Showing posts from 2012

Do Not Be Afraid

I've heard it said that the command, "Do not be afraid," is the most repeated one in the Bible.  I can believe it is true.  But it is a hard one to obey, at least for me.  I've had a closer brush with terrorism this week than ever before in my life, and I hope never to be as close again.  On Tuesday at 3:29 PM, a young man armed with assault rifle and wearing a hockey mask barged into the crowded Clackamas Town Center mall near our house and fired off many shots.  I believe there are three deaths, four if you count his.  Allen and the kids were at the Clackamas Town Center that day for several hours and left only about twenty five minutes before the shooting began.  They left so they would be on time to get me; and I'm so thankful that he always leaves plenty of time for coming to get me.  He could have left at about 3:20 and still gotten me on time.
And now there's a new tragedy on an even larger scale: the shooting of teachers, kindergarteners, and other el…

The kiddos are growing!

Surprise, surprise! They keep growing! Here are some recent pictures...

Okay, these have some backstory to them.  Right now, we're having what I like to call my "Little House on the Prairie" experience...i.e., having both of the kids in our room with us.  Why?  Because our basement is flooding and the landlords won't fix it (which, we've discovered after consulting a lawyer, is illegal).  In the meantime while we figure out what to do, the people living in the basement moved most of their stuff upstairs.  Toby is in Ruby's room, and Andy and Alishia are in the living room.  It's been...interesting.  Definitely not ideal.  Ruby's not happy about having her play area basically vanish overnight.  The living room is essentially off limits, and her room now has Toby's stuff in it.  And although I try to be patient, there is a lot of "No, Ruby, don't touch that" with stuff in our room.  I'm very thankful that we'll be in St. Louis …

Hello, 29

Technically, I should say, "Hello, 30," because when you turn 29 it means you've completed 29 years, seeing as we don't call a newborn baby 1.  The Chinese, apparently, reckon a baby's gestation into their age, so they are all 9 months older than we are, I guess.  But anyway, I am now 29 years old, embarking on my thirtieth year of life.  WOW! It's hard to believe I've been around that long.
28 was a year of big ups and big downs.  Big up: Max was born while I was 28.  Big down: some of the toughest patches Allen and I have yet gone through where when I was 28.
And this upcoming year promises to be just as full of question marks and surprises.  Allen will be graduating in just a few months, and then what? That's the biggest question: then what?  Will he go on to grad school? If so, for what, and where?  Here in Portland? In Bend?  In another state altogether?
When our lease is up in March, where will we go?  Will we continue to throw in our lot wit…

Quiet Night In

Tonight--once the children were in bed, of course--Allen and I enjoyed some rounds of Bananagrams, some hot cocoa, and nice, soft music in the background.  We didn't set out to make it a "date night" but I'd say that's how it ended up.  Sunday is the one day of the week where neither Allen nor I are working, but the day usually is busy anyway.  Church, soccer, and sometimes GROW meetings (Germans from Russia of Oregon and Washington) fill the day.  Add to that shopping and other assorted errands that somehow don't make it into the rest of the week, and it can still feel like we're not really spending quality time.  I know that this is a phase of life that requires a lot of "shoulder to shoulder" work rather than the newlywed/empty-nester phase of "face to face" time. There's also plenty of stress from parenting a two year old (and a strong willed one, at that) and a 7 month old who is just on the verge of crawling (and therefore g…

A few more gray hairs

Seriously, they are coming in and I know why...I have children!!!
This afternoon I was switching out my summer clothes for my fall ones. It's raining, gray, dreary, blehhhhhh! Everything that Portland is from October to June.  We've just had an unusual reprieve from the rain for the past few weeks and I didn't realize how much I was loving it until it was gone. I guess it goes to show I'm not a true native Pacific Northwester; if I were, I'd be saying something like, "Finally!"
But I'm getting off track.  I was sorting out clothes.  Max was on our bed right behind me.  I had just looked at him, and he was smack dab in the middle of the bed having some tummy time, looking pretty happy with toys in front of him.  What felt like thirty seconds later (although it could have been a minute), I heard a THUD and Max's cries.  I looked back to an empty bed.  I hollered and ran to pick him up.  I can't even remember if he was on his back or his stomach…

Picture Post!

I should be sleeping, because I have to go in to school tomorrow (making up for missing today) and that means getting up early-ish.  But I just uploaded some pictures and they're so cute, I just had to share them with y'all (as they would say in Missouri/Missourah).

Ruby's Haircut No, it's not her first haircut.  She got that around age 1, but she hadn't had a cut from August 2011 until September 2012, so that was a year's worth of growing.  I decided not to do anything much, just take her to get it trimmed by a pro, since I discovered that I am terrible at cutting even bangs. I took her to a cute kids' haircut place called Sit Still Salon near our house.  Her haircutter was so awesome; unbelievably patient and skilled.  Ruby enjoyed watching Elmo on tv while she got her hair cut, too.

