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Monday, December 22, 2008


I am working 12 hour days, for five days a week. I started this schedule the Monday after finals week. I was hoping for some rest and relaxation. When experiencing long days and short nights the mind starts to see things differently.

For the original image see previous post by Tasha.

Winter Flowers

I don't know what these flowers are, but I do think they are fascinating. I love that they are fuzzy. When the flowers bloom, it is like treasures being uncovered.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spontaneous Art

I made this during my lunch hour the other day. He is made of trash paper, tape, cone cut from an orange ear plug, post-it note, and twigs from my dying desk plant.

Hurray it will be Christmas soon!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sawing logs

Tonight we went to Starbucks and met with our friend Karin. We go practically every week for them to work on their Bible Study Fellowship and I get to work on school stuff. So I was trying to read Saint Augustine's Confessions and apparently fell asleep. A barista who I have befriended, who was actually off duty, saw me asleep and asked Tasha if I was her friend. Luckily she claimed me and said, "Oh that is my husband". He then asked if I was supposed to be asleep to which Tasha replied, "No, he is supposed to be doing homework". Oops!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Recipes are more like guidelines

So I found a recipe in a cook book Tasha and I got from the Bahers. I looked it over and then modified it to work with what we had and what we liked.

1 can of salsa
2 cans of tuna (drained)
1 handful of baby spinach
3 servings of uncooked macaroni noodles
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp basil
1/8 tsp dried minced garlic
1/8 tsp black pepper

Wilt the spinach in melted butter and oil - simmer for 5 minutes
Add the garlic and salsa to the spinach - simmer for 5 minutes
Add the basil, pepper, and tuna - simmer for 5 minutes
Pour over cooked macaroni noodles and enjoy!



Oh, we added sliced olives to it too. Yummy!


I am so thankful that I had the week off for Thanksgiving! I was able to do all kinds of fun projects. For example, I made my first macaroni salad and my very first pie. A good friend who regularly makes a pie when her son comes home from college showed me how to make a oh so delicious apple pie. I normally endure the crust of a pie to get to the filling. This homemade crust was irresistible. I also was able to make a special photo album for Ama and Apa! I made a red scarf for my mom. I listened to Worth, The Penderwicks, and I'm in the middle of listening to Rodzina. If you want a light hearted funny book, pick up The Penderwicks. If you want a good story set around the late 1800s (from what I remember that is) in the Midwest about a family who through hardship learned to accept one another, pick up Worth. So far Rodzina is quite interesting as she is a Polish orphan being sent west in the last 1800s on an orphan train to be given to hopefully loving families. Rodzina isn't too happy about the move and fights being picked on for her Polish heritage and physical size.
Kyle and I were able to spend two days with friends and family in Bako. Have you ever played the game Imagine If? I had so much fun playing. According to my family I am a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I thought of myself more as a turkey sandwich, but who knew... :) I also got to spend quite a bit of time with PopPop, my grandfather. He shared all kinds of stories about his past that were very interesting. Growing up my grandparents lived in New York, so I got to see them about once a year. This was a special time for he and I as I learned all kinds of stuff. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008


What would it be like to be a moth traveling and landing on this bush?

What would it be like to be a rollypolly crawling though this jungle of leaves?

What would it be like to be an ant trying to crawl up this fuzzy flower?

What would it be like to be a worm popping up and seeing a sea of gold?

What would it be like to be a sparrow landing in this tree?

A November Walk

I went on a walk, and what did I see?
I had to stop by the post office because I knew they had some of the prettiest trees around.

The lighting was perfect that afternoon.

The colors were stunning and breath taking.

I ventured on toward downtown Clovis.

And although it is fall, you can still find evidence of summer.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Saint and Sinner

I stumbled across this as I searched for the meaning behind Luther saying "sin boldly".

This new design is a visual example of one of Martin Luther's most famous quotes. "Simul iustus et Peccator". As we live in God's grace, we are
reminded that we are both forgiven and sinner. This shirt proclaims Saint to all who look at it, yet if you look down at your own shirt, you will be reminded that you are also a Sinner. This design was created by ambigram artist Mark Palmer and is used by permission of Wow Designs inc.

Simultaneously Saint and Sinner

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Beauty Over the Weekend

Oma and Grandpa Jack's bird of paradise
 Don't you love how the wind makes a good hair day into a scary one?
Grandma Murial's neighbor's garden
If you look closely, you'll see an ant.
I just thought these were pretty.


