Monday, October 7, 2013

Coffee Break


Ryan's cousin called to see if I wanted to run away to Canada; she had a passport she'd never used and I have a brand new enhanced ID so we both can cross the border. I told her it would take me several weeks to plan such a spontaneous trip so we decided to go after school started during a week Ryan was off so he could get everyone to sports and such.
First stop was Fiddler's Coffee in Centralia

2nd stop was at Krispy Kreme in Tacoma. At this point I decided that maybe I should put our destination into Gladys the GPS. Gladys is not familiar with Canada. She had no information onboard to route our trip. Emergency Plan B was a quick trip to AAA for maps. The lady in the office also printed us a TripTik to the hostel in Jericho Beach where we were staying that night- we went Old School! Problem is, I was driving and Shar can't read a map to navigate....

  I like to stop at places we don't have in our Tiny Town and the surrounding area, I knew there was a Five Guys in Marysville and I'd never eaten at one, so that was where I was headed for lunch. Shar was just along for the ride and didn't really care what we did as long as I drove. You have to love a place that has grilled onions and mushrooms as standard toppings!

At 2:00 we were passing through Ferndale, just in time for Sonic Happy Hour. Shar claims I gave her whiplash as I pulled off the freeway...

Waiting at the Peach Arch to cross the border into Canada.

Gladys is lost...

See that beach area between my fingers? That's the nudist beach, I didn't mean to end up there but they had a bathroom and we had drunk a lot of coffee and Shar can't read a map and it was pouring rain and I just had to stop. On the upside- we didn't see any nudists, everyone had raincoats on, and I was able to figure out where we were and where we were going. We're supposed to be up there in the green area in the top right corner, just under that blue frame, that's Jericho Beach.

It's an old army training camp and its right on the beach in a really neat old neighborhood. We didn't get to do much exploring since the weather was really bad (at home they were having thunderstorms and the power was out for hours) but in the evening it cleared up enough that we did get to walk a bit on the beach and hear the waves and it was enough for me to be refreshed. I stayed in a Hostelling International Hostel in Seattle last winter with my program from Evergreen and was impressed by their cleanliness, convenience, and especially their price, $30 Canadian.

I think there is a TV crime drama that is filmed in Jericho Beach and Vancouver but I didn't go look up the particulars since I remember it as rather dark and gritty and I didn't want to freak myself out if that was truly where it was supposed to take place.

Looking towards downtown Vancouver in the setting sun. I never really got my bearings on where I was looking, I think Stanley Park is off to the left of downtown in this picture and the beach we were walking on was really the Fraser River.

The next morning we hit a couple of Starbucks for breakfast and to look for a mug for Ryan that we never found (when I was cleaning up my car I realized that the sleeve advertised a specialty blend that is only available in Canada and that would have been a great souvenir to take home but we were across the border when I figured that out). Due to Gladys being on vacation and Shar's map skills and Canada's non-existent highway signs it took us longer to get to the border than I planned (and we saw a lot more of Vancouver's suburbs and I have no idea if we went through the areas that I promised my mom we would avoid...) We still made it to the border by 10 a.m. so we could have lunch at Pike Place Market and be out of Seattle by 2 or 3 in order to miss the Friday traffic.

September is looking a lot like January as we drove through Whatcom County- gray and foggy.

It was fun to introduce Shar to my favorite parts of Pike Place Market- we had Chinese BBQ pork skewers and French pastries for lunch. And I bought half a dozen macarons to treat myself later. We stuck our heads into the original Starbucks so she could say she's been there but the line was too long to wait to get any coffee. I still can't believe she's lived in Washington most of her life and never really explored that part of Seattle- when I was a kid we always took out of town guests to the Market and the Curiosity Shoppe and since the kids have been little almost all trips to Seattle include Westlake, the Market, or the Waterfront.

Our last coffee stop was Dutch Bros. Coffee in Lacey. Dutch Mafia coffee is my new obsession and I hear rumors that we may be getting one and while I'm excited to be able to get drinks I also am afraid the novelty would wear off if we had one readily available...
We had a lot of fun and did a lot of driving. I packed books and knitting and got to none of them. I didn't get to Murchie's Tea or a grocery store to buy digestive biscuits. But I got to walk on the beach and sometimes that's what I really need. Maybe we'll plan our next coffee break to Kona?
Just kidding.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Bible in 90 Days- Complete!


