Tuesday, December 04, 2007

She beautiful

Here's a photo that Elizabeth took of my Fancy lady.

Friday, November 30, 2007


My sister just returned from a trip to Mexico where she spent a few days working in a colonia, alongside several of her close friends from church. "George" also just returned, after visiting our dear friends, the Smiths, in China. In "debriefing" with each of them it was clear that the most remarkable and meaningful part of their trips was the relationships that were built or nourished during the time with friends/new acquaintances and through the experiences they shared with those people. They both came back tired, but not weary. They were refreshed and encouraged.

It reminded me that community is vital to the believer - vital to the health of the human soul. Without true and meaningful community our lives grow stagnant as our souls starve for fellowship and purpose. We need relationships where we are investing in one another's (daily) lives at levels which bring about true change, growth and strength... through admonishment, encouragement and a deep residing knowledge of one another. In our culture, we do not naturally cultivate true community. We are often emotionally and thus spiritually isolated. So I think the challenge for each of us is to figure out how we're going to live contrary to our cultural model and relate differently to those around us, working to build meaningful, lasting and Biblical community.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Favorite spice: cinnamon
favorite board game: Pictionary
favorite thing to bake: chocolate chip cookies
favorite place to walk/hike: Oak Creek Canyon
favorite movie: "Amazing Grace"
favorite discussion topic: human interaction (i.e. relationships)
favorite wild animal: bears (obviously)
favorite speed to drive: 4 miles over the speed limit
favorite birthday gift: Muffy
favorite state to live: Oregon
favorite song: "It is Well"
favorite age: 19

Least favorite spice: (flavor) Anise
Least favorite board game: Risk
Least favorite thing to bake: bread on a rainy day (because it always falls flat)
Least favorite place to walk/hike: Phoenix, Arizona - too hot and dry
Least favorite movie: Liar, Liar
Least favorite discussion topic: Systematic Theology
Least favorite wild animal: Hyena
Lease favorite speed to drive: unstable stop-and-go traffic speeds
Least favorite birthday gift: frumpy sweater which didn't fit
Least favorite state to live: New Mexico
Least favorite song: "I wanna talk about me"
Least favorite age: 17

Monday, November 26, 2007

Looking forward

One thing I've noticed is that looking forward to things (events, activities, relationships, interactions with people/animals) keeps me motivated and gives me the ability to work through almost any amount of drudgery or difficulty. I seem to gauge time by events (happenings) rather than through any day by day calendar passing. I'm most easily discouraged when I don't have my eyes fixed ahead or outward (on other people).

Some things I'm looking forward to, right now:
  1. Tuesday - lunch with my co-worker (she's going to share her testimony with me!)
  2. Tuesday night - dinner with my sis - catch up time!!!
  3. Wednesday afternoon - lunch with my sis who is coming to get a tour of my office
  4. Wednesday night - George comes home from China!!!
  5. Thursday evening - making Christmas presents
  6. Friday - the last day of the work week and the start of the weekend
  7. Saturday morning - ride on my favorite horse
  8. Saturday night - who knows for sure, but I'm guessing something fun will happen!
  9. Sunday - George comes home from California
  10. Sunday - volleyball with a bunch of great friends
  11. Monday - the start of a week where all of us will all be in town!
  12. December (near the end) - Christmas!!! The parents and little sis are coming to Austin! Yippee!
  13. January something-a-rather - baby horse will arrive!
  14. ETC...
Life is most fulfilling when it is lived through interaction and in relationship to others, whether they are nearest and dearest or recent acquaintances. That's based on personal experience...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Curious George goes Abroad

It's true. And I miss him more than words can say. It has just dawned on me how pathetic I've become about being away from that boy. I guess I'm rather fond of him lately :-). It seems we've grown rather inseparable but I've only just become undeniably aware of it now that we're separated by so much distance. I suppose that's why they say distance can be good for a relationship? I don't know how much I agree with that statement. Isn't there something in the Bible that says husbands and wives should never be apart for longer than 12 hours at a time?

Well, this post isn't all about pitiful, pathetic, poor, pouty, pining me. :-) George is having a marvelous time with the Smiths and I think this trip was planned providentially. Thank you for your prayers for him, as he travels. We are both grateful. He will be blogging with stories and details of his trip when he gets back!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guilt free chai...

Today I went to Starbucks to get a hot tea, which somehow I feel I can justify since it's cheaper than any of the other extravagantly priced items on the menu, and it really is pretty OK health-wise. On my walk over, I realized that I had a $5 gift card from someone, which I still needed to use. My desire for a chai tea latte rapidly overcame any logical reason (i.e. one chai latte can be purchased for the price of 2.3 hot teas) and by the time I arrived at SB's, 2 minutes after leaving my office, I had emphatically decided upon a frothy, calorie-filled, warm, venti chai tea latte. Mmmm... And the best part is that I could justify it - GUILT FREE - because I wasn't going to have to pay the $4.23 for it!

However, when the "Fairista" (see Madison's blog) swiped my gift card and then told me it was expired, I no longer felt guilt free. Of course, I didn't change my mind about the venti chat tea latte... I just made the plunge, handed over my "other form of payment" and decided that this is one chai I'm going to really savor - guilt or no guilt!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Talented Valiant Puppi

Isn't she marvelous? Look at that physique! And such form...

Monday, October 15, 2007


2007 marks the 200th anniversary of Great Britain's decision to dis-approve involvement in the transatlantic slave trade of that time, thanks to William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was remarkable not just for his success in bringing about this monumental decision, but because he persevered when it seemed futile. He persevered despite insurmountable odds.

I've been thinking about the sanctity of human life vs. slavery and the sanctity of human life vs. abortion. There are some striking parallels. In each case the society and the cultural way of living dictates the value of a certain type of human being and even goes so far as to decide whether or not they are classified as "human". The battle is very similar in both cases:
  1. For people (society, the culture at large, multiple generations) to recognize the value of every human life, no matter what color or what age
  2. For that conviction and truth to convict the hearts of many who can then make a difference and change the outcome with their ideas
If we follow Wilberforce's example, we cannot waiver in our conviction to preserve and protect human life, no matter what odds are against us. We are each created in His image and for His purpose, from the earliest moment of conception. That's worth persevering for!

Friday, October 05, 2007


I have read some really remarkable books lately and I find myself thinking about them periodically throughout each day. I'm currently in the first chapter of "Lorna Doone" with a copyright dated 1943. Anyway, here is the list of books I highly recommend, which I have read recently:
  • "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall" by Anne Bronte - Excellent character study.
  • "The Man Who Was Thursday" by G.K. Chesterton - Beware the unexpected ending!
  • "Agnes Grey" by Anne Bronte - Short, but profound.
  • "The Problem of Pain" by C.S. Lewis - "The Son of God suffered unto the death, not that men might not suffer, but that their suffering might be like His." George MacDonald
  • "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen - Mr. Darcy... need I say more?
  • "Women Helping Women" by Fitzpatrick and Cornish - On counseling other women Biblically.
  • "A Christian Manifesto" by Francis Schaffer - A call for Christians to change the course of history.
  • "Fun and Games in Marriage" by Dorothy T. Samuel - my fourth read of this book
  • "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" by John Piper and Wayne Grudem - I'm only 5 chapters into this one, but it is well referenced and extremely thought provoking.
Any suggestions for what to read next?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fall is here...

It doesn't feel like it, but fall is here. When we lived back east, this was definitely my favorite season, with the end of the hot and humid summer, the beginning of cool afternoons, the crisp mornings which made perfect riding weather, the excuse to make hot soup and last but not least the gorgeous fall colors. We knew that winter was ahead of us, which meant a great deal of snow (which was appreciated not so much), but that couldn't dampen the excitement that I felt with the arrival of fall. Maybe that's just because I love being outdoors so much... I don't know. The photo is one of my favorites, from a couple years ago, in the Arizona fall leaves.

So, in honor of fall, I've decided to post one of my favorite fall cookie recipes:

Ginger Molasses Cookies
1 1/2 cubes butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Form into balls, roll in granulated sugar, bake 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees. Yummy!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Be Strong, take heart....

"Teach my Thy way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path,
Because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong, and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:11-14

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Word Play - Sorry, I couldn't resist

If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulting in Linoleum Blownapart.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
If you haven't given up yet, here are the rest:
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
A backward poet writes inverse.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Today, I received a phone call from an old friend. I met her 3 years ago, when she came into where I worked, wanting a pregnancy test. She was just barely 16 years old and had already decided that if she was pregnant, she would have to have an abortion. She was taking drugs, smoked and drank alcohol, because that's what all of her friends did. Her mom was abusive, addicted to drugs and her dad was, for all practical purposes, out of the picture. She had only been with her boyfriend for less than 3 months, so she didn't know what kind of a future she could expect with him.

After verifying that she was pregnant, I sat down with her for a couple of hours to talk about her options, and the pros and cons of each one. She decided that her best choice, both for herself and for her baby, was so carry the pregnancy to term and potentially consider adoption. We found a maternity home where she could stay for the duration of the pregnancy, to reduce her risk of physical danger, as well as exposure to the drugs. She stopped drinking and smoking, so that her baby had a chance at a healthy future. She was excited about being a mom.

After being at the maternity home for about 5 weeks, she miscarried. She was devastated by the loss of her child, but her brief encounter with motherhood (and her acceptance of it) changed her life. She decided that she wanted to get graduate from high school (which she had previously been failing), get a college degree and make a difference in the lives of others who might be struggling like her. I was able to keep in contact with her for about a year, and then she fell out of my life.

So, now, 2 years later, she re-contacted me to meet for coffee. It was like a time warp for me, sitting across from this woman, who is now married (to the father of her baby), wondering if there actually might be a God (who loves and cares for her?), working her way through college and holding down a job in hopes of working her way into management. She has never gone back to the drugs ("what's the point?" she says... "They only bring ruin"). She still doesn't know what her future holds for her, but she seems excited to see what doors will open and to know that she has a future.

So, my friends, pray that I will have the boldness to explain to her about true hope (the hope of our salvation) as our lives re-connect and that she will discover the purpose and meaning of Life through a knowledge of the Creator.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good Times (this week)

In no particular order:
Lying on the couch with a Scottie body cuddled close.
Coffee and long talk with Kim.
Picking basil for lunch.
Riding Fancy in the woods.
Celebrating my hubby's birth.
Talking to Mom.
Volleyball with some of my favorite people.
Hugs from Danielle.
Progress on my book!!!
Encouragement from Denise.
Hot tea and German chocolate cake.
Reading "Good to Great" and getting motivated.
Sitting in George's lap.
Grande chai latte.
Listening to Cold Play.
Reading Patrick and Kim's story.
Listening to Matt's sermon (Wow!)
Rain on a sunny day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Renewing Our Resolve

Family Research Council had an article yesterday which I thought was very thought provoking.

"Amid flags at half-mast and a capital city shrouded in clouds, the sixth anniversary of September 11, 2001 has arrived quietly in a nation still divided over the war it provoked. From Ground Zero to the broken ring of the Pentagon, we can't help but remember how many of the fallen were heroes that day. They were men and women on planes, in skyscrapers, charging up stairwells, and digging through rubble. As diverse as they were, the victims had one thing in common--they were all patriots. Today, the spirit of 9-11--that of selfless determination--is still very much alive in our brave troops overseas. Despite months of bickering and distractions at home, our soldiers have carried out their mission valiantly, many of them making the ultimate sacrifice while their fellow citizens, speaking from the safety and comfort they provide, feel free to question what these soldiers are giving their lives for. While the news is trained on the war, few seem to remember why we're fighting it--not for Iraq but for the liberty Americans so quickly take for granted. Many in this country have forgotten that the best way to honor those who died on September 11--and since--is by upholding the commitment to do everything we can to keep it from happening again. Abandoning the war would be to abandon America's identity. As Anne Applebaum writes today, 'Perhaps it's time to take the main message [of Bin Laden] seriously: Al-Queda's long-term goal is to convert Americans and other Westerners to its extreme version of Islam.' This is the ultimate struggle between good and evil, the long-standing battle for our ideals of faith, family, and freedom. In the end, this war is not only a military conflict, but a spiritual one. And the entire Western world hangs in the balance. Though, as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, 'I still have faith in America. ...I still have faith that we will hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.' Let's pray, six years later, that as the stone walls of the Pentagon have been rebuilt and construction is under way at the site of the World Trade Center, so too are we rebuilding our resolve that those who have died in our nation's service will be honored not just in memorial remembrances but in victory over tyranny."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Who can turn down such a face? This is the reason why we are completely infatuated with our McScotties. :-) They're un"bear"ably cute!

One thing that amazes me about animals is what they can teach us, in life. Kris and I were talking, recently, about how much more we understand about our Creator by observing and interacting with His Creation. Kris, as a biologist, never really understood or appreciated animals, until after we were married, but he has a great appreciation for many animals (specifically two special scotties and one amazing horse), now. Smiles,
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I decided to try my hand at baking whole wheat bread, after approximately 10 years of not doing so. The first batch was a failure, because it had too much salt! Yuck... tasted like soda bread.

The second batch, which I made yesterday, worked very well, however! Yippee!

Mom used to make bread once a week, when we were growing up, and we got so addicted to it. She made marvelous bread and one of my favorite things was to slice into a fresh loaf just out of the oven, smear on a thick layer of butter and try not to snarf too quickly. My bread isn't as good as Mom's, but it will have to suffice until I can get Mom to re-show me how to make it like hers!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Fancy That

Have I mentioned how much I love my horse?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Advice from Valiant McGary.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Ride down memory lane

Today, we downloaded the soundtrack for "The Man from Snowy River" which was perhaps the most influential movie of my childhood. It was, after all, the first movie I remember seeing in the theater! It was definitely the catalyst for sparking our fascination with the Equine.

I think we had a fairly atypical childhood, in some ways... horses were an integral part of our lives, our imaginations were active and we had many outlets with which to express our interest in horses. We wore out two pairs of stick horses (that our aunt had lovingly made for us) and "rode" them who knows how far. In fact, at one point my parents had to tell me to stop cantering my stick horse so much, because it was hurting the "horse's" growing tendons. I was only allowed to trot for two whole weeks! :-)

Snowy River also inspired some of my more daring - and incredibly stupid - moves on horseback. I once rode our horse, Billy, straight down the face of a hill which was difficult for a person to traverse on foot. Providentially we survived without major mishap, my fantasy was fulfilled and fear was conquered.

In addition, my most favorite song to play on the piano was "Jessica's Theme" from Snowy River. It was the only song where I could get lost in the music and make less mistakes because I wasn't distracted by the semantics. I knew the scenes reflected in the music.

I realized recently, in looking through my old journals, that it was through my love and understanding of horses that I first learned to understand myself better. I always had difficulty expressing what I was feeling and thinking, but if I started talking about horses (and the things I thought about my horse), it was almost a segue into the emotional me that was slowly developing and being discovered. I wonder how many people have things like that in their lives that help them to discover and express the relational/emotional part of themselves or how many have never had an outlet for that discovery or expression.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Eating Enough for Two

yeah, not me... my horse! She's eating double what she was eating 3 months ago! I think she is going to have a big baby. I'll try to post recent photos of her soon. She isn't showing too much yet, and in fact I had been having a hard time keeping weight on her, until the past two weeks. Now, I'm starting to see a little "pooch" in her belly. :-)

Yesterday, after our lesson, one of my students and I spent about 30 minutes just rubbing her all over with the rubber curry comb and scratching her belly. She's so expressive and when she wants us to scratch in a particular spot, she will point with her lips (to the best of her ability, since some spots are simply out of reach for her) to help us understand her desire. If we pause to rest, she'll walk up and lay her head on my shoulder to indicate that she would be exceedingly grateful if we continued. Why is it that all my animals are so demanding? :-)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The things we value

As I pulled into our apartment complex this evening, I saw two women carrying a shelf over to the dumpster area. I (secretly) stalked them and when they were gone I trotted down to see if their junk could possibly be my treasure. :-) Indeed, I was not disappointed. I hoisted the rack onto my arms and hauled it up the unending stairs that lead to our home. It now resides outside our door as the shoe rack and because it is solid wood, stands up on it's own (unlike the previous rack, which needed quite a bit of help to fulfill its intended function)!

So, to totally change the subject... I am consistently reminded that though we each value different things, we're highly programmed in our culture. I think the more I have been away from mainstream media (since we don't watch TV, anymore), the more I'm realizing my own taste in things. My likes and dislikes have become more unique, but also well defined. I am less influenced by what others deem valuable or desired (or at least by what is portrayed in commercials). It's kinda' fun getting to know myself a little better. :-) The terrific part is that I'm starting to observe and appreciate more about my hubby too! He's swell!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hiking, hiking, hiking...

We're planning a trip down to Havasu Falls next summer and I woke up thinking about it this morning. I think I'm in that "let's go have fun and leave all responsibilities behind" mode right now. Cool, clear water, sense of accomplishment for having conquered "the hike," hot hiking food, long conversations at the picnic table, good book, invigorating climb down to Mooney Falls, hot chocolate in the mornings and sleeping in a tent next to the water. Need I mention the despicable outhouses? They make for a truly unforgettable trip!

If you look closely at the photo, you will Jess standing near the base of the falls.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Too much

Have you ever noticed that everything happens at once? If you're going to be overwhelmed, then you're going to be completely overwhelmed. If something is going to break, then at least 3 somethings are going to break, as well. If you've had a great morning, then you're very probably going to have a great day.

So many of the people who are an integral part of my life are suffering from this reality. Some are overwhelmed and discouraged. Some are just living each day as it comes, because it's simply too painful to live, looking ahead. Some are fighting their way through, grasping for every foothold that might offer leverage.

Scripture tells us that we won't be given anything that we cannot bear. I know sometimes it seems like that's not true because - let's face it - when it rains, it pours. But, I think we must remember that it is true and we will not be left alone to defend ourselves or to pull through the mud. Let's not forget that we have each other for a reason and that even if we were all alone, we would never truly be so.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vacuum Cleaners and True Joy

Much to Valiant's chagrin, we purchased a new vacuum cleaner yesterday. Our previous "terrifying" cleaner (as Valiant would concur) finally bit the dust. I keep wondering which appliance is next. First it was the dryer, then my curling iron, then the vacuum. We've been giving our washing machine a lot of compliments lately, in hopes that it will be motivated to keep on spinning into the year 2008. They just don't make things like they used to... I remember my parents saying that 15 years ago. What does that say for us now?

I am ashamed to have to confess how much joy this new cleaner has brought me (and Kim, not just because it has such a dramatic affect on our "fearless" puppy). When I vacuumed yesterday, I was astounded to discover that vacuum cleaners actually do pick up dirt! Sweet! I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Our carpet was purring by the time I was done.

The really embarrasing confession, however, is that I woke up this morning thinking, "I can't wait to vacuum!" Man, I need a job (yeah, and keep praying for that too)!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Floating Fairy Lovers

We went for a marvelous hike this weekend - 6 girls- so much fun!!! We woke up early (well 7:00 is early on the weekend, right?) and headed for Barton Creek. We ended up hiking 7.5 miles along the creek. The creek was so full, and we "had" to cross it several times. In some parts it was well over our waists (though the water line went a little higher on those shorter members of our party).

At one crossing, the water was a little above my knees and I was ambling forward, about 1/3 of the way across when I glanced down only to see Madison and Val floating past me. It hadn't dawned on me that they wouldn't be able to touch the ground at that crossing and so would invariably be forced to swim. They weren't concerned at all as they swam along, but it became quickly apparent that they would soon be swept down the stream, as they were defintely floating faster than I was walking and they were riding the current rather effectively. I rushed after them, grabbed the harness of Madison who was closer to peril and then Val who was a scottie length behind Madison. They were frustrated that their progress had been thwarted (it's not very often those little legs whisk past the "big people" with such ease), but were willing to let me drag them to the bank, nevertheless.

Hiking is just way too much fun, especially in such a beautiful place. Makes me crave the outdoors!

Friday, June 08, 2007

This vacation's Top 11 - Caution, Long Read

1. Sonic Music Marathon

How do you know you live in a small town? When the highest form of entertainment is the music blaring through your speakers as you careen around the corner at the Sonic drive-in. Whoo Hoo! Whilst stopped for 10 minutes to get a healthy, fresh Coney dog in Fort Stockton, we had the pleasure of observing 14 low-riders cruise past us with their windows down and their volume up. Makes you wanna’ live in a small town again (not so much)!

2. 4 frappucinos and your disgusting head

“Your Disgusting Head”… yeah, that’s the title. As Jessica brilliantly observed, perhaps the best way to truly appreciate the book is to drink 4 frappucinos first (note: recommendation based on personal experience). Nevertheless, Jess and I managed to thoroughly entertain our disgusting little heads with the book for over an hour, minus the 4 frappucinos.

3. Rental Car Ridicul(ousness) - Coming soon to a YouTube near you!

How long does it take one blond, one mom and two “Lizzies” (ever seen Pride and Prejudice?) to pick out a rental car? Well, we set out to break any previously known record while finding a car to drive for our entire 12 hours in Denver:

Scene 1: Mom scans the horizon of available mobiles, only to happily settle on the most obnoxiously ugly one on the lot, which we now lovingly refer to as the “Roach”. Once all luggage is satisfactorily loaded into the vehicle all three daughters whine miserably enough to cajole mom into settling on vehicle option #2, which we now lovingly refer to as the “Red Baron”.

Scene 2: All 4 women clamor around the new prize vehicle, only to discover that opening the trunk poses are formidable task. After pressing every visible button to no avail, one said “Lizzie” considers the “remote” possibility and pronto! the trunk opens. All luggage is again satisfactorily loaded and off we go… but wait a minute… so far only mom is seated in the vehicle and all doors are soundly locked. After considerable counsel amongst those still remaining on the outside, mom is successfully advised on how to open the remaining doors and everyone is belted and ready to go… or are they?

Scene 3: “This car sits too low and is a safety hazard to any God-fearing SUV driver." Exit all four women + luggage. The Roach again becons Mom. All luggage is satisfactorily loaded into said Roach and off we go… or… “did someone die in this car?” Everyone gasps for air, grabs their nose and with all remaining hands, exit people + luggage from said vehicle.

Scene 4: Is it possible? Indeed… 20 minutes have passed, but the four said females have securely landed themselves in a large, black, gas-sucking sedan that sits high enough off the ground to satisfy the SUV snobs and is new enough to satisfy the olfactory sensitivity of certain un-named.

4. Denver Train to Nowhere

Okay, we’re good on time, going to make it to the wedding with minutes to spare, but isn’t that a train ahead? Well, like we said before, we have minutes to spare, so we won’t sweat it… we’ll just sit here patiently like all the other civilized folks around us… and we’ll wait, and we’ll wait… is that train actually moving? and we’ll wait… is that train going backwards? and we’ll wait… is that train going forwards? Okay, alternate road must be found because the train is making no progress in either direction. Alternate road leads to beautiful office park with no outlets. Now, we’re not just racing time, but we're back to the train… wait, it’s moving… or is it? Yeah, but now it’s moving the other direction… Alternate route #2 here we come! Sweet success! We’ve outsmarted the directionally challenged, road-blocking train and we’re very possibly going to make the wedding on time despite our best efforts!

5. 11 mile hike up West Fork

See photos on Krista’s blog - need we say more?

6. 500+ photos to show for it

We’re out to prove the digital rocks! Well, we've certainly proven that this new digital camera was worth every penny! Think of the memories we’ve preserved for all of history!

7. Mountain Elevation Nearly Kills Hikers

We love to hike – it’s true. But, we realized on this trip how much our love for hiking is not equivalent to our body’s ability to fulfill our dreams of mountain conquering. Of course, it was just the altitude, we shamelessly assured ourselves. At least we were in it together… walk for 2 minutes, stop for 3 minutes to breathe, walk for 2 minutes, stop for 3 minutes to breathe and so on so forth. It was invigorating!

8. Long-lost cousins

It was amazing to see our cousins again, after a nearly 6 year absence from one another. The wonder of re-kindled relationships cannot be overestimated! We love you cousins!

9. Hot chocolate by the campfire

Mmmm… good. Wake up on cold morning after a restful night sleeping under the stars and fill up tummies with warm, dark hot chocolate and marshmallows on top = recipe for contentment.

10. Nose-barking at the coyotes

Valiant will tell you that if you bark through your nose (think, “Oof”, whispered) it doesn’t count as a bark. Thus, you can’t technically get in trouble if you “oof” (whispered) all night.

11. Topless guys in London, Texas

No shoes, no shirts allowed in London, Texas. All men in London, Texas, were topless as we meandered through on our way home from this scintillating vacation. So, if you’re out for some sightseeing, we recommend starting at the West side of town until you reach the east side of town. There will be plenty to see, but you can bet shirts won’t be top on the list.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Graduation et all...

Krista and I just returned from a trip to AZ to see Jess graduate from high school. It's hard to believe that our little baby sister is now a 'dult (as she used to call us). It was so wonderful to be there to celebrate with her and to see a glimpse of what she has been about these past four years. She has touched so many lives in her short time at her school and I am very proud of her. What lies ahead for this marvelous young woman? I can't wait to see!

We topped off our time in AZ with a great hike in Oak Creek and two nights on the "Mountain" as we lovingly refer to it. I have attached some photos of our canyon hike to give you a taste of it's beauty. Madison and Val were such troopers. what can I say... Scotties RULE!

On the way back to Texas Krista and I listened to a biography of John Adams, which was totally inspiring. I was reminded that our "forefathers" were people just like us, but they were thinkers who aspired to understand more, to always be growing in knowledge and understanding, to defend man's inaliable rights and to live according to their understanding of God and who He had created all men to be. So, onward...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Valiant Puppi

Anybody have a chai latte they want to share?

Here is a recent photo of our Hoodie-Hoo.

She's in her destructive stage right now, and always in trouble but she's completely lovable and huggable (just be careful she doesn't bite your nose off).

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More photos

Fancy Photos

Here are some recent photos of Fancy That.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dressage is dancing!

I've been taking lessons on Fancy for the past couple months, with a wonderful trainer in south Austin. I'm learning Dressage. When people ask me what dressage is, I tell them it's like "horse ballet." It's a very technical riding, and expounds upon the natural talent/ability of horses.

Krista found this video clip, which is marvelous to watch! This is freestyle dressage (the horse and rider perform to music).

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fancy's Baby

Well, we saw the heartbeat on our little (and I do mean little - about 2 inches long) baby horse! Fancy had her third ultrasound and we saw a fluttering heart pumping in the little figure on the screen! The doctor printed the photos off for us, and we've had to be careful that everyone understand this is our HORSE'S baby. :-)

Fancy finally moved into a stall at the barn, so there is a warm and dry place for her to stay. Our hope is that her stall will become "home" to her, quickly, so that she will be comfortable (as possible) foaling there next January. Because she's pregnant, she's very moody and having a hard time adapting to any changes in her routine.

This is the website for our baby's dad. You can also see all of the other babies that were born this year and get a little idea of what our foal might look like.

Ever seen a seahorse?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

How to move forward?

So today has been a weird day for me. I feel like I'm standing on a precipice and I have to move forward but I don't know how to. I don't know how to go forward because I'm tired, but also, I don't know where I'm going. One of my greatest weaknesses is fear of the unknown. What lies ahead and what steps do I need to take to get there?

There is a relief that comes with trusting that a Supreme Creator (of all things) knows; He knows what each of us is to do with the life we're given. He also knows what lies ahead for each of us, and though I sometimes wish I could glimpse that, even for a moment, I wouldn't actually want to know. However, standing in the midst of fog, without knowing what lies ahead and not wanting to remember what lies behind (in too great a detail) is a lonely place to be. Ahhh, for the next season.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Riding through the woods...

on a sunny day has to be one of my favorite things to do. There are few ways to help one forget thoughts that plague the mind, or relieve the stress induced by daily happenings. We each need to find something that brings us joy without exception and puts a smile on our face even when we're determined to entertain only a wretched mood. We will find that the strain of a hard day simply evaporates, long enough for us to regain some momentum for the tasks ahead. For some it may be curling up with a favorite book in hand, sitting down with a hot cup of tea, rock climbing a steep precipice, playing a brisk volleyball game, or talking with a trusted friend. For me, there are two activities which I, without exception, treasure and anticipate: a long talk with my hubby about everything and nothing and a ride through the woods on my favorite horse (need I mention the scottie body trailing behind?).

Monday, March 26, 2007

So It's Springtime

The trees are all blossoming and my daisies have opened up; reminders to me that spring is here, again. I'm so glad that God created seasons. They are a tangible reminder that life is full of different seasons, and one season may end and another being before we even realize it.

