Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

It has been a fun break--time with family, Quinn's view of Christmas, and time for Ryan to be at home. We've been battling a few bugs along the way so we've moved a bit slower than my to do list would want BUT we've been relaxing which is GREAT for us!

We had fun with our small group at a Christmas party/mini-gift exchange.


Quinn had a little cold but seems to have recovered well--since our last visit to OHSU to address some of the food issues Quinn has only thrown up 3 times!!!! That is a world record in our household. 3 times in 2 weeks! We got to pray for Quinn with one of the elders at church and then the next day had our appointment. We are thrilled with how well Quinn is doing! He was chewing on some chocolate bar the other day :) and enjoyed it so much! I think he wants to share.
He had a fun Christmas with all the family--we got Quinn a Handy Manny Tool Set because it is his favorite cartoon on the Disney Channel. We even discovered a little boy on the cartoon is named Quinn. Quinn loves to play with the tools and it is the first and last thing he talks about each day.

I'm thinking about the new year--2008 is right around the corner. I will be 31 on the 17th. Oh my goodness! I'm really grateful for the what we've been able to experience, do, read, watch, and try in 2007.

In 2008...we hope to have more FUN! I hope to blog more. I want to organize more. I want to get outside my comfort zone more. I want to continue to create more of a comfortable place in our home. I would like to begin to exercise more frequently. I want to complete some unfinished projects at home. And, I want to be intentional about resting and relaxing--for me, this might be my biggest challenge.

To one and all, Happy New Year!




Monday, December 17, 2007

Home for the Holidays

We purchased our home about two years ago and am so thankful for this great place! Down the street from our church and friends, within walking distance of the University, coffee shops, and parks. A backyard, a garage, and a quiet place. A kitchen I really like. It isn't the biggest or newest home but it fits us well!

I thought I would post pictures of the inside of the home two years ago and what it looks like now. Two years ago there was no color on the walls. Today, thanks to Ryan, my parents, and Nate and Kim, every single wall has a fresh color. It has our "stamp" on it. So onto a tour of the house!


Sitting Room Before and After


Living Room Before and After



Kitchen Before and After



Dining Room Before and After


How about a few additional pictures of our house and Christmas decor!

Master Bedroom

Guest Room

Wood Stove in Living Room

Entry Area

Advent Calendar in Dining Room
It is fun to share some photos of our home with a holiday flare!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Raindrops on roses...


and whiskers on kittens...

This is the time of year to think about a few of my favorite things. And if you're reading this and have a blog, why not post a few of your favorite things too!

Here are my top 10:
-My orange fleece jacket
-Snowflakes
-Quinn's feet
-Drinking coffee with Ryan
-Inspirational stories
-Music (broad I know)
-The underdog winning
-The final minute of a close basketball game
-Vanilla ice cream, Hershey's Chocolate syrup, banana, and walnuts
-Finding a great deal at Goodwill

Thursday, December 13, 2007

18th Century



The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe dates back to the 18th century.

Places I Visit

I finally added links to places I visit. Some blogs are people I know well and others are people I don't know at all. Isn't the world of blogging strange? You put your thoughts, stories, ideas out for anyone that can navigate the internet or google something or stumble upon your blog.

I really like hearing about how other people do life. I like to hear about their routines, their creative problem-solving, their insights. They are ordinary people doing ordinary things...and I like to hear about it.

Blogging for me is a way to share the ordinary of my life too. And it seems like God works in the ordinary, don't you think?

I will be posting a bit more in the next few days!

Friday, December 7, 2007

A creature was stirring...




The other night Ryan and I got coffee at the Coffee Cottage and drove around with Quinn to look at Christmas lights. Quinn is enamored with "no-men" and "DEER!" (DEER must be said in a VERY loud voice.) So many kinds of lights and items for the yard...one house had every inflatable type of front yard contraption! In the end, I think I still like little white Christmas lights the best.

I think I like the little "creature" in the photos most of all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Yum, yum casserole!

A little post Thanksgiving and pre Christmas recipe to share that will treat your leftovers and tummy well.

Leftover Casserole (from my mom and grandma)

4 cups of turkey
1 box of stuffing
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1/2-3/4 c of milk

Grease a 9x13 pan. Cut up 4 cups of turkey (or chicken) and place turkey on bottom of pan. Make up a can of cream of chicken soup with the milk and pour 1/2 of mix over the turkey. Prepare a box of stuffing (or use leftovers) and spread the stuffing over the turkey and soup. Pour soup mixture over the stuffing.

