Monday, March 30, 2009

A Horse, A Cat and A Bad Perm

I came across the huge box that has all of my old photos in it. They are from the glory days of high school(I use that term loosely) up until a few years ago. Lots of memories in that box. Kids as babies, celebrating birthdays, camping trips, horseback riding, spending time with friends, being goofy, family shots, places we've lived...the memories with each picture came flooding back. I finally found the picture (that I thought was lost forever) that is one of my most favorite of my kids and me. We were camping and I think this is summer of 2001. Cute huh? The kids, I mean.

While going through the pictures, I realized some things that I was completely unaware of while being on the lens side of the camera.


1. Contrary to popular belief, I was not popular in school. I know from this picture it's hard to believe. But I did rock the perm and sweaters. (And yes, Tam has been a friend of mine since first grade. How cool is that?)

2. One of my most favorite places in the whole world is with my friends Cowboy Bob and Eli (in picture), who live on a cattle ranch in Colorado Springs. It was because of spending time at the ranch that my daughter proclaimed at 3 years old that she loved Cowboy Bob and wanted to marry him.

3. I was always destined to be one of the Magnificent 7. (Yes, this is on the ranch and that is Pikes Peak in the background. Can't you hear the theme song?)

4.Every now and then, like once a year, Steph and I would let our kids get dressed up and run amok through the neighborhood. Good times.

5.Sometimes, it's just the simple things in life.

6. Even though I've made mistakes, I still want my kids to be able to look up to me. Always.

So if you posted a picture of a past memory, what would it be?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Friday

I'm glad it's Friday. Especially this Friday because the weather is supposed to be really decent this weekend, which means Jon will wash my car (I hope) and I'll get some walks in on the river trail.

It's been a crazy week in blogdom because it seems like everyone has been talking about prayer and religion. It's interesting for me to read others views on these two subjects because it's something so personal and it's allowing others to see your heart. For some, it's probably a great risk because there is such fear that others will condemn based on what they do or don't believe.

Those who know me know that I am a Christian (I prefer not to call myself religious because I feel that takes away from WHO I believe in and have a relationship with, which is Jesus Christ) and that prayer is a pretty sacred thing to me. When someone asks me to pray for them or others, that is a great privilege for me and extremely humbling - that someone would trust me enough to intercede for them. Let me just say that if you or someone you know has a need, you can always ask me to pray and I am more than happy to.

I wanted to start the weekend off with something a little bit o' fun and so I thought I'd throw out some more useless and random facts about myself. It's just all part of the package. Lucky Jon.

Which country are you from?
I was born in America, but my heritage is Hungarian, Romanian and English. When I was a teen, my parents probably thought I was from outer space. Luckily, I live back on earth now, smack dab in the middle of Oregon.

What do you do? What is your job?
Well, it's rather complicated right now, but lets just say I'm a public employee that buys lots of stuff. I also coach 9th grade volleyball at my old alma matter. Add wife, mother, housekeeper extraordinaire, blogger and chief dog walker (and whisperer in our house) to the list and that about sums it up.

Are you a morning or night person?
Well, since my dad's family is from Transylvania you'd think I'd be more of a night person ( vampire jokes), but I prefer morning. Especially in the summer. I like to get up extra early, go out on my deck with my coffee and bible and take in the mountain view.

Do you have brothers or sisters?
I have two older brothers. Infamous and famous. Seriously. One brother has 12 kids. He's my hero. Actually, his wife is.

What kind of people do you like?
All kinds. I know it must shock you that most of my friends do not lean hard right or are 'churchy'(even though now that I think about my blog buds more fit into that category..hmmm....). I mean, I have those too, but I prefer an eclectic mix and don't base my friendships on who you voted for or whether you believe in God or not. It's more of a 'hey, I really dig this person and think they are pretty cool to hang around and have a great time with them.' In other words, at my wine tasting party you'll find the pastor and the Hells Angel(What? Hells Angels can't like the finer things in life like wine?).

What are you best at?
When I was growing up it was whining. Hopefully I've outgrown that somewhat. I'm pretty good at messing up. Yes, I'm a messy Christian and I've got the whole flawed human thing down to a tee. But that has made me pretty good at accepting God's grace for my shortcomings. Oh, and I can make a pretty mean batch of Chile Verde and dish up a good old fashioned plate of sour cream garlic mashed potatoes with hamburger gravy.

