Monday, April 27, 2015

what's new in wendy's world

1. I got the cravings for something lemony last week. Did a quick pinterest search and came up with this recipe for a copycat Starbucks lemon loaf. So so good. That recipe is definitely a keeper. The cake is heavy and dense, not light and springy. Just the right amount of lemon flavor. I see this coming to a church potluck sometime soon.
2. I have finished 6 out of 8 weeks of Educational Research and Assessment. This week was kind of brutal. Three chapters to read with a quiz over them, a group discussion board (that actually wasn't as hard as I had myself believing) and a qualitative article review. I pretty much worked most of Saturday and all of yesterday after I got home from church. My last assignment was submitted at approximately 8:40 pm, just a mere 19 minutes from the deadline. Now I wait for grades. I got a kick out of the professor yesterday. He sent us an email and he started it like this. . . "Dear Class, Sundays can be so hard." No kidding. I find that I really do end up doing the majority of my work on the weekends because I'm so tired in the evenings. Makes for some really long weekends.
3. There's stuff blooming in our front yard. The irises are starting to open up. We have some that are purple and some that look more burgundy. I think they finally settled into where I had transplanted them because we have tons of blooms this year.
My columbines popped out too. They're so pretty and dainty.
4. I didn't have a job scheduled for today, and the only one posted was for PE. I don't do PE. So I took the day off (much deserved after all the homework I did this weekend) and so far I've read a bunch of blogs, cleaned both bathrooms, and started some laundry. Phil's on standby today, waiting to see if he'll be called in or not. It's always kind of nice to have a Monday together.

5. I downloaded Spotify to my phone yesterday. I need more music in my life. Now I have to figure out how it works. Any tips, anyone?

6. Speaking of apps, I want to know what your favorite apps are? I have hardly any. Phil put the Bible on for me, and I have one called Notes which is kind of a list-making app, but haven't used it.I also have instagram - check it out here. Although, if you do, you'll just see a repeat of pictures you've already seen.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

spring retreat

Last weekend I was hanging out with this fine looking group of ladies from my church at our church conference's spring retreat. This picture was actually taken Sunday afternoon after we'd left Newport and we stopped for lunch together at Mo's in Lincoln City. We've gone there a few times, I guess so Linda can buy us all a couple warm peach and marionberry cobblers to share. It's tradition.

In case you were wondering, I skipped the fish and chips this time, but I couldn't say no to the clam chowder.
I think there were about 175 of us all together, from churches in Oregon and Washington. The weather was beautiful and we all pretty much had ocean view rooms. The theme this year was Resting in the Journey with the theme verses coming from Matthew. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-29

We were blessed by four amazing ladies who spoke at the main sessions. They shared how they found rest during heartbreaking seasons of infant loss, sexual abuse, losing a spouse to cancer, and while being forced to leave a foreign country as a missionary. This was a different format for us, as we usually have one speaker that covers all the main sessions. Different was good, though. So, so good.

Our church ended up leading the worship music and providing special music a couple of times. I got to play the keyboard and listen to a whole room full of ladies harmonizing and lifting up the name of Jesus. Good stuff. 

On Saturday night, we had a little game where everyone who brought a mug got to pick one from the table. The sheets inside were kind of get-to-know-you forms, so the person who got your mug will know who to pray for. I found out whose mug I got, but I wasn't able to discover who ended up with mine. However, whoever it is has already sent me an anonymous note in the mail. How cool is that? The whole premise of this mug exchange that when you use that particular mug, it's supposed to remind you to pray for that person. 
On Saturday afternoon, after the breakout sessions (I did card-making, journaling, and women's ministry ideas) my friend Barbara and I hopped in her car and headed south. We stopped at Seal Rock and at a couple of state parks. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the Oregon coast???

My sister-in-law, Cindy, was the chairman of retreat this year. She did a fantastic job. Then she went home and fell and broke her femur on Monday. If you think about her, say a prayer. She's had quite a bit of pain.
I'm so thankful that I had the opportunity again to go to retreat and be a part of a pretty amazing weekend. Being a part of the conference women's ministry team, I know a lot of prayer and planning went into this event and it was so neat to see that God answered our prayers and blessed a lot of ladies. I'm now praying real hard (and crossing my fingers and toes and perhaps my eyeballs) that my dear friend, Kerry Messer, will be able to join us as our speaker next year. Ghetto Girls reunion at spring retreat? Oh. Ya.
photo circa October 2013 in Vegas.

Friday, April 24, 2015

thirteen years ago today

Thirteen years ago today I nervously left my Uncle Joe's house where I had spent the night and drove to the airport in Columbus to pick up this guy, Phil505, I'd met online and had been corresponding with for 9 months. We started writing in July and it was all emails and letters for the first 7 months. Then he finally called me in January. January 17th, to be exact. We pretty much knew after talking that we had to meet. So he came. He took a red-eye out of Portland. I was running late, and he was waiting for me at the top of the escalator. And we kissed. My very first kiss, I might add. Then we went out to breakfast at Bob Evan's (after we finally found my car because I didn't pay attention to which parking garage I had left it in) where we sat across the table from each other. I was all googly-eyed and I smiled a lot. He held my hand and we finally talked face to face. We spent part of our day at some Conservatory in Columbus and visited the butterfly exhibit. I was too excited to think about asking someone to take our picture. Darn it. I wish I had one. But I have this one, from that weekend. 

