The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are having a wonderful day with loved ones!

I sent out a Christmas letter this year, but it wasn't very detailed because I felt like I would just be repeating everything that I had already posted here- but without the pictures!  And frankly, my postings here have been a bit lacking as of late.  It has been an extremely trying school year- one to which I am still struggling to adjust.  Add to that the chaos of being a "theater mom", and I just haven't had the time or energy to sit at the computer and actually think.  (Haven't even stayed caught up with my digital scrapbooking and missed two major sales from the printers...  oh well, those will come again.)  In addition, three friends who were dear to me and my family have passed away over the last four months.  It's been sad layered upon sad, and although they are glad to be in heaven, I miss them.  I'm sure you understand.

So to get you caught up, here are a few seasonal photos for you- from "White Christmas" to school orchestra to church to Christmas Eve to Christmas Day...


We don't go overboard on gifts- I try to stick to the old, "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read."  She was really happy with her Copic markers.  I guess every good illustrator needs the best!

We're heading out to a movie soon- it's a tradition.  Then, hopefully Chinese food with the cousins!

May your days be merry and bright!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Dear Tim

Dear Tim,

You left us so much earlier than we expected.  When you said the doctor gave you a year, maybe months...  it was only a few short weeks ago.  Part of me wishes we could have said goodbye.  But God knows best and it's only a temporary separation anyway- we will see each other in eternity!

Your good friends found you kneeling at your bed.  You had been praying- for what, we don't know.  You could have been asking God to take away the tumors, or take away the pain, or to strengthen your friends and family.  I can't imagine what it would be like to be talking to God and then... BAM!  TALKING TO GOD FACE TO FACE!!!  What a reunion you had with your Heavenly Father and your earthly father who went before you. You've sort of set the standard for dying among your friends, and I really doubt anyone will be able to top that.

You also set the standard for living, and for that I thank you.  Thank you for your consistent kindness, generosity, steadfastness, and courage.  Thank you for leading our Life Group with humor, grace, and commitment to truth.  You showed us how to read and study the Bible and how to deal with life in a broken world.  You longed for heaven and taught us how to long for it as well.  Thank you for not giving up a dozen years ago when you were first diagnosed, and thank you for staying on chemo even when it made you feel awful.  Thank you for making Jesus the main thing during Bible study and not drifting into sidebar discussions about politics, sports, food, or any other faddish topics.  Thank you for reminding us to care about and pray for persecuted believers around the world. Thank you for letting our children use the back room while we adults wrestled with the concepts in the Word in the front room.  Thank you for sometimes covering the cost of our babysitter when some of us forgot. If it wouldn't have been for the ability to bring Abby, I doubt I would have stayed in the Life Group.

Thank you for also caring for children around the world and for getting so involved in the shoebox ministry of Operation Christmas Child.  I hope our Life Group can continue contributing- maybe even surpassing our usual number of boxes!

Your memorial service was well attended.  There were about 600 people there- and about a third of those were people who knew you from work- from Colorado and DC even!  Others were friends and family who flew in from North Dakota, California and Arkansas.  That's the kind of impact your life made.  There was a great big portrait of you up front.  Everyone joked about how you would have hated that, but other than that it was not so much about you, it was mostly about Jesus and how you allowed Jesus to be the center of your life.  So I don't think you would have hated the service.

Afterward, your wonderful sisters invited both Life Groups to your house for food and conversation.  It was a feast!  You were always talking about how God's people should celebrate, and we did.  For 2 hours about 60 of us celebrated your life and God's goodness and you would have had a ball.  It didn't feel strange to be in your house without you because so much of you was in those people.

Your atheist neighbors came to the feast as well.  They were so broken up at losing you.  You were a wonderful neighbor to them and even though they have not allowed a Bible in their home, rumor has it that they have accepted the gift of one of YOUR Bibles!  Your life opened the door to them, and your death has caused them to moved toward the threshold.  Some of us from Life Group are working at keeping that relationship alive and getting them into the Kingdom one day!