Which languages do you speak?
English and Spanish. I was pretty lucky growing up with my Mexican friends because that was better than any Spanish class in school. I mean, working in their restaurants, if someone didn't want onions on their burrito I'd better be able to tell that to the cook in Spanish or we were gonna have all kinds of upset customers.

Who has had the most influence in your life?
Probably my parents. I am very close to them, talk to them almost daily and we genuinely have a great time when we are together. They both have incredible hearts for others, have been involved in missions all over the world and would do anything for anyone. They are most definitely where I get my strong desire for and sense of adventure.

Would you rather take pictures or be in pictures?
I love taking pictures and think of myself as a somewhat amateur (and I mean amateur) photographer. OK, I like the spotlight too, but only if my hair and makeup look good. I'm vain that way.

How many times did you move as a child?
Zero. I even ended up buying the house I grew up in from my parents. Now my kids on the other hand, have lived in four different states (Oregon, Colorado, Georgia, Wyoming) (we can thank the Army for some of that) and countless houses. Let's just say they are good at 'adjusting' to new surroundings.

Alright, that's enough for now. I don't want to overwhelm you too much before the weekend. After all, it's Friday and I am outta here! And fabulous weekend to you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Red Envelope Project

My friend Kat posted this video over at her blog, thus making me aware of the Red Envelope Project. The purpose of this project is to bring the importance of the sanctity of life to the attention of the current administration.

I would encourage you to watch the video to find out how you can participate or you can visit the Red Envelope Project website. I for one, will be sending my envelope, and then some. I hope you will also.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interpretive Tuesday

I stumbled across this quote and I actually had to read it several times and let it sink in before I came up with my own interpretation. I'm curious as to how others interpret this, so have at it. What does this quote 'say' to you?

"Ethics cannot be based upon our obligations toward [people], but they are complete and natural only when we feel this Reverence for Life and the desire to have compassion for and to help all creatures insofar as it is in our power. I think that this ethic will become more and more recognized because of its great naturalness and because it is the foundation of a true humanism toward which we must strive if our culture is to become truly ethical."

Albert Schweitzer

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Judging Without Reason

Yesterday my mom and I were out shopping for a baby shower gift for a very good friend of mine. This is a friend whom I have known since high school, she is my daughter's Godmother and her family is like my 2nd family. In fact, it is because of this friend that I have a love affair with all things Mexican food, because I spent many, many hours hanging out in and working in her mom's Mexican restaurant.

So, as mom and I were leaving Target after a successful shopping trip, I noticed a man helping a woman by the side of the road. She got in her car and left and this man walked back to the little 'island' in the middle of the exit lane and sat back down with his backpack and sign.

Now Bend has many homeless and I have noticed an increase in panhandling over the past year probably due to the increase in homelessnes, loss of jobs, homes, hope, etc. I have been guilty of making snap judgements about those I see holding signs and asking for help, the most common being 'if I give them money they will probably just spend it on cigarettes or alcohol.' I am not proud of this because honestly, I don't know the person's story, or why they need the money. And, I don't know exactly when it was that I was hit over the head with the realization that I was in fact judging based on a sterotype, but I was mortified and disgusted with myself.

I know that even in the 'lean' months, I have more than most people in the world. Yes, IN. THE. WORLD. And, am I not called as a Christ follower to help the needy? God doesn't tell me to help only the needy who don't stand on a street corner and hold a sign, but to help all of the needy. And He doesn't call me to help the needy only when it's convenient for me to 'write a little something extra' in the tithe check. Maybe to me it's an inconvenient time, but to God, it's just stretching me a little.

And so, it started a few years ago that I asked God to just give me a good old prompt anytime He saw fit for me to help anyway I could.

I have driven past people holding signs, only to turn around and go back to give them food or money. I shop at a store where the homeless tend to hang out. I have walked out with my kids, our arms full of groceries, only to go back in so that I can buy some meals for them.

And just yesterday, when I pulled up to the man who had helped the woman, I felt the prompt. The crazy thing was when I was reaching for my mom was reaching for hers. I called him over to the car, gave him some money and drove off. When I looked at my mom I said, "I used to use the excuse they will just buy alcohol or cigarettes with the money. But that changed because when I feel like God is prompting me to help them, if I use that excuse, I am basically questioning God and that is not my place. I don't know what they will do with the money, but if God tells me to give, I'm going to." And my mom, who is one of the wisest women I know said, 'we were both prompted at the same time.'

