Thursday, July 31, 2008

Someone Explain Stores to Me

I just really need help with this, I cannot understand it.

A few years ago, we wanted to buy a swing set from Wal-Mart in June. Nope, they don't have them--they have to move things out to make room for the Christmas stuff as soon as summer starts.

Last week (July 23--mind, summer weather JUST started here in the NorthWET) hubby stayed out in the sun a little long while reading and, as we never remember to bring anything important on vacation, we forgot to bring one of the seven bottles of aloe gel from home. He pops into Fred Meyer to get some. Nope, none anywhere. We decide to try Wal-Mart. They are clearancing the sunscreen, but we can't find any aloe. So I ask the clerk.

"We usually don't carry that after summer starts, because we have to make room for the back to school items and also some Christmas things."

I know, both Christmas comments came from Wal-Mart, but I am assuming that was the case with Fred Meyer too. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that Target has their swimming items all on clearance also.

Our schools here start before Labor Day, but barely. Many schools don't start until after Labor Day.

Where did the summer go? And I'm not even a kid!

More Info about "The Decision"

First off, I want to give heartfelt thanks and deep blessings to all of you who responded to me both privately and publicly. Your insights and prayers mean more to me than you will ever know!

I realized that I kind of jumped into the middle of the story without giving you the fascinating background on how this entire thing came to be--and that is one of the reasons we are having so much of a struggle with it.

My husband is vaguely dissatisfied with his current job. It's decent, but really has no room for advancement, he's as high up as he can get. And the benefits are pretty sucky, as I mentioned in my last post. A friend of his approached him at his Lion's meeting and mentioned that someone was retiring with the diking district and maybe LeeRoy would be a good match for that job, he encouraged him to drop off his resume and see what happened.

We looked on every computer we have for his resume, as well as through all of our files--no luck. The resume was not to be found. So we spent many hours making up a new one. Once that was done, he was thinking, "why waste all of this effort? I wonder if there is somewhere I can submit this online?"

So, he found another title company and submitted his resume online just on a whim because he didn't want to have the resume and not do anything with it. He never expected to hear anything.

Fast forward TWO MONTHS. The vice president of the company calls him and they chat for a while about job possibilities with the new company. Nothing firm, just a friendly chat. LeeRoy tells the guy that he's not seriously job seeking, he was just putting feelers out, etc.

Fast forward ANOTHER THREE months. After not hearing anything else, it just never occurred to him that the first phone call was anything other than a diligent employee following up on resumes. Then the guy calls again, saying that he and the president of the company would be in Portland, could he come for an interview. So he set up the interview. Went to it--it was a good one, but this was now almost the end of June, and they kind of offered him a job in the Columbia River Gorge, starting July 1. He kind of stammered around and said that we probably wouldn't want to move there, it was too soon, etc.

So we figured that the interview was for that specific job and never expected to hear from them again. But, we did. They called a month later and offered him this job in Bend.

So--we both feel like God has been directing this entire thing from the beginning. There's just no other explanation that we can come up with. We have done NOTHING to make this happen other than respond to the different requests. We have both been praying like crazy, seeking God's Will and wisdom for this decision.

It's difficult to know what God wants, even with everything just basically falling into our laps. I know from past experience in life that God's choices for my future are much better than anything I can come up with. But how do we know this is what He wants?

The more I think about it the more confusing it gets. I suppose that's why I brought up money in the previous post. Because if God wants us there, He's most definitely going to provide for us and not have us move into a house that's similar to what we have here. That's the only thing I have to go on...

You see why I need help?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Feel Like The Worst Mom in the Entire World

I am just sick to my stomach, I feel like I am the worst mother ever.

My son is at camp this week for the first time. He's gone for five days, longer than he's ever been away from us. He's only nine, and this is a huge step.


I suck at remembering important things. I absolutely cannot believe I forgot. I remembered so many times over the weekend and then completely spaced it once the week started and I could actually mail the letter.

I want to cry. My poor baby is there with all of these kids getting letters from home and he didn't get one.