Bake on 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

As a variation, you could add a layer of green beans or mashed potatoes.

Yum!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. I am reminded of a friend from college in Indiana. Scott was, and I hope still is, one of the most passionate people I've ever met about connecting faith and action together. He was a goofy and caring guy who was quick to laugh and willing to listen. And he cared about the individuals with HIV/AIDS in Indianapolis. There was a hospice that Scott volunteered at--a place where people could receive the care and help that they needed. I went with Scott one time and it was a sweet day to interact with the many people that were there. In various stages of AIDS, each person wanted to be loved and remembered. And I valued Scott's commitment to his friends and putting faith into action.

World Vision
has some positive ways to put faith into action. If you buy a Christmas gift think of the RED campaign.

December 2nd is the first Sunday of Advent--we will focus on the HOPE because of Christ.

Hope--Because if we don't put faith into action, what are we doing?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Quinn, Quinn, Quinn







Just wanted to post some recent shots of Quinn...he is talking, talking, talking! When we read books he'll finish each sentence with gusto! He loves seeing family! Sat on Santa's lap this week and gave Santa the once over then gave a wee grin to the camera only when Mickey Mouse was displayed. The wee grin was fleeting and the picture is a bit more stoic :) Another haircut has taken place. Quinn is STILL working on getting his second eye-tooth in (please come in!!!) and likes to chew on ice cubes (like his dad). Quinn is 20 months old Friday! Yeah Quinn!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quinn's doctor updates

Monday we went to OHSU for Quinn's two appointments I blogged about this past weekend. Both appointments went well and we won't head back up until March. In the meantime, Quinn's swallow study was very, very interesting. The therapist and radiologists gave Quinn goldfish, oreos, banana pudding, and milk all laced with barium. Each time we fed him something, the radiologist would take a series of pictures or film with the x-ray machine. Unbelievable. They were able to record Quinn swallowing, assess the physical structure of his mouth, throat, etc. and watch for reflux. They determined that there is no physical abnormalities that would require surgery so that is a praise.

They did find two things: 1)delayed swallowing-this means that rather than a normal, quick swallow that most people have, Quinn's swallow doesn't force everything in his throat down his esophagus and the remaining part trickles down his throat which can contribute to Quinn's gagging. This is something that will be dealt with over time. 2) Severe reflux-It was immediately apparent, as the therapist reviewed the film of Quinn swallowing and milk entering his stomach, that reflux occurred and items in the stomach were washing back up into the esophagus. This reflux will be treated by medication that will hopefully decrease the reflux, gagging, throwing up.

We'll continue to be in touch with the therapist and see how the medication and feeding plans go.

The cystic fibrosis clinic went well too. The people we work with at the clinic are helpful and kind. Quinn was pretty tired--at the end of our visit we were waiting for one of the doctor's to come back and Quinn was restless. Ryan told Quinn that we could leave when the doctor came back. Immediately Quinn began yelling, "Doc! Doc! Doc!" He was ready to go! Quinn's lungs sound good, he hasn't been sick, and we still are doing what we can to help him get the calories he needs. That is a challenge because of the gagging and throwing up. We continue to value prayers for Quinn and for all of us in this process.

I will say too that whenever we go up to visit at OHSU we are on a floor that has many different kids with many different kinds of issues. Some children are in wheelchairs, some have oxygen, some have severe developmental issues, some don't have any hair. Some have parents that look exhausted, some have parents that struggle to care for themselves or their kids, some have parents that sacrifice everyday to care for their children.

I wonder sometimes if the kids and parents who aren't "perfect" ever hear how special and beautiful they are. These kids are children of a Most High God and their parents are precious to the Lord. I just wonder how we could do more to encourage one another...and how to encourage these families whose "normal" involves medications, treatments, therapy, and doctors' appointments.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tis the season!

Thanksgiving is next week, the beginning of Advent is right around the corner, and I'm thinking about this new season. Are you thinking about these things too?

My sister and I made pumpkin spice rolls yesterday which is a yummy holiday treat! I'm thinking about a few Christmas gifts for family and friends. I'm thinking about some ways we can give to some places that are in significant need (check out the Sudan African Mission. The site has a link to my Uncle Myron and Aunt Donna who spent time with the missionaries in the Sudan). I get to bring out some Christmas music, and think about what we're going to do with our Christmas tree and a very curious 19 month old.

