Sunday, December 31, 2006


I haven't really followed up on our visits to churches 'cuz there hasn't been much to say...

We've gotten in the habit of sleeping in on Sundays, and it's very hard to convince ourselves that it's worth it to even get up. We've visited one church a couple times in the last two months, and may end up joining... We both like the pastor and his family, but aren't thrilled by the congregation. Deborah would be the only one in the 3-5 year old bracket, so she would be in Sunday school with 1st and 2nd graders. And the music is dreadful, just dreadful. Plus this church was formed out of a church split... I don't like that as a basis for a church, even though it was like 20 years ago... I guess growing up in Fairbanks has affected my opinions of the churches here more than it should...

I know, I know. These are not good reasons for not considering a church. I know we're just being consumerisitic in our approach to visiting a church and considering one.

We've both prayed about finding the right church- the one God would have us join, but we're both so disenchanted with the idea of 'church' right now that it'll be a miracle if we actually join one. I trust God, I think. But I sure don't trust his bride. This experience with a pastor has been the last in a string of very negative experiences with pastors and right now, I'm feeling like I never want anything to do with 'church' again.

God, help! Please heal our hearts. It's hard to trust your 'church' when it seems so far from your plan. I do believe you want us in a church body. Please help us find the right one- a church where we can be part of a growing community and use our gifts and experiences to glorify you.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Plague

We've all been terribly sick here... I lost my voice for a couple of days and am now croaking around like a sad frog. We've all had fevers plus queasy tummy's... My mom's sick, my husband's sick (and working), my sister's sick, and both of my daughter's are sick.

Deborah is the one who brought the plague home from school... I've got to say- school may be good for many things, but we were not wishing more illness upon our house! School is an excellent incubator for horrendous germs.

Abigail is freaking us all out with her horrendous cough- she has the ability to cough and sound like we should be driving her to the ER RIGHT THEN AND THERE. She does the dry hacking thing that goes on and on and on with this lovely gasp between each hack that makes it sound like she can't get a breath at all. So, we called our doctor who recommended some good medicine just to let her sleep.

Anyway, haven't done much in the way of anything for the last week- no cleaning, no fun cooking, no beads, no nothing. But I have been reading more! I couldn't sleep for two nights 'cuz my throat felt like I'd swallowed broken glass- every time I swallowed I'd shiver 'cuz it hurt so bad. (whine, whine, whine) Anyway, read a lot! Finished off way more books in December than I thought I would!! :)

Merry Christmas!

Much love to our family and friends,
from the Sirevaags

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Joy to our home!

Insomnia + children = many odd songs.

sung to the tune of "Joy to the world!"

Joy to our home!
Our chil-dren sleep!
Let a-leh-lu-yahs ring!
Let e-evry hea-rt cry thank you to our Go-d!
And let us go to- bed!
And let us go to- bed!
And le-t us, le-t us go to bed!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gidget (on the couch)

This is my sister's cat, Gidget, who was the runt of the litter... She is now something like 18 lbs and the true epitome of the cat joke "That chair over there, that's mine. That couch you're sitting on? That's mine, too. Oh, and the bed you sleep on upstairs- definitely mine."
acrylics painted on wood

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Tragic Tale of the Trash Tainted Tree

Once upon a time there was a Christmas tree. It was not the most gorgeous tree, nor was it very tall, but it had been given as a gift, so it was FREE. It had many years of happy Christmases, and stood as tall as it could under the lovely angel and the weight of the many glittering ornaments. It had seen children tear happily into packages and knew that it would see many wonderful Christmases in the future.

Then one year it was borrowed for an Alaskan VBS. It was odd, but quite nice to be decorated with soft billowy quilt batting draped to look like snow. And while at first the painting of the polar bear and moose had been frightening, the tree grew accustomed to having them close.

Then the tragedy occurred- the tree was trucked safely away in its storage box to await the next Christmas, but something was set upon it… Something stinky that dripped! Something that congealed onto it and made it stink, too! Oh, the tragedy! What would happen? Would the children be able to have their lovely Christmas tree? Would there be someplace to hang the glittering ornaments and rest the lovely angel? Would there be a place to nestle the Christmas packages until they were unwrapped?

Then a wonderful miracle occurred! God intervened!

Although the tree was sad to be sent to the dump never to bear the weight of ornaments and angel, it was happy to know that God had provided another tree. One taller, broader and more full. One that came with lights already attached. And the best part was that since the children’s parents had waited so long to put up the Christmas tree and did not discover the malodorous stench until most Christmas trees were gone from the store, there had only been one tree left at Lowe’s! In fact, the only tree remaining had been the store’s demonstration tree, which meant that not only was the tree 50% off since it was the week before Christmas, it was also an additional 10% off since it had been the tree that everyone got to look at when they came to the store to decide which tree they wanted!

So, as the trash tainted tree was driven away to the dump it was able to breathe a sigh of relief. It knew that the new pre-lit tree would safely bear the weight of the ornaments. It knew that the new 6 foot tall tree would proudly lift the angel high. It knew that there was plenty of room beneath its green boughs to tuck all the wonderful paper-wrapped packages. The children would always be able to unwrap their presents on Christmas morning beneath a beautiful tree. And the parents would surely find a strong smell proof box to store this lovely tree. They would never put such a horrible smelling something to rest on this tree’s box. It was too fine for such things! Too lovely to be near such a malodorous and foul stench. The tree knew that the parents had learned their lesson and that this tree would be safe for many wonderful Christmases in the future.

The End.

Snow in December

Still more snow!
The foot prints you can barely see running from left to right in front of the tree are probably from our not-so-friendly neighborhood moose. She's lived in this area for a while and typically raises a new baby in our neighborhood every year. Don't get between a mama moose and her baby... bad things can happen.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

My Mom's Jesuses

There are 26 Jesuses in our living room... (How do you say more than one Jesus? Jesuses? Jesus'? I don't remember! They both look wrong...) My mom collects nativities and creches (nativities are made up of everybody- shepherds, wisemen, animals, angels while the creches are just Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus) so we currently have a LOT of baby Jesus' in the living room... There's an Eskimo nativity, a Russian one, a Swedish one, a Mexican one, a Japanese one, a clear glass one, a German one, several childrens sets, a native American one... In fact, with the little ones running about we can't put all of my Mom's collection up 'cuz there's not enough room that's up too high for them to grab 'em and break 'em.

My husband is concerned that we are giving our kids the wrong idea about Jesus, but I think they are more sophisticated than that... :) What kind of wrong idea could they get anyway? That Jesus is everywhere they go... That's true. That there are multiple Jesuses? I think they get that that's not true. We've talked about there being just one Jesus... That he's not just one nationality? Well, while he was living on earth he was Jewish and we've definitely got that represented. However, we'll see all nationalities in heaven and I like the idea of Jesus being presented as one nationality would see Him...

I bought the Fisher Price manger scene last year so that the girls would have one they could play with 'cuz they kept wanting to hold the baby Jesuses- I put it away for the year and just got it out today. They were so excited to see it again. They love playing with it, and I love talking to them about Baby Jesus, Mama Mary, and Daddy Joseph. I love them being able to hold the baby and I love seeing them really getting that Jesus was a baby who was born just like them and grew up... Yes, he's special and different and God's son, but it's so wonderful for them to have a tangible way of relating to Him...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Tiger (in window)

This is my favorite painting of mine-
It's of my cat, Tiger.
I've painted many things now, but my favorite subjects are cats...
I took a drawing class in college and my favorite subject back then was cats, too. Don't know why... I wanted my drawings to be so that you could feel their fur and watch them breath... so that you would expect them to turn around and look at you- not hyper-realism, that's not what I wanted... Just to get the feeling of the cat's movements and smoothness...

Prayer Request

If you read this today, Tuesday the 19th of December, please pray a blessing over my sister, Jane Reese. Today is her birthday, and she lost her husband this year. She is raising their two children by herself and this is the first birthday she's had since he passed away. Please pray peace, joy and hope over her. Please pray strength and grace over her...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Beth's Dreams

My sister, Beth, has taken the plunge into blogging. I guess we got her hooked by putting up our jewelry blog... I don't know.

Anyway, she is now posting her poetry and paintings at . She's a VERY talented painter and writer and her stuff is worth the time it takes to get there and take a peak... I can say that, even though she's my sister, 'cuz it's true!! She's only got a couple posts up, I think one poem and one painting right now, but she's takens TONS of pictures of her paintings over the weekend and will have them up soon.

She's encouraged me to go ahead and take pictures of my own paintings... Maybe I'll have some of them up. We've been so busy with the jewelry thing this last month that I kind of forgot I wanted to get my paintings up on here... Anyway, go take a peak!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

FLOT's "A Fireside Christmas"

It's over! We sang. We harmonized. We smiled. I soloed. Jake danced. (Well, I did, too, but that's not really shocking. It's shocking that my husband danced and smiled while doing it! :)
It was such fun! Yes, hard work, but the kind of hard work I enjoy. I was reminded of how much I miss choreography and dancing and singing in a good choir...
It went so well. Nothing went wrong that I know of. No technical problems, no falling down, no missing props, no disappearing or ripping costumes... Yay! It was a blessing and a joy to work with this cast, and I've been so glad we stuck it out...
Our FLOT Christmas show is done and we can get back to real life- like washing dishes, writing Christmas letters and putting up our Christmas decorations... No tree up in this house yet... Just you wait! We should have the tree and other stuff up starting tomorrow!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Warm Enough for Snow

It snowed a little today... Light nearly invisible flakes, but definitely snow.

