Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry christmas from the family


christmas at the family homestead was pretty low key this year. it seems that as you get older and people have commitments to other families (in-laws and such) that you don't get quite as worked up about christmas morning as you used to. it's still a wonderful time of course to get together and spend time with eachother and celebrate our Savior's birth. there are still surprises to be had as well as you open up all of your presents from friends and family near and far.

mom and i made a big christmas breakfast since everyone was getting together in the morning before heading out to see other family.

jeff and jesse came by...they really are happy people i promise :)
breanne, seth and i

dad doesn't need to by books for a while, he's pretty set

after breakfast and present opening we just hung around the house. family called from florida, indiana, california and up north in bothell so we got to share christmas with extended family even if it was by phone.
i hope you all had a wonderful christmas and got to spend some quality time with your families.
only 354 more days until next christmas!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

wonderful wintery wishes


** * ** ** ** ****** *** * * * *** ** * ** * * * *** *** ** * * *
** * ** ** * **** I LOVE SNOW*** * *** ** * * * *** ** **
** * * ** * * * * *** * * * * * **** *** * * * ** * ** ** ** ** *** ** *
every year i wait very impatiently for the first snow fall on the valley floor. usually this doesn't happen until about mid january. however, this year God has shown His love for the people of the willamette valley and given us snow before christmas. did you know that we may actually have a


WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!???


it's true. according to the weather channel 10 day forecast, we could have snow on the ground christmas day. this hope makes me so happy!


things i love about snow:

  • the way it crunches under your feet like popcorn
  • everything becomes glisteny and glittery
  • even at midnight, it is so light outside because every beam of light reflects off of the snow
  • except for little kids playing, it gets so quiet outside

i hope that you get to enjoy the snow! remember to drive slowly and carefully if you go out on the streets and never underestimate the road conditions :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

christmas!

i love christmas! december 26th is the worst day of the year for me because it means that i have to wait another 364 days for christmas to be here again. i do try to savor the holiday season though by decorating my house, doing fun holiday things and listening to inordinate amounts of christmas music.
this year was fun setting up for christmas because N and D were here to share it with me; whereas last two years i have been living alone. last friday i posed the question of going to get a christmas tree and N became very excited about the thought of WALKING to the corner to get our tree and CARRYING it back down mill plain blvd. as crazy as it sounded....it also sounded fun :) so we bundled up and headed out. we had walked this same distance during the summer going to sheridan's for ice cream but let me tell you, the walk seemed a lot longer when it was 35 degrees out versus the hot summer afternoon! we walked around for a bit looking for the 'perfect' tree. after about 20 minutes of looking we found the one....we named him "gap tooth" because he has quite a gap at the top between some of the branches. the guy at the tree stand made fun of us for carrying the tree home and kept trying to convince us that we needed help. we told him he was a chauvenist and that women can do anything they set their minds to and walked off...carrying our tree.






maggie had to have a say in what tree we picked too...after all, she is a member of this household! ;)





D...cute as always (p.s. she's getting married in less than a week!!! woo hoo! )







i am not excited at all to be christmas tree hunting. nope, not at all.





N dancing to the christmas music with Doug...doug fir that is!
we must have been quite a site to see, walking down mill plain with our christmas tree in tow! i commented that all that was missing from this norman rockwell-ian scene was a few inches of snow on the ground :)
we got it home just fine and set it up right away. i love trees that go all the way up to the ceiling but that aren't too fat around, so this tree is perfect! gap tooth and all :)







mom dates

on saturday N, J and i took our moms for a nite out on the town! first we went to the keller auditorium to see the oregon ballet theater perform george balanchine's 'the nutcracker'. it's the only performance on the west coast of this choreography and it was gorgeous. there is nothing like hearing beautiful life orchestra accompaniment to this classic ballet.
after the nutcracker we took our moms to pf chang's in the pearl for dinner. please keep in mind that these were all new experiences for our mothers!! first time at the ballet, first time at the restaurant...first time eating the yummy lettuce wraps there :) we had such fun! each mother/daughter combo ordered their own choice of appetizers then we swapped and shared some too. after dinner we went across the street to peet's for coffee and hot chocolate. we stayed there for probably another hour just chatting. our mom's hadn't ever met eachother before so it was neat for them to get to know one another. it was also neat for us girls to see our moms have so much fun and getting a glimpse of the lives we lead as 'young single gals' :)






what a fun evening! we will have to to it again!