I'm feeling a bit crafty...as I'm thinking about Advent, I want to be intentional about preparing hearts and home to celebrate the birth of Christ and promise of hope He brings. Something visual is helpful for me so I think I'm going to make my own Advent calendar...simple, colorful, and intentional. I'll post some photos once it is finished (now I have to do it!)

This morning my sister, mom, Quinn and I went to two bazaars which were fun and festive. I enjoyed myself and we made it through the heavy rain!

Time to change the my autumn door hanging to the red berries.

Doctor's appointment

Monday Quinn has two doctor's appointments at OHSU. The first is for a swallow study. Quinn will have his swallowing and digestive process assessed to determine if Quinn has reflux issues or if there is something else going on for him. He gets to have a kind of x-ray video made which will show how he eats and drinks a meal. Anyone who has eaten with Quinn knows that he throws up a meal on a very regular basis so this information will help us know which way to proceed. That appointment is at 11:30am. Quinn has a second appointment at 1:00pm with the cystic fibrosis clinic. This appointment is a regularly scheduled check-up where Quinn will see a nurse, dietician, pediatric pulmonary resident and a pediatric pulmonologist. General check ups but we always value prayers as we spend time at OHSU.

If you think of it, would you pray for the three of us as we head to OHSU on Monday for Quinn's appointments?

Pumpkin Recipes III

I think this may be my final installment of pumpkin recipes but I think I've left the best for last. My sister and I made up some pumpkin spice rolls yesterday afternoon and I think these are the hit of the season!

Pumpkin Spice Rolls (from my Aunt Donna)

Ingredients:
Cake
3 eggs
1 c sugar
2/3 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2/3 c canned pumpkin
powdered sugar
thin dish towels (not terry cloth)

Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 tbsp butter/margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1 c powdered sugar

First make the "cake". Beat the three eggs and add pumpkin. In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Mix wet and dry ingredients all together. Pour batter into a well greased and floured jelly roll plan. I used a pan with sides about an inch high (17x11x3/4). Spread the batter out all over the pan so it is very thin (a spatula or a knife spreads to the edges really well).

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes (watch how it bakes the first time so it isn't too done). Take out of oven and let it cool a bit. Trim off the edges if they are a little crustier and even up the sides. Prepare a thin dish towel by heavily sprinkling with powdered sugar. Coat the towel well so the cake doesn't stick to the the towel. Turn the cake onto the towel (exposed top of the cake flips onto the powdered sugar). Roll the cake up in the towel starting along the long side. Put in the fridge to continue to cool.

Filling:
Soften cream cheese and butter. Put all ingredients together and beat until smooth.

Unroll cooled cake and spread with the filling. Re-roll. Wrap the pumpkin roll in saran wrap and foil.Refrigerate or freeze (will keep for 1 month). 1 large can of pumpkin will make four rolls (the last batch will have a little more pumpkin it it).

This recipe may sound like complicated BUT it actually goes very quickly once you get started! I have two jelly roll plans I use when I'm making these. It is an inexpensive dessert that is easy to make and great to eat (it is even good frozen)! Make some now and freeze it for later! Or cut it in half and give them away as holiday treats!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Karissa

Tonight I'm thinking about Karissa and wondering what she would be doing if she were here right now. Different things remind me of Karissa at different times--whipped cream, coconut, braided hair extensions, a willing spirit, a passionate prayer.

I had to cry tonight and read El's blog and go through my memory banks.

I am reminded that there is a great cloud of witnesses and I believe that Karissa is there. And that she has asked Jesus many questions, and asked Paul about his letters, and asked Daniel about the lions, and asked Mary about the young Jesus, and Enoch about friendship with God, and Stephen about his vision, and Jonah about the whale (was it big? Was it really a whale? Did it smell? What did you eat?) And God is pleased with her and Jesus has shown her around the place he prepared for her. And she loves worshipping without boundaries of space and time.

Pumpkin Recipes II

A few more lovely pumpkin items!

Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 c sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 c pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 c chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, water and spices. Pour into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix just until all are combined--don't stir too much! Stir in the nuts (if you choose to use them). Pour into well buttered 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, bake 50-60 minutes until done in the middle. Remove from pan, cool on rack.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients:
2 c flour
2 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coriander, ground (I don't use this)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 c milk
1 c canned pumpkin, mashed
4 egg yolks
4 oz melted butter
1 tbsp vanilla
4 egg whites, stiffly beaten

In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, butter and vanilla. Pour combined liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Carefully fold in egg whites. Cook pancakes on a light oiled griddle. Using a 1/4 cup as the scoop for batter, this makes about 20-25 pancakes.