What that means for those of you who are blessed to be ignorant of such things is that it was WARM enough for snow. Weird, huh? But if it's too cold, say -20 or so, then we probably won't have snow, 'cuz it just doesn't come down in light downy flakes beyond around 0.

So, today it was in the 5 to -5 range... Warm enough for snow.

If you don't believe in global warming you should come up here. This is EXTREMELY strange weather for December. I admit January & February are typically the coldest months in Fairbanks, but we're normally down in the -30 range now.

When I was in high school, back in '88, '89 I remember a couple of weeks of -60's and -70's. In fact, it was so cold that the bus drivers refused to drive! We were still gonna have school. (not much shuts down school up here... If we shut down for the cold, we'd be shutdown all the time! And everybody up here can drive on ice so we typically don't shut down for bad roads.. After living in Texas and Washington I finally understood why school in the lower 48 got shut down for ice and snow. The drivers down there scared me to death! Not the ice, though. I learned how to drive in the winter up here... Also, Fairbanks is not wet/humid. So our ice typically gets too cold for cars to slide around on it.) Anyway, we were still gonna have school, but the ice fog made the visibility so bad that the bus drivers all just up and said NO WAY, so school got shut down. Go bus drivers!!! Ice fog is when it gets so cold that the carbon monoxide and other gases get frozen in the air. They make a thick low lying layer of fog that can get really bad depending on how long the cold lasts...

Anyway, it's WARM for December! I guess I should be enjoying it, but I'm so busy with the FLOT thing and a sick 3 year old (Deborah's had a BAD cold for the last three days) that I'm not really getting time to breath...

Our show is being advertised at if you're interested in more info...

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Since I've got four rehearsals this week, plus a performance on Friday night, I probably will not have enough time to write or even think this week. I'm hoping to get some time to myself, but the girls are VERY demanding when Mommy & Daddy are gone from 7-10 p.m. every night. It messes up their schedules, which is a serious thing to the under 4 set. So don't expect much from me for the next week!

My Voice, My Ear and the Way God Works

I've been thinking about music and my singing a lot right now since we're so busy with this FLOT production- We had rehearsals 4 days last week, and will have rehearsals 4 days this week, plus the performance. The performance "A Fireside Christmas" is next Friday the 15th at 7 p.m. in the Westmark Hotel in Fairbanks. Tickets are $20, since it's a fundraiser for FLOT. If you're interested, Jake & I have tickets to sell... We're singing 6 big choral numbers and then tons of solos... I'm getting to sing "O Holy Night", one of my Christmas favorites. The program is good, really fun, and I'm looking forward to it!

So, I'm thinking a lot about my singing... Thinking about how far I've come in the last 14 years since I was a vocal music major... You've probably already heard this story: I used to LOVE singing, couldn't imagine my life not singing and playing clarinet... Way back in high school I intended to either be an English teacher or a music teacher and my family couldn't imagine me not doing music. I sang in choirs, did solo stuff, did all the musicals. I LOVED to sing. Then I started college and started taking voice lessons. And I had a VERY critical voice teacher.

In two years of lessons, the most positive thing I heard was along the lines of "Well, you only missed two notes in that song." I slowly came to a point where I hated singing, hated choir, hated singing anywhere. I knew that I couldn't sing anything right. My voice teacher had me convinced my ear was so bad that we actually had my hearing tested... Wrapped up in all this was the fact that when God called me to ministry, I honestly thought he'd called me to be a music minister. When I dropped out of the music department at college and switched to the theater department, I thought I'd misunderstood Him, or that He'd lied to me about pulling me out and placing a call on my life. I felt betrayed by Him, and incapable of doing anything right. My confidence in my ability to sing was completely shattered.

I did not sing ANYWHERE for a little more than a year. I didn't sing in church, in BSU, at home... anywhere. I was still involved with the BSU drama team and writing scripts and performing with them. But I didn't go to the worship times, and I'd skip church most Sundays.

Then the leader of BSU came to me and said they needed someone to lead worship. I said no. They came back to me and really pressured me- the person they had could play piano, but couldn't sing really loud or well while He played. God used the BSU and their absolute need for someone to just sing the songs to get me to sing again. But I believed that just because people liked listening to me sing, didn't mean that I had a good ear or that I was capable.

Skip to seminary where I had the amazing opportunity to sing with all these music majors with these incredible voices who were called to be music ministers and could all play the piano or something else. My roommate talked me into auditioning even though I didn't want to 'cuz she said it wasn't fair that I could sing and didn't want to and she couldn't and wanted to... So I did it for her and I got in! It was so amazing to sing with these people, and the director was such a blessing in my life. He would admit to his mistakes, and would encourage us, and would work on the best way for him to get the sound out of us that he wanted- like we were all perfectly capable and he just had to figure out the right movement to make or the right way to bring us in...

And my roommate talked me into taking voice lessons. The teacher was this really cool guy who'd sung spirituals with this amazing writer & performer who everybody knows and I can't think of his name right now.. :\ (finally remembered: Moses Hogan! He traveled with Hogan's choir and participated in creating some of Moses Hogan's amazing new adaptations of spirituals) Anyway, he just believed in me. I don't know how to explain this- he believed that I could sing and was capable and just needed to turn the vowels right and then I'd be on pitch... He believed that my problems were related to a poor teacher who'd not taught me how to USE & work with my ear. And I came a long way.

But I was still terrified of singing and would just about shut down if I made a mistake. I would get really quiet, to the point of inaudibility if I got nervous, and I'd even have problems hearing the right pitches if I started doubting myself- like my ear was completely tied to my confidence.

Then I started working with my husband. Jake has this amazing ear- he plays music by ear and doesn't read music well. He hears things that just amaze me and can figure out how to play something by listening to it a few times- I mean stuff like "The Moonlight Sonata", which is simple, I know, but he never read the music and he was able to figure it all out and play it correctly...

Anyway, he has just been playing behind me now for 6 years and telling me how I'm right most of the time, and explaining why I messed up, if I did... For example: He can tell me that the reason is that I was hearing the bass line instead of the mid ranges and was coming in with it, and he'll show me how to find my pitch. Instead of saying- "wow, you can't hear", he'll show me that I CAN hear, but that I wasn't listening to the right thing. He's helped me figure out the relationships in songs and why I might have a hard time with a particular entrance, and if I make a mistake while I'm leading, he'll just quietly figure out how to either play it so that I'm right anyway, or he'll play some notes from the melody and bring me back. And my ear is way better. When Jake points out stuff in a song like the bass line, or that this song has 3 drums I can hear it now!

God has started doing this amazing work of healing my vocal confidence through Jake. I would NEVER have had the confidence to audition for the solo, maybe not even for the musical, without my years working with Jake. Jake knows that I can do it, and because of his belief & confidence in me, I'm starting to believe that I can. While I'm still cautious, he has showed me how to hear even when I'm nervous. I'mstarting to not just trust him, but trust myself again, and that's a huge turn around.

Thank you God for the way that you work. I wanted you to just FIX me, but you wanted me to grow- grow to trust you, grow to depend on my husband, grow to be able to fly on my own... Thank you for the amazing gift you gave me in my husband. He is a blessing. It's good to be reminded that you really do know waht you're doing... :) Thank you.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Valette's Sweetest Compliment Ever

Valette is one of the people I've known for a LONG time... I went to college with & had the blessing of working with one of her big brothers, Damon. She's a computer whiz/nerd and a very talented lady, regardless of her own claims... Anyway, she's done a write-up for our beading blog on her site, and written sweet things about us and our stuff. Thank you, Valette! We love you and miss you lots and lots.

Visit her site at
She's got excellent photography stuff, fun links, a dream log plus interesting observations on life.

November Book Reviews

Yes, these are late. Apparently, I will never again have these done on time. Oh, well. I do promise these are all books I started and completed during the month of November… Since I’ve been preparing for bazaars and showing up for bazaars and focusing so much energy on my beadwork I just haven’t read all that much lately.

* * *

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher -A+
Excellent book. The latest in his urban fantasy series and, in my opinion, the best of them. Good characters, good story, good writing. Fun bits and a quirky sense of humor, plus we get to find out more about the background of this world.

3rd Degree by James Patterson & Allen C. –B+
Enjoyed this one. The latest in his women crime-fighters series, and a good one. His books are never a 100% satisfying read.. They’re a little too real, ya know? I mean, when I read I want the bad guy to get what he deserves, and the good guys to be victorious, and his books are always a little grey- a little muddy…

Young Mutants
A compilation of short stories about mutants, some were good and some weren’t…
Some interesting stories and some thought provoking ones… I admit nothing about this compilation springs to my mind as a “can’t miss reading it” kind of story.

Lady Crymsym by P.N. Elrod –B+
Next one in the vampire P.I. stories set in Chicago right after the prohibition ended. We got some more background in this one. Enjoyed it. Had a good mystery with a unexpected twist ending. I was right in who I thought 'did it', but it was still a surprise...

Lady in the Loch by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough -A+
The surprise of the batch… I’ve never read anything by Scarborough that I’ve been in love with- until now. This was so good! Set in Scotland, and based loosely around the Frankenstein theme… Renaissance medicine, Murders, Ghosts, Gypsies… We know all along who the bad doctor is, and we get to watch the inspector narrow in on the culprit. I'd recommend this to pretty much anybody...

