Thursday, January 26


I have a confession...I really don't get technology. I have covered most of my ignorance by learning just enough to get by, but that's all there is. I know pretty well Flickr, NetnewsWire Lite, itunes, ical and all my other regular places of interest and could even show someone else how to get by there as well. Someone asks me about the memory, speed, whatever (I don't even know what they ask), about my computer and I get what I'm sure is a lovely dear-in-the-headlights look. I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, but computers do not help me feel so, if I am required to go outside of my zone of knowledge and comfort. For example, let's take browsers. I use the one my husband says is the one I really should use. It has been Firefox for some time now. I have gotten to know and appreciate Firefox and don't care to change. Except that Firefox keeps crashing and doing dohickish things. Like a few minutes ago, I went to Blogger to write a new post (although I have had major writers block & didn't know what I'd type about until the following minute or two took place). The message read "Sorry - Blogger is down for maintenance for thirty minutes, 4:00-4:30 PST." That's okay, I understand the need for a break. But it's 10:15 in the morning. So, I moved over to Safari, the browser I used prior to Firefox and the one in which my husband now lauds as much more reliable ("they fixed the bugs" or something like that). But Safari doesn't remember my password, which I know I have used many times before. After, oh, fifteen password attempts and checking back with Firefox, who still thinks it is in the four o'clock hour, I cracked the password code. But on Safari, in this little box where I am composing my post, there aren't the great little formatting buttons like in Firefox. So if I want to italicize something, I have to actually write out code or something (you know, e.g. *9:"yourareamoron"). I just want to highlight the word and press the little "i". How come this browser doesn't have that? I don't get it. If all of the tech-savvy geeks of this world are really so smart, couldn't they just make stuff that works and is somewhat intuitive to understand? It just shouldn't be this hard - even for me.

Monday, January 23

A Shining Star

Do you ever think your life is boring? Do you feel like you take the "safe" route; that others are living the exciting plots of movies? I imagine that is why the reality shows have such an appeal to so many. It is a chance to dream that you can travel the world or fight for survival in some exotic location.

I have a dear friend who should be the star of her own show. Kymm has charisma and joy that naturally draws others to her. She is overflowing with energy and laughter. Her life has not been all glamorous by any means, yet she always remains an shining star.

Kymm has definitely participated in some glam. Her job had her on a first name basis with the good people we listen to on the radio. I had to tease her when she was a disappointed that free passes we had been given for a Third Day concert were on the eighth row. Don't they know who she is? This is Kymm! Where is our backstage pass?

This last year has been one for the books. At the ripe old age of 36, Kymm was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer. It was ugly and painful. Nothing glamorous about it. Except Kymm. She faced her toughest days with the joy, trust, and faith that I have trouble mustering on my best. When her hair fell out, she bought six totally varied wigs of which Cher would have been envious! She was one of those rare patients whom the nurses look forward to seeing because she cheered them up. All of her doctors know more about faith, healing and God because of her freely given testimonies.

Kymm recently shocked me again with her spontaneous, fun-filled spirit. She and Will, her "we're only friends" best friend and business partner eloped! The story and pictures show beautifully her complete joy.

We all need a Kymm in our lives. A person who reminds us that, even through the dark and painful times of life, you can be a shining light. A person who laughs freely, dreams big and dives into adventure. A person who knows, believes and lives in the reality that the only thing that matters in this world is giving glory to the Lord God Almighty.

Monday, January 16

Get This

To further illustrate the copious amounts of rainfall we are experiencing here in the great Northwest this winter, let me throw in these little facts for you to ponder.

According to my local weather guy, it has rained 29 of the last 30 days. We have received in that time just about 13 inches of precipitation, which is about 33% of our annual rainfall. The seven-day forecast shows one day with a chance of no rain for this next week.

Now where did I tie that rowboat?


Rain, Rain, Go Away

I am an Oregonian through and through. My internal compass is directed by the local rivers and mountains. My memories of childhood vacations almost all belong in the backdrop of camping and hiking. I hang with those troublesome Trailblazers through the good days and the oh-so-many bad ones. I rarely use an umbrella. I cringe at the sight of a pop can being thrown away. I say "pop". And I like the rain. Where others see the clouds as oppressive and depressing, I see the grey covering as a big comforter blanket, wrapping our city in coziness.

Even the born-and-bred Northwesterners are hitting our limit these days, though. It has been raining - a lot. Maybe I reached saturation when our basement began to take on water. Maybe I am more sensitive to it this season because I am forever dripping as I walk the round-trip to Trinity's school twice each day, pushing the seventy-odd pounds of kids and stroller (where they sit warm & dry). Maybe it is because my children are crazy with cabin-fever, needing to climb and run at the nearest playground.

I still love the rain. It is because of the precipitation levels that our region is so gorgeous. We don't have seasonal green - it is lush and beautiful all year. Our mountains have a glorious coating of white late into the summer. Our rivers are full and mighty and provide the nourishment for so much of our state's foundations - farming, fishing and those daily needs of drinking and washing.

So, I breathe in a deep sigh and zip up my raincoat; I thank God for the beauty around me and step out into the glorious rain.

Monday, January 9

Boy or Girl?

