Saturday, June 28, 2008

Little Boy Adventures

Disclaimer: Sorry my kids are always down to their underoos (as we call them), but they are in and out of the pool so much that it is near impossible to keep clothes on them. Sorry about the almost-naked pictures! :)

This morning our kitchen was a jungle......
Before I start I guess I should acknowledge that I know there are many parents AND parenting experts out there who are very much against letting little children play with plastic guns, knives or other pretend weapons. (My children are loving swords). Rand and I have watched our boys play and occasionally look at each other like, "Is this something we are okay with?" I have actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about how I feel about kids playing with guns and such, thanks to my expensive, Mommy degree....a.k.a. MA in counseling. I took a few classes in Play Therapy and also Childhood development as well as an internship that included counseling children using Play Therapy. These classes have drastically impacted my parenting style and choices...including our decision to not spank or physically hurt our children as a form of discipline (we have not been perfect in this, but mostly!) Kids and their behaviors are complex and so parenting can be very frustrating unless you are constantly thinking, adjusting and changing right along with the kiddos. We are always trying new things and re-evaluating how things are working.
Anyway, that was a little tangent. Back to the toy guns. My original idea was that I would be okay with my kids playing with toy guns and that it was a part of them processing their world and pretend play. However, when you see your precious little innocent child pick up a "weapon" and "shoot to kill" it can be a bit shocking. Rand and I are still talking about the boundaries we think there should be (if any) when the kids are playing like this. Like is it okay to "kill" people. Should we even say "kill"? What about whacking people with swords? What about killing animals (pretend ones played by people, or the stuffed kind) We aren't "hunters" so watching our kids pretend to be bears and then the other one shooting and killing it is a little shocking, too. For now, we've decided the kids can play like this as long as everyone is "playing" and no one is not liking what is happening. ("Shooting" your brother or mom when you are angry is absolutely not OK.) Also, I try to encourage saying "I got you" rather then "I killed you" mostly because I'm trying to imagine what another mom would think if my child was playing with theirs.
I'm really under the impression that pretend play is very, very powerful for young children. It is more than just playing. It is actually key to their development and I try to let them do it with as little interruption or direction from me. It's rather fun to watch and participate in and see where their little imaginations go and try to figure out what's really going on in their heads.
So, back to the kitchen was a jungle. Brendan has been walking around using his underwear or shorts as a holster to carry a gun on one side and a sword on the other. He's been wanting me or Rand or Wyatt to wear "scary teeth" (Dracula teeth) and pretend to be a bear so that he can have an adventure and be a hunter to get the bear. Instead of me being the bear for an hour this morning, I decided to set up a jungle adventure in the kitchen. The boys used their binoculars to spot animals...and then they shot them and threw them on the floor. Sounds cruel, I know, but my boys aren't angry or violent and they don't watch inappropriate movies, so I'm not too worried about it. Especially when later they found a disgusting little wiggly bug (a real one) on our floor and they gathered it up in a jar and kindly released him onto the back porch.

Poor little guy is going to die.....

----------------------------------------------------------He didn't have a chance

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary,
they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

We're needing prayers. The waiting is starting to feel hard. This is a tough place. We're waiting for God to give us our next mission. But we are also looking for a job, too. Does anyone see the conflict here? Sometimes that dichotomy seems difficult to mesh. It's ministry, it's a "job", it's both....

Here's where we are:
The church we flew out to in Philadelphia is still praying and will be in contact with us in the next few days for some more (info.?)...I'm not sure. Questions to answer I guess. I feel a little strange writing what I am about to write since anyone can read my blog and at least a couple people from this church have read it before. However, Rand and I loved this church and the people we met. From our end, we felt like the job was a good fit, the church was a good fit, the people were a good fit and even the town was a good fit. But this goes both ways, and all that doesn't mean, that from their end, we would be the best fit for them. Perhaps that is what they are still prayerfully considering and also what we continue to be in prayer about.

Another church in Minnesota that Rand interviewed with a while ago has indicated that they would like to talk again and then fly him/us out for an in-person interview. We certainly don't want to close any doors and if God provides another opening then we will follow it until a door must be closed, either by us or by them.

This is a complicated, long, kind of stressful process. It is such a big decision for a church to pluck the one, right person out of a pile of paper, hundreds of sheets deep, praying for God to guide them and help them choose the person that is best for them. For us, it is a test in faith, trust and patience.

The last few days my anxiety has been much higher. In fact, writing this I have to keep reminding myself to breathe. Take a deep breathe and relax in the fact that God has this under control. He knows our tomorrow and He knows our next job. Our understanding of it is so limited and not knowing the future is so hard.

