closer to the clouds

28 September 2007


My sister-in-law posted this today and challenged me to share so here you go Lisa.
Here's to Mark (how do you "clink" in blog-land)...

The Game of Tag about My MAN

1. Who is your man? Mark Edward

2. How long have you been together?
Became best friends 1993/94-our freshman year of college, hooked up in 1994, married in 1997 - that makes 14 years! Yeah baby!

3. How long did you date? 2 1/2 years - could have been much shorter. I felt like "I knew him from the moment that we met" (B. Dylan)

4. How old is your man? 32

5. Who eats more? depends what we are eating

6. Who said "I love you" first? probably Mark, but I don't remember - I would have to get out my journal

7. Who is taller? Mark

8. Who sings better? Definitely me!

9. Who is smarter? Mark

10. Whose temper is worse? Mine. It doesn't flair very often, but when it does Mark laughs at me - probably because it is one of the only times I call him names or use profanity.

11. Who does the laundry? Me

12. Who takes out the garbage? We share that job.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me... but I am not sure who decided who the "right" side of the bed actually is.

14. Who pays the bills? Me

15. Who is better with the computer? Mark

16. Who mows the lawn? Mostly Mark

17. Who cooks dinner? Me. I love to cook. But, Mark usually does quite a bit of the weekend cooking. His specialty is Saturday morning breakfast.

18. Who drives when you are together? We share that job. Especially when in the mountains because of my motion sickness plight.

19. Who pays when you go out? Mark

20. Who is most stubborn? It depends on which one of is answering. (I like this answer Lisa! I am going to steal it.)

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I wish I could say me. It certainly depends on the fight.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Hmmm.... At the moment it might be a tie.

23. Who kissed who first? Mark kissed me on the forehead. It was the most amazing kiss. I can still feel it.

24. Who asked who out? We just decided to date. We were such good friends we could talk about stuff like this.

25. Who proposed? Mark

26. Who is more sensitive? That might be a tie, but I am sure Mark would say that I am.

27. Who has more friends? Tie

28. Who has more siblings? Tie

29. Who wears the pants in the family? Totally Mark, and he is the best of leaders - the kind you want to follow anywhere! We just watched "Open Range" the other night. We love this movie. There is a line at the end where Charlie says to Sue, "How is this going to work if you don't do what I say?" Love it!

Learn anything about us?



There were two rascals at my house yesterday.

During rest time I made a cake.

After the kids got up and while we were waiting for Mark to come home and for dinner, the boys asked me to play "space" with them. This consisted mostly of being present in a make-shift tent - rocket - between their beds. Audrey and I would wait in the "rocket" and the boys would go out into space and come back and check in with us.

Apparently, they were visiting the planet Frosting. At one point, it had been awhile since they came back to the "rocket" to re-fuel and get mission orders. Well, I guess that isn't necessary when you can help yourself to "fuel" without the help of mission control. My cake had been finger bombed by, not enemy forces, but my own men (or at least men in the making).



27 September 2007

in the company of friends

I have decided that this is one of my favorite places to be... in the company of friends. Days like these make me want to give communal living a shot!

We enjoyed a visit from some of our most treasured friends. Each family - the Reynolds and the Carpenters - have brought such richness to our lives in the form of fellowship, support, laughter, tears, prayers, warfare, fun...

We anxiously awaited their arrivals and hated to say good-bye.

Here is some of the fun...

... we spent most of our time with the Reynolds here at the house - which means not many pictures. They were about 2/3rds of the way though a 3 week road trip and they were just happy to sit in a non-moving seat. The kids played and played and played. This allowed the adults to talk and talk and talk.

... the pictures from our time with the Carpenters is from our day in Rocky Mountain National Park - truly one of the most glorious places on earth. We happened to be there in what seemed to be peak leaf changing time for the aspens. Isn't it interesting how good company can make a place even more wonderful?


26 September 2007

a rose by any other name...

The rose I am referring to is my friend - Angela Rose Snow.
She is my oldest friend, I have more history with her than any other friend and it is something, she is someone, I treasure.

Yesterday on my way home from Ft. Collins I talked to my high school friend and as usual it was a gift to my soul. As our conversation drew to a close I began to think back on the early days of our un-likely friendship, our God-ordained friendship.

I was a sheltered, looking to please at almost any cost (even people I didn't know - like someone pumping gas next to me at the gas station), goody-goody in 12th grade. She was a wild, loud, mad at most people 11th grader. Our common interest was athletics. It was my second year at Lake Mary High School. My first year there she was on the JV volleyball team and I was on varsity - so we didn't interact or really even know of each other except by name and of course I knew of her reputation and big mouth. Also, amazingly, when I was in 11th, she in 10th, we played softball on the same team, but we didn't know each other at all. Probably because she was so much more talented than I was and she didn't have time for the less amazing! By the way, I know she will read this and laugh OUT LOUD along with me.