I froze half the batter to use at another time!

Hot Cider Syrup
I haven't tried this yet but I'm going to because it sounds like a great combo!
Ingredients:
1 1/2 c apple cider
1 c brown sugar
1 c corn syrup (or maple syrup)
2 oz butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
grated rind from 1 lemon
2 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, combine apple cider, brown sugar, corn syrup or maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon rind. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add apples. Heat for several minutes more. Serve over pancakes. (Serves 6)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Pumpkin Recipes

I've enjoyed baking with pumpkin since October 1st and have some favorite recipes. If you need a yummy treat, these might hit the spot.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies (From VeryBestBaking.com)

Prep time-10 min / Cooking-18 min / Cooling Time-2 min / Yields-36 cookies

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup Libby's 100% pure pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Glaze (recipe follows)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg,and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

For glaze: Combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in small bowl until smooth.

For a good addition add about a 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Waffles (from Kim Dougherty's kitchen)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tblspn vegetable oil
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients. Add milk thru egg. Stir until moist. Coat waffle iron with cooking spray, preheat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter onto waffle iron. Spread batter to the edges. Cook 5-7 minutes.

Yields 8 waffles.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy November 1st




Besides a sweet Halloween, Quinn has been the ultimate helper raking leaves with Ryan in the front yard. I thought these two were quite the pair!

It is hard to believe November 1st is here. Only 54 days until Christmas :)

The sippy cup effort is going s-l-o-w-l-y but we did have a break through when Ryan gave Quinn a regular straw to drink from. This straw has been met with interest and curiosity which is great!

We've had some conversations with a specialist at OHSU regarding Quinn's gagging episodes. From those conversations the specialist is suggesting Quinn has reflux. We're learning a bit more about this and will go up to OHSU for a bit of testing in the near future to confirm that thought. There is medication for kids that deal with reflux (which causes the throwing up) and most of the time kids outgrew the reflux and their bodies mature.

In other thoughts, we've been eating lots of pumpkin things so I'm going to post some favorite pumpkin recipes soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick a Latte






For Halloween this year Quinn was a Starbucks barista. He went trick or treating at Friendsview manor and carried a grande coffee cup as his candy bag. He wasn't absolutely sure what was going on but he seemed to enjoy himself. We headed to Grandpa and Grandma Jessup's house to see the grandparents and Great-Grandma Jessup. Quinn enjoyed running around the house and trying to drink out of Ryan's latte cup.

What a sweet man!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

3-0 and the Pumpkin Patch







Ryan celebrated his 30th birthday Wednesday and it was a grand day for him. Quinn enjoyed Ryan blowing out his birthday candle.

Today we went to the Pumpkin Patch in Sherwood and enjoyed a trip to the patch in a tractor pulled carriage. We played amongst the pumpkins--Quinn loved running around and touching all the pumpkins. He got to see sheep and goats, lots of leaves, and plenty of other little kids. A trip to Starbucks completed our outing and it was such a nice morning.

I just started reading "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" I'm enjoying learning about some new ideas and thinking through some of my own experiences. I'm enjoying my new job and the opportunity to plan and be strategic!

It is so nice to have sunshine today!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sippy Cups


So now that Quinn is officially 18 months old we've decided to jump into the transition from bottles to sippy cups. Is Quinn old to do this or young--I'm not sure. In fact, so far I'd say that regardless of being late or early into this process, Quinn prefers a bottle 9.9999 times out of 10. We've made this attempt a couple of times before but today, I declare, we are committed to the process. I've read some different things about how to make the transition: everything from going cold turkey to removing the bottle one meal at a time. So far I'm trying the "one meal at a time" which says replace the bottle at lunch with a sippy cup for a week, then change snacks, then main meals, then the first and last one of the day. I'm not so sure...if you have ideas, let me know.

The first week of work went well. I'm adjusting to being gone two afternoons a week and doing some work from home plus finding out how to rearrange the home tasks I've typically done at those times. I've done some more baking--pumpkin chocolate chip cookies (yum!) and a great recipe for oven-baked french toast which is simple and delicious!