This picture popped up in my facebook feed this morning because I had posted it last year. . . 12 years ago today. . . Another year has gone by and while he's still my internet boyfriend, he's been upgraded to husband status.
Love you, Mr. Bergland.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

right now

eating baby carrots.
drinking water.
(Those first two sound real good in theory, but the truth is, I've eaten like crap for about a month and that needs to change.)
hoping a trip to Ohio is in the works for this summer. Trying to figure it all out.
listening to the frogs.
procrastinating on a few things: reading for school, returning a phone call about a sub job, and doing the dishes.
sending off a little belated birthday surprise to my dad tomorrow. 
still laughing about something my almost 95 year old grandmother asked me the other day, "Did you find yourself a boyfriend out there yet?" No Grandma. I'm married. ha ha ha
praying for some kind of supplemental income for the summer, probably in the form of tutoring or something like that.
loving the tulips. I stopped at the grocery store tonight and there was a big display right as you walked in the door. They're so fresh and happy. And colorful.
anticipating spring retreat this weekend at the coast. I think 11 ladies from our church will be going and I'll be playing the keyboard for the worship sets. Maybe even singing on a song or two.
admitting that I barely got anything done on my spring break list-of-things-to-do. I guess it was just too much relaxing at the beach and not enough work.
deciding on if I want to attempt taking 2 grad classes at the same time at the end of the summer or not. It seems insane, but I won't be working, so it's definitely more doable.
needing to take Wilson for a walk.
making scrapbook pages to update the book for retreat this weekend. I cranked out about 6 today. Almost done, just a little more journaling to go.
reading a lot of journal articles about poverty in education (for my research project). It's been very interesting, but also very depressing. 
thinking about the last half of this Research & Assessment class and what I still have to get done. Can't wait til it's over.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

wooden shoe tulip festival

It seems like the ol' tulipfest gets a yearly blog post, but I can't help it. It's just too pretty not to share. I probably have hundreds of pictures of tulips, but I just keep snapping away. 

This year, we stopped on our way home from the beach, so Wilson got to come along for the fun. Yes, I made my dog look through that and people probably thought I was a weirdo. I don't care.
There's really not much to say, after all, it's just row after row of tulips. This particular tulip farm is in Woodburn, Oregon, and it's pretty big, bigger than the place I went to last year in Woodland, Washington. The one I really want to go to is in Skagit Valley, Washington (north of Seattle). It's gigantic.
Because we've had such a mild winter, this place opened up a week early. There were a few varieties of tulips that hadn't bloomed yet, but most were just right.
Love that my Phil505 always humors me by taking me to see flowers. He's a keeper.
This dog got so much attention from people. Everybody loves Wilson.
This was the pick-yer-own field. 50 cents a stem.

Take time to tiptoe through the tulips, people.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

south fogarty creek state park

One of the days we were at the beach we ventured down to Depoe Bay and got some ice cream. On the drive there, we passed some signs for South Fogarty Creek State Park. It's right next to Boiler Bay, a place we've been to several times before to look for whales, but we had never been to this particular stretch of beach. So on our last day we decided not to rush home and spend a little more time at the water. You park on one side of the highway and walk under the bridge to get to the ocean side. The beach itself is not real big and it's pretty rocky, however, there were some pretty cool tide pools and the way the rocks had been carved by the water was rather interesting. It was a pretty little place tucked in between some cliffs. The sand was more like tiny pebbles than sand and it was pretty sloped which made walking in it rather tricky. 
I found a few starfish!

There were caves in the rocks on the left side of this next picture. Kids were climbing around in them. That sort of thing freaks me out. I'm definitely not a cave girl.
South Fogarty Creek - another beautiful place to see on the Oregon Coast.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Easter + the beach

Another Easter has come and gone. I actually got a few decorations out. Nothing says clean your house and decorate for the holiday quite like having company over for Easter dinner. And it was a fabulous one. We had a spiral glazed ham, cheesy potatoes, and rolls. I was going to steam some broccoli, but our guests brought a salad so I nixed that idea because surely one vegetable is enough. We were still full from the breakfast we had at church. To top it all off, we had two desserts: cherry cheesecake and peanut butter pie.

I had my friend Linda snap a couple pictures after church. Phil brought the Jesus tie back to life this year. It hasn't made an appearance in a while. So it was totally worth documenting. 

Then bright, but not too early on Monday, we headed to the coast. First, I met one of my aunts for lunch. She had posted the night before that she had just landed in Portland and was on her way to Salem. Seriously? Family in town??? I had no idea she was even coming. We already know I get minimal visitors out here. Totally going to make that work.
The beach was amazing. We stayed in a puppy-friendly ocean view cottage at Ester Lee in Lincoln City. Wasn't too long til we saw a whole bunch of whales popping up out of the water, flippers flopping, spouts blowing. I can sit and watch the water (and the whales) all day.
We were up pretty high and there wasn't beach access there that we could find. We like to drive down anyway, so we headed up the road a ways and ended up here, where we spent spring break last year.
It was cloudy off and on the first day, and we had a few sprinkles, but most of the time the weather was fantastic.
Wilson had a blast. He loves the beach. He met some new puppy friends and ran around like crazy.
I searched a while for some starfish, but all I could find were these green anemones and a bunch of barnacles.
We had a nice sunset the first night. I wanted a little more color in the clouds, but it was still pretty.
I sat at the table and did some reading homework and putzed around on facebook.
Fantastic two days.