Tuesday, September 29, 2009

That's MY Boy!

Sunday was another Pop Warner football game for Brayden. He had a game last weekend that I never really commented on as it was a close game and therefore Brayden didn't have a ton of playing time. It kind of felt a bit "deja-vu-ish" which had me just a bit bummed.

However, this weekend, he had a regular fan club in the stands and for whatever reason, he ended up playing in about 85% of the game. What a day. In his position as [defensive] corner, he's really gaining more skills - and we were able to actually watch the team start to take new routes as Brayden was keeping "his avenue" blocked quite well.

However, by far and away, the star of the game was this guy. Number 5, Tanner Zenke. Note the ref looking around as if to say, "Isn't anybody going to stop him?" I've already lost track of how many touchdowns he's ran for this year, not to mention quarterback sacks. We got to teasing Nancy about her son getting all the glory, and how I was just proud that my son is friends with her son! =) (Just so you know, Tanner is quite humble and WAY talented - he deserves the positives, he's a huge asset to our team)

But, then, just as the ref declared "four more minutes" Brayden decided to steal a little glory. These next two pics show him making an interception. While the ball looks quite precarious (and it was!) - Brayden found a way to get a handle on it and keep it from hitting the ground. The whistle was blown before he was actually tackled as a whole pile of players had surrounded him.

This is one of those moments Brayden will hold on to when he reflects on those feelings in life he treasures. For sure, as a mom, I couldn't hold in my enthusiasm and thrill for him.

And, here's a shot of his "fan club". Dennis, the Whites, Aaron, Scott - and not pictured are Julie and I. Nancy is below Dennis, giving us the appropriate teasing in return for Brayden's glory-stealing moment.

Have I mentioned yet how pleased I am with this coach and the way he encourages these kids?

A final "thumbs up" shot of Brayden with the college students who couldn't have picked a better game to come see him in action!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Return to CCF and Monday Morning

Last night, CCF began again (Collegiate Christian Fellowship - the college ministry from our church reaching out to UO). We are in a new location now, affectionately referred to as "The Box" - that can accommodate a ton more people and has better acoustics. I miss the "cozy factor" (of course) of the the Trinity House, but it is nice to be able to sit in a chair with a back on it, much less hold that many people. It was great. Notice in the picture our kids are standing behind us - Mikayla had been playing with my hair - she nearly put me to sleep. (Thanks Kaela for the image!)

And, yes - a return to Monday Morning. I'm not feeling it today. I wish I could go back to bed instead of head to the gym, but alas - the pre-game tailgater at the Johnsons featuring every delicious brunch food known to man still haunts me from the damage done. I snapped this picture just now - how thoughtful of Sydney to serve as a backrest for Brayden while he ate his breakfast and watched "Phineas and Furb" (one of the best "modern" cartoons I know of.....).
Happy Monday to y'all - hope it's a great week!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


6th ranked Cal Bears vs. Un-ranked Ducks. While the word from ESPN's GameDay was a slight potential for an upset, nobody really believed that would happen. Not with one of the top contender's for the Heisman playing as running back for Cal. So, imagine all of our surprise when, at the end of the game, the score was UO 42, Cal 3. That poor little team wasn't even able to score a touchdown - or at all after their very first possession.

Unbelievable. Our offense suddenly showed up, and omigosh, our defense, wow. The title refers to the crowd's participation - as our position on the team is to add so much noise into the stadium (by yelling "OOOOOOOOOOOOOO") that the opposing quarterback can't even communicate the play effectively.

This picture shows the view of the field from our seats - which I just love. Most of the touchdowns just happened to occur on our side of the field - I love it when that happens.

All in all - a magnificent "date with John" event. SO MUCH FUN! GO DUCKS!

Friday, September 25, 2009

School Daze

Not a bad shot with the cell phone to capture the gorgeous trees at Brayden and Mikayla's school.....

Well, my fingertips are still green - the telltale sign of someone working with an overhead projector and green marker pen. Which means... it was my first day back subbing! On Wednesday, I got called to take a morning assignment today - for second grade.

