Friday, February 5, 2016


Let's just call this Time to Get Real. 

I am so done with the lame statement that I have heard for years. Years! "Well, you're intimidating." or "Oh it's cause you're intimidating." or "I didn't know what to say to you for a long time 'cause  you're intimidating."

Seriously. Enough already. The latest and greatest oh you're intimidating statement has been told to one of my lovelies in explaining why maybe she doesn't have as many friends as she would like. Again... SERIOUSLY! 

When T and I set out on this parenting adventure, I read, studied, talked with wise mommas, and looked at God's word closely. We knew a few things mattered most and those things we would always emphasize.

1. God is THE most important person in our life. If the relationship we have vertically (with Jesus) is suffering then nothing horizontally (people folk) will be right.
2. Family will be always be there so we made sure they spent time together.
3. Communication is HUGE in life. So they learned what that looks like and they practiced it... often.
4. I still hear T saying this, "There is nothing you do that could make me love you any less." Our children know we are on their team.
5. God's Word is Truth. Always. It is our go-to book.
6. Character matters. Goes along with following God's word and believing what it says is true. If you love your neighbor as yourself and you live your life out loud, then make it count. 
7. Education is important. Be engaged in learning and never stop learning. 
8. Dating can wait. Be friends, have fun, go to school and get your education. Stay focused. Far less drama. We have been on the receiving end of dating drama more than I'd like to say and it hasn't always ended well, sadly. Why date if you're not mature enough to maintain friendships? Hmmm.. probably worth a discussion sometime. But not this one.
9. Have fun and enjoy this great adventure of life. 

I am sure that I have other mantras we live by, but this gives you the idea.

I guess raising strong, beautiful, God-loving, smart women is a formula for intimidation these days. What has happened to our world? There is a problem if someone doesn't want to be your friend because you are confident in who you are. We need to raise confident children, not arrogant children. See the difference. One comes from entitlement and the other is through humility. I can think of plenty of women in the Bible who carried this out... Esther, Ruth, and Mary to name a few.

Somehow this is missing today I think.

My girls are loyal. They are amazing listeners. They can laugh at themselves. They can go out of the house messy and be okay. My girls are confident. I love this about them. Let me say it again in case you missed it, I LOVE this about them. 

Being a strong beautiful woman doesn't mean they don't hurt. Quite the contrary. They hurt deeply. My girls have been abandoned by people who were friends for years and then suddenly drop off the face of the earth.  Who does that? Like I said, it's a time to get real. Not pulling any punches here. Good grief, they've had people completely talk "around" them in group settings when they're the ones making the effort to get to know someone. They've been overlooked and ignored because people think "they're fine".  Thank you Social Media. They have been shunned for what they stand for too. For some reason a woman of principle isn't always welcome in a crowd anymore. Yes, really. They cry and ask why does this happen to me? And we cry together. And they sit home alone, wishing they were doing something else. I just don't always understand people. Everyone needs community. Even confident women desire kindred spirits to share life with, to laugh with, to have a friend who won't be intimidated by them. And don't get me started on the fact that men are intimidated by them. Oh the man who isn't, watch out.  He will be a strong Godly man who knows how to love my girl. 

With the friends they do have, the waters run deep. That's for all of us, really. People who truly know my girls aren't intimidated. They celebrate together, they're honest and truthful. There may not be many that surround them, but the ones who are willing to walk out life together are really the best ones anyhow.

As Anne of Green Gables beautifully said...“A what kind of friend?” asked Marilla.  “A bosom friend–an intimate friend, you know–a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.

So if this is what intimidation looks like then bring it on. I wouldn't want anything else for them.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Where is that Big Yellow Ball?

Can we just take a moment to ponder this photo?

42 Degrees, Rain, and Sunset at 4:25 pm  and they want me to Get Out Here? It should say Get Outta Here! 

It did NOT STOP raining for 26, 27, maybe 28 STRAIGHT days in December. Seriously.  Can someone please send the sun back to the PNW or send me out of it!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Volley Christmas!

 Tis the season for some volleyball. The season kicked off with all the girls baking, laughing and exchanging gifts. Well, that would be more of a soccer party than volleyball. The volleyball girls had a Christmas Party and it was a HIT! That's more like it. Getting together to build community is always a great way to start the season. We love Lina's coaches and even though the semester will be fast and furious, we can't wait. May the odds be ever in their favor.

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Gospel Christmas 2015

So it's raining still, in case you were wondering. but in spite of the sour weather, we weren't gonna let a little rain stop us from celebrating Christmas and all the fun happenings of Portland. Last year we missed out on many fun December moments still trying to figure out life here, so I had my list ready this year. We did the Christmas Tree Lighting in Vancouver, Check. Now it was time for some down home Gospel music and dinner with our girls. Yeah for dressing up and going out on the town!

We sat in the very back row. Not a single row was bad in this concert venue and actually the sound resonated just fine from here.

Not sure WHY these stuffed dogs were under the tree in the lobby of the concert hall but two cute girls and two stuffed animals called for a picture to be taken.

Then there was this scene. 

Hey that's a nice backdrop. Let's get a picture there... or two or three by the time they smiled and stopped laughing. Kind of fuzzy to boot!  

I enjoyed the concert and the company! Who knows what fun event we will discover next year. Until then....

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Hiking in the Rain, PNW Style

It's raining here. Surprise!

But in-spite of that my sweet man asked me to go on a hike with him. At first I was like, eh...really? But being housebound days on end is a drag, so I embraced the idea and started pondering what one wears in the rain around here. It's warmer this week than last so just a few layers and my water proof jacket, thank you Costco, was enough. No umbrella, ella, ella. T heard of another trail system near our regular hiking spot. We drove by where we thought it might be and after looking for it ever so closely, we found the small, singular sign by a hidden driveway. We've driven past this park so many times. Who knew?!

I was completely wrong about hiking in the rain. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. It wasn't a crazy, stay inside, wind knocking down trees rain and the canopy pretty much protected us. Of course I always enjoy being with my husband, so give me him and the outdoors... I'm simply joyful.

The landscape in Washington is breathtaking. When we hike, I have to stop, breathe in a bit and take in the beauty. I have my own Secret Garden that I share with the rest of Washington but when there's only two of us on the trail, it feels like my very own. We explored as much of the trails as we could before dusk.

The ferns here just grow. And grow. And grow. No maintenance require. They even grow out of trees. No, really. Just amazingly beautiful.

There are also some cool mushrooms here. Different colors, shapes, and sizes.This one looked like someone carved into it.

Now that we discovered we can hike in the rain, where to next? God knows, and I really mean HE knows, how much it rains here, and how much I need my outdoor time. I guess it's time to acclimate to the liquid sunshine and just go! Welcome to the PNW.