Thursday, November 30, 2006

Grief, but not hopeless grief.

My heart is breaking for my dear friends Lori and Joe.

Yesterday morning Lori was able to hold her 15-day-old baby for the very first - and last - time. He is now at peace and completely healed in the arms of Jesus. His struggles are over.

The struggle will remain for Lori and Joe, and their sons Christian and Aaron. I pray that God's love will sustain them and His grace will overwhelm them during this time and in the difficult weeks to come. Lori knows and loves her Lord (as does Joe), and the family's prayer throughout all of this has been for God to be honored and glorified...whether by life or by death.

We wonder "why" - but we need to remember WHO our God is. It's not a big deal to bring joy out of good/easy circumstances.... but it takes an omnipotent God to bring joy out of evil and calamity, which is just what He can do, and has done countless times in the past.

May God be glorified in Isaac's brief life, and in his passing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

yep, SNOW~!

....not much, but like I suspected, all area schools are closed today. It's not going to get above freezing today, so the snow will stick around for another day or so, and what's on the roads will turn to compact snow/ice.

I'm so glad I don't have a commute to work any longer! Though if I were working my former job, I would have had today off anyway. (Teacher, and all that).

So here is the great blizzard of 2006 in Puyallup. Observe the vast quantities of snow....literally an inch or so! (sarcasm font used here)....

These photos were taken in the early hours of the morning.... amazing how the kids woke up so eagerly!

Monday, November 27, 2006


I know, I know...some of you midwesterners are going "Big, Fat, Hairy Deal" -------but for this California native, this is WAY COOL!

Pun intended.

This morning we had a mere dusting of snow. Result: Puyallup schools were 2 hours late.

Right now it's coming down steadily (fun to watch!!) - I'd guess we have 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch. Bet me school is cancelled tomorrow.

But not here! (evil laughter)

We'll have PE first thing, I think, making snowballs of whatever snow we can find. Good stuff!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Everything on a waffle

Bathtime is time for pondering. I do it extensively myself, and have passed on the bathtime pondering gene to my daughter, aged 8.

Queries she, from the tub: "Mama? Do you believe in Santa Claus?"

Me: "Well, whom do you mean by Santa Claus?" (so very Bill Clinton of me......what is the meaning of "is" ?)

S: "You know, the one who comes down the chimney, eats cookies and drinks Coke."
(They have seen the advertising pictures of Santa drinking Coca-Cola; therefore, Santa must have Coke with his cookies.)

Me (waffling): "Well... there is an historical person named St. Nicholas. Signed the Nicene Creed and all that. Good man, very generous, helped others...."

S (insistent): " But what about SANTA CLAUS?"

Me: "I'm getting there! Hang on!! In German, Saint Nicholas is transliterated as Sankt Niklaus-----which, if pronounced quickly, sounds like 'Santa Claus.' "

S: "So, who comes down the chimney?"

Me (more waffling): "Erhm, well, there's lots of legends and things that have built up over time.....ohh... there's the phone! Excuse me!!"

What's the matter with me? Why couldn't I find the courage to say "SAINT NICHOLAS IS DEAD BUT HIS LEGACY LIVES ON!"

We've never actively promoted --or conversely, DENIED --the existence of Santa around here as some believers do (like, we never call him SATAN Claus, as some do) - so this is just what she has picked up from the popular culture.

She also believes in the Tooth Fairy.

So I'll let her live in childhood for a little while longer, neither confirming nor denying the existence of Saint Nicholas/Sankt Niklaus/Santa Claus.

Happy Thanksgiving!

What will you be doing for Thanksgiving this year? We will be having two couples over, and one single woman will drop by after she's off work (double time and a half, can't pass that up!!).

I don't have to make the turkey this year!! So I'm making the bread for the stuffing (let's hear it for bread makers, woot), and last night I put together the green bean casserole so all I need to do is put it in the oven. Tomorrow afternoon I'll do potatoes.

Oh. Pies. I'd better do some of those too. S. wants to make "Fruity Graham Cracker Mix," a recipe she has invented. She's been hounding me to make graham crackers so she can do this.

Her recipe is as follows: grind up graham crackers, mix with some vanilla yogurt, and add berries. Mix well and serve for dessert.

I will have her and D. help me make pumpkin pies this afternoon when I'm done teaching. (sigh)I tried to move all my students to Monday and Tuesday afternoons so I could have today off, but it was a no go for three of them. And they're all spread out throughout the afternoon, not in a nice neat little chunk! ah well.