The seasons in my life have been changing rapidly and with the changes have come pain, anticipation, reflection and hope. I'm looking forward to this next season (I hope it's spring, after a long winter).

I am reading "Total Truth", but Nancy Pearcey, ever so slowly. It has been an appropriate book for me at this time, as I seek a new vocation. Here are some quotes which have encouraged me in this search:

"... our vocation or professional work is not a second-class activity, something we do just to put food on the table. It is the high calling for which we were originally created."

"Each of us has a role to play in cultivating the creation and working out God's norms for a just and humane society... It is imperative for us to understand that in carrying out these tasks, we are not doing an inferior or second-tier work for the Kingdom. Instead we are agents of God's common grace, doing His work in the world."

"In our work, we are God's hands, God's eyes, God's feet."

And finally: "No one can live without a sense of purpose and direction, a sense that his or her life has significance as part of a cosmic story... For we are made for God, and every part of our personality is oriented toward relationship with Him."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Studio Portraits

Here are some recent photos that Krista took of Valiant Puppy.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Amazing Grace,

How sweet the Film.

One of the things I like best about the movie was its portrayal of marriage. (Kris has finally convinced me that marriage has a unique purpose designed by God. :-)

The movie begins with "Wilbur" (as his friends call him) burnt out, tired of trying and hopeless in his endeavors to change the world. During this season of hopelessness, "Wilbur" tries to concentrate on improving his health and getting his mind off of the very thing that drives him - the very thing he was uniquely created to do. When he meets his wife-to-be, his energy is renewed. She helps him to see the value of his efforts and the importance of persevering. Because of her encouragement and personal passion for his vision, his strength is renewed and he is able to accomplish that which was considered impossible. You really need to see the movie, as my description is not sufficient. I think it is a reminder that people should marry for the purpose of complementing one another in their service to God. We should be better and more effective (in our unique service to our Creator) together than apart.

Local News...

I've been so out of touch for the past couple of weeks. LifeCare just had its big fundraising dinner yesterday, so I think my work life will finely ease up for a while.

Here is a recent picture of my "Vicious Val" who has grown up! She is learning obedience exercises, though they've not yet worked their magic and made her obedient. :-) She's a little tiger trapped in a black body. When I get home from work in the evening, she grabs onto my pants leg and waits for me to drag her around the house all evening.

I'm finally reading "Total Truth" and love the two chapters I've read thus far. More on that soon...

I have an After Abortion Counseling project that I've been brainstorming about with Kris. Details later.

Fancy may be pregnant, as of last Thursday! We will find out via ultrasound next Thursday, when she will hopefully be two weeks along! More details on that later, too!

Okay, so the local news is a bit tedious, but you have to admit that it's not as depressing as what's on TV!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Howl if you want a chai

Today, I had my all-too-often chai tea craving, so I stopped by the Starbucks drive thru. In the passenger seat of my car, Val excitedly waited to see the cashier who was at the window. She stood with her front feet on the console and wagged her tail until we pulled up to the window. The cashier smiled at my fuzzy puppy and said, "Hello there. Aren't you cute?" At that, Valiant threw her head back and howled in her husky voice for 5 seconds. She finished with a gruff growl. Everyone in Starbucks was laughing out loud! The cashier was so impressed that she scoured around and found a "cookie" for Val and passed it to me in a pastry bag. She told me that Valiant was her most entertaining customer this week.

So now you know how to place an order at your favorite coffee shop.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Start of the New Year

It is hard for me to believe that this is January of 2007. I was woke up this morning thinking about when I was a little girl... I remember the year 1984, because I was shocked that it was going to be 1985! That was the first time I think I realized what a year meant.
Kris and I just celebrated our SIXTH anniversary!!! Why is it that those who are happily married find their time together to slip away so quickly? It seems to us that we were just married, but it has been 6 whole years! We've both changed in these past few years; equipped with more understanding and deeper love for each other, and the with the knowledge that comes with time, we daily find more enjoyment in one another.
We anticipate this coming year and all that it will hold. How will the Lord see fit to use us? What events will transpire to strengthen us, to wear us down, to bring us delight and to draw us to tears?

Here is a recent picture of Valiant for all to enjoy. She has extra large ears, a bright black nose, short legs and a precocious personality!