Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fun in the Muck

In the midst of the smell, filth, mold spores, sweat, and snakes the Life of God is shining! The team is having a great time even though they have never worked so hard in their lives!

Monday, June 26, 2006


James took me for our Monday java drive today. Its never long. We go get the best, cheap, white coca-mochas in town and head off on a jaunt into the nearby countryside. We talk, listen to ESPN, laugh, and stop to enjoy the scenery. We are back home in about 45 minutes to an hour, with empty coffee cups and full hearts. He said today that he is appreciating more and more what the simple times have to offer. Here are a few of the simple offerings of today...

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Outta Sight

Somebody's devestation. Somebody else's ruined life.

How easy it is to put out of my mind. At least it was.

Tofer is there. Heart of New Orleans. Standing Water. Mosquitos. Heat. Humidity. Broken homes. Mud - waist high.

He's working. Mucking. Gutting. Rebuilding. Touching lives. Bringing life.

My thoughts are never far from New Orleans. At least Now they aren't. Tofer is there.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Grape Vine

There will be no pictures with this post because, once again, blogger is going nutzoid.
I'll let you in on a little secret ~ I like wine.
As a kid, the smell repulsed me. As a teenager, the thought of drinking anything scared me. As a young adult, I was judgemental of it and protective of my children being around it. But now I am old. Aged like the wines I enjoy. I have actually only liked wines for around 5 or 6 years.
Funny thing is, we now live in wine country. In the 12 years since we have been home from college, our Walla Walla Valley wineries have become known world wide and are mentioned in the same company as The French wines who are so highly esteemed. I won't pretend to know a lot. "The fool who says nothing will never reveal her foolishness" you know.
We have been talking about doing a tour for years. But ~ its no fun by yourselves. You have to have people to talk about Tanins and Bodies, Bouquets and Nose with. You have to go with others who want to try new things. Any of our posse ready to ball up? Shout Out! We'll take you up on it!
One thing I have found, my tastes are expensive! I tend to want the most expensive wine a vintor ... um... vints. Here are some of my favorites (out of the 25 or so different wines I've tried, lol!):

Kiona Lemberger (it tastes like blackberries with a white peppery top note. It exudes a slight pipe tabacco scent. I love the way this wine makes me feel. Like I'm wrapped in cashmere! I have Dad turning 65 to thank for the pleasure of tasting this one. When I let James tasted it, he kept my glass and I had to get another.)

McCrea Cellars Mourvedre (it'll put hair on your chest... meaty, so purple it is almost black and oh so yummy. I had this at a BBQ and asked for the label as soon as it hit my pallet! At 69$ a bottle, I haven't tried it since.)

McCrea Cellars Syrah (There is no harshness to this wine. Its everything wonderful. 2004 is the year to have, but McCrea is a genius with Syrah. One sip is enough to evoke dreams of walking the Rhone Valley. Its amazing. My Canadian friends had me over for Roasted Pig and served this.)

L'Ecole N*41 Pepperbridge Apogee (intoxicating. It grabbed us at the nose and held us long enough to squeeze $49 out of our wallet! We weren't leaving without a bottle! Apogee means: The point in the orbit of the moon that is at the greatest distance from the center of the earth ~ In other words - it will send you to the moon! Annual anniversary trip; we drank it at our B & B while eating Walla Walla Onion Supreme pizza and watching an old Kojak epsiode. *sigh* Good times! We had to go get lollipops afterwards ~ gotta be like Telle!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Her real name is Cricket-Quidah-of the Amber-Dropping Hair-Rumplesnout (or Cricket for short), but we hardly ever call her by either. Monkey Puppy, Monchichi, Rickey Roo, Munkster Roo, Igit, the list goes on... She answers to them all.

