Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our first babysitting job

Ok, so I've babysat before, but Bryan and I never have together.
Kyle snagged two tickets to the April 28 Blazer game, so he and Kari went up to Portland while we stayed at their house with Isla. We had a good time, mainly just watching T.V., attempting to feed her rice cereal, and watching her giggle in her swing. It was fun times. If Isla could talk, she would be saying " 'sup dawg? " in the above photo.
Isla loves her uncle Bryan.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Raindrop walks with Macie

Like any one-year-old pup, my Labrador mix Macie requires constant exercise, thus the highlight of her day is her walk. We are blessed to live on a secluded patch of property where she can freely frolic under our supervision. She chases birds, cats, and the occasional rock we throw, always coming back to check on us with her tongue hanging to the ground covered in dirt and grass seed.
Looking out the rain-streaked window last Saturday, I didn’t want to take Macie for a walk. She was getting bored, I could tell. She had already chewed up one of my flip flops that morning, and now she was batting at my husband while he attempted to work on his laptop on the couch. If you yell at her, she stops for about three seconds. If you give her the evil eye, she gets nervous and barks in your face. The only solution was a walk.
Begrudgingly, I jabbed my feet into my mud shoes and pulled my coat off its hanger next to the door. Macie exploded out of the house when I opened the door, giddy with intoxicating freedom.
Plodding after her, I zipped up my jacket and flipped up my hood to ward off the light rain. Looking up, I stopped.
The eastern sky was crammed with dark clouds, but an arching ribbon of rainbow momentarily held the impending downpour at bay. If I would have stayed inside, complaining about Macie, I would have missed this display of God’s Genesis 9 promise to all living creatures. Within five minutes, the bright hues had completely faded, and I wondered how many of these quiet phenomena pass me by each day, simply because I am too wrapped up in myself to notice. How many people do I talk to every day without sincerely asking them if there is any way I could encourage them? How many seeds need to sprout in my garden before I think about the One who made those seeds with such capabilities? My walks with Macie have now become a time to pray.
Watching the cherry trees blossom around my home, and seeing the dry brown grass grow green and tall are constant reminders that only God has the power to renew the Earth every spring, along with the power to renew me through grace.
I can see why the 1952 U.S. Congress declared an annual national day of prayer, which has been publicly endorsed by every president since Harry Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan permanently settled the day as the first Thursday every May. While attending these functions can be rewarding and reflective, don’t forget that God is always listening. Don’t let the rain get in the way during the 364 additional days of the year.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blazer mania

This post is a bit late, but I've been swamped at work, so better late than never.
So going back 6 months, my mom's dog had puppies. Each of the 12 pups sold for $400 or more, and my parents named them after what they wanted to buy with that specific $400. For instance, one was named Sony, to fund a new TV for their house. Another was named Blaze. The money made when Blaze sold (for $800) went to buying Blazer tickets for our family. My parents bought ten 200 level tickets for the last game of the Blazer's season, against the Denver Nuggets (April 15). So last Wednesday, we piled into the family van, stopped at Jackie and Ed's (Tigard) for dinner and then went to the game. Who went? My parents, Uncle Ed, Bryan and I, Steven, Shane, my cousins Jacob and Blake and Blake's girlfriend Ashley. My mom painted Jacob's face and I painted Shane's, and we all had a great time cheering on the Blazers to a near-30-point victory. The only mild annoyance to our happiness was the constant standing and loud outbursts of the two drunk guys two rows in front of us. I'm pretty sure they were wasted from the git-go, but they consumed about five more beers each through the course of the game. They were idiots, but nice enough guys who really love their Blazers. At this particular moment, they were celebrating yet another 3-pointer by Rudy Fernandez. In the game, Fernandez set the record for the most three pointers in a season for a rookie (one of them is below with the Bird Man flying at him). Here are some more photos of the game itself. Below is Steve Blake blowing by Carmelo Anthony. Below is Brandon Roy setting up to take a shot against Carmelo Anthony. Below is Prysbilla the Vanilla Gorilla wrestling away an offensive rebound. Below is Travis Outlaw taking a jumper.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chain gang Part II