Max-Pascal Joins the Table Max turned 6 months on September 25th, so we decided that it was time to introduce him to the wonderful world of baby food.  So far he's had crea…

Update on the Maxy-Moo

For those who have been following along, we took Max to the craniofacial disorder unit at Doernbecher Children's Hopsital at OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) today to have his head evaluated for plagiocephaly (basically, flat spots on his head).  The nurse-practitioner was very nice and determined that the plagiocephaly was positional in nature, that is, due to him holding his head cocked to the right all the time.  She measured his head and said there is a 10 mm asymmetry, and 10-12 mm is the range at which OHSU recommends a helmet...but that's no guarantee that insurance will pick up the tab.  So, we're going to meet with the orthotist and have him fitted for a helmet.  The orthotist will send all the information and the prescription to insurance, and they'll either say yes or no.  If they say yes, hurray!!!! If they say no, well, Max gets to have an asymmetrical head, because helmets cost between $1900-$2500, and we don't have that!  But the good ne…


Hmm, you may have noticed my distinct lack of blog posts surrounding the book of Colossians and Good Morning Girls.  I did keep up with it (on Facebook) for the first week, and then went away to our church's women's retreat, and fell off the wagon.
I know what you're thinking: shouldn't a women's church retreat get you back ON the Bible wagon?
You'd think so.  But you'd be wrong.
The retreat was a mixed bag.  The speaker was awesome, but overall it was not a restful and happy time. Partly, it was because she gave excellent advice: think about the people in your life and choose to spend your time around people who are encouraging and uplifting.  Don't choose negative people.
This, of course, has nothing to do with why I haven't been getting up early to do the Bible study.  Perhaps it does in a tangential way: since I came back from the retreat, I feel like life has just been shaken up a little bit.
Today feels like we are inhabitants of a snow glo…

Good Morning Girls

5:07 AM is the time right now.  Allen is up getting ready for an early morning work meeting, and Max is stirring in his bed, but not actually awake.  Why am I up, especially on a day I don't have to go in to work?
Because of Good Morning Girls!
I found it by chance while perusing Pinterest a few weeks back.  GMG is an online outfit where women gather into groups, do a Bible study in the morning, and share their insights electronically (via Twitter, Facebook, email, even Skype).  I signed up because I need to be part of a group for the whole Bible study thing to actually happen, and if there weren't 60-something other pairs of eyes waiting to read my post, I'd still be sleeping right now.  Yay accountability! We are using the SOAP method, which stands for

I thought it would be fun to do some or all of my GMG study on the blog as a way for others to link up.  If you want to get in on the action, why not join up here as part of a litt…

A Battle I'm Not Willing to Fight

So, it seemed like Ruby was ready for potty training.  She had started doing tell-tale things like ducking behind shelves or curtains to do her business, and she would occasionally come up and tell me when she was wet or needed a diaper change.  And she's 27 months old, so all the guidebooks say that it's open season on potty training. 
We were armed with dozens of pairs of cute little underpants, "potty treats" (chocolate covered sunflower seeds, bribes for going in the potty), propaganda (Elmo potty books and DVD), and some excitement at the idea of only changing one child's diapers per day, not both.  We were given expert advice (although some of it conflicted, as all expert advice tends to do) from people who had been there, done that, and those who are in the trenches right now. 
That was a week or so ago.  Now, I am a broken shell of the potty trainer I once was. I am retreating from the battle lines.  I do not think she is ready, or at least she's no…

Rick McKinley Talks Good Sense; In Related News, It Gets Dark When the Sun Goes Down

I just finished listening to the second sermon in Pastor (Dr.) Rick McKinley's latest sermon series, "Love. Sex. God"  Predictably, it is awesome.  But it's not awesome because it's predictable. His advie is counter-cultural, especially counter to the culture of Portland, Oregon.  Portland is a very "progressive" city and prides itself on its tolerance, its diversity of ways of living, and being weird.  Truly, there are bumper stickers that say "Keep Portland Weird."  But in Portland, what would REALLY be weird would be to be a person who believes in (and practices!) reserving sex only for the covenantal marriage of one man and one woman.  Such people would likely be seen as quaint (at best) and more likely as regressively puritanical and out of touch with reality. 
And here's his even WEIRDER idea: Christian parents are actually doing their children a disservice when they encourage them to put off early marriages.  To paraphrase Rick, i…

Oh, Wuby...

This refrain has been issuing forth from Ruby's lips often these days.  Of course she has heard me say it, and now she's saying it herself.  Usually it's when she's pitching a fit or doing something she knows she shouldn't be doing.
For instance:
*Taking off her eye patch.
*Getting out of bed at naptime/bedtime, turning on the light, and playing instead of sleeping.
*Rubbing yogurt all over her arms, face, and hair as if it is some kind of amazing anti-aging cream.
*Throwing herself down on the ground in a doctor's waiting room, store, parking lot, etc.  because she doesn't want to leave.
Just a few examples.  I suppose all this should be making me excited that work starts next week (at least, meetings start on Monday and kids come the following week).  But I'm not.  I know it will be fine when I'm there.  I'll enjoy my colleagues and the kids, as I always do.  But I'm not looking forward to being away from my kids, n…

Torticollis, Scoliosis, Plagiocephaly, Oh My!

My little Maxy-moo went to the pediatric physical therapist today.  Thank God, they had a location in Oregon City...his pediatrician was prognosticating that the only location that would take Max's insurance would be out in Gresham, and I wasn't looking forward to an hour commute each way.  Also I'm thanking God because they scheduled it on a day when Allen was off of work, so he was able to come with me and hear what the PT had to say.   Her name was Rachel, and she was very nice.  She did an evaluation of Max and determined right away that he did indeed have torticollis which was causing him to hold his head tilted and rotated.  As a result, he also has plagiocephaly (the fancy term for having flat spots on his head) and she wants him to wear a brace (you know, those funky helmet things that you sometimes see babies wearing) to help with that.  Thank God she's addressing it now, when he still has several months of prime head growing time, and the brace will encourag…