My friend Helen did a post about judging without knowing and perhaps this is what prompted this. I don't give to get praise, but because I am so humbled by the graciousness of those in need. Every time I give,

Friday, March 20, 2009

In A Nutshell

After being sick for so dang long, I couldn't help but feel the need to make a mad dash for the outdoors after work. Temps were hovering at 60°, the sun was out and so I thought Boz and I would head down to the river. As soon as I said I'm taking Boz to the river and grabbed the leash he full-on freaked out. The river is his favorite place and he went nuts. (We're supposed to have dogs on a leash at all times, but that is cruel and unusual punishment for a dog like Boz who just wants to run. He is the Forrest Gump of dogs.) I didn't make it the whole 3 mile loop because I started hacking, again, but I got in a good couple o' miles and darn if it didn't feel good to just be outside. At least the dog thought so.

It's good to feel at least half-way normal again(yeah, I know, that is probably a relative term where I'm concerned, especially in light of the fact that my daughter just told me I'm weird. But she'll always tell you I'm her favorite mom)and it helps that the weather going into the weekend is very conducive to outdoor activity. Hopefully tomorrow I can make the whole three miles.

My best bud Steph was in town last weekend. We've known each other since 5th grade. Unfortunately I was sick, but we still got to spend some time together and I've learned over the years that no matter how far apart we live, the minute we are in each other's company we just pick up where we left off. Our boys are all great friends and she brought her 14 year old son, who is best buds with my son. They had a great time together and Killian spent the entire weekend with them. I think I saw him for a few fleeting moments. Other than that, he was busy snowboarding, doing crazy boy things and I think he even got roped into some shopping with Steph and her mom. It's good training for him. (Yes, that is someone laying down on the dock behind us with a home made pina colada in their hand and you'll notice I'm sporting a lei. It's our good friend John and this was a little 4th of July gathering we had at the cabin on the river. Good times.)

Jon felt the ravages of the crud worse than I. He seemed to have a really bad reaction to the medication and he's still a quart low. He has been cooped up since Sunday and finally today he ventured over to his friends house for a short visit. Kenz informed me when I got home that Jon told her 'I just have to go somewhere. I have to get out of this house.' It's probably a good thing, now that #4 & #5 have been slayed today. I'm thinking Jon would probably dig this place right about now.

I think I have the two best kids in the world. They were very concerned about me and Jon this past week. Kenz even stepped up and drove Jon to the doctor, went to Costco and sat in line for 45 minutes to get his prescription, bought the best chicken soup, cooked for Jon when I wasn't around and even made a special trip to get the good Popsicles. I'd like to say I trained her right, but a heart like that isn't 'trained', I think you either have it or you don't. And both my kids have huge hearts for others and I am a very proud mama for that.

Here's to wishing you all a very awesome weekend!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Do Three Flies Have In Common?

Apparently my husband is feeling somewhat better and maybe even a tad bored from being home sick in bed. And, if you are a fly, it is not a good thing....a good thing at all to take up residence in my house. It seems as though Jon has been on a mission in between naps to make sure that we are fly-free.

Victim #1

Victim #2

Victim #3

Tomorrow, Jon will definitely be getting out of the house....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

This Is What Happens...

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there were a pair of flies that had decided to take up occupancy in my skylight and spent two days bugging the holy heck out of me with their incessant buzzing.

Apparently Jon, with his keen instincts picked up on my extreme annoyance with this twosome. He has dealt with said issue at hand and is now my hero.

I have not heard buzzing since I came upon this little memorial....

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Me Out Of This House!

Ok, I am going crazy being cooped up in this house. I do not make a very good sick person and I am going to work tomorrow no matter what. Joining me in 'sick bay' is Jon, who is even worse off than I am. And, he coughed, like crazy-hack-cough-can't-catch-my-breath-cough...All. Night. Long. So neither of us got much sleep. So, not only am I cranky because I'm cooped up, but I'm bored out of my mind. I have watched movies, television, read all of my magazines at least three times (and it's a bummer because they are all cooking magazines, so even if I felt the slightest desire to whip up some epicurean delight I have no energy for it) and I made a pact with myself to 'KILL! KILL! KILL!' the two flies that are buzzing incessantly around the skylight in my bedroom. They have to come down eventually and I'll be waiting with the electric fly zapper...

Finally today, after watching the White House news conference on Foxnews (yes, I am a Foxnews junkie) and having the sudden urge to hurl my TV remote at the extremely arrogant and classless White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs (in hopes of it actually hitting him), I realized I am ready to get back to my normal everyday routine. And to think that I was just contemplating how mundane it was. Oy.

