Sunday, November 30, 2008

the nuvi!

when we spent three weeks in norfolk at the beginning of november for J's work and for me to find an internship we decided to purchase a GPS unit. what a great investment this was and so easy to use. i saved a lot of time as i drove all over hampton roads with our GPS and did not have to deal with copious amounts of printed out map quest directions. if you are moving to a large city and have little time to figure out where things are, a GPS is a must! we love ours!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


since i have been home my sis A has called me every day and she tells me to get on skype so we can chat. during my time in japan and when she lived in prague we used msn messenger. she finally got access to a video cam which is great fun to use when skyping. we always chat for at least an hour and we never run out of things to say to each other. in fact, the longest we have chatted for has been three hours. things have changed a lot since i lived in bolivia as a child and we would receive a call from my grandparents in the states. we always knew when they called because my dad would have to speak in a loud voice as he talked on the phone and the connection was rarely good. now it is so easy to pick up the phone and dial A's number or just jump on skype. thanks A for all the calls this week and for skyping with me!

Friday, November 28, 2008

advent calendar

we usually had an advent calendar in our home during the month of december when i was a child. usually it would have pieces of chocolate or candy inside the punch out windows. candy was not something we ate a lot of growing up thus having candy after dinner was a treat. one thing we used each christmas though was our candy ribbons which were made by a family friend. they were made out of felt and had 25 ribbons on the chain of felt where an individual piece of candy could be tied on. each year we eagerly anticipated our candy ribbons as my mom would surprise us with the various kinds of candy on it. in college mom would even send our candy ribbons to us with candy on them. it was only after many years that i told her i did not like grape candy of any sort. i think finally after all these years she has an idea of what candy i like and do not like!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

it was four years ago that i was in grad school in egypt celebrating thanksgiving with an apartment full of international students and ngo workers as we combined cultures and foods to create one of the best thanksgiving meals i have ever had. that time seems so long ago as i have now lived in the states for four years with J and we have experienced many holidays together. in fact before J left, we were thinking that about four years ago we got engaged in the valley of the kings along the nile. a lot has happened since then. and today i spent a great thanksgiving with family eating great food and playing games. yet J not being there made me miss him more. happy thanksgiving J!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the story of stuff...

this is a really interesting short clip if you click on the link or go to . this reminds me of the mentality J has in keeping our own lives as a couple simple so that our possessions do not rule our lives or have power over us. i realized as we moved from georgia and as the movers and packers came that we have collected a fair share of junk. this is challenging me to simplify my life even more.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

apple cider at the Coffee Cottage

a hot cup of cider with cream on top was enjoyed today at the Coffee Cottage with J's mom along with good conversation. the Coffee Cottage is about three blocks from my house so i thought i would just walk down there to meet her. what i forgot to remember was how cold it really is here compared to Georgia and without much sun the cold is more noticeable! one thing i really missed while living in Georgia was good coffee shops and good places to eat that serve organic food so i am taking full advantage while i am in the Northwest! and a trip to Trader Joe's is a definite must while i am here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Pabu!

i completely forgot to add Pabu to the birthday list for the 24th of november! so i'll post it late and squeeze it in here. we got Pabu a little less than two years ago and we found out he was born on the same day as J's birthday. he's been a wonderful addition to our family and has brought a lot of happiness to many people. we could not have asked for a more loving dog than him. dogs lead life one day at a time and very little will truly bother them, as long as we give them love. as he sleeps beside me now as i type i am sure all he is thinking about is snuggling. he is not worrying about the next time i take him outside to do his business on the wet and cold grass, or when i'll dress him in absurd clothes or when i will not give him more treats than his belly should take! happy birthday Pabu!


another year in the life of this man has passed, which i am grateful for as i have been able to share another year of living and learning with him.

