken some more edventures to another eagle festival, up to the Space Needle, rollerskating, and another trip to Deception Pass.

At the church we attend, you can take classes through a program called the Arts College. People in the church offer to teach a class like chocolate tasting, improv, writing, cooking, music, drawing, etc. Some were free and some cost a small amount (under $10). I signed up (not knowing a soul) for a Thai cooking class and it was phenomenal and so much fun! The instructor (who never taught a cooking class before and was an absolute natural) opened her home for us to meet at. She showed us step by step how to make Pad Thai and we all ate it together. So yummy! Then we each made our own batch right after we finished eating. There was enough for the four of us for dinner plus lunch for three the next day. SO easy!! And from learning how to make Pad Thai, I have a better idea of how to make Pad See Ew (our favorite Thai dish) that hopefully won't end up in the trash like it did the first time.

My parents came on a last minute trip for 9 days to be here to celebrate Alina's b-day.

We added another member to the family named Max. He goes everywhere with Alina.

I decided for Lent to put aside Facebook and you know what? I really don't miss it. I have so much more free time to spend with my husband, kids, and my thoughts. I'm keeping up with my peeps the old school way of communication called e-mail, the old-old school way of using the telephone, and the ancient way called snail mail! My community needs to be so much more than an internet social network (great idea on FB's part, but not very healthy for me at this time in my life). I need faces to talk to, voices to hear and people to hug. Will I go back to it after Lent? Maybe. And maybe not.

The job front has shifted. A job is in the paperwork stages, and is a here and there job, but here and there is so much better than nowhere.

The Boundaries class we were attending has ended and I really miss meeting with the three other women I was in group with. I could very easily take the class again and soak in so much more, but this time around I learned what I needed to for the place my heart was in. Eye opening and freeing changes happened and are still happening thanks to Jesus. He was and is very present.

I read The Shack and going into it was very skeptical. But came out of it pondering and chewing a lot of things that months ago I would quickly dismiss. Great, impacting book.

So much growth happening around here. Physically, spiritually, boundary wise, marriage-wise, of the heart, relationally, and so many sub areas of these. There are still struggles, heart-aches, missing friends and learning taking place too.

Over the next weeks, happenings of more learning, trust, stretching and growth, a trip to MI (YAY!), and placing things into my Savior's hands will be taking place. Great adventures ahead!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Today our baby girl turns five. Five years of having the most beautiful little girl grace our lives with rays of sunshine beaming on us every single day.

It was hard to comprehend when we found out we were going to have a girl. What in the world does one do with a girl?!?

But the day you were born was one of the three most amazing days of our lives. You were perfect. Beautiful. You took awhile in coming, but you let us know loud and clear that you had arrived. Your brother adored you and even stepped on you the first day you were home.

The months flew by and I tried to stop time every single day to cherish every moment with you, but to no avail, you kept growing. Learning how to chatter and drool. You drooled all. the. time. No matter how many bibs you wore, your clothes were soaked and you went through outfits like water through a sieve. And the moment you learned how to smile, it rarely disappeared.

At one year old you were learning how to walk to keep up with your brother. Laughter was second nature to you. Your independent-ness was also showing itself.

Two years wasn't terrible at all. Maybe to your brother it was though. You followed him around, wanted to be by him all the time and waited for him to come home every day from school. This was the year you decided that naps were not necessary. You were adding words to your vocabulary every day and chatter never ceased unless you were sleeping.

Three years was the year of the three letter word. Why. You were soaking every possible thing in with that question. Your little brain was processing at speeds which we were on our toes keeping up with.

Four years old and we witnessed your personality explode. You loved to dance, sing, read, color, draw, and talk. Your imagination was always on the go. Playing princesses, dollies, school, babies, kitties, and anything else that crossed your mind. Your desire to learn was so great. Watching your brother do his homework, taking his counting paper to teach yourself to count to 100, taking on the challenge of learning how to play the piano by yourself, wanting to know what everything said, spelling words left and right and recognizing words in books. How your brain held all these things is hard to comprehend and you still continued to ask theological questions that would boggle our minds.

Year five. It's all a blur now, the months and years have blended together to bring us to this day. This year you go to school. You are so excited to start and have started praying every day that you have a good first day of school. Your giving and loving heart is a huge example to all of us and your love for Jesus has grown by leaps and bounds. I never thought five years later I could love you so much more and deeper.

This, your fifth year of life, is going to be full of adventures that will shape you. You will learn so much, meet new friends and grow. I continue to cherish each day with you as soon, you will be gone to school. Someday I hope you have the blessing of a daughter who will teach, humble, and be an example of child like faith to you as you have done and shown us.

Thank you Father for loaning us this bundle of sunshine who has graced our lives so many times over.

Happy birthday Alina Carlen. Our Beautiful Woman.