Sunday, December 14, 2008

full house

This is not a joke, I promise! The other day I was upstairs by the youth room at church. I was already talking to my friends Jill V. and Jen B. and Jill S., when my other friend named Jill B. walked up to join us. Just then someone walked by and said, "Look! It's three Jill's and two Jen's -- a full house!"

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Don't make me get the claw!

So last week I had surgery, and Dave did a great job of taking care of me and the kids. Talk about super Dad! I'm thankful to report that I'm back at home and starting to look and feel a lot better. In fact,
recuperating from surgery has taken on a whole new twist since the Hurley's loaned me "the claw!" Now instead of staring and weeping at the phone or remote I just dropped on the floor I can simply grab it -- oh the power of being self-sufficient again! My favorite claw moment was when Dave was sitting by me, peacefully watching TV, when he was suddenly startled by THE CLAW! Dun dun dun!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

cool church radio

Okay, so I know Dave doesn't have red hair! But other than that I can't get over the likeness of this picture and my handsome fella as he records radio with his buddies!

It's called Cool Church Radio -- it's on KPAM AM 860, 7am on Sundays. It's! Really! Dave makes me laugh anyway, but some of the things he says on this program! "Oh my!"

But seriously friends, in the same way you always come to me shaking your head as if to say, "Can't you control what Dave says?" I reply to you, same as always,

"Why do y'all keep giving him the mic?!?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All Grace

With great fondness I remember the "always full" baby bottles that my little sisters and I played with, faithfully feeding those baby dolls. Do you remember those? They would appear to empty when you tilted them, then magically refill when you set them upright again. For a five-year old it was truly amazing!

In this great book I'm reading (Kitchen Table Counseling, by Muriel L. Cook & Shelly Cook Volkhardt)they use this type of "magic bottle" in a great illustration on grace.

...And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
After reading 2 Corinthians 9:8 the authors use a mental picture:

"Think of God's grace as if it were in a bottle. Every time something happens and you think I can't take this, I want you to take that bottle of God's grace and pour it out on that situation saying, 'I have enough grace for this.' But when you stand the bottle back up, picture it full. God has promised that His grace would be abundant, more than enough. It will take time to break the cycle of responding the way you have, but if you face it with the truth of the "All All" verse, you will put into practice a godly perspective on your circumstances."

For a forty-three year old it is truly amazing!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Beautiful Autumn Colors

So, for fun, let's list those things that turn red in the fall:

the apples...

the leaves...

my HAIR?!

(Yikes! I forgot that when you cover over blond highlights with brown color it turns and interesting shade of ... autumn red let's call it.)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

These Are Generous Times!

In the midst of this season of "Economic Hardship" that everyone talks about we got to witness a piece of refreshing news.

We went out to eat at Sayler's Old Country Kitchen (we finally got around to using the gift certificates that T.Michael won for us in the "Abundant Life Cruise In" last summer!) -- and we thought that was lucky enough. But then when we got to the restaurant, we noticed a news crew & asked what was going on.

It turns out that earlier that day a young waitress was serving a family that comes in fairly regularly (so they've gotten to know each other) and these generous people offered to pay her college tuition! Wow!

These are generous times!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

And be thankful.

Have you ever noticed it's hard to be thankful when you're worried? Near impossible I'd say! Yet God's word says:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

I think worry can be as contagious as a cold germ or a critical attitude -- it's so easy to catch it from others!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

fire drills

I failed "Fire Drill" as an Educational Assistant today...the special person I was in charge of, um, wouldn't leave the building! Yikes! What a day!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Story by T.Michael

One day things atackt the world.
The things that "atackt" include:giant ant, man-eating crocodile, evil angel, man-eating ant-eater, & acid-poop producing baby! (Just when you thought it was safe!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008


There's a big airplane bringin' home my man today! Dave returns from a conference in Atlanta and we are eager to see him!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

family in ministry

When Dave became a Pastor, we became a family in ministry. And as Mom in this family, one of the most challenging goals I strive for is to make and keep our home a refuge. That means I'm careful how I talk about church, how I react to Dave's long hours (how else is he to work with the volunteers who come in after their own long day's work?), and how much expectation I put on these awesome children of mine.

