Philippians 4:4-9
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Warm Day for Pictures

 We had a wonderful visit with Danielle and Ryan over Christmas weekend.

And though I am sure after growing up in Southern California that I spent many a warm Christmas's as a child, but this was the first in a very long time!
 I do not know what kind of plant this is, but I am sure Dr. Seuss must have been looking out his window at one when he created many of his characters--LOL

I love the plants and trees in Santa Barbara.
 What do you think?

Like mother, like daughter?

I have no idea what we were talking about here, possibly the amazingly large number of stairs we were going to have to go down to get to the beach.

And sadly that meant having to go back up them later-HA
 But you must agree it was a beautiful view!
 See what I meant about the flowers.
 Isn't it great all the diversity in creation our wonderful God gave us!
 Now this one is just too cute for words.

And with a skinny little body like hers she might make a great model when she gets a little older-LOL

 Even cactus can look beautiful, especially with the beautiful Pacific in the background.
 This is what we were hoping to get while on the beach.

A family picture, minus Erinn and Michael.

Don't know what Caleb was going for?

He actually has a beautiful smile.
 Our treasures hidden in a 'cleft of the rock'.
 Some of the local wildlife.
 And a fallen log meant there needed to be a challenge to see who could go up the farthest.

 Ryan on his way up.
 And on his way down!
 Danielle and I gave it a try, but it was actually lots harder than it looked,

Especially on a slick log with sandy feet.
 Drew on his way up, he made it the farthest.
Drew on his way down!
 Drew holding on for dear life-Ha.
 Please tell me that you all get pictures like this!

Everyone looking at the camera and someone thinks it is a great time to give a thumbs up!

This kid is making me old before my time.
 Here we all are somewhat looking at the camera, but very squinty!
 Danielle and Ryan 2011
 Those of us left at home 2011.
Me and my best friend of 26 years!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Surprise Christmas

We decided to do things a little different this year around our house.

We will be blessed to spend the Christmas weekend with Danielle and Ryan in Southern California, so we decided to surprise the kids and open present early--Tuesday night.

Drew knew, but we chose not to tell the littles because we are dealing with lots of anxiety issues on their parts right now anyways----and that did relieve a lot---now they can just look forward to our trip and time together as a family:)
 Can't remember if I posted this yet, but what else can you do when you have a big deer head hanging on the wall by your Christmas tree?

Sorry all you non-hunters, but we were thankful for the meat.
 Drew made sure everyone was decked out in their WSU Crimson and Gray.

The fact that Caleb has been wearing his for two days straight tells what he thinks of it!

Well it is in the wash now, or I told him he could not take it to California---Awe Mom!
 Awe---Doggy lovin'!
 Erinn and Michael sent some cute Christmas ornaments--a football goofy!
 And of course a Disney Princess Tianna!
 Last year my wonderful husband filled my stocking with Pepsi, chocolate and vanilla candles.

Well he was doing great with the Pepsi and chocolate, but I really don't like the smell of vanilla-Ha.

This year Erinn got it right this year with this amazing Salty Carmel candle.  

It is absolutely amazing.
 Gifts all the way from Grandma and Grandpa in the Philippines.

Hannah and Drew's are both from local artisans.
 Oh, poor Liberty looks like she is really suffering under the barrage of bow and ribbons and lots of loving from Hannah and Belle.
 Hannah's new Christmas do and her jingle bell hair tie.

Let's just say we always know where she is:)
 And I might seriously be regretting this one in the next few days!

My mom and dad, under my recommendations, got Caleb his first Spy Wear that he has really been wanting.

Let's just say he is a very typical boy is some ways, like his fascination with spying, forts, and traps.

Some days I head upstairs to a maze of rope and yard with directions how to navigate the hallway to my bedroom.

Well now we must all be careful of the video taking, voice recording, picture taking spy Caleb.

Oh my, Lord give me patience!
 Some of the stash from Grandma and Grandpa.

I must say Drew was a great sport now that he is the only big kid in the house.

While the littles were opening toys, he was opening household appliances for his apartment, warm clothing for Pullman winters and dress clothes WSU requires for traveling sports teams!
 Awe---poor Liberty, she looks so bothered by all her bows!

Notice she has not even moved now that there are boxes and on her paws and wrapping paper on her head!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What's Up

 We are so thankful to have Drew home for Christmas break.  

He is happy for the break from school for a while too.