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

homecoming


a week ago i 'moved' back home after being at my parents house for about three weeks. i had been there not to avoid my roommies but to just get a chance to chill out and have some company ( my mom is home full time ), etc. since my meds have been working well and i am feeling much better, i decided to make my way back to my apartment and resume life with N and D. to celebrate my homecoming, last night the girls prepared dinner and we watched 'chocolat' and had a girl's night in.

N made delicious tomato-red pepper soup and savory pumpkin scones, while D picked out the movie for us to watch.

thank you ladies!! ; ) it's good to be home

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

expectations

since i have been on disability these last several weeks, i have been trying to pin point what threw me off course, if there was one thing in particular. while this may not be the 'the thing' that made me go crazy it certainly was one of the straws that broke the camel's back. that thing is expectations.

i am a person who has high expectations. i expect a lot out of myself. i expect a lot of my family. i expect a lot from my friends and those that i live with. i expect a lot from those that i work with and for. i don't expect perfection out of anyone but myself, but i do desire to see everyone else at least try to reach perfection or 'compliance' (if you will).

in comparing my expectations to those of other people and what they consider 'high' expectations, i found that my expectations were not that high. this depresses me even further. the fact that my expectations are not actually even high yet everyone seems to still not measure up. it was one thing to think 'maybe i am asking too much of people. that's why they never meet my expectation'. it's another thing to ponder 'it turns out i am not asking that much out of people, yet they still let me down. does this mean they don't care about me? does it mean that they are just plain irresponsible? does this mean that they are dumb and don't know how to do whatever simple thing i want them to be doing?'

these questions in the head of a passive aggressive person like me is not good. i don't like confrontation because i have never gotten good results from it. people just end up feeling guilty or shamed into whatever it is that i need/want from them and that's not the goal. on the other hand, passive aggressive techniques are lost on people who are clueless to their surroundings so i don't see results there either. again, this further depresses me because i feel helpless to fix the situation. i feel like i have to live with these conditions and i don't know how to. sure i could pick up everyone elses slack, but i shouldn't have to do that. there are measures put in place so that everyone can share the load (the expectation) yet when the load is not shared it all piles on to one person's shoulders (the dissapointment and depression and resentment begins).

i don't know how to live with expectations and i don't know how to live without them. however, until i learn how to assert myself and gain compliance to my expectations i am going to have to drop all expectations i have of others. so there you go world, i expect nothing of you.

now why do i feel even more depressed??

Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving

it may be cliche to post a 'happy thanksgiving' post about all of the things i am grateful for, but those of you who know me know that i am cliche : ) so here it goes:

i am thankful for my great parents who are being so supportive of me right now. during this time of struggle with my depression i have needed almost constant 'supervision' until my new meds start working. they have been wonderful to me!

i am thankful for my diligent friends who keep checking up on me : ) you really do find out who your friends are when you go through hard times.

i am thankful that maggie is almost oblivious to what is going on with me. she still mopes a little and is cuddling with me a lot, but her tail still never stops wagging. playing with her and watching her run around makes me forget about my circumstances and cheers me up.

i am thankful for my job and the wonderful benefits that they have. so many people are out of work right now and are wondering where they are going to get money to eat and pay rent. my job has been paying me IN FULL during my time away on disability. what a blessing!

last but not least, i am thankful for my faith and that God has blessed me with His grace. every day i fail and fall short of what He requires, but every day He forgives me and shows me that true love restores the heart. i can't tell you why He allows bad things to happen in this world, but i can tell you that He is the greatest comfort i have ever found.

i hope that you can make your own list, however short or long, about what you are thankful for this year. it really does put things in perspective and makes me realize that even when we face struggles, we are still so blessed and are never without cause to be thankful.

happy thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a wii bit of fun

last night i spent some time at my friend d's house playing wii. if you have never played wii, you need to make fast friends with someone who has one and get to playing. i have been wanting one for a while but didn't want to make the big leap and purchase one until i had a chance to play it and decide if i really couldn't live without it. tennis, bowling, baseball and guitar hero are really fun. i am basically a bowling master already. my roommate n and i really want to get a video game console so that we can sing karaoke american idol style ( after seeing baby mamma, we decided we couldn't live without this game for long ).

i was never a video gamer as a kid or teen. i don't have great hand-eye coordination so when mario brothers came out in the 80's and i couldn't even get past the first level, i gave up on 'vids'. wii, however, is another story and i cannot see myself going longer than a year without purchasing this for myself.

