Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Adoption Announcement

Join us in prayers of praise and thanksgiving!!

Our petition for the stepparent adoption of Brandon Michael has been granted by the State of Oregon. Dawn is now his legal mother, just as if he was physically born to us.

Not knowing his biological mother, at age 5 Brandon gave me his trust and love. We explained that when people are added to a family, God doesn’t let us lessen the love for people already in our lives, but instead gives us a new piece to add to our heart as the new person is integrated into our life.

Vital Statistics:
Age: 12 years, 7 months
Height: 5 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 93 lbs.

Our family is complete!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time Warp

Countdown Status:
- 48 days until I start work in Bloomington
- 37 days until Christmas
- 25 days until we leave for Hawaii
- 9 days until Thanksgiving

It's getting closer and closer! I am not entirely past the anxiety, but I am now able to adjust my focus away from the negative things, and think about packing for Hawaii. Looking around the house, it doesn't feel like we're getting ready to move. Very few things are in boxes in the garage. Closets & drawers are still loaded. We are eating up some stuff out of the freezers and I haven't done a big fall stock-up of non-perishables for the winter. I think this weekend will be the time to get the rest of the summer clothes sorted, some packed for Hawaii, and some just packed away.

My brother and I have both decided that we don't care about activities and sight-seeing in Hawaii. We will both be content just sitting on a beach, staring at the ocean.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Just a quick one

Countdown Status:
- 60 days until I start work in Bloomington
- 49 days until Christmas
- 38 days until we leave for Hawaii
- 22 days until Thanksgiving

Whew! Our fact-finding trip to Illinois was fruitful. It is a very stereo-typical Midwest college town. There is very little change in the landscape. Can't wait to see the seasons change there. Met some of Mike's extended family, that he hasn't seen for almost 25 years.

I have found myself mentally divorcing (?), detaching myself from Salem. I supposed its a coping mechanism for all the change. We'll definitely have a place for our belongings.

Please pray for the sale of our house. I find myself repeating to God, "Lord I believe, help my unbelief." I want to trust God's timing, but now that we have less than 8 weeks to be there, it's becoming apparent that only he can work a miracle to sell our house and have it be an appropriate amount of money that we need.

I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lame Duck

I'm rapidly becoming a lame duck at work. There just isn't as much to do here.
The countdown is as follows:
- 74 days to Jan. 5 to begin the new position in Illinois
- 63 days until Christmas
- 51 days until we leave for Hawaii
- 7 days until Mike & I had for Illinois on an apartment-finding mission

Seth asked me this morning "When do you have another school week?" - meaning a really busy week at work with lots of trainees, etc. I've had about 10 per year for the last 6 years... and the last one was in September... and it was the last one here in Oregon.

I will have a couple of 2-day and 3-day groups in November. Probably will have jury duty in the last half of November, then two weeks to pack up the office (will probably only take a couple of days). Ho hum... what to do.... I guess it's time for some hot chocolate this morning. Toodles.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Equinox

I am breathing cool autumn air this morning... what a relief from the heat of summer. Doesn't this picture just invite you to wander down the road?
I'm watching the boys do yardwork; sprucing up the lawn & edges for an open house tomorrow. My family is in the midst of what could be turmoil with a job transfer coming at Christmas, moving 2100 miles away from home, house for sale and the chore of keeping it "perfect" every day. But as I read each Caring Bridge update for Darian, Chance, and others am reminded that we are so blessed with physical health.

The Lord gave me this job 7 years ago and has continued to amaze us through it. I had a very stressful week at work with a training school and survivied it with mental health intact. I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend with my boys. Mike has Sunday off work so the four of us will have a wonderful family day.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

For Sale

Whew! The anticipation is over... the house is officially "on the market." Sign went into the front yard on Tuesday. I like some of the pictures the realtor took, but I think I could do better. I'm going to take more pictures tonight and will try to upload them from Seth's laptop (which of course doesn't have the camera software).
It's just Mike and I this week. Brando is at the coast with a friend's family and Seth is with his dad. We'll have to find something fun to do in the evenings... besides washing windows, painting baseboards, etc. Now the true wait begins... trusting God's timing for the sale, praying for the potential buyers, keeping the house perfect every day, etc. With the house this clean I find myself wanting to drag out projects to work on... which would make large messes, so my goal for the week is to play the piano at least 30 minutes each day and read for at least 1 hour uninterrupted. Such luxury!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Who am I?

