Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dear *18*

A friend of mine is turning 18 tomorrow and her older sister thought it would be a great idea to put together a book for her with letters from friends and people who care about her and where she's going in her life. I got the idea from Nicole to put it on here because I would write something similar to myself at that age. But it says'll see.

Dear *18*,
I'm really humbled by being able to write a letter to you for your 18th birthday. I have often wished I could write a letter to myself at 18. There's so much I would say and what exactly I would say has changed over time. For instance the lectures I would have given myself about being good have gone and have been replaced with a sigh about the the amount of grace I've been shown and how in my life there was ample room for it. I think about how much you are like I was when I was that age and so here is some advice that has not changed over the years and has only grown in importance to me. And when I say that you are so much like me, don't worry, that doesn't necessarily mean that you will be married with five children ten years from now when you're my age;)

When I first met you I remember thinking that you were strikingly beautiful! And you didn't seem to know it. I hope you'll realize how beautiful you are someday and also realize how lovely you are inside. That's where it counts you know. I know you know that:) You are amazingly smart and your writing shows your ability to see the world around you, and beyond. I have loved hearing your fantasy stories and can't wait to see how you pursue that. Your poetry has also amazed me and I have to tell you it's like nothing else I've heard. I still remember how your poem about best friends made me *almost* cry. Okay, so my whole point is that you're an a-m-a-z-i-n-g and talented woman! Don't settle for less than God has for you. And about that, my hope is that you'll use your writing to seek truth. There is unshakable truth in this world we live in and you will find it when you seek it. I suspect that you know all this or at least have a feeling about it deep down. In addition to truth, seek love. Not superficial gone in the morning love, but real love. Love that's sacrificial. Love that wants something better and brings something better than what was there before. Not the opposite. And learn to receive. Receive advice from people who love you. Receive praise and honor for your accomplishments and for how you've grown. Receive grace when you make mistakes. Your mistakes aren't you! Receive compliments for your looks and above all receive God's love for you. Even if you don't fully understand it or feel like you deserve it. Then give and give wisely because you have a lot to give. Look for ways to give and people to give to because that's the best way to be filled with joy.

I look forward to being a part of your life, seeing where it goes and what you do. And hearing your stories. Happy Birthday!

Much love your friend,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't forget these children!

Here's another that I'm passing along. is a good blog, and especially today is worth reading. J.Lee Grady is in Mumbai, India and talks about an organization that feeds 800 children every day.

Also, Melissa, Beth Moore's daughter, is in Calcutta, India on a trip with Compassion International. She's writing about it in the Living Proof Blog at

I really loved this paragraph from Grady's article:

"I used to ask God why people suffer like this," Biju told me as we drove through the narrow dirt roads next to rickety, one-room houses made of tin and scrap wood. "Finally I came to the place where I stopped asking questions and started being the answer."

It was just pointed out to me that Angie Smith at Bring the Rain is also on the Compassion International trip.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Worth Listening To!

Beth Moore was speaking on Focus on the Family Thursday and Friday this week. She spoke about marriage and opened up about her own marriage and the struggles they've gone through. Go to to listen online.

At the end she quoted Tony Evans. "Submission means ducking so God can hit your husband." I love that!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Motivated Monday

I have a few different projects that are in the works. Here is one of them. This is our dining area and what has been done so far is my husband's doing. He installed drywall, which took care of my #1 complaint about owning an "old" house. The walls are tongue and groove planks and they were covered with thick wall paper. So non practical!

He also put in a ceiling system and is going to install 1/4 inch MDF boards up between the beams, but you can already envision it right? Oh, and that light/fan? My #2 complaint! It's going!

My project is to prime and paint. Before the room was painted Dutch Boy's "Red Wine" which I have continued to love for 3 years now. But we're thinking we might be putting our house up for sale sometime soon, and according the the experts over at HGTV, "red is not a color for everyone". So, I think I'm going to go with a muted teal. I am too lazy to look for examples so stay tuned for the finished pictures:) It might be awhile though. After husband is done with the ceiling and we paint, we're going to sand and laquer our hardwood floors.

This project isn't really going to be my doing, but I just wanted to show something sad. Remember when it snowed and then the ground froze? And then it snowed some more and then froze some more? Well, I remember wondering what would happen to my poor plants. So, when spring finally showed its sweet self, I went out with the pruners to give my roses a little care. This is the finished result after cutting away all the dead branches. Boo hoo:( My neighbor and closest rose expert tells me they may have gone back to wild and I may or may not be getting roses at all this summer.