Okay, question.....centerpieces. Are they NECESSARY, or do they just get in the way of the food? I think they look lovely and all - but my experience has been that they're just frou frou to make you look more like Martha Stewart. AND they get in the way of the food.

I'm willing to be educated by other more worthy women on this topic....especially if it's easy and cheap.

Okay! off to get the day going! :) Don't become so "Martha-ish" today and tomorrow that you forget to be a Mary!

Those words are for me as well. Blessings.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Link~!

My dear friend Lori (whom God and the U.S. Army moved to the other side of the United States) has just given birth to their third son Isaac.

As Isaac was developing, the doctors determined that there was a hole in his diaphragm, so his stomach and intestines were actually pushed up into the chest cavity, creating difficulty for the heart and lungs to fully develop and be in their right places.

So they've known since pre-birth that the baby will need to have surgery. Right now they are just waiting for Isaac to be strong enough to do it. You can check out the current situation at! :) And prayers are most welcomed.

I'mma puttin' a link over here too <-------------- so you can find it more easily.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


I've had it with "Christian" internet forums.

Over the last week I've witnessed so many Christian men and women duking it out, drawing lines in the sand over vagaries, and in general behaving just as unbelievers do when they get in a scrap, that I cannot in good conscience link to a particular site anymore.

I will read the blog part, perhaps, but I'm vamoosing on the forums. I've read women's posts verbally attacking pastors on the forums (get in your place, girl!), younger men rebuking older men, and overall, people behaving as unsaved people do.

It is dismaying, sickening, and just plain wrong.

And I have many more profitable things I should be doing with my time. Farewell.

Holiday Spirit

(in other words, too lazy to think of my own post, so I'll meme this one!!)
HT to Rebecca (via email)

1. Eggnog or Hot Chocolate? Eggnog!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa brings one "big" gift, unwrapped.

3. Colored or white lights on tree/house? White on tree (usually); colored on house.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? No

5. When do you put your decorations up? In bits and pieces after Thanksgiving (a box at a time).

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Broccoli casserole.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: I was traveling somewhere in the car with my parents. Snow was falling (so this wasn't Santa Maria!), and I was hearing Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" on the radio for the first time. I didn't know who the composer was, or what the piece was called, but it was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard. And I didn't know how to explain to my mom that I wanted to hear that song again and again--I'd try to hum the tune, but it never got through to her! :)

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What?? What do you mean??

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No. Always wanted to, because Diane got to!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Something old, something new--always something homemade by the kids!! Just about every ornament we put up has a history behind it. I love it.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it!

12. Can you ice skate? Not very well. I'm a good rollerskater though. Remember Xanadu?

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A jewelry box Andy made for me out of lilac wood. It has a lavender stripe in the grain.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Slowing down and taking time to have fun.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Hard to say. Probably caramel corn. "Moose Munch"!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going out to get the tree, then going out for hot chocolate afterwards. Then watching The Grinch and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

17. Turkey or Ham on Christmas? Ham!!

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I’d rather give.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O Holy Night.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? hmmm

Okay! If you feel like doing this on your blog, please let me know in the comments so I can come read it . Consider yourself tagged.

Friday, November 17, 2006 does it again!!

This is the followup video to the original Diet Coke and Mentos experiment. Note that at the end of the video, they are looking for other creative souls to join them in their quest for creating Poetry in Motion.

Someone better tell Alan and John to get crackin'. This is right up their alley!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, "live"

Today we parked the car at Freighthouse Square, took the LINK train to downtown Tacoma, and went to the Tacoma Art Museum's monthly free day.

While there, we saw Eric Carle's artwork!!! Up close and personal! You could even see the pencil lines he used in making his pictures of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. That was a favorite book around here, as well as Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?. I stood and stared for a very long time, thrilled in a way I couldn't really describe.

The other highlight of the TAM for me was a sound sculpture called "Conloninpurple" by an artist named Trimpin. You stand in the middle of this room, surrounded by purple "trumpets" and resonating tubes suspended in mobiles from the ceiling to close to the ground. Under each tube is a wooden marimba block, and a little hammer comes up to strike the block, and the metal tubes amplify the sound throughout the hall. These are in turn wired to a computer MIDI file, which will play various songs (original compositions). The sound encircles you completely, but not overwhelmingly. As the mallets strike the marimba blocks, the action will occasionally cause the trumpet mobiles to spin slowly, adding to the interest.

