Sunday, November 29, 2009


What a week.

What a day.

I am reminded of one of my favorite songs by Tree 63, Blessed Be Your Name:

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Lord, blessed be Your name

We've had some of both this week, for sure. The senseless killings of 4 police officers near Tacoma took my breath away. Pain in the offering, for sure. If I let it, it will block out all the many blessings of the week - when the world was as it should be. I can't let it.
This is the sign above our dining room entry

So, the only way I know how to let the "good" still win is to count my blessings. Literally.

  1. I am thankful that Chance had two home basketball games this week, and that he did well in both of them. The boys are improving so much!

  2. I am thankful my parents were able to attend another game, and that they wanted to come out and see my new living room after. Thanks for a fun evening, mom & dad!

  3. I am blessed beyond my wildest imagination - well beyond what I deserve. We went grocery shopping on Saturday, and wanted for absolutely nothing. Got all that we needed as well as some extras. Some days, more than others, God impresses up on my heart that there are so many in the world that don't have that luxury.

  4. We had a fantastic Thanksgiving feast with Matt's family. It was again held at the ARK, where the kids could run and play to their heart's content. There was a ton of food, fun games, and great conversation. What a blessing.

  5. We were able to hit a couple "Black Friday" sales, with few mishaps. Admittedly, I wasn't out for the steals on toys or electronics - I wanted $9 jeans and $15 winter coats. We found both, so it was all good! Maybe not worth 6 a.m., but still good :)

  6. I am thankful for a cozy, clean, organized house. I am writing this in my new living room, in front of a warm fire, with a new t.v. (thanks Dan & Erinne) going in the background.

  7. I'm so thankful for Stacy Julian and Photo Freedom - my life (at least my scrapbooking life) is about to be changed. Thanks for the push, Darla!

  8. I am grateful for crock-pot beans and cornbread. I'm not sure there's a better Sunday evening dinner on a cold day.

  9. I am thankful for deputies, officers, and troopers who put their lives on the line every day to ensure my safety. Especially in the recent climate, their sacrifice and that of their families is no less than amazing. I am humbled and blessed.

  10. I am thankful for books. I love, love, love to read. I am currently reading one, and have two in a holding pattern - which is pretty normal for me. Yeah for books ;)

  11. I am thankful for the best husband I ever could have imagined. He endured two HUGE shopping trips this weekend, including an early morning Black Friday outing, a craft store, and grocery shopping in two different stores. In each one, he easily recognized that his best help would be keeping the boys distracted. He did a great job. I had almost $150 in coupon and sale savings on our grocery shopping runs - and that only happened because I was able to concentrate. Thanks, honey!

  12. I am thankful for coupons. And sales. And Black Friday, even with all it's craziness.

  13. I have the two greatest boys on earth. They challenge me. They stretch my boundaries of both patience and love - I didn't know I had this much of either one. They make me laugh. They make me cry - but happy tears as often as sad or frustrated ones. I am blessed.

Thank you, Lord. Blessed be Your name.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A little perspective. I love perspective.

So, it starts on the way home from basketball practice the other night.

We were listening to "American Soldier" by Toby Keith. One of the boys' favorite songs.

Chance went into an explanation (dissertation) of the American Revolution.

Colton pipes in with a bit of knowledge of his own.

Chance - . . .so, that was the turning point of the American Revolution.

Colton - No, that was when Yankee Doodle saw the flag on top of a hill and wrote a song.

Chance - What? That's not a turning point!

Colton - What's turning point mean?

Chance - It's like when some kid is making fun of you for doing something, and all his friends are laughing, and you're like 'oh yeah, well you do that, too!', and then all of the sudden his friends are laughing at him and not at you anymore, and you're like 'Served!'. That's a turning point.

Colton - Oh. Yeah. I get it.

Chance - You can also make a turning point with bombs. Like say they have 1000 guys and you only have 200. So you bomb out like 600 of their guys. Turning point. All of the sudden, it's not so bad anymore.

And, from my perspective, all of the sudden, contrary to every interaction the last two weeks, my boys were getting along. Talking about something they were both interested in, and (most importantly) not fighting. Yeah. Turning point. Without the bombs, even. Turning point.

Monday, November 23, 2009

How you know you caught a good one

When he does this.

All because you are afraid of heights and you hate spider webs on popcorn ceilings. And maybe because he loves you.

Whata man, whata man, whata man, whata mighty good man . . .

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I don't know why she swallowed the fly . . .

They changed the lights to match the paint,

They painted the wall to contrast the trim,

They painted the trim to match the carpet,

I don't know why they changed the carpet . . .

Wait, I do know. It used to look like this:

And, it was threadbare in many spots - too many for throw rugs to cover anymore.

So, after the new carpet, new trim, new east wall, then new north wall, then patches on the west wall, which didn't match, so new west wall paint, and new lights, and new sconces, and a re-finished stove, and a complete rearrange, here we are:

I. LOVE. IT. Love it. Love it. Love it.
Now, I just gotta get the old lights sold on eBay. And, restore the dining room to it's pre-project condition. And the kitchen. And reclaim my bedroom. I sense another spider coming . . .

Friday, November 20, 2009


Forgive my lack of posts.

