Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Weekend Away (whoop whoop!)

Friday morning:

Throw a bunch of clothes in one suitcase.
Ask husband to check his prop box for glasses and other good disguises.  He is a gold mine for this.
Throw a bunch of costume stuff in another suitcase.
Check to be sure GPS, cell phone, bluetooth and iPod are charged. 
Arrange all of these devices within easy reach of driver's seat.
Kiss husband.
Go back in the house for briefcase with adoption 'work' folders.
Kiss husband again.
Drive north on I-5, stopping for coffee and two W*lmarts for sinus meds - sold only by prescription in Oregon so I have to cross the border to get my 12 hour generic Sud*fed.  (I am not absolutely sure why bloggers put the "*" sign within proper names - something about internet searches - but I want to be cool too.)
Stop at T*rget and wander a bit just because I can.
Go to Adoption Ministry office in Puyallup and copy several thousand photos from the latest mission trip. 
Get Liane and head for Yelm, WA to the adoptive moms retreat.
Drive-through St*rbucks for two venti decaf non-fat sugar-free lattes.
Plan a very lame ice-breaker skit in the car.  We know what we think is funny but we're not sure what will actually be funny.  We crack ourselves up but how fun is that to watch?
Arrive at the retreat center just in time for dinner. 
Meet some incredible women.
Hear woman after woman introduce herself and tell how many children she has adopted (the one with the most had 25 children, 17 of whom were adopted. What??)
Become so flustered after hearing these introductions that when it was my turn, I said I had two children. 
Turn four shades of red when my 'friend' Liane points out to the group that I have three.
Continue to embarrass myself by performing a skit where we couldn't remember the lines due to the fact that we had just come up with them hours earlier.
Saved by Liane's incredible ad-lib skilz.
Get a tour of our accommodations - an RV brought because I was a last-minute add-on.  It proved to be a wonderful, private spot!


Spend most of the day in meetings with my boss, Joy Casey, going over upcoming work.
Leave at about 4:30 to pick up Karen and get out of town for the night!
Drive to Gig Harbor for dinner at The Tides on the water.  Great food.  Gorgeous view (sorry - no pics).  Good conversation.
Keep driving out on the Key Peninsula to Bay Lake, where Karen's cabin is. 
Stop at a little market to rent a movie.  This is the kind of market that has lots of beef jerkey and beer up front.  The kind where everyone else in line smelled like smoke.  I'm just sayin'. 
Arrive at the cabin, unload the car and start talking.
Keep talking until it is time to leave on Sunday. So much talking that we don't have time to watch the movie.

(The following are not current pictures because I didn't even think of taking any.  These are from a previous visit but you get the idea.)

It was relaxing, refreshing and so much fun!  I highly recommend getting away every now and then.  I came away realizing:
a.  I need to plan more FUN in my life
b.  I am incredibly blessed in the area of friendships - blessed rotton!  These women are my sisters in the best sense of the word.
c.  I love getting home again.

If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
Eccl. 4:10

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The end of a PURPLE era

Moms and minivans go together like peanut butter and jelly.  I'll never forget when we got our first one. 

I had been driving a two-door Toyota Corolla with three little girls riding in the back seat.  That meant folding back the front seat, wedging 5-year-old Amy in between two carseats, then hoisting baby Lindsey into her baby seat and 3-year-old Lisa into her car seat.  If I was taking Amy to preschool, I had to walk her in so I would load the kids up in our driveway, drive the ten minutes to preschool, unload them all, walk them downstairs to Amy's class, kiss goodbye, climb the stairs and reload the little girls into the backseat of the sardine can Corolla.  Family vacations in that little car were an amazing testimony to my husband's packing skilz.  The Beverly Hillbillies had nothing on us!

My parents helped us buy our first used van and I felt like a QUEEN driving that white Dodge Caravan!  The sliding door seemed like a garage door into the spacious interior.  The kids could walk around in it!  It had automatic locks and tinted windows!!  We put a TON of miles on that faithful old van, driving from southern California to the Northwest every summer.  Eventually, we began to be concerned about the cost of some major repairs it needed.  Our youth pastor salary didn't allow for the purchase of a car - so we prayed.

At Christmas in 1997, we were given money to buy a new van!  (I could tell you story after story of how God has faithfully provided for our family - this is just one among many!)  A car-dealer friend told us about a van they'd taken in as a trade - a Chrysler with less than 7,000 miles on it!  Oh, and by the way, it's purple. 



But it was a Town & Country - top of the line - for a great price.  So we swallowed our pride and bought it.  If I thought I'd been in the lap of luxury when we got our first van, this put me right up there with the other fancy people.  Leather captain's chairs, two sliding doors and an electronic thingy that opened and closed the rear window vents.  Slick.  Now my problem was feeling all that driving this very cool van.  Only the color kept my pride in check.

I became known as the mom who drove around Palm Springs in the purple van.  There weren't too many (I wonder why?) so I was easy to spot.  As the girls got older, they told their dad not to drive it - it was embarrassing for their father to drive a purple car.  But it was the most comfortable thing to drive you can imagine!  It served us faithfully for thirteen years.  We put almost 200,000 miles on it!

But as most good things must come to an end, our need for a minivan has done just that.  'The Purple' as we've lovingly called it all these years, is going to another mom who needs more room (after a few repairs and fix-ups).