Of the family, I was the one most interested in it. Kids went upstairs and were happily painting in the hands-on art room. :)

So I got my day off, basically, even though I was still called "Mommy" and/or "Honey." Thanks for the encouragement.


(singing to theme song of "Cheers"-) "You wanna be where nobody knows your naaaamme....." - least of all "Mommy" or "Honey."

I want a day off!

Rant ended. Selfishness abounding in my heart. I'm going for a coffee. Need some perspective.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Photos of our recently-redone living room, now with new wood blinds!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Bloggy Link to Tweedygirl/Susan

Her "Things I feel strongly about" is worth a click.

I got a lovely chuckle out of it. Maybe you will too. I will have to think about what I feel strongly about. I'm very often like Charlie Brown, who, of course, in Lucy's opinion, is too wishy-washy.

Mmm. That reminds me--this was Diane's chief complaint of one of her former boyfriends in high school... who shall remain nameless. (Unless you bribe me. wuahahaha.) But the letters "y" and "e" are in his name. Hehehehehee...and that could be several people.

Moving right along! Gotta get ready for Kids 4 Truth.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"my mind is going, Dave...I can feel it..."

I think blogging is a very good thing for me, personally. Not thinking of the four of you who read this, but for me, MYSELF.

You see, I have NO memory for details. I am currently IM'ing with my college roommate's husband - recalling their wedding day (I was a bridesmaid) - and I'm finding that I can't remember the most basic of details, as in, who else was in the wedding party. And I went to college with all of them.

I do this with other things too. Details of my children's lives. My childhood. Stories my parents have told me. It's slipping away. I'm getting Alzheimers, and I'm only 36.

Therefore, it will become increasingly important for me to jot down details of my daily ins-and-outs so I can come back here and READ it, and hopefully a small, dim bulb will come on somewhere and I can say...ohhhh...yeaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!! I remember NOOOOWWWW!!!

This will only be good as long as Blogger holds up, or the internet stays online. But it's a start. And maybe, if I've forgotten enough, I can sit and read snippets of my life as a kind of spectator. I wonder if I would cheer or boo?

Now there's a deep question to ponder. "Will this activity I am pursuing right now, which I will record in my blog later on--make me as a Spectator of My Life cheer, or boo?"

Even more deep, and should have been the first question I thought of: What does God think of what I'm doing?

Have a blessed Lord's Day.

oh.....and does anyone know where the title quotation comes from?

Friday, November 10, 2006

It's Fall!

So I've goofed with the template again. :) Enjoy, for a few weeks.....then it'll be time for Christmas decorations around here.

I have to figure out the right size for bullets and comments! pft.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Much ado about...

Well, not exactly NOTHING, but the river did NOT go over its banks in Puyallup. It did do so in Sumner and in Orting, though. Here in Puyallup it got to 28.7 feet - it floods at 30.

I'm glad the Fire Department was on top of things, evacuating people in the farmland/lowland areas around Riverside Elementary and Duris' Cucumber Farm. So I don't think they were in your dad's neighborhood, Crystal.

Meanwhile, exciting things! Last night I was fiddling with our printer, which has had a Matthew 18 problem with the computer (they weren't talking with each other, so I've been unable to print documents for about 3 days). As I was goofing with one of the USB cables, the computer reset. And when it came back up, it had a bunch of corrupted files. Most notably, when I pulled up Thunderbird, ALL THE EMAIL WAS GONE and it was asking me to set up a new email account!!! ack@!!!

I spent an hour on the phone with our techie friend Dave, who had me trying various things with no success. And *hanging head miserably* the last time I cloned the hard drive was, oh, back in MAY. So much for having a backup. Bad, bad bad.

So my desktop computer is sitting, cold and abandoned, by the front door so Dave can take it and run some diagnostics on it. At least we have determined that the clone, though out of date, does work properly (I was able to take out the clone hard drive and boot it up on Andy's computer system, which is identical to mine). Dave thinks it's a hardware issue - perhaps the motherboard has gone haywire and started corrupting files; perhaps it's all tied to this printer thing...who knows? Dave's a genius, though, he'll figure it out.

Meanwhile, I am trying not to panic, nor think about how much my life now depends on silly email!!! Or that I do not have hard copies of all the "vital information" that I have left in the email files!!

