Monday, November 23, 2009


Rachel: Mom, I don't have enough cream cheese on my bagel. Can I have some more?

Me: Ok. Well sometimes I put on the cream cheese and you guys say you have too much, so I just never know.

Rachel (using her cute little sweet voice): Well, a mistake is an opportunity to learn.

Thanks for the tip.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Join us for an evening of praise and worship with contemporary music. As you know if you've been to a worship night before, it's not actually a concert (if you've not been to one of our events, well, now you know). You are invited to worship *with* us. Our events are not about us, but they are about praising our God and King!
DOXA means Praise, Honor, Glory.
The purpose of our worship nights is to praise God with our gifts, to honor Him with our obedience, and to glorify Him with our worship.
We invite everyone to come and join us in worship through music! You will often hear an invitation to DOXA include the words "rockin' out for Jesus"!
Come join us as we honor God and glorify Him with our praise.

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2009
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Quinault Baptist Church
5400 W Canal Dr
Kennewick, WA
Click here for the Facebook Event page!
Hope you can make it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tasha's Wedding

Wow. Tasha's wedding. Tasha's. Wedding. My little baby sister is married. Well it was inevitable, I guess. She's beautiful, funny, smart, talented - just to name a few - so someone was bound to see all those things that I see -- but it would be weird for me to marry her, so I'm glad someone else did. Jesus is an awesome guy - a fellow army band member, so also very musically talented, also very funny, and he's not bad on the eyes either. The wedding was very cool. I'll give a brief synopsis of the weekend.

Friday Tasha and Tanya and I ran some errands. We had to go downtown to get a few things, and of course, right after we parked and walked a couple blocks, it started pouring. Not just pouring, but an all out cloudburst. Crazy! Of course it didn't start before we left the car, where I had umbrellas. So we got pretty wet. But what are you going to do? I just figured it was a good thing I was wearing flip flops, so my feet would dry out faster. It rained like that off and on for the rest of the day. I was glad I put in the umbrellas, just in case!

The rehearsal dinner plans were changed due to weather - still raining - but we made it work and it all turned out great. I was still thankful for those umbrellas. Friday night I got to stay with the bridesmaids at the hotel. Tanya and a couple of the girls and I stayed in one room with Tasha; the other bridesmaids had family there and stayed with them. All of us got together Friday night to hang out and talk and do "bridesmaid" stuff, I guess. We also gave Tasha tickets to see West Side Story on Broadway in New York this week. I'm not sure what day the show is, but this is the week they are in NY. We pitched in to get them tickets; she was super excited. This was a fun night but a slightly late one, for getting up the next morning for a wedding!

Saturday it was cool in the morning, but nothing a hot coffee wouldn't fix. We got things set up in the park and although it was busy, most everyone had a job and did their job and got things done. We girls got back to the hotel at about 11-ish to start getting ready, getting hair fixed, makeup on, dresses on, and once we were all ready we took some pictures at the hotel before going to the park. It was fun getting pictures taken, and Jai (pronounced "jay") and Drew, the photographers were awesome. Jai rode with me and the trolls to the park, and she showed me some of the shots she got; very fun!! I can't wait to see all the pictures they took.

All in all, the wedding went pretty well! There were a few bumps in the road, but those bumps were smoothed out without too much trouble. Brian was put in charge of finding a replacement vase that had gotten broken in transit; it was full of marbles and whoever moved it didn't remove the marbles; and marbles are not too forgiving when sitting in a glass vase in a moving vehicle up a bumpy road to a park (it was particularly bumpy in one place). He called me from Goodwill, asking if Tasha cared what it looked which she answered "not even a little bit", which shows how easy going she actually was, for it being her wedding day and things not going exactly as planned. She did great. I am sure that I would not have handled it as gracefully, but she's several years older than I was when I got married. Meaning, she's more "grown up" than I was. Not that she is old. If she's old, that means I'm old(er). Perish the thought.

Right before the wedding, I think it was, I remember people asking "does anyone have a corkscrew or bottle opener? We need both!". There must have been a well-prepared girl or boy scout around, because I actually saw two bottle openers/corkscrews at the bar area. Don't worry - it's an expression. I am sure said "girl or boy scout" was a responsible adult. I'm not an expert, and I was never in the girl scouts, but I don't think corkscrews are standard girl scout issue.