Lord, I'm amazed by you... Who am I that you are mindful of me?
Just two of the songs on the CD I am listening to. Wonderfully soothing & uplifting today.

It's been a quiet morning at work, which is unusual. I am cleaning out a file cabinet and throwing away old junk.

I have been thinking about our new home and town.. what it will be like, finding a church, new friends, etc. I know I will miss things here but I feel myself backing away already. There are still four months before we actually move. It's hard to think of fall kickoffs at church for the fall programs, knowing we will be gone in a short time. I'm sure it must be hard for the boys too, with school coming up in just two weeks.

My prayer focus this week is that God would reveal his plan for the house sale, and the boys settling into the school routine. I love my family and want them to be secure and comfortable.

The song playing right now is You are God alone... From before time began You were on your throne... And right now through the good times and bad You are on your throne and you are God alone. Unchangeable, unshakable, unstoppable... that's what You are. Wonderful to be able to release the stress of life and just focus on Him.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thousand Dollar Thursday

Ok, I didn't win the money today, but I did actually know the song at least. We're so close on the house. I'm working on a couple of projects in the AIR-CONDITIONED house tonight. I'll make Brnadon go out and water everything tonight.

Really not looking forward to leaving my lovely cool office for the bus... but maybe today the newer bus will have not broken down and will still be in service on both of my routes.
Today's picture is because I have to hold on to the surety that autumn will be here soon... along with cool temperatures, fog and beautiful multi-colored trees.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting the house ready to sell

We have made so much progress in the past month... and yet there is still more to do. The boys have been awesome about their part in the process.

We have made 2 trips to the dump, and probably have one more next week. The garage door was replaced today - hurray! The picture was taken with my phone and I think it's a pretty good picture.

I am starting to have anxiety about how long it might take to sell. My head says "God has the right buyers preparing now and they will be ready at the right time." However my emotions are on a roller-coaster of what-if's. I know the move is the right decision and have no regrets about moving forward. I just wish the unknown was know-able.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

July Heat

I am officially tired of hot weather. At least there is a breeze today and the California smoke has mostly gone away... but it's still hot. I wonder how I will deal with it in the Midwest... those hot, humid summers.

It has been a long two weeks of waiting to plan and planning to wait. We are officially moving forward - finally. The moving company has done their official survey, and the realtor has been contacted and our first remodeling and painting projects are 95% done. Next focus is the garage door, the family room floor, and exterior paint. Looking forward to making progress and getting the house listed. Praying it will sell for the amount we would like to get.

However, God has been arranging this for a long time (looking back more than 1 year... ) so we have to believe that He has a plan for how and when the house sale will take place, and who will buy it.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Point A to Point B

I guess I didn't post this specifically before... I have accepted a job offer in Bloomington, Illinois, with my company. I work in the training dept. and they're consolidating all of the main training to the home offices. I'll have my same job, title, & co-workers... but we will get to be in the same time zone.

Mike is excited, except for the part about driving across the country in late December. The boys are unsure, but not negative.

The plan is to sell our house in the next 6 months and move between Christmas & New Years. We have SO much to do in a very short time. My hope is to have the house ready to list around the first week of July.

It's 2,100 miles, so mid-winter it will probably take at least 5 days of driving. The adventurous part of me is excited. I've never lived in the Midwest. It's close to several big cities. Another part of me is unsure... new church, new climate/weather, politics of a big corporate office, Mike's job, etc. I haven't had regrets or doubts about the decision so far. Feeling at peace and that it is the right decision for us.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Monday evening

The confession - I did bring work home today. I didn't do much of it though. Mike is home from work now, and I'm ready to quit for the evening.

