Monday, July 31, 2006

silly in Seattle

This is the story of three very silly girls. Once upon a time, one Night Elf Huntress and two little pixies made their way to the emerald city ... not on a quest, not for fame and glory, not to seek love, but to merely ... be silly ... and ... go shopping.

The three were bonded together by having attended the same training institute for woodland creatures

... the youngest still undergoing her apprenticeship.

While in the enchanted Emerald city, the three visited the Curiosity Shop ... complete with shrunken heads, coins from Sweden, salt and pepper shakers from the Orient (ooo!).

The silliness of the three escalated when they discovered ... ethereal music ... the first ever Starbucks!

The eldest pixie rushed across the street to capture the images of Elf and youngest pixie in front of the store. But as they posed for the picture, the elf's eyes lowered to the "boot" of the automobile before them ... Bwahahahaha!!!!

What is it, O Tall Elf? What laughest thou at?

The elf lifted a shaking slender finger to the object lying on the "boot" of the vehicle.

Giggles burst forth from the two woodland creatures as they embraced each other in the silliness of it all!

Just then, other creatures passed by the two wrapped in laughter ... the male creature too noticed the object and pointed it out to his mate. Looking to the two giggling ninnies, he asked,

"Are those yours?"


"Indeed, they are not! I should think that I wouldn't leave my lace undies lying about on the back of my automobile!"


It wasn't long after being nourished by the invigorating elixers administered by Starbucks that the three sillies stumbled upon a wizard.

He asked for the eldest pixie's phone number.

Here the story ends ... at the greatest store ever! Sigh. If only the Night Elf Huntress could make this her dwelling ... but alas! Closing time is at 9.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

laugh out loud

Enjoy this civics lesson curtousy of Stephen Colbert.

Better Know the District of Columbia part 1 and part 2.

You may need to click "Enter Now" to view videos.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

advice and encouragement from a college friend

I hope it all works out for you guys. You have been a very upstanding woman and a good role model for other ladies, I would like to say you deserve that but we both know WE don't deserve anything. I do pray that the Lord will reward your journey with an added body who has the same convictions as you, the same desires as you and wants God's will in their lives. I really do pray it works.

Long distance is very hard, but very very very rewarding. If you guys commit like you said you have, you will never regret the hard times that will come. [He and his new wife had a long distance relationship.] We would see each other once every other month if we were lucky, it was actually more once every three months. It isn't quite the same as yours but the fact still holds true, we didn't get to see each other like the conventional dating relationship.

The best part of a long distance relationship is you get to fall in love with the person, not their habits, or their weird ways of doing things, or even the looks (although attraction is must, but that changes as you get to know someone). It is their heart, their soul, and their mind...the same things that never really leave us as we go though life. As long as we walk this earth we will have those three things. Which makes it graet thing to base your relationship on.

One thing I learned was communication is vital. Telephone was a hard way for me to communicate though, but it was vital for her and she was important to me so I learned it, and have never regretted it. Another thing I have learned is to sacrifice daily. I had to give up alot of things in preparing for this realtionship, (ex: time) it to was very important in our relationship. The whole desire of good relationship and hopefully marriage is to become more Christ like and personal sacrifice, which is not a bad thing but a very rewarding thing.

I know I am telling you things you already know, but let me finish with the biggest problems you will face.....yourselves.

First off, people dont support what they can't understand and distance relationship that is based on respect and that is God honoring is one of those things. Alot of people will down it and continually get on your case about it. DON'T give them the listening ear, only those with genuine concerns, no matter how strong you are a continual beating of this will have effects.

As the reltionship, Lord willing, develops be sure to communicate things that are troubling you, what will happen is that if they are not, it hamper your communication causing something that can easy be fixed into something that causes greater damage.

Finally if you truly commit be ready for that commitment to be tested. God-honoring realtionships is something Satan and his cronies want to destroy, because of what it represents. Long distance opens a slew of oppurtunities for them to mess with. Sometimes the commitment is one of the few things to get you though that obstical, don't waver on that.

I read Mike's blog ... some guy saying how it didn't work when they saw each other, that may of happened but it is no wise anything that should be given as wisdom to you two. [He met his wife in college but at the time they were both very different people in looks and personality. When they finally met again it was wonderful ... lilke the final chapter of a suspense novel. Yes ... she was hot ... but he says that by then in was mostly that which glowed from the inside that had won his affection.]

Sorry to be long, but I hope you see it as an encouragement. I wouldn't trade one obstacle, one problem, for anything. Does long distance work for But those who choose to make it is the greatest thing ever.

May God bless you two on your endevor.

the news is out

Whelp, the NEWS is out there now. And it's GREAT news ... but oh, so bittersweet.

I guess that means no more Spargel Appreciation Day for me! ... Unless, of course, you guys at the 'Ville still want it ... or maybe I can come up with an even better stunt this time around ... we'll see. Let me know.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

ooo ... aaahhh!

Happy Birthday, Olympia!

You know, if I were blind I would have had just as good of a time as I did last night. Listening to Julie and Nadine's "ooo's and ahhhh's" and subsequent commentaries were hilarious ...

although, there was that one time I thought one was a dud ...

"Eh, that one could have been better ... you suppose they got that one on clearance?"

A fraction of a second later it DID get better with surprising bursts of explosive light ... fooled us all!

But today ... today was a lovely lazy ... hot ... day.

Ooo ... and I watched Adam's Rib ... LOVED IT! Dialogue in movies of yor was soooo witty!

Here's my favorite quote:

Spencer Tracy to Katherine Hepburn during a tirade against her contempt for the law and men:

"I'm old-fashioned. I like two sexes! And another thing. All of a sudden I don't like being married to what is known as a 'new woman.' I want a wife, not a competitor! Competitor! Competitor!"

Monday, July 24, 2006

you dig my glacier?

Arctic Edge: Where Adventure Meets Courage

Surprise, surprise ... I'm the missions teacher for this week's Vacation Bible School. Who woulda thunk it?!

You know anyone who needs a scarf?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

in the words of Napoleon Dynamite ... "Sweet!"

On his way to shoot a wedding, a college chum called me to tell me about his sweet ride. A yellow mustang driving into the sunset of Utah ... stopping every five minutes to capture God's beautiful handiwork on film. So jealous! But so excited to see the pictures!

Friday, July 21, 2006

is this just another "Jesus Is My Boyfriend" song?

Yesterday, my summer missions partner, Amanda and I had a heated discussion when a song came on the Christian radio station.

Is this song referring to a Significant Other or to God?

And if an SO, does it belong on Christian radio?

What do you think of the lyrics?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

the divine feeling of being led by a man

Swing dancing has always been one of those things on my list of random things to do to add to my resume ... right alongside kickboxing and learning Icelandic. Sort of a little bag of goodies to bust out to keep things interesting in the future.

"Honey, I didn't know you could [fill in the blank]!"

And I would just give a little look of mischief that conveys ... "There's more to me than you think!"

So when invited to go to a dancing lesson tonight, I jumped at the opportunity ... especially knowing that my friend was as much of a beginner as I was.

As I went from partner to partner, I was asked ... "So, have you done this before?"

"No. Well, unless you count dancing along with a Learn to Swing DVD by myself in the living room ...

Sad ... I know. But you do what you can.

The thing is that I went merely for a good time. I never anticipated that it would be one of the greatest opportunities to observe my theories of male leadership.

The beautiful thing about dancing is that the woman (follower) masters a couple of steps and that's all she has to worry about. The man (leader) has a heavier load to bear ... twist, push, pull, swivel, catch her hand, etc. If the man knows what he wants, is assertive and confident, it makes for one of the most exhilarating experiences a woman has ever experienced. Together, as she follows his gentle leading as he shepherds her across the dance floor, they become one entity.

There were a couple of dancers on the floor that were a thrill to watch ... both were masters of the dance ... but the man was leading ... calling the shots by a mere tug of the hand here ... or a slight twist of the wrist there.

As I went from partner to partner and experienced their different styles of leadership I quickly made mental notes of each man. Two of the fellows were good dancers ... but too ... um ... too much like noodles. One guy didn't know what he wanted which made me feel uncertain of what I was meant to do. But then there were the rare few who made me feel like Ginger Rogers because they knew what they wanted and led me right along with them.

My suggestion: Men, take Swing dance lessons. And no, ... dancing does not lead to sex! (unless you're married and you want to). Women long for the type of leadership from men experienced on the dance floor. If you apply the lessons of the dance to life, it will leave the women longing for you to ask them to dance again.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

my protege

My protege, Carmen, has been living in Greece for three weeks. I'm so proud of her!

(the picture is of her in Mexico ... I love that she's travelling to places I've never been to! That's my girl!)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Outback Steakhouse and Summer Update 4.0

Sigh ... back in Washington ... must get out and just have plain ol' fun ... go out to dinner with you? watch a movie in the park? Love to, Julie!

