This is Me!

This is Me! The good, the bad, and the bald. You get it all! But I have hair now. This spring I'll be rockin the pixie.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Urgent Call!

In a recent conversation with a sister in the Lord, she expressed a feeling of urgency prompted by the Lord. Upon further discussion, I began to gather the reason for the urgency was an unknown, and yet it was there all the same. The unknown reason was causing her to pause over the validity of the feeling.
Later on in my own prayer time, as I prayed over and pondered this, it caused me to question my own response to recent urgings from the Lord, one specifically being prayer. When He is asking me to respond to a matter urgently, am I? or do I wait til I feel rested and ready or worse yet, until it is more convenient for my schedule? Do I miss out on growth opportunities because I fear this unknown call to urgency?
Am I disciplined in my prayer life to the point that fear does not win out over the voice of God? Further more, do I pray like I believe God can and does answer? or

is it simply a well formed habit of a "christian" that I follow?


Stephanie - for those of you who have been following Stephanies pray request, this is a biggie, she has her double mastectomy surgery today. Pray that it goes well and that all the cancer is GONE! We ask you Lord to give wisdom and steadiness to the doctors and peace to the entire family. Thank you Lord for your presence in this family and for the encouragement of an entire church community.

My aunt - She has an appointment with her Dr's today for two major things. 1. to determine the need for surgery on her knee. (She had a fall a while back) 2. the Dr's are quite sure she has thyroid cancer but the only way to determine this accurately is to operate, remove it and then biopsy it. She is asking for wisdom in these two big choices. She doesn't do surgery well, meaning her body responds poorly to anesthesia, both going under and coming back out. Lord, we just ask you to impart total clarity of mind to her as she listens to there advise and then seeks your will for her future. We know she is trusting you for each day given and has rock solid faith, so Lord show up to her in this as tangibly as you have so many other times.

Mark, Cory, Brian, Dustin - among the many in our country who find themselves unemployed are these4 dear brothers. God you have provided miraculously so far and we are confident you will continue to do so in the future. Please be preparing these men for their next jobs. Allow them to stay in their communities if it is in your will and give them clear vision if you are calling them to move with their families.

Sue - This is both a praise and a request. They received an offer on her mothers' house right away and have accepted it. In this market, as we all know, this is a huge blessing. Now they are just waiting for the inspection and this is the request. That it would go well. We ask that you direct the inspector to anything that may be unsafe for someone ,but that they would not nit pick the little things. It would also be great if the house could close before her newest grandson is expected to be born, Oct. 15th.
Theresa - The precious mother of this newest grandson will be doing the delivering of said grandson. Lord we pray that his arrival is a safe and healthy one. We ask you to remove any lingering fear Theresa may have and replace it with confidence in you and strength. Give her rest these last few weeks so she can enjoy this special time of new life. Bless their home and family and all who will be entering it.

me - I have felt a bit behind the game this September. I feel like I have been playing catch up with work, home, finances, friends, family, everything and I hate that feeling. Allow me to stop and wait upon you so that my strength may be renewed. Help me to prioritize based on your calling for my life in this season. Help me to be joyful in each job opportunity that is provided right now to help our family. Keep our home open to others so that we can keep giving of what we have so abundantly been blessed with. I ask that you keep me humble and accountable Lord.

Mark - He has decided after prayer to apply to go on our churches mission trip to Haiti. This will be in late December and January. Pray that if he is supposed to go, God will make it clear, his shots will be taken care of and his role on this trip will be clear.

Teresa, Kevin, and Vivian - Thier father was taken to the hospital yesterday with some unclear issues. They don't seem to be serious. They did discover pneumonia. The plan was to send him home. Lord we just ask that you be with him. Touch his body and heal the pneumonia and bring his blood sugars to a good stable level that is comfortable for him to live with. Give peace, strength, and endurance to the family as the take extra good care of him right now.

a brother of a friend needs to be making good choices for his life and his child. He needs to be constantly pressing in to hear the voice of the Lord and head the calling for the direction of his life. He needs to step up and out in faith and start living a responsible life. Lord convict this heart in love and draw it unto yourself with a sense of passion and urgency for these choices.