As mentioned, I have had plenty of time to catch up with the news. I thought I would share a story that ticked me off even more so than the whole AIG scamdal. So, Katdish, here's your 'Annie-rant'. And it's not even political.

"A mother is appealing for women to have sex with her adopted Down Syndrome son.

Lucy Baxter, of Abingdon, Oxfordshire in southern England, says she will even pay for a prostitute so he can lose his virginity. The mother has now set up a Web page for her son, Otto, appealing for potential dates to come forward.
Baxter has three other adopted sons with Down syndrome and works with Mencap, the U.K.'s leading charity for people with disabilities.

"I'd like all my boys to find love and enjoy sex," she said. "I always look at what other people are doing and why shouldn't they do the same things?

"I strongly believe, and have always said, that society has a learning disability when it comes to Down syndrome," she continued. "If he doesn't get a girlfriend, I will feel really bad, because I have sold him this thing that he is like everybody else. That's why I'm working overtime to get this sorted for him."

Ok, this woman is a disaster and a disgrace. There is absolutely nothing OK with paying a whore to have sex with your child and that is one of the most irresponsible things any parent could do. She wants her child to experience sex and is willing at all costs to exploit him and this fact. Of course she'll make sure that any woman up for the challenge of helping her son lose his virginity is thoroughly screened for any STD's and the HIV/AIDS virus. Isn't that what any responsible parent would do? Lady, you are ridiculous and I hope people flood your website and tell you just what a disgraceful thing you're doing. To have a fulfilling life one doesn't have to have sex bought for them - and if you really wanted to show your son love, you'd allow him to have relationships with people who love him for who he is. You are only proving to him 'just how much he isn't like everybody else' by doing this. And that, is very sad indeed.

And there you have it. This is what happens to Annie after six days of being cooped up. Get me out of the house already!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Boyz+Skateboard+Teddy Bear+Fun Hating Neighbor+Cops = Good Times

**I made reference to this in my last post and Steph has asked me to elaborate somewhat. I am happy to. It is these particular moments that I find extreme pleasure in parenting and realize I am just a kid at heart.**

I'm not sure who came up with the idea this particular day, but when I heard the giggling coming from outside, I looked out my office window to find my son and stepson with a very large teddy bear tied to a skateboard with a gazillion feet of fishing line. Now I have witnessed this game before. One night when we were sitting around the fire pit at some friends house all of our kids (7 of them) had decided it would be a good idea to tie a rope around a stuffed bunny rabbit and when a car came down the road someone would pull the rope while another chased after the rabbit. Even the policeman that drove by had to roll down the window and laugh at the kids just having a little bit of fun. (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention I let my kids - all teenagers by the way, play in the street?)

Irresponsible parenting you say? Perhaps. And I won't be offended if you don't send me a 'Mother of the Year' plaque. But I am OK with kids being kids and having a little bit of fun as long as no one is out 'tagging' buildings, vandalizing schools or shooting out car windows with BB guns. So let the kids have a little bit of fun I say and it gives me a good laugh too. I'm selfish that way.

Anyway, on this particular day I had an inkling of what the boyz were up to and so I did what any responsible parent would do. Went back to my cleaning. It was a few minutes later that I heard the sound of a diesel truck idling and peeked back out the window to see the teddy bear doing a lo-crawl (or being pulled by fishing line) across the front yard. I recognized the neighbors truck from a few doors down and thought maybe there were some friendly point and laughs going on. Was I mistaken.

Perhaps you are lucky enough to live in a neighborhood amongst the carefree. I am not. Apparently, my neighbors whities are a little too tighty and Mr. & Mrs. Sunshine did not see the humor in two middle school boys antics that afternoon. So, I made my way downstairs and out the back door to where the boys were hidden behind the fence. I got the lo-down, told them not to tick anyone else off and went back inside. (I know, I just did what any responsible parent would do. Send the award already.)

So back upstairs to cleaning and a few minutes later the boys come bustin' up the stairs laughing and saying something about the bear being heisted. I look out the window and there's Little Miss Sunshine walking away with the bear. And miles of fishing line wrapped around it's neck.

I'm not sure who called Jon first, because my though was 'dang, I'm gonna have to go down there and get that bear back. I know, I'll let Jon do it.' Anyway, he was alerted to the situation and happened to be on his way home. Just as he's driving by the neighbors house, said neighbor steps out into the road, makes him stop and she says, 'Excuse me sunshine, would you pull into my driveway so I can talk to you.' (Said in her best Joan Crawford 'Mommy Dearest' voice). Apparently Jon DOES NOT like being called 'sunshine', told her no and drove home.