Here's another project that is going to take some work. I am not a baker. I always say I love to cook, but baking is not my thing. Maybe because I think the professionals already do it so well, so why try? I think I have potential to be a good baker. I like measuring things exactly right, leveling off the cup of flour and whatnot. Maybe I don't want to bake because baked goodies are my absolute weakness and I don't want to find myself eating whole cakes. Or half cakes.
But I want to learn how to bake bread. I already know how to put a mix into a bread machine and press the button, but I would like to learn the old fashioned way of doing it. I would love to teach my kids too. So, after making up my mind that I would learn I committed myself by purchasing a 50 pound bag of bread flour at Costco. The bag on top is the 5 pound bag that I usually buy.
I have another project that has to do with this but it's a secret for now.

And this isn't a project but I thought I throw in a picture of my two guys. Aren't they adorable??? Last night we went and relaxed at the Camano Island State Park. Lovely night, lovely sunset, lovely family time!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our Happy Easter

Here's our family. I don't think there exists a picture of every single one of us looking at the camera.

Kids with Papa and Grandma

We had a very nice time on a very rainy Easter Sunday. After church we went over to my parents' house and had an Easter Egg hunt. Then we ate and I ate so much! After being sick for a week my appitite has come back in full force. My mom made sweet and sour meet balls and a rice salad and I seriously shoveled it in. So out of character for me. We sat around for the rest of the day and watched movies. "Horten Hears a Who" which was very cute and funny. Then we watched "Prince Caspian". I hadn't seen it yet and I loved it. I liked it a lot better than "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe". I can't wait for the next movie to come out now. My girls tell me it's "The Magician and His Nephew".
And now about the Easter Egg Hunt....

This is the only good picture I got. And that is only because Brayden can't really run so I had time to actually take a picture. The rest of the pictures turned out something like this ------>

And this---------->

My mom usually fills about 300 eggs with candy and money and numbers for prizes so we actually are renaming this tradition the "Easter Egg Race".

Here is one more picture for your enjoyment. I'm sure my mom will be so pleased about me showing this.

Monday, April 6, 2009

We're still at home...


We've had to postpone our trip until the middle of May because we received word that there's still two feet of snow up at the cabin. I guess they've accumulated eight feet this whole winter. Amazing huh?

Also, my yucky cold took a turn for the worst and I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like a bag of burning bricks had been placed upon my chest which made breathing rather difficult. So, I'm on antibiotics and feeling somewhat better.

I'm really disappointed but I'm sure we'll have fun around here this Spring vacation.

And while I'm thinking about all the snow I'll share this fond memory.

We lived up there at Molanda (the cabin - I think my dad and his hippy buddies named it that). My parents were married up there and then we lived there until I was about four or five. My sister was a baby and my mom decided she wanted to leave behind simple living for convenience. There is a difference.

It snows up there in November and usually accumulates about five feets worth. It then melts off by April and for those five or so months we spent indoors with a wood stove keeping us warm. Snow shoes were kept by the door and my parents knew the true feeling of cabin fever.

On the other hand to my brother and I it was nothing but fun. When we had to go for our weekly trip into town we'd get all suited up in our snow suits, boots, hats and mittens and pull out the sled. Then we'd sled down the half mile to where our car remained parked throughout the winter. We'd travel into town taking care of laundry, shopping, visiting and such and then tired we'd make our way back home. My mother parked at the bottom of the hill and after a long day in town she'd stick my brother and me in the sled and pull us back up to our home. We were tired and I'm sure we'd fall right to sleep when we got there. My mom on the other hand would have to go back down for one or two trips and then pull up our grocercies, clean laundry and anything else that needed to come to the house.

When I just told her we might head over there despite the snow she was like "Nooooo...don't do it!"

What? I just remember the fun.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Roughin' It

No hint of sarcasm whatsoever. We will really be roughin' it or living simple with only basic necessities for a week. Shelter, food, clothing and each other.

The girls have spring break and we're heading out on Monday morning for an eight hour drive across the State. My family has a log cabin East of Colville and we're going to be staying there without electricity, running water, indoor toilets or television.

My kids had mixed reactions about it when I told them. Azzie was like "Huh? We're gonna do what?" Shariah started pouting because she was hoping to spend her spring break with her friend Lindsey who's been attached to her hip lately. Emma started crying because she thought she heard us say that we were not coming back until Fall and she was devastated to miss out on preschool.

On the other hand, Bill is excited to hunt for turkeys and I'm excited to have a time of bonding, getting back to the basics of what we need from each other and from God. Yes, my Beverly Lewis books have definitely inspired me a little.

So, you could say we need this.

I am just hoping and praying for a few things. One, that I would get better because I've been dealing with a yucky cold for a few weeks now and I'm sensing that my immune system is really lacking. Two, that things wouldn't be too ramshackled when we arrive there. I'm really hoping no pack rats have moved into the empty cabin. And lastly that we would have a wonderful time as a family. Quite often I get my hopes up and then let down with all the whining and complaining that seems to take place on long car rides.

My hopes are definitely high and I wish I could blog about our adventure. I'll just have to make some journal entries the old fashioned way and take some pictures of course and upload it all next week.


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