Pray for our church as we begin to look seriously at our property and what God is calling us to do with it. Let us join together to pray earnestly seeking his desire and then be still and listen as he shows us the way. I think this is becoming a more important issue as we begin this time of serious prayer for our city. We should be praying expecting God to move in the hearts of the people in our community. This will mean bringing in the harvest of new and returning believers to the church bodies. I fervently ask Lord, that you be preparing our hearts as the church to grow and reach out with one hand reaching down and one reaching up (thanks Justin). We ask that you increase our flock not for the sake of numbers but for the eternal purpose of Heaven.

One of my kids friends needs a heart touch from God. Lord you know the circumstances and the specific issue so I ask you to speak directly to it.

Praise Reports-

We have several praise reports as a family. God continues to show favor on us with blessing after blessing. As a family we are strong right now because we have had to band together and friends, it is good. The kids have pitched in to help with a new job opportunity we have. We are cutting back on things around the house and life is still busy but simpler.

Personally, my health is in a good place. My nerve issue is very manageable to the point that Mark and I have begun a consistent exercise time together. This has allowed me to sleep better and God has given my strength and is teaching me to have pure faith. Growing pains suck when your experiencing them but looking back it is so good to have gone through it.

The men's bible study is getting off the ground tonight. God meet them there, challenge them, grow them up, light the fire in them to become the warriors of God you want them to be. Call up these men Lord and bring them to the banqueting table. Let them feast on the very word of God and come home full and overflowing.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

School Days!

It sounds so cliche to say once again how quickly they grow up... and yet truer words... It is with both incredible pride and a pinch of sadness that I post these pictures of my precious children.

Our oldest, Tristan, is a freshman this year. Wow! Have I been homeschooling that long? I watch him with friends and the choices he makes. He isn't driven by peer pressure or approval. I see him at home with his brother and sisters and observe from my own communications with him how much he has grown up. I see the fruit of his short time in Mexico when he plays with kids he may not have before or when he thinks of ways to give to bless others. He is a very enjoyable young man to be around. He is very solid in who he is and is not easily shaken or swayed. God is evident in his decisions and the attitude with which he pursues life.

Next, sweet Gavin. His is a seventh grader this year. He has a style and personality all his own. He marches to the beat of his own drums, literally. He makes everyone feel good and comfortable when they are around him. Like his dad, he has an incredible way with kids. They all just love him. (Especially the little girls!) His friends love to laugh with him, we love to laugh at him! (and with him, he is seriously funny!) He has a brilliantly artistic mind. A true gift of God. I see this carried over into his spiritual gifting of being a giver. He comes up with very generous and creative ways to bless.

Little Miss Terin, who could ever forget. She leaves a positive and lasting impression on those she meets. She is spicy and spunky and yet so full of compassion it blows me away. She can go from giggling so hard she has tears of joy to a very serious concern for a friend or loved one. She carries you away with the beautiful music she so easily makes on her violin. Our beautiful young lady has huge aspirations of being a good Godly mother and wife. She soaks in the opportunities to learn about running a home, from errands out, to meal planning, to maintaining the appearance.

Finally, my baby girl Payton. Her smile truly comes from the sweetness that fills her heart to overflowing. I think this is where her little pentecostal side comes from. :0) She is a treasure of a friend, a gift of a daughter, and a jewel to her king. She loves to help dig in the dirt of the gardens, harvest the crop, and then prepare the yummy dinner with foods she has grown. And she will shock your pants off when she plays her trumpet. This tender hearted little girl blesses by with the privilege to be her mom.

I love to watch them all grow and yet every now and then, I get this twinge of sadness right in my heart at how big they have all gotten. It is the bittersweet life of a parent. We joy in their growth and accomplishments and mourn at how quickly it is all going by. I try to live in the land of now with only brief glances back. They have so much to look forward to and I want to be joyful and expectantly looking in the same direction that they are heading.

To Haiti With Love...

What Can I Give?
Even when we think we have very little and even less to give, there is almost always someone, somewhere, that is considerably worse off. I think that going without a few comfort items lately, has allowed our family to realize just how good we really do have it here. Not just one pair of jeans but four. Not just a t-shirt but 9 or 10. Dresses? 4 or 5 and shoes..... don't even get me started.
A friend of ours from church was telling me about these cute little dresses that she and her granddaughter were making to send to Africa for the little girls. From this outreach to Africa came the idea for our school project of Terin, Payton, and I making dresses for Haiti. Our church has a team heading there in late December to assist in some rebuilding projects as well as serving the community with a medical clinic. What a great opportunity for our girls to help in a real way that they can not only understand but participate in.

