Friday, August 31, 2007

Sewing Snobbery

Okay, I had this weird, surreal moment in JoAnn's today, and I have to share with somebody.

(Set Up Info: I hate sewing, rarely do any, and avoid sewing projects like it's a contagious and nasty disease. I try not to let anyone know I can sew or that I worked in a costume shop, because as soon as people know you can sew they want help on some project or other and I DON'T LIKE to sew.)
I've been searching like a mad thing for a specific gift for Abigail's birthday tomorrow. Deborah got a 'My Little Pony' bag for her birthday last year and it was definitely the hit of the season. She stores all of her treasures in it, and hides her ponies, dolls, you-name-its from her sister. I guess in one way it defines her space right now. Her bag goes to bed with her and is very special.
So, I've been trying to find one for Abigail, too. No place in town is carrying something similar, and I really thought I'd get lucky right before school started- a lunch bag, or a gear bag with something Abigail would like- My Little Pony's or Disney princesses. But the only things I could find were $20-$40 backpacks. A little big for a 2 year old, and a little pricey for me...
Last Monday I came up with the great idea to make one. I bought a plain blue soft-side lunch bag, and found fabric with horses and princesses. I knew that there was something called fusible fabric out there, which can basically make any fabric into an iron on patch. You fuse it to your fabric with an iron, peel off the paper and then fuse it to the object you want it on.
I forgot to get it until late last night, and of course, it was too late. So, early today I ran to the store, asked somebody for help, and then brought my package to the cutting counter. I found out the actual product name is 'Wonder Under'. Go figure.
I asked the cutting lady if she knew how to use it, 'cuz I didn't, and she was all like, "I never use Wonder-Under", like it was nasty. Like it was some bug or grub she'd found under a rock, and I was asking how to cook it... I had no idea there was a whole group of sewing/quilting snobs out there who would never dare touch such a low thing as 'Wonder Under'...
Anyway, call me a plebeian. I decorated my daughter's bag using 'Wonder Under' and I'm delighted with it! I haven't given it to her yet, but I'm quite sure that it will be the hit of the season... Now if I can just figure out how to prevent Deborah from fighting with Abigail to hold it, I'll hold the keys to the kingdom.
The Princess kingdom, that is.

Lunar Eclipse

Jake & I got to see the lunar eclipse this last week. So cool!
The blood red moon...
Jake tried to take pictures of it, which is kinda funny, 'cuz we live in a neighborhood with quite a few streetlights... (actually, side note: most neighborhoods this far north have a LOT of street lights. We spend about 4 months in almost 24 hour darkness. We like lots of light... One of the weirdest things to me about living in the lower 48 was the lack of street lights. Yes, it doesn't stay dark as long, but how on earth can you do anything at night??)

His picture didn't turn out so hot, as you can see... But it's fun to see it and know where we were standing when we saw the moon.
On Monday, Jake went to bed at 10 p.m. and set his alarm for 2 a.m. I was still awake, so he and I slipped outside and watched the moon get darker and darker.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Farmer's Market Update

Beth and I have been going regularly to the Farmer's Market on Saturday for about 6 weeks. We've made at least $50 every time. Oddly, we have continued to trade off on who makes the most money. It was my week last Saturday and I made almost $100 while Beth made $16. The previous week she made over $100, and I sold two things. We've only got two weeks left before Farmer's Market shuts down for the summer- the last Saturday is right before Labor Day. I think our only regret is that we didn't start earlier!

We don't make huge pots of money, that's definitely reserved for the farmers. Boy, they clean up! Almost makes me wish I had the time and space to have a big garden. I've gotten the most beautiful tomatoes from a couple different people, and a huge bag of the yummiest carrots I've ever eaten.

For basic information and some fun links and photos you can visit the market's website:

My Cat- Luna

Luna was born in early 2000, sometime around February. She's about 7 1/2 years old.
I went to the animal shelter in Seattle soon after arriving there and spent about an hour in the cat room. There were so many beautiful cats! I had a very hard time making a choice. I had really wanted two cats, and I was hoping to take home some sisters or perhaps two cats that had been brought in together. However, the only cats that had come in together were VERY sick, and I just didn't have the money to provide the health care they were going to need. Also, I didn't want to take home kittens 'cuz I knew they would find homes much easier.
I prayed and prayed that God would help me make a choice- I wanted to take them ALL home! I finally chose Luna because every time I walked by her she would put her paw out through the cage trying to touch me. When I'd let her touch me, she'd just pat at my leg and meow. She wanted a person to take her out of that cage!
The most frustrating thing about Luna is her dependance- She HATES to be left alone, and she cries and cries and cries when I leave. She also has a fit when her food bowl is empty. Not that she eats it immediately when I fill it. She just wants to know that there's food for her when she wants it. I do not know this for sure, but I believe she was abandoned- Her behavior indicates a fear of being left alone and of running out of food...
Lately the only time she seems to be happy is sitting on my lap at the computer- the girls don't harrass her and I pet her and adore her, as is fitting for a cat of her beauty. I'm truly amazed at how patient she is with the girls. They almost lay on top of her and she lets them!

Friday, August 24, 2007


Deborah loves it when I paint her finger & toe nails. In particular she loves having pink sparkly nail polish.
I first used it as a persuasion device to convince her to allow me to clip her nails. She used to HATE it- being still for that long with a metal cutting device hovering over her... Now she loves it and will beg me to paint them knowing it means I will pull out the clippers.
Anyway, she told me today that the smell of nail polish is "totally yucky!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm NOT Poor

Wow. I just read a story by Tim Hughes on They have a Bible Study page, normally written by the songwriter of the week, and generally based on one of the highlighted songs. So, this is part of the story I read:

In June 2005, my wife Rachel and I (Tim Hughes) headed off to Tanzania, to spend a week working with Tearfund, a charity based in England. Whilst there we met an amazing lady called Joyce. We visited her home in Uhambingeto, met with her family and heard her story. With no clean accessible water in the village, leaving each night at midnight with an empty container, Joyce would walk for over ten hours until she returned home at around 10am the following morning exhausted.

It has been estimated that Joyce has walked the equivalent of three times around the world in the pursuit of water. The injustice of this is overwhelming. . How could that still be possible in a world today where so many of us have so much?

I (me, Rebecca!) tend to think of myself as "poor". We've made the choice for me to stay home with the girls until they are in full time school, and our income is now low enough that we could not make it we weren't living with my mom... I would have to find a job somehow, which is just stupid, 'cuz then almost all of my income would go into providing daycare for the girls... Anyway, compared to the average family in the U.S. we're not doing so hot.

However, I was reminded by Hughes' story that compared to the VAST majority of the world's families, we are doing amazingly well. We have enough food, even if it's not always what we'd prefer; plenty of easily accessible water to drink and ourselves, our clothes and dishes; attractive and comfortable clothing; a safe place to live, play and sleep; time to play and pursue hobbies; Jake has two guitars & I have a djembe; we have access to books, the time to read them and the ability to teach the girls to read...

A missionary was at church this last Sunday talking about the Karen people in Burma. Children are being raped and murdered there simply because of their ethnicity. (Background: Unofficially/Secretly, Burma is trying to remove all of the Karen people from their country, either by causing them to flee for their lives, or by killing them. Most of the Karen people are determined to stay in their ancestral home, which is a really weird concept for those of us in the U.S., since most of us are here because our ancestors chose to leave whatever was going on in our ancestral home...) Half of the workers/missionaries/chaplains he had pictures of were now dead because they'd been shot by the Burmese army. All of the little girls in the pictures he showed had seen a family member murdered, had been raped, or had themselves been shot. They live in fear of being taken and enslaved in a child pornography ring. Burma is one of the biggest suppliers of little girls for sex-slavers.

My two biggest concern for my daughters right now are: 1) Deborah is driving me CRAZY! She's SO ready to go back to pre-school, and she's bored, bored, bored. She's pushing my buttons constantly, and always requesting 'Do something with me!' 2) Abigail's birthday is on the 31st, in two weeks. I'm trying to decide what gifts to purchase, avoid all the lead paint in all the items I'd thought of buying, and figure out what is reasonable for a 2 year old.

I'm not daily terrified about not having enough food to feed them. I'm not worried about traveling an obscene distance to bring water for them to drink. I am not constantly consumed with the fear of them being stolen to be sold into slavery.

I so easily forget how blessed I am in this country. I get busy doing my day-to-day routine and worrying about groceries, dinner, and my beads. I tend to compare myself with the other families around us and thinking that we have less (which tends to be true right now, but won't always be). Even though it's tough for us right now, it's NOTHING compared to what most of the world is dealing with on a day to day basis.