it's a brave new world

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

gotta keep singing

i have loved this song for quite some time now, but today it seemed especially fitting seeing what i am going through right now. here are the words:

keep singing
by mercy me

another rainy day
i can't recall having sunshine on my face
all i feel is pain
all i wanna do is walk out of this place

but when i am stuck and i can't move
and i don't know what i should do
when i wonder if i'll ever make it through

i gotta keep singing
i gotta keep praising your name
you're the one who's keeping my heart beating

i gotta keep singing
i gotta keep praising your name
that's the only way that i find healing

can i climb up in your lap, i don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me
i gotta keep singing

can i climb up in your lap, i don't wanna leave
Jesus sing over me, you're everything i need
i gotta keep singing


...helps to put things in perspective and remind me that my Healer is always standing by, waiting for me to call on Him. Jesus never promised us a perfect life, and He certainly never said we would never suffer. there is a way to remain hopeful in our hopelessness, though. i am firm in my faith in Christ however hard the waves may crash against me.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

i give up

this post is really a downer, so if you don't feel like slitting your wrists today, i suggest you move on to something else.

i give up on trying to be responsible
i give up on investing in people only to have them spit in my face
i give up on hoping people will 'come around'
i give up on feeling guilty for things that aren't even my fault
i give up on trying to be open and share my life with others
i give up on giving people the benefit of the doubt

i give in to being cynical
i give in to being jaded
i give in to being hardened
i give in to being apathetic
i give in to becoming a person i don't even like for the sake of not having to struggle

i am going away with my mom for a few days to regain some type of sanity and life. i figured this would be a better option than joining a cult. not that being with my mom is like being in a cult... that's not the point i am making. the point is that i am extremely low. i have had serious thoughts lately of packing my belongings, as much as would fit in my car, and just moving somewhere. joining a life that my family and friends disapprove of so that i could cut ties and start over. i just want to withdraw from this life and start a new one. maybe then i could feel freer to show my true emotions and be a genuine person. or maybe i would find that no matter where you go, people are always going to let you down and there is no sense in trying to avoid it. learn to live with the bitterness and disappointment.

who knows

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

simple pleasures, installment 2

i have been lazy about my blog this last week. to be honest, i have been super 'blue' lately which is why i wanted to try to notice and take pleasure in the 'simple pleasures' in life day-to-day. sometimes i let life get away from me and i stop taking the time to enjoy what is going on around me. rest assured, even though i haven't blogged my simple pleasures lately i have still had my eye out.
picking up where i left off : )
saturday 10/10: making yummy, very spicy salsa
sunday:lunch w/ becky at the olive garden
monday:maggie was so incredibly happy i could have sworn her tail was going to fly off her backside
tuesday:beautiful watercolor sunrise
wednesday:i got 4 free compact fluorescent lightbulbs at work
thursday:i watched the office and snl with friends
friday:i wore jeans to work (i do every friday, but it is always a treat)
saturday:mom and i took maggie to the new dog park, the weather and the park were great
sunday:went shopping with mom for new bedroom d├ęcor
monday:bible study at the martens - we had good laughs there at the end : )
tuesday:i wore my favorite scarf

there you have it! i encourage you to keep a log for a while of these small things that make you smile. don't just keep looking at forests, keep your eyes open for the trees : )

Friday, October 10, 2008

simple pleasures

so wednesday i posted about my love of my sweatshirt. this prompted me to think about the simple pleasures in life. it is my goal for the next two weeks to find one simple thing every day to be happy about or cheered up by.

wednesday: my hoosier sweatshirt
thursday: i saw two deer crossing lake road
friday: the word snow was said for the first time since last winter

i will keep you all updated and on the edge of your seats...i wonder what tomorrow will bring?? : )

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

yippie for today


i put on my favorite sweatshirt just now. i will compose a poem about it for you all:



hoosier sweatshirt, so red and so soft
you make me feel cozy with your downy loft

not too big, and not too small

i would wear you all day, even to the mall



there you have it. i love fall, i love my sweatshirt, i love today because of them both.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

tagged by sam

10 years ago.....
1.) i was 18
2.) i had just graduated from high school
3.) i was driving a 1991 Ford Crown Victoria
4.) i got my first job
5.) i moved to jackson michigan and went to bible school there

5 Things on my "to do list" today.....
1.) take a shower
2.) go shopping with my mom
3.) clean the kitchen
4.) laundry
5.) drink some coffee...the headache is coming on

5 Snacks I enjoy.....
1.) chips and my homemade Guacamole.
2.) yogurt
3.) coffee
4.) chips
5.) croutons

5 Things I would do if I were a millionaire.....
1.) pay off my parent's house
2.) buy a house
3.) buy a honda pilot
4.) buy a baby
5.) give money to pregnancy resource center and charis counseling services

