October 31, 2010

Together again!

My Dad's birthday is on Halloween and this year it is a big one! It worked out that he could fly up for the weekend so we could celebrate with him. The icing on the cake was that my sister was able to fly up too! We haven't seen each other since February and it was so good to see her walking towards us at the airport. I wanted to run over and hug her but thought the security people sitting right there watching us might be alarmed so I, unsuspiciously, walked quickly!

The three of us then drove to Portland and had dinner at The Melting Pot. Yummy! It was so nice to talk and tell the stories that are too long to text or email. We got home and had Dad open his presents. Melanie gave him really cute pics of her kids. They are all so adorable! Then we gave him "60 reasons why we love you." All the grandkids helped with that one too. We spent the rest of the night talking and laughing. It was a great night! I get one more full day with them. I will treasure every moment!

October 26, 2010


Anthony got the opportunity to go to his first college football game last week. It was Oregon vs. UCLA. The Ducks killed the Bruins but Anthony enjoyed every minute of it!

October 24, 2010

Halloween isn't playing nice with Tyler!

I am so excited for Halloween this year! Yes, I love stealing candy from my kids' bags, but that isn't the reason. My Dad and sister are flying up! It is going to be a delightful weekend!

Poor Tyler, though, has had a rough go at Halloween this year. A few weeks ago, while grocery shopping, Tyler saw a Haunted Gingerbread House kit. It is one of those kits where they supply everything and you just put it together and decorate it. Tyler was so excited to see a Halloween one. They do one for Christmas every year but we have never seen a Halloween one. However, there was only one left. Tyler begged me to get it for Parker. He knows how much Parker loves Halloween and Tyler wanted to make him happy. I love that about Tyler!

We got it for Parker and hoped that they would get more in so Tyler could have one too. They didn't. Instead, while Parker decorated his house, Tyler and I made sugar cookies that he decorated. He was a good sport about it. He was an even better sport when the dog ate half of his decorated cookies that were "drying" on the counter!

We were at Target on Wednesday and found a Halloween graveyard kit. Tyler was so excited! He put it together on Friday and did a great job! We put it up high while it dried so the dog couldn't get it!

We got home from church this afternoon wondering what the dog had done. He has digestive issues and more often than not has thrown up somewhere. It is almost always on the carpet and it makes me very unhappy and the carpet steam cleaner very useful. WooHoo! No throw up. Anthony makes it to the kitchen before me and I heard his gasp. Yep, Tyler's graveyard! Poor Tyler! (Yes, that is black icing on the carpet!)

October 19, 2010

To be different

Openness is the name of the game so here is me being open about my experiences when friendship and ministry mix.

I was 20 when I married Brian and really had no idea what I had just gotten myself into with his job! Ministry is a roller coaster. Up one minute, down the next. There is a lot of sacrifice. I used to joke with Brian that I would write on his tombstone the phrase he said to us most nights after dinner. "Daddy's gotta go!" Youth group, events, small groups, meetings, counseling, they all took up his evenings. There were some times I wanted him to quit ministry. Spending the entire day with, and then putting a toddler and two infants to bed by myself was overwhelming at times. But at the end of the day, I knew that ministry was what Brian was called to do and what he was passionate about doing. So, I had to take my own advice and just suck it up on those bad days!

My first really negative experience in a church was about 11 years ago. There were things done by the senior pastor and his wife that were wrong and questionable. Unfortunately, we were one of their "victims." The church became divided between those who were for the pastor and those who were for the victims. It was incredibly rough. It couldn't have come at a worse time for us. I had just returned home from the hospital after having the twins and almost dying. We stayed with the church as long as we could. It broke our hearts to leave but it started trickling down into Anthony's life and it was negative for him. We lost our friends. Some were mad we didn't stick it out longer. Others were never on our "side." My heart put up a caution sign.

We were excited for the next thing God had in store for us. Brian was a youth pastor still but the senior pastor also wanted him to start a contemporary service for younger families. I made some great friends! We did a lot together with our kids and shared common hobbies. It was great until it was time to launch the contemporary service. To put it mildly, it caused waves. When you walked in the front door you were faced with a decision. If you went to the left, you went to the "real" church. If you turned right, you were one of those "contemporary" people. My friends chose the real church, which was fine with me. We all have things we like or don't like and they were free to make the choice that was right for their family. The problem was it became a "them" versus "us" mentality throughout the whole church. I lost my friends to it. It was tough to lose them to church politics. It was a loss that I grieved. My heart put up a do not enter sign.

As the contemporary service took off I slowly made a new friend. I was cautious. She became a friend who understood the pressure of being a pastor's wife and invited me to share and open up about my struggles and fears or frustrations. Over time I did open up. It was so nice to have someone to talk through difficult things. Around this time the senior pastor retired and we threw our name into the ring to replace him. During this process, my friend shared publicly the things I had confided in her. I felt sick. I was heartbroken. I lost faith in people. My heart put up a closed sign.

Over time, God has mended my broken heart, but when it comes to making friends, I am hesitant. I keep people at arms length. I carry an enormous amount of guilt about it. I know there are people who are put off by my distance. I feel like I am letting Brian down. It feels, at times, like I am making his job harder. I know that Brian loves and accepts me, wounds and all, but sometimes I just wish I could be different.

October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to You!