Seth did pretty well today. No pain meds, and not much complaining about the overwhelming load of homework. He's going to try school tomorrow.

One of his friends has called a few times and really wants (1) Seth back at school and (2) Seth to commit to staying at Sprague through their senior year. I told Seth I didn't know if that could happen. He said that's his goal right now. I think we have more talking to do...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Another Monday

Ok, in the past 10 days, Mike's truck died, Seth has been/still is sick, Brandon had 3 baseball games, I still had 40 hours of work to complete, plus the "Big Decision" to think about and a bathroom to paint and finish.

The truck - is mostly dead. Paid almost $150 to find that out. It costs more to fix than it is work in Kelly Blue Book, so it is likely to stay dead. Of course it has a full tank of gas and brand new tires. It's just sitting in the driveway for now.

Seth - had a fever of 102-103 for 5 days with unexplained pain in his abdomen. Not appendicitis, tumor or abscess, according to x-rays and CT scan. The fever left last Thursday, but the pain has persisted. So far we are counting an Urgent Care/ER visit, 2 regular doctor visits, multiple blood draws, 2 heavy-duty antibiotics and Vicodin. We are currently waiting for a referral to a gastrointestinal doctor.. should hear by Wednesday. He is stressed out about finals next week, plus missing homework.

Baseball - Brandon's doing well but I am so tired of the routine. We're going until Monday 6/16.

The Bathroom - Is painted with 1 coat. I love the color but I think it's too dark for most people. I will probably go back to the drawing board. I don't think ragging it will look good, but I may try it to see.

Work - Oh my... Fortunately I won't have any groups here until July. I am buried, but I am trying really hard not to take work home with me. I've been successful at that for 2-3 weeks. No promises tonight since there is no baseball game or practice.

The Decision - We are feeling pretty confident about our decision, but are waiting to meet with Pastor Ben another time. He asked us to wait two weeks and make sure we are seeing an overall picture, pros and cons.

Ok, that's the short version. I am amazed at how much it helps to actually write this out and send it away to cyberspace. No one reads it but me... but the act of writing gets it out of my swirling brain.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Washed Away

It's been a long week... so here's an image that shows how I am feeling.
I have a fear of deep water. Boats are fine, ships are fine... it's just me in the water that is not good. I don't like it when I can't see the bottom, or when something in the water touches me... doesn't matter... it's irrational phobia. My imagination worked overtime as a kid.. and the older I get, it seems to grow! Oceans, lakes, etc. Swimming pools are mostly ok... Last summer when we were at Detroit Lake with my brother's family, I think I held my breath the entire time we were out on the biscuit behind the boat. Lifejackets are fine and I swim just fine... but something in the water might touch me. So... this picture is a good representation of how I am feeling about the big changes we are facing. I had this on my work computer as a wallpaper... trying to desensitize myself, which sort of worked.
However I am trying to remind myself today that God says "It's okay to go back in the water!" Oh look, now the sun is coming out... That's what I needed to see :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Changes and Plans

Wow... My world has been tipped a bit sideways with some news yesterday. I have a huge decision to make. It is a compliment to be asked to make this decision.. but will still be tough to decide.

1. Is it a crossroads decision, where God is specifically leading to a certain path?
2. Is it an opportunity where God doesn't give a specific answer, and will honor either path?
3. Is it something where God wants me to be willing to take a leap of faith, but then has something different in mind, not yet revealed until I am ready for the leap?

Whew... So much to think about. I have asked 3 people specifically to pray for me and Mike in making this decision. At this point my prayer is that I can focus on day-to-day needs of family and work, not lose sleep over the decision, and that I can know a clear direction from God.

Happy Tuesday.... I think....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Picture of the Day

Ok, it's not Buddy and we don't have a wooden deck, but he is home striking a similar pose. According to Mike the real Buddy is laying in the barkdust snoozing in the sun. It's supposed to be summer today.. and it's about 80 at 11:30am. Of course any native Pacific Northwesterner knows that nice weather this week/weekend will guarantee that Memorial weekend will be cloudy, cold and rainy! Enjoy the sun while you can!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Plans and Changes

I am feeling a bit proud of myself today because I chose not to get bent out of shape in a situation where I could have let myself get sent over the edge.