During the ceremony there was a mariachi band playing music; and also through a good part of the reception - it was awesome. I'm not sure what a traditional Mexican wedding would include, but this wedding had many influences from Jesus's side of the family. Mariachi band, tostada bar for dinner afterward, including Corona and Negra Modelo (which I must say is not bad, and I'm not normally a beer drinker). The cake was Tres Leches, which was heavenly. Oh my word, that cake was SO good.

The rain stayed away for most of the day, which was an answer to prayer! We had a huge tent where the ceremony was held, but the reception stuff (food, tables) were next to it and not covered. The rain started to sprinkle during the reception just a bit, when Brian and I got our food, so we put our plates down and took a table under the tent. It wasn't raining much then, but a bit later it rained harder for a little bit. A bunch of us grabbed some more tables to put under the cover, but then it let up and didn't rain for the rest of the day. Not too bad for a questionable weather day in Portland (is there any other kind?).

Of course we had to do toasts for the bride and groom (yay for champagne!), so the Best Man and Best Woman (two of Jesus's closest friends) gave their toasts, and then I toasted for me and my sister Tanya (we were the "Sisters of Honor"). I wasn't quite sure what I was going to say, and I was praying for God to give me words. During the toast right before mine, I heard an ice cream truck driving up on the road above us in the park...then I knew exactly what to say. Tasha even had something about Jesus appreciating her love of ice cream in her vows - so this was perfect. After making sure that Tanya wasn't saying anything (she didn't want to talk for fear of crying in front of everyone), and letting everyone know that I was basically speaking for both of us, I told Tasha I was proud of her self discipline, for not taking off running to the ice cream truck when she heard it. After a few more words of encouragement (I hope), my job there was done. Cheers!!

After some cake, the Mariachi band left and the Salsa band came in, and we got to dance the afternoon away. Jesus and Tasha danced the first dance, then the dance instructor (Javier) came in and taught everyone else how to do the Salsa. It was really fun. Later I danced with Jesus (he told me how the guy leads and shows what to do next), and then I got to dance with Javier, which was really fun too.

We all had a really fun time. It was fun for me to see lots of army band people who I hadn't seen for a long time; I think I probably had seen them since I got out of the army, but since some of them are retired from the band, I hadn't seen them at the last concerts I had been to. So it was really fun, kind of a reunion of army band folks. I was in the band for 12 years, so many of these people are like family to me.

All in all, it was a great wedding. Even though things never go exactly as planned, things went well and people enjoyed the celebration. Emma and Rachel were the flower girls, so they got to be a part of the ceremony and got to wear their pretty dresses and sprinkle rose petals and dance and eat cake and tostadas and drink sparkling cider. They loved the salsa dancing too; while I danced with Jesus, Brian danced with the girls. Super fun! Now we're going to have to go take dancing lessons. It's so much fun.

I will post some of my pictures; however I didn't get very many. My camera wasn't working right and Brian couldn't get many pictures. So I took some with my phone; that's about all we have for now. The photographers were awesome, and I can't wait to see what they got. That was another fun part of the day. So when those are available I will put some of them in. For now, here's what I have.


(this first picture was not good because the camera was on the fritz; but I thought it was still a really good picture.)

Jesus's grandparents, and Tanya peeking out from the dressing tent

Lunch for the guys at the wedding site. These are a couple of Jesus's uncles.

Jesus is going over his vows; Brian thought it was funny to take a picture with the no pets sign.

Here's us...Sarah did a good job making my hair "wedding" worthy

The girls' favorite part of the wedding was the salsa dancing

The beautiful bride

Monday, June 29, 2009


We now have a trampoline...our friends are leaving the country for a couple years, and let us "store" it at our house. Our girls keep telling people "we have a trampoline for 2 years!", which confuses people because they wonder what happens after 2 years, not knowing the situation. It's kind of funny.

So they love the trampoline, they are out there all the time - they finally want to play outside. Who knew?!? So I am going to post some pictures I took yesterday of them - should be fun to see what I got; I haven't even looked at the pictures yet.

Here goes...

Thursday, April 02, 2009


2 Timothy 3:14-17 (New International Version)
14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (New American Standard Bible)
14You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 (New Living Translation)
14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

OK. So I can't sleep again until I write these thoughts down.

