Monday, February 28, 2011

Halla Loo Yer

I have an embarrassing tendancy to pick up people's accents.  I love to hear English spoken in a southern drawl.  I love the Aussie way of ending sentences so they sound like a question (with an upward intonation on the last word) or how they pronounce words ending in 'ay' with an 'ie' sound (To-die was a good die!)

And I frequently find myself answering someone using their same way of talking. 

I once met a speaker I very much admired at a leadership conference in Colorado.  She was from Tennessee or Alabama or somewhere down there and had the most engaging accent.  She asked me where I was from and I told her that I was living in California but that I was originally from Oregon.  Except I said all that in my best Nashville accent. 

It sounded absolutely ridiculous

She smiled, a puzzled, frozen sort of look on her face, and turned to greet someone else.  I hit myself on the forehead and crumbled in a heap.  (Not really but I could have.)

I read enough blogs written by women in the south and pretty soon I'm typing "y'all" and "I love me some chocolate" before I realize it.  I have a serious problem.

In doing research for this blog post, I came across this wonderful website - Y'Allbonics.   Here I learned a few southern slang terms that I can creatively weave into my everyday conversations:

BOB WAR - (noun) - A sharp, twisted cable.
Usage: "Boy, stay away from that bob war fence."


BARD - (verb) - Past tense of the infinitive "to borrow."
Usage: "My brother bard my pickup truck an I hope he gits it an all change."

Sorry about that.  I know that since I'm not from the south, I have no right to poke fun at southern slang.  I should be poking fun at my own self and the things I say that sound ridiculous to others.

Like saying "pop" instead of soda.

Although  I did come across this interesting piece of information while doing my research for this post:

The Pacific Northwest English accent is considered to be "very neutral" to most Americans. It does, however, possess the low back vowel merger, or the Cot-caught merger. Pacific Northwest English is one of the closest living accents to conservative General American English. It lacks the Northern Cities Vowel Shift, and does not participate as strongly in the California Vowel Shift or the Canadian raising as do other regional accents.

So if you're from California and we're having a conversation and I suddenly slip into my California Vowel Shift or the Cot-caught merger, please excuse me.  I mean absolutely no disrespect.  I just love y'alls accent!

PS:  I found this blog title while reading another blog - when I saw the word, I just had to use it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day

You have to laugh at us Northwesterners and our propensity to freak out about snow. 

All this week we've been hearing about the 'snowstorm of the year' scheduled to hit yesterday.  We were advised to stock up on groceries, equip our cars with emergency supplies and prepare for record snowfall for February.  Names like "Snowlandia" and "Flurricane 2011" were being bantered about.

Which reminds me, have you seen this Dodge ad?  I love this!

I'm fairly certain they don't air this commercial in Minnesota.  Or maybe they do - so they can laugh at us while snuggling in their igloos!

By Wednesday afternoon, the poor defeated weather forecasters were downgrading their predictions, scaling back on their snowfall amounts and admitting that maybe things didn't look as dire as they'd been saying. 

The headlines could have read "Meteorologists Flee Angry Mobs."

I am subbing in first grade all this week and I was very excited (along with the kids and the other teachers) to have a snow day today and probably Friday.  Standing outside yesterday afternoon in the carpool line, with the sun glaring in our eyes, the teachers looked at each other and resigned themselves to the sad probability that the weathermen were wrong and that we'd all be back there today. 

When I woke up this morning and peeked outside, there was about a half an inch of snow on the lawn and none on the street.  Sighing, I prepared to get ready when my phone rang and I got the good news that school was closed, along with all the local public schools in the area.  Wow! 

A few more flakes fell early this morning but by now all the snow is mostly gone.  I had been out in the yard yesterday and snipped some daffodil buds so when I ate (a liesurely) breakfast this morning, I sat at a cheerful table.  The buds have almost all opened.

I do love first graders and I'm sure I'll see them tomorrow.  This little girl's feet especially delighted me this week.

Of course, the minute I snapped this picture with my phone, I had a line of kids wanting me to take a picture of their shoes. 

I read a few chapters in "Ramona the Brave" after lunch and got to witness the amazing power of suggestion in action.  Ramona has a loose tooth and is trying to get it to come out at school.  Beverly Cleary's descriptions are very vivid and by the time I finished the chapter, I had FOUR first-graders with bloody kleenex in their mouths asking to go to the nurse because their teeth were about to come out.  I am not exaggerating.  So funny.

So... I'm enjoying a day of not tying cute shoes or finding containers for bloody teeth.  What are you up to today??

And be careful out there!

Monday, February 21, 2011

This is what I get to be a part of!

Is God calling your family to adoption?

If not, what can you do to answer His call to
look after orphans and widows?