5 Places I have lived.....only 5? : )
1.) vancouver
2.) escondido, ca
3.) fresno, ca
4.) visalia, ca
5.) peru, in
...6.) jackson, mi

5 Jobs I have had.....
1.) customer service - u.l., jc penney, craft warehouse
2.) barista, shift supervisor, asm - starbucks
3.) youth ministries intern
4.) barista
5.) barista

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

interesting...?!

so, apparently i need to convert because this online test says i should be muslim. if it weren't for the internet i might have been a christian all my life. thank you, internet quiz for showing me the light.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

identity crisis

well, today it is official. my name has changed. at work, that is.

for the last two years i have been listed by my full legal first name, middle initial and last name in our databases at work. the reason i had my middle initial was to differentiate myself from another woman in a different office with the same first and last name. middle initial and all, we still got eachother's phone calls, emails and instant messages. we would forward everything on to one another and got pretty used to the hassle but i decided to put an end to it once and for all by changing my first name to my 'nickname' and removing the middle initial.

this change has thrown me for a loop though! at every job i have been at, all paperwork and computers listed me with my full name - never my nickname. even at school most classes had me listed with my full name. to see my short little name all over everything now is pretty odd. i don't know how i like it. even though my entire life i have been 'referred to' as my nickname, the long name was always there. now it is gone. it's almost disconcerting. i know i will get over it at some point and my little name will become normal but it may take a while.

i have always wondered if i would change my last name when i got married. i love my last name ( my first and middle names too!) and am soooo attached to it. this pretty much cements it. i will never change my last name.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

to my girls




this afternoon my friend katrina and i went to see 'the sisterhood of the traveling pants 2', even though neither one of us had seen the first one : ) what a cute movie it was! we both cried a little, as it hits some of those universal 'girl' issues and the characters have such a bond. what i came away with though was such an appreciation for all of the girls in my life that have played such an integral role in shaping me.

it reminded me of the times my girlfriends and i have taken road trips
-chicago with elisa, sharon and kristyl
-the glorieta trips and mission trips with michelle, carla, chele,paige, amy and katrina
-southern california with heidi, carla and michelle
-caribbean cruise with michelle and beth
-the idaho fiasco of 2004 with sam

and also of the crazy things we have done together
-running out in thunderstorms, navigating the tunnels w/ my ntbi girls
-girl's night at the wiesers (when they were gone and michelle and i house sat ) where we all planned our weddings (bsm girls )
-30 second dance parties
-house sitting at the warman's and thinking the house was broken into ( sam, becky and deanna)
-gone snipe hunting in the middle of the night (sam, brianna, and a bunch of guys)
-moving in together (n and d)

these things mentioned above are only a fraction of the memories we have together; some of the girls i named are like the sisters i never had. i thank God upon every memory of them for their friendship and encouragement. there have been times where we have been together and i wished that the moment would never end. i knew in those moments that what i had was so special that i would never be the same.

thank you, my sisters for being my friends, my encouragers, my partners in crime, my sounding boards, my good sense, and my prayer partners.

i love you all!

tagged

this comes courtesy of my friend sam.

1. What are the last 3 things you purchased?
Prescriptions for me
Table cloth and napkins
Prescriptions for Maggie

2. What are the last 3 songs you downloaded to your iPod?
boy named sue - johnny cash
barracuda - heart
like a prayer - madonna

3. What are your 3 favorite movies?
how to lose a guy in 10 days
godfather
the family man

4. What are 3 things you haven’t done yet?
gone to europe
bought a house
paid off my debt

5. What are 3 thing you can’t live without (not counting people)?
cheese
maggie
music

6. What are your 3 favorite dishes?
lasagne
fajitas
baked sweet potatoes

7. What are your 3 favorite T.V shows?
jon and kate plus 8
naked archaeologist
desperate housewives

8. Where are the three last places you traveled to (more than 100 miles away)?
michigan
grandparent's house in bothell
carribean

9. What are 3 things you would buy if money wasn’t an issue?
a huge house to fill with kids who need a family(sorry i am a copy cat, sam : )
a brand new house for my parents
musical instruments for all students who want to take band

10. If you could have 3 wishes, what would they be?
for energy issues to be solved
for everyone in the world to have food, clothing, shelter, love and education
to have a room for all of my crafts :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

if only it weren't science fiction

with all the buzz about the large hadron collider in europe, the science geek in me has blossomed. luckily, i am surrounded by science geeks at work.

one of the conversations that took place today was regarding loosing gravity and it's relation to black holes and alternate universes. in a theoretical alternate universe we discussed, there was no gravity....there are benefits to this universe, we decided. here are some of them:

-no anti-aging cream needed
-no more pesky 'walking'
-screws and nails would be very valuable, due to having to affix all furniture and fixtures to floors and walls
-the concept of seeing floating people in horror movies is no longer scary. what is scary now is seeing people standing still...'they aren't floating, they must have special gravity powers'
-no shoes required. elbow pads and helmets recommended
-the paralyzed are no longer confined to wheelchairs and rascals
-travel is very cheap, as you don't need an 'aeroplane' to fly

there were no downsides discussed. this universe is without downfall. because in a world without gravity there is no 'down'.

(get it? : ) if you didn't, you need to geek up. )

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

update on the veg diet

several months ago i started experiencing some odd and uncomfortable health issues. ultimately it was diagnosed by my doc to be gall bladder disease. my liver isn't so healthy, so it is effecting my gall bladder and making my tummy hurt when i eat certain foods. a brief list of these foods is found on the right hand side of my page here.

the doc ( and a lot of research ) said to go off of meat products and fatty/greasy foods. the reason that i cannot tolerate these anymore is because the effort it takes your body to digest them is more than my gall bladder is putting out. after a few months of making the transition ( and some painful learning along the way ) i have a pretty good idea of what i can eat and what will make me sick. i have also learned how to compensate my diet to make up for the protein i am missing by not eating meat. here are some of my lessons:

-just say no to soy 'beef' strips from morningstar farms. their 'chicken' is really good though. so are the 'corn dogs'
-combining your proteins within a meal or over the course of your day is very important. examples include : yogurt and granola, beans and rice, beans and cheese
-this is a great recipe : Ultimate Protein 'Fried' Rice - edamame, 2 eggs, carrots, celery, brown rice, chopped peanuts. top w/ soy sauce, green onions. 40 grams of protein in one serving!!! if you want the details on that recipe leave a comment and i'll get it to you. : )
-the amount of protein in foods is greatly misunderstood. people often overestimate by very large amounts how much 'energy' they are getting from food. here is a break-down:
*peanuts 9g/quarter cup *yogurt 8-12g/1cup *edamame 14g/half cup
*egg 6g/one egg *beans 7-10g/half cup *pumpkin seeds 19g/quarter cup
*cheese 6-8g/ounce *brown rice 4.5g/1cup *steak 42g/6oz
*chicken 30g/3.5 oz * fish=tuna 40g/6 oz, or 22g/3.5 oz other fish

now, compare these amounts to what you are supposed to have every day...some of these are a drop in the bucket. to figure out how much protein you need in a day, multiply your weight in pounds by .37. this is how many grams of protein you need to sustain your body. less will cause your body to leach it out of your muscles ( gross ); more will cause your body to have sustained energy but also the chance that it will be stored as fat in your liver.

overall lesson today: balance is the key to everything. protein management is not exempt. i like eating vegetables and have been feeling so good since i have stopped ( or drastically cut down on the amount ) eating meat.

long live the cows....cause i'm not eating them : )

Monday, September 8, 2008

add it to the reading list

there is a book called 'having a mary heart in a martha world' by joanna weaver.

apparently i need to read it.

does anyone else struggle with this?

i would love to be a 'mary' and just roll with the punches. 'sure! invite 70 more people for dinner. it's no big deal' or 'oh, sure, come on over. i'll run errands another time' or ' don't worry about cleaning that up. you go have fun, i'll take care of it'.

but alas, i am a 'martha'. 'no, i am only cooking for 8. this is what i planned. i am not a short-order cook' or 'come over later, please. if i don't run my errands now then my whole day will be off' or 'clean it up yourself. be responsible'.

mary has a soft heart and is gracious. but don't let that fool you, her generosity can be rude in the way it effects others. martha is ordered and conscientious. but again, she can seem rude and brash and ungracious.

there is nothing inherently wrong with either one of these women. the trick is balance.

i am not good at balance.

the reasons that come to mind when i make an argument against the 'mary' opinion seem shallow and not what Jesus would do ( wouldn't He just set another plate?). on the flip side, my 'martha' arguments can seem like there are no boundaries and people should be doormats (we need to cut it off somewhere! ).

i guess i have some reading to do.