Well last Thursday the kids really wowed me! It was one of those days when the "shoulds" dramatically outweighed the "want to's." In addition to the every-day life things we needed to do, Dave was working late at worship rehearsal, we had a friend to go see in the hospital, and then a missionary from Africa to visit who would only be available that very night to was a lot to ask of little kids who had already done great at their own job (school).

So what "wowed" me? After we visited our friend in the hospital we ran into a family waiting for their Dad to get out of surgery. We all recognized each other as they used to attend our church. As we were leaving I offered to pray with them and I was so glad they accepted. As we circled around and held hands to pray, my children stepped up and joined hands with them also, and we all prayed together.

When we got into the van I thanked the kids for their patience, and for the care they showed the family we ran into in the waiting room. "No need to thank us Mom," McKenzie replied, "It's what we do!"

It's an honor to be a family in ministry.

Monday, September 22, 2008


I feel most challenged when praying for my friends in India who are under such terrifying persecution -- beaten, families threatened, churches and houses burned down -- and other things we really can't imagine or relate to.

Certain things are obvious I could pray for, you might think. But it never seems enough, or complete...the closest I can get to feeling like I'm on the right track is when I read (and then pray on behalf of my friends) 2 Thes 2&3:
...May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

(Now this part I've changed a little to pray on their behalf)
Finally, brothers, I pray for you that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

And I pray that you may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.

But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one...

May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I found a million dollars today!

...of course it was a religious tract, but still! There I was minding my own business, cooking dinner, when I reached for the salad spinner and what did I find inside? (Some real Mommy-treasures, let me tell ya!)

the million dollar bill already mentioned

piggy bank with a few coins in it

little black match box race car

pretend cap-gun

and a 1 inch, bank-robbin' Mr. Potato Head!

Wow! What a cool Mommy moment! I love having a 7 year old boy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

new job

Great news: After applying a few different places - I have a job! Yay! I'll be subbing for Educational Assistants in our school district. I got fingerprinted and everything. Whew!

It's interesting how things in life such as job-hunting can really tempt me to go through a sort of identity crisis -- causing me to ask questions like:
Who am I? What do I have to offer? Where do I belong? How will I fit in?

But then I was reminded how simple a life centered on Christ can be! If I keep my eyes on Him and what He wants from me...and for me. More of Him, less of me -- even (or should I say "especially") in the simple, every-day matters of life.

I need only be identified as His. How? Well, in John 13 Jesus says to His friends:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Another summer gone, already?

A lot of times people will say something like, "I bet you're looking forward to school starting?!!" I know they are just making small talk, but I always answer the same: "Me? No, not yet!"

The author L.M. Montgomery sums it up best when her character Anne of Ingleside(Anne is all grown up and has her own fun kids)says:

"What a happy summer this has been," thought Anne...and then recalled with a little pang something she had heard Aunt Highland Kitty of the Upper Glen say once..."the same summer will never be coming twice."

Never quite the same. Another summer would come...but the children would be a little older and Rilla would be going to school..."and I'll have no baby left," thought Anne sadly.

Monday, August 25, 2008

There comes a time in every rightly constructed boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure.

Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Imagine having dinner with Jesus. Around the table with Him and His friends, these place cards would say real nice things like:

Tax Collector; Thief; Liar; Prostitute; Quitter; Captain Fails-A-Lot! Basic Loser

We're looking at Matthew 9 tonight in Sunday School and talking about how to show honor to people who've been overlooked. Jesus, the Most Honorable, leads by example in showing others how valuable they are.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Check this out!

The place to be this summer is Portland City Fest 2008 -- With Luis Palau! I'm going to be there -- are you?!

The Love Boat

Actually, this post is not about The Love Boat.

It's just that back when I was a kid and watched channel 12 for several hours every day in the summer (no, I do not recommend this type of life!) I saw this one episode of The Love Boat where someone asked this pretty girl how she lost so much weight and she replied something quaint like, "Well, I realized I could either go out and live life, or settle for watching others live it on TV!"

Hmmm....great irony in that line. Especially since as a kid I was learning about how not to watch watching TV! Whatever! It can get so confusing sometimes!