The Candle of Distant Earth by Alan Dean Foster -C
So disappointing. I’m a serious Foster fan- I’ve read pretty much everything he’s written except the Pip and Flinx stuff, and I just really like his writing. He’s prolific, got a great sense of humor, writes a wide variety of fantasy & sci-fi themes… I fell in love with his stuff a LONG time ago with the Spellsinger series- Jon Tom and the Otter (can’t think of his name).. Anyway, this trilogy was lousy- not really worth my time, rather predictable, and rather wordy… Sad.

Drinking Midnight Wine by Simon Green – B
Fantasie & Veritie are two worlds which remain back to back, never fully meeting. One is our present reality (Veritie) while the other remains always just out of sight with only glimpses showing through… Interesting situation & characters. Kind of dull, though… I guess I was really looking for stuff to happen, and it felt like it took forever to get to the point in this book. I liked it, it was just slow… Two of the weirdest moments in the book are potty scenes with the two main characters... Green describes in surprising detail their morning ritual- rather weird, 'cuz it doesn't assist in any story/plot line stuff, and it doesn't really give us more insight into the characters... Was this some kind of weird bet that he couldn't pull these scenes off? What's up?

Beast Master’s Quest by Andre Norton & Lyn M - B
Andre Norton was one of the very first sci-fi/authors I read, and I fell in love with her stuff. Way back in 7th & 8th grade I was devouring her stuff at home, during class, between class, during lunch...
(Side note: Norton died in early 2005. The two great Dames of sci-fi who paved the road for so many women authors have now both passed away- Marion Zimmer Bradley & Andre Norton. The world of sci-fi & fantasy is a better place because of their writing, and a sad one at the loss of these two visionary female writers. I’m okay with you not liking their stuff- even I don’t love everything they wrote, but you’ve got to acknowledge the crucial opportunities they made possible for other women writers in a genre which had previously been male-dominated.)
So, the scoop is that Norton wrote a book called Beast Master way back when. It was one of her best books, and one of my favorites. Excellent characters, good story-line, interesting aliens, believable situation, interesting world… and the animals! I'm a sucker for a book with smart critters, who are the best friends for a lonely guy or gal trying to make it on their own... It’s had TERRIBLE remakes of it made for both movie and tv format. Lyn M. is a friend of Norton’s and worked with her on some continuations of the story, so these books are authorized and approved of by Norton; however, Lyn M. is unable to pull off the strong writing required for a sequel to Norton’s work. So, we get the excellent characters in rather shadowy remakes… I’m glad to know what has happened to Storm and Ho & Hing and all his other friends, but it’s too bad the stories aren’t as strong as Norton’s…

Sunday, December 03, 2006

FLOT Christmas Rehearsal

Jake enjoyed the rehearsal today!!! He's been threatening to quit our performance- (2 weeks before performance date, I might add.) He HATES the choreography. In fact, I could say that again- He HATES the choreography. He's never done choreography before, has a really hard time learning it and remembering it, and he didn't really know what he was getting into when he started this. I didn't realize how much choreography there would be, or how many choral numbers would be involved in this performance, but I enjoy good choreography. I like learning it and doing it, and it's all just chopped suey to him- an aggravating mess that is impossible for him to retain. He's working so hard, and making his brain and his body retain the information while singing at the same time has just been beyond him, up until tonight. I'm proud of him for sticking it out.

Anyway, he had a really good time tonight and is looking forward to doing some more. I don't know if it just clicked tonight, or if he enjoyed the people, or just what happened, but I'm glad! ;)
When he has a good time, I do, too. And when he has a bad time, it's a lot harder for me to enjoy the rehearsal... And I do enjoy them, very much. So, Yay! And thank you, God!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Sweetest Compliment Ever

Beth & I sold our beading today at the North Pole Bazaar and experienced the sweetest compliment either of us have ever had about our jewelry...

At one of these bazaar things, when there's down time and you have a lovely sister to sit at your table and watch over your things, you wander around and meet other venders and look at what they have... This morning after Beth & I set up all our stuff early and then had extra time before the bazaar opened, so I wandered around and noticed some beautiful beading at one table and just fell in love with a couple of her pieces. I came back and raved about it to Beth and made her take a look..

Later we met a sweet lady who was selling wood work with her husband. She came over and told us she was looking for some earrings for a friend. (much more to the conversation but not important to my story: the friend's in Perth, Australia- she'd worn the earring she'd already bought for her friend at her wedding two weeks ago and now needed to replace her gift with something else.... ) Anyway, I said that if she didn't find what she was looking for she should look up at the table close to the front because the woman there had some beautiful beading and some really nice earrings. She said thanks and, after a bit, left and wandered on.

Later on she came back and said, (Now, I want to get this right, 'cuz it was so sweet and I don't want to misrepresent her.) "Yes, her work was very nice, but I do beading, and I can do what she does. I've seen a lot of beadwork and what she does is very typical. What you girls have here is unique and creative. I've never seen stuff like this. I really like your work. It's beautiful."

She made our day... Yes, it's important to hear my mom and husband and friends say that our work is nice, but to have a complete stranger make an extra effort to say something like that really meant a lot to us.

And since neither of us made a ton today (we each made a little more than the price of renting the table, so that's good), it was just very nice to hear reinforcement like that... Seemed like God provided that to get us to not fret...

Anyway, we still are madly putting stuff up on our website, but there's quite a bit there now. Look for us in my links: 2 sisters beading.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thoughts on Life & Beads & Plays & Deborah

Yes, I am awake. Yes, it is 2 a.m. I just finished a beading project for the bazaar we're doing this weekend.

Finally, this year my stuff is selling at the bazaars... This is the third year Beth & I have done this, and I've sold like 4 or 5 things up til now. I stuck it out largely for Beth, and because I like working with beads and making stuff with my hands. (I've never really been a make-a-thing type artist. All my stuff has been poetry, singing, acting, writing plays- intangible and ephemeral. These last few years have been different. I don't really have time to be in a play and attend rehearsals. I did choir up on campus with Jake and LOVED it. The big change was painting- I took painting with Beth mostly to have SOMETHING to do in the winter, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it... The beading and the bazaars have been fun and scarey and exciting and horrifying. I like making something tangible. Something people can pick up and hold. Something I can try to sell- which is a bit like selling a small piece of yourself. Good, but scarey.)

Well, suddenly I'm making something unique that people really like- the wirework chokers are new for me. I discovered them a little over a month ago and I'm enjoying them and they are selling well. Rewarding to actually have some stuff selling now. I'm madly/crazily trying to make a new piece every other night to fill in the gaps from the stuff that's sold...

Beads are so addictive... I had no idea. Each individual piece is so inexpensive. You can easily spend $10 to $15 at a pop and get something REALLY pretty... Then suddenly you're making stuff all the time and you've got tons of beads everywhere and more stuff than you'll ever possibly wear... Then you're going into bead stores and spending $30, $50... Planning projects and buying beads specifically for something... VERY ADDICTIVE... It's easy to buy beads that are beautiful and you end up feeling more beautiful because you get to handle and work with these elegant and lovely beads...

We are doing a bazaar this weekend out in North Pole. We've done two so far this year (Monroe school and Pioneer Park Civic Center) and I've done really well this year. We wanted to get into at least three, but we're now both very nervous about the NP one. North Pole is probably a 20 - 30 minute drive for us, but the really yucky thing is that we have to provide our own table and chairs. WHAT! Like we've got those things lying around... Yes, we have two folding chairs tucked way away back in the garage somewhere. (We call our garage "the black hole"- things check in and they don't check out...) So, I asked Jake where the chairs might be, and he was like "what chairs?"... Umm, hmm, guess you probably don't know where they'd be then... OH, well.. Who do you know that can say they'll be selling stuff in North Pole this weekend???

Oh... I wish so much that we hadn't committed to this. I am thoroughly enjoying it, and even though I dread the amount of time it takes for me to attend rehearsals, I like the other people and the rehearsals and the singing and the dancing... It's just very inconvenient right now with the Bazaar season upon us....

My 3 year old is pretty much potty training. Yes, I know this is not important to anybody but us here, but WOW is it important... So, 3 cheers for Deborah: Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray! Hip, hip hooray!

My three year old has started pre-school this week. She's been going BONKERS here in the cold. She wants to go outside and play, but she doesn't like to be cold, and I don't like to be cold (which is why I live in Fairbanks, Alaska!)... So, we don't much play outside and she is so bright and active that she drives herself and us CRAZY in our limited space. So, when the opportunity came up for us to do a Head Start pre-school we all flipped. She's getting lessons in basic stuff to prepare her for Kindergarten, plus she's getting more interaction with kids and adults, plus they have a big romper room she can run around in for part of the day, plus I'm not having to plan activities for us everyday, plus she's not begging to watch tv all the time (I'm pretty definite about how much time she can watch every day, and she gets so bored stuck inside here...) She would be a non-stop chatterbug if I'd let her- she's very demanding and just FULL of words... So full that sometimes I just want her to be QUIET for 2 minutes... Now, it's quiet for almost 4 hours 4 days a week! Yay! Plus, Abigail is getting more one on one time with me... Everybody benefits! While it is hard to turn her over to other people during the day, I can drop in any time I want- I spent a good portion of the first day there with her. Also, I really liked the way they handled everything I saw. Seems like the ONLY way this could have been better is if it had been a Christian pre-school and she was also learning about God and the Bible... And I think her teacher is a Christian...

