Thursday, August 30, 2012

A very long post with lots of photos and a YURT


Starting in the summer of 1973, my husband Jeff served on work crew and summer staff at Young Life’s Malibu Club in Canada.  I went as a camper then a counselor for many years.  So last week was a reunion up at the Club for anyone who has been on summer staff or work crew and I got to go along!  It was so much fun to reunite with old friends, share memories (LOTS of stories) and get caught up on what everyone is doing now.  What a testimony of God’s work in our lives. 

Getting to Malibu is an adventure in itself.  We drove north from Portland, stopped in Tacoma to pick up our friends Brian and Karen, then on up across the US/Canada border, further north to Langdale, a 45 minute ferry crossing to Horseshoe Bay, and about 90 minutes more to the little town of Pender Harbor on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.   I’d never been to this part of B.C. – it’s lovely! 


Todd Silver, who Jeff cooked with at Malibu, organized a great overnight and barbeque dinner.  He got reservations for over 50 of us to stay in this little resort town – some in motels, some in cabins and a few of us lucky ones in yurts. 


The yurts were located in a crowded little campground next to a beautiful harbor.  I had a vague idea of what a yurt looked like but I was picturing a round canvas hut, fairly primitive with a fire in the center for cooking and heat.  And perhaps a yak tied up outside for transportation.   Boy was I wrong. 


Our yurt had hardwood floors, a really comfy queen-sized bed and mission-style furnishings. Wow.

When we opened our eyes in the morning, this was our view:


I had thrown in some St*rb*cks Via at the last minute and I was glad I did because there wasn’t any coffee – only a hotpot.  Whew - that was a close one.


We did blow a fuse using the hotpot and the space heater at the same time.  And to get to our private bathroom we had to go outside and then into a little room with shower, sink and toilet.  But how often do you get to view a million stars when you get up to go to the bathroom?

Can you tell I’m no longer a camper-type?  This yurt thing is pretty plush and may be a good way to go glamping.

We loaded our stuff into the car and headed just a few miles north to Egmont, where the Malibu Princess is docked.  (The Princess used to sail from Vancouver BC and took 8 hours to arrive at Malibu.  Now it leaves from Egmont and takes only 3 hours.)

Just before arriving at the dock, there is a place to pull over and park so you can walk into the woods and find the most delightful bakery, The Green Rosette.


You walk down a little winding gravel road…


and pretty soon you see this treehouse in the woods.  It’s like something in a fairytale!


As we got closer we heard some familiar laughter and looked up to see some friends who had beat us there, already sipping coffee and eating some amazing pastries at the ‘bar’ along the railing.



Jeff and I were so surprised to find they served Ethiopian coffee!  It was delicious!


Here I am at the counter ordering our breakfast – including a giant blackberry-chocolate muffin made fresh that morning.


Next up was to board the Princess and enjoy the lovely ride up to Malibu.


A group of US military families had been at camp the week before and were lined up along the boardwalk to greet us. Someone had the foresight to bring flags for each branch of the military and wave them as we pulled up to the outer dock to show our thanks and support.  It was pretty great.



Malibu is one of the most beautiful places on earth and the memories we have – mostly of dear friends and really significant times in our relationships with Christ – only add to how unique and special this place is to us.



Because we are now old, a LOT has been added to the camp since we were campers, including an incredible gym and several new places to stay.  Our home for the week was Kanata, a beautiful lodge built for staff families who serve at Malibu for many weeks at a time.  We were totally spoiled to get to stay here.


I could post a million photos here – because Jeff took that many – but here are just a few of some of the folks we got to spend the week with…















We're feeling blessed indeed.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Links I Liked


A Hopeful Heart
”Sometimes it feels good to say no just so that you can say yes to something else.”

Would You Move Here?
”We all have our particular tastes and unique preferences, but when it comes down to it, most of our homes are pretty similar. Whether it's an apartment or a house, it probably has four walls and a sturdy foundation. But if that sort of conventionality bores you, there are plenty of other options…”

How To Really Live
@A Holy Experience
”There are a thousand ways to be lukewarm and there’s a reason I know that. I’ve been apathetic about grace  and casual about Christ and you can lose your First Love faster than you can lose the 100 meter dash.”

Posts I Don’t Want To Write
@The Delighted Life
”There seem to be more people who are calling for a ‘balanced’ perspective on the issues than those who are willing to stand by the radical and sometimes uncomfortable Word of God.”
I Kissed My Date Goodnight
”The question always on my mind
Where is my dear soul mate?
Why did that pilot that I liked

Not want a second date?
The lawyer who once took me out
Successful, kind was he
No sparks, no click, nothing concrete
Wonder, what’s wrong with me?
That time I met the cutest guy
His eyes blue as the sea
Only to learn he would assist
My colonoscopy.”