(Ha ... gotcha ... you thought it was going to be a date! You ought to know better than that.)

So, in honor of all my Aussie friends ... last night, Julie and I went to Outback Steakhouse ... lol!

THAT was an experience! Don't worry, I don't imagine Oz to be anything like the restaurant ... but our server, Matthew! What a trip!

Is it normal for a waiter to slide into the seat next to you just to "chat" in between waiting on his tables?

Whatever it takes to get tips, I suppose.

But ... I will have to say that the Mango-Lemonade is well ...

Let's just say that Julie burst into giggles when she caught my expression after my first sip.

Did my eyes light up like that of Saul's men after tasting the honey?

"Here, give it a go, Julie."

I passed the frosted mug over to her ... and HA! She had the SAME reaction!

Lovely stuff, mango-lemonade.

(that's my buck fifty dress I'm wearing)

Saturday, July 15
can you touch your elbow with your tongue?

Friday, July 14
smalltown, USA

Bible club and bouncy castles

Thursday, July 13
bellybutton falls

Sunday, July 9
complaints of a tall person

Friday, July 7
tired in Seattle

Sunday, July 16, 2006

can you touch your elbow with your tongue?

On the way back to Washington, when all the jokes ran out and all the songs had been sung I occupied the girls in my vehicle by attempting daring acts. This is how close we came to licking our own elbows.

None of the kiddos were very good at wiggling their noses ... no ... not all scrunched up or flaring your nostrils ... it's an art ... one simply moves her nose up and down ... much like when one wiggles his ears or eyebrows.

Then we tried to decide if there were in fact any words in the English language that rhyme with purple and month. If not, should there be and what definitions should we give such words. My favorite word suggestion thus far is "Flurple".

Towards the end even the adults were getting restless. Our group was split between two vehicles connected together only by the radio waves of our walky-talkies. It was at this point of the journey home that the occupants of the two cars decided to play "Count the State Licence Plates" ... Washington and Oregon didn't count ... but British Columbia was worth 5 points.

I dare say that the adults were much more eager in this game then the children. Fern (age 75 ... and my flatmate for the summer) took the competition into an all-out drag race fighting for the front driving position.

"Fern, you're going 85!"

Saturday, July 15, 2006

night at the museum

smalltown, USA

Main Street, Lebanon, Oregon

This afternoon I strolled Main Street, popping in and out of antique shops, thrift stores (Op Shops ... for you Aussies ... oo oo and guess what ... I bought a dress for $1.50), bookstores, and cafes. Business was slow so people were up for chatting.

What brought me to Lebanon? (working with a church for a week)

Where was I from? (hard to say, really. Germany? Louisville, Kentucky? the World? take your pick.)

What do I do? (I'm a grad student studying Womens Ministry)

At this point I would tell them a bit about my longterm research project (see profile) to which they responded enthusiastically. I even found a couple of books along the way to help in my efforts. One is a book published in the '80s by a Christian man bemoaning the effects of feminism on men. The other is the recently published For Men Only. I have its corresponding book For Women Only and plan to write up a review of each once I get home.

A couple of times before I left the shops the person I had been chatting with would stop me ...

"Would you pray for me?"

My eyes grew bright! "I would love to!"

Ha, now I understand Mike and his love for talking to strangers.

Bible club and bouncy castles

This week I assisted a church in Lebanon, Oregon, by helping teach two Bible clubs in the community, one at the Boys and Girls Club and the other at an assisted living home (for the children of the employees). The children were marvelous ... asking such deep questions concerning reincarnation (!), sin, the Holy Spirit. Many who know me know that I am a firm advocate of young people. Adults don't give them enough credit. So, instead of brushing their questions aside, by God's grace, I answered their tough questions.

Ruth would be pleased to know that I taught the 2 Ways to Live presentation to othe kiddos. Each made their own booklets and drew in the picture of each stage of the presentation as I covered it. The Gospel was presented many times throughout the week without such language as "asking Jesus into your heart" (etc.).

Ha ... another thing about me ... I'm not a touchy-feely person. But when a child hugs me around my waste or when sitting beside me simply lays his or her hand on my arm just so they can touch me ... my heart warms. That lingering physical touch ... a sign of love.

I hope they remember more from the week than that being ticklish is all in your head.

Tonight the week ended with a bounce into a air-filled castle as many of our kids and children from the surrounding neighborhood joined members of the church for a community block party ... the *torture* of manning a bouncy castle and not being able to take part ...