I have been busy putting out fires that can occur from upsetting schedules and anxious kids not having their expectations met.

This year has had a little more I think because we have not had the big kids around for months and little minds set up expectations for what they thought it would be like when they got home.

I missed the cues:(

So we try to keep them busy and let them know what is going on and when.

Though we are keeping it a surprise that we are opening presents early:)
Here they are both working on some ornaments the sewed out of felt.

We are also busy with an extra dog.....

Drew brought home his coach's dog.

Long story, but the short of it is that it was just supposed to be a ride to Southern Oregon, and it has turned into a three week stay.

Not a big deal, but those of you who know us, know that our precious golden retriever, Liberty, hates dogs!!

Not a real good combinations with a Rottweiler mix.

Well we have done a pretty good job keeping one inside and one outside after Miles showed us just how high he could jump over the gate we put up.

Libby can't jump at all and we thought we were safe.

We know better now.

So add a little more anxiety and stress to the mix and Hannah is pretty much trying to keep to her room where it is peaceful.

Today's schedule contains some more crafts, probably a game of Ticket To Ride (an amazing game by the way), a trip to the library, a run in the cold, and a good Christmas movie by the tree with hot chocolate.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I really had no choice but to forward this post from Sarah's Covenant Homes.

Please know that the pictures contained in this post are graphic due to this precious little girl's medical condition.

During this time of plenty---where we give what is not really needed to those we love...

What about giving what is really needed to one whom we can love through prayer.

What is Christmas about if it isn't about love and sacrifice and redemption?

One little life.

What can we all do?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quilts again soon..

 Last Christmas I dove into this project from my talented son.
Though I had seen many t-shirt quilts over the years this is the way I chose to do Danielle's 6 years ago and David's 4 years ago.

With running shirts the print can sometimes be very small and other times very large, by cutting out the designs I allowed for more variation and more shirts to be included.

Some of the small designs in the middle are from sleeves or front right corners when the backs have large prints.  This lets you get some of the name brand logos too.

One of the small ones is actually from the top of a sock!!

For Drew's I also sewed a couple of patches on the front of the quilt before backing it.

I also took his high school letter and sewed it onto a piece of T-shirt and used it as a square.
Knowing I wanted this to be a large full size, when I had a lot of t-shirts cut out I lined them up by widths and started playing with it till I had my rows figured out.

I then backed each t-shirt with heavy iron-on backing and quilted around the block with four different colors of fabric---Drew's color choices.  When I was working down a row I tried to keep colors from touching at I attached each block.  My strips were about 2 inches, I think.

Then to give it a little more size and consistency I used the large blue strips in the middle and then black and gray around the edging in sizes to make it to what I was wanting.  I just tied this to finish.

It was so much fun and everyone I have made them for has really enjoyed them.

So now with no runners in the next couple of years what am I to do?

Well I will be starting in January on one for Drew and Danielle's high school cross country coach.  He is getting married this summer and I wanted to gift him with a special memory of his own.  

Should be a lot of fun!

Think about it....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pac-12 All-Academic Cross Country Team!

Nov. 22, 2011

2011 Pac-12 All-Academic Release Get Acrobat Reader
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Five men and three women from Washington State University were named to the 2011 Pac-12 Conference Cross Country All-Academic teams, Commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday. Justin Englund, a senior from Federal Way, Wash., was named to the men's first team for the third consecutive year. Englund, a member of the WSU Honors College, is a mathematics major with a 3.90 grade point average. Andrew Gonzales, a sophomore from Kennewick, Wash., and a general medical sciences major with a 3.53 GPA, was named to the second team for the second straight year.
Three Cougars were named to the men's honorable mention team: Drew Jordan (sophomore, Medford, Ore.) an undeclared major with a 3.38 GPA, Andrew Kimpel (junior, Spokane) a management information systems major with a 3.24 GPA, and Richard Shroy (sophomore, Carson City, Nev.) a movement studies major with a 3.14 GPA. Englund, Gonzales, Jordan and Kimpel competed at the NCAA Championships Monday where the Cougar men placed 21st.

Congratulations Drew we are very proud of you!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Success and Full...

 David had the privilege of heading to Eastern Oregon this last week to enjoy the wondrous beauty of God's creation, coated in its first snow of the year.

 He was also there with his good friend, David, and his brother, Paul, and his nephew, Preston, to seek out the all elusive elk.



