Monday, May 31, 2010

Li'l Ed

Nadine and I went to our friend Eddie's graduation yesterday.  Rob and I have been friends with his parents, Ed and Evalee for a long time now.  I remember when Li'l Ed was about 10 years old.  It's nuts.  I was very proud to see him graduate! He's moving on to UT in the fall and is going to be a history teacher. 
After graduation we went back to their house and visited for a while.  Nadine loves going to see Ev! She went running in and I wasn't even in yet and she had found herself a doggy to pick up and love on. 

These guys are part of our family.  There isn't much that we wouldn't do to help them!
An the day wouldn't have been complete without having forced Mandy to take a picture with me!

There is a good reason they call these
ceremonies "commencement exercises."
Graduation is not the end;
it's the beginning.
~Orrin Hatch

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bowling Fun

The kids participate in our church's Caravan program throughout the school year. During the summer, Miss Dawn does a fantastic job with keeping the kids active and connected with events! Today they were able to go bowling! Jourdyn is technically not in Caravan's anymore, but still loves to do things with Miss Dawn.  So she always comes along for these things.

Nadine loves to bowl! She's a lot like me, in that she is always falling down when she's bowling. This time she even hit the oil in the lane and went flying! (I've done that before!)  
Rowan also loves to bowl! He gets so excited about it! He is definitely going to be competitive and a sports kid!
All of them however get caught up with the arcade games and candy machines.  It always disappoints them to not have the ability to play those things.  I tell them "We are bowling, we didn't come for arcades!" Rowan will play regardless! He gets on the driving games and it doesn't matter to him if there are coins are not. He loves watching the screen and acting like he's playing. 

These bottom pictures are pictures I took just for fun of the older girls feet and hands! I think they turned out quite well!

Community Garden

"The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there."
 ~George Bernard Shaw, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932

A year and a half ago, I attempted to start a community garden at Hope.  It didn't work.  This year, however, we have taken the dive into a community garden.  All of the produce from this garden will be given away to the community through Food For Thought and other various ways.  The kids and I went out today to help plant! They had a ball!
"Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity."
~Lindley Karstens,

We weren't alone. There was a lot of help there today! I enjoyed watching my kids alongside some of the ladies and guys! Everyone was working together to get the job done! This is an experiment of sorts for us all! No one has really done a garden this big before and no one has done a garden meant purely to give away.  It's exciting!
Our dream is to use as much of our empty acreage as possible to feed those in need.  Next year we are hoping to have raised beds, so the soil is better. We are going to be doing some investigating for a donated greenhouse, so we can garden year round.  The possibilities are endless!


Yesterday was a friend, Heather's birthday.  Right now, she's dying.  It's heartbreaking and I am praying for a miracle.  As part of her gift I took her this orchid.  If you knew her, you would agree that this orchid is a thing of mystery and beauty, like she is.  If I had to pick a flower for myself, to describe who I am, it would be a sunflower.  An orchid is a perfect representation of her - frail, yet strong; simple, yet beautifully complex; and mysterious, yet so understandable!

I also visited another friend, Jenna in the hospital yesterday. Jenna is graduating high school tomorrow. She has leukemia. She is in maintainence, but still very fragile and has an infection.  Praying that she will be home for graduation.  Her dad said something so beautiful and true yesterday, "Jenna, if you don't make it down this aisle this weekend, that's okay. I want you here to walk down another aisle later!"

God doesn't do these things to people.  This is the work of the devil in our world.  What is awesome is that God promises to use all things for His glory, even the bad, ugly stuff that evil has brought to us. God can use it!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


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This evening Rob and I took the kids to the end-of-the-year carnival at Nadine's school.  They had a ball! The best part was the bungee jump thing.  Rowan wanted so badly to shoot up like a rocket! I think he's gonna be a pilot! He is so into flying, rockets, and planes! He loves them! And boy did he have fun jumping high and flying! Jourdyn was doing flips and stuff. Nadine wasn't going to high, she said, "This is high enough!"

Merit Roll

Seventh grade is drawing to an end...I can't believe it.  We have 5 more school years with Jourdyn and then she is off to college! WOW! Someone pinch me and wake me up because it all seems like a dream!

Last night my friend Tina told me about the Honors program today.  Jourdyn thought she would sneak one by me and not bring home the invitation to it because "It's just a program and it doesn't matter!"