So, God- You're pretty cool! Thanks for this great opportunity for Deborah! Please bless it. Please help us figure out the best thing for her right now.

(I seem to be full of CAPITALS today... Hmm. I don't know what is triggering this INTENSE need for capitals. Perhaps my sleepy brain. Perhaps I've just had a really good week. Who knows... Jog on, little black capital letters...)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Our Anniversary- 6 years

This is my favorite picture of us from our wedding...

We both look so young! And it just wasn't that long ago...

Jake was dog sick at our wedding- I left him behind in Seattle and came up to Fairbanks two weeks early to spend some time with my family and get everything ready. He got sick with this horrible headcold almost immediately and had to fly with post-nasal drip and a stuffed head.

He'd written this beautiful song for me that he sang out our wedding and he kept sniffling the whole time...

This last weekend was our sixth anniversary. Jake & I got married in 2000 on Thanksgiving weekend, which we both thought very appropriate for our wedding. Since we each individually had come to a point where we thought God intended for us to remain single, we were very thankful for each other and thought our wedding a perfect celebration for Thanksgiving.
I had so desperately wanted to be married outside, but Fairbanks in November makes that kind of a bad idea (think -25). My sister did the flowers for our wedding and used cedar swags and boughs- and the fragrance filled the entire church. Lovely. Even though I couldn't be outside, she brought the outside to me...
This year Jake take me out to a wonderful dinner and bought me a dozen roses- the first time I remember him buying me flowers since we got married. He done good!
Marriage isn't easy, but it's been worth it- Hard times, no money, no job, disagreements- I'm still glad that I got married...
God, thank you for my husband. He is one of the best gifts you've ever given me. Help me be responsible with this gift... Please help me continue growing into the wife he needs me to be...

Sunday, November 26, 2006


insomnia... You're driving me crazy-a
want to take a bullet-a
and put it in my brain...

No, I am NOT suicidal.
Do not get that from my silliness & sleep-starved brain...
I'm just TIRED and frustrated and ready to go to sleep.

It's 3:45 am here... I got so little sleep last night and will get less tonight... We're in the middle of doing a Christmas bazaar thing with our beads and I have to get up at 8 tomorrow. (I know, poor me...) Since Jake goes to work at 10 most mornings and gets off at 7 pm, we get up around ten and I don't put the girls to bed until 9 or 10 so that they get to see their daddy for some time. It's a different schedule than what most people have, but it works for us except when something like this happens and messes us all up...

Any tension or stress going on and sleep is a lost cause for me, and these bazaar things are STRESSFUL. You sit there hoping somebody, anybody will buy one thing, just enough to warrant renting the stupid table... And you're trying to look like "I'm a nice, normal, interesting person and you want to buy something I made.." And money's so tight this year, for everybody... This poor lady two tables down from us was crying as she packed up her stuff (some people are only staying for one day, we went ahead, took the deal and paid for both days) Anyway, she obviously didn't make at least table, and I think she didn't sell much... I felt so sorry for her, and I had bought a card from her earlier...

Okay, this is ridiculous. I'm getting up in 4 hours! I'm going to go and try again to get to sleep now...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trials, Sorrows & Heaven

From my friend, Donna: "I will not disguise it,--life is replete with anxieties, perplexities, cares, toils, sufferings, and sorrows: Well, let them come. It is a state of probation and of discipline, and all things are so arranged by infinite wisdom and benevolence, that even we may become in a high degree possessors of the rich stores of quiet self-denial, of holy fortitude, of cheerful resignation, and of heaven-born benevolence. We will then travel on in the vale of mortality, in the depths of nothingness, if such be the will of our Lord, until, from exalted heights, we hear a seraphic voice saying: 'Come home to your rest.'" (Thurston, Lucy Goodale. Life and Times of Mrs. Lucy G. Thurston. S.C. Andrews: 1882.)

There are days when I just long to go home... Recently, I attended the funeral for a sweet lady, Callie Thomas, Callie Underwood's Mom. (Callie is the youth director at the church we recently left) The funeral was a celebration of her life and of the fact that she is no longer in such terrible pain, but instead she is now at home in heaven... She had eight children and six of them were there- The oldest is the only one who didn't know Jesus... Such a hard time for him! I believe most people in the room were Christians and were sad for her to be gone, but happy for her to be where she is now... Not him. I'm so glad he felt at liberty to express that verbally. He said something along the lines of: "I know you all believe she's in a better place, but that's no comfort to me. She's gone and I just miss my mom..."

At this time of the year I start thinking about my dad.. He died two years ago around the beginning of December. For some reason this year's anniversary (the second year) of his death is much more difficult for my mom... I've got to be honest and say that my dad was not the best dad. He was a wonderful daddy- very good at playing around and being silly and my favorite memories of him are pretty much all surrounding vacations, trips and camping; but he wasn't around when things got hard and wasn't involved in the day to day reality of raising my sister and me. He didn't know how to handle "negative emotions" and would pretty much just yell at us and split if he got mad... He wasn't involved in any disciplining type stuff and because of his job was gone for months on end. I still miss him. And knowing that he is in heaven and that God has perfected him and that when I see him in heaven finally we will both be able to let go of all the angst and anger and just love each other the way God wants us to- Well, it makes me miss him more. I never got what I needed from him while I was alive, but I know that one day we will have the relationship that God wanted us to have when I join him in heaven... Makes me want to go home... Not the only reason to want to be in heaven, but a good one...

The Sound of Music

I got to see a play finally! Jake & I went to see "The Sound of Music" here in town. Yay! It wasn't fantastic, but hey, it was a PLAY.

There are only a few groups in town that do theatre- FLOT (Fairbanks Light Opera Theatre), FDA (Fairbanks Drama Association) and FST (Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre, which only does summer shows)- well, plus the University. In fact, the last play we saw was up there- "The Taming of the Shrew". One of my very favorite Shakespeare's- okay, that's a little like saying, "my favorite kind of chocolate". Stupid, I just like chocolate. Almost ALL chocolate. I just like Shakespeare. Almost ALL of them. I actually thought they did a very good job, except for Kate's guy... What's his name... Can't remember... Petruchio?? Anyway, he was AWFUL. I could not believe that she would fall in love with him. I couldn't believe she would change for him... It was so AGGRAVATING! The most important part of the play, and they didn't get it!!! He was very shallow, very flat, very unbelievable... Maybe he was the only actor they had. I don't know. Maybe he and the actor playing Kate hated each other... I don't know! Anyway, there was nothing believable about their relationship...

Okay, back to "Sound of Music". I auditioned for this back in September and did a TERRIBLE job on the singing part. Really bad. For some stupid reason I thought, "I know these songs, I'll be fine". Duh! The version we listened to so much growing up was the Julie Andrews version. Very different than the song they wanted me to sing. I did terrible! If I'd been directing it, I wouldn't have cast me as the part I wanted, which was Maria, of course. (Mind you, I kicked butt on the acting part, but here in Fairbanks they cast according to singing, not acting.) They offered me one of the nuns, and I was like, "Are you kidding? I don't have TIME for that!" Jake was going to help me with the kids, and mom was gonna help me, but my girls need me. I would have made the time if I'd been offered a really good part... Maybe I should have taken it. I don't know. Anyway, I decided not to take it...

So, we got to see it, and I enjoyed it. It's such a good tight story that I figured they would at least do okay. I'd give it a B. (for community theater- don't get me wrong, I LIKE community theatre, but I've gotten to see professional actors on stage and it just doesn't compare, you know?) I thought they did a good job. In general, their acting was a little stiff and wooden, but I've seen MUCH worse, and they didn't do any mugging, not even the kids, which drives me crazy... The stage changes were ATROCIOUSLY long- Jake & I could complete entire conversations while they changed the sets... And some of their choices could have just been better, not bad really, just not as good as they could've been...

Their Maria had a BEAUTIFUL voice. My gracious me. It was lovely, so smooth... Very little acting expression in it, mind you. Very much a SINGING performance. But her voice was superb. Her acting was another matter.... Oh, goodness. It was atrocious. Very cardboard. She would put her arms out like she was carrying firewood and lift her arms up from the shoulders when she wanted to emphasize something... You know what I mean. The stick figure acting style. Oh, and she would put one hand on her heart when she said "I" or "me"... But her singing... Definitely why they gave her the part- a shame somebody wasn't around to teach her some decent acting...

Their captain did fine- the part's rather flat to begin with, but he didn't really do much with it. Nice voice. Kind of mumbly, deep and rolling... I kept hoping that some spark or something would show up between him and Maria, but I just never saw it...

Their Max and Elsa were wonderful! It was delightful to see such good acting, plus they did all their songs and both of them had wonderful singing voices. Both were superb and a joy to watch.

The kids did really excellent on everything (acting, singing, dancing) except for "The Sound of Music"... you know what I mean- this great harmony stuff, plus the echo "Ah-ah-ah-ah"... Sad that they do that song so many times in the play!! At least two, I think three, and they SUCKED at it. Pretty sad. Everything else with them was very fun.

Also, they missed a wonderful opportunity- You know when the Nazi's take over? Well, they didn't really do anything in the play to emphasize that... No flags. No soldiers... They brought out two soldiers during the competition (plus Herr Zeller & the admiral)... But, that was it. So sad. And they had about 25 nuns... During the first part, when the nuns sing the alleluia there were enough of them to almost surround the entire audience. Maybe no guys auditioned?? I don't know. I wish they'd just put some flags up or something...