So, as the boyz are telling Jon the whole story and I'm trying to stay composed, I notice a Sheriffs car in front of the neighbors house. Wha...? Are you serious? Kids are shooed inside as a Deputy pulls up in front of our house. She opened the trunk, took out the bear (with fishing line still tightly wound around it's neck) and walked down our driveway. It was at this point that I realized the hilarity of the situation and started laughing uncontrollably. Now the Deputy was very professional and the only thing she said, while trying to keep a straight face was, "Well, what they did wasn't against the law. Maybe they could just keep the bear on this side of the road." (She did not laugh, or roll her eyes. I promise.)

I was still laughing uncontrollably when she walked away and for those of you who know me, you know I have a very loud, distinct laugh. It's possible that the neighbors, who were outside at the time heard me. Probably why they still don't wave when I drive by.

Luckily, the bear was not harmed and it now rests peacefully on a shelf in the closet. Until next time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You're Off The Ranthook

I was going to do a quasi-rant today but bagged that idea because I just feel crummy. I think I'm coming down with whatever Jon had (no, thank you) and so y'all are off the ranthook for now. Instead, I thought I'd just entertain you with a little Q & A session - kind of a 'let's get to know more about Annie than we already do or can ever care to know' exercise. Besides, it seems these types of things are taking over the world like the Dems are taking over Washington and I just want to play along. Scary. But, I digress.

What if cows gave root beer instead of milk? What if they just gave beer? At least cattle prices would be up.

If I could give one piece of advice to any person in history, that advice would be... Ted, don't go near the booze, women or Chappaquiddick.

Do you believe in love at first sight? Yep. First time I saw Jon, I was standing next to my brother and I said to him 'I'm going to marry that man.' Seems like 20 years ago.

What would happen if you grew taller than trees? How would this change your life? None of my clothes would fit. That would stink. Well, maybe not because I like buying clothes. Do they make them in size XXXXXXXL Tall?

What would you do if a bully bothered you on your way home? I'd call Kenz. She's had experience in beating them up. Seriously. You don't want to mess with her.

What do you think your friends say to each other when you're not around? Dang it's quiet around here.

What do you think about people who are inconsiderate of others? They annoy the heck out of me and I sometimes secretly wish they'll get some flat tires on the way home. (OK, not really, but they do annoy me.)

What would you do to entertain your family without spending any money? Be myself. I am the entertainment.

What three words would describe you right now? I feel crappy.

How do you feel when it's your birthday? Why? Everyone celebrates my birthday - which is really cool because it's on Cinco de Mayo. Viva Mexico!

How would you change the world to make it better? Get rid of Obama. Get rid of Pelosi. Get rid of everyone who passed the spendulus bill.

When you are angry, how do you look? Pissed off.

Who is your favourite Star Wars character? Chewbacca. Seriously. How cool would it be to have a snuggie rug everywhere you go.

Where would you prefer to be right now--mountains, desert, beach--and why? Yes.

Does it bother you to be around someone who has bad manners? You have no idea. Close your mouth when you chew already.

What is a good neighbour? One who doesn't call the cops on your kids when they're having a little bit of fun with fishing line, a teddy bear and and a skateboard. In the street.

What is something you are optimistic about? That Mexico will still be there come vacation time.

What is the best birthday present you could receive? A 1961 Impala.

What would you do if you were in the middle of the lake and your boat began to leak? Hope like heck I see Jesus on the shore.

What does Canada mean to you? The country up north eh.

Ok, enough of that. I'm off to Nyquildom and bed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I've Got Nothin' But This

Normally this time of year all I can think about is Mexico, Mexico, Mexico. I'm anticipating an off-season trip to some little out of the way town with very few people. That's how Jon and I prefer to travel. We don't do spring break - although my kids and I did Mexico at Christmas time a few years back but it was a little town with few people - and we don't do big resorts. Last May when Jon and I were in Tulum everything was fabulous until we had to get to the airport in Cancun which we thought we'd get to via downtown. Needless to say, I don't do mass quantities of Mexican drivers in a town roughly half the size of Texas and I was a little frazzled by the time we got to the airport. Not to mention it was my first day of the stomach flu (no, not caused by the food, but a real-life 100% authentic stomach flu which I had been infected with before we left for Mexico) and let me just ask if you've ever dealt with that on a plane at 40,000 feet. Luckily, we had the last two rows in the back of the plane, right next to the little bathroom. God provides.