I finished my reading September 8 which is actually 89 days. Stepping back and looking at the history of Israel chronologically was interesting. I didn't like the reading but looking back the thread was more apparent. What really stood out to me was the continuing disobedience of Israel, even when they had a good king and were worshipping in the Temple, they still maintained their idols and their high places and their worship of foreign gods. Once they return from exile things seem to be better but by the New Testament I think that they have replaced one form of idolatry for another- legalism. And this carried into the early church, most of the letters dealt with the difference between outward worship and inward relationship and that sin is in the heart not in the action.
A friend asked me what I learned and this was my response to her on Facebook, "Reading chronologically made me crazy with all the fiddly flipping and turning and reading in fits and starts but, when I stepped back and looked at what I read it made the "story" line much more apparent. The continuing disobedience of the people and their kings in spite of the prophets. The law was never truly followed until the time of the New Testament and then it was the new idolatry of the Pharisees. Their hearts were hardened to just loving the Lord their God. It's that simple. But on the flip side do we do any better? Rules and religion are easier to maintain than a personal relationship that calls for service and sacrifice to love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself."
I was asked about teaching a Bible survey class as a Women's Bible Study once I am done with school. I've really been thinking about what I would teach- I think there is a real lack of Bible K
knowledge and how all the parts fit together but then would it be too knowledge based and not reach the hearts of the students? I guess I have time to wrestle with this (and to be honest I wrestle with this balance in my own life- the difference between knowing about God and knowing Him...)

Friday, September 13, 2013

August on Instagram


Our friends came up to visit from San Diego and we camped in Forks. Arin is the only one who would pose with Bella's truck at the Visitor's Center | Hiking in the Hoh Rain Forest
Rialto Beach in the fog | Not sure what Isaac is running from? | Arin on the breakwater
A friend had to run kids up to camp so I jumped in the Jeep and rode along catching up on the summer and just spending some time visiting- with the wind blowing through my hair (we just missed the rain!) | Tovah started hitting lessons with a wonderful coach | soccer started

July on Instagram



1st game at the State Fastpitch tournament | Get Well Coldstone gift card to make her eye feel better (she got hit with a ball at State, it was thrown by a little sister at lunch, not by an opponent, and left her with a wild black eye for a week) | Isaac and Jonah off to Camp Hahobas for a week
Arin voted in as Senior Patrol Leader | Managed to get to 1 Mariner's game this summer | Ryan posted this picture on Instagram and next thing the boys are hollering cause its up on the big screen!
Tovah's team won their final tournament of the year! They got t-shirts (much better than a trophy) and I wondered how many days she would wear it?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

State Fastpitch Tournament

Tovah's team played at the ASA U-10 State Fastpitch Tournament in Lacey in July. I uploaded these pictures several weeks ago but they sat in a draft waiting until I took the time to journal them. Her team was up against teams that were much better than they were but they did okay, even lasted a game longer than their rival team (and believe me, we were all pretty excited about that).
The first day was against two teams that we wouldn't have played before to get the teams a chance to play on the artificial turf (and the games didn't count for pool play). The ball bounced differently than on dirt and the turf makes sliding into base easier or harder depending on whether its wet or not.
Warming up on the turf- the trick is to get the ball before it bounces

Both teams lined up with the umpires, not just the team captains. After the first set of games they also had opening ceremonies and introduced the teams and lined them all up on the field. It was pretty cool but my pictures don't do it justice.

Our friends came to hang out with me at the ball field both days. Reminded me why the older kids didn't get to play ball- little guys in the stands can be pretty exhausting but it was a lot of fun too. They cheered and waved and got pretty excited when Tovah acknowledged them and pretty much cleared the snack bag.

Sliding into home! I hadn't gotten a good picture of her sliding home before this one- I was always watching someone else while she stole home. I guess that's the point....

At the end of the day the little guys got Tovah-time on the playground!
I really need to get the pictures uploaded of the tournament they won...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

4th of July Celebrations


We had to do our fireworks on July 3 due to Ryan's work schedule. That afternoon Ryan and Tovah went shopping for the good stuff as we still had a box of sparklers and little stuff from last year that we got tired of lighting. I'm not sure how it happened but Rush and Tovah were the primary pyros this year, the other boys did 1-2 but then went and sat back down.

Colored smoke bombs are a tradition but this year only Jonah ran through the smoke. The other annual photo is Arin and his lightsaber in the smoke. When I have my camera set slow it takes cool, ghostly images of him. I am still working on how to set my camera for fireworks. I print a tutorial while Ryan and the kids get set up. Next year I should read and practice several weeks before but I never think about it. I also want to take some cool sparkler pictures (we still have a huge box to practice with.)

The parade downtown is an annual event. It's very convenient now that we have friends living a block from the parade route (but getting away from their house as the parade let out wasn't much fun, I need to rethink where I park). It's always fun to see friends in the parade and the kids get excited to have candy thrown at them.


The chairs were for the adults but they got co-opted by the teens who weren't so excited about tootsie rolls and waving to people they know. After the parade we met Ryan at Burger King for dinner before he went to work and we went home.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bible in 90 Days- Weeks 2-5


Today I am finishing Week 5 of the Bible in 90 Days. I've gotten behind each week but have finished each week on time. It's harder to read when you are jumping through 3 books. I really thought that I would be in the flow of history in the Bible reading it chronologically, but I've found that it's choppy and it's almost like the thread is tangled. Reading straight through, yes, you get different threads going at different times but they come together and the story is stronger for those times that they are plied (I'm not sure my yarn metaphor is working but I'm not sure how to explain the disconnect I'm feeling.)

One thing that stood out to me is that David refused to sacrifice something that cost him nothing but Solomon had no problem building the Temple of the Lord that cost him nothing (it was paid for by David and the offerings of the people). There is a huge lesson in here that I am still pondering about the cost of sacrifice.