Okay, I had almost as much fun critiquing it as I did seeing it! :) Now that's silly. Oh, well.
Good day, Good day, Good day! I got to see a play! As my husband would say, "Woo-hoo!"

Monday, November 20, 2006

Jake's Collage

Jake created this collage for his office when he was hired as the secretary for our last church. That would be right around September of 2005, so a little more than a year ago.

I love it... It captures a specific time in our lives, and I love the memories it invokes. Deborah had turned two that May and we had just returned from our huge family vacation down to Washington and Oregon.

(Now that was INSANE: a driving vacation through Canada with a 2 year old and a 7 month-pregnant woman. It took us about a week each way to drive through Canada. I was required to stop every hour to run around the car and Deborah would go insane if we didn't stop other places on top of that...)

Warning: I am about 6 months pregnant in almost every picture of me here- in fact, the lower right hand picture of me in black shorts was taken at 8 months and right before I was induced. The top left hand corner photo was shot right after Abigail was born- The doctor had just handed her to me and Jake and I are looking at her for the first time. The middle picture of the baby is Abigail just a day or so after she was born, and, following that diagonal line, the next picture over is of Deborah holding her baby sister on the first day after we got home from the hospital...

We had no idea what a sleep wrecker we had just brought home! I swear to you, the last good night's sleep I really had was in the hospital. In the Fairbanks maternity wing there's a night room with a night nurse who will take care of the newborns, and oh, what a gift that was! I sent Abigail to the night room both nights I stayed in the hospital and the only thing that woke me up was needing my pain medication! It was wonderful. Since I'd already had one baby I knew what I was in for when I got home with Abigail... Unless you've had a newborn wake you up every two or three hours to eat you've never experienced sleep deprivation... While it doesn't last for long, it is murder on sleep during that entire time. You get to where you don't know whether you're coming or going...

She has finally (within the last month) switched to going to sleep around 11 pm and not waking up until around 9:30 am. Since Jake goes to work most mornings at 10 am, this is a schedule that works pretty well for us. Her older sister still sleeps more than the baby! It's funny to me that my 3 year old requires about 12 hours of sleep, and Abigail goes to bed about an hour after her big sister and wakes up about an hour before her!! Funny's probably not a good word for it... Maddening is a much better word for it.


Well, I have now complete 100 posts. As my husband says, "Woo-hoo!"
I feel like celebrating.

I've achieved my goal, too. When I started I wanted to try and post about three times a week. Every acting class I've ever had required a journal, and my professors expected 3-5 entries a week. I thought that was a good goal for something I was hoping would encourage me to write and be more consistent with my writing. (Since having kids my journaling has gone down the toilet... I have very little free time, but having a goal and thinking of it as homework has made the difference I hoped it would)

Well, eight months breaks down to about 12 posts a month or about three posts a week. So- Ha! I did it. I achieved one definite goal in the last 8 months! I posted about three times a week! (sometimes more and sometimes less, but it worked out.) For 8 months. (which is a long time- almost enough months for another baby, and no, I'm not pregnant again. Thank you, God.) Good job, Becca!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Abigail & I

I took this picture of Abigail & myself- For some odd reason or other I really love this picture...
She's in the middle of laughing and I was almost laughing as I tried to balance her and the camera.

Me & My girls

Beth took this while the girls and I were playing "This is the way the farmer rides..." and I happened to look up at her. The girls were laughing & giggling and we were having fun!


Jake took this, plus about 15 others... ;)
Aah! My nose! Aah! My hair!

Snow in November

This was taken the first week of november... So not much different than the Snow in October picture.


I ran out last night at about 10 pm to get some groceries. The reader board at FM read -25 F... What am I doing here???? Not only was it just plain COLD, there was a chilly breeze. Now this morning I've got wind burn on my cheeks (I look like a kewpie doll! You know the kind, with the big red circles on their cheeks...) and my hands are cracking and bleeding again... Okay, so I'm whining... I don't care!

I was supposed to be at rehearsal right now, but our car was choking and dying and choking and dying and throwing fits about the cold. I got down to the light at the end of our road and it died really good (wouldn't start up again... threw me about a tad bit, so I sat and waited a couple minutes, started it and kept my foot on the gas while it choked and screamed and complained till it got warmed up enough for me to just GET HOME... ) I guess it's whining, too... When your car is dying at -20ish, you don't go anywhere. 'Cuz if it decides to die some place, you get to walk in -20 to somewhere where somebody will help you...

One of the things I really like about Fairbanks is that if you're having car trouble in the winter, somebody will generally stop and check to see if you're okay... Not this morning. I must have looked like I had the situation under control. Ha!!! I'm just lucky I made it back here okay.

Friday, November 17, 2006

We're On-Line!

Beth & I have begun posting to our beading site! You can find our jewelry at: There isn't much there right now, but we will continue to add pictures as we accomplish photography and design work. Next weekend (November 25th & 26th) we will be at the Civic Center in Pioneer Park for their annual Christmas Bazaar. Come join us if you're in Fairbanks, Alaska!

Woo-Hoo! We have a beading web-site!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Collective "Oh!"

Thought this was fun, and that I should share-

My husband, Jake, works at Fred Meyer in the sports equipment section (for those down south, it's kind of an upscale Walmart, or like Kroger's plus all the Walmart stuff, too...). Sidenote: He's had about 10 or 12 jobs since we got married, (secretary at 2 different places, Radio Shack, foster care, janitor, pharmacy, worship guy for three churches, driver for a food company, Dairy Queen Asst. Manager, you name it and he's probably tried it...) and this is his FAVORITE job- he loves working at FM. He's got a great manager, good hours, he sells guns and knives, gets to interact with people, and isn't stuck behind a desk all day.

Anyway, yesterday they had a brown out (most of the lights out, but they've got their own generator), then quite suddenly there was a complete blackout. This huge warehouse building went completely black.

Jake said there was an audible gasp across the entire store, customers and employees- you could hear every person in the entire building inhale in surprise. About 100 people gasping at the same moment is apparently fairly loud... Then came the surprised screaming of several babies and young children...

The lights came back in about 20 seconds, but it was a fairly long 20 seconds...

October Books- Some of them

This is LATE- When we switched over to my Mom's computer I lost all of my files... So Jake's in the process of trying to help me find them. I'd kept a record of all my October books there, and now I can't get to them... Wuh-lah! So, here's the stuff I read AFTER the big switch-a-roo. I'm missing some dang good books. I'm hoping to find 'em, but who knows. I finally decided to just put up what I had rather than keep waiting and waiting...

Soul Survivor: How my Faith survived the Church by Philip Yancey A+
I love Yancey’s stuff. I’ve read what I can hold of, and have come to the conclusion that I should just buy it when I can- I always end up wanting to re-read them. This one profiles 13 people whose faith & life choices helped Yancey in his faith quest. This one includes more of Yancey’s life, struggles and doubts than the other books I’ve read by him- I discovered an echo of my own doubts, struggles and questions... He profiles Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Paul Brand (Nobel Peace Prize Leprosy doctor), Mahatma Ghandi (not a Christian, but one who studied Jesus’ teaching), Dostoevsky, Tolstoy… and many others. Excellent book. The kind of book I'd recommend to anybody.
Paths Not Taken by Simon R. Green B+
I enjoy the Nightside stories quite a bit… PI stories with a mystery holding the entire world together, strange twilight-zoney world, supernatural creatures, urban fantasy, mythology, sci-fi plus a wonderful macabre dry humor. Since our library doesn’t own all of them I haven’t been able to read every single one but they work as individual adventures. However, I know I’m missing part of the story arc… And that they’re going to culminate in something and I’m going to wish I got it all… They’re a quick read, but a lot of fun. Definitely worth the time.
The Dark Sleep by P.N. Elrod B-
The fifth in the Vampire Files, detective stories in post-prohibition Chicago- surprise plot twists, macabre humor, and supernatural action. I liked this- out of my normal reading style. I picked it up at the library and ended up checking it out even though I’ve never read any of them before. It worked on it's own, 'cuz he's good at slipping in explanations of what has happened before. I'll probably read more of these... I was looking for a good supernatural story and I found one.
No Easy Answers
A short story compilation of “Coming of Age” stories- Each story is about a teenager handling a difficult moral situation. Some of them are excellent and some are just so-so. I like good YA fiction, and these were all written by known authors- Myers, etc…
Bitten by Kelley Armstrong C+
A werewolf tale from the point of view of “the only female werewolf”. Good. Interesting to see how much she lies to herself- the reader is aware of undercurrents in her choices that she is completely blind to through most of the book- She does seem to get it at the end, though...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Deborah & Abigail

My girls.

Musings on Halloween, Continued

A friend of mine sent me an email about "Musings on Halloween". I thought he had some cool things to say- about how the roots of something do not negate the validity of the change brought to them (his example: St. Augustine's pagan roots do not negate the validity of his transformation to Christianity or the value of his Christian writings on theology), and how amazing Halloween is as an example of hospitality, kindness to strangers, and reaching out to children. And that the church could take some lessons from Halloween on how to reach out to kids and other people in their neighborhood... This is part of my response to him, plus some other thoughts...
* * *

I believe that taking something old & dead and bringing new life & meaning to it is what salvation is about. To take something such as a pagan holiday or a song by Nirvana and find the deeper spiritual meaning & Christian truth within it... To then transform it and use it to bring glory to God- that is what Jesus does when He makes a life new. The image of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The old Easter was a pagan holiday celebrating the pagan god Orester's mythical regeneration/rebirth and the returning of Spring. Now it is known as the time when Christians remember an actual miracle, something that really happened- Jesus' resurrection, and we celebrate at that time because we took a lie and said, "that didn't happen, but look at what REALLY happened!"