28 things i love...

the beach
fancy things
pretty fingernails
rice
puppies
memories of college
vanilla ice cream
traveling
documentaries
doodling
vacuuming
dahlias
yellow
white puffy clouds
spreadsheets
parakeets
new clothes
eye drops
swimming
clean bedding
feta cheese
drives in the country
earrings
naps
having the windows open
brownies
stories kids tell
HGTV

Sunday, August 31, 2008

how dramatic


i made the decision the other day to pick up my inductive study bible and go through it front to back. i have been needing a more in-depth, inductive study of the Word and this particular bible was designed to offer that. as i was reading in exodus this morning, those israelites cracked me up. case in point:

exodus 14:11-12 (this was after moses lead the people out of egypt so that they could go worship God, the celebration of Succoth; but before the red sea event. pharaoh took his army and went to find the israelites to take them back into captivity. the israelites saw the pharaohs army coming toward them, and this was their response)"they said to moses, 'was it because there were no graves in egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? what have you done to us bringing us out of egypt?didn't we say to you in egypt 'leave us alone, let us serve the egyptians?' it would have been better for us to serve the egyptians than to die in the desert!'"

OKAY smarty-pants israelites "were there no more graves in egypt" come on!! get over yourselves! what kind of a question is that anyway? they were sooo dramatic and sooo untrusting of the Lord. unfortunately this wasn't the first time or the last time that they would cop this attitude. can't say as though i don't either though. if i were to look through my prayer journals over the years there would be plenty of pleadings, questionings and snotty comments to God that quite closely resemble the israelites.


guess i have no ground to judge, but they were still way too melodramatic

Thursday, August 28, 2008

no paper left behind


just because i left my green blog does not mean i am now a planet hater : ) i fully intend on posting green tips here on my new blog so that we can continue to exchange ideas on eco-friendly topics.

last night i was watching 'wasted' on planet green channel. if you haven't watched this program before i really recommend it. your eyes will be opened to the practical ways you can change your lifestyle and home to be mindful of your waste. one of the struggles that the subject family had was that they consumed almost 1 ton of paper per year in the form of catalogs. CATALOGS!! this made me think about the normal family and how much paper they must consume just with bills, newspapers, junk mail, etc. here are some tips i thought of (some of them i have already been doing out of convenience) and wanted to share:



  • have your bank statements and credit card statements emailed to you

  • get your bills emailed to you instead of paper copies ( i do this with my cell phone,cable, and N does it for our electric bill)

  • sign up for e-coupons instead of getting a newspaper. also, this way you are only printing the ones you will need/use.

  • get email alerts for sales at your fave stores instead of getting catalogs and postcards in the mail

there are other paper items that we love and really would be inconvenient to get rid of or do electronically. for these things, use your recycle bin and/or creativity. the age-old usage for newspaper: potty pads for the puppy or bird, wrap a gift with the comics, make paper airplanes or pirate hats to occupy your kiddos. one of my friends is a kindergarten teacher and she loves magazines so that she can do 'scavenger hunts' with the kids on rainy days when recess is not an option - do you know a teacher that you could donate your left over magazines to? also, for the sensitive items that you do continue to get by mail (credit card offers), shred them and put them in your compost pile. they will decompose and there will be no paper trail! : )

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

lessons learned from hollywood

last night my roomies, los animales,JVB and i watched 'vantage point'. the movie's subject is the attempted assassination of a US president who was speaking at an international peace summit in spain. the story is the assassination from the 'vantage point' of 6 different individuals.

webster's dictionary defines 'vantage point' as: a position or standpoint from which something is viewed or considered. this definition alludes to the 'point' being a physical or emotional place, not a principle as i once thought. throughout the film we witness the shooting as the different characters saw it with their eyes. we also see 23 minutes of their life before the shooting. i think this gives an interesting angle to the storytelling. what they were doing before the event shaped how they perceived it. it set up their vantage point.

we all have certain opinions of events, people, politics, religious principles, etc. these opinions shape emotions -hopefuly not the other way around!- and eventually become personally held truths (thank you psych 101) about 'the way things are' or 'ought to be'. there are some opinions that are wrong; those that go against blatant black and white scripture commandments for example, but there are others that are grey or have no 'color' because they are amoral. it is these opinions, feelings and thoughts that, if considered with grace, can offer great insight into other's lives. we can understand their childhood, relationships with family members; we can see who has encouraged them and who has torn them apart. bad choices. good choices. forgiveness and bitterness. all of these experiences color the glasses we see the world through - our emotional and physical vantage point.