Another crazy thought that I had is that next summer, instead of reading the entire Bible I would read just the New Testament, in Spanish. It will either make me totally crazy or I'll spend a lot of time seriously pondering what it actually means...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Instaweek June 23-29


Finished the 3rd Doctor Who scarf before we left | Spilling Water at Grand Coulee Dam | Looking down the spillway from the top of the dam during the Dam Tour
Sonic in Post Falls, ID makes me happy even if lunch is at 9:30 | When the raft is at the red flag you can drop a quarter in the machine and it will spray the occupants | Dinner at Texas Roadhouse
Sunset over Lake Roosevelt | Dawn over Lake Roosevelt | Sunset on our way home Friday
We spent the week camping in Eastern Washington then home to a fastpitch tournament. We worked the tournament so I got 3 pictures before the 2nd game and that's it.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fastpitch Tournament in Selah


We drove to Eastern Washington this weekend to play in a fastpitch tournament in Selah. Another mom and daughter rode over with us so that they didn't have to take 2 cars.

A stop at the top of White Pass for ice cream. One of these days we'll have to take the kids up to see the snow, they only get to go over passes in the summer when its all trees and dry meadows.

Other teammates were already in the pool when we checked into the hotel so the girls were ready to join them. It was cloudy at home when we left but it was hot when we got over the mountains. In the next hour most of the team arrived. Surprisingly we were the only U-10 team staying at the hotel, especially since it was right across the street from the fields.

There was no way I would be within 10 miles of a Sonic and not get a Cherry Limeaid. The other family had never eaten at a Sonic so they joined us for dinner.

The North Park Lodge definitely had a lodge feel. The lobby was decorated with antlers and pine furniture. This is our king room with a peeled pine bed and log cabin quilt. It had a good-sized fridge and microwave in the room and the breakfast was good too, with biscuits and gravy and waffles. The cable was limited so there weren't a lot of kids choices available outside of normal cartoon times but we had brought the mini DVD player and the laptop so we had some options. This was our first travel tournament and I didn't really know what to expect. I do know now that I need to bring a power strip when we stay in a hotel and I packed a lot more food than we wanted to eat since we ate breakfast at the hotel instead of out of the cooler. The fruit and fruit juice were her first choices, then cheese sticks. She didn't want yogurt or chocolate milk as she usually does between games. We didn't touch any of the cookies or sweet stuff that I packed. I brought chicken strips that worked well for lunch; cold the first day and reheated in the microwave the second day.
Downtime really needed to be rest time, playing in 90-degrees is hard work and the girls played 3 games each day. The mantra of the weekend was "water, water, water" and "shade, shade, shade."  Saturday we stayed at the field over lunch and it was hard to get the girls to settle and rest in the shade. Sunday I got a late check out so we went back to the room and ate and relaxed in the AC before returning to the field for the last game and the 3-hour drive home.

I made hair ribbons for each of the girls in Thrashers colors of lime and black.

Playing 3rd base.

Enjoying the shade of the new pop-up I bought at Costco. It's not much bigger than a chair when its folded up and it goes up and down almost instantly. It will also be nice for soccer in the rain.

Watching coach for signals, if the pitch gets past the catcher be on 2nd...

Some of the brothers found a great hill to roll down except they came back covered in grass and itchy the rest of the day. I'm blessed to be able to leave everyone else at home for tournaments.

Stealing home.
We ended up taking 3rd Place. The two games we lost we could have won, they were both close games. The girls have a lot to be proud of, they played well.
It rained yesterday and Tovah's comment, "it's nice that it's raining, we needed it after all the sunshine this weekend." She's definitely a Washington girl...


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rush Graduated on Saturday


School's Over! Time to start the Bible in 90 Days...


I just turned in my final self-evaluation and faculty evaluation at my end of program conference so I am done with my first year at Evergreen State College. I will reflect more on it later but now I am excited to get started reading the Bible in 90 Days again. This year I will be doing it chronologically for the first time. Let me know if you want to join in.

The Bible in 90 Days

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Someday I will blog again...

Someday, but not today. Today I have to rewrite a 10 page paper due Thursday on Literacy Campaigns in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Brazil and try to figure out how I could have forgotten to use my third source. I have to read the first half of Borderlands which is interesting but intense and randomly in Spanish which slows me down. And if I have any weekend left I need to think about writing a 3-4 page paper in Spanish on Robert Bolano's Nocturno de Chile (and I just realized that my special characters don't work in Blogger) that is due Friday. I don't have any pictures because I don't have time to upload them but please enjoy my Instagram feed in the sidebar- Instagram is like Jello, there is always room (time) for Instagram

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas 2012


Nathan's home for one more day. I'm home for one more week. Arin's already back to sports. School starts tomorrow. Tovah's sports start tomorrow. Rush has 1 month plus 4 days until his 18th birthday to finish all his Eagle requirements. I don't feel like anything is done or anything is ready for the new year. But I know that in my weakness His is strong and right now I need to rely on that promise.