In the world of subbing, at least for me, there are two main concerns. There's the fear of a class full of dis-respect and bad attitudes that is largely found in the upper grades (middle school). And, then, there is the fear of a high-maintenance lesson plan. Largely found in the primary grades. Today was no exception. (Honestly, Mary, I don't know how you do it.) As wonderful as those sweet little second graders were, the constant need to be "on" with them, repeating instructions over and over, solving the tattling dramas......Wow. It was a packed-in morning of lots of direct-instruction (i.e. - me standing at the overhead talking and requiring their attention). I feel like I earned my money this time around.

On the other hand, though- there's nothing like a class full of eager seven year olds to boost your self confidence and make you feel like you did something of significance with your day. They were very welcoming to me, which made me try to step up my game that much more in response. But, I'll tell you, when their regular teacher walked in at noon, I was ready for relief.

I then headed on over to Brayden's class to spend 90 minutes correcting papers, and again, bask in the warmth of the atmosphere his teacher has fostered. I'm feeling so encouraged by Brayden's progress this year. Gotta tell you how nice it was to just sit there as "background" without any responsibility except for adding up how many correct answers were on each paper.


Currently, Travis and Steph are over with Stephie's little 7 month old niece. Mikayla's already asleep after having run a Jog-a-thon today and being fixated on babysitting little "Hannah". She will be a very good babysitter all too soon. There were comments about wanting a baby sister/brother, but she'll have to be content with the babysitting gigs. Because, just like those second graders - as adorable as they are and as Hannah is - I'm all too willing to "pass them back". Brayden and Mikayla are just enough for me.......

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hardesty Trail

For years I have a noticed a trail marker on the side of the road about halfway between Pleasant Hill and Oakridge. I've never seen it mentioned in a book, so I've always been curious as there isn't a clear indication of what trailhead it is as you are driving by.

So, today was a perfect day to explore with Steph H. and Lisa in company. We discovered it was the Hardesty Mountain trail and although there was no "spectacular ending" or any glorious waterfalls, I think we would all say that the combination of beautiful scenery and outstanding company was a balm to our souls. For sure, Syd loved it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Gotta Love Crazy Hair Day

This is "Spirit Week" at our school - a big gear up for the Jog-a-thon at the end of the week. These things always hit me by surprise and I tend to never be prepared for "Crazy Hair Day" - so in years' past, Brayden has whined that he wished he could have made it green or done something wilder. Well, given he is a fifth grader and this is his last year (insert sad crying), I actually thought ahead and bought him a can of green hair spray. Not to be left out, Mikayla got a can of gold glitter spray. Unfortunately, it doesn't show up in the picture, but it really did look quite dazzling. Might have to use that again for Halloween.

So, here they are - it will take several washes to get all this gunk out, but at least they went to school in mighty happy moods.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Do you like my new border? I figured it was about time. I'm so "functionally fixed" when it comes to certain things - so it took a while for me to decide that a border would be okay. Already, I can't wait to pick one out for Christmas, and I'll warn you right now that you can expect it the day after Halloween.....=)

So, the question on my heart right now is "How do you do with boundaries?". Several years ago, when Michael and Michele were deep into the high school ministry and they lived in their other house, it seemed that every night we visited a knock would come from the door and what-do-you-know, but there stood a high school student ready to visit. The common consensus for those high school students must have been, "The Schillings are cool, let's go visit - I'm sure they wouldn't mind". But, I minded. I was frustrated that we couldn't have a quiet evening with just their family without the intrusions. I wanted them to establish better boundaries. As it turned out, moving into a trailer off of their parents' house kind of solved that problem, but I remember it vividly and recognize the challenge that comes with establishing boundaries.

Perhaps it's not ministry. Maybe your house is the mecca for fun - where all the kids long to gather after school or on weekends. Or perhaps it is your service or time that is constantly being sought after. Work? Family? Social Calendar? School? Kids' sports schedules?