In our journey to public school, that statement strikes at the heart of the biggest problem that we have had.  Jourdyn used to value her gift and now she sees it as a burden. She doesn't like her Gifted & Talented teacher, her friends that aren't in those classes encourage her to do bad so she can come back to typical courses.  She's gone from winning awards in organization to the complete opposite.  She is a great kid and doing well! We have just struggled to combat the negativity that is coming from somewhere! This idea of it's okay to just squeak by has got to go because just squeaking by is not acceptable! All things, even those that we hate should be done to the best of our ability, as if we are doing them for Christ Himself. 

The program was fantastic! I am so proud of Jourdyn! Middle school years are the hardest and most awkward years to go through and she is perservering through it! She made Merit Roll.  I believe she did make Honor Roll one quarter, but was for sure on Merit Roll throughout the year! YAY Jourdyn!!! Jourdyn is coming into her 4th year playing the saxophone next year and I believe her 7th year of piano! We are exploring avenues to promote that talent and gift that God has given her.  I met a woman who gives lessons to girls in Saxophone. Her goal is to teach them an appreciation for music outside of the traditional school band stuff.  Speaking of year Jourdyn will be playing Lady-Ga-Ga for school band.  That one song that goes RA-Ra-whatever-whatever...and I'm ticked! So let's have our 8th graders play a song about gettin' into a bad romance....below are the tell me if they are appropriate for school band. 

I want your ugly
I want your disease
I want your everything
As long as it’s free
I want your love
Love love love
I want your love

I want you drama
The touch of your hand
I want your leather studded kiss in the sand
I want your love
Love love love
I want your love

You know that I want you
And you know that I need you
I want it bad
A bad romance

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
I want your love and
All your lover’s revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

I want your horror
I want your design
‘Cuz you’re a criminal
As long as you’re mine
I want your love
Love love love
I want your love

I want your psycho
Your vertigo shtick
Want you in my rear window
Baby you’re sick
I want your love
Love love love
I want your love

You know that I want you (’Cuz I’m a free bitch baby)
And you know that I need you
I want it bad romance
Your bad romance

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
I want your love and
All your lover’s revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

Walk walk fashion baby work it
Move that bitch c-razy
Walk walk fashion baby work it
Move that bitch c-razy
Walk walk passion baby work it
I’m a free bitch baby

I want your love
And I want your revenge
I want your love
I don’t wanna be friends

Je veux ton amour
Et je veux ta revenge
Je veux ton amour
I don’t wanna be friends
(Want your bad romance
I want your bad romance)
Want your bad romance!

I want your love and
I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
I want your love and
All your lover’s revenge
You and me could write a bad romance

So I spoke with the Band Director and he said because the lyrics aren't being sang, it's appropriate! UGH!!! In fact, he compared that song to this one...saying that if we don't play Lady Ga-ga then we shouldn't play Louie-Louie.

Louie Louie, oh no
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Louie Louie, oh baby
Me gotta go

Fine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home


Three nights and days I sail the sea
Think of girl, constantly
On that ship, I dream she's there
I smell the rose in her hair.


Okay, let's give it to 'em, right now!


See Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
Tell her I'll never leave again


Let's take it on outa here now
Let's go!!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Still waiting...

Well, I am still waiting on the Sec of Def's approval for the AF.  Everything is ready and waiting for that.  If it all comes through in time I will be gone from June 28 to July 31 for Commissioned Officer Training.  That's a little scary! 

This is the summer of money spending. Our sewer should be connected within the next couple of weeks. I have to go to Dayton and buy all my uniforms (Officers have to buy theirs, they aren't given to them).  I have to purchase a plane ticket to and from Alabama for training.  And at some point we are going to have to put a new roof on the house, really hoping it will hold off through this summer, but not sure it will make it through the winter. 

School is out in just a couple of days! Nadine is sad that kindergarten is ending.  She told me so.  And is a little nervous about a new teacher and possibly new classmates.  Jourdyn is excited for summer! Of course, for her it is going to be a lot of hurry up and wait! Since we know that within one week, the "I'm bored!'s" will start!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Daughters of the King

It has been a crazy week.  I have been working 12 hour+ days since Monday, preparing for our Daughters of the King Banquet.  This is our large women's event that is always the highlight of our year at Hope. 