God, help me get my head out of the sand and focused on YOUR Kingdom. I want to have Your heart, and be focused on what's important to You. I want to be about Your business, and see others the way that You do. I don't know what the plan is for us right now, but You are in control. You do have a good plan, and You are guiding our footsteps. Help me remember that we are NOT poor, and that, in fact, we are immeasurably rich. We have Your blessing upon our lives, and Your presence dwelling in our lives. We have good food, plenty of clean water, the blessing of time and safety, choices and education.

Oh, God, how my heart hurts when I think of the children in Burma... How Your heart must burn. I want you to bring an end to this world! How evil and sick we are- How can You let us go on? Bring Your love, truth and justice to this situation. Only You know the answer, the solution. Save those children. Place Your protection over them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Jake's Songs

This is so cool!

I just found out that one of Jake's friends has posted five recordings of his songs on the internet!! They don't sound exactly the same as they normally do- (the recordings were done back-to-back-to-back and he had just taught the other musicians the songs, so it's always better to get them right and a little slow than at the right tempo and wrong...); However, I think this is the coolest thing ever! My talented song-writer Love has five of his songs on the internet!!!

You can hear them at:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I took a silly personality quiz at It told me which book I'm supposed to be. Since I liked the book it chose I thought I'd share.

You're Watership Down!
by Richard Adams
Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

'Bring the Rain' by Mercy Me

I heard this for the first time driving home from an appointment... I slowed down and stayed in the car until it was done. I want this to be the song my heart sings...

I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray

Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain

I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray

Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty

Monday, August 13, 2007

Fun Day at the Tanana Valley Fair

We got to go to the fair last Friday and we had fun! The girls fed & pet animals, and we all got to do a couple rides...

Deborah was convinced she had to ride the ferris wheel, which absolutely terrified me. I wasn't going to go with Jake & Deborah, but when I saw how wide the seat was I became convinced she was going to slide out the bottom. So I rode with them, and I was more scared than she was- Although you certainly can't tell that from the picture.

Beth & Abigail in her stroller are right in the center of this picture...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My blog rating

This is too funny...

I am rated R! Didn't know that... Wonder what I would have gotten for actual swear words...

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
pain (10x)
death (6x)
kill (2x)
sex (1x)

Thank you to Marty, The Renzanztman for the rating connection...

By the way, my husband, latenightcaller, was rated G... Which was hysterical to the two of us. Even he would say he's the King of Potty Mouth... Working at Fred's, as a night manager at various places, including a Quickie Mart and Dairy Queen plus the clientele of some of his previous jobs has added 'interesting nuances to his word choices'. He can swear in English, Norwegian, and Spanish. Plus probably some others I don't remember...

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Farmer's Market

Well, we went to the Farmer's Market today for the second time. On the first try- two weeks ago- I made about $100, and Beth made about $50. This time she made about $100 and I made NOTHING- zip, zilch, nada... Really lame when it takes so much effort to carry everything in, put up our nifty tent, set up our tables, sit there for 8 hours, then tear down our tables, take down our nifty tent and carry everything out... Ah, well. Next Saturday shall be another day. It is odd that we seem to do this every time- I do well and Beth doesn't or Beth does well and I don't... We rarely end up with a fairly equal amount of sales. Odd.

Good news: We did have a couple of people ask if we'll be there next week! We had a couple of people recognize us from our stuff placed at AK Rag Company! One lady remembered buying one of my wire necklaces a year ago at a Christmas bazaar and she told her friend how much she loved it and how beautiful it was! So, while it wasn't a great day for me, there were some highlights...

Friday, August 03, 2007

Holy, holy, holy

The center of all existence is God upon His throne. John had the hair-raising, perspective-changing opportunity to do something all of us secretly wish we could do. For a little while recorded in Rev. 4 and onward, he got to see life from heaven’s perspective. In his description, he implied something tremendously profound: everything else in existence is most accurately described only in its relationship to the throne of God….

Life takes on a far more accurate estimation and perspective when we learn to view it increasingly through the vantage point of the One who spoke it into existence.

Think of some of your greatest challenges. Picture them. Then go back and stamp the words ‘before the throne’ before each of those challenges.

The heart of prayer is moving those very kinds of challenges from the insecurities and uncertainties of earth to the throne of God. Only then can they be viewed with dependable accuracy and boundless hope. Close your eyes and do your best to picture the glorious seraphim never ceasing to cry, “Holy, holy, holy!” Imagine the lightning emitting from the throne, and hear the rumblings and the thunder. Picture the elders overwhelmed by God’s worthiness, casting their crowns before the throne.