I found this poem on your website last week.  You wrote it 6 years ago, but it feels like you are talking to us now from beyond.  I hope it is ok with you that I post it here.  Maybe others will appreciate it.

Departed for Glory

I’ve died;
No, not really.
I’m fully alive,
Though you’re not here near me.
I wish I could
Comfort you now
But death has parted us
You’re left;
No, not really.
I’ve taken a part
Of you right home with me.
That part of you,
You gave to me
Has left the earth
And crossed the sea.
There’s pain;
Yes, persistent pain
Pummels your heart.
It’s always the same.
Because you’ve given
Your heart as a friend,
My presence will mend it
My parting will rend.
No, not really.
While I am gone
Christ always is with thee.
And though you will grieve
And weep and mourn,
Christ grieves with you;
His heart is torn.
Have faith,
Yes, most truly
Trust in God,
And you shall come to me.
In glory, oh Jesus!
Amazing indeed!
He’s more wonderful than
What we ever believed.
A Christian poem by:  Tim Binder — December 31, 2008

We love you dearly, we miss you deeply, and we long for the day when we see Him (and you) face to face.

Me and Abby

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving thanks

So much for which to give thanks, so little time...

Kiddo is especially thankful that she can eat corn at Thanksgiving- now that her braces are off!!!

The lighting was bad at the ortho's office, so she had to tilt her head up a lot to get these amazingly beautiful shots...

This fall, Abby has also been very busy taking classes with a local theater group.  She auditioned and even got a small part in White Christmas- one of my favorites!  And I got assigned to help with props.  Me!  Props!  I'm new at this!  You really want me to do props?  Sigh.  Needless to say, we've been a bit busy.

That's all the updating I can manage at this time.  

I hope you and yours had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.  

Yay, Seahawks!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock is a 848 ft tall monolith that sits on the north side of the Columbia River and watches over it.
We climbed it on Saturday with some friends.  Not technical rock climbing, mind you, but we hiked up the trail that has been created so that people who don't rock climb can get a view of the gorge.  And when I say up, I mean UP.
See for yourself:

Can you say "switchbacks"?

It was close to a beautiful evening, almost 90 degrees with a nice wind from the east.  In the photos, you can barely see the haze in the air from the nearby wildfires.  I would prefer about 70 degrees and cleaner air, but that is about to get here now that fall is upon us and the rains have finally arrived.  I hope the rains put an end to the wildfires soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

I love fall

Yesterday was Talk Like a Pirate Day.
Tomorrow is the first day of fall.
Monday is National Ice Cream Cone Day (According to Sonic).

Will the fun never cease?

UPDATE:  Sorry- one of my calendars said that the 21st was the first day of fall, but another one (and all the radio news people) said it was the 22nd.  (So, that takes some of the fun out of Sunday... but not all of it.)

Monday, September 8, 2014

This school year

We've only been in school 4 days, and two things have happened that have not ever happened to me before:

On day 1, our security guard came to my 1st class of the day to pull out two different boys and talk with them.  DAY ONE.  PERIOD ONE.  How much trouble could they have gotten into since they got off the bus?   This doesn't bode well.

On day 4, during my last class of the day, a smiling young lady came up to me and informed me that I had taught her mom years ago.  Well now I feel old.  I didn't feel old 10 minutes before she told me that, but now...  yeah.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Real Vacation, part 4

Part 4 was supposed to be Coffenbury Lake, but our friends took those pics and haven't sent them to me yet.  And so, I give you the Pacific Ocean!

The shipwreck is the Peter Iredale.  It ran ashore in 1906 and has slowly rotted and rusted away until you just see the ribs of the bow.

And then they found a log placed appropriately on a stump.  It quickly became a pivotal part of the camping adventure.  I wish I had taken video.


Not as strong as we thought!

As soon as I get the lake pics, I'll post them.