I have always liked comparing versions of the bible. I'm not going to get into the argument about what version is better than another. Not the point. And frankly not an argument worth arguing about, in my honest opinion. There are more important things on which to spend my time.
Such as: If the Word is inspired by God, and if the Word is used to teach me the Truth and to convict me of what is wrong in my life, why (WHY?!) am I not reading it constantly, so I will learn more Truth and so that I may find out more things about myself that must be changed so that I will become more like Christ? Why is this not one of my main priorities in life?
Why do I not hunger and thirst for it constantly? There are times that I do. But then, LIFE happens and I get off track. Which is another topic altogether, because I (my Self) get myself off track, and the enemy also pulls me off track. So I must don my spiritual armor and fight the good fight so that I will always hunger for the Word, instead of being led off the right path to hunger for lesser things.

But if I am off track, I must come back to what I know. I must remain faithful to Christ. He is my salvation. There is nothing else. How did I come to know Christ? Through His Word. He is the Living Word. The written form of the Living Word is how He is made clear to us, through the Holy Spirit. It's late, so I hope that made sense. ?? This Scripture with which we have come to know Christ was inspired by the Creator of the universe. By the Maker of all things. By our Father. It was "God-breathed". This God-breathed scripture is what teaches us right from wrong. It is used to teach us, convict us, correct us, to train us in righteousness so that we will become equipped for 'every good work'. When we aren't the person we know we should be, do we go directly to the Word, the God-Breathed, inspired Word of God? Or do we try to fix ourselves, by our own means? Do we go to a self help book, or a friend, or a counselor? Given, these things are all helpful, but let's get our priorities straight. MY Priorities straight. The Word should be first. It should come to my mind first. I should have His words in my heart because from the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. I should go to The Word because THAT is what convicts, teaches, rebukes, trains. I should be studying what God tells me in it way more than I am. Therefore, I am currently convicted by the Word, which is, I'm sure the reason that God led me to these verses tonight. He knows my priorities aren't in the right place.

Lord, Thank you for your Word, for its power, its divinely inspired truths. I want to be faithful to what You have taught me. I thank you for the wisdom you have given me to understand your message of Salvation. I thank you for Jesus and that I can bring my burdens to the foot of the Cross, and I thank you for taking them on yourself. Lord, give me your power to fight the fight. Remind me to put on my armor and to always be ready for the enemy's attacks. Give me your power over my Self and selfish desires. Enable me to do Your work and give me strength for each task you put before me. The more I read Your Word, the more I desire You. I wish I could more elequently state how much I desire to please You and to know You.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now what I really need to do is stop staying up so late. I need to go to bed earlier, get up earlier, read and write in the morning, or write during the day, and then stop the cycle of not being able to sleep at night for all the thoughts running around in my head.
And I'll have to check back tomorrow to see if any of this makes sense.

We'll see. And no comments allowed today on punctuation, grammar, or spelling. It's late.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Wow. It's been a while. And I'm not even sure why I'm writing tonight except for the fact that I feel like writing. I really should be heading to bed. However, it seems like every time I go to bed (especially when I try to go to bed early) I can't sleep for all the thoughts bouncing around inside my head. It wouldn't seem like there would be all that much room in there with all the voices, but apparently there's enough to share.

I enjoy writing. It works better for me than talking, since I can get my thoughts out on "paper", see them, and then retype them to sound better. It's like an "inner monologue" that I can read and edit instead of saying stupid stuff. (To anyone who really knows know the drill. You understand that it's way better that I write it instead of trying to get my thoughts to come out of my mouth correctly. See? This is where I need God soooo desperately when talking to people. Or talking at all.) So, ordinarily I type stuff on the computer, save it for another time, re-read it another day, edit it, maybe post it someday on a blog, not expecting anyone to read it or even care. So tonight, instead, I'm just going to put my thoughts out here.

Cut to the chase. God has been telling me for some time that I am a coward. Not that I realized it, and He didn't come right out and say it, but in subtle ways over the past month or two, I have gotten that message. I was thinking the other day that I live in a pretty sheltered bubble. I have friends from church, mainly, that I am in contact with most. Other than that, it's the occasional smile at a person in the grocery store (usually I ignore people, not purposely, it's just because I'm in my own little world and sticking to my list), or a wave at a new neighbor, since it's not warm enough outside for people to be venturing out much.