God in His mercy has extended small ( very small - minuscule ) little drops of mercy to me to extend to others, as i am not a merciful person by nature. this mercy has allowed me to consider others' vantage points and understand how they are feeling/thinking. when we take the time to invest in another person we not only see the surface situation (the shooting, as it were) but also the background (the 23 minutes before the shooting) which can help us be a better friend and understand them in a new way.

deep principle from a 90 minute movie.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

congratulations chris and cara!

today my two friends chris and cara were married at vancouver lake. the wedding was beautiful and perfectly captured their personalities and style. i was honored to be asked to make their wedding cake and it was so much fun! i was worried about the weather and how the heat/humidity would effect the frosting, but didn't have too much trouble.





i had fun with the flavors too. the bottom layer was chocolate ( which had been soaked with coffee ) with mocha filling, the middle was chocolate with cream cheese, the top of course was carrot with cream cheese. the two side cakes were vanilla with brown sugar filling and a lemon with blueberry/cream cheese cake. the mocha went FAST! :)
it was a great experience doing my first wedding cake, but i couldn't have done it without the help of my mom : ) thank you marmie!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

blessing of peace

when i was a child we attended a few calvary chapel churches in california; if you are familiar with cc churches you are familiar with the symbol below


i have always had a special affinity for the symbol of the dove because of my upbringing and the frequency of it's appearance in my spiritual life. i accepted Christ as my savior at a calvary chapel church and as i said before, this icon was present there. my father's wedding ring has a dove on it. he also had a bible with the dove on the cover. the story of noah and the dove with the branch. at Christ's baptism we see the Holy Spirit descend from heaven in the form of a dove. more than the cross this symbol has been to me a promise of restoration, peace and fulfillment. the scripture promises us that when we surrender our lives to the Lord that we are filled with the Spirit. it is this Spirit that baptizes and seals us into God's kingdom and places us in His family forever. our gift of the great Counselor and constant peace. i know i am redeemed because of the indwelling of the Person the dove represents. i now choose to wear this icon around my neck as an outward testimony and reminder of the peace i have with my Creator.

sugar and flour, butter and eggs

some of you know that i make cakes 'on the side' as a quasi-hobby. last week my friend ronika asked if i would make a cake for her son's pirate themed birthday. i was so excited! i hadn't done a fun cake like that since my friend eric's spongebob squarepants birthday ( what other kind of birthday would you have if you were turning 21? : ). i also used this opportunity to get back in the groove of cakery as i will be doing my friends cara and chris' wedding cake later this week. upon request, here are pics of the pirate fun:


the volcano island was a mound of remnant cake, an inverted ice cream cone and fish tank flora :) i also had some silver and gold edible glitter that i sprinkled on the 'sand' to make it glisten
yep, i had to build that ship from a model kit. the first model i have ever built i think

Friday, August 15, 2008

great compassion

last night i went to dinner with my girlfriends sam and stacy. we were 'celebrating' and saying good bye to stacy as she is going back to south asia to work with a human rights agency there. stacy has long been an inspiration to me in her compassion she possesses for all people. i have a huge tendency to judge and think 'people brought this on themselves' and 'if they wanted out of their bad situation they could get out'. i know this isn't always an accurate assessment of people's life conditions, but it is just how my sinful attitude goes sometimes. stacy, on the other hand, has always defended the people she comes in contact with; trying to understand their situations and show them love rather than pass undue judgement. her heart is so big and the Lord has used her (and will continue to use her) to show me the hurting world around me. on the way home, me and sam were talking about places we would like to live or visit someday. sam loves africa and has a burden for the children there. i expressed that at one time i too had a burden for the people of that continent. she asked why i didn't anymore and it really caused me to think. i replied that i think it's rooted in fear. fear that if i went there and saw what conditions the people there live in that my heart would break and i'd never get over it. i feel like anything i ever did would never be enough and i could never solve the situation myself so i had better just stay out of it and 'save' my heart. 'what a backwards thought' i said. sam replied with ' you may not be able to change the lives of all the people, but you may be able to change the life of one person'. wow. this is something i have heard so many times, and have probably said it myself, but it really hit me just then. changing one life for the better is worth my broken heart. Jesus' body was beaten and bruised beyond recognition for my life. though He did it for all mankind, He would have done it just for me. no questions asked, no blaming me for getting my life screwed up, just heartbreaking compassion and an intense desire to see me restored.
i can't say that i am moving to uganda tomorrow to build an HIV clinic, or that i am going to move to india to save girls from prostitution or give every penny i make to humanitarian organizations; but i understand now what is expected of my heart and that if i am called to reach out to the hurting i have to do it without hesitation. my fear is not an excuse for another person not getting to experience God's great compassion.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

ah, the fair

yesterday N, JVB and i went to the clark county fair. oh, how i love the fair. i don't like rides, and the prices are outrageous for food/drinks, but i love it anyway. if nothing else it provides boundless sociological wonderment.
our tall, dark, handsome (?) man
ready to rope and ride
awwwww....
we had a good time walking around to see all the animals and various artisan booths. we also took in an american classic...the dirt track road course. we commented on how this event probably did not exist in other cultures, and that only an american could appreciate the beauty of a run down piece of junk car going around an obstacle course and barely making out in one piece. i have included a video for your enjoyment.

