Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Very Blessed

Yesterday started like a regular day and fortunately for us, it ended in a pretty usual way as well. It is what happened in between those hours that made me realize more and more how truly blessed we are.

At about noon, I took my kids to a friend's house for a play date. I came home, put the babe for a nap, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, and then held the sleeping baby in my arms for about an hour (because this is how he now takes part of his nap. Don't ask). As I was holding him, I looked outside and saw what appeared to rain/snow mix. I checked the forecast...nothing alarming. The babe woke up and by this time, the snowflakes were of significant size and I decided to make a fast trip to a grocery store to get some comfort food for what might be a snowy evening. What was supposed to be a 30 minute trip turned out to be a 4 hour ordeal. My brilliant brain forgot to remind me about the fact that we live on a hill and the car I have is not ready or able to maneuver in snowy conditions.

I made it fine down the hill and got my food. By this time, however, the surprise storm was in full blast, and going up the hill the same way I came was treacherous. To make a long story short, our whole family made it home safely in the evening and everything turned out alright because:

  1. the baby though hungry patiently sat in his car seat and sang songs during the 1.5 hour very slow ride. His sweet, worryless tune was calming me down.
  2. we were blessed to have a friend who came over and rescued me and the baby and took us to his house
  3. his house is 5 minutes away from ours
  4. this was the house where my other kids were playing

  5. his wife graciously welcomed us and served yummy treats with fresh raspberry tea. Marina and Bill, I can't thank you enough!
  6. my husband eventually (it took him 4 hours!) picked us up after rescuing his brother. My husband's truck's windshield wipers are broken. I do not know how he did it.
  7. My abandoned car (with my comfort food inside, go figure!) was in one piece when we came to pick it up
This surprise storm was as its full blast during the rush hour. Everyone was caught off guard. It was a BIG mess in the greater Portland area. As I was listening to the radio while driving, I kept hearing about car wrecks, people getting stranded for hours in traffic jams and on the curves, cars unable to make it up the hill on the highways. I kept wondering, what if it was me out there? What do people do if they don't have relatives or friends who are able to help them out during emergencies? What do they do if they don't know God and don't cry out to him for help? Alone, we can do so little. Alone, we are simply not able to make it. Blessed are those who are not alone, who have others to rely on during tough times. Blessed are also those who are able and willing to reach out to others for help. We ARE truly blessed.

Here are some pics of my kids oblivious to all the troubles, having a great time playing in the snow.

Fortunate, happy, blessed, taken care of. My daughters expression above says it all.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Free Stuff

Search & Win

Is there such a thing as FREE stuff without strings attached? Appearantly, yes! About a month ago, I signed up for swagbucks. I uploaded the swagbucks toolbar and now use when I search online. I get points. Just. For. Searching. The search is powered by goggle and I don't sell or buy anything. I already have enough to get a $25 gift card. So, sign up. Its free and super easy. Oh yeeeh.... and if you promote swagbucks on facebook, twitter or your blog (like I just did :) you get points too!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

Tomorrow is....

last day before Christmas Break,
pay day,
my hubby's B-day.

I have already decided that its going to be a great day no matter what. I LOVE tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

Over the years, I have gotten tired of hearing my fellow Christians complain around this time of the year that the stores are leaving Christ out of Christmas by greeting them with "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." I would rather be greeted by the first greeting at this time of the year because the birth of Christ has little to do with what Christmas has become. Last year, while listening to a Christian program I often enjoy, I heard the commentators rejoicing over the fact that Sears or some other store after receiving numerous complaints okayed the traditional Christmas greeting. But really, what is there to rejoice about? So what that they tell you "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays"? It is only a marketing gimmick to sell what needs to be sold without making as many people as possible upset.

Finally, Christians around the world are participation in a new (which is really, old) tradition.
I love Advent Conspiracy. The motto is simple: worship fully, spend less, give more, love all.

Check this out:

Also, an article about this new/old way was published in Time magazine. Finally, some positive light on Christianity.

this article

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Brilliant Act

Setting: Last period of the day on Friday. The class is a math class where students have limited English and math abilities.

Me: (Explaining a word problem about orchards and apples. Drawing tiny trees).

Student: (Sitting right in front of me) That's a lot of mota.

Me: (Sounding savvy) Yeh, that a looooooot of mota.

Class: Bursting in laughter

Me: (Confused) What are you guys laughing about? Mota, that means "work", right?

Class: Laughing harder.

Me: Ohhh...trabajo, I meant to say trabajo. What does mota mean?

Class: Not answering, laughing away.

Student: It means marijuana.

Me: Embarrassed, red in a face, joined them in laughter.

It took me five interrupted years of teaching experience to make a mistake like this one. I need to go learn Spanish like five years ago.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fasting This Week

I am "fasting" from blogging and other social networking sites this week as part of an church wide effort to fast from something that takes up a lot of your free time. It is difficult and I am tempted, but I can do it. In the meantime, I'll just continue to write posts in my head:)