Sunday, December 21, 2008


In August of 2006 I had the great privilege of traveling to Kenya to work at a home for children affected by HIV/AIDS. Basically I played with babies and toddlers (under the age of 2) all day. I was in heaven during my time in Kenya. Everything about that place struck me, but nothing more than the beautiful children I met. One particular little girl really stole my heart - Chrissy. Everyday I laughed with her and held her, I fed her and gave her medicine, and in the end she left an everlasting impression on me.
When I was in Kenya she was about a year and a half old and she was HIV positive. On my last night in Kenya I was working with the infants (downstairs at the home) and noticed that the crawlers (Chrissy's group) were all being brought down to the nurses station for their medicine. Chrissy didn't come. I excused myself and raced up to see what was going on. The woman working, Eunice, told me she was waiting for me to take Chrissy since it was my last night. I had a bond with this kid.
Last week I got an email from a friend of mine who is working at this home in Kenya. It was an updated photo of Chrissy. She no longer lives at this home, but now is part of a home on a tea reservation that was started for kids who have not been adopted (the mission of the home I worked at where Chrissy was is that the kids are adopted prior to turning 2). Chrissy was not adopted.

My prayer for Chrissy is that she is happy and the picture above, a recent photo, shows me that she is. She touched my life forever and I will never forget her. If I have the chance to see her again you better believe I will. I hope I can even tell her someday, when she is older, how much of an impact she made on me.

To be honest Amalea reminds me a lot of Chrissy. They both are incredibly active - crawled early and walked early. They both love to laugh and have incredibly charismatic personalities. You can't help but smile when you are around them. They play hard and cuddle gently. Some may say this is how all children are, but a part of me believes that I was given a child so much like Chrissy as a gentle reminder to never forget the children who don't have a mommy and daddy to love on them like Amalea does.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

3 week break

My winter break from work went from two weeks to three as school was closed everyday last week. In my opinion they could have had school open at least 3 of the 5 days because the weather wasn't as bad as the reports said, but I definitely enjoyed the extra time. Since I hadn't planned for it I didn't have any of my stuff with me and couldn't really plan. I am not sure what I will do when we go back after break now, but I can wing something for a week while I get my materials from my class.
The only bummer in all of this is that we only have 3 days built into our school year for closures. What that means is that 3 days don't have to be made up, but anything beyond that will have to be made up. So, instead of getting out June 11 I will now get out later for summer. Jim and I had planned to fly out in the morning on June 11 to attend high school graduation in California as Jim has a lot of former youth group students graduating so now it may just be him going and Ami and I meeting him later. We aren't really going to think about that just yet, but that is the one bummer.
The good thing is that I have loved having the extra time with Amalea and Jim. Both Jim and I had the whole week off since the classes he teaches were canceled too. We had a great week together relaxing as a family.
Today the next storm started and this one is supposed to be much worse. Roads are closed and even the airport is closed. Hopefully it will be open by Christmas because we fly out Thursday morning - the weather looks like by then it will be clearing up. Church is canceled tomorrow too so we will continue to play and have fun indoors.
I really do love snow!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I have a serious problem making up my mind about things. I return things I buy all the time. I bring home new clothes and try them on again once I am home and decide I don't like them so I take them back. I spend forever deciding on a pair of shoes and finally get some, bring them home, walk around a little, and then take them back. It really is quite frustrating that I can never just make a decision and stick with it.
It is really annoying when it is something bigger than a pair of jeans or shoes. For example, I made a decision to get a different car than the one we had. Now I wish I could return it, but of course that just doesn't happen.

Part of me knows I am just complaining and I have a problem in that I am always just a little dissatisfied with things. Maybe my real issue is that I need to be more content with what I have instead of always dreaming of something different.


Another reason I love Portland...Sunday morning it snowed!

I was making breakfast while Jim was sleeping in a little to recover from a crazy week he had teaching. The forecasts had said snow, but when I woke up I checked - nothing yet. As I was cooking I saw out of this out of the corner of my eye...This is looking out our back window. I grabbed Ami, ran upstairs, flung open the blinds, woke Jim up, and starting jumping up and down...yes, I love snow!

After we had a little something to eat we got all bundled up and headed outside to play in the snow. Amalea had so much fun playing and started to cry when we told her it was time to go back inside.The fun didn't stop inside though. We went out on Monday with our neighbors and ran a few errands together. While out we picked up a sled for the snow and Ami tested it out. Jim pulled her all around the house and she loved it.It's Tuesday now and I had another snow day. So, yesterday and today I didn't have to work. The weather calls for the temperatures to drop again tonight and maybe more snow Wednesday night. We'll see what happens. To be honest it was silly to me that the schools were closed today because the roads aren't too bad, but it seems like in Portland when it snows things shut down because people are so excited, which is fine by me.

P.S. Sorry, I don't know how to make those underlines go away. Lo siento

Thursday, December 11, 2008


You know an interesting conversation is coming when it starts like this...
"I have a kind of weird question to ask you"...

Today I was asked by a friend from work if I would be willing to come to her church sometime and basically critique it. Let me explain because I know that sounds weird. Basically the church she attends wants to know what a new person who didn't know anyone would experience when they walked into a service there. Would they be able to find the bathroom or the kids room? Would they be confused during the service about when or how things happen? I think it is actually kind of cool that they are looking at this. So, I plan to take my family and see what it is like.

Another question that started with the same statement...I was asked to help coordinate a wedding of a girl I work with. This actually happened back in October, but I never blogged about it. This girl whom I had never really talked to (besides introductions the first day) came in to my class one morning and asked for my help with her wedding. Apparently when I met her she said she had just gotten engaged and I replied by saying how much I loved weddings and how I had recently helped coordinate a few. So, I am helping with her wedding in March.

So, next time someone starts a conversation by saying "I have a kind of weird question to ask you", be curious because it could be anything.

Friday, December 5, 2008


It's been a long few nights in our house. Amalea has had at least one (but we believe more) new tooth coming in. She hasn't slept well which of course means we have not slept well. Jim and I try to trade off, but even if you aren't the one physically getting up with her you still wake up. I have gone to work with tired eyes all week and haven't been able to take my glasses off.
Tonight I gave her Tylenol before bed and we got Orajel for her teeth also. We'll see if those help. She is also starting to sleep with a night light. I admit my fingers and toes are all crossed tonight - we all need to get some rest.
The great thing is that tomorrow Jim and I are headed away for a night. This will be our first night with just the two of us since Amalea was born. The only other time we left her for the night was when we took 13 junior high students to Mexico - definitely not a "romantic" getaway. So...I am thrilled for this weekend. We'll be on the coast staying at a really cute little bed and breakfast we went to in June 2007. We plan to sleep, eat, sleep, maybe take a walk, sleep, eat, catch a movie, and sleep :-) Should be wonderful.

Also, for those of you concerned about our lack of time alone (Carolyn) we have found a few different people that have offered to babysit to give us a night out. We plan to take those people up on the offer soon.

Happy weekend to everyone and may we all find rest.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Newest member of the family

Today my niece, Adrienne Christina, was born. She weighed in at 7 pounds 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. She arrived a week and a half past her due date and was born in Mexico to Jim's brother John (pictured) and his wife Becca. This is their first child and we are so thrilled for them to finally have her here. We don't know when we will have the chance to meet her (or Allison - see previous post - she was born Oct.31) but it would be great to see the entire family come together sometime next summer.
Two babies in 5 weeks - so fun. I wonder who will be next :-)