She has been a member of our family now for 5 1/2 years. We adore her.... and she adores us!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Man in Our Lives

There once was a day when they all would have fit IN the chair...
I fell in love with his voice. In 9th grade (he was in 11th) at a Jazz Choir performance when he sang Billy Joels' "The Longest Time" my heart was his. I didn't know his name, but I would have married him on the spot. Little did I know that the following year he would ask me to dance in PE class and we would be dancing together for the rest of our lives.
Since my initial meltdown in 9th grade, our lives have diverged and merged again, seen the rollercoaster highs and lows of becoming one flesh, held three newborn babies that God granted us the grace to create, and heard the 'song of redemption' sung over us, mercifully, infinate times. We have grown together. We have changed.
Yet, he still makes me laugh (if he catches me off guard), makes me feel beautiful, makes me weak, makes me want to spit nails, and makes me proud to belong to him alone.
He doubts his abilities as a Dad, but he needn't. He has three kids who want more than anything to see HIS smile over them. They feel secure in his love. If he is proud of them, they are proud of themselves. Their hearts belong to Daddy.
Happy Fathers' Day. To all of you papas out there, but especially to the man who accepted with joy a very broken, troublesome, hotheaded little Lass and believed in her enough to make her his "Paul Girl" for a lifetime.

Check It Out!


Friday, June 16, 2006

The Big Picture

Sagebrush, Cheatgrass, Foxtails, & Laxidazical Bovines ... *sigh*, what can I say, but "home sweet home!"

Something new I'll begin doing every Friday is post a "Big Picture". I'm a copy cat. Steve McCoy, Joe Thorn and some others already do this... nothing new under the sun!

Friday, June 09, 2006

24 on the big screen?

The real-time TV thriller 24 is headed to the big screen under a deal between movie studio 20th Century Fox and the show's producers. click pic for story...

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cultivating Individuality

I'm reading a book right now, and it is teaching me so much about being a wife and mom. The title sounds like that is just what I should be learning from it, but it isn't that KIND of book at all! Its an interior design book called "Creating a Beautiful Home". I picked it up at a garage sale for free.
When I was in highschool I really didn't want to go to college. I hated the atmosphere of school. It didn't seem much different from the prisons I'd seen in movies. But the thing that got me on the road to going to college were the correspondence art classes my mom signed me up for through the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago. If I had to train for a career, I would train in design!
We all know from my previous post that God had a different dream for me to live out. It is one that I adore, and am so thankful to be fulfilling. Ever since I had our 1st daughter I became a Stay-at-Home Girl. I wouldn't trade it for the world. However, living on one income doesn't accommodate the designer side of me! I have sometimes been frustrated by the necessity to eat and pay bills even though I would love to put a new wall treatment in the livingroom, or windowboxes overflowing with a bower of blooms at our front windows. I have concentrated on my kids, and becoming someone in whom my husband's heart can fully trust in and rely on.
That brings me back to the book I'm reading! The author has been expounding on her own journey as a designer and how she has come to a place where she sees her role as someone who brings light and beauty to darkened homes, while still cultivating the individuality of their owners, & teaching them how to propagate that themselves. I sat there a stunned realization that that has always been my role as well. I strive to instill The Light and beauty of God into my children, & the atmosphere of our daily lives while allowing them to show His Light and beauty in their unique ways and encouraging them onward. I'm an interior designer! God builds the house, and I get to decorate it!
We took a drive and hike yesterday. The kids' cultivated individuality showed throughout the day! Cassia was tired, but she was the lover of beauty and tranquility. The peacemaker. The one who takes everyone into her heart and wants the best for them even when she is exhausted. Christopher was dealing with allergies, but he was alert for what would look cool in a video and taking pics. He is an appreciator, and likes to be appreciated. Sensitive and quick witted, while growing in keeping his feelings in check. He is striving to learn balance. Minda had a toe bugging her, but we didn't hear about it until the end of the day (and it turned out her sock had a wrinkle!). We turned bends to find her in trees or at the top of hills looking down and waving wildly. She collected ~ Cotton, blowing in the wind; fungus, growing on the side of a trees; tiny rocks, smoothed by the river... she climbed onto nearly sunken logs, pointed out strange sounds and laughed unrestrainedly. I love who they are, but I have plans to bring even more of The Light into the darkened corners!

pics below...

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