I am thankful for the four days off I've had.  Kyle and I were able to go visit my family in Bakersfield on Friday and Saturday morning, his grandparents on Saturday afternoon, and my grandparents on Sunday.  It was a whirlwind trip including 11 hours of driving, but it was well worth it.  I'm grateful that cars exist.  I'm talking to my kids about traveling in a wagon.  This trip wouldn't have been possible via wagon with just 11 hours of drive time.  I'm thankful that brave souls cut through the mountains and made roads.  I wouldn't choose to go by wagon over the mountains unless it was VERY clear from God that I was supposed to.  I'm thankful for the time to visit.  Having both Monday and Tuesday off allowed me to get lesson plans done for this week and next while still enjoying the company of friends at lunch and a bit of shopping today.  

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Does anyone else think it is unsettling that California voted YES on 2 but NO on 4?

Why is it that this state cares more about livestock than it do babies?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Should we get a dog?
Should we have children?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Kyle and I had a great time in Minnesota. We were able to visit a lot of extended family from my side that I've only met once before that I can remember. I was amazed at the hospitality of my relatives. One couple gave up their bed for us and slept in the loft in their garage. They wouldn't hear of us sleeping there since the only restroom was in the house. A great aunt of mine stole the bill at dinner when we had purposely taken her out to dinner. Another great aunt took us on a tour of New Ulm and blessed us with a great German meal. My grandma showed us the farm she grew up on and the little country church she went to as a kid.
The leaves were changing, and it was simply beautiful there!

A corn field that used to belong to my great grandparents.

The little country church my grandma went to as a little girl. That is back when their wasn't running water or electricity in the middle of Minnesota's blizzards.

Oh, the colors were so rich there!

The view outside of my great aunt and uncle's.

May I please borrow $25?

A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5 year old son waiting for him at the door.

SON: 'Daddy, may I ask you a question?'

DAD: 'Yeah sure, what is it?' replied the man.

SON: 'Daddy, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'That's none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?' the man said angrily.

SON: 'I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?'

DAD: 'If you must know, I make $50 an hour.'

SON: 'Oh,' the little boy replied, with his head down. 'Daddy, may I please borrow $25?'

The father was furious, 'If the only reason you asked that is so You can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I don't work hard every day for such childish frivolities.' The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's question. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think: maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $25.00 and he really didn't ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy's room and opened the door.

'Are you asleep, son?' He asked. 'No daddy, I'm awake,' replied the boy. The father said 'I've been thinking maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here's the $25 you asked for.' The little boy sat straight up, smiling. 'Oh, thank you daddy!' He yelled. Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money and started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father. 'Why do you want more money if you already have some?' the father grumbled. 'Because I didn't have enough, but now I do,' the little boy replied. 'Daddy, I have $50 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.' The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness.

It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $50 worth of your time with someone you love.

If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of hours. But the family friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.

The light of God surrounds us.
The love of God enfolds us.
The power of God protects us.
The presence of God watches over us.
Wherever we are God is and all is well.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Moses and Me Part 2

Last night I was helping with the children's program at my Bible study.  I was blown away at what these 2nd and 3rd graders knew.  While I listened to them share what then knew about Moses I learned something.

In the beginning of Exodus God and Moses argue.  God told Moses that He wants to use him, Moses tries desperately to opt out.  Moses fails, God wins.  Moses goes and does what God told him to do.  Moses told Pharaoh to let the people go worship God in the dessert, a three day journey.  Moses had obeyed God, and you know what happened?  Pharaoh pitches a fit and says the people are lazy.  The people had to continue making the same quota of brick, but now they weren't provided with the straw.  The people were angry with Moses and with God.  

Moses returned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people?  Is this why you sent me?  Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all."
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go, because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country."  Exodus 5:22-6:1

Things initially got worse, unbearable worse for the Israelites.  But, God was working in His timing, for His purpose, that He may be glorified.  Moses and all the people would know by the time they got out of Egypt that it had nothing to do with their might or strength, it was all about God's might and strength.

Last spring I prayed that God would put me in the classroom He desired.  He saw fit to have me switch grade levels over the summer, and then to switch back 6 weeks into school.  I am now finding that my kids are really struggling with math.  You know what?  I prayed that God would put me where He wants me, and it will be only to His glory when the kids get the math concepts.  Their growth will not be due to me, I tried in my strength, and that didn't work out well.  Now, I am on a renewed journey to put God first in my classroom.  It is a challenge when things are constantly changing to keep anything a focus, and yes things aren't looking to pretty when it comes to their math, but God will show me what to do.  