video

elephant ears :$4.50, dairy maids milkshakes :$4.95, fair entrance :$9.00 = fair experience: PRICELESS

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

lingua non-conforma

i am reading a book called "the mother tongue: english and how it got that way" by bill bryson. i have been a fan of bill's since partially reading " a short history of nearly everything" a few years ago. this book caught my eye just as i was leaving borders the other day...empty handed i might add. i love learning about language, and especially since now i live with N who studied linguistics in college i hear a lot about the subject. it fascinates me how we can form thoughts, turn them into words that actually have value in our culture, say them, have them be understood ( most of the time ) by the listener and communicate a message. incredible. this book is about how english came to be and how it is such an amalgamation of german, celtic, gaelic, french and latin. history of language and people movement is covered starting at the beginning of time with 'cro-magnon man'. today i learned about how we have made up words as well as how we effectively destroy some of them with lazy speech patterns. here are some of the interesting things i have learned over the past few days in reading:
* shakespeare made up over 1,700 words...bump being one of them
* the city of paris' name is not french, it is celtic. (take that D :)
* english is the only language that needs/has a thesaurus. we have over 60k synonyms.
* in 1290, 'nice' meant foolish and stupid. in 1350 it meant wanton and lascivious. over the next 400 years it also meant extravagant, unmanly, modest, slight, shy, and dainty. in 1769 it finally made it to something of it's current meaning: pleasant and agreeable.
*in the language pekignese, the sound for 'yi' stands for 215 separate words.
you may thing it was an odd pick for leisurely reading, but i really recommend it. there is no heroine to fall in love with and no action packed pages, but it's so very interesting that i can hardly put it down.
i'm off to read more now!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

falling apart

i didn't go to church this morning, mainly because i didn't feel like going. i have been dealing with some issues lately that nag at my heart. i kind of took my time getting ready for the day and got on to the church website looking for who knows what. i decided to watch a video sermon ( since i wasn't going to church i had better 'redeem' myself, right? ) from living hope, and came across one that danny clinton had preached a while back. i love listening to danny so i decided to play it. i didn't really know what i was in for. the sermon touched on every point that is sour in my heart right now. bitterness. selfishness. pride. noise. these are not things i like to admit, but i figure we all deal with them at some point so why not own up to it? why am i so dead-set on ME? i love others, so why do i really only want to see my will accomplished? and now that i know and see these things, how is God going to make something good out of it? my answer will be different than yours, but i encourage you to watch the video and see for yourself what this message is all about. i guarantee this message is for everyone.
http://livinghopechurch.com/group/lhc/media_video/player/352

Saturday, August 2, 2008

blueberry picking!










today D, N and i headed out to ridgefield to pick blueberries. a gal at work had told me there was a place that had u-pick berries for about $1 and that they were ripe for the picking. i couldn't resist! my friend sam and her toddlers little man and princessa came along too...princessa liked to eat the berries instead of put them in the bucket : ) i don't blame her though!







N took them directly from the branch : )










D picked the most of all of us at 9.5 pounds











princess and little man picking 'only the blue ones'










sam managed to pick as much as i did even though she had toddlers distracting her!










me out in the 'bush'

welcome!

as some of you know, i used to host a green blog on blogger. let's just say i got tired of it. not the blogging itself but the research i was doing to be able to post an intelligent article. this experience did allow me to realize that i love blogging and sharing my life with others. this is why i am now creating a personal blog. i will still post green tips on here so don't worry - cause i know you were going to worry : )
this blog will feature daily events in the kingmaulmeland residence, special outings, random thoughts about life, etc. when i was considering what my web address was going to be for this blog i thought of a few. one that stood out was: bloggingmakesmefeellikedoogiehowser. remember doogie? how he journaled on his computer every night before going to bed? that's how blogging makes me feel, but it's good. doogie had to process his thoughts regularly and so do i. here is my forum.