Thursday, July 28, 2011

Straining Toward The Goal

Inspiration to those working out:

Philippians 3
No Confidence in the Flesh

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Keep striving for that prize!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lavender Love

Kari visited a lavender farm outside of Silverton, Oregon with some friends over the weekend. To their surprise, the house and outbuildings were empty and everything was overgrown. It was like a secret garden.

Upon arriving, they were greeted by a pair of deer enjoying the forsaken apple trees. It was such a unique little place. They were all wishing they had $500k to buy the farm. Afterward, they enjoyed a free lunch at Seven Brides Brewing in Silverton, Oregon. The food was delicious. They got all four entrees for free because the credit card machine was giving the employees so much trouble. They're excited to go back. Excellent service. Great food. Highly recommend it. =)

For Havenhill Lavender Farm photos, follow this link:

For Seven Brides Brewing, visit their website:

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why She Loves Laundry...

Most people I know look at me with distaste when I tell them I love doing laundry. I've tried to capture a few of the reasons why.

Running the dryer in our small apartment generates way too much heat.
Hanging laundry on a line not only saves us money, it's sentimental.

I remember watching my mom hang the laundry, and the many tents she made for us in the summer with flat sheets and clothes pins. Some of my favorite childhood memories!

I sometimes light some of my favorite incense to create an inviting atmosphere.

I don't have to worry about a flame and it doesn't create any extra heat.

My bathroom is one of the prettiest rooms in the house. I love the orchid my neighbor gave me. I've never kept an orchid before. It's been a fascinating experience.

The joy is in the details.
Any chore becomes easier when you're surrounded by things you like.

The largest art in my bathroom is this framed photo of a dog on a beach. It totally reminds me of my black lab I had to put to sleep years ago. He never got to see the ocean, but I like to think he's happier now. **I choose to ignore all the theologians and philosophers who declare that animals won't be in heaven.** =)

There is one part of laundry I hate. Stains. The best way I've found to deal with stains is a good sense of humor and some elbow grease.

"Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a t-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash." - Jerry Seinfeld

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Coyote Run

A surprise day off. We packed up the bikes and headed out for our first ride at Willamette Mission State Park.
The orchards are always beautiful, be they apples, filberts, or cherries.
We started out on a paved bicycle path. Soon Steve diverted to a dirt path. He raced along behind the grass curtain, his heading popping up like a prairie dog with every jump he flew over. I watched from the tame safety of the paved path. Then our paths diverged. Steve won out, convincing me to walk my bike through some tall grass to get to the dirt path. Were the vultures in the distant trees an omen?

The dirt path turned out to be a horse trail with some refreshingly beautiful views of the river.

I took this for the fun of it. It turned out to be a "before" photo. I chopped my hair short about a week ago. The hydration packs were a must. Hot and humid out here lately. Steve boasts a Camelbak. I have a High Sierra that I find works just as well. However, I cheat and use a Camelbak bladder on the inside.

The happy part of the ride! I'm wishing I had gotten some after photos. They may have broken the lens.
We rode almost three miles before coming upon a clearing. We skirted a cornfield and began to feel raindrops. (I had checked the forecast which predicted rain, but didn't want to dampen Steve's spirits and maybe even thought he had checked it himself. haha Silly thought.)

Riding quickly, we made it to the woods on the other side before the heavens really opened up. Lost in the fun of things, we tore headlong into the blackberry briars at a pretty good speed, slipping and sliding through huge mud pits and over tree roots and rocks.

I was at the lead when I heard a crashing noise from the left rear. A few seconds later I heard Steve yelling, "Go, Kar! Go! Go! Faster! There's a coyote chasing me!?!" Not kidding! A coyote Steve describes as looking like this fellow here and weighing around 40 lbs or the size of a small German Shepherd had charged toward him.

We're still not sure if he was chasing a rabbit or other prey when we rode in between them, or if all of the sudden noise muted by the rain surprised him and he happened to run in our direction instead of away. We stopped a ways up the trail and looked at each other incredulously before bursting out laughing, with a bit of apprehension mixed in. Steve got a pretty good scare from it. I didn't even see it and I was terrified. We pressed on.