As a person who gains energy from quiet time by myself/among a select handful of equal personality people - (i.e., the definition of someone more introvert than extrovert) - I have to watch myself to make sure I'm not overextended. With the right balance, I'm "fueled up" to totally enjoy myself among other people - to have the desire to initiate and launch into other conversations, to establish relationships. With the right preparation, I long for it and really do desire to extend myself into others' lives. But, if I've been so busy running from one place to the next, my home is a disaster, and it's been a while since I've had my own "quiet time" - I'm a stress basket and all of the above behavior is done through frustration, as I'm not comfortable extending "any more". Maybe you can blame it on a relationship with my grandma (now with the Lord) - that was a bit emotionally unhealthy. But, I admit I struggle tremendously with guilt/expectations being placed on me - and not having the ability/desire to meet those.

What I've come to realize is that many of my perceptions of "expectations from others" can be misinterpreted on any given day based on my own emotional state. A request to "help out" can in one moment lead to a venting tantrum - or on another day the same request could lead to giddiness as I attribute the request to be "God moving in my life". Does that make sense? The same is true of me being home alone at times. On days that I've been "fueled", I'll be eager to grab the phone and chat away as I merrily put dishes in the dishwasher or straighten rooms. But, other times, particularly when I've sat down with my huge bin of laundry to be sorted - in the living room with a favorite tv show that had been DVR'd... if the phone rings - I'm ticked! How much sense does that make? And, because of my guilt issues, I can't just let the phone ring without answering because "what if someone needs me"? Stupid, huh? I think I need better boundaries.

Finding a balance is hard. Our family has been known to be fiercely protective of our "family times". I think the fact that our kids enjoy hanging with us to this day shows that that was a good choice. But, now that we've expanded our ministry to flow into the lives of college students, we discover a new sense of "family". Different in many ways, but lives that touch our hearts, nonetheless. Throw in precious friends that we long for involvement with, our own pursuits (i.e. Duck games together) and the kids' sports schedules and all of a sudden I'm finding my weekends until November already booked out.

So, I guess what I'm saying, is that I'm trying to figure out what is really best for not only me, but our whole family. I'm trying to determine when it really is best for everyone that I keep the computer closed and phone turned to silent, because I'll be a better person for it. Really, so far so good for the year, but I can things starting to escalate, and I guess I just had to get this off of my heart and turn it around by asking, "How do you handle boundaries?".

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ducks 31 Utah 24

A win, and we'll take it. Parts of the game were very ugly, and I didn't think Utah played like a top 20 team, but it was an exciting game.
It was also wet. But, it was a warm wet - which we Oregonians aren't all that used to. If it rains here, it's usually cold, so it was kind of odd/kind of refreshing to have it be a drizzle/rain and still have the temps be in the high 60's. I think I actually prefer the wetness compared to other September games where we've suffered in the direct heat of 90 plus temps.

We also took the kids to this game - and this was definitely the best game so far as far them demonstrating an appreciation of the game and a gratitude for being able to go. Uh oh, it might mean we have to start working at getting season tickets for four again come spring.

Mikayla and I sat together, while John and Brayden's seat were across the aisle and about 43 rows up. Fortunately, after halftime, seats opened up enough in our section for them to join us.
It was also fun running into some of our college students - Kara, Sarah, John, and Julie - very cool. All in all - a great way to start our Autzen Stadium season!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Ramblings

It's 1:10 in the morning and I'm up because of my pillow. Or lack of pillow. I left it at Michele's last weekend and have been mourning its loss ever since. =( I am very pillow picky, at least I am now. Before my neck issues, I loved the big fluffy ones. Down pillows were for sissies. Well, now I AM a sissy, and a down pillow is the only way to go. I'm able to manipulate it so it supports my neck, but is virtually flat for my neck. However, I'm not only a sissy, I am also a bit of a cheapskate, so the idea of spending $50 to replace such a pillow until I see Michele again (a quick exchange when she's down for Ellie's eye appt. will take place on Tuesday) is unacceptable. I have, however, purchased a couple of "down alternative" pillows to try, and so far - a no go. I won't be trying again. I miss my pillow......

