Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Chaplain

I was asked a while a go about what a chaplain is... since Derrick is a chaplain for the local fire department. I told the person briefly that a chaplain goes into the firehouse to help the firefighters process the things they see everyday. Because Derrick is a volunteer fire chaplain he gets called out when someone has died. If you are full time you get called out to help families during tough times not always death calls. However because Derrick is volunteer when his pager goes off it means that someones life has just been ended.

I give great tribute the men and woman of the fire department for they see the most horrible things. Typically (atleast the way I understand it) the fire department is called out when there is a 911 call for someone who needs medical attention. Ofcourse they are called to fire's too! (duh) So when a life is not saved, Chaplains get the duty of informing the family as to what has happened. Chaplains are considered men and or women of all faiths. Meaning if they go to a house that the people are Muslim then the chaplains adhere to the religious followings of the Muslims, or Catholics, or Mormon or what ever they are...

Typically when someone has just died the family is really looking for someone to listen. So a chaplain is there to comfort by listening and honoring the person that has passed.

I think anytime a family member is a firefighter or policeman it can be hard sometimes. They work weird shifts, and see the worst and best in people. Probably more often times the worst.... But that is what makes them such special people, able to serve others and their community. So thank you Derrick and all the chaplains, and to you firefighters and police man - thank you for all you do too!

Monday, January 29, 2007


Let's see it seems like there have been two themes around Derrick and I lately.

1st theme I have talked about before that is life can be short, so actually live your life, don't watch it just go by. Go and do those things you have always wanted to do but, can't, won't or are scared to do! Just get out there and do it! Ofcourse this started when Derrick came out of the hospital but it seems on a weekly basis we are reminded just how precious life is, choose to live it! I have had many ladies tell me they always wanted to do triathlon, what are you waiting for? Let's get out there!

2nd theme This theme started a while ago too. The theme is pain is not always caused by something you've done wrong. In order to go to another level there is pain involved. Think back to school, in order to go from Jr. High to Highschool you had to step up your game, there was some level of pain involved. For those of you who went to University, you know that the level of studying goes up tremendously from your Senior year in highschool to Freshmen year in college. OR your next level as a family.... when you have a child and actually give birth, there is a tremendous amount of pain (especially if you can't have medication!) With almost everything to go to the next level there is some pain involved, not always physical pain but pain non-the-less.

Derrick and I have learned not to take life for granted, each day is a blessing. I don't want to spoil one more day holding onto a hurt, or grudge. I want to live each day like it may be my last. Loving family and friends you never know what life may bring. As for the next level well we have been preparing for a while to start a new ministry opportunity, so I cherish the time and energy it has taken to prepare us for it. We can learn from the past, ( oh my don't we have stories to learn from?!) to prepare us for the future.

Just some thoughts for you all!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tri - Crazy

So I am really looking forward to the 2007 triathlon season - I am so excited I can't hardly handle it, and well it is still a couple of months away! I did my first spinning class last night at the gym. Wow is all I can say the instructor is tough but awesome. He actually yells at you! But I did go faster and longer than I would have with no instructor. His name is Greg - he says "Hate me now, love me later!" Very true statement. There was a commercial out a while ago with a woman in a spinning class - she says to the instructor " bring it on" that is what I felt like. I am so ready! I joined a local triathlon team. I know, I know triathlon is an individual sport, but the team is there for training tips, and partners to help you train. I am pretty excited about it. I really want to see a difference this year in my training so I hope this will keep me focused. I know for sure I will do the Danskin traithlon again, how can I not, that was such a great experience! I really want to travel and do two Danskin's this year, so we'll see how that works out. Right now I am looking at Denver, Austin or NY Metro area. So I maybe looking for other nutty ladies to go with me! That is it for today! Hope you are all doing well.

Monday, January 22, 2007


This past weekend I found out that someone I used to work with had passed away at the young age of 46. Although I hadn't seen him in a few years, it really put life back into perspective for me. Life is too short to hold onto all the hurts of the past. The company we had worked together had its ups and downs. I must say it was some of the best work experience I ever got, followed by the worst work experiences I ever had. But years have passed and I can now look at that time remembering the fun times, the great people I worked with and the good we were trying to do. Never mind that the product never performed how we thought it should. The concept was noble. Although I do not take life for granted (how could I after living through this summer with Derrick) but I do get complacent sometimes. Complacent with friendships, it is easy to get involved with family stuff and forget to make time for friends and their families.

I saw many friends on Sunday that I haven't seen in a while. I was told by a few friends (love you guys!) that I am not the best at returning calls or messages. I have to admit I am not great at it. My intentions are good. But put a 2 and 3 year old kids in the mix, and it is hard to pick up the phone without something causing my distraction! Seeing a lot of people that I hadn't seen in a while made me realize that I need to reach out a bit more and call people.