To sum up, the reason I don't blog so consistently in the summer is 'cuz:

"I can either write about life, or go out and live life!"

I thought Dave summed up this post nicely when he said, "Oh, you mean you are a lazy blogger!" ...thanks Dave!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


... I have a friend who overdosed night before last. Don't really know how he's doing. To say I hope he'll be alright is an understatement. Do I pray for him? Of course!

To sum up a big 'ole jumbled mess of thoughts and emotions about my friend, I can only say it is really hard to watch someone do this to themselves and to us who love him! And yet I still have hope.

It's not that I hope because of who he is (how bright and how promising, even though this is true about him) and it's not that I hope because I'm a "hopeful" person (not really prone to optimism with Jesus' help) but I hope because of who our Savior is -- kind, life-giving, the One who sets the captives free!

Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Interesting thing authority...

We just had the most amazing week of "Super Summer Spectacular" (which you may know as Vacation Bible School) and part of what made it amazing was the dedication of hundreds of volunteers. There were all these great people sharing in worship, dance, film, games, crafts, and Bible lessons shared by a drama team that really pulled out all the stops.

Behind the scenes was this incredibly organized group of volunteers known as "Security." And they did a great job of making the church a safe, fun place for children to have the time of their lives!

It started months ago with a background check of every volunteer who wanted to work with the kids...even in non-kid related things like cooking and cleaning. As a Mom I really appreciate that kind of detail. It amazed me to think of the kind of planning that went into last week -- things like flow of traffic; doors that could/couldn't be used; bathrooms that couldn't be used by adults & others that couldn't be used by kids; hallways & stairways that couldn't be used ; etc; etc all to keep the children safe -- and you know what? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

I felt kind of bad when one of the hard-working security guys confided in me that the only people who gave them any kind of hassle were the volunteers...unfortunately the reason we were even talking about it is because I was one of those people. Yikes! I confess. It was Wednesday night when I ignored this friend's authority and went in the wrong direction...isn't that a great definition for sin?: Going in the wrong direction!

It's amazing how easily we get keyed up, you know -- all worked up about our "rights." I mean, hey, I just wanted to go get my purse, it was late, what's the big deal?! But it IS a big deal, more about His authority and our heart than about anything else. But on the way home that evening I got the "big smack down" from God. He totally convicted me in my heart all the way home.

I sensed Him questioning me: Who placed that young man in the doorway to make sure the kids were safe? (gulp, You God?) Who expects you to be respectful to all people whether you understand or agree with what they're saying? (bigger gulp, You Lord, I know, I blew it) Who expects you to go back tomorrow night and ask for forgiveness? (Really, won't he think I'm weird? Do You mean I don't get to just say to You that I'll do better next time?...Yes Lord, I'll ask him for forgiveness tomorrow night)

It was an amazing week with over 700 kids and everyone had fun, made friends, learned about Jesus, and were SAFE! With the grateful heart of a Mom and a volunteer I thank the "Security" team for all their hard work!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

your burden

At the end of Matthew 11 it is written:

At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Sometimes when I get hooked into striving, the Holy Spirit reminds me of these verses. There is nothing in the entire world more healing than the words of Jesus Christ.

We tend to see sin in varying degrees -- you know, this one is worse than that one...and another easy tendency is to "punish" ourselves. Jesus offers forgiveness, but sometimes we think that we need to go to great lengths to absolve ourselves. For some people it's as if they think their sin is too great to accept His grace -- they feel the need to suffer.

But His word to us is, "...For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." So if we're struggling under a hard yoke, and heavy burden -- what's going on? Who put it there: The enemy? Other people? Ourselves?

If it goes against His word, than it's NOT from Him.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


When I was still single, I attended an awesome group at church. We didn't have a cool name like the "Uprising" group at our church does -- we were simply the "college and career" group. Same thing though: bible studies, serving the community together, fun get-togethers, missions.