And, forgive the grainy, iPhone pic.

But, we are making progress. And progress is good.

Should be done by Saturday. One more wall to paint, and bushels of furniture to move back in. And then, as Chance and Matt say, we'll finally have somewhere to SIT again :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


So, while I'm gone at scrapbook retreat, my house is going from


and this

to this

I can't wait to feel the cozy softness under my bare toes.

Pure luxury.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What time is it?

Game time!
I've waited a long, long time for this.
Basketball season.

I had a decent amount of success, playing basketball in high school and college, and it is by far my favorite sport. That said,we have tried hard not to "steer" the boys in any direction for their extra-curricular activities. I want them to do what THEY want to do.

And, although I love watching my kids no matter what they are doing, it has felt like we've suffered through hockey and soccer, and even baseball and football to some extent, while I anticipated some basketball action.

To watch him play the sport I love is so much fun.

To have him come to me with questions (that I can actually answer!) is such a great bonding experience.

To sit with my parents, on hard wooden bleachers, and get my first taste of what it's like to be on the other side of the coin was priceless.

To watch these boys as they progress and improve, from timid middle schoolers to the well-oiled machine they will be when they reach high school, will almost prove a theory of heaven on earth.

It's game time.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Things I Love

These are the things that are making our lives extra-special this week:
  1. A fire in the fireplace.
  2. The Chinese Nazi from Tree Cafe is back from China. She's been gone like a month. General Tso and I have never been more excited.
  3. She (The Chinese Nazi) hasn't changed. PTL.
  4. Colton still calls me "Mama". He's back in an inquisitive stage, so it happens about 100 times a day - "Mama? . . . .", but I love it anyway.
  5. Because it's fleeting. Chance is in a stage where I am mostly uneducated and embarrassing. This will likely only get worse. So, I'm holding onto "Mama" with all I've got for as long as I can!
  6. Hearing Matt sing "Ice Cream Man" on his new Guitar Hero - Van Halen. What a hoot.
  7. Creme Brulee Eggnog with my Chai Tea. YUMMMMMMM!
  8. Anticipating middle school basketball - so many memories are rushing back. First game - Monday night.
  9. The overloaded wood trailer made it all the way back from the cabin. I only clinched my hiney and sucked all the air out of the cab of the pickup six or seventy-five times.
  10. I have a new phrase. "You've been SERVED!" or, with a very confident voice, just "Se-erved". It's like being burned. But worse. Way worse. Ask your kids. I'm so hip.
  11. Fleece sheets. It's like sleeping on a warm, snuggly cloud.
  12. My new carpet's coming this week.
  13. So is the scrapbook retreat.
  14. Life is good.

Lots to be lovin', that's for sure. What are you loving this week?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Poll: Which photo should be Christmas Card Photo 2009?

Christmas Card Photo Poll 2009

Space Needle


The Cabin

Feeding The Deer (gotta be some sort of play on reindeer here, right?)

Lake Wallowa Family

Lake Wallowa Boys

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We all have our vices

Darla's is Farmville.

Mine is currently Fantasy Football.

Before this year, I was a pretty casual football fan. Watch the games on Sunday afternoon if the TV was on - Monday night for sure because nothing else was on. Check in on the Seahawks. See how far they get into the season before they inevitably blow it.

Now, I pay more attention than I ever imagined.

Like, when we went to the Seahawks game a few weeks ago. It was great to be there. They were playing the Jaguars. And, I'm more concerned about missing points because Sims-Walker (who plays for the Jaguars) got benched than rejoicing in the obvious advantage for the Seahawks. Sims-Walker was locked in my starting line-up by the time I found out. Ugh.

Every Sunday, I'm glued to either a laptop or my iPhone, checking the scores and seeing how my guys are doing.

Chance and I drafted the team together, but since then, I've been in charge of trades, and deciding who to bench and who to start. He has become my armchair quarterback - questioning my every move, chastising the questionable ones and celebrating the "brilliant" ones.

Every Monday, I'm checking in with the video report from Matthew Berry on

Tuesday, the detailed, written article from Mr. Berry regarding that week's performances and next week's players to either pick up or drop.

I sure hope he knows what he's talking about, cause I'm pretty much relying on his advice 100% to get me through the "playoffs".

So, the whole point of this is, I'm really trying to think of a good blog post, but I can't. All that's running through my head is:

Will Ryan Moats really do anything, or is he a one-hit-wonder?

Is Sam Aiken gonna break through?

Can I trust Frank Gore?

How about LaDanian Tomlinson?

And can the Drew Brees, Marques Colston show last all year?

I know, I know. Not so interesting to most of you. But, unless you want Wordless Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to accompany Wordless Wednesday, you may have to put up with a Fantasy Football post or two before the season's out.

You know Farmville's totally the reason Darla hasn't posted all week, right?

We all have our vices.

So, how about you? Farmville? Facebook? Blogger? Fantasy Football? Give it up - what is it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

The hills were alive

With the sounds of laughter . . .
and fun . . .

and eagles . . .

and chainsaws . . .

and kids being kids.

In other words, it couldn't have sounded sweeter. Another great weekend at the cabin - thanks for the fun, friends!