I cannot even remember how we first became aquainted because it seems like we were just always close. It happened in an instant - probably on the court at some point. Maybe we thought we couldn't go wrong with each other because we were so different. I think at first in my arrogance and immaturity I saw her as a "ministry", but I was in for more ministering from her than I have ever been for her. And this is true to this day.

We have laughed until we cried on more occasions than I can remember - especially in those days of youthful bliss when all the world seems at your beck and call. We didn't want much - just to be amazing at something or maybe more truthfully to someone. We had funny double dates and crazy nights out and somehow through all of that we became sisters of the heart.

Honestly, once we both went off to college we stayed connected but our hearts drifted. I think this happened because I spent a lot of years judging her. We were each finding our way to a genuine relationship with God, but our pathways looked vastly different. I wounded her in ways I could cry about even now, but by God's grace and a whole bunch of hers, we made it through those days and on to these times of a deep soul-ish bond.

That was 16 years ago.
We are connected forever, I am certain of it.
My only hope is that we might someday share the same locality and I dream with God of future ministry together.

I love you friend.


24 September 2007


"Oh! could you view the melody Of every grace, And music of her face, You'd drop a tear, Seeing more harmony In her bright eye, Than now you hear.
~Richard Lovelace

"It is the common wonder of all men, how among so many millions of faces there should be none alike."
~Sir Thomas Browne

"We can see nothing whatever of the soul unless it is visible in the expression of the countenance..."
~Georg C. Lichtenberg

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21 September 2007

Busy at Living

We have been busy.
Yesterday, we said good-bye to a second set of our most treasured friends.
We have spent the last 10 days playing - with a short break in the middle.
Today, I feel like we are taking a deep breath.
I have tons of things to do, but it feels like we are taking the day at a slow pace.

Before, I post about our marvelous days of company I want to share some of our moments without company.

We have a nice little park within walking distance of our house. We had a day in between our two sets of visitors and it called us outside. Ethan has been practicing on his bike and this day I felt up to the challenge of trying to help him navigate the hills and streets as well as push the double stroller. I was so impressed and amazed by his strength. I took this picture because it shows the hill he is about to try and conquer in the distance. He made it the whole way himself!

Owen must have felt soldier-ish. He decked himself out in camo. I thought it was so cute!

Audrey LOVES to swing, she laughs and smiles in pure delight...

That looks like a happy boy to me...

Ethan and I have started pre-school of sorts. I met a gal through the seminary who was very helpful in getting me organized and encouraged to start some "school" things at home. We are both enjoying our time together. I can tell that he benefits from having some personal attention that the other two aren't around for and can not interupt. He also thinks it's pretty cool that he has school just like Daddy! This day he was working on writing his name.

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14 September 2007


I am so thrilled today because I get to wear jeans!


This morning the boys were pretending they were packing their backpacks to go to school. I love listening to them pretend together. I had to laugh though when I heard Owen say, "Wait Ethan, I have to go get my GPS." (They were using my calculator as their GPS.) Yes, Owen is 2 and he does know what a GPS is - it is a device used to
1. help Mommy make U-turns and
2. for "treasure hunting" (geo-caching - LOADS of fun!)


Our dear friends - Chan and Kim Reynolds, along with their three kids - Coleman, Cooper and Cassidy - are arriving today for a weekend visit. We can't wait until they get here. Mark has been trying to arrange his school work so that he can take the weekend off to enjoy their company.

Mark met Chan at the Wild at Heart Boot Camp he attended two years ago and our lives have been intersecting ever since. We anticipate much laughter, soul-ish fellowship and an ache in our hearts when it is time to say good-bye.


We got news yesterday that our other Boot Camp friends - Andy and Donna Carpenter plus little Sam (their new baby) are coming in Wednesday for a long weekend. Needless to say, I am giddy over this too!

Our story with this family is similar to our story with the Reynolds. Mark and Andy met at Boot Camp. We are not so secretly wishing for the relocation of these two families and a future ministry together for the Kingdom, if God would so desire it.


It is time to start dinner!


11 September 2007


I am feeling very clumsy today and I hate it.
I just dropped tuna salad sandwich on my calendar.

I think this happens to me when I am either:
1. rushing
2. trying to do too many things at one time.

I recently heard that there is really no such thing as multi-tasking. I have been mulling it over and using myself as a test case. It is true - for me. I can only give my attention to one thing at a time - really.