Ryan turns 30 on Wednesday! Yeah Ryan! Quinn is working on his rendition of "Happy Birthday". Ryan taught Quinn "This little light of mine" today--he was waving his finger in the air, singing "Shine, shine, shine", then "blowing out" the candle, and he gave a hearty version of "No!" to "hide it under a bushel?" Pretty sweet.

Quinn is predicting the Ducks over USC on Saturday by a field goal.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Days in Sherbert



I think that I love the color of orange in its various shades but I am very partial to that sherbert color of orange that you find in the enjoyable "Dreamsicle in a cup". You know, the little cups that give you a wooden spoon. They think of everything. I love the colors of the leaves as they are changing now too. So many colors to love!

Today was my first day of work! Work you say? I am working 10-15 hours a week at George Fox as the Act Six Program Coordinator (www.actsix.org). Act Six is a program which offers ten full ride scholarships to Fox to qualified urban leaders. It is an awesome process and seniors who receive the scholarship commit to spending the next nine months learning and growing together in preparation for attending Fox in the Fall. Once on campus, the Cadre of ten, continue to meet weekly with the Director of Student Transitions (my boss) and are purposeful in contributing to the Fox community in whatever seems best to that group. It is intentional, meaningful, and it is neat to have a small part to play. I get to work while Quinn is napping in the afternoon so I don't feel like I'm missing large chunks of time with him. My heart is very at peace with the new role and I know it will take a week or two to catch on to the new rhythm of life.

Ryan and I have also committed to leading a small group at our church this year. After a good year as members of a small group community, our large "small group" has split to form two new groups and we look forward to seeing where this group will go in the new year. Perhaps it will split and a whole other group will emerge! We are glad to be growing together with other Believers and continuing to learn as we focus on reading the Bible together and sharing this journey.

I had to return "Prayer: does it make any difference" by Yancey today and haven't been able to read the whole thing...yet. One thing I've taken away from what I have read so far is pretty simple: Why pray? Because Jesus did. Pretty simple and true.

I'm thinking a bit about stewardship too these days. Continuing on that train from August and September about simplicity and sabbath-keeping, it just keeps coming up. Financial stewardship and time stewardship are really the two big areas. I'll have to dive back into "Keeping the Sabbath-Wholly" while I wait to recheck out Yancey's book.

Ahhh...and I just thought I needed to post the before and after pictures of Quinn's eighth hair cut. What a cutie!

A day of new adventures...and the color orange.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

crunch, crunch, crunch

Quinn slept until 8AM this morning--for which we are thankful! Ryan left for New Mexico today and my sister came over to hang out this afternoon and evening which was nice. Adult conversation is a beautiful thing and I really enjoy it :) We got to play with Quinn though and took a little stroll outside after dinner. Aunt Courtney taught Quinn how to say "crunch, crunch, crunch" as he walked through the fallen leaves. It was perfect! After Quinn spent some time crunching through the leaves he helped Mickey Mouse (his faithful stuffed animal friend) crunch through the leaves. Mickey's big yellow feet bounced on the leaves and Quinn narrated saying "crunch, crunch, crunch." A lovely October evening!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hermiston Hospital-ity

Ryan, Quinn, and I headed to Eastern Oregon Tuesday to have an adventure together while Ryan went to two college fairs. We had adventures! It was fun for the three of us to be together and we knew we were coming back Thursday so we would be moving around a lot in two days. We got to Pendleton and Ryan went to his fair while Quinn and I hung out at our hotel. Quinn wasn't sure he really wanted to sleep in his pak n' play but eventually he relaxed and caught some zzzz's. The next day we headed to Hermiston and checked into our hotel early. Quinn didn't take a nap so we headed out to get a bite to eat. I had started to feel a little sick to my stomach but we were still full steam ahead with the afternoon. I wasn't able to eat very much...as the evening went along, just felt worse. Ryan had to go to his second college fair and Quinn was so patient and cooperative with me. Thankfully he went to bed easily and went right to sleep which allowed me to crawl into bed and assume the fetal position. I did not feel good. At. All. I called sweet nurse Carrie. I called my parents. I called Ryan. He brought me gatorade but...I was not well. Not at all. And dehydration seemed to be a factor. SO--we loaded up the car and got Quinn out of bed and headed to the Hermiston hospital. Oh my goodness. I can't remember the last time I was that sick. The doctor and nurses were gracious and hooked me up to an IV. After about 3 hours, lots of fluids, and a blanket a sweet nurse offered to drive me home at 1AM so Ryan and Quinn (who had gone back to the hotel) wouldn't have to come back to get me. In my right mind again and a pumped full of liquid, we were able to get everything together Thursday morning and leave by 8:08AM. Quinn slept most of the way home which we were thankful for--amazing! We got back by 11:30AM--Ryan was a fabulous driver. We are all recovering...

