Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coming this June!

If you haven't heard already...
We're expecting our first baby this June!!  The due date is June 11 to be exact, though we all know that the likelihood of the little one to be born on their due date is quite slim.
Other than this little announcement, we don't have too many details to share yet.  We don't know if we're having a boy or girl yet, or what we'll name him/her, or even what the nursery will be like (we barely even own anything "baby" other than a few blankets, some books, and one onsie.)  But that's ok!  We have lots of time, right?  Like 9.. no...ummm... 6 1/2 months left.  Ah, well, we'll figure it out.

We are so excited!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bundesrepublik Deutschland Reisepass

Today my German Passport arrived in the mail. YAYAYAY! It's so exciting!!

It's been about 2 years in the making, so to speak.  I had always wished I could claim my German citizenship, but it wasn't until October of 2009 that I found out that I actually could.  As I started exploring the idea, it became clear that this would be a very daunting, difficult process.  Documents and dates were misplaced that would take a miracle to sort out. 

Ian and I prayed about it, and we just felt like I should go ahead and pursue it anyways.  I'm not really sure how to explain that feeling.  It's not like I heard God say out loud, "Do This." But, it was like an urging, that I just HAD to follow through.  With that go-ahead, I went online and downloaded the form off of the German consulate website, and proceeded to fill it out with as much information as possible.  After a few calls and emails to wonderful family members to fill in the gaps, off it went to the Consulate.  A few months later, I received an email from the German Consulate in San Francisco, stating that they needed more information.  OK!  I could do that.  Dug a little deeper and mailed off more information...

Another email followed.  We're sorry, but your Aunt and Uncle's files are no longer there with all of the other family documents that you need.  (Apparently they only keep them so many years, and it had been over 10...)  Could you please send new certified copies?


This was becoming difficult.  They wanted a copy of my Grandpa's birth certificate... which we had no inkling of where it might be.  Keep in mind, this is not a simple document to procure.  The other  papers they wanted would have been difficult to acquire.  At this point they were asking for documents that originated in Germany, during or before WWII.  And our family was Jewish, so the likelihood that they were still on record was very slim.

Enter: my amazing Aunt Ruth, who God used in an incredible way!  After several months talking to the consulate and explaining the situation, I received a package in the mail from Germany.  In it was a letter from my Aunt Ruth, explaining how she was just looking in a filing cabinet for something unrelated and TA DA there was the missing file.  Copies of Grandpa's birth certificate, registration papers, documents of his time in England at a refugee house, and so much more!  It was truly a miracle!!  Sadly, there were no originals in the file, and you can't make a notarized copy of a copy.  I prayed, and decided that it was in His will for me to send them anyways.  So, after making copies of everything for our own personal use, I sent off the only notarized copies I had of those documents.

It took a while longer for everything to get sorted out.  Eventually, in the summer of 2011 I got the letter in the mail.  Come to the consulate and pick up your naturalization certificate!  We ended up moving to Washington, and fortunately there is an Honorary Consul here near Seattle, so I made an appointment with her to pick up  my papers.  While I was at it, I also filled out the paperwork and did the fingerprint scan for a passport...

And here we are today!

Sometime later I will need to talk about the emotional journey that this all took... it was quite a learning experience, and I dealt with some tough stuff.  But for right now, if you want more information on this process, check out this link to the German Consulate Website:

I'm still not sure why God wanted me to go ahead and do this.  It turned out that my cousin Laura was getting the same message, so she was in the same process.  (She had slightly different circumstances, though, so didn't need the same documents.)  We shall see what God does!!  In the mean time, I'm hoping to plan a trip to Germany in the near future...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's Cookie Monster!!

Monday was Halloween.  Ian and I signed up with our Fusion Group (like a small group) to participate in Canyon Creek Church's annual Trunk or Treat.  Basically, families and fusion groups sign up to take parking lot spaces at the Mill Creek Town Hall.  You open up your trunk, decorate your car (and yourselves) and hand out candy to kids.  This is a big event.  No, this is a HUMONGOUS event.  There are fire trucks and policemen to help navigate and control the crowds.  Before it begins at 6:30pm, there is a line-up of kids and parents waiting.

So, this year, our Fusion Group decided to decorate a dump truck with a basketball hoop and lots of white, orange, purple, and green lights.  The truck was able to lift up, so that way the basketballs would roll back to where we were standing.  It worked great!

My awesome sister and brother in law visited us just a few weeks back, and she brought some home made Halloween costumes that they weren't going to wear this year: Cookie Monster and an un-named Muppet.  Since we had them already, Ian and I decided to go ahead and don them for the big event.  We were so surprised at the response from the parents and kids!  We were handing out candy right before the kids could step up and try their hand at making a basket.  Kids would gasp, "It's Cookie Monster!" Parents asked to take their picture with us.  I even shook a little girl's hand (she thought I was the Sesame Street character "Rosita.")

Some of the other displays that groups and families came up with were a pirate theme, Lego land, Angry Birds display, King Kong (with a snow machine!), a "petting zoo" where the group dressed up like animals, a magic carpet, and more.

All in all it was a huge success of an event, and loads of fun!  Thousands of kids came through that day dressed up as their favorite action heroes and princesses.  If you ever get the opportunity to participate in something like this, I highly recommend it!  It doesn't take a lot of supplies to make a fun "trunk", (we just had lights to decorate, but it looked great!) and the church and community provided the candy through donations. (Otherwise we would have ran out in minutes!)  Already we are thinking up ideas for next year.  Perhaps another game or activity?

What did YOU do for Halloween?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today I woke to clouds and sprinkling rain. No surprise, as we live in the Pacific Northwest.

When we found out we were moving here, everyone kept warning me over and over about the dreary days, with not a blue spot to be seen in the sky. Friends would caution me about how much it rained, and how it's impossible to keep your hair doing what you want because of the high humidity. They would say, "Watch out! It's going to rain for the next 9 months you are there!"

And so, we arrived... to have 2 straight weeks of sun. Then a slightly rainy day... followed by more sun.

I knew the rain would come. I had been anticipating it, apprehensive of its arrival.

When it did arrive, I suddenly felt downtrodden. How sad that it will now rain and rain. I guess it will be just as everyone told me... sad and dreary.

And then I realized something. I love rain! Why was I sad? I find the sound calming, the smell intoxicating, and the result... well, we all know how much I love trees and lush green plants! This is the perfect tea weather, which is, of course, my favorite beverage. The resulting temperature is perfect... cool enough to be snugly, without having to over-bundle. Even now, I can hear frogs croaking outside my window. Ahhhhhh.

So why was I disappointed when the rain arrived?

It is so easy to internalize what you hear around you. When people tell you something over and over, one day it becomes a reality to you. Look at school bullying. Kids (and adults) will say the meanest things, and pick on someone until that person truly believes what they say. We tell them it's not true and that they should just not pay any attention. And they may know deep down that they are valued and loved. But it's hard to shield oneself against words seeping in. Just as I knew I loved rain, after hearing over and over that it was awful, I eventually started to believe it. This is why it is so important to watch what we say!

The Bible also warns about reigning in our tongues. James, chapter 3, goes into great detail about how much pain and destruction we can cause with our mouths. Proverbs 18:21 says, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue..." We have the ability to cause much hurt by what we say, but we can also cause joy and encouragement!

Next time you chat with someone (which will likely be very soon), think about the effect of what you are saying. Is it something that would make God smile and hug you about? Or is it something that would be better never to have been spoken? I know that this has been on my heart and mind lately. Even things that are initially said out of love, are sometime better left unsaid... such as advice for dear friends. How easy we are to critique one another! To push our perspective, when it isn't really all that important in the scheme of things.

What about you? Have you ever had someone tell you something so much that you thought differently about that situation/experience/environment/yourself?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fair Day

Yaaaaarrrrr!  Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Saturday we went to the Western Washington State Fair in Puyallup.  (Yar.)  We've had blue skies pretty much since we moved, so of course it was a little surprise (though shouldn't have been) when we woke to rain on Saturday.  Of course, here you can't let a little rain get you down, so we just packed some warmer clothes and headed out in the drizzle.

The fair was quite large!  In fact, the Puyallup Fair is the largest in Washington, and in the top 10 in the nation.  Not sure if that is just because of the number of attendees, or if it's the actual size...  Anyways, there was lots to do!

We walked allll over (6 1/2 miles of walking) and saw horses, new piglets, BUNNIES, a llama/alpaca judging contest, fancy cows, and an amazing juggler.  Not to mention all of the vendors...  Oh! And sewing, quilting, crochet, pies and jams, and the veggie section.  There was even someone carving a HUGE pumpkin!  Very cool.

Side note about bunnies:  I love bunnies.  Always have.  Growing up I had my fair share of bunnies, but we don't currently have any.  So, I was overjoyed when I actually got to hold someone's bunny.  Soooo fuzzy and warm!  Ahhhh. I LOVE bunnies so much!!

And then there was the food...  I'm trying to be good about what I eat, and I must say, being there was tricky.  You could pretty much get anything deep fried and on a stick. Even butter.  Yup.  There was a booth for deep fried butter.  This is why America has health problems.  But we did pretty good with your basic hamburgers, chicken teriyaki and fair scones (ohhhh yum!).  Ian ate 3 scones, as a matter of fact!  Fresh out of the oven, with raspberry jam; they were to die for, though not too unhealthy, all things considered.  (Deep fried butter = not worth dying over.)

We didn't catch the rides this year.  It seems like the way to go is either get an all-inclusive ride pass so they are all free, or don't go on any.  We'll have to experience the rides another time.
So, if you are still thinking about hitting up the fair (me mateys) you still have 1 more weekend left!  Yaaarrrrrrr, we had a great time!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


For Labor Day weekend, two dear friends joined Ian and me at his parents' cabin. What a treat!

Inside the little cabin there is no running water and an old-fashioned wood burning stove to cook on. It really makes you apprectiate modern conveniences like plumbing and a stove that turns on with the switch of a knob. But... there's a huge fireplace which will warm you right up, and there IS electricity for lights and such. Hooray for electric griddles and tea kettles!

Outside, we set up the most incredible, awesome, giant swing in the entire galaxy. Totally epic. So magnificent, in fact, that I failed to get a picture that truly captured its "epic-ness." Perhaps next time? But I did capture the beautiful trees... Oh how I missed trees in Idaho!

The weekend was a blast! We went tubing down a river I don't know how to pronounce the name of (I think it's the Stillaguamish), and it was soooo cold. The half of my body that was submerged took about 20 minutes to get feeling back, once we got out. Earlier, we traveled just up the road a ways toward Darrington and picked blueberries at an organic farm. 5 1/2 pounds worth! And, we ate probably 4 pounds over the course of the weekend. Oh yum! And then there was just the time relaxing and swinging and napping under the trees.

What a blessing the weekend was for us! I hope to go up again soon, though for now I must come back to the real world and job hunt. Pray that goes well!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tufts of Fur, and What They Mean

Mojito has been scratching his mane lately, and clumps of fur have been left all over the apartment. Naturally, we figured he must be shedding, since he's gone through quite a change, with location and climate. So we've been brushing him and brushing him, trying to stay on top of the problem, but to no avail. He just keeps scratching!

Yesterday, I looked a little closer at the skin on the back of his neck (and the base of his tail) and noticed he had all these little sores. Poor guy! And then I saw it. A black fleck... that MOVED.

Yup, Mojito has fleas.

I texted Ian and asked him to stop off at the pet store on the way home from work. (The closest one is in Everett, which is about 20 minutes away.) We got the meds and put it on his back and he was NOT happy about it. But, one day later, he seems much more chill. Hopefully that is the end of it! The medication is supposed to kill fleas and their eggs for quite a while. We have no idea where he got them; I suppose they just live around here.

And then this morning, I looked over and there he was, scratching out a nice tuft of fur.

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Blog!

Hey Guys,
So, I thought I might start a blog to share thoughts and lessons that God has been teaching me. Oh, and also to just let you know what's happening in our lives, should you be interested! Hope you enjoy.