Yesterday was a day of drowning in paperwork and so many things to do that I didn't know where to start. Then the work day got away from me and I ended up taking about 3 hours worth of work home with me. Then after Bible study we didn't get home until 9:30... so logically I watched TV and skipped all the stuff I brought home.

So, today I get to work bright and early and it turns out to be the day that my computer is to be replaced. It should take about 2-1/2 hours... I'm up to almost 4 hours at this point, and it will be awhile yet. So... am I getting anything done? A little... but I am choosing not to stress about it. Whatever gets done today, gets done. Anything leftover will wait for tomorrow. I am sitting in a lovely training room next to a window filled with bright red rhodedendron blooms.


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Annoying Coworkers

Oh my... this is really funny. I don't watch "The Office" very often.. just when I'm flipping channels and happen across it. Fortunately the coworkers I sit closest to are away from the office on a regular basis... so I don't have to use my scissors very often. Happy viewing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Brandon's team lost tonight. It was a make-up of their very first game more than a month ago. We beat this team 12-3 last week, but lost tonight 0-2. Brandon wasn't in much; only up to bat once. It was cold tonight, and windy at the field. My dream of a quiet evening at home tomorrow night won't happen... there is baseball practice at 5:30.

Seth was a little down in the dumps today. The girl he has a crush on went back to her old boyfriend. Our own teen angst. Fortunately all it takes for him to perk up is some quiet time and a movie. Right now it's "The Core" - and a testosterone fest in the living room. They are watching the movie and eating steak.. what a stereotype. I'm glad Seth likes disaster movies... nothing like a fictional disaster with inane people to cheer for! That reminds me.. I never saw the new "Posideon Adventure." I'll have to remember to rent it soon. I've seen the old one dozens of times. Few things better than 1970's Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters.

I think I'm done for the night. Buddy is ready for snuggling and I'm still cold from sitting on the bleachers. Good night!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Jumping into 2008

Wow... I didn't realize it had been so long since I blogged. Eleven months just sneaks by...

I think about blogging, sometimes even compose in my head, but obviously never make it to the computer to complete the task.

Here's the quick update:
  • Nothing major happened in the second half of 2007. The pets are still alive and thriving, Mike and the boys too.

  • As of February we have been planning a big family vacation for December.. in Hawaii... yep. We're going! Mike and the boys are thrilled. It is a stretch financially but we are ready.

  • As of March 27th, I have retained an attorney to finalize my adoption of Brandon. We have said we were going to do it for several years, but all of the sudden he is 12 and we just need to go it... so I'll officially be a mom again/still... whatever.

  • With the adoption, Brandon is legally changing his middle name to Michael. His initials will be BMW... which he really likes.

  • Speaking of Brandon, we have entered the Little League cult. Oh my.. some of these people are rabid! He's having fun and learning a lot. Most of the moms I talk to are shocked that this is his first time in organized ball. He is a Parrish Pirate. One month down, and another to go. Personally I really hope he doesn't make All Stars. I love baseball, but I can see that I will be completely burned out by June.

  • Hmm, what about Seth? He is navigating his freshman year of high school. He has some new friends, and seems to be doing okay. I am walking the mom-tightrope of trying to be involved, and yet backing off when appropriate.
  • Seth has gone rock-climbing at Smith Rock in central Oregon, with the youth pastor and some other boys. He will definitely go again. I'm really glad he's being challenged in his faith. He's the right age to start figuring out his own faith, not just skating along on parental faith.

  • Mike is still Mike and I am still me. In a couple of weeks it will have been 7 years of marriage & blended family.

Ok, I think that's enough catching up for today. My new goal is to blog at least once per week. Can I do it? Of course! Will I? Watch and see... Here are a couple of photos I enjoy often at work.