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FarestartLast Thursday my sister invited me out to dinner with her and a girlfriend—girl’s night out—but as it happened, her husband stood in for the friend who could not make it last minute. We went to a restaurant in downtown Seattle called FareStart, not your typical restaurant in regards to where the night’s profits will end up. Not to the wonderfully friendly wait-staff, as they are all volunteers, or to the Guest Chef of the night, as he, or she also volunteers their time. This restaurant that serves lunch Monday through Friday and a special dinner on Thursday nights hosted by local top chefs is a haven for former homeless adults wanting to learn a trade as well as crucial life skills that will get them back out into the workforce, back out into their communities with renewed confidence in themselves.

FareStart says it best:


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Mission

I have always wanted in some way to be a part of something bigger. I told my husband that if I were not married with children I would probably be in some remote part of a little known country performing missionary work in the Peace Corps. Remember those tests they have you take in high school where by the end of it, the results are supposed to show what kind of career you should set your sites on? I was always going back and forth about who I wanted to be when I grew up, and what I could do with my life that would mean something.

The results of my test pointed me in the direction of service—whether it be in the medical field, or any business that dealt in hospitality, or work serving animals in some way. It seemed to capture me as a person, but I was still undecided. My choices then were to join the Peace Corps, become a veterinarian, or a marine biologist. Since none of these career paths came to fruition and instead God has blessed me with a beautiful family and a good life, I can say that I have no regrets. But I do have a calling in my heart. That call is to perform mission work for God, helping in whatever manner He would call me to.


AlijahAlijah has developed a strange hyper-sensitivity to heat, any temperature above Arctic cold, he immediately goes into hyper-drive, fanatically announcing to anyone within earshot…“AH, WHAHM!!! AHHH…WHAHM!!” or “AHHHH…H!! MAMA, DADDA,MMMAAAMMAA, AAH HODT!!!” So when you see us immediately transferring his piping hot or soothingly warm meal fresh from the oven or microwave, directly into the freezer to thaw for 5 to 10 minutes we are not trying to cause his untimely death by way of food poisoning, but rather making sure that he will get something in his belly besides string cheese and yogurt.

I don’t know when this obsession with heat came about, maybe it stems from my neuroses when first feeding him baby food warmed in the microwave; I always made sure that he knew it was HOT so we had to wait. Also maybe it has to do with the times I hysterically yelled, “NO, DON’T TOUCH, HOT, HOT!!” whenever he stepped a toe into the kitchen as I was cooking. You think I could be the cause of all this drama? And it is very dramatic because it does not just affect how he eats his food, but also the temperature of his bath—now lukewarm is tooo hot, washing his hands—the water has to be cold or else it is “hodt’.  He cannot sleep with covers on, they end up on the floor while his tiny body is blue and cold to the touch because he has been sleeping in his diaper and t-shirt all night.



I came across these videos on YouTube while pa-rousing the latest in the “pranks” category. Almost peed my pants, they were so funny. You have to have a looksy and share with anyone having a bad day, they will surely be thankful that we live in the great ol’ U.S. of A. ‘cuz I kid you not,  if we tried to pull off any of these stunts, we would be forced to wear a scarlet “P” across our chests pointing out the sick perversion in our minds, then have to share a cell with someone named Tank because we being U. S. Citizens, would have crossed that fine line between hilarity and a right to privacy. So thank goodness for these Japanese pranksters willing to go to any length for a good ol’ hearty laugh. Have a gander above and two more after the break to get those giggles flowing.


The only obstacle standing in my way is me. I am too comfortable where I am. It takes such effort to change. I am stuck in the rut of being comfortable and that scares me. I look around and see so many people in the same place I am in because we are afraid of change. In my heart I know that I would be happier and more fulfilled if I could just remember what it was like to be basking in the HOT, I loved it then. I was so excited, felt so weightless, wanted to share my joy with everyone. What happened to that? Now I make excuses for myself. I went to sleep too late—I can’t get up early to have a moment with my Father, the kids were driving me crazy today—I need a night to veg out in front of the T.V., I can’t talk to my friends, let alone my neighbors about God—they will think I am weird.

I can only thank God for his merciful grace, because I am imperfect and He knows that. But I know that I need to change, do my part; my dream was an awakening for me. It showed me that I cannot wait till tomorrow for the things that I keep putting off. How do I know that there will be a tomorrow for me? I don’t want to come out of the Lukewarm because I am afraid of what will happen to me when I die. I want to come out of it because I have a love for God and I know that His will for my life is so much more than what I am doing. He is the one who has always believed in me, always had hope for me. He knows that I am capable of more, I am the one letting myself down.

I have an ear, and I will listen. I will fight the temptation to live an indifferent life. I know that it would be easier not to fight, but I am worth it. We all are. Be convicted of something and have passion. Either love something with all your might, or despise something and turn from it, but don’t get caught in the web of the Lukewarm for long because you will learn to dwell in it and begin to convince yourself that you are happy, that you don’t deserve any better—and you do. ( Note to self )


It was my fault, and I accepted it in my dream, I accepted it and I knew that God had given me every chance to know Him, but I had waited, just waited because I was comfortable in the lukewarm. I awoke from my dream with a start, my 3 year old had cried out in his sleep which startled me awake. I was shaking and felt so empty, so sad. I woke my husband and told him that I had the most awful dream. I felt like crying but was too tired. I knew what the dream meant. I have been struggling with my faith for some time and though I want, long, to feel the same fire I felt when I first became a Christian, I am having a hard time finding my way back to that path.

I had this dream on Thursday morning and on Saturday morning we went to church. The sermon was on Revelation 3:14, a letter written to the church of Laodicea. My personal belief as well as that of many of my Adventist brothers and sisters is that the Laodicean church is the “church” or people of today. This is what Revelation 3:14 says;

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I had a terrible dream the other night, I wouldn’t call it a prophetic dream, but spiritually awakening would be the best way to describe it I suppose. I have a lot of these spiritually themed dreams, some beautiful and others that scare the socks off my tiny feet. I believe it is because I am going through a personal struggle with my faith and in some instances I know that God is trying to speak to me in a way that He knows will have an impact on my thoughts and actions.

In this dream, my family was living in Seattle, but in a condo that was in a mid-size building along the water. I am standing at a huge window looking out at the dark water when I hear a loud, booming roar, as if a plane was right on top of the building. My eyes scan the horizon quickly to access where the noise was coming from and at first I don’t see anything, but there, just a small white figure still far from eye-shot, was something travelling at top speed towards my building.


AlijahSo, following the mass hysteria of crazed parents dying to lay their grubby hands on the new Tickle Me Elmo TMX, we shelled out our grocery money for the week, a whole $200 for the rights to spoil our child the way we see fit. Okay, we gave up our food for the week for a good cause, we bid on Elmo at a silent auction at our older son’s school to raise money for the kids, so we can live with having to starve our children for seven days.

What I am hesitant to mention though is that my brilliant husband in his greediness to win said auction actually guarded the piece of paper with his last winning bid, as if his life depended on it. He actually created a sort of hood around the piece of paper with his ginormous shoulders so that no one dare ask him to move out of the way. What he did next he will never live down; the announcer counts down 2 minutes left till the silent auction is over, so hurry and get your bids in. A woman approaches, another psycho parent with that hungry look in her eyes, wanting to take a peek at the last bid on Elmo, but Andru pretty much shoulder blocks her, like he was in the freakin’ NFL. What I did not know was that he was so freaked out by her presence that he pretended to be actively looking over the last bid and when she made another move to see the bid, he takes out his pen, crosses out his last bid, and OUTBIDS HIMSELF.


Congratulations to my good friends from Olympia; Matt and Rhonda on the birth of their second son, Malachi on Friday morning!! We are so excited and happy for you both and know that he will be as beautiful and smart as Silas. Andru and I can’t wait until we see him, all 9 1/2 lbs of him. Just think, it was about 5 years ago when you guys thought you had too much to do as a couple to even think about having kids, it was a foreign concept, but look at you now, parents to two wonderful gifts from God and two of the most amazing parents that I know.

God Bless and enjoy having a baby to hold again, as you know they grow up before you know it and are far too busy to sit in your lap and cuddle anymore.

We love you!


Tom and AlijahMy favorite blogger whom I have admitted to being a groupie of, Heather Armstrong of Dooce, writes a newsletter every month for her ‘cute as can be’ three year old daughter Leta. She recounts each past month for her in a way that touches my heart and makes me envious that I do not have the discipline to put down in words the very memories that she is able to;  words that will hold them together as a family forever. Everytime I read one of these newsletters I just want to say to her, wow, you have described the very feelings that I have for my 3 year old.  I did not think such deep emotions could be put into words, but there they are.


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