The project began Saturday with the lesson and a first personal practice dress. They learned how to measure and find the selvage edge. They practiced stitching straight on some scrap fabrics and folding it over and stitching it again.

They learned the lost art of ironing, (it's a hot appliance that flattens material, just in case) sewed hems, and made casings for elastic. Then each of the girls made their first gift dress.

They each had the opportunity to learn the unfortunate practice of seam ripping, which is as we were taught a very important thing to learn and practice because, it happens.

The girls, one in particular, were wiped out after 5 hours of standing to make their dresses. While we were fortunate enough to have three machines to work with, we had to work around the issue of the gathering height table. This required that we stood at the machines to sew.

The girls managed to complete 2 dresses each, and plan on finishing more before the trip. Be looking for updates and new dress embellishments. Terin has great ideas to spruce up this simple little dress.

We have challenged the boys to participate in this gift to Haiti. Their plan is fundraising to get money and possibly buy shoes to send down. They are still checking with the contact to find out if that is the need. Some of their ideas for this are selling baked good like zucchini bread, banana bread, and beer bread, and offering yard clean up services. Feel free to place your baked goods order right here on my blog (requests accepted :0) )and more importantly, pray for and encourage these kids as they develop this heart for others.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


At the close of summer I was able to enjoy the down time with yet another book from a favorite author of mine, Terry Blackstock. She has an easy ability to grab your attention with ideas or circumstances the reader can relate to. This is true of "Intervention". What would it feel like to be the parent in this gut retching reality of a drug addicted child? How can it go so quickly from bad to worse? It can and it does frequently. We find our mom trusting in God for a miracle. Good book if you like a bit of suspense and drama.

Pollo Picata

Is there anyone out there that finds themselves in a similar position of needing to be extra cautious with expenditures? Do you also however, feel you need a night with your spouse to just sit together and enjoy a really good meal that doesn't cost half your weeks pay? Have I got the perfect solution for you.

This dish is something I first experienced at Giuseppe's restaurant in Bellingham, WA. Now I have to be honest, I have become something of a novice, self proclaimed, food critic. I am tired of paying way too much for something that lacks creativity not to mention flavor. I would just as soon figure out how to make it myself for less than a quarter of the price and then enjoy it in the comfort of my own home with no tip going out at the end of the meal except maybe "hey, honey, this was amazing! You should make it again." That is a tip I can live with. All that being said, after an evening out at Giusippe's Restaurant I had found my new favorite place to dine out for special occasions. Our experience was at the old restaurant, but if he spent any where near the care in creating the environment at the new location (which is by the water) it will be equally as spectacular. I felt as if we had gotten away to not only a different city, but for that evening a different time and maybe even a different country. The atmosphere was magical. The service was incredible, but the food? I don't even know how to begin to write and accurately describe the taste sensation I was fortunate enough to call dinner. Every bite was unbelievably delicious and the flavor.... my mouth is watering just thinking about it. My selection was Pollo Picata, and while this was over a year ago, I once again say, my compliments to the chef. This is one restaurant that is very well worth your time and hard to come by money if the occasion to celebrate should arise.

If, however, you find yourself in the adventurous time of penny pinching to the nth degree, but still need something special... then this recipe is for you. Go into it with confidence. It is really quite easy to make and you will feel like quite the accomplished chef at nights end.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c butter
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c dry white wine (chicken broth will work)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp capers
1 small marinated artichoke hearts

Begin by flattening each chicken breast into 1/4 inch thickness between sheets of plastic wrap.

Coat chicken with flour.

Melt butter over med. high heat.

Cook chicken and garlic in butter 4-6 minutes on each side until the juice is no longer pink when you cut into the thickest part of any of the chicken. Add the wine and lemon juice and sprinkle the chicken with pepper and salt. Cook over med. heat until the sauce reduces and becomes thicker.
Sprinkle with the capers and artichoke hearts and heat til warm.

Serve with veggies and rice or bread and Bravo! they'll be back for more.

Visit their website at

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kale Chips?

Our family has been incredibly blessed lately in so many specific areas that to deny the hand of the Father would be lunacy. Very recently we were blessed with the bountiful goodness from a friends garden. There was a difference this time. Along with your typical fall garden fare of squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes, came the not so typical. Now, I am neither a foe of the fall garden harvest nor am I afraid to try new and very interesting recipes, even if they involve the elusive and yet beautiful Kale. The bag was overflowing with this leafy specimen as she handed it to me. "Great!" I exclaimed truly grateful. "What should I do with it?" I inquired seriously not having ever cooked it, eaten it, or even seen it. Her answer was short, to the point, and involved the word "chips." She said quite simply "We make kale chips". Did I mention the sheepish grin involved? I would later discover the cause of the grin was the addictive nature of these teeth covering chips.