Today is Brian's birthday! It is a bummer it fell on a Monday this year. Monday is a busy day. We got to have lunch together and then out for a nice dinner. We went to The Melting Pot and enjoyed some very delicious fondue. Dessert was heavenly. White chocolate, caramel, and sugar. Yummy!!

The boys got Brian a heated back massager. They think he works hard and needs to relax! Sweet!

On the bad side, dog ate one of my shoes while we were at dinner. I mourn you, beautiful pink shoe. Dog, you're a bad dog. A very, very bad dog! My shoes, NO touchy!

Happy Birthday my Love! I celebrate the day you were born and the day you came into my life. I love you so much!

October 17, 2010

Take that, dog!

I like to keep things I bake out on the counter so they get eaten. If I put them in the cupboard they get forgotten about. I would prefer to do that with all bakery items. Rolo has made that impossible.

At first, we could leave the bread and stuff in the middle of the counter. As Rolo grew, we had to move it to the back of the counter. He stopped growing but developed superpowers. We then moved the bread and cookies to the tops of the coffee maker or toaster. Once again he outsmarted us and used his magical powers to get to the bagels. He wore me down and all the baked goods went into the cupboard. He won!

I may be down, but I am not out! I found a container that he takes off the counter while we are gone, but he can't open it. I made white chocolate chip cookies yesterday, put them in the magic container on the counter and then, today, left for church. The container was on the floor in the living room but the lid was still on. He tried, but I won! Take that, dog!

October 6, 2010

How do you know that?

Anthony and I were watching one of our shows and we started talking about the take-off speed for a jet. There was an SUV trying to catch up to a plane that was taking off. Following is our conversation.
Me: I wonder how fast that truck is going?
Anthony: 100mph easily
Me: And how do you know that? What is your point of reference for that?
Anthony: I have "man knowledge".
Me: Man knowledge?
Anthony: Yes. We are born with it. It is in our blood! We know things.
Me: I see!
I have had some interesting feedback about my last post! Some of support, some not so much. That is fine with me. We all process things through our own grids and they don't always line up with each other.

I love David. I read the Psalms over and over. I frustrate easily and I always felt guilty about those feelings. Christians shouldn't be frustrated or exasperated and such. While studying David many years ago I felt freed of that guilt. David would just lay his feelings out there. Whether it was anger or sadness, David expressed it. This was a man after God's own heart and he felt some of the same things I feel. However, the thing I like the most is he always brought it back to God.

I don't regret expressing my feelings. There are days I wish people could just suck it up. That is me being authentic. I do, however, wish I had brought it back to God. He is the reason I volunteer at my husband's job. I serve because His Word tells me to. I love His people because He loves them. Regardless of my frustrations, I will obey and follow Him.

October 3, 2010

What a weekend!

Today we celebrated Rock Harbor's 4th anniversary! It is a joyous occasion and God is great and has been nothing but faithful. Yet at the end of the day, I am exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. I have talked about being open and honest, so here goes! If one more person flakes out, decides sleep is more important, or tells the paid person they should have to do it all, I will take my shoes off and throw them at their head, pointy part first! (Sorry shoes! You know I love you. Perhaps I will wrap you in plastic first.)

The paid person. Let's address that because that really irritates me. One person cannot do everything. There is only so much one person can accomplish in 24 hours. Just because they are paid does not mean they get more time in their day. They don't have superpowers. They don't have an endless well of energy and health. They have a family at home that they would like to see and perhaps spend some time with. It is not possible or healthy for one person to do everything, regardless of whether they are paid or not.

When a typical person goes to work they get in their car, drive to work, work, and then return home. When they get in their car in the morning do their spouse and children get in as well? Do they go to work with them and work alongside them without pay? No. But this is the unique job of being a pastor and his wife. It is expected for some odd reason.

Here is a rundown of how I volunteered my time at my husband's job this weekend.

Friday - shopped at Target for hospitality supplies
shopped at Costco for hospitality supplies
completed the powerpoint for the service (yes, it should have said greater, not great!)

Saturday - ran out to Michael's for velcro for the stage
Brian and boys did yardwork for seniors in our community
spent a few hours at Safari Sam's setting up chairs and unpacking boxes because some men bailed and the church won't set itself up
ran boxes from our garage to Safari Sam's
ran to Target right before it closed because we didn't have plates for the continental breakfast
got all the coffee and carafes ready for the morning
organized the hospitality box
Brian and I go to bed together - always - so because of his amount of work we didn't get to bed until 1:30am.

Sunday - alarm goes off at 5:30am
make 3 pots of coffee (for church! I don't drink coffee!)
wake up kids at 6:45am on a non-school day (imagine the joy I am met with!)
make 3 more pots of coffee
try to get a 95 pound dog to stand up and go downstairs when he doesn't want to move
load up car and kids
Starbucks run
set up hospitality table
set up stage decorations
set up information table
run to high school to put up signs to catch anyone who went to the wrong location
powerpoint person didn't show so I stepped in and ran it
cleaned up hospitality table
cleaned up stage
cleaned up information table
collected all garbage
finally sat down
returned truck to the warehouse where it is stored
sleep, delightful sleep

So, when someone volunteers on a Sunday morning and complains about it being a lot of work, these words come to mind. Suck it up!

Open and honest!