J, i am so thankful for how we met in japan and developed a deep friendship. it was God's perfect timing as he drew our lives together in an unexpected way. we have shared the highs and lows of life and it keeps getting better. thank you for being my wonderful encourager, comforter and best friend. i cannot wait to see what God has in store for us for the coming year as we continue to share life together!

fog in the willamette valley

as i drove through the farming country of the Willamette Valley early this afternoon i was reminded of how beautiful Oregon is in the winter despite the rain and the cold. when the sun is just right and there is fog it can be a beautiful combination mixed with the green of the trees. i am truly blessed to have grown up in this area and each time i come home i appreciate it even more. pabu is thoroughly enjoying the cold weather, the wet leaves around him, wet grass, and the mud. a weekly bath may not be enough to keep him clean!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

grocery shopping

although Newberg is not a very large town, at over 22,000 they do have quite a large selection of grocery stores. perhaps more than in Kingsland. i found it very overwhelming today as i went to Fred Meyer to grocery shop. i am used to going to small grocery stores and this one is huge! the health food section has grown and everything seemed to have been rearranged. it seemed as though i spent quite a while in the store as i searched for what i wanted. i left an hour later with my groceries and a free turkey as i had spent a certain amount of money to grant me this privilege! i'm already missing the small yet familiar commissary we went to in Kings Bay!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

we're in oregon!

we woke up early this morning and left P's house at 4:30. pabu knew something was going on but didn't quite know what. the first part of the trip from jax to dallas was fine although they had the temperature in the airplane quite high, thus pabu was really hot and panting. we were able to leave the airport in dallas and it was really cold outside. pabu thoroughly enjoyed his time outside as mom made use of the USO in the airport. free food, internet, movies and more were provided. it's always nice to be greeted by mt. hood when coming back home! we're enjoying all the green around us!

Friday, November 21, 2008

last day at laurel island

what a long day it was as we cleaned the house for a good part of the day and then went out to eat an early dinner. P and P, our neighbors, have been such a wonderful help as they have both taken care of pabu over this past week. thankfully he loves spending time with both of them and they seem to enjoy his company also! i went for the last walk around the neighborhood with pabu this evening and it was freezing cold. i said good-bye to a few neighbor friends and said the last goodnight to our neighborhood which we have thoroughly enjoyed during our time in georgia.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

moving out!

the movers came today to pick up our packed goods. the packers had been so incredibly slow yesterday that we thought they would never finish. they didn't and had to come early today to finish off. they were careful though and very polite. through this whole moving process one comes to note the vast amount of junk accumulated over the two years of living here. this makes me want to simplify my life even more. i'm sure J would be thrilled to hear this! i do think we keep things to a minimum though for the average couple in their thirties. it makes me feel better just to say this!

Monday, November 17, 2008

shooting star

on our walk this evening i saw three shooting stars! this must have been a good sign. one of the shooting stars was for J and will carry him on a good deployment for the next 4 months! it was a lovely evening.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

an early birthday

we celebrated J's birthday today in early fashion with a mini cake and a few gifts. he'll be in the persian gulf on the 24th so we decided to celebrate early. we then watched a movie this evening and just had a relaxing evening together. happy early birthday J!

Friday, November 14, 2008

shuttle launch

J had the wonderful idea of going down to florida to see the shuttle launch on the 14th. what an amazing experience to see this. the whole sky lit up and it was quite magical and exciting. and to make it even better, there was a full moon this evening. long lines of traffic on and off of 95 guided us to the best location for viewing the launch. it was a family event as thousands of people around the area waited for the shuttle to launch. families brought picnics, blankets, lawn chairs, radios, books and more as they waited for the count down to start. what a great way to end a week of fun activities for J and i before he leaves.

Monday, November 10, 2008

lady & sons

our fun activity for the day was going to savannah to walk streets and enjoy some good southern food. we enjoyed a veterans day parade and i took a picture of J with some veterans riding in an old jeep for his dad since he restores jeeps. we then wandered around using our GPS which guided us to The Lady & Sons where we had some good southern cookin'. i just love a piece of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy with collard greens.

amelia island

we headed to the beach today and enjoyed the cooler weather. pabu thoroughly enjoyed the cool air as he ran around with J chasing after birds and getting all sandy. we're going to miss trips to Amelia Island! it seemed like not too long ago that we were here in our bathing suits and enjoying the warm breeze as we read.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Singapore Triathlon

my sis A competed in her first triathlon after not having competed for almost 10 years and she did amazing! i am so proud of her. she came in fourth place! it was the first time for her to swim in the ocean so it was a bit daunting for her but she recovered and passed several women in the running event. congratulations!!