Thursday, April 27, 2006

Longing for the Outdoors

Here is a picture of my kitty longing to be outside. This is a small window very close to the floor. She loves to sit there whenever the window is open. I put some small knick-knacks on the sill the other day and she kept trying to get up there. I decided that I couldn't take away her little spot so I put the knick-knacks elsewhere. I wish we could let her outside but she is not fixed yet and there are lots of other cats in our apartment complex. I am hoping that once we get a house and get her fixed then she will be able to go outside. We are trying to invent a way that she can be out on the balcony this summer without jumping up on the ledge. :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Next Stop....Mt. Ranier

This last Saturday my brother and 3 other guys from church went on a hike. When Ben came to church on Sunday and said he had gone on a hike I asked why he didn't invite me. He then showed me the pictures of their "hike". They climbed Pinnacle Peak in the Cascades. I was then okay with the fact that I was not invited. The first picture is my brother Ben. The second picture is he and his best friend Vince on the top of the peak. You can see Mt. Ranier in the distance. My brother hopes to summit Mt. Ranier. I am cheering him on! :)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Hammock Kind of Day

Yesturday was the weather was absolutely gorgeous! The temperature was into the 70's and the sun was shining. It even began to smell like summer. At work they have a hammock in their back yard. So while the boys were taking a nap I went outside and climbed into it. It was the most wonderful feeling. I could hear the birds, feel the breeze and see the apple blossoms on their fruit trees. I even heard a lawn mower going, which in the summer time is not a bad sound at all! I read in the hammack, snoozed a little and just laid there enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Summer is coming! These pictures are of my view from the hammock.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Poor Little Tulip

I have one little tulip out on my balcony. I tried to grow a few others but they didn't thrive very well. I have enjoyed seeing my bright little tulip everyday. (Or as Isaac would call it a "loop". ) A couple days ago it got a little breezy. I wasn't worried since on other breezy days my planters have stayed just fine on the balcony ledge. On Friday I woke up in the morning and opened up the blinds that look out onto the balcony. I thought something looked different but I didn't think about it too much. Then I did a double-take when I realized that my tulip wasn't there anymore. I went out and slowly looked over the edge. Sure enough there was my happy little tulip smashed on the ground. I have learned my lesson that on breezy days I need to take my small pots off of the ledge. I still have one pot of primroses and a large one of forget-me-knots that I will be able to enjoy this spring and summer. I will hopefully be able to find a few other nice flowers for my little balcony garden.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is risen!

He is risen!!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Weekend Reading Material

My husband Rue is always going to the library every week. Every once in a while I will go with him. But lately I have been going every time he goes. I have discovered the library's cookbook section, and it is very large. Since I have been getting more and more comfortable with cooking and wanting to try more and more recipes, I felt like a little kid in a candy store. I wanted to take all of them home, but obviously that was not possible. So I picked out the ones that I really wanted to look at. The picture I am showing of the stack of cook books aren't all from one trip. They are actually from two separate trips. All of them are really good but my favorites are "Saved By Soup", "HomeBaking" and "Light and Easy Baking".

The soup book is really great especially for the new way of eating I have adopted. It seems that most soups are very low-fat and healthy. This particular books focuses on low-fat. I have already made 3 different soups and have put them in little bowl GLAD containers and then put them in the freezer. I found the little bowls at the supermarket and they are perfect! (They are also dishwasher safe.) I just pick which soup I want for lunch that day and defrost it in the microwave! (A piece of my dad's homemade whole wheat bread is always a good addition.)

The next book I like is the home baking book. It has all different kinds of baked good from all over the world. It seems that the main thing it has in it is bread, but they all look so delicious. It also has yummy goodies as well. The pictures inside are also wonderful. The photographer captured the beautiful culture where each of the recipes came from. I wish that I could show them to you! The name of the book is "HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition around the World", by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I highly recommend that you pick it up the next time you are at the library. It would make a great coffee table book just for the pictures. I hope to buy it eventually.

My next favorite is Light and Easy Baking. There are many great cookie recipes that she has adapted so they can be made with whole wheat flour, half the fat and half the sugar. I made the whole wheat chocolate chip cookies and wrote a post on them too. I am really excited to try more of these recipes.

Friday, April 14, 2006

My pastor's wife sent this little joke to me earlier today. I thought it was very funny and wanted to share it. Enjoy! :) (Please remember, it is just a joke.)
Tough Love vs. Spanking ~
(a psychological conundrum)

Most of America's populace think it improper to spank children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have one of "those moments." One that I found effective is for me to just take the child for a car ride and talk. They usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our car ride together. I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique.


-A Friend

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

All I Need to Know in Life I Learned From My Hens
By Michaele Oleson

Wake up early, stay busy, rest when you need to, but always stay alert.

Visit your favorite places each day.

Scratch out a living.Routine is good.

Plump is good.

Don’t ponder your purpose in life - your brain is too small.

Accept the pecking order and know your enemies.

Weed your garden.

Protect your children fiercely - sit on them if you need to.

Take them for walks, show them the little things and talk constantly.

Make a nice nest.

Share it with friends.

Brag on your accomplishments.

Don’t count your chicks before they hatch.

Protect your nest egg.

Squawk when necessary.

As you age, demand respect.

Leave a little something for those who care about you.Chase butterflies.

The Picture Says it All!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ukraine Mission Trip Journal Entry:

July 31st, 2001 Tuesday cont.

"Right now I am at the Schiphol Amsterdam Airport. It seems weird to be in Holland. It seems weird that I am in Europe. Wow!!
The airport does not have very much Dutch stuff in it. Hannah and I walked around but we found nothing. It is all focused towards Americans and their money. The whole airport looks exactly the same. It is huge and very boring.
The flight was fine and I was able to take a short nap which gave me a boost of energy. It is 9:10am here and at home it must be about 12 or 1 in the morning. So it is way past my normal bedtime even though it is the morning...
...My body is tired but the Lord can give my soul strength."

Thursday August 2nd, 2001

"Well, we are finally here. Right now it is 5:30am and I am wide awake. Our flight from Amsterdam to Kiev was very interesting. After we got on the plane there was nothing I could do to keep my eyes open. I didn't care how uncomfortable a position was, all I could do was sleep.
Then since I had my little boost of energy I was able to stay awake the rest of the flight. Rachel switched spots with me so I could see out the window as we were coming into Kiev.
The clouds were thick and I could not see the ground. We started to descend through the clouds and it got very dark. Then all of a sudden we broke through and opening up beneath me was the farm land of Ukraine. It seemed so weird to think that was Ukraine. It was the place I had been so longing to go to...
...When we landed the plane parked and we got off by walking down stairs to the tarmac. We were quickly shuffled and stuffed into a kind of trolly bus that took us to the airport.
When we got inside we had to wait in a line for a very stern faced officer behind a window and desk to look at our passports and ask us questions. I got through easily after Rachel and just answered each question exactly like she did.
Then came the hard task of us three girls to try and get our six, 70 pound luggage cases. Praise the Lord they had carts and we were able to get two. We then had to fill out our Declaration forms and went to the red line because we had more than a thousand dollars. Rachel said that they would probably go through each of our bags (which would have been a task) and check everything out. So we prayed that they wouldn't. We got through the line in 5 minutes and they never even looked in any of our bags.
We went through a small door where on the other side there were people waiting for their loved ones. Vladimir [Christina Suko's father] reached out to me and shook my hand tightly. He had brought a big utility type truck and he had a driver named Andre. Andre was very tall and a smoker. He did not speak any English.
After they put our bags in back we climbed into the back seat in the cab of the truck (which had no seat belts) and started out two hour journey to Cherkassy. And what a journey it was.
There is no way for me to fully explain how these people drive, but they tend to not even notice that there is a line in the middle of the raid separating them from the oncoming traffic, or that it may be smart to wait until there are no oncoming cars before you try to pass a slow vehicle ahead of you. You get the idea. Rachel was horrified. I just sat there in the middle, looking straight out the front window, not really worrying at all just because of the fact that I was so tired. [By that time I had been awake for almost 36 hours.]
When we arrived at Christina's parent's apartment Serj came down to help carry our bags. [He is Christina's younger brother who is the same age as me. He also was one of our translators.] We then went up to the apartment where Christina's mom, Maria, was ready with hugs and dinner. [Since they did not have a dining room they set up a table in the middle of the living room and we sat on couches in order to eat.] After that Serj invited us to go on a walk tomorrow after breakfast with Yuri [Another guy my age who would be our translator.] and Yuri's sister Olga."

Pertinent Bathroom Information

My aunt and uncle are coming to visit this weekend and since my parent's home and septic system are old my mom wrote down some information that will be helpful when guests are trying to navigate their bathroom. I thought they were cute! :)


1. Please leave cobwebs. We like them.

2. Right sink has no water.

3. Left sink has sick hot water faucet. To obtain hot water, rapidly turn back and forth in “on” direction. It will gradually come on, sorta. Do same to turn off. (Opposite direction of course.)

4. Blue bar soap is the “hairy” soap. for men. (The men use it and generally do not rinse off their body hair.)

5. White bar soap is for ladies. (The lady of the house ALWAYS rinses off.)

6. Stand by with plunger after using toilet. It is a finicky flusher. Tip to avoid mishaps: Flush before adding paper.

7. Please take speedy showers. Our drainfield is over the hill and slowing down.

8. Please do not run back to back laundry loads and wait one hour to run a load after someone showers. (Same reason given in #7.)

9. We offer three different types of shampoo:
a)Bottle with green lid-Will poof thin hair
b)Bottle with black lid-Smells really good!
c)Bottle with gray lid-Shampoo and conditioner in one for
lazy folks

10.Singing in the shower is allowed up until 11pm.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

When I knew that the Lord wanted me to go to Ukraine I thought a little bit about the fact that I was only 17. The thought that kept going through my mind was why God would want to send me, an immature teenager to Ukraine. I didn't know how I would be able to make a difference. On the plane ride to Ukraine I found a verse in Jeremiah that really spoke to my heart. Even though this verse was meant specifically for Jeremiah, it really encouraged me. I wrote down this verse in my journal entry on July 31st, 2001.

"But the LORD said to me:
'Do not say, 'I am a youth.'
For you shall go to whom
I send you,
And whatever I command you,
you shall speak.
Do not be afraid of their faces,
For I am with you to deliver you,'
says the LORD."
Jeremiah 1:7&8
Like I have mentioned in other posts that when I was 17 I went on a mission trip to Ukraine with 2 other girls from my church. It was the summer after my Junior year in high school and we left on my 17th birthday, July 31st, 2001. I hadn't read my journal entries from this time in a few years. It is amazing reading about all of the things that I forgot about. Two weeks before we left our church was visited by Pastor Rodoslavov and his wife who are from Ukraine. He spoke many times. Hearing him speak and seeing him made me all the more excited to go to Ukraine. Just a short while before he and his wife came to America for a visit their 9 year old daughter was raped and murdered on the streets of Odessa on her way to school one morning. It was amazing to see how much they leaned on the Lord and trusted in Him during that difficult time. She had been a little evangelist and wanted to tell everyone about Jesus.

July 30th, 2001 Monday

"Today we can now say "tomorrow". Tomorrow we are leaving and it still does not seem real to me. I am getting more and more excited as the time draws near.
Last night Pastor Petya Rodoslavov spoke and then they had a sending service for Rachel Suko, Hannah Sayers and I.
All of the deacons and interns, Pastor Mark and Pastor Rodoslavov came and stood behind us and prayed over us. It was amazing and wonderful. To know that there is an entire church behind us plus all those men it seemed who were guarding and praying for us, it was an overwhelming feeling. They gave us into the hands of the Lord.
This morning at 9:30am is the ladies' brunch and Mrs. Rodoslavov is going to speak. After this Rachel, Hannah and I will be going to the bank to cash our money for the trip. An extra $150 came in for me so I will be running to the store and getting some more supplies. After this I will run home and change then go back to the Suko's where Hannah Suko and Ruth will be taking me out to lunch for my birthday (which is tomorrow). After that is Bible Study until 5:30pm. Then I will come home and do my personal packing.
Busy, busy, busy! I will be running constantly but I am having lots of fun!

July 31st, 2001 Tuesday

"Well, here we are in the plane heading for Amsterdam.
I woke up this morning at 5:00 and took a shower. Then I packed all the little last minute things that I needed.
Last night I got home at 6pm and called everyone, then started packing. I played Steven Curtis Chapman ad Third Day really loud in the living room and enjoyed myself while I packed. At 6am this morning I went all over creation trying to find more disposable cameras. I finally did find a store that was open and had one for the horrific price of $17. I only bought one. Then I went home and everyone in the family called me to say goodbye and they would be praying for me. At 8am I woke dad up [my mom was down in L.A. visiting family] so he could get ready to go. We all met at the Suko's house and I rode to the airport with the Sayers.
I had the most wonderful feeling of joy when we left and blew a kiss as we walked onto the plane.
Before we left Marty [my youth pastor] came up to me and told me that I needed to keep the group strong and no matter what the circumstances were to keep smiling. I will keep smiling for the Lord and for Marty.
I can't believe I am actually flying to Holland. I can't imagine it! Praise the Lord! Slava Bogu! Soon I will be in Ukraine!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Just the other day my mother-in-law Bonita posted an old journal entry she had written ten years earlier. This made me want to go back and look at my old journals from high school and a couple years after. As I was reading them I could see progressiveness in my life. I could see how my relationship with the Lord grew over the years and how different events in my life changed me. I thought it would be really fun to share some of these journal entries with you. The first one that I want to share is during my Junior year of high school. I was going to Peninsula High School in Gig Harbor, Washington. At the time I was taking 2 Advanced Placement classes and I was also battling headaches everyday. Even though this was only about 5 years ago it still seems like a long time ago, probably because so many things have happened to me in those 5 years.

October 17th, 2000

"This morning was an awful morning. I was horrible. I was only thinking of myself and all of the things that were about to cause me a lot of stress. It is amazing how only 45 minutes of a bad attitude will completely make you feel like you have been separated from God.
Before I left for the bus I went into my room and cried on my bed for a minute and poured out my stubborn heart to the Lord. He heard me. I laid everything at His feet for Him to take care of and He did.
I was worried about a paper that was due today and I hadn't finished it because I barely had enough time. I was very worried because it was a big paper. Well, I laid it at the Lord's feet and when I got to school I told my friend about it and she said, "Oh Annie, it's not due until Thursday!". The Lord definitely worked it out. It may not seem like a big thing but when the Lord does something like that for you it truly is. Thank You Lord!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunny Friday Morning

I usually don't work on Friday but since there was a crane accident on the Narrows bridge and they closed it down on Monday I couldn't get to work. So I worked on Friday to make up the hours. It was a beautiful sunny morning and right when I got to work I could not resist going outside with Isaac. (Gabe was taking a nap.) Isaac rode around on his little bike and we kicked around the soccor ball a little bit. They also had a few flowers blooming in their yard so I took some pictures of them. I love spring time! It was so refreshing to be out in the sunshine in the morning when everything is so crisp and fresh. God's creation is truly a blessing!