Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A portrait of my day...

I stole this idea from somebody else's blog, so I can't take the credit, but I like it so I am going to copy the idea :)

Outside my window: two hammocks strung between the tree, an old sailboat mast, and a giant 2x4 that my brother and friend put up for us to enjoy lazy summer days and nights!

I am thinking: I wish I had more energy and better health to be at a party tonight, but I don't so I am left at home pondering how to spend my evening.

From the kitchen: the smell of boiling peach syrup is wafting into my room. Mom has bought over 300 lbs of fresh peaches in the last week and h
as been canning, making jam and syrup, and giving them away. Yummy!

I am wearing: jeans that I can't decide if I like, and a grey shirt with flowing sleeves that my brother Andy says look like wings :)

I am reading: The Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Very thought provoking and inspiring.

I am hoping: that I will soon find out what these health issues are so I can get back to normal life and have energy and not be light headed.

I am hearing: the loud thundering of the dryer that sounds like a rocket ship ready to take off.

I am creating: a surprise for someone special :)

One of my favorite things: chatting on the porch swing with an old friend (which I did today!)

A few plans for the rest of the week: work, get blood work done, read, brainstorm ministry ideas for church, eat lots of peaches :)

Some pictures of this week around here:

{Mom and some of her beloved peaches}

{Tomatoes from the neighbors-mom is canning them too}

{My brother and friend sleeping in the hammocks}

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chicago Misadventures

Life doesn't often go the way we plan...I'm pretty used to that. This past week was just another example. For weeks I looked forward to going with my little brother Josh to Chicago to help him settle into school at Moody Bible Institute. I worked hard to pay for it, made a list of all the people I wanted to visit, drooled over the many Chicago restaurants/food to catch up on, and thought about all my favorite places in the city that I wanted to visit and take Josh. Well, the trip happened and Josh is at school, but it certainly didn't go as planned. Tuesday evening: August 17th (with rain and giant hail pouring down and soaking us and all our luggage) Josh and I boarded a red eye flight to Chicago, via San Francisco. Thank goodness the weather (that had grounded earlier flights) lifted just in time for us to take off. We flew into SF at sunset and saw the Golden Gate Bridge glowing in all it's splendor. After a layover and another long flight we landed on Wednesday morning at 4:30 a.m. That day was exhausting as I tried to help Josh work out money, insurance, health forms, etc to get into school. It was very surreal to walk around the campus on which I have so many memories, but not see more than a couple familiar faces. It is Josh's turn now, to make memories there and I have no doubt he will make some great ones. Armed with his fedora hat, umbrella, and guitar he is bound to have an impact on Chicago and visa versa. The next day and a half, as Josh attended orientation sessions I was able to visit with old friends and it was wonderful. I had hoped to have 4 more days full of city fun, however, Friday afternoon while having lunch with a friend I nearly passed out for no apparent reason. For the rest of the trip I felt dizzy, lost my appetite, and was very weak. I spent most of my time laying on the couch and only ate applesauce and soup....no deep dish pizza for me :( thankfully I had friends and family to take care of me, but it was quite frustrating and a bit scary to be feeling that way away from home. On Monday I said goodbye to Josh and left him to fend for himself in that big city. Praise God I made it safely back to Seattle, where my dad and brother, Andy, met me. We had grand plans of exploring Seattle and visiting friends in Bellingham and British Columbia, but because of my health most of those plans had to be scrapped, sadly. While my dad finished his business conference, Andy and I decided to try seeing a few sights. We made it to the space needle, but shortly therafter I began to feel faint. I told Andy we could go to the museum of Science Fiction, but he had to push me in a wheelchair the whole time. He did. It was awesome, and we had a good time. After a quick visit to the African Children's Choir office in Bellingham (where I got to reminisce a bit and see items from my tour, including my kiddos costumes that still smell like them!), we headed home. Andy drove the whole 10 hours as Dad and I were not feeling well. What a kid! I am now home safely and happy to be in my own bed. Still not feeling myself, but Tuesday the doctor will run some tests and help me get better :)

So the trip didn't go as expected and I wasn't as adventurous and busy as usual, but it was still good. I still got the chance to visit with old friends from college, professors, and meet new friends (from Africa!). All in all it was a good trip. And Josh is at college, which is the most important thing. So I am thankful. I've just been looking back over pictures from this summer. God has given me a good summer. I've worked hard, spent time with some very dear friends and family, enjoyed Oregon, taken a few trips, and been blessed. On the hard days and in the rough times I look back and realize I have so much to be thankful for...