Hmmm. I think I just realized why this is feeling so hard. I just re-read my paragraph up top about this ministry-job conflict thing. I was thinking about maybe cutting that part out. Not sure if people would necessarily get the difference. I was just thinking that maybe making the distinction in my own mind comes from a lack of trust. I think I truly trust God to put Rand into ministry. Ministry is God's business after all. I don't think I am fully trusting God to give us a "job". I know Rand can go out and get a job. I've said before that I fully trust him to provide for our family and take care of us. He is so capable. I don't know if I've allowed myself to trust God to give us a "job" to provide for our family. I know that he can...but will He? Does He want to? Are "jobs" His business??

Of course, asking these questions out loud, sort-a-speak, sounds silly. Of course God is going to provide us with a job, a job in ministry if He so wills. Of course "jobs" are his business. Our lives are His business. And taking care of us is His business. It just seemed like an interesting revelation I just had and I didn't even realise I was thinking like that.
Daily I re-trust God! And now, I guess I need to re-trust Him with more. Setting aside what I want, setting aside what I hope for and allowing the waves to take me in and out to the places the tide chooses (which God controls), trusting fully that He will not let me drown. He will let me live abundantly in His will.
(Another breath)

We need your prayers, if you will. Change will be coming soon out of necessity, but we still don't know where or what that will be. (That's the hard part for me....I'm ready to know.) But alas, we will wait on the Lord. Thanks for praying and waiting with us.

"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not grow weary,
they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

The New Pool

Sadly, or old pool was poked by something. We came out in the morning and the bottom 2 rings were totally deflated. :( So we had to buy a new one. We decided to upgrade a tad since it's super hot now and we were having to drain and re-fill the old pool about every 2-3 days. It was a total pain. Now we have a filter and chemicals (I'm not too thrilled about the chemicals part, but it's solving some of the problems we were having before) and the new pool is proving to be a pain in its own sort of way. (e.g., dealing with filters and balancing PH and stuff like that.) BUT, we don't have to drain and fill it constantly which is good considering it holds over 500 gallons of water.

The kids LOVE it! It's a little deeper than the old one and they pretty much spend the majority of the time under water. I even get in it. It's just the right depth for me to sit on the bottom. The water comes just below my chin. It's really more like a hot tub than a pool!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rand's Blog

Well, I really thought this day would never come. Rand finally has an outlet!
Yesterday, Rand started a blog.
I think I'm more excited than he is, but truth be told, he's totally getting into it.

Let me give him a proper introduction (in case you didn't know).....

Rand graduated from Biola University in 1998 with a minor in Bible, a BA in Inter-cultural studies and a lot of great memories from playing baseball. :)
We got married after I graduated in 2000.
Shortly following, Rand and I both attended Western Seminary in Portland, OR. Rand earned his MA in Exegetical Theology and then recently completed his MA in Apologetics from Biola. Rand LOVES to discuss, read, listen to, study and teach about Jesus, Christianity, Apologetics, Philosophy, Theology, The Bible, Metaphysics, Evangelism and the like. (That's what he does for fun) Rand has plans to continue his education within this realm in the near future.

As you might have guessed, his blog is not going to look anything like mine. We're pretty different. I'm proud of him for jumping on board the "blogging boat" because I think he has a lot of great and important things to say. You'll see right away that he is very passionate about what he will be fact, it might be hard to get him to stop now that he's started. :)

Check it out! Through the Glass Dimly (It's pretty new, so consider it a work in progress right now. He's still deciding on what he wants it to look like and linking all of his favorite sites and all that.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Hot! Hot! Hot!

I am having such a hard time having a good attitude right now. This weather is really getting to me. Before we left for our trip to (60 degree +/-) Washington, the weather here was hovering around 100 degrees. I was a little bit proud of myself because I was doing pretty good with it. I don't know if it was my cold weather trip or if 110+ is really too hot, but I am just grumpy and tired in this heat. I might complain a little. Sorry.
Since we've been home our A/C has been working overtime. It won't get the house below 77 degrees and I'm trying to get it to about 75. I think it is about to fail us.
We got up this morning and the kids pool was deflated. Popped by who knows what. Rock, cactus, who knows. There's lots of sharp things around here.
After Rand woke up this afternoon (remember he's working graveyard) we decided to run some errands and go to a movie. After our first stop, our A/C in the car went out. (We had it all fixed up before summer this year, too) I can't even explain to you how hot it was. It was horrible! I could have baked a cake in our car. I at least could have grabbed a brush and dried my hair (had it been wet). With the windows down it was like inhaling the air from a hot blow dryer. Ugh!
When the sun went down tonight (luckily that happens pretty early here) it was like an oppressing weight had been lifted. Ahhhhh, relief! That sun is soooo intense!
Basically, it's hot! Very, very hot. I don't even want to leave the house. Isn't that sad? I really have it ingrained in me (from growing up in the PNW) that summer is time for outside. Playing, eating and even sleeping outside! That just isn't the case here. It's too hot to play at the park, it's too hot to ride bikes, it is too hot to play baseball and it is WAY too hot to cook in front of the grill outside.
I know, I know. I bragged and bragged all winter/spring about our fabulous weather..and it really was. I knew this was coming and here it is.
So, I'm trying. And I'm checking my attitude, but it's hard.
Note to my out of state readers: Do NOT come to Phoenix right now. It's too hot. :)
(Mostly I'm laughing) It's just crazy hot. I'm starting to go cuckoo.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Paper Craftiness

You may remember way back, I blogged about marbling paper and how I really wanted to make some more but I had so much that I had already made and no idea what to do with it. I have wrapped a couple of presents with some of it and here is a project I just did with some more. This one was fun and I like how it turned out. I spent way too much time on it though. I have a problem with that. That's why all my crafts are on and off. I just can't spend that much time on them so I do it for a while and then quit. I may have a couple more cards up my sleeve before I put this one to the side though! :) I'm loving the marbled paper for envelope lining.

Computer Craftiness

So I've discovered something scrapbooking. It makes WAY less of a mess than regular scrapbooking--the kind I quickly gave up after bouncing baby #2 came along. It adds hours to my computer time though. I might need to be cut off. I just got photoshop so I spent a large portion of the evening figuring out how to use a lot of the functions to put together a digital scrapbook page. Here's one draft. After this, you may not hear from me for a while. I might have to ground my computer for taking away so much of my time.
......but it's so fun! :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Super Heros

From our photo shoot with Amy Cooper while we were in Shelton.
We love you, Amy! Thank you. They are just priceless!
Be watching for Amy and hubby, Forrest to open their very own business, Cooper Studios, coming to downtown Shelton in August.
You can contact her at I know she would love to do your pictures.

And a family shot!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Park Day

I have to say, that the weather hasn't been so good since we've been in the good ol' Pacific Northwest. It is expected that the summer weather is not very consistent this time of year, but it has been REALLY cold and windy and rainy and miserable since we've been here. I can't complain too much because we have more than our fair share of sunshine in Arizona but we were hoping to be able to enjoy all the fun outdoor activities that we can do here that are near impossible in the Arizona heat.

Yesterday we got a great break from the "bad" weather. No wind, no rain, and the clouds broke in the afternoon and we got a good dose of sunshine. You saw yesterday that we went swimming and found a frog. We also did a little rowing in the boat and in the afternoon I took the kids to the park. We had lots of fun playing on the wood play structure and running around on the grass around big, beautiful trees (things we don't see much of in Arizona).

Here's some pictures of our fun, beautiful, Northwest afternoon at the park.
The train came by---------------------------------------------------Ahhhh grass

Oh how we miss trees!

...and grass!
and we found a caterpillar

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fun at Nana and Papa's House

Here's my first attempt at a SmileBox scrapbook.
It was kind of a fun way to document our really fun morning!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Flight Home

Our weekend was flight home was NOT so great. Rand and I were, again, on separate flights. His to Phoenix, mine to Seattle. Rachel was planning on picking me up, so I called her when I got on the plane to let her know that it looked like we were leaving on time. We both know there is always that chance, but usually if you board the plane on time you land pretty close to on time.
Somewhere around 3 hours into the flight the pilot came on. He informed us that due to HORRIBLE thunder storms across the mid-west, air-traffic had been diverted to the south. In fact, we were flying over Texas at that time. Because of all the air traffic being diverted to the south part of the United States there were a lot of planes flying too close together. So they had asked several planes to do a 360 to create more space between air crafts. Our plane was one of those planes. The pilot informed us that the 360 was going to put us at least an hour behind schedule. Oh, and then he mentioned that all the extra flying was going to run us a little low on fuel, so there was a chance we would have to land to re-fuel before getting to Seattle. Ugh. That really stinks. Have I mentioned yet that they have stopped serving snacks on most flight now. You don't even get that tiny bag of pretzels or peanuts anymore. I was pretty much starving. The cool thing was that I was on the right hand side of the plane and could see this huge storm system out my window. It was HUGE and so amazing.....and a tad scary considering we were in an airplane. Apparently, the thunder clouds were as high as 60,000 feet, so there was no way they were going to fly through it.
It was at least 2 hours later when the pilot got on the PA again. He told us that the last "turn" we made basically sealed our fate and we would have to stop for fuel in Salt Lake City.
So, we landed in Salt Lake City.
We taxied just a short way off the runway and the gas-guys came to the plane. The re-fuel was only supposed to take 20 mins and we should be back in the air.
Unfortunately that was not the case.
Again, the pilot gets back on the speakers....feeling the like the bearer of bad news. Apparently the flight attendants, and no one at the airport can locate any working "air stairs"...whatever those are...and they cannot legally fill the plane.
So we had to taxi to a terminal gate which took forever because we had to wait for a plane to be pulled out of the way and then park it so that it could get filled.
When we were on the ground I called Rachel. I wasn't sure if she had checked the Internet before she left or if she might be in Seattle waiting.
R:"Are you in Salt Lake City?"
Me:"Yes I am! How did you know?" :)
Smart girl had checked the Internet, but dumb Internet didn't have all the correct info. up. The website told her that my flight had been diverted to Salt Lake City, but it still said arriving in Seattle at 9:00. My parents live 75 minutes from the airport so she decided to leave. Luckily she has a good friend who lives 15 minutes from the airport, so she went and hung out there.
Finally, they got the plane filled and we flew another hour and 40 mins to Seattle. I got in somewhere around 12:30 and then drove an hour and a half to my parents house. I crawled into bed at 2:30am and all I kept thinking was it's 5:30 in Philadelphia. They will all be getting up to start their day soon.
It was an interesting ending to the weekend. Too bad they didn't refuel in Phoenix and I could of just gotten off and gone home...caught a flight the next day. But it worked out. I'm still not feeling caught up on sleep, so I think I'll go get some! Sure is great to see the little boys again!