So, on to some other random topics.
I took the above picture because I thought my lunch was kind of pretty and also to test my previously water-logged camera. While the image isn't going to win any contests, it proves the camera is functioning. Praise the Lord! It also appears I've taken on the "Stick Diet". On the lunch plate is carrot sticks, a cheese stick, and pretzel sticks. (and a little low fat ranch!). I can't say the pounds are melting off, but at least it tastes better than sticks.....

Just now, when I downloaded the camera, I discovered this pic. Apparently, Brayden got a bit distracted when doing his math homework. (Note the long division beneath his chin). I really can't complain - this just seems to be "his year" and even having to tackle the hour's worth of homework each night is not an issue of argument. (That appears to be reserved for interaction with his sister....sigh).

This picture was taken at Kenady's house. In an event that stretches beyond all reason (the male bunny was with the female bunny all of FIVE MINUTES after she gave birth to her previous batch of baby bunnies (that didn't make it)) - Mama Bunny gave birth to three baby bunnies a couple of weeks ago. These babies did make it and they are cuuuuu-uuuuuute!

Finally, I discreetly snapped this shot with my cell phone while waiting for a prescription to be refilled at the kids' doctor's office. This little girl next to Mikayla is a stranger, but asked her to play as soon as she walked in the door. She then asked Mikayla if she could read and all but demanded Mikayla to read story books to her. It was so precious. I felt like it was foreshadowing of what's to come for Mikayla, whether it be reading to the kids she'll end up babysitting, her own children someday, or perhaps even her own classroom if she pursues her current track of career aspirations.....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Dozen Questions

This came from my friend, Sara - who put this on her blog. I think she might have snagged it from someone else....I copied a couple of Sara's answers. Feel free to share your own!

1. Which is worse: a long, boring meeting or standing in a return/exchange line after Christmas? Because it is "after Christmas" I'd have to say the return line.

2. Except for maybe Rosie O'Donnell or Ann Coulter, nobody likes confrontation, yet we all have to deal with it. When you feel cornered and defensive, do you "bite back" or become passive aggressive? Depends on if it is a stranger or someone I have to deal with regularly. I'm better with strangers at confronting and "bite back" - (otherwise passive aggressive)

3. Do you know anything about your genealogical background? (What country, culture, ties to prominent historical figures, or other stuff.) My Dad's side, we believe came into Georgia from Australia - which at the time was a penal colony. Not a real "glory" lineage.....

4. What is the quickest way a person can endear him/herself to you? Be very transparent and vulnerable

5. Cake, pie, cookies, or ice cream? (Note there is no "all of the above" option. You must choose one. Feel free to elaborate on flavor or memories tied to this dessert.) If you'd like, you can share a recipe, but you certainly don't have to. Pie - fruit, flaky crust....oh yes. But the other two are my next best in life.

6. Females: Do you regularly change your handbag to coordinate with your outfit? I am horrible about changing my handbag. I basically have a khaki one and a black one and I'll change them for church as needed. I'm not a handbag person by any means.

7. Are you task-oriented or relationship-oriented? relationship oriented for sure, unless I am in charge of a project...then I become quite task oriented.

8. IHOP, Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel? Here in our neck of the woods, we only have IHOP, but I've heard Cracker Barrel is fun.

9. Have you ever left a movie in progress in a theater? Why? Yes, it was THAT bad.... (Escape from LA) a long time ago.

10. What is one area of life in which you would like to develop more discipline or organization? More discipline - my eating/work-outs as well as Bible Study. More organization - my house.

11. Was middle school fun or painful? Really, not all that much fun - lots of insecurity and worry during that time - but I had good friends, so there were some good times..

12. What is your favorite Fall beverage? Russian Tea - but mulled apple cider is wonderful......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Celebrating "Lisa Style"

Well, I'd be posting a couple cute pictures of our adventures on Lisa's behalf, but my camera is currently sunbathing as it took a little dip in Sydney's water bowl yesterday! AHHHHHH! So, we'll see if I ever retrieve those images.*

As far as description goes, yesterday was a wonderful morning. Sydney, Lisa Q., Lisa S., Christy and myself all did the walk around the river that has become a bit of a tradition this time of year for just Lisa and I. We then followed up with coffee at Starbucks where Steph H. joined us. Beautiful weather, great company - it really was delightful, I hope it brought as much pleasure to Lisa as it did to me.