Do you remember the movie, "Jerry Maguire", and the now famous line, "You had me at hello."? Well my friends, that was exactly how I felt. You had me at chips. Need I say more?!!? I will try most anything involving the word chips.

She proceeds to tell me how her family frequently makes this recipe at home and the kids really like it. I set out to recreate this delicious and amazingly healthy snack which was really very simple and very fast. After tasting the first one, I was curiously hooked. With a slightly odd taste, a yummy hint of garlic salt, and a truly addictive crispiness, I had to investigate the health benefits of the unknown plant source of the snack I had just devoured.

To my extreme surprise upon a quick googling of the plant, Kale was touted as one of the healthiest things around. It is shown to be an effective cancer prevent er for 5 major types of cancer. These properties can best be realized by simply steaming this leafy veggie for 5 mins. and adding a pinch of sea salt or garlic salt. You will also realize several of the same benefits by preparing it the way I did, as chips.

If you have the chance, try it. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you have an even better recipe, send that in too.

Begin by rinsing off the leaves well. Tear them into small pieces (chip size). Put them onto a cookie sheet and brush olive oil on the greens. Then sprinkle with either sea salt or garlic salt. Finally, bake at 350 for 8 - 10 minutes until just slightly crispy. You want to be careful to watch the time as they can burn easily.

After going on about the positives, I do feel it important to warn you to eat this with dental floss in your pocket. These dark green leafy chips stay around your teeth longer than any poppy seed or popcorn kernel hands down!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This week I am happy to report on so many situations that have clearly had a touch from our Almighty God.

Colby - The young man in the motorcycle accident is not only out of the hospital but is at home and doing quite well. This simply put is nothing short of a miracle. God is supernaturally allowing and willing this man's body to heal as if to say, " Not yet kid. I have way to much planned for your future, but first I need you to heal up and show my goodness to all that are watching."

Theresa and Roy - They have gotten an offer on their house. Lord we pray the bank would accept this offer and move it along at such a pace that would allow Theresa and Roy to make other arrangements, be moved and settled either well before or safely after Lukas's arrival. We also ask that your hand would be on the delivery of their little Lukas Asher which is quickly approaching.

Kelli - A gal is fighting cancer of the mouth. The prognosis is good but Lord we ask that you make it GREAT! Let those around her see that she is walking this road hand in hand with her savior.

Mark, Dustin, Cory - All three men are still waiting on the Lord for provision of a job. All have seen God provide for daily needs and beyond and are trusting in his timing. Bless these men in this time of being a part of the stay home family units. I know that Mark being around has been different at times than we are used to but oh so amazing in so many ways. I have seen Mark step up around the house with everything including school. (he makes a great teacher by the way) He has pressed into God by saturating his mind and heart with the Word of God. He is truly rested, which is something I haven't seen in years. He is very aware of the provision of our Jehovah and I believe he is truly resting in it. So while this time is a gift and we are enjoying it ( strangely more now than at the beginning) we continue to seek God for work locally.

A young man has recently become a full time father which is a huge blessing but also a huge change. Pray that God would walk this road with him, step by step, gently teaching and instructing him in the way he should be guiding and parenting his young child.

A friend's grown son is still walking the wider, easier to see path but recently experienced in his life a situation that I pray God would use to draw his eyes, mind, and heart back to himself. The head knowledge is there but Lord God we want this heart to be sold out for you. We ask for a miraculous change.

A prayer walk is being coordinated for the city of Blaine, WA. We are praying to see 1,000 people involved in walking and praying through the city, around the schools, and up and down the streets of Blaine. Lord we want to see you wake up this town. We want to see healing and young lives changed. We ask that you break bonds of addiction and abuse. Free people from bonds of confining sins. Loose your Holy Spirit in the hearts of the Christians of Blaine. Increase our faith to trust you for revival. Give us "Faith Like Potatoes."