Hermiston was hospitable but we're glad to be home!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Raspberry Tea

This morning I have some raspberry tea and honey while Quinn is watching his favorite half hour of TV--Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Quinn came down with a cold on Tuesday night and we've been navigating the world of sniffles and interrupted sleep. He is doing much better--Quinn and I slept through the night last night which is great. We are waiting for an electrician to come fix one light in the hallway and install five new light fixtures through out the house. That garage sale money is being put to excellent use!

I have to return a few books to the library but just got to renew Yancey's "Prayer: Does it really matter?" I just started it last night and am already really connecting with what he is sharing. The book is less of a "how to" and more of a "how come".

Tonight I get to have dinner and time with most of the gals from my 2004-2005 RA staff and I am SO looking forward to it. What a sweet group and a neat time to reconnect.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Walk or Run

I've been walking in the morning...trying to make it a lifestyle rather than a wish that I would exercise. So this morning when I went out to walk I wound up running for stretches. This is an amazing thing because I NEVER run. Never. Ever. And it actually felt good...

Save Darfur

I felt bad about Greg Oden's injury...and then I got to thinking about a blog I read the other night by a student who is passionate and broken about the mass killings in Africa. Not just the Sudan...but Africa. My paraphrase of her comment is this: "Telling Khartoum to play nice is like telling Hitler to stop killing the Jews." Here we are in 2007...why men, women, and children are killed, tortured, raped, forced into slavery, servitude, service in the army, maimed, and murdered and we don't say and do more...

And yet, I'm not sure what to do. Save Darfur.

A Dark Day in Portland

Greg Oden is out for the season...Ryan has already called the headline for tomorrow morning in The Oregonian: "Oden is O-done". Sigh...I watched the news conference this afternoon. I feel bad for him and I feel bad for the organization...that is a big turn around from wishing the JailBlazers would move out of Portland.

It was supposed to be 82 degrees today and instead I'm wearing my fleece indoors and out. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mission Completed






The above pictures are of the garage last night before the garage sale, the house during the garage sale, and our garage now...plus a picture of Quinn because he is pretty sweet!

Today was our garage sale and I am pleased to say it was a grand success! Ryan even brought me a very large iced vanilla latte and chocolate chip scone this morning to keep my energy up! Success for me today meant we would sell two very large bookshelves we've had in our garage, clear out items we no longer use, and see new space in our garage. We did all those things and had some unexpected bonuses along the way.

I didn't expect to meet four of my neighbors I hadn't met before but I did! It was great! I didn't expect to sell as much as we did but--we did! I didn't expect to have some neat conversations with people that came through but I did! I didn't expect my neighbor to offer to take any left over items to Goodwill but she did!

Simplifying...lots of stuff gone and I am glad that we now have some additional space and I can begin to organize the items we do want to keep. It was a good process and we learned some things along the way too about garage sales.

First, garage sales are best on Fridays. Second, May is the best time for a sale because people are ready for garage sale season to begin. And third, neon colored signs are BEST versus white signs (thank you Ryan, mom, and Kyler).

Lately I've read "The Five Love Languages", "Mission: Organization", and "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh who is a professional organizer on TLC's "Clean Sweep". Good stuff all around...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thoughts While Ironing

Ironing gives time for all kinds of interesting thoughts. A year ago I was trying to figure out how to do everything. Life has changed in multiple ways and I keep figuring out new ways to do the things I need to do. So I decided I would do a little sharing about how my days are ordered. I try to get the house things done before 5 and before the weekend so I'm not doing those things when we could be having family time. I have a little notebook I use to keep all my lists in and I try to make realistic lists that I can actually get through each day. I like to make an "X" through the little boxes I make on each list :) Then if I can't finish something, I draw a line through it and move it to the next day.

Each day, Quinn and I hang out, play, run errands, and do all the things that 17-month old Quinn needs to do! I'm team teaching a First Year Seminar course for six weeks so I prep for that through out the week too. Each day I make dinner--a weekly menu has been a big help!