I ask you the following question under my own tremendous personal conviction: Do we think God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, can manage our lives and our problems? Oh, beloved, fight the good fight of faith! Approach the throne of grace with confidence! Our God is huge!

Quoted from The Beloved Disciple, by Beth Moore

God, I trust you. You are the only one who can truly manage my life and my problems. Everything feels out of control, but I believe you have placed me exactly where I am and in this precise situation for a reason. God, I can’t manage my life. Please manage it. Please run it according to your kindness and mercy. Before your throne: my calling to ministry. Before your throne: my hurt and bitterness over this Shannon Park. Before your throne: my femininity. Before your throne: our girls. Before your throne: where we are living right now. Before your throne: our finances. Before your throne: Jakes’ calling & pain. Before your throne: our connection with a church. Before your throne: when we move outside. You’re in control and I will trust your kindness and merciful ways.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Several events converged this last week which have made me contemplate the presence of evil once again… Lovely topic, yeah… Not one I’d like to muse over for long, but maybe if I write about it I’ll get it over and be able to move on.

Anyway, first event: Our pastor is midway through a LONG series on Romans. We’re somewhere around the 15th sermon which focused on Romans 8 and how evil and sick humanity is through and through… Yup, we are all just nasty and ill- and this Christian life I’m living? It’s actually completely, totally, and 100% IMPOSSIBLE to accomplish on my own. The only way it’s possible is through the presence of the Holy Spirit inside of me.

Second event: I finished off Steven King’s ‘Lisey’s Story’. One of the main characters was severely abused during his childhood, so I once again got to witness the horrors that parents can inflict on those entrusted to their care. The father cuts on his 2 boys to ‘let the evil out’… (it fits in with the story, but I’m not going into that here)

Third event: Beth & I have been watching episodes of CSI in the evening during our beading. We’ve been checking out the DVD’s from the library, are up to the third season, and I find that I’m a little addicted. I thoroughly enjoy the mystery & clues aspect of this show- putting together the bits and pieces and figuring out what happened and who did it.

Anyway, most of the time it’s just about the mystery as far as I’m concerned (mind you, I avoid the ones with children, which is why I no longer watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. I love the characters, but some of those stories have stuck with me and even triggered nightmares). But this one episode of CSI from last week really bothered me- This lawyer guy is driving home drunk from his ‘welcome to the firm’ party and he hits a guy. The guy goes through his windshield with his head hanging over the passenger seat. Our lawyer thinks the guys’s dead so he drives home to sober up with the intention of then driving somewhere and calling the cops. Except when he goes out to the garage after sobering up, the guy is alive and says, ‘help me.’… So the lawyer decides to leave the guy hanging through his car, to go to work the next few days, and to let the guy bleed to death… Then he tries to hide the body, which is where the CSI story begins...

Letting someone die alone & stuck through your car’s windshield to protect your new job & reputation struck me as evil and sick. I was reminded of Jake saying to me during the first year or two of our marriage that, ‘you never know what you are capable of until the right circumstances are placed before you…’ And he didn’t mean in a heroic sense. We were talking about someone having an affair, someone else killing someone, and some of the truly sick and evil things Jake’s ex-wife did to him… Jake meant that anyone is capable of any evil & perverted sin if given the right circumstances… That it’s better to think of yourself as a Sinner saved by God’s unmerited grace, rather than a Saint surrounded by the world’s evil…

I don’t know… I don’t like thinking of myself as capable of ‘anything'. I know there is sin in me- that truly, I’m a selfish & self-centered person saved by the unmerited favor of a loving & forgiving God… I know that I struggle day to day to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and to act lovingly and graciously towards others. And I know quite well that it only takes a few ‘bumps’ and ‘scrapes’ to bring out the mean and selfish part of me… But to hide someone while they bleed to death in pain and to go through my daily ritual while this is happening…

Is that what we do when we don’t share God’s grace with those around us?? Let them basically bleed to death in pain while pretending it’s not happening? Dwell in our selfish comfort and ignore the lost around us… I know I can’t do everything and that’s not what God is calling me to, but sometimes I choose not to even do what I can.