David and his friend, David.
David thoroughly enjoyed his time with the guys and his evenings spent catching up with old friends from our days living in Baker City.

David and his brother, Paul, well decked out in their hunter orange.
Their hunt started on Friday, and on their last hunt on Wednesday, before heading home for Thanksgiving, they were blessed by one very large cow elk.

David W. was blessed to be the lucky shot of the week.
This is a perspective shot for those of you who are unaware of actually how large and elk really is.

Sorry it is sideways:/
This beautiful animal was very gratefully split between four families who  are blessed by its provision.

David brought the heart and liver home to enjoy.

I sadly missed the pictures of all the kids and their amazement at how large it was.

The heart was the size of a very large melon and they loved seeing all the valves and arteries.

The liver was massive and very slick.

We may be weird, but the kids really did enjoy the science lesson.

Along with the elk meat, David brought home a half a beef we bought from some friends in Baker.

So it was a successful hunt and we have two very full freezers:)

Monday, November 21, 2011


This kid amazes me.

He is growing and maturing is so many ways right now as to spin the mind.

Today was one of our challenge days---they tend to be Mondays:/

But as we were discussing one of our issues today, God slowed me down, as He has been a lot lately with this one.

He said, "Show your son the root of the sin, show him the reality of how he is gripping on to it, help him learn to release it."

Yes, we are moving beyond behavior modification to helping him really come to grips with how our sinful hearts can deceive us.

He really has trouble understanding his sin, yet don't we all!

I am so very thankful for my faithful husband and friends that lovingly point out my areas of blindness.

So I in turn, seek to help Caleb to learn it is something we all deal with.

***It does not me we are irredeemable.

***It does not mean we are unlovable.

***It does not mean that grace cannot met us where we are.

***It does not mean we cannot be forgiven and start afresh.

For kids from the 'hard places' who have experienced significant pain and loss in their young lives, there is an extra layer to work through.

It is easy for Caleb to reject the above truths.

To go to his place of comfort.

But to allow this would be to short change my wonderful son of all the blessings:

***that lie in walking in the freedom of guilt and shame

***that lie in living a life fully focused on bringing God all the glory

***that lie in living in the truth and not being blinded by bitterness

So, though we have our rough days, I am learning, as I believe Caleb is, to rejoice even in these days because God is so good to give them to us so we can be challenged and changed into the likeness of his precious Son.

Because that is the only prayer I pray for ALL my children regularly----

That they may be molded in the potter's hand into the likeness of Jesus---

And the hard part is "whatever it takes".

Thank you Lord for loving us so much that you refine us!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Don't Say Never

I have been very guilty of saying NEVER way too much!

My wonderful husband loves to call me on it :)

I can officially say I broke one of my avowed NEVERS this weekend!

Oh--can I say it?

Will I be judged by the rest of you NEVERS out there?

Oh well..

I have been learning this year not to let others opinions be so important to me :)

Here goes....

I put up all my Christmas decorations (besides the tree)---BEFORE---Thanksgiving......

Oh there it is.

One of my NEVER in my lifetimes.

I want to focus on the Thankfulness of the Thanksgiving holiday, so I never wanted to venture into the decorating too early.

But the way it came about this year was interesting.

David was gone for the week---always a great time to do a messy project.

Erinn called and asked if I could pack up some of her Christmas things and get them ready to send to Hawaii for her.

And well, one box led to another and another and well you get the idea.

And mess in hand I decided I was very THANKFUL for the time and uninterrupted days to accomplish the daunting task of removing Thanksgiving decorations and redecorating for Christmas.

Now when we get back from celebrating with David's family, I can rest and enjoy the rest of my long weekend with my family.

And you know what?

For that I am very THANKFUL and isn't that the idea anyways.

So if you are afraid of snowmen till after Black Friday....

Don't come to my house!!

Mary and Joseph are starting an early journey to Bethlehem this year too.

Maybe it will be more restful for her that way :)

Remembering to Thank the Lord in ALL things.....

Even NEVERS that are no longer!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Years Ago.......

Six years ago....

we became a family of 7 at the Portland International Airport (Danielle was at college)!

What an amazing day full of so very many emotions for everyone of us.

Oh the amazing joys and trials and frustrations and victories adoption brings!

It is a journey of love and growth that is incomparable to anything I have ever experienced!

We are so thankful God led us down this path to bring this two beautiful treasures into our family! 

May His name be forever glorified!