* Well, wonders never cease! Obviously, I was able to get them. It only took rice, sunlight, and a blow dryer - and I'm still not sure if the camera will get to the point of taking reliable pics again, but now I have hope. Yeah!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

It's Dark Outside!

The alarm clock is set for 6:15 for me on weekday mornings. Whether or not I actually "get up" at that time is a different story. =)

However, today - something different - it was dark outside! I mean, I know I am the one who has already decorated for autumn, but still, some of these changes take me by surprise.

The leaves are turning crimson in our neighborhood - and I'll have to take a picture of the trees next to Target - those are always my markers with their early color.

It is a crazy thing - I'm so seasonal, and I'm not so sure what it is about this autumn season that is so delightful for me, but I have truly felt giddy lately - taking in the sights, the "Yankee Harvest" candle, and the feel of the wind picking up the newly dropped leaves. Maybe it is because I'm obviously all about "cozy" and this upcoming season just screams of it.

(It also helps that both kids are just loving their teachers - particularly Brayden. I could go on and on with all of his cool stories and accolades about her ("she was on the Jumbotron at the Duck game on Saturday!") This, of course, brings feelings of contentment way beyond any change of season......)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Total 180

On this day last year, I was in the hospital waiting for the doctor to let us know how much damage my dad's heart attack had caused and if the stent procedure was successful.

This entire last week, a year ago, was really one of the most stressful weeks I've had in a number of years. It obviously ended with my dad's heart attack - and the whole idea of returning to the scene where I got that fateful phone call notifying me of it, well, I've had a bit of trepidation about it all.

So, needless to say, I took what I learned (not to do) last year and tried to do whatever I could to make today much more successful. Today is the annual "Pop Warner" Jamboree where literally over 10,000 people converge at Thurston High School to watch their youth football players compete in mini-scrimmages. Last year was a nightmare. I brought the dog (definitely shouldn't have), brought Michele and all of the kids (not really necessary as it is a LONG day and expensive, and not very entertaining), didn't know where to go or park, and didn't bring anything to eat or drink (which you were told not to, even though all of the concessions are crammed with people and not necessarily the only thing you want to have available to eat for 6+ hours. Of course, the icing on the cake was spending so much time and effort in this endeavor last year only to watch Brayden spend most of his time on the sidelines.....

With all that in mind, today was a 180 degree change from a year ago. I left everyone at home with Michele so I could really focus on Brayden, I knew exactly where I was going (and my map of the fields was the envy of everyone), I had nutritious snacks to keep me mindful of the weight loss aspirations on the horizon.... And, finally, I watched my son SHINE. He shined because he was playing, because coaches believed in him, because he believed he was worthy of his position - and because he did well...... A couple of significant tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception.....more action in one day than he saw in the entire season on last year's team - in games AND practices. John surprised us by showing up for the final game of the Jamboree (able to get back from Men's Round-Up just in time). The first defensive play of the game, Brayden, in his position of cornerback, made the interception - just in time for John to catch it with his camera.

So, today was a total success. I now look forward to the rest of his football games (in contrast to feeling very frustrated last year) - and more than anything else, delight in the new found confidence exhibited by my son - all because he was given the chance - and somebody believed in him.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Harvest Time

I know, I know - I will potentially get flack for decorating too soon. But, decorating for "Harvest" the first weekend after school starts and while John is at Round-Up is a tradition for me. Besides, it IS harvest time - I'm seeing columbines and tractors all over the place. Leaves are turning, pumpkins are orange in the fields....it's time for me to honor all of that. Ultimately, the harvest decor just makes me really, really happy to have up (and the kids' reactions were equally as gratifying to hear)....

So, Happy Harvest!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Puppy Love

With Brayden's frequent practices and occasional scrimmage games, life can be a little boring for Mikayla if we choose to stick around and watch. Fortunately, we've had some animal-friend visitors.