So I realized the other day that I rarely talk to people that don't have Jesus in their life, and if I ever do talk to moms in the girls' school classes, or anyone else, it's small talk and you don't ever get down to deep subjects like salvation. So why is that? Why is it, that something that important in life (and beyond!) is so unimportant to me - or seemingly so?

Since I'm sure I'm not the only one that God has talked to about this subject, I'm going to go ahead and speak (ok, write) as if you are part of this whole thing too. So...I ask again... Why is it, that something that important in life (and beyond!) is so unimportant to US - or seemingly so?

Well, I guess it's because we're cowards and don't want to come out and ask someone if they know the Lord or ask them if they realize that their "faith" is counterfeit, or that they're brainwashed and following a cult? OK. That's harsh, I know it can be nicer or more subtle than that. But does it have to be? I'm just saying. Jesus wasn't always super nice, he was sowing seeds in some crazy places and was ridiculed - and He told us that the same thing would happen to us. IF we are actually doing His work. Are we? Seriously, why is it that we don't come right out and talk about something so important? I guess it's because we don't want to rock the boat. "I don't want to judge them." "I don't want to seem like I'm pushing my religion on them." " I don't want to be judgmental, but..." "I don't want to offend anyone." I'm not making those up. If you haven't thought one of those recently, either you're seasoned at evangelism or you're lying to yourself, or maybe you also live in your own little bubble.

OK. Here's the deal. Again, if you know me at all, you know that I do not believe in coincidences. God is in control and whatever happens to us is filtered through His hands and He has allowed things to happen in our lives for certain reasons. If I say that I believe this about "coincidence", then I am contradicting myself if I do not take every opportunity He gives me.

If I am sitting in McDonald's talking to a mom from school while our kids are playing on the playground thingy, and if I don't show Jesus to her, somehow, then I have wasted that opportunity. [Keep in mind here that I still feel like a coward as I write this. I have no idea what I would have said to that mom, I just know that I needed to say something, and God would have given me the words, if I'd let Him have the chance.] How many wasted opportunities have we all experienced? How many of those opportunities can we NOT waste tomorrow?

So there we have it...more ramblings. It's how I roll. Bottom line: I need to quit making excuses for not sharing the Gospel. I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! I need to tell people about it and not worry about what people think of me. I can post my blogs or whatever online, and not worry what other people think of me. I can sing praises to the Lord and not be ashamed for showing emotion, for being exuberant, for being excited about Jesus. I can be a witness, in line at the grocery store, or online on a message board. I don't care if someone doesn't agree with me. It's my opinion, right?

Well, actually, it's the Truth. Jesus.

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but through me."
John 14:6

So there you have it.

Friday, January 23, 2009


OK. So the year in review wasn't as quick as I had hoped. Oh well.

Here's a picture of us in front of the new house. It's our "happy new year" card picture. Enjoy...


Well, this isn't going to be a significantly detailed review, but it will touch the highlights of the year I guess. God definitely did some significant things this year...many of which I just have to share. So here goes, the year in (fairly quick I hope) review:

The year started out with Brian still laid off from work - carried over from the end of the prior year. He started working at the beginning of February out at Bechtel (Hanford area), at the Vitrification plant, on a maintenance crew. Basically his job is to help keep the area maintained while the other workers build the Vit plant which isn't supposed to even be operational until 2019 or something like that. So, there is a chance he might be employed for a long time...but there's really no telling, since that's just the way things are out there.

Let's see...I know that at the start of the year we helped lead a class for Financial Peace University (Dave Ramsey) that was held at our church. After going through some significant debt payoff over the past few years, we were asked to kind of be "apprentices" for the class, and now we are actually leading the class this year. It's cool to be able to share our experiences, hopefully God will use us to encourage others in their quest for Financial Freedom.

The summer was different this year; we didn't have the "luxury" of a layoff this summer (we did for the past two summers), so I had to really cut my work hours so I could be home with the girls. It was wonderful for me, I loved it. Work, on the other hand, didn't like it as much. My employers are awesome though, very flexible and they just worked with me so I could be home with the girls and then what probably averaged out to about once a week I would come in to work, bring them with me, and get some work done. It worked out well, since my employers are a husband and wife who run a business out of their home. I'm very thankful for their flexibility!