Hopefully my clumsiness will wear off soon.


09 September 2007

Before the cold sets in take some time to enjoy this delicious treat from summer's offerings...

Fresh Salsa
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeds removed and chopped
6 tomatoes, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp salt

(I only made half for our family - about 2 cups, but even so I doubled the garlic because I love fresh pressed garlic.)

At this very moment, this deliciousness is "brewing" in the fridge until game time. Mark requested tacos for the big Bears game kick-off today. It is funny to me how food and football are connected in our house. When I plan our menu I make special selections for game day - not always the most nutritious choices, but usually always delicious.

I love football season.


07 September 2007


One of today's treats was plums. We have plum trees heavy with fruit in the back corner of our yard. I thought they were too small, but over the weekend, when my parents were here, we realized there were quite a few that were ready to eat. Today Ethan helped me pick some for our lunch.

I can count on two hands the number of times I have eaten fruit right off the tree/vine/bush. Each time there has been a secret delight and I always end up thinking of Eden. Maybe the fruit whispers of that place in some mysterious way... of the way it was... of the way things should be... of a glory I cannot fathom. Maybe it is the groaning of the earth (mentioned in the bible) that calls to me. Today was no different. Somehow picking plums was more than picking plums.

I once heard that all of life is spiritual. I believe it.


05 September 2007

A walk opposed and defended

I have been enjoying the cool Colorado mornings in the form of a walk almost every weekday. I have used this opportunity to have my soul refreshed not only by the great outdoors but also the Truth (thanks to Mark hooking me up with an MP3 player). For sometime now I have been praying a daily prayer that reminds me of what is true about God and therefore me. Mark loaded it onto the MP3 player for me and as I walk the Truth washes over my mind, soul and spirit.

"My dear Lord Jesus, I come to you now to be restored in you..."

Today, however, my walk was opposed or rather, my heart. I could not get the MP3 player to work right. I was able to listen to my prayer in segments, but I was distracted and frustrated. I messed with it a bit and got to the point where it was going to work right - I thought - and then it shut down on me. I started out with 2 bars on my battery and all the sudden it was dead. I was mad! My heart was opposed.

So, I chatted with God about this and he defended me against my enemy and led me to another place. We talked, or rather I talked - I was a bit chatty this morning. I wasn't avoiding Him through my endless chatter, but once I did shut up I found him leading me toward some memories of a very painful experience in my college days. It was rather surprising- I hadn't thought of this in years - especially when the tears began to flow as if I had just experienced it and a rush of thoughts and emotions came quickly.

Now, I guess to some this may not seem like a good thing, but I am learning, the longer I walk with Him, to follow Him into these places. And to ask what He has for me there, what of Him he has for me there.

I found lots of me there - anger, hurt, striving.

And, I found Him - Love, Grace, Mercy, Redemption.

And so, I will continue to follow Him...


04 September 2007

Family Time

We had a delicious visit with my parents and grandma. Here is some of the fun...

We were stirred on Friday morning, a little after 6am, by the sound of rocks being thrown at our window. My mom had to go to the bathroom. My crazy parents and 90 year old grandmother had arrived hours before and decided it would be best to sit in our driveway and sleep - after driving ALL night long - instead of come inside. This makes no sense to me. So, we had a pretty low key day on Friday - naps, backyard fun and just plain giddiness about being together.

Saturday we headed to the mountains - Rocky Mountain National Park. I love this place. I think this is where I will live on the New Earth. We enjoyed a lovely day of frolicking. We picnicked and found lots of spots to throw rocks and play with water and smell the intoxicating scents of the mountains. What a great day!

Sunday we split up. The boys went running around in the morning and the girls went shopping in the afternoon. This was a special treat for me. When is the last time you went shopping with your mom AND your grandmother? My grandma is the queen of shopping - bad hip and all, she would never turn down a chance to hit the sales!

Monday was a bit of a forlorn day for me. I woke up with the impending sense of their departure and it colored my mood from the moment I awoke. It wasn't until I cried a bit and named it that I felt somewhat better. We went to a new park for a little play and picnic in the morning and spent the afternoon playing on the slip and slide, enjoying a delicious meal off the grill and soaking up the moments we had left to be together.

It was a tearful good-bye after dinner. I think part of why it was so hard for me to see them go is because I don't known when I will see them again. Over the past years - during the time when our distance was only 6 hours - it was always comforting to know when we would be together again. I knew that if I felt that I needed to see them I could just drive to Iowa or ask them to meet us in Illinois. That comfort is not available to me for now. I don't know how God will care for me in this area, but I expect He will and I am looking forward to seeing how He will do so.