Friday, July 14, 2006

bellybutton falls

Not sure of its real name, but I named it Bellybutton Falls. Not sure if I can get away selling the picture on ebay as the image of ... oh, I dunno ... Saint James the Apostle ... but it sure isn't Adam.

(yes, I made a shirt ... once I do laundry i'll show you the back)

Monday, July 10, 2006

no new posts for a week

I'm in Oregon for a week helping a church. But when I return I'll fill you in. Plus, I have another post up my sleeve about bathrooms, clothing stores, and tall people.

complaints of a tall person

I have a couple of complaints to vent concerning clothing stores, bathrooms, and travel.

Clothing stores:
How many times have I gone to the dressing room to try on an article of clothing to find that the top of the door comes to the middle of my chest. TJMAXX!!! Especially the co-ed changing rooms!!!

Bathrooms: (the real sort ... with the tub and shower)
Why must people insist on constructing bathrooms where the shower head is positioned to spray on my neck? No joke. I have actually had to get on my knees a couple of times to wash my hair! and TUBS!!! The idea of relaxing baths are foreign to me! I can't do it. Am I really supposed to fold my limbs inside such a small rectangular box to cleanse myself?!! Where is all the comfort and luxury people suggest comes with taking a bath?!!

Also ... since some of you mentioned toilets earlier ... what's with the compact toilet stalls where one's knees touch the door?!!

Once upon a time I curled up rather nicely in an airline seat to snooze the long hours away. But now ... next to impossible to sleep. I make a point of asking for aisle seats for the little bit of extra space i can get by stretching one of my legs out into the aisle. But as the flight attendants come clunking down the aisle with their beverages ... BAM! ... yet another bruise to trophy on my lower limbs. I believe exit rows ought to be reserved for tall individuals.

(picture of Tall Girl, Seattle, dressing room. Yes, those are leather pants! ... No, I didn't buy them ... I couldn't zip them up. Ha. Did you know my MOM has black leather pants?!! hmm ... maybe you didn't want to know. Forget I said anything.)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

tired in Seattle

summer missionaries: Kious, Jenny, and Amanda

Princess Amanda climbed the tower only to find a giant from her own kingdom. Sadly, he was too busy giving tours on the top of the Space Needle to show her a good time around Seattle. Oh wait! Summer missionaries aren't allowed to DATE! Ha. Too bad.

Ah, Seattle. Everything I dreamed it would be. Or was I dreaming. I sure was tired enough to have been dreaming. Being compelled to view Pirates of the Caribbean II for it's very first showing at 11:59 p.m. last night was not my idea of a good time. Loved the movie ... but due to "technical difficulties" the show did not actually commence till 1:15 Friday morning.


I have a feeling that I might have enjoyed the city more if I had not been so tired ... i confess, i *was* a bit irritable.

I shall return soon, O Fair City!

Princess Amanda, to take out her frustration for not having won the heart of the giant (although he smiled at her many a time during his tour), proceded to photograph her partner in ministry, poor defensless Kious, in the act of sleeping with her mouth wide open on the way home.

picture not included

UPDATE 7/21 - Supposedly this is not a first for Princess Amanda. Click here.

Friday, July 07, 2006

girl's conference theme

Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me;
Psalm 56:1a

Due to Justin's recent comments on Bible exposition and the encouragement of my partner in ministry, Amanda, I have decided that my first big Girl's Conference that I speak at should be centered around the theme laid out in the verse above.

What do you think?

We could even have T-shirts.

(front) Be merciful to me, O God ...

(back) for men HOTLY pursue me.

Hmm ... how should my outline look? What topics should I cover?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

my independence

Mum and Dad raised me to be independent ... so what did I do this Independence Day?

I went to the rain forest.

Sadly there were no speakers behind the plant life streaming Disney theme park jungle sound effects. So I provided my own monkey chatter and squwaking of brilliantly colored ...

... WHOA! was that a parrot?!!

No. It was a suicidal sparrow that flew into the side of my windshield. I watched in my rearview mirror as the limp bird was flung up into the air by the force of the hit and then spiralled into a splat on the asphalt behind.


See what? asked my two fellow missionary friends.

The kamikaze bird.


Two minutes later we watched in shock as another fool of a bird flew smack into the side of the RV in front of us ... spiralling to it's death as the other had.

Wide-eyed we stared at each other.

What's with the birds?!!

It's as if they got into some red-neck's 4th of July beer stash and decided to play a game of dare.

Ok ... wait for it ... wait for it ... now, fly now ... SPLAT!