During my last pregnancy I read there is only one old wives tale to determine the sex of the baby that has proven reliable (after much online searching, though, I cannot find said article). If a pregnant woman consistently dreams about one sex, there is a 95% probability that she will give birth to the sex of the baby in her dreams. This has held true for me in the last two pregnancies.

This week I had my first baby dreams. In the first one, after a short and pain-free delivery, the nurse held up the baby for us to see. There was a sweet little girl in all her naked glory. The only really weird thing was that she had beautiful, long brown hair flowing down to her feet. There is a reason that God makes babies bald and not with long hair - it looks really freaky.

The second dream again had a quick, pain-free childbirth (unfortunately, I have read no statistics about this dream proving true - no matter how many nights it is relived). The baby was three weeks early, though, and we had not even begun the name-choosing process. The nurse laid the baby boy down on a picnic table (because apparently I gave birth at a church picnic, but no one seemed to noticed) and I left the area to have some alone time. When I returned, having decided to name the baby Dalton, I was very frustrated and not a little guilt-ridden, when I saw that the baby was laying on a plastic food tray with a beer bottle next to him (I'm not sure what kind of church picnic this was!).

So far no gender predictions through my dreams. As I was looking for the aforementioned statistic on dreams & gender, I came across some of those other predictor sites. According to the Chinese calendar, it is a girl - but I know that one was wrong with at least one of my other kids. And with one site that puts together a bunch of the old wives tales, I have a "50% chance of having a boy". Thank you - that was extremely helpful.

Oh, and in case you wonder (or care), we actually don't want to know the gender before we are introduced face-to-face. So no definitive answers until next summer!

Friday, January 6

Say That Again??

"Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - now that is realistic!"
- Allan, in a conversation regarding time travel and how one wouldn't really understand conversational dialogue because of the changes in the English language over history, as many movies inaccurately depict.

Wednesday, January 4

My Favorite Gift

I had a nice Christmas and received several gifts that were thoughtful and personal. The garbage disposal was tops on my list; if it had only come with a little guy who will guarantee installation before next Christmas! My favorite gift, though, was not one on my wish list. Allan gave me a gift certificate to itunes. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy this present until I started spending hours perusing song samples and carefully picking which to download on my computer. The last couple of nights I have drifted away in bed to the sounds of my new collection of hits. I have to put Where is the Love? by the Black Eyed Peas at the beginning, since there is no way to sleep to that song. There are the songs that take me back to road to trips with Allan during our college years and immediately wash over me with deep emotion: Walking in Memphis, Tears in Heaven and In Your Eyes. I find myself smiling as I listen to two of the greatest love songs ever: Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton and Marc Cohn's True Companion. There are newer favorites by Jack Johnson, Gavin McGraw, Maroon Five and Five for Fighting and some good oldies by Bryan Adams and Bonnie Raitt. I still have another $13.17 left on my gift account - I can't wait to keep shopping!

Thanks, hon!

Tuesday, January 3

I Feel You, Son

Connor declares emphatically, "I want to go to Africa!"; then dropping his head on the table in despondence, he sighs, "but I don't have a lot of money".

Sunday, January 1

A Year in Review

2005 is now a thing of the past. This was not one of those years that seemed to fly by for our family. It was a very full year; when I think back on things that happened earlier this year, it seems so very long ago!

We started off this year in grief over the loss of our almost-adopted-daughter. I cannot imagine that another single event that has shaped Allan and I in a more profound way. The Lord has taught us much about his His will and His glory through our need for Him.

In February I traveled to Sri Lanka to teach coping skills and offer hope and help to the children and caregivers devasted by the incredible tsunami that struck that region. There is no way an experience like that can not alter your life. I appreciate all of my travels that have allowed for my world view to expand. Later in the fall I was able to meet up with my team at the International Play Therapy Conference in Nashville to present our experience.

What had started out as a little hiatus at my parents' home in between the sale of our house in Southeast Portland and buying a house in Northeast became a year-long sleep-over (bless those folks!). In August, to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary (in lieu of my dream trip to Italy), we were finally able to find a house near PUMP that we now call our own. Despite its need for some loving work, we like our place - especially being so close to PUMP and our friends in the neighborhood.

Allan lost two of his grandparents this year who had led long, faithful lives. We enjoyed our visits to Texas, despite having to say good-bye to these good folks. We finished off 2005 by burying my thirty-year-old cousin on New Year's Eve in Seattle; he had been killed in a senseless shooting. These losses have been important reminders about living life in accordance with God's will each day.

As a big five-years-old, Trinity started pre-school at the local elementary school this fall. She loves her friends and craves learning all she can. Connor is crazy in love with Thomas trains and other three-year-old interests. This summer he kept us on our toes with a nasty broken arm. And baby Sprout has been causing all sorts of trouble, with all of the joy and anticipation baby brings, in its first weeks of existence within mommy! We also added two other little ones in 2005 - our furry little black and white cuties, Lewis & Clark.

Allan has completed another successful year in freelance work. Much of the year he has been focused mostly on one client, Luis Palau Association. He has gotten to travel with his work with them, most notably working the Festival on the Washington D.C. mall. I continue to work part-time at PUMP, loving this ministry immensely.

I think that about sums up 2005 for us. There has been lots of ups and downs, as life brings, but we are thankful for each experience. We look forward to what 2006 will bring to our little family!