We rode through some face-high grass which was soaked by the downpouring rain. I felt as though I was 6-years-old again doing bobs during swim lessons at the local pool. Water. Water. Water. Gasp! We realized, after a few gallons of rain and a pound or two of grass seed, that we didn't know where we were and the trail maps weren't making any sense. We were drenched.

We ended up retracing our path past the coyote encounter to the cornfield. Before reaching the huge mud pits or the cornfield, Steve pointed out my rear tire had gone flat. Of course, we had no spare tubes or a tire pump. We're definitely not boyscouts! We ended up carrying my bike the four miles back. On the way, Steve discovered his iPhone had shut itself off and there was water under the screen. It wouldn't reboot.

Before reaching the car, the sun had come out again to dry us off to a sloshy damp and served us up as the main course for the mosquitos. We also felt the skin on our arms tingling. Somewhere along the ride we must have crashed into some nettles. I initially thought it was poison ivy, but it's healing quickly.

Our bikes were beyond dirty.

The mud and rain seeped into our shoes and socks. I try not to think of how much of it was horse poop...

The final tally:
*Too many scrapes & bruises to count
*Steve - 54 mosquito bites
*Kari - 14 mosquito bites
*One ridiculous story!

We'll think twice about riding on horse trails again!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yesterday's News

So this turns out to be part one from yesterday. Finally got it to load. Coffee from our favorite shop. Steve's favorite light meter. Gorgeous rose from Bush Park Rose Garden.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Backwards Day (Part 2 First)

I was planning to load more photos, but blogger is being difficult. Here are the last photos first. I took a walk at Bush's Pasture Park (simply "Bush" to locals). The rose garden is beautiful right now!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July

Having made no traditions for Independence Day yet, Steve and I set about the 4th with open minds. We both hate loud crowds and traffic, so we usually opt to skip the city fireworks. We tried it our first year out here, and it wasn't much fun.

This year, we kicked off the day with a 10+ mile bike ride to Minto-Brown Island Park. If you've read our blog at all, you may have noticed it's one of our favorite places to ride. It was so hot out! Thank you, Camelbaks, for helping us keep our cool.

After our ride, we chilled out at home until it got dark. Then we walked to the Capitol Mall Park to watch the fireworks. Since the sprinklers were on, there was only one other family there. The fireworks are set off over the river, about 8-10 blocks away. We enjoyed watching them without the cramped quarters, foul language, and cigarette smoke. It was fun to watch the little boys from the family ahead of us running in the sprinklers (against their mother's warnings) and to watch their cute dogs wonder what all the commotion is about. It was a really nice, low-key Independence Day. So thankful we have choices. So thankful for the choices so many have made to guarantee that freedom. So thankful for Jesus Christ - the true source of freedom.

Summer in Full Bloom (For Mom)

Enjoyed a beautiful walk around Bush's Pasture Park with a small, furry visitor. Then headed for home to revel in the glory of the flowers of my own little garden and courtyard.

Flowers @ Home

Friday, July 1, 2011

Closing June

June was a busy month. It's always a good feeling to look back and realize we survived. There were cuts & bruises, long days & short nights, sunshine & rain, blessings & burdens. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. It seems there's always a little good and bad to balance the scales of life.

We had a lot of fun with Rob & Catherine while they stayed with us. I definitely need to check out the Fruit Ninja game Catherine showed me. Looks like fun!

We also enjoyed having Justin & Marie stay with us. Their little girl, Grace, is such a sweetheart! After she warmed up to us and was playing and talking, Steve declared we can't have girls. "They're way too cute!" It was great to hang out with them, catch up (for Steve), and get to know them better (for Kari). It's incredible how God has taken our two very different lives and woven them into one. Family. Friends. Memories. Dreams. Our God is an awesome God!

The Church Association meeting went really well. It was great to see friends and meet new people. We really enjoyed the sermons and discussions. One of the highlights was seeing Chris & Lee Margaret Winkler and their almost 3 week old baby boy, Malcolm Bruce Winkler. He's so cute & definitely has a fascination with the new world around him. He stared at Steve for a good two or three minutes.

While June was fun, we're looking forward to what July has in store for us. Fireworks? Camping? More bike rides? Hope so!

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
Therefore he will rise up to show you compassion
The Lord is a God of justice
Blessed are all who wait for Him.
Isaiah 30:18

Memory verse from Chapter 1: