Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Haven Shoebox Arrival

God is a God of relationship! That is what I love about these swaps. Holy Spirit builds new relationships through sharing with someone I probably will never meet face to face, but whom I now pray for daily.
Amazing. Amazing that you can come to love and admire someone you have never spoken to, seen, or have even "known" more than a few short weeks. That seems only possible through God. There is no distance or unknowns in Him.

Aubrey became my focus a month ago. She is a mom of 3 (soon to be 4!) of the cutest little ones on the planet. We didn't have much correspondance because of life's hecticness, but I was able to read her blog and get to know her family a bit. I prayed as I picked things out for her box that they would really bring joy and blessing to the Haven I know she strives daily to create for her precious family.
Aubrey's box arrived today! Inside I found "unwind" foot scrub salt, Barefoot home essentials cleaner, 2 green and white handmade dishcloths (that match our walls beautifully!), a CD by a group I have not heard, and a lovely, cream colored hanging heart with Joshua 24:15 inscribed on it! It's raining today and I look forward to playing the CD and sipping a cup of tea. It also happens to be cleaning day, so I will have to try out the cleaning spray!!
Thank you Aubrey! I know life got a bit hectic and it was sweet of you to set some special time aside to bless me!
I LOVE the CLEANER!! I will be going to their website for more of this amazing, cinnamon goodness!! This is definately my FAVE from the box!
The heart hangs in our kitchen window. I just love it!
The kids have listened to the CD more than I have (I've only heard the first song!).
Over vacation (the next two weeks!) the girls and I will be using the Unwind footsie stuff! "Pamper!" is our current M.O. as we walk into our first time off in over a year!!
Thank you again, Sweet Aubrey! :o)

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Friday, August 22, 2008

In for a landing

Earlier this summer the Blanchards had planned a camping trip to the Yellowstone area. Kary'n was going to come stay with us while Jim and Paula traveled through the park, but plans were discombobulated, as they often are in summertime, and we got the call that they weren't coming after all. Kary'n called again though. This time to say that they had a free ticket if she could come stay with us for 11 days! We picked her up Monday at BAP! She was treated to a most amazing sunset that night, & although none of the kids saw it, the Sunrise was also spectacular!Our days, so far, have consisted of lazy mornings, touring the town and countryside in the afternoons, and dinners and games and movies in the evenings. (and of course there has been non-stop giggling and goofiness from these 2!)Waiting for Tof to finish work (sporting their Ross finds from the day before).Going Organic At the Flying C - yes, they are in long sleeves and sweaters, it's been chilly here!Of course we had to do Rockford - both girls got hot coffee because they were cold!We went to the Emmerson Cultural Center. The girls found a trunk full of buttons and plopped down for half an hour to sift through them! Little did they know that a reporter from our local arts paper, The Tributary, was sitting there and asked for photos of the girls doing their treasure hunting for the article coming out in Sept. on the Emmerson! I'll link it when it comes out.Here's the 2 bohemian beauties at a very tea party-ish setting. There were all these fun chairs and flowers and herbs set up outside the Center, so we stopped for a photo-op.Breakfasts have been about 10 AM, filled with laughter and stories, and a little eating...But mostly stories and laughter!

K is here for 4 more days. Today we have a picnic planned out in the Hilyte Canyon, tomorrow is J's and C's day off so who knows what we'll do, Tuesday begins Catapalooza at MSU and we are going out to hand out water bottles and flyers since our church is on campus!

Wed. eve. we have to take her to the airport so I'll spend the day washing her clothes and helping her pack.

It's been such a blessing having her with us. So thankful that I adore my children's friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Seniors 09

Most of our school books arrived yesterday! We are starting earlier than planned because J is (hopefully) taking vacation and we need to be on track with scheduling. So, official start date is Aug 28th. This year we are studying:
Trig & Pre-Calc
Physics + Labs
Rhetoric & Logic
World View
+ there will be SAT Prep. stuff (practice tests, etc...)
and our reading list includes:
GK Chesterton's Father Brown Stories
CS Lewis' science fiction series - ThePerlandria Chronicles
Last of the Mohicans
& some others I can't think of right now :o)

SAT's are in Oct. - Pray for us!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Over the weekend I had a terrible allergy attack. I just couldn't get my eyes to stop Itching and watering, I sneezed every other minute, and decided to stay home from church. Nothing had hit me that hard since I left farm life as a teenager. Minda came home from youth group that night with a 4 x 4 piece of honeycomb from Bruce and Rebecca. I haven't tried this method since I was a little girl on the farm, but chewing local honey is supposed to introduce your allergies into your body in small enough doses that your body produces the antibodies and blockers that it needs to overcome the allergens in the air. Whether it works or not, it is delicious and I felt very "taken care of". It was generous and thoughtful. I've been chewing it every morning and have had few symptoms :o) Uninterrupted breathing is a good thing.That night we also had the most gorgeous sunset. J rushed in from youth group, grabbed my camera and said, "Babe, come take a picture!!!" God never ceases to amaze us in this new landscape of ours. Every day, every season, sometimes by the hour, He is whispering changes into the wind that play themselves out in ways that leave us breathless.
In the midst of allergies, I did manage to be productive! The room is painted! The brown here looks almost green, but it is actually a deep, fudge color. Delicious. Its called Espresso Bean. I love it! The red is a simple, pure red called Kiss Kiss.
We are loving walking in. It still shocks us a bit! I was able to get permission from our landlords to buy curtain rods ~ finally! We haven't had curtains in our room since we moved in almost 2 years ago. I made curtains to match our new spread and the walls, so I'll post those when we get them up!
How I love change! It feels nice to have this done!
Karyn is here with us from Moses Lake for a few days! We picked her up at the airport on Monday evening. There'll be photos forthcoming of her time here with Minda (if they'll ever keep their hands down when I'm snapping shots!). Hope all of your weekends went well and that you are feeling blessed and loved and cared for, as I am!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mourning Again

I met Cynthia 3 years ago. I didn't know when I met her that she would become someone dear. She was the mom of one of the girls we chose as an ambassador for the GCECE. Her attitude was always cheerful, helpful, and supportive. My favorite time with her was sitting at farmers markets laughing at the antics of some of the kids and chatting about life. When I left to move to Bozeman, Cynthia became the treasurer and Carol became the administrator for the group. That summer, Brittney returned to Gunpo as an English Tutor and Cynthia joined Carol as chaperones for the 07 ambassadors.
I got an email from Carol yesterday letting me know that Cynthia passed away suddenly. I'm still in shock. I don't know details, but I don't think details would help. Brittney has lost her mama, as have Cyn's other 6 kids, and without warning or adjustment time. Her husband is abruptly a single parent.
My heart is sad. Please pray for this family.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What do these things have in common?

(click on any photo to be taken to web page)

These are all places that Cassia has either interviewed with or been called for an interview. Time and again she has known the favor of God. Every place she went she has been told how they appreciate her kind ways and thoughtfulness. She has left each interview feeling edified and appreciated. Everyone wanted to employee her!!! It's been a difficult process for her as these are all places she would have liked to have been employeed, but relying on parents and their schedules is a bit of an added challenge.
We prayed that God would not only give her a peace, but an excitement about wherever He directed her.
The ideal was full time, close to Dad's office, as close to his schedule as possible, and a good wage, where she wouldn't have to work Sundays and Mondays. Tall order - I know! This week she called one of the places back to tell them she would accept the position they offered her from 9AM - 4:30PM, Tuesday - Saturday, at a location 2 blocks from J's office. (It just happens to be one of her Dad's favorite locations for foodage.)
As of Tuesday, August 19th, Cassia will be greeting you, seating you, and cleaning up after you at The Garage!!!
Stop in and see her!

