Saturday, September 06, 2008

some of my favorite things here

The local co-op where I can buy many of the goodies I enjoyed back home.

Neighborhood sidewalks

Amazing scenery- greenery everywhere and breath taking sunsets!

Seeing the sun everyday:)

10 minute drive to work

Going to church with people our age again.

Jason making dinner more and helping out around the house DAILY;0

Crock-pot meals

the time to bake and cook again

flea markets

garage sales

dental insurance

late Sunday morning breakfast (b/c church is at night here)

Life in the South

Jason and are settling in here. Work is going better than expected and I am so thankful for the opportunity to continue my personal and professional development in such a progressive and supportive environment. As a family we have decided that Jason will use this time to write and try to get published in preparation for his future schooling. We have made many changes in the last few months as a couple and we are doing surprisingly well. On Sunday evenings we have been attending church at All Souls which is a comfortable mix of Presbyterianism and Pentecostalism for us. We hope to visit local churches on Sunday mornings to experience the church culture here. Life is truly going well and we are very blessed- we defiantly see purpose in our move and trust that we will continue to unravel the plan.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Creative Energy

This week I turned my carry on bag into an underwear and sock "drawer" and my shoe box (the only one I brought from home) into a jewelery box. I was getting real tired of rooting through 3 different bags to find the right accessory so instead I now hang my earrings over the edge of the box and lay my necklaces out in the bottom of the box- it is a great set-up and it was absolutely FREE!

Week Two

Our second week here is going MUCH better. This weekend we hit up some more garage sales. We got our first chair- a wooden rocker. Jason's rear end was starting to hurt from sitting on the floor so we really had to do something and fortunately we came across some folks who were down sizing from a farm house. At the next garage sale we met Jennifer and Joey who will be married in 3 weeks. We bought a full mattress and box spring set and a microwave (a very clean one I might add) from them and they even offered to deliver it the next day. When Joey brought the stuff by on Sunday he also offered us the furniture he didn't sale the day before. So we got a desk, futon, and four chairs all at no extra cost. We felt really blessed by his generosity. Jason and I both slept like babies on our new bed. On Monday at work another intern from this area offered us a coffee table, 2 end tables, a dresser, and a box full of extras - we gladly accepted. This week we are feeling very thankful for all God has provided!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

ALL in one day...

My parents offered to drive our stuff out so Jason and I could spend a few more days fixing up our house. We managed to get it all done and feel very satisfied with the outcome. We will miss our girl for the year- we have been blessed by her character and charm! Thursday morning we headed to the airport and thankfully our flight to Nashville went very smoothly. Chris my brother-in-law gave us fabulous advice to get on the first flight out of PDX and it worked (we had standby tickets)- thanks Chris! Mom and Dad met us at the airport and we all headed downtown for dinner. What we saw of Nashville was less than impressive however, we did stumble upon a great BBQ place to eat- Jacks Bar-B-Que ( Early on Friday morning we saw Mom and Dad off at the airport. We went back to the hotel and slept for a few more hours. When I woke up I could feel a migraine coming on. By 10am I had locked myself in the hotel bathroom to keep the light out of my eyes. We had to check out at noon so Jason loaded us all up while I laid on the bathroom floor trying to keep my nausea at bay. Jason drove the 2 and 1/2 hour drive to our new home for a year. I thought I was feeling better and then while driving along the freeway this happened,
Me- "Jason my stomach really hurts, I think I am going to barf."
Jason- "just let me know and I can pull over"
Me- dry heaving
Jason- "roll down the window" as he is pulling onto the shoulder
Me- opening car door and letting it all out "ok I think I am all done"
Jason- "we can wait a minute"
Me- and yet again I find myself hanging out the door for several minutes
Jason- back on the road again

I did feel better and I thought well this will probably be the worst part of our day. Once in town we picked up our keys and headed to our apartment. On the way over I found out we wouldn't have electricity until Monday- yikes! As we opened the door to our new home we were greeted with a cloud of smoke. Obviously my inquiry about ridding our apartment of smoke before we arrived hadn't meant much over the phone... While unloading the car I fell off the stairs and twisted my foot ruining one of my favorite pairs of pants and bruising the top of my foot. It began to swell immediately. Jason did the rest of the unloading! In an effort to avoid the apartment Jason and I headed out for the night. When we returned Jason informed me of the unclean state of our apartment. I have wondered sometimes if Jason notices/cares about how clean I keep things and in this case it became apparent that he does. We both slept well our first night in town and when woke up we happily found the electricity had been turned on. We spent the day hitting up yard sales in an effort to furnish our apartment. Shopping is tiring work so last night we spent the night at home, trying to adjust to our surroundings. Since our arrival we have been enjoying the greenery (which is very similar to home)and the beautiful southern sunsets.


we are finally here.. nothing like I thought it would be and possibly much harder than I imagined. Please keep us in your prayers- I see very clearly that this will give both J and I an opportunity to be more like Christ and the truth is this really really hurts! I feel broken, stripped, alone...

music for my soul

In the process of moving far far away from friends and family I am listening to songs that remind me that God is in control. Check out some of my favs-

Annie Bethancourt's song "the birds of the air" (for some reason the link won't work so you'll have to go to my space and search Annie Bethancourt)

My little sis told me about JJ Heller and along with "Save Me" I really like "Small" and "Only Love Remains" (again for some reason the link won't work so you'll have to go to my space and search JJ Heller) -she is from Nashville and I am hoping to see her live while I am out south maybe with my sister?:)

Friday, June 20, 2008

veggies anyone?

I feel like a little kid again with my garden- each day I go out back to check on my little ones and to measure any new growth. Just this week my seeds turned into veggies- WOW. I officially have green and yellow beans growing:) My lettuce has started to sprout too- oh how I love my greens! Sadly, the more shaded areas of my garden aren't doing as well but I think a little time might be just what they need(my fingers are crossed:)

The beans were the first to sprout!

I used the cilantro for dinner last night- I loved picking it right before I put it on the table.

At dinner time I can't wait to be able to say, "what kind of greens would you like in your salad tonight?"

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Homemade Goodies

My friend Annie is quite the cook/baker and she has inspired me to make more things from scratch. So last night an hour before the guests showed up I thought, "what can I make for dessert?" In an effort to use what I already have, I remembered Annie and her good old fashioned homemade ways. I called her for the brownie recipe she made for us in Sun River and gave it a try. Yum, Yum- I love homemade treats. Plus it feels good to make something with the stuff I already have. I have been thinking about the time before boxed mixes and how everyone cooked/baked from scratch and how dependant I have become on mixes and pre-made stuff. I am eager to pick-up some of the old fashion skills our society has tossed aside in pursuit of instant gratification. Take sewing for instance- I think I would enjoy the process of picking out fabric and patterns and putting the peices all together. In my book that would be time and creative energey well spent.

Annie's Brownies:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat and no-one noticed:)
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
(Per Jason's request, I added 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips and they were great- I think next time I would decrease the butter a bit because of the added oil in the chocolate chips...)
Pre-heat oven to 350
Mix all ingredients and put in a 9 inch pan
Bake for 20-25 (or until you start smelling them)

the weather out there

Yesterday as the rain came down I did find myself wondering what it was like in Knoxville... If you ever wonder what temps we might experience in Tennessee check out the site below

Monday, June 09, 2008

Our first "going away party"

Yesterday afternoon the youth group had a going away party for us. This is an event that has been in the making for awhile now and so the reality of us leaving in one month hit me hard yesterday. I so don't feel ready to go... I am having a lot of mixed emotions- mostly sad. I think this is consistent with the way I process, 1st stage: overly optimistic, 2nd stage: overly sad, and 3rd stage: realistic. I think I have moved into the overly sad stage and will be here for awhile. Jason and I have a great life here and leaving will be hard- yes I realize we will grow and learn much but change is very hard. I wish I could have all the people I love together and hold them really close and tight.

Friday, June 06, 2008

This week

Monday- returned home from a long weekend in Sun River. Paul, Annie, Eli, and Mindy joined us and we had so much fun playing games, eating yummy food, and enjoying the outdoors. We've been friends with the Robinsons for 7 years now and spending the weekend with them reminds us what great friends they have been throughout the years. Going on vacation with Mindy is like living with her- SIMPLY WONDERFUL!

Tuesday- celebrated our 8th anniversary with Beth & Jeremiah who were married on the exact same day as us! Upon rising, Jason cut roses from our garden and filled our living room with arrangements. I spent the day planting my first garden. First I weeded, which I discovered I actually enjoy digging each weed up individually- it feels like victory over and over again. I planted leeks (maybe too many:), red, green and white onions, carrots, beets, green and yellow beans, squash, kale, and brussel sprouts. I also planted a few herbs. I will plant purple and green cabbage, mint, rosemary, corn, snow peas, and a variety of lettuces this weekend. We have a large garden area and I am so thankful for the room to grow many herbs and veggies. In the evening Johnsons came over and we grilled salmon and asparagus (both in season) and a side of jasmine rice with lime and cilantro (Beth great idea -it was so tasty!) After dinner we played games and laughed with one another. Then we headed to OBA in the Pearl for happy hour. It was a treat to celebrate our friendships and our marriages together.

Wednesday- dissertation work:) and dinner at the Robinson's. It seems like they are always coming here so we decided to head over to their apartment for dinner. We had yummy homemade chicken noodle soup and bread- Annie is a great cook! We had strawberry shortcake and whipped cream for dessert. We played card games and 10,000 to end the evening!

Thursday- more dissertation work and dinner with 2 of our favorite high school girls.
We made what we had and enjoyed each other's company.

Today- I hope to clean the house, finish up some odds and ends and make Zuppa Tuscana for dinner- Annie gave me the recipe and Jason loves it. Tonight we will enjoy dinner with one of my friends from GFU.

Tomorrow- Rain or shine we are leveling and seeding the back yard:) We got it ready 2 weeks ago and it has been muddy since so tomorrow we are going for it regardless of the weather.