This first little gal is "Annie", a nine week old Jack Russel Terrier - owned by one of our neighbors around the corner, as well as a teammate of Brayden's. She is very precious.

And, this little guy is Sammie - a Lhasa Apso about the same age as Annie. He's owned by my friend, Susan. This little guy was like a live dust mop....I don't know if I'd ever put him down if he lived with us!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

State of the Family

Today school starts. I officially have a 2nd grader and a 5th grader. The last year they will both be in elementary school. Not until Brayden's a senior will they even be in the same school at the same time again. Sigh.....

Okay, grieving time is over. I'm laughing as Linda and Sara have both had their kids back for several weeks now. I bet you guys start enjoying summer vacation a lot earlier than June 17th!

So, as I've been a little remiss in blog updates- here's a run-down on the family.

John: Leaves for Men's Round-Up this evening. He's nearly as giddy as Michael has been for the last month (as he leaves this week with his brother, nephew, and Travis to go hunting). John is eager to hang with his buddy, Dave - especially for the days leading up to Friday night when the Men's Retreat begins. I'm happy for him. He was president last year, so he had a huge weight of responsiblities - this year, he's still on the "board", but has less to worry about. He returns to the presidential responsibility in 2011. Enjoy yourself this weekend, honey - you deserve it!

Brayden: Brayden's had a ton of great teachers at Gilham - some I've liked more than him, and vice versa. But, I'm not sure if I've ever had a better first impression than I did yesterday with his teacher. Her name is Mrs. Jakious and she's young (but not brand new), fun, and super enthusiastic. Her classroom is very organized, but cheerful - and at the Open House yesterday, she couldn't stop smiling. Furthermore, the class is loaded with a lot of friends that Brayden hangs out with. Outside of also including a few buddies that have been placed in other classrooms, I couldn't ask for more. Let's hope the positive vibes keep continuing.

In football, Brayden is first string wide reciever. He's very happy with this. This coming Sunday is their Jamboree, so we'll have a better chance at seeing how the team all comes together in actual play.

Mikayla: Mikayla was placed with a brand new teacher at Gilham, but not new to the profession She was "stolen" from another district. =) Given it was a hiring done by a principal that I very much trust and admire, I feel VERY good about it. Ms. Corbeau was also "all-smiles" yesterday, and Mikayla is thrilled that her Gilham BFF, Kenady, is also in the class with her.

She is also on a team with Kenady and other friends to play soccer. Her first "real" practice is this evening.......good times.

Me: And, speaking of "good times" so embarks this bittersweet time of year for me when my travel-companion (errands) and home company gets passed off to Sydney. (She's very excited as the summer weather as greatly cut down on her "car time"). This year, I'm feeling much more of the "sweetness" vs. the bitterness. Maybe it's because I've felt like a slacker as a mom and I'm glad they'll be "stimulated" at school better than I've done lately. Or maybe it's the arguing that I won't miss that's prevalant too often around here. Perhaps its the fact that I HAVE TO get back into the "gym routine" which is hard when the kids are around. But, really, selfishly, I think it's the freedom. The idea that I could wander Target for a few hours and nobody would complain. I do plan to make better use of my time than that.....at least in the big scheme I will. But, for the next few days - who knows*..... =)

* My name continues to stay on the "Subfinder" but as I'm really only available to sub mornings, it is a pretty rare occurence that I'll find a job. I'm sure my weeks will start really filling up with college "dates" with the gals and helping in the classroom. In other words, don't worry too much about my lack of freedom.......

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Some of My Favorite Christian Fiction

In light of this weekend, in which 90% of my waking hours have been spent on a couch, beanbag or rocking chair, in front of a tv, and with a book or magazine in my hands - I thought I'd spend some time listing some of my favorite reads.