Here are my pics.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

love and fear

While reading Fearlessly Feminine, I came across this verse:

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

What does it mean? How does this look? How is it lived out?

Also, I can't agree with Mark Driscoll more. Most women have become feminists because men are not doing their duty. True ... true ... although, I champion male leadership, there are times when I sink into feminism when I have to deal with cowardly men. Driscoll picks at Christian men, specifically. (It could also be said that men are not doing their duty because women have become feminists.) Just STOP it, both sides! Listen to Driscoll's sermon "A Devoted Dad" on John 4 here.

UPDATE: My friend, Jiri, made me aware of this article. How could you Australian women hold out on me?!! I didn't tear the chapter out because Ecclesiasters chapter 1 began on the other side ... I just strategically placed blank mailing labels over it.

Monday, July 03, 2006

summer update 3.0

(notice Mullet-Boy up front)

For pictures, click here.

June 26, Monday
session 1

June 27, Tuesday
session 2

June 28, Wednesday
are you English?

June 29, Thursday
perfect 10

June 30, Friday
session 3

July 1, Saturday
hiding places

July 2, Sunday
memories from Kamp Kursa

memories from Kamp Kursa

As little Sophie arrived at camp, she exclaimed:
"Sweet Mother of Pearl!"

Pastor Mike commenting on my sweet little brown hat:
"I think this is the first time we get to experience a little Christian Dior here at our camp. You would do Jackie Kennedy proud."

Camper to his counsellor when they couldn't find a ping pong ball:
"Wait! I learned something today ... what was it ... I know! Don't focus on what you want, but be thankful for what you have!" With that he made up a completely new game with a few odds and ends he found lying around. Supposedly it ended up being loads more fun than ping pong.

A verse from Pastor Kerry's song:
"I think I'm going to throw up
I think I'm going to throw up
I think I'm going to throw up
... my hands to the Lord"
(the other verses involved "hurling" and "doodoo")

superstar summer missionaries and their band Washington:
"Sweet home, Kamp Kursa
Where the skies are barely blue
Sweet home, Kamp Kursa
I'll come back next year to you."

Sunday, July 02, 2006

hiding places

Before I left the camp earlier this afternoon, I went and took this picture of my hiding place. Oh, I had others throughout the week. Places I would go just to get away, to read, to meditate, to listen to sermons on my iPod, and to nap. One was down a trail a good 7 minute hike away from the camp in a small clearing in the forest.

Another was underneath a tree with sprawling branches. The long grass provided a comfortable bed as I lounged there and napped.

Sigh. Could I ever be content anywhere else?

Gasp! What was I thinking?! Wasn't I listening to what I had taught the kids.

Had I made an idol out of green grass, lush trees, mountains, and lakes?

Would I question God's goodness if he moved me to a dry and barren land?

For a moment ... yes!

Oh, horrid wretch that I am!

Back to the picture ... one day the counsellors all hid and the campers had to find them. This was my spot. I brought my iPod with me in case I got bored ... good thing, too ... I was in my "coffin" for 30 minutes until the "Pink Ladies" found me.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

session 3

By this time all the little kids have gone home and the older kids have arrived and ready for an extra Missions Session that the youngsters did not get the privilege of enjoying.

I began session 3 with a discussion of soccer strategy and then had each team come up with their own strategy on how they could communicate letters and numbers without speaking or using paper.

We did a series of games in which the children had to get in order chronologically by age and then birthday, followed by alphabetical order using names. The girls were much better at this activity than the boys were.

After the games, we discussed how missionaries may need to come up with strategies to effectively live and speak the message of the Gospel to new cultures and in new languages.

They then took out their notebooks and copied down the 2 Ways to Live Gospel presentation that I had drawn and written out on the chalkboard. While they copied, I explained each section.

As a bonus activity, I paired each of the girls up (the boys ... well, they weren't quite ready for this activity) and had one pretend to be completely clueless about Jesus or the Gospel and the other would share the Good News while the other asked questions ... such as, "What is sin?"

Because we still had time, I let the group practice on ME. Playing the role of the "clueless", I drilled these girls and helped them along.

Many left feeling confident that they could now share the Gospel with their friends. I was glad for this because the Southern Baptist Vacation Bible School ABC (Admit, Believe, Confess) approach seemed too vague leaving too many missing puzzle pieces. Even some of the adults were thankful for Ruth's dad's presentation saying that it cleared up a lot of why death is a just punishment for sin. Woo Hoo!

(Yep ... I just typed "Woo Hoo!")

Later that night, two girls professed to have recognized Jesus as Lord of their lives.