Friday, September 10, 2010

Preserving Summer

The leaves display a hint of yellow and red, the grass is growing lush and green, the tomatoes are turning a deep flavorful red, and you can smell the crispness in the air. We fold up the beach towels and exchange them for lap quilts and a cup of hot cider. We enjoy the last of the s'mores in anticipation of apple crisp and zucchini bread. Sadly we say goodbye to all the delicious fresh fruits of summer and begin to experience the bounty of canning. While we can't hold on to our summer days, there is a treat we can make that will take you back to those water side BB Q's in an instant. It hints at times gone by and boasts of our grandmothers ambitions along with a swift kick of cinnamon. For those who left nothing to waste and taught us to preserve everything for harder times, who instilled in us a desire to share from our own bounties and blessings, and brought joy to the kitchen, this one is for you.

Cinnamon Watermelon Rind Pickles

16 c. sliced peeled watermelon rind (sliced about 1 inch by 2)

1 c. pickling or canning salt

8 c. cool water

6 c. sugar

4 c. white vinegar

3 cinnamon sticks broken in half

Day 1

In a large crock, glass bowl, or stainless steel bowl, layer watermelon rind and salt. Add 4 cups of the cold water. Place a large clean inverted plate on top of the rind and weigh down with two or three quart jars filled with water. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Day 2

Rinse the rind with cool water thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, combine rind with the remaining 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over med. high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until the rind is fork tender. About 10 mins. Drain and set aside.

In a large clean saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, and cinnamon stick halves. Bring to a boil over med. high heat and stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes, until cinnamon has infused the liquid. Add drained rind and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally for 1 hour or till the watermelon is translucent. Discard cinnamon.

Pack hot rind into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover rind, leaving 1/2 inch head space again. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rims, put on hot lids, and screw bands on to finger tip tight.

Process in hot water bath for 10 mins.
The look beautiful when they are done. Holler if you have and questions that pop up along your watermelon adventures.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

BBQ'd Pizza?

Our very good friends from Spokane are here visiting for the long weekend. They brought with themselves a half crazed chihuahua, an incredibly beautiful daughter that is growing up so quickly, a cooler full of yummy food that they blessed us with, and our new favorite recipe, BBQ Pizza.

They pulled out this pre-made dough and divided into fifths and rolled it out, then set it aside. Then while enjoying a glass of red wine, they began to prepare a plethora of delicious fresh toppings, everything from pepperoni to sliced carrots and Feta Cheese. It took me back to an evening I spent soaking in the magic of dinner at a Benny Hanna's in Hawaii.
Once all preparations had been made, we were invited to create our own unique pizza delights. While the kids played it safe with the pepperoni, olives, and pizza cheese, I on the otherhand, was feeling a bit sassy! I started with a small pinch of cheese, just for a base. Next I went for a bit of chicken, sun dried tomatoes, fresh diced garlic, olives, lemon basil leaves, and chunks of mozzarella, and on the other half, Canadian Bacon, pepperoni, pineapple, olives and cheese. After it was BBQ'd, I topped it off with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. This was a taste sensation to behold.

After enjoying a few half and half creations, our budding culinary giant, Gavin, suggested dessert pizza. The kids in a display of brilliance began with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and a thin layer of peanut butter. Then in a stroke of sheer genius they chopped up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, added torn up marshmallows, and a sprinkling of dark chocolate chips. I have only one thing to say.... HAVE MERCY! Believe me when I say, these were nothing short of a cruise ship masterpiece.

To re-create this dinner event in your own backyard, follow these simple directions. I would love to hear what new and creative toppings you come up with.

The whole process starts with gathering all your favorite topping and dicing them up. Roll out the pizza dough to fairly thin crusts and stack them on waxed paper. Begin with 6-8 inch terracotta pot bottoms and put them on the bbq on low heat with a coating of olive oil inside. Allow the pots so slowly heat up and then apply a second coating of olive oil.

Meanwhile, begin your pizza by sprinkling a plate with cornmeal to both help prevent sticking and add a crispy bottom to your pizza. Add your desired toppings and then take it to the bbq. Carefully move your pizza to one of the hot pots on the grill. Keeping the heat low, cook your pizza for 8-10 minutes watching the crust til it gets golden brown on the edges.
One thing to keep in mind is that the thicker you pile your toppings the longer it will take to cook your pizza. You also run the risk of burning the edges and having a doughy middle.
If you have always had the desire to get crazy and walk on the wild side, here is your opportunity. Get some dough, a good bottle of wine, a full tank of propane, and some good friends and experience BBQ'd Italiano. CHOW!