Stop thinking. stop thinking.
Much ado!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Flood update

Well, looks like I spoke too soon: the Puyallup River is expected to crest OVER the River and Levee Roads in the next few hours - so the fire dept is going door to door, evacuating people. This is different from the warning from the dear weather service:


I repeat, however, this is not in my section of the city. However, our friend Norm has his automotive shop over there so A. is going to see if he can help him move things up and out of the way. (edit: A. couldn't get down there, so no go.) I hope he comes to get us so I can take some pictures. (edit: He did!)

Here's a couple photos taken with my camera!
This is taken from Levee Road into Fife, looking south over to River Road. If the levee weren't there, all of Fife would be underwater!!

This, again, is from Levee Road, looking at the 66th Street bridge which joins River with Levee, and Puyallup with Fife.

Interesting things we saw floating down the river into the Puget Sound: much timber, a cooler, and ...a washing machine!

Okay, enough weather education for today....must move on to grammar - helping verbs, and the use of "bring" v. "take."
fun fun fun!

Pineapple Express

If you've watched the news lately and know where I live, you might think that we're all knee-deep in alligators by now.

We're not; however, I won't deny that it's been VERY wet around here! Yesterday there was a great deal of standing water on the roads, which made for very slow driving as people did not want to flood out their cars. (I've done that before--the mechanic had to take the car apart, and use his air hose to blow dry all the parts/connections. THAT WAS EXPENSIVE!)

Anyway, the nearby Puyallup River is flooding up in the town of Orting. It's about 3x higher than usual. We live about a mile and a half from the river, and about 8 miles from Orting, so no worries for us. It's all on its way down.

A. wants to go down to the river and watch the flotsam go by. I remember one wet year we saw a shed floating away down the river, on its way out to the sea. Wonder what became of it!

ANYway, this wet front is what's known around these parts as a "Pineapple Express." Basically, a warm wet system is coming up from Hawaii and drenching us. When a Pineapple Express converges with a big cold front down from Alaska/Canada is when we get a huge dump of snow. In the absence of a cold front, we just get warm, windy rain. Too bad we had that hard frost last week; we'd still be harvesting the garden otherwise! :)

Time to begin the day. Ciao!

Friday, November 03, 2006

What is it about mud?

This morning I was out, being a piano teacher Mary-type, sitting at the feet of a piano pedagogue and learning and taking notes. The WHY of technique. The HOW of scales.

Returning home to make lunch, A. tells me the kids are in the backyard. In the mud. Like, a pig wallow-sized amount of mud. Of course, S. is wearing pink and white. Why does it always have to be pink and white?? Probably to be more piggie like, I guess, but it's wretched to clean up I tell you. *(A's comment to me when I was whining about pink and white and mud: "That's all she EVER wears!")

So, out comes the spray nozzle, set to "jet" - we have to pressure wash the kids before they can set foot inside the house again! I tossed the wet clothes onto the garage floor with the other mounds of laundry (I have NOT been doing a "load a day," therefore I'm backed up again! argh. baby steps~! restarting!)

So now they're eating lunch (bread, butter and jam)(I'm out of cashew butter) - and it's time for school. Hopefully math will be as good as it was yesterday, nice and quick! I think D is finally getting the hang of regrouping.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I've just made the switch to beta blogger. Haven't tried to look at my template yet to see how bad off it is......or if I've lost pictures or data.....gulp!

..........whew. looks okey dokey. But I see that the template is all HTML coded, like the last one. That'll make it easier to tweak this particular look; I'm glad. I know that the beta blogger has basically drag and drop WYSIWYG editing, so I'm glad I didn't lose the html capability. Was thinking I'd lose all my daisies and popcorn, I was!

Dinner tonight

Oookay! It's been a DAY. Morning was taken up by piano lessons. Afternoon was taken up with school. Then I took the kids 30 minutes out to Graham for karate lessons......where Sensei made them sit out, because they forgot to bring their kicks. AAAAAAAAAaaaah!

So I will share the thing that went right tonight: DINNER. AND it's cheap and easy too.

First, I made some brown rice. This takes longer than basmati or jasmine rice, if you don't want it to be crunchy. About 50 minutes in the pot. Then I heated up some organic vegetarian refried beans, and did a quick saute of chicken breast (cut in strips), green onion, and just a titch of green pepper (which the kids can't really eat).

Wrap it all up in an organic tortilla and VOILA! You don't even need a fork.

Filled with wellbeing and joie de vivre, I will now turn my attention to the mounds of laundry that need folding. Ciao.

Tomorrow perhaps I will post pictures of our new living room blinds! :) A. has to finish installing them, however. Then you can see our completely remodeled living room.