I think it is hard for some people to accept that God guides each individual to different faith walks- that right now He is restricting what I read, but that that is not true for someone else. That right now He is requiring one of my friends to home school her kids, but that that is not what He is expecting of every parent... Yes, I believe there are some things he requires of every Christian, or that would be wise for every Christian to do, such as- avoid pornography, do not dress in a sexually enticing manner, avoid lewd conduct and speech, don't steal, don't kill, don't covet your neighbor's wife... However, I believe He is bringing each of us on a different path to a point where we each look like Christ- that to Him, right now, some areas of sin in my life are not what He's focused on in my faith walk, instead He's focused on the reading thing...

My experience/opinion is that when some people get a bee in their bonnet (specifically referring to the Halloween thing right now) they think it's "evil" for ALL and must be eradicated, when I think that maybe for them, right now, it is something "evil" and that they should personally avoid it, but that it is not something God's all that worried about in general... I don't know. I'll probably know in heaven, but I don't right now.

I admit I am ANGRY at my old pastor right now for a lot of very valid reasons and that I was hurt for my friends who had been busily planning a fun time for kids and then got told from the pulpit one week before the event that he wouldn't let them have the party... He did it poorly, and has been very callous repeatedly to a lot of people that he says he cares about... And it seems that I, who have been asked to leave the church, care much more for the body and the kids than he does... I do not understand God! There are times when He just doesn't make any sense to me at all... I would do things so differently if I were in charge. (Aren't you glad I'm not? I am!) I know that one day I'll understand all the stuff that was going on in the background, but right now I'm pretty clueless...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Spirit Quotes

I'm in the middle of reading Philip Yancey's "Reaching for the Invisibile God". Excellent book.
Here's a quote from pg. 152-

J.I. Packer chides the church: 'With a perversity as pathetic as it is impoverishing, we have become preoccupied today with the extraordinary, sporadic, non-universal ministries of the Spirit to the neglect of the ordinary, general ones. Thus, we show a great deal more interest in the gifts of healing and tongues- gifts which, as Paul pointed out, not all Christians are meant to partake anyway- than in the spirit's ordinary work of giving peace, joy, hope, and love, through the shedding abroad in our hearts of knowledge of the love of God.'

And another quote from the same page:
"The Spirit cannot be kept like a personal pet, living in a small compartment somewhere inside us to be brought out at will. The living presence of God inside us should permeate everything we see and do... The Spirit does not act on us so much as with us, as a part of us- a God of the process, not a God of the gaps."

Monday, November 06, 2006

Musings on Halloween

First, I'd like to thank the Woolery's for the lovely butterfly costume. Deborah danced around all night pretending to fly. She had so much fun dressing up, and she loved getting to wear wings. She was adorable! Thank you.

I stayed home with Deborah (Jake was at work at FM) and answered the door to give out candy, and my favorite group this year was composed of: one very tall teenage boy dressed as a soldier in camouflage and obviously in charge of the rest; three middle age boys (7th-9th graders)- one in a cape & some kind of superhero, one dressed as a student from Hogwarts, and the other was something scarey; and finally, (the best part) two little ones- a tiny little girl (2 or 3 years old) dressed as a tiger-striped cat, and a little boy (4 or 5) dressed in something red, either a power ranger or a samurai. I loved the way the older kid made sure everybody got candy, that the little ones were in front, and that everybody said thank you...

I jumped off Jon Polk's site and found this very funny, very sad story from a guy with three daughters who took them to buy costumes. I wish I could remember this guy's name, but I just can't... He noticed that most of the costumes for girls followed a trend: slut vampire, slut princess, slut witch... I have to say there is a LOT of truth to that, particularly after answering the door all night, and I'd like to add my own observations to the trend: slut fairy, slut cheerleader, and the ever-popular slut prostitute with pimp boyfriend accessory (I'm not lying... they were with another girl who was dressed as a witch, but the two of them were obviously some kind of pair).

We found out that our old church no longer will be doing a Harvest party/Halloween alternative because of our lovely new pastor's convictions. We still have contact with some of the members, who were/are dear friends... Our church has offered a Halloween alternative party for a couple of years and it's been a great outreach to our military post. In fact, I know of one family who joined the church because they came with friends to the Harvest thing and then ended up visiting the church that Sunday... So, the hospitality committee was busily planning and organizing the party when our new pastor preached a sermon about "why we will never offer a fall festival event".... And the hospitality committee called everybody that Sunday and pulled the plug on their plans... Pretty sad since it was such a great outreach event... Reflective of this new pastor and his beliefs and also reflective of why we've left the church.

I've got to say to everybody who gets all up in arms about Halloween and it's pagan origins: "CATCH A CLUE!!" Almost all of our Christian holidays have pagan origins!! If you're going to complain about one holiday, why on earth are you not forgoing all of the holidays????!! When Constantine converted over to Catholicism and performed entire army baptisms (mass sprinklings) and forced so many people to become Christians one of the things he did/ or the local priests did/ or somebody did (I actually don't know if it was the people who changed these holidays over or the guys in charge, I just know it really happened) to make Christianity more acceptable to everybody was just adopting over most of the pagan holidays... Wholesale they took over all these holidays and all of their trappings and made them Christian holidays. They made Yule-tide (sound familiar?) into Christ-mas and adopted the tree and wreaths, Easter was adopted as Christ's resurrection day because it was the day the old god was regenerated and the baby animals and eggs were symbols of his return... For more information on these holidays, check out this site:
So, if you're gonna get all upset about Halloween, I'd think you'd want to give up at least Christmas and Easter as well. Some of our other holidays have pagan origins, too...

Anyway, I'm just sad they'll no longer be offering a party where kids can dress up and have fun. While I don't like some Halloween costumes, (notice the slut comments earlier) I LOVE dressing up, and going to parties, and eating candy... We always went to the parties at our church or at school, and though I never really went trick-or-treating, but this was always a fun holiday for me. I know there is a spiritual world all around us that we can't see... I'm just not sure it's any closer on one day of the year than it is on any other day... At least not for a Christian who has Jesus living inside him...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Long Time, No Post

I haven't really posted in a while. You might not have even noticed, but I have. We've got two things going on- First, we've switched our main computer over to my Mom's, so I'm missing tons of stuff. Second, Beth & I are madly in the process of putting together a blog with our beadwork on it. We've got a name and we've started to put the thing together: twosistersbeadwork. Right now, there is nothing there. I repeat, DON'T LOOK FOR IT- It's empty. We're building a lightbox, and taking pictures and working on the thing... So, I've got thoughts and plans and stuff I want to write over here, but no time... Will write soon!

Thursday, November 02, 2006


So, we finally did an allergy test on Abigail to pinpoint the stuff she really is allergic to... And she's allergic to NOTHING. Randomly weird. The doctor said that means she probably has food "sensitivities". Lovely. We were looking for some answers and really feel like we got nowhere. He also said that this could make stuff more difficult to pin down, and that sensitivities might eventually turn into allergies or they could just go away... How very frustrating! The sensitivities thing could mean that her body lacks the enzymes to digest something (like lactose intolerence) or it could mean it just sets the balance of her digestive system off. Well, I'm more willing to just let her try new stuff now. We'll still have to go slow, but not as crazy slow as we've been going. And I'm not freaked out about the major things- wheat, eggs, peanuts... I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about food, and feeding my family- a major portion of my day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks... Planning, preparing, eating... I really don't want to feed my kids stuff that makes them sick...

Sunday, October 29, 2006


Here's the good picture of Jake... We took about 10, and he hated every single one except this one. :) I would have done exactly the same thing... "No way anybody's seeing this one!" "My hair!" "My nose!" We're all so self critical! Oh, well. I like this one best, too.

Jake & Abigail

After she wakes up from her nap Abigail wants to be cuddled for a while... Sometimes she'll be still, but mostly she's just a wiggly bundle of baby.


This is my youngest.
I was delighted to get a picture of her with her eyes open, most of the time she's reacting to the flash..


This is my oldest...
I trimmed her fingernails right after this picture, which is a good thing 'cuz she scratches her face when they're too long.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Snow in October

Here's a picture out our back window... My first blog photo! Woo-hoo! As you can clearly see, we got snow. Pretty white fluffy snow. This snow will stay around until right about Easter, and then one of our yearly Fairbanks traditions is a light dusting of Easter snow. Last year we probably got around 15 ft of snow by the end of the winter- I don't actually know how much it was, I'm just making a guess...
Tonight when we drove home around 9 o'clock the reader board at Fred Meyer read -2 F. It begins... YUCK!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stop right now

As a parent, you find yourself "working" on things every week with your kids. Last week it was being polite- saying "thank you", "please", and "may I". The week before it was throwing things if her sister tried to take them away. Deborah has a lovely habit of flinging something across the room without looking if Abigail tries to take it away from her.