Mondays I do the white and dark laundry and go grocery shopping.

Tuesdays I vacuum and iron. Seminar is on Tuesday so I do some extra work that day for it.

Wednesdays I mop the floors.

Thursdays I clean bathrooms. This is a good day for dusting but I do this on other days too.

Friday I wash the sheets and towels and get all those changed. I try to do the things that I didn't get to during the week or that I need to prepare for the weekend.

I've started doing a weekly menu on Sunday evenings so I know if I need to buy something at the store Monday. We only buy a Sunday paper so we catch up on some news and get the coupons. I always keep a running grocery list with what items I'm going to buy with a coupon.

In the afternoon when Quinn is asleep I try to rest a little too--doing something I enjoy.

So those are some thoughts from ironing this morning.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Thoughts today...

I've picked a day for the garage sale--September 8th--next Saturday. I've continued to put items out in the garage in preparation for the big day. As I've continued through Marva Dawn's book, "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly", it has continued to be challenging to think about what my life revolves around. From some Jewish writings she explains that the Sabbath was the day and every other day revolved around the Sabbath.

I was reading cnn.com this morning and read through a story about the thousands of people affected by nuclear testing in Kazakhstan. Families, children, communities suffering from mutations, deformities, and abnormalities after nuclear testing was done for years in the region. My heart hurts. Reading these stories tell me how much evil has been done and the impact of those evils. I feel for these men, women, and children suffering because of the decisions of individuals years and years ago. And I wonder if when we hear these stories we allow ourselves to connect with them or do we keep a safe distance. Parker Palmer once said that hearing the stories from the Holocaust should make us weep. But we often hear them as part of the facts of history--we stick to the facts. But the individual stories...the heart of history...the hearts of people...it is the story of the communities in Kazakhstan.

I started "Mere Christianity" this week. First off, C.S. Lewis is brilliant and it takes me some time to sit and think about what he is presenting. When I read things I have to let them roll around in my brain and let them settle in. I'll be chewing on it for awhile.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crafty and Creative

I've added a new link--the Crafty and Creative list. Art, home-made-crafts, ideas for gifts, and the like are on this list. There are some pretty amazing items made by people through out the country and the world. If there are some sites you like, let me know!

I'm thinking of ideas for Christmas :) Hence the question at the bottom of the blog. These sites might help me out!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Simplifying



Quinn outgrew his sandals and we wanted to find something that would be a transition from summer to fall...thus a pair of orange Crocs. Quinn loves them and keeps asking us to put them on him even with his pajamas on. At the mall kiosk he checked out Crocs and everyone else that walked by, giving each one his special one-handed Quinn wave. Most of the time people waved back--including the high school tough guys. Today Quinn said, "hi Crocs".

I've always liked the idea of simplicity (it helps living in a Friends-full community) and in my ideal world it would be something I thought of often and practiced much. In the past few weeks a few ideas of come to mind and I'm actually trying to put them into practice.

I'm planning for a garage sale at the end of the month. As I've thought of items to put in the garage sale I've added them to my "garage sale list" and moved some items to the garage. I found some things that I've had since high school--earrings from my Junior Prom (big, red, and gold!). It has made me think about why we have certain things, what was important about them initially, and what needs to be recycled. I can sort through Quinn's toys and clothes. I can whittle down the projects or "hobbies" I was going to begin and I can admit that they aren't going to happen. Ahhh...freedom.

I took a look at my closet and took a stack of clothes and shoes to New To You consignment in Mac. It was pretty liberating to look at the space in the closet.

My old boss and friend Dave gave me a book five years ago by Marva Dawn called "Keeping the Sabbath Wholly". I didn't have time to read it. That statement holds a LOT of irony because it is probably one of the things I needed to read the most. I have a hard time slowing down and I hate to leave things unfinished or incomplete. I want to get it done and I will keep pushing until the project--big or small--is done. The idea of stopping for a whole 24 hours goes against my typical way of thinking. Dawn points back to Sabbath keeping and the point of "ceasing, resting, embracing, and feasting". Over and over again she refers to the rhythm of six days of work and one day devoted to Sabbath--devoted to honoring God, spending time with family, being refreshed, and realigning priorities with God's versus work, accomplishment, or worry. So far, it has been very eye-opening and heart-opening. I think it is the very thing I've needed to read.