God, you are gracious beyond my comprehension. Forgive my deliberate choice to hide behind my filthy rags of ‘goodness’. I am only good through your unmerited grace. I am only forgiven of my selfishness and sin by the sacrifice of Your son. Help me share that mercy and grace with those I come in contact with through my daily rituals. I never want to forget how good and kind You are to me, how much Your love cost. I never want to forget the sin You’ve saved me from...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More Granite Tors Pics

If you like Jake's pictures from Granite Tors, he's got way more on his myspace account, plus a silly story about a chickadee bite... Check it out at

Backyard in August

Tons of rain lately, so the girls haven't been outside to play much... Aaargh! Which means very bored & crazy girls plus a mommy pulling her hair out... The spot in the middle of the picture is their dirt pile. We dig and dig and make mud pies. Abigail likes to throw dirt and I'm working on stopping that one...

I wanted to put a sandbox in for them, but we've got so many free-range cats in the neighborhood that it didn't seem wise. Perhaps Jake can be persuaded to come up with some kind of a covered sand-box next summer. We'll see...

Books from July

The Jester- by James Patterson & Andrew Gross A
Wow. This book was dark. It covers one of the most embarrassing and horrifyingly ugly eras of European history: the crusades and their aftermath. It was very good and I would never read it again. A peasant goes off on the crusades to win his family’s freedom; witnesses bloody horror and deprivation; then returns to find his wife raped & kidnapped by nobles, his son murdered and his inn burned down. Our hero, Hugh, then assumes the role of a jester to find his wife, and discovers the true depths of evil within the closed walls of the nobility. An ugly dark book, however the writing brilliantly resounds with the truth of the times…

Firebirds: An Anthology of original Science Fiction and Fantasy- edited by Sharyn November A+
I loved these stories! In fact, most of them are fabulous. We’ve got writers like Lloyd Alexander and Robin Mckinley in here! There were a couple of stories I wasn’t thrilled with, but even then I could see how good the writing was- And there were a couple stories in here that I just loved. Gonna probably try and buy this one, ‘cuz I know there are stories in here I’d like to read again.

Beads: An Exploration of Bead Traditions Around the World- by Janet Coles & Robert Budwig B
I’m not all that fascinated with the history of beads or how they’re used across the world; however, they make this fun and interesting by describing how pieces are made, and providing good descriptions and pictures. I loved the pictures.

The Worlds Greatest Super Heroes (Graphic Novel)- Text by Paul Dini, Art by Alex Ross- originally published separately as Superman: Peace on Earth; Batman: War on Crime; Shazam!: Power of Hope; Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth; JlA: Secret Origins; and JLA: Liberty and Justice A+
Okay, I never collected any of these titles, (in fact, I never even picked up most of them) but I thoroughly enjoyed these stories- The writers ask the question: What would these super heroes do if they were real? If they actually lived today in the world we are presently dealing with… So, Superman (the adopted son of a farmer) fights hunger on a global scale, Batman enters a crime war in downtown Gotham City, Shazam! (the boy hero) becomes entangled in a child abuse situation, Wonder Woman attempts to change the oppressive role of women in the middle East; and the JLA battles a disease… The art is astonishingly beautiful- Ross’s art reflects the theme of realness. They look real… I mean it- they look REAL. What makes these stories unique is that each of the heroes deals with failure. How on earth could an almost naked Wonder Woman reach a Muslim woman swathed in black fabric? How could Superman actually make a dent in the global crisis of poverty and starvation?

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer A
Loved this. A fun adventure. High-tech Fairies and a twelve year old master criminal in the making. Didn't know it was a first in a series, but I will be looking for the rest now...

Lisey’s Story by Steven King A
I’m not a King fan, sorry… In general, they are too dark and graphic for me. But I did enjoy this one. King once again returns to his theme of relationships/working together as the only way to defeat evil… Lisey’s husband died two years ago and through his writings and some strange paranormal-esque events she relives some of the good memories of their lives together and some of the nasty times… She learns the full story of husband’s secret history and uses them to defeat a seriously messed-up bad guy.

Collection Style: Arranging and Displaying Your Treasures by Marie Proeller Hueston B
I didn’t check this out of the library- Beth did and, while I read some of it, I didn’t read all of it… However, I’m feeling compelled to say that the pictures were fascinating, and most were quite beautiful… Some are quite strange. Did you know there’s somebody out there who owns over a hundred wooden potato mashers?? And someone else who owns about a hundred clear glass cake stands?? And rag balls from Early American history??? What do you do with a hundred rag balls?? Why would you WANT a hundred rag balls???