Last night, the event happened! Probably the biggest thing that bugs me about planning these things is that they don't last for a weekend or for a week.  They come and go so quickly! I wish that they could be so much longer! But as quickly as they go, the blessing is eternal and I know that last night God showed up in a big way! Our speaker was phenomenal and the musician she brought with her was great too! Diana Patton is co-owner of Fitatudes, she is awesome! She shared a wonderful message about how being a Daughter of the King is about being a bride everyday!

Each year the speaker brings her own twist to banquet and this year I believe God had her bring a message that each woman in the room needed to hear! It was fantastic! I was left speechless at how God works and lines things up perfectly for His glory!

We had almost 120 women at the event. Jourdyn and her friend Becca, as well as some other teens served by clearing plates and getting drinks for the ladies. They also scrapped plates and rinsed them all so we can return them to the rental company! They did a great job! 

So my week was busy but it was so worth it! I know that seeds were planted and hearts were touched! Most of all I know that God was smiling down on each woman in the room last night!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer plans...

Rob and I were hoping to finally get Cedar Point Season passes for our family this year.  For several years when it was just the three of us, Rob, me and Jourdyn, we didn't miss a year of Cedar Point fun.  However, with all three kids it has just been hard to get there, so season passes have been out of the question. 

This year Nadine is tall enough to ride almost everything and wants to! Rowan is a dare-devil and once he has one taste of a coaster, he's gonna be hooked!!! So our plans were to purchase season passes! Well, plans change, or rather fail!

We have to tie into the sewers that have been brought down in front of the house, a $3000 hit. So purchasing season passes is out of the question! We will also have to put a new roof on this year, but not sure that will be happening! Cedar Point summer fun just seems to be escaping us again for yet another year!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010


My sister and I took Rowan and Nadine to the Oregonfest parade yesterday afternoon.  Jourdyn stayed home to work on homework and Rob fixed my van.  We met up with my friend, Heather, her boyfriend, Jeff and her two boys, Lucius and Aiden. 

The kids had a ball watching all the floats and collecting candy! It's sad to say but I'm not sure that they have been to a parade before.  For Rowan, at least not one that he would have remembered and Nadine probably has seen one or two but it would have been a couple of years ago.  So they were excited about it, but not sure what to expect!
This first pic is of them waiting for the parade to start.  It wasn't much longer and they were on their feet, diving for candy!

The second picture is the Color Guard from the Christ Dunburger Post here in Oregon. Had Jack (my father in law) still been alive he would have been carrying that American flag.  He was always so proud to do that! He was a great man, that loved his country! I made sure to share that with the kids as these men passed by!
From bottom to top: Nadine, Rowan, Aiden and Lou! All waiting for the first candy to be thrown their way.  Again they were never this peaceful after that first piece headed their way!
there were a couple of sets of clydesdales in the parade.  Rowan marveled at the size of these massive horses as they passed by us.  He was quite amazed at them.  He also loved the old cars and the Shriners!
It was a neat experience to go to the parade and run into tons of people that you know.  Everywhere I turned there were faces that were saying hello.  I wish I had had the time to go and stay for awhile.  We watched the parade and headed home because we had an all church meeting last night. 

I am now officially "Pastor to Women" at my church.  There isn't too much more responsbility than I already do.  But I can very much see the things that I do now changing and becoming something more beautiful! :)

Back Home...

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After a very long drive, we arrived home on Saturday.  Since we've come home, it has been pretty non-stop.  None of us have caught up on our sleep yet and it's now Monday morning.  The girls are back off to school for I believe 10 more days.  Rowan and Rob are still sleeping.  I am up and getting ready to begin my week of event-craziness.  Our Daughters of the King banquet is this Friday, so this week is going to be spent preparing for that. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Route 21

John and our family took a scenic trip yesterday up Rt. 21 to Garden Valley. We stopped at Kirkham hot springs! The kids had so much fun exploring in the mountains.  The springs are up to 160 degrees! I have great pictures but I will have to post them later. We saw a lot of elk and a few deer. 

Last night, mom and Jim went with us to College Church of the Nazarene for the Intermountain District Assembly worship service! We heard Dr. Graves speak. He is one of our general superintendents! He was fantastic! It was very weird to watch someone from our way (east coast) preach out here. He was giving a great sermon, all the great cues to give Amens and such...and no one was responding! It was quite funny to sit in the back row and watch! I felt a bit sorry for him, especially since he was speaking about the Nazarene church having a fresh annointing of the Holy Spirit and being on fire for God!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our Tuesday afternoon...