How Do You Make a Big Decision?

So, right before we left on vacation, my husband got offered a job in Bend, Oregon. To give some of you perspective, it's around 4.5 hours from where we live now. We talked about it all last week--I am a completely analytical person, I like to look at every single side of every single issue, and I think he is sick of talking to me about it.

Some things we have to consider:

1. It's about the same distance (tiny bit further) from my parents' house to there as it is to here. His parents and siblings all live here, so it would be a long distance from them, and we'd most likely see them only rarely, whereas now, we see them at least weekly.

2. The benefits are MUCH better. We currently pay a substantial amount each month toward health insurance, this will be a lot less. They have an excellent 401K program with great matching at the new company.

3. It's very significant that my husband has never lived anywhere else. He has huge ties to this community, we both do. We love our church and are both very involved with it. The kids love their small Christian school and we know pretty much everyone there. I volunteer there a lot. We have lots of friends, the kids have lots of friends.

4. It has come down to one factor that we just don't know enough about yet. The money. The cost of living in Bend is higher than here--it's more resort-ish and I imagine (although I don't know for sure) that the type of house we would want to move into would be much more expensive than a similar house here. If the salary increase (and we know there will be one, we just don't know how much) isn't enough to IMPROVE our standard of living, then it doesn't make sense to uproot and move.

5. Washington state has no income tax, and Oregon does. WA does have sales tax and OR doesn't, but pennies here and there don't seem to make a huge difference in what we spend.

It's very complicated. Grace would be happy to move, she's very positive about it. Logan on the other hand, is adamantly opposed and doesn't even want to consider it.

How do you go about making this type of decision? We're going to check out the area in a few weeks. This job would be taking the place of someone who is retiring toward the end of the year, so it's not an immediate decision that has to be made.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway #5 Happy Housewives

This is a pack of three books to help you become the "happiest housewife" you can be!

Happy Housewives by Darla Shine

Says former desperate housewife Darla Shine to stay-at-home moms everywhere: What have you got to complain about? A modern-day guide to keeping house, raising kids, and loving life.

Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

As a mother of three, Jessica Seinfeld can speak for all parents who struggle to feed their kids right and deal nightly with dinnertime fiascos. As she wages a personal war against sugars, packaged foods, and other nutritional saboteurs, she offers appetizing alternatives for parents who find themselves succumbing to the fastest and easiest (and least healthy) choices available to them. Her modus operandi? Her book is filled with traditional recipes that kids love, except they're stealthily packed with veggies hidden in them so kids don't even know! With the help of a nutritionist and a professional chef, Seinfeld has developed a month's worth of meals for kids of all ages that includes, for example, pureed cauliflower in mac and cheese, and kale in spaghetti and meatballs. She also provides revealing and humorous personal anecdotes, tear–out shopping guides to help parents zoom through the supermarket, and tips on how to deal with the kid that "must have" the latest sugar bomb cereal.

The Joy of Cooking: All About Chicken

A fresh and original way to put the classic advice of Joy of Cooking to work -- illustrated and designed in a beautiful and easy-to-use new book.
Organized by techinique -- roasting, broiling, baking, braising, grilling, frying, and more
More than 100 of Joy's recipes, including the legendary Chicken Fricassee, Chicken Cordon Bleu, and Turned Roasted Chicken
Invaluable techniques and tips for buying, storing, preparing, and carving chicken.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment and give me a homemaking tip. (I need all the help I can get!)

2. You must leave your e-mail address or your entry will be disqualified.

3. Deadline to enter is midnight on Friday, August 1. I will draw on Saturday using

4. Winner has 48 hours to contact me or I'll move on to the next person. If you plan to be away, just let me know in your comment and I'll give you more time.

Edited to add: US and Canadian residents welcome to enter.

Check out more fantastic giveaways at

Bloggy Giveaway #4 College Road Trip

Disney DVD of College Road Trip, rated G. This is a brand new, factory sealed copy.