I was also asked about our church. We have been going there almost a year now. We love it! Not that anything was wrong with our old church, absolutely not it was just time for a new season for us. We are actually beginning a new service that is going to be on Wed nights. Derrick has been asked to help run it. So this will be a new and fun chapter in our lives.

It is always good to see people you haven't seen in a while, for me it makes me remember all the fun times we have had. One couple we saw we practically lived at their house when we first got married. Then well kids and life happens and you kind of go your separate ways. The cool thing is, that we will always remain friends even if we don't see each other but once a year. Hopefully it won't be that long though!

So I guess my new year's resolution would be to return calls in a more timely matter. The only way to find out if I am doing that is to call me!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Another goal, another run

I was looking out of our bathroom window today - sad to watch the snow melting away. We have had a great time in the snow this year. Hopefully we will get some more in a week or two. For now it is nice to be able to get out and about with out worrying about snow and ice.

I have my first planned physical activity of the year coming up. I have been sick the past few days so I am not sure if I will be able to run the 10k (6.4 miles I believe) on Sat. Today I had a hard time with a 3 mile run due to dizziness....

So if I don't do that one, then I have a fun run scheduled for March 11th. Liz and I did it last year, and this year we have talked our husbands into doing it too! yeah. We are going to do the St. Paddy's day fun run. It is about 3.5 miles a little longer than a 5k (3.2) It is a fun one - people dress up in all kinds of crazy stuff and run or walk from the Seattle Center to Safeco field. At the finish they have Irish bands and some other fun stuff. So anyway that should be fun. I must admit it is easy to slack off a bit after a goal is accomplished. After the 1/2 marathon, my training hasn't been as intense. I guess that is normal though, that is why I need to keep myself motivated with more races.

Just some thoughts from me today.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Life Lesson - you might have seen this on email - I thought it was worth a post!

The Daffodil PrincipleSeveral times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead "I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren."Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.
"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."
"Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience."After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers."Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house. On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world ..."It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"Use the Daffodil Principle.
Stop waiting.....Until your car or home is paid off
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die...There is no better time than right now to be happy.Happiness is a journey, not a destination.So work like you don't need money.Love like you've never been hurt, and, Dance like no one's watching.If you want to brighten someone's day, pass this on to someone special.I just did!Wishing you a beautiful, daffodil day!
Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin. ~anonymous

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Elementary School Power Show

Derrick and Jimmy did a power show today! Their friend Joey was going to do it with them, but got called to work at the last minute and couldn't make it. What was really neat about this show was they got to do it in a public school. They really got to deliver there message about drugs and alcohol, but this time they focused on talking to the kids about good choices. Due to separation of church and state they didn't talk about God as much as they usually do, but still got to get their point across. When Derrick talks about his stroke and then the miracle, well really there is nothing else to believe, but God poured out a miracle!

Two things struck me at the show - one was when Derrick asked the kids (we were at an elementary K-6th grade school) if anyone had ever been bullied. 3/4 of the kids raised their hands. I looked around the room then got the chills down my spine. Wow 3/4 of those kids had been bullied. Too me that was shocking. Innocent kids, being afraid at some point, that is messed up. Derrick did a great talk about believing in your self, not letting anyone tell you that you can't do something. Standing up tall. It was great to hear, and the kids responded very well.
Jimmy talked about the pitfalls of drugs and alcohol. He has a very powerful testimony, and the kids responded well to him too.

The second thing that struck me was when Derrick gave his testimony of being healed after the stroke. He asked the kids and asked who knew what a stroke was, what was scary here is probably 1/4 of the kids knew what a stroke was, probably due to an loved one having one. That isn't what struck me though, when Derrick started talking about being paralyzed, I had 4 teacher's turn and look at me with looks of shock on their face, looking at me like really? He couldn't have been paralyzed! I just nodded, and ofcourse well I had tears in my eyes because it is still so fresh from happening. After the show he had a female teacher come up to him and say, "a stroke is my worst fear." Derrick smiled and looked at her and said, "you can't live in fear, now can you?" Wow. What a testimony for that woman. She is fearing something that hasn't even happened yet. I know I try very hard not to focus on negative things, because well they have a way of coming true in our household! So I try to stay focused on positive things. Looking towards the years ahead not with fear, but excitement. There are great things ahead. I know I am a broken record with thinking positive things, but you know when something works, you have to tell everyone you know about it. Life is full of enough hard things, why focus in on them. Focus in on life, and living it everyday the best you can.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Josie's 2nd Birthday!

December 30th our little girl turned 2! Please enjoy the slide show from her party.

We had family obligations on her birthday so we weren't going to do anything until mid-Jan but we decided to go ahead and do an quick impromptu party at Chuck e Cheeses.