After our downtown adventure, Rob and I headed over to see my cousins Dan and Gina. Gina gave me a full-body massage and Dan adjusted both ROb and I.  That was much needed, since we have spent the past week on couches and pull-out sofas!
John made chicken wings last night for dinner! Mom, Jim and the boys followed us up the mountain and we had dinner together up here!  After dinner John and Rob put the little ones on the four wheelers and gave them mini rides in the front yard.   Then they went out for a longer ride, while the kids and I hung out at the house and the rest of the bunch went back down the mountain!

Downtown Boise

Mom, Rob, the kids and I all went downtown.  I love the atmosphere out here. They have an active downtown life - midday on a Tuesday and the cafe we ate at had live music.  All of the cafes and shops have outside seating.  We don't have anything like this at home.  The Dock's kinda compare with the outside seating but not really. 

As we were coming down the street towards the Capitol building, Rowan started yelling "Look! Look! It's the George Washington Building!" He was so excited to see the building.  All the times that we've been out here, the building has been closed to the public for construction.  This time it wasn't.  We had nearly the entire building to ourselves! And it was stunning! It is all marble inside!  And after Grandma spent much time telling ROwan that George Washington had never been Idaho and it's not his building...we got to the fourth floor, came off the elevator and lo, and behold, there was a gold life-size statue of who? George Washington!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Rockies and Man Vs. Food

Last night we went to stay at John's. The drive there is beautiful! Today, we have been hanging out in Boise.  After the stadium, we went to Rockies (as seen on Man Vs. Food!).  It's a 50's style diner! It was good food! The kids loved it! We also drove around town and went sight-seeing! It was an interesting day!

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Rob and I have been trying for years to get to the Bronco Stadium to see the Smurf Turf! When it has been in, he wasn't with me and I wasn't able to get anything more than just a corner peak through a fence. Or the field has been torn up for turf replacement.  Well, today we got our chance!

We went to the campus and asked a student how to get to the field.  He told us to go through the Hall of Fame and we can see it through the glass.  Once we got into the Hall of Fame, we realized that the doors were open and we were able to go outside to see the field.  From outside we were able to go up into the stands.  Rowan, Nadine and I climbed up the lower level of the stands. Rob stayed at the bottom.  It was a good thing he did. 

The distance runners were out practicing for track. The distance track coach came over to Rob and opened the gate. He told him to get the kids down on the field to get their picture taken with the Bronco at centerfield!!! You didn't have to tell them twice! They were running out of the stands to the field! They must have ran the distance of the field at least three times. 

The coach was from Toledo, he went to Whitmer. We found this out when we went to thank him and he asked where we were from.  It's a small world! The kids had such a ball and it was amazing to see the field from that perspective!
Now if only we could get the Buckeyes to let us on the field!

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


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After lunch we headed back to the Idaho Center for the Commencement!  Mom, Jim, our kids, John and Barb, their kids and my cousins, Dan and Gina came to watch me walk across the platform and receive my Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry.  

Dr. Jerry Porter gave the commencement sermon.  He is one of our General Superintendents.  He is a phenomenal speaker! He spoke about the power of ONE! About our need to be fully consecrated and devoted, sold out to God, being a willing partner in God's vision!

This was just a great weekend of graduation festivities! I have enjoyed them thoroughly and felt so special....special...not smart! Jeremy and I were talking about how we felt so dumb compared to some of the folks we spent the weekend with. 

I met a pastor from Adrian, MI, who invited me to do pulpit supply for him! Yay! :)


Today is the day of my graduation ceremonies! Rob and I headed out this morning to the Idaho Center for the Baccalaurete ceremony.  Mom and Jim took my kids to their mother/daughter banquet, so it was just Rob and I.

We met up with Rebekah and Jeremy McLaughlin, some old friends of ours. Jeremy also became a Master today, of Christian Education.  With our last names being in alphabetical order we spent the whole today together! It was quite fun. 

It was quite surreal! We made the observation that we should have had honors we asked why we didn't have those. Our college doesn't give them out because of the additional cost of them.  Interesting? Technically, I would have been Magna Cum Laude.

It was a great morning. Dr. Alexander the school President spoke about our i-world and the need to live life for the sake of others, not ourselves. 

The hooding was an interesting experience. What I love about my university is that all of my professors knew my name! Even though most of them had never met me in person! It has been such a personal experience even across the miles!