In one of the year-long bible studies we had I made some great friends who really challenged me. After a year of meeting together you get to know each other pretty well -- and I got to know my best friend's little brother Max. (not real name, of course) Max has a long family legacy of Christ-followers, and yet he always had this "angst" in him. I like angst, it's so raw and honest. I always appreciated Max's open demeanor, and his struggles with God and the way He wants us to live. (you know, things like in Colossians 3)

Then, back in '93 Max openly walked away from a life with Christ...he had already joined the service, had some family struggles, real life stuff that we all can relate to. During the last several years God blessed Max (that's the way I see it) with a best friend in the service named Rob. Their families were close, they were close. And this week Rob died. Killed in Iraq. Roadside bomb. Very frustrating. Very sad.

So, now what about Max? Will he become even more bitter towards God? Will he turn to Jesus who still stands at the door and knocks...waiting for Max to open the door again. As of yet this story has no conclusion, yet I know how I would end it if it were in my power. Now you know the kinds of things that occupy my thoughts and prayers for my friends.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

problem with mascots

I mentioned before that Dave has a problem with mascots! Just look at this photo! See what I mean?!
(Thanks Dennis!)

Monday, June 09, 2008


I was dunked by my own son! Today was field day at the kids' school and I volunteered to get into the dunk tank! You should have seen how big T.Michael's eyes got when I climbed up into the tank -- He didn't know I was going to do it. (Heck, I didn't even know I was going to do it!) What a kick!

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Yesterday T.Michael's baseball team won the championship game for Centennial Little League! Congratulations THUNDERBOLTS!

Friday, June 06, 2008

God's Inner Artistry

Dave's boss has assigned him a new book to read called, "Confessions Of A Pastor; Adventures in Dropping the Pose and Getting Real with God" by Craig Groeschel; Multnomah Publishers, Inc. 2006

Like all good wives, I like to sneak a peek into what is going into my Hubby's great mind -- it's like having secret access to a really great library! Right away I found a fun story about the author's encounter with Chuck E. Cheese (page 111). It caught my eye since, as some of you know, my man also has had the occasional conflict with mascots! (A great story if you haven't heard it yet) But the really good stuff I found on page 191 when Pastor Craig talks about failure:

"Are you struggling against failure right now? Does a recent failure linger painfully in your memory? You thought you were creating the next Mercedes, but you got a Pinto. What do you do now?

Look for what God's teaching you. What's happening to you is not as important as what God's doing in you. Maybe He's shaving off some pride, or teaching you to depend on Him, or building some undeveloped character trait. Look past the painful outward circumstances and embrace God's inner artistry. Whatever you do, don't give up. If you hang in there, you'll eventually succeed God's way and on God's timetable (see Galatians 6:9).

So you've been knocked down. Get up. Again. And again. Learn and move on. You'll face another fight tomorrow--and when you do, you'll be stronger and wiser than you were today."

Galatians 6:9

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A New Chapter

This weekend marks the end of a great chapter in our Proehl-family year. A few of our changes include:

Our exchange student completes school tomorrow and heads back to Korea on Saturday. Our son is playing in the baseball championship finals, and baseball season ends this weekend. Also, in a couple weeks he will be a 2nd grader! Our daughter had a dance recital last night and will soon be a 5th grader! There is more, but those are the biggies.

It's like we are ending a chapter and starting a whole new book!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

at the movies

...the absolute BEST part of seeing the movies with the 4th Grade class (continued from blog below) was watching little Rosa wait hand and foot on another student named Alyssa. Alyssa moves around in a motorized scooter and it was interesting watching the dynamics of how the children interacted with her. She's a solid part of the class, popular and has her share of friends.

However, on this field trip there was only ONE person that walked along side of Alyssa, made sure the door stayed open for her scooter, made sure she made it up the ramp to the special space left open for wheelchairs, sat alone with Alyssa when the other children in their excitement took two steps down to sit in a row that Alyssa couldn't possibly reach, and then proceeded to take initiative to occasionally kneel in front of Alyssa (so as not to block her from seeing the movie) to give her popcorn and hand her drink to her (as the drink holder was too low for Alyssa to reach from her scooter) and that person was Rosa.

Watching Rosa was like watching grace in motion. The other children were "kind" to Alyssa, but Rosa was serving, giving, watchful. I'm sure that Rosa herself didn't even know she stood out in the crowd with her humility. This is just how Rosa lives, it's in her nature, it's who she is and how she was raised. This is a demonstration of her beautiful, rich Mexican culture that she unknowingly shares with us.