When Jeff drove it away yesterday, I blinked back a couple of tears.  Then I quickly grabbed my phone to ask him to take a picture of it before he walked away.  I'm not sure we've ever included it in any of our family snapshots!  That purple van holds a TON of memories - vacations, van-loads of volleyball, basketball and softball teams, trips to the beach, fieldtrips, spilled Cokes and Adventures in Odyssey stories.  

I'll miss you, Miss Purple.  You carried us as royalty.  I'm sorry I was ever ashamed of you.   

Monday, April 12, 2010

Heard last week in 2nd Grade...

Continuing the substitute teacher chronicles:

First thing in the morning...

Very bright, but border-line annoying kid...

During 'Show and Tell' a little girl showed us a bag of broken glass from her dad's car window, which had been
broken into the night before.
(How's that for an innovative show and tell?)
One little girl in the spellbound audience sitting on
the carpet fell onto her back and moaned...  

Same kid.  Again...

From the whole class when I asked if they were always this good...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Here are a few of the thoughts rolling around in my head lately...

  • Sometimes all it takes to get motivated is to START.

  • Triple A pays for itself.

  • You never, ever stop being a mother.  Ever.

  • While I can easily get depressed thinking about the state of our culture, so many people inspire me. 

  • Growing old is not easy.  For anyone.

  • The Promised Land is not a place. It's a relationship God wants to have with me - 100% yielded.  

  • Getting there involves coming to some places where I have to give up in order to go on.

  • It's worth every surrender.

  • Fred Meyer garden center: geranium starts @ 60¢ each!  I bought 'a few.'  Tiny now but will fill a garden spot or bunch of pots!

  • Did you know that to type the symbol for 'cents' on a PC you hit 'Num Lock' 'Alt' and '0162?'  How weird is that?

  • I really dislike worrying.  It makes me feel awful.  Why do I do it?

  • I got a hand-written card in the mail yesterday and I LOVED it!  (Thanks Lori!)  It just feels different than typed words - way better, I think because I picture the person taking the time to share with me.  Vow to write more using a pen and paper.

  • Sometimes I realize I've been driving for miles and can't remember seeing anything around me.  Beware of a woman in a purple van - just FYI. 

  • Giving something to someone who needs it beats getting something any day.  I've been the receiver more often than the giver but I'm learning!

  • There's always more to do. 

  • The fear of human opinion disables - trusting in God protects you from that. 
    Prov. 29:25  The Message

  • I love blog comments! 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Same Mighty Power!

I also pray that you will understand
the incredible greatness of God’s power
for us who believe Him.
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ
from the dead and seated Him in the
place of honor at God’s right hand
in the heavenly realms!
Ephesians 1:19-20 

We can know that very same power 
at work in our present circumstances. 
Thank You Lord Jesus!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Good Friday for you and I

For God in all His fullness was
pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
everything to Himself.
He made peace with everything
in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.
Colossians 1:19-20

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Teaching and Learning

Boy have I been a slacker in the blogging department.  I've left all of you on the edge of your seats - and I'm so sorry!  Actually, you've been doing just fine without me.  I know better than to think there is anyone out there waiting breathlessly for my posts.  The Pioneer Woman I am not.  I don't ever offer giveaways of Kitchen-Aid mixers or fabulous jewelry.  Sorry - I have no sponsors!  I do have some fantastic mid-century light fixtures and several back-issues of "Real Simple" if anyone's interested!

"So what have you been doing Becky?" you ask with a yawn.  Well, since you asked...

Things with our adoption work have been hopping and since our ministry director has been in Ethiopia for several weeks, I've been trying to 'hold down the fort,' so to speak, in her absence.  That means answering multiple emails, talking to many prospective and currently adopting families on the phone, posting blog updates from Ethiopia, processing new children from our orphanages and trying to stay abreast of the current updates to the legal process in Ethiopia.  Last month, five children were brought home to their forever families here in the US - two in Ohio, one in Kansas, one in California and one in Hawaii.  All were children who had no hope or future in Africa.  All are now in homes with a mom and a dad who will love and hug and disciple and provide for them.  It just doesn't get better than that! 

How am I so blessed to be a part of something so wonderful??

I have also been doing a little substitute teaching.  And while I'm much more comfortable in the primary grades, where I am (usually) loved and listened to...

I have recently accepted several requests to serve time teach in the SIXTH GRADE.

Did I tell you I am a primary grade teacher?  I use puppets and stars on the board for motivation.  I tell silly stories and tie shoes.  I have an invisible flea who keeps the class mesmerized.  I open packages of fruit-by-the-foot and read Ramona the Brave.

So when I got a call at 7:00 am asking me to be there by 8:00 and to teach dividing integers and graphing equations using the sympodium, I'll admit I sort of panicked.  Would they all be quiet when I showed them my puppet?  Would they like my "Anything Family" story?  

So you're getting the picture here.  I knew I wasn't prepared.  Forget the Masters degree.  Forget the confident, in-charge person I like to think I am.  They were going to eat me alive.

When you think of a substitute teacher, doesn't something like this picture come to mind? 

But guess what?  They were a bunch of little kids!  Yes, they were in some pretty awkward bodies.  But they were totally motivated by earning stars for extra free time and they cracked me up with their dramatic presentations of the Civil War.  One poor kid would not stop (loudly) describing the zit on his chin and a sweet girl talked to me at length about the children's book she was writing.  What great kids! 

So, I survived.  Then I came home and collapsed on the couch. 

How about you?  How was your week?
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