Sunday, May 31, 2009

Deep and Wide

I know that I have a big God but sometimes I just so take it for granted. Than, today, I saw just another small part of His creation and I was reminded -

He is one big, creative God!

No wonder He takes so much pleasure in gifting us, His children, with different talents. It is evident He so enjoys creating Himself.

What can I say about the Grand Canyon? It is bigger and more majestic than what pictures show and it was worth the 100+ miles we took out of our way to see it.

We drove a little bit later into the evening tonight so we could put some miles behind us and ended up in Albuquerque, NM. Coming into the city we came over a hill and all of a sudden the lights of the city were before us. It was beautiful. We are finding New Mexico, in general, to be more beautiful than what we had seen in Nevada and Arizona. The rock formations are amazing and their red color makes them glow in the light.

We did have one close call driving today. We were on the freeway and a pickup pulling a trailer just moved right over into our lane without looking. I truely do not know how Warren missed him. There was no room to go to the shoulder and we were pretty close to the drivers door when he began to move our way. We knew the Lord had His hand on us. It could have been a pretty nasty accident.

We have come to the conclusion that it is a long way to Tennessee from Oregon. But then, Jason and Clark could have told us that, couldn't have they?!

Onto Texas tomorrow.....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Big Enticement

Yes - we did go in a casino.

They are everywhere and we tried to resist but all the flashing lights, laughter, loud beeping sounds, etc were calling to us.....

Really, that's not true. Warren and I aren't enticed too much by that but what did get to my husband?

All the signs along the highway with steak dinners for 7.95! After passing many we came across one that offered a prime rib buffet for 8.95 and that was just too much. We found the pickup, on it's own accord of course, turning in. It was a great meal and they made nothing off of us at the slot machines!

We traveled through Nevada today and find ourselves in Kingman, Arizona for the night. The Hoover Dam was beautiful but other than that we have seen alot of sage brush. We marvel that people want to live here.... :) We wanted to make it a little bit further but instead decided the swimming pool had more invitation! We head to the Grand Canyon tomorrow. And, Kellie, we will be entering through Williams.

I have my eyes toward Tennessee but trying to enjoy the moment....

Sing Along and Blog It

We had heard of the beauty but, quite frankly, we were becoming doubters.

When planning our trip we had decided that we would take the southern route (how southern we haven't decided yet) but having just gone through California in January we headed toward Burns, Or. We took the turn off for Hwy 395 at Riley and traveled toward Lakeview. We had heard stories of Lakeview because our dear friends, the Rodgers, had lived there for 7 years. Just before we left Cindy had told us again how beautiful it was. This is where the doubt comes in.

Sage brush country, to us, is not that beautiful and since leaving Bend that is all we had seen. We were getting close to our destination and the scenery hadn't changed much. But then we rounded a corner. All of a sudden the county name of "Lakes" made sense. There was an oasis.

And it was beautiful.

As we continued our drive we marveled at the way God has made our world so wonderful for the eye to see and yet so practical for life itself. Lakeview, the town, was a quaint little place that I would have enjoyed exploring. We did eat at the Burger "queen". Very good food.

Cindy, we didn't find mile most 7 (maybe we were on the wrong road) but we did enjoy viewing the town as part of your history.

I DID buy a new camera while we were in Bend but, of course, the battery had to charge last night so I haven't got to use it yet. (These pictures are with the old one that only works part time!)

We kept ourselves amused by singing to each other and 'writing' blog posts out loud. (you can only guess how really crazy we are in private!) It's good to be laughing and just enjoying one another again.

This morning we woke up in Reno. Of all the beautiful hotels we probably could have stayed in we choose Super 8. Come on, give us a break. It was clean, cheap and away from the noise - and the first one we came to.

Life is good - on vacation! (we just wanted to rub it in!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We are counting down and the time is going by quickly. Tomorrow we leave for Tennessee - driving.

This is a vacation we have dreamed about and looked forward to for sometime. We have never had the luxury of a snail pace vacation because of time restraints and although we still have some, they are not nearly as demanding on us as before.