A few other items that I'm hoping to read/listen to:
The Divine Embrace-Robert E. Webber
Prayer: Does it really work? Yancey
Holy God-Brian Doerksen
The Divine Mentor-Wayne Cordero
For These Tough Times-Max Lucado
Praying God's Word Daily-Beth Moore

Simplifying in thought and practice...

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Little Man



We've been in Springfield for the past few days preparing for Derek and Tori's wedding. Quinn was a "little man" (the official program label) in the wedding and we had a great time with the family. Everyone was there and, from the photo, you can see the aftermath of the flower petals that Quinn charged through post-ceremony. It was a simple ceremony and Aunt Tori is now official.

And, in case you were wondering, I did finish the seventh Harry Potter in one weekend. WHEW! I've borrowed a second copy so I can reread it :) I enjoyed it immensely!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Doh!



We've officially been made into Simpsons characters by Ryan! Ryan was disappointed that his hometown of Springfield, OR was not awarded movie premiere--we all know it is the "real" Springfield! Never the less, look for us in The Simpsons movie sequel coming in 2008.

Make yourself into a Simpsons character by going to www.simpsonizeme.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hodge-Podge


As of 10PM tonight I can start the sixth Harry Potter book. Holy smokes. Finishing the fifth one makes me realize how much really, really important stuff was left out of the movie!

Ryan has been on a staff retreat and returns home tomorrow. I've had our iPod playing on shuffle almost all the time and have been reminded of songs I hadn't heard for quite awhile. And those songs remind me of memories--things I associate with those songs. Some songs have reminded me of why I love them or why they make me feel melancholy or confident or thoughtful or how good a songwriter the person is. Rich Mullins. Period.

And this afternoon, Quinn gave me a big hug and put his head on my shoulder and just hung onto me for awhile. Makes this Mama's eyes all watery...what a precious little boy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Reading Rainbow

Remember "Reading Rainbow" with LeVar Burton as the host (he was Geordi on "Star Trek: The Next Generation")? I have been reading the Harry Potter series as a Rookie and have been reminded again how much I LOVE to read. I love to read. When I've got a good book I am swept away and can't hear what is going on around me. Ryan can say something to me and I won't respond. I've been like that since I was really little. I could be reading Nancy Drew mysteries and now it is Harry Potter. I started the first Potter book a week ago Thursday and just started the fifth one to day.

"Take a look, it's in a book, Reading Rainbow..."

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back at the Ranch



After five days in Waco, TX with hot, muggy air I have returned to Newberg where it is currently cool and raining. Five days with Karin having adventures! It was a treat to spend time with her and see where her life is. Some highlights were: exploring Texas as we discovered we were lost on the way from the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport (see Venus, TX on a map), Starbucks, the fifth Harry Potter movie, meeting some of Karin's friends, thunder and lightening storm, reading three Harry Potter books, checking out Baylor, dinner with Kim, Kevin, and the Dougherty nieces, Homestead Heritage, dinner with Scott, Jilly, and Avy Jane at Rudy's (BBQ and gas station), choosing not to get gas at Rudy's, visiting Crawford, TX and rolling past President Bush's ranch and secret service crew, eating at the Crawford diner for lunch, sweet tea, Strengthsfinder, conversations and more conversations.

Since being home I'm not sure that Quinn knows quite what to do with me. He finally called me Mama this afternoon and we played "Magic Carpet" so we seem to be on good terms. Still sweet but I'm seeing a bit of "sassy-ness" that Ryan mentioned while I was gone. A little more "out-spoken" about what he wants and a little more inclined to hit his head with his hand if he is frustrated. Hmmmm...crossing bridges as we come to them.

The Strengthsfinder assessment was fun to look over (www.strengthsfinder.com). It is the second time I've taken it and I see that my top 5 strengths have shifted--I still have three of the same but added two new ones. My top 5 in order are: strategic, developer, responsibility, empathy, and individualistic. If you've never taken the Strengthsfinder assessment I encourage you to do so. Those five words may not make perfect sense until you've completed the assessment too.

I'm also considering doing some additional work for 10-20 hours a week--either at home or someplace else. Not quite sure where that might lead but I haven't ruled anything out and if you hear of something, feel free to email me. I'm curious as to what might be out there.

It is good to be home with the boys :) Here are a couple of photos of Quinn from when Quinn and Ryan were together over the weekend. Thanks too to Grandpas and Grandmas for helping with Quinn while I was gone!