A few pictures from last week...

{Josh ready for the City!}

{My friend Jimmy from Kenya}

{The REAL Deathstar from Star Wars!}

{My mode of transportation around Museum of Science Fiction}

{Seattle Space Needle-Wahoo!}

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back To School Shopping

I don't know what my parents felt like when they sent me off on a plane to college, but maybe it is something like I am feeling now as I help my little brother Josh prepare for his freshman year at Moody Bible Institute (my alma mater). I'm excited for him and nervous for him. I made him a packing list and checked it twice, I bought the plane tickets, I signed him up for classes, I have given him all the pointers on what to do and what not to do (like don't be the boy who sits in the plaza and plays your guitar...but hold on to your wallet and don't lose your ID). Today I took him shopping and it was probably one of the best shopping experiences ever. He is worse than a girl. Fred Meyer was our first stop (well after I got my Starbucks iced coffee to get me through our escapades). Up and down the aisles we roamed picking out school supplies and necessary, well, necessities for college life. I picked out the practical thing
s like highlighters and notebooks, while Josh picked out the impractical things like a ruler that folds up into a little square like Jacobs ladder. 8 spiral notebooks for 96 cents?! Now that is a deal. I commanded Josh to pick out 6 colors for his 6 classes. See the colors below:

He proceeded to choose his colors based on the following criteria..
Blue-for his favorite class
Black-for the evil class that he will hate
Yellow- for the sunshine class that makes him smile
Green- for the class that help him grow the most
Purple- for the class with the pretty girl that he is attracted to
Red- for the class that causes the most spiritual warfare

Okay Josh...that is great!

I left him mumbling about pretty ladies and spiritual warfare to search for an eraser for his new shiny silver dry erase board. The nice lady with the name tag was showing me to the correct aisle and asked if I had lost some keys. I assured her I had not, but felt sorry for the poor people who would come back looking for them.

We moved on to 3m hooks and bedsheets. I asked Josh all sorts of questions about colors, and hanging things on the wall, and offered bits of nice older sister advice, while he.....carried around a giant Woody the cowboy (Toy Story 3) doll that he'd found, and read random quotes to me from a mini book of wisdom that he's picked up along the way.

I told Josh as he was checking out that I wish I could follow him around at college with a video camera to see how his college experience goes. I'm pretty sure it would be a hit reality show. I think I might hire somebody to follow him with a video camera and take pictures :).

As we arrived at the car Josh fumbled through his pockets and realized he had lost the car keys somewhere along the way (and he'd also left his water bottle chilling on some shelf). As we walked back through the store I realized that I had spoken too hastily to the woman with the lost car keys...thank goodness she wasn't the person at the customer service desk who handed them over to us. We walked out and I informed Josh that I would be driving from that point forward and I mumbled on about how he's going to get into all kinds of trouble in Chicago. He will probably get kidnapped by crazy people who will hold him for ransom until they get tired of him singing at the top of his lungs and let him go!

Our second stop was Target, where I enjoyed watching Josh try out all the pillows, contemplate polka dot sheets or black sheets (he chose black thank goodness), and take 20 minutes to choose which travel shampoo and toothpaste he wanted. I love my brother.

Tuesday I am getting on a red eye flight to deliver him to Chicago and help him settle in at Moody. I have no doubt he will fit in and do very well, but my motherly nerves are still frazzled thinking about how he will find a good job, learn to manage his time, make good friends, and succeed in his classes. If it is this bad with my brother....what will it be like when I have my own children. O dear......

The moral of the story is that I love my brother and I'm proud of him. I will miss him, and I wish him the best in the Windy City and in life...welcome to adulthood!