This week it's stopping immediately whatever she's doing when we say "stop". This is a big deal. I know it's sounds like a minor thing, but right now we have to yell at Deborah to get her to stop doing something. And even then she wants to know WHY she has to stop.

While we were on vacation last summer we had a major yuck thing happen with the "stop". We were halfway through Canada the night after our tire blew, and Jake insisted on getting the blown out tire fixed immediately. (which we all agreed with... too scarey to be on a long road trip with no spare tire) So, we were stuck in this little town while they fixed the tire. Jake was with the tire guy, Beth & Mom ran across the road to the bank, and Deborah & I were wondering around looking at the sites. And she took off running from me. I was 7 months pregnant, and chasing a fast three year old... Yelling, SCREAMING "stop" while she starts running across this street. No traffic in sight, but I'm a panicky mom. I couldn't get a hold of her arm, 'cuz she was laughing and twisting and turning and running... So I knocked her over. Yup, I swiped my arm out and just knocked her over. She fell, and was crying. I picked her up and held her so tight, and I was yelling at her. And then the car goes roaring by us, going too fast for the little town...

So, the 'stop' is a BIG deal, and she still hasn't gotten it. I want her to understand that just 'cuz she doesn't know WHY I'm telling her to stop doesn't mean she doesn't have to stop. Try explaining that to a 3 year old...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Follow up on Beth's job interview

JoAnn's has an employee that wants to teach the floral design classes, and they have a policy of using their own employees to teach before pulling in outside contractors. They would have hired Beth, but they have to use the other woman first. I couldn't believe Beth was actually going to an interview. She's wanted to before and made appointments and then missed them. Now she'll probably NEVER try it again... Really LAME.
Please pray she finds something even better and that she's willing to try again. Thank you.

God, I don't know what to pray for Beth. Please help her find something that she can do and enjoy and make money doing. She's such a talented artist. Please bless her. Please make a profound change for the better in her life.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

and a white Valentine's and a white Easter...

We got about three inches over the weekend and it's simply beautiful. Big fluffy flakes resting on tree branches and soft glistening drifts spread over the ground. I like the first falls of the season- clean and white. Unmarred by traffic or little yellow spots of dog pee...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The big 35

Today was my birthday. I am now 35... Woo-hoo! Happy birthday to me... Happy birthday to me...

For some reason this one just doesn't hit me like 33 did. I don't know... The year that Jesus died... My first baby... Being so sick... My baby being sick... Moving to Fairbanks again... dark, cold, nasty winter... my Dad dying... 33 was a hard year.

Today, Beth & I got to do the first Christmas bazaar of the season here. We've been doing one or two bazaars every year for the last three years. We both work with beads, and have sold some stuff. Beth in particular does well at the bazaars. She makes these incredible pins- butterflies, bees, dragonflies, spiders. They're beautiful and unique. I think I've finally found something unique that I really enjoy- wirework and beads... It seemed like I had pretty much the same stuff as the other beaders in town who were trying to sell, so you just had to find something that was your color or that matched an outfit or tickled your fancy. Now I have something unique that actually sold well today... And nobody else had anything like it. (Grr! One of the beaders from last year had copied Beth's dragonflies! We were enraged! I guess imitation is the highest form of flattery, but really, come on, she should have taken the IDEA and created something else with it, not just straight copied what Beth does... ) We're hoping to do at least one more of the local bazaars this year. We'll see. We'd really like to have a website that sells our beadwork, but since neither one of us does html, and neither one of us is interested in learning html.... The start up cost of paying somebody is SO expensive. Maybe one day...

Jake gave me a digitial camera for my birthday! He'd been saving for a while, plus used his employee discount on a double discount day at Fred Meyer's... This means I'll finally be able to post some pictures of my beautiful babies, and my Jake! And my paintings, and beadwork, and the snow... Ha, ha! a new toy to make art with! So, I'm gonna play around a bit tomorrow. Expect to see pictures here soon! (Gracious... What a great deal of exclamation points are in this last paragraph... I admit I had chocolate after dinner... a big no-no for an insomniac. Plus, I'm a little wired from a good day... And possibly strung out on lack of sleep and too much caffeine.)

Plus, I have a digital camera!!! I've wanted one since... well, for a long time. I love my 35 mm. I love taking pictures with it.. (Side note: Did you know some companies are going to phase out making 35 mm film in 2007!! Jake read that in a magazine..) Anyway, I admit you can do more with pictures you've got on your computer. I got spoiled working for the church in Seattle. They had their own camera and I used it to create the church newsletter, which I LOVED writing and editing. Obviously, I write too much. In fact, I'm writing too much now! Okay, I'm going to bed now. I'm going to get up from the computer and go lay down. Good night! Happy Birthday to me... Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Yes & No

I am reading Philip Yancey's Soul Survivor: How My Faith Survived The Church. Excellent book, and I want to comment more on it later, but I have to share what I just read. Each chapter is about a person who inspired Yancey's faith in some way. His 11th chapther is about Frederich Buechner, a writer and Presbyterian minister... I want to share this quote from one of Buechner's novels, because it's profound to me.

If you tell me Christian commitment is a kind of thing that has happened to you once and for all like some kind of spiritual plastic surgery, I say go to, go to, you're either pulling the wool over your own eyes or trying to pull it over mine. Every morning you should wake up in your bed and ask yourself: "Can I believe it all again today?" No, better still, don't ask it till after you've read "The New York Times, till after you've studied that daily record of the world's brokenness and corruption, which should always stand side by side with your Bible. Then ask yourself if you can believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ again for that particular day. If your answer's always Yes, then you probably don't know what believing means. At least five times out of ten the answer should be No because the No is as important as the Yes, maybe more so. The No is what proves you're human in case you should ever doubt it. And then if some morning the answer happens to be really Yes, it should be a Yes that's choked with confession and tears and ...great laughter. (From The Return of Ansel Gibbs, by Frederick Buechner)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Life is war

Read this at Matt Tullos' site. Loved it. Copied it. (Matt is another Company person, he graduated from Southwestern & now works for Lifeway. He is one of my writing role models- I got to take one writing seminar from him at a Lifeway creative conference. ) Matt's site:

"Life is war. That's not all it is. But it is always that...But most people do not believe this in their hearts. Most people show by their priorities and their casual approach to spiritual things that they believe we are in peacetime, not wartime...Very few people think that we are in a war that is greater than World War II, or than any imaginable nuclear war. Few reckon that Satan is a much worse enemy than any earthly foe, or realize that the conflict is not restricted to any one global theater, but is in every town and city in the world. Who considers that the casualties of this war do not merely lose an arm or an eye or an earthly life, but lose everything, even their own souls, and enter a hell of everlasting torment? Until we feel the force of this, we will not pray as we ought. We will not even know what prayer is...Prayer is the communication with headquarters by which the weapons of warfare are deployed according to the will of God...Prayer is the walkie-talkie of the church on the battlefield of the world in the service of the word. It is not a domestic intercom to increase the temporal comforts of the saints. It malfunctions in the hands of soldiers who have gone AWOL. It is for those on active duty. And in their hands it proves the supremacy of God in the pursuit of the nations. When missions move forward by prayer it magnifies the power of God. When it moves by human management it magnifies man.
John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad

Third Culture Kids

"The Third Place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace." from Wikipedia

Thanks to Marty (Renztzman) for this term... I love it. Another place other than home & work that feels like a heart home... I haven't experienced a place like this in a LONG time. It reminded me of some of the relationships in Company, and in BCM while I was in college.

It also reminded me of a term that Donna Smith, my missionary friend from college who is now a teacher in Papua/New Guinea, had shared with me. (although right now she's on furlough and taking classes in CA. I got to see her last month after 4 years of only spotty correspondence! She's got the best stories... visiting Europe & New Zealand & Australia & Africa... )

Anyway, back to the term: third culture kids. These are kids that grew up with one culture in their homes, experienced another one surrounding their homes, and had to integrate the two cultures into a completely unique one- their own "third culture". Examples: an army kid living in Korea attending a Korean school, an MK living in Brazil, a Japanese kid whose family has just immigrated to the U.S. and speaks & lives the same as they did in Japan at home but is required to speak English in school.

My husband and I both qualify for this term. When I was 10, my family moved to Kotzebue for my Dad's job. Kotzebue is an Eskimo (Inupiaq) village north of the Arctic circle on the Bering Sea, and I was one of about 5 white kids in the 50 or so kids in 7th-8th grade. I had a very difficult time with this move, but now I look back at this time as a blessing, even a gift. I know very few caucasian kids growing up in the U.S. who've had the experience of being the only white kid in a class. I've been a minority, and a disliked one at that. In the 80's a lot of anger was directed at the white population in Alaska for the destruction they had indirectly and directly caused to the native lifestyle and culture... I bet you can't guess when we lived in Kotzebue... ('83-'85) Because of this experience I can more easily step into someone else's shoes. I have a fascination for different cultures, and a deep appreciation for the value of heritage.

My husband's experience is opposite: Jake grew up in the home of a Norwegian immigrant to the U.S. His dad is from Norway and came here in his 20's. Jake's mom is part Norwegian and part Polish, and grew up speaking Norwegian with her parents and relatives. Their family moved back to Norway in '78 and lived there just over a year when he was 3 & 4. Jake remembers speaking to his family over there, and didn't realize until he was in high school that he'd been speaking Norwegian at the time... He's got all these funny gaps in things I take for granted: folk songs, nursery rhymes, "American" culture.