A Charlie Brown Kind of Day

Thursday we headed downtown for Music on Main. We went to watch Scotty and Clay (Big Caboose and the Soul Penetrators) - This is what we saw instead....
I felt like the end of a Charlie Brown scene - WWA WWa Wwa wwa...
What a let down. They are such major player on the music scene around here that they rarely play public gigs.
We went home - dragging our tails behind us... :o(

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

James and Deea's Excellent Adventure

I love old, forgotten places. The stories of what they were, why they were abandoned, etc... thrill me! On a fluke yesterday, J took me to see a house he had almost rented when we first moved here. It was on a road that was secluded and quiet and close to it was an old flour mill ~ Story Mill!
As we walked around this gianormous place, we found ourselves asking those questions. We also found some memories of our own that had been forgotten for a time. Scents and sounds, the feel of textures give our memories more place than we realize. J remembered his boyhood at the livestock auction owned by his stepdad. I was remembering the farm ~ the old machinery, the firehall... stirrings of hot summer days filled with laughter, and family were revived. We almost didn't want to speak for fear of losing the feelings - so we walked in hushed, companionable silence.
We marveled at the height and the fact that it was still standing though in disuse for so long. Almost every window had been broken. Deer and pigeons were making good use of it's adandon state, oblivious to the locks and bolts on the doors.
Our favorite areas of the place were the brick walls. Brick has so much character. If we ever build a home we'd love to do brick and stone. They seem so solid. So timeless.
Being in a melancholy state of mind after walking around the mill, we decided to continue our little adventure.
We stopped at the Spur Line trailhead and walked along the old railroad that used to be fed by the flour mill too. The river that ran directly up to the mill criss crossed the trail. We stopped to listen to it running over rocks and tree roots.

We followed Storymill road into town and found out it dumped us off almost at the church! We had seen an old railway station on our way in and so we turned off that direction to see if we could get up close. Before we got there we came across this beautiful old cigar sign. It was surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscaping I've seen in Bozeman. Thinking it was a store, we stopped to check it out.
What we got was an hour or 2 of stories. :o) Bob owns and the building, but it isn't a store. He and his partner own Mountain Man, which is a manufacturer of ski equipment for the handicapped. The sign and garden were a subtle tactic to keep the city from tearing down the historic building (and his business). The sign is original from the late 1800's. Bob had lived and worked in that location for 35 years or more and was full of tales to tell. J would ask a question and off he would run on rabbit trails like a hound dog with his nose to the ground. It was fabulous!After our visit with Bob, we did eventually wind up at the old station. It was almost anti-climactic. No one was there to regale us with stories of it's hey days. I hope to see inside of it some day. It would make a facinating train musuem or some other business, if it was restored.We went home chattering about all that we had learned and seen, about our own feelings and memories... we were full ~ and all we set out to do was get a coffee.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Good Times - Great Oldies

It's time to come together ~ It's up to you, what's your pleasure?!?!?!
"Bite of Bozeman" kicks off the Sweet Pea festival every year. We joined Dan & Jess and 2 new friends, Mark & Katie, downtown for some fun and festivities. J got a giant turkey leg ~ but the thing looked more like a Brontesaurus drumstick!
J celebrated year #41 and a friend, Scott Robertson, showed up at band practice with an original creation! He amazed us! It's huge and so beautifully done. When Scott asked Minda and I what to paint for J we told him that J loved and missed the ocean, especially the waves. I gave him a few photos of the Washington coast and he did some online searching as well and then presented us with this absolutely breathtaking masterpiece. I can't wait to see it in J's office. Stop in and see it up close and personal if you are in the vicinity!!!! Click on Scott's name above to see more of his paintings!
I went to YAA Friday to pick up the kiddos. They were tired (exhausted actually) but happy and ready to come home. We had to rush, so they didn't get to say too many goodbyes, but Elizabeth and JoAnna made it into a photo! Why were we in a hurry? We had to finish getting ready for J's party and the Murray's were due anytime!
Moe and J have the same birthday (37 years apart, but who's counting!) so we celebrated both of them! We made homemade Peppermint ice cream, chicken Chi-ladas, salsa, salad and chips. We love it when the Murray's are with us. We laid back, laughed, listened to 80's music (Journey Rocks!), watched You-tube videos (have ya'll seen the little yo-yo boy? DUDES! amazing!), and tried to stay cool in the 95 degree heat (without airconditioning and after baking chi-ladas and brownies)!
J got some help opening gifts (Moe had just opened his new fishing pole). Moe didn't wait for the wrapping to come off and announced, "It's a book!" and then (at Don's prompting) "It was REALLY 'spensive, Passer James!" :o)

It was a great evening! Comfort and Joy! Friends and Family! Food and More Food! Laughter and Ask a Ninja. bit of an anti-climax at the end but all in all - Awesome!