I can't wait to go back to Mexico, but all I can think about lately is finding a nice little place in the woods away from it all to hang out. I'm like pre-hermit or something. I don't want to be around a bunch of people. I just want some movies, a few good books, possibly some trash mags for amusement (and because it makes me feel better knowing that my life isn't nearly as screwed up as I think and I know this because all I have to do is read the cover in the check out line of my local Safeway), some games to play with the kids, a bike to ride in case the weather quits being so flippin' cold and a blazing fire. I know, I'm a simple gal and I don't want much. Oh yeah, don't forget the dog. He'd be ticked if I left him home when there are so many trees where I'm going if you know what I mean. And squirrels. Boz loves the squirrels too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Was Relent(less)

I know some of you are wondering where I've been lately. And thank you to those who gave a friendly little shout out regarding such (Beth, Katdish). It's just been a couple of weeks and I haven't felt the blog mojo too much anyway. In fact, I just haven't felt any mojo lately and I guess I took a little unplanned break.

Also, for the past few days, I've been away at Wintercamp 09', Relent(less), cooking for about 350 (give or take a few) middle and high school kids. While some may consider that a thankless job, I found it an incredible blessing to be a part of such an awesome thing.

First, you have to understand where this camp took place. I was at Wildhorse Canyon Ranch, now known as Washington Family Ranch. It is a little piece of property (67,000 acres), out in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon, that was donated to Young Life Ministries. Prior to that, it had been inhabited by a 35,000 member cult lead by the The Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. I'm not going to go into all of the specifics - I've created a link so that you can do that. I will say that I remember them as a kid coming to Bend and they were creepy people. There was a lot of weird stuff going on at their commune, and we always considered their ranch a very evil place. The ranch was eventually seized by the Feds, the cult members fled, a few were arrested and what was once a place full of darkness is now being used to further the kingdom of God. Touche.

There were a lot of really cool things about this weekend. I didn't get to interact much with the kids because I was in the kitchen most of the time, but I did get to attend a few of the worship session and watch kids do the zip line into the pond (seriously crazy because it was like 48°), ride the 'screamer', hang out at the 'Sassy' (yeah - THAT is the name of their little cafe. Love it.), and I was bunking in a room called 'Kicks Iron' (suh-weet). I had some really cools moments and I'm just going to briefly share them with you:

- Being completely humbled by my new friend Nick. He's a really cool kid that I got to spend a lot of time with and God is really big in his life.

- Witnessing 300+ teenagers during worship, jumping up and down with their arms raised, or on their knees singing praise to God. It chokes me up to talk about it. Seriously. I've never witnessed such awesomeness by a bunch of kids - especially when my teenage son is in the midst of it.

- Meg, Sarah, Jeff, Andrea & Tim. The kitchen crew. They work super long hours, for hardly any pay...and they love what they do. True servants. Plus they are really cool people.

- The herd of turkeys. (Ok, it's a flock, but there were a bunch of wild turkey's out there and I'm not talking about the kids.)

- Rocking AC/DC with Nick. (We rocked Cris Tomlin and Stevie Wonder too. Relax.)

- The food. I remember camp food as a kid and this is NOT camp food. I had garlic mashed red potatoes (with the skins and all. YUM..) and they were almost better than mine. Almost.

- Being continually amazed at what God has done with the ranch. I'm thinking Clint Eastwood and 'Go ahead, make my day punk' when the Rashneeses showed up. God blew the smoke off the end of that gun barrel.

- Enjoying seeing a gazillion teenagers having a blast, acting crazy and screaming their little hearts out on the zip line... and diggin' God. Good times.

I'm exhausted, but in a good way. I'm just glad I got to be a part of it all.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Favorite Place (when not in Mexico)

Maybe it's because I grew up along the banks of the Deschutes (pronounced De Shoots) River, surrounded by forests, mountains, lakes and trails that I love being in the middle of it. The forest that is. I love to get away and go to this little cabin and just watch the river roll by. Jon and I had a fabulous weekend away and I thought I'd share some of the beauty of the Metolius River with you. Bozley had a fabulous time as well and we were definitely not ready to come back to the real world. But one day, I am sure, Jon is going to buy me a little cabin in the woods along the banks of a river...

And.... dinner...which you can get the recipe here. (Just kidding...we didn't cook the goose. But you can get this fabulous chicken recipe that I whipped up Friday night by visiting my cooking blog.)