Last night Kyle and Kari took us out to dinner and a movie for my birthday and so we (obviously) left Macie at home on her dreaded chain. When we left, she sat down and wouldn't even go to her dog house. When we got home, it had poured down rain, but she was still sitting in the exact same spot soaking wet. Her dog house is literally two feet away from the spot she was sitting.
This morning we went to chain her up again and she wouldn't even come outside into the back yard; Bryan had to carry her! She is just so deathly afraid of the noise the chain makes scraping along the concrete! We tried to acclimate her to the noise by walking her with it dragging, but whenever we hook her up, she just freezes so the chain won't move. We pushed her into her dog house so she would understand she could go in there with the chain, but she just stood in there shaking and staring at us.
We aren't getting home until late tonight (because we are going to the Blazer game - yay!), so we were worried about her not moving ALL DAY and shaking uncontrollably. We were seriously concerned that she might have a heart attack, so we strung up a dog run for her, instead of her chain, using rope and her leashes. The problem is, he still doesn't like the dog run, so who knows what state she will be in when we get home tonight. When we hooked her up to it, she once again froze, and then conceded to laying down in the wet grass.... Our poor mentally challenged dog...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chain gang

Over the weekend we discovered Macie knows how to jump over the mini fence in our back yard. It was only a matter of time, since it was meant for little tiny sissy dogs and not a one-year-old Lab with mad hops. So for the last few days she’s been terrorizing the neighbors (I hope I’m kidding) and having a grand old time chasing after birds and my cousins’ dog. We figure we will eventually buy the electric shock collar for her so she can at least run around our big yard, but for now, we have to chain her up, much to her chagrin. As you can see from her face in this photo, she was not a very happy camper this morning when I hooked her up for the first time. She just went and sat in the grass and wouldn’t even come over to get a bone I left her. Poor Macie. Her free-wheelin’ days are over.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Burnin' down the house

So what would you think if you looked out your window and saw this not even 100 yards away? A little freaky, right? Well that's what we could see out of our window Tuesday night. We went to investigate, and found out that my uncle (who is also our neighbor) was burning brush, stumps, and garbage in this huge pile back by the pond.
We had always wondered where our garbage went (they come and pick it up in a truck, but we don't have actual garbage service we pay for). Apparently, they had gotten a permit to burn on Tuesday, and were technically supposed to quit at 6 p.m., but they were still going at it when we went to bed around 10:30 p.m. In the picture below, you can see my uncle (in the tractor on the left) dumping a scoop of trash into the inferno. The tractor on the right apparently broke down midway through the job, so they had to use the smaller tractor. All the white stuff in front of the tractors is our garbage. I can't really describe how big this fire was. It was probably 25 feet high and 40 feet across. It was huge, and it is still smoldering out there, two days later.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My birthday!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to my birthday celebration, including God for giving us all a sunny day! My day started at church, where the girls surprised me with a homemade cake! We all ate it out in the grass, enjoying the sunshine. Then Bryan took me up to Portland to see the final showing of Wicked! at Keller Auditorium. All of you who went to see it, you know what I'm talking was awesome!

The ranch incident

So the other day Bryan and I were getting ready to eat a meal which included salad. Bryan went to get the ranch and apparently the lid wasn't screwed on tight because when he shook it, the lid flew off and ranch went everywhere! I didn't grab my camera quick enough to capture the ranch on Bryan's face, but I did catch Macie cleaning up after him. Macie also got nailed in the butt! As you can see, Macie enjoyed the salty ranch!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy early Easter!!

We went over to watch Slumdog Millionaire at Kyle and Kari's house on Tuesday, and got to hang out with Isla too. Bryan had a great time holding her while we tried to make her smile. Isla the bully: "You better not steal my Easter chocolate, punk."