Philadelphia Trip

Ok. Many are looking for the "What happened in Philadelphia" post. I think I'm still processing. I'll give you what I have so far. :)

It was really good. Rand and I had a great time meeting people and checking out a new place. I was worried when I saw Philadelphia (area) from the air flying in. From the air, it looked kind of ugly. Turns out it is one of the most beautiful places I've been. I was very surprised by that. It really was amazing. The town we spent most of our time in, (Phoenixville, if you can believe that) was charming. Small, with lots of personality. It had recently been revitalized...or is still in the process, so there were lots of stories about how the town used to be and how great it is now. It totally reminded me of a bigger, east coast the way we would want it to be if we got some government grant money to revive the city. They even have a Dogwood Festival that sounded a lot like our Forest Festival with a Dogwood Queen and everything. :)
The people we met were the highlight of the trip. I'm still processing some of that part. We did most of the talking so I don't know if I like them because I feel so "known" by them or because I have a great "first impression" and I would love to know them more. Probably both. They were warm, friendly and people we would like spending more time with.
The whole experience with them was pretty much good. Rand and I spent most of the time together talking with the church's elders, wives and search team members. Rand did a great job answering some tough questions and really being himself. We like them, and we like their church and, at least I, feel totally honored that they have considered us as closely as they have for the position there.
So we are praying and waiting and they are praying, too. They will be interviewing another candidate in 2 weeks, so we will continue on with our practice and development of patience and faith. :) Still waiting to see what happens next.
Thanks for praying with us and for us through all our new God-ventures.

ps. Hello Phoenixville People! It was great meeting you.
--you might as well leave me a comment now that we "officially" know each other. Plus, I need to read your blogs now. :)

(they found my blog weeks before we even got there! Isn't that funny? It's a different world with this Internet thing)

What am I doing?

I just got back from Philadelphia. It's 2:30 in the morning. Yes there is a story. And no, I will not be telling it now. Just had to check my email and leave a little preview....
I'll update soon about our trip and tell you why my flight didn't get in until 12:30 am.....unless you hear about it on the news first! ;)
Can't wait to see my just a few hours now that I think about it. Yikes!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who's Flyin' This Plane?

I have to say this was the coolest thing ever!

Monday, June 2, 2008


I'm almost ready. Of course I haven't packed AT ALL for myself yet, but everything else is more important.
We are getting ready to head to good ol' Shel-town (Shelton, WA for those who haven't a clue). Just me and the little ones for now. Rand will be meeting up with us later. We have our trip to Pennsylvania next weekend too. I'm starting to get a little excited about seeing a new place. A place with possible possibilities. :) I'm not too thrilled about the long flight all by myself, but I think I'm going to take a knitting project and maybe even a book. 5+ hours of alone time is sounding kind of nice. (Especially since I have spent the last 6 days nursing an extremely ill child back to health). Hopefully it is not 5 hours of sheer airplane terror. :)
So I will be back in Phoenix in 2 weeks, just in time for a friends new baby (hopefully, right Beth?) and another friends return from a year in Scotland (Welcome back Ashley)! I'm looking forward to June. Lots of fun coming up.
Can't wait to see all you Shelton people. And I can't wait to see some cold, wet weather....and some water. :)
Next post will be from the Northwest! Adios Desert.