Contact me at:


Friday, February 18, 2011

Old Friends and the Power of Words

Earlier this month, while Jeff was in Ethiopia and I was home alone, I decided to try to use some of my time doing something other than working waaay too long on the computer. I wanted to reconnect with several people who I was long overdue to get together with.  (I didn't get with everyone that I need to so if you're one of those, let's have coffee soon!) 

One of those connections was with two friends from high school (sisters) who I've had dinner with a couple of times in the last two years.  It's fun to hear what's going on in their lives now and also to laugh over some of our memories from back in the day. 

I have a vivid picture in my mind of going over to their house after school  - often in their orange and black Ford Maverick (very much like the one below).  How cool were we?  These were our school colors.  Oh yes, we were the Beaverton Beavers.  I can't be sure but I don't think their parents even realized that when they bought the car.  But really, who buys an orange and black car?

We'd go to their house and eat cinnamon toast.  They never ate lunch at school and were starving by the time they made it home.  Those girls could put away a loaf of bread in no time.  Funny what you remember.

So I invited them over for dinner.  I have to be honest here and tell you that when someone is coming over, I sometimes battle thoughts like "I need to do a deep cleaning before they get here because I haven't vacuumed the baseboards or wiped the top of the fridge in months" or "I'm sure they'll notice the formica in the bathroom is vintage 1960's" or even "I wonder if I can strip this wallpaper and paint by 5:00?"  I am a nut job.

Because none of that matters!

The focus isn't on me or my house and it's certainly not on the baseboards.  I want the focus to be on people.  I want them to feel comfortable and safe and loved.  And so we laughed and reminisced and shared some of our struggles too.

One of these two recently discovered she has multiple myeloma - an "incurable but treatable" cancer of the plasma cells.  I knew they had suspected it quite a few months ago but she was diagnosed with 'smoldering myeloma' - which means she was asymptomatic and didn't require treatment.  I found out that night that it has progressed.  She now faces aggressive chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.  She has four kids, she's expecting her first two grandchildren and her youngest has Downs Syndrome.

But she is full of faith.  God has given her a verse to hold onto and also to share with others who are concerned for her.  Psalm 62:1-2  "My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken."

We spent much of the evening talking about God's faithfulness, the love of family and friends, and ways we could support her in the weeks to come.

Words of love.  Words of hope.  Words of encouragement.

I was reminded again of how very powerful words are.  I love how The Message puts Proverbs 18:21...

"Words kill, words give life;
they're either poison or fruit—you choose."

I want to think more about how incredibly life-giving a word of encouragement and truth can be.  So simple.  It costs me nothing.  And it can transform someone's outlook or give them renewed faith.  I don't want to make it sound like I gave my friend a new perspective - quite the opposite.  When she left I felt so encouraged by her sister's obvious love for her and by her own  faith that was tested and proven. 

Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Proverbs 16:24 NLT

Because I could never write as beautifully as Anne, and because her story today is similar to mine, please visit the (in)Courage blog today to read her wonderful post "How to Mend All Your Broken Places."

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Links

There's a great Valentine Linky Party over at

Post image for Photo Challenge Winners | Hearts
Have you seen this website?
If you love people pics, you'll love

How about PW's Love Photos?

Because this has been on my mind...

And to continue with the wedding theme...

Pretty and easy!

Need an easy Valentine dessert?

And I'll end with two that I loved...


Friday, February 11, 2011

My Boyfriend's Back

He's been in Africa again - for 3 weeks.
A really long time to be apart.
Missed him terribly.
So glad to have him home.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoulda Woulda Coulda...

I don't like to live with regret.  I know we weren't created to!

If I've confessed my sin, He faithfully forgives and the sin is no more - I am clean.  (see 1 John 1:9)  To continue to stay in that place of guilt and regret leaves me paralyzed and refuses the grace God offers to me. 
Everyone who's been a parent (and who is honest) knows there are lots of opportunities for regret.  We've wondered if we've done something that will permanently scar our kids.  We can absolutely beat ourselves up over our mistakes, short- comings and potentially child-wrecking decisions.   I can vividly remember second-guessing so many of my decisions.  I could make a list of my mothering mess-ups that would fill a book.  And I'm absolutely sure my kids could each do the same.  But I have to believe that God works despite my failures and refuse to get under a cloud of shame or guilt.

But... I do think it's healthy to learn from my mistakes.

Here are a few of the (many) things I would do differently if I had the chance...