Choosing which college to attend can be the most exciting and thrilling time of a young woman’s life...unless your overprotective father isn’t quite ready to let you go. In the Disney family comedy, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP, Melanie (RAVEN-SYMONE) is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence when she plans a “girls only” road trip to check out prospective universities. But when her overbearing police chief father (MARTIN LAWRENCE) insists on escorting her instead, she soon finds her dream trip has turned into a hilarious nightmare adventure full of comical misfortune and turmoil.

You can read my review of this movie here: College Road Trip

To enter:

1. Leave a comment with the name of the best movie you have seen recently.

2. You must leave an e-mail address, if you don't you will be disqualified.

3. Deadline to enter is Friday, August 1, I will draw the winner on Saturday using

4. The winner will have 48 hours to get in contact with me or I will move onto the next person. If you plan to be away, just let me know and I'll gie you more time.
Edited to add: US and Canadian residents both welcome to enter.

Check out more great giveaways at

Bloggy Giveaway #3 The Shack

I'm offering one of the most interesting, yet the most controversial Christian fiction books to come out in a long time. Just take a look around the internet and you can see how much debate there is about this book. I have read it, and personally, it made me think about my faith in an entirely different way, and it made me read the Bible more.

The Shack by William P. Young

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his "Great Sadness," Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

To enter:

1. Comment on this post, if you have read The Shack already, let me know your opinion. If you haven't, why are you interested in reading it?

2. You must leave your e-mail address or I will disqualify your entry.

3. Giveaway will close at midnight on August 1. I will draw the winner on August 2 using

4. If you are the winner, you have 48 hours to contact me or I'll move onto the next person. If you plan to be away, just let me know in your comment.

Open to both US and Canadian residents

Check out more fabulous giveaways at

Bloggy Giveaway #2 Christian Suspense Book Pack

Wind River by Tom Morrisey, Bethany House Publishers

All Ty Sawyer wants is to forget what happened in Iraq. In Wyoming he'll find peace and keep his promise to take his friend Soren Anderton fly-fishing. But their trek to an idyllic lake quickly becomes mired in the deadly past as Soren confesses to a decades-old crime. A riveting story of guilt---and forgiveness.

Merciless by Robin Parrish, Bethany House Publishers

Deep under the earth, Grant Borrows has supposedly fallen to his doom. But when something crawls out of that pit-something dark and merciless with unrestrained power-it proclaims itself "Oblivion" and begins molding the planet into a twisted, barren, dangerous world. A Dark World. Is it Grant Borrows, returned from the dead? Or something more sinister-something no human ever imagined possible?As Grant's remaining friends finally learn the ultimate truth behind the events that have shaped their lives, they secretly gather for one last battle. A final showdown between good and evil that will prove to every soul on earth that even in the bitterest twilight, when all is lost, hope still lives.

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment telling me your favorite mystery/suspense author

2. Be sure to leave your e-mail address. If you don't leave it I will disqualify your entry.

3. Deadline to enter is Friday, August 1 at midnight, I'll draw using on Saturday the 2nd.

4. Winner will have 48 hours to contact me. If you plan to be away, please let me know in your comment and I'll give you more time.

Open to both US and Canadian residents

Check out more fantastic giveaways at

Bloggy Giveaway #1--Christian Book Pack for Women

This is a pack of four Christian fiction books that will most likely appeal to women.

The Jewel of Gresham Green by Lawana Blackwell, Bethany House Publishers:
Jewel Libby has no choice but to leave the only home she's ever known for the sake of her daughter. She's told that she can find refuge in the small dairy town of Gresham where she can seek shelter at the vicar's residence. Little does she realize that her woes are not over. Instead of being taken care of, Jewel quickly changes roles to that of the caregiver for the ailing Andrew and gets deeply involved in all the members of his family.