When was the last time you stopped, breathed, and then remembered that you can put your trust in God?  You don't have to rely on your own strength.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moses, Gideon, and me

Apparently I have a hard time listening.  That must be why God keeps showing me people who also had a hard time listening and eventually heard, trusted, and obeyed.  
When most people think of Moses they are stunned by his leadership.  When God called Moses to free the people of Eygpt, do you know what his response was?  In Exodus 3 and 4 Moses first asked who was he to do such a job.  Remember, Moses was 80 at the time.  God said that when he was done freeing the people, he'd bring him back to the same mountain to worship Him. Moses argued with the question of who should I say sent me.  God said to tell them I AM sent you.  Moses wasn't convinced so he asked what to do if the people didn't believe him that he'd seen God.  God worked the miracle of changing the rod to the serpent and back again.  He showed him how He would make his hand leprous and then clean again.  He told him that he could take water and throw it to the ground and it would turn to blood.  Moses squirmed and said that he wasn't eloquent with words and was slow of speech and tongue.   God reminded Moses who made him and his mouth.   Moses finally stopped beating around the bush and just said to pick someone else.  God said he'd still send Moses, and he'd provided Aaron to speak for Moses.  Moses finally listened, and we have the first 5 books of the Bible because he listened and obeyed.
In Judges 6 and 7, Gideon was threshing wheat in a wine press because he was afraid his enemies would see him and steal the wheat.  The Angle of the LORD appears to him and calls him to a mighty warrior and tells him to fight against his enemies.  Gideon says that he is the least in his family and that his tribe is the weakest in Israel.  Basically, who am I to do such a thing?  Aren't I presently working in hiding out of fear of my enemies?  But God doesn't give up on Gideon.  He even puts up with Gideon's tests in order to show his faithfulness.  Gideon acted in faith and first torn down the alters to Baal, and the idle standing next to it.  He later went out to destroy his enemies.  Gideon had finally listened, and his people were refocused on God for it.
God has been telling me to trust Him.  He won't leave me when the pressure to meet the state's  increasing bar of perfection (all students should be proficient,score 80% or higher on the CST, in a few years) continues to raise a little higher each year.  He isn't caught of guard when my student do poorly on math tests because they are English Language Learners who don't know their math facts.  He knew before the school year started that I would switch grade levels 6 weeks into the school year.  He is in control.  He knows my heart and how much I want my kids to succeed.  He knows that He will equip me to help them, and that I need to rely on Him and His strength.
Sometimes, in the heat of pressure I forget what life is like outside of pressure.  I forget that is is beautiful outside.  I forget that God is with me.  I forget that God will provide.  I am so thankful that God doesn't forget me when I forget Him.  I am so thankful that God is far more faithful that I can imagine.  I am thankful that God is God, and that I am not.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Kyle Growing Up

Yeah, yeah! Turn it up louder mama!

Fishing Brothers
Troy and Kyle

Behind Bars
Troy, Kyle, and Sean

Science Fair - second place

Coming Home from Mexico
Greg, Mitch, and Kyle

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

I am amazed the ideas people come up with when God is taken out of the equation. It was Carl Sagan who said, "We are made of star stuff." I made a little design to illustrate my thoughts.

Gus the cat

I came home from school yesterday and as I was unlocking my door saw something moving behind the wooden slats of our patio. It was a furry little kitten! I let him come inside and played in the floor with him. While he explored the living room I got him a saucer of water. I also put out some captin crunch cereal which he gobbled right up.

In the morning I had gone to get the mail and noticed a flyer saying missing kitten. A family had gotten it for their son's birthday and they were heart broken. So sad. I told the fur ball to stay in the house while I went to get the number off the flyer.

I thought the lady was going to cry when I told her that I had a little kitten that looked like it might be theirs. They quickly came over to check him out. She scolded him like he was a kid that got lost, which was funny. Her son was maybe 5 years old and he was yanking on her shirt saying that it was his turn to hold Gus.

Don't you love a happy ending?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Marriage is weird

What was God thinking? "Let's put a sinful man and a sinful woman in this thing called marriage and see what happens".

Gary Thomas wrote Sacred Marriage: What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? Well that first sounds like a stupid question. Isn't marriage supposed to make me happy? Sure it is, but it is a byproduct not a prime product.

I've heard people say before that God uses our spouses as His heavenly sandpaper. Are you timid and soft spoken? My wife was. Who'd she marry? A talkative loud person. Ah! God knew she needed some bloomage. Have a tendency toward laziness or procrastination? I do. Who'd I marry? A highly motivated and punctual person. Ah! God knew what I was lacking and brought me a wife who can help mold me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sowing Seeds

Step 1: Put one compressed peat moss disk at the bottom of each plastic pot. Cover each with 2 teaspoons of water. Allow at least 5 minutes for the disk to absorb the water.

Step 2: Sow 4-6 seeds into each plastic pot (2 pots for basil, 2 pots for parsley, and 2 pots for chives). Cover the seeds with the moss.

Step 3: Place in a bright sunny spot. Spritz with a spray bottle daily, do not over water. Rotate bin daily so they sprout up straight.

Day 2: The sprout in the upper right pot is our basil!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Snapshots

Good morning mister bluejay.

Small hidden flowers.

Tall purple flowers.

Little berries look like miniature bushels of pumpkins or tomatoes.