This is John & Deanna Grant. John was a classmate. He received his Master of Divinity in Spiritual Formation.  He's from Washington State! We were the only two from our cohort that came to graduation!

After the hooding, Jeremy and Rebekah went with us to Fiesta Guadalajara for lunch and then to the University to take pictures by the sign. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday's Festivities

Bright and early this morning, we began graduation festivities with a brunch at the Brandt Center with all the MA/MDiv graduates! Jourdyn and Rob went with me to this event.  We sat with two of my professors and another professor that I have not had. All of them were so down to earth and great! I was able to meet Alan and John, two of my classmates.  They both received their MDiv's. 

The best part of today has been the conversations with everyone.  It has been such an open and encouraging environment! I have been so privileged to meet all these wonderful people and to journey through life with them. 

These evening mom and Nadine went with me to a dessert reception at the college. More fellowship and conversation, as well as dessert.  Nadine was so cute. She was taking pictures of everything and everyone found great amusement in her behavior! She was the hit of the party! Imagine that!!!


Yesterday, my brother, John, Rob and Nadine and I went to NNU to pick up all my graduation regalia! I love the campus. That may be because I didn't spend years of my life there, but I do think it is so beautiful and quaint!

See the gown, the cap, the hood...makes it all so real! It's very exciting! Today Rob, Jourdyn and I are off to brunches and receptions.  And then tomorrow is the big day! We have graduation festivities all day long! I also get to meet classmates today for the first time face-to-face, as well as seeing an old friend from Hope that is a pastor now in Texas.  He is graduating with his Masters of Arts in Christian Education. 

It's going to be an awesome day! Even if it's only 60 degrees!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A long drive...

Tuesday morning our family headed out on a long road trip.  This weekend we will celebrate my graduation commencement at NNU in Nampa, ID.  Since much of our family lives in Idaho we will also be spending time with them. 

The drive was long and tiring! Tate (our dog) came along with us! This was his longest ride ever! He did very well.  Now that we are here he is itchin' to get outside and do some exploring.  The kids traveled as well as to be expected.  They've made this trip often so they are somewhat used to it. 

What I'm not used to is how a whole middle section of the States cannot have Starbucks or even just good coffee places along the expressway.  In Nebraska, I typed Starbucks into the GPS and there wasn't one within 450 miles...OUCH! But I finally found one in Utah! :) Gotta love those gift cards that I received for graduation gifts!!!!!

So we are here! But not without a heavy heart.  A precious friend of mine is in the hospital back home. She is probably not going to make it.  Please pray for her.  She needs a touch from God in so many ways.  My heart is in constant prayer for her.  If you are a prayer-er, please lift her up! Pray for a miracle in her life!

Monday, May 3, 2010

What's in a title?

This evening I was asked "What's the title 'Pastor' mean to you?" As much as I've thought about this question, I wasn't expecting it tonight because the title doesn't mean much to me.  It's a formality that I need, but beyond a title, it's who I am. Not because a group of people have decided to call me that or award me certain recognition, but because it is who God says I am.  Pastoring has become part of me, part of the me that God has formed me to be.  I already pastor. I have for several years now. I'm just starting to finally believe that I am who God says I am and letting that rest on my shoulders with some inkling of confidence.  A pastor is who God has made me to be, whether anyone ever acknowledges that or not, that's who I am. 

So the title 'pastor' isn't something that I seek out for some kind of power trip or control. Unfortunately we live in a world driven by status and titles, many notably earned, but my calling is far more than any title that could be afforded's who I am in God's eyes!

Proof-positive that God is still in the business of miracles! Because I am one!!!!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Day

The first Saturday of every month is reserved for Lifeline, last night was no different! My sister, Julie and I headed out to the North's for a night of fellowship.  These nights have come to mean so much, so quickly.  The encouragement and support that is experienced is absolutely amazing and freeing! It feels like we've known these people for years or have found long lost kindred souls. 

A woman named Katrina came and played her saxophone this month. She is amazing. We are going to look into having her give lessons to Jourdyn. I believe she has enough soul and energy to really captivate Jourdyn and let her seen that music is so much more than school band!

We spent time just visiting and sharing with people about our lives, our struggles, our joys. I also tried a Chipolte Black Bean Burger and it was fantastic! The best news about it...Steve buys them at Costco! Costco rocks!

One of Jourdyn's best friend's mom came to Lifeline for the first time! It was nice to get to know her a little more. 

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