(all the names in these two posts are made up)

Friday, May 16, 2008


I had the privilege of going along with my daughter's 4th grade class to the premier of the Prince Caspian - Narnia movie and it was so fun...of course I'll have to go again when I can focus a little more on the movie but those kids were so much fun to watch!

Oh the POWER they seemed to feel, walking up to the counter and actually getting to choose what they want -- like a small candy and small drink for about fifteen bucks! (okay, really it was $8 but it felt like $15!)

Then there was R. and T., obviously year-long buddies who had to go to the bathroom twice since the "small" drinks are about a gallon each.

At one point I enjoyed watching a little guy in the front row turn around during the movie and scan the crowd with the biggest smile on his face. His eyes were big, and he looked totally taken with it all. Obviously a future movie director!

Two of the girls in my group kept getting up and walking to the aisle then sitting back down -- I asked them what was going on and it turns out they were just throwing away their trash! They pick now to be meticulous?! Still, I admire their sense of duty.

And then the classic kid-movie moment: The kids were totally grossed out when there was a very small kissing scene. "Gross!" "Sick!" "Yuck!" Their judgements were clear and quick. The adults not with the school group laughed.

...poor adults not with the school group...hope you saw more of the film than I did!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mothers are...

In our "Club 56" class (5th & 6th graders) at church Saturday night, we played a game to see which group of kids could list the most things about Moms in a couple minutes. The following lists are what they came up with:

loving; fashionable; nice; bossy; caring; grumpy; helpful; needs coffee; smart; loves chocolate; kind; comforting; good cook; loyal; carefree; fun; beautiful; awesome; spectacular; funny; entertaining; creative; compassionate; Driver; Friend; understanding; merciful; stupid; cooking; giving; lovable; house cleaner; crazy; weird; First Aid

(published with their permission)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

around the table

My sister hosted a brunch in for my Mom on Mother's day. It was so fun getting our family together with the kids and even a new grandchild!

Us "older" ones seemed to prefer a table to sit at to eat, and at one point we laughingly realized it was the same table and the same group of us (Mom, Dad, my sisters and I) eating together! For a tiny moment it was a throw back to about 25 years ago...and it was good!

Friday, May 09, 2008

my hero

I want to brag about Super Dave again! When we were flying home from the East Coast there was a Soldier at the airport ticket counter in front of us. It turns out the young man's bags were so many pounds over the limit, and the person behind the counter "helping" him wasn't, um, very helpful. We were doing what any travelers in line would do at this point (eavesdropping!) and it turns out the Soldier was going to have to make other arrangements and fly out the next day -- cutting his 21 days leave down to 20 with his family. And so Dave, my hero, walked over and paid the fee. Super Dave!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cinco de Mayo in Portland, OR

To say we enjoyed the Cinco de Mayo celebration would be an understatement! We had the best time as a family, and with our friends the Popescu's -- what a day! We all had our favorite parts:

For me the dancing from Guadalajara where I lived and studied!
For Dave it was the tacos and pepper-covered mango!
For the kids it was the rides!
For all of us it was spending time with good friends.
For all of us it was being in the sun. Finally!
For all of us it was enjoying the Mexican people we have come to know and love!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Galatians 5, verse 1:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

This one is for you!

There is something that really stands out about the first time "freedom" is used in that sentence...for me it's like a little bump in the sidewalk that I trip over every time I read it.

It is for freedom...for freedom...notice it is present tense.

When I was growing up we talked a lot about "Salvation" and "being saved." But in this verse it clearly talks about freedom. Some of us go through really rough patches when we don't feel free at all. I'm not talking about when we let the cares of life rob us of our peace, I'm talking about when we feel (and sincerely think we are)defeated, tried and convicted, unsalvageable, condemned.

Also, in the old days, we talked about the difference between conviction and condemnation. It's good to be reminded of the difference, because the last one does not come from Christ. So the next logical question is, if not from Christ, then who does this condemnation come from? Another question to ask is, who gets the glory from keeping me in this "stuck" holding pattern? (I think you know what I'm getting at) How do I know this? I know this simply because it is written:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

check this out!