While my reading tastes range the board, I will say it is GENERALLY within the Christian fiction parameters. I'm not a big biography or other non-fiction reader - unless it is for spiritual study or research. Instead, I prefer "escape". And, while I enjoy certain books/authors who don't fit under the "Christian" umbrella - for the most part, I prefer books pre-filtered from things I'd rather not fill my mind - as well as stories of those who describe their own encounters with God. In fact, I'm all about the "story". I've always been that way. Pastors and speakers who use stories - they draw me in, and even more significant - the story stays with me (often its own form of "application") instead of being lost behind when I leave the sanctuary. I am an advocate of stories as I believe using them allows our minds to make connections in wouldn't have otherwise. Not to mention the greatest Teacher even used them repeatedly - obviously knowing that is how the "masses" or even his own disciples would learn best.

So, whether it's for purely fun escape or longing for a brand new view of spiritual truths - here are some of my favorites.

ARENA - Karen Hancock
THE SHACK - William P. Young

REDEEMED - Francine Rivers


GIVER OF ROSES - Kathleen Morgan
LOGIC'S END (very strange, but an intriguing fantasy written as a rebuttal to evolution) - Robinson Keith

LIGHTS OF THE VEIL - Patty Metzger

CROSSFIRE (and sequels) - Jeanette Windell

ON THE EDGE - F. Parker Hudson
DEADLINE - Randy Alcorn

RUSH OF WINGS - Kristen Heitzmann

JOSEY SERIES - Susan May Warren
SAVANNAH SERIES - Denise Hildreth
SAVE THE DATE - Jenny B. Jones


SAHM I AM SERIES - Meredith Efken


Tamera Alexander
Deann Gist
Stephanie Newton
Sara Mitchell
Marylu Tyndall
Irene Hannon

* - My twin sister who reads at least twice as much as I do

I think I will try to keep adding to this as ideas come up. It's been fun sitting here with Michele and Amazon.com trying to remember titles and authors. Feel free to add some of your own favorites in the comments - I'd love to hear what stirs your heart!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Why Today Is So Much Fun

About 20 minutes ago, John came in and awoke me out of the land of "dark nothingness" (I was sleeping hard) - and said, "Did you want to wake up for Game Day?".... And yes, I got up. 7:10 on a Saturday morning just to watch four guys talk football (and trash the Ducks, sadly).

But, it was more than that. It was the smell of bacon, and the boisterous laughter downstairs. The lure of the "fun I was missing out on" -

I love these guys. I love the fun we all have together. It's reason enough to get up "at the crack of dawn" - especially mixed with some Russian Tea, a few oatmeal raisin cookies, and a great book.

It should be a good day!

(The three dogs think so too!)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Wah Wah

That's the sound effects made by "Debbie Downer" on Saturday Night Live. While I rarely watch that show, that skit is a particular favorite of mine - and gets referred to often in our family and among our buddies.

That pretty much sums up the mood right now. Boise State 19, UofO 8. Final score. We didn't get a first down until halfway through the third quarter. Definitely not what I had in mind for a football season opener. We have the Whites over right now - and they are helping to keep John and I from totally snapping at each other - dinner was good, the first apple pie of the season was delicious - but the entertainment factor STUNK.

This entire crew is headed to the Schillings through the weekend - the "Schitelys" (Schillings + Whites + Rileys) living it up in Dallas over Labor Day weekend. It ought to be fun. For sure it will be more fun than I'm having right now. It has to. Wah wah.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Bowling and Ben and Jerry's

Tonight I got the opportunity to go bowling with Mikayla, Mary Anne, Kelli, and Kaela (a little alliteration there......). We had to go to "Plan B" when the local bowling alley was chock-full of League bowlers (even though the gentleman answering the phone last week assured me otherwise). Instead we headed to Southtowne and bowled there.

Something magical happened - the first ball I saw and tested fit my thumb (with its overgrown callous that makes finding the right ball so annoying), and was the right weight - and the first ball I threw was a strike. But, as fun as that was - it was even more enjoyable getting to hang out with these fine women. Mary Anne got married about a month ago - and Kelli and Kaela are both out of college and into the work force these days - it was a more mature, mellow gathering. But, then again, Mikayla never got the memo, so she kept it pretty silly.

I ended with one of the higher bowling scores I've seen in a while - 129.....I think I like Southtowne. We all ended up finding our way to Ben and Jerry's for some delicious ice cream and more story-telling.

A great evening - thanks ladies!