The biggest thing in the summer was that we decided to put our house up for sale. This was quite a roller-coaster ride to say the least. But God is faithful and got us through it. We weren't sure what to expect, but wanted the most out of our house so we decided to sell it "by owner". We purged the house of extraneous clutter, and two little 5' x 10' storage units later, put it up for sale on July 16. After only 10 weeks on the market we had an interested buyer! So we ended up signing the sale on October 30, and I think it closed on November 3.

During the whole selling process, of course, we were trying to decide where to live next. We have loved a certain house for probably over 8 years; another Aho Construction house plan. Our first house was built by Aho, and we've always loved it. So long story short (too late), we decided to have Aho build another one for us. We found a lot we liked with a flat driveway (Brian's non-negotiable), and gave them the go-ahead to build that house plan we've always loved. It has a laundry room upstairs where the bedrooms are (my non-negotiable), 4 bedrooms, and over 2500 square feet of space - as opposed to our first house which had 1089. We even opted for the 3 car garage with a 4th "bay" in the back, to make even more space for Brian to have his workout equipment.

Keep in mind that all of these things were not decided on easily. Our final lot choice was the 3rd one. We had put earnest money down on one lot, then moved our choice, and then we took our money off completely until we decided for sure whether we wanted to do it. I think God needed us to stop making decisions on our own and let HIM lead them instead. We learned a lot this summer about waiting on God. Wow. But God saved us the perfect lot! It's huge and across the street from a park and has a nice view of the Tri Cities.

So, we told Aho to build our house on October 25 I think. Then it takes them 3 months to build a house. We thought about trying to rent an apartment, but apparently renting has died and now you have to lease a place for 6 months or more. So much for that idea. However, Brian's parents graciously decided to make room for us and we were able to stay there while the house was built! We are so thankful to them for allowing us to do that. It was such a blessing! The girls loved living with Gramy and Grampa, and we were relieved not to have to pay a huge rent bill and to have a roof over our heads.

We drove by our house almost every day - in the morning I would take the girls by and see what they were going to do that day, and then after school we would see all the progress and sometimes get out and walk around. It's amazing how fast a house goes up. Check out the pictures - they're dated and you can see how fast some of it went. Sometime in November we got a letter saying our completion date would be January 20 - less than 3 months after we signed the contract. Pretty cool.

The holidays went by quickly as always. We stayed here for Thanksgiving and traveled to Oregon for Christmas. That was another adventure in itself. On Monday the 22nd we drove from Tri-Cities to The Dalles and spent a night there since the freeway was closed at Hood River. That trip took about 3 hours, only 1/2 hour longer than normal. Then the next day the Gorge opened up and we drove from The Dalles to Dallas. Normally a 2-1/2 hour trip, that took 6. WOW! I think you can find pictures from Christmas if you go to my house albums and then look at the other albums I have posted there. I got some great snow pictures.

When we got to my parents' house, there was still no electricity (hadn't had any since the weekend before), so we got to "rough it" a little bit. That day was my mom's birthday so we went out to dinner that night. The next day was Christmas Eve and we got power back that evening. Christmas was great and we had a good time. The drive home was closer to the usual 5 hour trip.

The last few weeks have been spent planning what to do, when to move, packing things up again, and last weekend we actually got to move into our house. We signed papers last Thursday, got our keys on Friday, and moved in on Saturday. We had lots of help (thanks everybody), and I'm making headway on the unpacking process. It will take a while but we'll get done eventually!

So that recaps the last year pretty well. God really did some cool stuff last year! It's fun to see how some of the things have worked out, especially when I remember how we wondered HOW things would possibly work out at the time. There was so much more detail to most of the stuff I have written but I guess if you really want more detail, you'll ask.

Happy New Year!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Most Current House Pictures

Click the picture to see the most current 2009 pictures!!
Photobucket Album

New House Pictures

If you click on the picture below it should take you to my photo album of pictures of the house. It starts with some of the options we chose for our house. Then you'll see the empty lot, and lots of pictures of the progress!
We're really excited. The completion date is January 20, so we're nearly a month away from moving in.
Enjoy the pictures, I will add more as we take more, so check and see what comes next!
The following album has our 2008 pictures...there's another album with the 2009 pictures.
Photobucket Album