The Pinterest Effect
@Ha Has for Hoo Has
No matter how many pins you’ve seen, you remain in awe that you now hold the key to so much life change and possess such a wealth of knowledge. You feel inspired to purchase & create…and so does everyone else.  This mutual inspiration has caused a ripple effect in the economy that is changing lives for the better…
…AND for the worse (cue daunting music).


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It’s official – I am old

Every year, Beloit College publishes a ‘Mindset List’ – what the current class of college freshman base their worldview on.  I look forward to reading it each year it comes out.  I used to be able to mentally plug one of my girls into the freshman group but alas, they have all graduated from college and are now fully mature and independent.  Which leaves me squarely in the class titled ‘OLD’.  As I read this list, it only confirms that fact.


I’ve picked out a few things on the Mindset List for the class of 2016 that are especially interesting to me but you can read the whole list here.  And here is part of their list from 2009 that I posted on the blog.

For this generation of entering college students (born in 1994) these things are true:

  • They have never seen an airplane ‘ticket’
  • They can’t picture people actually carrying luggage through airports rather than rolling it
  • Their folks have never gazed with pride on a new set of bound encyclopedias on the bookshelf
  • They have no use for a radio at all
  • They have lived in an era of instant stardom and self-proclaimed celebrities, famous for being famous
  • A significant percentage of them will enter college already displaying some hearing loss
  • They have had to incessantly remind their parents not to refer to their CDs and DVDs as “tapes”
  • There have always been blue M&Ms, but no tan ones
  • They watch television everywhere but on a television
  • Despite being preferred urban gathering places, two-thirds of the independent bookstores in the United States have closed for good during their lifetimes
  • Exposed bra straps have always been a fashion statement, not a wardrobe malfunction to be corrected by well-meaning friends
My kids find it hard to believe but one day they too will be looking at a list that makes them feel old.  Only Beloit will publish it via hologram or send directly to their brains through cyberspace.

I'm going to listen to the radio now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012



Remember my hanging pots I planted last April?  They didn’t look very good for a couple of months.  But now?  They are beautiful!  My photography skills don’t really capture how full and cascading they are but I highly recommend those plastic pots with the holes.  If I can do it, anybody can!

Does your town have colorful flower pots hanging from the lamp posts?  Ours does and they do make a pretty street scene.  I can’t help but wonder how so many cities can afford them, though.  The initial costs to put them together and then the cost to water and maintain them?  Meanwhile teachers are being laid off, city workers are losing their jobs.  Hmmm…  Don’t get me started!

So lots of flowers mean lots of pruning.  Other than impatiens, most of the flowers in my yard will bloom much longer and more fully if I do - what is for me - the back-breaking work of dead-heading.

PicMonkey Collage

No, don’t picture me in a ruffled skirt and eyelet blouse with my thick hair tied back in a long ribbon, basket under my arm as I meander through the flower garden. 

No no.  I am crouched on my little garden stool in my fake plastic crocs, groaning and talking to myself.  I will pay the price for several days.  I do it anyway because I cannot bring myself to ask my husband to do it. 

He would prune for me without any complaint but I would be crouched over him, telling him “Try not to leave the stems so long” or “Can you clip that one?  No, the other one.”  I am hopeless.  It’s just easier, less embarrassing and less bossy for me to do it myself.

Pruning is painful.  But it always reaps rewards!  (I’m pretty sure there’s a verse for that!)





Monday, August 13, 2012


Gearhart/Cannon Beach/Seaside/Manzanita… the beach in Oregon will always be a favorite for our family.  We have tons of memories there.  Waves, sandcastles, blackberry cobbler, bikes, hide-and-seek, ping pong, friends and family, ice cream cones, games and books.

For over 25 years we spent part of summer vacation at a friend’s beach house in Manzanita – until she sold it.  Funny how something that never belonged to you can be such a huge loss. 

So this year I found a house in Gearhart on VRBO and it was fantastic.  Though it’s not our favorite beach or town, it was quiet, beautiful weather and close enough to Cannon and Seaside to drive down for an afternoon to visit.  Ray and Lisa couldn’t join us because they had to work – that is the part of having my kids grow up that I don’t like. 



A few of my favorite people…




Jeff’s mom came with us and can I just tell you what a joy she is to be around?  She is always happy (I know – but it’s true), positive to the nth degree and she keeps us in stitches.  Her card-playing skills are legendary in our family as are her names for the cards…





Oh vacation, how I love you! 
Oh God, Your creation wows me every time!


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