Third culture kids tend to take longer to find their place in life... They tend to take longer to make some big life decisions, like who they're going to marry, or what their major occupation will be... Many find safety in staying in higher education (pursuing M.A.'s or P.H.D.'s). Some lean towards living in a different place than their family is from, because they feel like an outsider to their own culture... Example: the white guy who "goes native", marries an Indian girl and lives in the village the rest of his life. While others react by becoming deeply engrossed in their family's home culture. Example: the MK who becomes a suit, a lawyer or doctor, and spends his life attempting to amass the most wealth possible.

Third culture kids tend to feel rootless and restless, always ready to move on to the next thing, but never sure where there home actually is. They tend to have problems trusting authority figures, and can experience confused loyalties in their cultural identity. There are times when I feel more Indian/Eskimo than white, and I went through a time period when I hated being blonde, being white. I wanted to have dark hair and dark skin and brown eyes... I wanted the richness of the storytelling and the beauty of the masks to be mine... Not just something I enjoyed that belonged to other people...

Third culture kids tend to have a real view of the pain of life- they can relate to the mother whose child is dying in Somalia, and know that her pain is the same as the mother losing her child here in the U.S. They like to know what is going on in the whole world and are aware that every person's experience & viewpoint is just as valid as their own...

Here's one of the big ones for me- they tend to have problems making decisions... They had been asked to make decisions in the past and then that decision was taken away from them, so they learn that there is no power in actually deciding. (Example: I had expected to get to be in a school musical in CA before moving to AK, but when we moved I lost the chance. Then, while I was in Kotzebue I was able to take band for two periods, so I was learning clarinet & flute. When we moved to Fairbanks, I had to choose. ) In effect, I learned it didn't matter what I chose, the choice would be made for me, or even completely taken away, so why bother choosing...

There are some great benefits to being a third culture kid, as well as some challenges... Learning the term helped me identify some of what was going on in my head and heart. It helped me identify why it was so hard for me to make decisions, and why it made me so angry when people around me would make comments about people from other cultures, why I often felt outside of what was going on around me, why I was always attracted to & made friendships with immigrants- Africans, Mexicans, South Americans...

So, I'm still working on my own "Third culture"... And I'm enjoying learning some of my husband's third culture...

May I take your order?

My 3-year-old daughter has been a tad bit demanding as of late, and we've been working on the social correctness of "please", "thank you", and "May I"... Recently my Mom was talking to her about her bossiness:

Grammy: "Honey, I expect you to be kind, and you may not order people around."
Deborah: "Except in a restaurant! I have to give an order there, Grammy!"

You've got to be quick around the little ones. They look cute and adorable, but they'll eat you alive...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Beth's Job Interview

My sister, Beth has a job interview tomorrow, Thursday at 1 p.m. Alaska time (one hour behind Pacific). Please pray for her if you see this before her interview. She hasn't had a job since '98 when she worked at Blockbuster and lived with me in Texas. She's nervous, but will do well.

She'll be interviewing for a teaching position at JoAnn's. I've been teaching their jewelry/beading classes for about a year and she's hoping to teach their floral design classes. It's a fun creative atmosphere, and would allow a gradual entry to the job market. I teach about three or four classes a month for 2-5 students and make commission on the amount they pay for the classes.

Although I am required to teach JoAnn's sometimes ugly, sometimes cute and sometimes/rarely beautiful designs, I have learned some new techniques. I find working within the limits allows me to develop fun and creative new ideas. And I love working with the students. (mostly adults, sometimes teenagers, every once in a while a 4th-6th grader) Their ideas always inspire creative ideas & designs.

Anyway, we're hoping that Beth can get this job, since we're all sure she would really enjoy it.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

It Snowed Today!!!


Yup, all over the ground and it's still there even though it's noonish. Probably a quarter of an inch. Very pretty. A light dusting of white powder on the grass and road. Looks like it will stick (Alaskan for 'stay all winter'). Isn't that dreadful?

There's going to be snow on the ground til next March or April... Don't get me wrong... I like snow. Just not snow for 6 or 7 months. Snow in Fairbanks. Ugh.

It's going to get mounded up, pushed off the road and eventually piled into six foot drifts that could swallow my husband... (Side note: we regularly get notices from the post office requiring us to maintain access to our mail box... Bet you've never received a notice telling you to keep the snow out of the way of the mail carrier!) Sadly, snow in Fairbanks is so dry you can't make snowmen or anything fun. It's so dry it just falls apart if you try and pack it together. You can melt it a little with the warmth of your hand, but then it just makes dangerously hard snow/ice balls.

Ugh. I'm not ready for winter... But I am looking forward to Christmas. Never realized how much more fun Christmas would be with kids... I'm gonna make it. Winter doesn't last forever. Just a very long time.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Religion & Politics

I am finally going to rant a little about this.

For the last three years I've been a member of a predominantly military church. Almost 75% of the membership were armed service employees, and I had very good friends who were either military wives or women soldiers. I had never been part of a church with this membership base, so it was a new experience for me. Since I grew up here in Fairbanks I knew soldiers, even dated one once. But I had never really spent so much time with a large group of Christian military.

My big complaint/problem/stumbling block for these last three years has been the amount of "God & Country" I heard repeated over and over and over... Like the U.S. is the only country God is present in or blesses. Politics were discussed in church like there was ONLY ONE way to vote or believe. And if I said something in opposition I was "blaspheming God".

Do not hear me saying Christians don't belong in politics. I want Christians in Washington, D.C. Heavens, I want Christians in Hollywood, in New York, in Nashville, in our schools, in universities, in local government, in every industry and art form. I want us to infiltrate our country like salt & seasoning mixed through an entire course of a fabulous meal. I want us making a difference- I want us shining our light in the darkest places- government, entertainment, education, journalism- everywhere that directly influences how we think & how we make decisions.

However, I don't want my pastor or sunday school teacher telling me how I should vote. I vote. And I do vote as a Christian- I am a Christian- Of course, I vote as a Christian. How else could I vote? My beliefs impact every choice I make. But I probably don't vote the same as every Christian I know. And I'm not sure that I should... I vote as God leads me. I vote as my intelligence and understanding guides my choices. I vote to the best of my ability. I research and read about the candidates and measures. I listen to the debates. I ask my husband and my Mom, and anybody else I respect what they think. But, I don't always agree with them. This is one of the precious ideals these military men and women are fighting for- the right to disagree.

I pray for my president and congress and senate, but I'm not sure I want my church telling me exactly how I should pray... If I'm truly praying "Thy will be done on earth here as it is in heaven", then I can trust God to know what's best for everyone, and to guide me. And while it is true God allows countries to be in power and that He places leaders, I know He allows things to happen that are evil. He works them out for the good of those who love Him and are called, but that doesn't mean leaders don't make mistakes. I do not know everything these leaders know. I can second guess them all I want, but I am not there making the decisions they are making...

I don't know... I guess all I was really tired of, was our church acting like politics SHOULD be a part of every worship service, and that our country was the only one in God's right. If you look at history, no country has been entirely correct. Even amazing Godly leaders make mistakes. One of the weird things about attending seminary is that I saw the men and women called by God and training to be pastors and church leaders as human. I saw the mistakes they made in their personal lives, in their relationships, in their homework... Even being called and blessed by God does not make you infallible. It just makes you guided by someone greater than yourself.

I want our politics guided by something greater than us. But I'm tired of hearing that our country doesn't make mistakes, that our leaders don't make mistakes, that the U.S. is infallible... That God has established our country as the one true and right way...

I'm scared of the Christian Right- of the political power this group of "Christians in politics" have to persuade people that God wants them to believe & vote a certain way. I hate the way this group goes off about homosexuals, unwed mothers, the plight of the family, the education system and Satan in Iraq... I have friends who are gay, friends who are unwed mothers, friends who are divorced... I was a teacher in the school system, I know a lot of teachers, and I'm not sure Satan's power isn't evident everywhere, including the U.S. ...

I'm afraid that once you hop up on your soap box and start screaming to the masses, the masses become faceless... Each individual person's story and situation starts blending into one big hodge-podge of 'evil' humanity that must be stopped... or converted... It's so easy to start protecting yourself from the reality of the pain that many people live in, and the reality of trying to make choices in that situation... God sees every situation, every face, every broken heart. When people start preaching politics in church, I think we lose sight of the way that God looks at us. Of how lost and broken each individual really is... How much each heart desperately needs Christ. It's too easy to slip into being angry at people who don't believe exactly the way you do, and start picking over piddly little issues, like how many angels can dance on the end of a pin.

Come on people! What does God care about? "Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart." Look at Jesus. Did he get involved in the religious politics of his day? No, he condemned them, and tried to reach out to the women and men who were being destroyed by them- the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, Zaccheus the tax collector.

I do think God calls people into politics because with a heart focused on being obedient to God you can make a difference there. But I'm not sure He calls the church as a body into politics...

Anyway, there's my rant for the week... Part of me wants to apologize for going off, but that really is what I believe. I really am tired of being told what I should believe about my president and my country. I've thought about this for three years, and avoided hurting dear friends. Stepping back out of the situation, I now believe that my opinion on this subject would have been respected. I think many of the Christians in my military church would have disagreed with me on this subject, but they wouldn't have flipped out or openly mocked me... They might not have discussed politics with me again, but I probably would have been okay with that. :)

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.