  • give my kids way more opportunities to serve others - and do it with them.  Growing up as PK's, my girls were often serving at church - helping in the nursery, at VBS, camps, etc...  But outside of the church?  Not so much.   Definitely should have made more time for that.
  • be much less concerned about how my house looked.  That got better the older they got only because I started to realize what an unpleasant person I was becoming over this.  (That's a really sweet-sounding way to say I got a little wacko about wet towels on the bed.)
  • given them more jobs to do at home.  I was the type who thought it was easier to do it myself - so it got done the way I wanted it done.  Control issues, anyone? 
  • let them make more messes cook more in the kitchen.  Again with the control.
  • tell them how much I love and delight in them more.

I've heard it said that you know you're a mom when you say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job" but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  Maybe my list will inspire one of you young moms who might be feeling the stabs of mommy-guilt.

Thankfully my kids seem to have survived my parenting inadequacies.  Of course we don't know what the long-term effects might be but I pray they remember the good more than the not-so-good.  Maybe they'll be like me when I called my mom repeatedly on the phone and told her "Okay, now I get it." 
I love those girls more than life itself.  I am so thankful that God chose me to be their mom.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Spotted on the www

Casey Abrams on AI auditions...
Keep watching to the end!

You won't believe this but I actually used to play the instrument that guy has.  Oh yes I did.  It was a Hohner Melodica.  Here is a picture of the exact melodica I owned next to the exact same box it came in:

I might not have sounded like Casey. 
But I spent many hours trying to play this now obsolete instrument.  In fact, this very melodica is listed on the web as a collectible - 'antique vintage' to be exact.
I didn't keep mine.

Then there is this blast from the past...
Who remembers the Bee Gees before their disco days?  I do.
I wore out this 45 record.

There's so much I should say about this video...
The hair.  The teeth.  The hand motions. 
This could start me down many musical rabbit trails...
but there's not time for that kind of nonsense!

Okay, maybe one rabbit trail:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cross My Heart

I remember saying that when I was little.

Too bad my word wasn't always good.  In fact, I so enjoyed the attention I got when I told some real whoppers, I got myself in a whole lotta trouble. 

Too bad we can't always count on the promises others make to us either. 

But there are some promises that are always kept.  100% of the time.

These are God's words to me that I can know are true. 

They're the things I need to know when I wake up at night and my mind is spinning with all the what-ifs and I-don't-knows.

They're the promises I can immediately remember when something comes at me that I wasn't expecting - trouble, criticism, heartache.

They're the words that bring peace and trust and hope.  I can say:

"I'm not going to waver in believing God’s promise. In fact, my faith is growing stronger, and in this I'm bringing glory to God. I am fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises."
                                                                                  Rom 4:20-21

These promises I've written below, along with the list of God's attributes, are the words I speak out loud, telling my Self what God has said.  His word trumps my feelings and my circumstances!

God has promised to me...

I belong to Him
But now, this is what the LORD says— He who created me and formed me: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine."
     Is 43:1

He will deliver me
You will not have to fight this battle.  Take up your position; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. 
     2 Chron 20:17

He is always with me
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.  Go out to face them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you.
     2 Chron 20:17

He will uphold me
Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld.
     2 Chron 20:20

He will display of His power for others to see
You are the God who performs miracles.  You display Your power among the peoples.
     Psalm 77:14

He will accomplish His purpose in my life
I know that You can do all things.  No plan of Yours can be thwarted.
     Job 42:2
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O Lord, endures forever!
     Psalm 138:8

He always does good for me
God, You will rejoice in doing good for me!
     Jer 32:38-41

He gives me hope
Praise be to You, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  In Your great mercy You have given me new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
     1 Peter 1:3

I am shielded by His power
Through faith, I am shielded by Your power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 
     1 Peter 1:5
No weapon turned against me will succeed.  I can silence every voice raised up to accuse me.  These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord.  My vindication will come from You.  You have spoken!
     Is 54:17

He gives me everything I need
Your divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness through my knowledge of You, who called me by Your own glory and goodness.
     2 Peter 1:3

I am becoming more like Christ
Through Your very great and precious promises I can participate in Your divine nature.
     2 Peter 1:4 

I will never be put to shame
Lord, the one who trusts in You will never be put to shame.
     1 Peter 2:6

God is leading and guiding me
In Your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed.  In Your strength, You will guide me to Your holy dwelling.
     Ex 15:13
God, You have said, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known.  Along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I will do.  I will not forsake them."
     Is 42:16

He will constantly care for me
I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from?  My help comes from You Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  You will not let my foot slip.  You who watch over me will not slumber; indeed, You will not slumber nor sleep.  You watch over me, Lord.  You are my shade at my right hand... You will keep me from all harm.  You will watch over my life.
     Psalm 121:1-7

And after God said these things to you and me, He crossed His heart.

"Through Christ, God has brought all things back to Himself again—things on earth and things in heaven. God made peace through the blood of Christ's death on the cross."
     Col 1:20
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