We had the absolute best time a family could have on vacation this past week. The first few days we spent IN THE SUN, in Williamsburg, VA where our niece was our tour guide through the wonders of our country's history there -- plus a great day at Busch Gardens a fast-paced amusement park that can give even Disney a run for their money!

Then we had the honor of exploring our nation's capitol as we spent the last two days of our trip sloshing through the rain in D.C. (Just preparing us for the rain we were about to return to!) We had a very enjoyable tour through the capitol building -- thanks to Alex (originally from Moscow!) from Representative Blumenauer's office; and ended our time in D.C. with a tour through the White House with Jeremy who has been working in Vice President Cheney's office. Our family really enjoyed being together and exploring together -- it was truly refreshing! Dave is gifted at planning a vacation and making it so fun!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

livin' in survival mode

Lately I've had the privilege of caring for two sweet little baby twin girls, their four year old brother and my own three wild blogging has been a little low on the list!
It's been a good season, but also a reminder of how isolating it can be to parent young children even when everything is going great!
We're off on vacation in a couple days -- so we'll see if I can find a little R&R with my family on the East Coast!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Things That Are Green, a list by McKenzie

(I found this list in McKenzie's room & published it with her permission, all misspellings & punctuation left in for your enjoyment!)

1. The color green.
2. A frog
3. Some trees.
4. Some snakes.
5. Boggers [I think we all know what that was supposed to be;-]
6 Slugs
7 traffic lights
8 Moldie bread
9 Paper
10 Turtles
11 seaweed
12 Money
13 gass [I think this was supposed to be grass]
14 poop
15 Brocolie
16 Asparigas
17 Brussel sprouts
18 green peppers
19 perrots
20 Houses
21 paint
22 cars
23 crayons
24 Throw up

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Oregon Spring Break

Got Snow?

I usually like JANUARY!
But, nooooooooooo, we had to get it during spring break! Brrrrr!

My kids are toopers though, instead of planting our garden we did things like:

Play endless games of Mancala with Uncle Jim;
Explore the Air Museum in McMinville;
Go to OMSI and see the dinosaurs and the Planetarium;
Slosh around the Zoo in the snow!
(pictured above)

Saturday, March 22, 2008


(picture by

Hope is what keeps me going. Hope is why I can face today, and tomorrow.

It's interesting how you can find hope at the most amazing times. Times of grief and great pain, even times of tragedy and loss. The day before Easter always brings back the memory of how I first discovered I have hope.

It was the day before Easter when I was about 15 years old and my Mom, my Grandma and I had just spent a very fun-filled day of shopping and planning together. There was lots of laughter that day and talk of our plans for the future. You see, like it should be for all children, my Grandma was the one person who treated me like a child. She spoiled me a bit (of course!) but she LOVED me...and demonstrated that love like only a good Grandma can!

Shortly after Grandma headed out to the bus stop to go back to her home (we were a poor family, lived in low-income housing apartments, no cars yet) we started hearing sirens...loud sirens. They sounded like they were stopping right outside our apartment. In fact they were. The ambulance and police were stopping right outside our back door -- because it was Grandma. Much to our horror we learned that she had been hit by a car, killed by a hit-and-run driver. Just like that.

I can't really describe the onslaught of emotions and pain that gripped me at the moment I saw my Grandma lying on the wet grass, body crushed, dead. Seeing someone you love in that condition can be like having someone mercilessly grab your insides and pull them's excruciating. If you've experienced it, you know what I mean.

"So where does the hope come in?" you might be wondering. Immediately I was surrounded by neighbors, all different cultures lived in those apartments. They were all very sympathetic and tried to comfort us, but that didn't help. I ran to my friend's house, they were a Mexican family whose kids I went to school with. I cried with their whole family, and truly they were the most comforting, reassuring people -- but that didn't help either. I went home and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, exhausting my body, but that didn't help either.

Then finally I went into my room. It was dark and quiet. I fell on my knees, and I wept. But I didn't feel alone. I felt the comfort of His presence. As I poured out my heart (including anger and frustration) to Him, I felt Him there with me and finally got the comfort I knew I had been desperately seeking.

And that's when I knew I had, and still have, hope. Without Easter there is no hope. It's because He lives, because He rose again on the third day, that I hope. Do you have hope?