We want to arrive in Tennessee around Wed. of next week. We want to be in Idaho for my niece's wedding on the 20th and we want to be home by the first of July. Our tickets for Brazil are for the 14th of July. Not a bad schedule, is it?!

At last we have reached a time to be desired. The moving is behind us for now. We are using this time for relaxing and saying our good-byes. We are asking the Lord to refresh us so that we will be able to do the same for others.

And He is doing just that.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Then and Now

It was over 20 years ago. I know because Brett was 3 months old at the time. In spite of that, I can remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the day my parents were to arrive in Albany. They were moving.

My Dad had been injured earlier on his job. He was a truck driver and now, because of the injury, he wasn't going to be able to drive truck anymore. He had about 7 years until retirement and so he still needed a job. Jobs that pay well for a man his age that has had a heart attack in the past are not easy to come by so Dad was going to be working for Warren at the cabinet shop. I could tell you how proud I was of both Warren and my Dad for their working relationship in the years to follow but that is another story.

My parents sold their house on a small acreage, packed up their belongings, got in two vehicles and were going to be at my house any minute.

I was excited. I was beyond excited!

I would now have my parents living near me. They would be around to see all the activities that grandparents long to see. Birthday parties, Brett's first words, babysitting, cheer leading tryouts, pole vaulting competitions, the first cars, graduations, etc. They would be there as Brett grew up from infancy and also to be a part of the teenage years for Josh and Kellie. It felt good.

I had found them a small duplex that I felt would meet there expectations. It was clean and quiet with a great landlord. The rent was good. It hadn't been easy getting the place either. I had to beg. And I mean that literally. Both they and the landlord scored on that decision.

And now was the day. I remember them driving into our driveway, one following the other. I had been watching for them out the window so when I saw them I ran with Brett in my arms, hardly being able to control my excitement, to greet them. I remember both of them smiling but in looking back I also can see some pain in their eyes.

I cannot believe it but I didn't realize until just lately how hard it must have been for them. They were leaving their home and moving into something much smaller. They had left other family members behind. They would be learning new jobs and a whole new town. Finding a new church and making new friends. And they were in their late 50's at the time. And to make it even harder the move wasn't by choice but rather by necessity. I'm sorry I didn't understand then. I'm sorry I couldn't comprehend all the changes they were going through. I'm sorry I didn't want to hear how they missed home without it being a slam in my direction. I'm sorry I didn't stand in my driveway that day and let them cry if that is what they were feeling.

Now I can understand what I couldn't then. It wasn't that they didn't want to be near me or even that there wasn't some joy in the adventure. There was. It was just hard to leave all that they had known. It was hard to leave home behind.

Yes. Now I understand.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

It's Over. Shout for JOY!

This picture expresses how we are feeling tonight!

We had our estate sale yesterday and today and we are excited about all that we saw happen.

Friends that came out to help, and I mean amazing help. People that came to the sale to show their support to us. Women that brought food for the workers. Men that were here to help carry things out. A wonderful new friend that helped us set up the whole sale and gave such good, priceless advise on doing an estate sale. And everyone should have a realtor (and friend) like ours! There are so many more and I hesitate to even mention some knowing that all were so instrumental in making this weekend such a success for us.

We cannot even begin to know how to thank all of them. The support was unbelievable and we are humbled by each of you.


Truly, there is not much left - which was a huge goal as we didn't want to deal with a lot of things afterward knowing that we have to be out of the house by Friday.

And the weather. We had rain up until Thursday mid afternoon (and I don't mean drizzle!) and then God parted the clouds and gave us warm, sunny weather. By Monday it is suppose to be raining again. He, once again, has taken care of the details.

And for Mother's day my wonderful husband has hired a person to help me clean next week. Ahhhh!

Tonight, life couldn't be better!

picture by Kellie Dykast

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Empty Handed

It was my joy to be the one to share at the Women's slumber party at our church last night.

I want to emphasise joy.

The room was filled with amazing women, so many of them that should have been up front telling their story if you looked at it from man's point of view. More capable, talented people.

And yet He chose me.

It amazes me how He takes the weakest of vessels, some of the depths of our failures and turns it around to bring Him the glory, honor and praise that He deserves.

This amazing God of mine, once again, came through.