Painted Dresses by Patricia Hickman, Waterbrook PressCrushed by a failed marriage, Gaylen Syler-Boatwright flees to her late aunt's mountain cottage. There, while seeking solace for life's disappointments, she discovers a mysterious gallery of framed painted dresses---enshrined with meaning known only to Aunt Amity. Joined by her capricious sister, Delia, Gaylen embarks on a search for far-flung family and forgotten secrets.

A Mile in My Flip-Flops by Melody Carlson, Waterbrook Press
With a freshly broken heart, Gretchen Hanover swaps her wedding plans for home improvement shows---she's going to flip a house! But when the place turns out to be in worse condition than she realized, her retired contractor father needs help and calls in carpenter Noah Campbell. A whimsical look at building relationships and renovating hearts!

That's (Not Exactly) Amore by Tracey Bateman, FaithWords
When Laini Sullivan lands a job designing Nick Pantalone's coffee shop, there are two problems: one, Nick's nephew Joe hates all of her ideas and two, Laini has to admit he's right--she's a disaster at design. Still, she can't risk losing the job. To compromise, Joe brings in help on the project, while Laini continues to bake the goodies that keep his customers lining up.

To Enter (please read them all!):

1. Leave a comment telling me the name of an upcoming book you are looking forward to reading.

2. You must leave your e-mail address or I will disqualify your entry.

3. I will choose a winner on Saturday, August 2, so enter by midnight on Friday the 1st.

4. I must hear from you within 48 hours of notification. If you aren't going to be around, just let me know in your comment and I'll give you more time. If I don't hear from the winner within 48 hours, I will move on to the next winner. All winners chosen by

Open to both US and Canadian residents

Check out more fantastic giveaways at

Friday, July 18, 2008

What Life Would Be Like

This is from Big Daddy Weave's upcoming (next week) CD--they have been playing this song on the XM Christian station for the past month and I am SO excited to get the CD. The words really speak to me. Make sure you turn off the music on the right!

Wish I was more of a man
Have you ever felt that way
And if I had to tell you the truth
I'm afraid I'd have to say
That after all I've done and failed to do
I feel like less than I was meant to be
And what if I could fix myself
Maybe then I could get free
I could try to be somebody else
Whose much better off than me
But I need to remember this
That it's when I'm at my weakest
I can clearly see

He made the lame walk
And the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits
While His heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like
If we let Jesus live through you and me

What if you could see yourself
Through another pair of eyes
What if you could hear the truth
Instead of old familiar lies
And what if you could feel inside
The power of the hand that made the universe
You realize

He made the lame walk
And the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits
While this heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like
If we let Jesus live through you and me

All our hearts they burn with hate in us
All our lives we've longed for more
So let us lay our lives before the one
Who gave His life for us

He made the lame walk
And the dumb talk
He opened blinded eyes to see
That the sun rises on His time
Yet He knows our deepest desperate need
And the world waits
While this heart aches
To realize the dream
I wonder what life would be like
If we let Jesus live through you and me

Had to Write a New Post

I was tired of that huge Ruins picture at the top of the page...especially since I didn't like the movie at all! LOL.

We're headed off on another week's vacation. Coming so soon after the previous one, I am not looking terribly forward to it, but I do need some time to sit and think and pray. (And read!)

Lots of interesting things coming on the horizon...some good, some not so good.

Jenny and family are moving this weekend--that's not so good. We're all pretty down about it.

The good--we're praying about an opportunity that just presented itself. It will mean HUGE changes for our family, but not necessarily bad ones. It's not immediate, so it's definitely a cause for prayer and contemplation.

I need to get packing. We have a college student housesitting for us, so I need to get the house in a little better shape than it is right now because otherwise I think I'll be embarrassed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Latest reviews

Drillbit Taylor

Garden update

Here's some pictures from the garden.

Broccoli--which we ate last night and it was delicious.

German red strawberry tomatoes. This is an heirloom variety that I cannot wait to try!

The beginnings of the cucumber pickles

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I decided to take another week off from the giveaways...too much to do this week, sorry! Here are my latest reviews:


A New Earth, an Old Deception

ER Season 9

Transformers Animated: Transform and Roll Out

Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp